The League of Legends playerbase is divided as of last month’s Patch 8.11.
On one hand, there are players who say the meta is much more fun now that you can play pretty much any champion you want in the bot lane. And on the other hand are the players, who are mostly bot lane mains, saying it isn’t fair that hyper-carry, crit-based marksmen are entirely unviable as a result.
The truth is probably somewhere in between both camps. It is more fun to consider all of these new possibilities in a lane, but an entire class of players shouldn’t have to feel alienated as a trade-off. Today’s Patch 8.13 aimed to bridge that divide by dishing out buffs to a few select crit-based marksmen, but it probably won’t be enough to help them.
The buffs included Jinx’s Switcheroo! and Zap!, Kalista’s Rend, Tristana’s Explosive Charge, and Twitch’s Contaminate, but there was no mention of Vayne, Kog’Maw, Sivir, or Caitlyn—four champions that have been struggling immensely in solo queue.
The four champions that were buffed were a good start, but it just isn’t quite enough, especially considering that their buffs were quite small. Out of all of them, Tristana and Twitch received the largest buffs with tons of AD scaling added to their key abilities, but that won’t help the fact that crit items are so much more expensive and therefore cost-ineffective when compared to items that other bot laners can buy.
The purpose of Riot raising prices on crit-based items and changing their passives was to encourage marksmen to build other types of items in certain situations, so the fact that crit builds are almost entirely gone means that it may have worked too well.
We assume if 8.13’s buffs end up having an insignificant impact on the bot lane meta, that Riot will follow up with more changes, especially since the buffs indicate the balance team at least is aware of the problem.
That being said, they’ll probably want to wait a bit before actually moving on more buffs or changes, so we’d probably be looking at Patch 8.15 as the next set of bot lane changes, which would be about a month away. If the changes today end up not being enough, buckle up bot laners, because it’s probably going to be a while before things get better.