Smolder smiling and looking at the camera
Image via Riot Games

Even more Smolder changes coming to dent tankier LoL builds, make ultimate ‘matter more’

The Fiery Fledgling is only going to get better.

League of Legends‘ most popular champion, little dragon Smolder, will be receiving several adjustments in Patch 14.5, with the Riot Games developers suggesting they’re happy with the Fiery Fledgling’s power level bar one or two changes.

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League lead gameplay designer Matt “Phroxzon” Leung-Harrison discussed Smolder’s status on the Rift and what the baby dragon still needs in League’s Patch 14.5 preview on Feb. 27, which included buffs, nerfs, and adjustments for a whopping 20 champions. Phroxzon explained Smolder is “really popular and about balanced,” and as such the devs aren’t looking to make huge changes to the champ anytime soon.

Smolder, surrounded by yellow flame and standing on a small stone in League of Legends.
From zero to hero, Smolder is dominating pick rates on the Rift. Image via Riot Games

That doesn’t mean the Fiery Fledgling is immune to adjustments though. “We’re not looking to reshape him significantly, but reduce how effective his tankier builds are,” Phroxzon said. What that means is next week’s patch will boost the effectiveness of his Flap, Flap, Flap ability as well as “increase the sweet spot and heal” on his MMOOOMMMM! ultimate.

Smolder has fast become League’s most-picked champion with over 866,000 recorded ranked matches in the past week according to League stat tracking site U.GG’s tier list. Smolder dethroned the likes of Ezreal, Miss Fortune, and Caitlyn to snatch the popularity crown—but unlike the trio, Smolder’s win rate remains above parity too. It’s in this Goldilocks zone that Phroxzon and Riot devs want the Fiery Fledgling to remain, and it is hoped these adjustments will keep him there for the foreseeable future.

It’s the second straight patch Smolder will receive changes after major adjustments to his Q, W, and ultimate in Patch 14.4, which saw the champ’s win rate rise after a flat launch where bugs and an under-tuned kit meant Smolder struggled to fly.

We’ll know more about Smolder’s changes, as well as tweaks to Maokai, Rek’Sai, Bel’Veth, Twisted Fate, Nidalee, and more, when Patch 14.5 arrives on March 6.


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Author
Nicholas Taifalos
Weekend editor for Dot Esports. Nick, better known as Taffy, began his esports career in commentary, switching to journalism with a focus on Oceanic esports, particularly Counter-Strike and Dota. Email: nicholas@dotesports.com