The Guinsoo’s Rageblade, one of the most popular items in League of Legends for champions like Varus and Kog’Maw, is going through a major redesign in Patch 8.6 next week, according to the current PBE cycle.
Rather than flat magic damage on-hit, the item will now provide a small amount of both magic and physical damage, with even more damage scaling with the user’s bonus AP and AD. The item’s passive ability will now provide stacks of bonus AD and AP on top of the usual attack speed, rather than flat AP and AD. The item will provide base stats of 25 AD and AP, and 25 percent attack speed, too.
The redesign seems, at least in part, like a response to Varus’ impact in pro play. He’s one of the most popular picks in the current pro meta, snuffing out almost all other attack speed-based champions. Other than Varus, no one on the pro stage really seems to build the Rageblade, and in solo queue, it’s only him and a few others. That being said, it’s easy to mistake this redesign as an overreaction on Riot’s part, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Think of it this way. Isn’t the fact that no other champions use the Rageblade outside of Varus, Kog’Maw, and only a couple others just as big of a problem (if not bigger) than Varus being over-powered? Yes. That being said, this redesign isn’t a reactionary change to lower Varus’ power. On the contrary—it’s a reactionary change to the fact that only he can use it well.
The new design of the item won’t necessarily make Varus, Kog’Maw, or Kayle weaker, it will simply force them to change their builds to remain effective. Since the item scales with bonus AP and AD, they’ll have to build it as the second or third item rather than the first, but by the time they build it, it’ll be just as strong as it was before or even stronger thanks to its scaling.
Varus and Kog’Maw will have to build the Blade of the Ruined King first, and maybe even another AD item like the Trinity Force to get even more out of the Rageblade’s bonus AD boost. Those two items alone bring 65 bonus AD. That means the Rageblade’s new on-hit damage will deal about 22 combined physical and magic damage, including the AP and AD provided by the Rageblade itself. That’s a lot of damage per hit.
Not only that, but at max Rage stacks, you’ll have 18 more bonus AD, five more AP, and 48 percent more attack speed with the new passive ability’s scaling. All of that combined with the old passive that makes you deal double on-hit damage every other attack, which is remaining on the item, and the Rageblade should actually come out stronger in the long run than it is pre-redesign.
Sure, it will probably seem weaker at first as players figure out when to build it, but eventually, this item will make a big comeback, because it’ll still be very powerful.
This redesign will also open the item up to new champions, those that build more flat AD and AP than the likes of Varus, Kayle, and Kog’Maw. Champions like Irelia, Jax, Aatrox, Camille, Azir, and tons of ADCs that build nothing but raw AD will find use out of this new Rageblade as a late-game item.
This change is still on the PBE, so there’s a chance it never comes to fruition, but if it does, don’t call it a nerf until you’ve tried it for yourself.