Minions are changing in League of Legends Patch 8.6, according to Riot’s post on the official game forums today. They’re going to be beefier, tankier, and their health will now scale up faster the longer a game runs.
Caster, melee, and cannon minions are all getting more base health, and their max health gained per three waves is also increasing by a significant margin. They’ll be harder to kill right away, and they’ll become much, much harder to kill later on. The gold value of minions is changing, too. Caster minions will be worth less, and cannon minions will be worth more.
Up front, the effects of this change will be straightforward. Minions will have more health, so they’ll take more hits from towers, changing the way you’ll be able to farm when you get pushed back. It will essentially take longer to kill them, plain and simple.
These changes will also have a rippling chain of effects on the rest of the game, too. With cannons worth more gold, you’ll be pressured into staying in your lane longer to secure it, and you’ll want to contest your enemy’s cannons to prevent them from getting big gold spikes. This will promote one-on-one fights and will incentivize you to remain in your lane rather than roaming, or risk losing out on a ton of gold with each cannon.
This will give birth to control mages in the meta once again, rather than roamers and assassins. Champions that can control their minion wave and zone enemies away from their own minions will reign supreme.
Likewise, tankier minions mean much slower waveclear, especially once you hit the mid-game, when pushing waves to roam becomes the most common. If it takes that much longer for minions to die, you’ll have fewer opportunities to help out other lanes, which also promotes one-on-one fights in your own lane.
At first, these changes probably won’t be very popular. Solo laners will hate the fact that they can’t make plays in other lanes, but their skill against their lane opponent will matter much more. This means the importance of junglers will also probably rise up, meaning the hyper-carry damage jungle meta will also make its return.
The timing of these changes is also quite horrible. With Patch 8.6 as the goal to ship them, that means they won’t hit until after the regular season of pro play, but before the playoffs begin. This would force pro teams to completely scrap entire team comps and strategies to start over and experiment when it matters the most. If these changes do ship with 8.6, Riot should absolutely hold them off from hitting pro play until after the playoffs in each region.
Players that should enjoy these changes right away, however, are bot laners. Without having to worry about as many big plays from top and mid laners roaming down, they can focus on the two-on-two fight with the enemy bot lane, and the meta will shift from a top-jungle relationship back into a bot-jungle relationship. Also, tanky supports that run the Relic Shield will be very happy that cannon minions are worth so much more gold.
These changes are good for the long-term health of the game, no doubt. The game has shifted from an expression of skill into a five-on-five slugfest, with the most powerful champions being those that just sit around in lane and wait until they can roam to impact another lane. This is because they don’t need to fight their direct lane opponent to win.
By shifting the game back to one-on-ones and two-on-twos, the game should speed up, and the importance on laning power will once again come back to League.