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Patch 8.6 arrived today after some technical difficulties, and that means the next patch is already being prepped and tested on the PBE.
After only one day of testing, Patch 8.7 already has a lot to offer, including a very wide spread of rune changes that, at first glance, could easily dent the meta. There are changes to a ton of runes, including Approach Velocity, Bone Plating, Legend: Tenacity, Cut Down, Absolute Focus, Gathering Storm, Sudden Impact, and Zombie Ward.
Below, we’ve thrown together a list of all the changes, followed by what rippling effect on the meta each change may bring.
1) Approach Velocity
Approach Velocity is getting a very straightforward buff to its movement speed from 10 percent to 15. The issue with this rune right now is that Cosmic Insight is in the same row, and Cosmic Insight is almost always a more worthwhile pick. This buff is meaningful in a sense that Approach Velocity is now a little more attractive, especially to champions that need a boost to their chase, but Cosmic Insight is probably still the right choice in most situations.
2) Bone Plating
Bone Plating was only recently introduced to the game, but it’s already taken over its row in the Resolve patch due to its undeniable usefulness. It makes nearly anyone who takes it considerably tankier, so adding a higher cooldown at early levels will help the other runes in this row compete. This nerf changes the cooldown from a flat 45 seconds to 70-40 seconds depending on your level. Both Demolish and Font of Life should see considerably more use after this nerf goes through.
3) Legend: Tenacity
It’s hard to ever justify picking Tenacity over Alacrity in this row, simply because the amount of tenacity provided versus the amount of attack speed from the other rune just isn’t an even tradeoff. Even champions that could use the tenacity stat to its fullest potential, like melee bruisers, choose Alacrity if they’re in this path for that reason. After this buff, which raises each stack from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent additional tenacity, this rune will be significantly stronger, and attack speed melee bruisers like Jax and the new Irelia will get a lot of use out of it.
4) Cut Down
Cut Down’s buff is twofold. First, the max health threshold to trigger it has been lowered by 500 health from 2,000 to 1,500, which is a lot. Secondly, the max damage you can gain is 12 percent now, up from 10. This buff may not seem like a lot, but the max health being dropped by so much can help this rune contend with the likes of Coup de Grace.
5) Absolute Focus
The change to Absolute Focus isn’t actually a buff or nerf. Clarity was simply added to the description, because a lot of players avoid it based on the fact that they don’t know what they actually get by taking it. Now, the rune let’s you know what stats you receive at the start of the game, which doesn’t make it more powerful at all, but it does help when you need to decide on a rune to take.
6) Gathering Storm
A nerf to Gathering Storm has been a long time coming. Earlier this season, games reached obscene lengths on the pro stage due to each team’s inability to close out and the very low impact of Baron and Elder Dragon. In that meta, Gathering Storm was taken almost every game by every champion on the probability that the game would run near an hour. That’s not the case anymore, but players still run the rune because of its raw strength, so the AP and AD provided at each threshold is being dropped from 8-168 AP to 6-126 AP and 5-101 AD to 4-76 AD.
7) Sudden Impact
Sudden Impact is used in almost every scenario as long as your champion has any sort of dash, even if they can’t do as much with the magic or physical penetration. To allow Cheap Shot to shine a little bit more, the cooldown for Sudden Impact is going way, way up from four to 25 seconds.
8) Zombie Ward
After both the removal of Sightstone and Tracker’s Knife this year, it’s clear that Riot wants to promote more exciting one-on-one and two-on-two fights by reducing vision across the map. Zombie Ward, in its current state, is too powerful to support that claim, though, so it’s being nerfed considerably. The duration of each Zombie Ward is being lowered from 60-180 seconds down to 30-120, which is very meaningful. Expect to see a lot more Ghost Poros and Eyeball Collections in your solo queue games if this nerf goes live.