Huge Ardent Censer nerfs are on the way in the next patch
The Ardent Censer has become somewhat of a meme in League of Legends. It has, without a doubt, had the longest-running dominance on the item meta this year. It alone is responsible for the current support meta, and no one item should ever have that much impact on the game.
That's why Riot is planning another round of nerfs for it, according to the latest PBE update.
The first nerf for the Censer came in Patch 7.17, where the attack speed buff was lowered from 20-35 percent to a flat 25 percent and the health drain was also lowered from 20-35 down to 25. Riot didn't believe this nerf affected the item enough, so more changes were introduced in Patch 7.19 a month later. In that patch, the old nerfs were reverted, and instead, the on-hit heal was removed from the item completely.
Since then, the Ardent Censer hasn't slowed down one bit. Ardent Censer supports like Janna and Lulu still dominate the meta, and the Ardent Censer is still one of the most purchased items in the game.
The nerfs planned for the next patch will lower most of the item's best stats. The attack speed buff provided by the item is being dropped from 20-35 percent to 10-30 percent, and the on-hit damage is being dropped much lower—from 20-35 damage all the way down to 5-20. These will make the Ardent Censer much worse at low levels, which, right now, is when the item is most useful.
Playmaking supports probably won't overtake Ardent Censer supports even after these nerfs, but they'll definitely at least have a chance. These changes are set to go live with Patch 7.21 next week, if they make it through the PBE.