League of Legends players cheered last week when some huge Janna nerfs made their way to the PBE. Unfortunately, they’re all being reverted for now, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead, Riot will be nerfing the Ardent Censer, and frankly, that makes a lot of cense.
The enchanter support meta has been gripping the game for a while now. For the past couple of months, if you haven’t picked Janna, Lulu, Karma, and more recently, Taric, you’ve been at a disadvantage in your solo queue adventures. Janna has been the queen of the enchanters with her wildly efficient yet brainless kit, and when we all wanted a specific champion to blame for the current support meta, she was definitely the most obvious choice.
She may still have her problems, but nerfing her will only open up the door for another enchanter to take over. Think about it. Early this season, Lulu was on top. After Lulu’s nerf in Patch 7.10, Karma took over as the strongest enchanter. Karma was likewise nerfed in Patch 7.12, and you guessed it, that’s when Janna took over. Nerfing Janna will just open the door for Sona, Soraka, or maybe even Rakan.
That being said, is nerfing Janna really the best approach? Probably not. She would be better off with a small gameplay update to bring more skill expression to her kit, but not flat nerfs.
A nerf to the Ardent Censer means that the enchanter meta will take a hit as a whole. The item’s shield and healing boost is what helps it distinguish itself from other low cost AP items for supports, so messing with that may hurt, so its other passive abilities are taking hits instead.
The passive attack speed buff it gives champions you heal or shield is being lowered from 20 to 35 percent to a flat 25 percent. On top of that, the health drain it gives those you shield or heal is also being dropped from 20 to 35 health to a flat 25 health. The item’s heal and shield buff and attack speed buff still make it a great item for boosting your ADC’s dueling power, so it probably won’t be built any less. Of course, however, that doesn’t change the fact that it’ll still be all around weaker.
If this isn’t enough to take enough power away from the enchanter meta, specific champion nerfs will likely soon follow, starting with Janna herself.