What has mana potions, free skill points, and tons of biscuits? That’s right, it’s Kleptomancy Ezreal, and he’s currently the strongest champion in League of Legends.
There’s a line we never thought we’d type.
That’s right, Ezreal with a Kleptomancy rune page is performing better than any other champion in the game, and it isn’t even a close contest.
He has a 57 percent winrate, according to League stats site OP.gg. The next most winning champion is top lane Maokai, who sits at 54 percent, a far cry from Ezreal’s 57.
Ezreal also has a whopping 26.75 percent pickrate, making him the most popular champion as well. The second most popular is Lee Sin with a 22 percent pickrate in the jungle, and Thresh comes in third with 18 percent. The biggest difference between Ezreal, Thresh, and Lee Sin, is that Lee and Thresh both have winrates below 50 percent to compensate for their high popularity. Ezreal doesn’t have that problem.
Just in case you haven’t had time to try out the new runes, Kleptomancy gives its wielder a random item—including gold, mana potions, and much more—when they land a basic attack on a champion after using an ability. Ezreal’s Q applies on-hit effects, meaning it counts as both an ability and the basic attack needed to trigger Kleptomancy. This makes Klepto on Ezreal uniquely powerful.
Such a high winrate and pickrate is undoubtedly an issue, and we can safely assume Riot will respond with a nerf in an upcoming patch. The only question is: where will the nerf be applied? Does Ezreal need to be nerfed, or does Kleptomancy?
The truth may be somewhere in the middle. Ezreal was in a balanced place as a jungler before the preseason hit, and afterward, he turned into a strong meta mid laner, ADC, and still (sort of) a jungler, and he can build either AP or AD and still remain effective. That would lead you to assume the runes are the problem, and therefore the Klepto rune needs the nerf.
Ezreal wasn’t the only champion buffed by runes, though. In fact, most champions are far stronger than they were prior to the preseason, and yet they all seem mostly balanced when pitted against one another. Ezreal, on the other hand, is a cut above all of them, which also means he himself may need kicking down, too. Not to mention, the Kleptomancy rune isn’t performing nearly as well on any other champion. Even Gangplank, the only other champion that builds the rune as much as Ezreal, isn’t performing nearly as well—another sign that Ezreal is the problem, and not the rune.
One possible solution would be to lower the rate at which Kleptomancy drops extremely valuable items, like the free skill points, gold, and elixirs. Another possibility could be to raise the cooldown, even slightly, on Ezreal’s Q, so he can’t spam Klepto quite as often. Lowering his damage could make him too weak to even lane, so that probably isn’t the right thing to do.
Either way, it’s clear that something needs to happen so Ezreal can come back down to earth with the rest of League’s champions, and it needs to happen soon.