The first major patch of the League of Legends pre-season arrived two weeks ago, and players have had time to try out new things, experiment with the changed runes, and, most importantly, figure out which champions are too strong.
In this week’s update, Patch 8.24, Riot is taking aim at those champions, according to the official patch notes that were released today. In fact, aside from new skins and the arrival of the 2018 Snowdown event, that’s what this patch is entirely about—nerfing, nerfing, and more nerfing.
If you’ve been playing during the pre-season, you probably already have an idea of who’s too strong. Keep in mind, we’re saying “who’s too strong,” and not “what’s too strong.” It seems Riot is only nerfing champions that are over-powered on their own, not those enabled by Dark Harvest, like Karthus. Why? Because Dark Harvest itself is getting a big, fat nerf. Its base damage is dropping by 20 at all levels, and it can no longer “proc off other procs.”
The list of champions coming under fire is long, so we’ve summarized them all to make it a bit easier to understand.
- Aatrox: No more bonus damage on monsters.
- Akali: Twilight Shroud duration lowered and cooldown raised.
- Camille: Attack speed lowered.
- Galio: Crowd control lowered across the board, no more damage reduction on ult, waveclear on Q lowered and damage transitioned to percent-health.
- Irelia: W damage reduction lowered, cooldown raised, no longer stacks passive.
- Jax: R passive on-hit damage lowered.
- LeBlanc: W cooldown raised early.
- Viktor: Q cooldown raised and damage lowered, E cooldown lowered and scaling slightly raised.
Some of these champions, including Aatrox and Viktor, were strong before the pre-season even arrived. The understanding, though, was that Riot thought the pre-season might level them out. Since they were seemingly unaffected, and in some cases left even stronger, nerfs are now arriving.
The big question, just like most big balance-centric patches, is whether or not this will actually affect the meta. That’s a difficult one to answer this time, because the pre-season meta is almost not a meta at all. It’s hard to predict, and everyone is trying out new strategies and runes. One thing we know for sure is that Dark Harvest is going to be left much weaker, so its dominance will likely fall off immediately when the patch arrives.
Out of all the champion changes, nerfs to LeBlanc, Akali, and Galio are definitely the most significant. Galio, specifically, is going to be much less effective in teamfights now with his ultimate, but trading damage in lane will be easier with his Q. It will clear minions much slower, however, which will hurt.
Patch 8.24 arrives tomorrow.