As the meta continues to settle for Worlds, Riot is holding the last call on balance changes, rounding up and taking care of a few last waves of problems. Patch 7.17 will be here tomorrow, and it won’t have almost 30 champions being changed at once like the last patch, but that doesn’t mean the balance changes within are insignificant.
Riot is taking one last pass at some champions that are all around weaker when compared to their competition. No major changes, reworks, or updates are coming, but these smaller changes are still needed. They’re more like little bumps that these champions need to find just enough of an edge to compete with the current meta. Except for Draven. He’s getting nerfed. Obviously.
He doesn’t call it the League of Draaaaaaaaven just because it’s fun. He calls it that because he’s been absolutely running the show in solo queue for the past four to five months. His stage appearances in pro play are almost non-existent, but that doesn’t take anything away from his solo queue dominance.
He’s had the highest solo queue win rate for quite a long time, according to League of Legends stats site OP.gg. Occasionally, he’s fallen below Twitch for a week or so at a time, but for the most part, he’s been on top. That’s why no one’s surprised that a nerf is coming his way in tomorrow’s patch.
It’s not his damage that’s coming under fire though, it’s his safety net. His passive, League of Draven, ensures that Draven can snowball uncontrollably once he picks up a few kills in the early stages of the game. Likewise, as long as he stays safe and farms, he can come back from almost any deficit just by getting a single kill, even if he was absolutely trashed in his lane.
He’ll now lose 75 percent of his Adoration stacks upon death, up from 50, and the base gold he earns from a kill is being lowered from 50 to 25. This means that if Draven keeps dying and doesn’t farm well when he’s behind, it’s going to be a lot harder to claw your way back into the game.
Ezreal has a lot of problems. Right now, it seems like his biggest problem is how difficult of a time he has dealing with all the tanks in the current tank meta. His other problem is that he’s a late game hyper carry ADC, but it’s so much harder to get to that point on Ez when you compare him to Twitch, Vayne, Kog’Maw, and Trist.
He’s going to be the target of a pretty big rework to replace his W with something more useful and expressive, but that’s still a while away. In the meantime, he’s getting a flat damage buff.
His Q will now deal bonus damage equal to 125 percent of his total attack damage rather than 110. This won’t feel like much, but as you consistently land Q’s in extended fights, it starts to stack up, and you’ll notice you’re killing people a lot faster. This will help him with all of his weaknesses, but don’t be fooled, this is certainly just a band-aid until his W can be replaced.
Hecarim got a shiny new loot-exclusive skin during the last patch called Lancer Zero Hecarim, which is awesome, but no one’s playing it because Hecarim is so weak right now. He’s actually not that weak, but there are so many junglers to choose from, and most of them are stronger than he is, so he isn’t seeing much success or playtime.
Since he isn’t that terribly weak, his buff tomorrow isn’t that big, but it should help him enough. For starters, his E, Devastating Charge, will no longer tick down during his ultimate ability. That means that you can essentially extend his E with an ultimate, which is useful for diving through the back line after an ultimate, or even for chasing people in one-on-one scenarios.
His ult, Onslaught of Shadows, is also getting buffed. At max range, it will now fear enemies for 1.5 seconds. If you barely travel anywhere with it, and you cast it right in front of your location, it will only fear for 0.75 seconds. Right now, it’s a flat one second fear no matter what, so this is a buff if you land good ults, and a nerf if you’re bad at them.
Leona has had a rough time keeping up with her fellow tanks, especially in the support role. Alistar, Thresh, Braum, and even Tahm Kench are all much more popular that the Queen of Crowd Control herself, and that’s mostly because they can all either trade damage or provide enough usefulness outside of engaging. Leona can really only engage on enemies, and that’s it.
That being said, adding more usefulness to her kit would take away from Leona’s identity as the best scuffle starter in the game, so she won’t be getting any new features or effects. Instead, she’s getting more damage, so at least she’ll be able to trade in lane easier.
Her passive, Sunlight, will now only last for 1.5 seconds on enemies, down from 3.5. It will, however, deal a lot more damage. Its proc damage is being increased across the board. Right now, it starts out at 20 damage and scales up to 105, but it’s being increased to start at 25 and end the game at 144. Her stun, Shield of Daybreak, is also getting a shorter cooldown. It will now be a flat six second cooldown, instead of starting out at nine and scaling down to five.
Urgot is actually seeing the most change tomorrow, but he arguably needs it the least of anyone on this list, so he’s down here at the bottom. Since his rework last month, he’s been notably weaker than most other top laners, but not by that much. Still, these buffs are welcome.
His Purge is getting a fantastic Quality-of-Life buff. Now, if the ability starts when an an enemy champion is locked onto, it will stay locked onto them for the entire duration of Purge, so it won’t switch to shooting the nearest minion mid fight anymore. The slow and reactivation window on his ultimate is also being increased from three to four seconds, meaning he’ll get one extra second to get his target low enough to instakill. That’s a pretty big deal, as a lot can happen in a second in this game.
Overall, these changes aren’t that big, especially when compared to other recent patches, but that’s a good thing. Worlds is coming up, and the meta needs to remain mostly untouched while pro players are practicing and competing to qualify. Most of these buffs won’t suddenly make their champions meta picks, but they’ll at least have a chance now.