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Image via Riot Games

Lucian, one of the last marksmen standing, is about to be nerfed big time

Is no one safe?

Well, we knew it was coming sooner or later. On Riot’s eternal quest to snuff each and every last marksman out of the League of Legends’ bot lane, a big ol’ Lucian nerf was inevitable. It’s coming in Patch 8.13, according to the latest PBE update.

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We’re mostly kidding—Riot isn’t trying to snuff anyone out of anywhere (as far as we know), but these upcoming nerfs do indicate how the balance team views Lucian in the current certifiably insane bot lane meta.

Lucian remaining as one of the very few marksmen in the bot lane after things like bruisers, tanks, and mages invaded could mean one of two things. Either he has unique tools that allow him to counter specific match-ups against some of the new bizarre bot lane carries, or he’s too strong. A significant nerf in 8.13 means that Riot probably thinks it’s the latter, at least partially.

The two nerfs coming to Lucian are to his base stats and ultimate. His base AD-per-level is being dropped by roughly 30 percent—from 3.11 AD per level to 2.75. Lucian players probably won’t notice a huge difference here, but by level 18 he’s looking at about 7-8 less AD, which is a decent chunk of power, but nothing major.

His ultimate ability is definitely taking the brunt of the changes. Right now, The Culling deals quadruple damage to minions, which prompts Lucian players to very often use this ability to clear entire minion waves in a matter of two or three seconds. That boost is being chopped in half, and now, it’ll deal double damage to minions instead. Bonus damage to minions might not sound major, but it’s going to have a rippling effect on his playstyle.

Now that Lucian won’t be able to instagib entire minion waves (at least not as quickly), a couple of things will happen. Lucian can use his ultimate to skunk through a wave to prep a tower dive in the blink of an eye to catch the enemy bot lane off guard. If Lucian is left in his lane alone, he can also use it to blow up a wave on his own tower, creating safety and making any would-be dives much more dangerous for enemies. He also uses The Culling to hit an important cannon wave quickly in order to get a roam in with his support, either to an objective or to the mid lane.

All of these strategies may seem niche, but they’re all quite common, even in lower tiered solo queue matches, let alone professional play. Not being able to utilize any of them as safely is a big deal. Luckily, he can still buy the Stormrazor to help out, but it won’t feel close to the same in terms of power until much later in the game.

Sure, The Culling can also be used for its intended function—killing champions. But having that diverse set of options makes the ability much more versatile and helps Lucian from feeling trapped in his lane, and now those options are significantly weaker and less reliable.

He will undoubtedly feel weaker, at least by a little bit, but it probably won’t be enough on its own to open the floor for other weak marksmen to compete with him. Rather, he’ll probably get more competition from Kai’Sa for the top spot. That’s excluding the absolutely bonkers bot lane picks like Renekton and Heimerdinger.

These nerfs should arrive with Patch 8.13, which means they’d hit him next week.


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Author
Image of Aaron Mickunas
Aaron Mickunas
Esports and gaming journalist for Dot Esports, featured at Lolesports.com, Polygon, IGN, and Ginx.tv.