The top lane meta is always a little more skewed than most lanes in League of Legends. At any given time, there will be a few champions in power at the tip of the meta while all other champions are scrambling at the bottom. Garen and Dr. Mundo are among those bottom-feeders, and in fact, they’ve been pretty terrible for the better part of the last year.
It isn’t surprising that Riot is now targeting both Garen and Dr. Mundo with buffs on the PBE, but it is surprising just how much they’re being buffed—because it’s a lot.
Garen’s buff is the most extreme. Firstly, his Q is getting a straightforward damage buff. Unfortunately, the buff is only targeted at his late-game, but it’s a big one. At max rank, the ability will now deal 40 more base damage.
The real buff is coming to his W, Courage, which is getting a hefty chunk of more damage reduction and tenacity. The ability already provides him with 60 percent boosts of both stats for two seconds, which is an impressive amount, but after this buff it’ll provide him with 85 percent of each. Having 85 percent damage reduction will be enough to stave off any big ability or damage burst in a pinch, and the tenacity boost will make him barely feel a difference when walking through fields of crowd control.
Both the buff to his Q and W are serious, but it’s difficult to imagine a world in which Garen is meta, mostly because he’s been out of it for so long. Will these huge buffs to his late game dueling and tankiness be enough to make up for how easy it is to kite him or his lack of crowd control? Probably not, but they might get close.
Mundo’s buff is impressive, too, albeit not as much. His ultimate, Sadism, is always his ticket to surviving big fights with eye-popping health regeneration, and after this buff, it’ll be much, much stronger. Rather than regenerating 40 to 60 percent of his max health depending on ability rank, he’ll now regenerate 50 to 100 percent. That’s right, at max rank, he’ll regenerate his entire health bar. Even with Grievous Wounds applied, his ult will still regenerate an obscene amount of health.
Mundo’s buff probably won’t return him to the meta, but he’ll definitely be at least slightly viable now, which is more than could be said beforehand. Both sets of buffs should go live with Patch 8.9 next week.