Riot Games has elaborated on why certain champions were buffed in League of Legends Patch 11.8, giving them the ability to jungle just as efficiently as they can lane.
This past week, Diana, Mordekaiser, Zed, Darius, and Morgana all received buffs to their jungle clears when their damage through core abilities was heavily buffed against non-epic monsters. And while giving laning champions the ability to jungle effectively might seem like an unprompted, out-of-the-box change, Riot detailed why giving certain champions a helping hand in the jungle could be beneficial.
“Right now, the jungle is very intimidating to a lot of our players, especially in lower MMRs,” Riot said in today’s edition of Quick Gameplay Thoughts. “We are currently considering systemic changes to help this, but in the meantime we saw an opportunity to ease in players to the jungle with champions they’re already familiar with playing.”
Riot also mentioned how increasing the diversity of the game is a top priority for the balance team. But they’re “not trying to shift these champions’ primary role—just add to the possibilities available.”
Of the five champions that were buffed, the most significant changes came to Diana, whose Moonsilver Blade (P) received a 150-percent damage increase against non-epic monsters, in addition to a 20-percent attack speed bonus at its early ranks.
“We target champions that we feel have a good chance of being able to off-role as junglers without boosting the power of their lane roles,” Riot said. “Additionally, we try to stay away from champions that have a lot of pro viability already, as adding flex potential tends to make them very high priority in the pick/ban phase.”
Diana, Mordekaiser, Zed, Darius, and Morgana have all been practically non-existent in pro play this season. So far in 2021, Morgana, Mordekaiser, and Darius have been picked seven, five, and three times, respectively, in major region matches. Zed and Diana have yet to see the professional stage this season, according to League stats site gol.gg. Perhaps some flex potential could increase their play rates in the near future.
“We try to keep total buffs and nerfs to the game relatively even to prevent patch-by-patch power creep,” Riot said. “Which means even if we weren’t doing jungle changes for lane champs, we still wouldn’t just straight up buff a ton of main junglers.”
In Patch 11.8, the only other jungle champions to receive buffs were Lee Sin and Zac, while Rammus received a pretty substantial rework that could be considered a buff. Riot also said that if the changes implemented in the current patch are well-received, it’d be open to “look to add even more champions to the jungle,” while promising more changes coming to the position in Patch 11.10, which is scheduled to release on May 12, according to the official League patch schedule.
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