Riot finally found the Zoe nerfs it was looking for

Round after round of nerfs and changes have finally found their mark on League's nuttiest champion.

Image via Riot Games

Zoe is, without a doubt, the most broken champion in League of Legends. Ever since her release, the Aspect of Twilight might more commonly be called the aspect of League that makes players break their keyboards in frustration. Anyone who’s unwittingly walked into a Zoe trap and then gets bursted from 100-0 with one shot has felt that before.

Riot has responded to the smiling abomination with round after round after round of nerfs. But most of those nerfs revolved too heavily around the wrong thing, notably her damage. But after nearly a year on the Rift, Riot has finally found the right nerfs: According to League analyst Renato “Shakarez” Perdigão, big changes to her entire kit are coming.

The problem with nerfing Zoe’s damage is that it either makes her totally broken or totally useless. She’s always had a burst-heavy identity that relies on strong skillshot accuracy. That’s not really a bad thing—plenty of popular mid laners, like Ahri and LeBlanc, play similarly.

The real problem with Zoe is that she combines damage with tremendous safety and utility. And while many players complain about how her W conjures summoner spells out of thin air, her most broken spells in the utility department are actually her E and her R.

Riot has changed a few things about Zoe’s E, the Sleep Trouble Bubble, but the stupidest part of it is how it forms a trap on the ground even if Zoe misses. Why Zoe players are rewarded for missing skill shots has never made sense. The new change, which is being tested, would remove the trap aspect and require the bubble to actually hit someone.

The change to her R is similarly well-placed. Zoe’s safety using her R is a huge problem—she can check brush, pop into the Baron pit, dash over a wall, all without major consequences. Removing the vision aspect of her R until she actually teleports is a big change that will affect how she’s used as an unstoppable vision ward.

The changes being contemplated will affect Zoe players of all skill levels, but they look targeted toward her role in pro play. Zoe is the third-most picked and banned champion this summer because of how safe her kit is and how she can provide vision and control of objectives like Baron and Dragon. These nerfs go a long way toward fixing how broken her utility is while giving her some damage in places that make sense.

After several rounds of changes, Riot has finally figured out what was wrong with Zoe in the first place. The changes are still being tested and are not on the schedule to be released in Patch 8.17. The fact that the World Championship is being played on Patch 8.19 should give Riot plenty of time to tune Zoe so that she doesn’t completely dominate the Worlds stage.