Riot may remove the Rift Herald this year
The Rift Herald is a prominent early game buff on Summoner's Rift that has been ignored by the game’s developers since its inclusion. Now, in a recent dev post on the official League forums, Riot has confirmed that it is actively looking to either change the Herald, or remove it entirely.
The Herald was added to the game on Nov. 11, 2015 as part of the 5.22 patch. Part of a host of jungle themed changes at the end of Season Five, the Herald was intended to offer an early game objective in the top half of the map.
“I expect we'll rework or remove RH this year sometime still,” Andrei "Meddler" van Roon, Riot's lead champion designer, said in the post. “Removal would only happen if we didn't find a rework approach that worked.”
Since its inclusion, the Herald has been mostly ignored by players and only contested when there is no objective left to get. It’s buff, which gives 5 percent damage reduction when no allied champions are near and allows the champion’s next basic attack to discharge stacks to deal 15 to270 magic damage (depending on level), is not a key element to winning matches—especially when Dragon gives small noticeable buffs to an entire team. The Herald is mainly contested only in certain team compositions as a result.
The Rift Herald has been reworked before, most recently in patch 6.22, decreasing the spawn time duration. Those changes, however, didn’t really affect the overall objective enough to make it a priority.
Regardless of Riot’s plans, this might be the time to put the Rift Herald out of its misery and bring in something new for the better of the game and the jungle.