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One of the kings of competitive League of Legends has dropped to a 41-percent win rate following the release of Patch 9.12. Sylas has descended to the very bottom of the tables, all the way from Iron to Challenger.
His dominant presence in the pro scene forced Riot to implement nerfs, but as a result, he’s been crippled in solo queue. He’s a strong flex pick in a competitive environment who thrives in both the top and the mid lane, but he doesn’t easily translate to casual play. What makes him such a strong champion in pro play is almost obsolete in solo queue. He requires a high level of coordination and teamwork—a rare find without voice communication.
He received nerfs all over the board in Path 9.12, with his range capabilities and his damage taking a hit. To add insult to injury, the shield on his Abscond (E) was removed. This has substantially pushed back his laning and dueling potential. But despite his nerfs, he’ll likely still see play time in competitive.
It’s hard to find a balance with Sylas. His kit seems to make him either much too powerful or too weak, and so far, Riot has failed to find a middle ground. It’ll take more than nerfing his numbers to put him in a balanced state. For the time being, he should be a decent counter pick to team compositions that allow him to run rampant with his ultimate. But as a blind pick, he’ll be underwhelming, to say the least.
Sylas’ descent into solo queue obscurity could be welcomed by the League of Legends community, though. When Sylas was at his strongest, he was toxic and unfun to play against. His hard-hitting numbers combined with his game-changing ultimate led to some incredibly unfavorable situations.
This is by no means the last we’ll hear from Sylas, however.