A few days ago, I wrote an article about champions that had received many nerfs over LoL’s history. That article focused on champions that remained viable in spite of repeated nerfs. However, Riot has occasionally nerfed champions extremely hard. These nerfs are usually very widespread and target spells, base stats, and sometimes even items. Occasionally, these nerfs send these champions straight from the peak of competitive play to the garbage bin. This article will highlight these champions and the comprehensive nerfs that brought them down.
One champion, Olaf, was nerfed so badly that he went from a top-tier top laner and jungler to arguably the worst pick in the entire game. Because of this, fans now call champions that receive extremely devastating nerfs “Olaf’d.” Needless to say, Olaf is on the team named after himself. Who are the other champions?
Presenting the All-Time Olaf’d Team:
Honorable Mention: Hecarim, Gangplank, Alistar, Vladimir, Zac, Taric
Note 1: (Buff/Nerf Data taken from leagueoflegends.wikia.com. Thank you very much!)
Note 2: The 1.0.0…patches include time from Seasons 1 and 2.
Top Lane: Olaf (Owner, Team Captain, Coach, Manager)
Needless to say, Olaf is leading the team named after himself. Throughout League’s history, Olaf has been completely broken…in both senses of the word. In Season 2 and early Season 3, Olaf was one of the best picks in the game, especially for top lane. Shortly after, Riot realized that his immunity to crowd control and true damage was too hard to balance and massively nerfed him out of relevance. However, he eventually received a full update and rose again as one of the game’s strongest junglers. Within a few patches, he received a minor nerf to his axe speed…which would inadvertently kill his viability in the Season 4 mobility-based metagame. Funnily enough, it looks like Olaf may be able to make a recovery in the new jungle after receiving new buffs in Patch 4.13. But if history is any indication, Olaf fans should try their best to not get too excited.
- Undertow slow now fades off of the duration
- Vicious Strikes cooldown increased to 16 seconds from 12
- Ragnarok no longer passively grants bonus armor penetration
- Ragnarok now only grants bonus armor penetration when active
- Slow reduced to 29 / 33 / 37 / 41 / 45% from 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55%.
Jungler: Evelynn (Team Founder) (Don’t worry, Elise is coming later)
Before Olaf, players compared champions that were severely nerfed to her. Once one of the most fearsome champions in the game, Riot nerfed her out of existence because they couldn’t balance out her invisibility. After those changes, the only thing she had left was the infamy of players using her name to refer to overnerfed champions, then Riot took that away too. Right before the end of Season 2, Riot significantly reworked Evelynn, creating a new extremely powerful champion that could be played in solo lanes to great success. Eventually, this new broken Evelynn was nerfed into the jungle…where she would see great play for the next two seasons. However, repeated nerfs in subsequent patches would send her to an extremely poor 40% win rate. Amazingly, Evelynn was Olaf’d not once, but twice.
Information about Evelynn’s original kit can be seen here, under Previous Abilities. To give a quick rundown, it revolved around an ability based (rather than passive) stealth that lasted a very long time and could not be detected even with physical contact. Coming out of stealth, Evelynn would have multiple tools to assassinate her enemies, even a stun.
- Base mana reduced to 180 from 212.
- Mana per level increased to 42 from 38.
- Base damage reduced to 48 from 53.
- Damage per level increased to 3.3 from 2.9.
- Base armor reduced to 12.5 from 14.75.
- Hate Spike mana cost increased to 12/15/18/21/24 from 8/10/12/14/16.
- Shadow Walk duration reduced to 10/20/30/40/50 seconds from 20/30/40/50/60.
- Shadow Walk cooldown reduced to 12/11/10/9/8 seconds from 12 at all ranks upon breaking stealth.
- Malice and Spite duration reduced to 10 seconds from 15
- Hate Spike missile speed increased
- Shadow Walk will now apply a 30/35/40/45/50% slow for 3 seconds instead of a stun for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds
- Malice and Spite health restore reduced to 150/225/300 per kill or assist from 350/500/650.
- Malice and Spite attack speed bonus reduced to 25/50/75% from 50/75/100%.
After these nerfs, Evelynn was considered a complete trash-tier pick, and an Evelynn pick almost guaranteed that a player was trolling (think of today’s Revive + Teleport.) However, Riot would rework her and give her a new lease on life as a solo laner…which they would strip away a few months later.
- Hate Spike mana cost increased to 16/22/28/34/40 from 14/18/22/26/30.
- Hate Spike bonus attack damage ratio increased to 0.5 from 0.4.
- Ravage damage reduced to 35/55/75/95/115 from 35/60/85/110/135.
- Ravage bonus attack damage ratio increased to 0.5 from 0.4.
- Agony’s Embrace damage changed to 15/20/25% of the target’s current health from 15/20/25% of their max health.
- Agony’s Embrace cooldown increased to 150/120/90 seconds from 120/90/60.
- Agony’s Embrace cast range reduced to 650 from 800.
- Agony’s Embrace ability power ratio reduced to +1% every 100 ability power from +1% every 50 ability power. (previous patch)
Evelynn would vanish from competitive and solo queue play for a while before retuning as one of the most feared junglers in the game in Season 4. After the vision rework, her invisibility rendered Stealth Wards useless and she was able to easily kill the now-visible Vision Wards.
- Hate Spike base damage reduced to 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 from 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120.
- Hate Spike AP scaling changed to (+35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 % AP) from (+45% AP)
- Hate Spike bonus AD scaling increased to (+50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 % bonus AD) from (+50% bonus AD) at all ranks.
- Mana cost reduced to 12 / 18 / 24 / 30 / 36 from 16 / 22 / 28 / 34 / 40.
- (On a prior patch, Ravage was also changed to physical damage, hurting synergy with DFG, one of Evelynn’s core items)
Upon LeBlanc’s release, she was probably one of the top 5/10 most overpowered champions EVER in the game. In fact, Riot was forced to hotfix her within a day of her release. That one massive nerf pretty much made her a niche pick in competitive play for much of her existence. Only certain players, notably TSM’s Reginald and SKT’s Faker would play the Deceiver. However, LeBlanc would see a resurgence in Season 4 after her dramatic changes, leading to the removal of her Silencing ability and an over 5% drop in her win rate.
November 4, 2010 Hotfix:
- Mana per level reduced to 50 from 56.
- Armor per level reduced to 3 from 3.5.
- Sigil of Silence initial base damage reduced to 70/110/150/190/230 from 80/125/170/215/260.
- Sigil of Silence cast range reduced to 700 from 750.
- Sigil of Silence mana cost increased to 70/75/80/85/90 from 60/65/70/75/80.
- Distortion base damage reduced to 85/125/165/205/245 from 90/130/170/210/250.
- Distortion mana cost increased to 80/90/100/110/120 from 60/70/80/90/100.
- Ethereal Chains base damage reduced to 40/65/90/115/140 from 45/70/95/120/145.
- Ethereal Chains mana cost increased to 80 from 70.
- Mimic cooldown increased to 40 seconds from 30.
- Mimic damage amplification reduced to 10/25/40% from 20/30/40%. (The tooltip was incorrectly stating 20/35/50%).
- Sigil of Silence renamed to Sigil of Malice
- No longer silences
AD Carry: Urgot
Urgot is a funny champion. His fairly binary kit (hit poison, spam lock-on missiles) meant that number nerfs and changes would effect him especially drastically. Even though Urgot still occasionally received play in Seasons 3 and 4 (most notably by CLG’s star AD Carry Doublelift) the champion was never able to return to his glory days in Season 2. Likewise, Urgot remains one of the most unpopular picks in solo queue play (although many Rioters and community members have theorized that this is simply because he is ugly.) Hilariously, Urgot is one of the few champs that Riot has removed a “Recommended” tag from, deciding that the man-crab wasn’t worthy of beginner’s attention.
- Terror Capacitor shield health reduced to 80/130/180/230/280 from 80/140/200/260/320.
- Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser armor and magic resist bonus reduced to 60/90/120 from 80/105/130.
- Acid Hunter damage adjusted to 50/80/110/140/170 (+1.2 per bonus attack damage) from 10/40/70/100/130 (+0.85 per total attack damage).
- Acid Hunter lock-on missile cast range reduced to 1200 from 1500.
- Acid Hunter rank 1 range is no longer higher than other ranks.
- Noxian Corrosive Charge cooldown increased to 15/14/13/12/11 seconds from 11 at all ranks.
- Noxian Corrosive Charge cast range reduced to 900 from 950.
- Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser cast range reduced to 550/700/850 from 700/775/850.
- Acid Hunter base damage reduced to 10/40/70/100/130 from 50/80/110/140/170.
- Acid Hunter scaling changed to +0.85 per total attack damage from +1.2 per bonus attack damage.
As promised, here is Elise (put her here mostly to fit her and Evelynn both in.) Elise, when first released, was considered quite weak, but a spate of buffs quickly put her in contention for the best champion in the game. With her potent lane harass and kill potential, Elise became a very powerful pick in the top lane and occasionally mid (although her most notable moment in the mid lane was probably suffering from xPeke’s famous Kassadin backdoor while under the command of ocelote.) In fact, her ability to effectively 2v1 a lane also made her an extremely powerful support pick. However, her strongest position has always been the jungle. After her initial round of nerfs, she went from 4 positions to mostly just jungle (teams would occasionally send her top to deny her as a jungler from their opponents.) Although she would continue as one of the most powerful junglers throughout Seasons 3/4, she was eventually brought down by repeated and extremely comprehensive nerfs. A select handful of pro players can still play her proficiently, but her extreme difficulty for even the best amateurs is reflected by her extremely low win rates in all solo queue divisions.
- Neurotoxin mana cost increased to 80/85/90/95/100 from 60.
- Cocoon mana cost reduced to 50 from 65.
- Neurotoxin cast range reduced to 625 from 650.
- Neurotoxin damage reduced to 40/80/120/160/200 from 50/95/140/185/230.
- Venomous Bite damage increased to 60/110/160/210/260 from 50/95/140/185/230.
- Skittering Frenzy ability power ratio increased to 0.04 from 0.02.
- Spider Form no longer grants bonus armor and magic resist.
- Spiderlings ealth reduced to 90-260 from 125-550.
- Spiderlings armor increased to 30/50/70/90 from 30 (based on Spider Form rank).
- Spiderlings magic resist increased to 50/70/90/110 from 50 (based on Spider Form rank).
- Spiderlings multi-target damage reduction adjusted to 25% from 10/20/30/40%.
- Spiderlings no longer continue taking actions before vanishing once Elise shifts into Human Form.
- Spiderlings now group closer together while moving.
- Volatile Spiderling movement speed reduced
- Rappel can no longer allow Elise to descend outside of the indicated area
- Spiderlings will now descend from Rappel slightly after instead of descending at the same time (meaning that Rappel cannot be used to shift tower aggro anymore)
- Neurotoxin base damage reduced to 40 / 75 / 110 / 145 / 180 from 40 / 80 / 120 / 160 / 200.
- Neurotoxin max damage to monsters reduced to 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150.
- Venomous Bite base damage reduced to 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 from 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260.
- Venomous Bite max damage to monsters reduced to 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150.
- Cocoon stun duration changed to 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds from 1.5 at all ranks.
- Rappel cooldown reduced to 26 / 23 / 20 / 17 / 14 seconds from 26 / 24 / 22 / 20 / 18.
- Spiderlings health changed to 85-390 from 90-260.
- Cocoon missile width reduced to 55 from 70
- Rappel now calculates its range from the center of Elise to the center of the target from the edge of Elise to the edge of the target (an approximate increase of 75 range).
- Rappel range reduced to 750 from 925 (~825 range using the old center-center targeting calculations).