League of Legends players’ hopes were high that the Midseason update earlier this week would turn some boring, unbalanced tanks into all-around better champions. For Sejuani and Maokai, everything seemed to work out well (a little too well for Sejuani). For Zac, on the other hand, things are looking quite grim.
He’s so weak that Riot is already planning big buffs to almost his entire kit for the next patch, according to a Riot post on the subreddit dedicated to Zac. Following Patch 7.9, he is now much, much weaker than he was prior to the update. It’s ironic since he was also the one that needed an update the least of the three. He was already in a semi-healthy state, but merely lacked some identity. Now, however, he’s merely a blob of his former self.
The root of the problem was the fact that his spells were flat-out nerfed. Damage on many of them was lowered so much that his ganks and camp-clear are much less effective. On top of that, despite being one of League’s best disruption tanks, his crowd control was nerfed. His Elastic Slingshot knocks foes up for less time, and the slow on his Q was lowered. Since the update, the slow on the Q was increased a bit in an emergency hotfix, but Zac’s going to need more than a small hotfix to solve his problems.
The second issue was a little less obvious. The changes to many tank items in the game revolved around lowering their health while raising their resistances. It’s a good idea to promote tanks building more situationally, but Zac’s abilities rely on having a massive health pool, and he can’t actually get one with the new tank items.
Luckily, buffs are being planned right now to restore a bit of Zac’s former glory. Nothing is concrete yet, but some of the ideas being bounced around are increasing the health he gets from his passive, increasing the knock-up on his E, and dropping more blobs if he hits more than one champion. The ideas all sound good on paper, but we won’t know for sure until we see some buffs on the PBE.