Kha’zix, Graves, and Rengar have been stomping all over Summoner’s Rift as the kings of the jungle for a few months now. But with huge buffs coming to Jarvan IV, Amumu, and Nunu, the League of Legends meta might be in line for a shake up.
The buffs are definitely significant, and these junglers are desperate for them. Amumu and Nunu especially have been very weak in the current meta of high-damage/fast-clear junglers. Jarvan has been able to hang on by a thread in terms of viability, but he could definitely use some love as well. The upcoming buffs have also been pushed out with the current patch on the Public Beta Environment (PBE), League’s testing client ,for players to try out new features before they go live.
The sad mummy’s buff is definitely the heaviest hitter. Ever since Abyssal Scepter was changed back in November, removing the item’s MR shred and replacing it with a magic damage boost, Amumu hasn’t been his former self. The MR shred from the Abyssal gave the mummy-boy more room to deal decent damage with his Despair while still building tanky. It also lowered monster MR and allowed him to clear camps faster.
The change helped out AP-heavy champions that could take advantage of the ten percent magic damage boost, but for those with lower AP that still dealt magic damage, like Amumu, it was a nerf. Amumu has been sulking around, not making it into many games lately, but this buff is going to change all of that around.
His basic attacks and ultimate ability will now apply a debuff called “Curse” to enemies for three seconds. Cursed enemies take ten percent of all magic damage applied to them as true damage instead. That’s right, true damage. His Despair also refreshed the duration of Curse every time the damage ticks.
What’s more important, however, is that this isn’t just a buff for Amumu. Of course it will buff him enough that he’ll be a strong pick once again, but that debuff also applies to magic damage caused by his allies on Amumu’s targets. He will be most useful on teams with more mages, and that means the meta dominated by AD assassins (Rengar, Kha’zix, Graves, Talon, Zed) will be brought to heel just a bit more.
The crown prince of Demacia has been so close to being meta for so long that it’s been painful to watch. When the juggernaut items of 2015 came around, Jarvan was tested out as a hopeful meta candidate only to be outmatched by more healthy bruisers in the jungle like Vi and Lee Sin. When the lethality items of the last pre-season were released, Jarvan was again tested as a lethality-based assassin, only to be outclassed by the likes of Kha’zix and Rengar. Those two scenarios spell out Jarvan’s biggest issue. He doesn’t belong in any class.
If you build health, he doesn’t have any skills that compliment his tankiness other than a pathetic shield that’s more useful as a slow. He dives all-in with an E-Q-R and dies because his kit doesn’t help him out at all in terms of survivability. When Vi dives in, she gets a huge shield based on how much health she’s built, so it scales into the lategame with her tankiness.
If you build damage, you simply die too quickly while at the same time not even dealing as much damage as other assassins that can play safer, like Graves.
Well, it looks like Riot noticed, because tanky bruiser Jarvan is about to become much stronger. His W, the aforementioned pathetic shield, is being shifted from a small flat shield to one that scales from his maximum health, just like Vi’s. This change makes a lot of sense, and it might be enough to bring Jarvan into the meta, since he’s been so close for so long.
Nunu’s change is slightly less impactful than both Amumu’s and Jarvan’s, but it’s still a step in the right direction. Despite many changes to the yeti rider back in patch 6.20, he hasn’t been quite strong enough to make a resurgence.
His consume was changed to stack a percentage of his total health every time he killed a monster with it, which would start decaying every minute or so if he didn’t consume something else. This gave him a lot of early tankiness and rounded him out as one of the tankiest champions in the game when late-game arrived. The only issue, however, is that most tanks have CC or protection spells to round out their kit and aid their team. Nunu’s slow just doesn’t help late-game enough to make him more useful than tanks like Ivern, Nautilus, Maokai, Gragas, and more.
Now, his passive is gaining a new effect that may help him out. Every five auto attacks, Nunu’s next ability will cost no mana and gain an additional boon:
- Consume: +160 Damage and +50 Healing
- Blood Boil: +1% Movement Speed and +5% Attack Speed
- Ice Blast: +40 Damage and +5% Movement Speed Slow
- Absolute Zero: +250 Maximum Damage
This new passive will definitely make him stronger as it’s nothing but a buff, and a sizeable one at that. The only problem is that it doesn’t fix any of Nunu’s biggest shortcomings, like lacking utility and CC like his tanky brethren. The buff should help him out, but it might not be quite enough to make him viable.
These changes are currently in the PBE, which means they should ship with the next official patch. Patch 7.6 was this week, so the next one, along with these buffs, should be in a few weeks. These buffs, paired with the big nerfs incoming for Graves (one of the game’s strongest junglers), should be enough to bring a lot of change to the meta of the jungle.