Ninja Tabi are one of the most purchased items in League of Legends, and many say it’s because they’re just too OP. Don’t expect a nerf any time soon, though, because Riot thinks the boots are in a healthy state according to the most recent dev post today on the official forums.
Out of all 116 items in the game, Ninja Tabi have the fourteenth-highest purchase rate in all regions and at all ranks according to elophant, a League statistics website. What makes the item so strong? The Ninja Tabi blocks 12 percent of all incoming basic attack damage and provides a small chunk of armor to the wielder.
The basic attack damage reduction is Tabi’s crowning joy, and it’s so effective that even non-tank champions like ADCs and assassins have been building the boots regularly. Historically, if an item’s benefits were so high that all players began building it regardless of the situation, Riot considered the item to be too strong.
Riot doesn’t seem to think that’s the case with Ninja Tabi, though. Rather than the boots being too strong, Riot believes that everyone is choosing them because there are too many AD champions running around. In other words, Ninja Tabi counter AD champions, and if players stop running Fiora top, Zed mid, and Kha’zix jungle on the same team so often, the boots should become much less effective.
The problem with that, however, is that AD champions won’t slow down until Lethality does. Lethality items are cheap and they provide excellent early-game offensive stats. As long as Lethality is so efficient, AD champions will likely remain in the limelight. That’s a shame, too, because magic damage is harder to build against than AD after Aegis of the Legion’s aura was removed back in November.
So are AD champions OP and get played too often, or are Ninja Tabi the problem? Riot says it’s just the champions and how often they’re picked, but that’s not convincing. It’s a little bit of both.
A slight increase in price of Lethality items and a small reduction in the damage reduction that the Tabi provide (from 12 percent to 10 percent) would probably hit the sweet spot to move the game into a healthier state. Right now, however, Riot doesn’t plan on bringing nerfs to Tabi, so that won’t be happening any time soon.