There have been some major changes to champions during the recent patch of 4.3 and 4.2.
The most notable changes of 4.2 include 1. pick order changes, 2. mastery nerfs to perserverance, 3. kayle nerfs, 4. skarner changes, and a 5. Xerath rework.
1. The pick order changes essentially changed pick order by randomizing it instead of placing players based on their hidden MMR. The upsides to this are that duo queuers now both have an equal chance of being first pick even if there’s a mmr gap and players now have a chance to get top pick regardless of who they’re playing against. On the flip side this isn’t great for players who have higher MMR and deserve the ability to take their favored roles. If someone has the highest mmr, you typically want them to be in their comfort picks able to carry their teammates. Instead now there’s a mishmash of high mmr players playing unfamiliar roles and low mmr players playing what they want but not being able to perform well against their higher mmr counterparts. Players now need to learn to play more than one role if they intend to be successful in solo queue.
2. Perserverance provided 2% of missing health regen to those in the defensive tree, this was huge for tanky champions as it allowed them to have additional sustain on top of their high defensive stats. Nerfing this is a step in the right direction to taking away some of the current season stats that make tanks so powerful.
3. Kayle has been an issue for a while (Even now I prefer to ban her if I can), the recent changes nerf her damage output but increase her utility. Specifically, her AP ratio on her Reckoning nuke has decreased while the heal and movespeed ratio has increased, in addition Kayle’s ultimate no longer consumes mana. I myself have to disagree with the removal of mana cost on kayle ultimate, this removes one counterplay that players had against kayle by attacking her while she was low on mana and couldn’t cast ultimate. This would be reasonable if Kayle’s ultimate had a long cooldown, but with the 20% cdr that all kayles get from nashor’s tooth, her ult is already on a 48 second CD (36 Seconds with max CDR) which guarantees that she has it every fight in addition to the occasional two ultimates per extended battle.
4. Skarner lost his perma-slow from q spams and his heal spell. In return he gained a stronger shield, movespeed, a longer ranged slow, and a more reliable ultimate. This was intended to bring skarner back into the current meta. For me personally, this has increased my viewage of skarners in solo queue from 0 to… wait for it… 0. One primary part of skarner’s kit was his ability to perma slow his enemy, this is what give him his huge threat and power to any players that made the mistake of getting too close to him. Instead now Riot chose to give skarner more utility, which turns him into more of a “support tank” than a “carry tank”. The best example I can give to illustrate what has happened is karma. Old karma used to be a support champion, then riot reworked her and turned her into a mage champion. Although skarner didn’t go through a rework, if you change the way a champion is played, then you’re essentially shafting players who enjoyed the original playstyle of a champion and trying to get new players to try out a champion that they didn’t like before.
5. Xerath went through a rework, essentially they increased the range of his skills at the cost of making his skills more difficult to land. I approve of these changes, since it fits his playstyle as a seige cannon champion, the old xerath had decent range but it was short enough that two jump spells could cover the distance and he’d get destroyed. Now there’ll be more skill required to get to xerath, and on the flipside xerath needs more skill in order to land his abilities.
For patch 4.3 the most notable changes include 1. changes to fear, 2. damage nerfs to khazix, 3. nerfs to yasuo, and 4. buffs to support gold items.
1. Fear will now always send the champion running away from the caster and slow them. Understandably Riot has always wanted to remove any kind of entity that is random (removal of dodge, changes to crit) and so this change fits the bill. Unfortunately this is somewhat of a nerf to nocturne and fiddlesticks (shaco’s boxes were never treated as reliable Crowd control anyways). The whole point of fiddlesticks and nocturne fear was to keep the enemy from running away so that they could deal damage. Unfortunately now fiddlesticks and nocturne are put into situations where they have to decide between fearing the enemy away or not casting it at all. Riot did attempt to give Fiddle a slight range buff and the slow is their way of making up for the counter intuitiveness of this change. But honestly I’ve never heard anyone complain about fear at all, why change something that wasn’t causing problems? Either Riot is just trying to normalize everything in the game, or they have some form of new crowd control that they want to introduce but have to distinguish it from fear/taunt/charms.
2. Khazix received large damage nerfs to Q and E and received longer stealth in addition to no minion blocking. I don’t really agree with these changes since it kind of hurts the whole point of khazix being an assasin, why nerf someone’s damage when their whole kit is designed to deal damage? If anything, making kha-zix squishier would increase the skillcap of khazix and keep him viable. I haven’t seen a single khazix after these changes.
3. Yasuo has finally received the long awaited shield nerfs. The old Yasuo used to get a 690 shield that lasted for two seconds and had no cooldown, this was way too strong late game since Yasuo could go into a fight with a 690 shield, get another 690 shield from his ultimate, and then receive another 690 shield after attacking for a little while. 2070 health shields that require no effort at all is a little ridiculous. Now maybe yasuo won’t get banned as much.
4. Support gold items now give stronger stats, basically: targons and ancient coin give more sustain, and frost queen’s claim gives bonus damage output. There are some more buffs/nerfs to these items for compensation but overall the changes are as previously stated.