League of Legends patch 7.14 introduces sweeping changes that are bound to reshape the competitive meta. So without further ado, let’s start analyzing!
Kayn – New Champion
Kayn, the Shadow Reaper is the new champion that Riot will be releasing later this patch. It will probably be better for you to read up on his abilities here, but to give you a short spotlight, Kayn is an assassin/bruiser hybrid that will be able to choose between two permanent forms, depending on the game flow. His specialties include bursting down squishy champions, walking through walls, and infesting the target’s body with his ultimate. Yeah, this guy is going to be pretty metal.
Alistar – Minor Buff
Alistar gets a 5% bump to the damage reduction on Unbreakable Will [R]. This is an okay change, but the thundering bull’s biggest problem is his laning phase. And until that gets better, he will remain a niche champions that’s only ever used to counter Rakan.
Caitlyn – Massive Nerf
Caitlyn keeps getting nerfed into the ground by having her attack speed growth stat taken down from 4% to 2%. On the surface, it might not seem like much, but this effectively means that she’s losing a whopping 36% attack speed at level 18. As a champion that already had one of the slowest attack speeds in the game, this is a huge hit to the Sheriff of Piltover. She’ll likely still be viable due to her long range and the nature of her kit, but things aren’t looking good for the Caitlyn mains out there.
Cho’Gath – Substantial Buffs
Cho’Gath’s Rupture [Q] and Feral Scream [W] got minor buffs, but the big change is the Vorpal Spikes [E] rework. Now the ability only affects the champion’s next three basic attacks, but gets a sizeable damage bonus and slowing effect to make up for it. The last part is key because Cho’Gath will finally have a way to land his abilities in lane. Still, it’s not like Cho’Gath gets many opportunities to auto attack in other parts of the game, so we’re guessing that the champion will stay invisible in competitive play.
Diana – Substantial Buffs
You always have to be wary when buffing a champion like Diana. Riot overhauled her passive to only grant bonus attacks speed to her next three attacks after a spellcast. To compensate for the change, Diana’s passive now restores mana equal to 15% of her AP.
If that wasn’t enough, her Crescent Strike [Q] gets a lower cooldown, her Pale Cascade [W] gets a mana cost reduction at early ranks, and her Moonfall [E] now quadruples the passive’s attack speed at max rank. Diana will now have a much easier time getting through the laning phase, which will make her level 6 power spike that much more devastating. Will that make her viable in pro play? Probably not. But she’s getting very, very close.
Fiora – Substantial Nerfs
Let’s be real, Fiora was nigh unstoppable after hitting the 3-item breaking point. Riot is addressing this by nerfing her passive to grant two times less movement speed and removing its effects from the Grand Challenge [R]. This way, it will be much easier to play around her vitals, which means that good top laners will be able to deny a sizeable chunk of her damage. Expect to see a lot less Fiora mains in your games.
Garen – Substantial Buffs
Garen had his passive buffed to give a more well-defined mid-game power spike. Courage [W] now gives 60% tenacity and damage reduction for the first 0.75 seconds of its duration while Judgement [E] got a small damage increase. Even so, these changes do little to address the core issue of Garen being too kiteable. Sure, he’ll be a stronger lane bully, but he’ll still remain useless during the later stages of the game.
Iverni – Substantial Nerf
Brushmaker [W] had its cast range nerfed from 1600 to 800. It might seem that not being able to create long-distance brushes isn’t a deal, but when you consider that Iverns also used this skill for vision, the nerf looks more severe. Ivern was already dropping out of the meta, and this change might make him even more situational than he already is.
Rammus – Minor Buff
Defensive Ball Curl [W] had its self-slow reduced from 60% to 30%. This should make it easier for Rammus mains to navigate through teamfights, although it won’t be nearly enough to make the champion meta.
Singed – Substantial Buffs
Singed gets a sizeable boost to his base health and health growth stats. He also receives a new passive—Noxious Slipstream—that will grant him 20% bonus movement speed for 2 seconds when passing champions.
His Poison Trail [Q] lost 20 base damage at max rank but got an AP scaling increase (from 0.6 to 0.8) in return. His Mega Adhesive [W] now slows for less but gets a grounding effect, which will make it that much more effective in punishing positioning mistakes. Finally, his Fling [E] costs less mana at early ranks, and his Insanity Potion [R] got a slight base stat bump.
The problem with Singed is that he’s such a unique champion that most pros are hesitant to invest time into learning him. That said, the buffs he received are strong enough that he might actually be viable in certain scenarios. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Taric – Substantial Buffs
Taric gets a boost to his mana regeneration while having his Starlight’s Touch [Q] changed to store 5 charges at max rank and heal for a portion of his maximum health. Also, his passive will instantly grant charges on basic attacks, so Taric will have a much easier time getting through the laning phase. Oh, and did we mention that Dazzle [E] got a whopping 40 damage increase at all ranks? Taric was already seeing some competitive play, so expect the fabulous Gem Knight to appear even more.
Yorick – Minor Buffs
Yorick receives minor stat boosts to the Mist Walkers from his passive and to the Shadow Maiden from his Eulogy of the Isles [R]. While that’s fine and dandy, Yorick is in a weird spot where his kit just doesn’t offer much that other champions can’t do better. And unfortunately, that’s where he’s going to stay.
Thornmail – Rework
Thornmail was reworked into an anti-healing tool that applies Grievous Wounds to anyone that attacks its owner. The item cost went up from 2350 to 2900, and it lost out on 25 armor while getting 250 health to make up for it.
Here’s the issue, though: the damage reflecting passive that made Thornmail so good was changed from dealing a percentage of the basic attack damage to 25 + 10% bonus armor damage. What this means is that Thormail became a lot more situational. It will be great in dealing with lifesteal tanks and Soraka mains, but it’s not the be-all and end-all solution to a fed AD carry anymore.
Bramble Vest – New Item
If you’re a tank and you urgently need an item to deal with those pesky healers, Bramble Vest is the pick for you! The item costs 900 gold and offers 35 armor in addition to applying Grievous Wounds effects to your attackers. Think of it as mini-Thornmail—after all, you can eventually build it into the real deal.
Ancient Coin – Massive Buff
Ancient Coin item quest will now grant 8% bonus movement speed to teammates that are running towards you. While it’s true that the old quest bonus was underwhelming, potentially granting movement speed to the entire team might be borderline broken. Expect to see a lot more Ancient Coins in the pro play.
Randuin’s Omen – Minor Buff
Randuin’s Omen became more convenient with 50 more health thrown on top of that. A decent buff, no doubt, but there’s still the issue of Randuin’s Omen getting phased out by more potent items like Gargoyle’s Stoneplate. And a 50 health boost won’t do much to change that.
Lethality Items – Substantial Buffs
Lethality formula is now calculated based on your level instead of the target’s level, which means that it will be that much easier for the snowballing Talon to delete your AD carry. Also, completed lethality items will now grant more lethality but less attack damage.
Serrated Dirk – Minor Buff
If you’re the proud owner of a Serrated Dirk, your spells will deal 40 bonus damage after killing an enemy (30-second cooldown). This effectively means that assassins will get more trading power in lane. Too bad the old passive had to go, and Serrated Dirk wielders will no longer receive 20 bonus movement speed out of combat.
Poacher’s Dirk – Minor Buff
In a similar fashion, Poacher’s Dirk gets 40 bonus damage after killing an enemy unit and loses out on the out of combat movement speed. In theory, this means faster jungle clear speed. In practice, no one buys this item, so we’ll likely never know.
Duskblade of Draktharr – Substantial Buffs
In line with lethality changes, Duskblade gets more lethality while losing out on attack damage. The kicker, though, is the added 10% CDR and a 0.25 second 99% slow to the passive, which will make it easier for assassins to burst down their target.
Youmuu’s Ghostblade – Minor Buffs
Same thing here, more lethality and less AD. But the out of combat movement speed was doubled (from 20 to 40), so Youmuu’s will become an even better option for roamers like Talon or Zed.
Edge of Night – Substantial Changes
Edge of Night gets its magic resistance and out of combat movement speed stripped away, but receives 250 health and more lethality in return. This will make the item more useful against AD champions, although losing the movement speed definitely hurts.
Junglers will now get the ability to smite Medium Krugs to get that health boost in dire situations.
Trundle’s Pillar of Ice [E] and Anivia’s Crystallize [W] no longer grant vision of the surrounding area. Technically, these are minor nerfs to the champions since you will no longer be able to use these skill to scout ahead.
That’s it for our patch 7.14 analysis! Hopefully, this breakdown will make it easier for you to navigate through the changes and see where the competitive meta is headed.