Patch 7.17 introduces a string of tweaks and changes that will be instrumental in changing the competitive meta. Let’s break them down!
Ornn – New Champion
The newest addition to the League of Legends lineup is finally here! Ornn, the Fire Below the Mountain, is a blacksmith demigod that specializes in locking down his enemies, increasing stun duration of his allies, and crafting his own item upgrades! You can read more about his kit here, but we can already see an influx of Ornn mains in the top, support, and jungle positions.
Draven – Minor Nerf
It was only a matter of time before Draven got hit with the nerf bat. After all, whenever the Glorious Executioner rises to prominence, he becomes far too oppressive in the laning phase. Riot chose to deal with this by increasing the percentage of passive stacks he loses upon death (from 50% to 75%) and bumping down gold gains on champion kills (from 50 to 25). And while this definitely makes dying even more frustrating for Draven players, it does little to combat the champion’s feast-or-famine playstyle.
Ezreal – Minor Buff
Ever since the surge of shielding support, Ezreal has been getting squeezed out of the bottom lane. A caster AD carry simply doesn’t benefit as much from shields and heals as some of the more traditional picks. Riot tries to fix this by buffing Ezreal’s Mystic Shot [Q] to do 1.25 total attack damage instead of 1.10. In combination with Ardent Censer nerfs, this could make some players try out the Prodigal Explorer, but as long as picks like Tristana, Kog’Max, or Varus thrive in the bot lane, he will remain an inferior option.
Hecarim – Substantial Buffs
Hecarim’s Devastating Charge [E] no longer ticks down during his ultimate and Onslaught of Shadows [R] can now fear for up to 1.5 seconds, depending on the distance traveled. Honestly, we’re not sure how we feel about these buffs. Hecarim should have already been doing well in the current tank meta, and it’s very likely that people forgot about his existence in view of potent junglers like Maokai, Sejuani, and Zac. Now that League’s stallion is once again on everyone’s radar, expect to see him stampede through the Summoner’s Rift.
Leona – Substantial Buffs
Leona’s marks now deal around 30% more damage while expiring much faster (down from 3.5 seconds to 1.5 seconds). In addition, Shield of Daybreak [Q] cooldown was reduced to 6 seconds at all ranks. The changes will make Leona’s trades much stronger in the early game, although they don’t address the main reason behind her lack of play. The truth is Leona’s kit revolves entirely around all-ins. This makes her playstyle far too transparent, and many junglers and supports can easily punish her the moment she goes in for a trade.
Urgot – Substantia Buffs
Urgot receives some quality of life changes. His Purge [W] now refreshes the ‘lock down’ effect duration to avoid the situations where Urgot switches targets while using the ability. Also, if Urgot uses Disdain [E] during Purge but fails to find the target, he will resume firing a bit faster. Finally, Fear Beyond Death [R] provides a slightly longer slow and a bigger window for the execution effect. The buffs are long overdue because—barring certain counter pick scenarios—Urgot failed to find his place on the Rift. Perhaps now we can see the cybernetic monstrosity on the competitive stage.
Zed – Minor Buffs
Zed gets his base attack speed increased from 0.644 to 0.651 and his Living Shadow [W] duration bumped up from 4.5 seconds to 5 seconds. Ultimately, this does make Zed a bit better in prolonged skirmishes but don’t expect the Master of Shadows to become a staple mid laner.
Ardent Censer – Substantial Nerfs
Boy, have we been waiting for this one! Ardent Censer will now grant 25% attack speed (instead of 20-35%) and 25 health drain (instead of 20-35). In the past, the item offered one of the most powerful powerspikes in the game, so this will definitely help keep it in check. But considering Ardent Censer still offers everything a hypercarry could wish for, it will remain the best option for most bot lanes.
Gargoyle Stoneplate – Substantial Nerf
Technically, this isn’t a nerf, but a bug fix. Cinderhulk’s 20% bonus health multiplier no longer applies after the Stoneplate activation. This means the combo of Cinderhulk + Stoneplate will now grant around 1400 health instead of 1640 like it did before. Expect Cho’Gath burst to be a little more manageable, even though the item will continue being the core of his builds.
That’s all for our patch 7.16 breakdown! We hope our analysis will make it easier for you to see the latest trends in the League of Legends meta. And as always, we’ll see you on the Rift!