League of Legends patch 8.7 is right around the corner. We take a look at the most impactful changes that are going to reshape the competitive meta!
Introducing Irelia’s rework
Say goodbye to the old Irelia because the Blade Dancer will never be the same! The rework preserves the traits that made her so fun to play (like Q resets and E stuns) while throwing in a massive AoE ultimate that can disarm Irelia’s enemies! Also, her passive deals bonus damage to shields, which is perfect for the current LoL meta. That said, Irelia’s numbers seem a bit low, so it might take some time before we see her making a splash in the top lane. For now, you can read up on her new kit here.
AP Gragas comeback?
There’s no denying that Gragas is in a poor state. Riot is trying to fix that by giving him +0.1 AP scaling on Barrel Roll [Q] and +0.2 AP scaling on Drunken Rage [W]. Moreover, Drunken Rage grants 4% extra damage reduction per 100 AP. It’s worth noting that its duration was decreased, but for some bizarre reason, Riot doesn’t want to share the exact numbers. Still, we expect Gragas to return to Solo Queue in the coming weeks.
The return of Elise
The queen of the jungle gets a string of buffs to keep up with the newcomers! First, Elise’s Venomous Bite [Q] had its damage bumped up by 10 at all ranks. The more important change, though, is the cooldown reduction on the early ranks of Cocoon [E]. Granted, it’s not often that Elise has to throw out two of these, but it will definitely come in handy in those prolonged skirmishes.
AP Malphite rocks
Brace yourselves, AP Malphites are coming! The top lane tank had his attack damage growth stat increased from 3.375 to 4. More importantly, the AP scaling on Ground Slam [E] was boosted from 0.2 to a whopping 0.6. If that wasn’t enough, the cooldown on Unstoppable Force [R] was reduced by 20 seconds at max ranks, so Malphites are going to have a field day ulting squishy AD carries.
Of course, these buffs aren’t enough to bring the champion to a blind pick status. But he’s going to be much more oppressive in winning matchups.
Sejuani CC nerfs
Despite the constant nerfs, Sejuani remains one of the best junglers in the game. To combat this, Riot brought down her health growth stat from 95 to 88. The biggest change, though, is the stun duration reduction on Permafrost [E] from 2 seconds to 1.4 seconds at max rank. With that, Sejuani will have a much harder time locking down her target, and other tanks might finally challenge her in the jungle.
Swain toned down
The 8.5 buffs made Swain overbearing. Hence, the cooldown on Death’s Hand [Q] was changed to its pre-buff status, and the damage was bumped down by 10 at all ranks. This might not seem like much, but it was the constant Q spam that brought Swain to the S-tier status. Now, the Noxian emperor will be in a more balanced state.
Items, Runes & Game Mechanics
Locket gets gutted
Locket of the Iron Solari became a staple support time. So much so that even enchanters like Janna or Lulu bought it. Riot tuned down the shield to make it weaker by roughly 30%. Not only that but the cooldown was increased by 30 seconds, so Locked won’t be as reliable as it used to be.
Ninja Tabi changes
Ninja Tabi was one of the most hated items in the game. It simply did too much for its cost. At first glance, it seems like Riot shares this opinion since the item had its armor cut down from 30 to 20. However, the attack damage reduction was increased (!) from 10% to 12%. And while this should make Ninja Tabi weaker in the laning phase, they will be even more overbearing as the game goes on.
Relic Shield bleeds gold
Tank supports still dominate the bot lane. But that might change in the nearest future because the item received massive gold generation nerfs. First, Relic Shield grants 1 gold per 10 instead of 2. And its upgrades—Targon’s Brace and Remnant of the Aspect—also give 1 gold per 10 instead of 4. With that, the only way to gain gold from the item will be proccing stacks and securing kills, so tanks might find themselves starved for resources.
Resolve Tree health nerfs
On a similar note, Resolve Tree no longer grants the insane durability it used to. If you pick it as your primary rune path, you’ll get 15-135 health (at levels 1-18) instead of 65. If you choose the combo of Resolve + Inspiration, you’ll have 30-270 health (at levels 1-18) instead of 130 health. Finally, if you grab Inspiration + Resolve, you’ll benefit from 30-300 health (at levels 1-18) instead of 140 health. This is a massive early game hit, so expect tanks to be much more vulnerable in the laning phase.
Manaflow Band altered
Say goodbye to the old Manaflow Band because the rune was overhauled! Now, every time you hit an enemy champion with a spell, you gain 25 maximum mana (up to 250 mana). Granted, the effect has an internal cooldown of 15 seconds, so you’ll probably reach the cap around 8-10 minutes into the game.
But once you get there, Manaflow Band will restore 1% of your maximum mana every 5 seconds. This might not seem like much, but it’s absolutely massive on mid laners and mana-reliant champions like Ezreal. With that, we don’t see this rune going anywhere anytime soon.
Presence of Mind gutted
Presence of Mind was altered as well. Now, whenever you score a champion takedown, you restore 20% of your maximum mana and refund 10% of the cooldown on your ultimate. And that is… pretty underwhelming. Presence of Mind was already a niche pick, but it’s hard to imagine many champions picking its new iteration.
Minion Gold changes
Last but not least, Riot introduced a string of minion changes. Melee Minions will grant 21 gold (instead of 20) and Caster Minions will grant 14 gold (instead of 17). But the biggest difference involves Cannon Minions. Missing these is not an option anymore, as they give you a massive stack of 60 gold! Their health was increased too, and Cannon Minions should be much better for actually sieging enemy turrets. Oh, and Super Minions are also affected by the change.
That’s it for top changes of patch 8.7! You can check the complete patch notes here, and we’ll see you on the Rift!