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How Patch 8.11 will affect EU LCS

Hello and welcome to the Patch Rundown for Patch 8.11. I will be detailing how the latest changes to League of Legends might affect the professional scene and overall meta in the upcoming week of EU LCS play.

This is the midseason patch, which includes big changes to the Marksman role as well as a few other impactful updates. Though Patch 8.12 has been released on live, the pros will be playing on Patch 8.11 this weekend, giving us a glimpse into the meta shifts from these intense changes.

1

New Champion: Pyke

pyke_circle

A new champion has graced us with his presence on the Rift this patch in the form of Pyke, The Bloodharbor Ripper!

Pyke is an assassin-like support whose main job is to Crowd Control opponents and poke them down until his ultimate ability, Death From Below, can go for the killing blow with its execute. When Pyke scores a killing blow, any assisting ally gets full kill gold and Pyke can recast Death From Below. This ability sure puts the “secured” in KS.

Learn more about how to play Pyke in G2 Wadid's guide here.

New Keystone Rune: Hail of Blades

Hail of Blades grants bonus attack speed to your first three attacks against champions in combat. These three attacks can exceed the attack speed limit.

This keystone is a great addition for any champions who want to pump out attacks as quickly as possible, like Nocturne or Xin Zhao. We expect to see this picked up by assassin-style champions and anyone who benefits from quick trades.

New item: Stormrazor

Stormrazor is a new item aimed towards champions who want some extra burst damage whenever they auto attack, or those who don’t auto attack often. Stormrazor’s passive makes your next attack critically strike if you have not attacked within three seconds (scaling down with attack speed) and grants you a 10% boost of movement speed for 1.75 seconds after attacking.

Many players have been experimenting with rushing this item on crit users such as Jhin and Draven, and on champions who want burst damage like Nocturne or Talon. We should expect to see this item implemented into various builds.

Double CC/Kill lanes are the new botlane meta, so expect to see Irelia, Yasuo, Vladimir, and even Ryze in the bottom lane.

Josh "Jarge" Smith

Marksmen

The biggest change this patch is to the Marksman role. All marksmen have had their base stats tampered with. Their base AD and Armor has been lowered in exchange for more AD Growth per level and higher base Health. This means that marksmen will be weaker early game but will scale into the mid and late game better than before.

This change was made to create a larger, more clear point of weakness for marksmen before they scale into late game monsters. This change, in tandem with the nerfs to Fleet Footwork, means that damage will stick more easily to marksmen and give aggressive lane bullies a place within the bot lane meta.

Fleet Footwork

Speaking of Fleet Footwork, it’s had its crit heal scaling removed entirely, and ranged healing versus minions as well as its movement speed boost lowered. This means that crit users will no longer get major healing from Fleet Footwork, leaving it weaker overall.

Almost all of the items commonly built by Marksmen have also been changed.

Crit Items

All crit items have seen changes in one way or another. Crit has been in a solid spot for quite a long time, leaving little room for other items to see the light of day. Builds based on crit have been cheap and rewarded AD Carries with a hard spike in power early into the game. The intention with these changes is to delay that power spike and allow some more champion and build variety in the bot lane.

Priority and early snowball is the name of the game in this meta, so much so that all crit-based ADC champions are being pushed out in favour of bruisers and mages.

Josh "Jarge" Smith

Infinity Edge

Infinity Edge has had a mini rework. It now builds from two B.F Swords and has a new unique passive which doubles your critical hit chance and converts 15% of your crit damage to true damage. This should make crits less effective against targets with less armor while being stronger versus armor stacking opponents.

Essence Reaver

Essence Reaver has also had a rework. It now gives a flat 20% Cooldown reduction and has been given a new passive in its place: For eight seconds after casting your ultimate, gain 30% attack speed. In addition, your basic attacks lower the remaining cooldown of your non-ultimate abilities by 20%.

This item is extremely powerful for a certain few champions. One champion in particular that every ADC player loves is Lucian, and he will benefit greatly from this item.

Lucian is also returning to meta with his ability to abuse the buffed Blade of the Ruined King and now has the opportunity to embrace his inner neo with the new Essence Reaver allowing him to dash every second.

Josh "Jarge" Smith

Zeal Items

Zeal and all of its upgrades have had their costs increased. Zeal items were too reliable for how cheap and efficient they were in previous patches. This change in tandem with the Infinity Edge changes will make it a lot harder for crit users to take over the game by 20 minutes.

Overall, these changes to crit should create a meta shift from the standard “Energizer” build and create more build and champion diversity in the marksman role, which in turn could end up shifting the whole meta. Keep your eyes open for wild Vaynes and Dravens popping their heads up.

Last Whisper

Last Whisper and all of its upgrades have shifted from penetrating 35% of the target’s bonus armor to 10% of their total armor. This means that these items will be a lot more effective against users who don’t stack armor while still being good versus those who do. An all-around nice buff to armor penetration items.

Lord Dominik’s Regards has lost its bonus physical damage against champions with more max health than you in exchange for this.

kha'zix

Kha’Zix

Everyone's least favourite bug had his permanent stealthing through bushes removed in exchange for a lower cooldown on his ultimate and, if evolved, an additional cast. Personally, I don’t think anyone will be sad to see this change.

zyra

Zyra

Although minor at first glance, the buff given to Zyra’s E, Grasping Roots, is actually huge due to how Zyra outputs damage. Having someone rooted for .25 seconds longer means that Zyra’s plants can sneak in an extra auto-attack or two during a trade, allowing for increased damage output overall. Due to botlane’s lower sustain, this is a huge buff overall for Zyra as shown by her recently skyrocketing win rate in Solo Queue around the world.

When talking about Zyra, we should also mention another really strong, competitively viable mage support, Fiddlesticks. He is especially strong due to the power his Terrify (Q) holds. It allows him to disengage any all-ins as well as follow up on his own all-ins. Coupled with his relentless poke from Dark Wind (E), you can expect Fiddlesticks to be a contested bottom lane pick.

Josh "Jarge" Smith
taliyah

Taliyah

Taliyah received a wealth of changes including a huge boost to her base movement speed, more movement speed, and a smaller lockout window on her passive. Most notably, though, she lost the AoE from her Q ability, Threaded Volley. There’s a lot of controversy around these changes and whether or not they are overall buffs and nerfs.

yasuo

Yasuo

Everyone's favourite airbender has received some compensation buffs in the form of additional base AD and an additional 30% damage on his Q. This is a huge buff to an already strong champion in professional play, and this will only make him that much stronger. Expect to see a Yasuo pick or ban in every game of the LCS this patch at least!

ezreal

Ezreal

Ezreal has been one of the strongest marksmen for quite some time, particularly with the rise of the double tear build. He was getting a little out of control, especially with his main counters getting indirectly nerfed in terms of build path this patch, so many of you may be glad to hear that he has been given some hefty nerfs this patch.

His scaling attack damage has been lowered, meaning that his overall scaling damage will be weaker, and he’s had the scaling attack speed from his passive lowered to a flat 10% per stack at all levels. This should bring Ezreal into line with the other marksmen on the rift, hopefully allowing for some more champion diversity in the bot lane.

kai'sa

You can expect the strong ADCs to be champions that spike early on 1 item. This obviously means Guinsoo’s Rageblade users like Kog’Maw or Kai’Sa are still good.

Josh "Jarge" Smith

Kai’Sa

Kai’Sa has been pick or ban priority in professional play for quite some time now, and she became even better with the midseason changes. She was becoming way too oppressive, so she has been hit with the nerf bat to hopefully bring her in line with the other marksmen by lowering her passive Plasma on-hit damage, per stack damage, and AP ratio.

Banner of Command

Banner has had its magic nullification removed in favor of a 40% damage reduction from all champions. Each specific minion type also gets additional stats. Banner is in a good spot now where it isn’t too oppressive but can still do a lot if left unanswered. Expect to see the Banner of Command occasionally in upcoming pro play.

Shurelya’s Reverie

Shurelya’s was too good on some specific champions who shouldn’t have been using it in the first place (here’s looking at you, Vladimir) so this change was inevitable. Having its movement speed decreased in favour of some base mana regen, and adding 30 seconds to its active cooldown, makes this item a lot less appealing for a large majority of champions who want to use it. This should shift it to more of a situational purchase for supports.

Runic Echoes

Runic Echoes has been given an additional 20 AP while its cost has gone unchanged. This is a huge buff to the item’s gold efficiency and should help to propel AP junglers back into the meta in some form.

Ultimate Hat / Nimbus Cloak

Ultimate hat has been removed. Nimbus Cloak takes its place within the sorcery tree. Nimbus Cloak gives 100 bonus movement speed for a short period after casting your ultimate, making it an amazing rune for any champion who wants to go hard in the paint with their ult. With this rune, any champion will have more catch potential once they are in deep. Vladimir and Cassio players are licking their lips at the sight of this one!

Ultimate Hunter

Ultimate Hat, as previously stated, has been removed from the sorcery tree and has found a new home within the domination tree under the name of “Ultimate Hunter”. It works slightly differently here, though. Your ultimate’s cooldown is lowered for each unique takedown you’ve achieved over the course of the game, stacking up to 5 for a maximum of 15% additional cooldown reduction. Moving it to this tree allows those champions that really like this rune (mostly assassins) the opportunity to have it without feeling the need to dip into Sorcery as their secondary tree.

Conclusion

The bot lane meta has been turned on its head and we should expect to see just about any champion popping up down there (as we’ve already seen in some other regions). Expect to see a lot less crit-based marksmen and a completely new meta evolve over the next few patches.

One thing is certain - this is the most aggressive, skirmish-oriented meta we have had in a long time. For the first time since before season 1, literally all archetypes are viable in multiple positions and all positions can be played with multiple archetypes.

Josh "Jarge" Smith