Trundle patch thoughts and impressions (the nerfs that finally happened)

Junkyard Trundle

I’m ready to call today’s patch the biggest thing that has happened to the game since the release of Season One. Today, Riot finally took some steps the reds have been talking about on the forums for months, making changes that could have a significant impact on the metagame. It won’t change things entirely, but it will almost certainly start to shift things in a new direction.

This is one of the first patches for which we’ve seen Riot give overarching design notes along with the line by line changes. Let’s start with those.

This patch is focused upon the following main issues:

Area of Effect damage and disable spells being too powerful
Area of Effect is taking a pretty large hit this patch, especially to the damage on Galio’s Idol of Durand, Morgana’s Soul Shackles and Vladimir’s Hemoplague. After seeing its effect on the game over a longer period of time, we’ve found something more akin to Annie’s Summon: Tibbers is a proper mix of area size, damage, and disable. We have several area-effect skills in the game that have snuck past this and we’re looking to bring these back to acceptable levels.

Strong supports are able to protect powerful ranged carries too well, cancelling their fragility too easily
We’re starting with a duration nerf to Morgana’s Black Shield and Janna’s Eye of the Storm to reward better timing of the spell reactively and to raise the skill ceiling a bit on these spells. If this proves too little, we’ll evaluate the need for additional changes in a future patch.

Ranged carries, holistically, are too safe considering their damage output
While we predict bigger changes will be required, our first adjustments are to lower the movement speeds of ranged carry-style champions to provide more of a tradeoff, and nerf Blessing of the Lizard Elder when used on ranged champions. We’d like to keep ranged carries “safer” than melee, while beginning to provide more tradeoffs that both give melee a place in the game and differentiate the roles of melee and ranged characters.

I was thrilled when I read these. These are exactly the kind of changes I’ve been waiting on, and it seems the community has been waiting on, for some time. While there are still issues associated with individual champions, it’s nice to see that the roadmap leads away from the issues above.

On to the more specific champion changes. As usual, I’ll be covering the big stuff and leaving it to you to work through the minor adjustments.

Alongside the ranged nerfs, Corki no longer reveals stealthed units (including wards) with Phosphorous Bomb. His gatling gun can also no longer damage unseen wards. I hesitate to call this a nerf because really, these things were far too powerful for just one character to have. It’s a good fix, although the PBomb change is a slight nerf against stealth characters, which kinda sucks.

Galio got some big changes, as mentioned in the design notes. Righteous Gust got a significant AP ratio nerf, though a buff to the speed increase, and Resolute Smite got a small AP ratio buff. I like both changes – they focus his damage output toward the skillshot that’s more difficult to land and make Gust more of a utility spell. His ultimate got an AP ratio nerf, a nerf to the bonus damage attackers generate for Galio, and a nerf to the max damage attackers can generate for the ultimate. It’s a serious nerf across the board and one I’m glad to see.

Janna’s ultimate got nerfed along with the change to Eye of the Storm. She’s always been a very strong support, but the heal-per-second nerf to her ultimate is pretty huge. I’ll be interested to see how it pans out. Morgana, who seems to be everyone’s favorite support, also got an ultimate nerf – damage, cooldown, and stun duration all took a hit.

Pantheon finally got the rework people have been waiting for. His damage has been shifted toward Heartseeker Strike with a percentage buff to the damage and a nerf to the base damage on Spear Shot. I wouldn’t be surprised if people still build him the same, maxing Spear Shot and then Aegis for the cooldown reduction, but work Heartseeker into the skill rotation for more damage.

Sona got another string of incremental nerfs to every skill but her ultimate. The nerfs all went to base power, so she’ll still scale well, just won’t be quite as strong in the early game.

That’s it for hero changes, other than the large scale adjustments mentioned in the design notes. There was also an interesting change to Doran’s Blade and Doran’s ring, both of which got health and utility contributions nerfed, likely to discourage stacking. The damage contribution got buffed, though, which could help stacking remain economical.

That’s it for the patch. You can bet I’ll have some specific impressions later in the day/week. Check back soon for my Trundle impressions.


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