How will the XP changes from LoL Patch 13.4 shift up the meta?

Is a new meta in the air?

Riot Games have brought some important tweaks to the experience points system in Patch 13.4, lowering the amount of XP that kills give to champions from level three to level nine.

The balance team explained the intended changes are a way to reduce the snowballing effect that has plagued the first few months of the new League of Legends season. The meta is dominated by strong early-game junglers with great gank setups like Lee Sin, Elise, Maokai, and Jarvan IV, especially at higher Elo (according to U.GG).

With these changes, Riot is looking to tone down the XP rewards given by kills when junglers start to gank and impact their own lanes. That said, the numbers tweaked are substantial, to the point where we might see a significant shift not only in the jungle pool but the entire League meta.

Paired with the support items nerfs, what can we expect to see in the new patch? Here are our first impressions.

The most influential XP level changes

While Riot adjusted all the numbers from level three to level nine, the changes are not even across the board. Below you can find the changes to experience per kill at each level:

  • Level one: 42 experience (15 percent of level) 42 experience (15 percent of level)
  • Level two: 114 experience (30 percent of level) 114 experience (30 percent of level)
  • Level three: 186 experience (39 percent of level) 144 experience (30 percent of level)
  • Level four: 258 experience (44 percent of level) 174 experience (30 percent of level)
  • Level five: 330 experience (49 percent of level) 204 experience (30 percent of level)
  • Level six: 402 experience (52 percent of level) 234 experience (30 percent of level)
  • Level seven: 434 experience (49 percent of level) 308 experience (35 percent of level)
  • Level eight: 500 experience (51 percent of level) 392 experience (40 percent of level)
  • Level nine: 515 experience (48 percent of level) 486 experience (45 percent of level)
  • Level 10: 590 experience (50 percent of level) 590 experience (50 percent of level)

If we look deeper, we can see that the biggest differences are between levels four and six. In particular, kills at level six will now grant a 22 percent lower amount of experience. This is directly linked to the fact that champions can easily kill targets when their ultimates are unlocked.

Image via Riot Games

Not only that, but all kills after level three are heavily reduced. This means that early-game junglers are indirectly getting heavily tagged by this change. While kills will still give you gold, it will be much more difficult for these champions to get resources and carry the game.

Remember that having higher levels means that the champion will get better stats, so lower experience points will stop this from happening as often.

What does this mean for the meta?

There are various implications behind the experience changes. Starting off with the jungle meta, strong early-game champions will have less snowball potential. Given that champions like Elise and Maokai are also getting direct nerfs, they will surely drop in priority.

A lower snowball also means that we might be getting a return of scaling and power-farming junglers. Champions like Graves and Kayn will be punished less and are likely going to ramp up in presence. That said, there are two particular picks to keep an eye on: Sejuani and Kindred.

Image via Riot Games

While Sejuani does have great ganking early on, she scales equally well into the late game. Already considered a strong pick in the jungle, other champions stepping down in priority means that she is going to have much more value.

Similarly, Kindred was already having good success in previous patches, especially at higher Elo. The lower risk of seeing enemies snowballing out of control will give her more time to Kindred to scale and reach her item spikes.

These changes, additionally, will also impact the bot lane meta, which has been mainly governed by bully marksmen and ranged supports. Slowing down the snowball will make said picks less powerful, as well as neutralize their strengths. That said, it’s likely going to take a while before players can pinpoint the new optimal bot lane duos.

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