These changes could have a huge impact on every level of League play.
League of Legends thirteenth season is off and running, with players already diving into or completing their promos for ranked and most pro leagues having kicked off their spring splits. Coming into the season on patch 13.1, Riot Games already threw a ton of switches to the meta, but 13.2 is on the horizon with arguably more game-altering changes.
League patch 13.2 targets champion changes to Annie and Ahri along with more Lunar skin unlocks, but its the changes to both AD carries and their items that has bot laners excited. Under his newly appointed role to the League balance team, former shoutcaster David Phreak Turley has brought sweeping buffs to the marksman role. Twelve champions are all having their mana buffed either through overall base mana, mana growth, or their mana regeneration: Ashe, Caitlyn, Ezreal, Jhin, Jinx, KaiSa, Lucian, Miss Fortune, Senna, Sivir, Twitch, and Xayah. Certainly an impactful change, especially for champions like Ezreal and Sivir who rely heavily on their abilities throughout the game for damage.
Those champion-oriented changes to marksmen are just the appetizer though; the main course comes in the item changes. Bloodthirster is getting a re-tool, with its lifesteal dropping from 18 to 15 percent. However, its Ichorshield will see significant buffs to its scaling allowing for marksmen to have a sizable shield for late game protection. Blade of the Ruined Kings on-hit damage went from eight to nine percent as well, but it’s the adjustments to two of the most popular AD carry crit items that will really shake up the bot lane meta.
The two items nearly every marksman is building to start off season 13 is Infinity Edge and Navori Quickblades. On the current patch, AD carry players have to hit 60-percent critical strike chance to activate both items passive Perfection that gives bonus critical strike damage. This powerspike wouldnt come until at least three items, and made buildpaths for many marksmen heavily limited. Now with Phreaks changes, Perfections bonus damage threshold is 40-percent, a massive shift.
Now on patch 13.2 a majority of marksmen, including several already getting mana buffs, will be able to rush both Infinity Edge and Navori Quickblades out of the gate to obtain that huge powerspike much earlier in the game. Simply put, moving one of the biggest powerspikes in League so much earlier into games will have a huge impact on Summoners Rift. While AD carry players claim it has been forever since their role felt viable and important, this next patch there will be no denying it. Champions like Kaisa, Caitlyn, and Jinx who solely rely on these crit buildpaths will fly up the winrate charts. Even champions like Ezreal who have never touched crit items have recently begun to experiment with Navori Quickblades builds and will benefit from these buffs.
Tack on the fact that Bloodthirster is now tweaked to help protect marksmen more late in the game, and the League meta might just be heading back to play focused on AD hypercarries. And while on the surface making these items so overpowered gives the impression that marksman buildpaths are even more limited, that couldnt be further from the truth. Now that a majority of these crit-based AD carries can hit the Perfection powerspike on two items, the rest of their buildpath can see a ton more variance.
Patch 13.2 wont touch any tank items or champions, but now marksmen have the itemization freedom to lean towards more armor penetration if the game calls for it. Many AD carries will also opt to build the new Bloodthrister for late game protection, or maybe opt for added healcut with Mortal Reminder. Dont forget all the attack speed items that cause even more variency as well. The possibilities are endless, and there will surely be multiple new builds that players are calling the next Freelo buildpath for a multitude of champions.
What even further supports this potential new AD hypercarry style of team composition is where their bot lane counterparts are in the current meta. Currently, tank/engage supports like Leona and Nautilus are out of the meta in favor of Nami or even Heimerdinger. Healers and Enchanters are much more prevalent, with Sona, Soraka, and Renata Glasc seeing upticks in winrates. Those style of supports are the perfect storm for AD hypercarries, and old League players will remember how many of those exact supports ran wild during the controversial Ardent Crescent meta.
League patch 13.2 is bringing massive shifts to a role that hasnt seen this big of a buff in years. While some fans and players have an idea of what this meta could look like, there is still so much more room for exploration that can only be uncovered by heading to Summoners Rift.
Many players are worried a patch like this is making the marksmen role overpowered, and it very likely will. A buff like this will have many residual after-effects, and dont be surprised if the next couple patches are designed to nerf or tweak the changes made on 13.2. For now, enjoy 13.1 while it lasts, because once Jan. 25 rolls around, League of Legends will feel like a whole new game.