But a meta shift does seem inevitable.
The new League of Legends ranked season is underway, yet Riot Games is not stopping its streak of big updates that started during last year’s preseason.
After bringing a Jax mid-scope update and several item changes, Riot is planning to tweak most of the bruiser items that have defined the meta in the last two years. Omnivamp will be removed across the board while other items will have their Ability Haste adjusted based on the stats that were lost or added. Some items will grant higher base stats and stronger effects with the hopes of compensating and not making fighters too weak.
That being said, what’s going to be the impact of these item tweaks on the bruiser class, and will this be the end of the fighters’ supremacy? Here are our thoughts on the bruiser item changes that should come in patch 13.2.
Riot mentioned that the overall goal is to tackle the nebulous “fighter frustration,” knowing that this class of champions can feel hard to play against and have dashes, sustain, and the ability to fight against multiple enemies consistently. As a consequence, the balance team decided to remove Omnivamp on the fighter items completely and change it to lifesteal.
The main difference between the two is that lifesteal allows you to heal only based on the damage done by your auto attacks, while Omnivamp heals you for all sources of damage dealt. Tim “TheTruexy” explained that Omnivamp leads to more “spikey healing” that is not present on auto attacks (spikey healing only happens with crit strikes).
If this change is implemented, bruiser champions that rely on their abilities to deal damage will inevitably be weaker than those who don’t. Champions like Renekton and Xin Zhao don’t get to use many auto attacks in their combos so they might be the ones getting hit the most, even if they will gain more attack damage.
Not only that, but paired with the elimination of ability haste on certain items like Death Dance, bruisers will get access to much less cooldown reduction early on. This should hinder their spike during the mid-game, as most bruisers become strong after closing the mythic item and the first legendary item.
Riot, to compensate for this reduction in spike, have decided to increase the base stats of the items. As a result, fighters will become tankier and harder to kill, but they won’t be able to sustain as much during a skirmish or a fight because Omnivamp is no longer applied and the abilities will have a higher cooldown. While it may be weird at first, especially for players who have gotten used to playing bruisers, this should be the class in a more balanced state.
Overall, these item changes will not kill the bruiser class as a whole. The main takeaway is that fighters will not be as strong in the mid-game as they used to be in the past, and now they will have to rely more on auto attacks and base resistances rather than sustain to survive fights.
Unfortunately, given the large presence of bruisers in the game, there are going to be some champions that will get hit more than others in Patch 13.2, and finding these outliers will take some time.
By looking at the current numbers, it’s inevitable that champions like Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, Jarvan IV, and Aatrox will get the short end of the stick because they rely a lot on ability haste to become strong. We have to hope that the balance team can quickly identify these weaker champions and give them compensating buffs to make them relevant.
That said, there are also some non-bruiser champions that might get hit by these changes, in particular the Eclipse users. Considering that Jayce, Zed, and also Varus all build this item, the Omnivamp change might mean that Eclipse is no longer a viable option for them. They are also champions that will need monitoring and potential buffs if considered weak.