The PNR: Patch Notes Review — 7.21
Welcome to the first edition of The PNR, where I, a humble Gold, will jot down my thoughts about the most recent patch notes in a succinct and hopefully-not-too-boring manner. Since this is a new blog I’m starting up, I’ll be experimenting with various formats before settling on one. Let me know your suggestions! Unfortunately, Medium doesn’t support custom fonts/colors so I’ll be bolding buffed stuff, italicizing nerfed stuff, and leaving normal the re-balanced stuff (which is not mutually exclusive to being buffed/nerfed, it just means power was shifted from one place to another.) Also, since this blog focuses on my thoughts about the patch notes rather than strictly analysis, I’ll be placing the link to the patch notes right before the review.
- Azir — Azir had a lot of changes in 7.19, primarily focusing on rebalancing the strength around his soldiers’ range and pushing it to his power when maintaining multiple soldiers on the field at once. The nerfs in 7.21 aim to keep his laning intact but slightly reduce his damage at later levels. This shouldn’t affect him too much.
- Ekko — Double damage to monsters will allow Ekko to succeed more in the jungle now than in the past. Testing will have to be done, but this may allow Q > auto > Q2 to one-shot the small raptors; if this is the case, it will significantly decrease Ekko’s clear time. Since no other changes are made, AP jungle Ekko shouldn’t be outshined by his tank counterpart.
- Evelynn — A small buff, this allows Eve to clear krugs slightly more quickly. Most of what Evelynn needs, however, are more QoL related, such as the 2nd part of her Q being unable to follow-up if line-of-sight is broken. She’ll need more attention, to more than her numbers (AP ratios, scaling, etc), in order for her to be more viable.
- Galio — By far the most-changed champion of the patch, Galio as a tank has been nerfed, and Galio as a full AP OMAE WA MO SHINDEIRU has been significantly buffed. Beyond all the flat scaling changes and the AP ratios, his Q now does 3% of target’s max HP per 100 AP every half-second. Taking this to the extreme, let’s put full AP Galio at 600 AP against a stoneplated Cho’Gath at 10k HP. One full Q, three ticks, will do 5,400 damage, excluding magic pen and magic resist. Combined with his other buffs, full AP Galio is simply mind-blowingly strong and should absolutely get hot-fixed once this patch hits live. That being said, full tank Galio needed a nerf; this is simply too drastic of a change.
- Gangplank — Calming it down from the fiesta above, everyone’s favorite pirate now earns 1 more gold per Parrrley kill. I don’t play him enough to really know if this is dramatic, but since Gangplank can clear waves really quickly once he gets an item or two, it strikes me as a buff to his snowball potential more than anything else.
- Rammus — Rammus had a lot of changes way back in 7.10 that changed a lot about how his kit works. The problematic and slightly over-tuned part was in his W and changing his resists from high flat to low flat + %total resists. Since the Armordillo always built tons of armor, this % change didn’t affect him as much in that respect compared to MR, which now increases alongside his armor; it left him too well-balanced against both types of damage. This change, which ups the scaling for armor but lowers it for MR, should bring him into a more balanced position as a tank against high-AD comps and less of a tank of all trades.
- Sejuani —A good chunk of her base stats are being nerfed, but they’re compensated by her passive being stronger later in the game. With the duration and cooldown being even across the board, this means she’ll have a more linear scaling and be unable to face-tank as long and as often as she does now. The E nerf is practically irrelevant, since the freeze damage is almost negligible compared to the shatter damage. Sejuani shouldn’t be pushed into the dumpster with these changes, but she’ll likely be a less contested pick.
- Udyr — Strictly buffed, both Tiger and Phoenix Udyr now scale better into the late game. That being said, gone are the days of Runic Echoes Phoenix Udyr as the go-to build, so the higher AP ratio on his R is fairly unsubstantial. With an additional 30 AD from his buffed base AD growth plus 180% total AD ratio on max rank Q, however, Tiger Udyr looks to be a more enticing pick (especially in soloQ).
- Urgot — The Dreadnought has new faster activation times and missile speeds coming, but the biggest buff is to his shotgun knees passive. Although the damage per leg is lower early, it scales back to normal, and the recharge time per leg has been significantly reduced; it’s going from 30 seconds at level 1 to 2.5 seconds at level 13. Compare this to the original scaling from 30 seconds at 1 to 10 seconds at 13. Good-micro Urgot players will be able to exploit these new cooldowns, but it’s easy to see how even the average Urgot player will have an easier time outputting damage once the game hits 35 minutes.
- Xin Zhao — No more poor purchases from the recommended items section, everyone wins.
- Ardent Censer — The definitively undisputed king of bot-lane items is getting the nerf bat again — and this time may be the last. Weaker scaling will knock Ardent Censer off it’s throne without gutting it forever. It is no longer a first-buy-or-ff item but is still a strong support item for your AD carry come late game.
- Frozen Heart — Easy, freezy, beautiful: Frozen Heart is returning to 100 armor. This won’t make it the primary armor item by any means, but if you ever find yourself in a soloQ game against a Kayle top, Master Yi Jungle, and Twitch ADC, you mighttt wanna consider it.
- Tear of the Goddess/Manamune — Tear now stacks a maximum of 3 times every 12 seconds instead of 2 times every 8, which makes it more enticing for less spell-spamming champions, opening up for more viability. With an increased window of time, way more champions can make use of Tear. Taking Orianna as an example, a quick Q > W > E combo will generate the max possible stacks. In 12 seconds, her cooldowns will be mostly up again, and she’ll continue to be able to stack efficiently. Cassiopeia is one of the best Tear users, but since her spells are so spammable, she doesn’t stack any faster than before. Coupled with the per-stack buff on Manamune (from +4 to +5 per proc), maybe even a certain explorer will wander away from the jungle and back into the bot-lane.
That’s it for me guys, thanks for reading the first edition of The PNR! After writing this whole thing out, the wall of text is certainly off-putting, so any suggestions are certainly welcome!
’Til next time.