Riot Phreak announces support changes in upcoming patch 13.3
In a YouTube video posted on January 29, game designer David Turley, known in the community as Riot Phreak, previewed a new batch of support changes in League of Legends patch 13.3. These changes will significantly shift the meta again in the season.
The retired North American shout caster detailed the concerns regarding the stagnant bot lane meta. Despite recent changes and adjustments, professional players still lean more toward ranged supports.
The game designer explained that his current goal is to establish a “healthy pro play meta.” The upcoming changes are targeted towards evening the playing field between melee and ranged supports, aiming for a 50/50 or even 70/30 split in the melee angle.
Some notable changes previewed in Phreak’s video are lowered mana costs, cooldowns on engager/tank supports and significant modifications to Radiant Virtue.
Engager/tank champions such as Braum, Nautilus, Pantheon, Pyke, Rakan and Thresh will see significant buffs and minor nerf adjustments to their kits.
A stale meta
League of Legends’ current professional meta has been dominated by enchanters and ranged supports in the bot lane. Enchanters have gained favor for being able to buff hyper carries and support teammates better than other classes, such as the out-of-touch engager class.
Professional players have a limited and stale set of meta-support options, comprising champions like Nami, Ashe, Heimerdinger and Lux.
Riot Games announced different adjustments to counter this meta in 13.2, but it was not enough to balance the professional play meta. Phreak noted how he was not entirely confident that patch 13.3 would be able to maintain the game’s health, but he is hopeful.
Phreak acknowledged that the previous set of nerfs and adjustments managed to lower the pre-13.2 Yuumi and Nami meta, though they are still highly favored in the community. However, champions like Ashe, Lulu and Lux came out relatively untouched, maintaining the professional play’s enchanter meta.
“What I don’t want is 70/30 enchanters. I think that is a boring viewing experience, from what I’ve heard from the players themselves, it’s not great fun down there either,” Phreak said.
“The current pick and ban metagame is just do whatever you can to get early wave pressure. And no one does that better than enchanters.”
While patch 13.3 has yet to see professional players testing it and, thus, may not achieve the game designers’ goals of a healthier meta, Phreak remains optimistic about the engager/tank buffs helping the game’s balance in the future.
Notable buffs and nerfs
Phreak also provided detailed provisional notes for changes in the upcoming patch. However, these buffs and nerfs may be revised in the public beta environment (PBE).
Alistar, a tank with significant passive healing, has the mechanism of his Triumphant Roar changed from level-based to maximum health percentage-based.
Braum, a support, saw more achievable leveling on his passives and a lower cooldown on his Q.
Nautilus, a shielding tank, received a significant buff in passive damage and increased shield strength on his Q.
Pantheon, Pyke, Rakan and Thresh all saw higher ceiling adjustments to their damage. All of the above champions also saw lowered cooldowns and mana costs to maintain their strength on the rift.