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Riot releases League of Legends Patch 12.4, focuses on Aatrox, Rumble, Xayah

Patch 12.4 of League of Legends, which is set to be released next week, will include substantial champion updates. Riot Games plans to buff roughly eighteen champions this time around, with a focus on some of Season 12’s more lackluster picks.

Riot Phlox, a designer on the project, tweeted out the list of champions slated for revisions, ignoring any items modified in Patch 12.3, including the slew of fighter gear. Fighter equipment may be getting a fix, but particular champions in that bucket haven’t gotten the push back into the spotlight that Riot would want, and will be getting boosted directly.

Aatrox, Sett, and Rumble are among the top laners who will see some appreciation from the developers in 12.4. Xayah, Kalista, Lucian, and Ashe’s names will also be added to the buff list, since these marksmen have struggled in the bot lane since the start of the new season.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Zeri will be subjected to more reworks, as Riot is considering to include her name in one more patch. She still appears a little out of tune, and perhaps the next round of nerfs will help stabilize her out even more.

Buffs, nerfs to look out for

The extent of the buffs should be known soon, but while Aatrox has seen some play, Sett has dropped far from his days as a four-lane flex pick on release. Illaoi has usually been limited to the solo queue, but even there, her victory percentage in Patch 12.3 in Platinum+ play was the fifth-worst of any top laner, at 48.31 percent, according to Lolalytics.

Magic damage junglers haven’t reached the heights they did in last year’s Mid-Season Invitational, but updates to Rumble and Amumu may help. Despite minor boosts to champions like Lillia earlier in the year, the meta in professional play has seen nearly solely physical damage junglers.

The biggest issue in managing AP-heavy, spellcasting-focused junglers like Morgana and Lillia is keeping clear speed fair, especially early on. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Rumble’s abilities have the “deals increased damage to minions and monsters” level removed to put him back into spotlight, but other adjustments might see him return to solo lanes.

Regarding picks that were more common in early 2021, marksmen with a stronger early game focus have been notably missing from pro games, therefore Riot is swinging the pendulum back in that direction with this patch.

Ashe and Kalista will be favored, as will Lucian (whose favorite lane companion, Nami, will also be favored due to a nerf reversion) and Xayah. Because Xayah’s late-game potency is legendary, Riot has been very careful not to overbuff her.

Having said that, with the exception of one hotfix in Patch 11.22, Xayah has appeared in the patch notes 10 times in a row, each time receiving a bonus. Patch 9.22 was the last time she was nerfed. For context, Senna’s release patch was in November of 2019. In the future patch, Neeko will also receive a buff of some type.

Patch 12.4 is set to be released on Wednesday, February 16.