To begin with we’ve got system changes! As 10.17 is a smaller patch than usual, the only system changes we have this week to go over are about Galaxies.
Before we talk about the new Galaxy being added we need to mention that Galaxy being removed, Binary Star! Binary Star was not received well ever since it was originally added to the game so most players are going to be happy to see it gone in 10.17.
There have been a lot of ups and downs in terms of Galaxies with some being successful and others clearly not working well. A common theme for some of the less well received Galaxies is that they take away player choice in some capacity. Binary Star was one of the remaining Galaxies that did that so it’s good to see they’ve removed it. Next on the chopping block is likely Dwarf Planet as it is also disliked due to limiting player positioning.
Onto the new! The new Galaxy being added in 10.17 is Manatee’s Delight! This Galaxy makes it so each player receives a spatula component at the start of the game. In previous metas, more so set one and set two, having an early spatula like this would be disastrous. There were different metas where a spatula was all a player needed to make their way into one of the strongest builds. Thankfully set three hasn’t really had that issue.
Sure there’s been a few times that having a spatula made certain builds stronger like Demolitionist Kai’sa but overall the balance surrounding spatula items has been quite good. That said having everyone start with a spatula may make games a bit crazy. Some of the more common uses of a spatula will be Blademaster Zed in Slash Bros, Infiltrator Irelia for Cybernetics, turning a champion into a Rebel for six Rebels and turning various champions into a Protector.
Basically there’s a lot of viable ways to use the spatula which should make this Galaxy interesting to play. As mentioned the better Galaxies tend to give players more choices and starting with a spatula gives players a lot of potential choices. Overall it should be a fun Galaxy.
Let’s move on and talk about the only trait changes this week which is to Snipers!
There’s likely a case to be made for more balance changes to traits right now in the meta but they’ve chosen to only nudge Snipers slightly. The change is to their damage bonus per hex as it’s going down to 9/16% from 10/18%. It’s definitely not a big change but there’s a few things to talk about regarding it.
First, was it needed? Astro/Sniper is certainly a strong build but it has downsides to it that prevent it from being too dominant. And as far as the build goes it’s not strong due to the Sniper trait, more so the champions of Astro plus the damage of Jhin.
Outside of this build you don’t really see a lot of Sniper, especially four Sniper. The champions within the trait don’t even really need the extra damage the trait provides. Sure it’s nice having the bonus damage but Jhin does a crazy amount of damage without it, as does Teemo.
None of the Snipers are reliant on the trait itself so it’s odd it got nerfed. Again it is a small nerf so it doesn’t change much it’s just an interesting place to target nerfing Astro/Sniper if the worry is that build is too good right now.
Okay let’s move on and talk about champion changes! Most of the patch is focused on small tweaks to champions so let’s go over each of them and see what it may change for the meta in 10.17!
Up first for the one cost champions we have Jarvan! Jarvan is losing a bit of armor as it’s going down to 40 from 45. It’s small but enough to make him just a bit less of a tank.
His value as a front liner was never really about armor, it’s about the shields from Protector mixed with the health of Warmogs. Having less armor really doesn’t matter in regards to those two things so this nerf really won’t do much to Jarvan. With no changes to Warmogs or Protectors he’s still poised to be an incredibly strong early game front line if you’re able to two star him, have a Warmogs and one additional Protector.
The next one cost champion is Poppy! Her magic resist is going up to 35 from 30. It’s a nice change to try and keep Poppy relevant longer in the game as well as help her against early game Ziggs or Twisted Fates. But it is not a huge increase so while it is going to be helpful it’s overall not too impactful.
It does mean that if you’re playing a composition with Poppy later in the game like say, Star Guardian/Sorcerer and have Mystic then Poppy will overall be better against magic damage. This should make her a better front line for that build which is great, except it’s not really enough to prevent burst damage from killing her quickly nor does it help against physical damage. The change is nice but unlikely to affect her place in the game by any significant amount.
Moving along we’ve got a buff to Blitzcrank! Blitzcrank is going to now have 60 armor, up from 45. That’s a lot of armor, especially for a Brawler which relies more on health to tank than other forms of damage mitigation. It’s also nice to see some changes for Blitzcrank as he’s been relatively untouched throughout set three, only receiving minor changes here and there.
Ultimately though how much will increased armor matter for Blitzcrank? It will help him if he’s in the front line for sure, but oftentimes he’s kept in the back line so whichever champion he pulls is killed by the carry. We’ll have to see how this change plays out and whether or not players will start putting him in the front line more than previously.
Cassiopeia is next and she’s getting a decent buff to her three-star variation. The damage of her spell is going up to 3500 from 3000. Normally we’d sit here and say that three-star changes are overall not that relevant but for most three cost champions it’s fairly common to see them get three starred if they are a carry.
Cassiopeia is no exception to that as she’s the main carry for Vanguard/Mystic and is commonly three starred in that build. In fact one of the win conditions is three starring her so it’s an interesting choice for them to buff her. Overall this may just be targeted to get players gunning for Vanguard/Mystic more and to chase three star Cassiopeia when they do play that build.
To no one’s surprise we’re seeing a nerf to Master Yi in 10.17. The damage of his ability is going down to 70/95/145 from 75/100/150. Sure it’s not a big nerf but anything to lower his absurd damage is good. Slash Bros is definitely a volatile build so you’re not always going to see it win games but it has certainly been one of the stronger builds when you get everything you need for it.
This nerf should help lower the power that Master Yi gets when he’s initially two-starred as well as lower the ridiculous power spike he gets at tier three. Don’t worry though if you’re a fan of running this build as it’s not a large nerf so it will still be playable in 10.17.
Interestingly we have a nerf to Neeko. Her abilities damage at tier three is going down to 450 from 500. While it is only fifty damage it’s an interesting change as Neeko 3 isn’t exactly overpowered. Not to mention it’s rare to see her even get to tier three outside of Star Guardian/Protector.
Most likely this nerf is meant to address said build as she is one of the late game win conditions for it. Whether it was needed or not is up for debate but it probably is a bit unnecessary.
And the last three cost champion receiving a change is Shaco! His armor is going down to 20 from 25. Normally changes that are only by five in one direction or the other aren’t too impactful but only having 20 armor is going to be noticeable for Shaco.
Mainly due to the fact that when he jumps into the back line he gets targeted early so he’ll be taking extra damage with this armor nerf. Is it enough to make him unplayable? Probably not, at least against magic heavy compositions. Against physical damage carries like say Jhin or Vayne he may not do as well as he used to making him a weaker counter to those champions.
The only four cost champion getting changes this week is Riven! First up is her health will now be 850, up from 800. Next is her magic resist as it’s going from 20 to 30. And the last change is a small bug fix to her attack speed ratio. The first two changes are the relevant ones so let’s focus on those.
Giving Riven more health is great! Right now she’s been relegated to the side for most builds to provide her traits and hasn’t really taken the center stage for a few patches. With increased health and magic resistance we may see her back in the front line for Sorcerers, or at least a more relevant carry for other builds.
With that said one of her weaknesses is to champions like Jhin that can burst her or heavy CC. Neither of these changes will really help against that other than the fact she may live a bit longer than before. She’s definitely going to be better in compositions she’s played in but the jurys still out on whether Riven will return as a proper carry.
Of course we all expected a nerf to Gangplank. They had to, right? His late game damage was absurd in 10.16 so to address that they’ve lowered it from 550/700 to 525/675. As with most of today’s changes it’s not a huge change but they are really trying to find the sweet spot for Gangplank.
Considering he went from borderline unplayable to incredibly strong with just a buff of one hundred damage it’s definitely a good idea for them to nerf him by a small amount. If anything it may be worth doing a hotfix to lower his damage by another 25 if he still proves to be too strong in 10.17. But we’ll have to see how the initial change plays out, hopefully it brings his damage down enough so that he’s viable without feeling overpowered.
And the last champion receiving changes for 10.17 is Xerath! It’s great to see him get a bit of love as he’s been one of the weakest five cost champions for a few patches. To help him they’ve buffed his spell in two ways. First the damage is going up to 320/440 from 300/400. The second change is to the splash damage as it’s now 80/110 from 75/100.
Both of these changes should push Xerath back into the late game carry role. While he has been one of the weakest options he wasn’t unplayable especially when paired with Janna and had items like Rageblade. These buffs should help him be better in those situations as well as an overall viable option to play late game.
There’s one last section of changes to go over and that’s to items!
There’s only two items being changed this week with the first being Titan’s Resolve! The item’s max stacks are going down to 25 from 50. As there’s no other information in regards to this change it should mean that the item gets stacked much earlier and thus the champion wearing it gets the bonus armor and resistance faster than before.
It does come at a price as the increased armor and magic resistance is likely lower due to there being less stacks. As well as the bonus damage since it’s only going up to 25. This should make the item usable on more front line champions in general while weakening its strength on the Mech in Mech builds. It also may make the item unplayable as it was already niche and with it being worse on Mech it may disappear from the meta entirely.
And the second item getting changed is Hand of Justice! The healing is going down to 45% from 50%. It’s a great change as this item was definitely a little too strong after they changed it in 10.16. This should make it just a bit less potent while still maintaining its relevance in the meta.
Alright that's all for today! Again this patch is quite small so if you're expecting huge meta shifts it's likely not going to be until 10.18, assuming 10.18 is a larger patch. I'll be back next week with my articles exploring the meta of 10.17! Thanks for reading! <33
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