Hihi! Welcome back to another patch review! Today I'll be covering the changes introduced in patch 11.3. This is technically the second path of set 4.5 as there was a B patch for 11.2 that hit about a week ago. That patch did cover quite a few balance changes to champions including Zed, Rakan and Aurelion Sol so 11.3 is relatively small because of that. There's not too much to go over today so let's just get to it. As usual if you'd like to follow along in the patch notes you can find them here!
1. Trait Changes
There's no system changes for this patch so we're getting right into it by talking about trait changes!
To start with we have an interesting functionality being added to Dragonsoul. When the blessing is passed after the unit dies the next ally to receive the buff will immediately trigger the Dragon Breath with their next auto-attack. For a quick refresher, the Dragon Breath will do 50% of the target’s maximum health in magic damage.
Dragonsoul likely needs a bit more than this to make it a better overall synergy but it is a nice quality of life change for it. Having the Dragon Breath effect trigger right away instead of having to wait for that champion to attack five times will increase the overall damage output when running Dragonsoul. It’s good, though probably not enough to really push this synergy to the forefront of the meta.
Next we have a small nerf to Spirit as the trait is performing a bit too well. Way back at the start of set four Spirit had an issue of bringing too much value to multiple compositions, most notably being Zed. Fast forward to set 4.5 with the rework to Spirit and guess what, it’s good with Zed. Of course it is a valuable trait for other builds but Zed is still one of the best.
As for the nerf, well, it’s small. The attack speed for four Spirit is going down to 35% from 40%. A 5% nerf isn’t too substantial so don’t overreact and say Spirit is a dead synergy because of it. But it will mean two Spirit is more valuable since fitting two Spirit into a composition is much easier than four and the increase in attack speed isn’t as much as it was previously. Hopefully they don’t go too hard on Spirit in future patches as it’s nice to see it being relevant in the meta after spending so long being relatively useless.
Up next we have changes to Slayer! First off let’s just make it clear that while six Slayer isn’t that popular, three Slayer is a common trait in the meta. There’s builds utilizing Olaf, Zed, Samira and even Tryndamere that lean into three Slayer. But the issue that they are addressing in 11.3 is that six Slayer is a bit underwhelming. Thus the values for three Slayers will be unchanged with the focus being on six.
The life steal for six Slayers will be going up to 30 through 60% from 25 through 50%. Keep in mind that the amount of lifesteal is based around the champions missing health so you can consider it an increase of 5% at high health and 10% at lower health. On the other hand the increased damage is based around the targets health so they are going a bit lighter on the buffs there. The damage is going from 30 through 75% to 35 through 80%.
Overall it’s still likely we’ll see far less six Slayer compositions compared to boards playing around just three. It’s easier to fit in three, especially with a Chosen champion, so you’re able to fit into a lot more champions and traits to bolster the Slayer units. Committing to six should be a worthwhile investment and at the moment six Slayer doesn’t seem to provide enough, even with the buffs. With all that said it may be worth exploring a six Slayer build, particularly if you can scale into the late game and find Samira. Maybe this will even help Tryndamere out in being a more consistent carry as he currently is struggling, at least compared to other carries in the meta.
And we’ve saved the biggest trait change for last as Divine is getting altered once again. It seems like Divine is unable to go more than a few patches without some type of sweeping change being introduced and it’s for a good reason. The synergy struggles a lot to be useful outside of specific situations because it required higher tiers of the trait to be useful. For the original set four it was usually just Warwick that Divine was relevant in and now in 4.5 it’s usually just Kayle.
Of course you may end up with Divine champions and the trait in other compositions but that’s mainly because the champions are useful. Jax and Lee Sin, for example, are used for Duelist while Irelia always has a potential place thanks to Adept. But none of those champions can carry which is why, for the most part, you’d only bother committing to Divine if you were using Warwick as a carry or now Kayle.
Back to the changes. First they are scrapping the buff duration being increased at higher tiers and instead leaving it at a flat six seconds. This is a big buff to two Divine but does make six and eight worse but seeing as it’s rare to go for either of those this is an overall good change.
Next is the damage reduction receiving a buff as it’s going from a flat 45% to 35/45/55/65%. Of course buff is relative as it’s weaker at the lower end but scales better later on. Lastly there’s the true damage change as it’s going from a flat 45% to also be 35/45/55/65%. The clear goal here is to try and keep the current status quo of four Divine the same while shifting the power of two Divine slightly and increasing the value of six to eight Divine.
Just from the numbers alone it’s probably not enough to make Divine any better or worse than it was previously. Sure committing to six or more is more damage reduction and true damage but you are losing out on three or more seconds for the duration. That’s a big trade off considering you want Kayle to do as much damage as possible with the true damage bonus so reducing that at higher tiers may hurt her more than help, even with the buff to true damage.
On the other hand where it doesn’t necessarily help Kayle it does buff Nasus slightly since buffing the reduced damage taken is good for him. And since we’re in a reroll meta where he’s already being used he may shoot up in value. All in all these Divine changes likely won’t change how Divine is used as committing to six or eight is usually not worth it outside niche situations.
2. Champion Changes
Alright let’s move into the next section, champion changes! There’s not many for 11.3 as the bulk of balancing that needed to be done happened with the B patch for 11.2. Overall they seem to be targeting underperforming champions with these balance changes beginning with Brand!
Brand is getting a nice quality of life change to his range as it’s getting bumped up to 890 from 660. Honestly for most ranged champions the default range should be at 890 as it helps a lot with targeting and pathing. Brand wasn’t exactly held back by his range but it’s undeniable that increasing it is going to be a good thing. Not a huge change but smaller tweaks are definitely preferable over drastic ones that could end up disrupting the meta heavily.
Elise is next and while she has had some moments in the spotlight she has, overall, been one of the weaker champions in the game. Her current problems stem from not providing enough value when transformed as her traits are far more impactful to your board than she is as a spider.
To address that they have added a mana-reaver effect to her spider form. Now her attacks, in spider form, will increase the cost of her targets next spell by 35/35/60%. Seeing as this is a pretty big utility buff to her they are compensating for it by lowering the health she gains from transforming to 25/30/45% from 35/40/45%.
It does feel like a one step forward two steps back for Elise as her primary role so far has been a frontline damage soaker. With less health in spider form she’s not going to be as good in that role anymore so hopefully the mana increasing effect is enough to offset those nerfs. Really though this isn’t likely to affect her viability in the meta as that’s more dependent upon Cultist’s than it is on Elise.
Tristana has had a few moments in the sun as there have been reroll compositions that use her as the main carry. But with Sharpshooters and Dragonsoul not performing that well in the meta it has been rare to see Tristana be all that useful. She’s basically a two star and forget it kind of champion during stage two that you’re going to sell off as soon as you can.
So naturally they buffed her! The attack speed of her ability is going up to 60/70/90% from 50/60/80%. It’s a decent buff, especially if you consider scaling with an item like Rageblade. Since rerolling is still popular in the meta it’s likely we’ll see a bit more Tristana 3s popping up in games, though her main issue does tend to be damage so attacking slightly faster may not be enough.
The last one cost getting a change is Diana! And really this isn’t so much a balance change as it is a quality of life change. Basically when Diana would increase in size from something like Titan’s Resolve, her orbs would often not hit nearby enemies. To fix this they’ve made it so her orbs will spawn further away from her during those increases so that the orbs will properly detonate on enemy champions. Again this is mostly a quality of life fix but can be seen as a bit of a buff since Titan’s Resolve is a common item for her.
The next and last champion receiving a change for patch 11.3 is Darius. Sadly, Darius has been underperforming as he doesn’t feel nearly as potent as he did back during his Space Pirate days of set three. Whether this is because his ultimate does less damage when recasted or his traits just don’t quite cut it we’re not sure but the easiest way they can fix his issue is a good old fashioned damage buff.
His abilities damage is going from 550/800/1300 to 550/850/1400. This really isn’t much of an increase, especially since you’re rarely ever going to see Darius 3. Hopefully it will help during stage two and three when you may want to run Fortune with Darius as the increased damage at tier two may swing a fight into your favor for that sweet, sweet Fortune pay out. But realistically these buffs won’t make much of a difference for Darius.
With champions done we only have one last section to cover which is items!
Surprisingly there is only one item being changed in 11.3 and that’s Shroud of Stillness. This is a surprise because it seems like the item diversity could use a bit of help in making a few items more universal. But that’s a much larger issue to tackle than they seem to want to do for 11.3 so instead we’re left with a minor buff to Shroud.
The mana cost increase is going up to 35% from 33%. This is super minor and as the patch notes state is meant to add consistency to the mana reaver system. Consistency is nice but don’t expect a 2% increase to make much of a difference.
Alright that's all for the patch review! As mentioned there wasn't a lot to cover as they went quite light on changes this patch, besides doing another mini-rework to Divine. While the meta does heavily favor rerolling, which means lots of three stars, there are at least a lot of playable compositions. That does mean any players that dislike reroll metas will likely not enjoy 11.3 but for everyone else that doesn't mind rerolling it should be an decent patch overall. I personally hope we see larger changes in the next patch to try and shake things up as rerolling isn't a lot of fun for me.
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