Hello and welcome to another TFT patch review! Patch 11.5 is relatively small, at least in the number of changes and especially compared to how large 11.4 was. But there are a few important adjustments to be aware, which go over shortly. Overall though the general feel for this patch is to help smooth out the chaos that 11.4 caused, so don't expect the meta to get shaken up too much. If you'd like to follow along with the patch notes you can find them linked here! Let's go ahead and get started beginning with system changes.
1. System Changes
First off it’s worth noting the change they are bringing to the debuff system. There’s always been a slight issue in TFT where knowing whether certain things stack or not, specifically when it comes to debuffs. To address that they are making it clear that any debuff of the same type will no longer stack together.
What this means is when two debuffs interact with one another, like say armor shredding, it will prioritize the strongest debuff as long as it’s active. This is a nice and intuitive change for players to understand moving forward. That said it wasn’t that common of an occurrence where debuff stacking was even happening so this change won’t impact the current balance by much. Overall it’s just a good change to the debuff system as a whole, especially for future sets.
After the Chosen drop rate changes last patch we’ve seen a bit of a return to going all-in on seven in hopes of high-rolling a four cost Chosen. The balance team has recognized this is an issue so to roll back the frequency of that happening they are lowering the level seven roll odds for a four cost Chosen down to 2% from 5%. That extra 3% will instead go towards three costs which moves it up to 58% from 55%.
While this is a nice adjustment it still doesn’t fully address high-rolling a four cost Chosen at seven. But the balance team has made it clear they like the possibility of players having those high-roll moments so it’s unlikely we’ll get any drastic changes in the future.
2. Trait Changes
Let’s move on now to trait changes! There’s not many this week since 11.4 had a lot of nerfs and buffs.
Up first we have Keeper receiving a nerf to the amount of shields they get for the six piece trait. It’s going from 275 down to 250. It’s only an adjustment of 25 so it’s unlikely to matter too much but still, a nerf is a nerf.
This nerf is in response to the six Keeper composition that popped up near the end of 11.4. That composition used six Keeper with Kennen and Xayah being the item holders. It was a slightly above average build so targeting it with a nerf does feel a bit odd, but again it’s only by 25 so it won’t cause too many issues for it.
And the only other trait receiving any changes for patch 11.5 is Vanguard! The first nerf is to the armor that eight Vanguard receive as it’s going from 1000 to 800. It’s a rather significant drop but in reality it’s not going to affect the meta at all. Practically no one ever plays eight Vanguard, even in a Vanguard/Mystic composition. All this change really does is discourage players from exploring the option of hitting eight Vanguard.
The other nerf to Vanguard is to the magic resistance they gain. These are much more impactful as the magic resistance is going from 20/40/70/100 to 10/25/50/80. It’s not too surprising that they want to lower how strong Vanguards are as frontline champions since they, at least in the current meta, outperform both Brawler and Elderwoods.
The reason that Vanguard is so much better is having a flat increase to both armor and magic resistance makes Vanguard champions much harder to kill in the frontline. Brawlers only gain health which doesn’t scale well into the late game and Elderwoods need time to ramp up in a fight. Thus we’re in a meta where most players are trying to fit in a few Vanguards as their frontline with Sejuani and Aatrox being the most contested.
By nerfing the magic resistance it should make Vanguard units easier to counter which in turn lessens the need for items like Last Whisper. These are subtle nudges to the meta that will have a lasting impact, though ultimately due to the amount of crowd control Sejuani, Aatrox and Ornn have they are likely to remain heavily contested.
3. Champion Changes
Well that’s all for traits, let’s move on now to the champion changes!
Starting off the champion changes we have buffs to Diana! It seems like Diana is difficult to find the perfect balance for as she is constantly being adjusted each patch. They nerfed her by quite a lot in 11.4, especially to how viable she was as a three star unit. It seems they are pulling back on those nerfs slightly as her abilities shield amount is being increased to 200/300/450 from 175/250/350.
As this is only directed towards the shield she receives it’s not going to be enough to push her back into the spotlight like she was in previous metas. But it will help her survive longer in a fight which does boost her early game. And if any players really want to three star her then having an extra 100 in shields is quite good, but without any alterations to her damage she won’t feel anywhere near as strong as she did in the past.
Next we have another champion that was heavily nerfed in 11.4, Nasus! Keep in mind that Nasus also received a minor buff in the B patch for 11.4 that lowered his total mana from 80 to 70. Along with the change they are buffing his damage at tier three to 850 from 750. When you take both of these buffs into account it does look like Nasus may be worth pursuing again as a three star reroll carry.
The reason for that is, well, the damage nerf was essentially reversed from 11.4 and his mana is only 10 higher than it originally was. So if you see any players rerolling Nasus, expect it to feel somewhat similar to how Nasus was prior to 11.3.
And now we move to another one cost champion that was nerfed, got buffed in the B patch and will be buffed again in 11.5, Nidalee! Nidalee received a buff to her abilities damage in the B patch as it went from 100/150/250 to 100/175/300. It did feel like a necessary buff because Nidalee was, well, quite bad after the heavy nerfs she received originally. With those damage buffs in mind they also lowered her total mana to 60 from 70. Looking at both of those changes you may wonder, is Nidalee back as a three star carry?! Well, likely not.
This is because she still lost a fairly significant chunk of damage to her spear. Even though the spear gains more damage the further it travels, having the base damage essentially cut in half makes it much weaker overall. Plus Warlord was nerfed as well, meaning she won’t gain as many stats.
That said, we're not suggesting Nidalee 3 as a carry isn’t viable as these are decent enough buffs that some players will try to reroll for her. What these buffs mean for the majority of players is that Nidalee is back to being useful as a two star champion for stage two and may be worth keeping around for parts of stage three.
The last one cost champion is Yasuo as he is also receiving a slight buff after getting nerfed heavily in 11.4. The attack damage ratio for his ability is going to 190/200/210% from 180/175/190%. Interestingly this puts him almost back to the same stats he had before the nerfs and he’s actually better at level one. More than likely this means Yasuo is back to being a powerhouse Chosen for stage two and Duelist should be more viable if you high-roll a bunch of early Yasuo’s and hit Yasuo 3 during stage three.
Onto the two cost changes beginning with Janna! Oddly enough they are nerfing Janna as her shielding is going down to 250/275/350 from 250/300/400. This is a strange nerf as Janna, while strong early on in the game, is not oppressive to play against. Sure an early Janna 2 can result in win-streaking but so can a lot of early two star two cost champions. Overall, Janna will still be good early game like she has been but it feels like an unnecessary nerf.
The other two cost receiving adjustments is Lulu as her mana is going from 80/150 to 75/140. The ratio of how much mana it takes for her to get the first cast off remains roughly the same but the second cast will now happen slightly quicker. This is a good way to buff Lulu since the rate at which she casts her first ability feels like it’s in a healthy spot, so helping the second cast get off just a bit easier is good without making Lulu too strong.
Since we’re touching on Elderwood Mages, let’s talk about Veigar! Veigar is having his damage increased to 500/650/1000 from 450/600/900. Honestly this is a scary change as Veigar 3 isn’t terrible in the current meta, though it is much harder to make him work as a carry compared to Aurelion Sol. The buff may end up being too much and may need a small adjustment later, but for now keep an eye out for players trying to hit Veigar 3.
Akali is receiving a buff to her abilities damage as it’s going up to 200/275/450 from 175/250/400. While this is a nice little bump up in damage for Akali, it didn’t really feel all that necessary as she was already doing well as a mid game carry. Sure her scaling wasn’t the greatest, so this buff does help with that, but Akali didn’t seem to be underperforming in the meta.
One thing to keep an eye out for is the return of a four Ninja composition as Kennen received decent buffs last patch and now Akali is being buffed this patch. It may not be enough for that composition to return into the meta but it’s certainly a possibility.
The last three cost changes are to Sivir who is losing some bonus attack damage on her ability. The damage is going down to 100/200/350 from 100/200/400. This is a small nerf to lower how good Sivir 3 is since we’ve seen her doing well at the end of 11.4. Really it likely wasn’t that necessary because Sivir wasn’t unbeatable but it’s not too harsh of a nerf so she will remain a viable option if pursued.
The only major change to four costs is to Sejuani as her stun duration is going from 2.5/3/6 to 2/2.5/8seconds. Ignore the three star change as the only relevant nerfs here is a drop of 0.5 seconds at tiers one and two. This is a necessary nerf as Sejuani is clearly the best Vanguard, though it’s only by 0.5 seconds so expect her to remain a top choice.
Samira seems to rely a bit too much on Deathblade so they are altering how her ability functions. It will now start with 15/25/40 damage while the scaling is going down to 30/40/60 from 50/60/80% to compensate that starting damage buff. Basically what this does is open up a few more item choices when using Samira instead of having her rely so much on Deathblade. Overall it’s likely to be a good change though we may need to see further adjustments.
And the last champion being changed is Yone as his mana cost for Unforgotten is going from 20 to 10. Yone has continually been buffed patch after patch so really at this point he should be one of the stronger five cost champions in the late game.
4. Item Changes
Let’s move to the item changes for patch 11.5!
Up first we have a small nerf to Deathblade as the starting stacks are going from four to three. No one should be surprised by this as starting with forty damage was a lot, so reducing it down to thirty is a necessary nerf. After this change, along with what was done in 11.4, Deathblade should be in a balanced spot.
Statikk Shiv is underperforming, to no one’s surprise. To help with that they are buffing the damage from 60 to 65 which is unlikely to make much of a difference. At this point they really should just scrap Shiv entirely and design a new item to replace it in set five.
And the last item change is to Trap Claw as the stun now happens significantly faster. This, along with the increased cast time on the second cast for Aurelion Sol, means Trap Claw is now a proper counter to Aurelion Sol. These changes are a bit niche but it is nice having additional options for playing against Aurelion.
5. Conclusion & Bug Fixes
Alright that's it for all of the balance changes. There are a few interesting bug fixes but the most important one has to do with Tryndamere.
Basically there were instances where Tryndamere was getting extra damage either from his ability or when using Runaan's Hurricane. With this bug fixed it may lower the amount of damage he can put out. How much of an impact these bugs had on his gameplay we'll have to wait and see but it's safe to say, for the most part, Tryndamere will still be viable and one of the top four costs in the game. But it's worth keeping in mind bug fixes like this incase it does end up altering the viability of the champion the bugs affect.
Thank you for reading and if you're looking for more TFT content you can find it over on the GiantSlayerTFT YouTube here and twitter here! If you'd like you can follow me on twitter here!
And as always I recommend checking out https://lolchess.gg/ as it's a great resource for TFT!