Hello and welcome to another patch review, this time on the most recent patch 11.6! There's not a ton of changes to talk about because we're nearing the end of set 4.5 which means lots of important tournaments are coming up. Plus at the end of the set it's not really the time for huge changes, so expect the next few patches to be somewhat similar to this one where they address certain outliers in the meta but don't really rock the balance boat too much.
Overall though the meta is in a healthy place so there aren't too many necessary adjustments. Let's go ahead and get started! As usual if you'd like to follow along in the patch notes you can find them here!
As there are no system or trait changes this patch we can jump straight away into the champion changes!
Starting off the champion changes we once again have adjustments to Diana! It seems like Diana is unable to escape being changed in some way every patch. This time it’s a small bump to her attack speed as it’s going from 0.65 up to 0.7. It’s a minor change that really won’t have too much impact on the game. Mainly it’s worth keeping in mind that when attack speed goes up or down it affects the scaling that unit receives from attack speed buffs.
As a Spirit champion it’s likely Diana will have that trait buff applied to her which means the small increase to her attack speed is slightly more relevant than on most other units. Of course it’s still barely going to make a difference but is worth considering, specifically for the early game.
Next we’ve got a decent buff to Garen when you three star him as his abilities damage is going up to 1250 from 1125. While Garen isn’t exactly the type of champion you often see three starred, this buff at least makes it more worthwhile to pursue in the rare cases the opportunity to do so presents itself.
With Katarina also receiving a buff, which we’ll cover soon, this could mean we see a higher emphasis on rerolling for Warlords in the mid game. Garen 3 in this case likely could stem from picking him up early as a Chosen. Overall though don’t expect this buff to come into play too often in games.
Likely to no one’s surprise we have a fairly harsh nerf to Tristana as her abilities attack speed buff is going from 60/70/90% to 60/65/70%. The two star nerf won’t matter much but the three star nerf is quite significant. This may not completely kill off Tristana 3 builds but it does make it far weaker than it was in 11.5.
If you do end up playing Tristana 3 it’s going to be from a high-roll early game where you basically hit it naturally. Playing to slow roll for her probably won’t be worth it as the power spike of hitting a three star Tristana is much shorter after the nerf. And with this nerf, the meta basically has no reliable one cost three star compositions that can be forced. There’s still some options like a Brand 3 and Yasuo for Duelist but neither of those are really forceable, same with Tristana.
Let’s move into the two cost champions starting with Lulu! Lulu will no longer target the same unit twice with her ability when she double casts with the Mage trait. For the most part this isn’t going to matter much but it does hurt her early game somewhat significantly. Playing for overtime isn’t exactly a strategy anyone plans for but when running Lulu it happened relatively often and if you won that round it was because of her ability.
Now that’s no longer possible, meaning Lulu does lose a little bit of value early game. But this is pretty minor over all, just be aware she won’t be winning you any overtime rounds in 11.6 by herself.
Nautilus is next with a small increase to his starting mana as it’s going from 75 to 85. Basically he’ll cast slightly earlier than before, which is definitely a buff but shouldn’t make too much of a difference in games. Since he’s a Vanguard, and Fabled, he’s generally only played in that composition and since it’s defensive focused he almost always gets the ability off without dying. So this buff really changes nothing, though a buff is a buff.
Zed is having his ability adjusted to be 30% AD steal at every tier. Previously it was 20/25/30% so overall this means at level one and two he’ll be stronger. Honestly, despite how scary Zed has been in the past, it is a much needed little boost to him in early levels as he should be a viable two cost carry before swapping him out later on.
With this buff it should make him more worthwhile to toss in when you can to hold onto items and then sell him off later when you hit a better three or four cost carry champion. That said it’s not like Slayers have been struggling during any part of the game so buffing Zed, a Slayer, feels a bit weird.
And the last two cost champion receiving adjustments is Vi! First off her armor shred is being adjusted to match their new tiers for shred debuffs. That just means standardizing debuffs so that they are consistent across all abilities which helps with player clarity. The armor shred is going from 40/60/80% to 40/50/70%.
To compensate for this they are buffing the damage her ability does to 250/425/850 from 250/400/800. Overall these are small adjustments so don’t expect Vi to make too many waves in the meta. The only thing to really consider here is that Garen and Vi 3 both received buffs so an early slow roll Warlord composition may become viable.
Onto the three cost champions beginning with Irelia! Irelia is receiving an odd buff as they are increasing the damage her ability does at tier three to 700 from 550. This is a decent damage increase but Irelia 3 isn’t really lacking because of her damage. The issue stems more from the lack of having any composition that wants to three star her since Enlightened compositions need to hit late game for Talon and Morgana. And if you’re using her just for Adept, since that’s a splash trait you’re unlikely to be rolling for a three star Irelia.
That all said, since she is receiving a buff it may cause players to try and three star her which in turn may open up unexplored late game options with Irelia in mind. Ultimately though it’s unlikely to have much of an impact on the meta.
Next is a buff to Katarina as her abilities damage is going up to 650/1000 from 600/900. Her three star damage is untouched so this just serves to boost her early game potential. On one hand this is a good change as Katarina 1 can be lackluster but Katarina 2 wasn’t exactly doing poorly in the meta. Hitting six Warlords with Katarina 2 in the mid game is a strong board so it feels odd to buff that more.
With buffs to Garen, Vi and Katarina it does look like Warlords have a lot of potential to climb up in the meta. Of course to really benefit from those buffs you will need three star Garen and Vi, which may be a bit unrealistic. In any case, Katarina 2 receiving a buff just solidifies her even more as a top tier mid game three cost carry.
There’s some spicy four cost changes beginning with Cho’Gath buffs. They are making him much harder to kill as his defensive stats are being increased. First is his armor which is going from 60 to 70 and second his magic resistance which is up to 60 from 40. These are fairly significant stat increases which helps Cho’Gath in the builds he’s already used in.
It’s not really enough to warrant tossing him in as a frontliner like you would Sejuani or Aatrox, but if you do he’ll at least be harder to kill. And as mentioned he definitely will do better in the existing compositions he's played in, those being Fabled and 8 Brawlers. It will be interesting to see how impactful the stat buffs help him in those builds.
One rather specific, and by that we mean niche, way to make use of the increased stats is by turning him into a Vanguard, assuming you manage to procure a Spatula. With his baseline stats and the increased ones from Vanguard he could be ridiculously hard to kill, at least in a Vanguard/Mystic/Fabled build.
Olaf gets smacked by the nerf bat and by smacked we mean a light tap as his attack damage is going from 90 to 85. Stats being altered by five is almost a meme at this point for TFT balancing as it either makes no difference or ends up mattering a lot. In this case it will definitely hurt his damage output by a small amount but ultimately Olaf should be just fine.
The last major champion change is to Talon as he’s receiving two buffs. First is a buff of five damage which brings his attack damage up to 95. Second is to his abilities base damage which is going up to 100/150/400 from 85/135/400.
While the five stat adjustment wasn’t too big of a deal for Olaf, on Talon it matters significantly more. Especially with the secondary buff he’s receiving as combining both of those together makes Talon much scarier to play against. In addition to that you have to take into account that Talon is always going to be run with Assassin, so even a small buff of five attack damage can swing his damage output significantly.
Talon was on the fringe of the meta in 11.5 so these buffs will most likely lead to him being played more. That said there weren't many changes to the pre-existing meta from 11.5 so the issues Talon had then will still be present in 11.6. But if you can two star him quickly with good items Talon should be able to carry you consistently into the top four.
And the last champion being adjusted for patch 11.6 is Yone! Honestly it’s almost not worth mentioning but they are simply lowering his armor and magic resistance shred at tier three to be consistent with the other shred debuffs. Sure it’s a nerf, as it’s going from 80% to 70%, but three starring a five cost is rarely, if ever, going to come up in anyone's games.
With that we’re done talking about champions and can move on to item changes!
First up is a rather harsh, though deserved, nerf to Eternal Winter. This Ornn artifact has been the best artifact by far ever since Ornn was introduced. It’s been nerfed previously but even then it was still too good so they’ve lowered the attack speed slow down to 35% from 50%.
While this is a rather significant decrease, keep in mind the attack speed slow affects any champion that attacks the unit holding Eternal Winter. And it still has the secondary effect of freezing units after a certain number of attacks. So sure, it seems like a big nerf but it’s still going to be one of the best artifacts.
Last Whisper has been a popular meta item in the most recent patches so naturally that means it’s time for a nerf. They are lowering the armor shred down to 70% and along with that the duration is increased from three to five seconds.
Even though the second part is technically a buff in actuality it doesn’t really make a difference. If the debuff is active for three seconds it’s more than likely that it will be reapplied, so having two extra seconds for that to happen is irrelevant. Putting that aside it means Last Whisper is just receiving a nerf, though not by too significant of an amount so expect to see this item still doing well in the upcoming meta.
Honestly it always hurts to see early game items like Locket get nerfed because the point of early game items is to reward players that play for those early advantages. Of course the nerf isn’t too harsh since it mainly affects the scaling with the shields going from 300/375/500 to 300/350/450. Locket will be just fine but it is worth noting that nerfing early game items is not the healthiest approach to item balance.
And the last item change for patch 11.6 is to Sunfire Cape!
Sunfire is no longer unique which means you’ll be able to have more than one of it on a champion. Each Sunfire Cape will search for its own target to use the burn on. On one hand this is neat, because it does have some weird niche scenarios where you actually ended up with two Sunfire Capes and wanted the stats on one specific unit. But on the other hand it kinda doesn’t matter since you never want two Sunfire Capes anyway. Still, having the option to stack it onto one unit is nice so no complaints here.
Alright we’re at the end of the balance changes and before we’re done there’s a few bug fixes to talk about.
First are two fixes to ole Darius. One will help Darius still do damage with his ability if a target dashes away from him and the other makes the unstoppable portion of his ability remain, well, unstoppable. Darius has been a pretty big let down since he was added in 4.5, partially because he just hasn't found a solid place in the meta but also the amount of issues his ability has had. Finally we're reaching a point where the bugs should no longer hinder him so that, hopefully, he can be useful during the mid game.
Up next they've fixed the bug where Kennen’s ability would, occasionally, stop casting when hit by another Kennen’s ability. Basically it meant that playing the Keeper composition when someone else was contesting it made the fight against them a bit RNG. It wasn’t improbable that you would find your Kennen having his ultimate interrupted by this bug which would often mean losing the round. This would also happen earlier in the game where multiple players were running Kennen.
With it being fixed it’s now safe to play Kennen, even if others are contesting him so hurray!
That’s all for the 11.6 patch review! All in all there's some good changes here, like the Tristana nerf, and some confusing ones like the Katarina buff. But nothing stands out as being egregiously unnecessary so the meta should keep on as it has been with a good amount of diversity. On a personal note I was hoping for Slayers to be touched on a bit more than just a small Olaf nerf but oh well. At least the builds using Slayer carries are flexible.
Thank you for reading and if you're looking for more TFT content you can find it over on the GiantSlayerTFT YouTube here as well as additional content posted to the twitter here! If you'd like to follow me you can find me on twitter here!
As always I highly recommend checking out https://lolchess.gg/ as it's a great resource for TFT, especially for new patches as they update stats quickly.