Hello and welcome to another TFT patch review this time for patch 11.7! Honestly this is a rather small patch overall so there's not a whole lot to cover. We're nearing the end of set four so having a stable meta is definitely their goal. That said it has been mentioned that 11.8 may be a bit more wild than this patch. That said we still have some things to talk about so let's get to it!
As always if you'd like to follow along in the patch notes you can find them here!
1. System Changes
As this is a light patch overall there’s not too many changes to cover. Before we get into the meat and potatoes of the patch, the champion adjustments, let’s first talk about a system change they are doing to ranked!
Whether you’re high elo, low or somewhere in-between you may have noticed that LP gains and losses have felt slightly off. Basically the amount you gained or lost after a match has felt too inconsistent so they are adjusting that to be more consistent. It’s not a huge change that the majority of players likely didn’t even care too much about. In high ELO games it has become a bit of an issue so it’s great that they are fixing it now while there’s a bit of downtime until set five.
That downtime is worth highlighting because they can do adjustments like this to the MMR system, or any system unrelated to actual gameplay. Since set five is less than a month out, giving time for players to test out changes like this is great. We may not see huge changes until set five comes out on the PBE but minor adjustments are certainly worth it.
2. Trait Changes
With that we can move on to the trait changes which is to only one trait this patch, Vanguards!
The adjustments they are making to Vanguards isn't all that relevant in the meta as it’s only to the last tier. The armor is going up to 1000 from 800 which is essentially just them reverting the nerf they did back in patch 11.5. Flip flopping on how much armor a champion gains for eight Vanguard doesn’t seem like the best way to target buffing or nerfing the trait since it’s rarely ever used.
But it’s worth pointing out that there is a niche example of this change mattering. As Neeko was buffed during the B patch for 11.6 it has helped Vanguard/Mystic/Fabled do slightly better in the meta. While it’s incredibly rare anyone would end up with eight Vanguards in that composition but if it does happen, having 200 more armor is certainly valuable. At the end of the day this buff isn’t going to make much of a difference and wasn’t all that necessary.
3. Champion Changes
As that was the only trait being altered we can move on to the bulk of the changes, champion changes!
Up first we have a buff to Nidalee as her javelin toss damage is going up to 350 from 300 at tier three. It’s an interesting buff because they nerfed Nidalee a whole bunch back in patch 11.4 and have since slowly rebuffed her several times, specifically her three star damage. As the initial nerfs were meant to dissuade Nidalee 3 being played all the time it’s odd to see them flip back on those changes by buffing her.
With these buffs, and the several buffs since 11.4, is Nidalee back to being a three star nightmare? Most likely not, though you’re not going to feel awful if you do three star Nidalee now. In the very least it does open up the door to three starring her, either to be played with Warlords or another type of Spirit/Sharpshooter composition we’ve already seen played a bunch.
Nidalee was the only one cost being adjusted so let’s move on to the only two cost unit for this patch, Vladimir!
We did say this patch focused heavily on three star buffs and that statement remains true as Vladimir is having his abilities damage increase to 1000 from 900 at tier three. Honestly, Vladimir is a bit underrated in the meta as he was already quite strong before this buff. The main issue is finding the right composition to warrant three starring him.
Cultist has been the most common where you roll at seven or eight for upgrades like Sivir 3 and Vladimir 3 but there’s a possibility we see him rolled for in other compositions. Nasus has made a small comeback so rolling for both him and Vladimir may be viable, as well as towards the late game for anyone running a four Syphoner composition. But at the end of the day even if Vladimir is strong at tier three he’s not generally worth the gold investment so keeping him as a support two star unit is enough.
Onto three cost champions! Up first is a buff to Darius. Last patch Darius got a few bug fixes to help his ultimate be more consistent. Following up on that they’ve also lowered the fall off damage his ultimate does by adding scaling per star level. It’s going from a flat 25% damage falloff to now be 25/20/10%. Basically what this means is when he kills a unit with his ability and gets a reset he’ll have higher damage output on the subsequent reset kills compared to previous patches.
This is a great change for Darius who has been quite lackluster since he was added. He just never quite lived up to his former glory in set three. That said he’s an alright stage three carry if you two star him with items, so buffing him will help make him feel more consistent. It’s unlikely you’ll see many players rerolling for Darius 3 but in the rare cases that someone does he will be slightly scarier to play against than before.
Irelia is back with another buff to her three star ability as the disarm duration is going up to 5 seconds from 4. This, combined with the buff last patch to her three star damage, does make Irelia 3 a bit more appealing. But the issue still exists of where and when would you ever invest that much gold into rolling for an Irelia 3.
Yes Adept is doing better in the meta but that’s mainly because of Yone and Shen. Divine is primarily only used in Kayle compositions and Enlightened boards don’t really care about having more than just Talon and Morgana. Perhaps we’ll see more players rolling for Irelia 3 in the builds she’s used in but overall there’s still never a time where you want to invest that much gold into Irelia.
Interestingly they are buffing Yuumi at tier three as her healing is going from 75% of the target's missing health to 90%. This is a substantial increase but doesn’t feel like it is all that necessary as Yuumi 3 was quite strong to begin with. And, unlike Irelia, we actually see several instances where investing into Yuumi 3 is worthwhile. Spirit/Sharpshooter, for example, is a build where finding Yuumi 3 is doable. Or even better, Vanguard/Mystic where you’re already rolling for another three cost with Neeko.
With that all said it’s not like this buff is taking it too far for Yuumi. She’s still not all that relevant to most compositions late game as she’s usually replaced by other Mystics. But in the builds she is played in this is just a nice overall buff that will at least open the option of rolling for Yuumi 3.
Now for a bunch of three star four cost unit changes. Keep in mind that with any of these the chances of seeing them consistently is rare. It’s just not that reliable for players to always hit a three star four cost, so take all of these buffs with a grain of salt that while they may be a sizable increase, the chances of these buffs ever coming into play are rare.
First up is Aatrox with a damage buff to his tier three ultimate. The damage is going up to 2500 from 2000. It’s a big buff but again, you won’t see it come into play very often. Even less so for Aatrox as most players would never invest gold into rolling for Aatrox 3.
Cho’Gath is up next with his abilities damage going up to 2000 from 1500. Once again the relevancy of this buff is questionable but at least there’s some cases where it may be worth investing in. For example with Vanguard/Mystic while rolling for Neeko there’s a small chance you could hit Cho’Gath 3 and in doing so likely insure a win. Or with eight Brawlers it’s possible to hit Cho’gath 3 when rolling for Shyvana. Still unlikely but at least this buff has a chance of mattering.
Talon is the only four cost receiving an actual change as his abilities bonus damage is going up to 100/200/600 from 100/150/400. The three star buff is quite significant and there’s a chance that a player rolling for Talon 3 is much higher than a unit like Aatrox or Cho’Gath. But oftentimes hitting a Talon 3 is already a recipe for finishing in first so the buff won’t change that by much.
The two star buff, on the other hand, does matter far more as Talon was also buffed last patch. Combining those adjustments with this one leaves us with Talon sitting in a decent spot. Keep an eye out for Talon rising up in the 11.7 meta.
Shen gets an alright buff as the mana lock duration on his mana gain goes from 8 seconds to 4 at tier three. All this means is Shen will get a second cast off at the same time he would at tier one or two. It doesn’t change much but a buff is a buff.
Next up is a significant buff to the damage tier three Sejuani does as her ability is going from 800 damage to 1600. Again we have to be a broken record and say that this isn’t likely to come up in the majority of games. But with this much of an increase we may actually see Sejuani 3 be a somewhat viable option in the late game.
Viable may be a bit of a stretch but it’s not uncommon for players to hoard Sejuani’s on their bench to deny other players two starring Sejuani. This has a chance, a small chance, of leading towards Sejuani 3. The opposite side to that coin is that since Sejuani is one of the most contested frontline champions the chances of three starring her are pretty low. Still, with the damage doubled and it being AoE there’s a possibility we see Sejuani 3 be relevant in the late game meta.
And the last champion change for patch 11.7 is to Xayah! The return damage on her ability is going up to 600 from 400 at tier three. Much like Talon this buff is actually somewhat relevant to the meta as carries are the most common to see three starred. A lot of the current four cost carries don’t have compositions that are focused on rerolling but Xayah does.
In a Keeper composition it’s common to roll for Kennen 3. This also leads to players attempting to hit Xayah 3, which has a higher frequency of happening than most other four cost units. So while it’s unlikely for this buff to Xayah 3 to come into play often, it’s not improbable to happen.
4. Bug Fixes
Alright we have one last section to cover which is bug fixes! There’s only one this week and it has to do with Zilean.
Zilean, overall, has had a lot of issues with his ultimate. Sometimes it’s because of a bug, or simply the functionality is off such as the case of him prioritizing summons like Azir’s sand guards. They’ve slowly fixed a lot of these issues and today’s fix is to prevent his ultimate from fizzling out when the initial target died while he was casting.
Despite being a bug, this would happen relatively often. Zilean would go to cast, the unit would die, and now Zilean doesn’t have any mana. Thankfully that should no longer be an issue, as well as a lot of the other issues that plagued Zilean. While it is good they are continuing to fix bugs like these, at least for Zilean it’s kind of too little too late, at least for set four. In the future if they do bring Zilean back with a similar ultimate it should function much more consistently after all the fixes they’ve done to it in this set.
That’s all for today folks! Again this patch is quite small and likely won't have too much of an impact on the meta. I'm a fan of keeping it the meta healthy, at least for this patch. Since the PBE will be up for the next set during patch 11.8, to keep players interested in set four it's definitely likely they'll shake things up a lot to make it more fun, even if balance gets sacrificed. In any case enjoy the next two weeks if you're trying to climb in a stable meta!
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