League of Legends lead gameplay designer Mark Yetter gave a glimpse into the changes that Riot are looking to make with Patch 10.5. The targets include nerfs to popular champions and strategies, while buffing under-utilized champions and expanding the jungle role.
Nerfs: Ornn, Sett, top lane supports
Ornn is one of the champions likely getting nerfed in next patch. A mid/top flex, the champion is up to 61% win rate in professional games this season and ranks first among top lane champions, according to OP.gg, sporting the fourth highest win rate of 52.4% and the highest pick rate of 17.5% among the top laners.
His runner-up, Sett, is the other offender. While his win rate isn’t exactly the best, he ranks in the top 5 for both pick and ban rates in solo queue games.
But the real big killer is the nerf to Spellthief’s Edge and Spectral Sickle. These support items have been at the core of the recent trend of putting supports in the top lane, which has prompted the rise of Sona and Soraka top lane strategies. When she manages to survives the ban phase, which isn’t often, Soraka boasts a 68.8% win rate in pro games. Sona, on the other hand, is the highest winning top laner in solo queue games, with 58.16% win rate.
The new Spellthief’s and Sickle abilities will now only trigger when an allied champion is nearby, meaning supports will have to go where they belong — to the bot lane — and the end of double support compositions, making for ridiculous sustain.
Buffs: Kai’sa, Sivir, Twisted Fate
Riot’s goal is to also spice up the champion pool for the bot lane. Since the start of the season, the marksman position has been dominated by Senna, Aphelios and Miss Fortune, with scarcely any other champions being played. Buffs to Kai’sa and Sivir could mean the return of previous staples of the bot lane meta. Both champions have been underperforming severely, with Kai’sa dropping to just 46.7% win rate and is now the fifth most picked bot laner, after it held the #1 position for nine patches straight.
Expanding jungle pool
This has been a well-communicated mission for the League of Legends balance team. Patch 10.5 should add Darius, Mordekaiser, Brand, and Poppy to the jungle pool, which would be a new role for all of them, except for the latter.