NERFPLZ.LOL Patch 4.9 Analysis | NERFPLZ.LOL -->

Jun 4, 2014

Patch 4.9 Analysis


Hey everyone! While you're waiting patiently for me to update the tier list to 4.9, I thought it'd be nice for a bit of a chatter about how the changes might affect playstyles and whatnot. Thoughts on movements aren't final, and as always, I'll see how the champs are doing statistically before moving them.

Here's a brief summary:

Buffs: Pantheon, Rumble, Soraka
Nerfs: Braum, Kassadin, Rengar
Tweaks: Kha'Zix

Full 4.9 Patch Notes

Let's hit up the nerfs first:

Braum [Likely staying in God Tier, may move to #2]- This guy received a slew of hard nerfs with his permaban status and insanely high win rate. It's clear that all Riot's changes are meant to be nerfs, and I think it'll put him much more in line with other melee supports like Leona.  My only concern is that Braum does have a little more ramp-up time to stun because of the way his passive works, so the reduction in damage may or may not weaken him significantly. We'll see how it pans out, but so far I think he'll still be stronger than Leona and most of the ranged supports.

Kassadin [Likely staying where he is] - The nerf is a very mild one, and I really don't think players will feel the effects too much. However, the minute adjustments do add up eventually.

Kha'Zix [Tweak?] - [Likely moving down to Tier 1 or Tier 2 jungle, laning may be significantly lower] - EDITED: After looking at the changes a bit more closely, it seems like what they actually did was simply make it more difficult to assassinate a single unisolated target simply through the Q's execute. While they nerfed the passive isolation bonus, they did give his Q a scaling isolation bonus. I still think he's substantially weaker late game, but his ganking ability and 1v1 ability looks like it may actually be better than before in certain cases. I'll need to run a few numbers before knowing for sure. For now, it looks like his mid-game is now stronger, his early game is weaker, his late game scaling is stronger, and his ability to engage in a teamfight is drastically reduced.

Rengar [Likely staying in Tier 1] - I know a lot of you want him to move to God Tier, but with his winrate floating at 49.9% it's hard to justify. With the nerf I think we can rest easy leaving him in Tier 1.

Now let's check out the buffs!

Pantheon [Likely similar placement] - He's got a slight boost since he's untargetable while he's in the air, but it probably won't make a huge effect on his ability to win games.

Rumble [Unsure] - He'll definitely be slightly stronger, but I'm not sure how much that'll affect him.

Soraka [Unsure, little movement] - I may have placed her too high last tier list, but as she's getting a buff this time around I may leave her where she is for now.

Other Champions:
As always, as the meta shifts and as certain champions become more popular, other champions that counter the most common champions generally get a bit of a lift up too. Thus, don't expect these to be the only changes to the tier list!

Think I've overstated or understated a patch effect? Post below in the Disqus section!

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  1. Hi Suntastic!
    I played a few games against Kha'zix after the new patch (as I wouldn't actually let me teammtes pick him lol) and I was amazed by how his full combo couldn't burst squishies down anymore. I was playing Sona Support and he caught me alone with his stealth, and even with his Q, E and W and Q again, I managed to survive by flashing over a wall. He went 12/14 that game and even though he did play correctly, by isolating low HP enemies, he still couldn't fully execute them.
    Did the nerf hit him that hard?

    I was also hoping you could comment on your opinion about Sona, as I have a 78% win rate with her and only feel like Draven, Blitz and Leona are her unfavourable matchups, and as long as you survive the laning phase, your team has the upper hand in teamfights.
    Thanks ^^

  2. Kha zix got a big nerf not a tweak.
    His Q was doing crazy amounts of damage before, even when not isolated.

  3. SSJSuntasticJune 05, 2014

    This is the same as the other one you submitted right? If it's too long I have to manually approve it; sorry for the wait.

  4. SSJSuntasticJune 05, 2014

    The nerfs require him to have a much different playstyle than before along with a different optimal time of power, which may take some getting used to. Sona is definitely very very strong, and a stable pick. she doesn't have as much "pick" power, as in ability to take out single targets that are out of position, but she can change the tide of a teamfight very quickly.

  5. Yeah, it's all good :)

  6. Any thoughts on the jungle xp changes? I can't decide whether it makes power farmers better because the "catchup" mechanics are gone or if it makes gankers with slow clear (most tanks) better because of the decrease in overall xp.

  7. Arnold ChenJune 05, 2014

    Just wondering, (irrelevant to this tbh) but what champions are good at Ranked 5s? I find that the general concept of ranked 5s is a lot more different as the co-ordination is a lot better and followups too (calls help a lot). Personally, I have a lot of champions (e.g Lissandra, Twisted Fate, Alistar) I want to play but most of the champions I play tend to be the ones better for solo queue.

  8. SSJSuntasticJune 05, 2014

    I may pull together a competitive ranked 5s list soon, but I'm sure a lot of people on the site are happy to share their opinions as well :)

  9. I'd like to reiterate the strength of Vel'Koz Support. I think there's justification to place him in mid or lower Teir One. I made a much stronger case for it on the 4.8 Teir List, just wanted to repeat it here.

  10. MrNiceGuyJune 05, 2014

    About 4.9 patch and changes to kha.

    I played him as jungler and he is still good. He is not that snowball jungler anymore but he offers more utility. His evolved w is not only a really good camp clear but it also gives him good sustain giving him the ability to stay longer in the jungle farming and ganking without recalling. In addition w's slow is rly strong now. I recommend on evolving w first ofc then e and then q(as q scales better late game). His early game has been hit hard but his mid and late game (mid game especially) are kinda better. He can't be the main initiator in a fight ( or start a fight in other words) but he can still be in the frontline unleashing good cc and DMG on their backline. Overall, he is not that snowball jungler he used to be during the early/mid game , but in my eyes he has taken the role of a more traditional jungler who thrives during mid game but remains relevant in the late game. Nerfs only hurt him laning wise ( he can't be played as a laner anymore). So i think it's definlty a tweak as u suggested ;).

  11. SSJSuntasticJune 05, 2014

    Thanks for the in-depth analysis!

  12. MrNiceGuyJune 05, 2014

    I agree with suntastic. His playstyle changed a lot and all these guys u played against didn't have a clue of what to max and evolve. You max w/evolve first w he is more of a traditional jungler who becomes a threat mid/late game. His ganks are a lot stronger now but as a traditional jungler he must give the kills to the laners instead of taking them.

    Also about sona I disagree with suntastic. She is not as good because of the popularity of morgana support. A single black shield can intercept Sona's Crescendo. Also i don't think sona can stop a leonna from constantly diving them and giving free kills to her adc. I like sona too but she is not good with all these carry/tanky supports around(thresh, braum. leo)

  13. MrNiceGuyJune 05, 2014

    Np I'm watching your sight for about 4-5 months or so and it helped me a lot on chosing my champions. You are doing a really good work man, keep it up! :)

  14. MrNiceGuyJune 05, 2014

    As I main jungle my self ;), I i think that, as u said, junglers like jarvan and zac (even gragas) will rise again. What i actually think is that riot adjusted kha to the general jungle changes so he still remains a good pick (tweak not a nerf) while popularizing the jungle champion pool (as lee and eve are picked almost in every game) by brinking back our favourite junglers like jarvan, zac, nunu etc. :)
    PS: It's only a prediction.

  15. I like the fact that Kha'zix is being made into a traditional jungler, people were used to carrying games with him.
    W is much more useful now, with makes him better at CC, while reducing his killing potencial. Just wait for people to catch up.

    Regarding Sona, that Morgana must have crazy reflexes to Black Shield her ADC in the 0.5 seconds Crescendo takes to cast.
    Sona is very strong vs Poke lanes, because she can quickly heal her ADC up to full health again.
    If you buy mobility boots on Sona, the Thresh hooks and Braum Qs and very easy to dodge with good positioning, so no problem. As I said, Leona and Blitz are much more challenging, as their engages have shorter cast times, and you need more reflexes to dodge them, Of course, as soon as Sona is hooked with Flash down, you are dead, that is why positioning and awareness with her is crucial.

    Learn that and Sona is an amazing support :)

  16. KingoftheSocksJune 05, 2014

    I think that junglers who need their level 6 or are late game carries will fall down a bit because now that jungle camps don't scale with time it makes it difficult to get to that stage. Specifically wukong, with his lower armour shread he now needs to get to to level 6 more than ever so he can gank and teamfight . Now when he gets to that stage he is still as deadly as ever but its difficult to get there now. Solo lane he's still as strong obviously but in the jungle I feel like he should be very high tier one. (Same things could be said of any late game jungler but I played Wukong recently and it definietly feels harder for)

  17. MrNiceGuyJune 05, 2014

    Well even tho u are right (tbh i still love to play with a sona supp when i play adc) what u said is for people who main her and know how to play support generally (and u should be one of them). To me sona needs higher skill cap than before (carefull positioning, jukes, everything u mentioned) but I don't believe she is a stable pick. Laning wise she is really hard, but as for the teamfights i believe she is the strongest support. You also said that sona is good against poke lanes, which is true, but thing is that ALL IN duos are more popular than the poke duos. To sum up, sona is a strong supp but she is kinda situational as she stacks with some certain adc (cait, ez, varus) and can be bullied really easily.

    Tbh, i rarely play supp but I often play adc (adc/jungle my main roles) and i speak from my own prespective. :) Sorry for my bad english btw, not my native language. :)

  18. MrNiceGuyJune 05, 2014

    Yeah defintly, junglers who can gank and pressure the enemy laners before 6 lvl will become popular again. That suggests high cc junglers like zac for example who offer good utility and great/fast ganks with a lot of cc and high early damage.

  19. DeathunseenJune 05, 2014

    the rumble buff fixes where a varied buff. best case scebario before you where doing 70% of the damage u should, worst case, around 40% so this is theoretically a huge buff for rumble on flame spitter

  20. ScarfedGaryBuseyJune 05, 2014

    I agree he should be moved up higher, but not as much as you care to make him. The biggest issue I have when facing them/playing him support is that he lacks a reliable cc as his e is easily dodged, and as a burst champ whos most important "support" ability relies to much on prediction/bad opponent it cant justify him moving THAT high up.

    But I will give him this, his damage is bordering the highest output possible for a supoport, granted its combo reliant but the other high damage supports are combo reliant too. Cant complain too much there.

    Though after testing him out for 4 matches support he most certainly feels like a lesser zyra, as both are squishy as hell and are high dps support champs, but a tier or 2 knock down for him is giving the support a peel to get the damage output to its most reliable/potential is to unforgiving in solo que, not to mention that zyra has a more forgiving method of denying pressure for getting caught out via her ulti, and has more consistent teamfight abilitys from her aforementioned ultimate.

    Though your article was right and brought up many good points to why he should be moved up higher, i just find some crippling flaws more so than other supports in that tier that prevent him from moving to where you want him to be. But he does deserve to be placed higher.

  21. >His e is easily dodged

    But the combo I have been suggesting is follow up with your e after landing a q. Do you find it easy to dodge a a circle underneath you when you're 70% slowed? A Vel'Koz shouldn't be leading with his e anyway, unless the enemy is in the middle of his minion pile - even then, good luck with your champ's path-finding.

    You can make a similar argument for dodging a Morgana q or Nidalee spear. Yes, it's dodgeable. So are many of the other abilities of equally ranked supports. Vel'Koz shines for his high base damage, cooldowns, utility (albiet low), and even low mana costs.

    >Squishy as hell... [weak to] gap closing junglers

    Of course he is. I'm not claiming he's God Teir. Just better than other supports like Lulu, Janna, Alistar, etc. These three mentioned are great at disengaging, but offer no damage - Vel'Koz is decent at disengage and offers superb support damage. I'm not trying to say Vel'Koz is the answer to 100% win rate bot lane, but that he's a strong, viable support in the upper teirs. Squishy as hell doesn't stop Sona, Zyra, or Nami from being upper teirs - why should it stop Vel'Koz?

  22. ScarfedGaryBuseyJune 05, 2014

    Keep in mind this is solo que, assuming that you have never played with this adc its hard for vel'koz to make a clear sign of iniation, considering his passive it could be from trying to 100-0 someone or just getting a few abilitys off to proc his passive. But the main thing here is SSJ said that it is strong but "in the hands of most players, a traditional support will work better". Many of the best supports in the game have very high utility, taking from the god tier and a VERY strong majority of tier 1 have either great peel, amazing utility, or have some game changing abilitys. Even you said he lacks high utility. But that doesnt stop him from being low tier 2, he will find his chance to rise up. I just dont think the meta and other support choices will allow that to happen for the next month or so.

  23. Very true, Kill Lanes are very popular and counter Sona. Leona and Blitz destroy a bad Sona. But I don't consider myself a bad Sona. Therefore, I need to concentrate more, my ADC has to play safer and farm until we reach the teamfight phase. If we feed= GG.
    If we stay safe and don't die, the whole purpose of a "Kill" Lane is useless.

  24. KingoftheSocksJune 06, 2014

    I think it will alzo drop big champs like amumu and warwick. Amumu will stay God Tiet I think but maybe not top dog but ww needs 6 as well as camps as well for his ff so I feel like he will drop. Xin will stay due to his powerful early. Sadly wu will drop to t1 for reasons I explained before(even though I am a big wu fan). I think we may be slowly coming back to a S3 jungle with more support junglers who can gank early becoming popular

  25. >assuming that you have never played with this adc

    I don't know exactly what you're assuming about me or about ADC's. Regardless, I think it's very unprofessional to make a personal attack - poke holes in my arguement, you're more likely to win people over to your case.

    Vel'Koz has a strong, winnning matchups against many of the supports in the current Teir 1 and Teir 2. Because he can win against them, that shows potential descrepency alone: I mean, he should flat out win against Sona, Karma, or Fiddlesticks, and can definitely beat out tankier supports with proper early aggression and bullying. I'm not saying Vel'Koz is comparable to many of them - his only real comparison is Zyra as an aggressive support - but rather, he's a strong alternative with winning results. I am, and have been, making the case that Vel'Koz is too low; if nothing else, isn't it odd that Zyra's magically God Teir (out of nowhere) while Vel'Koz is barely Teir 2?

    That is 100% my ENTIRE argument: readers of this list should try for themselves, and I myself think he should be rated higher. 12 and 10 people have taken the time to support, so I'm not just some uneducated SoloQue Nut.

  26. KingoftheSocksJune 06, 2014

    Sorry I worded that badly, its not the full S3 jungle but some of those junglers are making a comeback. Sejuani recently hit 51% win rate, Zac rose a little as well I think and a few others have done as well. Whilst its not the full S3 jungle and snowball junglers are still high up , champs like Sej and Zac could show a resurgence of an older style of jungling

  27. I'm a support main and I love playing with traditional supports as well as taking a break with the not so commonly accepted support champions. Vel'koz is good in the right hands, but personally I rarely choose it in normals because I don't know what the other team comp might be and he's more situational than other choices. If you do get a tank top and a cc machine for jungler then it's not too risky to pick Vel'koz. I don't know what runes you use for him, probably ap, but I go with magic pen reds and blues (no hybrid penetration because his range sucks and if the other team is good they should punish you for getting close enough to AA). I do this because he gets focused a lot on bot lane, so I build HP and resistances with the rest of the runes and masteries and I always go for the mid -late game damage. Making a mistake with him when disengaging is very punishing because of mobility and cd's, so I'd rather be able to take some punishment early game, exploit my passive to make good true damage, and then come back at levels 6-12 with a surprising damage output with my ultimate. Sorcerer's boots, haunting guise and the magic pen you get from my rune setup adds up to 44 magic penetration which is REALLY GOOD when you use your combo with the ultimate, specially if you also get void staff instead of zhonya's. Double kills have never been so easy.

    On a side note, Braum has some good counters already, like Morgana and Zyra, but 'koz has to be added to that list; there's little Braum can do against a Vel'koz support that knows how to land skills, and he can't block the ultimate, although he can reduce damage from it. I think this must be mentioned because Braum is still pretty recent and some people are still figuring out what's best against them. Even when playing as Braum against a Zyra or a Morgana I can still outsmart most people even though that really shouldn't happen; this champions counter Braum so hard even when not trying, but some people haven't understood what he does and can't do (Those people probably haven't used him yet) .

  28. ScarfedGaryBuseyJune 06, 2014

    There were no personal attacks on you, i pointed out flaws in my eyes in an argument, dont get butthurt over an opinion. Also yes you have never played with this adc ever, as um... I don't know its a SOLO QUE tier list. Know what SOLO means? It means by yourself and unless you have played support as a certain champ with 1 person by sheer dumb luck matchmaking you can be exempt. Only issue there is it never happens, have a good day.

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