NERFPLZ.LOL Patch 4.12 Analysis | NERFPLZ.LOL -->

Jul 15, 2014

Patch 4.12 Analysis



Hey everyone, and welcome back to another patch analysis post (I'll be doing these regularly from now on). In this week's patch, Riot did more loving than nerfing, and brought some strength back into some of the underplayed champions in the pool.

Meanwhile, crowd favorite Mr. Lucian received some substantial changes to his playkit that seems like it will increase his skill cap. While Riot obviously intends for it to be a slight nerf, only time will tell what it really is.


Buffs: Ahri, Alistar, Ezreal, Garen, Kha'zix
Nerfs: Kassadin
Tweaks: Lucian


Ahri [Moving up in Tier 1]: Ahri's Q is now lower in mana cost and higher in ratios. I think she's been balanced already, and will likely be moved up a bit this patch. (Did I really have her lower than Karma? Sigh...Karma Mid is moving down to Tier 2)

Alistar [Support moved up slightly, Jungle is being removed]: Ouch. They clearly don't want Alistar jungle back as they stated and by removing the double creep damage it's highly unlikely that jungle Alistar will ever make a comeback. As mentioned, the flat 70% at all levels is pretty solid for that level 6 tower dive, and I think will help him greatly as his ability to survive early is pretty decent with his sustain.

Ezreal [Unchanged]: Honestly probably won't impact anything besides maybe a 1v1 against another ADC. Trying to utilize this buff is probably going to get more Ezreals killed than anything...

Garen [Top Unchanged, not adding Garen Jungle higher than Tier 3]: The fact that he can use a mid game item doesn't exactly assist his jungle too much...not sure what they meant to do with that. I don't think this will change him much, his attack speed isn't high enough to make good use of hydra and his sustain is already decent via his passive.

Kha'Zix [Might move up a little]: Not sure if this will be enough damage to give him the ability to snowball again, but we'll see.


Kassadin [Not changing much]: Despite the change being a sizable nerf to his ability to proc iceborn gauntlet during a sustained team fight, I think that he'll be roughly about the same as he is now.

Lucian [Not changing much]: I really think this will end up being more of a tweak, and give Lucian a more spellcaster type feel to him. However, that being said he's definitely going to be even more of a glass cannon than before, and a failure to position properly will lead him to certain doom. Despite this, the increase in his waveclear ability will definitely help him CS even when he falls behind. 

Personally I think he's going to go the way of the Vayne; most people will see him as being very strong, professionals will do even better with him, but his win rate will continue dropping in the face of Kog'maws and Tristanas. If this is true, get ready to see some rage when I drop him to Tier 3 along with Twitch. (Who is definitely getting dropped back down to Tier 3 himself.)

What do you guys think? Agree/disagree? Comment below! 

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  1. I'm actually very curious about the possibility of Lucian mid. The hit to his auto attack range is less significant there since most mids can't trade autos with him anyways, and the now manaless E could give him a very significant edge in a lane with a lot of skillshots. Also, unlike most other AD mids, you're not giving up safe waveclear by running him - with a full CDR build, he can cull every wave before it even hits the turret.

    Mostly, though, I'm really curious how the new Lucian is gonna manage in teamfights. It seems like Riot's goal here is to make his standard play pattern something like E-auto-Q-auto over and over, but that takes a not insignificant amount of CDR to do. I feel like if you don't have enough CDR to spam your E, you're gonna have a very difficult time against champs like Thresh or Morgana that can punish a second or two of immobility ridiculously hard - and it's pretty difficult to itemize for CDR if you're playing as an ADC. At the moment, ghostblade is really the only item that helps your DPS while offering any.

    So, calling it now - Midlane Blue Lucian. It will be a thing.

    Agree with pretty much everything else. I think the changes to Kassadin will push his itemization away from teamfighting w/ Gauntlet and towards splitpushing w/ Lich Bane, but time will tell. Either way, his ult is still broke as hell.

  2. > "not adding Garen Jungle higher than Tier 3"

    THANK YOU <3 <3 <3

  3. Roku KaemonJuly 15, 2014

    Being a bovine lover at heart (matador alistar ftw!) I like the 70% damg reduction at all ranks. Seriously though now each time you level it up you gain 15 ad dang and reduce cd by 20 secs. In a fight bot and even team fights I get off 5 aa max. Maybe I'm just totally missing something. On a side note this will make rushing ardent much better on him(ultimate tower pushing cow! L

  4. The comment about the jungle Garen is due to the reddit topic. In which a jungler Garen was complaining about the change.

  5. Kha is obviously still very weak... 15 AD? really? i mean it's something but he'd never be able to complete with the current junglers. he needed at least 30 AD to make a difference.

  6. NotEnglishJuly 16, 2014

    My personals thoughts about this patch-alistar:now will have more lane presence with lower mana cost and the ability to turret dive at lv 6 like a boss
    -lucian:not really a nerf,more of a tweak,he lost range but he gained mobility
    -Garen:he gained some burst but he is still useless late game
    -kha zix:maybe he will be higher in tier list but still too weak "change is (not) good"
    -Kassadin:w nerf will hurt him but is new slow won't really affect him,he didn't have chase problem
    -ezreal:WTF this change is so stupid imho
    -ahri:now people will pick her more often
    (sorry for grammars mistake)

  7. Alistar top moving up?

  8. You're english is fine, its more coherent than many native speakers on the internet. Thanks for sharing!

  9. KingoftheSocksJuly 16, 2014

    Come on man Garen is obvs a God Tier Jungler. All that cc and scales so well with Feral Flare. Man that god for that Hydra buff or I would never be able to clear all those camps

  10. Tomas Joel RodriguezJuly 16, 2014

    I don't think that you would move Karma Mid to Tier 2. She has a strong lanning phase, decent damage, low mana costs, survivality, movility and sustain.
    I think you could move her to Tier 2 in the FOTM list, but she's really strong in SoloQ, you can help to snowball the other lanes after winning yours thanks to her high damage with R+Q and CC with W.

    But well, that's just me. Karma is like, if not a Ziggs, Talon or Fizz, you win the lane. Assassins can't burst you because they can't initiate because they're at low hp due to your poke. Other poke champions get outplayed by your shield and sustain with R+W. And you have a fast creep wave cleaning.

  11. Just tried mid-lane Burst-lucian. It is more than viable in my opinion after going 7/3 in him in a game.

  12. wukong onlyJuly 17, 2014

    As funny as it sounds for lucian mid to become a thing range is one of the most important aspects on any poke orientated mid laner so the range nerf will hurt more than anything since his passive is an amazing tool mid lane. And honestly, lucian sounds like one of the strangest mid lane picks as the lack of trading potential past the really early levels (level 1-2) with lower range and straight up dueling potential than anyone. There is really nothing lucian brings to the table especially after the nerfs that a ziggs can't bring and other mid laners simply outclass him to no end. Caitlyn would probably be the best adc mid lane and even that is gimmicky as hell. Not to mention lucians aoe damage just isn't so great.

  13. fiftyfathomsJuly 17, 2014

    Can someone give me a good reason as to why Warwick is a God Tier top? Further, how does one build WW in the top lane? BORK, Wit's End, Frozen Heart, Spirit Visage, Tabi and... BT? Nashors? No idea.

  14. fiftyfathomsJuly 17, 2014

    Ack. Thought I was in the SoloQ list. Still would appreciate some answers!

  15. Lucian has 1000+ range on his poke abilities, and a 425 unit gapcloser. I hardly think that getting in range to land poke will be an issue for him.

    Ziggs deals burst magical damage. Lucian deals sustained physical damage. He attacks the enemy's itemization, poses a greater sustained threat in teamfights, and functions as a counterpick to champs like Kassadin that excel against AP damage.

    Lucian is a lane bully. It's a large part of why you pick him. I don't know what makes you think that he lacks trading potential - if you've ever seen how he performs against ADCs *that are itemizing specifically trade auto attacks*, I'm sure you can imagine how he does against mid laners whose runes, masteries and itemization are intended to allow them to farm their asses off into the late game.

    The issue with Caitlyn mid is that her waveclear is substantially worse than most mid laners - with Lucian, you make no such tradeoff. The Culling and Piercing Light are incredibly low cooldown and will outright destroy waves before they hit the turret.

    tl;dr Lucian brings sustained physical damage, amazing waveclear, and incredible mobility and kiting potential. No other mid laner can offer all of those to the best of my knowledge.

  16. wukong onlyJuly 17, 2014

    um lane bully to other adcs. Mid laners have higher trading potential from levels 3-6 and almost on from there if ult is up. And no, lucians 1000+ range abilities are not enough to outtrade any ap mid laner and getting into 500 range is a big issue as that will usually involve minions attacking you and lucian is too squishy for that. I had experience playing adcs mid (admittedly lucian not being one of them) and from experience they can't duel an apc past level 2 (in other words they have to use their extremely early advantage to fb a mid laner or they are done) until they get a ton of items an even then it takes out playing and the midlaner not having ult up. Sustained physical damage, with two aa reliant champions on the team you are asking for a thornmail to be built by everyone on the enemy team which can turn sustained physical damage to sustained magic damage to yourself. As for caitlyn her q is extremely good and while her burst isn't as good, at least she can safely do damage that does more than just tickle (hi lucian e). And while I can't see a kassadin outlaning a lucian, it would be better for your team to pick a wukong, yasuo, or any other hardcounter to kass there is. As for runes to farm their asses off late game that is lucian's weakness. They simply can farm from too long of a range for lucian to bully them. Lucian mid is a silly idea, and while any champ can mid, you should never ever go lucian mid if not smurfing.

  17. KingoftheSocksJuly 17, 2014

    I'll put it like this. You won't kill anyone as ww top but you will outsistain everyone. He has great tanky stats and a lot of sustain and lifesteal. Plus a low cd ult that suppresses an enemy.

    Build is.
    Frozen heart-Botrk-Spirit Visage-Ninja Tabi/merc treads-Wits end-Frozen Mallet/Rabuins/Banshees veil

  18. fiftyfathomsJuly 17, 2014

    Thanks for the response man. Im looking forward to giving it a try.

  19. I'm tired af right now, so apologies if I don't get to all of your point.

    A) Midlaners are typically superior traders *if they hit all their abilities* - let's take Ziggs, for instance, since he's god tier on this list atm. Ziggs will outdamage Lucian if he hits all of his abilities, but he's not going to have significant damage output if Lucian Es or just sidesteps any of them. Orianna's an even more egregious example, since her entire kit is dependent on landing one skillshot, and Lucian's now hilariously low cooldown dash makes that very very challenging. Lucian, meanwhile, deals extremely consistent damage that's difficult to mitigate or best in extended trades.

    B) Yeah, managing minion aggro is a good idea. I encourage it. That's hardly particular to Lucian.

    C) Question - have you ever looked at a Kog'Maw Jax comp and thought to yourself "Easy, I'll just build Thornmail?" Yeah, itemization is a thing. Thornmail has a host of issues though, not the least of which is the complete lack of health, which makes it a 3rd defensive item *at best*. No more of a concern for Lucian+ADC as it is for Yasuo+ADC, Jax+ADC, or (since this *is* nerfplz), Fiora+ADC.

    D) Caitlyn's Q decays and has a longer cooldown than Lucian's Q or R. Nowhere near as good as you expect from a mid laner.

    E) One of Kassadin's greatest weaknesses as a mid laner is the complete lack of waveclear. By running a double ADC comp against Kassadin, not only do you get an advantage in gold and exp by default, you also have a much easier time using that advantage to siege turrets and force him out of his comfort zone than if you had any of Wukong or Yasuo.

    F) If the enemy mid laner is giving up CS to play safe and runs away from trades with you - grats, you're doing your job as a lane bully. Enjoy your cs lead, early mid tower and mid pressure.

    G) I resent that, not least because you admit that you've never even played it.

  20. NotEnglishJuly 17, 2014

    i usually build ww top with wit's end+botrk and then full tank
    you can rush tank items if you're behind but at least wit's end is required imho

  21. NotEnglishJuly 17, 2014

    thanks i appreciate :D

  22. bturner4559July 17, 2014

    Well ive only run into a few Lucian but so far he's been yasuo with guns. Dash dash dash oh you have a skillshot....dash again...

  23. wukong onlyJuly 17, 2014

    A) Of all the mid laners you mention orianna, one of the few aps with as strong or stronger level1 than adcs with her passive. And the point is not to let someone get in 500 range to outtrade you anyways especially at level 1 where no dash is involved.
    B)managing minion aggro is a lot easier for a poke ranged champ than someone with 500 range. The only reason melee mid laners are viable is because they have the base stats and damage to outtrade mid laners, just aren't nearly as squishy as lucian.
    C)Yes it is not that easy to build thornmail. But you have every reason to build it against a yasuo or jax+adc team comp. But at least jax gets free mr, has magic damage, and yasuo has 50%bonus armour pen.
    D)Cai is on a 6 second cooldown, not too long. It's easily better than a 500 range lucian q in terms of waveclear.
    E)Okay, lucian mid may be an exellent choice against kassadin throughout the game, but really only against kassadin. Lucian may help seiging a lot, but he doesn't bring the engage and aoe a wukong does or even a yasuo.
    F)He isn't giving up cs, he is staying in a range that lucian will have to go into minion aggro, almost guaranteeing a lost trade for lucian. Minion aggro is a ranged squishy champs worst weakness early game. There is a reason vayne is a tier 3 top despite hardcountering most tops (you'll see what I mean if you try it).

  24. Lucian Mid doesn't work for the same reasn Quinn mid doesn't work. Bringing two adc's to a team comp is very risky. Both junglers and top laners are mostly AD. Playing something like Lucian mid that's so squishy and full AD damage leaves a big whole in what should be AP aoe damage.

  25. Who said he had to Jungle? I've been loving him top lane. He is very strong against certain picks like, Pantheon and Shyvana.

  26. Or mid-lane ;-;

  27. ShadowSectJuly 17, 2014

    This comment I'm going to post may just be thrown out to water because it's mainly based on opinion and not fact, but here's my very condensed take on what is changing with 4.12:
    Ahri: Tier 1.
    Alistar: Support Tier 2, no more Jungle.
    Ezreal: No change.
    Kha'Zix: Tier 3 all roles.
    Kassadin: Tier 1.
    Lucian: God or Tier 1. Say what you say, I've seen very good dashes with Lucian so far...
    And now, here is what I've seen in PvP recently (now for some fact):
    I'm seeing a lot of Gragas in Gold that have done well. And I mean REALLY well. And it's not mid gragas, but top and jungle Gragas, which is weird. Definitely a ban, and maybe a rise to Tier 1 or God!

    Skarner isn't doing so hot anymore. The nerf finally hit him, and I believe he's falling apart again. Tier 2 or Tier 3.

    I thought Maokai was Godlike, but for some reason I'm not seeing that here. I don't know what happened, but I'm not so sure about God anymore, and from what used to be a 53~54% win rate to a solid 52% win rate, it seems that way. Tier 1 for sure though.

    I've seen 2 APCs making a huge scene in Gold right now: Fizz and Syndra. It's ironic that one counters the other (fizz counters Syndra), but both APCs are secretly OP in my opinion, what with other mids falling out of favor and new popular mid champions that both do really well against. Fizz's win rate has risen to a modest 51%, but while Syndra may have fallen to a 49% win rate, there must be some reason why people are suddenly banning her more often.

  28. wukong onlyJuly 17, 2014

    That minion aggro for one second is a very big deal for a squishy champ. Minion control is probably the best knowledge you need to know for laning phase to get out of low elo. Trust me, any amount of time where minions attack you can lose you trades by a large amount. I'm sure it could work, just I don't see why pick him mid when ziggs is on the field, and you can can just take him bot where he can still waveclear but also bully out squishy champs with low range with a supports help. A second adc really doesn't do much for your team but encourage armour stacking. Probably a tier 3-4 pick, if you really wanna disagree, show me video clip or give me instructions that will actually prove lucians viability.

  29. I think the sleeper picks for me at least are: teemo, Lissandra, and veigar

  30. I know how minions work. 1-3 attacks from caster minions are not going to lose a trade by a large amount. Going all in in the middle of 3 caster minions, sure, but Lucian doesn't need to all in.

    You pick him over Ziggs because he's way, way more mobile and deals physical damage. Bot Lucian is irrelevant here, the two build completely differently. Mid Lucian has much better waveclear by virtue of his itemization.

    Blue Lucian has been a thing for months, man. Google it if you want to see video clips. I believe lastshadow's published some stuff on it (coach for Supa Hot Crew, maybe you've seen some of his coaching videos around).

  31. wukong onlyJuly 17, 2014

    Dealing physical damage isn't really a reason to pick him over ziggs, as according to meta mid laners are "supposed" to be ap. Rather than doubling the sustained damage an adc does, why not add variety with an aoe burst champion that can deestroy the back line and help take down the front line. Ziggs offers cc, longer range, map control, and much more aoe poke and aoe burst damage. While I disagree that 2 adcs is 'the' problem, it definetly isn't optimal or the best choice. I simply don't see lucian outlaning anyone that can farm from a distance and outtrade with minions, and I can't imagine him outlaning assassins. While I can see him beating a kass or katarina he doesn't seem like can't outlane any other mid laner and does not bring as much utility or teamfight damage later on. I have played some troll picks that I can't imagine playing seriously on an equal level of skill, and it seems like lucian would one of them. Btw plz link me because I can't find a good guide or video clip on lucian mid, I watched scarra and I honestly didn't see the power. So if you have a video that will make me reconsider, or even think wow op plz show me.

  32. wukong onlyJuly 17, 2014

    Kha'zix strong against pantheon? I understand the shyvana matchup is in his favour, but counterpick to pantheon? I've always had trouble laning against them so I could really use a counterpick.

  33. Fr4ntic95July 18, 2014

    Completely agreed with everything...except Kassadin :S If they had just changed his E then it would have been a tweak, definitly (twice more violent slow at rank 5, way shorter...anyway, it's a nerf early-mid game for the 1st 2-3 ranks) however, if you had the 3sc longer CD on his Z (from 6 to 9 is pretty huge) it will impact his hand-to-hand potential and his proc on Iceborn/Lich. Even if it's not enormous, it's a clear nerf...and that will lower his win rate and ban rate potential for sure. I think he deserves to be dropped in the middle of Tier 1 (with Yas, Lux, ...)

  34. Riftwalk has a 3 second cooldown. Procing Sheen is not a problem for Kassadin, even with a longer W cooldown.

  35. Dealing physical damage is something he offers over Ziggs; dealing magic damage is something Ziggs offers over Lucian. Enemy has a Mundo top? You probably don't want Ziggs. Enemy has Rammus jungle? You probably don't want Lucian.

    Already talked about ziggs being better.

    Already talked about Lucian's laning phase.

    You pick Lucian for his utility and teamfight damage. The whole point of Mid Lucian is to hit 40% CDR w/Iceborn Gauntlet - you're getting a 425 unit dash and a 2 second slow *every 2 seconds*. You're not going to kill him, you're not going to stop him from dealing damage. He's just going to kite your frontline to death, and there's about nothing you can do to stop him.

    I have no idea if any good guides have been published yet. It's only been a few days since the patch, after all. If you want to try it yourself, the basic gist is - BotRK, LW, Iceborn Gauntlet, Lucidity boots, and then one other item that gives 10% CDR (Brutalizer, ER, etc). You're strong in lane, weak with 2-3 completed items, and godly after that. Focus on kiting bruisers and tanks, you only want to go for the backline if you're trying to clean up a won teamfight. Don't pick it against teams with multiple assassins and no tanks.

    I'm still experimenting with runes and masteries, you could maybe consider running CDR blues if you're confident in your Lucian mechanics. Other than that, AD AS should be good. I'm running him 21/0/9 atm, but 21/9/0 could be viable too.

  36. wukong onlyJuly 18, 2014

    Wouldn't yommus and er be a must in this build. And why icebourn over triforce?

  37. Either one is a good choice. You only need one or the other to hit 40% CDR, so tailor it to the game.

    You want iceborn for the slow - as you mentioned, Lucian has no CC in his kit. The slow from Iceborn on top of the dash and cleanse from Relentless Pursuit make him absurdly good at kiting - I suppose Trinity force would deal a bit more damage, but I think the utility from IG is more valuable.

  38. Quick update on mid Lucian - a lot of EU LCS mids have been playing him recently with a slightly different build than I use - BotRK and Lucidity boots are the same, but they run Triforce over Iceborn Gauntlet and seem to prefer BT over LW as a third big item.

    Alex Ich and Froggen both seem to be playing him recently - Alex uses full AD runes with 6 CDR blues, 21/9/0 (taking CDR over AS). Not sure what Froggen is running, or if other well known mids have been experimenting with him.

    Also, I don't usually like quoting other people, but Alex was talking about Lucian on stream as I was writing this, and I couldn't resist-

    "I think Lucian mid is really good right now" - Alex Ich


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