Welcome to our Mobalytics 9.2 Patch Notes Breakdown!
In this series, we analyze and breakdown the most impactful changes for every patch. We’ll go over buffs, nerfs, and gameplay changes as you’d expect, but we’ll also have a section where our three high-ELO Mobalytics experts provide insight on how the patch affects each role.
Here are the 9.2 patch notes for reference. We won’t be listing the stats of every change so make sure to have the notes open if you’re looking for those.
If you’d like to find the best champions to climb with this patch, head to our 9.2 tier list.
To hear more about the patch in an audio format, check out our podcast:
Patch 9.2’s impact on the roles
State of Top Lane: Kellen – “Exil”
- With the sizable nerfs to Irelia and Urgot and some slaps on the wrist to Aatrox and Jax, Top lane seems like it might start to open up for a whole new pool of champions. Nasus has risen way up for lower levels of play but still struggles a bit in top-tier Challenger solo queue.
- However, with tank itemization being buffed, I think scaling champions like Gangplank and Nasus do have the option to come back into High Elo solo queue. Games will start to go longer with Riot changing Baron and inhibitor towers as well…so you will have more time in Season 9 to farm a side lane. Scalers, tanks, and carries all viable…that’s cool as heck.
State of Mid/Jungle: Adam – “Moriarty”
- Jungle, received an overall nerf this patch due to red smite getting damage nerfs. Although this hurts almost all the Junglers, less damage early will mean that scaling style Junglers will start to be given a chance to compete. With Karthus on the rise as the premier scaling Jungler who barely needs his Smite, since he just hits R with Dark Harvest, you’ll like start to see him a lot more. Early game Junglers like Xin won’t be out of the picture but with Riot looking to tone down damage overall and include more tanks, you’ll start to see champs like Sej make a comeback.
- As for Mid lane, the Ignite and Absolute Focus nerfs will hurt a lot of burst mages like Zoe but not enough to create an overall shift in the meta yet. Also, RIP to Galio, the Q nerfs were a bit too harsh but no one will miss him.
State of Bot lane (Carry + Support): Hewitt – “prohibit”
- Bot lane is probably the most stagnate role for some time now because it’s in a transition period. With every patch shaving power off from assassins and burst damage, buffing tanks, and giving power back to auto-based crit ADCs, we are eventually going to see a shift in the overall meta.
- For now, the biggest change to bot lane is champions like Zyra having their early game dominance reduced through direct mana regen nerfs, as well as flat nerfs to AP runes. Combine this with Bloodline being buffed and ADCs may have enough breathing room to sustain through mage supports poke.
- Lastly, Rakan is being sacrificed to the gods for his sins in competitive. There are better picks to play in support so unless you’re a Rakan enthusiast, you’re much better off dropping him for the foreseeable future.
Buffs, nerfs, and adjustments
- The nerfs to his Q and E will hit Aatrox’s early game so he’ll be even less viable in lower ELOs (where he was already struggling due to his difficulty).
- For high-ELO, the changes won’t be as substantial but he’ll be falling as a top pick (Optimal, S-tier) to around A-tier.
Aurelion Sol (adjusted, leaning towards buffed)
- The changes to Sol’s Q will make him easier to play for newer players since it’ll be easier to utilize in more situations.
- For example, despite it’s lower stun duration at close range, Sol will have a better time dealing with melee and assassin matchups that previously gave him a ton of trouble (Fizz, Talon etc). These matchups will still be problematic, but now he’ll have some semblance of self-peel with a quick Q-Q-R combo.
- It remains to be seen how this will impact his viability going forward so we’re keeping an eye on him.
- His passive is taking a hit to keep his early game damage in check. To be honest, we all know that a nerf was long overdue so it’s not too surprising. He’ll still be decent but won’t be dominant without actually being good at him.
- These nerfs will affect Cassiopeia’s utility as she won’t be able to spam Miasma as often for zone control. Cass players were maxing W 2nd often so hitting its damage and CD will definitely have some impact but overall, she won’t be knocked down too much as a strong pick. She’ll just be a tad more reasonable.
- Balancing Galio has been…problematic to say the least. Before 9.2, he was incredibly tanky while being able to assassinate somehow…with waveclear…AoE CC…the list goes on. However, now that he’s getting nerfs to his mana cost, AP ratio, and damage, he’s going to be falling pretty hard and possibly completely off.
- The changes will completely force his mains to change his build path so we’ll see what they’ll come up with. But for now, it’s not looking good for the gargoyle.
Irelia (adjusted, but definitely nerfed)
- Ouch, Irelia’s Q nerfs are huge as her resets will be much less consistent and it’ll force her players to adjust and relearn her “rhythm” and play pattern.
- Irelia’s changes will primarily affect her as a Top laner and some matchups (like Orianna) in the Mid lane, due to the removed passive bonus against shields.
- Her ultimate isn’t getting completely shafted as some extra burst damage and a 90% are pretty nice, but the removal of its disarm affect will negatively impact her ability outplay potential in 1v2 situations.
- In most cases, unless you’re in high ELO, you’re going to want to avoid playing her.
Jarvan IV (buffed)
- Solid, straightforward buffs. This will definitely help him out as a Jungler.
- These nerfs are more of a slap on the wrist and they will affect him more in the jungle than Top lane (clear speed, etc). We’ll see what happens if Riot ends up taking away Conqueror but for now, Jax will still be a very strong pick.
- Kassadin’s nerfs are pretty fair and bring him in line for his original designed purpose as an anti-mage. It didn’t really make sense that he would be safe into AD picks like Talon. He’ll still be a late-game monster but his mains will have to avoid being countered at champ select by AD champs and be a little more careful against autoattacks in general in the early game.
Kayn (QoL buffs)
- Kayn mains are finally getting the requests they’ve been asking for since his release. These quality of life changes will make life much easier and playing him feel much smoother.
- You’ll be able to reliably get the form you want more consistently and you can even ping your allies on your transformation progress. This aren’t huge buffs, but they are impactful, so we expect him to rise in the meta as a solid pick.
- Riot is shifting some power away from Neeko’s ultimate (removing the slow) and making her trickster playmaking ability more powerful (longer duration).
- We’re not sure how these changes will impact her just yet as our experts still believe that she isn’t being played to her full potential – players just haven’t mastered her transform/clone gameplay yet.
- Well, the Ornn rework hasn’t been so hot. He had a pretty miserable win rate in 9.1 so Riot is trying to give him some love but giving simple buffs to his base health and armor.
- Someone at Riot hates Rakan because his recent nerfs just don’t make any sense. It’s nice they finally fixed his ult bug but jeez, he’s going to be unplayable in solo queue. Only play him if you’re running lover’s lane as a duo or you’re a Rakan one-trick who really doesn’t want to pick up another champ.
- In her current state, Shyvana struggled to really carve a distinct niche. It seemed like that other champions did what she wanted to do, just better. With these buffs, she’ll have her own unique strengths to give players reasons to choose her.
- The changes won’t be impactful enough to send her to S-tier, but now she might be picked up as a go-to counterpick against tanks like Sejuani.
Tahm Kench (nerfed)
- This nerf was more for balancing TK in pro-play (since he’s still quite popular) but this just hurts for Kench mains from regular everyday solo queue.
- He was already struggling but now they’re taking away another one of his tools. Similar to Rakan, avoid using unless you’re in a specific duo queue combo or a dedicated enthusiast.
- Similar to Jax, Brand, and others, Urgot’s nerfs were probably expected and overdue. He’ll still be pretty strong as these changes won’t completely gut him but will instead, give some of his matchups a chance to beat him pre-6.
- The mana changes will also hurt less-skilled Urgots who spammed or weren’t able to consistently land his Q during laning phase.
Volibear (adjusted but mostly buffed)
- 9.2 is giving Voli max health damage on his E and more punch and speed to his ultimate. This will allow him to be able to deal with frontliners as a tanky melee instead of only excelling against squishies.
- It remains to be seen if this will be enough to allow Voli to become a mainstay in the meta, but these changes definitely bode well for him (especially at lower ELOs).
Yorick (adjusted but mostly a buff)
- Yorick’s changes will allow him to be THE premier late game split-pusher but a big problem is that there really isn’t a late game in this fast meta. We’ll see if this allows him to come back to his former glory but this change should definitely help him, especially in lower ELOs where games tend to go longer.
- You guessed it, this is another nerf we expected. Zyra has been a top-tier Support for a long time and could often carry games in solo queue. She will definitely still be a strong pick but the gap is slightly closing as she won’t be able to AFK spam spells as much.
- Quality of life changes are always somewhat buffs. These shouldn’t be super impactful but she’ll feel nicer to play overall and be more consistent where she should’ve always been.
Oblivion Orb (nerfed)
- For its gold value, Oblivion Orb just provided too much bang for its buck. Many players were happy enough to just sit with it without finishing it. It’s not only becoming more expensive but also losing some AP, so it won’t be as much of a brain dead pick up every game.
- Our experts feel that this AP nerf wasn’t deserved and it was more that Oblivion Orb was what was problematic. However, Riot wants to make it more of a niche item as the Grievous Wounds item so it’s becoming less of an attractive general choice.
Sunfire Cape (buffed)
- The return of tanks continues! It hasn’t been a popular choice recently so its cheaper costs may allow it to be competitive with other tank choices.
General stat rune changes
- Adaptive damage nerfed 10 -> 9
- Armor buffed 5 -> 6
- Magic resist buffed 6 -> 8
Overheal (adjusted, leaning towards buffed)
- Agency is always a good thing in ranked solo queue, so the changes that shift its power towards more independence will favor most players. It might be a bit worse for duos that were using it in bot lane.
Legend: Bloodline (adjusted, leaning towards buffed)
- Bloodline is having its power shifted more towards the late game as its cap is being increased but losing immediate value as each stack is reduced. This makes it more of an attractive choice for later game champs and will allow it to steal some thunder from its more popular counterpart, Alacrity.
Cut Down (adjust, leaning towards buffed)
- With the meta being as fast as it is, giving up some late game power for some early game strength will be worth it. Who knows if it will lose appeal in a future meta shift, but for now, these changes indicate a buff.
Absolute Focus (nerfed)
- As Riot mentions, Absolute Focus was simply overtuned. It’s healthier for the game if other runes are more appealing instead of one clear choice every time.
Ignite (adjusted, leaning towards nerfed)
- Don’t be fooled, sure you’ll be able to cast it more often but the hit to Ignite’s damage will take away a lot of its early game killing power. Supports will be feeling these changes the most.
Baron, Jungle, and turret changes
- Overall, the big thing to take away from these changes is that there will be a net increase in average game duration. It remains to be seen if the meta will favor early game and snowballing or will slow down to a more grindy, tanky meta, but it appears to be certainly trending toward a longer and safer early-mid game.
- Champions and team comps which involve tanks, crit marksmen, and scaling split-pushers will be rising in stock.
- Jungle as a role is taking a deserved hit as it has been a really strong role for some time and early game gankers will be the ones who feel it most.
Thanks for reading! This was our first patch breakdown so let us know what you liked and what you’d like to see. As always, if you have any questions, find us in our Discord!