In this breakdown, our three experts analyze the most impactful changes for the 9.12 League of Legends patch update. We’ll discuss the buffs, nerfs, and adjustments regarding champions, items, and Summoner’s Rift itself to understand the patch’s effect on the meta for all roles.
League Patch 9.12’s impact on the roles
State of Top Lane: Hewitt – “prohibit”
- Top lane is still very much about counterpicks so make sure to brush up on your matchup knowledge.
- Players are adapting things like Camille to play into popular high-ELO champs like Ryze, Sylas, and Akali.
- If you don’t have a strong one trick or a good champion pool to cover different matchups, you’re going to crushed.
- Riven didn’t fall off as hard as we thought she would with the recent nerfs to her shield cooldown. Adapting a more aggressive playstyle allows her to still be competitive at the top of the ladder.
State of Jungle: Adam – “Moriarty”
- The current jungle meta at the highest level goes something like this: Are you a Nunu main? Are you a Rengar one-trick or for any of the other assassin junglers like Kha or Eve? Do you duo queue so you pick Sejuani along with a carry player?
- If you aren’t one of these types of junglers, you’ll likely have to default to picking an early snowball champion like Hecarim, Elise, Olaf or Nidalee in an attempt to destroy the early game so hard the enemy team FF’s at 20 before you fall off late game.
- These are the current styles or types of players that do well in this state of the jungle meta and it’s like to stay like that for a bit.
State of Mid: Adam – “Moriarty”
- Mid has recently been dominated by champions such as Sylas, Akali, Irelia, and Ryze, but t who one by one are getting direct nerfs.
- This leaves room open for other champions to rise to the top, such as Rumble mid or Talon who have unrivaled push and roam styles of play, but unlike champions like Aurelion Sol or TF, they are also able to apply solo kill pressure.
- This makes them perfect choices for high lane priority and impact for solo queue.
- We also have some potential dark horse champions like Pyke mid, Katarina, Tri-force TF, and Orianna rising.
- Maybe some of the new reworks in Ryze and Morde can shake things up as the current mid lane climate is about to change quickly over the next few patches if Riot continues this buff and most nerf pattern.
State of Bot Carry: Hewitt – “prohibit”
- With the addition of Yuumi and buffs to other enchanters, enchanters are slowly making their way back to being dominant in the solo queue meta. We’ve also seen Rakan skyrocketing both in popularity and in strength at the top level of play.
- ADCs are remaining pretty similar but Sivir and Xayah gain in presence as Lover’s Lane is becoming a staple again while Sivir has great synergy with Rakan and the rising champion Yuumi.
State of Support: “PicklePants”
- With naughty Nautilus receiving a hit, utility Supports will have a much easier time in lane against him and his early game damage should not be as potent as it once was. While he still has the ability to lock someone down with his Q, you shouldn’t get one shot by him anymore.
- The top tier picks for the Support role are incredibly strong and I would highly suggest putting your time and effort into learning one of our S picks. The meta for Supports has moved towards easier champions rather than the more mechanical which should help you climb more easily.
Buffs, nerfs, and adjustments
- The newest rework has finally arrived! To learn more about his new kit in comparison to his old one, check out our recent article on the Mordekaiser rework.
- As a reminder, we don’t include new champions or reworks that have kit overhauls on our tier list on the first patch they release but keep an eye out in future patches.
Ryze (adjusted, leaning towards nerf)
- There’s a lot to digest here so here are the major things you need to know:
- Lost his shield (so he’ll have less overall durability)
- Less reliable gank set up
- More damage
- Better wave clear
- Losing his shield and not having a root that comes out instantly will make him suffer against bad matchups that can all-in him.
- This mostly hurts his top lane viability but he won’t be completely gone.
- His Spell Flux change is where he’s getting the most compensation, with reduced mana cost and always bouncing, he may have enough on-demand waveclear to always have the shove in his favor.
- You may need to opt for an alternative build to make up for his lost shield. We may see RoA > Tear come back as a staple.
Sylas (adjusted leaning towards nerf )
- Sylas has been a terror at the highest level of play but has been difficult to play at lower-ELOs.
- The changes to his passive, Q, W, and E are intended to make him easier to pick up and play, however, they are going to hurt his current power level.
- He’ll no longer be able to insta-clear waves or protect himself from poke with his shields so his options will be restricted during laning phase.
- As a result, he’s falling from S to B as a mid laner and from S to A for top on our high-ELO list and remaining off of our low-ELO list.
Yuumi (adjusted, leaning towards nerf )
- Similar to Sylas, this is another set of changes meant to nerf a champion at high levels while strengthening them at lower levels of play.
- She’s receiving a large increase in base health increase but CC will now interrupt her when she is dashing to attach to allies.
- The W change is overall weaker when attached to burst spell casters but slightly better for ADCs.
- The changes won’t be as bad for her as they were for Sylas, Yuumi will be an S-tier Support of high-ELO and will stay as B for low-ELO.
- Aatrox is seeing nerfs to his passive’s cooldown and ultimate’s healing bonus in 9.12, but they aren’t too bad.
- His laning will be slightly worse in terms of trading and sustain but since he was in such a strong state, he’ll still be a viable choice for climbing.
- With the changes to his ultimate, now he won’t be able to 2v8 in competitive play with a Yuumi.
- Overall though, he’ll be an A-tier top laner and B-tier mid laner at low-ELO, and an S-tier top laner and A-tier mid laner for high-ELO.
- Ashe is receiving a minor buff and we’re not sure why exactly. We felt she was already pretty good but perhaps Riot may be buffing some of her competition in the ADC role or some of her counters in the near future.
- She’ll be remaining at S-tier for low-ELO and A-tier for high-ELO.
- Cait’s slight buff is nice but won’t be enough to significantly change her status in the meta.
- We expect her to remain at A-tier for ADC on both of our lists.
- WIth nerfs to her E’s cooldown and range, Irelia is losing a lot of early lane kill potential and snowball reliability.
- She was already tough to play outside of high-ELO but now she’ll be even worse at lower-ELOs due to her high difficulty – unless you’re a one-trick or have really good mechanics, you’ll probably want to avoid her below high Diamond.
- As you probably guessed, she’s only on our high-ELO list at S-tier for top and A-tier for mid.
- Enchanters have begun to return to the meta and these buffs to Q and E will surely help Karma rise as a viable choice.
- If you’re a Karma main that’s been waiting for her to be good again, it’s time to dust her off and rock her new skin.
- Don’t expect her to be dominant but she’s good enough to make both of our lists at B-tier.
- Along with Karma, Lulu is another enchanter that is getting buffed (probably to keep up with the likes of Rakan, Yuumi, Soraka, and Sona).
- Most of her changes are just VFX updates but she’s also receiving a nice buff to her E in power and cheaper mana costs.
- She’s on the rise but will still be at B-tier for both of our lists.
- Nautilus has had a good run at the top for a while now but unfortunately, he’s gotten Riot’s attention for nerfs.
- With the rising tide of enchanters, Nautilus is one of the last bastions of all-in engagers.
- He’ll still be a very strong choice for climbing but don’t be surprised if Riot brings more nerfs due to his power in combination with his ease of play.
- Since this nerf is directed towards high-ELO, he’ll be falling a notch from S to A on that list. However, he’ll still be an S-tier champ on the low-ELO list.
- With increased damage to his W to help his clear speed as well as a change to his ultimate so that his targets are knocked back less and provides more survivability, Zac will be in a much better place for 9.12.
- He’ll be more consistent in the early game and the reduced knockback will allow him to be stickier on his targets.
- We’re keeping a close eye on him but for now, he’ll only be at B-tier for low-ELO.
Corrupting Potion (nerfed)
- Corrupting Potion’s scaling is taking a hit but it’s a minor one. We expect it to probably remain a popular choice, it’ll just be sold earlier.
Thank you for reading, we hope you enjoyed this patch breakdown. How do you feel about this patch? Let us know in the comments. As always, if you have any questions, find us in our Discord!