In this breakdown, our three experts analyze the most impactful changes for the 9.18 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.
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League Patch 9.18’s impact on the roles
State of Top Lane: Hewitt – “prohibit”
- Not many of the changes for this patch were aimed at top lane but there are a few that stick out namely Aatrox, and Akali.
- Two of the main culprits got nerfed this patch (Akail, and Aatrox) which frees up new champions that had bad matchups to flourish.
- Recently, Quinn has been on the rise as one of the few ranged bullies that can push a lead down the enemies’ throats and close early.
State of Jungle: “Flaress”
- AP Junglers are starting to look more favorable with the standard of AD tops and mid laners just to fill the magic damage slot of team comps.
- Junglers should avoid clearing their blue side jungle (unless it is for Blue Buff) and keep Raptors & Krugs on cooldown.
- While your red side jungle is on CD, you should be ganking lanes until they respawn.
State of Mid: Adam – “Moriarty”
- Mid lane right is still very melee assassin / skirmish focusedaAs shown by Qiyana still holding S tier despite her heavy nerfs.
- The big shake up to the mid meta though is Panth coming in as a very solid counter to squishy melee champs that rely on burst since his E just negates all of it.
- Looks for similar picks to pop up in the coming weeks aimed at countering the very predictable state of mid lane currently
State of Bot Carry: Hewitt – “prohibit”
- The biggest change to bot lane this patch are nerfs to Xayah and Kai’Sa. Xayah nerfs are the heaviest and we expect her priority to drop.
- The meta is filled with very dangerous melee champions and it’s crucial for a marksmen to have defensive tools readily available to deal with them.
- Xayah’s nerfs will give more openings to catch and kill her which will drop her consistency. Kai’Sa nerfs are small but noticeable. They mostly hit her mid to late game dps but we don’t believe it’s dramatic enough to change her drastically.
- With Riot constantly nerfing ADC staples, we expect the overall power level of the role to decrease even if there are still a few good champions left at the top.
- There are good non-traditional ADC options like Syndra and the like so keep and eye out and experiment if you want to improve your win rate in bot lane.
State of Support: “PicklePants”
- Support hasn’t really changed too much lately as there are so many viable Supports to play. Every S tier champion is very strong and I would highly recommend that you play one of them if you want to climb the ranks.
- Skirmish heavy supports are still the strongest, and if you have an aggressive play style, you should find success.
- The truth is, there are many strong supports right now and you can get away with playing a range of different ones. If you wanna have fun, give Miss Fortune a shot!
Buffs, nerfs, and adjustments
- This won’t impact Aatrox too much outside of super high ELO. Overall, one of Aatrox’s biggest strengths is being able to shove his wave and heal back to full HP.
- Riot’s targeting this aspect and trying to tone it down to give him more counterplay.
- For now, Aatrox is staying A-tier for top lane and falling from B to off in mid lane for high ELO. He’ll remain off of the low ELO list.
- These nerfs will be felt by Akali mains as her ultimate is being hit pretty hard. Since Akali’s ult is such a short CD right now, her gameplay is just a bit too safe for her impact.
- She’s losing some all-in damage as well at level 6 and she’ll be less consistent without her mini-stun.
- That being said, her kit still has a lot of tools that if you die on her it’s most likely because you were careless.
- Akali is falling to A for top and mid for high ELO and remaining off of our low ELO list.
- This is a pretty big buff to Annie as she’ll be much more of a threat due to her increased movement speed.
- She’ll no longer have to rely on waiting for Predator or Flash to be up.
- One small caveat is that she’ll be slightly less tanky due to her reduced damage reduction and she won’t be able to cycle to activate her stun since her E’s CD is increasing. However, these are all worthwhile tradeoffs for being able to make more plays.
- Her E can be used to dodge ganks, set up ganks, engage, and poke more often in lane.
- Annie fans rejoice, she’ll be rising from B to A for mid and rising to B as a support in low ELO, and is making the cut in high ELO at B for mid lane.
Aurelion Sol (buffed)
- 65 HP is quite a bit in the early game, it’s around 2 auto-attacks from a mage.
- This still probably won’t be enough to make him strong in the meta or make more people want to play him, however, his current mains may appreciate the extra cushion in the arly game.
- He’ll be rising slightly and making the mid lane cut at B in high ELO.
- ADCs will always be happy to see buffs to AD and although this certainly helps Cait’s early game, it won’t be enough to help her catch up to her S-tier peers.
- She’ll be staying at A-tier for both of our lists.
- These buffs are pretty nice and will help him in all roles he’s being played in. He’ll be much more consistent and easier to execute with a lower mana cost and longer duration on his stun.
- He’s very, very close to being an S-tier jungler but we’re keeping watch for now.
- For now, he’ll be staying at A for jungle/mid in low ELO and staying A for jungle and B for mid in high ELO.
- This is a pretty big buff for Evelynn as she’ll not be able to deal with tanks who have been giving her a hard time.
- Pretty much anything that doesn’t have magic resist will die to a fed Evelynn now and she’ll have much more overall consistency.
- She’ll be strong but not OP just yet. For now, she’s jumping to B-tier in low ELO and staying A in high ELO.
- This is strange as Jhin was already in a very good state. If you’re a fan of Jhin, you should be trying to get as many games as you can while he’s powerful.
- He’ll be staying S-tier for low ELO and staying A-tier in high ELO since his mobility will just hold him back at that level of play.
- Most players will agree that Kai’Sa needs nerfs and while this definitely applies, it isn’t anywhere near being impactful.
- It’s likely that Riot still wants Kai’Sa to make a splash at Worlds so they’re making sure she’s still strong.
- If they really want her power level to decrease, her burst potential needs to be hit.
- For now, she’ll be staying A-tier for low ELO and staying S for high ELO.
- Kayle has been getting better but still has a lot of room for improvement. 5 damage at all ranks is pretty nice but not super impactful.
- She’ll only be appearing at B-tier as a top laner in low ELO.
Lee Sin (buffed)
- The gradual buffs for Lee Sin to show up at Worlds continue! 5 extra Hp is pretty nice in the early game and his other damage increases will slightly help his consistency overall.
- For the most part though, Lee will be relatively the same for solo queue, staying B in low ELO and staying A in high.
Miss Fortune (buffed)
- This buff is pretty significant for MF and her mains will definitely feel an improvement.
- The changes may even make her viable as a support again as she’ll have better CC and poke with the increased slow.
- She’ll be breaking into S-tier as an ADC and rising to B as a support for low ELO. She’ll be getting better in high ELO but remaining at A for now.
Nunu & Willump (nerfed)
- Nunu + Willump have been the kings of a jungle for a long time now so these nerfs are well-deserved. He’ll be much less forgiving and we’ll have to be more precise with his ganks instead of being able to succeed when he misses almost everything.
- That being said, they’ll still be a force to reckon with since they were just that far ahead of the pack.
- We’ll be having them fall from S to A for both of our lists but don’t be surprised if they manage to still maintain their S status when all is said and done.
- At first look, these changes don’t appear to be more than just quality of life changes, however, there is more than meets the eye here.
- Since Scuttle will no longer proc mushrooms, it means that Teemo will have much more river control throughout laning phase.
- 5 charges will also really help his late game power and ability to control objectives.
- Since he’s basically improving at all stages of the game, Teemo will be jumping from A to S at top for low ELO and staying at B for high elo since players are much better with vision control.
- Warwick has been borderline A-tier for some time partly due to the presence of this bug. Now that it’s fixed, we’ll be watching closely to see if he finally breaks out of B-tier.
- For now, we want to see if it has the effect that we’re expecting so check back in the update to see if we finally upgrade him.
- WW will remain at B-tier at both of our lists just to play it safe because Riot has said they’ve fixed this before but here we are again saying it’s still being fixed.
- These were the sort of nerfs we were expecting Kai’Sa to get as these are actually hitting Xayah in the right places.
- With decreased base armor and a longer cooldown on her ultimate, she’ll have to be much safer and won’t be as guaranteed to scale.
- Her opponents will have better windows throughout the match to kill her where previously she was almost ungankable due to her potent self-peel.
- She’ll still be great but not optimal, so she’ll be dropping to A-tier for both low ELO and high ELO.
- Zoe is slowly creeping back to what might be her previous power levels due to these gradual buffs over time.
- For now she’s still under the radar and hasn’t been the target of as many complaints. These buffs are nice but won’t put her back into the infamous limelight just yet.
- She’ll be staying at A-tier on our high ELO list and will remain off of our low ELO list.
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!