Figured it'd be good to touch base on our thoughts on Marksmen again after talking about them at the start of the year.
**Things that have changed since then:**
* Jungler influence is down due to nerfs to XP and other systems. We increased jungler influence unintentionally in the pre-season and have been reducing it to around previous levels since.
* Courage of the Colossus is significantly weaker, reining back champions that utilized it especially well in particular. Combination of that and jungle stuff above's restored agency to a range of positions/champs, marksmen included.
* Lethality's been buffed since it wasn't serving the needs of a range of physical damage dealers from multiple classes. That's given caster and early game marksmen itemization to better serve their needs and we're seeing a lot of success from them (and other lethality users) now as a result (too much so in some cases).
* We've made some changes to individual marksmen where appropriate (Draven, Kalista, Lucian, Trist etc).
* Utility marksmen (e.g. Ashe) seem to be in a reasonable spot. Caster/early game marksmen (e.g. MF) are performing strongly too, too well in some cases. Crit using marksmen (late game AA focused) however may need further item work (not straight buffs, but adjustments to who they're strong/weak against when).
* Armor pen needs some followup changes after the Lethality buffs. Some of that's Black Cleaver being too broadly appealing, leading to some excessive strength sometimes when combined with Lethality. We'll be shifting BC to a higher health/lower AD profile as a result. Longer term (mid season potentially) we'll also likely take a larger look at the different armor pen types. As a stop gap before that we're testing Last Whisper (the component of Lord Dominick's and Mortal Reminder) having the same % pen as those upgrades, but less AD as a safety valve against mid game armor stacking. plus a reduction in the Lethality from Ghostblade and Masteries.
* We'll also probably be nerfing some individual marksmen in the near future. Corki and Jhin are the most likely candidates.
* We'll be making changes to Fervor and Warlord's. Warlord's being an effective default choice leads to a situation where you either take the thing that lets you not lose lane or the thing that lets you be appropriately effective later in the game IF you didn't get crushed too much in lane in the first place. We want Warlord's to be more niche as a result.
* We're not seeing other classes edge marksmen out of bot lane. So far Ziggs is the only mage getting meaningful play as a farming bot laner and, while he looks a bit strong, we're still happy with his presence there. Long term we'll likely look at whether there are a couple of other mages we could get into bot lane in a similar way (tower taking power's probably some of the answer there)