Patch Chat with Playtest - Patch 6.4

Hey all, Welcome back to Patch Chat! We’re Riot’s Playtest Team, a group of high ranking League players whose job it is to play the hell out of things (lane tests, competitive testing, etc) and give actionable, objective feedback to designers. Every two weeks (concurrent with the release of patch notes), we’re going to be hosting a discussion here on the state of balance on the current patch. Take this opportunity to ask us any questions about the state of the game because, as we said, it’s our job to analyze it from all angles. Today, we’ve got a grab bag of topics for you, with a follow-up on our sleepers post from last patch, predictions on the jungle meta after the Runic Echoes nerfs, and what the hell is happening to all of our beautiful markspeople. -------------------------------------------------- **One More Sleeper** [Last week we put top lane Nautilus front and center in our predicted sleepers](, and it seems like many other players had the same idea, waking the Titan of the Depths from his slumber. His play rate spiked by 125%, and his win rate climbed another percent, to just above 54.5%. Did you pick up top lane Nautilus last week? Tell us about it in the comments! But there’s another best-kept secret just on the horizon, and it’s more than just OK. How do you deal with a meta where ADCs can go top, jungle, and bot all at the same time? Rammus, of course! With all that AD, this armordillo has powerballed to the top and is poised to take on all comers. With the exception of Malphite, Dr. Mundo, Nautilus, and Vladimir, 16 of the 20 most-played top laners are AD-based. And while a few of them have the potential to bully, the notorious trio of snowballers, Renekton, Darius, and Riven, are all sitting below 50% win rates. Rammus may have a weak laning phase but, with no bullies around to punish him, he’s taking his lunch money and cashing it in for some serious armor that most top laners and ADC’s can’t crack. -------------------------------------------------- **Rumble in the Jungle** The jungle has been more than a little mercurial lately, with juggernauts, devourers, and mages - oh my! - dominating the top 10 in both win rates and play rates, leaving tanks and warriors out in the cold. Udyr? Let’s not forget that he’s getting his own personal nerfs! Once the runic echo nerf hits live, however, we expect those AP junglers to take a decent hit, which means that the devourer junglers that aren’t nerfed (sorry Xin Zhao) will probably take the throne. My top bets? Master Yi and Shyvana. Those champions have proven harder to deal with than expected, thanks to massive mixed damage: physical (auto-attacks), magical (Devourer/Guinsoo’s), and even true (Master Yi). But if you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em. Devourer junglers are weak gankers early on, and early pressure junglers have a chance at snowballing lanes out of control. But one champion has been absolutely burning up the jungle: Rumble. Everybody’s favorite scrapper is getting some serious changes, so we sat down with playtester (and former LCS player) Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith for his opinions on the new and improved Rumble. > _I think this should be a pretty big playstyle change; it’s definitely a buff, but his win rate may drop to start as people figure out how to play it. > _ > > _Rumble has more leeway on heat. For example if he gets up to 80-heat or so, he no longer has to ult immediately or wait for his heat to go down; he can drop one E for the slow, then ult, then finish off with the second E. > _ > > _Rumble’s poking game is also definitely stronger now, but it’s not as secure as other poke champions. Like, if I’m playing Nidalee, those spears have sick range; I can sit back and throw spears and if I hit a fatty one, that’s money. If not, I’m not at risk. Rumble's low-ranged poke leaves him open to picks, but the strength of his counter initiation with Equalizer gives him some serious options to punish opponents who think he's an easy kill. > _ > > _Of course, he should also still find a place in top lane, and these changes should buff him up a few percent, but he probably still won’t be a top-tier top laner thanks to his steep mastery curve. > _ What do you think? What new junglers will rise to the top? -------------------------------------------------- **Hitting the Mark** Our ranged auto-attackers are getting some serious changes in this patch, but two champions’ changes really stand out. **Jhin, The Virtuoso** Jhin has struggled in solo queue, despite already seeing LCS play. After his games on the champion, Nickwu thinks that Jhin should feel significantly better on 6.4, thanks to an underappreciated change: > _The biggest change to me is probably the Movement Speed. Since every auto-attack matters, moving around and picking the right auto-attacks will feel more fluid. On a character that absolutely needs to hit his autos at the right time, Movement Speed cannot be underestimated. > _ > > _Deathfire Touch already does big damage on Jhin, thanks to his ludicrous bonus AD. Making his ultimate single-target will allow him to cash in some huge snipe shots in the late game, but might not be relevant in teamfights if you’re already getting the Deathfire Touch off on earlier auto-attacks. > _ > > _There’s some nice usability buffs in there two; traps and the root are both easier to use, which should ease some player frustration. > _ > > _Finally, Jhin’s passive is brought into consistency on towers. You already expect your 4th shot to be a fatty crit, so this should make Jhin feel more consistent when taking towers. > _ -------------------------------------------------- **Caitlyn - The Sheriff of Piltover** Thanks to her synergies with Hurricane, Statikk Shiv, and Rapidfire cannon, Caitlyn has been seeing success in mid game teamfights and turret sieges. Traps are already especially potent around turrets, and this trap change is a buff that exaggerates Caitlyn’s strengths. We should see her dominate in fights around turrets and epic monsters. Maxing W increases Caitlyn’s highs, and will make it much harder for teams to claw their way back into the game when Caitlyn abuses her early game strength to get a lead. -------------------------------------------------- What do you think? Who are your sleepers for 6.4? Are AP junglers still going to be strong on 6.4? Is Jhin OP or situational? Tell us below in the comments and feel free to ask any questions you have for Playtest Team at Riot, whether they be about balance or what exactly our job is! We will be around for the next few hours and will try to answer as many questions as possible. Ben “_Cezium_” Burkhardt Adam "_Afic_" Cohen Isaac “_Azael_” Cummings-Bentley Shawn “_I Am The IRS_” Currie Miles “_Daydreamin_” Hoard Scott “_Sickoscott_” Hong Mattias “_Gentleman Gustaf_” Lehman Nicholas “_Drecker_” Shapiro Nicholas “_Nickwu_” Smith Blake “_Ex Shepherd_” Soberanis Trevor “_ThEntropist_” Thernes
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