Riot Games is continuing to improve its League of Legends season 13 update. The previous Patch 13.1 included significant ADC and fighter item changes. Now, the balance team is focusing on the support class while also tuning the jungle meta.
Many players are interested in discovering which updates will be the most impactful and if new champions will blossom in popularity.
Now that Patch 13.3 is available, it's difficult to know exactly what will happen. However, by looking at the individual changes and linking them all together, we might discover an answer.
In Patch 13.3, you can activate support buffs.
On January 29, former shoutcaster and current game designer David "Phreak" Turley talked about the upcoming support enhancements and improvements on his YouTube channel. In particular, the enhancements and changes will focus on engage supports. We'll not go into detail all of the changes, but we'll name the champions that got the most out of the patch: Alistar, Nautilus, and Thresh.
The main buffs for Alistar are the reduced mana costs, which will allow the cow to spam his combos during the laning phase.
Nautilus has been the go-to support pick in the last few years when it comes to hard-engaging. At the same time, the balance team is trying to reintroduce him back into the meta by providing some extra damage early with his W. Given his popularity despite being in a somewhat bad meta (7.5 percent pick rate, according to U.GG), the balance team will have to keep an eye on Nautilus to see where he comes in the next patch.
Thresh was supposed to have the most powerful buffs among all the support packs but they were withdrawn from the patch at the last minute. Thresh didn't get a great deal of ability power with his items, which doesn't make much difference since he doesn't get access to a lot of ability power with his weapons. He's likely to be played more, but his win rate may not go up as much as predicted.
Is Umbral Glaive a dead entity?
The Umbral Glaive tweaks should bolster the ADC support meta and, most importantly, bring back the vision control game. The item's passive is far too powerful and gives too much value because wards are basically free extra gold and experience that Umbral Glaive users receive throughout the game.
The tentative balance change is heading in a positive direction because it mostly enhances ranged supports' ward clearing ability without affecting melee champions like Pyke. However, the higher cooldown, as well as the inability to kill traps with one auto attack, will allow more room for counterplay.
Changes to jungle clearing: more farming, less ganking?
The introduction of pets and new gold and experience on the camps was one of the most significant changes in the preseason. The reduced gold, however, completely shifted the meta as farming junglers have almost disappeared across the board. Champions who excel at spam ganking are getting paid far too well, and there are little counters for it.
Riot is attempting to change the game by giving more experience to jungle camps while nerfing the extra gold from treats. This should make farming somewhat more enjoyable, and farming junglers should gain hundreds of hours of experience early on, making dives more difficult to execute.
Radiant Virtue: better on tanks, but worse on everybody else
Since its introduction in the preseason, Radiant Virtue has been a sleeper-OP item. While players didn't realize how powerful it was, the move to a teamfighting mode made by front-to-back and kite-back comps has made the item valuable to the point where it's too powerful.
Riot is working to improve the game and preserve parts of its utility specifically for tanks, while nerfing the aura effect that made Radiant Virtue a must-build for many champions. The new version should be even better for those who can build lots of health in their builds, although we will likely stop seeing champions like Karma build it.
The most powerful champion buffs and nerfs
Riot changed a slew of champions in this patch, but we will examine the most significant changes that might bring or remove particular champions from the meta.
Jarvan IV was supposed to receive a significant increase in his Golden Aegis, but the patch removed it. Regardless, Jarvan IV will still be a great pick against immobile champions. If ranged support and marksmen like Varus and Caitlyn are still going to be S-tier champions, then Jarvan IV will be one of the best picks to counter them.
Lee Sin is another jungler who is getting lots of attention from the balance team. Not only is he getting more damage on his Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike (Q), but he is also getting more damage on his Tempest/Cripple (E), making it inevitable that Lee Sin mains will return in solo play.
Kassadin and Zac have been nerfed after being two of the most powerful champions in Patch 13.1. Despite their nerfs, both are still going to be relevant in the meta.
What will all of the changes mean for the meta?
Patch 13.3 is expected to make a minor shift, although it will not be huge. It will mainly depend on whether tank supports are strong enough to become meta again.
Players will need time to consider whether ranged support is still superior to melee ones, and whether bully ADCs like Varus and Caitlyn will get overpowered by crit-based ADCs like Xayah, Draven, and Jhin.
If new bot lane duos are to become common, then we may see new meta picks across other roles. Otherwise, the solo lanes and jungle picks from the previous patch will remain a top priority.