James Busby, March 1, 2017

The biggest changes in LoL's 7.4 patch

Week 6 of the LCS is fast approaching and Riot has made some significant changes to some of the popular meta champs.

The focus of this patch is to delve into the professional scene's use of certain champions and Riot is hoping that the changes will allow other champs to shine in the future. Patch 7.4 may not directly impact the current LCS, but it is reining in a few of the more potent champions who have been wreaking havoc on the Rift, while shedding some light onto champions who've been neglected by the community. So what are the biggest changes in patch 7.4?

Corki: The Daring Bombardier

Corki is one of the the strongest mid-laners at all levels of play and he’s seen huge success in this year’s LCS. His strong poke damage and wave clear allow him to shred through turrets and the popular tanks we’re seeing in the meta right now. To rein in his power a bit Riot have toned down Missile Barrage’s base damage and the AP scaling has been lowered by 10%, while the AD scaling is down to 25%. However, Big One’s damage has increased to 100% bonus damage from 50%, which means the missiles will hurt a bit less and Corki’s barrage won’t be as deadly. The Big One will still do a lot of damage, but there’s now a lot more pressure to land and dodge this ability. This change should make it easier to play around Corki, as you can flash or use an ability to sidestep The Big One which will greatly decrease his overall dominance in lane.  

Ryze: The Rogue Mage

Ryze has been another hotly contested pick throughout this year’s LCS thanks to his game-changing ultimate, Realm Warp and his ability to machine-gun everyone to death when he scales into mid/late game. Riot have targeted his Overload ability and reduced its bonus damage by 20% in the late game to force Ryze players to pay more attention when targeting their opponents with Spell Flux. This change is primarily aimed at the LCS and higher ranks of play, as the Rogue Mage has been completely outclassing many mid-lane champions. His damage is still crazy, but this change could likely see Ryze’s popularity drop significantly in pro play.

Cho’Gath: The Terror of the Void

Cho’Gath’s has been pretty weak for a while now and he’s rarely played on the Rift, but patch 7.4 aims to resurrect the Terror of the Void once again. Feast now deals bonus damage based on your bonus health and it stacks infinitely. The biggest change though is that the stacks no longer get removed when you die, which instantly removes the frustration of losing most of your power if you get shut down. You now receive five stacks from minions and non-epic monsters and the AP ratio has been lowered by 20%, but you now gain 10% bonus HP which goes up to 140 bonus health per stack.

These changes have turned Cho’Gath into an unkillable monster who gains health from both his ultimate and items, while also scaling in damage. Cho’Gath can now opt for a completely tanky build without being punished for not building any damage items. The Terror of the Void also has great CC with the knock-up from Rupture and the silence from Feral Scream, and when you combine this with the massive boost to his sustain and the true damage from Feast you’re looking at a very scary champion. This mini-rework will likely bring Cho’Gath to the forefront of the meta and we can expect to see him gaining popularity in the future.

Maokai: The Twisted Treant

Maokai has been the dominant super-tank of the LCS, and many champions in the top-lane have failed to fell this mighty tree. His waveclear with the landing damage from Sapling Toss made it ridiculously easy to both farm and poke champions from a safe distance, but the Twisted Treant will now have to use more resources when wave clearing, as Sapling Toss no longer deals landing damage. This will now give his opponent the ability to actually counter the sentient tree and win lane via attrition if they drain his mana before they engage him. However, the biggest change is to his Arcane Smash as it has increased by five per cent at all ranks. You can now only use Arcane Smash five times as opposed to the original seven. This may not sound like much of a nerf, but the change to Arcane Smash will greatly hurt Maokai’s laning phase and it will be interesting to see if he still remains a favoured pick after the LCS.

Bard: The Wandering Caretaker

Bard used to be a very popular support pick in casual and competitive levels of play, but he has been left to the confines of the champion select screen in favour of meta picks like Zyra and Malzahar. The Wandering Caretaker has been given a helping hand and it’s hoped that the increased movement speed buff from his passive Travelers Call will help his roaming and playmaking potential. Whenever Bard picks up a Chime he will now get 24%, plus 14% for each chime beyond the first one he collects. It’s not the biggest buff in this patch, but hopefully this will help put the spotlight back onto the Rift’s resident caretaker once again.

Key item changes

Black Cleaver

The Black Cleaver is currently one of the most bought items in the late game and while this item is meant for fighters and skirmishers, it has become very popular among glass canon champs like Zed and Miss Fortune. Riot originally intended the item to be used by Fighters like Darius and Skirmishers like Fiora, so to counter its popularity they have increased the items health to 400, lowered the attack damage from 50 to 40, and changed the build path to a Phage and Kindlegem. It remains unclear as to whether this will nullify its popularity among champs like Miss Fortune, but it will definitely help the top-lane damage dealers.

Last Whisper and Lord Dominik’s Regards

Last Whisper has had its AD lowered from 25 to 10, but the bonus armour penetration has increased from 30% to 45%. This is a great buff for AD carry champions, as it will help them deal with the popular meta tanks of Poppy and Maokai in the late game. Lord Dominik’s Regards now deals 1.5% physical damage per 50-100 maximum health difference against targets with greater max health, while it maxes at 1000 health instead of the original 500. This means that your target has to have double your health in order to deal maximum damage, but against tanks this won’t matter due to their large health and armour stats. We can expect to see this item become increasingly popular among AD carries, and it will help them deal with the tanks that currently roam around the Rift.

James Busby

Bet your bottom Unikoin that James knows his esports. Hailing from the British Isles, making sense of the scraps on Summoner's Rift is his specialty. Find him on Twitter @JamesBusby64