Riot teased some of the changes coming up in the midseason patch. The middle of each competitive season brings with it some interesting changes to the metagame. Mages were re-tuned two seasons ago. Last season brought a rework to all assassins. Now this season looks to target tanks. Each time these mid-season patches come out, the respective role gets a massive buff and shapes the competitive scene. I can’t wait to see how these changes are going to effect top lane and jungle.
Sejuani, Zac, and Maokai are receiving changes in the patch. The other tanks will get changes as well, but we’ll have to wait for the patch to find out.
Sejuani is receiving massive changes to remove her from ult-bot status. Sejuani’s strength was limited due to the strength of her ultimate. A team stun is powerful but does not fit her flavor as a barbarian and fighter. She became weak and immobile, and this patch looks to change that. Similar to Braum, Sejuani’s auto-attacks will apply Frost and her teammates can follow-up applying the stun. Glacial Prison will provide a large area slow instead of a stun, but gives her a lot of room to build up Frost stacks.
Zac is in a pretty good place going into the mid-season patch. The problem Riot is looking to address is how one-dimensional he is. Once Zac jumps into the middle of a fight, he’s out of things to do. He’s the most fun to play when you’re initiating, but that gets stale. The changes proposed for Zac will allow him to continue to control the fight after jumping in. He will be able to tether enemies together with his Stretching Strikes and pull an entire team into him by charging up a stationary bounce!
Maokai is a jack of all trades but master of none. The mid-season patch looks to refine his kit as an anti-magic damage tank. Enemies who attack him with abilities will charge up his Sap Magic quicker, allowing him to stay healthier for longer in fights. Sapling damage is getting increased in brush, so careful counter-jungling Maokai! Lastly, his ultimate is getting redesigned completely. His new ultimate, Nature’s Grasp, now summons a lane wide wall that slowly encroaches and roots the enemy team. This is going be an amazing initiation tool inside his home, the jungle.
New Tanky Items
Changes to the item roster are coming to even the playing field.
The Adaptive Helm item will cut incoming damage from sequential magic damage sources. While there are strong items against consecutive auto-attacks like Randuin’s Omen, there is not the same for magic damage. This resulted in nerfs to damage over time casters like Malzahar and Casseopeia. This item looks to make it easier to deal with high consistent magic damage.
Gargoyle Stoneplate looks like an item to help tanks initiate fights and stay alive. With this item, you will receive bonus resistances when 3 or more enemies are nearby. You can activate the item to Metallicize and gain a massive HP buff at the cost of damage.
For carries, the stats on Guardian Angel is changing. No longer a defensive stat stick, it will provide Attack Damage and hopefully will make more sense as a late game pickup.
Rift Herald Changes
While not a tank per-say, changes to the Rift Herald will make him/her an important map objective. Similar to Heroes of the Storm and Vainglory, once defeated the Rift Herald can be used to siege down a lane. Upon death, an item will drop and can be used to re-summon the Rift Herald to tank up a lane. The Herald’s damage will scale with current max health, so it’s important to whittle its health down.
I’m most excited at this change to the Rift Herald, but this entire midseason patch looks amazing! Tell us what you’re looking forward to the most!