When Patch 6.13 came out for League of Legends in late June, there were many changes focused on making playing the support position feel more rewarding. Supports were given experience bonuses, the starting support items were buffed — generally, things are looking better for people who main that position.
There was also a hidden buff, and not the kind of hidden buff people talk about when a change to one champion indirectly makes another one stronger. No, there were buffs to Leona literally hidden in the patch by mistake.
Here’s what happened:
There are a number of changes to Leona currently on the PBE, with both buffs and nerfs planned: for example, the cooldown on her Q (Shield of Daybreak) is in plans to be lowered, but so is the damage for that ability too.
One of those changes is an increased stun length on her E ability, Zenith Blade. Turns out that change and an increased range to Shield of Daybreak went through in Patch 6.13 without the nerfs that were supposed to accompany them.
I’ll let Riot live designer August “Gypsy” Browning explain (via Reddit).
What's actually happening is some of the buffs that were going out next patch got into this patch without the accompanying nerfs. Specifically her E roots a bit longer and her Q attack has slightly longer range. Basically, her E-Q combo is a lot more reliable right now.
Compared to other supports, Leona has one of the hardest engages but it can be hard to land reliably. With these new accidental changes, it’s much easier for her to jump in your face and blow you the heck up.
And just like that, Leona’s one of League’s strongest champions.
Her win rate shot up in Patch 6.13, going from 51.74 percent to 55.55 percent in ranked games in Platinum and above, per Champion.gg. Her pick rate is rising too, up to 9.74 percent from 8.96 percent.
55.55 percent is the highest win rate of any champion on Patch 6.13 not named Malzahar (56.5 percent in the mid lane).
With pro games on 6.13 coming soon, we may see Leona disabled or picked for the first time in the LCS since last year. Leona has seen some pro play this year: Royal Never Give Up support Se-hyeong “Mata” Cho pulled it out at MSI as a surprise Soraka counter, and it has seen some play in the LMS.
The last time Leona was played in an LCS match was in August 2015, when current Immortals support Adrian “Adrian” Ma, then with Team Impulse, played it in the Summer Playoffs against Team Liquid.