Update: Riot has released a hotfix for Galio that reduces the damage on his Q. You can still read the original story below.
Coming in to Patch 7.21 the expectation from everyone was that Galio was going to get nerfed straight out of viability. Unfortunately, everyone was wrong, and something else happened. Instead of nerfing Galio outright, Riot chose to simply nerf his tank build by lowering his base damage and increasing his AP scaling on almost every ability.
In other words, it’s time to welcome mage Galio back into the meta. Almost instantly there were videos all over the internet of Galios getting absurdly fed, then one-shotting any squishy champion dumb enough to stand still his Winds of War. The outrage over the “nerfs” was absolutely immediate, but let’s take a look at what’s really going on with the latest version of Galio.
Why is Galio doing so much damage?
There are a few reasons for this, including the AP ratios on all his abilities getting a buff, but the biggest one are the changes to his Q, Winds of War. Here are the changes:
Q - Winds of War
BASE DAMAGE :: 60/95/130/165/200 >>> 50/80/110/140/170
RATIO :: 0.75 ability power >>> 0.9 ability power
% MAXIMUM HEALTH DAMAGE OVER TIME :: 2% target’s maximum health per half-second >>> 3% target’s maximum health per 100 ability power, per half-second
What all those numbers mean is that Galio is doing way more damage to champions with his Q if he builds AP. More specifically, if someone stands in his Q for it’s entire duration, especially a squishy champion, they’re gonna die.
That sounds broken?
It’s not, well not really. For one thing, you should never stand in the entire Winds of War anyway. It was never really a safe thing to do, now it’s just less safe. The reason this isn’t exactly broken is because if you are building Galio as a mage, he should be quite a bit squishier, and just about any mage with enough AP is going to one-shot their squishier opponents. Just like with all mages, the trick to playing against AP Galio is going to be building magic resist whenever you can to mitigate some of his damage.
So, Galio’s a mage now and everything’s fine?
Well, no. His ratio’s are still probably way too high. Ideally Winds of War would be a good tool for killing super tanks, and mage Galio would earn his own special place in the meta as a tank killer. Instead, it’s hitting squishies a little too hard. Perhaps the biggest issue, though, is his W, Shield of Duran, which gives him a brief period of increase resistances and now scales on AP. That, combined with his damage to weaker opponents can make him hard to take down, but it’s definitely not impossible.
So, truthfully, Galio probably is still in need of a few nerfs. But he isn’t quite broken, and you don’t need to dodge every game he gets locked in.