Chances are if you have been playing League over the last couple of weeks, or just know people who have been, you’ve seen a few complaints about Riot’s most recent class rework. This time, the rework came for marksmen, who were given across the board stat changes as well as some completely reworked items.
According to Riot in the patch notes, the goal of this change was to help ADCs have a smoother path toward their powerful late game as well as a little more freedom in how they built. Those are nice goals if you can make them work. Riot, unfortunately, did not.
Instead, Riot created a slew of items for marksmen to build that are simply far too weak. In fact, currently there is only one ADC who is over a 51 percent win rate, and that’s Miss Fortune, who doesn’t build any of the majorly changed items. Below her are six ADCs who are sitting around 50 percent and 11 champions who are somewhere between 49 percent winrates and 46 percent. In other words, it’s not a great time to be an ADC.
Coming into this change, it was always likely that ADCs were going to get a pretty big nerf. After all, they were the strongest role before the change and could essentially take over a game once they got to two items. But nerfing the role by taking everyone’s power down to nearly unusable levels probably wasn’t the right way to go about it. The good news is there’s likely another patch on the way early next week.
So, what can Riot do to help get a few more ADCs into the meta? While the immediate answer may make it seem like buffing what’s weak — like Infinity Edge or every single marksman in the game — is best, it’s actually not the right path forward for Riot here. In fact, what should be buffed is the Stormrazor item.
Nearly every ADC in the game right now, outside of fringe cases like Kai’Sa, Miss Fortune or Lucian, builds Stormrazor first. The problem with that is that its passive is largely held back by farming. While switching the passive to only activate if it hits a champion may not entirely fix the early and mid game power deficit that ADCs have right now, it could go a long way in allowing them to be a little more consistent with their damage and more importantly, not have to hold off on auto attacks in hopes of using their Storm’s Edge proc against an enemy. Similarly, Riot could think about giving a few buffs to Berserker’s Grieves to help make two Zeal items a choice rather than a requirement, as well as a buff to Lord Dominik’s Regards that turns it into a more competent squishy killing tool in the early game.
The truth is, carving out a new space for a role in League of Legends isn’t an easy job, and it’s going to take time, so it’s no big deal that these item reworks didn’t quite hit the mark. While these changes might help push things in a slightly better direction, there’s no one magic bullet solution to help to fix this problem. For now all we can do is wait and see what solutions Riot comes up with and hope that they help out our friends in the bottom lane just a little bit.