Like all changes on the PBE, this one isn’t necessarily set in stone and there’s nothing saying that this will be a permanent change, or even make it into the game. For now, Riot decided that removing the item was the easiest path forward.
To clarify Riot’s thoughts on the item, and it’s removal, lead gameplay designer Andrei “Meddler” van Roon used his Quick Gameplay Thoughts post to explain a little bit on Friday.
As you might have seen we’re going to remove Banner from the game in 8.12, at least for the short-medium term. It’s an item that’s pretty consistently been either a poor choice or, when strong, been unhealthy for the game overall. Not impossible some heavily revised version returns someday, likely in a preseason or midseason if so. No immediate plans for that however.
So, the item isn’t gone — at least not forever. While this may seem like a harsh step to take simply because an item was overpowered, van Roon has a good point. Banner of Command has never really been in a healthy place. If it’s worth buying at all, players abuse it because it’s overpowered, and if it isn’t worth buying you could go hundreds of games without seeing a single one. That isn’t exactly the mark of a well designed item.
The truth is taking Banner of Command out of the game in favor of giving the item a full rework is probably the best choice, whether we like it or not. For those few players who truly loved to build the item, keep your eyes firmly set on the future. Who knows, a newer better Banner could be back before you know it.