After a month’s worth of terror from strong champions like Camille, Rengar and LeBlanc on patches 7.1 and 7.2 in January, League of Legends Patch 7.3 looks to focus on some of pro player’s overperforming champions. Riot Games released the patch notes for 7.2 Tuesday, with nerfs to all three of those champions as well as others who have been popular (and successful) at the highest level of play.
Camille, Rengar and LeBlanc have been considered must-ban champions on red side, because blue side gets the first pick (and therefore, first choice of the available champions). Other common first picks like Jayce, Kha’Zix and Malzahar also received the nerf hammer this week.
Here are the five things you really need to know before stepping onto the rift on Patch 7.3. For a list of all the changes, click here.
1. Nerfs to “the three OPs”
Camille, Rengar and LeBlanc have been banned on red side in almost every single competitive game over the past two patches.
Literally every single ability of Camille’s except for her passive is getting nerfed. Most significant are the nerfs to her E and her ultimate. Her E is getting nerfed on three different fronts: an increased mana cost, decreased stun time and the attack speed boost now only procs when Camille hits an enemy champion. Camille’s ultimate will now no longer remain active after she dies.
Rengar’s nerf focuses on his ability to escape his own aggressive engages. The dash distance on his Q has been reduced, and the 1.5 seconds of crowd control immunity on his empowered W has been removed. The length of his invisibility during his ultimate has also been reduced.
However, the stab-tabby’s defensive mechanics provide too much of a safety net, clinching him a clean getaway out of even the sloppiest of engages. Specifically, it’s Empowered Battle Roar’s cleanse and follow-up immunity coupled with the Pridestalker’s high damage that make the counterplay of ‘group up and peel Rengar’ feel unrealistic once he gets rolling.
If Camille and Rengar are getting nerfed, you know LeBlanc is also getting hit. She’s been banned in 94.4% of pro games (and picked in the other 11), and has the highest kills per game of any champion with at least 10 games.
One of the reasons she is so oppressive to play against is the early damage from her passive, Sigil of Malice. That’s being toned down in the early and mid game, but remains unchanged at later levels (where LeBlanc is less of a problem anyway).
2. Other strong picks nerfed
Without question, the two highest priority junglers in competitive play have been Rengar and Kha’Zix. Rengar has been banned in nearly every game across all regions, while Kha’Zix has been one of the most popular first picks in the current meta.
Both are getting nerfed in 7.3, along with Ivern (the preferred third choice in EU) and Vi (currently a solo queue terror). This time, there are no changes to the jungle itself, so hooray for that!
Kha’Zix is getting a pair of nerfs to his Q -- a slightly lower damage ratio and less cooldown refund on isolated targets. Ivern’s nerfs are solely focused on Daisy, removing her health regeneration and lowering her resistances. Vi’s nerfs are relatively small, with slight reductions to her base movement speed and attack speeed.
In the top lane, Jayce has been a common first rotation pick in pro play and has a solo queue win rate near 52% — the highest of any of the 10 most popular top lane champions on Patch 7.2. He is getting some significant damage reduction in his Hammer Form, as well as an increased mana cost on his E. Most significantly, the bonus damage on his first auto attack after swapping to Hammer Form has been greatly reduced.
While some other positions have had fairly open metas, support has been dominated by Zyra, Malzahar and the occasional Miss Fortune, Karma or Tahm Kench. Those first two have been by far the highest priority for teams (Zyra’s at 96.4% pick or ban, Malzahar at 81.6%, Karma is next at 44.9%) and are receiving nerfs this patch focused on their oppressive laning.
Zyra’s Q now has a slightly increased mana cost, but the bigger change is how her plants interact with nearby enemies. Previously, the plants would auto-target champions on-spawn, even if a minion was closer. Now, they will target the closest enemy unit, no matter what it is.
Malzahar’s changes come to his voidlings, which similarly give him strong and safe laning patterns. The voidlings now longer spawn instantly on cast time, instead matching the spell’s animation by waiting 0.35 seconds. There is now also a one second cooldown between casts, and the voidlings move slower the farther away from Malzahar they are.
3. Practice tool arrives!
League’s long-awaited “sandbox mode” (which is officially called a Practice tool and not a sandbox mode), arrives at some point during the 7.3 cycle. In this game mode, you’ll be able to experiment with champions, abilities and cooldowns with custom settings that allow you to set up certain scenarios and replay them. It’s a welcome addition for players who want to test out new champions or try out unconventional strategies without the pressure of doing it with other people in the game.
4. New game mode!
This weekend’s Rotating Game Mode is The Hunt of the Blood Moon, a new assassins-only game mode that is a part of this month’s Blood Moon event.
Sacrifice Spirits, Demon Heralds, and enemy champions to gain points and the Demon Brand buff, which turns you invisible to hunt down your enemies.
Only 20 of the most vicious champions are available for the Hunt (10 of which will be lurking in the Free to Play rotation).
The game mode will take place on Summoner’s Rift, and will be Blind Pick, with the following champions available. 10 will be made free-to-play for the duration of the event.
- Lee Sin
We’ll have a full guide later in the week, but you get points by killing enemies, killing “spirits” in the jungle and killing the Demon Herald, which is an evil version of the Rift Herald. If you do these things without returning to your base first, you get extra power.
5. Blood Moon skins
....and you know with a new event comes new skins. These were announced in late January, but new Blood Moon skins are arriving for Jhin, Diana, Talon and Twisted Fate.
Blood Moon Jhin:
Blood Moon Diana:
Blood Moon Talon:
Blood Moon Twisted Fate: