Patch Notes 6.11: Say 'No' to Tank Swain



As yet another supplemental patch to the game-changing Mid Season patch, 6.11 feels a lot like 6.10. It's spending time trimming and preening what has been grown so far. 6.11 seems to have the illicit purpose of shaping up some outlying factors and getting them in competitive shape just before the start of the Summer Split in the LCS. Let's check it out.

1. Fading Ekko

Since Ekko became a viable, tanky top lane choice in Season 6, balancing his damage output versus his survivabilty has been an tireless struggle for Riot. When folks found a way around the "run" part of the "hit and run" motif, they opened a seemingly un-closeable door of crowd control and burst damage unlike any other juggernaut.

In an attempt to continue shaving away Ekko's dominating potential, two big changes have been made. The first one actually is just like the last big Ekko change, where they take away some of Ekko's flat damage and put that power into ratios. Now, to enjoy the devastation Ekko can wreak when breaking time, you have to specifically build a riskier, AP-slanted kit. The second change lowers the stun duration on Parallel Convergence by a large amount, and it also raises the cooldown that Z-Drive Resonance has to activate on the same target by a couple of seconds. With his CC being one of the big reasons why Tank Ekko is such a dominating force in top lane, these changes may be necessary, even if they do have a negative effect on AP Ekkos.


2. Nevermore

Patch 6.10 brought something to League of Legends I didn't think I'd ever see - a really good Swain. He was a gimmicky champion up until his rework, which refocused how he does his damage and got him away from relying so much on spell vamp. In 6.10, his ult became a fountain of healing that had no bearing on the damage he was doing. So, no matter how effective he was at blasting away an enemy tank, he was still going to survive. The risk on the reward? His mana costs were high, especially with his big bird form toggled on, which slowly ticks away your blue bar. With the Rod of Ages rework, you were solving that problem too. The Swain Pain Train was at home on the rails.

In the face of a potential Tank Swain (and in the ever looming shadow of Tank Ekko), Riot is trying to nip this in the bud now. Leveraging all sorts of defense items and enjoying the large damage output is hopefully going to be a thing of the past with Decripify doing less damage per second (granted, not THAT much less) and Ravenous Flock doing less flat healing. Now, you have to commit to extra AP items to get that damage back, meaning Super Swole Swain was hopefully just a brief nightmare.


3. Stinger and the Trinity Force

When it comes to your spell casting/auto attack blended duelists or top lane fighters, they all usually have a similar choice to make: Trinity Forceor Iceborn Gauntlet. They both share the Spellblade ability Sheen is known for, which grants bonus damage on the next basic attack when an ability is used, but Iceborn has great crowd control built-in for folks who aren't the best chasers, where Trinity Force supplies the cooldown reduction and attack speed to get that Spellblade going more often (on top of the Phage passive). The loose end in the Trinity Force build - and part of its ongoing identity crisis - was the Zeal, an item that is much more tailored towards ranged attackers. The attack speed component was key, but Zeal wasn't the item it should be in regards to melee fighters.

Enter Stinger. With its 50% attack speed boost and its 10% CDR, it wouldn't look so awkward in a melee fighter's item list. You lose access to the crit chance, but the end result of lower cooldowns, higher attack speed, and a marginally cheaper Trinity Force outweighs the fact that Yasuowon't be building it anymore.

For more information, like how Lucian and Kindred got taken down a peg, check out the Patch 6.11 blog post on the League of Legends website. Don't forget that the Summer Split is on, and that Leaguepedia will have up-to-date statistics on everything thing Pro League-centric as it becomes available. And let us know how this new patch is treating you on Facebook and Twitter.
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