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Nerfing popular League of Legends champions is “very silly,” Riot says

While League of Legends' toplane remains in flux, Riot has stated that it will not nerf champions just because they are popular, calling the idea "very silly."

A huge titan creature with curled horns and a huge blade stands tall over a city holding one hand on the other with long black nails

It’s no secret that being a toplaner in League of Legends sort of sucks right now. The role has been in a constant state of flux for some time, with its place within the MOBA‘s wider game state feeling pretty confused. As players continue to voice their concerns, League of Legends caster turned game designer David ‘Phreak’ Turley has confirmed that the team are not going to nerf champions simply because they’re popular.

Discussing top lane tyrant Aatrox and the upcoming buffs to mechanical menace Camille, Phreak has been quick to shut down claims that Riot only wants carry toplaners for esports purposes, noting that the dev team is focusing on reworking the lane as a whole.

When confronted with Aatrox’s stats from League of Legends analysis site Lolalytics, he claims “Lolalytics win rates are fake,” going on to explain “Look in the top right corner. See where it says ‘Average Emerald+ Win Rate: 52.xx%’? Yeah, you have to subtract that. That’s the baseline for any champion at that tier for that website.”

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He is then asked how the dev team deal with champions that are becoming too popular, and whether or not their newfound dominance has an adverse affect on the game. Using Aatrox as the example, u.gg states that he has a 17.8% pick rate and a 52.16% win rate, which isn’t something to smirk at (for perspective, most pick rates are in the lower end of the single digits).

“I think punishing a champion for being popular is a very silly approach,” he replies, meaning that despite Aatrox’s reign of terror, we likely won’t see any huge, meta-breaking changes to him.

A comment thread on Reddit from Riot developer Phreak on nerfing League of Legends champions that are popular

I thankfully don’t play top anymore (I miss the good ol’ days of Karma and Janna top), and at the moment it’s not a role I find has much impact. It feels like toplaners are left to farm away on their own little island, while the kills roll in across mid and bot. We’ve been waiting a while for some changes, but hopefully we’ll see something substantial happen soon; I am sick of having Aatrox walk into bot at level six and demolish literally everything – no offence, big guy.

If you too are being mangled by the Darkin Blade, I suggest trying out League of Legends Arena, the new game mode that has taken Summoner’s Rift by storm. We also have a rundown of the current League of Legends Mythic shop skins so that you can potentially pick up Prestige Blood Moon Aatrox if you fancy looking cool while you masscre me in bot.