League of Legends’ Samira gets hotfix nerfs, was “clearly too strong on day one”

"Sometimes we get lucky and nail it exactly on launch, but most of the time it's about fast follow up"

If you’ve taken a peek at the latest LoL patch 10.20 notes, you’ll have noticed League of Legends’ newest Champion has been slapped with some nerfs right out of the gate. Samira, The Desert Rose, only just hit the MOBA game’s live servers with LoL patch 10.19, but developer Riot Games has already tweaked her stats and R ability as “she looked clearly too strong on day one”.

Lead gameplay designer Mark Yetter has posted details of the two nerfs on Twitter, which have already been hotfixed to the live game (rather than joining the balance changes on the way with patch 10.20 next week). “Some Samira hotfix nerfs just went live,” he explains, which knock Samira’s base HP down to 530 from 600.

As for her ultimate, Inferno Trigger, the changes are a little less pronounced, but still tune down the damage the ability can deal. Her R’s total damage goes down to 0-200 (+500% tAD) from its previous 100-300 (+600% tAD) with the hotfix.

“We’re still very committed to releasing new Champions long term balanced,” Yetter says. “Sometimes we get lucky and nail it exactly on launch, but most of the time it’s about fast follow up. Based on our estimates and goals she looked clearly too strong on day one so we’re acting fast.”

This follows a post earlier this year in which Riot said, at the time, something it wanted to “improve over the next few months is our Champion release balance”. Yetter explained at the time that, “in cases where we do end up with a new Champ or VGU that is too strong, we will try to follow up faster and with a more comprehensive set of nerfs”.

He added in that post that the studio would try to avoid coming “back for nerf after nerf” with newly-released Champs, and instead approach the process by “launching with a long-term balanced target” and “faster/stronger follow-up” afterwards. It looks like these rapid follow-up tweaks to Samira’s release is an example of that change in approach.