League of Legends patch 12.14 preview slammed by fans

League of Legends patch 12.14 lurks upon the horizon, but Riot's proposed changes have done little to inspire confidence with LoL's top laners

league of legends lol gangplank volibear and dr mundo

Matt Leung-Harrison, the lead designer for Summoner’s Rift, recently tweeted out quite a sizable list of changes coming in the League of Legends patch 12.14. It appears to focus primarily on reducing the effectiveness of healing runes and items, while also dramatically increasing the effect of drake buffs – especially pre-soul.

These changes would see a large shift in focus to the bottom side of the map, with drakes being even more valuable than before; leaving the top lane on an even smaller island than it was previously, unloved and unnoticed.

The potential patch would also increase the cooldown for essential Summoner Spell, Teleport. Couple that with the nerfing of health sustain, and it leaves the top lane without much of an identity and even less agency. Fewer teleport spells on the map mean fewer 5v5 team fights, and with the split-pushing meta a thing of distant memory it’s hard to see where this leaves the top mains.

Understandably, there were a lot of replies to Matt’s tweet, mostly people voicing their concerns about Riot catering to the top 1% of competitors, rather than the player base as a whole. It could lead to a rise in champions with built-in sustain (Darius springs to mind) while leaving those without healing in their kit to fall even more by the wayside.

Beora, the LCS Analyst for Evil Geniuses, replied to the original tweet: “Rly disagree with this direction for the game, just ends up putting top lane in an even worse position where they are essentially useless as a role with the only fix being bandaid fixes like hullbreaker”

Matt answered back with: “While Dragon reward is being buffed, we’re also increasing the required time invested which should increase teams’ abilities to either mount a successful contest or trade sides and get a dive/Herald trade -> dive off.”

Beora then went into the maths of this proposed change and figured out that the difference in time to secure a drake would be 5.8 seconds. It doesn’t take an expert to figure out that whilst in pro-play a 5-second increase might actually make some difference, for the vast majority of people out there, it means nothing.

On the other, maybe slightly less rational, side of the discourse was popular YouTuber Hashinshin (forgive the caps): “GOD I F**KING LOVE PLAYING TOP LANE THERE’S NOTHING QUITE LIKE THE RUSH OF KNOWING EVERY TIME YOU ROLE HITS ROCK BOTTOM THERE STILL MORE DOWN TO GO” 

The patch is due out in a couple of weeks’ time, with the official notes yet to be confirmed. It will be interesting to see how this affects the pro-play scene, as they are already part way through their summer split series leading up to Worlds.