Riot have been tinkering with Nidalee for some time. She’s been a challenge: a “pretty cool character” with an established fanbase, but also a long-range nuker whose capabilities as an escapist have been causing problems.
The developers have settled on some “significant balance changes” that’ll remould Nidalee’s existing abilities without reducing the cougar to kitten.
“Nidalee’s current pattern of nuking from very long range and being uncatchable is problematic for the game,” wrote a Riot QA analyst. “It creates scenarios where there is no reasonable strategy that can be used to beat her, and it edges out most of the interactive gameplay we try to encourage.”
None of Nidalee’s abilities will be replaced outright – but playing both as and against her will be a “different experience,” say Riot.
That’s thanks in the main to two key changes: one to Nidalee’s Cougar kit, and another to her character passive.
Aspect of the Cougar will now be automatically trained at level one and have four ranks. Its Pounce and Swipe abilities will direct towards the player cursor.
The passive, meanwhile, now does the following:
Moving through brush increases Nidalee’s Movement Speed by 10% for 2 seconds, increased to X% toward visible enemy champions in a large radius. Hitting enemy champions with Javelin Toss and Bushwhack causes her to Hunt these targets for 3 seconds, granting Prowl’s increased Movement Speed toward them and enhancing the first of each of her Cougar abilities against them.
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The missing percentage will be decided in the weeks before public release – but Riot are aiming for “a very meaningful difference between pursuing and fleeing”.
In fact, most of the numbers currently applied to Nidalee’s rework are still subject to change – but you can read the details as they stand now on the official LoL site. Are you especially worried or excited about using her revamped abilities? Or grateful for the overall nerf?