Riot Shield down: League of Legends devs testing “severe” nerfs to popular starter item

Doran was unavailable for comment at time of writing.

Thank goodness for Doran: the blacksmith whose fondness for the simple and affordable over the ornate and arcane has saved many a budding champion in League of Legends. His Shield, Ring and Blade are staple items of LoL’s early game – but that might be about to change. Doran’s Shield is messing with harass-based champions, and Riot have decided it has to stop.

Play on LoL’s public test servers today and you’ll find yourself feeling out some “fairly severe” Doran’s Shield nerfs. The developers are “going kind of ham” introducing the new changes to as many players as possible, attempting to discover where the altered Shield “makes or breaks things”.

Doran’s Shield, it turns out, is warping bottom lane matchups and pick structure “fairly significantly”. The newly dynamic way vision works, as well as changes to mastery and support, have seen its relative power increase dramatically with the new season.

“What this means is that certain harass based characters are basically in a weird twilight state where they get stomped heavily,” explain Riot, “and also have to pick up shield in order not to get counter bursted by the same ones using Doran’s Shield.”

It’s become an essential item for harass champions, in short, and damaged players’ ability to make tactical item choices. As such, the Shield will now offer half the HP regeneration it once did, and a fifth less additional health.

“The idea behind hitting just the Health / HP/5 is to enable magic-based harassment… while also keeping Doran’s Shield strong against ranged attacks,” said Riot.

“We like the item’s niche – but at the moment it’s just too generically good against a wide array of matchups at the moment and shuts down both counterburst and harassment strategies a little too hard.”

Riot expect the health regen nerf will prove a little strong, and that it’ll be boosted again slightly to accommodate mid-laners who rely on the item. But it’s unlikely Doran’s Shield will ever be as powerful as it is now, during the brief grace period before the changes-in-testing are implemented.

Does this notable nerf impinge on your tried-and-tested match strategies at all?

Thanks, Reign of Gaming.