eSports & Gaming

Riot sends much-needed nerfs to Maokai, shifts power for LoL’s new support item in Patch 14.4

Riot Games’ Matt “Phroxzon” Leung-Harrison shared a plethora of different support changes today that are headed to Summoner’s Rift in Patch 14.4—including some much-awaited Maokai nerfs after the champ spent three patches as League of Legends’ top support pick.

Since the start of the year, the Twisted Treant has been one of the most dominant champions in League and the go-to choice for support players. Maokai has become the best-performing pick in the role, boasting a whopping 54 percent win rate through Platinum ranks and higher, according to U.GG.

Riot Games had already tried to knock him down a peg in Patch 14.3 with a series of nerfs across his entire kit, but those changes failed to produce the desired hit on his efficacy. Instead, Maokai has continued to crush his opposition with a fresh build featuring the newest movement speed tank item, Trailblazer.

With a bevy of crowd control, poke, and durability, Maokai has every tool necessary to control the laning phase, set up ganks, and peel for their AD carry, while becoming a huge teamfight threat in the later stages of a match. As a result, some players are likely hoping these changes will finally chop him up and keep him down for good.

Alongside Maokai, a handful of other supports are getting some changes, such as Bard, who will also be receiving nerfs to curb his dominant win rate among the top picks in the role. Thresh, Soraka, and Lulu will, however, be getting some buffs in the next patch that could help improve their sub-50 percent win rates.

Besides champions, Riot will also be changing up how the new starter support item will work in Patch 14.4, with its first and second stack charges activating earlier in a game. This should encourage more players to take the opening support item instead of another choice, while also buffing melee wave dynamics in the first few minutes.

League’s Patch 14.4 is scheduled to drop on Thursday, Feb. 22.

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