Patch 9.6: Stability For The Top Lane

Riot Games has released the patch notes for the latest League of Legends update “9.6”. A patch which continues to fine-tune the Top Lane and improve the quality of life to its fellow islanders.  Over the course of the patch, there have been changes to 12 champions which are “viable” for the top lane.

On the chopping block: Kayle nerfs hit the rift

Sources: Riot Games

The most anticipated change to the top lane coming into the 9.6 updates was the nerfs to Riots latest rework, Kayle. Changes to this champion have seen a breath of fresh air to the top lane, Kayle’s kit fell behind with the times with fans desperate for a rework.

It is safe to say after 9.6, Riot games have been rewarded with positive results:

Despite the nerfs to her attack damage and attack speed her kit is receiving some love. As it gets later into the game Kayle’s kit started to become clunkier when using her W and E abilities. This experience often occurred when players would go with the attack speed route.  The development team made changes in patch 9.6 to the kit to compensate for the awkwardness the champion boasts in the late game.

“Kayle is looking quite strong, especially as players learn how to play her, but her W and E can feel awkward since she typically builds a lot of attack speed. We’re fixing that as well as buffing up her W to be a better reactive defense in lane (instant haste = easier dodging). To compensate, we’re hitting her late game power in ways that make her a bit more item dependent. – AETHER, SHIO SHOUJO”  

The main goal for patch 9.6 was to improve the feel-good factor surrounding the top laners that required some TLC.

After receiving her own “micro-patch” Neeko will be making a return to action in the top lane. Neekos attack speed growth was rapidly cut short from 3.5% to a staggering 1.5%. Whilst she was still a viable option in the top lane, this heavily hindered her presence elsewhere on the rift.  Patch 9.6 showcases an increase to her attack speed growth from 1.5% to 2.5% – allowing for a feel-good factor in regards to her auto attack whilst not forcing you to go with the attack speed build.

Being arguably the strongest lane bully throughout the duration of 2018, Ornn makes a return to his kingdom in 9.6.  The most frustrating part of Ornns kit was the updated passive – allowing Ornn to upgrade items by clicking on the allied champion. This passive became extremely problematic due to a bug which would interrupt both Call of the forge god(Ultimate) and Searing Charge(E). In 9.6 Ornn also received a cooldown reduction to his W per rank levels – 12/11.5/11/10.5/10 seconds.

Finding his feet: Urgot receives some love in 9.6

Urgots legs were “cut from beneath him” when he was hit with a major nerf a couple of patches ago.  Instead of removing Urgots shield completely, Riot has shifted his shield from his W onto his E. This change allowed Riot to add a toggle passive to Purge(W) thus being an unstoppable machine gun in the late game.

Small Changes to Top Laners:


The changes made to Aatrox were seen as “Bugfixers” more than any major changes to the champion. Untargettable champions can still be pulled in by “Infernal Chains” (W). Aatrox’s passive is no longer removed when he is reviving through “Worldender” (Ultimate).


Whilst predominantly a jungle pick, the pony has seen some action in the top lane through competitive play. This change is expected to help tremendously with “bruisy-er” builds by correctly fixing the stacking of Q’s. The new passive deals an additional 10% in damage per stack of Rampage (Q)


In competitive play, Jayce is the ideal top laner – this champion is a bully in both his Melee form and his Ranged form. In 9.6 Riot has made some nerfs to Jayce. Jayce players will now feel the vulnerability other ranged champions feel in the early game.

Base Stats

HEALTH576 > 560


Shen’s presence as of late has become a rarity in the top lane. These simple changes in 9.6 allow Shen to have a fighting chance in the top lane by increasing the damage to “Twilight Assault” (Q).

ON-HIT DAMAGE5/10/15/20/25/30 (levels 1/4/7/10/13/16) >>>10/16/22/28/34/40 (levels 1/4/7/10/13/16)




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