The Buffs and Nerfs of 8.18

This article will clarify the buffs and nerfs to the game every patch to help you understand how they affect the game.
For the official patch notes go here

     Buff          Aatrox

E passive healing increased at later ranks. R bonus attack damage increased at later ranks. Aatrox has a very dominating early game and laning phase but tends to fall off pretty hard in the late game. With buffs to his higher level abilitys he has more room to play with in the late game to keep helping his team have a chance to win. This will help his splitpushing capabilities a lot with higher lifesteal allowing him to win more duels. Aatrox loves fighting so you want to build a lot of damage and survivability, deaths dance and black cleaver are staple items on him. Followed with things like Guardian Angel and Sterak’s gauge.

    Nerf          Akali

R base damage decreased. Akali is insanely strong and very popular. We even saw her get played by Bjergsen against team liquid and she was dealing insane damage to eventually solo carry her team to victory. Lowering the damage on her ult is a very good way to lower her chances of carrying.

 

    Nerf         Braum

Base health decreased. Braum is a very strong counter pick to a lot of popular engage tools. Things like ornn ult are completely blocked by Braum’s shield. And he is very useful for jumping in front of his ADC to prevent them from getting hit by CC or taking damage. Now that he is a little squishier, he will have to be more cautious before jumping into the middle of the fight.

 

     Nerf         Kai’Sa

Passive damage decreased at later levels. Kai’sa is an extremely strong Attack damage carry. I believe she absolutely deserves nerfs as she is too strong. Hopefully this will be enough to bring her to a more balanced state.  Still building Stormrazor and Guinsoos Rageblade then following that with more AP like nashors and zhonyas or going for crit with infinity edge and runaans.

 

     Buff         Lucian

Q damage ratio increased at later ranks. Lucian is a very fun champion to play and watch, especially from pro players like  Doublelift. Since Q is the first ability you max, Lucian will have the fully upgraded Q at level 9 which is around the same time you would finish bork. This will be a major powerspike and the buffs to his Q will make that even stronger. After blade of the ruined king you should build Phantom Dancer and Essence reaver.

 

     Buff         Renekton

Empowered E damage increased. Empowered E armor reduction increased at early ranks. This is really good for renekton during his All-ins. In shorter trades you would typically use empowered W instead of E so that you can later use E to get out. When you are confident that you can kill your lane opponent then you want to use empowered E to do the most damage you can without worrying about an escape.  A very strong build for renekton would be tiamat into black cleaver then finishing tiamat into ravenous hydra. After those core two items you have options like maw, Guardian Angel, Sterak’s gage, and deadman’s plate.

 

     Nerf         Ryze

Empowered W root duration decreased. No matter how many reworks, nerfs and item changes that Ryze has to suffer through he still seems to make it to worlds. Maybe with these nerfs we will finally see the last of him.

 

     Nerf         Sejuani

E base damage decreased. R storm slow duration decreased.  Sejuani is a very powerful pick in competitive play so it is understandable that she would be nerfed right before worlds starts. More interesting champions like lee sin and elise will likely take the stage.

 

     Nerf        Trundle

E cool down increased. E slow decreased at early ranks, increased at later ranks. The Troll King has been a very dominant pick in the jungle for a long time. Now with nerfs to his Q and then his E in this patch he will be a much weaker pick.

 

     Buff         Vayne

Q cool down decreased at early ranks.  Vayne has a very weak early laning phase, she is designed to scale into the late game. Buffing her early game makes her a much more reliable pick in the bottom lane.  Her best build will be blade of the ruined king and Guinsoo’s Rageblade with beserker greaves for boots. Phantom Dancer and infinity Edge are a great way to finish the build.

 

     Buff         Viktor

First Hex Core upgrade cost decreased. This helps Viktor get to his powerspikes quicker and earlier in the game. Traditionally viktor struggles at transitioning to the mid game, he has a strong level 2-3 but then isn’t very relevant again until he gets 2 items. The full hex core is still the same price, just the first stage got cheaper, so the price was just moved.