Riot scrambles to buff Akshan in new LoL update as champion launch falls flat

Cyberpop Akshan LoLRiot Games

Akshan was meant to swing into League of Legends with vengeance, but it’s fallen flat, to say the least. The Rogue Sentinel’s launch has been underwhelming, but Riot is here to help players handle the ropes with not one, but two hotfix buffs.

When a new champion launches in League of Legends, very rarely do they have a win rate of around 50%. If they do, they’re typically broken and need to be nerfed.

However, Akshan is far off the mark ⁠— even by Riot standards. The Rogue Sentinel, who features a divisive revive mechanic that could potentially save the game off of one kill, has been balanced by Riot dulling down the rest of his kit.

The developers admitted as much within 24 hours of his release.

“Our data indicates his win rate to be at 34%. We knew he’d take some time to grow into his mastery curve, but this is still below our projections,” lead designer Jeevun Sidhu said on July 23.

Akshan is the 157th champion added to League of Legends since early 2009.Riot Games
Akshan’s 34% win rate on launch is up there with Yuumi’s 29% as one of the worst in League history.

Riot intentionally put limitations on Akshan ⁠— like a “worst-in-marksman-class sustained DPS” ⁠— so that people could best learn how to utilize his revive. They said as much in a dev blog on the same day.

“It comes at 0 surprise that players are struggling on release. [Players] have been given a champion that’s power is under-budgeted towards combat compared to what they’re used to, so they have to learn to win with his unique playstyle/win conditions,” developer Ray ‘RayYonggi’ Williams added on Reddit.

“As we create more champions in League of Legends, the exercise of trying to put power into kits that aren’t just ‘more damage on X ability/combo’ to diversify gameplay is one we will likely improve on over time.”

The first set of Akshan’s buffs weren’t major ⁠— Riot only wanted a 2% increase in his win rate from here.

However, the changes to his base AD, health, and Q cooldown weren’t enough to bring him up to par.

His win rate sat at 41.67% nearly a week after his release, making him the worst mid laner in the game. In bot lane, the numbers were even worse — 40.96%.

A more drastic set of changes was then shipped on July 28, helping him scale a bit better into the late game. This included buffs to his attack speed per level, as well as the minion damage reduction on his Q.

“We were very cautious of his revive mechanic in terms of release balance. That said, he’s still at a very low win rate and so may have been too conservative. We’re giving him a final 11.15 buff, and will reassess next patch,” Sidhu added on July 28.

Both hotfixes is now live. You can find the full notes below.

Akshan League of Legends patch 11.15 hotfix changes

Base Stats

  • Attack damage: 50 >>> 52
  • Health: 530 >>> 560
  • Attack speed per level: 2.5% >>> 4%

Q: Avengerang

  • Cooldown: 8-6 seconds >>> 8-5 seconds
  • Damage to minions: 40-70% >>> 40-90%