League dev Phreak claims pros are “bad at reading patch notes” following Kai’Sa nerfs

Carver Fisher
Phreak claims pros can't read patch notes Kai'Sa nerfs League

Kai’Sa’s AP poke build has been dominating at all levels of play in League of Legends. Her long range and short cooldown on her W has many players frustrated with playing against her, and Phreak’s response has left the community scratching their heads.

League of Legends is a fickle game. With over 160 champions to choose from and dozens of itemization options for each champion, figuring out what will dominate the meta ahead of new patches is almost impossible.

So, it’s no surprise that the balance team has had to be diligent with new patches, trying to keep the game balanced by hitting strong champions and items with nerfs while buffing other champions who aren’t doing too well.

However, after multiple patches spent at or near the top of the meta, players have been asking for Kai’Sa nerfs, seeing her W cooldown reset on-hit go from 77% to 75% has left players puzzled as to why the strongest part of Kai’Sa’s kit is getting a slap on the wrist on League patch 13.15. Meanwhile, League of Legends dev and former LCS caster Phreak’s explanation has only stoked the fires.

“2%” Kai’Sa nerf leaves League of Legends players skeptical

Kai’Sa’s had a number of stints in the League of Legends meta over the course of the game’s competitive history. Her high mobility and close-range prowess made her more of an assassin-like carry than other champions in the ADC role, making strong Kai’Sa players incredibly fun to watch as they play on a knife’s edge against their opponent.

However, the emerging AP Kai’Sa poke build sees her assuming a completely opposite role. Between the strength of Statikk Shiv, her strong AP scaling, and long range W poke damage, she’s an absolute menace everywhere from the lowest ranks to pro play.

Players have been demanding nerfs to the champion, and while nerfs are coming in patch 13.15, the community isn’t happy about her W being relatively untouched. Out of everything she does well, Kai’Sa’s poke seems to be causing the most community backlash.

Everyone from average League players, content creators, and even pro players like G2’s Victor ‘Flakked’ Tortosa have chimed in to talk about this change. Many comments have been sarcastic in nature, with players joking about how Kai’Sa is “gutted” and saying that “finally AP Kai’Sa is gone”.

Phreak claims pros are “bad at reading patch notes”

Phreak has since responded and explained the rationale behind these nerfs.

“Q change: differentiating the builds. If AP Kai’Sa has a weak Q, it makes the build have a meaningfully weaker button. W change: lower the chance of popping 5 extra plasma stacks from across the map. Keep in mind this is more like an 8% CD nerf, like changing a 6 to a 6.5.”

Phreak then explained that Kai’Sa doesn’t need a huge nerf and only needs some slight tweaks in his eyes, and he took a jab at the playerbase in his following comment.

“Players are really bad at reading patch notes and understanding them. Pros included. We will likely ship another nerf because perception is reality.”

Phroxzon, lead designer on the Summoner’s Rift balance team, followed up by talking about what that additional nerf may be: 30HP taken off of Kai’Sa at level 1.

While it’s possible that this series of small, pointed nerfs may end up hitting Kai’Sa’s win rate at normal levels of play, it remains to be seen how it affects pro play.

CaptainFlowers spoke out against the champion, claiming that she should be “turbo nerfed” ahead of Worlds 2023 to shake up the meta. He did, however, urge fans of his not to harass the balance team and said that he’s just “venting his frustrations” with the current pro meta.

It’s true that there are some so-called “golden numbers” when it comes to League, slight adjustments that can push a character into being busted or out of the meta entirely, and it remains to be seen whether these unassuming nerfs put Kai’Sa in a better spot.