Riot Games has accidentally pushed a raft of hefty mid lane Karthus buffs onto the League of Legends testing realm. The update leak comes amidst plans to give the Deathsinger a leg-up into the Season 10 meta in Patch 10.14.
Karthus has struggled to have an impact on Summoner’s Rift in the last few League seasons outside of a bit-part role in the jungle. Riot is looking to solve that in the Patch 10.14 update on July 8 with a few changes to his W ability.
The horse may have bolted a little early though; the buffs to his ‘Wall of Pain’ spell appeared on the PBE on June 24, well before Riot was ready to unveil the tweaks. League PBE website Surrenderat20 spotted the changes soon after.
Karthus’ Wall of Pain (W) has had a few spicy new additions with the changes. First off, it now grounds enemies and interrupts dashes. This should work in a similar way to Cassiopeia’s Miasma. It includes mobility given by the Flash summoner spell. The wall also delivers a 40% slow, and a 15% magic resist debuff.
On top of that, the zone-control ability will also last a full second longer when activated. At the moment, it lasts for four seconds on live servers. If these changes make it into Patch 10.14, the wall will last for five seconds.
These speculative changes look set to help mid lane Karthus return to the meta. The mage has spent the last few seasons relegated to the jungle beat, aided by recent jungle experience changes. It looks like Riot prefers the Deathsinger as a solo laner long term, however.
At the moment in Patch 10.13 — which just went live — 87.44% of games involving Karthus see him end up in the jungle role. According to League stats tracking site Lolalytics, he also wins just 49.10% of games in that roaming role.
“Trying to dig into Karthus in my spare time. Hoping to give him a little love in mid lane. We want to make him bit better for people who aren't top of the ladder,” Riot designer Phlox explained on Twitter. The changes leaked onto the PBE soon after.
He did restate after the slip-up, however, that these were “very much not guaranteed” at the moment. There is a chance though, the Riot dev added on Reddit. This “wasn’t the full change list” planned either, he said, meaning more tweaks could be on their way.
One change Riot could be testing behind the scenes is a reduction in his Q damage to jungle camps. Considering the W buff is targeting mid lane specifically, it makes sense for them to take power out of his roaming role to balance the changes out.