The Season 11 item rework has thrown every League of Legends champion for a loop. However, no role has been affected more than enchanter supports. The likes of Soraka, Nami, Karma, and more are struggling due to new hard counters, and Riot have no plans on fixing the balance problem.
Enchanter supports have been out of the League meta for three seasons now. Not since the Ardent Censor meta in Season 7 have we consistently seen enchanters be selected over their tank counterparts.
There’s been some exceptions to the rule. Yuumi, on release, was a must pick-or-ban in the bot lane. Soraka, Janna, and Sona also made appearances in the top and bot lanes — but not as traditional supports. A pure enchanter support, played as intended, is rare in solo queue, and even rarer in pro play.
Season 11’s item rework had the chance to sort out the role’s problem of not having enough utility to balance out the raw stats and teamfight potential of a tank support. However, the rework to Grievous Wounds, as well as the bolstering of tank stats across the board, has only made things worse.
According to op.gg, only three enchanter supports are picking in more than 5% of games — Yuumi (8.88%), Lulu, (7.44%), and Morgana (6.94%). In comparison, the three most picked supports are all tanks — Thresh (18.71%), Leona (12.26%), and Maokai (11.85%).
If you look at win rates, things don’t get much better. Only four enchanter supports have a win rate above 50% — Janna, Lulu, Nami, and Sona. There are almost 10 tank supports above that threshold.
The community has started rallying Riot to try and push more buffs for enchanters heading into Season 11 proper. Grievous Wounds has been a big sore spot for players, with the increased access limiting picks like Soraka or Yuumi, who rely on big heals. Another potential option is buffing items like Staff of Flowing Water and Ardent Censer.
It’s a tricky game though. Riot has to buff healing enchanters without empowering shield picks like Janna or Karma too much, lest we want to return to the old Season 7 meta. Despite the community’s pleas though, Riot has said they are not planning on changing anything yet.
“Healing is a core and natural mechanic in League (and really in most games where units have health). Healing and play around it should be embraced and developed further rather than skirted away from,” developer ‘GreatBelugaWhale’ told players in a December 26 Reddit post.
“This includes easier to access [Grievous Wounds] (cheaper and more usable by most champs), in the same vein that you can buy armor to deal with physical damage — another core and natural mechanic in League,” they added.
The introduction of harsher Grievous Wounds has adversely affected healing supports compared to super drain tanks like Aatrox. There’s also a lot more omnivamp in the game. Giving healing supports someway to circumvent Grievous Wounds — like how old Soraka could remove it with her Wish ultimate — could be a potential fix.
Either way, enchanter supports are stuck in a rough spot. For as much as the Ardent Censer meta was a heyday for support mains, going back to that spot in Season 7 would leave the game in a much worse balance state. However, pushing enchanters to the curb isn’t helping either.
The Season 11 item rework was meant to solve some of the problem’s enchanters had breaking into the meta. Now, it feels like it’s only exacerbated them, and the steps from here remain unclear.