League of Legends

How LoL's Senna will be balanced for both support and ADC in Season 10

by Andrew Amos

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Senior Champion Designer August ‘August’ Browning was responsible for the release of Senna in League of Legends, and the champion’s main developer has revealed how the overtuned character will be more balanced for ADC and support.

Senna has revolutionized the bot lane in League of Legends. Her kit gives her a large amount of damage and utility, making her an ideal choice in both ADC and support. While she was designed as a supportive marksman, she’s fulfilling one role better than the other.

Riot is looking to change that heading into Season 10, laying out their own plans to balance the Redeemer before pro play truly kicks off in January.

Riot Games
Riot Games
Senna strutted onto the Rift at the end of Season 9 and changed the way players looked at the bot lane.

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In the latest edition of Ask Riot, Senior Gameplay Designer August Browning was posed a question around how Senna will be balanced “so she’s good as a support but not too strong as an ADC.”

Currently, Senna’s winrate sits higher in ADC, although more people are picking her in support. Senna hit a peak winrate of 54.67% as an ADC on Patch 9.23, before nerfs heading into Patch 9.24 removed some of her offensive power and redirected it to her supportive abilities. 

Her winrate has fallen since, but she’s still a high priority pick in as an ADC in early pre-season tournaments like Korea’s KeSPA Cup and China’s Demacia Cup. She’s got a 50% presence in the Korean event with a 100% winrate in ADC, while over in China, she’s the second most popular ADC behind Miss Fortune.

op.gg
op.gg
Senna's win rate peaked at almost 55% during Patch 9.23 as an ADC.

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Riot’s goals for Senna are to make her ADC and support builds “both feel viable without one being so strong that it requires us to destroy the other,” said August. There’s a few approaches Riot are looking at taking to make sure this happens, like looking at her Mist collection and item scaling.

The nerfs to Mist in Patch 9.24 gave a bit more power to support Senna by taking away a large chunk of Senna’s ability to farm souls from minions she killed, but she can still accrue them at a fair pace by damaging enemies. They are looking at changing the system further, but they are waiting for some of the recent changes to level out.

“If ADC is too strong in the future we can make it less likely to see souls drop from cannon minions, whereas if support is too weak, we could consider upping the number of souls that drop from minions she doesn’t kill,” he said.

Riot Games
Riot Games
Senna's carry potential was culled in Patch 9.24.

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Senna’s item paths vary depending on whether you are support or ADC, but her marksman build scales far better with her passive with access to crit damage and crit chance. 

“ADC Senna...has an easier time saving up for big AD items like Infinity Edge, which makes adjusting her Crit Damage ratio a potent tuning lever if her carry role needs changes,” he said.

Regardless of the path Riot walk down, they are going to have support Senna more in mind than ADC. Her intended role was to be more supportive, and they want to facilitate that in Season 10.

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“At the end of the day, we want ADC and support Senna to be close in power level...but, if that proves impossible, we’ll prioritize support Senna over ADC.”

No changes for Senna are currently pitched for Patch 10.1, which is currently live on the PBE. However, something could spring up in the next couple of weeks in the lead up to Season 10.