League of Legends

League Patch 10.4 PBE update targets "overpowered" Soraka top, Aphelios

by Andrew Amos

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An update pushed to the League of Legends PBE on February 5 has some pretty big changes on the way for Soraka top, Aphelios, and the Phase Rush keystone for Patch 10.4.

Soraka’s days as a solo laner are numbered. After being labelled “overpowered” by senior champion designer August ‘August’ Browning, nerfs are on the way for Soraka top in Patch 10.4.

On top of that, a long-awaited change to Aphelios’ UI is just around the corner, as well as smaller balance changes to under-utilized runes and champions, all of which have been listed in February 5’s PBE update.

Nightbringer Aphelios skin for League of Legends
Riot Games
Aphelios finds himself on the change list for the fifth patch in a row, although this time it's not for a nerf.

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Soraka was glossed over in the recently released Patch 10.3, with Riot opting to take some extra time to nail down the right changes.

The Starchild dominated pro play and ranked across Patch 10.2, maintaining a 56% win rate in Diamond+, although that will change with the new update.

Her Q, Starcall, will now only deal 60% damage to minions, drastically reducing her waveclear in the top lane while having minimal impact on her intended role, support. The changes should kick her out of the top lane for now, as well as mid, where she was also seeing a spike in play.

Riot Games
Soraka should slink back into support after losing almost half of her waveclear.

Aphelios is once again under the microscope for Patch 10.4, having been nerfed in every update since his release back in December. This time, Riot is trying to deliver on promises to make the champion easier to understand by reworking his UI.

“We are currently working on adding both the main gun and off-hand gun to Aphelios’ UI,” said lead champion producer Ryan 'Reav3' Mireles on a February 5 Reddit post. “We are targeting this change for 10.4, as well as making his ult VFX more readable in-game.”

While Riot hasn’t shipped the changes to Aphelios yet, their intention to increase the champion’s clarity has eased community concern.

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A significant change is also on the way to Phase Rush, which might draw melee champions like Ekko back into using the rune.

Players will now have four seconds to activate the rune instead of three, and melee champions will get 30 to 50% bonus movement speed compared to 20 to 40% for ranged champions.

While it might not be a big enough change for some melee champions to swap off Conqueror or other keystones, Phase Rush will certainly have its place in the game once again.

Riot Games
Phase Rush might have a resurgence with these changes planned for Patch 10.4.

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These changes are amongst others which are currently live on the PBE, ready for Patch 10.4’s release on February 19. Wukong’s rework is still being tinkered with, while Amumu, Garen, Kayle, and Sett are in line for some buffs.

As with anything on the PBE, all changes are subject to change. However, the February 5 update is a step in the right direction to toning down some of League’s most oppressive champions.