Riot Games has promised they’re keeping a very close eye on the League of Legends assassin meta that has developed in Season 11, with plans to nip the growing strength of the burst champions in the bud if their presence continues to grow across Summoner’s Rift.
Assassins are enjoying their moment in the LoL sun right now, especially as Season 11’s ever-evolving meta continues to squeeze out less immobile champions.
The “assassin meta” is spreading its authority across the Rift in ranked and public queues, but nowhere is it more heavily felt than mid lane. Assassin champions like Zed, Akali, and LeBlanc reign supreme in the top ten most-picked characters. Infamous brothers Yasuo and Yone also combine for 18.99% presence.
On top of that, Katarina (58.89%), Nocturne (61.89%), and Sylas (58.86%) boast the highest win rates over the past seven days, according to Lolalytics.
It’s becoming quite the LoL issue.
So much so, in fact, that League of Legends players are taking to social media to beg Riot Games for a fix. One player wrote: “Why does nobody talk about this? An entire lane is being dominated by one single playstyle… there are no popular control mages, or different picks. Why is this not seen by Riot as an issue?”
Riot Games has been watching, however; LoL’s lead designer, Jeevun ‘Jag’ Sidhu has confirmed the growing assassin meta is “very much on Riot’s radar.”
The move to nip League’s assassin meta in the bud has already begun as well, with Riot shipping several nerfs and changes in LoL patch 11.13 last week.
The June 23 update saw Prowler’s Claw cop a hefty set of nerfs, while Kayn and new champ Viego were both nerfs. A patch earlier — 11.12 — another two assassins, Talon and Wukong, were handed damage reductions. The Riot devs have also talked about possible ways to cowl Katarina, Akali, and more.
Dexerto is expecting to see Nocturne, Zed, Yasuo, and Yone pop up in the next League of Legends patch notes; that next update is expected on July 8.
There is, of course, no world in which Riot totally nerf assassin champs out of the LoL meta though. Sorry ADC players, that’s been their stance for a while; dev August Browning — who designed Rengar, Ekko, and more — said as much back in early May 2019.
The reason: League of Legends would “become a lot more bland when every single matchup gets reduced down to ‘dodge the skill shot to see who’s Faker’.”
“Champions instantly one-shotting you is good,” the designer said. “Part of LoL’s longevity and depth comes from the fact it supports multiple, extremely different ways to be good. Some ways to win are tactical (dodge skill shots). Some are strategic (group with team to not be murdered by alpha-lion).”
So, it looks like LoL players have to keep on keeping on when it comes to assassins; just make sure you have enough gold for a Guardian Angel in your next buy.