Riot are shifting Lucian back to the bot lane next League of Legends update

Gunslinger Lucian stands in front of League of Legends patch 11.17 changes.Riot Games

Lucian is set for a trip south ⁠— Riot Games are looking to cut the Purifer’s stay in the middle of Summoner’s Rift short with a series of changes in next week’s League of Legends patch that should swap the ADC back to his traditional bot lane role.

The past few LoL seasons have seen Lucian drift away from his original lane assignment and instead graduate into a powerful mid lane champ.

The Purifier has thrived in the middle of Summoner’s Rift too. He has shot up to nearly 6% pick rate in solo queue in the mid lane, though his win rate has dipped down to just under 47% since his shuffle.

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Lucian has had a renaissance in pro play as well, appearing in 4,952 games across Season 11 so far.

Riot is looking to rake in his power a little though, with planned LoL patch 11.17 tweaks designed to “lessen his meta dominance,” lead balance dev Jeevu ‘Jag’ Sidhu explained on Twitter on August 10, and swap his roles.

“The goal is to shift power from mid Lucian to bot.”

Riot GamesRiot Games
Lucian has spent the past few League of Legends seasons as an AD mid laner.

Passive, W, Ultimate in the spotlight

Riot revealed the planned Lucian tweaks on August 10. They include a new passive ⁠— “Vigilance” ⁠— which gives the marksman bigger ally buffs, cheaper mana costs for his W ability, and changes to his Culling ultimate via damage.

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The ADC’s base stats have also been shifted slightly.

Dexerto can confirm Lucian’s two iconic abilities, “Piercing Light” (Q) and “Relentless Pursuit” (E), won’t be in the League of Legends patch 11.17 changes.

Riot Games
The ADC’s core play style — his Q and E combos — shouldn’t change next LoL update.

Lucian’s “flexible power” needs cowling

The main reason behind the switch, Sidhu explained, was due to Lucian’s flexible nature; whenever he appeared in LoL pre-game lobbies, his flex roles meant it was difficult to counter-pick him. This gave him a major advantage, Sidhu said, because “it’s hard to separate flex potential from power.”

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“When a champion’s behavior can’t be predicted in draft because they can be moved to a different lane, they tend to be uniquely resilient to counterpicks,” the LoL dev continued, “and trend towards more of a meta dominance.”

While Riot isn’t happy about removing a flex pick, because of their “improvement to viewing experience” in pro play, Sidhu explained that the impact these kinds of champions can have in ranked play is just not worth the tradeoff.

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“We’ve observed that [these flexible champions] tend to reduce variety. Viego, Gwen, Renekton, Lee Sin Lucian, they really tend to outshine other picks.”

Victorious Lucian in League of LegendsRiot Games
Lucian’s flex possibilities became too strong in pro and ranked play for Riot to ignore.

Tieing Lucian to bot lane “helps him feel better”, Riot says

Lucian’s flex power in pro play hasn’t resonated with the casual player base, with developer Tim ‘Truexy’ Jiang saying he’s “been quite weak in regular play for most of Season 11 in all his roles”.

The changes, tieing him down to the bot lane by bolstering his power within proximity of an ally, is a simple one that keeps his “incredibly fun” playstyle without limiting him too much.

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“Rather than make Lucian feel bad without being near an ally, [we wanted to] make him feel even better with an ally in ways that he won’t miss dearly when playing more independently,” Truexy explained.

“This version creates a new avenue for supports to help Lucian bully enemies early-game, and also doesn’t warp Lucian’s spell-spamming, highly-mobile pattern.”

Here’s the full list of Lucian changes, which will ship as part of the August 25 update. As Dexerto understands, the Purifier’s Q and E will remain unchanged.

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All planned Lucian LoL changes

Lucian Base Stats

  • Base attack damage 64 ⇒ 62.

Passive ⁠— Lightslinger

  • [New] “Vigilance” ⁠— Ally buffs empower Lucian’s next 2 (stacks to 4) basic attacks. They will deal an additional 14 (+10% total attack damage) magic damage.

W ⁠— Ardent Blaze

  • Mana cost 70 ⇒ 60.
  • Allies proccing the mark also trigger Vigilance.

R ⁠— The Culling

  • Damage per shot 20-60 (+25% attack damage) ⇒ 15-45 (+25% attack damage).
  • Number of shots 22-34 ⇒ 22 (+25% critical strike chance).