Tahm Kench’s League of Legends rework “unbenched the Kench”, pushing him straight into the top lane meta. However, support players have suffered. Riot is looking to give him a boost down in bot though, with Tahm Kench support buffs planned for Season 12.
While Tahm Kench’s rework landed rough in League of Legends, once players got a hang of the River King’s new kit, his playrate skyrocketed.
Heading into League of Legends Season 12, Tahm Kench is one of the more popular top laners with a 5.96% play rate with a 52.04% win rate, according to LoLalytics. He is also banned in over 15% of games, holding one of the highest ban rates in the game.
However, after being primarily a support since his release, the paradigm has shifted wildly towards Tahm Kench being a top laner. His top lane play rate stands at 89.1% of all games, compared to just 7.6% of support games.
With Riot’s rework intentions trying to find parity between the two, the developers are working on rebalancing those roles in League of Legends patch 12.2.
Design lead Matt ‘Phroxzon’ Leung-Harrison confirmed the changes as such: “We do have some changes slated for Tahm Kench to make him better in support,” he said. “They are in the final stages of validation.”
Leung-Harrison also confirmed the January 20 release date for the Tahm Kench changes, with the changes being shipped onto the PBE hours later.
The River King now gains 40% bonus movement speed after devouring an ally, rather than being slowed. The River King’s shield given to allies has also been buffed, with increased base values and AP scaling.
The Tahm Kench rework did move his core support ability — Devour — onto his ultimate. This didn’t remove the bail-out for allies as they got dove on, but made it less valuable. These buffs to the allied Devour could help shift Tahm Kench back to support.
It is a fine line to ride though.
Given Kench’s power in the top lane, any small buff there could have big ramifications. You can find the full change list of Tahm Kench buffs below.
Upcoming Tahm Kench buffs
Tongue Lash (Q)
- Slow 40% ⇒ 50%
Thick Skin (E)
- Damage to Grey Health 45-65% ⇒ 15-55%, increased to 45-65% if there are 2 or more visible nearby enemy champions.
- Grey Health to Health 30-100% scaling from level 1-18 ⇒ 45-100% scaling from level 1-18.
- [UPDATED] Ally Champions: Are devoured for up to three seconds and are granted a shield for up to 2.5 seconds after being spit out. Allies can also choose to exit early. Tahm Kench is grounded during this effect, but can cast Abyssal Dive and gains 40% Move Speed for 3 seconds.
- Ally shield 400/500/600 (+100% AP) ⇒ 500/700/900 (+150% AP).
- Ally cast slows Kench for 30/20/10% for the duration of the devour ⇒ Grants Kench 40% Move Speed for 3.