Time for a forecast for 4.11! In our future forecasts we'll probably throw these under the banner of "Live Gameplay" or "Riot Live Gameplay" to reinforce that it's an entire team that works on shipping each patch, and not a single individual (except nerfs. That's Morello. Only Morello.).
Regardless, while we set all of that up, we still need to make forecasts. SmashGizmo of the Live Gameplay & Balance team will hang around after the post to answer any questions you might have. Remember, feedback should be more focused on how you feel about a change rather than getting real prescriptive about the exact change you want to see.
BRINGIN' UP THE SUPPORT / TANKY JUNGLERS - Our largest narrative for Patch 4.11 is centered on bringing up supportive / tanky junglers. In competitive play, we're seeing a common trend of early aggression junglers in the form of Lee Sin, Elise, Kha'Zix, and Evelynn. When we see early aggression as king, those junglers also have the averse affect of invading and beating the snot out of the slower clearing utility-focused tanky dudes (like Maokai). On that note, our approach here is less focused on reducing the power of the stronger champions, and more on bringing up the power of the less capable.
Much of this shift will come in the form of itemization changes. Right now a lot of the items junglers are buying are more focused on amplifying damage (which tanky support junglers don't have a lot of) or giving raw tank stats (which tanky junglers want, but then slow down even more in the jungle). We think tank junglers are in need of a jungle item that better supports their play style across the board.
To go along with our item-focused changes, we've also singled out a few junglers who we're pretty sure will fall under the bar even with item changes. We feel like there are a few tank junglers who just have no reason to be picked over fighters, so we're going to amp up some of their utility in order to solidify their identity as scrappy disruptive picks.
Finally, outside of the above narrative we're looking at a few high-priority champions who've been rather dominant in the competitive scene (and in ban rates at all levels of ranked play). Those champs include:
Kayle - this is one tough angel to crack. Like we've said before, Kayle's big problem is that she lacks a lot of meaningful weaknesses to capitalize on. Specifically, does anyone know why Kayle's this hybrid damage-support champion who also happens to be top tier at both?
Jax - Even though Jax is intended to be a champ that scales well into the late game, he's currently so well-rounded that 'scaling well' ultimately turns him into an offensive brick wall with very few weaknesses.
Ziggs - Right now we see Ziggs as having a unique strategic fit in the game (stalling out to let his teammates ramp up in strength), but he's a little too safe in lane and still has a lot of offensive power to push a victory when a ahead. Adding on these strengths, Ziggs is also a well-rounded, consistent champion who can do a lot of things at once, so we're looking for ways to add more risk or unreliability to his kit.
Yasuo - Yasuo's a really strong late-game champion but his weaknesses in the early game are masked by his high offensive threat. Good Yasuos need to balance offense with defense, but Yasuo's just bullying out opponents before they have the chance to really retaliate or capitalize on his moments of weakness.
And that's all for this forecast! Expect to see a bevy of changes hitting the PBE sometime soon. Once again, SmashGizmo of the Live Gameplay & Balance Team will hang out after to answer some questions in between his work.