What’s up with League’s Durability Patch?
League of Legends’ 12.10 patch was dubbed as the “durability patch”, where champions received a significant amount of buff to their hitpoints, making them tankier and by essence, making skirmishes last longer. To balance this, Riot nerfed healing and shielding to prevent fights from drawing out for too long. This is bad news for tanks and enchanter supports, with tanks having their natural tankiness downplayed by everyone’s increased hitpoints, and with enchanter supports giving less healing and shielding.
In Patch 12.11, however, Riot reverted some of the healing and shielding nerfs to provide a level playing field for those taking the hardest blow with the recent nerf. With this, we will be looking into the meta that’s currently forming around the durability patch to see which champions may see play in ranked and competitive, and which champions may have to hide behind locked doors for a while.
The toplane meta stays the same, with tanky fighters dominating the lane unless ranged top champions come into play, with Vayne getting an indirect buff on her Silver Bolts, with champions now having more max health than ever. This poses a problem against her natural counters, tanky toplaners, as their early game would force them to play less aggressively against Vayne.
The jungle and midlane metas remain unaffected, save for the longer jungle fights and ganks thanks to the health buff to all champions. However, also thanks to the health buff, champions that deal damage based on a percentage of the target’s max health now strive in the midlane. Champions like Brand and champions who work well with Demonic Embrace will surely see some play in this current patch.
The ADC meta will largely remain untouched, but the support meta will be seeing some changes. Reduced healing and shielding to counterbalance the health buffs affect the effectiveness of enchanter supports in the mid-game, when champions start picking up healing reduction items. This means that champions like Soraka, Janna, Yuumi, and Nami will likely be weaker in terms of their healing and shielding capabilities, but they get to shine in their crowd control potential with fights drawing out long enough for them to cast their slows, stuns, and knock-up for more than twice in one team fight.
This patch downplays the tanking prowess of naturally tanky supports, but then again, tank supports mostly rely on their engage-heavy crowd control abilities rather than just purely be a sitting tank in lane. Leona, Thresh, and Nautilus are viable engage supports that take advantage of the health buff by forcing aggression towards the enemy botlane with less of a punishment than before.
Poke mage supports don’t hurt as much in botlane now, except for Brand. With the health buff, Brand’s percent health burn damage now deals more damage to champions hit by his combo. Although the 12.11 patch nerfed his passive burn damage from 5% to 2%, it still deals a considerable amount of average damage, especially when Brand continually lands his combos on the ADC.
The durability patch brings longer fights and safer early games, encourages engage supports, and overall just encourages players to be more proactive in team fights rather than wait around the next objective and do slip-and-slash style of gameplay.