Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Patch 3.8 Jungle Implications

Patch 3.8

This article goes through some of the changes for the recent version 3.8 patch and their implications on the current jungle meta. The recent patch has brought many changes to specific champions and, most importantly, changes to camps and jungle items that have serious implications to jungling. This is perhaps one of the biggest non-season patches for jungle changes I have ever seen; respectively, this article will be just as big. 

Check my thoughts on the changes after the jump!

Jungle Camp Changes

Initial spawn time increased to 1:55 from 1:40
Respawn time reduced to 50 seconds from 60

Initial spawn time increased to 1:55 from 1:40

Initial spawn time increased to 1:55 from 1:40
Respawn time reduced to 50 seconds from 60

Ancient Golem
Base Experience granted increased to 340 from 220

Lizard Elder
Base Experience granted increased to 340 from 220

Young Lizard
Base Experience granted reduced to 10 from 40

Okay. So here's the deal. Riot wants to keep the jungle for junglers and lanes for the laners. That much is obvious to anyone. However, what Riot has failed to see is the ingenuity that players have to funnel money to certain players in any stage of the game. While the camp timer changes was directly aimed at limiting a laners ability to take camps for an early advantage or level two cheese, I can see it being an indirect nerf to junglers. Conventionally, laners would take the 1:40 camps and then go to help the 1:55 spawn on the buffs for the jungler. As a result, laners still only get to lane at around 2:05-2:10 when the first minions start dieing. What Riot wants players to do is to help leash and then go directly to lane without any jungle camp advantage; however, what will happen in competitive play, and eventually solo queue play, is that players will do the camps instead of helping the jungler at the buff. Players will still be able to go to lane at around 2:05-2:10, when the first minions start dieing, and with an experience advantage. As a result, junglers will have to be able to solo their first buff and use smite. Therefore, jungle champion pool will favour stronger junglers who can safely secure their own buff and clear the jungle by themselves without a leash at all; thereby giving their team an early camp advantage for lanes. Also, junglers will take longer to come out of the jungle because they cannot save smite early without the risk of being extremely low in the jungle; furthermore, there is incentive to stay and farm in the jungle with camp respawn times being lower. I feel that the camp changes will bring a more stale meta to the jungle where only 'safe' jungle champions will be chosen and less lane pressure will be exerted in the early game. Competitive players have always found innovative ways to gain small advantages on the enemy team and jungle camps are no different even with this change. What Riot should have done was change it so that the small camps spawned at around 2:05, so that laners are forced to give leashes and go straight to lane to not risk losing a wave of experience and gold. There is little advantage for a jungler to start a small camp over a big camp as small camps won't give a level by themselves, so having them both spawn at the same time is pointless. 


Devastating Charge
If Hecarim's target is beyond narrow terrain, Hecarim will now leap over the terrain to the target

Onslaught of Shadows
No longer deals damage at the end location
Rider damage increased to 150/250/350 (+1.0 Ability Power) from 100/200/300 (+0.4 Ability Power)

Hecarim got minorly nerfed. With the popularization of the Chinese freight-train composition I have previously discussed, the nerf was aimed more for competitive play. While he has now gained the ability to leap over narrow terrain, I don't see this ability giving him any major advantage as his ultimate already gives him the power to go through almost any conventional wall. However, the damage reduction on his ultimate is quite significant as the Chinese freight-train composition revolved around high burst with mobility to catch targets. While Hecarim has seen less solo queue play, it is up to the Chinese league, specifically Team OMG, to decide if he is still worth playing in the freight-train composition.


Northern Winds
Bonus maximum Health ratio reduced to 10% from 16%

Reduced slow duration to 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5 seconds from 2/2.25/2.5/2.75/3
Glacial Prison
Reduced stun and slow duration to 1.25/1.5/1.75 seconds from 1.5/1.75/2

Sejuani was noticeably stronger in her change; with the ability to become extremely tanky and still do a ton of base damage, she reminded me of post-nerf Nautilus. Furthermore, her percentage HP damage was very efficient for burning down tanks while peeling for AD carries following an initiation. The nerfs to her base damage and CC was well warranted and should make her a little weaker; however, teams looking for long range AoE initiation will still find all they need in Sejuani as she retains her innate tankiness. 


Titan's Wrath
Damage changed to 40/55/70/85/100 from 30/55/80/105/130

Minor nerfs to Nautilus' damage. As one of my favourite junglers, I am quite sad to see the change. However, I feel that it was very much warranted. He is still extremely strong due to his safety in the jungle and the amount of CC he brings to the table. A small damage change will make it a little more difficult to secure kills in the mid-game but with a good teammates, he still shouldn't have a problem if he lands all his CC.

Item Changes

Hunter's Machete
UNIQUE Passive - Rend changed to UNIQUE Passive - Maim
Now deals 10 bonus magic damage to monsters with every basic attack

Spirit Stone
UNIQUE Passive - Rend changed to UNIQUE Passive - Maim
Now deals 10 bonus magic damage to monsters with every basic attack

Madred's Razors
UNIQUE Passive - Maim
Now deals 60 bonus magic damage to monsters with every basic attack
No longer deals bonus damage to minions

Wriggle's Lantern
UNIQUE Passive - Maim
Now deals 100 bonus magic damage to monsters with every basic attack
No longer deals bonus damage to minions
Ward duration reduced to 90 seconds from 180
Cooldown reduced to 90 seconds from 180
Attack Damage increased to 25 from 15
Life Steal increased to 15% from 10%
Armor reduced to 25 from 30
Combine cost increased to 500 gold from 100 (total cost increased to 2000 gold from 1600)

The item changes are all very minor, while there were some small nerfs to the Spirit Stone upgrades, they were all minor and very much warranted. However, the biggest change was the Maim passive no longer being chance based. Both Madreds Razors and Wriggles Latern have seen a decrease in damage from the passive of around 20% (25% to hit 300 / 25% to hit 500 compared to 25% to hit 240 / 25% to hit 400). Instead, they now proc every time. This really does not change much except providing more reliable damage. In theory, jungle clear times with these items should be lower but in practical application I don't see it changing much. Wriggle's Latern on the other hand has even less incentive to be upgraded. Many 'professional players' and myself included feel that Wriggles is not worth it to upgrade. With a 1000 gold cost from Madreds it didn't bring much when you can use the gold to purchase parts of Locket or Aegis. With a 1500 gold cost to upgrade now, I can see it being completely avoided. While you do get 15% life steal and 25 attack damage, you can easily put 1500 gold towards a brutalizer. Wriggles Latern is more useful for 'bruiser' junglers who find that damage and life steal more useful like Lee Sin and Nocturne; however, these 'bruiser' junglers usually have built in life steal. 

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