my little bruiser pony
Riot Games have announced the new set of changes for the Patch 12.17 PBE cycle, including significant adjustments to Hecarim, Miss Fortune, and Maokai. The changes will get tested over the upcoming days before Patch 12.17 hits live servers on September 8th.
Riot’s Lead Designer Matt “Phroxzon” Leung-Harrison revealed the changes on his Twitter.
Although Phroxzon claims that they are “generally not looking too heavily disrupt the metas that teams qualified on” (referring to Worlds), the changes include major adjustments to Hecarim, Miss Fortune, and Maokai.
Also, no Zeri or Yuumi nerfs…
Riot pushing for bruiser Hecarim
Currently, Hecarim players mostly default to a full tank build, with the only alternative being a Lethality assassin build path. Clearly, Riot thinks both options are unhealthy for the champion, as he stands at a 48% win rate in Platinum+ solo queue.
Their solution to Hecarim’s issues is to make him a Bruiser/Fighter, as they feel it will be a much more consistent playstyle for the pony. Riot’s Associate Game designer Tim “TheTruexy” Jiang, revealed the upcoming changes on his Twitter:
Hecarim’s Rampage does a bit less damage, but it can now be stacked three times instead of two. It will also cost less mana and have a lower cooldown per stack.
Also, Hecarim’s W, Spirit of Dread, now gives extra Armor and Magic Resist to make him tankier without having to build tank items.
To prevent assassin Hecarim players from using the extra tankiness to their advantage, Riot is nerfing his oneshot potential by lowering the damage on his E and fear duration on his Ultimate.
Crit Fortune coming back
TheTruexy also revealed the upcoming adjustments to Miss Fortune that will make “Q max and crit a bit less unfortunate.” According to him, Riot is “aiming to buff her Crit builds and shift Lethality builds a bit more towards Q max over E spam.”
On the live patch, Miss Fortune players mostly opt into Lethality build with E max and Arcane Comet. Although she has almost a 52% win rate, MF falls behind other lane bully AD Carries in the meta, such as Draven or Kalista.
Patch 12.17 will likely bring back standard Critical strike build to the Bounty Hunter, impacting her laning dominance in favor of better late game scaling. If you still prefer the Lethality path, maxing Q instead of E might be a better option.
Maokai’s grand return to top and jungle
Once an irreplaceable meta pick in various roles, Maokai has been forgotten by Riot in recent times. Nowadays, he is mainly played as a support, but he has a very low pick rate of just over 1%.
Riot’s Lead Champion designer August “August” Browning, revealed the changes being tested on Patch 12.17 PBE that are supposed to bring the Twisted Treant back on the radar.
He stated, “the goal is to improve the feel of some of his spells plus get him back into top and jungle without eliminating his support playstyle.”
Maokai is getting buffs all over the place, but the biggest change is shifting the % max health damage from his E to his Q. It will significantly help Maokai clear the jungle and get favorable trades in the top lane.
Bramble Smash will now also do bonus damage to monsters. Furthermore, Maokai gets a new addition to passive that will reduce it’s cooldown by 1 second every time he gets hit by large jungle monsters. Altogether Maokai jungle gets a massive set of buffs to his clear speed and sustain.
Finally, Maokai is getting better options as a primary initiator as his Ultimate missile speed increases. He will be able to close the distance more reliably, as Nature’s Grasp grants Maokai movement speed when it hits an enemy champion.