League of Legends

The Review: Patch 9.6 Balance Change Analysis by the Numbers

LeagueofLegends12 - The Review: Patch 9.6 Balance Change Analysis by the Numbers

Hey all! Welcome back to The Review, where I use charts and numbers to talk about what Riot's most recent balance patch actually affected, and by how much.

Keeping with the trend the last few patches, things remain relatively stable as we head towards mid-season. Riot continues to tweak a few of the more problematic champions that have remained in the spotlight the last few patches (Kayle, Neeko, Sylas, Urgot). Very few systemic changes, outside of continued adjustments to the bounty systems and a small shake-up in the mid lane through minion dematerializer.

Simple Champion Changes:

ChampionRoleChangeWR 9.5 ⇒ WR 9.6PR 9.5 ⇒ PR 9.6
AatroxTopBugfix46.33%   ⇒   46.09%2.47%   ⇒   2.82%
CaitlynBottomBuff49.38%   ⇒   49.96%15.01%   ⇒   15.91%
GnarTopBuff47.30%   ⇗   48.25%1.95%   ⇒   2.34%
HecarimTopBuff50.13%   ⇑   52.83%0.37%   ⇑   3.82%
HecarimJungleBuff48.69%   ⇗   50.67%3.32%   ⇗   5.57%
IvernJungleBuff51.72%   ⇒   51.40%2.00%   ⇒   2.05%
JayceTopNerf50.40%   ⇓   48.03%6.90%   ⇘   5.16%
JayceMiddleNerf50.65%   ⇓   48.12%1.52%   ⇒   1.28%
LeBlancMiddleNerf48.84%   ⇓   46.85%10.56%   ⇘   7.89%
NautilusSupportBuff47.56%   ⇗   48.63%2.67%   ⇗   3.96%
NeekoTopBuff*52.20%   ⇘   50.19%2.97%   ⇘   1.12%
NeekoMiddleBuff*50.85%   ⇒   50.54%2.76%   ⇒   2.48%
NeekoBottomBuff*53.70%   ⇓   50.62%2.85%   ⇘   0.88%
NeekoSupportBuff*49.78%   ⇒   50.28%0.97%   ⇒   0.93%
OrnnTopBuff47.19%   ⇒   47.04%1.61%   ⇒   1.90%
Rek'SaiJungleNerf50.89%   ⇒   50.95%9.01%   ⇒   7.78%
ShenTopBuff48.24%   ⇒   48.99%2.14%   ⇒   2.81%
SylasTopNerf49.84%   ⇒   49.58%5.20%   ⇒   4.36%
SylasJungleNerf48.84%   ⇒   47.85%2.85%   ⇒   2.84%
SylasMiddleNerf50.97%   ⇒   50.91%7.60%   ⇒   7.38%
TrundleTopBuff45.32%   ⇒   44.56%0.58%   ⇒   0.68%
TrundleJungleBuff46.62%   ⇗   48.57%0.64%   ⇒   1.00%
UrgotTopBuff/Change43.99%   ⇑   52.21%1.37%   ⇑   10.40%
UrgotJungleBuff/Change—   ⇒   49.55%—   ⇑   2.00%
XayahBottomBuff47.33%   ⇗   48.82%3.16%   ⇑   7.32%
ZoeMiddleNerf48.68%   ⇘   47.68%7.76%   ⇘   6.14%


  • Hecarim: Hecarim top is most certainly a thing, and we'll see just how long it sticks around. Extremely powerful, and you'd expect the PR to continue to increase as it gets more well known.

  • Jayce: Always surprising how much of an impact nerfs to base stats can have. Without touching his damage, Jayce falls >2% in both roles.

  • LeBlanc: To be honest, 0.1AP off her Q was barely even on my radar as an ill-informed jungle main. The numbers don't lie though, that's a significant nerf.

  • Neeko: Keep in mind, the buffs this patch were really more of a compensation for the huge mid-patch nerfs on 9.5. Looks like on-hit Neeko is settling in as a fine, but not overly strong option, winning a similar percent of games top/bottom as AP Neeko does mid.

  • Sylas: Small nerfs to keep him in check. Looks like jungle was hit harder than solo lanes, and he may begin to fall out of favor as a jungler given his current metrics.

  • Urgot: From first, to worst, back to first (and also jungle?). Urgot's been on quite a ride the last couple patches, and it looks like he's re-emerging as an S-tier pick in the top lane after these most recent changes.

Kayle Update:

I wanted to check back in on Kayle and see how her different builds were performing as she's still doing quite well overall (~55% WR, ~13% PR), and much to my surprise, Triforce into Crit seems to outperforming the AP/On-Hit build(s) that were meta last patch. Pros appear to have nearly all shifted over, and the solo queue data backs it up. The new build appears to provide a better early spike, as shown below:

ItemSlotWR 9.6PR 9.6
Trinity Force1st56.28%18.35%
Nashor's Tooth1st55.24%47.56%

While Nashor's Tooth is still played nearly 3x as often, both samples are quite large, with ~77k games of Nashor's Tooth and ~30k games of Trinity Force played so far on 9.6. As far as full builds go, it's a little harder to put in a simple chart, but by my metrics, Trinity ⇒ RFC ⇒ IE ⇒ PD ⇒ GA appears to be performing best on 9.6, holding that early game advantage over Nashor's while also having a similar late-game spike. Feel free to
Kayle - The Review: Patch 9.6 Balance Change Analysis by the Numbers

click around and see how other builds are performing.

Quick Ezreal Thoughts:

With the removal of double tear builds, I expected Ezreal to get hit quite hard, but in practice, he largely shrugged off the change. His WR hardly budged (still sitting just over 47%), though his PR did see a reasonable dip (~28% ⇘ ~20%). He's gone back to his old build, rushing Manamune + Triforce ⇒ Botrk ⇒ Armor Pen/GA/Utility.


LoLTheory - The Review: Patch 9.6 Balance Change Analysis by the Numbers


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