Welcome, Neon Knights!
Or is it Knights who say Ne-on? Regardless, welcome to patch 12.5 which will be live for a full four weeks instead of the standard two—but we’ll get to that shortly. Despite our larger than usual balance change, many critical balance changes for patch 12.5 were delivered early last week in our 12.4 mid-week patch, so be sure to check those out if your looking for info on our swift acting nerfs to Hextech, Innovator, and other overperforming units. That said, we’ve made a ton of changes to keep Neon Nights feeling strategically diverse through balance adjustments, a focus in Augments, and, well, just keep reading for that third thing!
After fixing several bugs with our recent mid-week update, we shipped a new one that broke the True Justice Augment entirely. We are temporarily disabling the Augment with plans to fix it by patch 12.6.
With regional finals starting this weekend, we want to make sure that a few of the most impactful bugs are fixed before patch 12.6.
With a longer patch than usual, we've got a larger mid-week update than usual. Our intentions here are to keep the meta as healthy as possible until patch 12.6 goes live March 30th, while also decreasing the speed of combat.
Even before patch 12.5 went live, the pace of combat has interfered with the clarity of each battle.This pace has been accelerated with high damage from champions, and after looking at the data, we’ve been able to confirm that the damage is just that—too damn high. So, we’re shipping more numeric changes than the typical mid-week update, which we think will slow down combat with the outcome of increasing clarity and thereby empowering informed decision making. TL;DR Combat you can understand is combat you can better control!
Some trait overperformance (Debonair, Twinshot) and underperformance (Hextech, Enforcer) can be tied to the power of their high-roll trait linked Augments. We’re doing a quick sweep of the most offensive cases to keep the meta diversity wide by tightening the power disparity between the best and worst trait-linked Augments.
While many compositions have emerged viable in 12.5 a couple are looking too good, while one is striking out. While Stiker has struggled, many of its units have seen success in other comps, so we’re nerfing the units while buffing the trait to hopefully see Striker verticals open up as a viable option.
We’re nerfing a series of core units to stronger compositions to create a more level (and slower) playing field for the next three weeks. Below I’ll provide some brief context for each composition:
Despite Twitch’s nerf in patch 12.5, reroll rat has been sinking his teeth on the cheese without triggering the trap that reroll comps often find themselves in—falling off in the late game. By hitting his AD scaling as he levels up, he’ll still be strong with levels (which provide a ton of base stats), but you may need damage from other sources later on.
Almost every variation of Debonair is overperforming, and it’s time the Debonairs become philanthropic with their power by giving some of their time in the spotlight to other comps.
Speaking of spotlights, a few Socialite units have become core enablers of various compositions, from Irelia carry comps, to Innovator, and the more rare, but powerful Enchanter Sniper comps.
Ahri’s orb pondering isn’t the only thing making the Syndicate a force to be reckoned with. Rerolling for one 2-cost carry often leads to many 3-star power houses for the price of one, leading to a focus on small, but widespread base damage nerfs across the entire shadowy organization.
With damage decreasing we’re shipping preemptive nerfs to Morgana and Vex to keep their tankiness in check.
Finally, we’re adding some power to our worst performing Legendary units to make them feel more like that boss that keeps killing you at the start of the game and less like reach trait bots.
Patch 12.5 will be live for four weeks (instead of the usual two) as all of us at Riot connect, reflect, and discuss our company-wide goals. Look, I know four weeks is a long time for a TFT patch, but we’ve got a plan to make 12.5 as healthy and stable as possible during this time.
You can read our detailed plan for ensuring a quality patch 12.5 here, where we’ll outline our goals for the patch and the precautions we’re taking/have already taken with its deployment.
Large, like the amount of time (4 weeks) this patch will be on live—read more about that by scrolling up.
Tome of Traits breakpoints have been nerfed slightly to make tailored Emblems appear less frequently. This allows us to nerf the early combination of five traits (with Yordle, Twinshot, Enchanter) to cheat out the Emblem that you want, while also nerfing Tome of Traits generally.
It’s no surprise that many combat Augments are getting nerfed here. When taken early and combined with a second combat Augment, their flat values are often enough to get players into a top four position.
Some of the struggling yet fun Augments are getting a bit of love. Expect Woodland Trinkets to be made of more than just twigs.
Finally, we’re adding one of my personal favorites, High Five, back into the mix. You may have remembered seeing High Five during PBE, but it ended up being so underpowered that we pulled it right before the clock struck Neon Nights. Now that we’ve had time to rebalance it as the Prismatic Augment players chasing 3-star 5-costs deserve, it’s ready for the taking!
Every lobby is hard when you force Bodyguard. But with these buffs… eh, you still shouldn’t force it. Just let it come naturally like Braum’s gains.
Since Janna and Taric have become disenchanted with TFT, there’s been less outrageous healing, which has posed a problem for a trait whose power comes from enhanced healing and shielding.
Our adjustments for Hextech Dragon solve the powerful and yet unclear strength that the critical strike chance could give to champions with Infinity Edge, which converted the overflow critical strike chance into bonus critical strike damage. We’re removing this powerful synergy from the situation, without weakening the case for non-Infinity Edge users.
Debonair has been lacking its Deboflair. Luckily Brand’s here to light it off!
We were thinking about renaming Jarvan IV to Jarvan VI because of the six people in each lobby going for him, but instead we’re just going to nerf the prince of early game comps. And with the early game power of Hextech, you’re probably not shocked to see Nocturne here as well.
Rek'Sai’s been running into more than just punctuation errors. She can get into unkillable states too quickly too often, invalidate resistance items and traits, and do all this while working three different jobs: tank buster, tank, and damage dealer. By reworking Rek’Sai we’re giving her just one job: a tanky unit that buys time for her team through self-sufficient healing, and the option to pick up a Bloodthirster if she really wants to.
Lucian goes in. He’s got low range, and loves to get into the heat of battle. He probably shouldn't have the same defensive stats as a backline Sniper like Miss Fortune. As for his damage buff, just remember that he shoots twice.
Malzahar’s been the great beneficiary of some of our Augments and Mutant 7 chase traits. We’re hitting him here, but will be keeping our vision on Arcanist if the trait continues to struggle.
Our Ahri changes below make her less dependent on Blue Buff for that first cast, allowing her to build Spear of Shojin (3 autos per cast after initial) for situations where you just can’t find that second Tear. Blue Buff will still be slightly more optimal; that is, of course, if you aren’t building Attack Damage Carry Ahri—which you shouldn’t be, for the record. The change in angle between her orbs allows her to more consistently hit her primary target with multiple orbs, leading to higher burst on earlier casts (shotgun effect) while still transitioning to a high spread fantasy.
We’re shifting Draven’s power away from his awkward AP focused Debonair build that seems to be overperforming. To be clear this is a buff for Draven’s floor, but an overall nerf to Draven’s capped out ceiling.
I heard that Vi is the star of a hit TV show, so if you want her to keep punching hard, then star her up!
Now you’ll be less sad when Tahm Kench puts a Colossus in his mouth. Spit that out Mister Thomas Kench!
Assassin hard counter now counters a bit softer. We rarely want to completely hard counter something in TFT, as completely shutting down something a player has inVested in isn’t very fun. But in removing some of the ‘hard counterness’ we have to give Bramble Vest a bit more bramble (that's the spiky reflective damage).
Small, like my chances of getting a 5 Mercenary opener.
Swift Justice used to give attack speed back in PBE, but now it gives true damage. We’ve renamed it to make more sense, and to pass on the message that true justice shouldn’t be rushed.
With Treasure Trove III already only appearing as the first or second Augment, we’re giving its counterparts the same quality of life treatment.
Twinshot needs a better shot, especially when you have five Twinshots. Wait… shouldn’t that be Quintupletshot?
It’s time we desert Kha’Zix’s old spell name, as his trait makes it null and void.
You’re perfect… with just 5 more Armor and Magic Resist.
Keep your Double Up strategies secret and safe… now by default.