Riot Mortdog, the lead game designer for Teamfight Tactics, released the patch preview for Patch 10.1 in a YouTube video yesterday. This patch marks the halfway point of Set 2 and contains several significant changes. Alongside the usual number adjustments, the patch adds a new trait, 2 new units, and 3 existing items were replaced with new ones. This is my 10.1 patch rundown and predictions.
Quick thanks to /u/ztask760 for the patch preview screenshots!
New trait Lunar. New units Leona and Karma
- Lunar is a new trait that benefits long fights.
- Mortdog mentioned that it's strong in the early and mid game when the fights are long because of a lack of power. In the late game, the trait's bonus falls off when the fights are faster.
- The one exception is Zed since Zed's clones drag out fights. Lunar buff and Redemption could be used in place of a Talisman of Light on Zed. However, Light Zed is still better than Lunar Zed.
- A new 1-cost Lunar Warden with a high impact ult.
- She's a strong counter to Infernos, which deal tick damage.
- Mortdog's vision is probably for Leona to be a low-cost Warden that activates Lunar early on. In the late game, you're meant to replace Lunar and Leona with stronger traits and units.
- A new 3-cost Lunar Mystic that makes Mystic buff easier to activate and introduces a new counter-Assassin mechanic that encourages hypercarry stacking.
- Without Karma, Mystics can only be activated after you find Janna, a rare 4-cost unit. With Karma, Mystics can be activated with Soraka and Karma, who are both 3-cost units.
- Karma's ability shields and buffs her closest ally in the start of battle. The shield is pretty big (400 at level 2) and significantly increases the attack speed of the ally (70% at level 2, almost similar to a Ranger buff proc). This makes it much more appealing and effective to "put all your eggs in one basket" by stacking one hypercarry and protecting them with Karma.
- Karma is a great Spear of Shojin user. It only takes 25 mana for her to cast her first ult.
New items: Last Whisper, Titan's Resolve, and Bramble Vest
- Last Whisper replaces Repeating Crossbow, an item that couldn't work even in a Summoners meta (widepeepoSad).
- Last Whisper allows Rangers to counter the Wardens meta that emerged with Amumu's introduction.
- Mortdog mentioned that the item is much stronger on Rangers than Assassins. Rangers tend to focus on the high-armor frontline while Assassins tend to focus on the low-armor backline.
- Titan's Resolve replaces Phantom Dancer, which was a problematic item that hard countered units and items like Kha'Zix and Infinity's Edge.
- Mortdog mentioned that the item is strong on Assassins or high attack speed units like Kha'Zix, Olaf, and Ashe.
- It adds a mix of damage and tankiness and is best used on units with survivability.
- Titan's Resolve synergizes well with Karma when placed on the unit tethered to Karma. Karma protects and buffs the attack speed of the tethered unit, increasing the chances the unit can use the item to its full potential.
- Bramble Vest replaces Thornmail, which was only good on Braum.
- The item has a new mechanic where the item's effect scales with its user's level.
- The item is strong on high survivability units like Maokai, Braum, and Taric. Will a 3-star Bramble Vest, Dragon's Claw, and Titan's Resolve Maokai be viable? :thinking:
- Removing Thornmail is an indirect buff to Rangers since Ashe can no longer kill herself on a unit with Thornmail.
- The new Iceborne Gauntlet is strong on units that cast their spells frequently, like Ezrael and Kindred. A 1.5 second freeze is a long time. Is this the item that finally makes Ezrael carry viable?
- The Quicksilver buff is huge and it'll probably become a must-create item in most comps. This is Olaf's ult in one item. The item was already strong in Patch 9.24b's crowd control meta when it gave a CC shield every few seconds. The new Quicksilver and Karma contribute to making hypercarry stacking appealing. The new Quicksilver is an indirect buff to Blender.
- Ionic Spark's damage now scales with a spell's cost. This makes sense since the old Ionic Spark overpunished units with low impact and frequently-cast spells.
- Hush was nerfed again. Mortdog mentioned that Hush is getting balanced around its best case, which is when it's used on Sivir or Olaf. Despite the nerf, Hush is still a must-build on both units.
- Morellonomicon was nerfed but it's still strong and still a must-build in caster comps. Red Buff was undeservedly nerfed alongside Morellonomicon to keep both items consistent with each other.
- Statikk Shiv and Luden's Echo were reworked to be much stronger on 3-star units, which indirectly buffs 3-star Predator comps.
- Druid: minor buff to make Druid more appealing. However, the problem isn't that Druids are weak, it's that they cost you valuable early game econ.
- Light: huge buff to 6 and 9 Lights. This buff is accompanied by buffs to many Light units. Light comps will likely be very viable this patch.
- Ocean: 2 Ocean was nerfed. This is primarily a nerf to the popular "Wardens and Bullshit" comps that only use 2 Oceans to fit in all the Wardens and other high quality units.
- Shadow: minor buff to Shadow but the biggest problem with Shadow is weak units (Kindred has a single-target spell and she falls off in the late game, Sion is a frontliner, Malzahar and Veigar are very bad) with a lack of late game options besides Shadow Lux. This buff will probably be inconsequential.
- Blender was nerfed with the Sivir and Nocturne nerfs. Mortdog stated that he doesn't want to kill Blender, just make it less forceable. Blender is the only true Assassin comp in the meta (Summoner Sins doesn't count) and it's unwise to remove it completely.
- 3 Light units were buffed, along with Senna. Coupled with the buff to 6 Lights, Light comps such as Husband and Wife (Lucian and Senna with 6 Lights) will probably be S-tier this patch.
- Predator comps were buffed with the buffs to Warwick and Skarner (plus the changes to Statikk Shiv and Luden's Echo).
- Neeko's mana cost was decreased by 25%, which is huge. This makes sense, since Neeko is a gold commitment to Druids that doesn't scale into mid / late game. If you commit to Neeko in the early game, you should be rewarded.
- Syndra's mana cost was decreased by almost 20%. This is also a huge buff. Syndra was a decent temporary carry in Ocean Mages and is now an even more effective temporary carry.
- Malzahar and Yi were buffed but not in ways that shored up their weaknesses. Malzahar's weakness is that his minions have low health and can easily get killed by area of effect spells. Yi's weakness is that he's a 5-cost unit that can only attack a single target at a time.
- Qiyana's stun duration was reduced by 0.5 seconds at all levels. This is a gentle nerf that's well deserved; Qiyana is one of the strongest 3-cost units in set 2. She'll still be strong in 10.1, just slightly less overpowered.
- Amumu's ult damage was reduced, mana cost increased, and 1-star Amumu's stun duration was reduced by 0.5 seconds. Although these are big nerfs, they're well-warranted. Amumu was an auto-include in many comps and even a 1-star Amumu had a disproportionately high impact in fights. Amumu remains strong but it's much more important to 2-star him now.
- Nami's spell damage was nerfed. Nami was occasionally being used as a carry with Morellonomicon and this nerf discourages that. Her ult remains highly disruptive and she'll continue to be used as a high value utility Mystic.
- 1-star Annie was expectedly nerfed; the unit was disproportionately strong in stage 3. If you were lucky and found an Annie in stage 3, you'll more than likely start win-streaking for the low price of 4 gold.
Before diving into predictions, here's a quick disclaimer: these are predictions made solely from watching Mortdog's patch preview video and they could easily be off-base. I also haven't played on the PBE so I don't know how well Lunar comps stack up and will avoid predictions about them.
- Light comps will be S-tier in Patch 10.1, especially the Husband and Wife comp (Lucian and Senna with 6 Lights).
- Blender is weaker and harder to force, but will still be viable.
- Rangers could be more viable with Karma. Karma might allow 2 Ranger 2 Mystic 4 Warden builds instead of 4 Rangers, since her ult already dramatically increases a unit's attack speed. Having to run 4 Rangers holds Ranger comps back in 9.24b since the extra Rangers are bad units that are used solely to activate 4 Rangers.
- If Rangers are viable, Berserkers will be less viable since Rangers counter them.
- 3-star Predator comps are much stronger with the rework to Statikk Shiv and Luden's Echo as well as the buffs to a few Predator units.
- Although still viable, "Wardens and Bullshit" comps are going to be less dominant in the late game with the nerfs to 2 Ocean and Amumu, and the introduction of Last Whisper.
- Shadow comps fell out of favor at the end of Patch 9.24b with the resurgence of Berserker comps. The buffs to Shadow are not enough to make Shadow comps more viable in Patch 10.1.
- 6 Inferno comps might fall out of favor since Leona hard counters Inferno buff.
- The Sivir-carry Blademaster comp that was posted on Reddit recently might be dead on arrival in Patch 10.1 with the nerfs to Sivir and Hush, which is unfortunate. Maybe Karma can keep the comp viable and enable 2 Blademaster variants of the comp.