KP
NA Challenger TFT player
Season 1 Rangers abuser. Season 2 Berserkers abuser. I enjoy teaching the game!
Patch 10.2 Rundown And Predictions
By KP | Jan 20, 2020 | Patch 10.2
Available Languages: English, Español (thanks Fran!)

Riot Mortdog released his patch 10.2 rundown video yesterday containing all the changes coming with the new patch. Patch 10.2's central themes are buffs to "vertical" comps (i.e. comps that scale by stacking the same trait), nerfs to the Sivir and Friends comp, and a reduction in item and gold drop variance. This patch looks very positive overall and it'll probably introduce many new viable comps that are healthy for the meta. Here's my detailed 10.1 patch rundown with predictions.

Quick thanks to /u/ztask760 again for the patch preview screenshots!

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Patch 10.2 TLDR

As I just mentioned, the headliners for this patch are buffs to vertical comps, a heavy nerf for the dominant Sivir and Friends comp, and a reduction in item and gold drop variance. The balance team is also using this patch to kick off two valuable initiatives: evening out item power variance and decreasing game time to prepare for TFT's mobile launch.

  • 6 Assassins, 4 Deserts, 6 and 9 Infernos, 6 Mages, 6 Shadows, and 6 Wardens are getting buffed. This patch also introduces the 6 Woodlands bonus where all Woodland units clone themselves
  • 2 Deserts, 4 Blademasters, and Sivir are getting nerfed. These three combined represent a heavy nerf to the Sivir and Friends comp
  • Underused items like Luden's Echo, Bramble Vest, and Guinsoo's Rageblade are getting buffed
  • Preparation time for PVE rounds will be 33% shorter (dropping from 30s to 20s). In total, this shaves off about 70 seconds of game time (3 PVE rounds in stage 2, Krugs, Wolves, Raptors, and Dragon)
  • Item and gold drop variance is getting significantly reduced. Several worst and best case scenarios will be removed and full items will drop less frequently

Trait changes

  • The buff to 6 Assassins is huge (1.5x more critical damage) and could very well make 6 Assassin comps viable. Kha'Zix is already strong and the extra 225% critical damage will turn him into one of the best carries in the game. This could be enough to make up for the low quality units needed to activate 6 Assassins. If these comps become viable, it'll put a premium on Youmuu's Ghostblade (an item that turns a unit into an Assassin). Ghostblade allows you to skip Zed, who's very rare, to activate 6 Assassins
  • Blademasters can no longer store more extra attacks than what the trait bonus allows them to. For example, if you have 4 Blademasters, even though every Blademaster attack and extra attack could trigger 2 more extra attacks, the number of buffered extra attacks can't exceed 2. Currently, the extra attack buffer is uncapped which allows Blademasters to output tremendous burst damage. Adding a cap to the extra attack buffer is thus a huge DPS reduction. This, coupled with the nerf to extra attack chance, is a huge Blademasters nerf
  • 4 Desert bonus now causes physical attacks to deal true damage. This completely negates the Wardens bonus. Keep in mind that 6 Assassins and 4 Deserts are possible with 8 units if you have a Ghostblace
  • Inferno was buffed again because Mystics are so easy to activate with the introduction of Karma

  • 6 Mages was given the 6 Berserkers treatment and Mages now get 20 extra AP. I don't think this is enough to make Mages viable since the units you need to run are too bad. You'd much rather run 6 Infernos
  • Although the damage of 6 Shadows was significantly increased, the 1 second increase in Shadow buff duration is more impactful since it also affects 3 Shadows. The majority of Shadow comps only run 3 Shadows and transition to 6 Infernos or Summoners in the late game. The extra second makes it easier for Shadow units to kill enemy units and refresh the buff. Sion, a strong Shadow unit that's notoriously bad at dealing damage quickly, can now more reliably cast his spell when Shadow buff is active
  • The buff to 6 Wardens is strong but Desert exists so it's unlikely that 6 Wardens will be viable despite the buff
  • The new 6 Woodlands bonus, combined with last patch's buff to Neeko, might make hyperrolling for Woodlands viable again. The idea is to 3-star Woodland units, survive the mid game, and hope to find a Woodland Lux in the late game. Otherwise, 6 Woodlands will be a meme reserved for YouTube highlights
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Unit changes

  • Both Lunar units, Leona and Karma, are nerfed. This is expected. Even though Lunar as a trait wasn't strong, Leona and Karma were both strong standalone units. Leona was too tanky for her cheap cost and Karma not only made it easy to activate Mystic, she was also a powerful force multiplier for hypercarries
  • The buff to Malzahar was well deserved. I mentioned in my patch 10.1 rundown that Malzahar's problem wasn't low voidling damage; it was flimsy voidlings that were too easy to exterminate with AOE attacks. Increasing the health of Malzahar's voidlings is definitely the best way to buff him
  • Ezrael's main problems are his single-target spell, tendency to miss, and vulnerability from standing still (Kindred jumps around). As such, I don't think this buff will make Ezrael anymore viable than he is today

  • Sion's starting mana was increased, reducing the time taken before he casts his first spell. This is a huge buff. Sion's ult destroys an opponent's frontline but he'll often die before casting or cast when Shadow buff's extra damage period expires
  • This Sivir nerf is the final nail in the coffin for the Sivir and Friends comp. With heavy nerfs to both Blademaster buff and Sivir, you can expect Sivir Blademaster comps to vanish from the meta
  • This Veigar buff isn't enough to make 3-star Veiger comps viable but it will make Veigar a more popular option in Shadow comps, especially with the Shadow buff duration increase
  • Olaf's attack speed was reduced by about 6%. This, coupled with the nerfs to 2 Desert and Karma, will probably noticeably reduce the popularity of Berserkers

  • It's very unlikely to get a 3-star Renekton, Vlad, or Ashe. These buffs will have almost no impact on the meta

Item changes

  • These are buffs to notoriously underused items like Guinsoo's Rageblade. It's great to see Riot buffing underused items to even out item power variance. Too much item power variance increases the amount of RNG in an unhealthy way (e.g. losing feels bad when it's because you could only build bad items)
  • There is a slight chance that the Luden's Echo buff might single-handedly make Hyperoll Predators an S-tier comp again
  • Hextech Gunblade was already strong on Brand and Singed. This buff will make it a more popular option on them but Gunblade is still not close to being as strong as Morellonomicon
  • The Bloodthirster buff is most impactful on Olaf and Kha'Zix. A Kha'Zix with a Bloodthirster, Quicksilver, Infinity Edge, and the 6 Assassins buff might become the new exodia
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General changes and bug fixes

  • These are amazing changes that greatly improve TFT's competitive integrity. Item and gold drop variance is currently too big and frequently overrides skill expression. For example, the difference between a 2 item, 30 gold start and a 4 item, 0 gold start is night and day. Games like TFT require a delicate balance between skill expression and RNG to be fun and the current item and gold drop variance veers too much to the RNG side

  • The Zephyr and planning phase time changes are an indicator that Riot wants to reduce average game time. This is likely because they want TFT to be more mobile-friendly. If a TFT game is almost an hour long, it doesn't fit into many people's commutes. In general, games are currently a bit too long and I welcome shorter ones
  • Force of Nature is generally the best late game item and it's unhealthy for the game when the spawn location of one item in the carousel has so much impact on a match. Reducing the frequency of Force of Nature appearances in the carousel is a very positive change

  • Very happy to see the Jeweled Gauntlet and Kindred bug fixed. I had a bottom-4 finish because of it and painfully learned to never build Jeweled Gauntlet on Kindred

Predictions

  • This is more of a fact than a prediction, but Sivir and Friends has been successfully nerfed to the ground and will vanish from the meta
  • Shadow comps will be S-tier with the buffs to Shadow, Sion, and Malzahar. Since 6 Inferno comps like to run Shadow, and 6 Infernos was also buffed, 6 Inferno comps will also be S-tier
  • Kha'Zix carry with 6 Assassins and 4 Deserts will be at least an A-tier comp
  • The Luden's Echo buff might be enough to bring back Hyperroll Predators into the meta. The comp might even be S-tier
  • Berserkers will fall off in popularity but remain an A-tier comp
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