Monday, March 4, 2013

Season 3 Patch 3.03 Jungle Implications

Patch 3.03

This article goes through some of the changes for the recent version 3.03 patch and their implications on the current jungle meta. The recent patch has attempted to touch the 'holy-trinity' of the Hybrid junglers. Furthermore, the change in the item Blade of the Ruined King brings some implications to the jungle.

Bandage Toss
Damage reduced to 80/130/180/230/280 from 80/140/200/260/320
Curse of the Sad Mummy
Radius reduced to 550 from 600

The changes to Amumu are pretty minor and insignificant. The damage reduction to Bandage Toss is a small nerf which is irrelevant in the big picture; Amumu is picked for his ability to be extremely strong late game with his percentage health damage, innate tankiness late game, and his AoE crowd control ultimate that can change games; not for his ability to do burst with Bandage Toss. The radius reduction from Curse of the Sad Mummy is quite small and almost unnoticeable. 

Damage increased to 60/95/130/165/200 from 50/85/120/155/190
Spirit of Dread
Healing adjusted to 20% at all ranks from 10/15/20/25/30%
Cooldown increased to 20/18.5/17/15.5/14 seconds from 14 at all ranks
Fixed a bug where Spirit of Dread was stating it dealt more damage than it actually was

I am not a big supporter of Hecarim jungle just because he does not fit my playstyle, as such I do not think I am fit to judge the changes completely. However, the reason why Hecarim was such a strong late-game jungler was because Spirit of Dread gave him immense healing which allowed him to build damage and still be able to survive an initiate. However, with the changes his healing has been kept at 20% which hinders his late-game potential significantly.

Base Attack Damage reduced to 54 from 58
Vault Breaker
Vault Breaker now goes on a 3 second cooldown and refunds 50% of the Mana cost when interrupted instead of fully refreshing the cooldown and refunding 100% of the Mana cost
Denting Blows
Damage reduced to 4/5.5/7/8.5/10% of maximum Health from 6/7/8/9/10%

Vi, along with Xin Zhao and Jarvan IV, created the 'holy-trinity' of hybrid jungler which dominated LCS for the first three weeks. The issue with hybrid junglers was that they would be able to initiate just as well as a support jungler; be just as innate tanky as a support jungler, and do enough base damage as a bruiser jungler. The nerfs on Vi reduced the damage portion of her playstyle where she would be able to kill carries even after building defensive items. Although the nerf on Vi's damage has been small, I feel like the changes are heading in the right correction; however, the nerf has been too small. 

Xin Zhao
Audacious Charge
Damage reduced to 70/105/140/175/210 from 70/110/150/190/230
Cooldown increased to 14/13/12/11/10 seconds from 13/12/11/10/9
Crescent Sweep
Base damage reduced to 75/175/275 from 125/225/325
Cooldown increased to 120/110/100 seconds from 100/90/80

Xin Zhao, unlike Vi, has had significant base damage reductions. After playing him several times on the live client, I feel that Xin Zhao has taken the brunt of the nerfs for the 'holy-trinity' of hybrid junglers. Xin Zhao's damage has been nerfed properly by Riot. Although he is still quite the strong jungler for his ability to put early pressure, his late-game potential to dive and kill carries is significantly hindered.

Blade of the Ruined King
Recipe Changed: Dagger + Dagger + Bilgewater Cutlass + 650 gold = 2850 gold
Attack Damage reduced to 30 from 45
Now grants 40% Attack Speed
Life Steal increased to 15% from 10%
UNIQUE Passive adjusted to "Deals 5% of the target's current Health in bonus physical damage (max 90 damage vs. monsters and minions) on hit"
UNIQUE Active changed to "Deals 15% of target champion's maximum Health as physical damage (min. 100), heals for the same amount, and steals 30% of the target's Movement Speed for 4 seconds (60 second cooldown)"
UNIQUE Active range increased to 500 from 400

Blade of the Ruined King has had a huge buff and is very strong right now. However, as junglers this item is very strong for snowballing games as it provides amazing damage, sustain, and damage. Furthermore, Blade of the Ruined King provides serious implications for Baron. With AD Carries and Top Laners potentially building this item, and more and more mid laners building Liandry's Torment, it has become possible to attempt Baron earlier. Teams with two Blade of the Ruined Kings can attempt Baron as early as 20 minutes to some success. 

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