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10.4 Patch Review
Heyo! It's that time again for another patch review! 10.4 is a smaller patch than normal but definitely packs a few interesting changes in it, most notably the rework of Glacial. I'll be going through each balance change and speculating what may end up being better or worse but keep in mind it's just speculation! Also this weeks patch is on Thursday instead of Wednesday so we have one extra day on 10.3.

As always here's the patch notes if you want to follow along!
Alright no system changes this week so we're going to get right into the balance changes starting with the traits!



Crystal is getting a nerf in 10.4 that I'm sure a lot of us are happy about as the trait was quite frustrating to play against in 10.3. While this is definitely a nerf it's not a gigantic enough change that Crystal will be unplayable, especially with 4 Crystal being unchanged. Compositions that will be affected are most notably Rangers since they use Crystal with Taric as an important front-liner. Predators will also get a bit of a nerf from this as Crystal is commonly played mid to late game. That all said this change alone isn't enough to make either build unplayable but... there is another change in 10.4 that may!



With the Crystal change, Poison is also seeing a nerf -- a potentially much larger nerf. These two changes are definitely piling on to Rangers & Predators and is going to make their late games much weaker. Overall this is a healthier change for the game because Poison is just frustrating to play against so it's nice to reduce the effectiveness of the trait. It's likely to still be a strong addition to builds late game but perhaps won't be as dominating as it was in 10.3.



Up next is the last of the trait changes, a minor rework to Glacial! This change standardizes the stuns across all pieces of the trait and adds in extra magic damage when the stun occurs. It's hard to say whether this will be strong or not but a 25% chance to both stun and do magic damage is nothing to scoff at. It would be nice to see if Ezreal pops up as a legitimate late game carry with these changes but what will probably happen is Berserker will be more prevalent as it's really the only build that utilizes Glacial. That said this change may be what Glacial needs to be a more diverse trait in the meta.
With the trait changes out of the way let's get into the champion balance for 10.4. As mentioned earlier this patch is lighter on the amount of changes but there are a few we'll want to get into but first let's start with the one cost champion changes!



 Ornn is getting buffed again after receiving a change to his ultimate in 10.3. The previous change did make him a bit more appealing early game with Electric and now he's getting just more buffs all around meaning he'll be a decent choice early game. While his three-star damage is going up by a fair amount it's unlikely to go for Ornn 3 so the change isn't super relevant. Definitely look to play him early game as he's received several buffs recently.



This change may seem odd as Taliyah isn't exactly seen as a dominant champion but she's one of the units with an ultimate that can completely win a fight right at the start. With this nerf to her starting manage she can't instantly cast her ability on an Ocean hex and you'll have to invest items into her if you want her to cast it sooner in a fight. Very good change as she has one of the most frustrating to play against abilities in set 2.  It will still be annoying to fight against her, at least your carry won't get instantly punted into the enemy team from Taliyah just sitting on an Ocean hex.



Only one two cost champion is receiving changes this patch and that champion is Senna! Overall it's a small increase to her abilities bonus damage it's still nice to see her getting some love after getting super nerfed a few patches ago. Shadow was a big part of the 10.3 meta but Senna wasn't exactly seen as an essential aspect to it. With this change it may be more common to see her played in that build. If not there we may see a return of the Husband & Wife build.



Alright into the three cost changes we have a necessary nerf to one of the best standalone champions in the game, Azir! It's not a huge nerf and honestly his design is a bigger issue more than anything so it's not easy to balance him but slowing down how early and often he's able to cast his summon will be a healthy change. More than likely this won't be enough of a nerf to keep him from being a cornerstone of the meta but anything that makes him a bit less effective is a good thing.



This buff to Nocturne may have some of us worrying as we get flashbacks to the time where Blender, meaning Nocturne, was dominant in the meta. There have been several other changes and nerfs that will likely prevent Nocturne compositions from being meta defining as they were in the past. He was nerfed a lot though in the past so giving him a bit of love is not a bad idea so maybe we'll see him played a bit more outside of a trait bot for Steel.



The wife was buffed and so is the husband as Lucian is receiving another round of buffs in 10.4. It doesn't seem like a huge change but if you weigh in this change alongside the buffs to him in 10.3 it won't be surprising to see Lucian pop up in the meta this patch. Seeing as Senna is also getting a small buff, Soulbound has a good chance of returning in the 10.4 meta. Specifically for 10.4 the itemization of Lucian may look a bit different with his spell attack ratios being improved so items built from a Rod will be more effective for him.



Onto a controversial buff we have Olaf receiving both a base health increase and an increase to his one-star ultimate's attack-speed bonus. While it may seem odd this buff makes sense as in Challenger Berserkers fell off pretty hard and weren't part of the main meta in 10.3. With this change to Olaf it's not improbable to say we'll see them played more as these are fairly significant buffs. The Glacial mini rework potentially comes into play here where a 4 Glacial 6 Berserker composition may be the go-to variation now over Poison in the late game. We'll have to see how it plays out but definitely expect to see Olaf making a return in 10.4.



Okay let's move onto the five cost champions starting with a buff to Singed. It may seem weird that Singed is being buffed as he's been a strong champion for most of set 2 but with the nerfs to Poison this is mostly a compensation buff for him. Keep in mind his two-star ability will do the same damage as before so it's mostly just making Singed 1 more appealing to play. Despite the nerf, Poison should still be a good choice late game so this buff should keep Singed a priority pick.



Crystal got a nerf and so is Taric in 10.4 with his ultimate having a lowered duration for his one and two-star versions. Good change overall as Taric is another one of the frustrating to play against champions in the late game. That said with a 0.5 nerf to the duration and 2 Crystal being a bit worse it's possible Taric won't be such a dominating late game force in 10.4. With Poison also being nerfed the meta build of Rangers from 10.3 is likely to be a bit weaker and less of a free win in the late game when you hit Taric 2.



The last balance change of 10.4 is an attack-speed buff to Zed! This is the second patch in a row where Zed is getting a small buff and it's definitely nice to see healthy small changes to him. Summoner/Assassin has been a big part of the 10.3 meta but that's mostly due to the dominance of Azir more so than Zed and this buff likely won't change that fact. Perhaps we'll see more Electric late game in 10.4 with the buffs to both Ornn and Zed.
That's it for my 10.4 patch review, thank you for reading! It wasn't big changes this patch though the mini rework to Glacial looks interesting and maybe a return of Olaf in 10.4. More than likely short balance patches will be the theme of the last few patches of set 2 as we're getting closer to set 3 sometime in March! And keep in mind this patch is delayed to Thursday the 20th instead of the usual release day, Wednesday!

Be sure to check out GiantSlayerTV here for more TFT content and if you'd like you can follow my twitter here and twitch here! Thanks and see you next week for the Week of 10.4 meta articles!
Tagged in: Teamfight Tactics
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