Traits & Champion Changes
Assassin nerf! Yay! Is it enough though? Hmm. Likely not but the multiple nerfs to Assassins, especially Wild Assassins, is going to make them less consistent meaning you will see them less often. A two star Akali with double Infinity Edge is still going to shred most units, she just might do it slightly slower now so it isn’t as oppressive to play against.
The attack speed nerfs don’t make a huge difference for the Assassin comps, the power of Wild/Sin comps is due to Infinity Edge and the attacks being undodgeable, alongside being able to play Gnar with three Shapeshifter and double Hextech. A lot of that is unchanged. Still there are enough tweaks to Assassins that they likely will be less popular and that allows other compositions to pop up that weren’t able to when half the lobby had Akali 2’s.
With Wild being nerfed we may end up seeing the rise of more dodge-based comps such as Yordles or just utilizing items that give and work well with dodge chance. Items like Iceborn Gauntlets and Phantom Dancer may become more popular if Wild is run less in 9.20.
Let’s talk about.. Knights! Knights are really strong. But it isn’t just six Knights that’s super strong, it’s four Knights. 9.19 early game was find four Knights and play them until you can transition into your main comp, which half the time also used four Knights. But that wasn’t addressed at all, just six Knights. While six Knights is certainly strong it’s not nearly as potent as the power creep that four Knights allows.
Poppy was nerfed so maybe playing her in four Knights the strength will be weakened slightly but I don’t foresee there being much of a reason to not play four Knights early and mid game still, as well as with a lot of meta comps late game. Most likely you'll just try and replace Poppy with Sejuani instead of replacing one of the other Knights. I think the potentially larger change to Knight compositions in general is that with Assassins getting nerfed a bit there may be more spell based comps popping up so Knights won’t be as effective against that. Hard to say but likely four Knights is still going to be the most popular mid game comp.
Quick point on Gunslingers, the buff to six Gunslinger seems… pretty useless. Committing six units for Gunslinger is a lot so I don’t really know why they’d change six Gunslinger only when it’s the most unlikely comp for Gunslinger to be put into. They also buffed Gangplank slightly but honestly that will probably make him played more in a Blademaster Draven comp than a Gunslinger comp.
The only change that actually buffs Gunslingers is the Lucian
spell buff. He’s already a strong early/mid game item carry while you’re waiting for late game units and the spell damage increase, while small, just makes him even better at his current job. It’s an odd change and again likely has no real impact on a Gunslinger based composition it just makes Lucian
better as the early item carry he already is.
Having mentioned Blademasters let us talk about Fiora and Aatrox! Fiora, girl, you been through a lot in TFT. She has had small buffs overtime that she is playable early game but still, even with a 50hp increase, she is likely to be ditched once you hit level 6. That said, early game Blademasters could be a thing considering three of them are buffed this patch (Aatrox, Fiora, Gangplank).
Speaking of Aatrox, 10 extra armor is a lot! It’s also strange that he’s getting buffed because he’s already used a decent amount. You’ll see him in a Blademaster/Draven comp or in Demon/Sorc comps, so it’s not like he’s unpopular or unused. This change will likely make front-line Aatrox in Demon/Sorc comps even better.
Guardians are buffed back up to 45 armor. Jeez, they are starting to become the bunker of this game (Starcraft 2 reference, look it up!). They can’t seem to find the right place for the Guardian buff and units. Interestingly enough a comp was popping up in the last bit of 9.19 that used Guardians. It was Dragon+Guardian+Knight where you make Pantheon almost invincible and have Aurelion Sol doing a ton of back-line damage. With the changes to the armor and Leona getting a small HP buff that comp could become quite popular in 9.20.
And last but certainly least is Kai’sa
is a weird unit and I honestly don’t know if the changes will be enough for her. Sure a two star Kai’sa
with full items can pop off and do well and these changes make that more likely but she seems hard to fit into a comp. I love Rangers but she comes way too late for a Ranger comp and while Void/Brawler/Sorc is a comp in 9.19 I don’t know how much buffing her will matter for either styles of play. I’d love for her to be viable I just don’t know if her kit allows that, regardless of the buffs.
Volibear used to be so awesome during the carry bear meta. Nowadays he’s used in Brawler comps because he has a lot of HP but the days of his carrying are gone and I don’t know if .65 attack speed is going to change that. It does mean he scales better with attack speed items so perhaps there will be a comp that pops up with him as the star but Mr. Volibear is likely still going to be a support unit for Brawlers.
That’s all of patch changes for 9.20! Not a lot changed this patch, it was mostly just a hit to Assassin comps. Frozen Heart got nerfed pretty hard so it'll be interesting to see how that affects the meta in 9.20. Speaking of the 9.20 meta if you'd like to check out my snapshot of it, it'll be posted soon! I go over 9.19 meta comps and how they may change in 9.20 and theory-craft other potentially good comps going into 9.20. Thanks for reading! <3
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