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Patch 9.23 Review
Everyone wave hello to Oceans for 9.23
Yo! Guess what y'all? Ranked is coming back with patch 9.23! Yay! Besides that there is of course a bunch of changes coming with this patch although nothing super drastic. A lot of what worked in 9.22 is still going to be viable in 9.23 so don't worry too much about suddenly having to learn an entire new patch for ranked. Let's get into the changes which of course you can follow long by going to this link! https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/teamfight-tactics-patch-923-notes/

Alright let's dig into these changes starting with the traits that are getting tweaked. Not a ton of changes but they will cause subtle shifts in the meta for 9.23.



Glacial is getting their stun chance reduced for four and six Glacial while two is remaining the same. These aren't huge number changes but it does overall lower their power. Six Glacial may be more necessary now to get the 50% stun chance whereas in 9.22 it wasn't that necessary. Coupled with a few unit changes (we'll go over those later) it's likely Glacial will be seen a bit less in 9.23.



This change to Light seems subtle but it has an interesting impact in that using fodder units (one-star units) to buff and heal your stronger units won't be as effective. It'll be more important now if you run Light to have an overall balanced composition. Added with the Yorick nerfs this has definitely so far reduced the effectiveness of Light based on the testing on the PBE.



Ah, Ocean. Ocean/Mage was already a composition that was gaining traction in 9.22 and this buff, alongside a few others we'll go over later, is really bringing the Ocean train full speed ahead. It isn't a huge change -- honestly none of the balance changes were this patch, but it does make an already viable composition more viable. Definitely recommend trying out 4 Ocean/3 Mage in 9.23!



It was fairly clear from the get go of Set 2 that Shadow is a really strong four piece trait. Heck even just the two version is good so lowering their effectiveness just slightly is good. On PBE testing there were overall less people playing Shadow every game but those that do are still able to make them work quite well so no worries about them disappearing. It will just bring the meta to a healthier spot where it isn't half the lobby gunning for the Shadow units.



Lastly we have the Warden buff. Not much of a change but a buff is a buff. It does make splashing in two Wardens as a front-line better which mostly has implications for Ocean/Mage as Thresh and Nautilus are both Warden and Ocean. This is another one of the adjustments that is pushing that composition to the forefront of 9.23. Otherwise it's not a significant difference and Warden will likely still need to be looked at in the future.
Oh my there is a lot of adjustments to three star scaling this patch. It seems they really want to push for three-stars to be a viable option for two and three cost units. In set 2 we have seen a lot more three-star units pop up and while these alterations make them more appealing it's still one-off cases in games and not something that is guaranteed to happen every game. Making three-star units a viable option isn't bad by any means but don't get caught up over-rolling to try and hit a three-star unit. If you scout and see no one is contesting a unit you can begin picking up extra of that unit but if you have low economy it's going to be really hard to ever hit a three-star unit.



Not every unit is being changed as some already have good scaling as three-star units but a few interesting ones to note in the two cost section. With Ocean/Mage becoming more popular this patch you may see more three-stars of those units such as Syndra 3 and Thresh 3. That said those are also likely to be very contested so it's important to scout and see who is holding onto those units. Volibear 3 got a fairly substantial buff on top of a tweak to how his ultimate functions (that'll be in the Bug fix & Other Changes section) so getting him three-starred in Predator hyper-roll compositions or Glacial compositions will be quite good.



Lots of interesting three cost unit buffs but the one I really want to mention is Kindred. Kindred is a really, really good unit and although they got nerfed from the Shadow change they are still a very strong unit. Making the three-star variation even stronger is a bit worrying. Granted hitting it consistently every game is likely not possible but still it's an odd unit to buff when they are already quite strong.

That all said three cost units aren't easy to get three-star variations of so take all of these changes with a grain of salt; it sounds like they'll be really strong but the viability of hitting them is still lower, especially with the pool of three cost units being small. Only look for them if you have a good economy and no one else is contesting them.
Onto the meat and potatoes of the patch, unit balance! While it seems like there's a lot, overall the changes are fairly small. A few units got hit harder than others and a few buffed more than others but overall the general meta isn't getting drastically altered from this balancing. Alright let's tackle the one cost units...



Out of the gate is the two Woodland Druid combo getting nerfed slightly. Maokai and Ivern early game pair insanely well together and while these nerfs slightly hurt their two-star variation they are still viable to play. Interesting to note is they got their three-star variations nerfed so that hyper-roll Woodland isn't as good as it was. I had seen it still work on PBE but it'll be important to keep in mind they won't scale as well later into the game so only go that strategy if you really high roll your units. Still these two have a great early game and the balance changes don't change that fact.



Nasus and Vayne got some slight shuffling in their stats. Bit better as a one-star unit, bit worse as a three-star unit. They are still the hallmark duo of Light hyper-roll but as with Woodland just keep in mind they won't scale quite as well later. Do note all these small tweaks to Light add up thus making the composition overall weaker.



Taliyah definitely needed a little love and she got it this patch. She feels much better to play now even with the small buffs. Vladimir is a bit weaker and they seemed to mostly target his three-star stats but because Ocean/Mage is a popular composition he is still going to be a viable unit to pick up early game.



Moving onto two cost units, Rek'sai and Skarner got small changes. Skarner definitely wasn't a bad unit before but he was out-shined by a lot of other units, these changes just make him a bit more appealing. Rek'sai lost some power as a three-star and gained it in her one-star form but overall is unchanged. Mainly what this means is Skarner is a more viable option as a front-liner in Predator compositions where you don't hyper-roll and Rek'sai is still your go-to for hyper-roll Predator.



Thresh received great buffs which again adds to the overall power of Ocean/Mage. The incremental changes really add up and it's why the composition is becoming so dominant. Malzahar is basically the same as before even with this nerf. While less health on his summons is good he still summons a lot of them so it doesn't make a huge difference. The Shadow nerf will have more of an impact than this nerf will. Yasuo's scaling got slightly tweaked but honestly it's another non-factor of a change as Yasuo 3 was fairly rare and you don't stay on Yasuo 1 for very long.



Ezreal! He's actually somewhat viable now. He isn't a hyper-carry but with a Seraphs he can do work, especially when paired with a Luden's Echo.



Brand 1 got a decent buff which again just adds to the power of Ocean/Mage. While your goal is Brand 2, the fact he can be fine to run as a one-star really boosts the power of Ocean/Mage if you find him early enough. Honestly he didn't need any balancing as he's already the best Mage in the game.



Olaf got slapped by the nerf bat a bit alongside the Glacial nerf. It's definitely noticeable as he takes a lot longer to get his ultimate off but he's still just as strong as before when it goes off. There will be less overall hyper-carry Olaf's running around but if you position him correctly he is still a viable unit.



Yorick, another very strong unit in 9.22, also got nerfed but unlike Olaf he was still played a lot on PBE. I wouldn't be surprised if he received more nerfs in the future because his minions are still just so tanky and do a lot of damage. The main change for him is Light overall got a nerf so try to play him more in Summoner compositions or just as a strong front-liner.



Very small buffs to Malphite and Ashe. Warden got buffed too but Malphite is basically the same as he was; an okay front-liner with decent CC. Ashe, unfortunately, is still very underwhelming. Whether she needs more attack-speed, damage or a change to her kit I'm not sure but I've yet to see her be a true hyper-carry in 9.23 on PBE.



Alright let's talk Singed. Singed is a really good unit and honestly these nerfs don't really do much to stop him (because he's unstoppable ha ha) from being one of the best units in the game. Still tanks a lot of damage, still does good damage and Poison was completely unchanged. Taric, on the other hand, is pretty underwhelming by comparison as a five cost unit. Not terrible for soaking damage and his ultimate can be good but the power difference of him and Singed is crazy. Taric and Crystal may need more buffs in future patches.
Not a big list for items but these are probably the more substantial changes this patch. Before we touch on one of the largest item nerfs let's talk about the others first.



Frozen Heart and Iceborn Gauntlet are getting the attack-speed slow effect reduced which is a fairly large change for both items. Frozen Heart is already a bit underwhelming after the nerfs it got in set 1 and this just makes it even less appealing to play. Iceborn is still going to be a decent item for a front-liner but less of a universal item and more niche to the Cloud elemental map or if you are running the Cloud trait. Ionic damage nerf isn't significant but it does make this item much less appealing and may end up just as a Predator only item.



The largest change to items and maybe this entire patch is to Guardian Angel. This completely removes the item combination of Guardian Angel and Redemption, a very popular combo of items to run on front-liners. It was also very good on Zed which is likely why this nerf happened.

Do note this is any healing so even a unit's ability like Mundo won't heal during the resurrecting state of Guardian Angel. Overall this really nerfs Guardian Angel and hurts front-line units a lot. Redemption is still good but losing that combo is going to be really noticeable.
Oof there's a lot in this section. I won't go over every single change so if you want to see everything I recommend looking at the patch notes here: patch notes



First general fix is about melee unit pathing! This is a very welcome as unit pathing for melee units in TFT has always been rather lackluster. Hoping this really helps units be less idle and if it ends up being significant enough, melee hyper-carries (like Olaf!) will be much more consistent.



Small sounding but it's important to point out that Veigar will now one-shot summoned units. So that Tibbers rampaging around with a ton of health? Yeah, Veigar will kill it in one spell now.



Huge change to Diana. She definitely was way too strong for a one cost unit but this change has really gutted her overall strength and she falls off really fast, even in the early game. Definitely recommend staying away from making her your focal point of your composition. Another one cost unit getting tweaked is Kog'maw -- while it isn't much this change just brings quality of life to his ultimate and slightly buffs Predators.



One of my favorite fixes this patch is to Volibear. How his ultimate worked in 9.22 is if you did any damage over the 35% execute range with his ultimate he did not receive the mana return. In 9.23 that is no longer the case so he is free to bite as he wishes! What it means is he will consistently cast his ultimate more often as long as the unit dies to his bite. It's a lot of fun seeing him run around biting and getting full mana back constantly.



My favorite item bug fix ever. It's been in the game for a bit, even before Iceborn was added to the game (it happened on Frozen Heart) but it's wonderful to finally get fixed. Even though you'll likely see less Iceborn Gauntlet it's still great it's finally fixed.

That's it for bug fixes and general changes I'll be going over but again I highly recommend checking out the full list of patch notes as there are quite a few! These were just the ones with some of the most impact on the game, though all bug fixes are important.
Thanks for reading! Not huge shift to the game with this patch but definitely keep an eye out for Ocean/Mage as a composition to try out. Olaf and Light are both weaker but Yorick and Singed are still perfectly viable. With ranked coming out I definitely suggest watching streams to see what Challenger players from last season are playing, a few I recommend to check out are: Keane, soju, Kurum, Alanzq, Hyped, Khroen and a bunch others. Watch how they climb and try to apply it to your own game! Good luck in your ranked games!
Tagged in: Teamfight Tactics
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