Riot Games revealed the patch 11.9 notes for League of Legends on Tuesday afternoon. Along with some big cosmetic reveals, the patch notes also revealed a long list of champions receiving buffs and nerfs.
At its core, patch 11.9 attempts to address many of the game’s biggest ranked offenders. The champions seeing nerfs here hold some of the highest win rates in the game. One of these champions in particular rarely even sees play as a result of an astronomic ban rate.
Hecarim has long terrorized Summoner’s Rift as an incredibly mobile champion that gets to build tanky while still dealing heaps of damage. This is reflected in one of the most prominent pick/ban rates in the game. According to U.GG, Hecarim sees bans in 55.9% of all ranked games at Platinum and above. This is the highest ban rate across all champions and all roles. When Hecarim is on the board, players jump at the chance to play him. His 12.4% pick rate is 13th highest in the game and third most among jungle champions. The combined numbers show Hecarim plays a role in an absurd 68.3% of all ranked games at Plat and above.
Patch 11.9 Hecarim nerfs
One of the biggest changes in patch 11.9 involves stifling some of Hecarim’s early-game dominance while shifting some of his scaling towards damage. One of the purposes here is to incentivize players to build tank less often. To begin with, the Shadow of War is seeing a reduction to his base armor from 36 to 32. This is matched with an increase to his armor growth from 4 to 4.25. This is a minor nerf that should make him just a tick squishier in the early game.
Q – Rampage
Hecarim’s Q ability, Rampage, is having its damage amplification per stack changed from 5% flat to 2% (+1% per 33 bonus AD). This change forces Hecarim players to build damage items to unlock a larger power spike with Q while giving tank builds less raw damage to work with.
W – Spirit of Dread
With his W ability, Spirit of Dread, Hecarim can actually heal more now than before. To do that, he will once again have to build damage items. Instead of healing for 30% of all damage enemies take within his W, Hecarim will now heal for 30% (+1% per 40 bonus AD) on damage he himself inflicts within the ability’s area and 15% (+1% per 80 bonus AD) on damage dealt by his allies. This change forces Hecarim to sustain himself instead of relying on his allies but it also gives him far more power in 1-on-1 pick situations that Hecarim players love to engage.
E – Devastating Charge
As far as Hecarim’s E, Devastating Charge, the ability received flat nerfs across the board. The ability’s minimum damage is dropping from 35, 65, 95, 125 and 155 damage from levels 1-5 to 30, 50, 70, 90 and 110. Devastating Charge’s maximum damage will fall from 70, 100, 190, 250 and 310 damage at each rank to 60, 100, 140, 180, and 220.
The verdict? Tank Hecarim is weaker and Devastating Charge is substantially weaker. But the reason Hecarim gives players fits is his ability to zoom in from off-screen and destroy carries at will. If anything, these changes may encourage that playstyle further. It wouldn’t surprise us to see further changes come Hecarim’s way in future patches.