Patch notes can be found here.
TL;DR — these changes are a step in the right direction. Baby steps are OK as long as they are frequent and in the right direction. Further changes will be needed, and I hope Trion will be forthcoming in making them as promised. However, this is well-timed. We don’t want a huge shake-up in the meta before the end-of-season Turn 20 League Tournament, which should conclude by mid-August (a couple weeks before the end of the Ranked season). At that point, I’d like to see another balance patch with similar sorts of changes.
Let’s go through the changes one at a time, then talk about what didn’t change.
- HP decreased from 165 to 162.
- Whirling Blade, Rebounding Charge, and Stand and Fight damage reduced from 28 to 27.
Fine. Asana was too strong, we all knew it, these changes are reasonable.
- HP decreased from 190 to 185.
- Impale damage decreased from 29 to 28.
- Flight of the Valkyrie damage decreased from 28 to 26.
Also fine, but honestly I’d have liked to see more. Brynn’s range and CC feel oppressive in ways that other frontlines generally don’t. I wouldn’t expect those aspects of her kit to be changed, as they’re very character-defining, but the numbers should be nerfed further to compensate for the insane range and utility she has. It’s very common in high-level games for Brynn to be top damage.
- HP decreased from 190 to 185.
- Piston Punch damage decreased from 30 to 29.
- Piston Punch Mod: Haymaker damage decreased from 30 to 29.
- Hand Cannon damage decreased from 25/15 to 24/14.
- Heavy Metal damage decreased from 25 to 24.
- Shockpod damage decreased from 35 to 32.
Garrison got gutted. I don’t understand why he’s receiving bigger nerfs than Brynn. But Garrison WAS a problem, and these changes, big as they are, probably won’t make him too weak. Frontlines should still be really really strong.
- Boom Boom energy increased from 6 to 7 per hit.
- Mine energy increased from 6 to 7 per hit.
- Bombing Run energy increased from 5 to 6 per hit.
I think this is a good change. It WAS very hard for Gremo to get a second ult, even with energy mines (which is really his only energy mod option).
- Blast Shield energy decreased from 8 to 7.
- Disruption Matrix energy decreased from 8 per hit to 8 on cast and 4 per hit.
This is stupid. The devs said they’re nerfing Blast Shield energy because they don’t want Helio getting so much energy for free, but then they give you energy for casting wall whether you hit or not. This change is only going to serve to punish the good Helios and reward the bad ones. Thankfully, it’s not a major change.
- Twisting Blades damage increased from 34/20 to 35/25.
- Twisting Blades Mod: Focused Assault changed from +4/-4 to +2/-5.
- Void Strike damage increased from 32 to 33.
- Shadowstalker cooldown decreased from 6 to 5.
- Spectre of Death damage falloff decreased from -10 to -8.
As many folks know, I’ve been clamoring for a Shadowstalker cooldown reduction for a while, and I’m excited to play it. Overall, these changes are quite good — maybe too good, but Kaigin needed some love. I’d rather have seen more interesting changes than straight up number buffs, but it’s fine for now. Some have expressed concern that these changes will make Kaigin overpowered. I’m not so sure. They’re more of an increase in raw power level than I’d have liked to see, but Kaigin is struggling. Unfortunately, that’s more a result of melee being insanely OP across the board than Kaigin being weak per se.
Oh, one other thing — I quite like the change to Focused Assault. That mod felt like a must-take and now it does not.
- Dawnhammer damage increased from 26 to 27.
- Solar Strike damage increased from 22/18 to 24/20.
Sure, why not.
- Catarang, and Acrocat energy increased from 4 to 5 per hit.
- Embiggify damage increased from 10 to 11.
- Mouse Trap energy changed from 4 on cast and 6 on hit to 5 on cast and 5 on hit.
Sure, why not.
- Phaser Laser base damage increased from 25 to 26.
- Phaser Laser energy increased from 6 to 7 per laser that hits.
- Photon Spray base damage increased from 20 to 22.
Good changes. Oz may be a little bit TOO GOOD now. Is that POSSIBLE?! We shall see. He’s really strong into the current meta, but he’s still very punishable. So it’ll be interesting to see. The energy change to primary was long overdue, though, so it was good to see Willibuster make a note of that during the bit of the stream I caught.
- HP increased from 140 to 148.
Nope, nope, nope. Stop. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 8 hit points. Quark is already teetering on the verge of viable, and nobody wants that. This could put him over the edge into being good. This could be a disaster, seriously.
- Radamantium Flurry damage decreased from 30 to 28.
- Bulwark Mod: Defensive Posture shields reduced from 25 to 20.
- Bulwark Mod: Bunker heal reduced from 10 to 8.
- Bulwark Mod: Reflective Shield damage reduced from 10 to 8.
These are sensible changes. Rufflebucket is too strong and these seem like reasonable things to nerf.
- HP reduced from 190 to 185.
- Maul damage decreased from 29/25 to 28/25.
- Upheaval damage decreased from 25 to 24.
- Pain Train damage decreased from 25 to 24.
Good changes. Rask is more annoying than seriously problematic, but he should still be nerfed for sure along with most of the frontlines.
- Rocket jump ranged increased by 1.
Don’t really see why Zuki needed a buff, but I agree she dies a fuckton, which is what the devs cited as the reason for the change. Ehhhh, I wouldn’t have made this change. Zuki is gonna be OP.
Okay, time for what didn’t change.
Hello? Devs? Elle? She’s been permabanned in almost every single game of the last THREE tournament finals. When are you going to do something?