League of Legends Patch 9.8 is about to hit tomorrow and Riot released the official notes last night. The patch brings in several champion and item changes, most notably to the top lane and what champions will be (more) viable there.
At first look, some bruisers have gotten the best out of Patch 9.8, particularly Fiora, Renekton and Singed. With the new changes, Riot wants you to fight more with these champions to either outsmart/outplay the opponent or simply have the statsline buff to help you be more aggressive.
Take Fiora. Her W (Riposte) has received a good buff to its stun duration (up to 2 from 1.5 seconds) and increased damage. Her E (Bladework) also has its mana reduced, down to 40 at all levels. This not only will make Fiora more lenient with her mana, therefore incentivized to cast more stuff and be in battle more often, but reward outplaying the enemy. A 2-second stun on Riposte outplay is no joke and good Fiora players will seek to bait CC’s out of their opponents to counter with an empowered W.
Singed’s and Renekton’s changes are simpler statline buffs, but will also reward more aggressive play. Singed’s W (Mega Adhesive) now slows more and his E (Fling) costs less mana at all levels. Renekton, on the other hand, will heal more through his Q (Cull the Meek) for more favorable trades, bullying people out of lane.
Other bruisers, like Trundle and Gnar, are also getting buffed. The troll will do “more chomping, more subjugation” with his Q damage increased and R cooldown decreased. Gnar’s R has also received a massive cooldown reduction, down to just 30 seconds on max level.
These changes could really spice up the top lane meta, which has already become very significant in current-state League of Legends. Multiple pro teams, like LPL finalists Invictus Gaming and JD Gaming, favor playing more around their top lanes and snowball from there. And Patch 9.8 could emphasize the trend even further.