League of Legends patch 12.2: Zeri arrives, Yasuo buffed, Champion reworks, and more

League of Legends (LoL) is back with its regular patch cycle with the release of the 12.2 patch on Wednesday (19 January).

This update is packed with changes with the developers working on optimizing matches both on solo queue and in the esports scene.

This patch also marks the arrival of Zeri, the Zaunite marksman, who was teased in the first week of January. Riot Games is also releasing the rework promised for Janna and Tahm Kench, along with the buffs and nerfs for different champions, items, and other system adjustments.

Let’s dig into what you can expect on the Summoner’s Rift for patch 12.2:

Zeri arrives in 12.2

Zeri makes her debut on the Summoner Rift. Source: Riot Games.
Zeri makes her debut on the Summoner Rift. Source: Riot Games.

There’s much excitement (and fear) around the arrival of Zeri on the Summoner’s Rift. She’s touted as the newest marksman, making her an excellent pick for an AD Carry in the bot lane. And she's voiced by Filipina voice actress Vanille Velasquez!

Zeri’s abilities make her a mighty champion — in fact, she was so powerful during testing that she already had to be nerfed in the Public Beta Environment (PBE). Her speed makes it hard to catch her, and her ultimate ability, Lightning Crash, deals good damage as well.

Champion Buffs

As always, champion balance is one of the more controversial changes in any patch. While we see some much-needed boosts to less-favored champions, we’re still scratching our heads with what happened to a couple others.

Nocturne, Samira, Senna, Tristana, Veigar, Volibear, Yasuo, and Yone get buffs in 12.2. Source: Riot Games.
Nocturne, Samira, Senna, Tristana, Veigar, Volibear, Yasuo, and Yone get buffs in 12.2. Source: Riot Games.

For example, the Wind brothers, Yasuo and Yone, received “much needed” buffs because they had to deal with the nerf from the item Immortal Shieldbow. Both their Q AD Ratios were increased by 5%.

While this may seem to make sense, some players in the community believe that there are other ways to keep both champions afloat and competitive. Even so, there's still a lot of us that don’t like to deal with Yasuo, one of the most hated champions on the Rift.

We haven’t seen a buff for Nocturne for a while now, and in 12.2, he got a ten-point adjustment in his HP per level. His Q AD Ratio also increased from 75% to 85%.

Samira gets an increase in damage. Her R damage per bullet has jumped from 0/10/20 (+50% AD) to 5/1/5/20 (+50% AD)

Senna is getting some love in 12.2 because the developers felt that “old glacial did a lot for Senna’s pattern especially as a support marksman”, so a slow is back onto her kit. Her Q ability now slows enemies by 12% (+6% AP)(+10%/100 bonus AD) for 2s. Along with Lethal Tempo’s nerf on the same patch, this makes it harder for junglers to gank her.

Our Yordle gunner Tristana on the other hand gets an HP boost to help her win in the lane better. Her base HP increased from 559 to 600, and her HP regen went up from 3.75 to 4.

Veigar gets a skill cooldown buff too. The Tiny Master of Evil’s Q skill CD decreased by a second across levels, the stacks from large minions/monsters increased from 2 to 3.

Volibear's AD/level went up to 3.5, and the E skill CD has decreased to 13 seconds.

Champion Nerfs

Lulu, Zed, Qiyana, Talon, and Zed get nerfs in 12.2. Source: Riot Games.
Lulu, Zed, Qiyana, Talon, and Zed get nerfs in 12.2. Source: Riot Games.

Five champions are receiving nerfs in 12.2 to keep their power balanced after Season 2022 came with new items and changes that made them a bit too powerful.

Shen’s increased Q Damage decreased from 5/5.5/6/6.5/7% to 4/4.5/5/5.5/6% target’s max HP.

On the other hand, Talon’s W Bonus Monster Damage decreased significantly from 130% to 105%

Qiyana’s getting nerfed once again in 12.2. Her Grass Zone Duration decreased from 3.5 seconds to 3 seconds, with her HP Regen slightly decreasing from 7.5 to 6.

Lulu takes a hit this patch, too, and her W cooldown went up by 1 second across levels.

Finally, Zed’s R Base damage also significantly decreased from 100% AD to 65% AD.

Champion Rework and Adjustments

Rengar has been a sad kitty on the Rift for a while now, but an adjustment on the Pridestalker’s passive will make him much more competitive. His new passive allows him to leap while camouflaged, even if it’s the Chemtech fog, making the jungle one big bush for him under the fog, making enemies vulnerable to his ganks.

Apart from that, LoL has promised to rework some champions this year, releasing the first two this patch.

For this patch, a rework on the support champion Janna, sees her receiving significant changes to her shielding capacity.

Another champion who got a rework is Tahm Kench, who’s been strong in the top lane on solo queue. The changes enable him to become a more viable pick as a support champion once more.

We’ll take a deeper dive into these reworked champions at a later date to help you navigate through their revamped kits.

Item Buffs

Lich Bane

It’s been a while since this legendary item has been changed, and it’s finally getting buffed. The item now gives 15 Haste, and the cooldown decreased from 2.5 seconds to 1.5 seconds.

However, Spellblade Damage took a bit of a hit, going from 150% base AD (+40% AP) to 75% base AD (+ 50% AP).

These changes can help buff champs like Leblanc, one of her most essential items. There’s also potential for Akali users to experiment on adding this to their build, while it remains to be seen if these buffs will help Kayle in the top lane.

Rylai’s Crystal Scepter

Rylai's Crystal Scepter is another item that badly needed a buff remaining relevant on the Rift. Its cost has been reduced from 3000 to 2600, but its AP decreased from 90 to 75. It received a significant Health buff, moving up from 350 to 400. While it deals less damage, it’ll help Aurelion Sol and Azir become a bit tankier.

Rune and Map Nerfs

Lethal Tempo

Many of our favourite champions are taking a hit with this nerf, so this nerf is receiving mixed reactions from the community.

AS Stack (Melee) – 13% >>> 10-15%

AS Stack (Ranged) – 7% >>> 5-9%

Hextech Soul

Damage – 25-75% >>> 25-50%

Chemtech Soul

Zombie Bleedout Time – 4 seconds >> 3 seconds

Zombie Health – 80% Base + 50% Bonus >>> 70% Base + 40% Bonus

Chemtech Terrain

OOC Recamo Timer – 1.5 seconds >>> 2.5 seconds

Always Camo on Zone Enter >>> Respect OOC Timer – Damage Amp: up to 10% >>> up to 12%

Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.

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