League of Legends Patch 12.8: Swain rework arrives; Poppy and Sejuani buffed

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LoL Patch 12.8 is shaking up the meta with huge buffs to tanks Sejuani and Poppy, nerfs to ADC favourites Jinx and Xayah, and the arrival of Swain and his teamfight-breaking ultimate. Photo: Riot Games
LoL Patch 12.8 is shaking up the meta with huge buffs to tanks Sejuani and Poppy, nerfs to ADC favourites Jinx and Xayah, and the arrival of Swain and his teamfight-breaking ultimate. (Photo: Riot Games)

League of Legends (LoL) Patch 12.8 is already here, featuring a long list of champions receiving nerfs, buffs, and more.

This includes Swain's rework along with his potentially problematic ultimate.

Now that’s a lot to take in, isn’t it? That’s because the Mid-Season Invitational 2022 is just around the corner, and this patch is meant not only to shake up the off-season meta to make pro play much more exciting, but also address pain points for regular players.

How exactly will this bulk of changes affect drafts, team fights, and the game overall?

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Swain Rework Arrives

When Swain's ult is ready... run away from the team fight! Or find a way to counter him. Photo: Riot Games
When Swain's ult is ready... run away from the team fight! Or find a way to counter him. (Photo: Riot Games)

The Noxian General’s scary rework has arrived! The changes in his kit were meant to allow him to have more flexible roles on the Rift, instead of just allowing others to do the work for him.

With the infinite ultimate (as long as Swain can sustain himself with his opponent's Souls), the Noxian General is a formidable support that can now also hold his own in the mid and solo lane.

Teamfights around Swain are dangerous, especially in tight spaces due to his E and R, so players must now consider ways to play chess on the Rift. You can read more about Swain’s rework here.

Champion Buffs

Fourteen Champions received buffs this patch, with some of these most likely affecting the MSI 2022 meta: Bard, Ezreal, Fiddlesticks, Kassadin, Jhin, Morderkaiser, Poppy, Sejunai, Sylas, Tristana, Vel'Koz, Vladimir, Xerath, and Zoe. Photo: Riot Games
Fourteen Champions received buffs this patch, with some of these most likely affecting the MSI 2022 meta: Bard, Ezreal, Fiddlesticks, Kassadin, Jhin, Morderkaiser, Poppy, Sejunai, Sylas, Tristana, Vel'Koz, Vladimir, Xerath, and Zoe. (Photo: Riot Games)

Bard

The buffs on Bard aren’t alarming, although it would help him a bit in the early game and in the laning phase in general. With these, he can also potentially have some impact in the late game.

Passive – Traveler’s Call

Bonus Magic Damage on Attack: 30 (+12 per 5 chimes) (+30% AP) > 35 (+14 per 5 chimes) (+30% AP)

W – Caretaker’s Shrine

Maximum heal: 55/95/135/175/215 (+60% AP) > 60/105/150/195/240 (+60% AP)

Ezreal

Players now need to be more mindful of where they use recall since Ezreal’s R cooldown will decrease as he levels up in the mid and late game. It also allows him to close out teamfights more or clear minion waves quicker.

R – Trueshot Barrage

Cooldown: 120 seconds at all ranks > 120/105/90 seconds

Fiddlesticks

Fiddlestick’s boosted healing against champions will be crucial in team fights and will help him in the mid to late game. While this may seem massive, the grievous wounds should cancel some of it out.

W – Bountiful Harvest

Heal Percentage Against Champions: 30/35/40/45/50% > 30/40/50/60/70% (still always 15% against minions)

Jhin

Currently, Jhin isn’t the hyper carry champion that he used to be, with tons of CC and AD. He’s more of a utility bot laner and these buffs on his W’s root will make him a better utility ADC.

Whether he needs the buff in this area or not remains to be a debate.

W – Deadly Flourish

Root Duration: 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds > 1.25/1.5/1.75/2/2.25 seconds

[REMOVED] Puppet Pets: Damage against monsters no longer reduced by 25% (damage against minions and summons unchanged)

E – Captive Audience

Trap Recharge Rate: 28/25/22/19/16 seconds > 24/21.5/19/16.5/14 seconds

[REMOVED] Jhingle Bells: First Lotus Trap damage no longer reduced by 35% against monsters (damage against minions and summons unchanged)

Kassadin

The buffs on Kassadin are quite significant since the magic shield will help make him a more viable counter pick against ranged, magic-damage dealing champions.

Q – Null Sphere

Magic Shield: 40/70/100/130/160 (+30% AP) > 60/90/120/150/180 (+40% AP)

E - Force Pulse

Magic Damage: 80/105/130/155/180 (+80% AP) > 80/105/130/155/180 (+85% AP)

Mordekaiser

This buff affects lane and jungle Mordekaiser, as his movement speed now scales to 6% at level 6 and 9% at level 11.

The Iron Revenant will be more difficult to deal with because of his chasing power.

Increased movement speed also means that jungler Mordekaiser can clear jungle monsters quicker.

Passive – Darkness Rise

Bonus Move Speed: 3% at all levels > 3/6/9% at levels 1/6/11

Poppy

Poppy hasn't been updated in a long time, but 12.8's changes may bring her back to the meta in any role.

The increase in her knockback distance is game-changing, for one.

The cooldown refund and other buffs to her ultimate skill will make it more accessible to Poppy when cancelled, making her a more viable pick overall.

W – Steadfast Presence

Cooldown: 24/22/20/18/16 seconds > 20/18/16/14/12 seconds

R – Keeper’s Verdict

Uncharged Knock Up Duration: 0.75 seconds > 1 second

Charged Missile Speed: 2000 > 2500

Charged Knock Back Distance: 2400 > 3400

Cooldown Refund Upon Cancelled Charge: 30 seconds > 15 seconds

Sejuani

Another weighty buff on another tank in the roster is Sejuani, whose access to her Frost Armor will be increased because of the cooldown reduction upon levelling.

This helps Sejuani in the top lane or as a support, where she can counter melee and physical damage champions much more reliably.

Passive – Fury of the North

Frost Armor Timer: Sejuani receives Frost Armor after 12 seconds > 12-6 seconds (levels 1-18) of not taking damage from enemy champions or monsters

Sylas

The reduced cooldown on the Unshackled will unleash his R quite often, much like how Vayne’s Final Hour used to be almost always available once she’s in the lane. This will make Sylas a potential menace in fights.

R – Hijack

Cooldown: 100/70/40 seconds >80/55/30 seconds

Tristana

The Yordle gunner’s AD Growth will increase, meaning we might see more priority on her moving forward because of the increased damage.

Base Stats

AD Growth: 3.3 > 3.7

AD at Level 18: 115.1 > 121.9

Vel’koz

The Eye of the Void's Q and W initial hit AP ratios are being improved, allowing him to do more damage in lane or teamfights. This should help Vel'koz succeed in the mid lane or as a support.

Q – Plasma Fission

Magic Damage: 80/120/160/200/240 (+80% AP) > 80/120/160/200/240 (+90% AP)

W – Void Rift

Initial Magic Damage: 30/50/70/90/110 (+15% AP) > 30/50/70/90/110 (+20% AP)

Vladimir

Vladimir's early game buff is huge, as the extra base armour will help him hold his own against aggressive mid or top lane champions. This makes Vlad less vulnerable to physical damage counter picks due to his armor buff and the recent lifesteal item nerfs.

Base Armor: 23 > 27

Xerath

Since Xerath has a decent win rate in the support role, a minor buff to his stun on E should help him close out fights with follow up spells. We think support Xerath's win rate will rise, but it might not be enough to let him in the pro meta.

E – Shocking Orb

Stun Duration: 0.5-2 seconds (based on distance) > 0.75-2.25 seconds (based on distance)

Zoe

The Aspect of Twilight will have more access to her Q and her R because of the reduced mana cost, but it’s not as significant that it’ll bring her to the Tier 1 list of champions. She will continue being a lane bully though because she has more mana to work with.

Q – Paddle Star

Mana Cost: 50/55/60/65/70 >40/45/50/55/60

R – Portal Jump

Mana Cost: 50 > 40

Champion Adjustments

Kai'sa's adjustments seem to be unfair to her, honestly. Photo: Riot Games
Kai'sa's adjustments seem to be unfair to her, honestly. (Photo: Riot Games)

Kai’Sa

The adjustment on Kai’Sa targeted her AP builds, or so they say. The 35% decrease in AP in her W will definitely hurt Kai’sa overall because this is what makes her special.

We’re guessing this will not only hurt her mid lane viability but potentially nerf her in the bot lane as well.

Passive – Second Skin

Bonus Magic Damage Upon Consuming Full Plasma Stacks: 15% (+2.5% per 100 AP) ⇒ 15% (+5% per 100 AP) of target's missing health.

W – Void Seeker

Magic Damage: 30/55/80/105/130 (+ 130% AD) (+70% AP) > 30/55/80/105/130 (+130% AD) (+45% AP)

R – Killer Instinct

Shield Strength: 75/100/125 (+100/150/200% AD) (+75% AP) > 75/100/125 (+100/150/200% AD) (+100% AP)

Champion Nerfs

AD Carries Jinx and XZayaah both get nerfs, along with Support Soraka. Photo: Riot Games
AD Carries Jinx and XZayaah both get nerfs, along with Support Soraka. (Photo: Riot Games)

Jinx

Jinx’s reduced base health makes it harder for her in the laning phase, so her teammates should be mindful of this if they want to keep her in their draft.

Base Stats

Base Health: 610 > 560

Soraka

The Starchild is getting a nerf to her healing abilities. The decrease in the heal isn’t that significant so Soraka mains don’t need to panic, but teams should take note of this slight decrease so they’re not overconfident with the Starchild around.

W – Astral Infusion

Heal: 100/135/170/205/240 (+70% AP) > 100/130/160/190/220 (+65% AP)

Xayah

Xayah's nerf will make her less of a threat since she'll fall off later in the game. Maybe Riot wants us to see Xayah less in pro play because she's a popular pick in the Spring Playoffs. With that said, her solo queue win rate is already decent, so we don't think a nerf was necessary.

Q – Double Daggers

Damage Per Blade: 45/65/85/105/125 (+50% bonus AD) > 45/60/75/90/105 (+50% bonus AD)

Cooldown: 10/9/8/7/6 seconds > 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 seconds

Items: Stopwatch

Riot is making a huge change on one of the most popular items, Stopwatch, to avoid having too many disrupting items in-game.

[Removed] Golden Hour:

Stopwatch will no longer be purchasable if you already own Guardian Angel or Zhonya's Hourglass.

For more details on Patch 12.8, click here.

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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