Riot Games has finally taken notice of the overwhelming presence of Malzahar support, bringing down the mage with the latest Patch 7.3.
It was only a couple of months ago that the Prophet of the Void migrated to the bottom lane. However, it was his popularity in the ongoing League Championship Series (LCS) that proved his capabilities as a top-tier support.
As such, Malzahar support was the second-most contested pick for the bottom lane in the three weeks of the Spring Split across all major regions. It was inevitable that he would sooner or later face the nerf-cannon from Riot Games.
W (Void Swarm), the bread and butter of Malzahar support, now has a cooldown between each cast. Players can no longer double-top to unleash both charges in an instant. Additionally, a minor delay has been added between the spawning of each Voidling. In combination, both changes should give opponents in-lane a bit of breathing space.
Lastly, Voidlings lose movement speed the further they move away from Malzahar. According to the developer, the changes will reduce the poking potential of Malzahar and force players to act more aggressive, rather than just sitting back and watching the Voidlings do their job.
W (Void Swarm)
- Voidling Spawn Time: 0.35 seconds after cast (matching the animation)
- [New] Cooldown Between Casts: 1 second
- [New] Wait for Me: Past 600 distance, Voidlings move 10% more slowly for every 100 additional distance farther they are from Malzahar
Despite her recent nerfs, Zyra is still the most contested support pick in professional League of Legends. She registered the highest pick-and-ban rate in the first three weeks of LCS, being involved in over 90 percent of all professional games. Zyra is also one of the most popular support picks in ranked solo queues.
In order to further reduce her poking potential in the early game, Riot Games is increasing the mana cost on Q (Deadly Spines). Additionally, her plants will no longer target nearby enemy champions over the closest enemy unit unless the ability hits a foe.
- Plant Stuff: Removed a rule that told Thornspitters and Vine Lashers to always target nearby enemy champions on-spawn instead of the closest enemy unit, even if the ability that spawned them didn’t hit a champion
Q (Deadly Spines)
- Cost: 60 mana ⇒ 70 mana
You can read the complete Patch 7.3 notes on the official League of Legends website.
With two of the most popular supports being nerfed, it’s up for debate if high-level games are going to see the return of other traditional champions in the bottom lane.
Champions like Braum, Alistar, Nami, and Nautilus have become a rarity in recent time. Perhaps the upcoming Tank Class Update will change the meta and see new options for the bottom lane, much like the Mage Update did with the case of Brand and Malzahar.