Will LoL Patch 11.4 Reshape the Jungle and Support Meta?
League of Legends Season 11 has been a roller coaster of metas so far. When the new season started, Akali and Maokai were two highly contested picks and bans, whereas now they are rarely seen. Patch 11.3 nerfed Aatrox’s, Pantheon’s, and Olaf’s healing effectiveness through Gordedrinker nerfs. Instead, Riot put that healing back into their kits. League of Legend’s patch notes for 11.4 is going further by finally nerfing the farming jungle meta we have seen since the Summer of 2020.
With all these system changes and item and champion balancing, it feels like a new meta is on its way. The recent picks rates in pro play and high elo has already built the pathway to introduce ganking tank junglers, with the rise of enchanter supports. Here is what Patch 11.4 could do to the meta-game of League of Legends.
Jungle System Changes
One of the biggest differences in the upcoming 11.4 patch is the Jungle system changes. Junglers have earned experience and gold incredibly efficiently from jungle camps. With the new changes for every camp, they generally offer much less experience at every level and less gold than before. The buff camps remain the same as do the Scuttle Crabs, which every jungler aims to control for buffs, map control, and progression benefits.
With the new system in place, Riot can easily track overpowered junglers and target nerf those specific champions. With that said, it seems like Riot is finally bringing the farming junglers under control. Some outliers will remain, just like Graves, who naturally kites and cleaves camps with ease. But for the most part, Riot may have shifted the meta into a more gank-focused meta.
The Return of Ganking Junglers?
Ganking junglers have taken a back foot due to the farm meta, with the likes of tanks and more not seeing much play. Farming junglers benefit a lot more from the amount of gold and experience generated from camps. However, Patch 11.4 sees junglers lose 45 gold and around 45 base experience every clear. Ganking and gaining kills are ways to make back the losses coming from the new system changes in the early game. Ganking could become a bigger priority as junglers will be down several hundred gold by the 10-minute mark.
On the other hand, the itemization changes suggest that ganking junglers are making a return. Patch 11.3 nerfed Goredrinker and Ironpike Whip clears alongside targeted nerfs sees champions like Pantheon fall off. Bruisers and Tanks that can clear and gap close are now more favored in patch 11.3. Recent professional games in Patch 11.3 sees Gragas, Jarvan IV, Udyr, Skarner, and Hecarim gaining draft priority. Some of these champions use the Turbo Chemtank Mythic to become extremely gank and teamfight reliant. Other junglers with gap closers like Hecarim and J4 don’t need it too much and opt for more damage or sustain Mythics instead. With the jungle clear down in the patch 11.4 meta, the aforementioned champions remain relevant as the gank potential on them is still strong.
These champions may take an even bigger role in 11.4, as they rely less on farm and can easily transition into ganking. Even more champions like Sejuani, Dr. Mundo, Lee Sin, and Nunu could appear as the new jungle styles develop around the patch 11.4 changes. Christian “IWDominate” Rivera also thinks this is the case.
The Current Support Picks
Tanks have dominated the Support role in recent months. Leona, Nautilus, Alistar, and Thresh are champions picked a lot in Season 10, with not much changing in Season 11. Rell is the only exception as she naturally counters tank supports with her Break the Mold Passive. While tanks are still in a perfect spot, the jungle’s potential change of pace could suggest composition changes to the Support role.
Potential Support Evolution
If more bruiser and tank junglers come into the meta, then support players could use more enchanters. The recent revelations by Nick “LS” De Cesare identifying the power of the Moonstone Renewer and Staff of Flowing Water combination, aka the Moonstaff build. Patch 11.4 tones down the Moonstone Renewer in the early game but remains just as strong in the mid and late game. Champions like Seraphine and Rakan opt for the Moonstone Renewer Mythic, and we have already seen champions like Lulu run it in the top lane.
The build is only getting stronger with the addition of the AOE Grievous Wound item, Chemtech Purifier. Supports can either opt for The Moonstaff build if there are multiple AP scaling champions on the team or the Chemtank Purifier if the team needs AOE anti healing. Supports typically only make two items in Season 11, and these two item synergies are perfect for the role if they pick enchanters instead of tanks.
Tanks like Leona and Rell won’t go away. If champions like J4 and Hecarim remain in play, then follow-up tanks like Leona, Rell, and Thresh are still valuable. Support has the potential to shake up if the Patch 11.4 jungle system changes flip the meta on its head, with upcoming patches nerfing the biggest farm offenders.
With all that said, Patch 11.4 is going to change the game a lot. The potential balance changes in patch 11.5, 11.6 and beyond could further accelerate the possible meta shift. Junglers will need to adapt if they want to keep up with the lost resources in the latest LoL patch 11.4.