In patch 12.13, the game developers are finally making their move, which surprisingly, benefits AD carry Graves more than anything.
Riot Games initially planned on rolling out assassin buffs in patch 12.11 after the Durability Update, but dropped them at the last minute since they wanted more time to evaluate assassin items in relation to fighter items.
While they believe that assassins are “currently doing a balanced amount of damage with lethality items”, the balance team explained in their patch notes that the class overall is still slightly weaker than they had planned for post-patch 12.10.
Instead of buffing individual champions, they took a “non-traditional approach” this time round by adding bonus movement speed to lethality Mythic items that hopefully discourages bruiser and tank itemizations.
Adjustments to Eclipse in League of Legends patch 12.13 actually strengthens Graves
- Ranged damage proc decreased from 6% max health to 3% max health
- Mythic passive bonus for legendary items changed from 4% Armor penetration to 4% Armor penetration and 5 move speed (same for Ornn Masterwork item, Syzygy)
Assassin Mythic items Duskblade of Draktharr and Prowler’s Claw were also given extra five move speed across the board, but Eclipse was the only one that got nerfed on ranged damage procs.
Still, it is an overall buff to lethality Graves. League of Legends analyst and content creator Nick “LS” De Cesare explained in his patch rundown that one of the earlier builds for lethality Graves saw him run Relentless Hunter and Youmuu’s Ghostblade, which he would activate to get into fights.
Doing so saved him the cost of buying boots, replacing that item slot with even more lethality. Now that Eclipse grants move speed with every legendary item in patch 12.13, he can return to this original bootless build with Youmuu’s and go full lethality, which packs a punch.
In the current meta, his most popular build still sees him building Eclipse, but paired with other AD carry items like Black Cleaver and Infinity Edge. Played in the jungle and top lane, Graves hasn’t been popular since receiving a series of nerfs at the end of Season 11, and has been underperforming with a sub-50% solo queue win rate in Season 12 according to U.GG.
In pro play, he’s only been picked a total of 16 times in the four major reasons in Season 12, holding a poor 31% win rate.
Read the full LoL patch 12.13 notes here.