Principle League of Legends champion designer August “August” Browning just teased a new Janna update for 2022’s first 12.1 patch that will be going live on the PBE soon.
An enchanter support that has been out of the meta for many years, her last update was in League of Legends patch 10.11, which nerfed Zephyr’s (W) base damage, and patch 9.11, which adjusted Eye of the Storm (E) such that any ability that slows or knocks up an enemy champion will reduce its cooldown by 20%, up to once per ability cast.
This mechanic rewards players for pulling off her varied Q+W+R combo, which is why reverting it in the latest Janna update has resulted in negative feedback from the community.
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Riot August teases Janna update for League of Legends patch 12.1
- Move speed increased from 315 to 330
- AD increased from 46 + 1.5 per level to 52 + 3 per level
- Attack range reduced from 550 to 500
- Janna now gains 8% move speed only while moving towards allies
- (Removed) Her attacks and W no longer deal bonus magic damage based on her bonus move speed
Howling Gale (Q)
- Mana cost reduced from 60-140 to 60-100
- Minimum range increased from 1,000 to 1,100
- Maximum range increased from 1,750 to 1,760
- Travel time decreased from 1.5s to 1.25s
- Damage increased from 60-160 + 15-35/s of chage to 60-180 + 15-55/s of charge
- Now deals 80% damage to minions
- Range increased from 550 (edge to edge) to 650 (center to center)
- Slow duration increased from 2s to 3s
- Cooldown increased from 8-6s to 12s
- Damage increased from 55-175 to 70-190
- Passive move speed increased from 6-10% to 8-14%
Eye of the Storm (E)
- Cooldown decreased from 16-12 to 15-9
- Time before shield decays increased from 0.75s to 1.25s
- (Removed) Slowing or knocking up an enemy champion no longer reduces E’s cooldown by 20%
According to Riot August, the design team is “draining lane poke power out of her W (Zephyr) +AA’s and focusing it into utility”. The other major change is that Howling Gale is now a much stronger spell when used offensively.
“To clarify, the thing that makes the Q stronger offensively is the minimum range and travel speed,” he added. “Max charge Q’s are much harder to dodge and snapcast knock-ups are easier to hit, especially when combo’d with W.”
Feedback from the League of Legends community about the Janna update
The main pain point support players and Janna mains identified was the shift of power to Janna’s Howling Gale (Q), which is rarely used as an offensive spell, as she is peeler. Holding onto this ability and using it reactively against engaging enemies at just the right time is what separates a good Janna player from an average one.
What’s more, removing the reduced cooldown on Eye of the Storm introduced in League of Legends patch 9.11 also decreases skill expression, reduces skillcap, as well as risk-reward mechanics in this Janna update.
Janna has been difficult to balance because Riot Games does not want her to revert to a shield-bot with Eye of the Storm. At the same time, Zephyr is a solid ability Janna players use to poke with in lane, and nerfing it together with changes to Q+E might rob her of her identity.
If this Janna update does go through in League of Legends patch 12.1, solo lane Janna might be viable thanks to Howling Gale dealing 80% to minions. She could be useful in the top lane against specific melee matchups, similar to Soraka.
Beware that this Janna update is still tentative, and you can provide feedback directly to Riot August in this Twitter thread.
Updated as of 15 December: Riot August announced on Twitter that these changes will be postponed to patch 11.12.
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