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Can’t wait for 14.3: Riot rushes out Brand nerfs as mage takes over LoL jungle Dot Esports

Riot Games has rushed to curtail Brand’s power today after the fiery mage emerged as the clear best jungle pick early in the League of Legends Season 14 metagame.

While many League fans had already expected the Burning Vengeance to see nerfs in Patch 14.3 in early February, the Riot balance team has today decided that was too long a wait considering how powerful the mage has become. Instead of waiting, they shipped two changes for the champ in a Jan. 24 hotfix update.

Season 14’s first power pick has been burning up the jungle. Image via Riot Games

⁠These changes are directly related to Brand’s jungling power. The first reduces his damage dealt to monsters (down to 220 percent) while the second trims the explosive power he could build through his Blaze stacks. Considering the champion’s jungle win rate was already climbing to 57 percent just hours after Patch 14.2 dropped, the devs targeting Brand’s strength in that role is no surprise.

With these changes, Brand may slowly slip back into mid lane or even be picked in a supporting role again. Up until today, because he has been so strong in the jungle, both his usual roles have dropped down the pole and now appear in just 0.6 and 2.5 percent of ranked games respectively.

It should also go some way to opening up the role’s picks a little. Brand has reigned supreme in the early days of 2024 but other strong champions like Lillia, Rengar, and Nocturne may enjoy a spike in play rates if the Burning Vengeance falls away.

Brand wasn’t the only League champion impacted by the unplanned Jan. 24 balance changes either. Alongside the mage’s jungle nerfs, Teemo and Rumble were handed smaller buffs to help them get a leg up in Season 14. Teemo had his on-hit damage hiked while Rumble was given more bonus ability power damage for his Electro Harpoon. The Mechanized Menace’s base attack was also buffed slightly.

These should be the last changes Riot pushes onto live League servers until Patch 14.3 arrives on Wednesday, Feb. 7, though if more outliers continue to creep into the metagame the devs may be forced to act again.

Isaac McIntyre

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