Sylas' mini-rework on the PBE might make him secretly OP

17:00, 16 Dec 2019

The first patch of Season 10 is lurking around the corner, and with the latest PBE preview notes to hit Surrender@20, major changes to Sylas' kit have been garnering a lot of attention.

For months following Sylas' release, he was one of League's most controversial champions. His ability to survive in lane in a majority of matchups with sustain, shielding, and superior trading with his passive made him a mid lane menace. To make matters worse, his insane survivability cemented him as a viable flex pick in top and jungle across multiple patches.

It took nerfs to his wave clear, lifesteal, and shielding to finally knock him down a few pegs. His presence throughout both pro play and solo queue has been comparatively low these days, but these adjustments could bring him back to the spotlight. The most impactful of buffs are to his E and W abilities.

E - Abscond/Abduct

  • Shield removed.

  • 100% AP ratio added and damage increased from 70/85/100/115/130 (+20% AP) per rank to 80/130/180/230/280 (+100% AP) per rank.

  • Cooldown changed from flat 14 seconds at all levels to 14/13/12/11/10 per rank.

W - Kingslayer

  • Mana cost increased from 45/45/50/55/60 per level to 80/90/100/110/120 per level.

  • Damage and AP ratio increased from 65/100/135/170/205 (+65% AP) per level to 65/115/165/215/265 (+85% AP) per level. 

  • Base healing lowered early and AP ratio increased from 70/90/110/130/150 (+50% AP) per level to 30/60/90/120/150 (+60% AP) per level.

  • Execute damage removed.

  • Heal now goes off no matter what, not just upon hitting champions.

To balance out these buffs, Riot took more reliable damage out of Sylas' Chain Lash (Q) and AoE range from his Petricite Burst (Passive) auto attacks. The notes state that the main goal was to nerf his overall laning and clearly define his class as a mid laner, while hopefully giving him some more late game usefulness.

For a champion whose underlying strengths come from using the opponents' power against them via his ultimate, these buffs could be a secret buff to Sylas' mid game. A new 100% AP ratio would make maxing E a no-brainer for most. The extra damage in such a versatile ability could make him a menace in a meta centered around mid lane roams around dragon timers.

Lead gameplay designer Mark "Scruffy" Yetter stated that by doubling down on hampering Sylas' flex potential, there will be more opportunities to give him power in other areas. If the changes go through to live however, buffs to his two most useful abilities will give him the edge in most melee and skirmish-heavy matchups starting at level four due to his slipperiness and ability to weave in passive procs between skill cooldowns.

As with all PBE changes, these are subject to change before hitting live based on player feedback. If this iteration of the buffs makes it through, however, it could push Sylas' priority levels up a few tiers heading into Season 10.

Image via Riot Games

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