Unconventional picks have become a staple of League of Legends. No matter which season or which patch we are looking at, there is bound to be at least one unusual champion pick, which somehow works. While there have been countless cases when an unconventional pick worked in the professional League play, it's the most recent one that took the world by storm.
Top lane Soraka came out of nowhere in Season 10 of League of Legends, and the players did not need long to realise this "support" champion not only does well in the top lane among bruisers and tanks but excels at it.
In the current meta, where melee champions thrived in the top lane, Soraka proved to be the perfect counter, with her range poke, healing and perhaps the most annoying spell, which silenced and rooted anyone who tried to get to close to her. In a way, Soraka was nearly unkillable in the lane and while she has no kill pressure, it can be very frustrating to play against her, especially considering her Q costs so little mana it can be spammed endlessly for both harass and wave clear.
Top lane Soraka has been used in both solo queue and competitive play and it dominated in both, with its healing skillset, which seemingly gave her infinitive sustain on top of great scaling into the late game, where Soraka turned into a healing bot for her team during teamfights.
So what do you do when a certain champion is simply too good? Well, you nerf it to the ground, and that is exactly what Riot Games is planning to do in the next patch, in order to bring some stability to the Summoner's Rift.
Riot initially planned on nerfing Soraka's Q damage in order to reduce her pushing power, but based on the information we got from PBE, LoL developer decided to approach the issue differently. Instead of nerfing her Q damage, Soraka will be hit with a nerf to her stats and Rejuvenation power on her Q. This alone should make her much easier to kill in the top lane, and significantly reduce her healing power in the late game.
Despite the nerfs, however, Soraka should still be a viable pick for anyone who wishes to play her as a support. As for the top laners… picking Soraka might not be the optimal decision anymore once the next patch hits.
Soraka's base Healthpoints have been increased from 529.04 to 535, however, her HP gain per level has been lowered from 78 to 74. Her mana pool has been increased from 350.8 to 365, while her mana per level gain has been lowered from 60 to 40. Riot Games also made a small change to her base AD, lowering it from 50.04 to 50.
The Rejuvenation healing on Soraka's Starcall has been increased from 30/40/50/70/70 to 40/50/60/70/80, however, it's duration has been cut in half, from five seconds to 2.5 seconds. Furthermore, the movement speed gain from Starcall has been lowered by 5% per level from 15/17.5/20/22.5/25% to 10/12.5/15/17.5/20%. Both changes will make her survivability significantly lower, especially when facing top lane bruisers.
Astral Infusion (W)
Adding to the base stats and Starcall nerfs, Riot Games also opted to make some changes to Soraka's W. Astral Infusion's mana cost has been increased from 40/45/450/55/60 to 50/55/60/65/70, while its Rejuvenation heal has been increased from 30/40/50/60/70 to 40/50/60/70/80, to compensate for the higher cost.
That said, the max health cost, while affected by Rejuvenation, has been changed- If Soraka casts Astral Infusion while she is affected by Rejuvenation, the max health cost will be reduced by 40/55/70/85/100%.
With those changes, Soraka's strength in the top lane will be severely reduced, while we can't be overly optimistic with her strength as support either at least in this meta. With the changes to her healing mechanic, Soraka will without a doubt be less played until the meta change calls for a champion like her, meaning Soraka just might become a C-Tier champion comes next patch. At the end of the day, the changes were needed, considering Soraka boasted with almost 53% win rate in the top lane, which is arguably way too high for a support champion.
So what’s next for the League of Legends meta? Maybe a Sona top lane or Nami jungle? Well, we can never know for sure which champion will surface as a viable off-meta pick, however, we can be sure, Soraka top lane will not go down as the only unusual and unconventional pick of this season.
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.