League of Legends Patch 12.9: Olaf, Taliyah reworks arrive, Hullbreaker nerfed

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The change list for 12.9 is relatively short, but it surely will be impactful: Olaf and Taliyah rework is arriving, Renata and Hullbreaker nerfed, Hecarim buffed, and more. Photo: Riot Games
The change list for 12.9 is relatively short, but it surely will be impactful: Olaf and Taliyah rework is arriving, Renata and Hullbreaker nerfed, Hecarim buffed, and more. (Photos: Riot Games)

More champion changes are coming to League of Legends (LoL) patch 12.9, including the reworks for Olaf and Taliyah, buffs to Hecarim, nerfs to Renata Glasc and the Hullbreaker item, and more.

Let's break down all the biggest changes in patch 12.9.

Olaf and Taliyah’s reworks are here

Taliyah and Olaf's rework is arriving in 12.9. Photo: Riot Games
Taliyah and Olaf's reworks are arriving in patch 12.9. (Photos: Riot Games)

After some testing and receiving feedback from players, Olaf and Taliyah’s reworks are finally here.

Olaf's update focuses mostly on tankiness and sustain, with several of his lifesteal abilities converted into shields to help him endure longer in team battles.

Olaf's ultimate is likewise permanent as long as he damages champions.

Unlike Swain who is pretty squishy, Olaf’s infinite ultimate may pretty much last him throughout the fight, given all the buffs on his kit. Read more on Olaf’s rework here.

Taliyah's original mid-scope upgrades boosted her Q, but it was in exchange of her burst damage and early roaming ability.

While her damage has been reduced, additional utility has been added to her kit, making her more useful on the Rift. For more information on Taliyah’s rework, click here.

Hullbreaker finally gets nerfed

Hullbreaker, LoL's premier split-push item, is finally getting a nerf in 12.9.

Split-pushing will become more challenging than what players are used to, forcing them to team up more often in skirmishes or five-versus-five encounters in the late game.

Resists: 20-60 Linear > 10-75 backloaded

Bonus Tower damage now only applied to attacks

Champion Buffs

Braum, Hecarim, Thresh, and Varus are getting buffs in 12.9. Photo: Riot Games
Braum, Hecarim, Thresh, and Varus are getting buffs in 12.9. (Photos: Riot Games)

Braum

Our jolly Freljordian Poro-loving friend is getting a buff.

A decrease in cooldown on Braum’s Passive would make him much more relevant in teamfights in the late game since he can stun enemies more and give additional magic damage.

Braum's "shield" in the form of Unbreakable (E) also gets a generous 5-15% increase in damage reduction, making him a better support for squishier AD Carries.

Concussive Blows (Passive)

Target CD: 8-6 > 8-4 (level 1, 7, 13)

Unbreakable (E)

Damage Reduction: 30-40% > 35-55%

Hecarim

Hecarim used to be a favourite in the jungle meta, but after he got nerfed in Patch 12.6, the Shadow of War plummeted to Tier 5 with a dismal 46.5% win rate.

He’s getting a bit of a boost on his Q with a 5% increase in AD Ratio. Spirit of Dread also gets a lower cooldown.

Rampage (Q)

AD Ratio: 85% > 90%

Spirit of Dread (W)

Cooldownn:18 > 14

Thresh

Thresh may have been unbound after the Ruination, but he’s struggling to find footing in the Support meta lately because of all the changes he's received in recent patches.

Thresh mains will be happy to know that there’s some focus to be given on his scaling, so laning will be more rewarding and he’ll make a bigger impact in the late game as well.

Damnation (P)

AP and AR per Soul: 0.75 > 1

Dark Passage (W)

Shield: 60-180 (+1 per soul) > 60-180 (+2 per soul)

Varus

Currently, Varus is underperforming, and Riot is once again boosting him to improve his performance. To address the issues on Lethality Varus, he was given a boost in attack speed and his W's on-hit damage.

Living Vengeance (Passive)

Minion Attack Speed: 10/15/20 (+15% bonus AS) > 10/15/20 (+20% bonus AS)

Champ Attack Speed: 40% (+30% bonus AS) > 40% (+ 40% AS)

Champion Nerfs

Ahri, Nidalee, Master Yi, Renata Glasc, Rengar, and Sion are getting nerfs in 12.9. Photo: Riot Games
Ahri, Nidalee, Master Yi, Renata Glasc, Rengar, and Sion are getting nerfs in 12.9. Photo: Riot Games

Ahri

The nine-tailed fox has been crazy good since she got reworked, despite nerfs in previous patches, to the point that she’s been the favorite of some of the world's best players like LoL G.O.A.T Lee "Faker" Sang Hyeok and G2 Esports star mid laner Rasmus "caPs" Borregaard Winther.

Ahri won’t be able to Charm her opponents as much as before, with a longer cooldown on E, and her ultimate also gets a longer cooldown, so she doesn’t spam this as often.

Charm (E)

Cooldown: 12 > 14

Spirit Rush (R)

Cooldown: 130-80 > 140-90

Master Yi

It’s really hard for devs to balance Master Yi, one mistake and he overperforms, another could mean the demise of the champion in the jungle.

For 12.9, the Wuju Bladesman’s Bonus Attack Speed cap on Highlander has decreased, so it doesn’t feel like he’s too fast for any counterplay in the late game.

Highlander (R)

Bonus Attack Speed: 25-65% > 25-45%

Nidalee

Nidalee is another champion that currently dominates the jungle.

Since her buff in 12.6, it’s been harder for opponents to counter Nidalee, who enjoys a 53% win rate.

Nerfing her health will certainly give the enemy more space to punish her in skirmishes.

Health: 570 > 540

Renata Glasc

The Chem Baroness’s arrival on the Rift hasn’t been as explosive as Zeri, except on her first week, but Renata Glasc has been quietly outperforming other supports in the roster in the past month.

She provides decent damage, and her kit also has a lot of utility that can impact any team fight.

To give her enemies a chance to counter her, especially in the early game, Renata's armour has been decreased quite minimally.

No need to worry much about squishiness, but also take note not to overstay.

The damage from her Passive now has a lower cap, so she doesn’t snowball too hard as well.

Armor: 29 > 27

Leverage (P)

Damage: 1-3.5% [level 1-13] (+1% per 100 AP) > 1-2% (+2% per 100 AP)

Rengar

The Pridestalker’s been happily reigning in the jungle with a 52% win rate since the release of his rework in 12.6, but a nerf on his W’s Bonus damage is needed to keep him in line with the rest of the junglers.

Battle Roar (W)

Bonus Monster Damage: 85-150 > 65 -130

Sion

Lately, Sion has been popular on the rift, because of the build that was popularized by LoL streamer and former G2 Esports top laner Simon “Thebausffs” Hofverberg, to the point that less experienced players have been abusing it, but not always as effectively, affecting game quality.

A huge nerf on his passive damage to turrets will take effect in 12.9.

Zombie Structure Damage: 100% > 40%

Champion Adjustments

In 12.9, Pyke and Renekton get some champion adjustments. Photo: Riot Games
In 12.9, Pyke and Renekton get some champion adjustments. (Photos: Riot Games)

Pyke (Mid nerf)

Devs have been working on experimental changes on the Pyke in the last few weeks on PBE, and after a few adjustments, these changes are going live in 12.9.

Pyke supports won't need to worry since the rest of his kit will remain the same.

Devs have been experimenting on a new passive ability for Pyke.

Basically, if an ally is close, Pyke will execute minions and wards and transfer the gold to the ally instead of himself using Gift of the Drowned Ones — basically a free Relic Shield.

Since the notes only mentioned that Pyke was buffed in "support focused ways", we'll be able to confirm if this pushes through once the patch is up.

No longer gives Pyke “Your Cut” in addition to kill gold from successful executes (last assisting ally still gets “Your Cut”)

No longer give Pyke an extra “Your cut from when allies kill enemy champions

(Pyke still gets 1x “Your Cut”)

Buffed in support focused ways

Renekton

We haven’t seen many changes on the crocodile in a while now, so this is a welcome change.

Devs have only previewed that his HP and AD Growth will be buffed, while his W will be weaker in the laning phase, and stronger in the late game.

HP, AD Growth buffed

W Rank 1 nerfed, W Max buffed, R damage buffed

Do you agree with all these changes? Which ones are you looking forward to?

Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.

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