Olaf could be a late game top laner now after jungle clear nerfs in patch 12.9

1Play LOL News
Jun 20

Riot Games wants to bring back Olaf to solo queue in League of Legends patch 12.9. He has been “one of the least-mained champions in League for a while now,” according to the developer, despite being a frequent pick in pro play.

The game developers went about doing this by first nerfing his clear speed in the jungle. To balance it out, they included new tools in his kit, such as a shield on the new W “Tough It Out”, to make players feel “stronger and in more control of Olaf’s survivability.”

Judging from the nerfs to his jungle clear and the current meta, it’s looking more and more likely that his new home on Summoner’s Rift will be in the top lane.

Base Stats

Passive – Berserker Rage

Q – Undertow

(New) W – Tough It Out

R – Ragnarok

Olaf’s passive, Berserker Rage, defined his playstyle in the jungle, where his low HP was a steroid to his attack speed.

Previously, the maximum attack speed granted was up to 99%, which is huge in the early levels. In this patch, however, it’s been capped at 40% at level one, and up to 100% at level 18, inevitably reducing his jungle clear speed.

To make up for the big attack speed nerf, his passive now grants 10 to 30% lifesteal based on Olaf’s missing health, which softens the blow but does nothing for his clear.

Missing Undertow (Q) is now much more punishing too. Its cooldown has been increased to nine seconds, and damage lowered early. Its minimum range has also been increased to 425 units, which means Olaf players will have to walk further to pick up their axe.

The best buff to Undertow, however, is that it now shreds armor, something that was needed in his kit for him to function as a juggernaut on par with champions like Darius and Shyvanna. This allows him to make better target selections in team fights instead of simply turning on Ragnarok and making a beeline for the enemy’s backline.

The second notable buff is to his W, Tough It Out, which now grants Olaf a shield that lasts 2.5 seconds based on his missing health, but is capped at 30% of his current HP. According to David “Phreak” Turley’s patch rundown calculations, he estimates that this ability is best used when Olaf is at about 45% of his max HP.

The third buff you should take note of is to Ragnarok, which is similar to reworked Swain in that they both now have the potential to refresh their ultimate indefinitely. As long as Olaf hits a champion with a basic attack or Reckless Swing (E), Ragnarok’s duration will be extended by 2.5 seconds, which makes him more relentless in team fights. AD carries, watch out!

Overall, Olaf gained armor shred, a shield, and a potentially never-ending Ragnarok ultimate, and is much stronger in the late game. But in order to get there, he’ll first need to survive a weaker early game possibly in the top lane, or trudge through a much slower jungle clear.

Read the full patch 12.9 notes here.

Amanda "Tania Mae" Tan  ONEESPORTS  2022-05-11 16:30:00
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