Soraka and Yuumi change after Grievous Wounds nerfs highlight new LoL philosophy

The League of Legends patch 12.10 durability update changed the way everyone views the game ⁠—including Riot. The developers announced a change in design philosophy around healing with inline nerfs for champions like Dr. Mundo, Soraka, and Yuumi.

League of Legends has fundamentally changed since the game’s durability update in LoL patch 12.10. As the damage increased from year to year, Riot pushed the pendulum far the other way by increasing the tankiness of each champion.

In doing so, the meta has changed drastically as teamfight oriented champions are starting to reappear in the meta.

However, the deliberate design decision had repercussions for the game. As Riot tackled rebalancing League around its new design philosophy, the developers ran into a major problem: healing.

Riot Games

Riot changed the way it views healing in League of Legends after the durability update.

Throughout the durability update, heals have been slightly reduced for controlling drain tanks and enchanters. Consecutive nerfs to Grievous Wounds, however, have allowed them to thrive a bit more than players expected.

This is a deliberate design choice by Riot, and they will continue to balance League for the foreseeable future.

“We intend to balance around 40% [Grievous Wounds] and evolve into a buy that doesn’t feel good without healing critical mass,” developer Matt ‘Phroxzon’ Leung-Harrison told players on June 13.

The reason for the change is twofold. One is how it forces Riot to design healing champions, bearing in mind that there is an easy counter to buy for less than 1000 gold in some cases.

“High Grievous Wounds creates a bunch of champion design debt and requires making healing tools really powerful to compete,” Phroxzon explained.

However, this also ties directly into the second reason for the philosophy update: Grievous Wounds isn’t fun to build. Riot wants players to build more impactful items that empower their own champions rather than keeping enemies in check.

“Grievous Wounds takes away items that are more exciting for your champion,” he added. “So while this is a high strategic game state choice, it’s only an intellectually satisfying choice.”

Riot’s first pass of healing changes will go live on LoL Patch 12.12 targeting Dr. Mundo, Soraka, Viego, and Yuumi. The developers will evaluate other nerfs on a “case-by-case” basis.