Riot Comments on Rengar

Rengar is a complicated champion, and his kit works together in many ways that are not represented clearly in the raw numbers of his skills. Riot recognizes that they've nerfed him too hard, and are going to be buffing him soon.

Champion balance is a slippery slope.  Rarely is balancing a champion as simple as crunching some numbers.  This isn’t a failing on Riot’s part, it’s an inherent side-effect of making champions with abilities that do more than simply apply x damage onto y target.  When a champion can stealth at will, it creates a very tricky situation where that champion can very quickly change the entire dynamic of a fight, or at least escape a losing battle with far more ease than the same champion without the stealth.  Add on a heal on top of that stealth and you get a champion who is extremely capable of bending the rules on what should and shouldn’t be possible for one single champion to get away with.

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Where we are now

This is the problem with Rengar, and it’s one that Riot Games has been aware of since he entered the League of Legends.  To quote Statikk

Rengar has been a complicated situation.

Our initial approach to the champion was to chip at him until we put him in a good spot. Unfortunately, it turns out there are core mechanics on the kit (ie: % Health based heal, a huge Armor / MR buff, instant stealth) that simply don’t fit the gameplay patterns we were trying to create for Rengar…thus we began to gut / remove them.

Rengar has been receiving constant minor nerfs since his release on League of Legends, with some hitting his game significantly harder than others, and the overall combination of those nerfs has hit him harder than intended for the same reason those nerfs were necessary to begin with: his basic kit is designed so that it can work together in very impressive ways, but when those individual tricks each get hit independently, the combined effect is amplified.  While one nerf on its own may not have affected his game too seriously, the combination of several minor nerfs to his different abilities add up to drastically weaken his capabilities.

Riot has, thankfully, figured this out.

And in the future?

Statikk went on…

Classick and I are currently working on buffing Rengar back into a state where we feel more comfortable with his gameplay. Some of the changes include re-increasing the stealth duration back to create the prowling feel again and adjusting the W heal to be a flat heal based on champion level. We’re still working out all of the specifics but we know we took a faulty approach to Rengar’s balance for the past few patches.

Time is all that can tell whether they’ll find the sweet spot they’re looking for in Rengar’s balance.  We can consider the example of Rengar as a brief lesson in how a champion is more than the sum of their parts, and how they can similarly be less than that same sum if Riot’s balance team isn’t careful.

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