Devourer nerf is a bad decision by Riot

Master YiCredit: lolesports
Master YiCredit: lolesports /

A devourer nerf is not needed and will go down as a bad move by Riot.

One of the Public Beta Environment (PBE) updates that went live a few days ago was a nerf to the jungle item enchantment Devourer.

The item is for on-hit/attack speed champions who want to let off as many auto attacks as possible. The immediate payoff for buying the item is pretty poor as it only gives 40 percent more attack speed and 25 magic damage on every hit. However, the reason this item is even used at all is because of what it becomes once you hit mid-game: Sated Devourer. Once you get 30 stacks, stacks will later be discussed further, normal Devourer transforms into Sated Devourer, which increases the on-hit magic damage to 60 and makes every other basic attack trigger a phantom attack that triggers all on-hit effects a second time.

Now, according to the PBE update, Devourer has been changed so the base on-hit damage is lowered to 25 from 30, and the number of stacks needed to become Sated Devourer has been increased to 35 from 30.

The damage being decreased isn’t that big of a deal. Is it necessary? No, but it’s easy to get over. However, the big problem with this nerf is the increased amount of stacks needed to turn into Sated Devourer.

What would most people say is the number one issue surrounding Devourer junglers? It would probably be that they are way too farm focused and don’t leave their jungle until they have reached all 30 stacks. While there are a lot of Devourer junglers out there that still play the game correctly (actually being a productive member to their team pre-20 minutes), there is an equal number of players who don’t do anything with their team until they have reached full stacks.

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It’s easy to yell at players who abandon their team while they are only focused on stacks, but you really can’t blame them for thinking that way of playing is acceptable. The way Devourer works, you get one stack for killing champions and large monsters, two stacks for killing the Rift Scuttler and five stacks for killing either the Dragon, Rift Herald or Baron.

So, a player could say to themselves: “Yeah, bottom lane does have a lot going on right now, but I really need stacks. It’s much safer and smarter for me to just farm my jungle than to waste my time down there.” Seriously, that type of mentality is what Devourer promotes – and that’s disgusting.

Increasing the amount of stacks needed will only intensify the feeling of needing to farm, and it will make the process longer in general. If a jungler is having an amazing start to the game, they could possibly reach Sated Devourer anywhere from around 15-17 minutes. However, that isn’t easy to do, and often times players aren’t reaching the point of Sated Devourer until around 20-23 minutes. That means with the increased amount of stacks needed, some players probably won’t be reaching Sated Devourer until closer to 30 minutes. Quite frankly, that’s ludicrous. This is season six, where a lot of games aren’t even reaching 30 minutes or the game has already gotten out of control at that point. So it’s possible for a jungler to have a rough start to the game which will ultimately snowball them into being useless for most of the match. Nothing should be set up that way.

Changing the stacks to make them more team oriented would be the best thing that could ever happen to Devourer. First, make assisting in a tower going down worth stacks. There are a lot of times where a Devourer jungler will neglect helping a lane push (even if taking a tower is possible) just so they can clear a few camps – and it shouldn’t be like that at all. Taking down towers should be the most important thing in the game, but with how Devourer stands, sometimes clearing wolves makes the most sense at the time. The next thing that should be done is make kills worth more than one stack, and make assists worth at least one. It sounds similar to what has already been said, but again, how does it make sense that killing a person will give you the same amount of stacks as killing gromp would? It doesn’t. What’s even more crazy is not getting a single stack for assists. Putting yourself into fights is risky enough, but now you’re saying that the player won’t be rewarded if they can’t secure the kill for some reason? Why would Riot want things to be like that?

If those changes were made, it would shift Devourer users away from only caring about jungle camps to actually focusing on the things that matter: taking towers and helping their lanes get further ahead. There are players out there that would like to use their favorite on-hit/attack speed champions in the jungle while still feeling good about it. Ultimately, the direction Riot has taken Devourer is one that promotes an unhealthy play style. It would be wonderful if they could accept that and rework the item into a better state, but the upcoming change to Devourer is only going to make the issue worse.

Recently, on the League of Legends boards, Riot Meddler – the game’s lead gameplay designer – commented on the nerf and said, “…players have got significantly better at optimizing collection of stacks, those from Scuttle/Dragon/Rift Herald in particular. We did look at whether we should reduce the number of stacks those monsters granted. We felt strongly though that pulling Devourer junglers into more contested objectives was really valuable though, as a way to offset the low interaction PVE play that farming junglers engage in.”

So he acknowledges the low interaction that many Devourer junglers have with their team isn’t good, and yet they still decided to increase the amount of stacks needed – which only promotes a lower level of interaction. Yeah, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

The only good thing he said in his comment was, “Longer term I suspect we may end up making heavier modifications to Devourer too sometime this season.” That at least gives us some hope for the item to be made correctly. Who knows what they will do, but the jungle needs an attack speed/on-hit focused item that is healthy for everyone in the game.

As on now, Devourer is being nerfed for the worse and that is frustrating to see.