League of Legends Patch 9.22 preview: HUGE Kai’Sa and Xayah nerfs

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Less than a week to go until the final patch of the League of Legends ranked season hits live servers! Here’s our preview of the Patch 9.22 changes heading to the Rift on Wednesday.

League of Legends will soon part ways with 2019 and the first step towards the separation is to close the Season 9 ranked season on November 19th. Before that though, we’ve got one more patch to get through – Patch 9.22!

While everything still remains subject to change and other buffs/nerfs could find their way into the patch notes before next week, we received a sneak peek of what’s to come on Patch 9.22 from Riot a few days ago. Nothing is set in stone, but these previews tend to be 99% of the finished article, so we can confidently assess the changes and what impact they may have on solo queue.

It seems like a relatively small patch with just 11 champions receiving buffs/nerfs, but some are important to rebalance the state of certain lanes. Pantheon’s reign of terror over the top lane may finally be over, and Kai’Sa and Xayah’s permanent presence in bot could finally come to an end.

Here’s a full breakdown and potential impact of the proposed Patch 9.22 changes:


Starting with the buffs, Kalista is receiving a pretty significant one to her W – Sentinel damage. As W is the fourth skill to have points put into it, we should only look at the rank 1 change, which doubles from 5% max health damage to 10% max health damage. This means that one aspect of Kalista’s trading damage in the laning phase has essentially been doubled and makes her a huge threat whenever her support player moves for an all-in.

As Kalista currently sits at a 45.53% win rate in solo queue, this buff is very well deserved and could see her close in on the back end of the current meta marksman. She’ll still remain a niche pick, but at least she won’t be completely useless after Patch 9.22.

It seems as if Sejuani was only recently nerfed after being 100% pick/ban in competitive, but now she’s already receiving compensation buff to bring her back towards the top of the jungle tier list. This is basically a revert of her previous nerfs, as well as a small buff to AP Sejuani.

A very small buff for Sylas, helping him out in the laning phase when he’s facing poke mages.


Onto the nerfs now, and we’re starting with Ashe, a champion that has slowly crept into the bottom lane meta in recent months due to her strong scaling and strong ultimate ability. Now, with an increased mana cost on her W – Volley, she’ll have a bit less joy in the early game and could struggle for mana if she doesn’t build Essence Reaver.

A 52.28% win rate for what should be a situational support pick is wrong and this small nerf will only slightly reduce that win rate on Patch 9.22.

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The first major nerf of the patch is targeted at the Queen of the bottom lane, Kai’Sa. It almost feels like since her release, Kai’Sa has been omnipresent in the marksman role, and that might be about to change. Already languishing at a 47.90% win rate in solo queue, this large nerf to her Q – Icathian Rain damage could spell trouble for Kai’Sa mains as it is one of her main damage tools.

For a champion that should be forced to wait until the late game to come online, Kayle is far too safe in the early game right now. Reduced base damage on her Q – Radiant Blast, as well as increased mana cost on W – Celestial Blessing will make the laning phase slightly tougher for Kayle to survive through.

AP Malphite has slowly taken over from his brother, Tank Malphite, due to him being inherently tanky even when building damage items. With his ultimate damage ratio being reduced, he’ll find it much harder to one-shot you with a single keystroke.

A 52.35% win rate in solo queue, high priority in competitive play, and finally something is being done about it. Nautilus’ crowd control makes him a menace in the bot lane, and his incredibly tanky stats don’t help either. On Patch 9.22, he’ll receive a pretty big nerf to his R damage, meaning you might finally be able to escape a Nautilus all-in.

It seems like the balance team, much like most of us solo queue players, are sick of the sight of Pantheon in either solo lane or the jungle. He’ll no longer be able to instantly dash to you with Tier 2 boots, giving you time to react, and his wave clear has been nerfed as well.

Patch 9.22 is looking to fix the bottom lane tier list altogether in a single patch. First Kai’Sa, now Xayah. The marksman’s W – Deadly Plumage will now have a smaller Attack Speed boost at all stages, but the biggest difference is in the later stages of the game. Now, Xayah’s scaling is much weaker, and her laning phase is slightly weaker.

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Do you like the proposed changes for Patch 9.22? Is there anything you’d add to the patch notes? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!