League of Legends: Fiora and Jax Buffs Shake Up the Top Lane Meta

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

Fiora and Jax received impactful buffs on League of Legends Patch 10.16

In preparation for the upcoming competitive playoffs and the 2020 World Championship, the League of Legends balance team have decided to buff some rarely utilized champions in order to diversify the current pro play meta. Fiora and Jax are among those who were buffed on Patch 10.16.

Throughout Season 10 so far, the top lane meta has been dominated by tanky champions that can offer utility in a team fight, such as Mordekaiser, Ornn, and Sett. However, following Patch 10.16, this is set to change as duellers capable of carrying games could be reintroduced into the top lane champion pool.

Fiora’s Lunge saw its cooldown reduced from 16/14/12/10/8 seconds to 13/11.25/9.5/7.75/6 seconds, while the ability’s cooldown reduction after hitting an enemy fell by just 10%. Meanwhile, Jax’s Counter Strike also received a cooldown buff, falling from 16/14/12/10/8 seconds to 14/12.5/11/9.5/8 seconds.

The top laners can now compete with the current meta champions as a result

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Firstly, Fiora’s buff increases her mobility at all stages of the game but is most effective during the laning phase. With Lunge’s base cooldown falling to 13 seconds at rank 1, the Grand Duelist can maneuver around waves more effectively and close the gap to her lane opponent to proc Duelist’s Dance more often.

This enables Fiora to create a health difference in the laning phase which can be used to build a CS lead, roam, or find a kill to begin a snowball. In solo queue, this is particularly effective as lane bullies tend to go unpunished due to idle junglers failing to recognize danger on the map.

Combine this with the top laner’s inherent ability to dodge key crowd control spells with Riposte – something that is vital with the current crop of meta top laners – and it’s clear why she has risen so rapidly to the S tier on Patch 10.16.

As for Jax, a two-second cooldown buff for Counter Strike is exactly what he needs to re-establish himself in the top lane meta. The Grandmaster At Arms has always been an excellent option if able to scale into the late game but lacked the capacity to set up kills during the early game, forcing his team far behind in the opening stages.

Now, with Counter Strike on a much shorter cooldown, not only can Jax trade with his opponent more frequently in order to gain control of the lane, but he can also set up a gank just 14 seconds later.

Together, these new qualities allow Jax to compete with the likes of Camille and Renekton in the 1v1 and build an early gold lead from which to snowball.

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While the current League of Legends meta is undoubtedly in a healthy state, it’s always positive to see new champions being reintroduced to encourage diversity and open up new avenues for success. With Fiora and Jax back in the meta, solo queue players and pro teams now have effective top lane carries to play around, something which has been absent for most of Season 10.