League of Legends: Could Kayle Return to the Meta on Patch 10.18?

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

Kayle could be set for a return to the top lane meta on Patch 10.18

Kayle has experienced varying success since her Patch 9.5 relaunch including an appearance in the 2019 World Championship semi-final piloted by extremely talented top laner TheShy. Nonetheless, the Winged Protector has fallen down the tier list over recent months and currently suffers from a 2% pick rate in solo queue and is an extremely niche option in pro play.

The eagle-eyed League of Legends balance team has spotted this and sought to make amends with exciting Kayle buffs heading to the Rift on Patch 10.18. According to Riot Scruffy’s fortnightly patch preview, the top laner is set to receive a huge Starfire Spellblade update that could propel her back into the meta just weeks before the 2020 World Championship.

While these buffs are subject to change between now and their official release on Tuesday, 1 September, rarely are large buffs like Kayle’s completely removed from patch notes so soon after being revealed.

Here is Kayle’s tentative Patch 10.18 change in full:

"Q – Radiant Blast[Removed] No longer refunds mana on champion hitW – Celestial BlessingCost: 70/80/90/100/110 mana -> 90/100/110/120/130 manaE – Starfire SpellbladeCooldown: 8 seconds -> 8/7.5/7/6.5/6 secondsCost: 50/55/60/65/70 mana -> 0 manaMissile Speed: 2000 -> 5000"

First of all, Kayle’s Radiant Blast will no longer refund 35-45 mana after hitting an enemy champion which significantly reduces the amount of poke the Righteous Demacian can dish out during the laning phase. This harms Kayle’s already weak early game but she isn’t really expected to dominate her top lane 1v1 anyway.

On top of that, Celestial Blessing will also see its mana cost increased by 20 at all ranks, further damaging Kayle’s lane sustain and ability to trade during the opening ten minutes of the game. Overall, these two nerfs will make Kayle an extremely vulnerable and difficult laner to pilot during the early game.

Starfire Spellblade is set to receive a very positive buff in order to compensate for the nerfs, Kayle mains will be glad to hear. The ability will no longer cost any mana to cast and will have its cooldown reduced to 6 seconds at max rank. The missile speed will also be increased from 2000 to 5000.

As a result, Starfire Spellblade will be a much more reliable damage tool through all stages of the game with a tiny cooldown after Kayle has purchased Nashor’s Tooth and Zhonya’s Hourglass. The top laner’s early game will undoubtedly take a hit but by increasing her access to a primary damage tool, Kayle could be set for a triumphant return to the meta on Patch 10.18.

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The official Patch 10.18 notes are expected to be released on Tuesday, 1 September in preparation for their implementation to live servers on the morning of Wednesday, 2 September. Check out the Riot Games status page for updates on server maintenance.