Though patch 10.1 is bringing balance updates to a large number of champions, Sylas is in the spotlight. The first patch of the season has a major overhaul ready for the champion.
Sylas has been struggling to find his place under the sun. Developed as a mid laner, he’s almost never picked for that role. When he is, players are struggling to get wins. Riot Games recognized this issue and is changing him in a way that will make him better tailored for mid, and overall a viable champion with stronger late game performance. But with the changes coming, Sylas is losing a big chunk of his identity.
With the patch update behind the corner, Riot’s lead gameplay designer Mark “Scruffy” Yetter shared with players what awaits for Sylas.
First and foremost, Sylas’ base stats are getting buffed, giving him higher total health, armor, and magic resist. The stats buff will give him more late game survivability, which is when Sylas struggled to keep up the most.
Petricite Burst is a passive that turns Sylas’ basic attack into an AoE will stack up to three times while granting attack speed and higher passive damage to the primary target. The radius of the empowered attack has been cut by 100, but giving an execution to secondary target minions below 25 health. Besides turning the passive towards more of an assassin style for more effective duels, this change also gives Sylas more opportunity for wave clear and easier last hitting.
A significant change to Sylas’ current playstyle comes with the restriction of Chain Lash usage during the cast of Abduct. Players will have to think twice before deciding to pull themselves to an enemy, as they won’t be able to deal damage from the Chain Lash and slow enemies turning towards them when doing so. In addition, Chain Lash’s detonation will deal higher damage, but won’t be slowing enemies anymore.
Kingslayer’s mechanic to reset Sylas’ auto attack while he gets a quick heal along with a damaging strike will be made history. The reset is getting removed, together with bonus damage for lower health targets and the fixed mana cost.
With a cooldown and damage buff, but no reset, Sylas will struggle to find a place in the jungle, and much of his identity will be lost. Players relied on those resets to make plays, and this change might put him in a more awkward place.
On the other hand, highly skilled players knew well how to abuse this mechanic, while his playstyle was more complicated for beginners. If the goal was balancing that gap, the change makes sense.
Similarly, Abscond is losing its auto attack reset as well. The dash also won’t be shielding Sylas anymore, but a lower cooldown will give him more mobility, and more room for safe playmaking. Abduct will also deal more damage.
Hijack is untouched, except it’s also losing the auto attack reset. Players that shared feedback with Riot during the Public Beta Environment testing and after seeing the changes are frustrated with this change. Most struggle to see where this places Sylas, as one of the most fun and critical features to his gameplay is gone in exchange for more raw assassination power.