Neeko Nerfed in League of Legends Mid-Patch Update

Wyatt Fossett,

March 13, 2019 5:00 PM

Fan-favorite League of Legends player Voyboy forces Riot's hand, prompts mid-patch emergency nerfs to once-underappreciated and now meme-queen Neeko.

Hot off the dissolution of their position-based ranking system, Riot Games posted another update to the current patch, and this time is had everything to do with a meme, and a familiar face in the League of Legends Esports scene. 

It’s not very often than living and breathing MOBA games like League of Legends have to scramble and patch things, which is why a mid-patch release update is something to squint your eyes at. However, thanks to a discovery by Joedat “Voyboy” Esfahani, a high-profile top-laner for League of Legends Esports teams such as Team Dignitas, CLG, and Team Curse, Riot Games had to put an end to Neeko’s strong carry abilities. A problematic build is outlined on Voyboy’s YouTube channel in the video below

Originally designed for life in the jungle, but flexing in situations where one could use a top-lane juker, Neeko hasn’t seen a whole ton of use in or out of league play.  Now, queuing up and spotting a Neeko picked up on the enemy team (regardless of lane) is almost justification enough for the dodge in its own right. All thanks to a meme-filled guide to a deadly “on-hit” Attack Damage build for Neeko.

Having a major publisher frantically try and patch out your build and play-style is probably the biggest compliment an ex-pro turned streamer and meme team lead can get, and since the only thing Voyboy wants is for the world to “put some respec” on his name, we’d say he’s won this round. 

The term “on hit”, when it comes to League of Legends builds, is in reference to item effect applying when you hit an enemy champion with an ability. Items like Wit’s End (bonus magic damage on hit), and Frozen Mallet (slows target), are just some of the most popular on-hit build items. 

The Nerfed Chameleon, Neeko 

The nerf of Neeko prior to the upcoming major patch goes a long way in showing that not only are players having a hard time countering Neeko in an “on-hit” build, but also that they (Riot Games) are listening. To counter the meme-queen herself, Neeko loses 2% attack speed growth per level, 1 whole stat on her attack damage per level, and her shapesplitter skill (her “w”) has had a healthy nerf to its scaling bonus magic damage. 

“We're pulling back on Neeko's baseline strength so that her freshly discovered on-hit build isn't so overwhelming compared to her other options.” wrote RiotAether on the updated patch-notes.

The community at large seems roughly mixed about the panic-induced quick heal that Riot Games has done in response to Neeko rising in popularity, claiming that they should have waited until the Patch 9.6, and a better overall balance. 

As of publishing, we haven’t heard back from the League of Legends Esports team pertaining to whether or not this weekend’s organized league play will be using the updated patch 9.5, or the original. But we’re going to assume (pretty safely) that the LEC and LCS will see the Neeko nerfs alongside everyone else.



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