13.11 Ivern Buffs

Ivern stocks are up, but did they overdo it?

13.11 Ivern Buffs

In patch 13.11, Riot significantly buffed Ivern across all abilities as compensation for giving buff sharing to all junglers. It's been a bit over a week since they went live, so here are my thoughts having tested them out:

Buff Sharing

So first off, let's talk about the only nerf to Ivern's kit: the removal of buff sharing as Ivern's unique mechanic. This was also a pretty significant source of power for Ivern's kit, since a single buff has the potential to win an entire lane. Instead of buff sharing starting at level 5, all junglers will be given buff sharing once they complete their jungle pet.

At first I didn't like the idea of Ivern losing his buff sharing, but I've come to realize that it's probably better this way. This is because while buff sharing was a significant source of power for Ivern, it would very rarely get deliberately played around. This means that in practice, Ivern can forget he even shares buffs and his laners will just have a higher-than-average chance of winning lane. This makes it high power but low satisfaction; the complete opposite of an ideal design.

Q - Rootcaller

While the Q changes seem like just quality-of-life changes, there's a lot of both positive and negative changes with how Riot modified Q behavior:

Rootcaller Changes (1/2):
-Clicking on the rooted target now dashes into max attack range
-Q2 now dashes directly on top of target (instead of 125 units away)
-Clicking while close will trigger a backwards dash instead (up to 300 units away from target)

If you've played any amount of Ivern, you'll know that it was previously very difficult to attack somebody who you landed Q on without flying into melee range. You would either have to attack move close to them (but not on them), or input your attack command right before the Q hits. Making Ivern's right click dash into his attack range has been a highly requested QOL change for years now, so it's nice to see it finally added.

Another interesting change is that recasting Q now puts you directly on top of the target instead of 125 units away. From my experience this patch, this is a significant nerf. Let me explain.

Ivern's Q dash speed is 1300 units/s (for reference, Lee Sin Q2 speed is roughly 1750 u/s). When it comes to longer dashes, 1300 is considered slow. Obviously slower dashes are easier to react to, but what's arguably much worse is the fact that you're locked out of moving your champion for longer.

Previous Q used edge range. Distance slightly varies depending on champion size.

The difference is around 260 units, making the dash take 0.2s longer. This is because the 125 units is Edge Range, meaning that the distance is counted from the edge of Ivern's hitbox to the edge of his target's. The dash taking 0.2 seconds longer isn't the end of the world, but it contributes to making the champion feel noticeably clunkier.

As a bonus feature to the Q changes, Ivern (and other ranged champions) can perform a backwards dash if they're close enough to the rooted target. It won't send them back to their full attack range, but it'll go to around a maximum of 300 units away.

Using Q's new backwards dash to escape J4 ult

I'm still getting used to using the backwards dash, so you'll have to wait until I figure it out if you want to read a full breakdown of the new tech.

Rootcaller Changes (2/2):
-Range increased from 1100 -> 1150
-Cooldown is refunded by 50% if it hits a non-epic monster

If you're wondering why Ivern's Q randomly got +50 range, it's because there are many walls in the jungle that Ivern used to be able to dash between, but is no longer able to because they removed the small monsters from red/blue buff.

they took blue's kids...

There's also a few useful dashes that were impossible even with red/blue's small monsters such as blue to wolves, red to raptors, mid-river bush to raptors, etc. Aside from jungle shortcuts, the 50 range is also nice for making the ability easier to land, which is a pretty big plus.

The new cooldown refund is also nice to have, but doesn't make a very big difference early on. The main benefit comes from around levels 10+, where you start being able to Q to every camp. This change is also surprisingly useful for running away in the jungle, since you can dash to a monster and have it up to also root your chaser shortly after.

W - Brushmaker

The W changes are weird. You can tell Riot wanted to make this ability easier and less confusing to use, which is a completely fair purpose, but I can't help but feel like some of the appeal is lost. Here's what they changed:

Brushmaker Changes (1/2):
-Bush vision time increased from 3s -> 8s
-Bushes now persist until a full second passes without Ivern's team having vision in it (up to a maximum of 45 seconds)
-Bush cooldown decreased from 40/36/32/28/24 -> 20s (all ranks)

In short, these changes make bushes much more temporary. If you place down a bush, it'll go away on it's own once it stops being useful. This also comes paired with Riot halving the recharge time of bushes from 40->20s, making them much more spammable.

Bush vision time increasing to 8 seconds is huge, especially for playing Ivern in the support role. Being able to reveal any area for 8 seconds means it can easily fulfill the role of warding bushes in a fight at a much lower cost. This also means that your bushes no longer screw you over when you kite away from them, since you can still see enemies that are inside. It's also worth mentioning that bushes only grant vision of inside them, meaning they can still obscure what's behind them.

If you want a longer lasting bush, you'll have to either place a ward in them or place them on an existing ward. This is another change that benefits support Ivern, since support is the only role with consistent access to wards.

Overall, these changes let bushes be placed a lot less thoughtfully, since you don't have to worry about the consequences of your placement. I think these changes are good for the game as a whole, but I'll miss the skill expression of being able to place perfect bushes that benefit your team and only your team.

Also, if you're wondering how lane Ivern fares with these changes, I originally thought having the bushes disappear after losing vision would suck. However, since the cooldown has been reduced so heavily, it's actually ended up as a buff for laning because you're a lot less pinned down by where you placed your bush.

Brushmaker Changes (2/2):
-W passive now fires a missile on-hit instead of adding the damage to the attack.
-Nearby allies (1000 unit radius) gain a weakened version of Ivern's W passive: While in a bush and for 1 second after, attacks fire a missile that deals 5/7.5/10/12.5/15 (+10% Ivern's AP).

In the patch notes, the W passive missile change was described as "visual only". This could not be further from the truth, as it adds many (likely unintended) side effects, most of which are negative.

Riot saying this change is "visual only"

Now that W passive shoots a missile instead of applying the bonus damage directly, the bonus damage becomes delayed. This also means that spell effects like Arcane Comet also become delayed, since they now fire after the missile lands instead of the attack.

However, what's much more important about this change is that the missile grants vision of you. This means that if you attack and then quickly hide in a bush after, the missile will grant the enemy full vision of you. This is awful for multiple reasons, whether it be for outmaneuvering targeted abilities in a fight or for dropping minion aggro after poking. In order to make this change less real and more visual, the missile should not do anything to influence vision.

Additionally, allies near Ivern will also gain a weakened version of his bush passive. The damage is pretty small, so it only really gets big value from being in botlane where the buff has a high uptime (for both hitting enemy champions and pushing the wave faster). It's also pretty good for pushing towers and DPSing neutral objectives, since allies can just sit in the bush and attack.

The downside is that this buff shoots the same missile that Ivern does, meaning they also get revealed. This is especially annoying for ADCs with an Ivern support since they can no longer use bushes to drop vision. Riot REALLY needs to make the "visual only" missile not reveal the user.

As a final note, Ivern's W on allies also inherits the same behavior of counting as a spell. For example, Ivern putting a bush on a champion with Liandry's makes their basic attacks apply the burn. There's not a lot of ways to consistently abuse this interaction, but it's still kinda fun nonetheless.

W passive triggering Viego's passive.

E - Triggerseed

On twitter, Squad5 said that one of the main goals of Ivern's E change was to make him better at supporting ranged champions. Before we get into the changes, let's go over why Ivern wasn't as good with ranged champions in the first place.

There's 2 main reasons why Ivern has low synergy with ranged champions:

  • With ranged champions, it's harder to deliver the E slow, leading to much fewer gank opportunities pre-6.
  • When skirmishing without frontline, shielding an ally puts Ivern in danger (and vice versa). With a frontline champion, Ivern can focus all of his shields on them without putting himself in as much danger.

Now let's look at how Riot addressed this:

Triggerseed Changes:
-If the explosion doesn't hit any enemy champions and the shield persists, a second shield will be applied for the same strength and duration

When you look at these changes, you might have noticed that they don't actually address the problems that Ivern has with ranged champions. Contrary to what you might think, I'm not opposed to this being the case. I think that the difficulty of playing around ranged laners is an important weakness for Ivern to have, and it separates mediocre Ivern players from good ones.

So if they aren't making it easier to gank or skirmish around ranged champions, what do these changes accomplish? While most scenarios will play out similarly to before, shielding ranged carries in teamfights has become a lot stronger. To understand why, let's first go over what makes a cast of Triggerseed "high value".

Previously, there were 2 axis that make up Triggerseed usage: shield value and explosion value

Previous E Value Spectrum (very simplified)

This is pretty simple to understand, since maximizing the value of the ability just means getting 100% value out of both components. In teamfights, the best casts of this version of E are usually for melee champions who dive in or for peeling melee champions off your ranged carry, since both cases effectively use the shield and explosion.

With the new E, the explosion value axis changes to explosion/2nd shield value. In a fight, each cast can either get explosion value or 2nd shield value, so 100% means maximizing the usage of whichever effect triggers. Here's how that impacts the spectrum:

New E Value Spectrum (again, very simplified)

As shown here, there are now 2 different ways to get 100% value:

  • The shield blocks full damage and the explosion hits champion(s)
  • The shield blocks some damage but is not broken, and the bonus shield blocks full damage.

Consistently getting full value bonus shields can only really be done in extended fights between ranged champions. The most common instance of this is in teamfights, but happens much more often as lane Ivern when taking trades vs ranged champions. In summary Ivern is better at peeling ranged champions in extended fights, but his previous weaknesses still remain.

Other than that, here are some extra observations about Ivern's new E:

  • You can get full value out of both the 2nd shield and explosion while laning since the explosion can hit the minions and still repeat. This makes lane Ivern significantly stronger (especially midlane).
  • The second shield is really good when tanking tower for a dive, since you can fully block 2 tower shots in 1 cast.
  • The second shield is very useful when running away from a ranged champion. They usually won't have enough dps to fully break the shield, effectively giving you 4 seconds of invulnerability.
  • Casting E on a champion who already has the bonus shield will overwrite it. The shields will not stack.

R - Daisy!!!

After playing dozens of games on this patch, the Daisy buffs are by far the most significant changes. Here's what's new:

Daisy Changes (1/2):
Attack Range: 125 ⇒ 175
HP Regeneration: 0 ⇒ 2.5/5/7.5 health per second
Movement Speed: 419 ⇒ 440
Attack Speed: 0.7 ⇒ 0.75
Bonus Attack Speed: 30/50/70 ⇒ 30/45/60
Knockup Damage: 100% of Daisy's AD (+20% AP) ⇒ 40/60/80 (+100% of Daisy's AD) (+20% AP)

Daisy was already a very powerful ability, so these buffs just add onto that. Ivern now spikes even harder at 6/11/16, increasing his ability to chase, skirmish, teamfight, duel, invade, dive, etc. Something worth noting is that this also makes Daisy much easier to use for non-otp Iverns (which I'm sure was intended). The buffs to attack range, attack speed, and movement speed mean that micromanaging Daisy isn't as necessary to make an impact.

The HP regen is also nice, but doesn't make a huge difference as it only increases Daisy's effective health total by 150-450hp.

Amongst all of these changes, there is one thing that is vastly important yet somehow wasn't included in the patch notes:

Daisy Changes (2/2):
Now applies Ivern's on-hit effects (including W passive)

This is huge, since it's a massive DPS increase to Daisy. With this, there are very few champions that win 1v1 vs Ivern, since he just does so much damage. This change also makes more AP heavy builds shred towers even faster, since both Ivern and Daisy are hitting the tower with W passive.

Note: this also means that Daisy reveals Ivern while in bush, because the missile comes from Ivern
Daisy applying Ivern's W onhit passive (a roughly 45% damage increase)

Every on-hit synergy in the game now applies on Ivern AND Daisy's autos. Lich Bane and Nashor's Tooth have become incredibly powerful damage items on Ivern, and he also has inherent synergy with champions like Lulu and Braum. The effect might be a little op, but I'm honestly a fan of how much new funny tech this opens up.

Is 13.11 Ivern OP?

Yes. 13.11 Ivern is very OP. I find that whenever Ivern's winrate isn't between 49-51%, something is very wrong. This is because when many OTPs play a champion, their winrate naturally gets pulled closer to 50%.

13.11 Ivern winrates across all roles

With Ivern comfortably maintaining 54-55% winrates across all roles, it's safe to say that the champion is flat out overpowered. Since nerfs are bound to happen at some point, here are the spots that I think should be less powerful:

  • W vision time should be reduced. 8 seconds is far too long for such a spammable ability.
  • W cooldown should also be increased. I haven't ever had to worry about running out of bushes this patch, and that's a problem.
  • The 2nd shield is too strong. IMO the second shield should feel like a bonus rather than an essential part of the ability. Cutting it down to 60-75% of what it is now would be perfectly OK. I'd also be happy with the entire 2nd shield effect being removed (Ivern would still be strong).
  • Since Daisy's MS/AS/Range buffs make Ivern more accessible to players who don't want to precisely micro a pet, I assume Riot doesn't want to touch that. This leaves either base damage or onhit to be targets for a nerf. I would be okay with nerfing either of these, whether it be an AD decrease or making Daisy apply onhit at only 50-60% effectiveness.

It's always a concerning situation for me when Ivern is strong. As an OTP, I'd much rather have my champion be slightly weaker than average (49.5% wr), since that's what draws the least attention. From here, all I can do is hope that Ivern lands in a playable state after the imminent nerfs.

Anyways, thanks for reading! Since Ivern is being banned so much more frequently, I've been using the time waiting between queues/dodges to write more. Because of this, you'll likely see more articles from me in the coming days.

In the meantime, let me know in the comments if there's anything you want covered (I read every comment on this site).