The upcoming League of Legends patch 11.8 is looking to be a big one with Riot opening up for several new champions to enter the jungle meta.
According to a recent patch preview by gameplay design director Mark “Scuffy” Yetter, a total of five champions will be changed in a way that they might see play in the jungle. This includes Zed, Darius, Mordekaiser, Morgana, and Diana. All champions are usually seen in other roles but the upcoming meta might position them as five new viable junglers for solo queue and professional play.
One of the most notable champions that Riot will adjust towards the jungle is Darius. The Hand of Noxus has been viable in the top lane for a long time, dominating solo queue and made appearances in professional play. Now, it seems that Riot wants to see him perform in the jungle and will be doing that by buffing his damage to monsters.
Originally, Riot increased his passive bleed damage against neutral monsters to a whopping 500% but would quickly find out how strong that was. Players found out that Darius would be able to solo the Dragon at level 1 and clear the jungle in record-breaking times. With that knowledge in mind, Riot will be adjusting the bleed a bit but still have made it high enough for Darius to clear the jungle fast.
If this buff is enough to make Darius viable in the jungle, players might soon use Darius as a strong flex pick. With a 51.06% win rate in the top lane during patch 11.7, Darius is by no means considered weak up top. He will still lack the basic tools to pull off a gank, but a strong clearing speed and dueling power can make up for that.
If Darius in the jungle wasn’t enough, players can also look forward to seeing changes for Zed, Morgana, Mordekaiser, and Diana aimed to make them all viable in the jungle. It’s clear that Riot finds the current jungle meta too one-dimensional, which these champions would be able to change.
For ability-power-based junglers, the current viable options aren’t many. This is why Riot is increasing damage towards monsters on both Morgana and Diana. Morgana will likely be able to have a speedy clear like Darius, but will also lack ways to gank. She might also run into dueling problems when spotted by the enemy jungler.
For Diana, the options are a bit better. Her clearing speed is looking to be fast with increased damage to monsters through her Moonsilver Blade passive while closing in on targets will be easy with Lunar Rush (E). Out of the two champions, it looks like Diana is the most promising to become a meta pick in the jungle.
Riot will also be buffing up Mordekaiser and Zed to give them a better chance in the jungle, but players will likely have to test it out on the Public Beta Environment (PBE) before any conclusion is drawn.
League of Legends patch 11.8 is set to go live on April 14 according to the LoL patch schedule. It’s likely that Riot will make further changes based on feedback from the PBE before releasing it to the live servers.