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LoL Champion Balance - These are the Hardest Champion Designs to Balance

News 28-04-2024 11:00

The constant patches League of Legends receives every two weeks is what kept the game so relevant all these years, and what made it into the phenomenon it is today.

Yuumi Lo L
We know it's the book that is magical, but we still despise the cat | © Riot Games

However, balancing all of these champions in the game is not so easy, due to the amount of moving parts, including all champions, their abilities, and the various items.

Some champions, however, are worse than others, purely due to their design. These are the champions that have had the most balance changes to their kit in the year after their release.

It wouldn't be fair to include the time from their release until today, after all, or the 2009 champions would turn out to be the most broken ones. We are also excluding the bug fixes since that is different from balance issues.

Hardest Champions To Balance In LoL

When it comes to League of Legends champion design, the goal is to make every champion unique enough so they can be differentiated easily from one another. Riot liken it to comparing Nautilus and Blitzcrank, where both are hook-oriented champions but have different playstyles.

The design of these champions, however, went too far making them a constant issue to balance out.


Kai'Sa is one of, if not the best, dueling ADC in League of Legends, due to her high single-target damage, and ultimate that allows her to reposition with a giant shield.

ADC Kai Sa2
Spamming snipes from a screen away | © Riot Games

From her release in LoL patch 8.5 to the following year, she was featured in a whopping 10 patches, that targeted everything from her AP scaling, to base stats, trying to fit her into anything that wasn't uselessness or complete meta domination.

Tahm Kench

Joining Kai'Sa at 10 patches targeting his scaling in his first year since release, we have Tahm Kench, the absolute lane bully that dominated the top lane, and who makes the lane a miserable experience whenever the meta favors him.

High Noon Tahm Kench
Tahm Kecnh was a menace. | © Riot Games

The first five patches were all buffs to this champion, which were then followed by patches of nerfs. Much like Kai'Sa, the journey of the River King is one of two extremes. Though that can be said of anyone on this list.


With Aphelios, we are upping the stakes, and entering the zone of champions who have had 11 patches target their balance in the first year of their release. And it really showed how overturned this champion is.

Aphelios 1
Remember the five-man one-shots with Infernum? | © Riot Games

Aside from the bug fixes, almost everything in each patch that targeted Aphelios was a nerf, either to his guns or to his base stats. And seeing how straightforward the nerfs were, it shows that they were not meta-influenced, but just that it took so long for players to actually pick up Aphelios and abuse his kit.


It would appear that there is a theme here we can notice, with a broken ADC followed by a broken tank, but those are not the only classes on this list. Nevertheless, Ornn matches Aphehlios' balance changes in the first year of his release.

Space Groove Ornn
Ornn is so fun now, but he used to not be. | © Riot Games

Ornn is one of the most often featured champions in patch notes in his first year of release, with 11 patches targeting him. Interestingly, Ornn's patches, much like Tahm Kench's, at first buff the Freljordian demigod, before having to nerf him back to manageable levels, almost reverting all of the buffs.


Yeah, we all knew this one was just waiting for her place on this list. Yuumi is the hardest support champion to balance, with 11 balance changes in the first year since her release.

Lo L Yuumi
where is her master, and why doesn't she take her away from League? | © Riot Games

Like all champions with a unique design, Yuumi was buffed until the players learned how to play her, after which she was nerfed into the ground, with no in-between. Even Riot admit that she seems impossible to balance. So, please, delete her from the game!


Zeri is a champion that was even nerfed before she was even released, which is saying a lot! She has been changed 11 times in the year after her release, and even more after. By the end of Season 12 she received a full mini-rework to change her kit. 

Withered Rose Zeri
Which build hasn't she abused? | © Riot Games

Zeri's issues lie, once again, in her design. Much like Ezreal, Zeri is an AD caster. She enjoys the best of both worlds, AD item scaling, with caster spamming and weaving in auto-attacks as needed.


And finally, the hardest League of Legends champion design to balance out has undoubtedly been Sylas. His release happened a while ago, and we wouldn't blame you if you forgot how much of a problem he was.

Freljord Sylas
Just don't pick Alistar into a Sylas | © Riot Games

Aside from the bug fixes, he was hit with balance changes in 16 different patches in the first year since his release. These patches mostly had to do with his healing, interestingly enough, even though his ultimate was a brand-new tech in League of Legends.

Aside from these, we would be remiss not to mention Ezreal. While he deserves a place on this list with his 11 changes after release, that was a different time in 2010 after all, where champion balance was not as clear-cut as it is today, and we decided against it. The game, after all, has multiple map-spanning ults.

Other champions that barely missed the cut for this list are Galio, Akali, Sejuani, and Maokai, with 9 different patches targeting their kits in hopes of balancing them out.

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Rijad Kamberovic

Graduating from Sarajevo university in 2020, with a Bachelor's Degree in Islamic Theology, I never believed that my fascination with comparative religions and their myths would mesh so well together with the fantasy genre of the video games I play....