League of Legends’ lead gameplay designer Jeevun Sidhu has responded to criticism regarding the game’s upcoming rework to Sona, a longtime support champion who Riot is looking to revitalize with an update to her kit.
“We care about how players are responding to the changes, and we’ve seen a fair amount of sentiment that this is a nerf,” Sidhu said. “From my perspective, I suspect that some people are undervaluing some of the specifics.”
The upcoming changes to Sona include an overhaul of the champion’s passive, which will now allow Sona to gain stacks of “Accelerando” each time she uses an ability in combat. Each stack gives Sona ability haste, and upon reaching 120 stacks, she starts to see the cooldown of her ultimate, Crescendo (R), get reduced as well.
“We’ve seen a lot of playtests where Sona gets to two ultimates in the same late-game teamfight, which many players do not think will happen at all,” Sidhu said.
On the live servers, Sona’s Crescendo is on a base cooldown of 100 seconds at max rank. But the reworked version of the ability requires a sizable amount of ability haste from other sources, such as items and runes, for the new version of Sona’s power level to be equal to her current one.
“The basic ability haste is also very front loaded compared to live, particularly if the Sona player plays the lane well,” Sidhu said. “It’s worse at [level] 16, but you would need 80 Ability Haste from other sources for the old level 11 (R) Passive to break even with the new one.”
Riot will also be taking a close look at Sona’s ability power ratios moving forward and “will proceed cautiously in case [they] need to pull back,” according to Sidhu.
Sona’s rework is live on the League PBE but isn’t scheduled to hit the game’s live servers until Patch 11.16 launches next month. League Patch 11.16 will drop on Aug. 11 when Riot Games returns from a company-wide break.