For a while now, AD Carries which built Critical Strike as part of their strongest build path have been quite weak. That’s what happens when you need Infinity Edge and two Attack Speed items to really get going while your biggest threats (tanks, assassins, and mages) can often outlast you or burst you in a fight where both of you have two items. With the Blade of the Ruined King buffs introduced in 7.6, the item became the best choice for any and all AD Carries, even the Crit machines like Jinx and Caitlyn. Riot is trying to fix that.
The first step towards fixing these problems Riot Games took was reducing the total cost of Infinity Edge to 3400 gold from 3600, reducing Zeal’s cost to 1200 from 1300, increasing Kircheis Shard’s proc damage to 50 and increasing its cost to 800 gold, while also tinkering with the combined items which build from Zeal, making sure all of them cost the same, 2600 gold.
Runaan’s Hurricane got changed a little bit, both in build path (it now builds out of Zeal and two Daggers) but in its secondary bolt functionality as well. They will no longer grant on-hit damage, but their AD scaling has been increased from 25% to 40% to compensate. Next up are Rapid Firecannon and Statikk Shiv. Previously, the items sort of overwrote each other’s proc. Now, you will not have the same problem. You will still get the range from RFC and the Statikk Shiv effect, which also got buffed to deal more damage to minions (up to 160 at level 18), while Shiv’s bonus damage to minions got nerfed to +65%. Finally, Rapid Firecannon will charge your Energized effects (including Warlord’s Bloodlust) 25% faster. Phantom Dancer remained mostly unchanged, only his final combine cost was increased to 2600 to reflect the changes to the other Zeal items.
With the carrot of the faster Infinity Edge + Zeal power spike also comes the stick of a nerf to Armor Penetration in a patch where tanks are getting some considerable buffs. First of all, Last Whisper will now ignore only 35% of the target’s bonus armor. Next, Lord Dominik’s Regards and Mortals Reminder had their costs reduced by 100 gold and you won’t get any extra armor penetration once you upgrade from Last Whisper. If you elect to go with LDR, however, the Giant Slayer Damage Amplification will be increased from 15% to 20. Black Cleaver also received a nerf to its armor shred. Now, you will get 4% instead of 5%, which comes down to 24% instead of the 30% it was in the past.
The final line of items to get changed were Lifesteal items. Blade of the Ruined King had its cost raised by 100 gold to 3400, Death’s Dance now gives you 80 AD and defers 30% of all damage instead of 15% it used to, The Bloodthirster has 80 AD instead of the 75 it had previously, same for Ravenous Hydra. Essentially, these changes were made to make BotRK something other than no-brainer by increasing its cost a little bit and making the alternatives more attractive.
It seems like Riot giveth and Riot taketh away. They made crit AD Carries spike a bit earlier but in turn made tanks stronger. We will just have to play the game and see if Marksmen turn out better or worse in the end.