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Smite buff stands to change Jungler role

Junglers could see an substantial impact on their role as 11.9 patch buffs smite.

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Recent patches have brought great change to the jungle role as a greater amount of ‘off-meta’ picks have become viable and picks like Hecarim have been nerfed along with Turbo Chemtank. One change that has flown under the radar, which has the most potential to fundamentally shift the current philosophy behind junglers, is the damage shift in smite.

Check out our coverage on patch 11.9’s changes

As it currently stands, smite damage scales with champions as they leveling as it starts at a base 390 true damage and maxes out at 1000. The reworked version of smite starts at 450 damage and ends at a flat 900 true damage upon evolving to either Chilling or Challenging smite.

On the surface, this may appear like a minimal change and even a potential nerf considering the slightly lessened amount of damage. This sudden leap in damage that occurs relatively quicker prioritizes early jungle objectives such as Herald or dragons. This could result in more objective-centric team fights and certainly enables junglers to solo objectives with much greater ease.

Riot may have put these changes in for many reasons, as smite was often criticized for being a relatively weaker tool for securing crucial objectives such as the baron when compared to even the likes of Syndra’s Q. This also fits within Riot’s current philosophy of using neutral objectives to snowball games much earlier as decisive fights will likely occur earlier on average.

The runoff effects of this change see champions such as Cho’Gath become viable in competitive play as their scaling ultimates pair well the new smite.

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Image Credits: Riot Games