It appears Lillia and Yone are better balanced than some previous releases, like Sett and Aphelios. While they still might need more tweaks down the line, both champions appear to be in a healthy state.
Lillia has exceeded Riot’s expectations of a balanced champion at release, having benefited from an effective “wait and see approach.” Since she’s a “pretty nuanced and skillful champion,” according to Scruffy, players needed more time to learn her ability kit. While she might need slight buffs or nerfs in the long run, Riot believes her launch was “ideal.”
Similarly, Riot is “happy so far” with Yone’s effect on the League meta.
“Time will tell if we need to do more, but we’re generally seeing healthy patterns from Yone with the counterplay we intended (fair counterplay can be challenging to design correctly for the assassin class),” Scruffy said.
Yone received a slight nerf in Patch 10.17, losing base damage to his Mortal Steel (Q) and removing the 100-percent life steal effectiveness from his ultimate. And the Unforgotten won’t make his 2020 Worlds debut out of fear of having a broken champion dominate the competitive meta.
Riot had previously made a commitment to “improve launch balance” after many new releases dominated the meta. Senna, Aphelios, and Sett instantly became pick-or-ban champions and had to be nerfed many times before reaching a semi-balanced state.
Aphelios was teased with five weapons that could be switched and controlled by putting one of them in the off-hand slot. The only thing players needed to manage was the number of remaining bullets to be prepared for a teamfight with the most suitable weapon. While his trailer video showcased a situation with multiple weapons, everyone wondered what the differences between weapons were. Aphelios wiped out the enemy team with all weapon combinations in the trailer, showing how insanely strong he was regardless of weapon choice before a teamfight. His enemies were of equal level and items yet dropped like flies to Aphelios’ abilities.
Usually, champions have some sort of weaknesses built into their kit to allow for counterplay. Aphelios has access to a multitude of effects, such as long range, a slow, a root, lifesteal, high melee-range damage, and much more. While it makes each of his guns feel unique, all of these effects made the champion too good at everything.
In an attempt to stop this pattern, Riot’s focus became a “long term balanced target.” So new champions might release with subpar win rates that “slowly climb” as players get used to them, like in Lillia’s case. Riot devs’ other strategy is for faster and stronger follow-ups if a champion is slightly overtuned, like in Yone’s case.