Riot hints at possible nerfs to Janna top with smite

Ali Ahmed Akib
By Ali Ahmed Akib
4 Min Read
Image: Riot Games

One of the most “overpowered” picks of the current meta, enchanters playing top lane with smite, is set to receive nerfs in League of Legends.

Although the 2022 preseason was one of the smallest preseasons to date, and only a couple of new things were added to League of Legends, most of them turned out to be “overpowered.”

The early Objective bounties were so “abusive” that Riot had to hotfix nerf it twice — though it is still somewhat “broken.” Besides, Riot also had to disable the Chemtech Drake for the amount of hate it was getting from both the pro and soloq players.

Well, that’s not everything.

After the recent Teleport changes in patch 12.1, another “broken” meta, enchanters playing top lane, seems to be making a return. Currently, on patch 12.3, Smite Janna top has an astonishing 58% win rate in Master+ Elo and is doing substantially well in Grandmaster and Challenger.

Janna Top Smite Strategy

It’s nothing new for the enchanters to play in the Top lane. Riot had to make multiple changes to the support items to prevent it from happening in the past. However, the Teleport changes and Objective bounties’ introductions have helped them return strongly in the current meta.

Enchanters like Janna, Karma, Lulu, Soraka, and others can play top with smite, but Janna has the edge explicitly over others as she has the best stats from just having one item.

So, in this strategy, Janna will rush Boots of Swiftness while having the support item and pretty much roam & gank all over the map, leaving the Top lane open.

Enemy top laner will get free perfect cs and full turret plate — sometimes even the second turret as well. And thanks to the new Objective bounties, this will result in having a bounty in them, even though they will most of the time have no KDA whatsoever.

If Janna’s team manages to secure that bounty, her team will actually be ahead on gold later on. Not to mention her support item value when it completes.

Furthermore, Janna can also bully the enemy jungler into making them fall behind in the early game with an additional smite.

Potential Nerfs Incoming

While Janna takes over the meta as a Top laner, Riot is keeping a close eye on the whole strategy.

League of Legends’ Design Lead, Matt Leung-Harrison, has confirmed that they are already working on a solution.

“We’re aware that players are disappointed to not see a fix for roaming enchanter tops for the patch,” Matt Leung-Harrison said. “It’s something we’ve been prioritizing trying to solve.”

What exact nerfs Riot will pull this time is still unknown.

“If we’re able to gain confidence in a solution, our priority will be to try and get it out, but no plans yet,” Matt Leung-Harrison added.

ali ahmed akib gameriv
By Ali Ahmed Akib Editor-in-chief
Ali Ahmed Akib is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-chief of GameRiv. Akib grew up playing MOBA titles, especially League of Legends and is currently managing the editorial team of GameRiv.