With Kassadin's rework complete with League of Legends patch 4.4, Riot Games has turned their attention to another powerful mid-laner, Gragas. In a post on the League of Legends PBE, RiotSolcrushed explained the rework Gragas is currently undergoing:
Although Gragas in his inception was designed as an AP brawler mixing it up with the enemy, he has historically been played as a mid AP nuke/poker. While we were fine with this, the recent resurgence of Gragas as a top pick has brought to our attention the problems inherent in this playstyle. Gragas currently possesses strengths of long range burst, tankiness and disengage- carried by AP ratios on Q and R being so high that they will effectively two-shot you. This combination of strengths do not make much sense (why do you need tankiness if you are a sniper? Etc.) and are unhealthy for the game.
However, since Gragas was never designed as a sniper, he does not have enough tools he needs to be a valued pick if he is not two-shotting people. Therefore, just nerfing his current damage numbers will ‘Olaf’ him (his win rates are already super low for most players). When we looked at Gragas as a character, it made much more sense to retain the tankiness while hitting the long range burst damage and grant him the tools to succeed while being in the thick of the fight, rather than turn him into a fragile long range sniper, hence the rework. We are attempting to reposition Gragas as more of a bruiser/tank that better reflects the fantasy of being a large drunk dude who gives no @#[email protected] while ramming into people.
While specific numbers weren't posted, the overall changes to a few of Gragas' abilities were detailed.
Damage reduced, now slows Movement Speed isntead of Attack Speed. Now deals more damage and slow for more as the barrel sits out.
Druken Rage will now have a much lower CD and duration, and grant a one time hit bonus instead of AD. Gragas can also move while drinking. No longer restores mana.
Body Slam now stuns and slightly knocks enemies back instead of slowing them.
Deals less damage.
It's worth noting that the changes on the PBE aren't final. In fact, it's possible these changes won't even make it into the upcoming 4.5 update. Additionally, Riot is actually looking for feedback from testers before the changes are finalized. Over on the forums, you can find the reasoning behind each ability change along with a few questions Riot wants you to answer.
In addition to the Gragas rework, check out what else Riot has planned for update 4.5: