And this time around, they seem to be focusing on nerfing Bard, which seems like for the very first time since his release in 2015. A champion not receiving a direct nerf from the time of its release is almost unheard of; however, that’s not the reason why Riot has decided to target him in 10.5.
Bard is not too popular in pro play; it’s in solo queue where he absolutely dominates the bot lane meta and boasts an incredible 54.60% win rate according to leagueofgraphs.com. He has one of the highest success rates in the support role and is just oppressive to play against.
So, for patch 10.5, Riot’s lead gameplay developer Mark “Scruffy” Yetter tweets that, they will be bringing some balance changes to Bard, where they will be nerfing his passive “Traveler’s Call.” The passive will have reduced damage per 5 chimes, where it will be going from 15 to 12.
Though this might not seem like all that big of a nerf; however, that’s only true for the early game. The later the game goes, the harder these changes hit Bard and significantly reduces his overall impact in the game.
Moreover, alongside this direct nerf, Bard faces an indirect one as well. As a measure to snuff out the Soraka and Sona top lane meta, Riot’s dev. team has decided to put a clause on Spellthief’s Edge, which from 10.5 onwards will require an ally to be nearby for its passive to proc.
This will hit Bard quite hard, and he will miss out on a lot of gold from his passive.
Boots of Mobility is also going to have its cost increased from 900 gold to a 1000 gold, which again will affect Bard and his early game roaming.