Appearing in every NA LCS game this past weekend, the Edge of Night meta is in full swing. While most players are getting used to 7.3, the past two weeks of Pro-play have been on 7.2, also known as “The Lethality Patch.” Among other things, this patch buffed Lethality scaling and reduced Edge of Night’s active cooldown from 45 seconds to 30 seconds. This item is simply overtuned, and it’s being played in every role but support.
How does Edge of Night Fit into the Week 4 meta?
Edge of Night has reached oppressive popularity. In addition to being built in 100% of NA games, Edge of Night was built on average 3.2 times per game. There were even four or more Edge of Nights in 35% of games this past weekend. The top junglers on this patch are the AD champions that can build the item – Kha’Zix, Graves, and Rengar. We also saw a resurgence of mid-lane Jayce, who can rush Edge of Night and make full use of its stats against AP matchups. Caster marksmen like Varus and Jihn have been strong all season, but they continue to take full advantage of lethality and are typically building Edge of Night second, after Youmuu’s Ghostblade.
Why so powerful?
Edge of Night wasn’t very popular until the 7.2 buffs:
The lethality changes alone made this item more viable, but the active cooldown reduction was most impactful buff. Edge of Night is so strong because the active cooldown has been shortened to match the spawn timing of minion waves. This allows immobile champions like Varus to safely walk up to every minion wave with a fresh spell shield. The previous cooldown duration didn’t allow for this; players had to be more careful about when they activated their Edge of Night. They couldn’t use it on every minion wave. Assassin junglers are less concerned about minion waves, but they enjoy the shorter cooldown and ease of use all the same.
Counterplay: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em
A good answer to Edge of Night is to play around the shield cooldown and fight champions when their spell shield is down. Unfortunately, it’s hard to do this against the short cooldown and long shield duration of EON. Perhaps a better answer is to play Edge of Night abusers of your own. A magic resist item being a core part of many champion builds is another good reason to not go AP. This is exactly what we saw this weekend: teams are matching Edge of Night carries with their own Edge of Night carries. Items can’t be banned like overpowered champions can be. When item is overpowered, every possible player will build it.
To use Edge of Night optimally, users must micromanage its cooldown. This is generally good for competition because micromanaging active items is fairly skill intensive. Spell shields, however, are inherently uninteractive, and that’s bad for competition. Spell shield champions punish you for wasting your spells on them. Sometimes it’s better to avoid engaging, trading damage, or otherwise interacting with them because the cost of breaking their shield is greater than the reward.
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With three, four, even five Edge of Nights active in a modern teamfight, the outcome can be decided by blocking crucial spells. The teamfighting landscape has changed a lot now that half of the champions on the rift are running around with Malzahar passives. I’m not convinced that Riot intended for spell shields to be so commonplace. They will surely find a way to balance this item, either by reverting the cooldown change, or reducing the spell shield duration. Folks on Reddit have even suggested balancing items differently for ranged and melee champions, and that would probably work too.
Active items are an important part of the game–they add complexity to player interactions, and smart active use adds another level of decision making to the game. Edge of Night is exciting when it empowers assassins to make aggressive plays, but it shouldn’t allow immobile carries to fearlessly stand up to every minion wave.