Thresh is set to receive the most significant changes among more than 20 champions that will be buffed, nerfed, or adjusted in League of Legends Patch 13.4.
The upcoming patch will overhaul a majority of Thresh’s abilities, including Death Sentence (Q), Dark Passage (W), and Flay (E), which will all receive tweaks. These changes are expected to alter the order in which players max Thresh’s abilities, with more emphasis on Flay’s damage output in the early-to-mid game.
Thresh’s damage and AP scaling from Flay and Death Sentence will be buffed, making both abilities more appealing to players, although the hook is still likely to be maxed first. Additionally, Death Sentence will have a base cooldown of nine seconds at max rank even before factoring in cooldown reduction bonuses, making it more attractive to players.
However, Thresh’s default max order of Q-E-W is unlikely to change, especially since Dark Passage will have its cooldown and shield value nerfed.
Despite there being stronger champions who better fit the meta, many support players in solo queue still rely on Thresh. In fact, Thresh is one of only seven champions to have a pick rate over 10 percent in Platinum or higher rank games played in Patch 13.3. However, even with a high pick percentage, Thresh has a losing record in those Platinum+ games, according to League stats site U.gg.
For four of the last five patches, Thresh has had a negative win rate in high Elo solo queue games, with Patch 13.1 being the only exception. Although these changes to Thresh could make a difference for solo queue players, Riot balances the game primarily around competitive play, and results trickle down to lower levels of play. However, Thresh has been a non-factor in the pro scene this year.
Thresh’s pick-ban rate in major regions barely exceeds one percent in 2023. This year, Thresh has only been picked six times in pro play, and only one player, Hylissang from MAD Lions, has picked him more than once. In contrast, according to League stats site Games of Legends, Thresh was picked or banned in over 22 percent of all drafts last year.
Could Thresh’s buffs in League of Legends Patch 13.4 elevate him back to a top-tier support?
Thresh has been largely irrelevant in the current meta, but this is set to change with the upcoming changes in Patch 13.4. The champion is receiving a significant overhaul with Death Sentence (Q), Dark Passage (W), and Flay (E) all receiving tweaks. The aim is to modify the order in which players prioritize their abilities, with Flay’s damage output being emphasized in the early-to-mid game.
The patch will increase the damage and ability power scaling that Thresh receives from both Flay and Death Sentence. While players are still likely to prioritize their hook first, the cooldown for Death Sentence will be reduced to nine seconds at max rank before any cooldown reduction bonuses are applied. However, Dark Passage is receiving both a cooldown and shield value nerf, which is expected to reduce its popularity.
Despite not being a prominent pick in the current meta, Thresh remains a reliable choice for many support players in solo queue, with a pick rate over 10 percent in games played at Platinum rank or higher on Patch 13.3. Nevertheless, his high pick percentage is not translating into victories, as Thresh has had a negative win rate in high Elo solo queue games for four out of the last five patches.
Thresh is the most popular support pick in the game’s history, and every professional support player knows how to play him. However, he has been largely ignored by the pro scene this year, with a pick-ban presence rate of just over one percent in major regions. Although he is an “engage support” that can have an impact on the game, there are other champions, such as Leona and Nautilus, that can do what he does better, resulting in his current low pick rate.
For Thresh to become a more attractive pro pick, the buffs to his Q-E combo in Patch 13.4 will need to make a significant difference, and the current support meta, which features mostly ranged, poke-focused champions, will need to be thinned out. While no direct nerfs are scheduled for any support champions in Patch 13.4, nerfs to Spellthief’s Edge and Spectral Sickle will make life tougher for certain ranged supports in the laning phase. Fortunately, Thresh falls into a distinct category of ranged supports who can buy Steel Shoulderguards or Relic Shield, both of which are receiving buffs in the patch, which could improve his chances.
Patch 13.4, which includes all of the changes for Thresh, is set to release on the live League servers on Feb. 23, according to the game’s official patch schedule.