There’s been much talk recently regarding the rework of Sivir. Some players love the new Sivir and other hate her. I won’t try to convince anyone if she’s good or bad now; or if she was. The truth is that she was underplayed but the few players she had, loved her.
After the rework many things changed for Sivir. Let’s see where she stood and where she stands now. Sivir fulfills three roles: carry, pusher and, to an extent, support. The roles are clear and they imply that Sivir was viable in any of them.
In reality, the old Sivir was a weak carry, a good pusher and a respectable support champion. However the remake was aimed at making her a better carry, as stated by Statikk here. Let’s go over the patch notes to see what was modified:
Attack range increased to 500 from 425
Attack missile speed increased to 1400 from 1200
Updated her attack frames to be more responsive
Base attack speed reduced to .658 from .679
Base attack damage reduced to 49 from 52.11
Updated recommended items
Fleet of Foot (Passive) – Remake
Sivir’s basic attacks against enemy champions grant her 50 Movement Speed for 2 seconds
Mana cost reduced to 70/80/90/100/110 from 80/90/100/110/120
Damage changed to physical from magic
Bonus attack damage ratio increased to 1.1 from 1.0
No longer has an ability power ratio
Ricochet – Remake
Sivir’s next basic attack bounces to 5 additional targets dealing 20/35/50/65/80 (+ 1.0 Attack Damage) physical damage to the first target and 25% reduced damage to each subsequent target. 7/6/5/4/3 second cooldown. 40 Mana cost.
On The Hunt (Ultimate)
Now additionally applies the buff to allies who come into range while On the Hunt is active rather than only on activation.
Attack speed bonus changed to 30/45/60% from 30/60/90%
Allied attack speed gain increased to half of Sivir’s bonus from a third
Cooldown adjusted to 100/90/80 seconds from 90
The changes are self-explanatory, Sivir was streamlined to become an AD carry. This means that her pusher and support roles were ignored or even diminished. In terms of her support role not much changed, actually. She can still provide the same amount of attack speed to teammates with On the Hunt and deal some area damage in teamfights with Ricochet; albeit less damage.
The problem lies on her pusher role. The new Ricochet doesn’t function as well as the old one in terms of killing minion waves. Sivir could push with just Ricochet, using Boomerang Blade to harass enemies. The new Sivir is unable to push as fast as she could, even if she combines Boomerang Blade with Ricochet.
In essence her pusher role was diminished. The explanation given is that her area damage in team-fights would’ve been too good. Regardless, she could have kept the old Ricochet while reducing or making her area damage more risky to outweigh the benefit. This would ensure good pushing power while keeping in check her damage in team-fights.
All in all, given that her role as a pusher was weakened Sivir now appeals to a different set of players. Players that enjoyed her as a pusher see that she no longer works as such. Players that liked her as a carry or didn’t like her as a pusher prefer the new Sivir.
All things considered, the question becomes: why was Sivir’s main role changed? A quick check reveals that ten champions have the pusher role officially; the most recent one being Yorick. As far as carries are concerned we find fourteen champions; the most recent being Graves.
This means that the pusher role is mostly on par, in terms of numbers, as the carry role. Moreover, it doesn’t seem a role that is being neglected because Yorick is quite a recent champion, with Maokai released before him; also on 2011.
The changes seem aimed to appeal to the players that didn’t play Sivir at all. Carries are one of the favourite roles in the game, everybody likes going on a killing spree and feeling invincible. The problem with such a move is that it alienates the Sivir’s stablished player base. Those players that liked Sivir for her unique playstyle and reliance on a different win condition.
Some players, instead of killing the enemy team prefered to destroy minion waves and contribute to victory in more direct ways. It should be remembered that to win you need to destroy towers and the Nexus or to capture points. Killing is secondary and unnecesary, in theory, to win a match.
The issue on whether players like the new Sivir or not might not lay in whether she is powerful or not but on whether she is the champion that they played or not. Those that played her as an AD carry will find little to dislike in the rework. Yet, those that prefered to kill minions and push find the new Sivir next to unrecognizable.
Only time will tell if pushers remain a staple of League of Legends. At any rate this rework doesn’t set a nice precedent. There is no doubt that it’s always nice to see a champion being played and liked by the community. Nevertheless, if gaining new players for a champion is worth pursuing at the expense of losing current players is a question that only Riot can answer.