Since its release in Patch 10.23, Stridebreaker has been a defining item in the top lane meta, but things are about to change.
Stridebreaker gives tanks some heavy stats, but with its dash, it allows even an immobile champion to have a huge advantage in one-on-one fights. However, in Patch 11.13, that will be changing. With the new changes coming to Stridebreaker, top laners will have to learn and adapt to a meta without this item.
What is Stridebreaker?
Stridebreaker is an item primarily taken by top lane tanks that also want to do AD damage. So champions like Garen or Gnar build this item frequently. Even a champion like Kennen, should they choose to build attack damage, could also take it. The item itself is a bit expensive at 3300 gold, but the advantages it gives are worth the price.
The item gives its wielder 45 attack damage, 20 ability haste, 20% attack speed, and 200 Health. With all of these stats, it gives players a huge advantage since it has a little of everything that top lane champions want to have. The item could be compared to Death’s Dance back in its heyday. One of the reasons it was so powerful was because it offered strong, meta champions the opportunity to solo carry a game and protect themselves while doing it.
Perhaps the biggest advantage to this item is its active ability. This ability, called Halting Slash, gives the user numerous advantages, but most importantly it allows them to dash a short distance to a target as well as slowing that target for 2 seconds. This ability allows champions to easily chase down immobile enemies and pick up an easy kill, making it a very strong item against laners like Kayle or Sion.
Stridebreaker Changes: The Curtains Fall
Stridebreaker is a meta-defining item that brought many champions to a spot of incontestable power, however, with the changes coming to this item it won’t be nearly as strong. While there will be multiple changes, there is one that stands out above the rest.
This major change affects the item’s active ability, Halting Slash. For the upcoming changes, the item’s dash is being completely removed, meaning that immobile champions are going to have a little more freedom from oppressive laners like Darius. However, the item’s slow has been increased from 40% decaying over 2 seconds to 90% decaying to 40% over 3 seconds.
It may seem like the item still has legs, and it does, but it is no longer going to be meta-defining. The slow will still affect champions that don’t have dashes, but the fact that mobility is being taken away from an opponent is a major change. But what does this change mean for the top lane meta?
First, champions like Garen and Renekton will still be at the forefront of strong picks, but the array of other champions will open up to be much more available. Champions like Wukong and Mordekaiser will be able to escape easier from enemies with Stridebreaker or make a much more effective all-in strategy instead of having to fear a random dash from an otherwise immobile champion.
Even forgotten top laners like Vayne will have the freedom to scale into the late game without having to worry about an enemy laner with Stridebreaker coming out of nowhere for an instant kill. The increased slow on the item is certainly strong, but without a dash, the item is much less useful. Now, instead of being chased down by a Darius, it is much easier to chase after that Darius and much more easily pick up a kill.