Riot Games recently announced that they will be removing LoL mythic items from the game after the next seasonal update. After only 2 years in the game, it is the only major game update that had such a short lifespan in League of Legends. We need to ask ourselves whether or not mythic items were ever good for the game and how this system changed the landscape of both the meta and the casual experience of League of Legends.
Introduction of LoL Mythic Items
The Mythic items system was introduced to add more variety into item building in League of Legends. Riot Games was afraid that players were often just building the most powerful items available rather than following the most optimal items in the game. Unfortunately for them, this goal would only be successful in some patches following the update since players would often follow a more uniform item-building path since the mythic item update.
At first, people liked the idea that people wouldn’t be able to abuse the same build. Unfortunately, implementing LoL mythic items and other tiers also meant that the item pool became more limited. Essentially, people can only use certain items alongside specific mythics. Otherwise, the efficiency of these items would significantly decline and the concept of having specific item builds in the meta became even more prominent.
The concept of proper itemization has always been a central part of the gameplay in League of Legends. Riot Games recognized this so much that they even introduced an item shop smart assistant that recognizes the game state and recommends certain items according to the situation. It has been catered to become less generalized so that players aren’t confused about when or how to build “situational” items in their games.
Regardless, it added a much-needed change to the game and people loved experimenting on new builds that might potentially break away from the standard meta that has already established itself before the patch was even released. The introduction of LoL mythic items could be considered a huge success in that regard when it comes to giving the people something to look forward to in terms of playing League of Legends.
Riot Games Removing LoL Mythic Items Going into 2024
Riot Games will be removing LoL mythic items moving into the next season. This is following several patches where the item meta has seen its worst since people were abusing overly powerful item builds that worked well on certain champions. This meant that the win rates of the champions affected by these item builds skyrocketed and made the competitive environment extremely stale and lacking variety.
For example, the re-introduction of Statikk Shiv made mages like LeBlanc have extremely powerful wave clear. This issue was resolved immediately but AD Carry champions soon picked up where the mages left off by rushing Statikk Shiv alongside AP items. This meta changed the role drastically. However, this issue alone wasn’t the only reason why Riot Games decided to remove mythic items in the next season.
Riot Games does not make major update decisions based on one or two patches. Instead, they gather the data from several months’ worth of patches and study the trends to tackle the root of the problem. This means that they’ve been considering removing LoL mythic items for at least 5 months before they announced this decision. This is consistent with the fact that the state of League of Legends has been bad for a couple of months already.
Once Riot Games removes the mythic item system, people will be able to build items freely again. There will be very few restrictions that prevent players from creating wacky builds that might end up working. The general issue that comes with this is that it might create an entirely new problem for Riot Games that they’ll end up reverting again in the future. However, we doubt that they are jumping into this blind.
The Future of League of Legends’ Itemization
Players having complete freedom over their item builds isn’t a bad thing. Unless you are someone who only started playing in 2021, you know that this is how the game has always been. Players aren’t incentivized to create weird builds when playing, especially in the ranked ladder where they need the LP to rank up. It is usually only the lower ELOs that have a lot of fun when it comes to making weird builds.
Riot Games might not keep the current item list in the shop since there are items that would work too well alongside existing mythics. If Riot Games does decide to keep the items that exist in the game, there would be major changes to the stats and abilities so that players don’t abuse them too much in their games. Needless to say, the dynamic of itemization will not be the same as the previous seasons.
Riot Games will most likely keep their existing auto-suggest systems since that is a great addition to the game, especially to new players who are not good at using websites like u.gg to research optimal build paths in their games. The existing starting items, trinkets, and jungle items also provide a lot of value to the current gameplay. The only issue that players really had was with LoL mythic items and how it limited the build paths available in the game.
Speaking of websites like u.gg, it will probably still be a common trend for players to follow the optimal build path recommended in online resources like these. You can expect the larger competitive community not to follow the meta if they want to earn LP in their ranked games. However, we hope that the meta won’t simply revolve around a single build path and will feature at least two viable build paths per champion following the next major update.