This is a tentative set of tweaks for Kayle, the Judicator. Although she received a nerf in V4.11, I don't think those nerfs are entirely the way to go, though I agree with the reasons behind them: Kayle generally does too much at the same time, and has too few windows of vulnerability. In particular, her AP playstyle has a few issues: not only does it give Kayle tremendous burst, it also gives her full support-tier utility along with DPS comparable to that of a full AD autoattacker. The fact that she is capable of huge instant burst while having an ult that prevents all damage against her is also a problem, since it prevents enemies from bursting her down (though she can still be CCed) as she dives in.
The other major problem here is Kayle's E: aside from the issue that it has a tiny initial downtime and turns into a permanent steroid with a bit of CDR (it has no real gameplay, basically), the range it gives allows Kayle to out-trade her opponents from a safe distance, making her extremely safe in lane, especially in combination with her slow and movespeed boost. Kayle needs to be a lot more vulnerable in lane, especially since she has some of the best late game scalings and therefore shouldn't be overwhelmingly strong early. My aim here is to turn Kayle into a proper melee fighter: she already has both the stats (high bases, high stat growth) and the tools (a heal, a movement speed boost, an autoattack steroid) of a melee fighter, and since her supporting power comes from her ranged abilities, making her full melee wouldn't harm a support Kayle. I also want a clear separation here: to deal a lot of damage, Kayle should itemize for AD and/or AS, whereas AP would mainly contribute to her utility. I definitely want an AP playstyle to be viable, but more as an AP support playstyle, rather than a burst/DPS/support mega-combo. Overall, I want Kayle to remain strong, but also for her various playstyles to be better-focused, rather than top-tier at everything.
I'm not really a fan of resistance reduction or penetration, as it works just by devaluing a major source of power for tanks and tanky champions. The above effect is intended to replicate the debuff as much as possible (it achieves the same goal of making Kayle's target more vulnerable), and is a buff against squishy targets.
Overall, I want AP Kayle to deal less damage, but lose none of her supporting power (in fact, she'd gain a bit of utility through her Q, and would have stronger healing with her W). AP Kayle to me should follow more or less the same lines as support Kayle, with quick and powerful utility along with a bit of damage on the side, even if it's not premium burst or DPS (and it shouldn't be). Similarly, I moved her AD ratios around so that her AD playstyle is totally DPS-focused, but also worth picking for raw damage.
Aside from that, I gave Kayle buffs to compensate for the loss of the range bonus on her E: she gains MR per level (she's more vulnerable now), a bit of extra autoattack range, and 10 extra movespeed (335 is low for a melee fighter, even one with a movement speed boost).
RANGE:900 / 100
COST: 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 Mana
Active:Kayle calls down a blast from the heavens that strikes the target area after a 0.5-second delay, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit and slowing them for 3 seconds, with the strength capped at 80%.
While a 60% AP ratio isn't really massive in itself, I want AP Kayle to have a lot more utility and less burst. This is her burstiest ability, as well as her source of crowd control, so it would make sense to shift some scaling power here. Conversely, I'm shifting AD Kayle's power completely into her E, at the cost of extra damage here and some of the base slow (I'm reducing the slow strength by a flat 10% across all ranks). For AD Kayle, this should be her enabler, allowing her to follow up with massive on-hit damage.
The reason I wanted to make this ability ground-targeted, rather than point-and-click, is that I feel it can't be as healthy or as powerful as it can be if it's designed to be perfectly reliable. By allowing Kayle's opponent to dodge the slow, she'd get to have a lot more power overall, and greater rewards for landing it (she can use this for AoE damage and CC now, for example).
COST: 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 Mana
Active:Kayle blesses a target allied champion or herself, healing them and granting them bonus movement speed for 3 seconds.
Heal: 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+ 50% AP)
Movement Speed: 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45% (+ 3% per 100 AP)
Buffing her heal, cooldown and overall mana costs, as I'm making Kayle lose her range (and therefore a lot of safety) and am shifting AP Kayle more onto utility and away from immediate burst and raw damage. I'm also buffing the base movement speed increase, as I feel AD Kayle should have a bit more situational mobility to compensate for her range loss, whereas AP Kayle would be able to scale her movement speed boost to massive amounts.
Toggle On:Kayle ignites her sword, causing her basic attacks on non-structure units to deal extra magic damage that splashes to all enemies around her main target.
Splash Damage:16 / 22 / 28 / 34 / 40% AD
Toggle Off:Kayle attempts to slay her opponent, dealing her passive magic damage as additional damage for every stack of Holy Fervor on her target. This effect cannot occur on the same target more than once every few seconds.
This is the main aspect of Kayle I want to change. Currently, her E has a lot of problems: it's a cheap, long-duration steroid with little downtime (or no downtime, when you get a bit of cooldown reduction), and so has no real gameplay to it, and its range bonus makes Kayle overwhelmingly strong in the early game, where she needs to have far more pronounced weaknesses. To solve the issue of gameplay, I wanted to make the ability a toggle: on one hand, Kayle can toggle the ability on for the AoE and increased damage (which scales better for AD Kayle), and can then toggle the ability off to land a nuke on her target if she hit them for long enough. Effectively, you need to choose when you want to toggle on, and when you want to toggle off to reap the benefits. For the issue of range, I just removed the range bonus.
Overall, Kayle will consume more mana with this (which is a good thing, considering she doesn't spend that much mana on average already) and will deal less DPS and AoE damage when building AP, as well as trade for less early on, but have better DPS when going AD and a healthier, more spaced-out nuke when going AP (she can't insta-burst anyone). The removal of the huge bonus AD ratio on Kayle's Q means that this is the only ability where AD Kayle scales, but in exchange the autoattack steroid scales significantly better, especially against single targets. The toggle, being an active toggle (i.e. it would have a short cooldown when you toggle off), would activate Sheen and its upgrades, so Lich Bane could still work reliably on Kayle.
COOLDOWN: 100 / 90 / 80
Active:Kayle bathes a target ally champion or herself in holy light, rendering the champion temporarily immune to all damage.
No changes here. With the above changes, AP Kayle would have less damage but would scale better in utility, and so wouldn't tread on the toes of other supports as AP Kayle itself would be a support-oriented build. With the above changes, AP Kayle would still have decent damage, but damage on par with other AP supports when taking risk into account, along with support-grade utility. If she itemizes for cooldown reduction (made a little less effective with the changes to her E), it should translate to readily available ultimates on her.
What are your thoughts? I know this is a little close to the current patch, but would this set of changes appeal to you? Do you think Kayle would be healthier with a pure melee kit?