Sterak’s Gage has become a staple item for all champions that build the Trinity Force, mainly because it’s the only item in the game that gives you a boost to base attack damage, which the Spellblade passive scales from.
Riot isn’t a huge fan of that interaction, however, and wants to change the item into one that’s more accessible to fighters and bruisers, according to the latest PBE update.
If the current change makes it all the way through testing without being reverted or altered further, it means that the item will lose its base health boost altogether. Instead, you’ll now receive a boost to bonus attack damage that’s equal to 50 percent of your base attack damage.
In other words, you’ll end up with the same amount of maximum AD, but it won’t boost the Spellblade damage from a Sheen or Trinity Force anymore. Fortunately, though, tons of bruiser and fighter champions, like Riven, Vi, Jarvan, Gnar, and Urgot, have abilities that scale with bonus AD, and this will help them by a significant margin.
The change will open up a great item option for champions who are, in general, weak in the current meta. Unfortunately, though, it also means a significant drop in power for some that are strong, including Camille, Fiora, Irelia, and Jax. They arguably don’t need to build Sterak’s to be strong, but it’s certainly a powerful choice right now. Without it, they’ll have less options for a tanky item, and they’ll be out of options for items that synergize with the Tri-Force.
This is, overall, a good change. For the most part, the champions that are running rampant with the Tri-Force should stay strong enough without the Sterak’s, and they can either build the new Sterak’s or opt into other items like the Black Cleaver and Titanic Hydra for tankiness. The champions that will feel empowered by this change are far more numerous (you’re welcome, Gnar), and therefore should outweigh any downside.
Typically, a single item being changed isn’t too big of a deal, but this item’s synergy with the Tri-Force runs commonly through both pro play and solo queue, so it should have widespread implications on the meta.
The change to Sterak’s should arrive in about two weeks with Patch 8.12.