Patch 8.15 has just been released and Riot is aiming to bring AD carries back to a viable place in the meta. They admit that when they tried nerfing them back in 8.11 they went a little overboard. With these new changes, they want to give AD carries a better chance of surviving in the mid game and reaching their power spikes earlier, however, they don’t want AD carries to be as powerful as they were before.
Several items have thus seen changes. The build path of the Infinity Edge has been changed so that the item is 200 gold cheaper. However, the damage of the item is also going down. The base attack damage has gone down from 80 to 70 and the true damage conversion on the item is now only 10%. The price of the Stormrazor has gone down by a whopping 400 gold, however, the damage potential has also been nerfed with both base damage and attack speed being reduced. This is the trend we see with most marksman items this patch, although Zeal items have only been made cheaper but have not been nerfed.
So what does this actually mean for AD carries? It means that they will have a much strong mid game as they will be able to acquire their items earlier than before. This was the biggest problem that pushed them out of the meta. Due to their extremely late power spikes, they were pushed out of the game by champions that could bully them throughout the game. This often led to teams finishing games before AD carries ever got to their power spikes at all. These new changes should allow AD carries to get through the mid-game without too many issues.
However, this comes at a cost. The late game damage output of AD carries has obviously been nerfed quite a bit. This means that AD carries are less likely to completely stomp games 1v5. It also means that you will need to draft some extra late game damage or you will have a bad time trying to take down tanks.
If the changes are substantial enough, we could see another shift in the meta. AD carries might become completely viable again after these changes but an increase in marksmen will also lead to an increase in tanks, especially if there is no late-game damage to kill tanks. Season 8 has already become synonymous with meta changes every other week so don’t be surprised if the meta is going to completely change once again.