Welcome back to Patch Chat! We’re Riot’s Playtest Team, a group of high ranking League players whose job it is to play the hell out of things (lane tests, competitive testing, etc) and give actionable, objective feedback to designers.
Every two weeks (concurrent with the release of patch notes), we’re going to be hosting a discussion here on the state of balance on the current patch. **Take this opportunity to ask us any questions about the state of the game.**
Today, we’re here with **Miles “_Daydreamin_” Hoard**, to talk about playing a roaming mid, and Ben “_Cezium_” Burkhardt, our resident **Aurelion Sol** expert.
**Miles, roaming mids like Twisted Fate find consistently higher success as the level play goes up. What do you think players need to know to decide to roam instead of staying in lane?
>_It’s all about risk assessment. Can you leave lane without losing out on too much CS or do you risk the enemy mid taking your turret? You just have to identify windows of opportunity._
>_If you have pressure in your lane, you need to shove out your wave before roaming. Set up vision denial with pinks on the sides of mid. That way you can see if your path to another lane is clear, and you know you won’t be spotted the moment you leave mid._
**What do you look for in a champion when deciding whether to roam or not?
>_Any high mobility kits are great for roaming. By the time they spot you, you should be able to close the distance and force a fight. Your ideal roam champion will also have CC, but mobility is the more important of the two, as lanes you roam to often have CC as well._
> _That being said, there aren’t any “roam only champions” other than maybe Quinn or Twisted Fate, so you don’t really play any differently. Exert as much map pressure as you can when you can, but don’t force yourself into it._
>_It’s a very high-risk, high-reward playstyle, and if you fall behind in lane, you become a liability since you will have less farm._
**Ben, you probably have the most Comet Dragon games of any LoL player in the world for now. What unique strengths does he bring to the game?
>_First and foremost is his ability to roam from level 4 onward, thanks to the high move speed and the ability to use flight to gank from awkward positions and creative angles. He is able to apply pressure to other lanes earlier than just about any other roaming mid._
>_He also brings early wave clear with his W, which allows him to roam without losing too much farm._
**Let’s say being a giant flying dragon isn’t your thing; what weaknesses does Comet Dragon have to exploit?
>_Aurelion Sol is defined by the low - and relatively static - range of his W orbit. Anything that can dash in close will perform well against him. As well, anything that can reposition him (knockbacks) removes the consistency of his damage. Aurelion Sol wants to keep his opponents at a specific range; if they can reposition quickly - or force him to - you lose a lot of your damage output and have to use your mobility to regain it._
>_Lee Sin absolutely gave me in fits in playtests because his high mobility allowed him to avoid my damage, and the ult knockback destroyed my hard-earned positioning._
**How do you prep for a roam on Aurelion Sol?
>_When roaming, I’ll usually do a quick waveclear, hitting both the melee and caster minions with my W. It shouldn’t take more than 2-3 passes early on. After that, I head down the river towards a lane, and halfway there decide what I want to do. If they’re pushed up, it’s time to activate Flight and ruin somebody’s day. Otherwise, you can just turn around and use the movespeed buildup to get back to lane quickly._
**How do you decide which lane to gank?
>_Usually bot (insert 4-man bot joke here), but it’s really just a question of which lane is most likely to help your team. Immobile champions are the best to gank, but other games I might roam onto a mobile top laner like Renekton because I know my top Nautilus can set me up with his CC. Keeping your options open and looking for the optimal play before committing is the most important thing._
**Do you have any cool tips and tricks about playing Aurelion Sol that you’ve picked up over time?
>_I like to come in through lane because of how easily I can use flight + Q to land a big stun. Plus, because I’m already flying in the direction they’ll have to run, at worst I’ll end up close to them._
> _I prefer the skill order W -> E -> Q. The W gives all the damage you need, while the E brings the mobility you need to make plays around the map. Rylai’s is my favorite item because it allows you to kite melee champions for days, or keep them from escaping. The more move speed you get the more reliable you become, so Luden’s Echo is a fantastic early buy on him if you’re snowballing. Add Boots of Swiftness on top of that and nobody is escaping the dragon._
>_Finally, don’t be afraid to use the ult pretty liberally. It may seem a little underwhelming on paper, but it actually does a little bit of everything. Peel? Check. Chase? Check. Damage? Check. Utility? Check. It’ll knock enemies into your orbs for damage, keep them away from you for survivability, and slow them from a distance so you can close the gap and whittle them down._
Do you have any questions about what it’s like to work as a Riot playtester? As usual, feel free to ask any questions about balance or what exactly our job is! We will be around for the next few hours and will try to answer as many questions as possible.
Adam "_Afic_" Cohen
Ben “_Cezium_” Burkhardt
Isaac “_Azael_” Cummings-Bentley
Shawn “_I Am The IRS_” Currie
Miles “_Daydreamin_” Hoard
Scott “_Sickoscott_” Hong
Mattias “_Gentleman Gustaf_” Lehman
Nicholas “_Drecker_” Shapiro
Nicholas “_Nickwu_” Smith
Blake “_Ex Shepherd_” Soberanis
Trevor “_ThEntropist_” Thernes