Next up in the assassin roster update is LeBlanc, the Deceiver. She’s a tricky arcane assassin who promises to misdirect and outmaneuver, but all too often throws her face at you with W->RW+Q+E from afar. The strength of that damage usually forces LeBlanc to give up cool tricks in favor of hitting stuff with her body; being hit with W as LeBlanc instantly snaps back leaves you unable to react. We want her trickery to have time to shine, and if she can keep a step ahead during that window, her brute force can be the coup de grace.
That’s the plan -- double down on the deception, preserve the mobility, and make sure you have time to play too. These goals work together very nicely. To be deceived, you have to have enough time to understand what’s happening and be wrong about it. To exist in harm’s way for longer, LeBlanc needs a way to live, and what better way than deception? LeBlanc’s signature double snapback serves as escape--any self-respecting mastermind keeps a little something up her sleeve--but using it means giving up her position and her kill. Even if she intends to snap back instantly, going in to poke with W/RW should give the opponent time to retaliate with an ability. A Zed-style tiny delay between W dash end and W snapback enabled is pretty likely to show up.
In doing that plan, we’ve been mainly exploring active deception abilities for LeBlanc. If we do it right, her deception arsenal should be a versatile enough to help her team in addition to her role as an assassin. Like so many other assassins, LeBlanc is valued mainly as an unusually safe way to pick off squishy targets. We’d like to add a dimension of strategic trickery to that.
* **Extend LeBlanc’s burst window** enough that enemies can keep playing after she dashes in. She already has some of this in E, and the idea of Q implies a delay even if it’s often popped instantly. Success here lets us preserve LeBlanc’s powerful damage while giving her awesome in-combat deception tools--so long as opponents can react before their trip to the fountain.
* **Give LeBlanc active deception tools.** LeBlanc’s tricky nature has lots of opportunity for really cool plays, and while her passive is awesome it’s also automatic and unreliable. We’re trying things like concealing information about LeBlanc or giving false information about her to the enemy. It should also allow her to specifically make plays centered around it -- whether using it to cover herself as she assassinates a target or the threat of assassination as a bluff.
* **Ensure LeBlanc brings unique strengths to her team.** LeBlanc should be able to use deception to keep her enemies guessing while she assassinates her target, which is something other assassins can’t easily do--there’s some of this on Zed and Shaco, but LeBlanc can go much further with it. A powerful and versatile deception tool would also have many uses outside teamfights, especially if the deception can occur without LeBlanc’s presence...
That’s where our thoughts have lead us for LeBlanc! Comments, questions and suggestions are all welcome.