As promised, I was able to sync up with the other design leads to align on our current assessment and thinking on Solo Morde. Unfortunately, this won't exactly be happy news, but it's important for us to be honest with you guys on our analysis and direction.
So here's our thoughts on Solo Morde:
* **Solo Morde currently has a very brittle, unhealthy gameplay pattern**
* Majority of his gameplay is unavoidable and inevitable (especially for melee opponents) - Morde can often feel like a brick wall of statistics where neither sides' actions or skill matter
* Morde has poor fallback patterns - he lacks effective ways to respond or contribute meaningfully when he gets behind due to his pure damage focus
* **Pushing Morde into the duo lane helps remedy a lot of these issues by adding teammate and enemy interactions into the mix**
* Morde's (or his opponents') success cases are much more nuanced and variable in a duo lane - many more elements are at play
* **Morde's kit naturally lends itself to duo lane interactions**
* Unlike champions like Garen who are completely self-focused, Morde has tools like an ally-shield and extreme dependence on ally utility like CC to succeed
* Although very melee, Morde's E gives him some ability to engage with and shrug off ranged opponents
* Morde's juiciest and primary R targets are Marksmen who he can consistently encounter in the duo lane
* **Morde will continue to be primarily balanced around his duo lane potential**
* Pushing Morde into the duo lane gives him a unique and interesting place in the League roster
* We strive to keep Solo Morde viable as an alternative playstyle, and want to look for ways to add or improve his gameplay health in solo lanes
Currently, we see Morde as a bit on the weak side as a whole, so we're looking into potential changes to bump his power up a bit across the board in the near future. We are also looking at opportunities to experiment with giving Morde healthier ways to interact in the solo lane so that we can better tune him between the different playstyles.
Once again, I know this is not the most exciting news for some, but it is our honest direction. I'll try to stop by to clarify or elaborate on any points that need it.