Season 3: My Soraka win rate 62% [on low gold]
Season 4: My Soraka win rate 55% [on low Master tier/ high diamond]
Season 5: My Soraka win rate 53% [on high diamond]
Season 6: My Soraka win rate 52% [on high diamond]
Season 7: My Soraka win rate 53% [on high and then low diamond]
Season 8: My Soraka win rate 50-46% **[stuck on Low Plat]
Every single season since the end of season 3 [my introduction to league] i hit high diamond at least once playing soraka because after so many games you just become good with dealing with your counters and going for your winning condition. Well this season I have a 50 Soraka win rate and a 46% average win rate and i'm not even on my true elo. It's in plat 4. I know that if i play Leona, Janna, Taric or Rakan that i will climb really fast but is that ok? Is that what I want when i play league?
I'm struggling so much with Soraka this season that it's not even funny. What before were counters to Soraka and I could deal with experience now became extremely hard counters, and match-ups where I was suppose to have advantage now feel like they are my soft counters because of how easy it is to deal with harass with the new runes and doran shield.
Many of you don't know what is going on with Soraka and why it's something particular with her [not just the game] so I want to bring awareness to it as, by judging how people plain ignore all my short posts about Soraka, i think it might be a problem of judging me as just someone who don't like the season instead of someone who is giving a meaningful feedback.
If you are new to the Soraka subject, this current design of Soraka was originally designed to be a high risk high reward support that would benefit from fights that happen slow/without too much immediate burst damage. She also was suppose to have a strong mid/late game if a head and a risky lane phase if she want to win it.
Here are 2 random videos I found on the internet showing random clips of the damage per second of different champions that she was suppose to heal [warning, you will be shocked by the difference of damage from season 8 to 5]
Another video of how damage used to be on season 5
A random video from Illaoi on season 8 just to compare the expected average damage output from a champion that is not an assassin:
If ADC's can be measured by DPS [damage per second] Soraka could be measured by HPS [healings per second].
As you probably already know, this season average damage increased by a lot what can be translated on risks being higher for thing that before were not risky at all to be done. For a whole world of champions that is not bad news. Leona for example, always would jump on people trying to get a kill but without minding about the damage she would take.
In season 8 it became more risky, because of the damage output, to stay close to someone that can punish your position in a way worst way that it was in season 7. In summary, leona now, with the same amount of risk, can get way easier rewards and an enemy player, with the same potential rewards, now have to deal with a lot more risks.
On the beginning of season 8 that reasoning proved to be true and Leona and other champions that never depended of a delicate risk/reward balance clearly were out of line. Sona would be oppressive by never having to take risks with the increased range from kleptomancy and her extremely safe Qs and Ws, and champions that would never care about risk at all like leona and taric would experience way easier rewards because of risk increased to everyone else.
That was not only observed in the support match-ups but also in the professional play as players now avoid to try anything that was previously risky because what before was just risky now is a true crazy feat that can backfire in a way you will not recover after.
After a bunch of nerfs happened, leona and sona were not so dominant anymore but this season still work around saving people from burst or helping to cause burst. Pretty much everyone that play this game seriously is playing around that and always avoiding situations that in previous seasons would be already considered high risk in first place. We all know that ADCs that are meaningful are the ADCs that actually can cause Burst Per Second and punish position more because of the increase of risk we have now on positioning.
So where is Soraka in the middle of all that?
The amount of health she lose when she heal, the amount of heal she output, the amount of impact she have in mid game and the ability to self-peel were all designed with a slower season in mind. This means that every time fight get shorter and damage happens higher and/or faster that she will fall naturally behind more and more because her HPS and risk patterns don't change proportionally to those changes.
How riot dealt with that across the years then?
Usually they just are satisfied with boosting her Lane Phase bully traits and shift power from her mid-late game in order to make her catch up with everyone. They have been consistently doing that season after season every time that things go out of hand because it's easier to deal with the problem this way because of the nature of lane phase and the idea that she don't have an effective escape and need to risk herself to win lane. Basically if she win lane they expect her to be able to heal more as she and her friend will be stronger so they have been doing that for a while.
If you don't remember, she used to heal less during her lane phase when landing an starcall and heal way more in mid-late game when she was low health as well as when landing starcall on more than one target. They saw that damage output was too low from assassins **at that time** to kill her easily so they completely gutted that mechanic and instead created rejuvenation [a mechanic focused on lane phase that don't really help her after] .
So now we have a good reference of soraka past, what is going on then?
Well a lot of "placeholder" changes on Soraka were focused on making her a lane bully to try to solve multiple problems Riot was having with balancing her mid/late game as they were trying to change the pace of the game. Sometimes damage would be too low and shield and healing too strong, sometimes the reverse and now what i like to call... the extreme reverse.
Take in consideration that: The whole effectiveness of the champion is decided by how slow damage happen mid/late game and how strong she can maintain her position in a high risk situation as she damage herself to do her core mechanic. To balance her mid/late game balancing problems she depends on a lane phase focused in harassment to survive.
Illustrating the statement above from a design point of view: The extreme favorable situation for Soraka would be if fights lasted for minutes with damage extra low and the extreme worst situation would be if fights ended in an instant with damage super high. For Soraka the best lane phase scenario would be a lane phase where regen is non existent and the worst would be if regen was permanently high.
Now picture this:
Season 8 decreased the duration of fights by a lot and a guaranteed damage boost [that scale with your champion, not only base] was added to not only 1 but 5 different champions of the enemy team . At the same time multiple overbearing ways of ignoring harass were added and now even a permanent regenerating shield through overheal and doran blade exist. We have doran shield, life steal, fleet footwork, regen that trigger on damage from the resolve tree, biscuits, stopwatch and even relic shield as additional options to decrease harass or the success of harassment for soraka.
Can you see the interesting situation?
Her mid/late game was forced into the worst case scenario. The high risk pattern she once was used to deal with now became an almost certain death zone [risks went super high while rewards didn't increase in proportion] and her placeholder way to deal with season pattern changes got severely hurt [lane phase harassment].
Regardless of everything you might think about everything I wrote up to this point here is a honest feedback that I expect you to take my word for it. Soraka feel really, really bad right now.
By itself those problems don't mean she will not casually win. If your team is ahead the damage output of the losing team will be lower and you can help the winning best player to carry still. But was it because of you? Was the way I won something that highlighted the difference between a good player and a bad player?
When I play janna, or any other support to be honest, i know that even if a few players lose lane that I will impact the game somehow and create advantage on my own. That I will nuliffy advantage on my own in a way my team can sustain and grow.
With Soraka, my best chance of winning is to hang with a team that is already winning regardless of me.
If it's not clear, i'm basically saying that if I picked almost any game that I won playing soraka and changed to another support, that I would win the same way. That's how non-special I feel Soraka is right now.
Today I challenge anyone to convince me, as I have more than 2000 games with this champion, that there is a reason to pick Soraka if you can pick Janna. Janna is protective, not curative, what is essencial against burst. Janna can shield and have 2 ways to peel herself. Janna don't take damage to use her main mechanics, Soraka do. Janna have skill expression and will always be effective because of a long range risk free CC, what soraka really don't have. Janna can ward safely, Soraka can't. Janna don't have 0.5 casting time on all her skills, Soraka have, and so on.
What Soraka have to offer for someone that dedicate years playing her now? Her only meaningful skill that survived all the changes of the seasons was her equinox [silence] and she can't even properly invest on doing her starcall+equinox combo because everybody can have enough tenacity/movement speed so her Starcall slow just stop working after a while and just function as a bait to Soraka suicide in mid game.
I feel that every time I win with Soraka, I win by the wrong reasons. I win because my team was winning and that in any even scenario I'm facing way more risks than other champions for a meaningfully smaller reward. I enter in a match trapped in a lane phase that It's easy to not win, doomed to a mid/late game where I will really not make a real difference even when I'm personally ahead and hoping to have a winning team every time.
I'm miserable. 2000+ games with the champion and I can't outplay anyone. All my old winning moves are gone due to an increase of Risk and I'm reduced to hope my team will win because I'm not going to impact anything.
Season 8 broke my confidence with this champion, took away what I liked most and made me sad and demotivated. Patch after patch I seek for a word of any kind from Riot about Soraka and patch after patch I can't find any word of love towards her. It's almost like Riot don't like to deal with her. You can stop reading here if you want as I just want to vent a little on the section below.
You know what Riot? I get it.
When people play well with Soraka and she have a mechanic that allow her to have a good impact, it feels bad to who is playing against. I get it.
But do you think I like or wished that? That I like not having a well designed skill expression ability in the champion I love most?
Every single year that I play Soraka I don't hear people saying that I'm a good Soraka player. Even when I got challenger on X5 no one praised me for it. They always [always] say that Soraka is broken if I do anything good. You don't know how much effort I put on winning a match just to hear people saying that Soraka is broken because her kit don't show up skill expression and feel obnoxious.
With Rakan or Janna, I can literally press 2 buttons blind folded and people think I'm a god. They can't measure the amount of effort right. With Soraka I do so much and when I get to my limit I do even more and people will only feel bad for losing against me instead of happy to see I played well and I'm really going beyond my best.
To change that I used to create my own mini-games where I would rush mejai and stack 25 or would rush another different creative item as a way to make people realize "hey, that guy is doing good, it's not the champ" and for a long time that worked well.
My suggestion, or desperate cry for help, would be just so you guys can find a way to make people realize when I'm playing well. Could be a stacking passive that increase when I'm auto attacking in lane phase, or a way to decrease the % health you lose healing based on something you do. Something to boost your heals landing a skill shot, I don't know. But I just want to be able to carry again if I play well.
I can do that with almost every other champion, why not Soraka?
Thank you very much for reading and please up vote for visibility.