Mages in Bot Lane: A Discussion

Started off [this comment]( from Meddler, where they want to adjust things. Specifically: >Mages is our minimum target. Fighters in bot lane's on our 'probably not doable this time round, but let's give it a shot and at least understand what else would be needed' list. So let's do this. Let's talk about mages bot lane and if/how they could work. To begin, we need to understand the difference in playstyle, kit and what these characters bring to the table. Now, bear in mind, I'm separating this from the _CURRENT_ state of the game and aiming more at what ADCs _SHOULD_ be. Please don't come in going "REEEEEEEEE ADCS DONT PLAY LIKE THAT RIGHT NOW THEY RIGHT CLICK KILL EVERYTHING REEEEEEE" So, historically, ADCs: * Massive DPS output from auto-attacks and some abilities. * Shine brightest mid-to-late game. * A focus on single-target DPS. * Peerless objective damage to both towers, inhibs and epic monsters. * Designated tank killers thanks to penetraton and steady DPS. * Forced mostly into glass-cannon buildsets with usually one defensive item or so. Comparatively, mages: * DPS output from spells and the occasional empowered auto-attack. * Shine brightest early-to-mid game in most cases. * Varied DPS sets. Some are burst mages on single targets (Veigar, Syndra) and some are AoE monsters (Orianna, Vel'koz) * Control of objective/space varies mage-by-mage. * Goal varies, again. Mostly aim for weak/low MR targets however. * Tend to have open build paths where they can build some defensive and some offensive. With these historic parameters in mind, let's turn back and look at the situation where a mage bot-lane WAS successful in the pro scene. #Missing Link: Ziggs botlane. First, we ask why it worked. Ziggs received a change in the mage update where his satchel could kill towers at lower % of HP. This meant that Ziggs had strong objective control. Ziggs also had his passive which dealt more damage to structures, meaning a passive/lichbane combo could decimate a tower if left unguarded. Finally, Ziggs was an all AoE champion and could easily shove the wave into an ADC's tower. This would force the ADC to be on the backfoot. From here, we see a slight pattern. Ziggs could: * Shove a wave better than an ADC * Had comparable or even superior tower-destruction skills. * Semi-reliable DPS thanks to low CDs and his passive. * Decent enough tools to dual an ADC early, albeit he wasn't as high a hyper carry. The problem here is that Zigg's abilities were all focused on killing towers. If Ziggs didn't have these, there's a good chance he wouldn't be the power pick he was. Because of this, he was able to circumvent the biggest issues of killing towers and consistent DPS. #Giving Mages Bot-lane tools. For mages to go bot-lane, they need two things: * 1.) A tool to better take towers/epic monsters. * 2.) Tools that can't be abused in the mid lane. This is the tricky part Riot has to look into. Balancing an item to kill towers with solo lanes is tough. You could force it to be "Only when <number> of champions are nearby" but then you have situations where mid-to-late game every mage is getting it. Mages would also need either low CD abilities or tools that allow them to do damage more consistently compared to an ADC, who is usually doing (early-to-mid anyways) one auto-attack worth of damage every second, unavoidable. Alternatively, Riot could change how towers work to allow mages to deal more damage to them. Of course, this brings back the fear of what could happen to solo lanes. Plus with all the "TOWERS SO WEAK REEEEEEE" I can't imagine the community would welcome another tool that makes them weaker, even if just for one class. #The Discussion I didn't walk into this thread expecting to have an answer. Rather, I just tried to outline some of the core things that separate mages/ADCs and how you could go about closing the gap between them. So this is on the community now: Let's hear some ideas. Alternatively, if you think I got something wrong and mages need something else to survive botlane, lemme know. This thread should be about how Riot could make mages work botlane and, maybe if we're fortunate, discover some tool or knowledge that could help bot lane be opened up to even more combinations of champions.
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