Fizz and Riot's View on Counterplay.

It's be said over and over throughout the pass view years that Riot enjoys counter-play, that they look at it as an important part of both a character's design as well as a player's ability to find and exploit weaknesses in their opponent. We can source many nerfs, changes or complete destruction of skills, items and playstyles based on the simple idea that everything should have a meaningful weakness. Then we have characters like Fizz. Now before we go any further, this isn't an OP thread, it's about how Fizz's kit has a lack of counter-play overall, making it difficult if not impossible to gain an advantage or even playing field against him. There are three main reasons counter-play against Fizz is low: 1) His Damage is Upfront 2) Mobility 3) His Damage is Over-tuned The most glaring and obvious lack of counter-play is a player's inability to escape Fizz's damage. Unlike most other Assassins (Shaco, LeBlanc, Zed, ect) who's Gapclosers are either Moderate to Low damage (Depending on your combo), Fizz's Gapcloser allows Fizz to not only close the distance between him and his target it also accounts for a very hefty portion of his Damage. The full damage readout of an Urchin Strike is as Follows: 10-130 (+ 60% AP) + AD When you take into account Seastone Trident's Passive: 10-130 (+ 60% AP) + AD + {(30-70 [+ 35% AP])/3} And When you Activate Seastone Trident: 10-130 (+ 60% AP) + AD + {(30-70 [+ 35% AP])/3} +10-30 (+ 25% AP) All Together it looks like this (Please Pardon if my Equation is slightly off, it's the idea that matters most): 10-130 + AD + 3[10-23 + (11.6%AP)] + 10-30 + (85% AP) In just one move Fizz is able to both close the distance between him and his target and Dish out Roughly 50-230 points of Damage plus Over 100% of AP in damage. Now the damage looks meager when you look at it out of context with his entire Kit, but as the game progresses and Fizz gains more and more AP, His first hit becomes much more powerful, allowing him to chunk health bars simply by Jumping to someone. In lane this creates an incredibly frustrating dynamic, in order for most champions to make a move on Fizz, they will be within a reasonable range for Fizz to Jump to. When you consider that Fizz can easily front most of his harassment/damage (and close distance) with one ability and in such a small time frame, you realize that any trade you make against him will require very quick timing and possibly an additional spell to escape or out damage him. This leads into his mobility. While it is the first hit that makes Fizz scary, it's his free range of the lane (and battlefield) that makes him dangerous. With Two Gap Closers and 1(3) escape(s), Fizz would already compete with most other champions as "the most mobile," but then you add in his passive and things get wonky. Being unhindered by minions in lane means that the natural barriers that typically impede players from freely interacting with one another are rendered null against Fizz. This makes Zoning Fizz through Minion Control impossible, as he can easily bypass a wall of minions and move straight to you without having to use Playful to do it. This simple passive gives Fizz an distinct advantage, as his one true escape can be saved. It means that Fizz can simply walk into range at any given opportunity and attack, then fall back with little consequence. It makes it difficult to be anywhere within the vicinity of Fizz, as you can not rely on your minions to act as a wall between you and Him and block him as you harass. Then there is Playful. We already talked about Fizz front loading his damage, but it is the fact that he can Front Load it and then leave almost immediately (and safely) that makes playing against Fizz a true pain. With a good chunk of damage loaded onto one skill, Fizz can freely jump to someone, Chunk them, then Jump away, all before he can be targeted (and if he is, it breaks). This leaves his opponents unable to make a meaningful play against Fizz, at all, all but the most tankiest champions have trouble dealing with a prolonged barrage of this. And that is one of the reasons his damage is over-tuned. For Fizz, dealing a large portion of his Damage is not hard, because of the Front Loading ability of Urchin Strike, but then his other two Skills (Chum and Trickster) both have a Combined 175% AP, as well as decent bases and tons of versatility packed into them. Chum is unimpeded by obstacles, Slows/knocks-up, has a Large range and creates an area of control. Playful/Trickster is both a Gapcloser and an Escape, as well as a Nuke. The fact that Fizz, once 6, can at any time initiate a fight on a target makes Chum incredibly powerful for an assassin, but then you take into consideration that it also makes it impossible to fight back against Fizz, who already has an arsenal of Mobility and Damage. Once hit, a champion for the next 2.5 Seconds essentially is unable to do anything, between the speed of Urchin Strike, the Untargetability of Playful and the Knockup of Chum, all combine to create a moment of complete invulnerability for Fizz (in a 1v1). The damage from all 4 skills is almost guaranteed to kill any non-tank champion that's taken even a little bit of damage. Fizz's entire kit is counter to the idea of counter-play Riot. Players have very few opportunities to exploit Fizz's natural weaknesses (Low Health Pool, Melee), due to His Zhonya's-esq ability to nullify damage and high mobility. On top of this, Players, once caught by his Ult, have very little chance to fight back for these very same reasons. And on top of that, the damage output by Fizz alone is so quick and large that in most cases he is able to overpower you simply by existing. I have no included Items in this discussion up to this point for simplicities, but when we consider Core Items like Zhonya's and Lich Bane, it becomes apparent there is a problem. Fizz needs to have his power shifted into one area or another, while having his overall power leveled out in order to make room for players to exploit his weaknesses, I prefer to keep to his strength and identity as a slippery champion who darts around the battlefield. This can take the form of reducing the Damage of Trickster and Chum, making it so that Fizz must put some damage on someone before he can initiate an assassination. Lower the range on Chum, forcing Fizz to be closer to his target in order to force a fight. Lastly, remove the slow on Chum, but increase it on Trickster, making Chum less of a "I GOTCHA/GET AWAY FROM ME!" Spell, and more a tool to create an opening. Various powershifts, such as increasing the Bleed damage (Base and Ratio) on Trident, The base range of Playful (Equally lowered on Trickster) and lowering the cooldown on Urchin can push Fizz to be a more Hit and Run champion that relies on Positioning, good timing and tactics instead of a steamroller who picks and chooses when someone must die. Doing this gives players the opportunity to react to Fizz, by stretching out his damage and removing a lot of control Fizz previously had as well as being to push Fizz into a new direction that flushes out his identity by focusing on his ability to dart and dodge, be slippery and hard to catch
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