: Jungler Champion Poll.
Given you seem to be leaning towards these 2 Assassins in the jungle, I will say this. Kha'zix is probably the more approachable champion between the two. Rengar is usually only really good when played by someone who is a "main" of the champion. He has a lot of different things about him that make him much different than other champions you might have played before. He also requires a lot of knowledge about the "limits" of Rengar to be able to make the most out of his kit (how much can I step out of this bush to get my "jump" off; how far can I travel during my ult given I have Ghostblade and Swifties; etc). I would recommend watching Rengar players a lot and understanding why they use the enhanced versions of his abilities at a given time and how they make decisions surrounding map movement, ganking paths, and how they look to make assassinations of carries. Really all aspects of their decision making, because that is what makes a Rengar player good; not their mechanics really, but their decisions. Kha'zix needs a lot of good decision making too, but the decision making he has to make is the same decision making that can apply to all Assassins. is isolation mechanic is pretty easy to understand, but there is a learning curve. He also has to decide which abilities to max, but it is usually a case that there is one optimal build at any given time due to his balance issues regarding it, and you can look it up on any current guide. He is more straightforward in my opinion and so I can have more [consistent] success with him than I can with Rengar. But I'm not that good with either of them. If it were between the two of them, I would go for Kha. But my favorite junglers are {{champion:60}} {{champion:79}} {{champion:59}}.
Vianci (EUNE)
: New Taric top build idea.
I do like the idea of manamune on him, but I don't think it would be practical in a summoner's rift game. However. In an ARAM game, I think you could make it work if your team needs the damage. Titanic Hydra might actually out-damage it (especially before fully stacking it), but the price difference might be worth it. That, along with the help with mana early on to spam your Q, W, and E (which will be very strong in ARAM), might make the build viable. I think his "Top" build will be: {{item:3068}} {{item:3025}} {{item:3065}} (Wow, never saw that coming, kappa) into items like {{item:3075}} {{item:3026}} {{item:3512}} {{item:3742}} {{item:3143}}. I don't think that Warmog's would really be that useful on him. He has plenty of healing in his kit and with masteries on top of spirit visage, and I think there are better items for him to have for combat. In ARAM, I am very ready to try out a Taric build similar to the one you described if my team was pressed for damage. I think I still would opt out of Warmog's over other items and build it situationally as Sunfire would bolster Taric's damage much more; or if I wanted to build more defensively/supportively Face of the Mountain, Aegis, Randuin's and other items would take priority over Warmog's as well. The ARAM build would likely start with a {{item:3070}} {{item:3302}} and {{item:1001}} or {{item:1029}}. You would rush a Bami's Cinder and work toward IBG in an evenly distributed damage comp (enemy side) or you would get a Spectre's Cowl or Aegis against heavy magic damage and against an all AD comp you can pretty much just rush IBG immediately. You would likely want to finish up Manamune as a 3rd or 4th item unless you are snowballing as the damage you would get from finishing Sunfire and IBG would initially be more than finishing Manamune early. The item is really only going to be good once it is fully stacked when you can proc it 2x in quick succession and keep doing that by cycling your abilities giving you good burst and sustained damage. Anyway. I like it. I'll have to see how it plays. I don't think it would be worth it in Summoner's Rift, but it might be worth trying. I just think there are better builds for him in a Top lane scenario.
Zorae42 (NA)
: Mage item update will ruin ARAMS
As someone who plays a lot of ARAM... like a LOT. Mages like {{champion:161}} {{champion:37}} {{champion:115}} {{champion:99}} etc. who are near constant spellcasters are pretty annoying with copious amounts of mana regen/cdr in one item. I think the mage update will throw ARAM balance around a little bit, but all the champions I mentioned can also build Tear into Seraph's to allow for endless spell spam, or they can opt for the support item build (which is probably better anyway due to gold income). I think that the champions I mentioned will still be strong because they are really good at the ARAM format due to their kits. Lacking mana regen in ARAM isn't really a big deal anyway as you have increased mana regen on the map and the "health packs" give a good amount of mana as well. What I see happening from the item pass is that champions like Kennen, Swain, Vlad, Galio, and other tanky teamfight mages will see an increase to their winrate in the gamemode due to the hextech dash belt item being introduced as it gives them yet another way to get into a fight. Otherwise, I think that ARAM will still favor these poke, waveclear, and healing (ie Siege) champions that it always has.
: You're building him as a tank, he's a much better utility mage than a pure tank his AP scalings are fantastic. When you build him as a tank you are outclassed in almost every way by Amumu, sejuani, and Zac, they have better innate stats and base damages as well as passives that are useful in a lot more situations and they have much more reliable AOE lockdown ults, there really isn't a reason to build him as a tank. As a Mage however he scales extremely well his q chunks health bars like no ones business and he is just as tanky if not more so when his shield is up because of the AP scaling on it. Athenes is core to the mage build because of the mana regen and CDR but he also gets an additional 13 AP from his passive by building it making the stat efficiency on the item incredible.
I would argue that his base damages are also very hard hitting (300 base on his lvl5 Q alone), making AP less desirable (his Q and E have .6 and .5 AP ratios), but I still like to get it if I can. His healing scales well off of AP and his ult can gain massive damage from AP (but it also has very high base damage in that case). That's why D-Cap takes high priority in the rest of the build. RoA gives you more AP than Athene's even after the MR-AP scaling you get with Athene's. You also get 500 health which I think is way better than 25 MR. The reason I get Sunfire on him a lot is that it helps Galio manage his mana if clearing waves alone and it gives more HP some armor and will increase the power of his all in by 50-80 magic damage to all enemies during his ult alone. It allows Galio to get into the fight without the risk of him being blown up as easily. The thing is. I think of Galio as more of a tanky high magic damage dealing support utility carry. I don't build him pure tank, but sometimes I end up looking a lot more like a tank by the end of the game if I fall behind or the team needs it more than the damage I could provide otherwise. I think Galio allows for a build to be more dynamic rather than it to be predetermined and I think Athene's hinders that for me and pidgeonholes me into going full offense. Again my build starts with 120 AP from RoA (after stacking, 80 before stacks), 95 AP from Abyssal, and 30 from a doran's ring and Runes. So with 2 items, I build over 200 AP along with 50 MR and 360-560 health and 400-800 mana. Assuming you build Athene's into Abyssal, you will have 73 + 95 AP from items with 75 MR and 60 health. I honestly think I win out in the early stat check with items. The 20 CDR you will have will make an impact, yes, but my build is far tankier and has more immediate AP that will scale into even more AP while I can build more offensively or defensively depending on how the game is going. Now. Let's look to the future of my build on Galio. RoA is getting hit in the mana department, and a new item may be introduced in the Starburst item. I think Starburst would become a core midgame item for him (probably replacing Sunfire), but his mana issues are going to be a problem early and midgame. I think the Catalyst passive might still help him here though as he could simply walk into a minion wave with his W on and take damage to get some mana back. This along with doran's or double doran's might be able to sate his mana consumption, but we'll see what happens.
: I think with mages (i.e. the champion set {{champion:3}} is designed to combat) getting shafted thus shifting the meta even further into AD territory, and the rework/nerfs of his 2 core items {{item:3001}} {{item:3174}} Galio is going to be played even less than he is currently. None of the items being created are going to be able to fill the void left by {{item:3174}} in Galio's kit because of his massive mana costs and incredibly low innate mana regen he does not synergise well with flat mana at all he is basically just going to get 1 extra spell cast per 100 mana before he has to back basically a fully stacked tear without regen is going to give him maybe an extra 30 seconds of uptime. Riot is taking a champion on life support, pulling he plug, shitting on his chest, tearing off his leg, beating him to death with the detached leg, and then demolishing the hospital around him for good measure.
I personally never get Athene's on Galio. I would rather get a ROA and then rush Abyssal After that. Hell, sometimes I would skip Roa altogether (just keep the catalyst) and build Abyssal into a tank and then get Righteous Glory later on. My personal favorite build: {{item:3027}} {{item:3001}}{{item:3020}} {{item:3068}} -----> {{item:3089}} {{item:3065}} {{item:3075}} {{item:3102}} {{item:3800}} {{item:3165}}. Really the biggest issue I find with Galio is what Keystone to build on him as he doesn't synergize with any of them particularly well. I've tried DFT, Thunderlord's, Stormraider's, Grasp, and Strength of ages and they all seem very meh on him. You can find success on him using any of these really but all of them but DFT are kinda unreliable: the problem is that DFT is also the weakest in my opinion as all of his damage is AOE so the damage you get from it is barely noticeable. Galio has trouble procing thunderlord's in a lot of situations and Stormraider's kinda only works if you are ahead. Grasp is dependent on your weak autos and you are primarily a spell caster. Strength of Ages is okay but it takes forever to stack in lane, so yeah. As I stated, his Keystone selection is pretty weak. Now. I think Galio is actually receiving a buff in this item sweep as it gives him access to the Rocket Belt/Starburst which will help him tremendously as he will be less dependent on Flash. I don't like the idea of the item in general, but Galio is probably one of the best with the item.
: Am I the only one who thinks the reworked mage items HURT mages as a whole? (Poll included)
I actually like the idea of making Mana a more important stat on most mages rather than mana regen, so I like the changes to Morello and Athene's personally. More heavy gating on mana for mages will allow for more power to actually be put into the abilities with adequate tradeoffs. If Doran's ring stays the same as it is now with the 50% mana regen and mana on minion kill passive, early games won't really be effected that hard. And you will still have mana regen for most of the game as a mage, just not as much. But that should be offset somewhat with the increased mana you would have with items such as Morello's, Tear, and new Catalyst items. What I don't really like is the idea behind "Hextech Starburst", as I think it gives certain champions power in an area they were previously balanced behind. Champs like Annie, Kennen, TF, Galio, Ryze and many others might end up getting hurt in the long run if the item gives too much power to their kits. I think that at least in its current state, the item should not be added. The CD of the active is far too low currently and I honestly feel like it should be far less gold efficient as the utility it provides is huge. Other things I'm more disappointed in. Zhonya's is still the only real AP/armor item in the game after this item pass. They took away a large chunk of AP and increased the active CD with the compensation being a lowered price and 10 CDR. I think the item is even less gold efficient than it was before and it seems to me that it is going to be a niche item only to counter burst damage, zed, and for synergy with champion kits such as Vlad (TBD), Fizz, Swain, Kennen, etc. There isn't really a "general" defensive AP/Armor item that helps against an AD opponent in the same way that Hexdrinker works for AD champions going into a magic damage matchup. Abyssal Scepter change is okay, but I would rather have the stats edge in favor of AP over MR slightly more. 60-80 AP and 40-50 MR I think would be more appropriate. I really just think it gives too much MR to the point where it is going to hurt Magic damage dealers in general. As a mage, you won't even be able to kill other mages as they have access to a large amount of MR on one item. Those are my thoughts. Tell me what you think. Peace.
: Riot, if you think Zhonya's is balanced, fine, but give us other options.
I'm all in favor of this. I usually avoid building Zhonya's if I'm not playing someone like {{champion:50}} or {{champion:105}} who have such good synergy with the item. Or if I'm countering certain champions {{champion:238}} (for second part of Ult). I will sometimes get it if I have to consider a large amount of burst from an enemy champion whether it be magic or physical damage that I could avoid. An easy one for this is {{champion:30}}'s ult. In any other situation, I almost don't consider Zhonya's over other armor options if I feel like I need armor because the item is too expensive and doesn't give me meaningful defense when compared to almost any other choice. The only saving quality it has is that you get some AP on top of your moderate defense so you don't take a hit in the damage department. But you will see me building Randuin's, Sunfire, DMP, or glacial shroud on a lot of AP champs in situations where I am up against a lot of AD. In cases where building AP increases your defenses though, Zhonya's is great {{champion:131}} {{champion:99}} {{champion:61}} {{champion:68}} {{champion:8}} which is why I think Riot is hesitant to make other Armor/AP items as they synergize incredibly well on certain champions. The solution? Convert some or all of shielding scaling to the mana instead of AP. For manaless champs the AP scaling can be changed slightly if a new AP/Armor item breaks them, but for other mana using champions, this will push them to make a choice of having stronger shields or having more CDR or a mix which will push champions to make a choice between damage and utility for their team. Look at champions like Orianna, Lulu, Lux and others who can build pure AP builds and have a high amount of Utility for their teams. They can usually go for a CDR maxing route on top of high AP values and this will be the best build because it maximizes their damage AND shielding/speed ups. If they were forced to build some Mana to scale with their shielding values they would obviously build a RoA as it gives mana and AP in large amounts, they might even opt for Tear. The thing is that these champs already do this sometimes and I think this is what they SHOULD want to do, but they should also care about CDR for keeping shield uptime on their more damage centered carries. Again, some will build like this and will grab a Morello's on top of their RoA to make their build more about supporting others as they will feel like they lost some fighting potential as they could have opted for more offensive stats or more defensive stats in another item. Right now, RoA might be too stat efficient as is, and it could be changed, but I think Utility AP's should feel a sharp drop in their combat power if they opt for a build with so much invested in mana/cdr. This is just a thought on how Riot could change up how some Utility based champions like Lulu are balanced by making a separate stat responsible for the scaling of her utility rather than having it be the same stat as her damage scaling. This would make room for new items in the game that could benefit a vast array of champions without worrying about abuse of the items. We have seen very successful shields based on mana before in Blitzcrank, Urgot, and Ryze where their shields didn't seem overly oppressive if they build towards building damage. This isn't to say that these were never in unbalanced states before, only that they have had periods of time where they didn't seem oppressive. People have been stating that Lulu is a problem champion because she should be played more as a support, but her solo lane play is much stronger. I think that moving a stat towards utility scaling would be a great step. It wouldn't have to be mana, but it is a suggestion. Peace.
: Which abilities feel the absolute worst to misuse?
{{champion:79}} ult and E. Situation one: Ult fed enemy top laner into your carries. kills your team Situation two: Ult enemy team away from your team and they escape with 200hp between 3 members. Situation three: Use E-Flash combo and miss, leaving you in the middle of an enemy team with no gap closer left (E on full CD) and panic ulting while trying to run away only to miss absolutely everything and die accomplishing nothing.
: Aatrox is actually slowly improving. Every few patches he gets something that helps him out.
I really don't think that {{item:3812}} is a very good item. It's a lot better than it was initially, but I don't really see any champs make great use out of it. It seems good on paper, but Aatrox has pretty poor scaling and would want significant auto-attack modifiers for his damage rather than high AD and CDR that would benefit a Caster-type AD. The only real reason to get this item would be for the passive, and not the one that gives healing on physical damage either, given that nearly half of his damage in a game is magic damage. He likes the reduction in burst damage with the 'bleeding' passive and can make significant use out of the healing passive, but not until he has other items such as Hydra or BoRK in his inventory already. I really wish Death's Dance felt stronger than it currently does, but I don't see a reason in buying it over Hydra, BoRK, or even Rageblade as a first item. By the time you would want to get Death's Dance, you would probably want more defensive based items like Hexdrinker, Sterak's, Spirit Visage, or Deadman's Plate to deal with burst damage as they give more effective HP and passives that synergize well with him.
Edgetrox (EUNE)
: So,any thoughts on Aatrox
I think that in lower tier solo queue, he is going to start feeling a lot stronger thanks to Warlord's Bloodlust. It is incredibly powerful for dueling and will help you win lane a lot more with Aatrox. Because he is very snowbally, this can lead to him being able to carry more games. He is still probably outclassed by Olaf and Irelia in terms of versatility (along with other fighters), but he gained a lot of power from that mastery. I've been testing out Aatrox with a few builds and I think that Rageblade might be a strong first item on him now as he doesn't need to rush Hydra or BoRK for the Lifesteal anymore as you can easily have 10% lifesteal + Warlord's at the beginning of the game with Runes, {{item:1055}}, and the lifesteal mastery in Ferocity. Top that off with the increased healing mastery in resolve and you are really hard to kill early on. Even in unfavorable trades you can get back everything in a short amount of time by tagging minions. Rageblade is a strong item as it gives you increasing stats throughout a fight and this favors Aatrox in that he likes drawn out duels with lane opponents. Other reasons to get Rageblade is that it gives AP on top of the AD that you want on Aatrox. He has AP scaling on his E and Ultimate, which gives him a little extra burst, particularly in the early game. He can maintain stacks on Rageblade through his Passive Revive so he can keep some Attack Speed and damage after he revives (which is a big problem with him fighting after he revives). You can actually wait until your 3rd item to get a Lifesteal item, allowing you to grab a Hexdrinker/Maw or a Sterak's Gage to deal with burst damage. Now the downside of the Rageblade build... You will have to give up either Hydra or BoRK as one of your items (unless you get incredibly fed). There really wouldn't be room to fit both in a build that had included Rageblade and had adequate defenses. The choice is yours, but I feel like you will need one or the other as a second or third item. BoRK is better for tankier opponents and to counter kiting a little bit, and Hydra is for higher sustain and AOE damage in teamfights (it also helps waveclear, but that shouldn't be a problem with Guinsoo's). On a final note, I will say that the state of Toplane isn't really favorable for Aatrox at the moment. He is really weak against many of the current meta picks, so pick your matchups carefully. He can do well against other sustain based champs or champions that have heavy mana constraints as he can stay in lane longer than most as long as he doesn't get bullied too hard. Those are my thoughts. Try the Rageblade out. The build path is wonky, but it is a pretty significant powerspike. I don't think Aatrox can thrive in the Toplane currently, and I agree with many people in saying that he needs a complete rework to be a champion that can be considered healthy when strong. However, you CAN play him effectively in some matchups and he can be a significant asset to a team as a major splitpushing threat and partial carry. Best of luck out there. Peace.
ofart (NA)
: When Ruinc Echoes is the best JG item on Gragas
I think the Runic Echoes nerf that is on the PBE currently should move Gragas more towards the Cinderhulk build, but not enough that Runic Echoes won't be used on him. Runic Echoes is a little bit overtuned as is almost purely based on the insane movement speed it gives in the early game. Any jungler that can take advantage of the item is going to because it gives them so much more map movement over other builds and it also speeds up clears and makes early ganks more damaging. On top of all that, it gives mana sustain, something tanks have trouble with early on before they can build any mana. What is being sacrificed is a good chunk of health for the midgame teamfights (~500 health total at midgame), but as games are designed to be more snowball oriented this season, the sacrifice is well worth it for a lot more pressure early on. By all rights, Runic Echoes is just a better item right now. If the meta shifts or buffs/nerfs happen to the jungle items, I would imagine AP tank/fighter junglers might drop RE as a first item, but if you can use it right now ({{champion:32}} {{champion:79}} {{champion:113}} etc); I think you have a lot of reason to. I think they need to bring Warrior and Cinderhulk to a level closer to Runic Echoes. Right now, Warrior purely gives stats, good stats, but it doesn't give as much as Runic Echoes does right now: mana sustain, extra burst damage (low scaling), faster clears, and faster map movement. You can actually see a problem with AD fighter junglers in particular in that they are struggling in the current meta. The only Warrior junglers you see have high success are ADC's, and I think there is a problem there. Warrior definitely needs a rework to bring champions like Jarvan, Vi, and Nocturne back into the jungle in preferred buildpaths as they simply can't compete with many of the AP junglers that are strong right now due to Runic Echoes. Riot stated that diving fighters were on their radar and were edged out by the Mage Update happening later this year. I think a big thing that could help these types of fighters would be a change to Warrior Enchantment to benefit melee fighters a little more than it currently does. As far as Cinderhulk is concerned, I think it is pretty good for champions with high base damages, but I think it is more situational than it used to be for champions that could opt for Runic Echoes. Basically, you get Cinderhulk if you REALLY need a damage soaking champ on your team. It might be about as good as Warrior on AD fighters due to them usually stacking a lot of health after their jungle item and with items like Titanic Hydra, Sterak's Gage, Maw, IBG, Frozen Mallet, and Black Cleaver, they can get their offensive stats elsewhere if they need them while also increasing their tankiness. I don't know what they can actually do with Cinderhulk other than a possible small buff to its damage to bring it in line with Sunfire Cape. I don't think it will cause Top laners to opt for Smite like they did before as the jungle item is more expensive now (about as expensive as Sunfire Cape) and Challenging Smite is not as strong as it used to be. Otherwise, I think the item is fine for a large variety of champions and if anything, it just needs a little fine tuning in terms of clear speed and champion damage to make it more competitive with Runic Echoes.
: How Do I Carry This?
Honestly one part of this is to look at the draft. You really don't have a tanky champion to absorb burst damage. You also lack immediate hard CC besides ultimates on Janna, Xin, and Malz; (Janna tornado needs to be cast twice, Xin "2" talon strike is delayed, and Jayce knockback is dependent on him being in hammer form). Now ultimately, this shouldn't be too big of an issue besides that they have 2 reset assassin type champions on their team and the fact that the champions who can stop Kat's ult or a charging Master Yi are fairly squishy. They (Yi and Kat) can snowball very hard if given the chance, and because they were not kept in check, they were able to hard carry the game. If you notice something else, a lack of pink wards plagued both teams and though the amount of wards your team placed was higher than your opponents, clearing wards took a lot less priority. Denying vision can be just as important as gaining vision and because Pink Wards are so cheap right now and are the only wards you can actually buy (Sightstone might count), so it would be advised to get them when you can. It probably does feel a lot harder to carry as a support, but a big part of playing as these supportive roles in games is to help your team and empower them. Another word for this is carrying by proxy. This stretches beyond just putting a shield on your AD or warding tri-bush, but communicating with your team and making sure that everything is going according to your team's goal to win the game. Now, this is where it gets tricky because it is SOLO queue and it's hard to communicate with complete strangers, but it can be done to some extent. People seem to hate the "ping" system in the game, but it does do wonders as long as people don't spam it and piss off their teammates. There will be times when people don't listen to you, but if you stay respectful, you will have a lot more people who will be willing to work with you. If this leadership position doesn't really suit you, think about maining a different role that you can "carry" with: Top, Mid, or Bot ADC (jungle is possible, but takes on a large supportive role).
: Singed In high ranking play
Singed is pretty good in less organized play. He is a split pushing demon and his ability in a teamfight to contribute is actually very significant if you are not behind (if you are, just keep splitting and have your team turtle for a while until you attract enough attention to get 3 or 4 man ganked. Proceed to press R and spam laugh as you run away while your team pushes midlane/gets drag/kills lonely enemy). If you are ahead, you can completely zone enemy carries off of your team, burn a flash or two, and possibly flip an enemy into your team if they think they can kite/peel you (#!$@ you {{champion:40}}). It is very easy to overextend as Singed so be careful. Anyway. I'm not sure how effective Singed can be in higher tier, organized play, but mains can definitely hold their own in solo queue. A buddy of mine was a Singed main for a while (looks like he was maining Vayne in S5) and had about a 70% winrate with him in Platinum. He told me once that he stopped playing Singed at some point because he would get bored playing and it would cause him to throw games. He sometimes would break it out when he put his tryhard pants on, but otherwise he wouldn't play him, opting for more "technically challenging" or "fun" champions. Anyway. This might not answer your question entirely, but it's one of those things where I can say I knew someone who was able to get pretty far in solo queue playing Singed and Singed has had some success here and there in the pro scene as a niche pick and SSW's Looper played him at World's with great success in Season 4.
: Can we see what Keystone Masteries all players have in the LCS?
Agreed. Watched a few VODs today and I had to guess or watch very carefully to know which Keystones everyone was using. Thunderlord's were a plenty.
: Made it to the last paragraph and laughed out loud. I HAD A HUNCH YOU WERE TIPSY!
Thanks for reading. Yeah, I just reread my post. I still stand by what I said though.
: If people are asking that Riot leaves mages like Vel'Koz alone...
I feel like it's more about an attachment with a character in League and how players have grown to love their kits (and probably have gotten a pretty strong hold on them due to experience). When Cassiopeia and Morde were reworked into champions that seem to have lost their identity in some form, they didn't really accept that as the champion they grew to love. Another thing is that I think people take pride in certain champions that noone else plays. They feel a certain obligation to do well with these champs and show people that they are not to be forgotten. They want their lane opponent to say "Damn, I forgot how ridiculous of a lane bully Cassiopeia is (pre-rework)." And then the player they faced might have a newfound respect for that champion. Even if the player who mains an unpopular champ loses a game but plays well, they can be happy showing that their champion has that potential to be great. What happens when these under-appreciated champions get reworked can go very wrong in the case of Morde and Cassiopeia (Skarner; honorable mention) where they either perform very poorly or VERY well upon release and go through balance changes to make their new kit work in a healthier way. This can lead to further balance changes that usually end up making the champion much weaker than they were prior to their rework and now the dedicated players must learn this NEW kit that they don't think represent the identity of the champion they knew before. It hurts. After all is said and done, sometimes champions end up in a crappy position where their kits can be completely OP in the right hands or under the right conditions and they are punished for this. The champion can end up in a spot where the balance team doesn't know or doesn't want to buff a champion that is weaker due to unpopularity mixed with an unhealthy kit that was designed specifically to bring the champion into a better position and fear that the champion will become a serious problem again. I could almost consider myself a Ryze main not long after I started playing the game (Season 4-ish; I had been watching my roommate play in Season 3 before I decided I would try it out). Near the end of the season, he was buffed by giving him more range on his abilities and he became the TOP tier solo laner (top lane especially) as he had a monstrous early game due to harass and his lategame was unmatched in terms of damage and tankiness from a hypercarry. This led to his eventual series of nerfs that brought him down to a near 45% winrate, but I still played him as he just needed to survive the early and midgame to shine as a hypercarry in the lategame and he still had moderate power if you knew what you were doing in the early game. I was really excited when I heard that he was receiving a rework as I knew that his current kit was unhealthy and was hoping that his rework could capture what Ryze was in a kit that was much healthier for the game environment. What ended up happening was a champion that was extremely weak on release as most of his kit was centered around his passive being up and I was actually okay at this at first; I was open-minded. Then the buffs happened and I knew as soon as they were announced that Ryze would be a huge balance problem. He was given a higher root duration at max level and I had done the math to figure out that Ryze could basically perma-root people with the early W max. The buff made it to live and it wasn't long before people figured out Ryze was severely OP and that his kit was lacking interaction with his opponent as they could only stop Ryze with an ability that was a ranged silence, knockup, or stun. Ryze was nerfed down to another 45% winrate, but with a twist. Those who were REALLY good with Ryze and/or those with very low ping could still dominate the game and could still _nearly_ perma-root opponents as they could easily cycle spells and orb-walk in a way to keep on top of opponents and melt them with a barrage of spells. This kinda shows where the Cassiopeia kit is now, where she is in a state where only really good Cassi players know how to use her to the point where she is oppressive. Anyway. I feel that people feel like some reworks miss the mark in some way in terms of champion identity that estranges mains of the champion. One thing that was said about the Ryze rework was that players wanted to keep his targeted root and that the team behind the rework decided that this was part of Ryze's identity, but I think that with Ryze's machine-gun style spellcasting, any root that is meaningful or any CC for that matter would most likely be unhealthy if it was targetted. I never saw that as Ryze's main thing (targetted CC); I saw him as the spellslinging, midrange, tanky, blue-as-hell hypercarry of legend. And many things that happened in the Cassiopeia rework seemed to reflect this and not capture her main identity in favor of a different playstyle that was more gimmicky than anything. I think people fear that this might happen to their own main, and I understand that Vel'koz mains wouldn't want their underused champion being reworked into something foreign to them. I honestly feel like Vel'koz is incredibly strong for how unpopular he is (possibly because only mains play him; I suck at playing him, personally). I feel like people who main a certain champion think they are actually really strong, regardless of public perception, but people just need to learn to play them better/build them better/or understand matchups better to allow them to shine. Another major thing about the possible kit alterations to Xerath and Vel'koz is that they are not necessarily in unhealthy states right now. AP itemization (and no mana pots) and new masteries have potentially changed the state of theses champions recently, but they overall have kits that work and are not complained about by many (besides me :P). Vel'koz in particular has never been a big problem balance wise and has not seen much popularity since his release, but a change to his kit might change this. I think that kit alterations are sometimes really well done and are received well by the community and by champion mains alike. I really liked Sion before and after his rework and I think it was one of the best reworks ever done that made him feel unique, true to his identity, and dynamic as a champion. Another good example of a smaller rework would be Ashe who was changed in a way that didn't alter her kit in a major way but players praised the kit change overall. I think champ touch-ups and reworks have their place and I feel that the champion updates, specifically the marksmen update that made them feel much more unique from each other, which i feel is needed with immobile mages such as Xerath, Vel'koz, Ziggs, etc. This COULD turn out bad, but I think it is more unlikely to leave a sour taste in players' mouths like the Juggernaut update. We'll see what happens. I empathize with Vel'koz mains out there, but I also encourage them to embrace change as it comes as it keeps the game fresh and interesting. I don't think Riot is incapable of messing up big time with things like this, but I feel like they do a good job at keeping things moving at least and that's why I still play this game. I know some people may disagree with me, and I respect that some players find their "rock" that never changes in the passage of time and want to keep it that way, but we all change and I feel like League caters to this as my playstyle changes and the champions I like to play change and I think its a good thing for me at least. Sorry about the long post, but I'm a little bit drunk and I wanted to rant a little bit about how I feel about what has been going on since some of the major blunders in Riot's champ-update team. It's kinda funny because I feel like I'm ranting to almost noone because long posts are too much to read (sorry everyone) :P. But anyway, I think they do a wonderful job overall, and I look forward to what they do in the future. I'm pretty hyped about the Taric and Shen updates, but I understand that there are some things that I might have to give up that I enjoyed playing with as them (AP Shen RIP). In some ways, I don't want them to be changed for my own selfish reasons sometimes, but I still want to see what the future holds and the game can't stay the same forever if it is to remain an interesting competitive game, so I'll keep playing for the next day and hope that others will too. Peace.
: What is the Strongest Ult?
-Strongest solo initiation: {{champion:131}} (after landed Q; does that count?) -Strongest teamfight initiation: {{champion:54}} -Strongest kill potential: nearly any good execute but I will go with {{champion:92}} because it is AOE and the Ult gives a buff to give additional damage before the second part. -Strongest utility: way too hard to tell because so many ults have utility involved in them and utility is mostly situational. I would suggest changing this to Ults that have no damage component to them as it makes it a little bit more narrow. My guess would be: {{champion:4}} in that situation. -Strongest peel: {{champion:40}} or {{champion:79}} (has other uses too; initiation, nuke, execute) I would suggest best self buff ult too. Which I think is pretty hard to say. My favorite personally is {{champion:27}} but I don't know if I would call it the strongest.
Fızz (EUW)
: Taric...
{{item:3025}} {{item:3068}} {{item:3065}}: {{champion:44}} 1v1 me, bro.
Cloud273 (NA)
: He also did extremely poorly at worlds. He lost more than half his games. Tank Gragas is garbage. Give us AP Gragas back please. He was never broken in the first place.
He kinda was though. That's why they had to nerf his Q damage against minions. Gragas basically had the option of skipping the laning phase before that nerf. If he wanted to fight you, he would, but if he had an unfavorable matchup, he could avoid all interaction with his laning opponent. That's why he was broken. I'm definitely not against AP Gragas coming back, but they need to still keep his Q in check if they are going to do this. Tank Gragas still kinda works but I feel you have to play him more as a fighter than a pure tank and build at least 1 offensive item on him to make him work. Item changes are likely to buff him more than actual changes as Frozen Heart and Righteous Glory were core items on him before they were nerfed and now he's left with subpar items on his tank build. As for his AP itemization, it is in a perfect state for Gragas (besides Deathcap price). Gragas' 2 core AP items are Abyssal and Lichbane, which were some of the only AP items that were buffed in the preseason. He does fall off come lategame if he doesn't get a Deathcap which is a problem, but I think the change to Doran's Ring along with Abyssal and Lichbane favoring him right now, he only needs a small buff to become a god-tier solo laner.
: Buff or change Wit's End please?
There always seems to be a better item than Wits End honestly. If it's not Maw/hexdrinker, it's Nashor's, or Rageblade, or Abyssal. I think it's really an item that you don't want to build because there is always something that would fit better in the situation.
Rebonack (NA)
: Is there any particular reason why Jinx gets to be a top pick for two years running-
Jinx has received nothing but nerfs since her release. Still one of the most popular champions with a consistently higher than average winrate. I honestly don't think she has ever been below 50% since her release. P.S. I'm tired of seeing Jinx
: Can you lane with skarner at all and if so how can you build him?
Not really anymore I don't think. At least not with much success. Your best bet would be to take him Top lane and build him as a fighter/tank. Items to consider getting would be one or two offensive items in the form of {{item:3078}} {{item:3025}} {{item:3077}} {{item:3053}} {{item:3071}} {{item:3124}} (<--this might be a good item on him right now; haven't tried it). And then build standard diving tank: {{item:3742}} {{item:3143}} {{item:3102}} {{item:3075}} {{item:3800}} (<--really good synergy with his dive and R ability). You could probably just build pure tank and have some relevancy, but I find an inherent problem with Skarner not being able to use his Spires to their fullest by being locked in a lane where you will nearly never use them. I wouldn't recommend taking him in a lane right now, but if you really want to, I would take him in top lane as he will have more favorable matchups (barely) than in other lanes. The only other thing I could see him doing is being a really subpar support. The support build would be mostly about building a lot of HP and definitely getting {{item:3800}} or {{item:3069}}, though I would go {{item:3401}} because it will help you more in the laning phase and you want to be as tanky as possible to be a good frontline. I would probably only pick Skarner support into diving carries like {{champion:92}} {{champion:39}} {{champion:24}} who are trying to take out your backline. Just press R and allow your team to destroy them while you drag them away. You would want to roam a lot as Skarner and pick up the spires as you run around and if anyone wants to fight you, you might be able to hold your own. I'm not sure, but basically that's how I see it. Gank with your jungler a lot and you might have a good game. Runes and masteries: Top: 12/0/18 with Grasp of the Undying Quints: AD/AttSpd/MS Marks: AD Seals: Armor/Scaling Armor/Scaling Hp Glyphs: MR/Scaling MR/CDR/Scaling CDR Bot: 0/12/18 or 0/18/12 with Bond of Stone or Thunderlord's Decree (maybe, I wouldn't try Thunderlords, but it helps in the laning phase to snowball) Quints: Armor/maybe 2 MS and 1 armor Marks: Armor Seals: HP Glyphs: MR That's my opinion on the matter. Midlane would be a struggle for him but he COULD be a top laner or a support, but given a lot of his power comes from objective control, he is a FAR better Jungler right now. I wish you luck. Peace.
: It's the way the game works. Killing a large monster grants a little bit of missing health and mana back, visible via green trail.
That's what I noticed too. The green trail after killing a monster. I was just wondering if it's just this thing that isn't stated anywhere in game, but I've noticed it for a while now, but due to most junglers I play taking Dangerous Game in previous seasons, I just thought it was due to that. I kinda wish it was stated somewhere that killing a large monster gave you this hp/mana back as it seems to just be something that people learn through experience, or someone tells them, or in my case, never understand completely. I honestly never said anything about it before because I thought it would be something that people thought would be dumb to ask as "everyone knows that". It's kind of embarrassing, but I feel like this kind of information is hard to find.
Rioter Comments
: You get one physical aspect of a chosen champ
: Leap range increased to 700
If they increased the Evolution's range to 1000 (900 on live) as well, I would consider this a pretty good buff, but as it stands... I don't see it helping him as much as he needs it right now.
: Lux E like Gragas Q or let it stay the same?
I feel like to do this they would have to move around a lot of things (mana costs, Q snare duration, and maybe other damage oriented things) and I don't think that Lux is in a spot where she really needs nerfs or buffs. She is heavily gated by mana and her waveclear is not the best but the tradeoff is a lot of damage and utility for her team which I think is pretty alright for now. She might get touched up when they do an immobile mage update that they stated they might do sometime this season. I think they wouldn't want to rehash other ideas from other champions' kits though so I don't think they will do this in particular. Anyway. Good idea. Might not be the best thing right now. Peace.
: Nerfing Tiamat
I feel like it was nerf to champions who really needed the passive to help them farm, but because of the price reduction, i think it is a buff to champions that are using it more for the stats and building into the Hydra items as it is much easier to do so now. The active is still great for bursting down champs in your all in and can help you push a wave or clear a camp a little faster, but I understand that some champs are missing the passive as it was very effective at clearing waves quickly. Personally, I like the change as I always thought that Tiamat was too expensive of a component item and I felt that more people were building it as a core item to sit on for a while and they weren't really aiming to finish it into Ravenous Hydra as they got enough power from the component item itself.
: Which champion is the most "useless"?
I don't agree with Nunu personally as he can basically make any ADC completely useless on the enemy team while buffing his own ADC with MS and attack speed. His Ultimate is also a teamfight changer as someone HAS to deal with Nunu or disengage when he ults, basically guaranteeing he will absorb some abilities and put them on CD. To your question I have to say {{champion:266}}. No matter how he is built, if he is not snowballing, he cannot contribute much to a teamfight, and even when he is snowballing he would be better served as a splitpusher. Even champs similar to him like Tryndamere can use their ult to dive the backline or a champion like Master Yi can be an amazing cleanup crew, but Aatrox lacks the tools to pull these things off and is really just a low range dps carry with limited CC and only moderate tankiness even when built defensively. His passive can help him have more effective hp in a teamfight, but he is almost useless when he revives and simply gets killed again in most situations unless his team is far enough ahead to clean up before he revives.
: Why are tanks so squishy now?
I really don't see this in my games. If I am considerably tanky as a champion, I feel like it takes a lot more to kill me than say in season 5 or 4. Due to the changes in Armor effectiveness due to last whisper being changed, I feel a lot more effective as a tank. Now I think that there are certain things to consider if you are feeling you are getting melted quickly as a tank. How far ahead are you? Are you even ahead at all? How far ahead are the enemy carries? Do they have considerable penetration items? Particularly, does the adc have a giant slayer (given you have built a lot of health)? Am I overextending/do I have the support of my allies? Am I the only tanky individual on my team? How am I playing my tank (as a diver or a protector)? Taking all these things into consideration, you can add up a lot of disadvantages as a tank. I think league of Thunderlord's might be a problem too as it adds considerable magic damage even if you are spec'd to deal with a mostly Physical damage team (no bonus MR). However, I think that tanks are probably in the healthiest spot they've been in a long time. They feel hard to kill, but you can itemize to help you kill them, but it isn't as easy as it was before with a Bork or a Last Whisper. Even after these items in the games current state, they feel harder to kill than landing 2 crits on them and they are effectively out of the fight. Another misconception is that Tanks are lategame champions. They are actually pretty weak in the lategame and will likely die in most teamfights if their team is behind or the teams are evenly matched. Tanks are best utilized in the midgame when they have built some good defensive items, but before enemy carries have built %penetration items that would help them take care of such frontlines. Tanks fall off later in the game, but I feel like the 3rd item last whisper is a lot less appealing than it used to be so Tanks fall off later than they used to. Anyway. I think one of the biggest problems is overextending as a tank. It is fairly easy to do, particularly if you are a diver like Malphite. This allows for you to be focused down without any major repercussions besides maybe using an ultimate or 2 (which is still fine in the 5 v 4 situation that follows). If your team cannot back you up because you are too far forward, you will have a harder time surviving as a tank unless you are considerably ahead.
: Why do people think Mundo is a lategame champ?
Mundo is kinda just OP right now. I think people have this misplaced powerspike on champions that are known to have had a strong lategame before a major change to them. Remember Ryze? People were calling him a "lategame" champion when he was dominating the early game with his perma snare and would actually fall off later due to people being able to effectively lock him down and focus him. He was nerfed a few times and now he has a pretty weak early game (in general) and a pretty strong mid to lategame, after about 25-30 minutes. The same thing I think is happening with Mundo to some extent, but I think there is something else to this statement. Look at other junglers right now. They are primarily early game pressure junglers who try to snowball the other lanes with their presence. Mundo on the other hand, is a terrible ganker and doesn't really do anything except counter-gank, invade, and farm his way to the midgame where he will be a very dangerous force to be reckoned with. So really, he DOES outscale every other jungler because he is meant to scale and be a real threat himself as opposed to his teammates when it comes to mid and lategame. Given I think that all Mundo players take Strength of Ages and Cinderhulk in the jungle, he will have a very impressive midgame which is where a lot of junglers start to fall off. Bottomline. I think Mundo is OP right now, particularly in Solo Queue because he can carry so hard based almost purely around his kit's power. The E change was so substantial to him and I don't think many people realized how much that change would affect him. We now have a Mundo that has CONSIDERABLY more damage (particularly burst) and due to preseason changes, has become very hard to kill.
: How can champions utilize and hold items?
{{champion:104}} just puts swords into his double barrel and shoots people with them.
: > [{quoted}](name=WalkingInACircle,realm=NA,application-id=3ErqAdtq,discussion-id=0Z0EbwtF,comment-id=0000,timestamp=2015-12-18T01:48:45.480+0000) > > Uh, because its hp sticks around and recharges every time you go to the fountain, and is max hp which is valuable against burst? > > And, far more importantly, the enduring mana regen of Doran's Ring. The same logic can be used for The Dark Seal. It offers 100 Mana over the 60 Health you get from Doran's Ring, and you'll only die from burst that the 60 health would save you from if you get dunked by 3 or more people. The more health back you get from potions makes up for it.
But there aren't mana potions anymore so the value of mana regen is higher than HP regen during potion chugging. I also think its more important to back when you are low on health than if you are low on mana. I'm actually REALLY liking double D-ring right now with the change of 50% mana regen per ring. You can sustain your mana pretty well with just 2 Doran's if you don't spam your spells relentlessly. I think its good on champions like {{champion:103}} {{champion:245}} {{champion:79}} {{champion:131}} and {{champion:7}} who can usually get away with buying a Luden's, Abyssal, or some other item first to help dominate their lane and snowball them pretty well to the point where they don't really need to buy additional mana regen as they have enough damage to clear a wave quickly and not have to use more spells.
: Hunters Potion is a trap and s gold sink.
I feel like its only useful for off meta junglers who need some help. Most junglers have some form of sustain/damage reduction in their kits so really it is good on a handful of junglers at most. If I grab a refillable potion as a jungler starting out, I usually don't upgrade it. I just use the re-charges in the jungle in the early game if I'm feeling the need for HP. You only get 2 per back, but its usually enough to keep you going unless you took a lot of damage in a gank or were invaded.
: The most unfun champions to play?
{{champion:1}} {{champion:86}} {{champion:37}} EDIT:{{champion:32}} Those are mine. Super simple/linear kits that have pretty low skillcaps and really just feels lame even when you win with them. For some unknown reason, I usually have fun when I play {{champion:19}} even though he has the dumbest kit in the game. I haven't played him in a long time though so maybe I'd get bored playing him now.
JARmates (NA)
: > [{quoted}](name=MyNamesAmsToki ,realm=NA,application-id=3ErqAdtq,discussion-id=RA52g2mL,comment-id=0001,timestamp=2015-12-17T18:34:57.266+0000) > > I feel like people are complaining about lee sin mostly because he has been at a high level of power for a long time. He is a very high skillcap champion, but I think that now that he was buffed to make him more forgiving to a less skilled player, coupled with how indirect changes have favored him a LOT, it makes people salty to have to face lee sin in 30% of their games. There are stronger champions/more broken ones at this time; that's for sure, but he does have an overloaded kit with a lot of tools to succeed and players feel like this makes him overpowered. I do think he is considerably stronger than he was in Season 5 and a lot of that has to do with indirect changes to him in the form of items ({{item:1408}}), jungle changes, mastery changes and the meta surrounding this. Gragas has also been nerfed a lot and he was one of the champions that really kept Lee Sin in check as he could interupt a lot of his abilities and had a lot of the same types of tools that Lee had. Anyway. I think eventually indirect changes will bring Lee down a few pegs. Maybe this new AP jungle item on top of more mana regen in the jungle will tilt the scales in favor of other champions, but right now, there is no doubt in my mind that Lee Sin is one of the Strongest junglers right now (Top 5) due to his nearly unmatched early game pressure, strong clears, and relevancy at all stages of the game. Who would you say the other top 4 junglers are right now? So Lee Sin is definitely not the best jungler at this point in time?
It's kinda tough to say right now, but {{champion:36}} is definitely #1 or #2 just because of how ridiculously strong he is right now. He clears like a madman (haha) and his raw damage packed on top of his ridiculous tankiness and his synergy with the Resolve tree makes him really scary. Good {{champion:107}} players I would put up there as indirect changes really favor him right now, but he might be at the 5 or 6 spot because he needs to snowball to be effective. Lee Sin himself would probably be in the #2, #3, or #4 spot of my own tier list. I think other top junglers right now would include Rammus, Nidalee, Elise, Vi, and Jax (though this doesn't really speak to him, moreso Rageblade + Devourer). But given Jax can ward hop, I think the preseason favors him on top of this item synergy. I'm really having a hard time deciding the full 1-5 but I think Mundo is the strongest; I think he's just completely OP right now. Everyone else I mentioned can be anywhere below Mundo. I think that depending on your MMR, some of these champs will fall out in favor of others. If I were talking about below Plat, I would say that Rammus would be #2 behind Mundo, but if it were Masters, Lee Sin or Nidalee might be #2 and Rammus would be #6 or lower. I honestly don't know what to think about Kindred as people seem to think they are really strong, but I haven't really seen a good one and I feel they are just lacking in comparison to other junglers. There's a new AP jungle item on the PBE and I'm not sure how it will affect Nid, Eve, and Elise as well as Fiddlesticks and Karthus jungle so things might change soon. But to answer your question, no. Lee Sin is not the best jungler right now. BUT he is really strong right now in competent hands. He IS #1 I feel on someone like Rush who is just so dominant on that champion. However, most people cant play Lee Sin effectively and in their hands, he's not even in the top 5. As I stated, indirect changes will probably push him out of the top tier at some point, but I'm not expecting direct hits to the champion anytime soon.
JARmates (NA)
: Why do people say Lee Sin never been nerf?
I feel like people are complaining about lee sin mostly because he has been at a high level of power for a long time. He is a very high skillcap champion, but I think that now that he was buffed to make him more forgiving to a less skilled player, coupled with how indirect changes have favored him a LOT, it makes people salty to have to face lee sin in 30% of their games. There are stronger champions/more broken ones at this time; that's for sure, but he does have an overloaded kit with a lot of tools to succeed and players feel like this makes him overpowered. I do think he is considerably stronger than he was in Season 5 and a lot of that has to do with indirect changes to him in the form of items ({{item:1408}}), jungle changes, mastery changes and the meta surrounding this. Gragas has also been nerfed a lot and he was one of the champions that really kept Lee Sin in check as he could interupt a lot of his abilities and had a lot of the same types of tools that Lee had. Anyway. I think eventually indirect changes will bring Lee down a few pegs. Maybe this new AP jungle item on top of more mana regen in the jungle will tilt the scales in favor of other champions, but right now, there is no doubt in my mind that Lee Sin is one of the Strongest junglers right now (Top 5) due to his nearly unmatched early game pressure, strong clears, and relevancy at all stages of the game.
: Why Zilean has the highest winrate mid lane?
Everybody here has pretty much hit the mark below me regarding pick rate and how his kit is inherently stronger than it was before (just less reliable). Other things to keep in mind are the changes this season and how they relate to Zilean. Getting an extra 5% CDR is pretty big on him and I'm pretty sure Zilean players are going 18 in the Cunning tree. I'm not sure how mana regen/mana pot removal has effected him, but he usually builds a lot of mana or mana regen anyway so maybe he didn't really feel the change as much as other champs. They actually gave him a buff recently that made hitting the double Q a little easier. He was already at a high winrate before this as the only people who play Zilean are mains or pick him situationally and can play him very well. His passive getting changed also increases his Utility as he can top off teammates experience bars instead of passively granting experience to nearby allies (which was pretty useless in midlane). Given that Midlane is the highest EXP/second lane, this was another large buff to him that possibly makes him OP right now, but he is really boring to a lot of people so he will only have a high playrate when the majority of players KNOW that he's OP. This might happen pretty soon if pros start using him again, but there are a lot of unknowns about what pro teams are running right now. We'll see what happens.
: Freelo tactic on aram
Mael bro (EUNE)
: What champion do you hate seeing picked in your team?
I agree with Nidalee. Its kinda like how your relationship with Shaco is. It seems like when someone picks Nidalee on my team, we have no waveclear either so she's just useless as she can't even chuck spears without hitting a minion.
Veraska (NA)
: what happened to gragas?
I honestly feel like Gragas isn't as bad as he seems on paper. He still has all of his pick, disengage, and kiting tools he had before all of his nerfs (minus half a second worth of slow on his Q when he pops it immediately). His damage has taken a hit with W being nerfed considerably, but I think he still has pretty high base damage for a tank with his Q, E, and Ult to make up for the loss on his W. I think the best leveling order for him right now is Q->E (for about 3 levels)->W->finish leveling E if necessary. This is just my preference right now, as he doesn't gain much damage from leveling W anymore, but the damage reduction makes a difference later in the game and Gragas stops being about dealing damage after the midgame. I think he needs a little help to get back into this season as nearly every one of his core tank items has been hit: {{item:1409}} (this is debatable) {{item:3110}} {{item:3800}} {{item:3105}}. I don't think he really needs much to make him a strong pick again. Really just giving him a little bit of his HP regen back would do a lot for him. I don't think he really needs more damage to be an effective jungler. I think people just need to adapt with him a little bit more and try some new things. **New things** I'm still trying to figure out if I like to run Strength of Ages (12/0/18 or 6/6/18) on him for a tankier midgame or Thunderlord's Decree (12/18/0) for much more potent ganks in the early game, along with faster clears. Both have advantages and drawbacks, but I think both are very viable on Gragas right now. Going down the cunning tree, you have access to Precision which will help your clears and your ganks (you can also take the 5% CDR, but I feel Precision is better), but you are missing out on the resistances of the Resolve tree and the easy ~300 HP you'll have by midgame. I'm liking Thunderlord's for now as I think it gives the most early game power to any jungler right now, even though Gragas will build mostly defensively. This is kind of like how Gragas players would go 21/9/0 in the old masteries for the best possible clears and ganks to help snowball their team. Runes I have been experimenting with are AP Quints, armor yellows, flat CDR blues (7.5%, I know right?) and interestingly, Hybrid Pen marks. Using {{item:1039}}, you don't really lose out on much clear time when compared to the standard Attack speed marks due to getting a lot of armor pen with the Precision mastery and the hybrid pen runes. Using Hunter's Machette will give you quicker clears when using attack speed runes, but it still isn't very noticeable. Your clears will take an extra second or two per camp in the early game, but I think it is worth it for the amount of damage this adds to your ganks as you will have around 9 magic pen and about 15 armor pen at level 4. Having Thunderlords Decree will increase the burst in your ganking power and having Merciless, Oppressor, and Sorcery give a substantial increase in your overall damage. His item build is a little wonky right now as well as his main tank items have increased in cost or have been lowered in effectiveness. Gragas is also fairly mana hungry so itemizing into mana is pretty important if you want to keep pressure up. The problem is that Frozen Heart and Rigtheous Glory are not very good right now and are more niche items against certain comps. There is an item that Gragas can use that was buffed though: {{item:3025}}. With IBG, Gragas has the potential to permanently CC targets. The item is also great for clearing the jungle even faster with the AOE spellblade effect. The most important thing is that it gives a lot of stats that Gragas likes. 20% CDR is huge and 500 mana is enough to sustain him through the midgame without Blue buff. Be warned, this doesn't give great protection against magic damage heavy comps. If you are facing such a comp, Aegis and Spectre's Cowl are your go-to's as intermediate items to sit on while you build Glacial shroud or a Sheen: {{item:1401}} ->{{item:3211}} ->{{item:3024}} ->{{item:3065}} for example. I think that Gragas may need some help to really find a place in this meta, but there might be more that players can do to increase his winrate than buffs by experimenting and finding what works for him right now. Gragas is definitely my favorite champion right now (he has been for awhile), but he was a problem champion for a long time in Season 5 as he had no inherent weaknesses and was an incredibly safe pick as he could fit in ANY teamcomp. One thing to keep in mind through all of this is that Gragas' winrate in solo queue was low even during the World's patch ~46-47% even though he was a very contested pick. His winrate right now is about 44% right now and I think this stems partially from season changes that didn't favor him, but also partially due to people being unsure of what works best for him right now, and I think this might be a result of his drop in popularity. Gragas will always probably have a relatively low winrate in solo queue though as he really can't carry games as a tank, but rather carries by proxy by snowballing his team's carries. He needs a team to play with him to be "OP" and that doesn't always happen in solo queue games. Sorry for the long post. These are my thoughts on Gragas' fall from the top. Direct nerfs hit him near the end of Season 5, but indirect nerfs have probably hit him harder than those. I think he's still good and can carry games, but he appears to be underpowered as a tank jungler right now. I feel like Gragas is one buff away from being a good solo laner again though. Lichbane and RoA have both been buffed recently and Abyssal Scepter is almost made for Gragas and is one of the cheapest AP items right now. If his Q is ever altered to do more damage to minions, I think we'll see Gragas in the spotlight again. Anyway. I wish you all the best. Give me some feedback if you have the time. Thanks for reading. Peace.
: PBE Mastery changes won't change anything, people will still go cunning because of Precision
Disclaimer: Longish post I think there is some merit to this statement, but the offensive side of the Cunning Tree itself is mostly for Assassin archetypes and burst champions who thrive with Thunderlords and Precision. A lot of champions CAN fit this archetype with their all in potential; if you use all your abilities and auto attack the enemy to try to kill them, there is likely to be a lot of burst involved in this all-in. Precision certainly helps with this, but I think Thunderlord's Decree is the main problem. I think a problem with Thunderlord's right now is that the 3 hits that proc the effect do not have to be within a short time frame. I also think that DFT is still in a pretty bad spot for AP mages right now who cannot output continuous DPS in the form of DOT or a continuum of spells ({{champion:13}}). This is why even poke mages, who I think were meant to want to opt for Deathfire Touch, are using Thunderlord's Decree instead because the base damage on it is high enough to warrant them getting it over DFT if they cannot continuously hit their opponents with spells. I think that there needs to be more work on Thunderlords as it sits right now, starting with giving Thunderlord's decree a shorter time window to keep the procs up. Look at Stormraider's for example, where the only way to activate the effect is to deal 30% of an enemy champion's health within 2 seconds (not hard if you're Annie). This indicates to the player that they should use everything they have to try and burst down a champion. Thunderlord's decree seems to have a 5 second window before your stacks reset on a champion. That means you can use up to 15 seconds to hit your enemy 3 times and proc the passive. This makes it INCREDIBLY abusable during the laning phase (especially if you have a range advantage) as you can tap your opponent with a ranged ability or AA, avoid harass that your enemy throws back at you and continue last hitting and just remember to keep poking them until the mastery procs and you chunk your opponent. A more balanced version of this mastery aimed towards burst champions and assassins would be to have it so the 3 attacks must occur within 3 seconds of each other. So after the first attack you would have 3 seconds to get 2 more attacks off to proc the effect. This would eliminate the scenario where Ziggs is throwing a Q at you or auto harassing you every few seconds and still getting the benefit of the mastery. I think another thing to consider doing with Thunderlord's is reducing its base damage just a tad. Just something to consider as it seems to just outdamage Deathfire Touch in most situations for mages (until substantial AP is built). I think yet another thing that could be done is reducing its effectiveness on ranged champions, sort of how they reduced Fervor's effectiveness on ranged champions. They could just hit the base damage here. For example: "the target takes 10 - 180 (based on level) [50% effective on ranged champions]". Honestly, this sounds a little confusing but someone at Riot could probably word it better, but I feel like ranged ADC's probably shouldn't get away with dominating the laning phase because they have a range advantage and should be looking to scale with Fervor or Warlord's which scale with Attack Speed and Crit. Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter right now. I think Thunderlord's should be applicable to a wide variety of champions, but its current effectiveness is much too high right now. I do think that Precision is a partial reason to invest in the Cunning tree, but it is still Thunderlord's that is bringing people to the party. I don't think that Riot will be satisfied if the changes to the Keystones (currently on the PBE) do not steer people away from Thunderlord's as much as they would like and I honestly feel like 6.1 will still be Thunderlord dominated as it is highly abusable no matter what lane you play in and is simply the best mastery for the laning phase. Tell me your thoughts on the matter. I might post this as a new discussion entirely on why Thunderlord's is so dominant and what can be done. Now that I think about it, there is probably a Youtuber who has put up a video discussing this better than I can, but I'd still like to hear from other people. Peace.
infinyx (NA)
: @Meddler, current thoughts on Gragas considering how he seems weak?
I honestly feel like he's not as bad as he seems on paper. He does have a really low winrate which probably means there is a problem with him right now, but I think some of this might stem from people not adjusting to new/changing masteries, changed items, and a new meta. Can I ask what Runes, masteries and build path you are using right now? If you check any site on that, they usually have the most popular items on him being Cinderhulk (not sure which enchantment), and then Deadman's Plate and Righteous Glory being some of the items that are bought often on him. A lot of streamers who are jungle mains run this kind of build on Gragas and AP/Tank champions like him right now as they find DMP to be the most efficient HP/Armor item and Gragas is fairly mana hungry in the early parts of the game (and really still in the lategame if he builds no mana and gives away blue buffs). But I don't think this build is really the best setup for Gragas, particularly in solo queue (below Diamond primarily). **Disclaimer: I am NOT a Diamond player; based on streams and playbacks of players in that bracket and above, I assume they have a lot more organization than lower levels.** Anyway. I have some ideas about how to improve on your Gragas game based on a little experience and some calculations. I do think he needs a little tweaking to make him more of a solo queue champion rather than just being viable when you have reliable teammates to work with you (more competitively viable due to organization). I think some minor stat changes and some tweaking to damage on his Q and W is the way to go (maybe touch on his E a little too). He doesn't need a lot of help really to be extremely viable in a solo lane right now as AP item changes favor him in a big way right now. A slight increase to minion damage on his Q would be all he really needs, but there is a risk of this being abused and we will see the old non-interactive Gragas mid/top that just sits under tower when he's behind and never loses any CS. We'll see what happens though. Peace.
: A mini buff to lane gragas?
I'm honestly all for Gragas buffs, but I feel like a full revert to Q's damage to minions would still make him a problem as a laner. Gragas was way to safe as a solo laner as his Q could clear waves easily and Gragas could avoid interaction with the enemy due to his kits disengage potential. If they were to alter his Q, I feel like they would have to reduce its current AP scaling and possibly hit its base damage as well to make it deal 80 to 90 percent of its current nonminion damage. I feel like if it weren't for the fact that AP burst mages are kinda meh with the current items and mastery system that Gragas would actually be in a pretty good spot. Item changes actually seem to favor him in Lichbane, RoA, Abyssal Scepter and Lucidity boots getting buffed while Deathcap and Zhonya's getting nerfed. Gragas liked D-cap but he wasn't in love with it when compared to Pen items and the extra burst from Luden's. And he is not really dependent on having Zhonya's unless he is against Zed or a high burst opponent. What he probably needs is love to his Q, but a full revert I think is too much and he would be very strong in solo lanes. It would be a 42 percent increase in his damage to minions on his Q if it were reverted fully, but giving it some better minion damage would make him a much stronger pick. I feel like Riot wants to have Gragas be a damage oriented AP fighter that builds a mix of AP and defense, but Gragas has either been a full AP champ or a full tank champion based on what is strong on him at the time. He needs to maintain high-ish base damage but his scaling might need to be hit as his current Q's AP ratio when charged is .9 on top of a 360 base damage at level 9 means he can easily clear minions with no effort. A fully charged barrel that had a .75 to .8 ratio would be a lot better and a base damage of 320 would probably make it much more manageable for balance. In order to give Gragas more damage in other abilities, I would suggest increasing the AP ratio on his W as they have taken away a lot of the damage from the ability when he was abusing it to maintain high damage throughout the game without building any damage items. Increasing the AP ratio would not help Tank Gragas, but would help a more damage oriented build with Lichbane and pen items such as {{item:3001}} {{item:3020}} {{item:3135}} {{item:3136}}. I hope Gragas doesn't have to wait a full year to be viable again. He is still a strong jungle pick purely for the Utility in his Ult, but he is considerably weaker than he has been and it seems like it just gets worse and worse with each change to the masteries. I still find success in both his AP and his tank build, but I feel like I would have been better off with another champion most of the time. Anyway. I hope Gragas gets some love with the awaited Control Mage update Riot has been hinting at. It might be enough to bring him back into solo lanes, even if it is just item changes that benefit him. Peace.
Onwodori (NA)
: Singed mains -- teach me your ways.
Honestly. I dont like the Tear build on him. I think it takes too long even though it's pretty easy to stack on singed. He doesn't need as much mana as it gives him and the AP you gain isn't really as strong on him as it could be. When I do play Singed, I usually just build RoA and then build based on how the game is going. I have built nearly every item on him at some point (besides AD items), and I really like some items more than others. Offense: {{item:3027}} {{item:3116}} {{item:3151}} {{item:3285}} {{item:3135}} {{item:3001}} Defense: {{item:3742}} {{item:3075}} {{item:3143}} {{item:3065}} {{item:3083}} {{item:3110}} {{item:3102}} Situational/Utility: {{item:3060}} {{item:3165}} {{item:3800}} {{item:3512}} Boots: {{item:1323}} {{item:1318}} {{item:1313}} {{item:1308}} {{item:1333}} all work. I love distortion enchant for more {{summoner:6}} As I said, I don't like Tear personally but I know people have really good success with it, but I feel it delays Singed's powerspike too much as his midgame has to be strong or he will have a tough lategame. If you like it, its still a good item stat wise. it gives 250 hp along with the mana and AP when fully stacked. I just feel that RoA is more cost efficient now that it gives 120 AP and 800 mana which is close enough to AA staff but with significantly more HP coming up to 700 HP with SInged's passive. I honestly feel like a more defensively based Singed is more powerful for your team than an AP stacking Singed. That said, you should definitely be a legitimate threat to a backline as Singed and balancing offense and defense items for Singed is very tricky. I feel like he has a very open build in that he can easily opt for items to fit the situation more so than other champions and I think that he is a great champion to learn for this reason. You have to really think about which champs the enemy team has and which ones are strong/weak. You also have to think about the amount of CC on the enemy team and what kind it is to optimize your build (ie. are Swiftness boots optimal vs Mercs vs Tabi vs Lucidity). In teamfights, it is usually best for Singed to be a diver on top of the enemy backline, using Ghost, TP, Flash or an item along with your Ult to really pressure them to run away from you rather than risk getting tossed behind you. This is best done when an enemy frontline dives onto your own backline/frontline. Chasing after the enemy backline will make the diving enemies feel very overextended and without the support of 2 or 3 of their own team, will likely fall to your teammates. You should always fall back if you are taking too much damage and go to help your team deal with the few diving fighters/tanks if they are still alive. The enemy carries will try and follow you to try and finish you off which will likely cause them to take damage from your poison trail. If your team is behind, sometimes it is best to be a massive splitpush threat to try and take the enemy's attention away from your team as they catch up. If you are not attracting the attention of 2 or more enemies though, your team might be in trouble as they will likely lose a 4v4 if they are behind, so keep this in mind and try this when Teleport is up. If your team is ahead, Singed makes a great tower diver as his ult gives him significant defensive stats to keep him chugging even with a laser burning his ass all day. Laning phase for Singed is the hardest part of playing him as he has a lot of tough matchups. Getting early jungle help can really snowball Singed in a big way. Champions that can only output one damage type makes Singed's lane a lot easier as well as early boot upgrades are usually core on Singed. Taking the Corrupting potion is a good start on any Singed game as it keeps him healthy and his mana up in the laning phase and it increases his DOT damage significantly to enemies. I'm not an expert Singed player but I hope this helps. I have a lot of fun playing Singed and I think I can speak to his strengths and weaknesses. He does need to snowball to carry a game but he can always remain relevant in some way if behind. But when Singed is ahead/fed, he is nearly impossible to deal with. Anyway, peace man. Have a good day.
Rebonack (NA)
: The flat pen mastery is stronger than both %Pen masteries combined in most situations
I agree that the flat pen mastery is better for most of the game but the keystone masteries in each tree are drastically different. The Cunning tree is for assassins and support type characters primarily based on the keystones, which you are investing in when you get the flat pen mastery. Burst mages/marksmen may find Thunderlords or Stormraiders more appealing, but for the most part, mages, fighters, and adc's would probably prefer one of the three Ferocity keystones. I don't think it is really necessary for masteries to be equal in power when looking at different trees, as you have to give up something in return that might be more appealing on another tree. They made this change primarily to help AD assassins who are having trouble with the current meta and I think it will work. I'm not sure if it is going to work _too_ well, but this is a significant buff to these champions. With the new Assassin mastery as well, I wouldn't be surprised to see most midlaners (and some toplaners) to take 18 points in Cunning over Ferocity even if they were doing well with DFT or Fervor. We'll probably see a lot of 18/12/0 as well for more dps centered champs, but I think people are really appreciating the extra burst from Thunderlord's and the flat pen mastery that will help them a lot more in winning lane.
: About Veigar
I honestly feel like the thing that makes Veigar so strong isn't his damage. It's his E. I think that it needs to be changed before Veigar can be in a really good spot. I agree wholeheartedly in his most recent buffs in his W and ability power stacking change as they were things that felt bad playing as Veigar. His E though, that is something that needs addressed more than I think people give it credit for. I think that Veigar needs this ability in some form, but its current iteration is too strong (don't get me started on when it was instant). What needs to happen is for the Cage to last a shorter time on the field before disappearing or for the duration of the stun to be reduced at later levels or both or a higher CD or all 3 in some form or another. There are a lot of levers to work with, but his E can potentially keep you from moving freely for 5+ seconds (if you are stuck inside the cage and try to escape as early as possible but mistime it and hit the wall anyway) and the area it covers is huge (about the size of a lane width). No matter what, Veigar's E is a HUGE zoning tool for 3.5 seconds at least and makes him very strong just in terms of utility. If it were up to me, either the stun would be a flat 1.5 seconds at all levels or the cage would last only 2 seconds on the field instead of 3 and would have a maximum stun duration of 2 seconds. With Season 6 coming up, I'm not sure what to expect. What I do know is that Tenacity took a big hit in Merc Treads only granting 20% and the only other way to get tenacity is by dedicating 5 points into a Tier 2 mastery branch for 15% more, some CC is going to be incredibly more valuable, particularly the longer Hard CC duration abilities such as Veigar's current 2.5 second stun on a max rank E (longest stun duration besides Ashe Ult after X distance). Other noteworthy abilities would be Morgana Q, Irelia E, Ryze W, Fiddle Fear, and Cho Silence. Anyway. That's my piece. I'm pretty terrible at Talon but I'll keep that in mind. Peace.
Catsaber (NA)
: How do you deal with ryze?
Honestly... you can't unless you are ready for him. Ryze is really bad balance wise as he is completely OP but his winrate is incredibly low because he is really hard to play. My recommendation would be to pick Chogath into Ryze and have your jungler camp the shit out of you until he has no towers in the top lane and then try and make plays elsewhere on the map. Chogath can disrupt Ryze pretty well with his knockup and silence. If Ryze ever, I mean EVER W snares you scream at his face immediately and run away. In a teamfight setting though. Everyone just focus Ryze and kill him until he is dead. If you can't do that, well you probably lost that teamfight as he will probably sustain through any damage you can deal individually and lock you down and (kinda) burst you to 0 before you can get away. He only has one Snare at a time so if you unload CC on him and keep him from having W uptime, he will not be able to keep himself alive as his tankiness is tied to his damage output so shutting him down is a must. He's OP as fuck. Luckily, most people are kinda bad with him. I'm not that great personally but I have completely carried games with him and it just seems unfair if Ryze gets rolling as he can just force fights if he gets far enough ahead and you really can't do anything about it.
Rozair (NA)
: Top 5 champions that need a rework
I'll just leave this here. The DPS mages: {{champion:268}} {{champion:69}} {{champion:13}}. The damage output from these champs will always be too strong if they are not in a weak state. They also all have relatively high skill caps that keep their winrates extremely low even though they are all probably still overpowered when in skilled hands. I think this is a pretty big problem balance wise and they should be fixed. Riot has given hints that they are working towards giving them some tweaks to make them more balanced, but I think this is going to take a while. More obviously you can look at Poppy, Taric, Urgot, Yorick and a lot of other older champions that need some work to bring them into the modern age. A lot of these champs are currently being worked on or have plans to be worked on but I feel like the DPS mages need some help for the balance of the game. oh and Aatrox needs some work. Especially after grievous wounds for any ad gets thrown in.
Red Ryu (NA)
: Somethings I learn from the PBE playing Evelynn
I will say that the jungle seems a lot rougher right now on the PBE, but maybe I just need to find the right masteries set up that will help the first clear more. It is pretty rough without assistance. I don't think it is Eve specific is what I'm saying.
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