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Coming from Korea’s OGN league and jumping straight into competitive play in North America,  I had a chance to sit down with Lustboy after defeating Evil Geniuses in his LCS debut with Team SoloMid.

lUSTBOY

 

Lustboy, how was your trip from Korea?

Lustboy:  It was good. On the plane I thought about the game and about bot lane in general.

 

What is your favorite thing that’s happened so far while in the US?

Lustboy:  Wildturtle jumping forward into the enemy team!

 

How are you getting along with the team so far? Who do you think you are most alike?

Lustboy:  We are all getting along well. I think me and Amazing have the most in common.

 

Playing with Wildturtle, what is the biggest thing that stands out to you in his play?

Lustboy:  I like playing with Turtle because he has great mechanics and can out play the enemy adc reliably.

 

Do you think WildTurtle is the best AD Carry in NA?

Lustboy:  Yes.

 

How strong are you as a bot lane right now compared to how strong you could be?

Lustboy:  We are very strong right now and we have a lot of room to continue growing and be even stronger.

 

How was your first LCS match? Was there a lot of pressure to perform? How do you feel about your performance?

Lustboy:  It was good. We mostly played defensively because we knew we were playing for top lane. I felt like Krepo did not play as aggressively as he should have. There was no stress, but a lot of pressure coming into a team where you have high expectations to perform, especially when people already expect you to perform. I gave my best and feel like I did well, but I performed at about 30% of my potential.

 

Who do you want to face the most? Why?

Lustboy:  I like playing against CLG because they have a very strong bot lane.

 

Do you feel you are the best bot lane in NA?

Lustboy:  Yes.

 

TSM now has 3 players that came from another region. What are your thoughts on regions importing talent?

Lustboy:  I believe that except for EU, only top players are traded to other regions. I believe it is good for top talent to be able to move freely. That said, I think when an entire team transfers from one region to another, it makes cheering for them a little less genuine. Not to take away from any teams, all of them are just as hard working as the next and deserve to play and compete where they wish. I just don’t want it to become an issue of oversaturation of foreign talent to the point where a single region takes over the entire international scene.

 

Anything else you would like to say?

Lustboy:  When I first arrived I was anxious and felt a lot of pressure. Once I saw how motivated the rest of the team was I started to feel more relaxed, and after the most recent games I feel like the weight has been lifted.  I am ready to prove that I am a top player and will only get better.

 


 

About the author: Tim Kimbirk is an eSports Journalist and writer with Solomid. Stay up to date on the latest interviews and features by following on twitter: @CaymusNoL

Lustboy joins TSM

July 22nd, 2014
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Jang-sik “Lustboy” Ham will be replacing Gleeb as TSM’s starting support player. This was not an easy decision for us since playoffs are less than a month away, but this drastic change is necessary for us to maximize our chances of qualifying for the World Championship.

Lustboy is the former support player of the Korean team CJ Entus Blaze and played for them for two years. He helped Blaze secure their 1st place win at OGN 2012 Spring, 2nd place at OGN 2013 Spring, and 1st place at IEM 7 World Championship in 2013.

CantTellIfTroll

“Our performance this split has been underwhelming and we don’t feel very confident going into playoffs. When we picked up Gleeb, I knew it would take time for him to play comfortably against top supports, but he’s not where we need him to be yet and we are running out of time. I know it’s late in the split, but we feel this change needs to be done to improve our chances of making it to the World Championship.” – Yoonsup “Locodoco” Choi, coach of TSM

Gleeb will remain a substitute player for TSM and we will continue to support him. He will be posting a statement within the next couple of days.

Lustboy is already at the TSM house and will debut at LCS this weekend.

You can follow Lustboy on:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TSMLustboy
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LustboyLOL

Current TSM starting roster:
Top – Marcus “Dyrus” Hill
Jungle – Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider
Mid – Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg
AD – Jason “WildTurtle” Tran
Support – Jang-sik “Lustboy” Ham

Categories: Esports, LoL News, Original Content Tags:

 

Introduce yourself!

 Hello I am Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, I am Polish and I play Jungle for Team ROCCAT in the European LCS.

 

You finished 3rd in the playoffs, but you’ve had a rough season so far? What’s going on?

 We are underperforming because we did not really adapt to the new meta, but we are playing a lot right now which hopefully will lead with us catching up and managing to fight for the top spots

 

What do you think are the biggest issues in the team? What influences your play the most?

 Our individual decision making is currently not on par with the other teams. Our team fights are lacking the microgame, so we are trying to improve it.

 

Do you think the team can recover? Is going to worlds still in your crosshairs?

 We are doing our best to recover, I think we are on the way on getting back competing for the best slots, and I definitely think that we will be fighting for a worlds spot at the playoffs!

 

How does the team operate in game? Who is responsible for primary shotcalling? What is your mindset like entering a game?

 I think main shotcallers are me and Overpow, but everyone has its calls and ideas in game. We do not limit ourselves to one or two persons, we all have our tasks during the game.

And about the mindset – #ROCCATFIGHTING

 

How do you deal with criticism on social media/from fans? Is it hard or demotivating, or do you take it and use it positively?

 Lately people are actually trying to help us rather than criticize and bash on us. Which i think its quite helpful for us. People are trying to cheer us up on our social media rather than flaming us for losing. And usually those things dont really affect me in a bad way.

 

The tables seemed to have shifted quite a bit. How big of a skill difference do you believe there is between the top half of teams and the bottom half?

 I think SK and Alliance are ahead of the rest right now, but most of the teams right now are able to catch up with them with the time if they continue adapting the way they are right now. I think we are one of those teams that can catch up to them.

 

How strong is Alliance? Do you think they are still only warming up? What’s it like playing against Shook, who shares a similar champion pool to you?

 

Alliance is currently the best team in Europe. Most of their players solo skills are the best in the region and not only that but right now they are even good with their team play and rotations. I don’t see anyone beating them for now in EU. Shook is the best jungle in European LCS and I really like to play against him because i learn new stuff, and it is always a challenge.

 

You seem to be relying on old favorites in the jungle. Is this personal or team preference?

 I think everyone right now is relying on the old champions like Elise, Lee and Eve. They are just the best options right now for the jungle, and those are anyways my personal favorites.

 

What do you feel are the most viable junglers right now in competitive play, and do you think we will be seeing anything new?

 If the 3 OP’s are not available, we might see Rengar, Jarvan, Vi, Skarner – but you need to build a team around them specifically for them to be as useful in game.

 

Shoutouts?

 I want to thank all the people that support us even when we are losing – that means a lot to us! Also i would like to thank ROCCAT and AMD for the continued trust and support, without them we wouldn’t be able to be where we are. Also a big thanks to my girlfriend for supporting me and being there for me!

 

Top Tier Korean Solo Queue Banner

 Note: This article was not written by me, but by a friend of mine who’d like to write for the site.

 

 Hey everyone. In this article I’ll go over last month’s top 5 Champions for each role in Korean Diamond Solo queue. I will list each pick’s win rate, games played and Kills-Deaths-Assists (KDA) ratio so you have a clear idea of each Champion’s potential. There are a lot of unorthodox picks that Koreans use to dominate; personally, I didn’t expect to see some of them make the top 5. Keep reading and find out who the hidden overpowered picks are and why you should consider them for climbing the ladder.

Jungling is my main role, so I’ll start with Korea’s top junglers.

 

 

Top 5 Jungle Picks

 

Fiddlesticks New Portrait

  • 54.39% Win Rate
  • 45,390 Games Played
  • 2.66:1 KDA

 

Pantheon New Portrait

  • 53.48% Win Rate
  • 30,389 Games Played
  • 2.61:1 KDA

 

Shaco New Portrait

  • 53.45% Win Rate
  • 14,747 Games Played
  • 2.53:1 KDA

 

Wukong New Portrait

  • 53.38% Win Rate
  • 8,606 Games Played
  • 2.56:1 KDA

 

Jarvan IV New Portrait

  • 52.54% Win Rate
  • 71,950 Games Played
  • 3.40:1 KDA

 

Before we begin: I know Fiddlesticks can be played support and Wukong, Jarvan and Pantheon can be played top or mid, but the key word here is can. In the majority of games you will see these picks in the jungle. I was honestly surprised when I saw Fiddle and Shaco in the top 5, because they are some of the hardest junglers to play properly. Fiddlesticks and Shaco have always been strong and can still carry an entire team, but only if you are really experienced with them.  They have a plethora of weaknesses your enemies can exploit. so unless you really know what you are doing, I wouldn’t advise playing them in Ranked.

The rest – Pantheon, Wukong and Jarvan IV – as aggressive junglers with a solid early game, are pretty straightforward. They’re not hard to pick up and, as such, get a solid recommendation from me, even if you’re just now exploring jungle picks and don’t have experience playing them.

 

 

Top 5 Mid Picks

 

Note: Kayle data is irrelevant.

 

Talon New Portrait

  • 56.15% Win Rate
  • 18,546 Games Played
  • 2.55:1 KDA

 

Akali New Portrait

  • 54.99% Win Rate
  • 15,934 Games Played
  • 2.31:1 KDA

 

Kayle New Portrait

  • 54.96% Win Rate
  • 35,947 Games Played
  • 2.46:1 KDA

 

Brand New Portrait

  • 53.64% Win Rate
  • 6,469 Games Played
  • 2.38:1 KDA

 

Katarina New Portrait

  • 53.43% Win Rate
  • 35,311 Games Played
  • 2.84:1 KDA

 

Xerath New Portrait

  • 52.16% Win Rate
  • 16,362 Games Played
  • 3.13:1 KDA

 

 Seeing Kayle in the top 5 comes as a shock to no one, but if you’re thinking about playing her, let me stop you right there. In the last week Kayle has dropped down to a 47.99% win rate due to the recent nerfs and I would advise against playing her, at least until she receives some buffs or a new overpowered build is found on her. For these reasons, I’ve included Xerath to fill the missing spot.

 Talon has been a great pick for the assassin role ever since Zed got nerfed. I was most surprised to see Akali and Brand in the top 5. Whenever I’m forced to play mid I tend to pick Akali and I have a pretty good win rate with her (57.1%). That I don’t play laners at all and still manage to do well with Akali should be an indicator that she’s worth considering in Solo Queue. It bears reminding that Akali and Talon can be played in other lanes, but tend to do way better on mid.

 Also, Katarina and Xerath. Xerath has been gaining popularity and even our lord Faker himself has started to play him. All in all some pretty interesting and unexpected mid laners have become popular in the Korean scene and if you’re wondering what to play you should give them a shot.

 

 

Top 5 Top Picks

 

Rumble New Portrait

  • 55.99% Win Rate
  • 14,382 Games Played
  • 2.69:1 KDA

 

Fiora New Portrait

  • 53.35% Win Rate
  • 4,887 Games Played
  • 1.88:1 KDA

 

Lulu New Portrait

  • 53.35% Win Rate
  • 52,419 Games Played
  • 3.14:1 KDA

 

Riven New Portrait

  • 52.50% Win Rate
  • 64,130 Games Played
  • 2.18:1 KDA

 

Tryndamere New Portrait

  • 51.64% Win Rate
  • 8,390 Games Played
  • 1.87:1 KDA

 

 The reason I put Lulu as a top and not a mid laner in my ranking is because I rarely ever see her mid and from watching the pros they also mostly put her top nowadays. As for the fifth place, I was debating between Tryndamere and Ryze, but Ryze is becoming more common on mid than on top.  The clear oddities here are Rumble and Fiora, who, if you’re looking for someone new to play top, are worth your attention.

 

 

Top 5 ADC Picks

 

Kogmaw New Portrait

  • 53.44% Win Rate
  • 39,425 Games Played
  • 2.73:1 KDA

 

Jinx New Portrait

  • 53.23% Win Rate
  • 34,312 Games Played
  • 2.75:1 KDA

 

Draven New Portrait

  • 52.89% Win Rate
  • 20,732 Games Played
  • 2.56:1 KDA

 

Miss Fortune New Portrait

  • 52.38% Win Rate
  • 4,089 Games Played
  • 2.61:1 KDA

 

Sivir New Portrait

  • 52.31% Win Rate
  • 7,073 Games Played
  • 2.91:1 KDA

 

 Seeing Kog and Jinx here is no surprise after the recent Bloodthirster nerfs and the rise of hypercarries. Draven is like the Lee Sin of ADCs – useless if bad and amazing if good. On that note, it makes sense that he’s dominating in high Korean ELO, but you shouldn’t pick him up expecting to win without having a fair bit of practice. Miss Fortune and Sivir are fairly unpopular picks, but they can snowball and become carry machines if played well.

Last, but definitely not least, the supports.

 

 

Top 5 Support Picks

 

Braum New Portrait

  • 54.26% Win Rate
  • 18,095 Games Played
  • 3.20:1 KDA

 

Morgana New Portrait

  • 53.51% Win Rate
  • 58,436 Games Played
  • 3.05:1 KDA

 

Sona New Portrait

  • 52.38% Win Rate
  • 9,340 Games Played
  • 2.92:1 KDA

 

Leona New Portrait

  • 51.54% Win Rate
  • 38,172 Games Played
  • 2.69:1 KDA

 

Blitzcrank

  • 51.49% Win Rate
  • 44,421 Games Played
  • 2.75:1 KDA

 

 Braum being first is to be expected. This guy is insanely overpowered and fun to play; you can try and pick him up, but good luck getting past his 72.5% ban rate. Morgana is the ideal counter to Braum and so logically takes second place. The odd picks here are found later down the ranks;  I never imagined that Thresh and Nami would be overshadowed by Leona and Blitzcrank, but there you have it .

 

 

Why it’s worth to follow the Korean ladder

 

Although a lot of the Champions I listed here are used in NA as well, some of the picks are wildly unexpected and underrated, and thus deserve your attention if you’re looking for a fresh and, possibly, sleeper OP Champion to climb the ladder with. In League, you learn from those better than you and Koreans are leaps and bounds ahead, so learning how they compete is always worthwhile.

 

 

 

New Lucian is One Step Too Many in the Right Direction Banner

 

 I make a habit not to dive too deeply into analyzing PBE changes. A lot of controversial decisions get scrapped somewhere in the cycle up to the next patch, which makes over-thinking these updates pointless. The Lucian changes, however, did make it to live, despite how ridiculous they were even in the test realm. I could talk about his win rate actually jumping up despite his popularity going down, which indicates a balance flaw, I could elaborate on numbers and how his passive is the actual problem (which isn’t necessarily the case); instead I’ll take a systemic approach and analyze Lucian’s changes from start to finish, going through him (again) overshadowing other picks and being too anti-melee and finally proposing some solutions to his current state.

 Before we dive in, some clarity – I like the new Lucian better than the old one and I feel his core gameplay is better-executed.  However, I still think he needs toning down. 

 The concept of Lucian as a lightslinger who dashes in and out of combat is great. If we’re only focusing on the fun factor of playing Lucian prior to Patch 4.12 and now, then we can argue that this type of gameplay feels much better, therefore the changes helped out. Beyond that, the AA range nerf solved Lucian’s key problem of being a lane bully who allowed close to no counterplay from all but, say, Caitlyn. But solving the binary experience of laning against Lucian doesn’t justify adding binary experience later in the game.

 

Less Range Banner

 This is the clear nerf to Lucian – his auto-attack range. Relentless Pursuit is supposed to compensate for the new weakness in his kit, a weakness that I, personally, don’t believe to be that clearly-pronounced, and here’s why.

 500 range in lane allows a lot of carries to either abuse Lucian early or at least feel safer from unfavorable trades early on. You have the Renekton-scenario from a few months ago where you’re relying on a Champion (or set of Champions) to inhibit picks you don’t want to see get through early game without trouble. However, unlike the 1v1s that Renekton found himself in a lot of times (and to some extent prompted the pro-level lane swaps), Lucian doesn’t have that level of consistent counterplay, because he’s paired with a support and that makes abusing the newly-introduced weakness in his kit (low range) much harder.

500 vs 650 AA Comparison

 My biggest gripe with arguments that Lucian was nerfed in Patch 4.12 because Caitlyn, Kog’Maw and Tristana can deny him early on is that laning 2v2 is a lot more complex than A > B. Caitlyn, despite being the most popular Champion in LoL and being cited as a clear counter to short-range carries, consistently hovers around 50% win-rate, meaning that, statistically, you gain no benefits by blindly picking Caitlyn. What if Lucian and his support push the first wave faster than you? What if his support is better at controlling the brush area? What if the enemy jungler denies your early aggression? Without even taking into account the burst > sustain > poke > burst triangle, you already have an environment where range isn’t the sole determining factor. In that case, you need to solve only the clearly oppressive cases of imbalance ( Lucian’s Q and right click pre-Patch 4.12) and allow factors with varying results like range resolve themselves as the meta evolves. Or, to put in simpler words – Caitlyn’s range gives her an edge that will not work half the time in a 2v2 and relying on that weakness to balance out the rest of a Champion’s kit is prone to backfiring.

 

-50 Range is not a massive trade-off

 As soon as we move away from laning is when the problems with the new Lucian start to creep up. Aside from the obvious boost in damage from proccing the passive more often, Lucian gets obscene high- ranged dashes at no cost and almost no cooldown that also remove slows. Allow me to compare Lucian and Graves and you’ll see just how badly conventional mobility on ranged ADs looks now.

 

Quickdraw [ E ]

QuickdrawRange: 425 || Cost: 40 Mana || Cooldown: 22/20/18/16/14

Active: Graves dashes forward, gaining an Attack Speed boost for 4 seconds. Basic attacks against non-structure enemy units reduce the cooldown of Quickdraw by 1 second.

 


Relentless Pursuit [ E ]

Relentless_PursuitRange: 425 || Cooldown: 14/13/12/11/10

  • Active: Lucian dashes a short distance and removes all slowing effects. Relentless Pursuit’s cooldown is reduced by 1 second for each of Lightslinger’s strikes; the reduction per strike is doubled against enemy Champions.

 

 I don’t mind Lucian’s kit when taken out of the game’s context, I think it’s pretty well-executed, both thematically and gameplay-wise. It’s only when you juxtapose him against other AD picks or see how he dominates bruiser picks without effort that you understand how Lucian’s “fun factor” comes at the cost of the enemy’s. What I love and appreciate about strategy games is that you can’t put two of the same kind against one another and have one be the clear winner; and that, I believe, is the case with Lucian’s post-Patch 4.12 iteration. In simple terms, he feels like an upgrade of Graves.

  Now, it’s my personal opinion that range for ADCs in the areas of 500 to 700 is largely the same in the context of a proper teamfight. Almost all hard disables and gap-closers have higher range than basic attacks, so range is only a factor if it dips below a value where you can effectively kite a fighter or stay away from projectiles that, because of the shorter distance, have less travel time than what you need to dodge them. On that same note, I don’t think Lucian’s range nerf, combined with the amount of mobility he now has, create any easily exploitable weakness in his kit.

 To summarize my first two sections, it feels like more power was given to Relentless Pursuit than was taken away from Lucian’s range. The difference between 500 range and 550 range is mostly noticeable during laning and that’s a 2v2 scenario with a lot more variables than just range. The massive boost to mobility mostly compensates for the range nerfs and makes Lucian feel more like an upgrade to older short-range carries than a Champion with a unique niche and clearly defined pros and cons.

 

 

Who suffers banner

 Players believe Yasuo is oppressive to play against, that his Windwall is unfair or that his mobility is off the charts. Really, Yasuo is the Champion release team’s reaction to the rising mobility creep in Champions who are just too safe. Without exaggerating, Yasuo is an example of how future Melee kits will look like if Champion development continues to focus on mobility with zero trade-offs. The more mobility continues to be an assumed given rather than a specific strength, the more Champions without it will suffer, because they have no tangible benefits over other picks.

 As a simple example, the new Lucian makes Nasus completely obsolete. That’s one Champion who got indirectly nerfed by a popular carry receiving changes. Now let’s assume Olaf gets buffed and becomes a staple top laner or jungler again. As soon as he faces a competent Lucian player, he becomes a liability for his team. How many more examples can we find? With just his spammable dash and slow removal, Lucian nullifies all but the hard-locking melees bruisers, like Irelia, Renekton, Jax, Vi, etc. We saw during last year’s pre-season how unhealthy swinging balance is in favor of bruisers, where an immovable brick wall would land in the middle of your team and proceed to do 100 damage-per-second in an AoE. Now, with hyper-carries having an easier time getting their core items and BotRK being even more ridiculous, we’re again seeing the consequence of giving too much power to a class whose direct counter, assassins, have been removed from the meta.

lucian win rate diamond

That’s a huge spike in wins across Diamond ELO. Currently 51.25% win rate.

 What the issue between sustained melee damage vs ranged damage boils down to is one side can kite (or orb walk), whereas the other cannot. A melee Champion cannot utilize any meaningful mechanical skills to gain the upper hand, he simply needs to itemize properly, have some defensive steroid and win the fight by force of attrition, i.e wasting the ranged player’s escape cooldowns and overpowering him with raw stats. And because the only conceivable counter to kiting in this case is mobility, melees are forced to have mobility strapped onto their kits, regardless of whether their kit has already been pushed in other directions. These Champions often rely on consistent slows to catch up to ranged targets, but Lucian in his current state completely negates that.

 So who suffers? Champions with outdated kits, as always. The most dangerous role to give dominance to in LoL is ranged ADs, because then everyone else has to play catch-up in terms of mechanics, since ADCs are the priority late-game targets. Do we want mobility to define meta staples? Then we need to patiently wait for the Rework team to get older picks to the same quantity of mechanics.

 

How Lucian Banner

I like to reach reasonable conclusions in any theorycrafting sessions and I think Lucian can be balanced without taking away the new mechanic on his E.

 

1) No more slow removal on Relentless Pursuit.

 This seems like a trade-off for the amount of mobility Lucian got. CC removal should be a strategic choice in a fight rather than a spammable mechanic. Previously, it let Lucian slip away from one Exhaust or Glitterlance, etc., but now it’s making him nigh-invulnerable to soft CC. This solution keeps the current level of mobility, it just allows for more viable counters of Lucian.

 

2) Add a static mana cost.

 A moderate mana cost that remains the same at all levels is a fair solution; a spammable spell that’s key to a Champion’s kit doesn’t need to have a rising mana cost in levels, as simply having that low cooldown gates the ability enough. It preserves the alternative for Lucian players to level up E by level 13 and put one point in W, while putting reasonable restraints on over-the-top mobility.

 

3) Add a scaling mana cost, akin to Kassadin’s Riftwalk.

 This one I like mostly for the synergy Lucian would have with Essence Reaver (if the item ever becomes viable). It’s a self-sufficient loop where you need mana to cast E and reduce the cooldown of the next dash, which auto attacks provide. More double-shots equals more Essence reaver procs, and more mobility at the cost of more mana. Of course, it shouldn’t be as punishing as Kassadin’s R where it demands Lucian to itemize for a larger mana pool, but just to have his mobility and CC removal gated in some way.

 

4) Shorter range on E.

 I should clarify that I still want Lucian to be able to jump over small walls. Less range on Relentless Pursuit would have to nerf only the potential distance traveled in a teamfight and not any calculated escapes or chases. I feel this is getting closer to Vayne’s Tumble in terms of mobility.

 

5) Remove the CD reduction on E from Lucian’s passive. Extend the duration of The Culling and make each successful hit reduce the CD of Relentless Pursuit.

 If you asked me to make a Matrix-themed Champion for League, this would be my go-to proposal. You want The Culling to be as awesome as possible, but for balance reasons the spell has been constrained in many ways, one of which is its singular direction. I want Lucian’s ultimate to be a game-changer and a part of his kit he can’t afford to sacrifice on a minion wave before a fight, because it’s just damn fun to use. Hitting all shots on a priority target by dashing 4-5 times in the process allows a lot more counterplay than just dashing and kiting around. It allows more of Lucian’s power budget to be spent buffing his ultimate and not his anti-melee strengths.

 

Lucian may be OK, but in present time he doesn’t seem to be

I fully acknowledge that everything I’ve laid out here in terms of arguments could be completely wrong. Maybe Caitlyn will indeed shove Lucian away from popularity, maybe a 50-range-difference is the defining factor in how viable a Ranged AD is. Initial statistics point to Lucian being horribly out-of-whack, but there’s time for numbers to settle down.

 What do you think ? Is Lucian just in his FotM period where players are just refusing to explore counters? Or is his kit truly problematic? Share below and I’ll try to answer everyone in my spare time.

 

Extra Why didn’t I talk about Lucian top lane

 I’ve pointed out how oppressive Lucian feels when fighting him as melee. In my opinion, Ranged ADs, no matter how hard they can deny the enemy top laner early on, suffer identical pitfalls – they offer nothing for their team aside from raw damage, they’re risky split-pushers and, if punished by the enemy jungler early, can quickly be dominated by bruisers. You probably won’t ever get to fight Lucian with a Renekton in a 1v1, but just staying relevant in the game gives your team that front-line advantage Lucian’s team is lacking (or has compensated with a tanky jungler, meaning you have map control with your jungler).

 I’m glad bruisers still give that benefit to a team, because it’s the only thing keeping them relevant in a meta that’s shifting away from all but the safest and tankiest front-liners.

 

 

My Info Article Ending

 

banner

 

AHH so sorry about the lack of updates! I just graduated highschool, had to look for jobs, had to do interviews, had to break a tablet on accident, get a job, get a paycheck to buy tablet, get time, and voila! a rushed comic. oh well :3 enjoy this tiny easter egg~

 

I don’t actually understand why people think this is true but oh well!

Artist: Ketherly tumblr

 

Sona's Rework

 

Sona’s new kit is up and ready for testing! I made a preview on all her changes and have shared my opinion below. Let me know what you think of the new Sona!

 

 

 

Preview & My Thoughts

 

 

 

PBE Changelist

 

Here’s the full changelist of Sona’s abilities, as they currently are on the PBE:

 

Power_Chord  Power Chord [ Passive ]

  • Powerchord amplification on Q down from +100% damage to +50% damage


Hymn_of_ValorHymn of Valor [ Q ]

  • Creates a 300 unit aura that lasts for 3 seconds.
  • Sona and allies touched by the aura get 40/50/60/70/80 (+0.25 AP) bonus magic damage on their next auto attack. Buff lasts 3 seconds
  • Each ally Sona tags with the aura increases the duration of the aura by 0.5 seconds
  • Cooldown increased from 7 seconds to 10
  • No longer grants persistent AP and AD aura
  • Mana cost increased from by 5 at all ranks (50/55/60/65/70)

 

Aria_of_PerseveranceAria of Perseverance [ W ]

  • Initial cast heals Sona plus the lowest health nearby ally for 25/50/75/100/125 (+ 0.25 AP) heath. This heal is increased by 1% for each 1% missing health of the target.
  • Creates a 300 unit aura that lasts for 3 seconds.
  • Sona and her allies touched by the aura get a shield that blocks 40/60/80/100/120 (+0.2 AP) damage.
  • Each ally Sona tags with the aura increases the duration of the aura by 0.5 seconds
  • Cooldown increased from 7 seconds to 10
  • No longer grants persistent MR and Armor aura
  • Mana cost increased by 5 at all ranks (65/70/75/80/85)

 

Song_of_CeleritySong of Celerity [ E ]

  • Initial cast grants Sona a boost of 13%/14%/15%/16%/17% + (7.5% for every 100 AP) move speed. This decays down to the amount Sona grants to her allies.
  • Creates a 300 unit aura that lasts for 3 seconds
  • Grants allies touched by the aura 10%/11%/12%/13%/14% move speed for 1.5 seconds.
  • Each ally Sona tags with the aura increases the duration of the aura by 0.5 seconds
  • Cooldown increased from 7 seconds to 10
  • No longer grants persistent move speed aura
  • No longer grants allies % move speed on cast

 

CrescendoCrescendo [ R ]

  • Ranking up Crescendo increases the strength of Sona’s auras
  • +10/20/30 magic damage for Hymn of Valor
  • +10/20/30 extra shield for Aria of Perseverance
  • +2%/4%/6% move speed for Song of Celerity
  • Crescendo has new VFX that more accurately show the affected area of the spell

 

Bottom line is, you trade passive stats for auras.

 

Sona Rework Abilities

 

 

Why the Changes to Sona Banner

 

Two reasons – Sona was too passive and her real power was in being a stat-delivering aura bot. On live, the only high point of Sona’s gameplay is landing a perfect ultimate. Aside from that, it rarely matters where you stand or what you do; if everything is on cooldown you’re probably doing your job.

Sona’s rework creates a unique mechanic while also preserving what people like about Sona – buffing allies with all sorts of goodies and being a lane bully. It solves both her issues of being easier to kill than a Teemo tied to a tree ( I hate Teemo, if that wasn’t established) and her inability to create interesting plays.

Let me explain how it all works.

 

 

Aura buffs in Action Banner

 

Before the rework, when you cast a spell, you’d give out stats to nearby allies and that would be it. Boring! Now, after every ability Sona creates a ring around her. If you’re an ally and you pass through the ring, you get a buff! If it’s blue (Q) you get bonus magic damage on your next attack, if it’s green (W), you get a shield and if it’s pink (E) you become a whole lot faster so you can run away and live a life away from your support. Also, every ally that passes through the aura extends that aura’s duration. You still can’t stack auras.

Unlike passive stats, auras have a power curve that reflects how well you play Sona – position poorly and you’ll only be a shadow of Sona’s old strengths. Stay next to allies who need you, however, and you can swing fights on your own and not just hope your stats are enough for your team to win. Remember that you can technically cast a full-team Medallion or a Locket on a basic ability.

 

 

Why this rework is awesome

 

 Like you, I thought Sona was being butchered. But after playing with her new kit for a few hours, I can say this is a damn good rework. Sona’s actives feel so much stronger, especially when you manage to splash your aura effects on more than one ally.

 Early game your burst on bot lane is through the roof. With Hymn of Valor you can practically shove out any bot lane with your ADC from the brush and behind the tower. You probably need hands-on experience, but a stacked passive with Hymn of Valor + a basic attack can chunk someone for 200 health in under a second.

 It only gets better. Between the much improved heal when you’re low, the shield and the insane self-buff from Song of Celerity, you’re a lot more survivable than live Sona. You can legitimately bait two people to go on you and live with just one point in W – it’s that strong.

I can talk a lot more on why auras are such an intuitive design choice for Sona and work so well. But that would be taking away from the joy of having you discover it on your own. Wait until Sona’s rework hits live – you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

What's bad about the rework


 

 Sona’s cooldowns on her basic spells have all gone up by roughly 40%. On one hand, it requires you to think about blowing your auras away too quickly. On the other, mashing all your spells in a situation where you don’t have time to properly rotate giving buffs to allies is overly punishing. It’s tempting to quickly give all your buffs to a single ally, but doing so leaves you weak and useless for a lot longer than current Sona.

 Now is that a bad thing? Longer cooldowns mesh well with the theme of auras and how it forces you to think one step ahead how to position. I didn’t have too many problems with Sona’s longer cooldowns, but it does raise her skill cap and, considering she’s a recommended Champion, makes her more unreliable than new players would like her to be. She’s a lot stronger for sure, but if you approach her in the same way you would the Sona on live, you’ll find her new kit punishes mistakes a lot harder.

 

 

Final Thoughts


 

 I love Sona’s rework and the mechanic of auras. That being said, her new kit is a lot less fire-and-forget and needs the cooperation of your allies to be used properly. I imagine she won’t be a first pick for Supports in Solo Queue, as the amount of positioning she requires from her team is more than many would safely bet would happen with strangers. But, I’m absolutely sure she will be a beast in pro-play. She is still a teamfight Champion with Crescendo, but the amount of supporting power she can put out in coordinated teams is above and beyond anything that Sona in her current state can.

 

 What’s your opinion on Sona’s rework? Share below!

 

 

My Info Article Ending

 

 

 

Boom, Headshot Banner

Caitlyn is getting a shiny sci-fi skin to add to her collection of outfits. Is it super awesome? Yup. Could it have been better? I think so, and here’s why. 

 

 Headhunter Caitlyn is both a unique iterative of Caitlyn’s design and inherits the mistakes that plague her iconic visuals - top hat, miniskirt and so on. From an animation standpoint, it’s a genuinely cool skin, but the outfit undermines the fantasy of Caitlyn being a sniper with futuristic tech. As you’ll see later down, a lot has changed in the design focus of this skin and that disappoints me (and prompted me to do the article).

 I’d go for the obvious – that it’s a skimpy outfit, like that of many other female characters in the game – but from my perspective, this isn’t a problem for League in general and I’ll explain why before I delve into my thoughts on Headhunter Caitlyn.

 

Riot Does Sexy Right Banner

 

 I compare the design focus of characters in LoL to that of any set of comic book heroes, video game protagonists, heck, even Greek and Roman Gods. Physical perfection is unattainable, it’s godly, so it makes sense that League’s Champions - both male and female – have impossible body structure. We don’t like playing as unattractive humans; we like playing as unattractive outer-world beings, like monsters from the Void and demons (Teemo), but in a fantasy realm, we identify human physical beauty as a necessity for that character to appear heroic or dastardly.

 My point is, sexually appealing fantasy heroes are a common trope. It’s human perception that identifies excessive beauty as necessary for deities and has done so for as long as history recalls. When the theme of a Champion calls for subtlety, Riot does a good job of not overly-sexualizing. Great examples of that would be Diana, Leona, Sejuani, Kayle and so on. Sejuani was visually reworked because of community feedback that her skimpy outfit made no sense when she’s battling winter conditions. You might be surprised, but Riot’s artists actually do a fantastic job of creating sexy characters without their exaggerated features dehumanizing them. Yes, some of that artistic direction is appealing to a teenage audience, but there is real maturity behind the brush.

 The times when revealing outfits come off as tasteless in League is when they’re out of place. That, I think, is the case with Headhunter Caitlyn.

 

A missed opportunity

 

 My problem with the skin is it goes for the “because boobs” image, when it was a perfect opportunity to show off Caitlyn as an armored, futuristic sniper-lady. The particles give off an Alien vs Predator vibe, which a full suit of tech-heavy armor could’ve complemented greatly. Instead, we get cleavage and thighs and there’s nothing wrong with that, but on a skin that’s supposed to show off Caitlyn in an alternative setting as a ruthless hunter from the future, it makes no sense.

 

New Headhunter Caitlyn Turnaround

 

 The technology of her gun and spells looks sci-fi, but this doesn’t translate to her clothing, which is strikingly normal. Its design follows Caitlyn’s standard wear – miniskirt, ridiculous top-hat and heel boots. I would agree that they’re iconic for her looks, but why would she wear that in tandem with laser scopes, a helmet and so on? It’s like giving Willy Wonka a particle cannon and going “have fun at the chocolate factory with that”. It’s a weird mix of Caitlyn’s playful, slutty character and her serious cop attitude.

 But she’s a sniper, why would she need armor? Snipers actually wear concealing armor, but sticking to reality isn’t the point of games so I can’t hold that against the design of Headhunter Caitlyn. I’m just pointing out the discrepancy between the guns she’s bringing to the table and the way she’s dressed. I’ve yet to see Catwoman jump into a fight wearing a full plate miniskirt and the day I do is the day I quit cinema.  .

 

Original Concept

 

A futuristic skin for Caitlyn was teased last year at the Australian PAX. Below you can see what the original concept for it looked like, in varying color schemes (credit for image goes to Surrender@20, you can find the full article with lots more pictures here).

 

Futuristic Caitlyn

 

 Unlike Headhunter Caitlyn, the body armor here fits the concept of a sci-fi skin perfectly. Elbow pads, boots, knee pads, visor and body plate are in one color and the connecting elements – in another, to accentuate certain parts of Caitlyn’s model. The helmet is lean and wraps around the head instead of oddly sticking up like is the case with Headhunter Caitlyn.

 The armor on concept Caitlyn seems to be composed of metal, which is what you’d assume a space suit to be made out of. Like Headhunter Caitlyn, she isn’t wearing a lot of it – it’s enough to envelop her body, but not ruin curves. It’s a middle-ground between adhering to fantasy tropes and projecting Caitlyn’s figure in full armor.

 

Futuristic Caitlyn Second Concept

 

 Lastly, Caitlyn’s gun and her outfit should go hand in hand in terms of how they’re designed. What the concept for Futuristic Caitlyn shows – matching aesthetics for both Caitlyn and the sniper rifle – is missing from the final version. Because the focal point is on Caitlyn’s chest and her miniskirt, it leaves the design incoherent with her actual tools for combat. You can imagine a space bounty-hunter Caitlyn wearing the armor from PAX when she’s aiming down sights, but you can’t imagine Headhunter Caitlyn doing it.

 

Alternative Designs

 

Samus Aran

Samus Aran / Metroid

Lots of games have done sci-fi hunter women right. A favourite example of mine would be Samus Aran from the Metroid series. In her case, the lines of the armor needed to conceal her sex, as it was an important plot-twist in the story to find out she’s female. Though her appearance was later stereotyped in Zero Mission where she was wearing a blue latex suit, Samus is still perhaps the most memorable case of a woman in armor being an intergalactic badass.

 On the left is an epic interpretation of Samus by artist transfuse. Notable elements of her visuals would be the full plate armor with glowing lights and the lack of visor or helmet. The lines on her armor are pretty conservative, but she still projects beauty, despite the broad shoulder pads and lack of skin-showing. The green lights are also a valuable asset of her looks; they add the sci-fi flavor to an otherwise rusty, battered-looking armor.

 This interpretation of Samus is maybe too strict for players to identify as something Caitlyn would wear, but it contains some elements her outfit could benefit from.

 

 

Nova and Sarah / StarCraft

 starcraft_ghost_nova_by_shiramune-d36bitsMore contemporary showcases of what Headhunter Caitlyn could had looked like can be found in the StarCraft universe, more specifically Sarah Kerrigan and Nova Terra.

 To the right is Nova Terra, drawn in marvelous detail by artist Zeronis (he’s a Concept Artist for Riot Games). Nova is how I would picture Headhunter Caitlyn looking if I were tasked with brainstorming her concept – full body armor with latex qualities and an overall stealthy outlook (which is missing from Caitlyn’s skin).

 SarahKerrigan_SC2_Cine1

 

 

Closing Thoughts Mini Banners

 

I don’t mind that Headhunter Caitlyn is overly-sexualized. Heck, Officer Caitlyn is practically a reference to adult movies. But the revealing outfit is misplaced on a skin with futuristic weaponry; a skin that, conceptually, looked far better a year ago. I think Headhunter Caitlyn is a case where the desire for the skin to have an obvious appeal got the better of the people designing it.

I’ve shared some references on how sci-fi armored women have been done in other games. Do you think Caitlyn would have looked better dressed in something like that? Or is Headhunter Caitlyn just fine? Share below!

 

My Info Article Ending

 

 

Rework Forge Issue 2 Soraka Banner

 

 Welcome to the Rework Forge, a series where we theorycraft reworks for Champions that have fallen out of glory over the seasons. Each week I plan to cover one Champion, going over thematic strengths, why that Champion is currently weak and my proposed rework. I’d like to turn these articles into discussion points, so if you have a crazy idea for the Champion in question, I’d love to read it in the comments!

 There’s been some talk about Soraka’s issues this year and she’s suffered a lot of reactionary nerfs to her solo-lane dominance. Morello confirmed she’s slated for a full rework, so I figured I’d run this article a little differently. Instead of tweaking Soraka’s existing spells, I chose a completely new path for her kit, while preserving her concept.

 Before we get to “Constellation Soraka”, my vision for a better Soraka, let’s talk about why Soraka is even a problem.

 

Soraka Themes Mini Banner

 

Here are the highlights of Soraka’s design:

  1. Dedicated healer, more effective in combat than outside of it.
  2. Passive support, focused on sustain and poke.
  3. Complete lack of movement crowd control, targeted silence for poke/peel.
  4. Long range on support abilities, tiny danger zone (Starcall).
  5. No skillshots.
  6. Dual use of her E, restores mana and peels for allies by interrupting combo-based Champions.
  7. Decision-making is based on long cooldowns.
  8. Zero kill potential unless the enemy commits.
  9. Global heal.

 My main gripe with Soraka is that she occupies a really unique theme – celestial being that supports her allies – and wastes it, by being absolutely binary and non-interactive in the game. In fact, she’s so predictable that the only way she can be powerful is through high numbers and when those numbers get nerfed, she’s back to being an underwhelming pick in any lane. She’s a one-trick-unicorn (note, unicorns are just upgraded ponies) in that you know everything a Soraka player can pull off and there’s very little space to show player mechanics or game knowledge.

 Starcall is essentially a Shyvana burnout with an MR shred. Her passive, although fitting with her theme, is just there to revert some of the harsh nerfs. Astral Blessing is shoehorning her into a completely passive role. Only Infuse and Wish can actually be balanced without being completely scrapped and that should be an indicator of how awkward Soraka’s current design is.

 Soraka’s core archetype is a combat healer, meaning her strength comes from healing and supporting allies during a fight. Aside from that, not a lot of what Soraka is right now seems worthy of preserving. The lack of skillshots isn’t making her design coherent like, say, Akali – it’s just limiting her options. The short range on Starcall also conflicts with her squishy nature and need to save Astral Blessing for her carry. Even in a duo lane, it’s impossible to die to Soraka unless you over-commit. This, coupled with her high sustain, puts Soraka in a position where she cannot initiate moves on her own and is left to just assist other people’s calls. Not that she should necessarily be a play-maker, but making her completely incapable of doing it seems like it doesn’t fit any theme, healer or otherwise.

 In short, I’ve broken down the things I believe define Soraka, scrapped what’s boring and outdated on her kit and focused on fleshing out the fun parts of her design.

 

Solo Lane Soraka Mini Banner

 

 Soraka dominating lanes alone is a problem, because it prevents Support Soraka from being relevant. Healers aren’t supposed to thrive on their own without the help of their team. If they do, they create a bubble of passive play that only rewards safe picks. In my rework, I’ve sacrificed solo lane Soraka completely. I don’t think she’s worth keeping around if it means I can make Support Soraka a unique character.

 

Constellation Soraka Banner

 

Constellations [ Passive ] 

SalvationCasting a beneficial spell onto an ally creates a tether between Soraka and that ally. For as long as Soraka remains connected to her target, she can cast her spells from both ends of the tether. There is no maximum amount of teammates that Soraka can link this way. Every leash has a total range of 750, after which it breaks the connection between Soraka and her ally. Connected tethers also disappear if the first one breaks.

 This one is as wacky as mechanics in Arena-style games go. The thematic inspiration I obviously got from Soraka being Starchild; in a way, you’re crafting constellations through interacting with your team. How this passive ties into Soraka’s gameplay is where it gets intriguing - my goal was to create a kit that revolves specifically around Constellations and keeps as many of Soraka’s established themes as possible while making her a ton of fun to play.

 

Constellation Passive Preview

 

As we go through my ideas for Soraka, I’ll explain how Constellations interacts with her kit.

 

Starcall Mini Banner

 

Starcall [ Q ]

StarcallSoraka targets an area. After a 0.4 second delay, a star falls at the location, shattering for 40/65/90/115/140 (+0.4 AP) magic damage and marking enemies hit. For the next 3 seconds, damage from allied Champions will consume the mark and apply 20/35/50/65/80 (+0.2 AP) magic damage and a 35/40/45/50% slow for 2 seconds that diminishes over the duration. Soraka cannot consume the mark on her own.

 Soraka passively stores Starcalls, up to a maximum of 3 at any given time. The storage time is affected by Cooldown reduction.

  • INTERNAL COOLDOWN: 3/3/2/2/1 seconds between casts
  • STORAGE COOLDOWN: 24/23/22/21/20 seconds to add one stack of Starcall
  • RANGE: 900
  • COST: 35 Mana + 1 Starcall stack

 

 This is giving Soraka a number of mechanics that reduce her solo-lane presence, while making her an excellent ally on bot lane. To start off, Starcall is now a delayed skillshot with a mediocre pay-off if your teammates don’t interact with the spell. If the mark is triggered, however, it quickly adds the threat of a chain-slow. You are actively shifting between the safety that Starcall’s cast range provides and moving in so your ally can get in close and proc the mark. It’s adding a layer of adaptive gameplay to Soraka that will allow her to fit in more strategies and comps.

 The storage system fits well here. Because it’s a targeted AoE spell with a long cast range that ignores minion collision, Starcall can become too overwhelming at poking. The solution would be to inhibit it through a long cooldown, while giving Soraka a threat presence against all-ins via storing Starcalls.

 

Starcall Graphics Preview

 

 The ability isn’t terribly effective at harassing; it’s more about the synergy between Soraka and her ally to get the maximum out of Starcall. Unlike Braum’s Winter Bite, for example, Starcall doesn’t provide the tools for teammates to catch up. I think Soraka should be less about aggressive all-ins and more about strategic plays and having an ally trigger its CC component makes it so you can’t start fights on your own.

  Storing Starcalls also provides decision-making for Soraka. If you decide to harass with the spell, you’ll be missing a lot of utility in fights. I like the rhythm this reworked Starcall creates – in a best-case scenario you hit Starcall once, wait for your ADC to proc the slow and then the two of you take turns applying and consuming marks. In general, relying on your allies in order to take full advantage of your kit makes for really intricate Support design. It’s an idea that I’ve translated over to the rest of her kit, but more on that later.

 Finally, both the moderate AP ratio on Starcall’s damage and its storage time being affected by Cooldown Reduction retain Soraka’s classic build – Support Mage who wants items that provide utility and CDR, but can also make an occasional use of AP.

 

How does Constellations interact with Starcall?

 

 Are you saying I can heal and then leapfrog a 1400-range Starcall onto a target, have my ally proc the slow and secure a kill? I am heavily implying it can be that awesome. Starcall on its own can’t trigger Constellations, but its interaction with the passive is a game-changer; because it’s a slow that only your allies can trigger, you can assist with CC even if you have no hopes of reaching the target.

 This is a lot crazier in the context of Soraka’s entire reworked kit and I’ll be getting back to Starcall once it’s time to talk about her ultimate.

 

Celestial Overflow Mini Banner

 

Celestial Overflow [ W ]

 Astral_BlessingWhen cast, Soraka begins channeling, increasing her Armor and Magic Resist by 25/30/35/40/45 for as long as the channel lasts. Soraka can choose any number of allies to transfer healing towards. Each half a second of channeling, Celestial Overflow restores 35/45/55/65/75 (+0.125 AP) Health that is equally distributed among targets.

Maximum channel duration is 2/2.5/3/3.5/4 seconds. At the end of Celestial Overflow, regardless of whether the channel time was interrupted, Soraka is healed for 50% of the amount healed by Celestial Overflow.

  • COOLDOWN: 14/13/11/10/9 seconds
  • RANGE: 500
  • COST: 140/130/120/110/100 Mana

Edited: COOLDOWN: 30 seconds at all ranks (for example)


 First, the reason why this new spell may look really overpowered in terms of numbers is because it’s a clearly telegraphed channel that your enemies would want to interrupt more than anything. Balancing Celestial Overflow to a point where it feels rewarding to finish the channel and not completely turning lane dominance and teamfights seems complicated, especially when you consider how game-changing, for example, Katarina’s ultimate is. If Soraka’s core archetype is a healer, she should truly be the master medic on the field. This means crazy heals that rely on circumstances, and a channeled heal seems to fit the gap here between fantasy and implementation.

 Celestial Overflow is Soraka’s bread-and-butter spell, it’s why you’d want her on your team. During lane down-time, for example, Soraka can top up her carry from half health to full at level 9 if she finds a safe spot to channel the spell. It’s an obvious game-changer later on; on AP Soraka, interrupting it would be a matter of win-or-loss, much like any channelled ability, since it has a 1:1 AP Ratio for the full duration. On a Soraka that itemizes for durability/utility, it’s still a great spell from early to late game, especially given its 5.4 second cooldown with 40% CDR means you’re almost always channeling it.

 Starcall’s low mana cost and ammo system allows me to solve potential issues with Celestial Overflow in lane by aggressively gating the use of the spell early on. It’s a really expensive channel and relies on good positioning and map awareness. The end result should be a powerful heal that doesn’t win the lane on its own.

 Because Soraka can only be healed from Celestial Overflow if she’s first healed allies with it, this rework kills solo-lane Soraka. As I’ve explained earlier, I don’t think a solo-lane healer and split-pusher is healthy for any lane and striving to make it viable only brings more issues than it solves.

 

Wait, doesn’t this make Constellations…

 

insane? Leapfrogging a channeled heal across your teammates is probably as much fun as it sounds and it’s giving Soraka so much flexibility in teamfights. If her allies are positioned properly, she can essentially split Celestial Overflow onto everyone from a massive distance. Like Starcall, it’s another utility spell that can be brought straight to the front line by clever use of Constellations. The synergy here allows Soraka to quickly maximize the use of Constellations, by casting Celestial Overflow on all her allies and continuing with a barrage of Starcall.

 

Infuse Mini Banner

 

 Infuse is boring and straight-forward, but I’d like to keep it that way. For one, I really like the dual use of the spell and that it’s giving a choice for Soraka players how they want to spend the cooldown. I’d like there to be a better balance between silence and mana-gain, especially late-game when you almost always want the silence, but overall Infuse serves an excellent niche for a dedicated healer. The mana return is what makes Soraka a viable lane partner for some Champions and I don’t want my rework to change that.

 Infuse is an interesting mix with Constellations, as it allows you to silence someone from really far away. It’s great when you interrupt an important cast in the middle of a teamfight, but Soraka’s poor mobility and range often prevents plays like that and Constellations fits nicely in the context. It also lets you feel godly, like you’re playing Black & White again, controlling those who oppose you however you wish. If we step off the fantasy rails for a bit, a long-range targeted silence is a balance concern and I’m not sure Infuse doesn’t need a rework of some description. As it is, I like how it fits with the rest of Soraka’s kit and her theme.

 

Prophecy Mini Banner

 

… is the same! In fact, I only changed the name, because a prophecy is connected to seeing ahead, and as you’ll soon see with Constellations, that’s exactly what her ultimate allows her to do.

 But first, here are some thoughts on why Soraka’s global heal is in a good place and shouldn’t be reworked. It’s a really-long cooldown heal, which solves the issue of spammable, high-number heals in a MOBA game. It’s also globally ranged, meaning she can have as much impact on the course of the game as Twisted Fate. It completely fits Soraka, both in terms of gameplay and her celestial theme.

 Prophecy procs Constellations on your entire team if they’re close. It instantly lays out the map for Soraka in terms of possible tactics and it doesn’t require as much positioning and build-up as maximizing her range through Astral Overflow or Infuse. The ultimate combines all previous synergies with Constellations; it allows you to immediately put down Starcall, reach allies with Astral Overflow quickly and silence priority targets with Infuse. This interaction makes sense: Constellations won’t be procced on regular use of Prophecy because of its global range. The only time it really shifts the power level is in a teamfight and that’s fine, considering you’re not making use of Prophecy’s range then.

 

 

Closing Thoughts Banner

 

Why not Blood Mage Soraka? (Infuse healer)

 

 I’ve heard this being discussed on forums, even Morello agreed it was a good solution to the healer-in-MOBAs problem. The concept is you sacrifice your own health to heal allies, so the risk/reward ratio of a healer is better adjusted than just straight-up healing someone. Though I appreciate the gameplay concept, I don’t think the blood theme fits in any way with Soraka as a celestial being. One of the reasons I chose Constellations is because it fit her theme perfectly, while contributing to the concept of her new kit.

 

Scrapped idea for Astral Overflow

 

I was considering adding a protection layer on Soraka while she was channeling her heal. She would ignore the first instance of crowd control directed at her while using Astral Overflow, allowing her to sacrifice the cooldown of the spell to instantly dodge engages like Leona’s Zenith Blade, a Thresh hook and so on. In teamfights, it would give her better odds at casting a full-duration heal. In the end, I saw too many scenarios where you’d have no counterplay to Soraka. Especially if you have only one instance of Crowd Control, you’d be completely incapable of disrupting Astral Overflow.

 

Why are you completely deleting Soraka’s old Starcall?

 

 Starcall reminds me of pre-rework Evelynn’s Hate Spike in that it’s a zero-decision spell that has to be spammed. Its the only way Soraka can deal damage and takes time to ramp up, so it’s borderline useless in an all-in. On the same note, if you’re playing the poking game with Soraka in a 1v1, Starcall will always secure lane dominance. In a solo-lane scenario, the spell becomes either an instant wave-clearer if Soraka’s ahead or measly DPS if she’s behind.

 Starcall is even more problematic if you’re playing Soraka as a support. If you decide to poke with it you’re getting yourself in too much danger as a squishy mage due to its low range. You’re also pushing the lane, which makes no sense on Soraka since you don’t have any tools to save your carry from a gank.

 

How are you balancing Astral Overflow in combination with the huge range from Constellations?

 

Here’s my thought process for Astral Overflow. Because it’s your primary source of proccing Constellations (ultimate has too long of a cooldown, Infuse is single-target), you’ll be often left with this choice – do I risk getting close to my ally that needs a strong heal, or do I transfer a weaker heal via Constellations, but from a safe distance?

This trade of heal strength for extra range is Soraka’s risk/reward ratio for Astral Overflow. I placed the maximum channel duration at 4 seconds precisely to take her out of the fight for longer. Personally I think anything over 4 is making Soraka too static, but numbers are just hypothetical so a longer channel time could solve your concerns.

Astral Overflow would be difficult to get right in terms of numbers. My calculations for when it feels balanced were based on a lot of hypothetical scenarios; for example, can I literally tank the enemy bruiser as an ADC with Soraka channeling the heal specifically towards me?

There will be a lot of edge cases with the spell that need to be properly tested in-game. It’s super powerful, yes, but keep in mind that channeling not only means you’re vulnerable and a priority target; it also means you can’t do anything else for the duration of Astral Overflow.

 

Why is Starcall applying CC from so far away?

 

How I theorycrafted Starcall in relation to Soraka’s new passive boiled down to this: how can I make a 1400 range CC on a normal spell that uses an ammo system not broken?

The answer is I add a delay on Starcall that allows players to dodge the ability with a movement spell, but makes it impossible for them to dodge it just by walking if aimed correctly. Eventually, once cooldowns are exhausted, Starcall will connect if it’s targeted on a single enemy. I also tie the CC component to an on-hit trigger from an ally, meaning that your teammate has to follow-up on your Starcall and that’s another variable which makes it a reactive, uncertain spell.

 

What is life?

 

Life is one’s journey through this novel-sized article.

 

 

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 This rework was lot of fun to theorycraft, because I had to start from scratch with Soraka. I was practically free to explore her archetype and push it in any unique way I could think of. It’s a lot harder to do than, say, just number tweaks (as was the case with Ashe), because what sounds like a viable idea may fall apart due to an abuse case, underestimated power and so on.

I’m pretty happy with the direction of Constellation Soraka, though it probably has a lot more issues than I could think of right now. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments, both on the rework I’ve proposed as well as any reworks you guys have come up with. What direction should Soraka’s design take?

 

 

New to the series? Here are all my previous entries on the Rework Forge:

 

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My Info Article Ending

Makler

 

 

Introduce yourself for those who may not know you.

Hi! I’m Makler, AD Carry of “Lublin Shore”. You might also know me as former player of mouz and MYM.

 

You’ve been around for quite a while. Do you think you are on the strongest team you’ve played on so far?

Since the begining of LoL I’ve played with almost the same people. For 3 years it was Me, my brother Mokatte, Czaru, Kubon and of course the big guy Libik, my support! I would say we are strongest at this moment, we have one of the best junglers in Poland which is Kikis from Departed, and TakeFun in midlane who replaced Czaru very well.

 

Going back to the promotion tournament, what exactly happened? Do you think it was possible for you to win, or were you simply weaker overall than SHC? Do you think if you played those matches now, you could win?

 To be honest we were really excited to play vs SHC for LCS because at that time we considered SHC as a mid-tier team. We were pretty confident and I think that lost us the series. We were suprised by how well they were playing at that day. SHC has a little bit different roster right now, Selfie instead of Moopz, Wewillfailer instead Migxa. I think those changes are good for SHC but I still feel our team is stronger. I would say 3-1 for us in a bo5.

 

What is the biggest obstacle in being relegated or attempting to promote into the LCS?

Financial pressure I believe. When you are in LCS you have some presure on you, many people watching your every move. but after all you are still getting money even when you lose. When you play in the Challenger Series, you’re only getting money from tournament wins.

 

What keeps you motivated to keep playing? What is your routine like?

I just love competition. Playing competetively is motivation for me. I just love being better at something than others. Every day looks the same, eat, workout at the gym or go running, play play play, sleep. Day after day.

 

How do you think your botlane stacks up compared to other EU teams right now?

We can perform well against any other bottom lane that we have a chance to play.
What are your thoughts on how sustainable it is to be in the Challenger scene for extended periods of time?

I’ve been part of both LCS and Challenger teams and I can say that they are totally different worlds. Being a Challenger team is hard, and Coke Zero format is bad. You play too few matches to attract sponsors and there’s too much randomness on the way to the top 8.

 

What do you think of the skill level of EU overall? Do you feel it is stagnant at the moment? What issues do you think are the most prevalent in trying to go pro?

I think the skill level in EU is ok, we have many really good teams but none of them really stand out from another. I think financial problems are the most critical in going pro. You have to spend ALOT of time playing and there is no guarantee to make a super high cash reward, and you need to live from something.
Who do you think are the strongest teams in the EU challenger series right now?

Beside us NIP and C9 seem to be best ones. I think they will cause the most trouble to LCS teams in relegation.
Thoughts on Alex Ich moving to NiP? Do you think NiP will qualify for the spring split?

Alex is really solid player, but I’m not sure if he can adapt to the top lane playstyle, time will tell. I’m pretty sure it will be hard for him to replace Zerozero. Hard to predict, last promotion I was sure they would make it so I won’t try to predict their matches anymore :p

 

After facing Gamers2 at the Solomid invitationals, how strong do you feel they are? Is Ocelote still as good as he was, if not, how far do you think he has fallen in terms of skill? Do you feel they have a chance to qualify to LCS?

They are ok, Ocelote is good, but right now is not up to par with other mid laners.

Everyone has a chance to qualify to LCS but I would say C9 and NIP are slighty ahead of them.

 

Will you continue playing if you do not qualify for the next LCS split? What will you do after pro gaming? Do you intend to stay in eSports?

We’ll find out in time. If I can make a living playing then I won’t give up easily, but if I can’t then it will be hard.

It’s hard to tell what i will do after pro gaming, but i don’t see myself in any other role in esports aside from player. I will just fade away probably, and see what opportunities I get from life.

 

Shoutouts?

Thank you to all of my fans and my team!