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Posts Tagged ‘AP’

lateandfat

It’s been a while since I wrote an article but I figured better late than never. Today I want to talk about some old habits formed in Season 2 which may have carried over to Season 3 but are no longer the norm. Some of these things may be common knowledge to a lot of you, but some of us are late to the party.

QuintessencesChanges in Rune Pages

With some of the changes in Season 3, there’s now more room for rune page development. The main trend I want to talk about, something that I didn’t discover till about a week ago, is the switch from “Flat Mana Regen” yellows, to “Scaling Mana Regen” yellows for mid lane champions. Ever since the beginning of Season 3, I knew that mana in the early game got better for casters so I started to switch out all my Flat Mp5 runes for Scaling HP; but it’s safe to say Mana Regen is still king. The switch from Flat Mp5 to Scaling is because mana regen options in the early game are much more accessible. With Crystaline Flask, or even starting with one mana potion, you can now run the mana regen runes that scale because there is less pressure on making your natural mana-bar sustain the majority of the laning phase on its own. The Scaling runes also break even with the flat runes at level seven which means that usually after your first base you will have survived lane long enough for the runes to kick in like the old runes, and additionally provide you with a nice healthy regen rate through to the late game.

The other class that got some leeway on yellow runes is Support. With the added +3 Gp10 to ambient gold, Supports no longer have to run the +2.25 Gp10 runes in yellow and can instead substitute for things like Armor or Mana per level. Of course you can still run the Gp10 yellow runes for an excellent gold flow throughout the game, but the armor for more early survivability is definitely tempting. I would at least consider switching to Mana per level runes for champions like Lulu who I always find to have a meager manapool. Her ult costs 100 mana and she has a manapool of roughly 500 at level 6, which is usually on the empty side if you have been harassing a lot, so switching runes might give you the breathing room you need.

 GP10 Items and  Sightstones

A bad habit I developed in Season 3 was instead of going a Gp10 item on my Supports, I would just rush a Sightstone as fast as possible and then never buy additional wards. I did this because I believed that if you placed two wards with the Sightstone every three minutes, the money you saved on wards would equate to a Gp10 greater than that provided by PhiloStone’s 5Gp10. While the math is correct, it always left my team at a sight disadvantage because I would neglect buying actual wards and instead continue to develop my other items. To help combat this habit I started going Philosopher’s Stone first on all my supports and manually buying wards until I eventually got a Sightstone, and continued to buy wards afterwards. Constantly needing to buy actual Sight Wards will help remind you to not solely rely on your Sightstone. If you rush a Ruby Sightstone it is easy to crutch on just those three wards and forget to spend additional gold on regular Sight Wards. Remember it is less important for you, as the Support, to actually develop items past a Gp10, a Sightstone and Boots; you need to put priority on warding. Since I switched over to getting a PhiloStone first, I was able to break my Sightstone dependence and now it is uncommon to see me on a Support with less than three wards, in addition to my Sightstone. I have increased my Support game win-ratios just by providing my team with tons of vision. It is a great feeling to win by catching an opponent off-guard because you provided your team with excellent vision.

 CDR Changes  Seraph’s Embrace and  Sorc Shoes

CDR was revamped in Season 3 quite a bit and Fiendish Codex is an attractive item since the mana regen was removed and the stats were reallocated. It also builds into three items that give 20% CDR, which is amazing, and finally gives us a flat 40% CDR with Blue Buff. I urge you to try and fit the Codex alone into your early builds and then late game transform it into one of its 20% CDR builds to really give you that DPS spike you need to compete.

Seraph’s Embrace is also the real deal if you play a Champion that can charge the Tear of the Goddess quickly (188 spell casts). It is ridiculously gold efficient at 2700g and after you factor in the bonus AP, which is usually ~60+, and the Shield, which is about ~550 after the patch, its quite a fantastic item! Here is a cost analysis provided by LolWiki:

Base Gold Value

Passive Gold Value

Gold Efficiency

  •  Seraph’s Embrace is gold efficient even without the activate.

The last item I wanted to talk about is Sorc Shoes. It is important to note that these boots were nerfed in Season 3 (-5 Mpen), but still cost 750g, the same as before. I think it’s safe to say that Sorc Boots are worth skipping in a lot of scenarios to further develop your core items. In high level games, LCS included, it’s not uncommon to see most AP mids finishing their Death Cap, RoA, or Athene’s before purchasing Sorc Boots. In some cases I would argue it is better to get Ionian Boots of Lucidity (15% CDR) for 700g and then Void Staff earlier in your build, but that’s just me. I think overall in Season 3 Mpen is a much weaker stat, which is a shame. We see a lot less Abyssal Scepters in Season 3, compared to Season 2. Liandry’s Torment seems to be the hands-down best Mpen item to build, but it works best on most of the top lane APs and not so much the AP mids. It is something to think about but with less Mpen from runes and boots, and bonus MR from Runes and Masteries staying the same I think stacking more AP is better in most cases then getting an overpriced 15 Mpen.

 

I know a lot of this information may not be relevant to a lot of players, but as I said I was late to the party on finding all of this out and so I hope that this article serves as a bridge for people who may still be stuck in some of their Season 2 ways. I would argue that Season 3 is still fresh and there is a lot of room for experimentation, so do not be afraid to venture outside the box and try more unorthodox builds and strategies.

In my recent hiatus, I took some time to refocus my priorities and I have decided to continue writing about soloqueue (sorry Dom and TT communities) because I think I can stomach it again. Also in my free time I had been doing a lot of personal research in the fields of Health and Fitness and have started a blog about what I have discovered there, so for anyone looking to get in better shape inside and outside the game I suggest you keep reading my articles and also check out my blog. If you want to keep up with me you can always follow me on Facebook and Twitter also listed below. Stay tuned for more!

Love, Dcgreen

Facebook

Twitter

LoLKing Profile

Health & Fitness Blog

Previous “Glory of the Climb” Articles:

Making Sense of Season 3

Dominion: Helping You To Win More Lanes and Games

Developing Your Killer Instincts: Why to be Aggressive in Season 3

Working With Your Team to Win

Countering Health with DFG

Reviewing the New “League System”

Why Losing is Just as Important as Winning

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 Junglers

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 AP Mids

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 Top Laners

The Stale Meta: Top 5 AD Carries

The Stale Meta: Top 5 Supports

The Stale Meta: Poke

Junglers: How to Win 65% More Games!

Snowball Queue

Beginner AP Carries

March 14th, 2013

ryze banner

In my (hopefully) long-awaited return to writing for News of Legends, after a rather busy month at home, I want to talk about the AP champions out there and who you should be learning if you’re picking this role up for the first time in your LoL career. In my previous article I talked about the three support champions you should learn if you’re new to the role; today I’m going to be talking about AP champions. I’ve avoided using the phrase “mid lane” champions because currently the meta-game isn’t the most stable, and the classic AP Carry mid isn’t necessarily what people will be using in every game. We’ve seen champions like Talon, Lee Sin and Kha’Zix all being very effective in the mid lane, but none of those fit the description of an AP Carry. For those who know the world of AP Carries, this isn’t the article for you. However, for someone who is nearing thirty or perhaps just wants to learn AP Carries for the first ever time, this is the article for you. We will not be breaking ground with any new game-changing strategies; I will simply offer a push in the right direction for your first steps towards playing an AP Carry. Learning the following champions will give you a solid base from which to jump-start your League of Legends experience playing AP champions.

If you already know the role of AP Mid and wish to learn the top five champions for the position (not necessarily the easiest 5) then check out DCGreen’s guide to the top 5 AP Mid champions.

Ryze

RyzeRyze is by far one of the best AP champions you can possibly start to play with. He’s by no means the most powerful champion out there but he has a great kit that allows for mistakes, which is essential in learning any new role. What sets Ryze apart from most AP champions is that his abilities scale with mana, meaning that the more mana you have, the more powerful you become. This means than in the early game you can kill two birds with one stone, as stacking mana means you’re less mana-dependant and you’re more powerful. Two of the most standard early-game items for Ryze are Tear of the Goddess and Catalyst the Protector, which will give you a solid amount of mana, health, and through Catalyst’s passive, good health/mana regen when you level up. This is very important as the less you have to worry about mana and health, the more you can focus on killing minions and your enemies. Items like Glacial Shroud which you build into Frozen Heart add to this tankiness even further. Ryze’s abilities must not be forgotten, as they are also why he is such a good champion for those learning. A simple single high-priority spell, Overload, coupled with some nice CC in the form of Rune Prison, means that you have the ability to freeze and burst down champions or use that CC to escape if things get a little hairy. The bonuses gained from his ultimate, Desperate Power, coupled with the AoE from Spell Flux means Ryze has frankly ridiculous levels of sustain. If you’re playing Ryze properly you should never have to worry about your health or mana. Ryze isn’t the most exciting champion, but he is the first you should learn if you’re getting into AP Carries.

Once you have learnt Ryze you will have an easier time learning: Annie
For a more in depth guide on Ryze, check out Nukemumg’s Guide to Ryze

Akali

Akali is one of my favourite AP champions, simply because if the enemy doesn’t know how to counter her, it’s pretty much game over. AkaliSquareGet a few kills on Akali and once you’re level six the game is now heavily in your favour. Akali has ridiculous levels of burst, sustain, and team fight utility. She is certainly a step up in difficulty from Ryze, but because of her potential to single handedly turn the tides of the game, if played properly, I feel she is a must-play champion for the beginner to AP carries. I’ve chosen her over champions like LeBlanc and Veigar who are also known for their burst because Akali will give you much more use in the long run, as within the current meta she is still highly relevant. Akali has a flat 6% spell vamp (+1% per 6AD) so from level one she has a good base level of akali pros and conssustain. Once you throw in the fact that the Hextech Gunblade is the first item you complete, Akali will have 26% spell vamp + 17% life steal (Flat 10% from Hextech + ~7% from the 45 attack damage from Hextech stacked with her passive). Also remember you only get â…“ of the spell vamp for AoE attacks. At this point you should have little-to-no issue with sustain in the laning phase or in team fights. The thing that makes Akali frankly overpowered is her Burst. With a triple-stacked Shadow Dance and full energy plus a Hextech Gunblade, you should have absolutely no issue bursting down any champion that isn’t stacking pure health or magic resist, and even in the early game you will still be able to do this unless they rush a Warmog’s. Akali has great team fight capabilities with her Twilight Shround, making her invisible when not attacking in her circle. Two things happen at this point; you either get a free reset and chance to regenerate some energy, collect your thoughts and strike where it’s most effective, or the enemy is forced to waste money on pink wards or an Oracle’s to see you.

With huge levels of sustain, even larger burst, the ability to snowball and carry extremely hard and still being relevant in ranked play, Akali is a must for anyone wanting to learn AP champions. For a more in depth guide, check out PhoenixKami’s build

Once you have learnt Akali you will have an easier time learning the following champions: Katarina, LeBlanc, Orianna.

Karthus

KarthusSquareKarthus is a great champion. Although he’s not seen too much at top level play anymore, he’s a fantastic AP character who you should learn early on. Karthus’ strength lies in three key things: the ability to farm, his passive, and his global ultimate. Starting with his ability to farm- his Q (Lay Waste) is fantastic for last hitting minions, and although you should theoretically be able to do it with your auto-attack, Karthus enables the player to farm a little easier than most other champions. Karthus’ passive allows him to remain active for seven seconds after dying. Although you can’t move, you can still activate your abilities, helping you to secure kills or even continue farming. This works fantastically in team fights where you die with Defile active, as you’ll continue to deal huge amounts of AoE damage. The biggest reason to play Karthus however is Requiem, his R ability. Requiem is a global ultimate, meaning it will hit every enemy on the map regardless of where they are, even if you can’t see them. Requiem is great for picking off enemies after team fights, helping other lanes if they need someone finishing off after an engagement, or even as a pre-emptive strike before you engage a team fight. It can even be cast once you’ve died. Karthus offers a great deal to anyone learning the role, and will help you master farming as well as paying attention to other lanes, to make full use of Requiem. Karthus is a relatively simple yet still effective champion, which allows the player to practice a variety of different key skills in their pursuit of perfection.

For a full guide on Karthus, check out this guide by Reginald

Once you have learnt Karthus you will have an easier time learning the following champions: Anivia, Morgana (skillshots!)

Others

This list is by no means definitive, and there are of course other champions who are suited to players wishing to learn the role of AP Carry. Other champions that may be as effective include Annie, Veigar and Lux. As previously mentioned, this post is not a guide on the most effective champions, but merely a nudge in the right direction for someone wishing to learn the basics of the AP Carry.

 

Until my next piece (which hopefully won’t be another month =D) I wish those of you just starting out in ranked, or gearing up for it as you level, the best of luck and enjoyment in your endeavours.

 

Hersir.

ap mids

In my introductory article to the Stale Meta I briefly addressed why the cheap cost, and immediate effects, of stacking health are determining why certain champions are more viable than others right now; even causing a lot of Season 2 favorites, like Shyvana, to completely disappear from the competitive scene. I want to take the time to address the fact that I will not be covering the AD Mid variants as I think there are too few and they are too obvious (Kha’Zix, Zed, Talon, Pantheon, Lee Sin). The idea behind picking an AD middle vs an AP middle are also much more straight forward as you are just looking for more AD damage and armor shred to synergize/compliment your top lane Bruiser. It is also important to note that with the increase in Jarvan IV and Taric picks there has been a decrease in AD mid picks because of teams abilities to stack armor without any gold investments, so there’s that.

The Best AP Mids and Why.

Ok so in my last article regarding Junglers I applied a specific “curve” that I believe potential junglers needed to fit in order for me to consider them viable. This meant all the junglers were very similar to each other because they had a specific “early pressure/initiator/tank” role that they HAD to fill. AP mids do not suffer from these linear traits and are instead picked because of how their unique skill set will compliment their team mates best; this, however, becomes less apparent the further down the list and more apparent the higher we go up the list. Things that an AP champion can provide to a team in order to be considered for mid lane are: Poke, Armor/MR Shred, Burst AND Sustained Damage, Shields/Buffs, Stuns/Slows, Displacement, and Global Presence.

#5.  Nidalee

Rounding out my Top 5 is Nidalee, and for the record she NARROWLY surpassed Lux, who would be my official #6. When I compared Nidalee and Lux to make this decision it came down to the fact they have very similar kits but Nidalee can do more sustained damage in a prolonged fight. Lux has notoriously long cooldowns and all her abilities are skill shots, so if you miss with her you have a reasonably long reload time before you can try again to deal damage, she also has high mana costs which means you can’t poke as long with her without blue. Her shield gives no sustain in a siege unlike Nid’s heal, and while her E does provide vision it can not be placed as strategically as Nidalee’s without significantly reducing her damage output. Nidalee can poke for days with her spears as they are reasonably costed, have a low cd, and probably hit for just as much as Lux’s ult at max range. Her heal is good for prolonged sieges and fights, and if there is no one to heal she can always give it to her ADC to increase his/her attack speed. The versatility of her ult is what gives her the edge over Lux though in that she can use it to keep putting out damage when her human form’s spells are on cooldown, where someone like Lux has to sit and wait; it also gives her some of the best escapability in the game combined with her passive making her very safe. Ok I think that is enough reasons.

As you can see Nidalee provides a little bit of everything that I listed above. She can poke, she has sustain in cougar and burst with spears, she provides vision and shreds Armor/MR with her traps, and one of her biggest boons is her heal that scales incredibly well with AP as well as doubling as an AS steroid. She is a very well rounded champ right now and a great pick for #5 AP mid.

#4.  Ryze

Ryze is definitely the most generic champion on this list but if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Ryze benefits mostly from being one of, if not THE highest sustain damage mages out there. He fits the meta very well right now because he can build primarily tanky stats and still deal formidable damage, and it’s AoE dmage to boot, thanks to his ultimate! His Rune Prison provides his team with great catching potential, his Spell Flux shreds MR, and he can 1v1 most champions, and win, at many stages of the game. Against ADC’s and opposing AP mids his combo is considered burst and against the tankier Junglers and Bruisers he has enough consistent damage output to not warrant standing next to him for very long unless you plan on killing him. He definitely provides less utility than Nidalee (or Lux) but I think his solidarity as an AP powerhouse and the fact he’s less composition dependent puts him firmly above her at #4.

#3.  Orianna

Orianna is the epitome of the #3 spot on my list. She has great burst and sustained damage with high AP ratios and low cooldowns on all her spells. Her range is long enough to be considered poke. She has a shield that scales incredibly well with AP and provides the wearer free Armor/MR. Her W slows the enemy team and speeds up her own, and her Shockwave is the premium displacement spell right now and can be wombo-comboed well with many of the tanky gap closing Junglers. She is an extremely solid pick right now and even bolsters a strong/formidable laning phase compared to other AP champs.

#2.  Kayle

Kayle is the sleeper newcomer to the AP scene. Her high points are the ability to shred Armor/MR of the opposing team in an AoE, slowing champions while amplifying her own damage against them, providing her team with a heal and speed burst, and of course, the Coup De Grace, three seconds of invulnerability to an ally at 1200 range! Her ability to do burst damage with her spells, and sustained damage with her autoattacks and a Liandry’s Torment make her a force to be reckoned with, whatever Champion you are. If Kayle’s team has just one fed Champion on it she doesn’t even have to achieve an average item build because of how strong her ultimate can be in conjunction with an allied carry. Kayle is definitely first pick or ban worthy right now and her game changing ultimate is reason enough for that!

#1  Twisted Fate

I am going to be honest, I absolutely hate Twisted Fate and it sickens me he sits at #1. I think he is a stupidly designed champion. On the surface he has little depth and underneath it all he is one of those “is he an ADC or AP champ abortions” that has been in the game so long they really can’t do anything about what he has evolved into. Back in beta he would constantly fluctuate between nerfs and buffs from AD to AP. Finally the pro scene has deemed him an AP champ because of how game breaking his ultimate is while running AP. You can use Gate to teleport and stun somebody, doing significant burst damage, and ensuring a successful kill most of the time; compare this to an AD TF showing up and the stun and wildcards doing no damage and his follow up damage has to come from all autoattacks and you can see why he is run as an AP, plus putting him in mid lane allows him to Gate to either Top or Bot.

Anyways, TF provides the least “utility” to a team in terms of his kit only really having a stun/slow, BUT the global presence + Champion vision that his ultimate provides are enough to keep him in the #1 spot for a long time to come because of how influential it can be in snowballing other lanes/the game. He also has incredible poke (1450 range!), wave clear, a decent passive that actually does provide some significant extra gold to your team over the course of a game, and he can do some crazy baits with Gate + Zhonya’s Hourglass as popularized by WE Misaya, and also used by Curse NyJacky in yesterdays LCS game against GGU. It’s unfortunate the brokenness of his ultimate is a relic of bad beta design and so it unlikely another champion will ever be released with an ultimate to rival his for the number 1 spot. However, if the meta ever shifts back to the days of farming for 30 minutes before pushing a lane as five you can expect to see Karthus occupy this spot because of Requiem (fucking global ultimates!)

Honorable Mentions

These AP champions provide good utility and damage to their team but are just a tier below the top 5 in terms of how game changing they can be just by being on a team. They are listed in no specific order.

Anivia

Cho’Gath

Diana

Evelyn

Karthus

Kassadin

Lux

Syndra

Zyra

This list was a bit more influenced by the competitive scene than by the soloqueue scene, but I don’t think it would be much different, and I think by adhering to this list you would still be likely to gain LP.

Love, Dcgreen

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Previous “Glory of the Climb” Articles:

Making Sense of Season 3

Dominion: Helping You To Win More Lanes and Games

Developing Your Killer Instincts: Why to be Aggressive in Season 3

Working With Your Team to Win

Countering Health with DFG

Reviewing the New “League System”

Why Losing is Just as Important as Winning

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 Junglers