Posts Tagged ‘DFG’

News Update July 30 Banner


Short update today! On Reddit, Pwyff elaborates on the nerfs to DFG in Patch 4.13 and why wave-clear mages and Zhonya’s haven’t been nerfed. Champion designer Gypsylord addresses community concerns about Gnar being too strong and how his transformation and bounce mechanics work.


Recent News




Post-Patch 4 point 13 DFG Banner


Wave-clear mages are as non-interactive as DFG assassin mages

[ Context ] Deathfire Grasp was nerfed in Patch 4.13.

deathfire graspDeathfire Grasp

  • Cooldown on active increased from 60 seconds to 90

Pwyff New PortraitI hear this now and then – I get that choosing a wave-clearing mage means you may not be taking an assassin mage, but that’s more correlation than causation. The DFG change was specifically focused on assassins, their playstyle, and creating more healthier patterns. It’s a weird conclusion to draw that we’re doing it because we love wave-clearing mages.

As a side note, There’s a comment below about nerfing an underused item – when assassins become strong then DFG often becomes strong as well. When DFG becomes strong, then it comes down to the only assassins who benefit are the ones who can use DFG to its maximum effect.

Touching up on DFG allows us to see what sort of breadth of assassin play there is for AP dudes out there rather than pidgeon-holing us into the idea that all AP assassins must blow up their target with 1 second.

[edit] Some responses from below for visibility. Someone mentioned that I misconstrued the argument – that waveclearing was equally non interactive and we should have hit both:

Ah yes – on that note I agree but I would also argue that there are ancillary changes that tackle this. A wave-clearing stall mage has the general weakness of “IF I’M CAUGHT I’M DEAD,” so assassins being buffed (exhaust / heal / banshee’s veil / chalice) has an impact on them as well. This is a very delicate balance to strike and trying to maintain multiple forms of strategic diversity is tough. We’re already seeing some assassins in competitive play against heavy waveclearing teams and it’s easy to overshoot.

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Follow Up

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Pwyff New PortraitImagine if it wasn’t! I get that assassination tends to be a very blunt definition, but imagine if there are assassins like LeBlanc who are super high-risk high-reward versus assassins like Fizz who are far better at repeated engagements and skirmishing.

It’s oddly nuanced, but when you add DFG to the mix it’s like “WELL THERE’S AN ITEM THAT GUARANTEED MAKES ME FASTER AT KILLING THINGS” so you buy it and it skews things. It’s hard to conceptualize around those kind of patterns when there’s an item that pushes so hard at emphasizing speed.

Not to mention it’s fairly low skill at that (no offence), as it’s like “push an extra button and kill faster.” APM aside, it’s tough to justify placing so much emphasis on that kind of capability.

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Why are you nerfing DFG when Zhonya’s has remained untouched

Pwyff New PortraitSo to be clear: we buffed assassins this patch. Exhaust’s damage reduction went down, Heal went down, Banshee’s Veil (which was broadly aimed at siege breaking but impacts assassins) got a timing reduction, Chalice lost 5 mr (okay not much but still). These are buffs.

I’m not saying that DFG pidgeonholes champions into building the item but a lot of the time if assassins are strong then the competitive meta can get focused on who manipulates DFG the best.

Syndra does build DFG more often than the others on your situational picks, and Annie / Veigar are unpicked for other reasons. LeBlanc / Ahri / Syndra (sometimes TF and lategame Fizz) do build it and those are the AP assassins we’d probably see come up if they do get strong. Even Lissandra there’s a very real danger when she gets played that she instead goes for a DFG and blows fools up (as someone put it).

I’m not saying it’s as black and white as pidgeonholing but I am saying that the danger of burst mages rushing DFG is a pretty unhealthy world. We’d instead prefer to have that power on the mage themselves.

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Isn’t building a Deathcap a lot more non-interactive than a DFG burst

Pwyff New PortraitBecause then the focus can be made on the champion interactions themselves. I don’t think adding an additional input onto a champion’s skill rotation is really a great argument. Take that single input away and maybe we can balance around that.

[ Link to Post ]


(Off-topic) Are you nerfing Thresh because of his popularity

Pwyff New PortraitI agree that it’s not the best context and I probably should have done better. The argument is circular, but Thresh being a reliable, top tier support is partially due to his popularity but also because he’s just so damn strong across the board. He’s got insane teamfight presence but he also happens to be one of the best support skirmishers around. He’s just so well-rounded that it’s tough to really reduce power without hurting his identity.

As for Thresh’s position in the LCS / OGN / competitive play, he’s in the top 3 supports of pick/ban. Consistently he has passed 75%+ across the board and while popularity is never a core statistic we use purely, it indicates a degree of reliability and a disregard for strategic use that we can’t ignore. If Thresh can just be picked whenever and wherever (hello Lucian) that’s not the best.

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Gnar's Balance Banner


Mini Gnar’s W does 14% of Max HP as magic damage at max rank

Gypsylord New PortraitSo yes Gnar’s W does a decent chunk of damage. I won’t comment on whether or not it’s OP (numbers can change) but I will throw out 2 things to think about.

Gnar’s range is very low which requires him to put himself in some degree of danger when AA’ing enemies. It starts at 400 and reaches 502 at level 18.

The number of W procs Gnar can get is gated by the fact that every AA brings him closer to transforming at which point he loses access to his ranged AA’s and his W proc.

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Follow Up

Why does Gnar’s range scale up

Gypsylord New PortraitBasically 500 range Gnar was too oppressive in lane while 400 range Gnar was somewhat useless in teamfights. Scaling the range allowed us to realize the play patterns we wanted throughout the course of the entire game.

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Isn’t that Tristana’s signature mechanic

Gypsylord New PortraitWhile the base mechanic (gains range per lvl) is technically the same I feel they pan out very differently in feel and fantasy. To me this component of Gnar’s passive reads “your range goes from bad to less bad.” Tristana’s passive reads “your range will eventually become THE BEST IN THE GAME!”

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How does Gnar’s passive transformation work

Gypsylord New PortraitHere’s the nitty-gritty on Gnar’s transform. I’m avoiding listing numbers as they are subject to change.

  • Gnar gains X rage every second while he is in combat. In combat is defined as dealing or taking damage.
  • Gnar gains X rage whenever he AA’s a unit or hits them with a boomerang. Minions and monsters give 25% rage.
  • The amount of rage generated (X) starts low and increases with level, maxing at level 11.
  • Gnar’s rage will fall off slowly if he spends a very long time out of combat (much longer than Trynd or Renekton).
  • When Gnar reaches 100 rage his next spell will be cast as Mega Gnar and cause him to transform. If he casts no spells he will transform after 4 seconds.
  • Mega Gnar lasts for 15 seconds.
  • After transforming back to mini form Gnar will become tired and be unable to gain rage for Y seconds.

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Why does Gnar transform automatically at 100 Fury

Gypsylord New PortraitAt 100 rage he can transform using his next spell. If he doesn’t cast a spell for 4 seconds he’ll transform anyway.

Gnar is tuned so that it isn’t about “if” he’ll transform but “when.”

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Does Gnar’s passive heal him when he transforms

Gypsylord New PortraitGnar keeps the same health % when he shifts from big form to small form so that his passive doesn’t give him too much free healing over time.

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Does Gnar use his Ranged or Melee ability when he transforms

Gypsylord New PortraitMelee. Though if he uses his E it’s a combination of the two versions (bounces as mini Gnar, AOE landing as big Gnar).

[ Link to Post ]



Clarity on Gnar’s bouncing mechanics from Hop E

Gypsylord New PortraitGnar does need a targetable unit to bounce, so if you go untargetable as he’s about to land and there are no other units around he will indeed hit the ground and stop. It is possible to bounce over walls, you’ll need to line up a jump onto a unit pretty near the wall in question though and won’t be able to get through the thicker walls, since as with the initial leap the bounce range isn’t enormous.

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Can Gnar be played as a jungler

Gypsylord New PortraitIt’s possible, pretty challenging though because of the way his rage generation/form swap works, so getting access to the tools you want for specific camps/ganks is tough. Having said that while our best guess is that Gnar will be most effective in solo lanes could certainly believe there are some jungle options out there. Really interested to see what people discover.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]



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PBE Update

The Harrowing approaches

Red Post Collection:

Single Posts


PBE Update






Seastone_TridentSeastone Trident ( W )

  • Active AP ratio reduced from 0.35 to 0.15






Null_SphereNull Sphere ( Q )

  • Mana cost decreased from 70/80/90/100/110 to 70/75/80/85/90
  • Damage decreased from 80/130/180/230/280 to 80/115/150/185/220
  • Silence duration changed from 1/1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6 to 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5 seconds


RiftwalkRiftwalk ( R )

  • Subsequent uses no longer stack bonus damage unless Riftwalk hits an enemy Champion
  • Damage changed from 60/70/80 ( +0.8 AP ) to 70/100/130 ( +0.6 AP )






Death_MarkDeath Mark ( R )  

  • Now creates a Living Shadow near his target’s position when the ability’s cast, not after Zed has already ported




Ascended_FormOverwhelming Power ( Passive )

  • Mana restore changed from 12% to 45-130 mana flat
  • Now increases Xerath’s magic penetration for his basic abilities by 3-20% (1% per level)

Mage_ChainsStasis Orb ( E )

  • AP ratio increased from 0.45 to 0.6
  • Stun duration now increases based on traveled distance, lasts between 1 and 2 seconds from 1/1.3/1.5/1.8/2 seconds.
  • Added a small cast time ratio
  • Missile speed treatly increased
  • Cooldown changed from 13/12.5/12/11.5/11 to 15/13.5/12/10.5/9 seconds

Arcane_BarrageAscension ( R )

  • Base damage increased from 100/150/200 to 150/200/250


New Mastery Icons


Image 7 Image 6 Image 5 Image 4 Image 3 Image 2 Image 1 Image 14 Image 13 Image 12 Image 11 Image 10 Image 9 Image 8



End of Season 3 Icons


Bronze S3 Silver S3 Gold S3 Platinum S3 Diamond S3 Challenger S3



Haunted Zyra


Haunted Zyra

Ingame model



Officer Vi




Sultan Gangplank




Victorious Elise




Turret Indicators


Iniquitee Button Rioter Iniquitee: Hey PBE Community!

As a part of our effort to go back and take a look at what it’s like to learn League of Legends for the first time, we’re taking a look at turrets. Turret behavior is one of the most confusing things for new MOBA players to pick up and the average player tucks a lot of executions under their belt before they learn when and why a turret attacks them. Even more experienced players can take months or even years to learn the exact range of a turret so they can perfect the complicated dance of turret diving and breaking aggro.

Turret Indicators are a new addition in 3.13 that aim to teach players how turrets behave as a natural part of playing. When you’re near a turret, a ring appears on the ground to show you its exact range. The ring changes color to let you know when it is and is not safe to be near the turret, and when you’re in range and under attack the ring changes color and pattern to tell you the exact moment you draw aggro. Our goal was to be clear without being too noisy, and we’d love to hear how you think we did.

When this feature goes live, it will only be available in Co-Op vs AI and training modes like the tutorial and custom games against bots. This is a learning tool for players of all levels, but we think that once you’ve graduated to PvP, the training wheels come off and it’s time to get serious. If you don’t like the look of the indicators or want to measure your understanding of the range on the fly, we’ve added an option under the Game tab in the options menu for you to turn them off. We hope that you’ll play around with them and let us know what you think!






The Harrowing approaches


Harrowing banner


The sun sets and darkness creeps in, candlelight flickers and fires burn out. The Harrowing is nearly upon us. Whether exploring an old tomb or getting decked out to deck some criminals, terrifying and surprising storytelling comes alive with new skins for Zyra and Vi. Haunted Zyra and Officer Vi headline a cast that includes all of the former Harrowing skins. As announced last Thursday, skins that were previously categorized as Limited Edition are now legacy and will also be retrieved from the vault.

Here’s the list of all of the legacy skins that’ll be available this Harrowing:

  • Mundo Mundo
  • Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks
  • Kitty Cat Katarina
  • Zombie Ryze
  • Lollipoppy
  • Nosferatu Vladimir
  • FrankenTibbers Annie
  • Definitely Not Blitzcrank
  • Bewitching Nidalee
  • Haunting Nocturne
  • Headless Hecarim
  • Haunted Maokai
  • Underworld Twisted Fate
  • Headmistress Fiora
  • Pirate Ryze
  • Zombie Brand

But the Harrowing is more than just dressing up and terrifying your foes, we’re also bringing back all five Harrowing ward skins and unveiling five new summoner icons to earn throughout the event. And it wouldn’t be the Harrowing without another mystery or two. This year, it’s the debut of mystery gifting. When you give a mystery gift, your purchase unlocks a random skin for a champion your friend owns. All skins in the store plus a selection of legacy skins are fair game, so your friend could end up with a legendary or even ultimate skin!

The Harrowing launches in an upcoming patch, so check back with for more information about the event and we’ll see you on the battlefields!


More on Team Builder


Team Builder

Check out the announcement of the feature here!



Is the enemy team’s composition dependent on ours?


LyteButton Rioter Lyte: Your team will be faced with a completely random composition. As a scientist, just imagine all the data when you get to see a matrix of creative, unorthodox compositions and how they perform against all other compositions…

I’m excited. 



How can I see what composition the Team’s leader wants to fill?


LyteButton Rioter Lyte: We’ll release more information as we go to PBE, but basically as a team leader, you get to setup your own team composition.

For example, as a team leader, I was able to setup the following today:

Fighter – Top
Support – Top
Marksman – Mid
Mage – Bot
Mage – Bot

Once I’ve determined my team composition, I lock in, and the system begins finding players for me that are interested in playing one of those specs on my team.



How will you deal with people having different expectations for a single role?


LyteButton Rioter Lyte: We agree, the system isn’t designed to communicate all intentions and absolve players of any communication. Once a Support gets accepted into the lobby, teams should chat! They should figure out what they want to do, and whether they want to do 0 CS Support, or whether it’s a kill lane. If players disagree on something, they can very easily ask the system to find them a new player or a new team.



There will be a lack of people queuing for support


Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: Davin’s research showed that a fairly good margin of players want to be supports. If that doesn’t turn out to be true, then I’m confident there’s things my team can do to help make support a better experience. 




Will we be able to see Honor badges while in Team Builder queue?


LyteButton Rioter Lyte: I like the idea of showing Honor badges… in fact, we have a few ideas with what we want to do with Honor and Team Builder. But for now, let’s focus on getting the Champion Select re-design out to players 




Are Champions tied to specific Roles?


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: Roles are not attached to the champion, and you can choose Mage-Gragas for example. It’s also very trivial for us to add a “Roam” role, if such a role were to emerge as a popular option.




When will the chatting with your teammates be available during the teambuilding process?


VonBurgermeister Button Rioter VonBurgermeister: As soon as someone is in the lobby, you can start chatting. Basically you can talk strategy from beginning to end.




State of Xerath’s Rework


scorched xerath banner

How far has the rework pushed Xerath from his original iteration?



XelnathButton Rioter Xelnath: Hey guys,

Simmer down a bit, I appreciate the amount of passion going on here, but that’s not justification to start attacking each other.

To explain our logic on the passive:

  • There were concerns the super high spell pen lead to poor counter itemization
  • We wanted to try an alternative growth path that encouraged escalating power towards the late game (in this case boosting item purchases)

After trying it out, we actually felt like it snowballed him harder, making an already win-or-lose champion win-or-lose even harder. In fact, 15% bonus AP is really just a fancy way of saying his AP Ratios are higher than normal, that squishes squishies too hard.

We’ve totally acknowledged that being 100-0’d by his ultimate is not fun. So we’re going back to the 20% Spell Penetration passive, but this time with linear scaling, instead of geometric scaling. However, this time, it will only apply to his basic spells.

This way, if a Xerath gets out of control and snowballs into AP, you can buy MR to prevent yourself from being obliterated at a range you can’t respond, but Xerath retains his ability to poke down tanks over time. (Assuming mana enough to pull it off)

This kind of iteration can be confusing in a vacuum. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to communicate more with you directly, but I’m in pretty bad shape at the moment. While Zenon is heroically taking on the effort of finishing up Xerath, implementing new ult visuals with Bitsplosion and generally being awesome, my time is split between communicating about Xerath, handling some season 4 changes that we’ll be announcing soon and also doing some heavy work to adjust support itemization with Xypherous.

I understand your frustration with the lack of communication, but hope you understand.

That said, here’s some stuff we’re going to try out:

We’re going to try making Xerath’s E path a little more clear before it fires, make the stun scale up to 2 seconds at max distance.

This is pretty experimental, but expect to see it in Xerath V4 or V5.



[Crownface] Why are you reworking Xerath for the people who didn’t like playing him?


Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: Crown, you *are* negative, but you have also provided useful insights and I’ve made adjustments to how I handled the character as a reflection of understanding the things you enjoyed and identified with the character.

At the same time, I am also reconciling the poor usability the character had with other play patterns that fill the same niche with greater satisfaction. I know you can’t at a glance see that you’ve had a positive influence on this rework, but you have. I greatly appreciate that your responses have been well-phrased and reflect some soul searching.



[Despia] Do you agree with the community’s feedback that the rework should be canceled?


Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: We will not be cancelling Xerath’s rework. Thank you for your patience thus far, but if you disagree with this core goal, we will not be able to collaborate. I hope that you try the final reworked Xerath or can find another champion who embodies the mechanics you enjoy, who hopefully isn’t just a stealth OP. 



[Crownface] Why was Lotus of Power removed?


Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: After much review, we felt that locus as a core spell added a dramatic amount of clunkiness to the kit that requires massive amounts of over-budget AP ratios, 40% spell penetration and a nearly unstoppable stun on an 8 second cooldown to compensate for.

The amount of power Xerath required to keep that one ability was absurd. He’s utterly broken to the core. Yes, the uniqueness brought value. No, it did not justify that much power. It was only a matter of time before Xerath was given the Poppy treatment.

Instead, we are trying to figure out the healthiest, richest and most engaging parts of Xerath to keep, while keeping the important parts of his kit that were fun – e.g. a pass through base nuke. Then preserving mechanics that players recognize on Xerath, e.g. % Spell Penetration, where possible.

I just had an amazing game tonight were I survived a Varus/Blitzcrank 2v1 lane in midlane today. Yes, skillful use of Locus lead to me dodging some cool hooks. However, that wasn’t what won the game. It was that one time I landed a full combo on the entire enemy team… then the one after that… then the one after that… ultimately resulting me dealing 4x more damage than any other member of my team.

Broken AP ratios and spell penetration have been on Xerath for years. Locus has been around for years. People will never warm up to abilities that just feel that bad. I hope instead that I’ve expressed the feeling and vision of what Xerath SHOULD be to fill the long-range siege role we want to explore with him in league of legends.

Based on the other replies in this thread – I really feel like we have.


Casting spells during knock-up


Ziggs banner

Why it’s not allowed for mutated bugs to cast spells while in the air.



[Effrim] Can you bring back Ziggs’ ability to cast spells during Satchel Charge’s knock-up?


Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: Just checked and this still works for me, it’s not something we’ve intentionally tried to remove either.

If you’re seeing certain situations where you can’t cast mid air (and aren’t CC’d by something else at the same time) let us know, will give that a look.



[orghak 11] Why was this feature removed from Kha’Zix but not Ziggs?


Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: The issue with Khazix was how it compressed his damage into a really small window. In Ziggs’ case that problem doesn’t apply – 99%+ of the time using Satchel Charge to land directly on an enemy to burst point blank isn’t even remotely a good play, particularly since it involves sacrificing a damaging spell. Ziggs’ casts while airborne instead tend to be getting in a parting shot while disengaging or trying for a kill shot while chasing neither of which has, so far at least, proven to be problematic, especially given Ziggs’ damage output has a fair degree of unreliability.



[McTokie] Follow-up: Isn’t burst what Kha’Zix is all about? Why take away the opportunity from him to burst quicker?


Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: Yup, burst is damage concentrated into a small window. That’s not to say the smallest possible window is always appropriate though. Being able to unload your full combo over 1s for example is still pretty bursty, but offers substantially more opportunity for play by the target than a 0.5s window (numbers hypothetical, not familiar with Khazix’s exact timings pre/post W change).



[Chocoboko] Sometimes Ziggs’ Q doesn’t cast until he has landed


Meddler Button Rioter Meddler: Doesn’t start casting until you land or doesn’t launch until you land? Even when cast in the air the Q still has a cast time, so, particularly if you start the Q cast after the halfway point of the W knockup (approximately) it’ll launch around the time you land.


Heimerdinger’s QA – Part 4


heimerdinger banner

Catch up on the previous parts using the links below:



The sight you gain from turrets should remain when they shut down


20thCenturyFaux Button Rioter 20thCenturyFaux: Yeah, I’ve been thinking about buffing their sight radius when shut down. Not all the way up to their full vision, but something like shaco box / teemo shroom type vision.




Any news regarding Heimer’s passive?


20thCenturyFaux Button Rioter 20thCenturyFaux: We’ve played with some new passive ideas in the thread, but we haven’t found one that’s avoided some nasty downside or another. The closest contenders were: First, a sort of spellvampy thing that procs on dealing magic damage with turrets/w/etc, but it doesn’t do much when Heimer gets zoned out. Second, a % current health variant on his passive, which is the same thing but more interesting but has the potential to get weird with tanks and feels bad when you’re behind. I had high hopes to find something good, and we still might, but I don’t feel that it’s something I’d hold Dinger back for.

At the end of the day, the current passive’s problem is how it feels–it can only be appreciated cerebrally, instead of on a gut level. I’m more ok with that on Heimer than I would be on most champions. What’s more, the aura has its supporters–some support Dingers but also people who deliberately make use of its pushing power mid. It looks weak so it’s an easy target, but it does more good for Heimerdinger than might appear at first blush.

At certain point, there’s always small problems to chase when polishing a project, but if you have no cutoff point it’ll never release. I’d like a version of the passive that feels better but does most of the same stuff, but at the end of the day I’m not willing to accept a complexity/playability penalty for a feel boost.



What’s the effective range of turrets?


20thCenturyFaux Button Rioter 20thCenturyFaux: They’re capable of operating from further away, so hopefully you’ll have more opportunities to split them up to avoid Riven Qs, Gragas barrels etc. Characters like Morgana will probably hit a point early where they can spend one big AE spell to kill a turret, but as long as they only hit one at a time Heimer can still come out ahead overall–he spends less mana and can try to punish with rockets. That’s the dream, anyway.



Could we get a table of what the turret resists are supposed to be?


20thCenturyFaux Button Rioter 20thCenturyFaux: Armor: 10/10/10/10/10/10/13/13/15/15/17/20/23/25/30/35/40

MR: 25/25/25/25/25/25/25/25/28/28/30/30/32/35/38/40/42/45




Why is the new Heimerdinger so reliant on hitting skillshots?


20thCenturyFaux Button Rioter 20thCenturyFaux: Having his damage be lower if he misses his skillshots and does no damage with turrets is exactly the point ^^

A damage analysis that includes turrets and hit W produces huge damage numbers, but that doesn’t mean he’s release Xin Zhao 😛


20thCenturyFaux Button Rioter 20thCenturyFaux: This is definitely part of why PBE is more about making sure stuff is fun and fixing bugs than it is about balancing. Balance-wise I’m more interested in stuff like, support Heimer has a bad day because disabled turrets have no vision, etc.



Will Heimer be able to support?


20thCenturyFaux Button Rioter 20thCenturyFaux: Heimer seems strongest for a mid magey role, but I’m interested in supporting support Heimer, for lack of a better word ^^

We played a while with the idea of Heimer moving turrets. In doing so, we found the main goal was to let him have some wiggle room for turrets that ended up in poor spots. Making turrets only 20 mana and giving him faster kits lategame ended up hitting the same goals a “move a turret” feature. It basically ended up being a solution looking for a problem.

And Liandris works on turret beams. I should really add a FAQ to the first post hehe xD



Why the passive CDR from Heimer’s ult is gone


20thCenturyFaux Button Rioter 20thCenturyFaux: Tl;dr on cooldown reduction: If Heimer’s cooldowns need to go lower, they should just go lower. Giving him innate CDR just says “you cannot build 40%” in exchange for making sure the CDR kicks in at level 6/11/16. Since he now has reasonable power spikes at those levels due to the ult having damage numbers, there isn’t any goal left that’s solved by having innate cooldown reduction.



Final (serious) words


20thCenturyFaux Button Rioter 20thCenturyFaux: TL;DR on Heimer balance: I’m very interested in what data comes out of PBE, but final balance will have to come from the first patch or so he’s live. The rework makes him healthy enough to keep him at a high power level, and we think he’s there now, too–but he’s also a very high skill cap champion. He needs time for players to learn strategies, etc.

I understand that a few of you feel very passionately about your vision for where his power is at, but I have to consider everyone’s viewpoint, the data at my disposal, and the big accuracy gap between balance information from PBE and balance information from live. I think it’s very important for Heimerdinger that he be viable–but making big power changes from individual anecdotes is not the way to do that.



My powers are inferior, I cannot beat teh assassinz!


Dannamoth Button Rioter Dannamoth: This is why you must build the glorious tankerdinger, destroyer of Zeds and crusher of Kassadins.





Best Passive EU


Originally Posted by Evolnemesis View Post
How about this for a passive… every few seconds he’s alive, each enemy gets a flash on the screen saying ‘ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO THE DONGER!’ with Heimer’s laugh playing at the same time. This would have no real power effect, but would act as a super global taunt helping enemies get in range of his abilities by making players want to find him and rush at him with their mouths frothing in rage…


20thCenturyFauxButton Rioter 20thCenturyFaux: Hmm… low mindshare, low power budget (no actual numeric effect!), and more awesome. This meets all my criterion! It even has counterplay, enemies can simply hide their eyes and ears in shame and also shame, respectively.



Single Posts


Why was dodge removed but crit is allowed to stay?


ZileasButton Rioter Zileas: Game design is a pragmatic problem solving. Decisions are often not in absolutes, and have to be made according to the situation.

While we do generally want to keep artificial RNG low (as opposed to ‘hidden information emergent “rng”‘ — I turned a corner, and didn’t know there were 3 guys there), we opted to keep crit but remove dodge for a few reasons:

1) Dodge is ‘negative’ RNG rather than ‘positive’ RNG. We found that players notice dodge a lot less as the beneficiary than as the person who ‘missed’. So, it tends to be on net not very fun.

2) The more RNG elements you add together, the more maximum RNG outcomes you get. By removing just one of the RNGs, you don’t halve the ‘worst case’ RNG outcomes, you actually more than halve them (A scenario where you are dodging attacks on you AND criting opponents).

3) Players were excited about building for crit, and weren’t excited by building for dodge.. because criting is exciting and cool.

4) We wanted some build types to scale a bit harder (not a LOT harder) than others, and the existence of crit ensures that marksmen can scale a little bit better on DPS than does defense or AP damage. (NOTE — a LITTLE bit)

Note that we also moved our crit system to pseudorandom that makes it less spikey (low chance of double crits), and reduces the impact on game objectives.

So, I feel like this is a good balance between the various considerations. In total, our artifical RNG is very, very low.

– Zileas


Regarding recent nerfs to assassins and DFG’s strength


morellovatarButton Rioter Morello: We’re not “blindly” nerfing these champions, we’re looking at damage curves for assassin-style characters overall. I’ll let the team speak to the details on it.

Overall, though, these items are pretty balanced on a number of characters, and I don’t think we’d want targeted changes to these characters to effect others. I don’t think we’d want to nerf good uses of Lichbane on TF or Ziggs just because Fizz uses it and causes problems. Lichbane is a great core item for mages who weave in auto-attacks.

DFG is…well, DFG. But historically, I’ve felt DFG is a bad item for League overall, so we might need to have some discussions about that  DFG isn’t egregiously OP, I just worry it creates more 100-0 cases with no more interaction or skill to require it.


Where balance went wrong


This comment was made:

Originally Posted by KellyOConnell View Post
[Aggressive comments suggesting the removal of the current balance team]

To which you replied with:

Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Care to educate me on what’s so bad?

– Top lane consists of three champions and only three champions; World’s commentators even state directly, almost word for word, that because, “Renekton and Shen [were] banned and Jax was picked, there’s nothing left to be picked to oppose him.”

– Mid lane consists of champions with extremely overloaded kits (Orianna as a Xypherous champion speaks for itself, for example) and Zed; that’s it

– Bot lane consists of Vayne, Ezreal, and Corki, two of which use a remade Trinity Force (which was hypocritically adjusted right before World’s to an egregiously overpowered state for ranged carries) and the other abuses Blade of the Ruined King (an item remade and play-tested once before re-release, which arguably broke the game for weeks on end on account of its influence)

– Supports consists of Zyra, Thresh, and Sona, all of whom amount to little more than ward slaves and AoE, crowd control bots

– An impactful jungle in season two is remade at the start of season three and changes in effect cause junglers to swing wildly from being useless to overwhelmingly influential on a patch by patch basis

– Ranged carries are coddled like children whilst all other champion archetypes are nerfed around them

– Continuous talk of counter-play exists and yet Silver Bolts still exists, Ezreal can still abuse Iceborn Gauntlet for infinite kiting potential (RIP Skarner), there’s still only one true melee only item in the game, etc…

– Heimerdinger, Viktor, and Olaf speak for themselves; Rengar to a lesser extent (all champions that had changes, promised long ago, sit “in limbo” for extended periods of time for reasons unknown)

– A game, labelled as a competitive one, is still balanced around lower levels of play (Darius is one example)

– Ranged top laners, for the vast majority of season three, invalidated 90% of top lane champions and it took a plethora of patches before they were addressed

– League of Warmogs, League of Cleavers, League of Blade, League of Carries, etc…

– Percent of maximum health being used as a band-aid fix all over the place

– Ranged carries are given higher base values, higher scaling figures, hard disables, and abhorrent amounts of disengage relative to their melee counterparts

– The list goes on (and trust me, I can recount quite a bit more)…

Taken as a whole, season three was a catastrophe so to ignorantly suggest that there’s nothing “bad” seems a tad laughable. As stated in the title however, I truly don’t mean to sound insulting because I like this game, continue to play it, and wish for it to succeed furthermore but at this point, Riot can’t afford to be ignorant anymore and frankly there’s a lot of work to get done for season four.

EDIT: Let’s keep comments civil please.




morellovatar Button Rioter Morello: My intent was not to imply there’s nothing to improve or fix, it was mostly a jab at the hyperbolic THIS IS TERRIBLE feel that’s based on limited data sets and popular opinion to try to position it as an attack from the OP you quote here. Let’s talk brass tacks:

League of X: Balance will fluctuate naturally, especially as we make fundamental changes to the game. The new item system (today) has better item variance than previous seasons, but we had to suffer some temporary issues to get there. This is much like when you launch a new game and it’s all over the place, except that players are much better as the game’s skill floor has gone up due to more mastery. I think there’s something to be said for needing to react faster on that stuff, though.

2) Only X of Y characters exist in Z lane: The real metrics on balance (IE: how we judge if we’re being successful or not) comes down to a combination of possible picks (total variety) and lack of domineering picks. This is both related to tournament play and what’s usable generally speaking.

Variety has been similar (~65%) this season consistently, including Worlds, but we’ve done a little worse on domineering picks, with Zed, Corki and Shen being on the must-pick list (compared to only Ezreal in Season 2). We’re going to institute methods of getting in front of this easier for this season and have learned some good techniques on how to watch these trends.

Additionally, this is only in tournament play – which we do take seriously when doing balance of course – but what that means 99% of players can play most characters and be successful. Very few characters are actually in a bad spot. Even the variety between Diamond 1 and pro games is pretty different.

3) Counterplay needs more work continuously, and counter-examples tend to speak of more work to do. Silver Bolts is a terrible example though because the countering strategically != counterplay. If Vayne is overpowered because of her target selection freedom, that’s a different topic.

So should we never try to do anything on counter-play unless we can change every champion to ensure 100% of champions are as successful as we’d like here? That seems like it creates a worse problem that chipping away at it, to me.

So if your goal is to get me to admit that League of Legends has problems we want to fix, then you got it! That’s never a hard admission to make. The work is interesting because there are so many problems to solve, and it’s not possible to be finished, ever ever. That’s the reality of working on game health.

Reasonable conversations about game health, balance, design and other subjects that effect play are great. They’re the reason we get on these forums. But let’s also be real for a second: a large number of people think they’re an expert on balance, and frankly, very few people are (and if you actually are, I’m hiring!). That’s why we want to use reasoned conversations, structured problem-solving, data, and objective analysis to discuss these problems in detail.

As far as how balanced does the game “feel”, I agree with something here. While any gaming forum is talking about how unbalanced every game is, there’s a more balance disruption when we do season changes, and the “feeling” of how balanced the game is is risked when more must-picks appear in competitive play. And that makes sense. It’s easy to read a story that says “play this champion, or don’t show up as a serious contender,” and that obviously feels really bad. We agree and are working to address this more aggressively.

Does this help clarify things, a little?



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“With the recalculation of Armor Penetration and the increase in cost of armor, armor is no longer a cost efficient stat to buy to mitigate physical damage. Magic resistance also doesn’t seem to be readily available. All the pro players seem to have come to the conclusion that health is the best mitigation stat of Season 3.” ~ Some caster from IEM Katowice

This is an interesting statement and as we have been seeing lately is becoming more and more true. Warmog’s Armor’s new price is a major culprit to the growing trend of stacking health, even Voyboy gets it on toplane Katarina; so what the hell do we do about it? Well since resistances are generally lower, we need to find more reliable ways to deal bigger amounts of damage, so I propose using Deathfire Grasp and Blade of the Ruined King!

Now, I am not an AD player per se, and also at first glance I feel that BotRK is priced too high (2900 Gold) for what it actually does compared to more attractive items like Black Cleaver, Blood Thirster, and Last Whisper, so I am not going to talk about it.


The Appeal of the New Deathfire Grasp

For people too lazy to click links, the new DFG gives +100 AP, +15% CDR, and Activate: Deal 15% of Max HP as magic damage and increase all magic damage done to target by 20% for 4 seconds.

DFG takes health stacking down quite a few pegs because it gives you everything you need to deal more damage to a high HP target. 15% of their max HP chunks them down harder the more HP they stack, the AP makes all your spells do more damage, especially if they are favoring HP over MR, the debuff makes your unmitigated spells do more damage, and the CDR makes you cast more spells more often. Now, when something sounds too good to be true it usually kind of is, so lets try and run some basic numbers to see if this 3000 gold investment is worth it.


You used Deathfire Grasp! Was it Super Effective?

Looking at Champion stats we know that all Champions start with 30 base MR and if they are a bruiser they get an additional 1.25 MR per level (except in a few cases like Nidalee (.75) and Shen (+0, weird right?)). They will probably also have +17 from Runes and Masteries and +20 from a random Null Magic Mantle. So around mid game (level 11) they have 81 MR giving them 45% damage reduction, and at level 18 they have 95 MR (assuming the random mantle got turned into Mercs) giving them 49% damage reduction. Then assuming standard MPen Marks/Masteries/Sorc Boots you should bring them to 34% and 39% respectively. This reduces DFG’s initial % damage to 9-10% which is pretty good considering the investment. If the target has 3,000 HP you have an item that does 300 damage to them which is like having a 2nd ultimate ability.

Assuming 2x Doran’s Rings, 21 Ap from Runes/Masteries, +1 per level (@11), +100 from DFG, and 5% increased AP from masteries = 170 AP

Compared to 2x Doran’s Rings, 21 Ap from Runes/Masteries, +1 per level (@11), +120 from Dcap, 25% Ap, and 5% increased AP from masteries = 237 AP

Using Annie as an Example after 34% damage reduction:

Example: X base damage + (AP ratio with 170 AP)/(+AP ratio with 237 AP) = (base + 170AP * .34 reduction * .2 DFG increase = total)/(base + 237AP = total) – Winner = which does more damage

Q: level 3 – 165 base + (119 DFG)/(166 Rab) = (187 x .2 x 2 = 448 DFG)/(436 Rab) – Winner DFG (Q has x2 because the Cooldown is less than 4seconds which means you can cast it twice while the DFG buff is active)

W: level 5 – 280 base + (128 DFG)/(178 Rab) = (269 x .2 = 323 DFG)/(302 Rab) – Winner DFG
E : level 1 – Not relevant for example
R :level 2 – 325 base + (119 DFG)/(166 Rab) = (293 x .2 = 352 DFG)/(324 Rab) – Winner DFG

Deathfire_Grasp  VS. warmogs-armor

IT WAS! Thank Jesus it was Super Effective!

As we can see, because of the DFG buff you do 1123 total AP damage compared to the 1062 you would do with a Deathcap. Add in the extra 300 damage you will do with DFG itself and you are looking at 1423/1062 = 34% more damage than with a Deathcap. The downside is that this is all single-target damage and that for the remainder of the fight your dps will be lower than if you had a Deathcap. But concerning these high HP targets you just did 47% of their life in a single burst which should be enough to kill them before they do any serious damage to you or your ADC. Then once the fight becomes a 4v5 your team should be able to reliably clean up, plus you are still a relevant threat even though you do about 12% less damage than if you were cleaning up with a rushed Deathcap. With the 200 gold you save you could also potentially factor in another +25-40 AP by using an Elixir of Brilliance.

Now while this sounds good on paper I want to let everyone know that I have not actually tested this. It also only works on burst champs like Annie, Xerath, Veigar, LeBlanc, Syndra, Brand, and Kassadin. The more pure damage spells you have the better. I would not recommend rushing DFG on more standard AP champions such as Orianna, Anivia, Ryze, Swain, etc because they rely much more on specific itemization to also help fill their more utility-based roles.

Remember Season 3 is a time for experimentation so now is a good time to try things that can be potentially volatile to the meta and reap the ELO benefits!

Love, Dcgreen



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