Posts Tagged ‘dominion’


Dominion Permant Remove Banner

[ Link to Official Announcement ]


L4T3NCY New PortraitWe launched Dominion more than four years ago as an alternative game mode designed to challenge players with fast-paced skirmishes, capture-and-hold gameplay, and different skills to master. Back then, we truly believed the mode would introduce new players to League of Legends and provide current players with an experience as captivating as Summoner’s Rift. As League continues to evolve, our vision for the core game becomes more and more refined, and, after years of learning, it’s clear today that alternative game modes work better in short cycles rather than as standalone queues.

We want to support game modes delivering consistently engaging and competitive experiences. Fewer than 0.5% of players actively play Dominion and we’re aware some number of even that small population is still bots. We haven’t been supporting Dominion, and we’ve trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle where the queue isn’t large enough to warrant major attention, but falls prey to bugs and periods of imbalance from the introduction of new champs and items (which then drives down the size of the queue, and so on).

In the absence of our attention, matchmaking and game quality in Dominion varies wildly based on daily engagement. Because of how matchmaking works, the longer someone looking to play Dominion waits in queue, the wider the pool of potential foes the matchmaker can pull from — with such a small population, Dominion games can match up widely divergent skill levels after long enough queue times. Unhealthy queues that force players to endure long waits with fluctuating match quality ultimately creates an overall poor experience — one we take responsibility for.

We might have been able to break out of that downward spiral with more dedicated resources, but we chose Summoner’s Rift as the core League of Legends experience with its depth of gameplay, match pacing, and path to mastery. When it comes to the resources required to keep Dominion permanentand solve the inherent design problems and give it ongoing live balance support, we’ve consistently devoted them to Summoner’s Rift and related features because we felt they’d improve the overall League experience more.

For players who’ve made the Crystal Scar their home over the last four years, we’ll be taking a snapshot of the queue today just before this post goes live. Then we’ll give out an exclusive, never-to-be-reproduced Summoner Icon to anyone with over 100 wins in matchmade Dominion games (not including Co-op vs AI). You can expect the icon to land in your account within two weeks of this announcement! We know this doesn’t ease the sting of losing the mode you’ve spent thousands of hours in. But if you want to stick around and join us on the Rift, we feel you deserve a way to show off your domination.

We’ve learned a lot from Dominion and the costs associated with maintaining a fully separate game mode with balance changes, bugfixes, and item updates. We’re considering other ways to use the Dominion map (as a featured game mode, for example) but nothing is set in stone. We’re retiring Dominion to focus on our vision for League moving forward: we’ll concentrate on the core League game while supporting alternative experiences which deliver consistent, competitive gameplay with healthy queues and appropriate matchmaking (ARAM and featured game modes are good examples of this). We’re permanently disabling Dominion and removing the Crystal Scar from custom games on Monday, February 22..



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If Melee is so problematic, why is the Marksman class the only mandatory role in pro-play

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt seems apparent to me that League wasn’t designed with melee carry as a viable alternative to a Marksman. We have melee carries in the game, but they fill sort of a questionable role at the moment.

I’m not saying that’s how League should be, but in terms of why there is a must pick Marksmen in most games, the answer is tradition.

If you ask me how League should be, that’s a much larger question that requires a big discussion. For starters, maybe it would be nice if players picked positions (top, middle, bottom, jungle) but not roles for those positions. Would players be ready for something like that? Is there benefit in having the tacit agreement that if you pick a Marksman, she’s probably going bot? Would you want to see games with two Marskmen or none at all? Does that sound exciting or destablizing?

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The meta has

Ghostcrawler New PortraitRight, something like that. The current melee = top etc. setup has been in place for so long that teammates will call you out if you’re “doing it wrong” and they will certainly report it to us as something broken. (The pros are often more adventurous in trying what works rather than what is expected.)


But there are definitely benefits in having an assumed configuration. It’s easier to coordinate a pickup team for example because you can infer a lot of position intent just from their role choice. The question is whether those benefits outweigh some amount of fatigue for every game ending up melee-top, mage-mid, ADC-bottom.

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Follow Up
Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’m not saying players are ignorant and choose ADCs because they don’t know any better and cling to tradition. I’m saying Riot has ended up supporting ADC mandatory bottom because it’s a relatively stable configuration of the meta. There is no reason that has to be the only configuration. It’s just the one we have traditionally used for at least the last couple of years.

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Support means a team role, a Champion type and a position

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe have discussed whether we should rename the role of support to something else (“utility?”) just to avoid the potential confusion there. So “support” would be a position, as you describe, when you share a lane but don’t go for CS, and could conceivably be performed by a melee like Alistar or a mage like Annie or a “role-formerly-known-as-support” like Sona.

It may cause more disruption just trying to change it though.

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LoL over the years has lost some of its replayability

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYes. This is exactly the sentiment we’re trying to improve for next season.

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Promo Series should not exist and here’s why

Originally Posted by Lil Soybean View Post
Before we go on, let me ask you guys something honestly.
Recall the last time you reached a Series. Whether it be from Bronze IV to Bronze III, or Diamond II to Diamond I, it doesn’t matter – just think back to that time.

Now tell me, honestly – which of these two feelings were you leaning more towards?

1) Super excitement at how important these next matches are!
2) Extreme frustration at the possibility of feeders/trollers/AFK’ers in your following promo matches.

As I recall, it has been Riot’s stance in the past that they have Promo Series between divisions because it makes certain games feel more important and more exciting.
But with the end of the season coming up, I feel like one of the big changes for S5 should be removing the existence of Promotional Series.

Please, hear me out.

I honestly think the existence of Series is at the core for a lot of the games major issues. Trolls, feeders, AFKers, etc. would not be as harmful if Series didn’t exist, simply because they couldn’t completely ruin your work by forcing you to lose that one important series match. Toxicity and raging would be lessened in a similar way – if you’re super-anxious and frustrated because you’ve proved you deserved to be a rank up, but have to win a select few specific games in a Series just to actually go up that rank, then you’re more likely to rage/be toxic to people who don’t do well in that game. Why? Because the stakes are so much higher, for no good reason. Because you’re not just losing more LP from that one feeding botlaner, you’re losing your entire series. You’re not just losing more LP from that one ‘Diamond I Smurf Warwick Mid’. You’re losing your entire series.
While much of the player base is capable of handling these situations without resorting to toxicity, if a player is going to rage, it’s liable to be in that moment; when all of their hard work is crushed by one other allied player, because of the way Riot’s ‘Series’ System functions.

Another benefit of removing series is that it’d help destroy the concept of ‘ELO hell’, whether it exists or not, by making transition between divisions much smoother. Currently, a player could effectively win almost every single one of his games, but still be stuck in Bronze V because he had 1 or 2 AFKers on his team in each series. This situation is highly hypothetical and unlikely, but it isn’t unlikely that players are often screwed out of ranking up because of a troll/feeder/afker in their Promos. In fact, I’d say this probably happens a lot.

Last but not least, lag. Lag is obviously a major factor in winning or losing in a game like this, especially lately with all of the apparent DDOS attacks and major server lag spikes. The Loss Prevented system is helpful but we all know how unreliable it can be. Lose a game due to lag, lose full LP – win the next game, have your LP cut in half because of loss prevention? Those sort of issues. The biggest problem is that Loss Prevention doesn’t actually apply to series. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if everyone in your game lags out and the servers are being DDOS attacked and Riot turns on Loss Forgiven, you’re STILL counted as having a ‘loss’ for that game in your Promo Series.

Basically, Promo Series increase the excitement of the game on a small scale, by making certain games more important. I believe Riot has specifically said this is their reason for wanting series in the game.

But that increase in ‘excitement’ comes at the cost of;
  • Increased stress & anxiety
  • Increased punishment from trolling teammates
  • Increased punishment from AFKing teammates
  • Increased punishment from feeding teammates
  • Increased toxicity
  • Increased rage
  • Increased belief in & rage over the concept of ‘ELO hell’
And finally, 

Increased factor of ‘random chance’ in determining your placement, rather than skill.

How is it worth it?

EDIT: An excellent compromise has been suggested. Keeping Promo Series only between ranks, but not between divisions. 
So, for example, there’d still be the increased stress & excitement of going from Platinum to Diamond, or even just Bronze to Silver – but you wouldn’t have to go through that stress for every division, between Bronze V, IV, III, etc.


Socrates New PortraitThanks for the feedback. A few of the reasons you called out for removing promos are issues that should be addressed across all ranked games and not just in promos. For example, whether you’re in promos or not, having somebody rage or AFK on your team isn’t a great experience. Also, lagging out in the middle of a ranked game whether you’re in promos or not totally sucks. 

We’ve been working with the player behavior team to create a more robust system to address behavior related issues in ranked. For example, we’re testing a feature on PBE called Ranked Restrictions that blocks players with a consistently negative behavior from playing ranked games. We will have more details to share on this in the coming weeks.

I’m not able to speak to lag issues in a super educated way, but I do know there is a team at work to address those issues. When we see connection issues, we enable compensation mode which forgives lost promos and lost LP, but still counts wins. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it does help shield players from a situation outside of their control.

One of the reasons you called out I disagree with. That is making ranked a more smooth experience. There is a bit more to series than just making the matches feel important and exciting. Division promotions reinforce the value of achieving competitive milestones. If we removed promotional series it would be easier to climb. In ranked easier doesn’t mean it’s strictly better though. Ranked play is about accepting the challenge of being measured by your skill. This is really what separates it from normals. Every change to make the system easier undermines what the accomplishments mean. What separates you from the players in lower tiers is not only the LP gains, but the series you fought through where you proved yourself and came out on top. 

If you consider the example you gave where a player is at the top of Bronze V and wins consistently, then fails to win his promos repeatedly, should he really qualify for Bronze IV? Probably not. If he’s going 1-1 assuming equal gains and losses he’s at 100 LP still. If he’s going 1-2 he’s lower than 100 LP, which is why LP can be lower after failing a series (especially in the case of going 0-2). There are a also number of safeties in place to ensure if you’re more than qualified to move on to the next tier you can either skip two tiers after completing your promos, or skip them entirely. If you’re in promos and not skipping it’s because the system isn’t confident enough in your skill to move you to the next tier yet.

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You can climb the ladder with winrate as low as 52

Socrates New PortraitThere is a misconception around this being true. In reality promotion series win rates are about ~47%.

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Win Streaks are counter-logical in SoloQ for a team game

Socrates New PortraitRanked solo isn’t for everybody, this is why it’s an opt in experience. Some players want to know how they measure up to the competition as an individual. It exists to serve this purpose. I challenge your assumption that solo queue position doesn’t reflect skill because it’s a team game though. Players consistently climb or fall to an accurate position on the ladder even after resets or when playing on alts. 

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Not familiar with Cassiopeia’s rework? Here’s the changelist.



If Twin Fang E lands on a dead target, will you be healed

STASHU New PortraitYes it should function in the improved way you describe here. If it’s not as forgiving as it needs to be, we can make it more so or less so as necessary. But yes, this problem was in the scope of these changes ;D

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You’re reversing Cassiopeia’s power curve and changing her

playstyle, when Cass players only wanted bugfixes

STASHU New PortraitGreat thinking here, you bring up a lot of interesting points. The ones I’m most interested in talking about are 1) 180 degree shift in play pattern , 2) that her damage is no longer reliant on her skill shots, and 3) that the update was just tacked on to bugfixes/reliability changes.


1) We tried to pay very careful attention to this one in our brainstorming. The reason the passive grants LOTS more stacks when hitting champions than minions/monsters is to preserve a lot of her old play pattern. That is, in order for lane bully Cassiopeia to be successful, she needs to land her abilities on her lane opponent carefully and frequently, and in order for scaling Cassiopeia to be successful, she needs to land her abilities on her lane opponent carefully and frequently. In terms of actual play pattern, not much has actually changed. The outputs (or, what her opponent notices) has changed a bit– Cassiopeia is less of a threat early in the game but more of a threat late game.

2) While her damage (number wise) will mostly come from her Twin Fang, she is entirely dependent on consistently landing Noxious Blast for both poison application and the movement speed to stay in range of Twin Fang. Miasma also helps her here, in much the same way.

So, where her damage is coming from in particular and at which points of the game her damage will be high arechanging, I think we’re preserving much of the traditional Cassiopeia play pattern.

3) So, I can definitely see how this update comes across as a misguided attempt at making a character ‘better’ for no good reason. I assure you, this is not the case! There were problems on Cassiopeia’s kit that, while not on the level of some other champions in the game, still needed to be addressed. Shurima and her texture update provided a great opportunity to do all of these things. I wont go deeply into the problems here, but they generally involve non-interactive lane bullying patterns, game-stalling, and problem with unsatisfying or under-appreciated DoTs (though, not by all people).

I hope all of this makes sense/seems fair. I also don’t seek to invalidate the concerns you expressed, as they are all certainly valid. I just wanted to provide some context on the changes and hopefully explain that there was a reason for everything. It’s true that all of this comes at costs, and as you explained, it may have left “her feeling like not-Cassiopeia for some people.” This is probably true for some people, and I’m sorry for that . However, in the end, I think Cassiopeia will still feel a lot like Cassiopeia in many of the ways that people love, express less problems than she has historically, and have a stronger identity overall. Time will certainly tell, and I promise to be around to make right anything that goes wrong.

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You’re turning Cassiopeia into a 2

STASHU New PortraitI could definitely see how some of the changes come across like this, but I’d have to disagree on a few points. Primarily, I think she has more of a kite pattern now than before, with her kiting tools having more power in their movementspeet related aspects and with her ult being more reliable.

I the end, it’s true, a lot of the math and comparison points for this update were ADCs, but I’m very confident that there are enough defining and distinct features in Cassiopeia’s gameplay (i.e, the way her kit comes together) to make her feel significantly different than ADCs.

As for mana, maintaining the mana to cast spells in lane should be very doable with some practice on priming minions with poison/basic attacks and last hitting them with E. If this turns out simply not to be true, then we’ll have to retune things accordingly.

I think we landed on a coherent kit that flows well, especially when you invest time into mastering it, so I encourage you to play around with it a bit. I really do hope that you enjoy it, as it definitely makes me sad to disappoint Cassiopeia players 

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Will Cassiopeia’s passive stack additively with Deathcap

STASHU New PortraitSo this is a little unclear, but the way these stack is as follows:

Base AP.
Aspect of the Serpent AP boost.
Archmage on top of Aspect of the Serpent AP boost.
Deathcap on top of Archmage and Aspect of the Serpent AP boosts.

So, the way the numbers break down, when both Deathcap and her passive are both giving 30% amped AP, Deathcap will actually be giving more, numerically, because it stacks on top of her passive.

Does that make sense?

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Why are you focusing her passive around farming

STASHU New PortraitIt’s not a farming passive D=. Well, it does include farming but…

The minion/monster farming part of the passive functions almost entirely as a fallback pattern. Though, it does come across as being the primary stacking mechanism. I found this very difficult to solve through messaging, but I assure you, if you crunch the numbers or just play enough games on her you’ll quickly realize that farming minions/monsters in hopes of stacking your passive is MUCH less efficient than hitting enemy champions with your abilities.

The minion/monster part of it is just so that when you can’t find any champions to fight, you have something to do to work towards your end goal. If this wasn’t the case, enemy champions could just play keep away all game and you’d get reallllly frustrated. That said, this is still an effective way of slowing down Cassiopeia, but at least she won’t be full-stopped.

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Suggestion Cassiopeia’s passive to evolve her spells

Cassiopeia gains a stack of Aspect of the Serpent 
for each second that an enemy champion is poisoned, 
for each poisoned unit that she kills and when she 
hits an enemy champion with Twin Fang, 
up to a max. of 400 stacks.

  • 75 STACKS: 5% increased ability power.
  • 150 STACKS: 10% increased ability power.
  • 225 STACKS: 15% increased ability power.
  • 300 STACKS: 20% increased ability power.
  • 350 STACKS: 25% increased ability power.
  • 400 STACKS: 30% increased ability power.

At start of the game, and for each milestone she will also get 
an evolution point. These points can be spent on 7 
different upgrades. She will eventually get every 
upgrade, but the order is completely player dependent.
(Sort of like how Kha’Zix evolves)

  • Twin Fang now heals for 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 16 (+ 10% AP).
  • 25% bonus cooldown reduction.
  • 15 (+ 2% AP) bonus flat movement speed.
  • +15 HP/lvl (+ 25% AP)
  • 150 bonus range to Noxious Blast
  • 3 second lower cooldown to Miasma

Latent Venom – 5% of the damage from her basic abilities will be
added as Latent Venom, which will then burst 4 seconds after
the last damage taken from these abilities, refreshing with every new
instance of damage. (Imagine a refreshing Zed ult)


STASHU New PortraitI have to say, this is super exciting. However, if the passive we landed on had complexity costs, boy does this one haha. It would be fun to try something more like this, but it would require implementing all sorts of new systems to work with evolving a trait from a pool of 7 and all sorts of stuff like that, which the game currently doesn’t support. Maybe this could be a cool project some time in the future, but seems unlikely for now.

That said, I like the way you think!

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Why did you give her power spikes at

STASHU New PortraitWe actually had a version like you describe in testing, and the first version of Cassiopeia to hit PBE did this smooth scaling for the AP bonus. However, neither tested well, as the incremental increases were simply unappreciable, and other bonuses are intended to come into effect at specific points in the game and not until then. The stack mechanism and numbers that we landed on solved all this pretty well.

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In teamfights, Cass will be using

STASHU New PortraitIt’s true, things might be overtuned. However, itemizing one large many item (seraphs or RoA, say) allows you to over come this pretty handily because of how valuable they make the mana restore. As you grow your mana pool, you grow the rate at which you recover it, which should mean that both Cassiopeia has more ‘ammo’ and takes less time to ‘recharge’ as the game goes on. 

But it’s true, we’ll have to see if the numbers are just a little off.

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Her ability icons should be updated as well

STASHU New PortraitTotally agree here, but sadly they are on the backburner for now (they are there, though).

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You should be responding to criticism of the rework

STASHU New PortraitYeah, this seems to be how everyone is reacting. I see that I replied to one particularly positive one, and can see how that drew some suspicion. Though, I believe the rest of my posts have largely been in response to dissenting opinions. Maybe I’m wrong here. If that’s the case, I’m really sorry, that wasn’t my intention =[

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Is her new passive adjusted for Dominion

SSTASHU New Portraithe has not been adjusted on alternate maps. We could take an awkward stab at the numbers and hope they are close, but we simply don’t have enough data on how she would perform on those maps to make an accurate guess. The levers are in place to adjust her accordingly (namely, the number for her breakpoints changing based on the map), so we should have an easy time adjusting her for the different maps as we get more information.

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There should be visible particles for her passive stages

STASHU New PortraitI totally agree with you on clarity. There should be some particles in to more accurately represent this, like a poison explosion around her when it happens and snakes spiraling around her for each tier she has hit.

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If you don't want to support alternate game types, why did Twisted Treeline get a Ranked queue

Lyte New PortraitA lot of players have mentioned that “indication of improvement” and Ranked as a measurement of skill might be key drivers of player growth, but I haven’t found that to be a compelling argument for a few reasons.

One, when we look at Normal Summoner’s Rift versus Ranked Summoner’s Rift, we can see that most players prefer to play Normal Summoner’s Rift (and that the queue has done really well over the course of time).

It may surprise some, but Ranked is not the the mode the majority of players play! Although I agree that some players would play Dominion more if there was progression and a measurement of skill in something like Ranked, to say that it would drive general player growth is a stretch because most players prefer not being faced with high-intensity, high-stakes games every time they play League.

In fact, depending on how you slice the data, it’s possible that removing MMR in Dominion/Normal Summoner’s Rift actually increased the engagement of these modes because you’re removing the constant “stakes” in each match. 

Regarding Twisted Treeline Ranked, in retrospect, it’s hard to say whether it was the right choice. As a games studio, I think it’s OK sometimes to admit mistakes, and try to learn from them. Game design and game development is really hard, and it’s pretty difficult to predict exactly how players will receive a new feature, system or queue. In the old days, it seemed obvious that we should open a Ranked version of Twisted Treeline, but did it actually damage the overall growth of Twisted? Did players get frustrated with the queue times and lopsided matches, and quit Twisted altogether? These are key questions that help us learn from the choices we make.

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ARAM succeeded because it was heavily advertized

Lyte New PortraitI intend on reading the full post, but am curious about this point. How do you explain the growth of ARAM when it was a Custom Game? This was before the blog post, before being able to queue for it, before any support at all.

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How about replacing Normal Draft Dominion with Ranked

Lyte New PortraitThis is another interesting data point. If there was a large number of Normal Draft Dominion players, you might be able to argue that most of these players would be interested in Ranked Dominion and that would be the “starting” playerbase of Ranked Dominion plus some additional group of incoming players. 

However, Normal Draft Dominion is completely unplayed and has never had any engagement. In fact, after reviewing the data, we should probably close Normal Draft Dominion completely.

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Has Dominion's population ever drastically

Lyte New PortraitI didn’t see any times when Dominion’s population drastically rose. However, the official release of Howling Abyss did reduce the numbers on Dominion. This could suggest that players that enjoy “alternative” maps that have different pacing prefer Howling Abyss to Dominion, and that these maps fill the same need for these players. I understand that some players might think of Dominion as a competitive map, but it might not be the majority opinion. For example, I bet there are some players that think Howling Abyss is a competitive map and would prefer to play Ranked Howling Abyss too–but, it’d be a far stretch to say the majority of players think that way.

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How has ARAM's popularity fared over time

Lyte New PortraitHowling Abyss has done really well over time. 

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How many players prefer Normals to Ranked Games

Lyte New PortraitUnfortunately, I can’t release the exact orders of magnitude, but the vast majority of players still prefer Normals compared to Ranked.

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How has Team Builder affected queue populations

Lyte New PortraitInterestingly, Team Builder hasn’t pulled much from the alternative maps like Dominion and Twisted Treeline. Team Builder has mainly split the Normal Blind Pick population, which is something we’re very sensitive to. We have some key design choices we want to make in Team Builder to make the queues as fast as Blind Pick, and want to see how these changes play out before discussing the replacement of Blind Pick. For example, we may run some experiments where we do have players only select Position and see if the experiences are just as positive, but queue times are much lower.

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Are players not punished after being reported in Dominion

Lyte New PortraitThis is false. Players aren’t immune in any mode.

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Any short-term solution to Bot accounts in Dominion

Lyte New PortraitYes, we’re working on a few short-term things to combat Bots in Dominion. Drevarius is a designer that has been working on that problem. As you might know, we usually don’t discuss anti-hacking or anti-botting measures because it typically is an arms race.

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Ranked gives legitimacy to modes and ups their popularity

Lyte New PortraitIntroducing Ranked Dominion might translate to an increase in the population that plays Normals, but the question is what the increase might be? Secondly, would the increase in Normal Dominion players be enough to compensate and overcome the pull that Ranked Dominion would have on current Normal Dominion players? 

As an aside, realistically, turning on new queues isn’t as simple as flipping switches. Rioters might have trivialized this in the past, but as someone directly involved in Team Builder, new queues require continuous monitoring and maintenance by a team.

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Master Tier now live on NA

Socrates New PortraitHey all, with the launch of Master Tier Diamond players may notice some changes to their LP gains and losses. Here’s what is going on in these cases:

* The top 200 challenger spots were protected by a concept called ‘clamping’ before Master Tier was introduced. This ensured the top 200 dudes on the server had both the highest LP and MMR. This greatly slowed gains and losses, making small gains appear normal. Removing clamping means gains (both up and down) are more fluid now. Since in some cases clamping was actually protecting players from falling down too quickly, these players will see some larger losses and smaller gains until they’re back where the system expects them to be.

* In other tiers (bronze – plat) league standing is a very accurate mapping of player skill, but there is a buffer to slow players LP losses temporarily if they start to go on a losing trend. Since clamping was removed, but challenger and master must contain the very best players, the loss shielding is thinner in diamond than other tiers. In other words, gains and losses can feel more swingy.

Gains should become more stable over time. We’ll be monitoring how LP changes stabilize over the next few days and evaluating if we need to make adjustments or not based on the results.

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Patch Rundown – 4 16

Want to check Patch 4.16’s notes? Here’s a link:






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



News Update 09 09 Banner



Viktor‘s third rework has been posted on the forums and with that – a new splash art. In other map topics, Dominion has been receiving a fair bit of criticism lately for being largely abandoned by Riot and Ghostcrawler and ManWolf took to the forums to explain the company’s priorities and why a Ranked queue in Dominion would harm the mode. A thread was open on GD to collect feedback on Cassiopeia’s rework and finally, lore pieces for Xerath’s ascension and Azir – the new Champion coming with Patch 4.16 – were posted on LoL”s FB page.

TL;DR in featured comments.


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A series of lore pieces were posted on LoL’s facebook page, detailing Xerath’s Ascension lore and the involvement of Nasus, Renekton and Azir in his story.


“In ancient Shurima, young emperor Azir was persuaded by Xerath, his magus, to attempt the fabled Ascension ritual – despite ancient warnings to do so only in times of direst threat.”



“Azir’s hubris proved disastrous. As the Sun Disc focused the dawn rays into a transformative beam, Xerath betrayed Azir, shoving his emperor aside and stealing its power for himself.”


“In an instant, Azir was obliterated – and Xerath remade as a spectral being of pure, malevolent energy – as the city around them was swallowed whole by the desert.”


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“Nasus and Renekton, Ascended heroes of Shuriman legend, sensed in an instant that something had gone terribly wrong and rushed to the Sun Disc. They hurled Xerath into a chained sarcophagus – but the magus shattered it into shards.”



“Renekton dragged Xerath into the Tomb of the Emperors and shouted to Nasus to seal the door. With a heavy heart, Nasus entombed his brother with a madman in the buried ruins for all eternity.

Or so he believed…”



Why is Xerath a traitor and a villain in this lore

Runaan New PortraitHey, look! Stuff I wrote! :O Blast from the past. Xerath was actually the first character I wrote for entirely (Talon’s judgment was my first), so this is a fun flashback. 

So, no spoilers, but look at it this way: the Shurima event is largely going to be Azir’s story, from Azir’s point of view. Events will be colored in a way that may paint Xerath as the “villain” in this scenario, but that doesn’t necessarily tell you the whole side of his story. 

Imagine what the mages who imprisoned Xerath in his original lore thought of him: a guy who more or less betrayed his people, nuked their civilization, all for what? For power? They didn’t have all the information that you guys have from his Judgment, for example. To them, he was also a very clear-cut “villain.” 

We always wanted Xerath to have a sympathetic backstory, even if he does cross a moral event horizon at some point. Remember when you hated Severus Snape for most of the Harry Potter series, only to have “his side” revealed much, much later, and how game-changing that was? Keep in mind that a story isn’t always told with 100% of the information front loaded. Just because it’s not immediately there, spelled out, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist within the character, or we’ve forgotten about it.

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Follow Up

Runaan New PortraitI think the Snape example still applies – sometimes it’s worth it to save character details for later down the story, where the reveal might hold more meaning. Snape was pretty much a bad guy for most of Harry Potter (as it was from Harry’s PoV). Don Draper may seem like an excessively misogynistic jerk through a lot of Mad Men, but revealing details about his upbringing sheds light on why this is a part of him – something that’s not done until much, much later in the series. 

What you seem to be asking for is all the details on every character up front. That isn’t a story… it’s an encyclopedia entry.

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Tell us the perspective before writing one-sided lore

Runaan New PortraitErr, stories are never really ABOUT facts, stories are stories – again, it seems like you’re asking for super objective stuff when stories are subjective things. Also, it would feel clumsy (and again, more like an encyclopedia) to have a “list of points of view” – the story should imply that for itself. In this case, I’m speaking ahead of the story that’s going to unfold for you guys. Hopefully it comes across that the story is primarily about Azir, thus colored by who he is as a character.

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Viktor Rework 3 Banner



The Truer Evolution - Viktor Rework

Solcrushed New PortraitFleshlings, the time of the Glorious Evolution is nigh!

Viktor will be hitting the PBE very soon (hopefully tomorrow). and I am here to give you the numbers & mechanics changes we have for the upcoming PBE patch.

Here are screenshots of the tooltips, I will be adding notes for the changes that cannot be discerned from them. Are you ready?


  • Basic attack frames sped up


Evolving Technology PassiveGlorious Evolution [ Passive ]

Viktor starts with a Prototype Hex Core that he can upgrade 3 times for 1000 gold each. Each upgrade grants +25 AP, +150 Mana and +1 AP per level, cumulating in +75AP, +6 AP per level, +500 Mana for the Perfect Hex Core.

Each upgrade will allow Viktor to augment one of his basic abilities and when Viktor has upgraded all 3, the Chaos Storm will be augmented also.


Power Transfer New IconSiphon Power [ Q ]

  • Range changed to use bounding boxes (Effectively 100 range increase)
  • Cooldown changed to 10/8.5/7/5.5/4
  • Damage reduced to 40/60/80/100/120 (+0.2AP)
  • Empowered autoattack that deals 15~250 (depending on Viktor’s level) (+0.5AP) bonus magic damage on next basic attack.
  • NOTE: The entirety of the damage of the next basic attack is converted to magic (ex: Poppy Q)
  • Shield amount changed to 30/50/70/90/110 (+0.2AP)
  • Shield and speed boost (Augment) duration reduced to 2.5
  • Shield, speed boost and empower all granted immediately upon cast


Gravity Field New IconGravity Field [ W ]

  • Range increased to 700
  • Particle starts playing as soon as Viktor starts cast, time between start of cast and enemy being slowed is unchanged
  • Stunned enemies are no longer affected by the slow


Death Ray New IconDeath Ray [ E ]

  • Augment Explosion missile speed significantly faster than the original laser



Chaos Storm New IconChaos Storm [ R ]

  • Cast time reduced to 0.25 (from 0.33)
  • Cooldown reduced to 120/110/100
  • Radius of initial impact increased to 325 (from 250)
  • Radius of DOT zone reduced to 325 (from 350)
  • Storm always moves at maximum speed when moving towards Viktor
  • DOT damage changed to 30/60/90 (+0.2AP)
  • DOT damage interval now 0.5 seconds (from 0.25)
  • No longer silences on impact, interrupts channels instead



  1. How do you feel about his abilities working with each other, do they have a natural flow to them?
  2. How enticing are the augments in various points in the game? When / what do you think is the best time / order to upgrade them?
  3. Do you notice an improvement in the usability of Chaos Storm? / How does Chaos Storm feel to use for you as a player new to Viktor?
  4. Is the damage on the empowered attack on Siphon Power adequate during all phases of the game? If not, when does it feel out of line?


New Viktor Splash Art


bBtDMim (1)



State of Dominion Banner


How to preserve Dominion and increase its audience

Ghostcrawler New Portrait Hey guys,

We appreciate the passion, and we’re going to try to address this with a one, two punch. I’m going to talk high-level League design philosophy and Manwolf will jump in with some Dominion specifics.

First, Dominion isn’t going anywhere. Ascension is a new temporary game mode that we hope you’ll enjoy, but it is just using some Dominion assets, not replacing the game.

However, this is a good opportunity to reaffirm why we like temporary game modes in the first place. League is largely centered around Summoner’s Rift. That focus lets us design the game specifically for that map. We can make decisions about everything from movement speed to ult cooldowns with SR in mind. We constrain ourselves if we have to make sure a design change will work on any number of maps, and it bloats the game and introduces bugs when we make a lot of special case rules about items or abilities for the alternate maps. We still do it, but it’s a last resort.

Now that’s largely an argument for why it’s easier for us to develop with a single map focus. But we think there is also benefit for players above and beyond our just being able to offer a better experience. The more maps and alternate game modes we offer, the more it subdivides the player population. We’re at a state where that situation isn’t too bad, but imagine what League would feel like with a dozen maps, and players split among all of them. It’s one of the challenges of matchmaking that the more game modes you support, the harder it is to find a good game for anyone. Furthermore, it just divides up the mind share. Games like soccer and chess aren’t played on a variety of “maps.” There are some variant rules, and they serve similar goals as ours do: to give players something more when they’ve gotten a little bored of the standard way to play.

This is one of the reasons we spun up a team to specifically focus on temporary game modes, such as URF, Doombots and now Ascension. We feel like we can offer a fun and novel way to play League, without the commitment to eternal upkeep, especially for those modes that end being less awesome than some of the others. I mention this, because we think the future of alternate maps for League lies with alternate game modes (and I’m specifically talking maps with different rules — cosmetic art changes to existing maps is a different topic). In the meantime, we do have Twisted Treeline, Crystal Scar and Howling Abyss, and we want to keep supporting them, recognizing that they aren’t as central to the game as Summoner’s Rift and therefore will probably never have the audience of Summoner’s Rift. We also understand the perception of a vicious spiral here. Specifically, the less attention Riot pays to those maps, the less likely the audience is to grow, which means Riot is less likely to pay additional attention, and so on.

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Why there’s no Ranked queue for Dominion

ManWolf New PortraitHey dudes,

Let’s chat.

First off, I want to reiterate what Ghostcrawler said. We won’t be removing Dominion nor the Alternate Maps team. We’ve accomplished a lot this last year with both Dom and TT – They’re both in a much better state of balance and overall health than they ever have been. 

Secondly, I’ll be frank. Dominion does not have the player base to support a ranked queue right now. It’s not a matter of diluting the primary game mode or needing extra dev support, the population just isn’t large enough to sustain a healthy queue. How do we know this? Well, we’ve actually done quite a bit of research on how many players are needed for a healthy queue. When it’s not met, we see stuff like increased toxicity, higher turnover, decrease in queue size and a generally degraded play experience. Splitting the already small community into two queues would create a poor experience for both sides. Waiting 30 minutes to play with people with a 500 elo disparity is no fun for anyone. 

tl;dr – Unless something changes, we won’t be enabling ranked.

BUT – Let’s talk about what ranked means to you guys and why you want it. Is it the end of season rewards? Is it quantifying personal skill? Is it about competition? Perhaps there’s an alternative to ranked that can achieve that goal.

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Cassiopeia Rework Banner

Not familiar with Cassiopeia’s rework? Here’s the full list of changes.



STASHU New PortraitHey guys! Sorry for taking so long to move this discussion over to GD, finally made it though! So, let’s recap. Cassiopeia’s getting some changes soon. For a full rundown of the changes, check out my earlier post on the PBE forums. In this post, however, I’d like to address a few notable concerns that have come up here and there, and hopefully ease some worries. I’ll highlight the main changes to her kit at the bottom of the post for those who are unfamiliar with them, but first, the issues:

Most importantly, I’d like to reassure all of our Cassiopeia players that this is not intended as a nerf. If anything, these changes seek to increase her viability. That said, I know a lot of people have put significant efforts into crunching the numbers and comparing them to her old values, and I know her damage numbers may seem a little low. We are pretty confident that these changes have dramatically improved her effective damage output in the late game, though mostly through utility and usability.

For example, imagine if Kog’Maw could not use his basic attack unless he hit his target with his ult beforehand, and then we made a change to allow him to freely use his basic attack– even if we reduced his AD, he would still be doingdramatically more damage. Now, the usability changes to Twin Fang are not quite on this scale, but we believe they really aren’t too far off. Of course, it is fully possible that the damage is tuned too low. If this turns out to be true, we will definitely not hesitate to amp up her numbers. We want Cassiopeia to do tons of damage– so, if her damage doesn’t go crazy come mid-late game, don’t worry, we’ll fix that.

Another common concern is that Cassiopeia is no longer the DoT poison mage that she once was. Honestly, yes, there will be less cases where Cassiopeia throws all her DoTs on her opponent, walks away, and laughs as they slowly perish >=D. I know that this pattern was something that many of us enjoyed, but sadly there were a lot of problems with it. Damage over time is generally under-appreciated, particularly for poisoned the opponent who never has an easy time identifying what’s killing him or what to do about it. Cassiopeia’s abilities were particularly scary versions of this, with incredibly high damage and very low visceral feel–again, especially for the opponent. So, this had to be addressed, at least in some ways. That said, we really want to preserve Cassiopeia’s poison identity, and that’s part of what inspired the new passive.

So, with the changes we arrived at, we believe poison will still do enough damage for the occasional turn-and-burn kill, be less punishing to unsuspecting opponents, AND be an even more important part of Cassiopeia’s consistent engagement with enemies.

Those are the two big concerns I wanted to address here. I’d love to discuss these (and others) further, so please feel free to post below! I’m headed home now, but I’ll take a look tomorrow morning when I get back in and likely hang around here tomorrow to discuss and answer questions. Thanks for reading, and change recap below:


Here are the main changes:

Old passive: removed!

New passive: Cassiopeia permanently gains a stack of Aspect of the Serpent for each second that she has poisoned an enemy champion, for each poisoned unit that she kills, and every time she hits an enemy champion with Twin Fang. Caps at 400 stacks.

  • 75 stacks: 5% increased Ability Power. Twin Fang restores 6/8/10/12/16 (+0.1 ability power) health.
  • 200 stacks: 10% increased Ability Power. Cassioepeia gains 25% CDR
  • 400 stacks: 30% increased Ability Power.

Noxious Blast:

  • Cooldown increased by 1 second at all ranks
  • AP ratio down to 0.35


  • Damage and ratio down a little
  • Slow up by 10% at all ranks
  • CD up by 5 seconds, but scales with rank, down to approximately the old values

Twin Fang:

  • Ratio now scales with rank, overall increase by 0.05 at rank 5
  • Now checks for poison (and resets cooldown) on cast and on missile arrival
  • Added several smaller checks to make the reset less buggy feeling and unreliable

Petrifying Gaze

  • Now more accurately hits units directly on top of/in front of Cassiopeia (this is a pretty sizeable buff)
  • Cooldown down a little
  • Damage down a little

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





Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the first installment of the League of Breakdown.  Today is a special day because we’re going to look at dominion-specific changes, which will affect about 0.1% of the community. More than that, we’re also going to look at the changes to all the Tear of the Goddess items,  and the different champions which will benefit from these changes, as well as the differences between the Archangel’s and Manamune. First off, the changes!


  • Added Dominion variants of several items.

TearTear of the Goddess (Crystal Scar)

  • Mana per charge increased to 5 from 4.

ManamuneManamune (Crystal Scar)

  • Mana per charge increased to 8 from 4.

AAngelArchangel’s Staff (Crystal Scar)

  • Mana per charge increased to 10 from 6.

ROARod of Ages (Crystal Scar)

  • Now gains stacks every 40 seconds, down from 60 seconds.


This will allow the few champions who can spam skills at level one much stronger The Crystal Scar. For instance Singed, who can spam his Q and gain significant stacks by the time he leaves the platform.  This will help you get your stacks earlier on, so you don’t end up getting your seraph’s when the game is over. Other champions that should gain power with these changes include:




MundoDr. Mundo (Because He really needs the Mana as he has none).





(Of course you can spam skills with other champions, like Ezreal, but most of these have toggles, which will make it very easy to charge up a Tear of the Goddess).

Along with that, the ROA is now granting stacks every 40 seconds. Previously if you bought the ROA it would take twenty minutes to reach full power; this meant you often never reached full stacks.  Now it takes a mere 13.3 minutes to reach full stacks, which makes it more viable on the map- but still only if you rush it.

This makes for some interesting strategies on Dominion. Singed for instance will gain 250 health from a fully-stacked Tear, along with a massive amount of AP thanks to ROA, which will also add mana, which in turn will give extra AP through Seraph’s. This will allow deceptively high damage on Fling, and the ability to bait with the large shield from Seraph’s Embrace. Amumu with a Tear can consistently run his W to shred high-health targets. Karthus is an interesting one, it allows him to run his E near constantly; this will help him to defend a capture point for some time without suddenly running out of mana. It’ll enable Karthus to very quickly get full stacks on the Tear, allowing a TP Revive Karthus to pull off easy chain kills by simply running in, baiting the shield, outputting massive damage, repeat, and ult.

I’ve prepared a special paragraph for my favorite champion which I build Tear-into-Manamune/Muramana on, TARIC. Now, if you intend to play AD/Mana Taric, Tear is an absolute must. The AD given from having mana makes his autoattacks hurt. A lot. At level 18, with a full Tear and all his base-mana, he has 2008. This adds an extra 80+ damage per autoattack, paired with 80 AD from Muramana, and with baseAD, you get 196 AD and 80 extra damage on autoattacks from passive. With ONE item. I love Taric with a burning passion.

There are some other general strategies you can use; the ability to take the storm shield and use a Seraph’s shield adds a deceivingly high amount of tankyness to anybody taking the Tear. Muramana will enable many champions to do massive damage, especially those stacking mana items, such as Ryze. Rod of Ages is a staple on many AP casters, enabling you to have good sustain, balanced with some decent damage, and the mana it provides couples with the AP from Archangels/Seraphs, so it’s quite a strong combo even if the ROA only gives a base 60 AP.

Overall, these changes adapt these items to fit a fast-paced gamemode and are going to make the Crystal Scar more enjoyable. I hope that soon they’ll implement Champion-specific changes like this to Dominion, to suit the shorter, faster-paced game.

Is this going to inspire you to play some dominion?





Categories: Original Content Tags: ,


Ok, so my rating has plateaued as of late and I have had a hard time finding something to write about. Winning a game for eleven rating and then losing a game immediately after for fourteen makes it hard to stay motivated, so I haven’t even played that many ranked games since my previous entry. I peaked at 1831 rating and was two wins away from Plat and I was so happy. Then I had some bad games and plummeted all the way back into the 1700’s. Now my fail safe for winning games was just getting Fizz in mid and trying to carry and I learned even if I won my lane and helped influence the other lanes positively that I was not always able to carry. I realized that I was putting too much responsibility on my myself and not Working With My Team.

They are your team till you Win or Lose. Make the Best of it.

When you get put into a lobby with a team the first thing you want to try and do is peacefully establish who is going where. It is important to take the high road if you get a bad egg. If someone is “mid or afk” just give them mid and ignore them and try to collaborate with the other three people who want to actually win. From here you want to try and influence your team to pick champions that will compliment your champion. For example when I pick Fizz I ask the jungler or top laner to pick a champion with strong initiation potential like Malphite, Amumu, J4, Nocturne, Sejuani, Xin Zhao, etc, because as an assassin I need team fights to be started for me so I can take advantage of the chaos and gib someone in the back line. Nothing makes an opposing team scatter like a Malphite or Amumu ultimate and once I started doing this I began winning more games again. Remember, people want to win and as someone in a solo lane (a carry) you should be able to influence people to pick around your ability to carry.


The other thing to realize is that your team is YOUR TEAM till you win or lose. If you start fighting in champion select and no one dodges you are going to be with them for twenty minutes at least. If someone starts losing their lane don’t yell at them or even say anything at all, just let them figure stuff out and pull themselves together. Remember, yelling at them isn’t going to make them vanish out of your game. They are there until the end, so make the best of what you have. I have seen so many games where top lane dies six times and then they will stroll into some team fight super late and clean up and no one pays attention to them because they think they are underfarmed and the dude gets a triple kill and all of a sudden your team is back in contention. But if you yell at that top guy all game and he zones out because everything he reads in chat is garbage or flaming then you make the game that much harder. WORK WITH YOUR TEAM AND DON’T SAY ANYTHING IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY!


There will be games where your team straight up loses you the game.

Tough shit man. If the pressure of losing or relying on four other people to win a game is too much for you there are plenty of other games that you can play on Facebook where you can simultaneously post statuses about how you feel and pictures of the slashes you just made on your wrists. But if you fancy yourself a fucking warrior and the only time you cry is at the end of the movie The Grey, starring Liam Neeson, because that movie is fucking intense, then queue up again and try your luck. Gaining ELO isn’t about win streaks, it’s about keeping your composure and winning more games than you lose in the long run.

Love, Dcgreen



LoLKing Profile



Killer Instincts


Greetings Summoners, today’s article is going to be the importance of aggression in Season 3! Because I consider aggression to be an advanced tactic I am going to briefly go over a few prerequisite conditions I recommend you have under your belt before you try and secure that ever-rewarding First Blood.

First - “Main” a specific Champion: It does not matter which Champion as long as it’s your favorite, you have A TON of experience on them and always have fun playing them! I used to think in soloqueue it was important to have a diverse champion pool so I could play any lane decently well and I am here to tell you: that’s wrong if you want to carry your team. When you get into a ranked lobby just ask nicely for the lane you want, I always say “Mid plz :),” followed by “I understand I am 4th/last pick and will fill if someone above me wants mid.” This resulted in me getting Fizz for about 16 games in a row. If you’re lower priority pick and someone else calls the lane just let them have it and hope they are as determined as you are to carry; remember it’s good to build a friendly and cooperative rapport with your team right from the start to reduce inner-team turmoil. Also if you lose the game don’t blame it on you not being able to carry; losses happen and LoL has proven time and time again that it’s a game of perfect storms, sometimes shit storms. The worst thing you can do if you lose is queue for another game and then try to force your new team into giving you your desired lane by saying “mid or afk,” or “I am playing Karthus regardless of what lane.” Just be patient and play what roles you are given until you eventually get to carry with your favorite Champ.


Second – Learn Combat:I recommend you read my Dominion article and play Dominion on your Main Champion for about 10 games to really learn the ins and outs of their combat. For example, do you know what is it like to fight an AP champion 1 on 1, an AD champion, are you good at all-ins, are they good at all-ins, can you chase reliably well, do you do more burst or sustained damage, how much does your power go up at levels 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, and 18, do you always max the same spell first or does your kit offer variety, what items spike your power and are considered your “core,” is it smart to build against your lane or always build your core, are you front line, are you back line, are you a carry, are you an assassin, are you support, do you offer utility to your team, are you the quarterback or are you the receiver, can you roam efficiently, when is it best to buy level 1 boots, level 2 boots, boot enchant and which one, can you initiate a fight or should you sit back and wait, what should your positioning be like in team fights, etc. There’s probably a slew of other things you should know but you get the idea. It’s a long list and it makes a difference in your success of killing someone.


Third – Stick to your Guns: Make a plan, stick to it and never doubt yourself. After playing a handful of games I realized that Fizz is an incredible duelist in the early levels. He has great melee harass with his Seastone Trident DoT, he has 2 gap closers, he can negate an enemy spell with his Playful/Trickster, he has a slow, he can effectively go 9 defensive masteries, his passive reduces auto attack damage (minions and champions) and allows him to ignore unit collision (his passive also increases damage reduction at level 4 making this a potent “all-in” level). With all this combat knowledge (again see my Second point) I started to develop plans around early all-ins around level 3 and 4 to snowball my lane. I created rune pages with all “flat” runes instead of “per level” runes to maximize my early stats, and even tailored my masteries for early game instead of late game. Using this plan got me a free kill in lane about 60% of the time, the other 40% we would trade deaths, or I would force them to go back to heal. The games where I killed them and lived though the lane would forever be in my control because I know once Fizz gets Sheen his damage spikes dramatically and with the increased mana you always have enough to devote to harassing and escaping if the jungler comes (which he fucking will… every god damn time lol). Just know that your lane will receive a lot of jungler attention if your aggression is successful.


So Why be Aggressive in Season 3?

The Jungler won’t help early on: Referencing one of my previous articles, one of the most drastic changes in Season 3 is the new jungle. Junglers take much more damage now and there is a greater risk than before trying to gank a lane after getting blue and red buff because they are typically at ~50% hp. Because of this risk Junglers will gank less early which means you have a solid 4-5 minutes undisturbed in lane with your opponent that you need to capitalize on, but remember you are also less likely to receive help from your own jungler. Also most starting builds yield an early ward which makes it even harder for the jungler to get to lanes undetected. What this means for you is that you now have to become more self-sufficient when it comes to winning your lane. In Season 2 you could play passively for a while and just wait for your jungler to come and get you a kill, snowballing your lane. Now that the Jungler spends more time clearing and puts more emphasis on farming camps, you have to rely on 1 v 1 skill to win.


Winning Lane Early Sets You Up to Carry: If you capitalize early and come out ahead because of your aggression you can control your lane and then begin to control other lanes. When you kill your lane opponent you typically get 300-600 more gold than them (depending on First Blood and how many waves you get to free farm), you get 1-2 levels on them and you can push against them with impunity. When you push people to towers (which forces them to sit and farm or else they lose much needed exp/gold following you) you have roughly ~25 seconds to invade their jungle, gank other lanes, or pressure global objectives like Dragon and Baron which over-time will make their team weaker than your team. Also as I mentioned above you will draw jungle attention to your lane which allows the rest of your team to play aggressive also!

The Element of Surprise: People are still not used to aggression (especially calculated aggression). A lot of players are still stuck in the ways of Season 2 which makes them perfect prey for your killer instincts! They passively farm and spend a lot of time typing trash to the jungler about his lack of early presence. They are that much less likely to expect you to go all-in so early, pressuring them to make unexpected decisions and mistakes. If you read my first article and you are also using a rarely played champion, like Wukong or Fiora, people are that much less likely to react correctly (ask yourself do you even know Fiora’s passive, Q, W, E, and R? Exactly!). Once you kill someone unexpectedly you also have a chance to put them on tilt mentally. Watching your champion die before your eyes, as you have no idea how to react, is infuriating! The psychological part of the game then starts to sink in and you can almost completely destroy someone’s ability to play and make rational thoughts if you make their head spin fast enough 😉

I recommend all summoners that want to be successful in Season 3 to develop your killer instinct and constantly apply pressure to your lane. Make you opponent afraid of you and use that fear to carry your team. Til next time may your ELO rise as you experience the Glory of the Climb 🙂

Love, Dcgreen





Greetings Summoners! Today’s article is going to be about the hidden gem to improving your combat skills, Dominion. Dominion received a lot of hype and attention during its release but that attention almost immediately switched back to Summoner’s Rift, as that is the format people enjoy most and the game is balanced around; today Dominion has almost been forgotten as a format as it is played less than custom ARAMs. Despite the statistics and trends I am here to tell you that Dominion is one of the best formats you can play to improve your skills as a player and by playing 1-2 games of Dominion a day you can raise your ELO.

Dominion: Good for More than Just Skin Spotlights!

Have you ever heard or been advised by friends, or even pro players on stream, that you should warm up by playing a Normal game before you queue for ranked? Makes sense, even athletes warm up so why shouldn’t you? I wholeheartedly agree with warming up before playing ranked, but instead of playing a game of Summoner’s Rift, why not play Dominion? Unless you have 40 extra minutes to kill, enjoy farming for 10-20 minutes, like risking not getting the champion/lane you want, and like winning games of SR that aren’t worth rating, then go ahead and queue up for a Normal game. If I have your attention though, consider everything Dominion provides!

There’s little to no farming which means all your time in game is going to be spent casting spells on champions and fighting people to the death; you get MORE passive gold and experience which means you’re guaranteed to get at least 2 core items + boots per game despite how bad you might do and at least level 18. You can instalock any champ you want and people don’t rage at you; you’re also almost guaranteed to play whatever champ you have been thinking about all day at school, work, or those 5 minutes it took to start up your computer. Ever queued for a game and been like “OMFG I AM GONNA PLAY THE SHIT OUTTA SOME FIZZ RIGHT NOW!” and then you realize you are last pick and you have to play Support; which is fine support is actually fun now, but you really wanted to play that certain champ. Again think Dominion (Fizz is never taken from me). The best part about Dominion is, win or lose, you are always guaranteed to have a fun time! Sure its more fun to win, you even get your 1st win of the day bonus (200+ IP) if you do, but how can you complain when you got to spend 20 minutes on your favorite champion melting everyone’s face off? Dominion is the most stress free and rewarding game mode to play in League hands down, which makes it the best mode to play for warming up!

You Told Me It Would Make Me Win My Lane?

The way Dominion works is 4 people go for the Windmill(top) and 1 person goes to capture the bottom node and fight the other person in bottom lane; essentially top is a 4v4 and bottom is a 1v1. Eventually the game will get wild and people will start going everywhere, but this is the meta for about the first 5 minutes of Dominion. If you want to get better at winning your lane then you go bottom. It’s typically a bit more boring than going top but it will help you hone your dueling skills which are the most important in lane. With the jungle tweaks of season 3 it is less likely for the jungler to gank early and ruin your lane for you/assist you, so you need to become more self-reliant on winning your lane by yourself. This means you need to know how far you can push your champion in a 1v1 situation against specific match-ups and in Dominion you encounter tons of different champions in the bottom lane, which increases your champion knowledge and match-up versatility.

For Example: If someone tried to counter-pick my Fizz mid with Xin Zhao (which happened the other day) I would know how to fight him because I have faced a Xin bottom in Dominion. He scales a lot better than Fizz after about level 7 but can’t do anything against an all in at early levels. Also if you fight him in a creep wave and you Playful/Trickster his 3rd attack of ThreeTalonStrike he will auto-target and use the knock-up attack on a minion, then you land and continue doing a ton of damage to him. Now how would you know something like that unless you play mid vs Xin Zhao all the time? You wouldn’t! But because you play Dominion and are more well versed vs random match ups than the average player you can use this knowledge to win your lane more often. The same idea applies to regular lane match-ups as well obviously.

Oh before I forget, there are a lot of instances when you are going to be fighting someone in bottom lane on a tower, so Dominion also helps you develop another important lane skill: Tower Diving. You may also get better at remembering to chug potions while in combat 🙂


You Told Me It Would Make Me Win My Game?

Ok so if the bottom lane of Dominion helps you win your lane then… you guessed it! Top can help you win more games. The top portion of Dominion is an all out brawl; 8 people all hopped up on moth balls and speed shrines are fighting to capture the windmill! Its basically a full-fledged team fight every time you respawn and run top, sometimes there’s even a tower shooting at you! Basically to be good at Dominion you need to be able to capture the Windmill and to do that you need to be alive, or have someone on your team be alive after all the fighting. Now if you play a squishy assassin, like Fizz, its not smart to Urchin Strike their Garen before anyone else on your team engages and get insta-killed; this is a common mistake average players make all the time. Timing, patience, positioning, and opportunity are skills Dominion can help you develop; multiple times in the same game! In how many team fights do you have the luxury of making mistakes in an average game of Summoner’s Rift, before the opposing team gets too strong and just flat out wins the game; one, maybe two if you were ahead?

In a 20 minute game of Dominion you can fight numerous multi-champion skirmishes and learn how your champion functions within those situations. 1v2’s, 2v2’s, 2v3’s, 3v4’s, 4v4’s, 4v5’s, and even 5v5’s sometimes! Yes, sometimes you will get overrun, focused, or kited around a tower, but other times you will play your balls off, learn to rely on your teammates, understand positioning, learn how to do damage and assassinate while being safe, and even carry the game! The best part is you will be having a blast, but the most important thing is that you didn’t need to deal with the normal Summoner’s Rift bullshit: fighting with people in champ select, worrying about being counterpicked, farming to get items or levels to reach your peak, or wasting 30-60 minutes of your time!

Dominion allows you to play the champions you want, improve your dueling and teamfight skills, utilize your time, warm up, and have fun! So the next time you hit the “PLAY” button, make sure to switch modes from Classic to Dominion and have fun! I guarantee if you adapt this outlook you will see your ELO go up 🙂

Love, Dcgreen



domi fizz