I don’t know why it has taken me so long to remember to post this, but one of the unannounced skins this patch is called Lord Mordekaiser. It features the Master of Metal wearing, along with his typical metal duds, a giant metal strap-on.
I would love to meet the art director who saw this and said, “Yup – that’s just what we were going for. Nothing says metal like a huge, spikey penis of death strapped around your waist.”
For a brief moment I thought legendary skins might be on their way out. Several of the 975RP skins are close to or better than the legendary skins for a given champion (ahem, Corki), so it seems a little silly to keep marketing skins as “legendary.”
Riot has seen fit to keep moving with the legendary skin releases, this time in the form of Nunu Bot. Riot released a preview video of the new skin to its YouTube channel today. The skin looks awesome, but probably not $15 awesome, at least not for me. There have been a few champions in the past that I’ve played often enough that the legendary skins didn’t look half bad, especially when I already had some RP laying around. Now I split my time between so many different characters that it doesn’t really make sense to spend so much on one skin. For any serious Nunu player, though, I’d call it a must-have.
I feel like this post is particularly appropriate following my Gangplank discussion because the two characters occupy relatively the same position on a team. Both are meant to eat up carries, it’s just that Nocturne actually has the tools to do that and Gangplank doesn’t.
I understand he isn’t seen a lot in ranked games right now, but that’s only because he’s getting banned. Every time I see him in a normal game I cringe, knowing that it’s just a matter of time before his farm is too much to handle. Often that’s somewhere around level nine, which is just too damn early. The big problem is his kit, which is utterly ludicrous compared to a lot of the characters out there. I know I’ve given the breakdown before, but it is just dumbfounding to me that he remains in the game as he was released. He still has a fear, a spell shield, an attack speed boost, an attack damage boost, a slow, a movespeed buff, a dot, two scaling physical nukes, a self heal, a global vision reduction, and a nearly global dash. All of that from four skills.
Posts are going up unexpectedly late tonight – I’ve been working on two longer articles today and unfortunately they just aren’t done. Keep an eye out for those early next week. In the meantime, let’s talk about the Gangplank nerf.
Yes, I said nerf, because that’s just the most accurate term. Gangplank was already a bit of a niche character, occasionally effective in his ability to deny experience in his lane and set up jungle ganks. He struggled in teamfights from both an unreliable ultimate and his lack of mobility tools, especially when there weren’t creeps in the vicinity. His damage output was also typically unpredictable – occasionally through the roof but rarely consistent thanks to Parrrley. This rework did very little to address his biggest problems.
Raise Morale has lost its ability to deny creep experience, an admittedly broken mechanic when only one character in the game can do it. Removing that facet of the ability also meant Gangplank lost his ability to effectively lane. Because Parrrley grants bonus gold on kill, it’s best used every time it’s off cooldown, resulting in a lane push. Raise Morale gave Gangplank, who has low mobility compared to all the dashers in the game, the ability to lane against highly mobile teams by hanging back at his turret. For interested parties, Gangplank is one of three melee champions in the game to have neither a dash nor CC (slow/stun/fear – the terrible slow on his ult does not count). The other two champions are Mordekaiser and Garen, two of the most poorly designed characters in the game in my opinion. As far as laning goes, both these guys absolutely rock Gangplank, though Kaiser might push a little too hard.
The changes to Gangplank’s ult might be the most embarrassing part of his “rework.” The AoE is smaller, the slow is half as effective, and the random damage element is still there, though worse than before because the area of effect is so much smaller. Now, I’m no fan of global ults, but the fact that GP could blanket a lane with this bad boy every couple minutes was pretty nice. It could be fired quickly without a ton of regard for placement, a simplicity countered by the fact that it might not do so much damage. Now it has to be carefully placed, still does unreliable, often pathetic damage, and hardly slows the target. Gangplank has plenty of trouble getting to his intended target – he didn’t need a slow nerf to make things worse.
Gangplank needs a remake, not this rework crap. His ultimate is terrible, Parrrley is poorly conceived, and Raise Morale doesn’t give him the boost he needs when he needs it. His one good skill, Remove Scurvy, remains the only skill in the game that can break suppression, a feature that will likely be removed someday for the same reasons his deny was removed. I won’t be touching Gangplank again until he gets his remake.
One of the big changes this patch was a minor Fiddlesticks rework. I say minor because he doesn’t play entirely differently, he just feels a lot better. I’ve played a few games with him so far and been impressed with the changes, mostly the difference in Dark Wind.
Prior to the changes, I had a really hard time prioritizing Fiddle’s skill levels. He needed the utility of a bouncing silence, the power of Drain, and the fear in order to really lock down a target. When Dark Wind only bounced twice, it was difficult to get all that out of a gank, especially early on. Now Dark Wind is strong enough early on that multiple ranks aren’t totally necessary.
As good as Dark Wind is for early game jungling and ganking, you can feel it start to slow down by the late game. As weak as Fiddle used to be in the early game, his late game has the same potential to fail if you don’t get an early start. Fiddle is now heavily reliant on high AP builds, so it’s important to keep your cash generation up.
On the whole, I think Fiddle just feels a whole lot better. I would like to see Dark Wind get a little AP boost so it’s a touch stronger in the late game, but for the most part he feels much better. I pulled a quad with him today – something I haven’t done in a long, long time.