Champ of the Week: Master Yi

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This is sort of a combination introduction and mid-week analysis post. I had so many long posts earlier this week that this just didn’t make it into the rotation. Without further ado, allow me to introduce this week’s Champ of the Week: Master Yi.

I’ve played Yi with the kind of analytical focus I use for the Champ of the Week series in the past. Back then, it was “The Great Yi Experiment,” during which I tried to assess his viability in ranked. This time around it’s a little more of the standard Champ of the Week fare, focusing on builds and strategies.

I’ll say this from my games so far – Yi really seems to do best out of the jungle. He can be decent in lane but he runs out of mana pretty quickly and prior to level six he doesn’t have any reliable methods for getting out of danger. His primary method of harassment also randomly instakills creeps, which makes it easy to end up pushed against a tower.

Yi’s jungle can be a little iffy, though. It’s very random, at least until you get a few ranks of Alpha Strike or a Wriggle’s. He can get low in the early levels, too, which is why I don’t usually play him against a Lee Sin or Nunu or any other invasive jungler. Once he gets that Wriggle’s, though, he’s easily one of the fast junglers in the game, which makes him a deadly mid-game ganker. I’ve had a lot of success piling on kills in the mid-game, which allows me to snowball to late.

Check back this weekend for the Master Yi Champ of the Week wrapup. In the meantime, leave your questions and suggestions in the comments.

Season 1 Rewards and the Importance of Achievemnts

As the end of Season One approaches, players have been scrambling to rank up for rewards. I’ve been in the mix myself, finally pushing through and securing gold late last night. It was challenging, but that also made it fun, and as a result I’m going to get some rewards. The funny thing, for me anyway, is that I don’t care much about the rewards. I’m not a Jarvan player. I don’t post on the forums much, if at all, but the simple fact that there is a reward associated with a tangible goal made the journey toward that goal a lot more compelling.

There was also an interesting side effect, which is where the whole “importance of achievements” thing comes in. As my rating edged closer to the 1520 mark for gold status, players were more helpful and level-headed. Granted, this is some circumstantial evidence, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that the attitude adjustment is due to the fact that players have a common goal beyond just winning.

It’s rare that I play with people who don’t want to win, but there’s really very little incentive to winning beyond, well, just winning. The ELO grind really didn’t mean anything. Players at every ELO rank complain that the players in that bracket are noobs and trolls. There’s also the fact that ELO is an endless grind. I can hit 1800 but what then? More games? Maybe make it to 1900? Maybe fall back down to 1600? There is no tangible reward other than bragging rights to make the ELO grind interesting.

This Season One reward is nothing more than an achievement system, and for me it worked pretty well. I know there are still a lot of players struggling with ELO hell, but let me reiterate this – getting out of ELO hell won’t make your games that much better. There will still be trolls. There will still be feeders. There will still be games you just can’t carry. I don’t think you’ll see a real shift in player attitude until Riot gives us something more than just a win and a ranking to worry about.

Four Tips for Reaching Gold in Solo Queue

Five days ago I was totally content to stick with my silver ranked rating. I had silver in both 3v3 Team and 5v5 Solo, which meant I had a little extra leeway to try my hand at a gold rating. I thought it was impossible. I mean that. I’m not trying to say I did something amazing, just that I was so used to losing because of things outside my control. My teammates would feed or get caught way out of position or ignore teamfights. It’s a mess I usually avoid because the combination of trying to rank up and watching a team fall apart ends nowhere good.

I couldn’t help thinking, though, that I would like to get that Gold rating. There’s not really a reason. I don’t play Jarvan. I don’t post on the forums much, if at all, so the rewards don’t really hold anything for me. I think I was just happy to have a goal in the game, a benchmark with some sort of associated reward (more on this in a post later today). In a game that I thought would be a tough match, my team steamrolled to the final victory that put me over into gold.

Most of my wins happened because I focused on the following four things. They didn’t work in every game, but they were key to most of my victories. If you’re trying to rank up in Solo 5v5, these are four things that can help.

Planning in the Pre-Game Lobby

I know. I know this one is nearly impossible. I know this is extremely frustrating. I know. But try to keep your cool when you queue up. There are enough people shooting for rewards that most of them will try to cooperate. Some of them might even pick for you and trade. I started entering games and immediately saying what I do best – jungle/AP carry/AD carry. Those are my strengths and I know it. I play a decent support, but plenty of people are better than me, so I’m willing to let them take a shot.

Playing Aggressive Junglers

Ever since my Champ of the Week with Lee Sin I’ve been in love with the guy. He can come out of the jungle incredibly early with enough damage to snag a first blood or force the use of Flash from an opponent. If you want to rank up fast, play an aggressive jungler. From what I’ve seen, players above the 1300 mark mostly know what they should be doing, they just tend not to do it. They overextend. They don’t ward or they ward too little. They don’t know jungle routes well enough to CV you or know when you might be ganking.

Aggressive junglers – Lee Sin, Udyr, Xin Zhao, Fiddle and even Nocturne – can come out of the jungle before level six with tools to secure a kill. If you can support your team with ganks, you can help them win the early game, even against champions like Singed and Mordekaiser, which can often win the game.

Buy an Oracle’s Elixir

Vision is everything. Being able to see and predict what the enemy team is doing makes your team’s job much easier. You’ll know where to gank, when an enemy is overextended, when they’re trying to secure dragon, and what sort of items they’re buying. Read the rest of this entry »

Karthus and Cassiopeia disabled

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Both Karthus and Cassiopeia have been officially disabled, thanks to the AoE bug I mentioned earlier today. As I said in that post, those two champions in particular seem to benefit in big ways from the problem, though Riot wasn’t clear on how widespread the issue actually is.

Here’s the official post:

Due to a current bug affecting AOE damage spells, we are temporarily disabling Karthus and Cassiopeia. These champions are disproportionately affected by this issue and will be re-enabled when we release a hotfix. Rest assured that we have a dedicated team working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

This is one of few times that we’ve seen champions disabled thanks to bugs associated with their skills. I’m glad to see it, though. I was getting sick of Karthus hitting me from crazy range.

FG LoL Mondays Cancelled Due to Hurricane

FG LoL Mondays

I spoke to several of you today confirming that I would be running FG LoL Mondays tonight as usual. Unfortunately, Time Warner and hurricane Irene had other plans. My service is currently down as a part of some sort of post-hurricane maintenance. I’m getting a whopping .05 Mbps down, which is hardly enough to load most webpages today, let alone run League of Legends.

If things are back up and running I will be on tonight. Feel free to toss me an invite to a game if you’re up to it, but I won’t be running our regularly scheduled games tonight.

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