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.

Current Affairs: Have you noticed the AoE bug?

If you’ve been on the forums lately, you’ve no doubt noticed the threads bemoaning an AoE bug. The bug, as far as I can tell, allows AoE spells to land at a larger radius than their animation. Among the top offenders are Mordekaiser’s Siphon of Destruction, Brand’s Pillar of Flame and Caitlyn’s Yordle Snap Trap. Riot has yet to respond, or at least yet to respond in a post that I can find, so it’s unclear whether the bug is official or not. I will say this – I seem to be getting snagged by farm more traps than I used to.

In my mind, this is a really tough bug to assess. It’s frustrating to get hit by more spells than I’m used to, but I can’t help but think that my paranoia about the bug feeds into my analysis of the bug. Still, I did have a Cassiopeia land seemingly every cast on me, even though I had boots at level one. It’s not totally inconceivable that she was just the best Cassiopeia player I have ever seen, but I’d bet it’s more likely that there is some sort of bug.

Have you noticed the AoE bug? Seen a prevalence of AoE casters like Karthus and Cassiopeia?

Champ of the Week: Mordekaiser Wrapup

Mordekaiser Wrapup.

As I write this post, I’m in the process of wrapping up my final Mordekaiser game for the week. It’s a doozy. I was 2-0 at level two, and godlike shortly thereafter. The Twisted Fate that went mid for my team had a Deathcap and a nearly completed Lichbane at 20 minutes. Somehow, though, it is a joyless experience.

It may be that I’ve reached critical League of Legends exposure for the weekend. I watched most of the Dreamhack streams, often while playing a game of LoL myself. I spent more time on Twitter this weekend than I probably have since opening my account. But I think it was more than that. I think the real issue was that there wasn’t ever a competitive moment in the game, and that’s when Mordekaiser really seems to shine. I know he can be strong in certain comps, but for individual play, I think he’s the first champion I would seriously advise against.

Riot’s development staff often talks about the “feast or famine” nature of certain characters, a trait that I think perfectly describes Mordekaiser. If left to his own devices, he can get a huge farm going, to the point that he’s virtually unkillable. With the right target under his Children of the Grave control, he can effectively solo three or four enemies, generating massive shield and dealing huge damage with his minion. On the reverse side, if he doesn’t get a minion and doesn’t get a solo lane, he has a hard time staying relevant over the course of a game.

If I could change one thing about Mordekaiser, it would be his ultimate. That spell is just too polar and the poles are too far apart. Mordekaiser’s minion solves all of the problems that face a team after a tough team fight, and I just think it’s too strong. The minion functions as a full life champion, especially if you can get a ranged AD character. It also gains huge health from Mordekaiser’s own pool and it holds turret aggro, meaning a narrowly won teamfight quickly turns into a push. No other character, with the possible exception of Annie, can provide that for a team. Giving him some sort of CC skill in place of the ultimate could be interesting.

If I could change two things about Mordekaiser, I would make the second his shield mechanic. It just isn’t interesting. It allows him to be too aggressive and punishing against newer players and it’s underwhelming against veterans.

On the whole, I’m glad to be done with Mordekaiser week. I tried a wide array of rune pages and mastery builds to deal with his shortcomings, but nothing really seemed to work. Onward to next week. I think I’m going to have to treat myself to someone I really enjoy.

Champ of the Week: Click once, fool

Mordekaiser splash.

It hasn’t been an easy week for the Champ of the Week. I’ve tried looking up some guides, watching a couple Mordekaiser streams, and even cranked a little In Flames up to 11 but nothing seems to help my Mordekaiser game. I really don’t like playing that has no crowd control, and I like even less how dependent he is on positioning to make sure that he doesn’t take a lot of damage in the early game. That said, I’ve had a couple good games, but they really had nothing to do with my own playing. They had everything to do with my opponents.

From what I can tell, most of playing Mordekaiser is trying to bait your opponent into getting close enough for a Siphon of Destruction to land. The spell has a pretty high base, especially against the softer toons in the game, and generates quite a bit of shield. Unfortunately, players can walk out of it, and the smartest players just let you push them and wait for a jungler to come gank. If your team has a great counter jungler and your opponent can’t clear creeps very well, push and push hard. Unfortunately that situation is pretty rare, so you can either push your creeps to keep shield up in lane or you can struggle to stay alive without the shield. I had particular trouble against a Ryze the other day, though he also had Amumu coming out of the jungle regularly to keep me down. It was rough.

As I think more on Mordekaiser’s lane style, he seems relatively balanced, so long as the opponent is someone with decent lane presence. There are quite a few champions without very good early presence who require a big farm to be relevant late in the, and those champions fare very poorly against Mordekaiser. Mordekaiser also snowballs terribly in lane. If he can get an early kill, he’s off to the races. That extra level/level-and-a-half puts him at a huge advantage with ult/ignite combo. His shield also gives him the early ability to tower dive with impunity, which is never fun for anyone.

To be honest, I almost had fun in a game with him today, but it was because the Ashe I was laning against fed me two early kills and I was able to get Sorc Boots and a Sunfire before anyone on their team had completed a solid mid-game item. It’s hard not to enjoy crushing strong champions like Ashe and Warwick, but that situation has been a rarity for me so far.

Check back later in the week for more impressions.

Champ of the Week: Mordekaiser

Lord Mordekaiser.

I’ve had a hard time deciding who this week’s champ of the week would be. I was hoping I would get some inspiration last night, and though we did have some excellent games for Fearless Gamer LoL Mondays, but no one really intrigued me. I was thinking of playing Veigar, but I want to save him – he’s so much fun that I don’t want to use him just yet.

Then it hit me. Play someone that I hate playing.

Of all the champions in League of Legends, I think I can honestly say there is only one champion I both hate to play and hate to play against: Mordekaiser. Everything about him bothers me. He’s loud. He farms like a beast and gains a shield from that farm. He deals great damage, even when he only has defensive items. And then there’s his ult. That ult. It has turned the tide in more games than I care to count. For all of that, you’d think he would be fun to play. He must be for some, but I’m just not one of those people. That’s right, I said ‘those people.’ I dislike Mordekaiser so much that on some fundamental level I also dislike the people that like him (my apologies if that includes you).

Regardless, I’m going to play him. I’m going to try to find a way to make him work for me. I know he can be an asset to a team – he hasn’t excellent laning power and his ult really can change the outcome of a game. I’ll be focusing on the team comps that work best for him, when he can afford to get a Gunblade, and how to lane with him without completely pushing up to a turret.

It’s going to be an interesting week.

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