Champ of the Week: Ragnarok


I titled this mid-week Olaf feature “Ragnarok” because it’s the skill that received his most significant buff in the last patch, but also because the change really didn’t do a whole lot for Olaf. I won’t lie, the Ragnarok change is nice, but realistically speaking, most Olaf players know when to ult and when to hold on to the skill. Now it basically serves as a way to soak a CC skill for teamfights or escapes.

Other than that, I really started to enjoy Olaf once I got out of the jungle. Olaf is a solid solo lane champion. He’s fairly durable, mostly because any respectable build involves some amount of health, he deals excellent damage with Reckless Swing, and 1v1 he is a pure terror, even for some ranged champions.

I will say this – Olaf does not get an exciting build. When I’ve taken him solo top this week, I’ve purchased two, sometimes three gold-per-5 items (Philo, HoG, Avarice). Those don’t make for massive damage increases, but they do allow for a huge late-game farm. During the early game I pretty much rely on Reckless Swing to carry me through.

I do wish Reckless Swing scaled into late game in some way. The true damage is amazing early on, but when I’m staring down a 3500 HP Jarvan, my 340 true damage looks pretty weak.

I’m an Olaf believer, provided he can get a solo lane. I’ve had a couple problematic matchups, but hopefully I can talk a little more about that in my final video. Check back this weekend for the wrapup!


Champ of the Week: Olaf


I usually try to avoid champions that are overdue for remakes and tweaks, but Olaf just got a small buff so I thought it might be a good week for him. For the return of the Champ of the Week series I’ll be playing Olaf.

A long time ago I mused that Olaf might be an underwhelming version of Mundo. I don’t think that’s completely true, but I can still see the similarities and, consequently, Olaf’s shortcomings. Olaf is a champion I’ve never spent much time with, mostly because it takes so much farm for him to be enjoyable. Olaf’s basic kit is designed around having enough health to be missing 30-40% and still stay with a fight. That’s a lot of health, and it takes time to amass that kind of resilience, which is why I’m willing to state the following: Olaf shouldn’t jungle.

I know he can jungle. I know he’s an incredibly fast jungle. But he doesn’t make the kind of cash necessary to reach his potential if he jungles. His ganks aren’t strong enough to guarantee kill/assist gold, he doesn’t have the mobility, crowd control, or killing power to counter jungle effectively, and he requires too much farm to drop a lot of money on wards.

This isn’t just theorycraft, either. I played a couple games with Olaf today and, despite one successful match, I spent the rest of my game time wondering when I’d finally be farmed enough to keep up with my opponents. Answer: never. Without significant farm, Olaf doesn’t bring anything the table that another champion with similar qualities couldn’t do better.

I’ll be focusing on moving Olaf out of the jungle this week as much as possible. Where it seems to make sense I’ll also jungle with him to see if there’s anything worth saving, but for the most part I think my instincts are right on this one.

If you have suggestions drop them in the comments. Don’t forget to check back throughout the week for more Olaf impressions.


Champ of the Week returns next week

Good News.

I’ve got some good news and some bad news regarding the Champ of the Week series. First, the good news. It’s coming back next week! I know I owe everyone a Talon video and a long overdue Veigar video, but that’s where the bad news comes in. All of the recordings I have from those games is buried somewhere on a corrupt and now very dead hard drive. I’ve since replaced that drive, but I lost my LoL Replay data along with all of my video footage from those games. Yes, it sucks very much.

Back to some good news, though – I should be able to get a game or two in over the next few days with both Talon and Veigar so I can at least upload a replay for those of you using LoL replays. If I have the time, I might even do a quick and dirty video, but that seems unlikely at the moment.

So, check back at the beginning of next week for the return of the champ of the week series. If you have suggestions for a character you’d like to see next week, let me know in the comments.


Champ of the Week: Playing a cutthroat

I thought it might be nice to give some mid-rotation thoughts on Talon while I’m working to gather footage for his wrapup video. I’m not sure if there are some high-ELO streamers playing him these days or if he just shines enough in Dominion to make him worth trying on Summoner’s Rift, but I’ve been seeing a lot of Talon lately. I’ve also been seeing him banned, and though I think there are better bans than Talon, I can understand why he’s on the list for some players.

Part of what makes Talon interesting is the way his ultimate works. He can use it to produce a lot of damage, but most of the Talon players I saw in the weeks after his release were using the skill to get out of a fight or run away before a fight even started. In my experience, though, it’s best to save his ult for when you’re already in the fight and the skill can hit both on its way out and on the way back in.

That’s a mechanic I didn’t really pick up on in the Champion Spotlight (even though Phreak said it) partly because the tooltip is a little unclear on just how the blades deal damage. Shadow Assault has the potential to deal damage twice: once when the blades expand and once when they collapse. In most cases, that means you want to ult while you’re standing right on top of someone. When the blade go out they hit and then even if your enemy flashes the blades will likely land on the return. It took me a while to figure that out, but now that I’ve got it I find it fairly easy to burst down a champion.

I’ll have more thoughts on Talon later in the week, including the wrapup video. Keep checking back and let me know if you have any questions.


Champ of the (two) week(s): Talon

I’m heading off to a wedding this weekend, so I won’t have enough time to do a proper Champ of the Week writeup in one week. Over the course of two weeks, though, it should be no problem. With that in mind, I’m happy to announce Talon as this (two) weeks’ Champ of the (two) Week(s).

When Talon first released I was unimpressed. He reminded me a little bit of Akali but without the sustainability. His cooldowns were too long to jump from target to target, he required a lot of damage items to really produce results, and he was painfully squishy. I’ve been spending a lot more time with him recently and I’m starting to come around on Talon. He relies pretty heavily on Doran’s Blade stacking for his early game, but after that he can affect the course of a game as well as a lot of champions. His ultimate can also be devastating to a team in the right circumstances.

So I’ll be playing Talon for the next two weeks, recording my thoughts and once again putting together a video about his skills. Check back for some more impressions this weekend or early next week. If you have specific questions or suggestions, let me know in the comments.


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