New Annie skin on the way

Reverse Annie

I had one and just one thought when I saw the Reverse Annie skin preview: That is awesome.

Then I thought about it some more and the following came up. I was thinking about snagging Frostfire Annie while she’s on sale, but that would mean buying more RP and I just don’t know if I want to do that right now. This, though, easily beats Frostfire for me, so I might have to wait for it to go on sale.

I’m also a little confused about the ways Riot continues to blur the lines between legendary and common skins. There are plenty of legendary skins that need a serious overhaul just to keep up with some of the amazing new stuff we’ve seen, this skin included. I’ve made this point before so I’ll spare you the rehash. Great skin, Riot. Now go fix Magnificent Twisted Fate.


Prom Queen Annie and Almost Prom King Amumu now live


For all of the perverts that were waiting on Teen Annie, well, you can now rejoice in your perviness. The Prom Queen Annie skin went live today, along with Almost Prom King Amumu. When is that poor mummy gonna catch a break?



Ionian Boots of Lucidity are too much good for too little cost


I spent a lot of my post on the caster item changes trying not to say anything definitive. This post is different. For this post, I know exactly how I feel and what needs to be said. The Ionian Boots of Lucidity are way too damn good for their cost. Period.

My philosophy on AP used to be pretty simple; build spell penetration before AP. It was a more effective way to increase your damage output and the spell pen items were cheaper, in most cases, than the high-tier AP items. Basically, building a caster was always some sort of tradeoff, just like an AD toon. Instead of attack speed, damage, and armor pen, you want CD reduction, AP, and magic pen. Some people would say that the boots just balance out casters against AD toons, but I really think they’re too strong.

The casters in the game have been balanced around the difficulty of obtaining cooldown reduction for a long time. Most of the CDR items were niche tools, designed to help against certain comps but not so great against others. The bread and butter of a CDR build used to be Frozen Heart, but it was only good against AD-heavy teams. Soul Shroud is a support item and wastes a lot of stat points for most casters, and Deathfire Grasp could typically be bypassed for a better AP item. Most casters I saw sat around 20-30 percent CDR and stacked AP. Now, I can have 30 percent CDR as soon as I make 900 gold, which can be as early as level four or five.

For any champion who relies on a rotation of spells – Annie, Ryze, Zilean, to name a few – the boots are insanely good. If CDR is to AP what attack speed is to AD, then these boots are supposed to be equivalent to Berserker’s Greaves. The difference is that mages are built for a big burst and then a period where they don’t do a whole lot of damage before that big burst comes back up. Physical damage dealers rely on individual attacks for nearly all of their damage. Early in the game when their damage is low, Berserker’s Greaves don’t do so much. The Boots of Lucidity, on the other hand, do a lot.

The changes to high-tier caster items already brought the mages in LoL in line with the AD carries for the most part. There are still a couple AD carries with kiting abilities that a mage can’t quite match, but for the most part, a mage’s damage output is just fine without giving them cheap access to cooldown reduction. I’ve lost one game as Zilean since the new boots released, and even in that loss I was better than 2:1 on my K:D ratio.


Hextech Singed, Annie in Wonderland released today

Hextech Singed.

Singed players, rejoice! Your long wait for a great skin is finally over. Today, Riot released Hextech Singed, a steampunk version of your favorite mad chemist that looks like something straight out of the movie ‘9’ (as does the Hextech Galio). It’s an incredibly kick-ass skin.

Today we also get access to the legendary Annie in Wonderland skin. Once you see Tibbers in a bunny suit, replete with a cummerbund, I’m sure you’ll fall in love. That thing is just hilarious.

This new batch of skins also included Tundra Hunter Warwick. Let me just warn you, the loading screen is much cooler than the skin in game. In game he looks like a Warwick paint job, but damn if that loading screen isn’t cool.

The Warwick skin is 520 RP while the Singed and Annie skins are 975 and 1820 RP respectively.


LoL: Patch day (Garen)

Red Riding Annie and Grandma Warwick.The Garen patch is finally upon us and with it comes a load of changes to both the client and the game system. On the whole, I think this will be one of the better patches for the game, even if Garen is a bit underwhelming.

For starters, we obviously need to cover the new champion, Garen. He’s going to run you 3150 IP or 585 RP so I hope you saved up. It’s a long, slow crawl to 3k for most people. His skill list remains essentially unchanged, which leaves him in a weird sort of melee DPS/hybrid role with very low utility. He’s still highly susceptible to hard CC (stuns/snares) but he does have a slow immunity, which will be nice for chasing. Unfortunately, chasing is usually a bad thing, unless you’re running cleanup after a teamfight, in which case its usually best to just push.

Healing got some massive nerfs this patch. Alistar now has greater self healing by 20 percent at all levels, but his allies will now only receive half the heal value. Ouch. Taric got cooldown and value buffs to his heal, but radiance no longer heals allies. Radiance also costs more mana for both startup and upkeep so you’ll probably have to break out that mana regen rune page if you still want to play him. Rally also got its ally heal removed, though the cooldown came down a full 90 seconds.

Katarina caught a big rework, giving her more base health and some survivability in the form of new Killer Instincts mechanics. The active Shunpo effect now reduces incoming damage by scaling percentage per level, giving her the durability to jump into a fight and ult when it’s actually useful instead of waiting until it’s over like she’s basically had to recently. Killer Instincts now adds a persistent damage buff and the damage ratio on her ultimate got a 10 percent buff. Overall, she should be decent now, though I doubt she’ll be great.

Morgana got some nice cooldown and mana efficiency buffs for her skills as well as the addition of a stacking MR debuff from Tormented Soil. Having played as her and also against her on the TR I can tell you she is truly horrifying. Just pray she doesn’t ever catch you alone.

Shen got reworked a bit, which will hopefully bring him out of the godlike tier on TT. The feint damage block will be excellent, but I think the cooldown increase, duration nerf, and nerf to damage blocked (now 180 at max rank) will be enough to keep him in line. AP Shen may be a bit more viable though. I’ll have to check on his AP ratios and relay what I can after some testing. Stand United also caught a nerf, bringing down the shield value, duration, and removing the refund if the ult is cancelled for some reason.

Other than that most of the changes were fairly small. Nunu got some buffs. Mordekaiser received some shield tweaks. Fiddlesticks got a long overdue nerf. Sion and Rammus got some small efficiency buffs. Tryndamere got a bit of a buff and Jax caught another small nerf (which still isn’t enough).

As for the game on the whole, there are two new items – one for tanks, one for physical damage dealers – and the assist system got a rework for debuffs on the target and buffs to the attacker. It should give support some much needed love. Matchmaking also received some changes to make things a little more smooth. Players should now be matched more appropriately by both level and ELO (it scares me that this wasn’t always the case) and full premades should be facing other premades more often (again, why wasn’t this happening or being discussed?).

Last but not least we got some skins. Garen gets the typical duo treatment, while we have yet another silly skin for Warwick (Grandma), a corresponding Annie skin (Red Riding Hood), and a skin for Sivir. I have to say, I hate Sivir – I think she is one of the most poorly designed toons in the entire game – but the Warrior Princess skin makes her look hotter (yeah, bangs are hot) and the extra armor makes her look kinda badass. If it didn’t cost 975 RP I would totally buy it and potentially right click my way to a huge winning streak with her.


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