Hextech Singed, Galio and Scuba Gragas on sale this weekend


Hell to the yeah. I’ve been waiting for a sale on Hextech Singed since the day that skin came out. There are very few skins that I’m willing to pay 975 for – Coral Reef Malphite is my most recent exception, but he’s awesome – so it’s nice to see a lot of them hit the 50 percent sale.

If you’re into Galio or Singed, those skins will run you 487 RP, while Scuba Gragas gets a 75 percent sale at 243 RP.


Are tanks too tanky?


This isn’t exactly a revelation, but it’s something I’ve been seeing a lot in my past few games. I’ve spent a lot of games playing Corki and Tristana recently, and I’ve been horribly frustrated by how well a tank can scale.

It actually seems to be a really complicated problem. At first I wanted to blame it on items – Warden’s Mail/Randuin’s Omen is crazy strong against ranged DPS. If you’ve ever chain-slowed yourself against a fleeing Mordekaiser you know what I’m talking about. But it’s more than just the fact that defensive gear (Randuin’s) is arguably much stronger against DPS than the DPS anti-tank item (Madred’s).

There’s at least one more issue, though, and that’s the conflicted itemization between carry items and carry runes. Most DPS players run flat armor penetration runes, which are great early and later against casters, but actually kind of terrible against tanks. They reduce the total effectiveness of Last Whisper, which is a big deal. Last Whisper is still a great item, particularly for the cost, but the fact that you lose any effectiveness whatsoever kinda sucks. You also have to consider that most ranged DPS try to get an Infinity Edge as early as possible. It’s a huge DPS bump, but many of the popular tanks in the game are so good at farming that they’ll have close to 4000 gold by the time you get IE, which means they’ll probably cut your damage in half with items.

The other thing that bothers me is that tanks also have incredible control on top of their high damage and survivability. Taunts, snares, stuns, slows, often a combination of these things, plus very respectable damage output with a Sunfire Cape or two.

I actually miss Alistar these days. Yes, in his heyday he was obnoxious to play against, but it was because of his control and pretty much nothing else. Alistar can take a beating and a half, but you rarely had to worry that he was going to kill you right out. I always thought it was kind of cool that he could pop his ult and rush a turret to push, even if he wasn’t going to bring down your carry. It made him seem nuanced and interesting – a playstyle that was tough to master. The best tanks in the game now are great farmers, great gankers, excellent pushers, and huge damage threats. That’s not really all that interesting, and it’s certainly not very fun.


Galio impressions

Steampunk Galio

It’s no secret that the last several champion releases have been heavily overpowered. The working theory was that Riot was trying to encourage sales by releasing strong champions and then slowly nerfing them back to reasonable levels. There are a few obvious reasons that’s not the case. For starters, Xin Zhao and Vladimir have remained relatively unchanged and still sit at the top of their respective role lists. Then there’s Galio, who bucks the trend with a completely mediocre presence in game.

From the Champion Spotlight, you’d think Galio is meant to be a tank. His passive – converting a percentage of your magic resist to ability power – also points that direction, but only his shield skill is great for tanking. I find Galio a bit more like Morgana, though people have also called him Nunu 2.0. The big problem with Galio is that building as a tank means your damage output is minimal, even with his passive, and his ultimate is easily countered by stuns.

Galio feels just about right around the level 5-12 range. His Q and E skills hit hard enough to deal reasonable damage and the laning phase is just about perfect for his ultimate – not enough people to interrupt him. Beyond that point, though, he feels extremely vulnerable. His ult can actually be a bad thing. Consider your situation – you ult, causing 3-4 champions and whatever creeps are nearby to attack you. Granted, you get some beefed up resistances, but if you miss your shield or the shield wears off, you take a good bit of damage through there. If someone interrupts that ult, you have 3-4 people attacking you and there’s very little you can do about it. The speed boost is nice, but it’s not going to get you out of that situation.

As you cruise toward late game, you start to feel the pain of your MR stack. Your abilities aren’t doing much damage and they’re on a fairly long cooldown. By this point the people you taunt are blowing through your shield quickly and giving you some hefty damage for your trouble.

This isn’t to say Galio can’t be useful – he can. I think he’s best placed as a support character like Morgana. If you have a solid tank Galio can be good for getting your carries into position or even helping Amumu close the gap for bandage toss. Also, you don’t necessarily have to make use of your passive, even though it would be nice to. Galio has pretty solid AP ratios, so building for magic penetration could actually yield some interesting results.


Patch Day 08/10 – We can stop banning Soraka now

Enchanted Galio.

Today’s patch brings a new champion in the form of Galio, the great blue gargoyle. Aside from the new champion, the game hasn’t changed a ton. A few characters received some significant attention, but things remained largely the same.

The most notable change in my mind is Soraka, who received a string of small nerfs that should amount to a significant difference in her staying power. Her mana heal now has a longer cooldown and heals slightly less mana, and her global heal got a 20 second cooldown increase at all levels. That could be enough to bring her off some ban lists in favor of other champions (please start banning Amumu, people).

Heimer’s turrets caught a little nerf – they no longer increase damage based on number of hits and the AP coefficient was reduced. They do have slightly higher base damage, but definitely nothing on the order of the old hit method.

Malzahar got some nice tweaks, bumping his movement speed, increasing the range of his ult and Malefic Visions, and reducing the cooldown on Malefic Visions (which already felt very short to me).

Ryze got a little bit of a rework as well, adding a passive cooldown reduction to his Overload skill. To compensate, Desperate Power now has a longer CD. Rune Prison now lasts longer at early ranks and deals damage in DoT form. It’s basically Morgana’s old Dark Binding, which is odd.

Vladimir’s Sanguine Pool got a small CD nerf but his Tides of Blood now costs less HP, Blitzcrank got some CD reductions, Nunu got a Consume buff, and Garen got his attack timer reset on Decisive Strike back. Other than those small changes, there’s not a whole lot to report in the way of champions.

For items, the newer items all got buffs. Wriggle’s Lantern now costs less, which is just what it needed. The Gunblade and Cutlass got damage buffs without a cost increase.

Lots of little paragraphs in here, which should give you an idea of how many small changes came in this patch. I’ll have a Galio impression list up later today. Spoiler Alert: he’s underwhelming.


Galio drops this week

Galio, Idol of Durand.

At least I’m pretty sure he does. The “Champion Approaches” post is now live with an official skill list for the gargoyle of Durand. Here’s the official ability breakdown:

Resolute Smite: Galio fires a concussive blast from his eyes, slowing and dealing damage to enemies caught near the impact point.

Bulwark: Galio shields an ally Champion, increasing their Armor and Magic Resistance, and restoring Galio’s health each time that Champion suffers damage.

Righteous Gust: Galio claps his wings, unleashing a gust of concussive wind that damages enemies and leaves a directional draft in its wake that increases ally movement speed.

Idol of Durand (Ultimate): Galio assumes the form of a statue, taunting nearby enemies and storing concussive energy as they attack him. Galio then bursts from his statue shell, releasing the stored energy to damage surrounding foes.

Runic Skin (Passive): Galio converts 50% of his total Magic Resistance into Ability Power.

As I mentioned in the sneak peek thread, Idol of Durand is actually his ult, which makes him much less threatening. The Righteous Gust skill seems pretty cool, though – a bit like Janna’s tornado with some speed boost for you. I could see him playing very well on 3v3, where the fights happen just about as often as player ultimates are available and tend to be full on team fights.


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