Shyvana preview includes Shaco buffs, Graves nerfs


Riot posted the Shyvana patch preview, which includes a preview of the upcoming buffs and nerfs to League of Legends’ champions. The buffs seem to be targeted at bringing some of the melee fighters up to speed with other Tanky DPS and thankfully nerfing Graves.

I’m most excited for the changes to Shaco. I’ve been enjoying my games with Shaco recently and the upcoming buffs can only help that. Jack in the Box is getting a range increase and a decrease to the time before the trap is ‘armed.’ The range increase should allow Shaco players to utilize the crit bonus on Deceive while still making use of JitB for positioning opponents.

Olaf’s ultimate is getting a buff that makes him much more interesting. Now Olaf can use Ragnarok to break out of crowd control skills. This actually makes Olaf a lot more appealing to me. I had somewhat enjoyed him in the past, but his ultimate felt weak unless he was way ahead. Using it early was like putting up a beacon reminding people not to try to CC you, which is actually exactly what you want. You want the enemy to burn a couple CC spells on Olaf. With the buff he can take the spell and immediately break free, forcing the enemy to waste a stun or snare and allowing him to continue dealing damage. I might be giving Olaf a serious look after this patch.

Wukong is getting some usability buffs that are designed to bring him in line with other Tanky DPS. I’m not thrilled about this – good Wukong players are pretty hard to deal with as it is. More importantly, who needs another strong melee DPS? I don’t.

Lastly, we’re going to see some Graves nerfs. I think everyone saw this one coming. I’m a little worried it won’t quite be enough, but at least we’ll someone other than Caitlyn in our games. His passive is getting a slight resistance nerf and the damage on Buckshot’s multiple shell proc is getting reduced as well. I still think an 80% attack speed buff that can have 100% uptime is a little silly, and the fact that Buckshot can hit multiple times seems like overkill, but I’ll wait to pass judgement until the patch.

Are you looking forward to any of the champion changes? Thinking about picking up a new champ or two thanks to this patch? Let me know in the comments.


Graves Impressions


After seeing the skill list for Graves I wasn’t sure what to think of the champion. His skillset looked solid, though a little unoriginal. I was excited to see another ranged carry added to the League. I’ve played a few games with him, most of which I had to struggle not to rage at my team (I didn’t always succeed here, either), but I think I’ve had enough of a look for a few impressions.

A lot of people have been saying he’s OP and I can understand why. His Buckshot seems to randomly hit targets for double damage. The tooltip does state that this can happen, but I’ve seen it happen at nearly max range for the shot, which makes me think something is up – either a bug or just an unintentional power curve.

I’m also really curious why an 80% attack speed buff needed to be added into his dash skill. At max rank he can easily have 100% uptime on the buff provided he has a target. If the design intention behind Buckshot was to give him a reason to close the gap, his dash is the polar opposite. Once I had a decent farm it seemed to always be best practice to stand at the end of a fight, dashing back and forth and annihilating anyone I could right-click.

I’m not in love with his ultimate, or his smoke shroud really. There are too many variables to make the former truly deadly without someone like Amumu/Annie/Morgana. The latter is easy to run through and avoid. I’ve seen it save a life or two, but it hasn’t happened often. It is good burst when leveled with Buckshot, though.

That’s probably the biggest problem with Graves. Where is the weak part of his game? Buckshot and his smoke give him excellent burst early game while his dash provides the late game steroid he needs. So his drawback is what then? That he can be crowd controlled? Not good enough for my tastes.

I’d recommend playing Graves if you have the chance. You’ll probably enjoy yourself.


Graves skill list announced

Graves in-game.

The skill list for Graves was officially announced in a post that also included some in-game screenshots. I’m really excited for Graves. His in-game model looks absolutely awesome, his skills remind me of Dwarven Sniper from DotA, and I think his skillset looks to be somewhat interesting. I think my big concern is that he’ll have to be too close to deal real damage and he won’t have the survivability to keep up.

Let’s take a look at the skillset:

Buckshot: Graves fires three bullets in a cone damaging all enemies in the projectiles path. Enemies at close range can be hit by multiple projectiles, but each one beyond the first will deal reduced damage.

Smokescreen: Graves fires a smoke canister at the target area that deals damage and creates a cloud of smoke. Enemies inside the smoke cloud have reduced sight range and movement speed.

Quickdraw: Graves dashes forward gaining an attack speed boost for several seconds. Attacking enemies lowers the cooldown of this skill.

Collateral Damage (Ultimate): Graves fires an explosive shell dealing heavy damage to the first target it hits. After hitting a champion or reaching the end of its range the shell explodes dealing damage in a cone behind the target.

True Grit (Passive): Graves gains increasing armor and magic resistance the longer he remains in combat.

I can’t say that Graves has the most original skillset in the game, but it does seem to synergize well. He can dash to get in close, use Smokescreen and Buckshot for some AoE damage, get in a few attacks, and probably dash back out depending on the cooldown for Quickdraw. His ultimate seems to be focused around an AoE metagame. I’m not thrilled about the way the skill works – there are a nearly infinite number of reasons the AoE splash will miss, even if you’ve taken the time to line up your target, but hopefully it will at least be enough bonus damage to bring down the occasional secondary target.

I’m curious to see how Smokescreen works. My guess is it will be a slightly limited version of Nocturne’s ult, which is kind of interesting. I’m not in love with the mechanic when it’s a global cast, but as a limited range skill that can affect just one or two targets it actually sounds nice.


Champion Sneak Peek: Graves

Riot put together another Sneak Peek comic this weekend for the next champion to join the league: Graves. It’s hard to say what kind of champion he’ll be, exactly, but he seems to be wielding a double-barreled shotgun of sorts. He seems a little bit steampunky and definitely doesn’t like Twisted Fate very much.

Being out of town for a wedding, I haven’t been able to keep up with LoL news like I typically do. I actually found out about Graves from another post in which a player was asking about showdowns between certain League champions and their nemeses. Obviously Graves was easy to figure out, but I was totally unaware of the majority of the rivalries Eletj mentioned on the forums.

Do you guys keep up with the lore in LoL? Have any interest in the reasons certain characters fight in the League? Are you even aware there is a storyline behind the League, the champions, and the summoners?


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