Patch Day 8/24: Urgot is here


Though today is just barely slower than yesterday in terms of work and moving responsibilities, I can’t hold back on my patch impressions any longer. Yesterday’s patch had some sweeping impact on the state of the game. Urgot brings another new skill type to the game with his swap, but maybe more importantly, both Heimerdinger and Shaco caught significant nerfs – nerfs that could drop them off most players’ ban lists.

I’ll put together a complete Urgot review a bit later today, but for now I’ll say that he seems to have been designed as an Ezreal counter. The stun/swap combo means Arcane Shift only takes Ezreal back to the front of the battle, instead of outside harm’s way. He’s also extremely mana efficient as he harasses, so it’s easy to see him taking mid against a lot of the squishier carries.

The Heimerdinger and Shaco nerfs will be getting a dedicated post as well because they are so big. Riot has always said that it would trickle nerf, but in my mind they should have considered both toons for significant remake if they were planning to nerf this hard.

On to the less significant changes. Kog’Maw caught a rework to his Caustic Spittle, which now provides passive attack speed bonus in addition to the armor penetration active. Kennen also got most of the proposed changes. He now gains armor and magic resistance while in Lightning Rush, Maelstrom can hit more people, and Surge got an AP buff. In my mind it makes him highly desirable. Vladimir was only half nerfed – his Transfusion has a slightly smaller range but his Tides of Blood is larger.

Malphite also got some nice changes. He should be more mana efficient, and his Brutal Strikes now also grants bonus armor, synergizing with Ground Slam and providing some nice staying power, especially in the jungle. Lastly, Soraka got a small tweak in that her Infuse provides half mana to the target and half to her (Soraka gets the full amount on self-casts). Mana cost on her heal has also been marginally increased.

The last change that is actually very cool is that elixirs can be purchased when you have six full slots and will auto-activate. No more selling and repurchasing items.

That’s about it for the patch. The other posts I mentioned here will be up in short order (especially now that the servers are set to ‘busy’).


LoL: Riot’s stance on Kennen buffs

Kennen loading screen.Since Kennen’s release, a large portion of the community has been clamoring for buffs. Most of the complaints center around his AP ratios, which people think are too low. Personally, I think he’s fine. As stated in previous posts, I continue to do quite well with Kennen because of his early game strength. He definitely doesn’t scale as well as some heroes, but he’s one of the best early game champions, giving you the power to get ahead and stay there.

Most recently, a forum poster asked why no Kennen buffs had made the new Test Realm patch. I was glad to see Riot respond this time – it’s been fairly quiet regarding the midget ninja so far. Here’s what Geeves had to say:

I ended up buffing his AP ratios as a result of Test Realm feedback in the last patch cycle, and I think it worked out pretty well. I have seen quite a few Kennens internally do pretty monstrous in games, and I have seen some people fail with him.

I think he currently may suffer from Master Yi/Evelynn syndrome where they are very reliant on team comp to pull off their power moves (Lightning Rush/Electrical Surge/ult is a devastating combo but he puts himself at risk to do it). I’m keeping an eye on his performance and I’m pretty satisfied with how he looks currently, but if this changes I’ll make some survivability/scaling tweaks pretty quickly.

It makes me more than a little sad to see him compare Kennen to Yi/Evelynn. Really any character that isn’t a true initiator is going to rely on team comp for success. Certainly Yi and Evelynn are among that number, but there are plenty more.


LoL: Kennen data for the haters

Kennen victory list.I can’t believe how many people think Kennen is underpowered. I just don’t understand. I’ve been playing him almost exclusively since the patch and I’ve been a dominant force in every single game. I could understand if I was playing at a fairly low ELO and noobstomping, but I know my stats aren’t so bad. Honestly, I’m just a few percentage points away from a high-ELO play if recent posts are to be believed.

Here’s a look at my last ten games as Kennen, all victories (yes, I finally pulled a nice winning streak). Several of them I did run with a premade, but for most it was either partial premade or solo queue.

Victory: 13-0-2
Victory: 5-0-2
Victory: 3-0-6
Victory: 13-2-6
Victory: 9-1-13
Victory: 10-3-10
Victory: 4-1-5
Victory: 10-0-4
Victory: 9-0-3
Victory: 13-2-3

Total numbers are 89-9-54. I’m averaging almost 9 kills a game on Kennen with less than one death per game. I’m sorry, I just don’t see how anyone could think he’s UP. I can’t wait to have this little ninja on my top 3 list.


LoL: Kennen Guide

Swamp Master Kennen.There’s been a lot of back and forth in the community about Kennen so I thought it would be appropriate to put together a full guide. I’ve fallen in love with the midget ninja and I’ve been playing him to great success in most every game I’ve tried. Kennen is one of the strongest gankers in the game and, when played well, provides excellent utility and killing power to a solid team. He will easily carry a team if his opponents allow him any kind of farm.

I build Kennen AP, despite all the claims of his poor AP ratios. Personally, I think his AP ratios are excellent, good enough that they might catch a nerf in the near future. For runes, I roll with magic pen marks, dodge seals, cooldown reduction per level glyphs, and health quints. I go back and forth on masteries but for this guide I’ll recommend a 9/21/0 build, taking the 15% spell pen from the offense tree and making sure to grab the extra health and the 4% damage reduction from defense. The rest is up to you.

For summoner skills I take Cleanse and Ignite, but Ghost, Exhaust, and Teleport if your team needs it are all good options.

Kennen is a very powerful farmer so I always like to take him mid solo. Grab a health crystal, get to lane, and get ready to farm. At level 1 I have 820 health, which is a ton for a mid toon. Most of my opponents are somewhere around 500, so I have a huge advantage early. I take Thundering Shuriken (his Q skill) first and focus on last hitting. At level 2 and 3 take one rank of your other skills to prep for your combo. Keep last hitting to get up a decent farm.

Kennen is an excellent harasser. I take Electrical Surge at level 2 so that I can keep my mark count on my target as often as possible. Whenever I have the chance I like to Shuriken my opponent. I’ll then use either the passive from Electrical Surge or the active to keep my marks up. The active has surprisingly good range and can be used any time a nearby target has a mark. Try to always have at least two marks on your target so he’s prepped for a gank. At level 3 you can start rolling with your combo. Without boots your opponent will have a hard time avoiding Lightning Rush. I try to get a stack or two on the target and then Lightning Rush in. The stun procs some extra energy so I can Shuriken again while I’m standing on top of my target and auto attack for some harass and hopefully another mark from the Electrical surge passive. The high early health pool allows me to soak a little minion damage and bring my opponents down to half health or so. Once you have your opponent to half health you should be able to get an easy kill. Again, work up two marks on the target while you farm, regen some energy, build up your Electrical Surge passive and Lightning Rush in. Your stun procs extra energy again and with an auto attack you gain a mark, Shuriken will net you a mark, set your ignite and then auto attack the target down. As they start to run away you should have plenty of energy for a quick Electrical Surge active for a second stun. This combo is your bread and butter until you have your ult. Obviously it relies on your ability to keep marks on your target, so get some practice, even on bots if you want.

For the rest of early game you’ll main Shuriken for the cooldown reduction and increased damage. I follow that with Lightning Rush, again for cooldown reduction and because the damage scales better for the early game than Electrical Surge. Obviously, you want to take your ultimate as often as possible and save consecutive ranks of Electrical Surge for the end of the game.

You should find it very easy to farm. In the mid lane it’s important that you only last hit. You want to keep your target closer to your turret so you don’t have to dive for the kill. I typically wait until I have 1400g, which should be around level 5 or 6, before heading back to base to pick up Haunting Guise and my boots.

At 6 your ganking power only improves. If you’ve done a good job farming your Guise will give the penetration needed for some early kills on targets with low magic resistance. Stack up a mark or two (preferably two) and Lightning Rush in. Once rush hits I Shuriken and start to auto attack for the duration of the stun, planting one mark on my target and dealing a little damage. Once stun ends (which is fast, don’t get me wrong), I pop my ult, which drops another mark and then Electrical Surge for a second stun. You may have to wait a second for the energy to Surge, but if you prepped your target correctly you should have a mark waiting on your Surge passive just in case. That combo alone will kill most targets at 6. Thankfully, you brought Ignite for anyone that might be a little more durable.
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