How does tanky DPS feel now?


This patch was supposed to address some of the issues with Tanky DPS characters. There were health nerfs and shield nerfs, but from my perspective the game doesn’t seem much different. Tanky teams are still able to drag out what appear to be landslide wins.

Does tanky DPS still need a nerf? Sound off in the comments.


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’).


PTR update shows significant Kennen/Malphite buffs, Kog’Maw tweaks

The latest PTR update patch notes are out and hold some interesting info for some of the lesser played characters. It looks like Kennen will be getting a buff, as will Malphite, and Kog’Maw is getting some work that should make him a little more viable.

Kennen.For Kennen:

Electrical Surge
Ability Power ratio increased to 0.55 from 0.45.

Lightning Rush
Energy cost reduced to 100 from 110.
Can no longer be slowed during Lightning Rush.
Now provides 10/20/30/40/50 Magic Resistance and Armor for 4 seconds.

Slicing Maelstrom
Ability Power ratio increased to 0.4 from 0.33.
Number of bolts increased to 6/10/15 from 6/8/10 (still retains the cap of 3 hits per target).
Removed the cap of applying only 1 Mark of The Storm per target.

Have fun laning against him. I’ve maintained since the beginning that Kennen is one of the strongest laning toons in the game with great teamfighting capabilities. His ultimate was a little underpowered in some situations, but it most cases I thought it got the job done. Now that Surge hits harder, he can’t be slowed in Rush, and his ult hits harder, you will be very hard pressed to outplay him in the laning phase. That ultimate will also devastate team fights. For the mathematically challenged among you, 15 hits at rank three means the entire enemy team is stunned if they stay in for two ticks – yes, two, because of Surge. Granted, that won’t always happen, but it also increases the likelihood that you’ll catch and kill two players, and still have plenty of ticks to chain stun another opponent if he steps in halfway through the ult.


Seismic Shard
Reduced the cooldown to 10 seconds from 12 seconds.
Reduced the duration of the slow to 4 seconds from 5 seconds.
Reduced the mana cost to 70/75/80/85/90 from 80/90/100/110/120.

Brutal Strikes
Changed the active effect to increase Malphite’s armor and damage by 20/25/30/35/40% instead of increasing his damage by 30/40/50/60/70%.
Reduced the cooldown to 16 seconds from 20 seconds.
Fixed a bug where the cleave percent would double dip on bonus attack damage.
Increased the passive cleave percent to 30/38/46/54/62% from 30/35/40/45/50%.
The cleave passive will no longer proc while hitting towers.

Ground Slam
Reduced the mana cost at all ranks to 60 from 60/70/80/90/100.
Updated the tooltip to display how much bonus damage Ground Slam gains from armor.

Unstoppable Force
Malphite should no longer be subject to CC’s while charging with his ultimate.

Granite Shield
The shield now recharges after 8 seconds instead of 10 seconds.
The shield will now automatically restore to full after 8 seconds of not being hit. Previously it would not replenish until a new shield activated.
Fixed a bug where the particle would not appear for a second after the shield activated.
Fixed a bug where the shield strength would not update after buying a health item until a new shield activated.

This is exactly what Malphite needs to make him more fun. Shorter cooldowns, lower mana cost, and a little better synergy between Brutal Strikes and Ground Slam. I also love the cleave removal during tower attacks, as you won’t pick up aggro just from trying to down a turret.


Caustic Spittle
Spell Remade. Now grants:
Passive: Increase Attack Speed by 10/15/20/25/30%.
Active: Deals 60/110/160/210/260 damage and reduces the target’s armor by 5/10/15/20/25 for 4 seconds.’

Bio-Arcane Barrage
Cooldown reduced to 15 from 20.
AP ratio removed.

Void Ooze
Cooldown reduced to 12 from 13.

Living Artillery
Now has a 0.5 AD ratio in addition to the AP ratio.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. It’s obviously tilting him toward AD build, or at least Maldred’s with the passive attack speed buff. I think his real problem, though, was high mana costs, extremely low survivability, and one of the longest attack animations in the game. It forced you to blow skills to last hit creeps, if only because the delay between your attack command and the projectile landing was so damn long.

Riot has been pretty good about leaving vastly overpowered tweaks on the TR until they seem balanced, despite the release of some seriously OP toons recently. I wouldn’t be surprised if we only get one or two of these in the next patch. Personally, I’m hoping for Kennen.


LoL: Where are the competitive champs

One of these toons doesn't belong.I understand that balancing a game like League of Legends must be pretty tough. If you cater too much to the best players you’ll make a lot of casual players extremely unhappy. The skill ceiling for many toons will simply be too high, exacerbating the gap between competitive players and casuals. Too far in the other direction and the game seems to lack a team dynamic.

As things currently stand, most players organize the champs into tier lists to give a sense of where they fit within a team dynamic. Since the holidays, Riot has released a fair number of champs, only one of which really makes the highest tiers – Nidalee. She’s often first pick in competitive play and typically swings the battle in a big way. With every new champion announcement I always wonder if we’ll see a new competitive champion, but it has yet to happen. Ezreal is probably the closest, but next to Nidalee he seems fairly lackluster. She has many of his benefits plus better map control and more gankability. She’s also much more mana efficient.

In part, I think the lack of more “top tier” champions is that competitive play typically involves a ban system. Implement too strong a hero and it gets banned immediately. Since the Jax buff I see him banned first in every draft game I play and for good reason. If he gets any farm at all he kills entire teams. I would like to see the release of a some top tier champions, though. Currently the best picks for tanks are Alistar, Taric, Malphite and Amumu, probably in that order (Taric and Alistar could be reversed depending on your team). Most games see two of those banned, leaving few options for either team.

I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for the next champion release after Shen. Shen, like Gragas, will likely be in an odd position with regard to a team. He could fit well with other AOE disable toons, like a Malphite, but there will likely be better options. Malphite ult with an Annie ult is infinitely better because of the AOE damage from Tibbers. More often than not, if you’re living for more than 10 seconds or so in a team fight it’s because your team is dying or the other team is woefully low on DPS, in which case you were likely going to win anyway.


Related Posts