Riven Sneak Peek is Up

Riot posted the latest champion sneak peek this weekend, giving us a glimpse of Riven, the Exile. It comes again in the form of a mini-comic with some incredibly cheesy and over-the-top nonsense for a storyline. Ah well, this game isn’t about lore. It’s about trolling and rage-quitting.

I haven’t seen anything about her skillset that isn’t speculative, so I’ll just say we’re waiting to see whether or not she should build a Trinity Force. My guess: yes. From her looks I’d say she’s another melee assassin, which seems like a really odd release after Talon. It might be interesting if she had some mobility and so was capable of being a real force on Dominion.

It looks like we’ll be waiting until next week for server downtime to bring her live, which will also mean the end of Season 1 and, hopefully, the launch of Dominion.


Leona Impressions

Valkyrie Leona

Leona’s mid-week release has been messing with my schedule a bit, but I’ve still been able to sneak in a few games with her here and there, enough at least to give you an impression post. Leona has all the skills necessary to be a powerful force in the game, there’s just one problem – she doesn’t have a lane.

The current metagame is focused around leveling an AP carry and either a high burst ranged carry (Corki, basically) or a bruiser in the mid and top lanes and allowing the pure ranged carry to farm bottom with a support. The support sustains the carry for a big farm so that the team can scale in to late game. Unfortunately, Leona isn’t very good in a solo lane. She doesn’t farm creeps well, she doesn’t harass well without another player with her, and she sure as shit can’t jungle. For competitive play, that leaves her one place to go – bottom lane – which means the carry is left without a healer, hoping to snag a few kills in the early game thanks to Leona’s crowd control. There’s one giant problem with that strategy, though.

Have you ever noticed how low the kill counts are in competitive matches? Competitive matches are about safety for the majority of the game – players ward, every team brings support, every team packs Clairvoyance – with a focus on objectives and the occasional teamfight. That’s not really where Leona shines. Leona is about having an aggressive lane and teamfighting often, using her low-cooldown CC skills to pick apart the enemy team. In a metagame that is essentially a farm-off, she doesn’t have a place.

That said, I’m hoping the metagame can make a shift some time in the near future, because Leona is a lot of fun when I can actually use her abilities. Leona is a tank in the purest sense of the word. She has a boatload of CC but fairly weak damage, especially compared to champions like Jarvan. Riot got so many things right about her kit I’m wondering if we’re about to see a very significant shift in the game’s design. She doesn’t do crazy damage, she doesn’t even do any kind of resistance debuff. She doesn’t push well, though she can occasionally set up a push with a tower dive. She doesn’t farm well. She’s only there to lock down targets so that the rest of her team can put together some kills.

I would love to see the game-extending support metagame die in favor of an action-creating CC/Carry lane on the bottom. I think Leona has the kind of kit to make that possible, but until the passive support game gets nerfed, I don’t think we’ll see Leona in a ton of games.


Leona gets a sneaky launch this afternoon

Looks like it’s time for me to eat a little crow. I didn’t think there was any way Riot would launch Leona until tomorrow, but they went ahead and set her live this afternoon. She’s available now in the store for 6300 IP or the usual 975 RP.

So far I’ve only had the chance to play one game with her but it went exceedingly well. She feels strong – lots of CC, responsive attack animations and spell animations, and enough damage from her skills and her passive combined – but not overpowered, at least not at first glance. She makes a devastating lane partner for anyone with a stun and I’ll be interested to see how she fares as a solo. If there’s one way she might be a little strong it’s that her shield can be up nearly all the time and it gives an amazing amount of resist (30 MR/armor at rank 1). Most importantly, though, she seems like a lot of fun to play. In the past I’ve said that when I should have been saying “this champ is OP,” but I’m hoping that’s not the case here.

I’ll give more impressions about her either later tonight or early tomorrow. What have you guys found so far?


Yorick will be late to the party

Yorick, the Gravedigger.

In the wake of E3 and leading up to Dreamhack next week, Riot is going to be very busy. As such, the company has announced that Yorick won’t be adhering to the normal schedule of release. Here’s the official word from Tamat:

The end of Season One is approaching fast, and between the Season One Championship at DreamHack and E3, there’s an awful lot to do here at the Riot Office. Additionally, Orianna was an extremely exciting and edgy new champion, and we want to take the extra time to ensure that the next champion will be just as groundbreaking before we turn them loose on the Field of Justice. For these reasons, we’ve decided to take a bit of break from champion releases and balance changes until after we return from Sweden following the Season One Championship.

As we draw closer to these events we will be releasing more previews of the exciting content that will be coming sometime after our end of season break. This will include Yorick, the Gravedigger and several more champions along with some exciting new features for PvP.net. Stay tuned for more information as our coverage of E3 continues.

I’m glad to see Riot communicating these timing adjustments to the player base. It makes perfect sense that they would delay the release, but the forums still tend to explode with “OMGWTF WHERE IS DAT NEW CHAMPIONZ?!?!” if nothing is said.


Champion Sneak Peek: Vayne, the Night Hunter

Vayne concept.

I really thought the Monkey King would be our next champion, especially considering the amount of artwork that’s been done on him. I would imagine Riot is trying to avoid the Lee Sin situation – lots of hype, little conversion – so we’re getting a different champion next week.

That champion is Vayne, a sort of Van Helsing inspired vampire hunter it would seem. I’m guessing she/he/it (pretty sure it’s a she, but it could be a he with very delicate legs) is a ranged DPS champion, a class that is woefully underrepresented in the current metagame. Could Vayne mark the return of the ranged carry? Check back this weekend for the skill list.


Related Posts