Passive Resistance: Part 1 (Alistar – Nasus)


Miss Fortune’s introduction to the League has caused a bit of an imbalance. She has one of the better passives in the game, and it’s a passive that vexes Teemo fans. Teemo has an entire skill dedicated to a passive movespeed buff, and Miss Fortune’s is just better. I went back through the existing champions to see who was in dire need of a passive rework and the list is long. So long, in fact, that I’ll be splitting this feature into parts to make it easier to follow.

Alistar (deals 20/40/60 percent additional damage to turrets) – Once the pinnacle of pure tank power, Alistar now appears in almost none of my ranked matches. The Sheen nerf hit him really hard, particularly in conjunction with his passive. With an excruciatingly slow base attack speed, his passive gives him almost nothing. Also, when you’re at a turret, either you’re taking it uncontested or, as Alistar, you should be disrupting your opponent, not whacking away at the turret.

Ashe (While out of combat, Ashe’s critical strike chance increases by 3/6/9/12/15/18% every 3 seconds, removed after next attack)- On the whole, Ashe is a pretty strong toon. She farms well, has a permaslow, a free CV, and a great ult. So why this crappy passive? It essentially allows you to open the fight with a crit, which is really not much of a damage increase for a carry. You’ll probably crit anyway quite a bit as a carry.

Fiddlesticks (Nearby enemy champions have their Magic Resist reduced by 10) – First thing you’ll notice is that it doesn’t scale. Granted, it reduces everyone’s MR, but not by nearly enough. Since the string of Fiddle nerfs, he could really use a new passive.

Heimerdinger (Heimerdinger gives nearby allied Turrets and Champions 6 / 12 / 16 / 22 health regen per 5) – Heimer has officially been nerfed off most ban lists, and as such, I think it’s time he gets a new passive. The regen is nice for turrets, but since the Heimer nerf, very few teams stand and poke a turret down slowly, so this isn’t really relevant. It won’t ever serve to save you or your allies or even your greatly nerfed turrets.

Janna (Increases the Movement Speed of all allied champions by 3%) – I’ve never liked Janna’s passive and I may be one of the few. Three percent movespeed is hardly noticeable, especially when so many toons these days have their own speed boost or a gap closer of some kind.

Kassadin (Kassadin takes 15% reduced damage from abilities and transforms this damage into bonus attack speed) – The damage reduction is nice, but transforms it to attack speed? There’s a reason you don’t see people playing attack damage Kassadin. He’s also so soft that even the 15 percent reduction rarely saves him.

Nasus (Nasus drains his foe’s spiritual energy, giving him a natural 10/15/20% Lifesteal) – Lifesteal on a tank toon – need I say more? If it scaled in some way with his HP gain, this might be a different story, but most of Nasus’ damage comes from his ult in combination with Spirit Fire. Very few players play Nasus for Siphoning Strike, and even if they do, this passive relies heavily on players staying close to you. You know what happens when Nasus ults, I know you do. People scatter. Goodbye, passive.

There are a few runners-up from this category that I’ll just mention briefly. Eve takes 50 percent reduced damage from minions but she needs remade in full, so she didn’t make the list. Gangplank’s passive (a healing debuff/slight poison) isn’t great, and makes no use of his primary skills – Parrley and his ult – but it is a healing debuff, which puts him well above the others on this list. I think Karthus could use a rework in full. His ult is cool, and his passive allows you to get the ult off when you otherwise didn’t, but any passive based on dying first seems a little dumb to me. Still, there are far worse, and his passive at least synergizes with his skill set to a degree.

Stay tuned for more passive remake candidates. I thought up a better name for this feature just after posting so I renamed it.


LoL: What feature are you most excited for?

French Maid NidaleeFor the most part I think LoL is in a pretty good spot. The game has at least a semblance of balance, by which I mean I feel pretty free to play a wide variety of toons to some degree of success. That said, there’s still a bit to be desired, and some features have me more interested than others.

I’m most looking forward to Season One. I could desperately use an ELO reset at this point, and having an option for ranked matches that accounts for one to two-man premades differently than four or five man will be really nice. From what the reds have said on the forums, Season One should also bring more stats to the game, which is something I’ve been dying for since my first game. The stats at are great, but they’re voluntary. I’d like to see something that compiles results for all of my games, regardless of whether or not I upload my logs.

I also like that I’ll have a place to goof off without worrying what it will do to my ELO. As it stands, I use a smurf account to mess around and play games with random champions and strange builds. I’d love to be able to do that on my main, which Season One should afford. I’ll screw around in normal games and save my tryharding for the ranked matches.

What are you guys most excited for?


LoL: Akali on the Test Realm

Akali in game.The Test Realm caught an update today, and it first looked like just a couple tweaks for a short list of heroes. As it turns out, it’s the Akali patch. The last in the trio of ninjas has joined her brothers and she looks to be the most “ninja” of the bunch. Akali is a melee assassin who uses a short range throw, much like Shen, and has a stealth/slow mechanic similar to Rikimaru from DotA.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to test Akali before practice game creation was disabled around midnight. On the whole, she sounds interesting, though I think a lot of people will struggle to be successful with her. Her Q skill is like Vorpal Blade from what I can tell, but when attacked it consumes the mark effect to deal bonus damage. Her W is a smoke cloud that stealths her and slows enemies in the area. Her E skill is a splash damage effect and her ultimate seems to be like a rogue’s shadow step from WoW. The ult has a 2/1.5/1 second cooldown, though you need an Essence of Shadow to use it, which charges every 30/25/20 seconds, much like Corki’s Missile Barrage and the max is three instead of seven.

The only other things I can tell you is that the Test Realm champion info screen shows a “Bruce Lee Akali” skin, so you can dream about what that will look like. I’ll post more info as soon as I have it.


LoL: Gragas hasn’t made a comeback

Gragas tossing some barrels.In my post about today’s patch I neglected to mention the big changes made to Gragas. The barrel-tossing brute hasn’t been in many of my games since his release. The ones in which he’s appeared have typically resulted in a loss for his summoner’s record. He simply doesn’t cut it. Today, Riot tried to rectify that situation.

Gragas got a round of buffs and bug fixes to help him get his groove back. He now attacks faster, scales better, moves faster in Body Slam, his barrels roll faster, and his ultimate casts farther and hits a larger radius than before. Granted, it was just patch day, but I have yet to see him once.

I’ll admit, I’ve never played Gragas. I’m willing to bet, though, that his unpopularity comes from his feel. His spells aren’t very interesting, and for thick casters you can do a lot better. I’ll keep an eye out for Gragas sightings over the next few days but I’m willing to bet the buffs weren’t enough.


LoL: Mordekaiser sneak peak

MordekaiserByronicHero dropped by the forums to give us another teaser for the weekend. This time, it’s a new champion by the name of Mordekaiser. He appears to be something like a death knight, covered in plate and wielding a giant spiked mace. Though there’s no official word on his skillset, the community has done some digging in the game files to find out what it could.

The abilities are funny in that they’re all heavy metal themed. His passive, Iron Man, converts 20% of the damage he deals from abilities into a shield that absorbs incoming damage (whaddaya know, another damage mitigation skill). His Q ability is called Mace of Spades and deals attack damage plus bonus damage to 3 targets. If the target is alone, the damage is doubled. It’s pretty much an exact replica of Pantheon’s Heartseeker Strike. His W skill, called Creeping Death, is a targeted ally shield (increased armor and MR) that deals damage to nearby opponents. His E skill, Siphon of Destruction, is another cone damage spell that charges his shield based on the damage he deals. His ultimate, Children of the Grave, leeches life by percentage from an enemy target. If the target dies while under the effect, it follows Mordekaiser around granting him half of that champion’s ability power, attack damage, and health, though the ghost is unable to attack.

I’m pretty turned off by his similarity to Pantheon. I think Pantheon is in a great spot and will obviously improve if he gets some of the suggested buffs. That leaves Mordekaiser feeling like they really wanted to build a heavy metal toon so this is what we get. It’s also hard to understand why the character development team is churning out new champs when so many other toons need fixing. TF is still grossly overpowered, even when the big nerfs he’s getting on the Test Realm. If different departments handle creation and balance, it’s time to give the balance team some of creation’s man hours.

I’ll probably still play this guy, especially if he looks as big and badass as he seems. I just wish I understood the development strategy here.


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