Clinkz joins the DotA 2 lineup


Yesterday, Valve added Clinkz to the DotA 2 lineup along with a few minor bug fixes. You might think it would be difficult to get into a Thursday evening update schedule, but Riot patches were late often enough that I feel right at home. I kid, I kid. You would know if you could see my adorable yet handsome winking face.

ANYWAY, I’m not overly thrilled to see another invisible hero added to the mix, but Clinkz is soft enough that I usually find him easy to counter. He has a very weak early game and, with a little coordination, can be nothing more than a nuisance. I still wonder why invisibility was ever thought to be a good thing in MOBA games. I understand to a degree that DotA was built on the Warcraft engine, and since Warcraft allowed for the mechanic, DotA designers could add a little variety by including those kinds of mechanics. We’re so far past that point, though, I would think developers had come up with a better way to handle stealth.

But enough about all that. For now, Clinkz is in the DotA 2 beta. Huzzah. It’s another hero on the list. Valve did mention in the Clinkz blog post that they will “change the way we ship new content to you every week,” beginning with next week’s patch. I wonder if that means we’ll start seeing more hero releases at smaller intervals, or if it is truly just a new content delivery method (though I don’t know what that would be – the current system is just using Steam).


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.


Patch Day 7/17: An OP champion approaches


It’s patch day once again folks, this time heralding the release of Vladimir, the League’s first true vampire champion (sorry, Eve, kicking people with spiked high heels makes you ridiculous, not vampiric). This patch is also highly anticipated because of the Xin Zhao nerf.

First things first, let’s talk about Vladimir. I am nervous as hell about his position in the game. Any time you give a toon the ability to increase multiple stats by buying one item, I’m concerned. That was (and to some extent continues to be) the problem with Jax, and it will almost definitely be a problem with Vladimir. If you haven’t seen his Champion Spotlight yet, you should. It’s a little unnerving to see how early he can ignore towers and just how much damage he can deal with literally zero ability power.

The other big news is the Xin Zhao nerf. His attack speed scaling is getting a serious reduction, the AOE on his slow has been significantly reduced as has the magnitude of the effect, and his ult got a 20 percent reduction in percent-based damage and a slight nerf to base damage. He’ll still be disgustingly strong, mostly because his mana costs are so low and the fact that his ult is always up from the Battle Cry synergy.

The rest of the champion changes are either bug fixes or very minor. Kog’Maw, of all champs, got a small range nerf to his Bio-Arcane Barrage and a bit of a buff to Caustic Spittle. Comparing him to someone like Xin Zhao it seems ridiculous that his mana costs are still so high. Heimer got a little grenade nerf and Shaco took a small Deceive CD nerf. I don’t think either change will be enough to bring them off the permaban list, but with Vladimir almost undoubtedly filling one of those spots we might see a little more variety.

Other than that this patch is pretty unremarkable. My guess is Riot wants to wait out Season One a little longer to see which champions need a shift.


Champion Sneak Peek: Kog’Maw, the Mouth of the Abyss

Kog'Maw, Mouth of the Abyss.

If there’s one thing League of Legends is missing, it’s monster champions. Today, Riot gave us a sneak peek at something that is finally non-humanoid: Kog’Maw, the Mouth of the Abyss.

Kog’Maw made his first appearance back when Malzahar launched, in the picture above. A lot of people thought that might be his original voidling skin, but it turns out that’s actually our boy, Kog’Maw. Unfortunately the picture is the only thing we have to go on at this point. I think he looks pretty cool, I’m just hoping his mouth-related abilities aren’t quite as buggy as the gentlemanly Cho’Gath.

Pendragon included a silhouette of our new champion in the official post, but I think the pic above does him more justice. I’m as excited about this guy as I’ve been about any of the recent champions I can remember. I’m also kind of happy that the Test Realm is down because it makes his release a little more mysterious. I can’t wait to see a skill list.


LoL: Patch Day 06/01 – Malzahar

Malzahar, Prophet of the Void.Patch Day is here once again, strangely enough the day after a national holiday, and with it comes the newest hero, Malzahar. As with many of the recent patches, this one also includes a load of tweaks for a number of heroes, the most significant of which is Teemo, but lacks any major reworks for the toons who most need it. This patch also added several new items to the game to help with the hybridization of many of the new heroes.

First up, let’s talk Malzahar. As mentioned in some previous, unsanctioned posts, Malzahar is a very strong caster, particularly in 1v1 situations. If your target doesn’t have cleanse, you can pretty much burn them down with a combination of your E skill, your Ultimate, and Ignite. You will find, though, that his damage output can be a little inconsistent if your targets aren’t under some sort of crowd control. Null Zone does great damage, but you need to pin your target on the spell to really maximize its potential. Even his silence can be a bit tough to land if your target knows it might be coming. That said, it’s probably a bit to earlier to judge his overall effectiveness for team situations. The fact that he has AOE silence makes him a great addition to a team, and being able to effectively shut down an enemy champion is pretty nice.

I’ll be covering the Teemo changes in a separate post, so let’s talk items. I was surprised to see the spell vamp removed from Haunting Guise, but the new item, Will of the Ancients, seems like a pretty nice (albeit expensive) replacement. I think it’s important to note, though, that Guise doesn’t make a lot of sense in most builds. Now you purchase it mainly for the spell penetration, which potentially opens up your boot selection. In most cases, though, you’d probably be better off going for a Void Staff. It’s no secret Riot wants to rethink the penetration system, particularly flat penetration, so discouraging flat pen items does make some sense.

As for the HexTech Gunblade, I think it’ll work well with quite a few heroes. I’m going to be giving it a shot on Shaco and Kennen this week as well as the obvious choice, Akali. Among the others that could benefit from a hybrid item, though, are Jax, Nidalee, Ezreal, Eve, TF, and Teemo. You might even start to see it on someone like Yi to improve his lanestay a bit.

All in all, I like this patch. No sweeping changes to the game, but some solid improvements and a cool new hero to add to the mix. Stay tuned for more impressions.


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