LoL: Stealth TR update includes new hero (Al’Zahar) and a bunch of chnages

Al'Zahar pic.I was shocked when I logged in to the Test Realm forums yesterday and found an update post. I was even more shocked when I saw the massive list of changes inside, including yet another new hero, Al’Zahar, The Prophet of the Void.

I’ll start with the new hero, if only because he’s the easiest to cover.

Summon Voidling (Passive): After casting 5 spells, Al’Zahar summons a Voidling to engage enemy units for 21 seconds. Voidlings grow after 7 seconds (+50% Damage/Armor), and Frenzy after 14 seconds (+100% Attack Speed).

Call of the Void: Al’Zahar opens up two portals to the void, After a short delay, power erupts from the voids, dealing damage and silencing all enemies hit.

Null Zone: Al’Zahar creates a zone which deals the greater between a flat damage and a % of the target’s max health.

Malefic Visions: Al’Zahar infects his target’s mind with cruel visions of their demise, dealing damage each second. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass on to a nearby enemy unit and restore mana to Al’Zahar.

Nether Grasp: Al’Zahar grips his target in an engulfing void of energy, dealing damage each second.

I’m actually pretty excited about this guy. It’s nice to see someone that finally sounds like a pure caster, and a strong caster at that. AOE silence is great, especially if you have someone like Amumu or Shen to hold your targets in place, and his Voidlings plus the Malefic Visions will help you farm like mad. From the sound of things he’ll be a mix between Enigma and Atropos from DotA. The language for his ult even uses the word “grip,” (Atropos’ ult is called Fiend’s Grip). I’ll get you some more impressions once I have a chance to get into a game. As you might have guessed, the TR is swamped – so full you can’t even look at the practice game list.

I was going to try to cover all the other changes here, but there are so many that it would be eternal. For now, I’m off to see my sister’s baccalaureate graduation. I’ll update more when I get back.


LoL: Another hero approaches (Garen)

Garen.While we’re all waiting on the Kennen release, Riot has seen fit to grace us with yet another new champion, this time in the form of a complete omgwtfbbqpwnsauce tank. His name is Robert Paulsen. His name is Robert Paulsen. His name is Robert Paulsen. Err…his name is Garen, the Might of Demacia. From the sound of things he hails from the land of Poppy.

I’m excited to see his skill list. I’ve really fallen in love with Shen because of his great tanking skills. The chatter that his Feint could get a remake is just about the most exciting thing coming to the game (not really). Anyway, I’m glad to have another tank. Hopefully this one will be viable for some high-tier play.

This Friday at 6PM PST Riot’s Jeff Jew will be debuting Garen’s new skills on Xfire. The official post promises a “unique gameplay style.” Any bets on what it will be?


LoL: Live Ezreal impressions

Ezreal in his Nottingham garb.I’ve only had the chance to spend a few games on Ezreal but he’s driven a lot of discussion on the forums so I thought it would be appropriate to post some impressions. Ezreal is definitely strong, but he’s likely going to be queue dodge material for a lot of people due to a very high skill ceiling. That’s mostly because he has four skill shots, but he’s’ also a terrible farmer in the wrong hands.

Let’s talk farming first, actually. Ezreal has big problems farming early game because he has no AOE farm skill like many other carries. You rely primarily on Mystic Shot, which can be difficult to land on the right creep, especially in a crowded side lane. I’ve personally been maxing Arcane Shift and Mystic Shot first, though I’ll probably try an Essence Flux build today. In either case, you need Mystic to keep your farm up and some sort of mana regen to allow some spell spam. If you can master farming on Ezreal you’ll be able to play him quite well.

While Ezreal can be built like a physical carry, he should be played in a support role, much like Nidalee, though with less early killing power. You should never be initiating fights unless you feel supremely confident in the win. He’s best used at the back of a fight, buffing and debuffing his team and enemies and pushing damage through with little risk of getting hit. He is extremely squishy, and while Arcane Shift might get you out of a fight for a quick second, it has a short enough range that it probably won’t save you against any ranged toon unless you see the gank coming and use it preemptively.

One of the big benefits of Ezreal is that he falls into the mixed heal/DPS category shared only by Nidalee. Mix in a Soraka, Alistar, or Taric and you have a team that will be very difficult to bring down, especially considering the state of anti-healing in the game. Depending on your lane comp, Essence Flux might be the way to go.

Overall, I can appreciate Riot’s stance on nerfs and buffs for this toon. We likely won’t see him at his full potential for a few weeks, though I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the player base calling for nerfs when that happens.


LoL: Gragas buff is on the way

Gragas the Rabblerouser.If you’ve played any games as Gragas you’ve probably felt pretty underwhelmed. I know I have. Generally, I like to give a new toon a chance to shine, but Gragas really can’t, and it comes down to his lack of internal synergy.

I realize that sounds like something from a Six Sigma retreat on 30 Rock so I’ll try to clarify. Gragas suffers because his skills are a weird mix of AP and physical damage. While some at Riot contend that he does best with a health/physica DPS build, the player community is frustrated with where that puts his AP scaling skills, most notably Barrel Roll and his ultimate.

Luckily, Riot has seen the light. Gragas will soon be receiving a buff per red posts on the forums. I’ll be interested to see how much, though. As it stands I think he’s fine for the early game, but he really suffers mid to late. Buff him the wrong way and suddenly he’s too big early and starts to feel just right late.

For what they got wrong with Gragas, they got completely right with Pantheon. I am completely in love with that Spartan bastard.


Related Posts