Champ of the Week: Ragnarok


I titled this mid-week Olaf feature “Ragnarok” because it’s the skill that received his most significant buff in the last patch, but also because the change really didn’t do a whole lot for Olaf. I won’t lie, the Ragnarok change is nice, but realistically speaking, most Olaf players know when to ult and when to hold on to the skill. Now it basically serves as a way to soak a CC skill for teamfights or escapes.

Other than that, I really started to enjoy Olaf once I got out of the jungle. Olaf is a solid solo lane champion. He’s fairly durable, mostly because any respectable build involves some amount of health, he deals excellent damage with Reckless Swing, and 1v1 he is a pure terror, even for some ranged champions.

I will say this – Olaf does not get an exciting build. When I’ve taken him solo top this week, I’ve purchased two, sometimes three gold-per-5 items (Philo, HoG, Avarice). Those don’t make for massive damage increases, but they do allow for a huge late-game farm. During the early game I pretty much rely on Reckless Swing to carry me through.

I do wish Reckless Swing scaled into late game in some way. The true damage is amazing early on, but when I’m staring down a 3500 HP Jarvan, my 340 true damage looks pretty weak.

I’m an Olaf believer, provided he can get a solo lane. I’ve had a couple problematic matchups, but hopefully I can talk a little more about that in my final video. Check back this weekend for the wrapup!


Shyvana preview includes Shaco buffs, Graves nerfs


Riot posted the Shyvana patch preview, which includes a preview of the upcoming buffs and nerfs to League of Legends’ champions. The buffs seem to be targeted at bringing some of the melee fighters up to speed with other Tanky DPS and thankfully nerfing Graves.

I’m most excited for the changes to Shaco. I’ve been enjoying my games with Shaco recently and the upcoming buffs can only help that. Jack in the Box is getting a range increase and a decrease to the time before the trap is ‘armed.’ The range increase should allow Shaco players to utilize the crit bonus on Deceive while still making use of JitB for positioning opponents.

Olaf’s ultimate is getting a buff that makes him much more interesting. Now Olaf can use Ragnarok to break out of crowd control skills. This actually makes Olaf a lot more appealing to me. I had somewhat enjoyed him in the past, but his ultimate felt weak unless he was way ahead. Using it early was like putting up a beacon reminding people not to try to CC you, which is actually exactly what you want. You want the enemy to burn a couple CC spells on Olaf. With the buff he can take the spell and immediately break free, forcing the enemy to waste a stun or snare and allowing him to continue dealing damage. I might be giving Olaf a serious look after this patch.

Wukong is getting some usability buffs that are designed to bring him in line with other Tanky DPS. I’m not thrilled about this – good Wukong players are pretty hard to deal with as it is. More importantly, who needs another strong melee DPS? I don’t.

Lastly, we’re going to see some Graves nerfs. I think everyone saw this one coming. I’m a little worried it won’t quite be enough, but at least we’ll someone other than Caitlyn in our games. His passive is getting a slight resistance nerf and the damage on Buckshot’s multiple shell proc is getting reduced as well. I still think an 80% attack speed buff that can have 100% uptime is a little silly, and the fact that Buckshot can hit multiple times seems like overkill, but I’ll wait to pass judgement until the patch.

Are you looking forward to any of the champion changes? Thinking about picking up a new champ or two thanks to this patch? Let me know in the comments.


LoL: Is Olaf just a bad Mundo?

Olaf-vs-MundoI opened my Olaf Impressions post by stating that Olaf is strong, and potentially too strong and I think I’m willing to stand by that statement on one condition. When ghost is up, Olaf is strong. When ghost is down, he becomes a wet bag of meat for the other team to ingest.

When I first saw Olaf I thought he was kinda cool, sort of unique. I know it doesn’t take a genius to see the similarities between the viking and Mundo, but for whatever reason I overlooked their similar design (I think it was those pretty axes distracting me). Both toons have a skillshot slow. Both toons deal more damage as they lose health. Both toons have CC reduction (in Olaf’s case, immunity). The problem is, Olaf is only better than Mundo in one of those categories – the CC reduction – and it’s an ult versus a rank 1 regular skill. Mundo also has one thing that Olaf desperately needs – an active speed boost.

Olaf starts the game feeling extremely slow, and even by the time you get boots you probably aren’t going to catch anyone. His Undertow has a slow projectile speed and doesn’t slow nearly as much as Mundo’s cleaver. It also has a smaller hitbox. And while Olaf’s passive is admittedly awesome, it’s only awesome if someone is standing toe-to-toe with you, and generally the only people that will do that are the DPS that will rock you, regardless of your passive.

I realize this is why people recommend Frozen Mallet on Olaf – to force people to stay near you – but the prevalence of escape skills between just regular champion spells and summoner spells virtually guarantees that anyone who wants to get away from you will be able to do so.

Olaf’s ult can be nice, but without a means to close the gap, it’s still pretty worthless. I’ve had several games with him in which I would be running down an Ashe, my ghost would wear off and though I could ult, she was still ripping me apart until I got to her. By then you’re going to have some trouble against any truly farmed toon, even if you start at full HP. Mundo’s ult, on the other hand, gives you the speed and regen necessary to both close the gap and stay alive until you get there to pound some face.

Without a speed boost of some kind, Olaf feels horribly underpowered. If you see one at the loading screen without Ghost, get ready for an easy game.


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