Current Affairs: Poppy


The official LoL forums can be an exceedingly weird place and often play out like a game all their own. Threads catch fire without any apparent reason, and today is a prime example. For whatever reason, the LoL forum community is up in arms this weekend about Poppy and how OP she is. You remember Poppy right? She’s short, likes to slam people into and occasionally through walls. Still don’t remember?

I make the joke because I see her so rarely I can’t believe this is something people get up in arms about. And OP? Sure, with a 50-minute legendary farm, but her early game is atrocious, bad enough that I don’t even bother to play her anymore.

Thankfully, that’s what Riot wants to address. They want to level her power curve a bit so that she’s more enjoyable early game and less of a running-at-mach-4 bomb in the late game. There is some bad news, though. The intended design strategy to level that curve is to push her toward a tank/AD build. Yes, make her more like the existing tanky DPS. Here’s the quote from RiotStatikk:

Poppy from the outset was designed as a tank/fighter but is currently optimally used as (in my opinion) the strongest burst caster in the game if played well. We’re looking to address this by pushing more of her output into sustained damage rather than upfront burst. This change is less about “removing” her AP build and rather more about pushing forward her AD/Tank build.

I’m hoping Riot stays true to not removing her potential for an AP buid. AP Poppy is a lot of fun with a decent farm. I think the key is keeping her power level for both builds about even. When the tanky build takes over too much, I doubt we’ll see many AP Poppy players in the world.


New skins for the Harrowing

Riot’s gone all out for Halloween this year, bringing us a boatload of new skins to celebrate the League of Legends equivalent to our spookiest holiday, The Harrowing. Just take a look at these skins compared to, say, the Olympic skins from earlier in the year. Remember Vancouver Amumu? Team Spirit Anivia? Now look at that Poppy skin and tell me you don’t want it. Even the Ryze skin looks badass.

All told, we have the following:
– Nosferatu Vladimir
– Lollipoppy
– Zombie Ryze
– Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks
– Mundo Mundo

That’s in addition to the Sorceress and Spellthief Lux skins that will be in the store once the servers are up. I’m going to spend a lot of money today.


LoL: Finding the balance on TT

TT fight in action.Since Twisted Treeline launched in matchmaking I’ve been able to spend most of my time in game learning the new map. I feel pretty comfortable with the general mechanics but there’s something I have yet to master. As much as I try to fine tune my comps, I find myself overwhelmed or outmatched often on TT and its usually for very different reasons.

As a for instance, I had a game earlier in the weekend in which a Singed/Nidalee/Ezreal completely rocked my world. Both DPS were packing flash and would flee while Singed poisoned my team to death. Granted, our own Nidalee was hesitant to participate in fights to the point of basically losing us the game, but that actually made me realize what’s so tough about TT. The new map exacerbates any weakness in your team, whether it’s the player or the comp. Because the fights are smaller you can afford very few mistakes.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen on TT, and one I keep making myself, is a lack of preparation against your opponent. A lot of teams tend to be very tanky on TT, so it’s important to have a large healthpool yourself, even if it means gimping your DPS a bit. A full-on damage farm doesn’t mean anything if you get bursted down in a blink. By the same logic, you better be able to rip apart those escapable toons. If they’re constantly able to get away you’ll find yourself frustrated and level-gapped from the constant running.

If you’re having comp issues, make sure you’re packing enough DPS. Champs like Mundo and Poppy are popular because they mix high survivability with excellent damage output. Get your squishiest DPS to bring cleanse and hopefully you can make it out of TT with a few wins.


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