Riven finally catching a nerf

It’s nice to get a little affirmation that you were right every now and again. I make a lot of predictions about LoL (and occasionally other games) on this blog, and though sometimes I get it right I often get it wrong. At least, I often get it relatively wrong. I think certain champions are OP that others think are weak and vice versa. With Riven, though, I was sure I was right. I was even sure I was right before they fixed her animations and gave her some small buffs. I just knew Riven’s kit — particularly since it scaled with AD — was too good from the start.

She’s finally getting a nerf, or at least what seems to be a nerf. According to the patch preview, she’s getting a nerf to her regen alongside a change to her shield that should make her less durable in lane. The change moves some of the damage from her shield to her Broken Wings skill, which should incentivize leveling the skill as more than just a movespeed buff.

That said, I think the combination of Broken Wings and her shield/stun may still be a bit too strong in lane, particularly if she’s getting a damage boost on Broken Wings. That skill gives her an easy way to proc her passive. It’s not a ton of damage on its own, but with a buff to Broken Wings I could see her still dishing out some serious pain.


Riven impressions: the power vs. kit conundrum

I’ve finally been able to get in enough games with Riven to write a proper impressions post. It seems the prevalent opinion is that she’s underpowered and needs a buff, but I think her problems are a little more complicated. I think Riven has a beastly kit, a kit strong enough that the smallest buffs could make her insanely overpowered. To me, Riven is a classic example of too many skills on one champion, even if she doesn’t hit that hard (I think she hits plenty hard, though).

Let’s break down her full set of skills at level 18. She has a three-part dash on a 12 second cooldown, an AoE stun on a 7 second cooldown, a dash/shield on a 7 second cooldown, and a damage steroid/ranged execute on a 45 second cooldown. That’s a pretty nasty kit if she can get farmed, which I’ve been able to do in several games.

One of the great things about Riven is her ability to weave stuns with her team. by getting to a fight early, she can dash -> stun to initiate, let her teammates use CC, and stun very quickly again. Unfortunately, she has to be very close to her target for that stun to land, and this is a recurring issue for her. Her ult’s active has the same problem, as does the third tick on her Broken Wings.

Riven also suffers from animation issues. After activating her stun, her next auto attack seems dramatically delayed. Her ultimate’s active has a massive delay on its cast, and the animations for Broken Wings are long enough that it’s easy to flip away from your target, especially if they’re moving. Add this all to the fact that Trinity Force doesn’t do her much good and Riven starts to look pretty weak.

As I mentioned above, though, I think she has an awesome kit. Frankly, if Jarvan and Irelia and Udyr and their Trinity Force friends didn’t have such ridiculous damage output, Riven would probably look pretty great. As it is, she’s totally reliant on attack damage for scaling, but because of her kit, her scaling can’t be very good.


Riven Patch Note Roundup

I haven’t done one of these in a couple weeks, mostly because the changes have been pretty lackluster. This week, though, Mordekaiser got nerfed, and it’s no secret that I loathe him like I loathe Seth Rogen, so let’s do a patch roundup, shall we?

Brand caught a range nerf on his Conflagration and a slight damage nerf on his Pillar of Flame. I think he was undernerfed on both accounts. Both spells will still be insanely easy to land, and it doesn’t change the fact that both skills proc his insane passive.

Garen caught a much-needed damage ratio nerf on his Decisive Strike and Judgement, as well as a damage-per-second nerf on Judgement. I’m not sure why he was buffed the way he was in the first place, but the forums seem to love him. I do love characters with high move speed, but I think we can all agree that Garen has had his day in the sun more than once. I was glad to see him knocked down a peg.

As Gameguy astutely pointed out, Garen’s AD scaling got buffed on Judgement, and for some reason I read “reduced from 1.5 to 1.1” instead of “1.5 to 1.4” This is an undernerf, plain and simple. Decisive hits way too hard early in the game, and Garen has that annoying mix of skills that make him way too easy to play well. Movespeed buff plus a silence at the end so that characters with a dash or even Flash can’t get away from the Judgement damage – it’s too much, especially with the way his damage is right now.

Kassadin got a pretty decent buff to his passive, which now soaks 15% of the magic damage he takes. He also got a damage buff to Nether Blade of all things. Will we see the rise of AD Kassadin as a result? No. No we won’t.

Mordekaiser. Oh, Mordekaiser. I’m so happy you won’t be the default pick for top solos everywhere. I’m so glad I’ll be seeing less of you. I’m so glad your shield generation got pounded this patch. Okay, enough gloating. Honestly, I can’t say that I think this is the right fix for Morde. I think the bigger problem is the ult that turns fights into 6v4s and is insanely easy to get a ghost from. I think there are other ways to balance him then making him quite so bad in lane. With no CC, he’s really going to fall off for a lot of players now.

Nidalee got some nice survivability buffs. I wouldn’t have minded waiting another patch or two on those, but since a certain top competitive player loves NIdalee, I suppose this was to be expected. I do think the stat change from dodge to resistances last patch is a very good one.

Orianna got a slight adjustment to her attack range and the mana cost and cast range on Command: Attack. I’m not sure it will solve all her problems. She’s still insanely survivable from mid to late game and she has a monstrous ult. Now, though, at least we’ll only be getting smashed by the good Orianna’s. The rest will just barely be beating us.

Rammus got some negligible adjustments and Shaco got some bug fixes. Shaco still needs quite a lot of help to be truly viable, but this is a step in the right direction.

Shen got some buffs to some very odd aspects of his gameplay. He now has better AP ratios, which makes very little sense to me. He’s not Amumu. The energy change to his ult is quite nice (it’s now free) but it certainly won’t save Shen. Vorpal Blade just isn’t a good skill in a world of tanks like Singed, Alistar, and Amumu.

Lastly, Sion got some tweaks that should make an AD build a bit easier for him. He also has a good bit more mana at level 1 and gains more mana per level, which should keep him in lane longer with more build varieties.

I’m going to be covering the Taric changes in another post, so that’ll do it for the patch. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to get a Riven post together today. I haven’t had enough time with her to do a proper writeup. Hopefully tomorrow.


Riven Patch Delayed

I know this is going to come as a shock, but the Riven patch has been officially delayed by 24 hours. It remains unclear what caused the delay, whether or not this will affect the end of Season One (though I would bet it will), and whether or not there’s a plan in place if ELOs decay tomorrow.

Here’s the official quote from RiotRara in a post made late Monday night/early Tuesday morning:

Our release team has confirmed that an extra 24 hours is needed to ensure quality release. There will be no downtime tonight for the Riven patch. We are sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Needless to say the forums are displeased, as I think they have every right to be. This is incredibly late notice for what was supposed to be a substantial patch. Hopefully we’ll hear more from Riot tomorrow.


Current Affairs: Riven gets a splash art rework

The community reception of Riven’s original artwork (still viewable here) was less than warm. In a move I certainly didn’t expect, Riot had an artist redo the splash, which is now at the top of this post, to look a little bit less awkward.

I’m a little surprised people think she looks so much better now. If I had any complaints about the original Riven splash, it would be the awkward pose and the fact that she’s just not very interesting. They fixed the awkward pose. Still not very interesting, though. She’s still just wearing a toga and carrying a weird looking sword.

All the same, it’s nice to see Riot make the change. Part of the appeal of my favorite champions is no doubt the splash art. I’m sure players looking forward to Riven will appreciate the new art.


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