Upcoming Champion: Leona, the Radiant Dawn

Leona, the Radiant Dawn.

Riot has a small force at E3 this year, mostly there to show off Yorick and tease a few new champions leading up to Dreamhack. Among the champion teasers is Leona, the Radiant Dawn. Leona is a direct response to the community requests for a female champion. She sports a traditional sword and shield, though it sounds like she’ll harness the power of the sun to control her enemies.

Riot hasn’t said much about her skillset, other than a potential ultimate idea, which is that she would summon a beam of light on an area that sort of detonates after a couple seconds, stunning anyone still in the beam. If I heard correctly on the video from Gamespot, someone likened the skill to the Hammer of Dawn in Gears of War. Sounds like it will look really good, and probably function a bit like Amumu’s ult, which is one of the strongest in the game.

On the whole, Leona looks like a pretty cool champion. I like seeing more traditional tanks added to the game. It means good things for balance, or so we can hope.


Trundle pre-release ability impressions

Trundle Splash

Trundle drops tomorrow, bringing the field up to a total of 65 champions. The announcement post confirmed the skill list that was leaked around his initial debut, a skillset that I think is among the more interesting in the game.

Trundle is, as far as I can tell, a debuffer. His skills seem to be aimed at breaking the tank/physical DPS metagame by stealing stats from those archetypes and providing support with an AoE slow. In all honesty, my first thought was, “Wow, this is what Mordekaiser should have been.”


Rabid Bite: Trundle bites his opponent, dealing damage and sapping some of their attack damage.

Contaminate: Trundle infects a target location with his curse, gaining attack speed, movement speed, and crowd control reduction while on it.

Pillar of Filth: Trundle creates a plagued beacon at a target location, which becomes impassable terrain and slows all nearby enemy units.

Agony (Ultimate): Trundle immediately steals his target’s health and a percentage of their armor and magic resistance. Over the next six seconds the amount of health, armor, and magic resistance stolen is doubled.

Decompose (Passive): Whenever an enemy unit near Trundle dies, he heals for a percentage of their maximum health.

Trundle is melee, and from the sound of things he’ll do very well with some sort of tanky attack speed build. That does make me a little wary, as it was my chief complaint with Irelia, but his passive is worlds better than hers and he has some additional utility that appears to be castable from range.

I’ll be most interested to see how his ultimate works out. The design seems much more interesting than Mordekaiser’s, to the point that I wish Kaiser had been released with this skillset instead of his own. It has a nice, short duration during which it will still provide a massive benefit to Trundle and a solid debuff on the target. It’s solid against tanks and carries alike, and it doesn’t have the ridiculous all-or-nothing pet system that Children of the Grave uses.

I don’t want to say much more, because his skills could go a lot of different directions. I could see his Pillar of Filth being either very useful or very situational. The same goes for Contiminate. In any case, you definitely will not want to fight him one on one. Check back tomorrow for my full impressions.


New champ on the block: Urgot, the abomination from hell


There’s a new champion terrorizing the test realm as I write this, a champion that is far and away the creepiest thing in League of Legends. His name is Urgot, and he appears to be some sort of nightmare tank character with a swap ability DotA players should recognize from Vengeful Spirit.

His current ability list is as follows:
Acid Hunter – Urgot fires a missile toward the target that deals physical damage. Missile lock can be achieved by holding the cursor over a target afflicted by Noxian Corrosive Charge.

Terror Capacitor – Urgot charges up his terror capacitor to gain a shield that absorbs damage for 7 seconds. While the shield is active, Urgot’s attacks and missiles slow the target by 27 percent.

Noxian Corrosive Charge – Urgot launches a corrosive charge at a target location. Enemies hit by the charge have reduced armor and take magic damage over four seconds.

Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser – Urgot gains high magic resistance and armor (130 at level 3) for 5 seconds. His target is stunned for one second before swapping positions with Urgot. After the swap the target is slowed by 40 percent for 3 seconds.

This guy has a crazy ability list. I don’t like that Acid Hunter is physical damage, while both Terror Capacitor and Noxian Corrosive Charge scale with AP. That his shield is seven seconds long is definitely a good thing and the slow component should be interesting. His ultimate sounds like a blast. I loved Vengeful Spirit (a character from DotA with a long range swap skill) and I have feeling Urgot could be a lot of fun as a support/tank character. I’m guessing he’ll blow Galio out of the water.

I also like that he has a dramatically different look from the other characters in the game. Though the cartoon vibe can be cool, I like that this guy is just downright creepy. I’m looking forward to Riot’s official leak posts about him.


Galio impressions

Steampunk Galio

It’s no secret that the last several champion releases have been heavily overpowered. The working theory was that Riot was trying to encourage sales by releasing strong champions and then slowly nerfing them back to reasonable levels. There are a few obvious reasons that’s not the case. For starters, Xin Zhao and Vladimir have remained relatively unchanged and still sit at the top of their respective role lists. Then there’s Galio, who bucks the trend with a completely mediocre presence in game.

From the Champion Spotlight, you’d think Galio is meant to be a tank. His passive – converting a percentage of your magic resist to ability power – also points that direction, but only his shield skill is great for tanking. I find Galio a bit more like Morgana, though people have also called him Nunu 2.0. The big problem with Galio is that building as a tank means your damage output is minimal, even with his passive, and his ultimate is easily countered by stuns.

Galio feels just about right around the level 5-12 range. His Q and E skills hit hard enough to deal reasonable damage and the laning phase is just about perfect for his ultimate – not enough people to interrupt him. Beyond that point, though, he feels extremely vulnerable. His ult can actually be a bad thing. Consider your situation – you ult, causing 3-4 champions and whatever creeps are nearby to attack you. Granted, you get some beefed up resistances, but if you miss your shield or the shield wears off, you take a good bit of damage through there. If someone interrupts that ult, you have 3-4 people attacking you and there’s very little you can do about it. The speed boost is nice, but it’s not going to get you out of that situation.

As you cruise toward late game, you start to feel the pain of your MR stack. Your abilities aren’t doing much damage and they’re on a fairly long cooldown. By this point the people you taunt are blowing through your shield quickly and giving you some hefty damage for your trouble.

This isn’t to say Galio can’t be useful – he can. I think he’s best placed as a support character like Morgana. If you have a solid tank Galio can be good for getting your carries into position or even helping Amumu close the gap for bandage toss. Also, you don’t necessarily have to make use of your passive, even though it would be nice to. Galio has pretty solid AP ratios, so building for magic penetration could actually yield some interesting results.


Rise of the initiators [metagame]


The Kog’Maw patch brought with it two skills that make ganking much more difficult than it has been in the past – Hawkshot and Living Artillery. Both skills grant vision of nearby areas, including brush, making the bait-to-buff ganks much more difficult to pull off. As long as Kog’Maw is new, and Ashe is in basically every game, these skill will be so prevalent that they will tip the game to favor the teams with the best initiators.

Prior to the Hawkshot/Living Artillery, the only other skills that provided this utility were Twisted Fate’s ultimate and the summoner skill Clairvoyance. Now, though, you can bet those skills will be in every game. When Season One finally drops, I’ll be begging my teams to ban Ashe in every game, mostly for Hawkshot. To me it seems a little crazy that you would give one of the strongest carries in the game such a great skill. Kog’Maw’s is weaker, but still great for scouting before you rush into a dangerous situation.

I’ve already noticed the average length of my games going up because of these skills. Teams that are short on initiation are forced to the woods to try for ganks. The reveals start and both teams dance away from each other, waiting for the other to make a mistake. The standoff is insanely boring and prolongs what could otherwise be an exciting situation/game.

I do appreciate the attempt to move the game away from poking, but the move has taken the game beyond poking range to a standoff in which everyone waits for the reveals to wear off and the best initiator tends to win the fight.


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