Tryndamere gets a Champion Spotlight

Hot on the heels of the Tryndamere remake, Phreak put together a Tryndamere remake to show off his new skills. The video was supposed to “show [us] how to use his new tricks,” but it was pretty much a spotlight like any other. Phreak briefly explained his skills and then went on a tear, amassing 20+ kills in what looked to be a very slanted game.

I was hoping for a bit more when I saw that a Tryndamere video had been posted. Really, I was hoping I had missed something in the Champ of the Week last week. Maybe I just misunderstood his skillset, or maybe the key lies in some strange build. Unfortunately, it seems the key is as expected – get fed and he feels great.

What do you think? Did the spotlight make you a believer?


Champ of the Week: Tryndamere wrapup

I decided to post the video trailer for Demonblade Tryndamere here just in case any of you were looking to purchase him/the skin and wanted some context around the purchase. My week with Tryndamere was cut a bit short due to my traveling, but I still feel like I’ve had enough time with him to analyze his playstyle since his remake and the things he’s now up against. This is going to be kind of dense because Tryndamere is built around some complicated mechanics. Bear with me.

I just got out of a game with a Tryndamere on my team who started the game 0-7. To be fair, he was not a great player, but I think Tryndamere’s freshly weakened early game had to be a partially contributing factor. Though I did jungle with Tryndamere a decent bit over the past week, I’m not going to cover that much here. Trynd is a seriously weak jungler – any jungler worth his salt knows that Tryndamere relies on losing health to make it through the jungle. He’s easily ganked, easily countered, easily shut down. It’s not a good thing.

Let’s talk laning. Old Tryndamere was decent in lane for a couple reasons. First, if you got him below 50 percent HP and were standing next to him, he was going to crit your face off. His crit chance would skyrocket, which then added both damage and crit damage to each successive swing. Except when it didn’t. There were times when I was ready to scream at my computer because of missed crits or enemy Tryndamere players who landed several in a row at level 1. It was inconsistent, and while I understand the desire to level this out, I don’t think the remake really accomplished it. He hits less hard, which is fine when playing against him, but it has completely de-incentivized him to get into a fight during the early game. He doesn’t get the combat benefits fast enough any more, which is a big problem, and it extends to the late game.

Old Tryndamere used to be able to get his most useful stats when he was at full HP: crit damage and additional damage. Though new Tryndamere has passive additional damage as part of Bloodlust, and a decent bit of it, he doesn’t get any additional damage until he starts to lose health. Instead, he gets crit chance, which is a pretty crappy stat. It doesn’t scale well, can be totally eclipsed late game by armor penetration and flat damage, and Tryndamere gets enough in an average build that the 35 percent from his Fury generation isn’t really all that helpful late in the game.

Early, though, he’s totally reliant on that 35 percent crit if he’s forced to fight, but he’s much better off not engaging. Tryndamere has no decent lane harass if he can’t stay on top of creeps and stack up Fury, and he’ll take somewhere between 15 and 20 attacks to get full Fury in the early game. It’s ridiculously easy to counter for most solo champions. The nerf to the Spinning Slash cooldown also reduced his ability to get into and out of those early fights. Without a strong farm, Tryndamere is severely gimped, unable to contribute meaningfully in a fight.

His one saving grace right now is his ultimate, which can allow him to creep back up the power scale, if only because he can stay involved in a fight long enough to hopefully last hit or grab a few assists. When he’s ahead, his ult feels like a decent way to prolong a fight, but with the nerf to the Bloodlust heal, it almost always feels like he’s just delaying the inevitable.

That does it for last week’s champ of the week. I’ll have this week’s posted later today. Remember, no FG LoL Mondays tonight but, by all means, feel free to invite me for a game if you see me online this week.


Legendary Tryndamere skin is on the way

Hot on the heels of the Tryndamere remake, Riot is teasing what I can only assume will be Tryndamere’s Legendary skin, Demonblade Tryndamere. The teaser comes in the form of a mock movie poster. It’s a neat little bit of marketing, but I’d like to see Riot really differentiate these things if they’re going to cost $15 or more. Players are still waiting on updates to Magnificent Twisted Fate and some even want Red Baron Corki to get a facelift.

I’m happy with the legendary skins that I’ve purchased, but I’m a little bummed out to see so many good options available that have even gone on sale. Cottontail Teemo? That skin is just amazing.


Champ of the Week: Tryndamere

Well, unfortunately I’m going to have to push back some of the upcoming changes I have to the Champ of the Week feature, but that doesn’t have to delay this week’s Champ any longer. This week I’ll be playing Tryndamere.

If you check my recent games list, you can see that I’ve already played a decent number of games with the Barbarian King. I made sure to sneak in a few before the remake so I could assess what the changes have given to or taken from his viability. First, let’s talk some history.

Tryndamere has posed some fairly unique problems to the League in the past. For a while it was Cleanse that gave him some ridiculous killing power, back when it could clear Ignite and offered CC immunity. I remember some of my earliest games against Tryndamere being more frustrating than even old Eve games. Even after the Cleanse nerfs, though, Tryndamere has enjoyed insane power creep. He remains the one champion that has allowed me to come back from a game in which all of my buildings were down but the nexus. I got to a point quickly enough in that game that I simply could not be killed and I was able to 2-3 shot most of my opponents.

Tryndamere’s basic design issue is that he gets exponentially stronger as he loses health, but can remain at one health point – his strongest point in the game – for an extended duration thanks to his ult. The old Tryndamere gained crit chance as his health went down. As he crit targets, he gained stacks of Bloodlust that improved his crit damage and could also be spent for a sizable heal.

He caught a remake today that changed all that. Read the rest of this entry »


Riot responds to server instability concerns (right here on FG!)

Riot Games logo.A few days ago I made a post regarding the recent instability issues with Riot servers, a post that seemed to resonate with a lot of you. In case you missed it, RiotChris dropped by this very blog to respond to some of those concerns, and he was followed shortly by Marc Merrill, the president of Riot Games, who linked his own response to the situation from the League of Legends forums.

Here’s what RiotChris (who is Chris Enock, the company’s Director of Marketing) had to say:

We are sorry that we have been having server stability issues and growing pains recently. Fixing them and making a better player experience is our company’s top priority.

We are as frustrated by the server issues, and we will be taking time to bring everyone up to speed on what we are doing to make the issues better. I know it doesn’t help you play the game, but I can tell you that all the problems are due to the growth – if it was just a matter of buying more servers we would do so instantly – and the cause of the problem is rarely the same issue twice because we fix the problems. Of course none of that makes LoL available to play, but our top men are also working on improving the server stability night and day.

– RiotChris

First of all, I want offer my thanks for your response, Chris. On the official forums it’s one thing – players either go there or they don’t, and it doesn’t exactly feel personal when that’s the only place we see an official response. You guys (meaning the readers, not Riot) have chosen this blog and continually choose to come back, which has made the time I spend writing here infinitely worthwhile and interesting, and the fact that Chris not only reads here, but decided to comment does feel personal, sounds informed, and seems empathetic. Despite a few blunders, I do think Riot is among best developers around in terms of community involvement and outreach, and anyone who has spent time in the customer service industry knows what a horrible, mad bitch of a task it is to keep people happy.

President Marc Merrill’s response further edified the good vibrations RiotChris delivered with a detailed look at the source of the recent issues and the efforts currently underway to resolve those issues (make sure you read his post as well as the service post he links). I had a good feeling that LoL was growing fast. I had no idea it was more than doubling the game’s audience every three months (which could mean a lot of things, but empirically means the game is exploding). That kind of growth would be hard for any young developer to keep up with, and it would be unfair to Riot to not bear in mind the company’s youth.

The takeaway message here is “stick with it.” I think we can all agree that the game is a lot of fun – it’s complex, exhilarating, and interesting enough that I can write about it every single day, and often in a positive light. Though the current stability issues are frustrating, even infuriating at times, there are “top men” working on them, and those top men really are invested and interested in what we, as a community, have to say.

N.B. – I’m really sorry about the delays on posts this past week. Moving in North Carolina in late August is horrible, but it will be done by the middle of next week. Things will return to normal. I will be my typically witty, charming, and timely self, soon.


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