Cassiopeia patch roundup: The times they are a-changing


I realize this is a day or so behind, but I’ve been pretty busy with Spike stuff and pre-holiday stuff and frankly, so much changed in this patch it’s actually a little tough to keep up. I’ve finally been able to sit down and play a couple games, and I’ve read the patch notes enough times that I feel like I know what’s going on to a degree that I can put down a few coherent thoughts. Here goes.

I’m going to cover champions first, though that’s not really where the big changes are.

Cho’Gath, Ezreal, Fiddlesticks, Katarina, and Malzahar all got some incremental buffs that should help them out. Fiddle still needs a rework in my opinion, but I think Ezreal should be a bit more competitive, Katarina should feel more balanced between AD and AP, and Malzahar might deal a bit more damage.

Garen got smacked with the nerf bat. Seriously, I can’t tell you how happy I am about this one. It’s been so long overdue that I almost can’t believe it’s here. He actually got a scaling buff, but the fact that you can no longer stack Sunfires means Garen will have to work a LOT harder to get his job done. I’m glad to see him get a scaling buff, too. I’ve always been tempted by DPS Garen, and now maybe I’ll be able to give him a serious go.

Gragas got a significant Drunken Rage nerf, which was also likely overdue. Coupled with the removal of Innervating Locket, Gragas will be much easier to bring down, but could be frustrating to play as a tank.

I would love to be in on the meetings regarding LeBlanc because I just. don’t. get it. She starts so alarmingly broken that they have to hotfix nerf her, a move I haven’t seen since, well, I don’t even know when. Since then she’s been slowly buffed. She’s almost back to where she started. Give her a little more range and less CD scaling on her ult and, bingo! You have release LeBlanc. I know, she’s still a shade of her former self, but it’s funny that she got crushed by the hotfix and they’ve buffed her in every patch since. Also, the last thing I thought she needed buffed was her stun duration. Seriously, why?

Olaf got a much-needed scaling nerf. I remember saying when he launched that a) he’s overpowered when farmed, but b) he’s like a bad Mundo until he gets some farm. I still believe those things to be true, though the second to a lesser extent. Olaf’s obvious advantage over Mundo is that he’s excellent in the jungle. This nerf will make him slightly less scary late game, though he’ll still be brutal.

Twitch got a pretty big nerf, and though I originally thought it might be a bit of an early game buff, it might have brutalized him. I’m terrible with Twitch, in fact, I’m comfortable calling him my worst toon. There is something about his attack timing that I just fundamentally do not get, but I’ve tried building him every way I could think of since the patch and nothing has been all that impressive. It’s not so much the change to damage versus attack speed but the fact that his attacks are limited. You might blow your ult on one or two people just to have more show up, at which point you’re sorta screwed.

Urgot caught a buff, but it’s a strange one. His poison became physical instead of magic (I actually like this, and it’s a perfect idea for Cassiopeia), he got a slight range buff, he got some scaling damage ratio buffs, and a shield buff. There’s definitely some creative problem solving with the physical change, but they might have gone a bit far with his other skills. We’ll see.

After writing all this I realize I just need to make another post for all the other changes that came with this patch. You’ll see that tomorrow.


Patch Day 8/24: Urgot is here


Though today is just barely slower than yesterday in terms of work and moving responsibilities, I can’t hold back on my patch impressions any longer. Yesterday’s patch had some sweeping impact on the state of the game. Urgot brings another new skill type to the game with his swap, but maybe more importantly, both Heimerdinger and Shaco caught significant nerfs – nerfs that could drop them off most players’ ban lists.

I’ll put together a complete Urgot review a bit later today, but for now I’ll say that he seems to have been designed as an Ezreal counter. The stun/swap combo means Arcane Shift only takes Ezreal back to the front of the battle, instead of outside harm’s way. He’s also extremely mana efficient as he harasses, so it’s easy to see him taking mid against a lot of the squishier carries.

The Heimerdinger and Shaco nerfs will be getting a dedicated post as well because they are so big. Riot has always said that it would trickle nerf, but in my mind they should have considered both toons for significant remake if they were planning to nerf this hard.

On to the less significant changes. Kog’Maw caught a rework to his Caustic Spittle, which now provides passive attack speed bonus in addition to the armor penetration active. Kennen also got most of the proposed changes. He now gains armor and magic resistance while in Lightning Rush, Maelstrom can hit more people, and Surge got an AP buff. In my mind it makes him highly desirable. Vladimir was only half nerfed – his Transfusion has a slightly smaller range but his Tides of Blood is larger.

Malphite also got some nice changes. He should be more mana efficient, and his Brutal Strikes now also grants bonus armor, synergizing with Ground Slam and providing some nice staying power, especially in the jungle. Lastly, Soraka got a small tweak in that her Infuse provides half mana to the target and half to her (Soraka gets the full amount on self-casts). Mana cost on her heal has also been marginally increased.

The last change that is actually very cool is that elixirs can be purchased when you have six full slots and will auto-activate. No more selling and repurchasing items.

That’s about it for the patch. The other posts I mentioned here will be up in short order (especially now that the servers are set to ‘busy’).


Chat server fail > FG LoL Mondays

Another success this evening. We got in a very brutal game against some green players in 5v5 ranked game. Right after that first game, though, the chat servers bombed in a big way. Once I finally reconnected I still couldn’t join chat rooms and I started to chain disconnect from that point forward. I think we’re gonna have to call it for the night.

Thanks to everyone who came out – check back tomorrow morning for the patch updates. Urgot is coming. Be very, very scared.


Urgot is on release notice

Urgot on TT.

Urgot has officially been given his “new champion approaches” post, which means we’ll likely see him on Tuesday or Wednesday of the upcoming week. Here’s his official ability list:

Acid Hunter: Urgot fires an Acid Hunter missile that slows the target. The Acid Hunter missile locks onto enemies afflicted with Noxian Corrosive Charge.

Terror Capacitor: Urgot charges up his capacitor to gain a shield. While the shield is active, Urgot’s physical damage is increased.

Noxian Corrosive Charge: Urgot launches a corrosive charge that damages enemies in an area and reduces their armor.

Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser (ultimate): Urgot charges up his Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser, gaining armor and magic resistance and swapping positions with his target. After the swap, his target is slowed.

Zaun-Touched Bolt Augmenter (passive): Urgot’s attacks reduce the damage that his target deals.

As a few people mentioned on my original Urgot post, the release of new champions seems a little too fast, at least for the IP cost/RP price Riot currently has in place. There hasn’t been a champion lower than 3150 in a long time, and most of the recent releases have been at the 6300 IP release. With the rune page release, I decided to try out some of the silly utility runes, I’ve spent a solid 18k IP or so over about a week and a half. Making that 6300 IP every two weeks could become a bit of a chore. And don’t even recommend I spend $10-$12 on that new guy. The new skins have been good enough that any money I spend on this game will be going toward those (when they go on sale), not new champions.

All of that said, I’m still excited about the champion. Vengeful Spirit was always one of my favorite toons in DotA. Hopefully this guy will be another fun support/tank.


Urgot makes his official debut

Urgot concept art.Sorry for the absence of posts yesterday. I was fairly busy in the morning and then we ended up losing power in the afternoon due to some monstrous storms and I didn’t get my net back until this morning. There is good news, though! Urgot has made his official forum debut, which could mean he’ll be ready for release next Tuesday.

Here’s his text:

Some stories bring new meaning to the phrase: “cautionary tale,” and I’m pretty sure that this one qualifies. Meet Urgot, the Headman’s Pride. As you might be able to tell, this bloke’s seen a few scrapes in his life and, by this point, is a bit the worse for wear. While he may not be winning any beauty contests, you’re really got to admit it, the guy’s got style. Unless, of course, you’re an arachnophobe. Then the two of you might have issues. Be on the lookout for Urgot as he scuttles his way onto the Field of Justice in the coming patch.

The concept art offered just reinforces the fact that he is super freaking creepy. You can find his skill list at my original Urgot post.


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