Winged Hussars to become the next skin set?

Earlier this weekend Riot finally gave us some news on Winged Hussar Xin Zhao, a skin that has been in the game files for months. Some time ago a Rioter posted that the Winged Hussar skin would be part of a special promotion. Now, though, it seems he’ll be available for purchase starting tomorrow.

Here’s the official post:

The Seneschal of Demacia is here to let you know that the Winged Hussars are on the lookout for new recruits! The legendary Winged Hussars will be opening up their books to new members starting this Monday, the 26th of September, so don’t miss roll call! If you’re ready to don your set of historical-inspired armor, you’ll be pleased Winged Hussar Xin Zhao is on the march!

The language here is a little confusing, if only because of the word “legendary.” You know, the same word Riot uses to let us know when skins are going to be extra-expensive.

As far as I can tell, this skin is one of two things. Either it’s the legendary Xin Zhao skin, or it’s the launch of another skin set like the Pentakill or Crimson Elite skins. For my part, I hope it’s the latter. I’d like to think the legendary skin for Xin could be a bit better than a guy with a spear.


Stop crying about the Xin nerf


I’m usually not this aggressive when it comes to post patch impressions, but the Xin Zhao threads on the forums are downright dumb. Xin was long overdue for a nerf. Sorry folks (sorry specifically Aaron – I promise this isn’t targeted at you <3), but he needed it, and frankly I don't think it's all that bad. There's only one concession I'll make to all the Xin players out there - the nerf messed up his feel. The Battle Cry nerf is awkward. The skill now feels almost like a DPS loss if you use it too early, but I don't think it has totally broken him. Xin's problem prior to the nerf was that he had too many inherent abilities, much like Nocturne. I used to roll with a flat out armor pen rune page on Xin, which is utterly ridiculous for how durable he was. He has a limited duration damage buff on Q, a DPS steroid on W (both active and passive), a nuke/slow, and a massive AoE nuke that also includes a damage resistance buff. The funniest part about all the crying right now is that he still has all of those things, just one of them isn’t crazy OP (Battle Cry).

Battle Cry was an absolutely ridiculous skill. A huge attack speed buff that also reduced cooldowns? Oh, it was also usable often enough that his ult would be up any time he wanted it. Unfortunately, the change makes it feel extremely awkward, which is probably why so many people are crying. On the whole, though, I think the nerf is a good thing. I’ve played a couple games with him since the nerf and the only real change I noticed is that I have to think more. It’s no longer Charge, Ult, 3 Talon, Battle Cry, at least not one after another. I still Charge first, but try to use 3 Talon as close to Battle Cry as possible so I can get another knockup. Sure, he’s not in the middle of the fight wrecking face quite like he used to, but he’s still strong, especially if you change up your build.

This is another problem with a lot of the complaints. They seem to be focused on the fact that Xin can’t play like he used to. Simple solution: adapt. No, you can’t just build damage anymore. No you can’t just roll your face on your keys anymore. You have to think, and that’s exactly how it should be with the durable melee DPS characters.


How does tanky DPS feel now?


This patch was supposed to address some of the issues with Tanky DPS characters. There were health nerfs and shield nerfs, but from my perspective the game doesn’t seem much different. Tanky teams are still able to drag out what appear to be landslide wins.

Does tanky DPS still need a nerf? Sound off in the comments.


Patch Day 7/17: An OP champion approaches


It’s patch day once again folks, this time heralding the release of Vladimir, the League’s first true vampire champion (sorry, Eve, kicking people with spiked high heels makes you ridiculous, not vampiric). This patch is also highly anticipated because of the Xin Zhao nerf.

First things first, let’s talk about Vladimir. I am nervous as hell about his position in the game. Any time you give a toon the ability to increase multiple stats by buying one item, I’m concerned. That was (and to some extent continues to be) the problem with Jax, and it will almost definitely be a problem with Vladimir. If you haven’t seen his Champion Spotlight yet, you should. It’s a little unnerving to see how early he can ignore towers and just how much damage he can deal with literally zero ability power.

The other big news is the Xin Zhao nerf. His attack speed scaling is getting a serious reduction, the AOE on his slow has been significantly reduced as has the magnitude of the effect, and his ult got a 20 percent reduction in percent-based damage and a slight nerf to base damage. He’ll still be disgustingly strong, mostly because his mana costs are so low and the fact that his ult is always up from the Battle Cry synergy.

The rest of the champion changes are either bug fixes or very minor. Kog’Maw, of all champs, got a small range nerf to his Bio-Arcane Barrage and a bit of a buff to Caustic Spittle. Comparing him to someone like Xin Zhao it seems ridiculous that his mana costs are still so high. Heimer got a little grenade nerf and Shaco took a small Deceive CD nerf. I don’t think either change will be enough to bring them off the permaban list, but with Vladimir almost undoubtedly filling one of those spots we might see a little more variety.

Other than that this patch is pretty unremarkable. My guess is Riot wants to wait out Season One a little longer to see which champions need a shift.


Vladimir patch should drop this week

Vladimir on TT.

Riot has posted the skins and bundles pack for the upcoming Vladimir patch, which usually means we’ll see it in the next day or two. Of course, I’m going out of town during a major patch again so my impressions of the actual gameplay may be a bit delayed.

His skins look surprisingly cool, though I think I like the clean, colonial looking getup the best. It also looks like he will be ranged, as many people have been wondering. Corki is also getting his one millionth skin in this patch. I don’t think Riot understands that more skins do not make people want to play a character more. In a way, it breeds a bit of animosity from Singed fans and the like – toons that only have one or two skins, basically.

Zilean also gets a new skin, epically themed for dropping his peace bombs on the heads of his enemies. Hopefully we’ll see patchnotes soon so I can cover the inevitable Xin Zhao nerf.


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