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Buffs focused on the early game coming for Lucian and Lux

Lucian and Lux are the latest champions to be buffed on the PBE, according to the test server's most recent update. So far, Patch 8.6 is jam-packed full of buffs and little else, and with these changes, that trend is only continuing.
While it's true that Lucian has been struggling and needs all the help he can get, Lux is performing as a strong mid laner, and her off-role as support mage is doing well, too. Her buff isn't quite as impactful as Lucian's, but it's still a meaningful change, and she'll be significantly stronger as a result.
Her ultimate, Final Spark, has a mechanic that causes its cooldown to be partially refunded if she kills a champion with ability. The amount that it refunds increases with each level, starting at a 10 percent refund and ending at 50 percent at max rank.
With this buff, the refund will now start at 30 percent, while still ending at 50 percent. That means, as long as she lands a kill with Final Spark, its cooldown will be reduced by about 24 seconds, which is much more potent than the eight seconds that are currently refunded by the 10 percent.
Lucian's buff is more straightforward, as it's a simple flat damage buff. His W, Ardent Blaze, will have a higher base damage after this change. Rather than starting out at 60 damage and ending at 220 at max rank, it'll now deal 85 at rank one and end at 245, which is a 25 base damage increase across the board.
Base damage values are usually what carries champions from the early game into the mid-game, and it's right around there that AD scalings start to pass them by. A 25 damage increase is a lot, especially at early levels, but once he hits around level nine, it'll be hard to tell that the buff is even there.
That's okay, though, because Lucian is an early-game lane dominator that's struggling to actual dominate his lane. With this base damage buff, his luck may finally turn around.
These buffs are expected to land with Patch 8.6 next week.


Patch 8.6 Brings Open Parties and Voice Chat

Playing League with friends just got boosted. Open parties are a new way to fill a lobby without spamming invites, and it’s live right now. Parties will have voice chat equipped in patch 8.6, so feel free to request a gank from your farm-loving Udyr in real audio.
The days of sending a bunch of invites and staring longingly at your screen for friends to accept are gone. Pick a queue and your open party will appear to your friends in their friends list. They’ll see the number of spots available and the queue you chose. With one click, they'll be in the party and their buddies have an option to join too.
So if you choose to play Draft Pick, your friends will see 1/5 spots filled for Draft and press the button next to your name to join. Once they’re in, their friends and yours will see 2/5 spots filled for Draft and choose to join as well. Once they’re in, their friends and yours will see 3/5 spots filled for Draft and choose to join as well. Once they’re in, their friends and yours will see we’re taking this joke too far.
Queue restrictions are the same, so you can’t play with more than two teammates for Twisted Treeline and you can’t enter Ranked Flex with four players.
If you’re not feeling open parties, turn the feature off with a toggle in your lobby and the client remembers your setting. If you close your party, you can still send invites to friends.
After patch 8.6, your party can’t ignore your cries for help because they’ll hear you in voice chat. Voice chat only works for parties that queue together. If your party is a duo, you’ll only hear their voice in-game. As soon as you join a friend’s party you’ll connect to voice chat automatically and remain connected for as many games as you play together. We all have that quiet friend who doesn’t yell loudly enough when they’re getting ganked; just press tab in-game and adjust your settings to hear them. Voice works for any party of two or more players.


10 thoughts going into week 8

Would you rather start the game with four Banner of Commands in your inventory or four solo queue teammates? Patch 8.4 brought forth a lot of changes and the teams that adapted best this week were the most consistent team (Clutch Gaming) and… the most erratic team (Counter Logic Gaming). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Here’s this week’s 10 thoughts:
The FOX bot lane struggled last weekend, which maybe provides a blueprint for teams looking to knock them out. But the loss against GGS may end up being a blessing in disguise -- I think rolling too comfortably into the playoffs creates complacency, which has plagued some of the FOX guys in the past. Especially around playoffs. But if they lose a game this weekend, it’ll be three straight 1-1 weeks. That is decidedly average.
If you’re a top team, and you lose to CLG when CLG is at the bottom of the standings, does that actually count as a loss? That game was over as soon as C9 acquired a massive early lead. Rookie mistake -- CLG always plays better with their backs against a wall. Anyway, I wouldn’t take too much from that going forward. It’s a lot easier to not throw again than to learn how to secure early leads. C9 won’t really be tested until playoffs, where Licorice could finally be attacked (in-game and in the pick/ban phase) in an extended set.
The final stretch of the season is brutal for CG as they take on three of the top teams in the league to close out the season (100, FOX, and TL). They’ve had doubters all split because they just don’t feel like an elite team (I don’t necessarily disagree). Whatever that means. Like, they could win the Spring Split and then sweep MSI, and there might still be some people who say, “Eh, they’re good but I still don’t know about them.” And to Clutch, that’s probably fine -- being underrated takes off a whole lot of pressure.
If you’re ever trying to speedrun something and you screw up early, you just restart. What you see when TL loses is just the unfortunate side effect of that. They either win fast or they roll over and lose. Why a team with so much veteran presence can’t play from behind is truly a mystery. If they figured out how to win even a third of those games, then they’d be sitting right at the top of the standings. Win lane, win game only works for so long.
No.5 OCEAN’S 100
Sometimes you get the thieves from Ocean’s Eleven -- a suave and star-studded cast that executes a heist to perfection. And sometimes you get the thieves from Home Alone that slip on a bunch of marbles. Going into Week 8 is a bad time to still be working on your identity, but they’ve managed to be firmly in playoff contention anyway. A lot of that is thanks to their bot lane popping off the last couple of weeks. I still think they need to figure out how to get Ssumday more involved -- for a player of his caliber, this has been a fairly lackluster split. Stick him on some carries!
Most of the still high expectations for TSM are predicated on their historical performance in the postseason. But if you shook up the letters a bit and said this was STM, then what is this roster but a passive blob of inconsistency? If you look at the 100 game, Bjergsen plays a few of the team fights as a back line mage (Galio is not a back line mage). Watch the Galio in this clip for example:
Why is he so far back? If they don’t win that fight, they lose the Baron and likely the game. He’s way too good of a player to not commit here. That choke is a great spot for Galio’s taunt-Flash combo. You see even Zven goes over the wall. This play is a microcosm of the risk averse nature that’s characterized TSM for years. They absolutely need to take some more risks if they want to win this split.
TSM’s matches this week are against C9 and TL -- both are games they could lose, which would potentially let CLG tie them in the standings. And if we look forward to next week, we’ll see that CLG’s last game of the split is against… TSM! Going from 3-9 to 9-9 and making playoffs -- all while knocking out TSM as well -- I can’t think of anything more counter logic... except maybe losing that last game after making it all the way to 8-9.
Compared to the other two 4-10 teams, FLY just doesn’t look like they have any fighting spirit in them. AnDa’s struggles this split can be attributed to both his inexperience and his team’s communication struggles. For a jungler, being able to coordinate with your mid laner is critical, but Fly hasn’t been around for the entire split and there’s a language barrier. This forces Turtle to take some risky stunts (heh) to try to win fights for his team. As is, though, it’s hard to imagine this team just randomly gets better.
It’s still premature to say the future is bright, but this team has really weaved together some impressive performances in the last few weeks. The win over FOX wasn’t a fluke -- they outplayed them from the get-go. And say what you will about this team, but they know what they have to do to win. Their problem is they sometimes screw up the execution. Hai randomly gets caught out or Contractz mistimes a play or they force a random Baron. A lot of those things are immediately identifiable and fixable. They’ll be a dangerous team in the summer if this growth continues. It could be the Gold-to-Challenger in one split dream.
At this point, as OpTic, you have to ask yourself if Zig or Dhokla are actually that much worse than some of their counterparts. I don’t think they are. OPT’s play with Dhokla not deviating much from their play with Zig kind of confirms my suspicion that OPT just have no clue how to get their top laner involved in the game. They may as well stick Dyrus in top lane. From management down to the players, I think everyone can shoulder a bit of the blame, so it seems weird to me to point at x or y as being the sole problems. They’ve looked so close to being there at times this season, too, but it just hasn’t come together.


New Gun Goddess Miss Fortune Skin Revealed

The Riot Games skin design team is ready to unleash its newest Ultimate skin creation—Gun Goddess Miss Fortune, according to the company's announcement today.
Unlike the other "god" skins in League of Legends, such as God Staff Jax and God Fist Lee Sin, this Gun Goddess skin is futuristic and packed with a ton of heat—in every sense of the word.
In this skin, Miss Fortune is fitted with a latex suit and powered-up with comically large cannons attached to her suit's back. The skin is part of the same series as Kai'Sa's release skin, Bullet Angel Kai'Sa, which explains the similarities within the sci-fi theme.
The skin, just like almost every other Ultimate skin in League, has multiple forms to change to while you play the game. Unlike Elementalist Lux, however, you won't have to earn the forms in any way—you simply select which one you want in a UI option while you're in the fountain.
Image via Riot Games
Each "form" is actually a whole new exosuit, and there are four to choose from—Scarlet Fair, Zero Hour, Starswarm, and Royal Arms.
The skin comes with its own bit of lore, too. In the alternate universe that holds both this version of Miss Fortune and Bullet Angel Kai'Sa, she was shot and left for dead as a very young girl. Using some of her late father's designs, she developed her exosuit that she intended to be unrivaled in power, and then went on a revenge-fueled rampage. She became the most feared and dangerous woman in the galaxy and took on the title of Gun Goddess.
In other words, she's really, really cool.
This Ultimate skin will be the cheapest to ever be released into the game at 2,775 RP—down from the usual 3,250 paid for other Ultimates. Players will also have the choice to pick up the bundle for 3,500 RP.
Gun Goddess Miss Fortune will be available on March 22.


Utilize your strengths, hone your weaknesses

In an interview with Optic Gaming's LoL General Manager - Romain Bigeard's speak on how he builds his team. This translate to becoming the best player you can possibly be. Mindlessly playing the game can only get you so far. If you want to improve, you need to understand what kind of player you are.
"The overall focus is not on “winning,” but on “identifying a winning process.” So the day you stop winning, you just go back to the process. If you don't know how to win, and you leave it to “luck,” then the day you lose, you are doomed."
"To achieve that, you need to identify your strengths and work hard on them. I don't care about weaknesses as long as you are able to tell me where or what you’re good at, and why you’re good at it. For example, are you bad at building stuff? Great! I know who NOT to call if I need to construct something. I would rather know that you’re awesome at driving cars so that I can plan some races with you."
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is optimal to improving your rank.
Some players are great laners who does very well. On the other hand, some players might be lacking in their laning, but excel at team-fighting. If you know that you have superior team-fighting skills, picking a champion to safely farm till late game with late game team-fighting utility is your best bet to carry games. In this case, instead of choosing a champion like Brand/Annie, go for Cassiopeia/Orianna.
On the other hand, if you know you have problems being caught out of position in team-fights, you have some options:
1. Pick a champion who is hard to kill
2. Pick a champion who has CC
3. Get better
These are just some thing you have to get better. The most important thing is being honest with yourself. Everyone thinks they're the next coming of Faker when they can't even CS correctly under tower.


The Power Picks of the week

Six weeks of LCS and the meta is still stagnant. While the top lane and jungle players are slowly adding a bit of creativity to their picks, mid-laner and bot lane are sticking to old-fashioned strategies. These were the five power picks of the last week.
Top Lane: Camille
Throughout the split she was already present and it remains true: Camille is a strong and popular pick for the top lane. Especially because it is best against the still strong Lane-Bully Gnar and Gangplank.
At least as far as the EU is concerned, with an incredible win rate of 80%, it is definitely one of the top tier top countries. Splyce Andrei 'Odoamne' Pascu has played them three times and each time Splyce won the match. So also on Saturday against FC Schalke 04.
The Camille Galio Combo is as simple as it is effective. Already in the early game Splyce was able to pick up Schalke's top loser Kiss 'Vizicsacsi' Tamás twice.
Jungle: Zac
Unfortunately, the professional leagues still offer very little variety on the Jungle position. Zac has also been mentioned here, but his presence is undeniable. Zac has a good win rate in every region. Like Sejuani, Zac is a strong tank with a very good commitment. Early Ganks are possible on him, but above all, Zac shines in team fights.
Zac is also working well with Camille, as they both have a huge gap-closer and can surprise their opponents with an engagement. In addition to Nubar 'Maxlore' Sarafian, G2 Esports' Marcin 'Jankos' Jankowski successfully seeded the green Schleimmann.
Mid-lane: Ryze
After Ryze almost alone dominated the middle at the beginning of the split, he had to be nerfed with a view to the LCS and the LCK. But that did not hurt him much. Even though he stands in Europe and North America with a negative win rate, the pros rely on him and fear him equally. In Korea, the magician has an incredible presence with a pick / ban rate of 91%.
This is partly because the teams of the pro leagues trust in the late game even after the first half of the spring split for good scaling. As a mid-laner, Ryze is virtually unbeatable in scaling and with his Ult Utility for the entire team, Fabian 'Exileh' showed Schubert with his Unicorns of Love at the weekend.
Even in a split-push-comp the rune mage looks good and even if he is one of the worst mid-players in the solo queue, he will stay in the top of the competition for a while.
AD Carry: Caitlyn
So far, NA almost spurns her completely, in the EU she occasionally stumbles and most of the time it's only the Koreans who have achieved success on Caitlyn. However, this is probably more because Tristana and Ezreal are still very dominant and hardly let any other pick through properly. However, when Caitlyn is picked, she too is a danger in the late game.
After the power spike through the three crit items Infinity Edge, Statikk Shiv and Rapid Firecannon, Cait feels almost as comfortable as Tristana. Who works well with their traps and masters good positioning, is rewarded by the sniper. Whether we see them more often in the future, will show.
Support: Shen
Shen's current presence in the support position may not be particularly high, but he's always a welcome change in the current support meta. After six weeks of playing LCK and LCS, apparently only three champions are on the pitch and almost only tanks are being used, Shen gradually suits his role.
Of course he is still a top Laner, but with CC, Utility and massive Tankiness but brings everything with what a support in the current Meta needs. For teams, this gives them the flexibility to keep the top lane position flexible and send the ninja down.
clips to all picks can be found at:


Baron and elder buffs (8.4)

asked about what will be changed with the change of elder and baron buffs. First of all, i want to go deeper. Into the numbers.
1) Baron buff changes.
Stats gained: 25 attack damage and ability power ⇒ 24 attack damage and 40 ability power
Scaling with the time: 40 attack damage and ability power at 27:30 ⇒ 48 attack damage and 80 ability power at 40:00
New: Empowered caster minions now take 50% less damage from champions.
Duration: 210s (Unchanged).
So, the damage gained slightly increase, specially later in the game. The most important part is that it will make minions tankier, the sieges will be easier and more painful for the defenders. Also, probably the splitpushers will have more impact, since they have more damage and it is harder to push against at the same time.
2) Elder dragon:
a) Respawn faster. 8min instead of 10 now.
b) First elder dragon is weaker.
Сharacteristic | First dragon | later dragons
Duration | 150 seconds | 300 seconds
Burn damage | 45 + 45*(drags) | 135+90*(drags)
dragon power | +50% | +100%
What will happen now?
First, the dragons are far more important due to the later elder dragons. The burn damage will be huge. It hurts now, but it will be two times stronger later.
The later elder buff is longer than the baron buff. That is a huge change to the game, since people are willing to trade baron for elder any time, since you could just wait it out.
When the dragon will respawn? I did some math:
The last elemental drake must die around 29 minutes. The one before dies around 23, 17, 11, 5
So to get 5 drakes we want to kill the first drake at 5min in the game and then killing them at respawn.
The first elder will be at 35 minutes, but it is the shitty elder dragon. The good one will be up at 43 minutes.
43 minutes is usually really, really late game, but the buff should help close the game. Probably it will be taken around 48 minutes.
3) They removed the tracking knife (green smite, warding smite item etc). That means, only the support has rechargeable wards -> less vision -> more facechecking.
Briefly summarizing the patch notes: the later the game goes, the stronger the buffs are. Before the second elder, the baron buff is much better. After, it depends on team comp.
So lets go to the meta now.
There will be a couple of teamcomps i see right now:
1) Strong early, OK late.
Fairly strong early jungler that will gank and do drakes, get the lead and use it to close the game. On my mind are: Nunu, Jax, Camille, J4, may be Skarner with predator.
Gankable mid: Azir, Oriana, Ryze, Cassiopea, maybe Syndra, Viktor
Top and bot are probably the same.
2) Strong late, good waveclear even against baron. This teamcomp doesn't care about fighting in the early game, more about surviving and giving the smallest lead to the enemy.
Good tanky-scaling jungler. Junglers goal is to protect the team from tower dives later in the game. Zac, Sej, Nunu, Volibear (pls. i want the bear)
Godlike wave clear mid. Anivia, Viktor, Azir, maybe Xerath and Vel'Koz.
Top and bot probably the same.
New meta-champions in this patch.
Since the late game objectives are much more important now and teams have less vision (no trackers knife), I think teams that can facecheck and get out alive are much better now. This are:
1) Maokai. He always was strong, just not godlike tank. Maokai is one of the tankiest top laners and has the ability to check bushes with his E (sapling toss). Also it gives more vision. Great spell after the changes.
2) Swain. New swain is fairly strong, his W gives vision from miles away. I am not sure if he is better mid or top, but I do think he is a good choice if you need to check places.
3) Ashe. She wasn't around for a long time, i don't know what about her damage, but E gives nice vision and I don't remember any nerfs to her.
4-6) Morg, Blitz, Thresh, Naut. These guys are bad at facechecking. But they are great at catching and killing people who comes into the dark forest.
7-8) Yasuo top and Fiora mid. I don't know why, but players love to show their skill on this champions. And it is so fun to watch them feed. Hope to see it more :)
Overall, the buffs to buffs will help close the game, but it probably will not affect most games, since this week the games are shorter than the second elder. The buff to baron buff is going to only speed up the game.
Again, thank you #valkrin for giving me a topic to think about. Sorry that my post is so long, so late and for my English.
P.S. Hope everyone who read all my post have a good week. I know it will be only Valkrin, so good luck! :D


Vietnam is second biggest LOL-Region after China

Vietnam promoted to an independent region
After the Vietnamese teams celebrated success, the region is now independent. That's why it will have more opportunities internationally.
So far, the Vietnamese teams have qualified for the GPL through the VCS (Vietnam Championship Series). The merger of the best teams from Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines has clearly been dominated by Vietnam in the last four splits.
Added to this were the international results from the GIGABYTE Marines and Young Generation at the MSI or the Worlds, which prompted Riot Games to move them to a separate region.
Regional competition
In the GPL, the Vietnamese teams had to compete with the other regions for a place at international events. Now the region is providing a representative directly from the VCS without having to qualify through the GPL. The best teams from the SEA leagues will continue to compete in the GPL.
Worlds and MSI
Vietnam will have its own slot at MSI and Worlds 2018. In addition, the MSI will be increased from 13 teams to 14 teams.
The Worlds remain with 24 teams, however, the spot, which was previously identified under the highly ranked region of BR, CIS, JPN, LAN, LAS, OCE, SEA, awarded to Vietnam.
In addition, Vietnam is grouped at the Rift Rivals with the TCL (Turkey) and LCL (Commonwealth of Independent States), while the GPL remains with the OPL (Oceania) and LJL (Japan).


Initial Thoughts on Spellbinder

Of all the changes to AP items on Patch 8.4, the new item Spellbinder is perhaps the most interesting. After trying a bunch of different builds with Spellbinder, here's my initial thoughts on the new item: Spellbinder has the potential to be absolutely incredible.
- Cost efficiency: Spellbinder is already close to cost efficient with ONLY its base stats. The crazy part? The active provides a full legendary item worth of stats. We're talking about an ACTIVE that provides more AP than Luden's Echo and as much bonus movement speed as Ghost. THAT IS INSANE.
- Stacking: Spellbinder is not easy to stack, so determining when to buy it is crucial to how useful it is. A champion that spams spells like Ryze would benefit more from Spellbinder in the early game because he has the potential to stack it himself. In general, tear-stacking champions will benefit more if they get Spellbinder in the laning phase. That said, Spellbinder is still usable on other mages/casters that like to teamfight. These champions will benefit more by getting Spellbinder after the laning phase is over.
- Skill Cap: For an item, Spellbinder has a very high skill ceiling. Accumulating and managing the stacks isn't easy. If you use the active at the wrong time, you not only lose 100 AP but also the investment of the stacks. This loss can easily turn a winning fight into a losing one. Because this item relies on its active, managing actives can also be difficult as most champions that will build Spellbinder will also have other active-crucial items (Zonyas, Hextech GB/Belt, etc).
Spellbinder is not easy to use, but the upside is amazing. In a game that often comes down to one teamfight, this item genuinely has the potential to determine the outcome of the game.


Changes to the leveling and rewards system

"You said... when you get one of the super-rare ultimate or mythic skin drops from loot, it doesn't feel great to have to disenchant tons of skins to unlock it. So... Ultimate and Mythic skins will now drop as auto-redeeming permanents (no orange essence required to upgrade them). If you already own the skin, you'll be able to disenchant the permanent for orange essence. DJ Sona permanents, for example, will disenchant for 1625 OE."
The concept of being able to earn a rare skin is amazing, but you have to jump through so many hoops in order to get that one skin. That was my biggest gripe about the whole rewards system. This change will give us more chances at bigger rewards, which was the whole reason for the change in the first place.
"You said... it feels bad to get a low-value champ shard after working hard to earn a champ mastery chest (or after buying a Hextech chest). So... now, when you get a champ shard out of a Hextech chest, it's guaranteed to be for a champion worth at least 4800BE. Note that this change only affects Hextech chests, not honor or leveling capsules."
Again, this is a very efficient change for players. Anyone who has bought Hextech chest should be rewarded with a reasonable reward.
"You said... it doesn't feel great when a box drops a super low-value ward skin. So… when you get a ward skin from a Hextech chest, it'll now come with 150 bonus OE."
Earning a ward skin feels underwhelming, so I'm glad that bonus OE comes with a ward skin drop as well.
"You said... that some of you like buying Hextech chests but don't have much use for champ shards or BE. So… new cosmetic-only "Masterwork" chests (165 RP each or 225 RP with a key) will be made available in the store. Details on these chests can be found with the other loot tables on our player support site."
"You said... now that blue essence can be used to purchase champs directly, Champ Mastery upgrades seem to cost a bit much by comparison. So… the Champion Mastery 6 upgrade cost will be reduced by 800BE to 2450BE. Champion Mastery 7 will be reduced by 950BE to 2950BE."
My favorite way to spend my BE is for mastery level. I didn't have a problem with spending 3k+ on masteries because I have all the champions. Even so, I could see why this change had to happen. Buying a champion is the most important purchase in LoL to fully enjoy the game. BE is not easy to come by if you're only playing a few games a day.
Overall, I'm glad that Riot listened to the community and gave us what we wanted. I will actually be looking forward to opening chests that I have found.


February 21 Quick Gameplay Thoughts

New Keystone
"As previously mentioned we’ve been working on a new keystone to flesh out the Rune system more. It should be on the PBE sometime this week, though will probably be in 8.6, not 8.5. It's intended to offer a combination of sustained damage and target agnosticism (so good at killing tankier enemies) and at present it looks like this:"
Triggers the same way Grasp of the Undying does (first auto attack on an enemy champion after being in combat for 4s).
When triggered gives AD and cause some of your physical/magic damage to be dealt as true damage instead.
Is found in the Precision tree.
Fairly short CD.
"How to ensure it's not too powerful, or only useable when balanced on ranged champions. We're testing a couple of different approaches here, with buff duration extends when really near (~300 units) an enemy champion and buff duration extends on melee auto attack."
The LoL community has been asking for a keystone since season 8 pre-season. The new Keystone will be an interesting change for melees and range AD's. I'm glad that Riot is aware how game-breaking this new keystone can be. With any true damage altering mechanic, range AD will always benefit more than melee, due to the simple fact that it's easier to get off these autos. If Riot is able to works out the kinks, this rune could potentially bring out more bruisers and allow them to succeed in this meta.
Check out the rest of the article here-


To my top laners - Adapt to the meta or suffer like the rest of us

This season, top lane has been a hot topic of discussion. As a non-top laner, feel free to call me out on my bs. But top lane’s unfun nature as of late has made for an interesting discussion. One of the main sticking points is top’s little impact in solo queue. I agree, top lane is not much fun based on the little experience I’ve had playing top this season. And to all my top laners, I feel you. Playing AD carries against massive tanks several season ago was just as bad. Then, Ardent censor came along and AD carries started being relevant again. This just shows that every meta/season has that one role considered to be non-impactful. It won’t be long until bruisers make a rise and top lane starts having more impact again.
Balancing is one of the hardest things to do in any game, especially for a game with a player-base like League of Legends. One of the main problems with balancing is choosing between the competitive scene and your everyday casual players. If only Riot would balance two different versions of the game. Sadly, that would take too many resources and divide the player-base.
Primarily a mid/bot lane player, I’ve seen all my top champions go from bottom-tier to god-tier in one patch and vice versa. That is the cycle of balancing. Since season 7, AD carries have felt relatively weak. While I was playing mid lane, I saw the rise of assassins and the death of them shortly after. Eventually a champion will receive buffs to be meta and will be hit with nerfs all over again. If I pulled up all the champions right now from mid and bot lane that fall under this category, we’d be here for a while. Luckily for me, I had a huge champion pool that allowed me to choose my champion based on the current patch.
LoL has grown its champion pool to an insane amount. With so many champions, do we honestly think that all champions will be equally balanced? Lets be real, we love it when our main champions are OP. Climbing the ladder is easy when your one trick gets buffed. With LoL having such a big champion pool now, I can say that champion diversity has gotten a lot better which can be used to your advantage. With solo queue, counter picking is so important, top lane being more susceptible than others. There are ways to navigate every meta even if you have to sacrifice a few things. All lanes have their meta picks and every player have their niche picks. If you have an unfavorable matchup, DON’T PICK IT.
Overall, I think LoL has a long way to being “balanced” and probably will never be. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that LoL is still a great game, albeit being slightly imbalanced. By understanding that LoL will never be balanced, we can appreciate the game for what it is – a fun game. In the history of the game, certain champions/role have had their reign of OPness. That’s what bans were made for.
Sorry for the long post, but I had to get this off my chest. Feel free to tell me how you guys feel.


Champion Speculation for Upcoming Patch 8.4

Patch 8.4 is bringing some pretty major changes to League of Legends. Between the AP Itemization changes, to significant quality of life changes to some of the older champions, the upcoming patch is likely to totally throw things out of order. Listed below are a few champions that I believe will be strong in the new meta, as well some other champions that I myself am looking forward to playing.
First off is the champion that everyone seems to have on their minds, Ryze. With the new AP itemization changes, Ryze looks to break both solo queue and pro play once more. Thanks to changes to one of his core item, Archangel's Staff, Ryze not only gains a whopping 1400 mana from a completed Archangel's, but also 20% Cooldown Reduction. Because of this, Ryze no longer needs to build a third item (often Morellonomicon in the past) for 20% CDR. This means that with Transcendence, and either Lucidity Boots or Zhonya's / Banshee's, Ryze easily reaches 40% CDR. In addition, as a result of the new item changes giving items mana (such as Luden's), Ryze will now scale even harder into the game due to his mana scalings.
Lux will quite likely be in an excellent spot as well. She benefits greatly from the Luden's Echo changes, and the Archangel's changes aren't too bad either. Luden's allows her to clear casters with relative ease (Minion Demateralizer as backup if needed), and the mana and CDR on it compliment her decently. In regards to Seraph's, this item can quite likely work on a more defensive Lux much better. Thanks to the CDR provided from the item, it's easier to stack, and provides a huge extra shield to a champion that already often has two (a decent amount of Lux players take Barrier).
Mordekaiser will quite likely be in a decent spot as a result of these changes. Even without the "AP MORD 100% HEALTH R 1 SHOT MY SISTER DIVORCED ME AFTER THIS GAME" nonsense currently on the PBE, the changes to several of his core items, as well as the reintroduction of Twin Shadows, will quite likely be enough to launch his winrate high. The buffs to Rylai's and Lyandry's complement Mordekaiser fantastically, providing him deceptive tankiness and outrageous damage. The return of the low cost item Twin Shadows further compliments his build, providing him with Ability Power, Movement Speed, Cooldown Reduction, as well as a strong slowing active. Factoring this in to his overall low cost build, Mordekaiser will come online quickly, and provide damage throughout the game. Spellbound Orb similarly looks attractive as an option for Mordekaiser, but time will tell as to whether it proves effective enough to take.
Fiddlesticks is not what one would expect to see on a speculation list. Yet, here we are. With changes to AP Itemization, as well as an enormous ultimate cooldown buff and several quality of life changes, Fiddlesticks may prove to be an effective AP jungler once more. Even with the changes however, Fiddlesticks has a slower clear than others, at the cost of his safety. Regardless, I look forward to trying him out come 8.4, and I suspect others will do the same.
Doctor Mundo is not what you might expect to do fantastically in an AP meta, especially with the changes to Morellonomicon applying on spellhit as opposed to below 40%. In spite of this change, Mundo will quite likely be a decent tank in the top lane. Due to his kit, he innately does well against magic damage dealers, and can stack Magic Resist items such as Adapting Helm or Spirit Visage with little consequence. In regards to the Morellonomicon changes, this now forces enemy mages to build Morellonomicon fully in addition to their normal build path, which will provide Mundo an opportunity to wreck havoc with his relatively low cost tank items. Although quite possibly a meme, the cheap Twin Shadows could prove niche on Mundo, providing him with the Spooky Ghosts active, movement speed, CDR, and a little bit of ap to work off his w.
Volibear has some pretty decent changes coming with patch 8.4 that may bring him back into usability, even in the top lane. With an increase to his Q movement speed, W refund working on minions, and E displacing champions for bonus damage, Volibear might see some more usage. With Summoner Spellbook, he could see usage in the jungle through a build similar to Skarner, but I believe that top lane will once again be his home. Volibear as a bruiser top innately benefits from Steraks + Sheen Tiamat, and top lane would allow him to better invest in that slightly more expensive build. With the changes to his e displacing champions, and the prior 3 second fear to minions, Volibear can trade quite easily in the top lane. In addition, should Volibear opt to Q the target first (which works in par with Sheen and Tiamat), significant bonus damage on his E is applied, as well as providing the displacement. Innate attack speed through his W, as well as auto resets from his q, may allow him to opt for Iceborn Gauntlet instead, providing an additional slow zone. As an extra cherry on top, his W now applying the 50% cd reduction on minions allows him to cs better prior to tiamat. A feasible build could be Trinity (or IBG) / Steraks / Titanic / Rightous Glory (Or Deadmans) / Spirit Visage / Merc Treads. Honestly, I look super forward to the Volibear changes, and am anxious to try them out for myself.
Although not obvious at first glance, Wit's End users such as Kog'maw or Varus will quite likely prove to be quite as effective in an AP meta as was previously. Wit's End not only innately provides magic resist, but drains it from the target, making users tankier, as well as essentially providing magic pen to AP teammates.
Lastly, roaming AP supports (such as Bard or Rakan) may benefit greatly from the reintroduction to Twin Shadows, with every bit of the item providing beneficial stats. Although I am not looking forward to playing against Bards, it may prove interesting.
Thanks for reading this post. Do you disagree with what I'm saying, or have thoughts of your own? If so, feel free to discuss in the comments. I look forward to potential feedback.
Ah, before I forget, #Valkrin


How to Create the Perfect Champion Pool

If you want to climb the ranked ladder then you need the right champion pool. One tricking generally isn't the best way for a lot of players who don't want to play one champion in fear of getting bored or the champion underperforming in comparison to the meta champions.
This will be a pretty long guide, but it's worth the read.

What makes a good champion pool?
The best champion pool is a consistent but diverse one. First, consider your game experience, you should play 2-3 champs if you're new to the game and 3-5 champs if your more experienced and looking to climb. All champions in your pool should share similar play styles. You shouldn't be playing two champions that do the exact same thing (such as Garen and Darius), but you also need to avoid playing champs who are polar opposites (if you main Volibear but your secondary is Vayne, stop).

Picking champions for you roles.
Before you ask, yes, you do need to know how to play at least 2 roles if you want to climb (even Box Box knows how to jungle). The best champions to have in you pool are ones who can go to multiple lanes, try to have at least one champion you can play is a different lane (Jayce can go mid or top, Sion can top or support, you can play Nunu literally anywhere). Does this mean you shouldn't play lane specific champs? No, just have 1-2 champs you can play in your secondary role.

Have a pocket pick.
Have one champion you're so comfortable with even counter picks can't stop you. Once you get to know a champion inside and out you can out play almost anything. It's just as important to have multiple champions you can play as it is to have one you could fall back on.

Who should YOU play?
Listen, I know it took me a while to get to this point, but I just can't just throw out a few champion names and send you on your way. If you want to know what champions you should put in your pool it's the ones that suit your play style but create different opportunities for you and your team. This guide would be garbage if I made you read all of this and told you to just play tanks because they're strong. I would suggest that you play champions that have some mechanical similarities (Garen and Urgot are good examples as they're good juggernauts with strong executes). I suggest picking one champion for team fighting, splitting and objective taking.

Last but not least, do and do not play by champion win rates.
Now I know what you're thinking: "Hey idiot, why would I not want to play what's disgustingly strong and bath in my enemies tears and freelo?" What I really mean by this is don't go on OP.GG, look at the win rates and pick up a champion just because it has a 54% win ratio, usually the super op champs get hot fixed or nerfed the next patch. Just use win rates to avoid the weak champions and to be on top of winning and losing builds for your champ.

If this guide did or didn't help make sure to share your opinion, you're welcomed to add anything you feel that I missed or ask any questions if you're seeking advice.


PopularSwain - The Noxian Grand General

To all the Swain players still with us, I'm sorry, but your champion is now Vlad. I wish I was kidding, but with Swain's neweset rework, the similarities are uncanny.
Passive: Ravenous Flock
Ravenous: Swain can periodically right-click any nearby immobilized enemy champion to rip out a Soul Fragment, damaging and pulling them toward him.
Flock: Enemy champions leave behind a Soul Fragment when they die. Shadowy ravens scavenge nearby Soul Fragments, healing Swain for a portion of his maximum health. Swain can store several fragments at once.
Swain unleashes several bolts of eldritch power in front of him, each damaging the first enemy struck. Enemies can intercept multiple bolts, but only take full damage from the first. Bolts pierce through units they kill, restoring a portion of Swain's mana.
Swain opens a demonic eye at a target location, damaging and slowing all enemies in the area after a moderate delay.
Vision of Empire deals extra damage to champions caught in the explosion, reveals them, and grants Swain a Soul Fragment for each champion hit.
Swain projects his demonic hand forward, damaging all enemies in its path. The hand returns to Swain and explodes on the first enemy hit, damaging and rooting all enemies caught in the blast.
Swain gains a large amount of health on-cast and drains life from several nearby enemies (prioritizing champions) for an extended duration.
When Demonic Ascension ends, Swain consumes his Soul Fragments to cast Demonflare, a nova of energy that damages the closest enemies around him. Demonflare's damage increases for each Soul Fragment consumed.
After draining enough health, Swain can end Demonic Ascension early to cast Demonflare on-demand.
At first look, the new Swain looks like it will retain its life vamp skills from before, as well as having a hard cc. His passive is what makes me think Swain is going to be very fun to play with. Any junglers with a form of CC will love ganking for Swain because of his innate ability to pull them towards him. If that wasn't enough, Swain also gets back some of his health. All of this in his passive.
Gameplay for the new Swain can be viewed here -