Double Dorans has a new home!

I've shifted my focus back over to game analysis and breakdowns as well as starting a page for champion tips and tricks!

If you wish to show continued support to myself and Double Dorans you can check out the new website over at

or follow me on Twitter @DDMourgus

Thank you for your support and happy summoning!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Breaking the Meta Day 1

Alright, it's been a while since I made any new posts so I think I'm gonna start a little series to keep consistent and that's going to be on Breaking the Meta.
Here's the game plan.
Each day I'm going do a nice in-depth explanation on why x champion can work for y role. To start things off, we gonna go with something that many people will scoff at the mentioning of.

Support Malzahar.

Why does this work? The thing with support Malzahar is that he can offer his team a lot of damage without needing a lot of gold. Sure, he has mana issues early on unless he can maintain his Visions on creeps but I don't think that's going to be enough to stop the Prophet of the Void from being a great support.

Now, Malzahar is pretty unreliable as a mid-laner due to lacking mobility and essentially rooting himself when he uses his ultimate.
That being said, his Null Zone has always been an AMAZING ability. Large area covered, great percentage damage, and it has really nice base damage and pretty decent scaling.
My theory for support Malzahar is that your job is the final line of defence for the carry. With how many people have high mobility and great gapclosers, it can be pretty difficult for a carry to kite effectively. With support Malzahar, you can suppress whatever is going for your carry with your ultimate while still providing pretty decent AoE support damage for your team.

With the rising popularity of incredibly beefy frontliners, Malzahar's percent damage would make a great addition to a team especially if you have teammates that can assist you in locking down targets.
If that Shyvana diving your carry doesn't have a lot of magic resistance, she's going to be losing upwards towards 36%(40% base damage assuming no resistance) of her maximum health if you can get her to stick around in your Null Zone for a full 5 seconds.
Now, you've already got her there for half the time thanks to your ultimate but what if you were supporting a Vayne? Even more percentage damage and she can also kite exceptionally well to begin with so it's even easier to keep her safe.
It would also be good to add that while it's rarely the best support item, the Spellthief's Edge for a starting item is perfect for Malzahar, especially once you get it fully upgraded as the slow effect from Frost Queen's Claim can keep people in your Null Zone for a long period of time.

There's one more thing to consider about support Malzahar that I haven't touched on yet.
The damage from his Voidlings. These little guys are not to be underestimated. As long as you can get some form of mana regeneration, you can dish out some serious damage with the Voidlings. Hell, I'd even consider getting a Zeke's Herald since Voidlings get 100% of Malzahar's bonus damage.

There's plenty of ways you can maximize Malzahar's damage when he's not farming so I think that maybe, just maybe, support Malzahar might be just crazy enough to work.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Champion Analysis: Yasuo

Okay, now that it's been a full patch since Yasuo was released, I thought I'd go in-depth with him and talk about what works well and what doesn't.
This isn't about playstyle or anything relating to how effectively he is used in-game, this is straight by the numbers.

Alright, here's the thing. Yasuo is a melee carry which generally means no-go. Melee carries are rarely viable and if they are, they're generally overpowered. I would say that in his current state, Yasuo is one of the most broken champions in the game for a couple of reasons.

Actually, there's only one reason.
Way of the Wanderer is completely and utterly broken. Double the crit chance at the loss of 10% of the damage he would deal with crits. In other words, with Infinity Edge and Statikk Shiv, you have 90% crit chance. Without IE bonus damage, if you would normally crit for 400 damage you instead deal 360. Versus what would've been 200 damage without a crit. Honestly, if his passive was just this, I'd be okay. Most melee carries have some ridiculously high damage so it's not uncommon to see something like this, especially when Master Yi just straight increases his raw damage by a large percentage and can deal bonus true damage.
My problem is not with the critical strike chance or the damage it deals.

My primary issue with Yasuo is the other half of his passive, Flow.
His flow bar starts at 60 and scales up to 690 at level 18. When this bar is full and Yasuo takes damage from a champion or jungle creep, he gains the 60-690 Flow as a shield for a few seconds. With patch 4.1 Yasuo's ultimate, Last Breath, will now fill his flow bar on activation.
Do you know what else we have for melee carry defensive buffs? Master Yi's Meditate(has to stand still), Fiora's Riposte(only affects basic attacks and modified basic attacks) and her ultimate makes her temporary untargetable, and then we have Tryndamere's heals and ultimate. Most of these have a hard counter. You cast spells on Fiora and group loosely when she ults. Master Yi, use any form of disruption or hard CC/silence and he's screwed. Healing reduction on Tryndamere and his ultimate is more or less the only thing on this list without a really hard counter.
Yasuo gets his shield just by moving around. Flashing, dashing, grabbing Thresh's lantern, anything. The only champion passive that can match Yasuo's shield is Mordekaiser and he has no crowd control and no mobility. Yasuo has both. Malphite would need 6,900 health to match Yasuo's shield and Malphite's shield can't be charged in combat in any way.

Now, already in the EU LCS we've seen Yasuo receive a large number of bans. This wasn't on patch 4.1 where Yasuo gets *buffed*.

If you burn through your shield in a fight and *then* ult someone, you'll receive a boost to your effective health roughly equal to 1,380.
This is genuinely absurd for a champion that can easily his 800+ DPS with only 2 items and boots.

Am I really supposed to believe that it's balanced by it's low duration and medium-high recharge speed outside of his ultimate?

Sad thing is, Yasuo would probably be considered underpowered without his shield.
The primary issue with melee carries is that they have to sacrifice most forms of defence to go for pure damage. On top of having an incredibly good defensive bonus, it's also not always a visible defensive buff.

This passive not only gives Yasuo a large amount of effective health, it also makes it incredibly difficult to burst him down(ignoring the wall that blocks more damaging abilities than anything else minus Poppy or Kayle's ultimate).
Honestly, his wall is the only defensive ability he should be given. It rewards intelligent play and reaction time very, very well while still offers counterplay via melee attacks and non-projectile abilities.
The only counterplay to his passive was to just poke him before starting a fight but with the changes to his ultimate, the only reliable way to counter it is to straight up attack him once and then kite like hell(if you can).

If they can do something to fix the strength of his passive I think he'll be in a great place but until that time I'm pretty sure I'll be banning him more often than not.

Monday, 13 January 2014

League of Draven

Alright, while I generally try to avoid calling a champion "overpowered" or thinking of them as too strong, I am calling it right now that within the next few months, Draven is going to be receiving some serious nerfs.

Why do I believe that? It's quite simple, really. It's been fairly consistent for Riot to nerf champions instead of buffing the champions that counter the flavour of the month. This has been very obvious as far as marksmen go. If one gets out of line, it gets put to the back. The next marksman to get to the front of the line will generally be sent back as well.
Honestly, it feels like it defeats the purpose of having them on the team when a lot of current assassins perform their job just as well and in a shorter span of time.
The only time I would consider a marksman to be better than an assassin or any other damage dealer is when they're dealing with bruisers.

To defeat bruisers, you need sustained damage, you can't so easily burst them down. What does this have to do with Draven?

Draven has what is potentially the strongest movement speed based active ability in the game due to the fact that he can maintain it by catching axes. Movement speed is very, very important when dealing with bruisers so you can kite them. These bruisers also typically buy a Randuin's Omen is it drastically decreases the damage of marksmen that deal consistent damage via attack speed. Fortunately for Draven, he doesn't generally benefit too much from attack speed, he's much better off with making each axe hit for as much as possible versus getting enough attack speed to attack between axes(which shouldn't be happening anyway if you have 2 axes spinning).

Normally, this wouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, it is due to Draven's passive. With Pre-Season 4 matches taking longer to end, this means that people generally get more gold and look to scaling to end games. Draven has *amazing* scaling. When he gets a Bloodthirster(which is only matched by Infinity Edge for how important it is for him) he will receive a total of 185 attack damage from it as long as he has a Spinning Axe available.
If Draven gets full build(read as 'when Draven gets full build), it won't be uncommon for each axe to hit for 1,500 damage.
The only "downside" to this is that you have to delay the game long enough for him to peak. Mind you, if you pair him with a Leona, Annie, or Thresh, it's not difficult to get early kills.

While I would like to see Draven's counters get some minor buffs. Champions like Nami for instance that can punish Draven pretty hard for catching axes out of position, or Caitlyn who can easily put a trap where his axe will land or fire off a Piltover Peacemaker to punish him for it.

That being said, if anything of Draven's gets nerfed, the nerfs should be directed at one of two things.
Either his Blood Rush or League of Draven, his passive.

For his Blood Rush, I would give it the same effect that Cassiopeia's Twin Fangs has. If he catches an axe, the cooldown is reduced to x amount(2 seconds would be good as it gives him 1.5 seconds without his movement speed buff and you can't activate it right before catching an axe to double up on the boost).

For his passive, either reduce the base gold he gets or reduce the value of each stack to 1.5 or 1. The reasoning for that is because Draven essentially gets 2 stacks(minimum) per last hit which is an additional 4 gold per last hit which doesn't really sound like much but early on, it's very easy for Draven to push a wave and get multiple stacks from a single creep.

All in all, Draven is an incredibly fun champion that is also incredibly rewarding to play. Everything about him is completely over the top, including his power and scaling.
It's entirely possible that the biggest ego in town may finally get what's coming to him.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Champion walks into a bar...

Today I wanted to discuss one of the greatest sports, competition, and strategy.

There are very few strategies in competitive sports and games that don't have a counter. Usually these things become popular for a short period of time as people exploit their strengths but then lose popularity after things change or people find a way to counter it.

Naturally, counterpicks and counterplays are some of the biggest aspects in League of Legends and with the recent changes that have brought sustained damage bruisers back into popularity, that also means that we're going to be seeing some of their counters becoming popular again.

Let's assume for just a moment that you're playing Dr. Mundo. Would you rather play against an Elise or Jayce top-lane. Most people would prefer Jayce because in his current state, he isn't considered to be exceptionally powerful. That's not to say he isn't strong, he's just not perceived that way.
Now what if the Elise had Liandy's Torment? Jayce for sure, right? Well, Jayce just bought Blade of the Ruined King which, when combined with his cannon form's W, allows for a large number of applications of it which leads to more overall damage versus Dr. Mundo.

Basically, if things keep going the way they are, we're going to be seeing a lot more percent based damage dealers popping up. Kog'maw, Vayne, Elise, Brand, etc. Especially champions that have ways of hindering enemy movement because despite their durability and damage potential, they can still be hindered fairly easily(depending on the champion). For example, it doesn't matter how much Dr. Mundo's Burning Agony reduces crowd control, he's still going to be slowed by Kog'maw's ooze for a good long time.

With the potential for percent damage dealers to show up in competitive play again that means one other champion has the potential to appear and this one champion genuinely scares me.
Poppy has an incredible kit that makes her extremely durable and capable of dishing out some serious damage. Even early on in the game, she is incredibly durable thanks to her passive. Even later in the game, Poppy shrugs off critical hits like a Cho'gath shrugs off creeps.

While in her currently state, she's not exceptionally competitive, there's still the possibility of her becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Now, that being said, Poppy has the same issue that any other bruiser has. Sustained damage is annoying to deal with. As long as we have champions like Mundo and Shyvana that are capable of idly walking to the backline to start wailing at them, we're going to need safer carry picks. Lucian is a prime example of this. Tristana may see competitive play again due to her synergy with attack speed, and while there's still some issues with his current state, Varus could be seeing more competitive play again very soon.

Rumble may be seen more again due to the nature of his kit and it's synergy with Liandry's Torment and there's incredible potential for Trundle to get to trolling.

What I suggest to anyone who is reading this is when you load up into the champion selection screen, take a look at the current roster of 111 champions that are available(after bans) and just consider the possibilities.
If the enemy picks x, can I counter them with y? Will I be able to contribute after the laning phase with y or would I be better off with z?
When you're picking and there's still enemies yet to pick, consider what their potential selections could do to affect you.
Just because you countered your opponent in the laning phase doesn't mean you can counter their team. This isn't  a 1v1 tournament, that left with the Snowdown. League of Legends is a team sport whether you want it to be or don't want it to be, that's what it is.
Every team, player, strategy, champion, ability, etc. can decide the outcome of a game.
While I may have been discussing bruisers, that's because top-lane has almost always been home to bruisers. The only thing that has changed is it's picks.

If you do pick Kog'maw to deal with that late-game Dr. Mundo how are you going to deal with their bot-lane? If their bot-lane is Draven and Annie, Kog'maw isn't exactly the best pick for that. If you're taking Brand mid because their jungler and top-laner are extremely durable, how are you dealing with that Yasuo? He can easily dodge half your combo since they're skillshots but that doesn't mean you can't beat him either.

In the end, countering opponents isn't just about picks and bans, it's about every move, every ability, every click.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

[BONUS] Liandry's Torment

I didn't really want to just have another rant today after two yesterday so I'm going to talk a bit about Liandry's Torment and why it's the worst possible upgrade that could have been used for Haunting Guise.

First of all, Haunting Guise is one of my favourite items. It's the best item you can get as an early-game aggressive mage. The problem with the item was that it fell off pretty damn hard once people started getting a good amount of magic resistance.
So, now when you upgrade Haunting Guise to Liandry's Torment you get a nice bonus to stats and a shiny new passive. Unfortunately, there's no increase to the magic penetration, only ability power and health.
When you damage a target with magic damage, the passive deals 2% of the target's current health as magic damage over 3 seconds and doubles the damage if the enemy is slowed or snared.
Not bad, right? Overall pretty nice.
It's extremely powerful in the right situations and I'm going to give you the tools to maximize it.

Quite often I will see people build Liandry's Torment on bursty champions that would be better off with some raw ability power, rather than this passive.
I feel like I die a little on the inside when I see a Nidalee or Lux buy this item.
If you want to maximize this item's usage, you need to have it up on the enemy as much as humanly possible and Nidalee, Lux, etc. who are more about raw poke damage don't really need it.

Instead of giving you bad examples of the item's usage, I'll give you a few good ones.
The best possible champion to have this item is a Season 2 favourite that is still recognized as the signature champion of Alliance's Froggen.

Massive AoE magic damage that slows enemies so you get the full 4%/3sec applied to as many people as possible for as long as possible.
Next best champion?

Drop that ultimate and hit them with an upgraded Death Laser and watch them burn. If your Gravity Field isn't enough to slow them for the full effect, get a Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

I see so many people run Liandry's on Brand that he gets an honourable mention due to it's synergy with his passive. You'll need a Rylai's Crystal Scepter to get it's full potential but, hey, that's not an issue.

In the end, Liandry's is a great item but it's not because of it being an upgrade for Haunting Guise.
So, if you're looking to harass enemies a little easier as Nidalee or Lux, get a Void Staff long before you get Liandry's Torment. If you want the Haunting Guise, go right ahead, I would just recommend selling it later in the game rather than upgrading it.

However, if you're playing a champion that can consistently slow enemies and keep applying Liandry's Torment, go nuts.
Liandry's is surprisingly good on Dr. Mundo and Amumu(especially if you can get a Rylai's Crystal Scepter or get Blessing of the Lizard Elder).

TL;DR when buying Liandry's Torment.
Area of effect damage per second is good.
Long range poke/line nukes bad.
AoE DPS good
Poke/nukes bad.

[RANT] Communication

Rant hat trick! Yay!

So, my biggest issue with solo queue always has been and always will be communication.

Let's assume that's you're going for a League qualifier to get yourself up to the next shiny badge. You're current score is 2 wins, 2 losses. You're team is mostly decided except for you and one other guy. Both of you want the same role but the only other role open is one you're comfortable with just not *amazing* with and, although you don't know it, the only other role is open is one that the other guy doesn't play at all because they're nowhere near comfortable enough with the mechanics of that role.

What do you do?
We'll assume you have pick order over them for this.

If nothing was said in chat and you lock in the role you wanted and the other guy gets stuck playing his absolute worst role which we'll assume is top-lane for this. He picks Nasus or something that's good at being passive and defensive early on. Well, Riven who is now 2 levels above him just dove him with her ultimate and he died a third time. Everyone else does meh but no one really comes out ahead except Riven for either team.
What could've been done to prevent that? Sure, Nasus could've played further back early on but we'll say the second death was to a jungle gank so he had more to worry about. He isn't comfortable enough with the mechanics of top-lane to know when to farm and when to sit at tower or how easily it can snowball so are you just gonna flame and blame him all game? What good does that do? They already know they didn't do well, you telling them that isn't going to help.

What could've been done to prevent that is communicating with them. Ask them if they're comfortable with the other role that you know you can play at least okay.
Now, some people will think that they're just gonna say they're bad at the only open role because they want their first pick for role. That'll happen, yes, but most of the time you would be surprised how cooperative people can be when given the chance to be.

Now let's try that again. You're in-game as Mundo against Riven. Not your greatest matchup early on but you can sit back and chuck cleavers at the creeps for a little while. The other guy is doing okay in his role, you may have been able to do better, maybe not. Everything in the game is nice and even for about 50 minutes until the enemy team manage to pull off a really good fight and win the game.
Is it anyone's fault? Yea, someone probably made a mistake but it's also entirely possible that losing would've happened either way.

Not everything has a happy ending, some times you just have to take what's dealt to you and do your best. This doesn't mean you could've done better if you were replacing them or you could've done better than them doing whatever. You're not trying to be better than them, you're trying be better than yourself.

For the longest time, I never tried exceptionally hard in ranked. I just kinda played whatever champion I felt like at the time and didn't really care if I won or lost. I ended up mid silver because of that and clamped my League Points harder than you'd think a Silver player possibly could.
At the end of Season 3, I decided to try winning. I played my best champions or whoever I could get my hands on that was ridiculously strong at the time if I knew how to play them and I carried myself out of Silver II, into Silver I, and then got myself to Gold V after one failed promotion series before grinding up to promos again and winning them. This was all with a huge LP clamp until the lost promo when my LP gains went from 5-8 to 15-19.
It's now Pre-Season 4 and I've managed to pull two divisions in two days, getting from Gold V to Gold III with minimal effort by playing champions I'm comfortable with and communicating with my team. Not everyone is cooperative, it's true, but not everyone refuses to cooperate. Some people want to win just as badly as you do and they're going to give it their all the same way you should.
Just be open with your team. My personal preference is to let them know what my top two choices are for role and let them know which role I play the worst(prefer mid/adc, can't jungle too well).
If you end up getting the role you're not great with, tough luck, maybe next time. That shouldn't stop you from giving it your all.

I swear I'm not Canadian.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

[BONUS RANT] Carrying

I ended up missing a blog post yesterday so it's time for a bonus rant!

Recently, I've decided to really give it my all in ranked. Currently, if I play normal games, I'm consistently matched with high platinum and low diamond ranking players. That'd be normal if they were playing with friends of lower rankings or I was playing with higher ranking friends but that isn't the case and due to it's consistency, I've started to really believe I can do better.

I started focusing on my main roles(mid and AD carry) and just trying to play them as much as possible. Most of the time, people are fairly accepting of the fact that those are my best roles and are fairly cooperative. At least in champion select.

This isn't me complaining about how I can't carry trolls and feeders or how I blame my teammates all day, every day. This is me trying to send a message to all those players that fall behind. This is a plea to those who have a really fed/farmed ally that is almost unstoppable.

My singular request being made is that when one of your allies is really ahead, let yourself be carried.

Yes, let yourself be carried. If they say 'group up', try to group up. If they say 'push, don't chase', maybe you should try pushing instead of chasing down that 100 health Singed that has 50 more movement speed than you. Chances are, if they've managed to make it that far ahead, they're going to have *some* ideas about handling the game.
If 4 members of the enemy team are dead and an enemy Shaco is trying to backdoor a tower that's already really low, don't chase him, try to get objectives.
If the enemies have a lot of divers and your backline is really, really fed, maybe you should try protecting them instead of diving in return.
If you're jungling and the entirety of your team is respawning but the enemy is taking Baron, go for the steal since there's not much else you can lose.

At the end of the day, you're not the only person trying to carry yourself to pro status so don't think you're the only one capable of doing it. Some times the best way to win a game is for an ally to do it for you.

Especially if you're a Riven that would rather dive onto an enemy support than protect your 18/4 Draven.

I swear I'm not bitter.

[RANT] Doran's Shield

Alright, here's the deal.
I love what they've done with supports this season although I'm kinda iffy on the jungle changes while mid-lane and AD carry haven't changed drastically, just slight shifts.
What I have problems with is top-lane.
Ever since Doran's Shield was reduced in gold with the June 13th 2013 patch(the release of Aatrox) farming/splitpushing top-laners with weaker early games have received a massive buff. None more so than Nasus due to his innate lifesteal being able to keep him in lane and farming much longer than he should.
Nowadays, the only hard counters to most sustain based top-laners is either an AP top like Rumble or Vladimir or going with an AD caster like Pantheon or Renekton who don't focus on auto-attacks.
This wouldn't really bother me so much if the champions that buy Doran's Shield weren't complete monsters late-game. If a game goes longer than 10 minutes without Nasus dying or losing his tower, you're pretty much screwed. If Volibear receives the same treatment, you're going to have an AoE monster of a frontline coming your way. Shyvana just doesn't care about damage by the time she gets her ultimate.

Truth be told, none of this would really bother me if it weren't for the fact that this was only really possibly in Season 3(from a solo-queue perspective) since Pre-Season 4 patch hit, we've been having consistently longer games which only make these farming late-game top-laners even stronger.
Although Nasus and Shyvana are already really strong and Olaf is situationally powerful, I honestly don't believe any of these champions need a serious nerf.
All I ask for is to remove one of two things from Doran's Shield. Either remove it's damage block so more sustained poke champions can be viable top-lane again(think Nidalee, Gangplank, etc.) or remove it's health regen so you're not blocking all that damage to just heal most of it up by standing behind your minions.

The same applies to mid-laners.
As you may have seen in my first blog post, I love the idea of an AD carry mid and it's awesome. Until an enemy buys Doran's Shield and then it's a massive pain in the arse.

Now, if you're thinking 'Well, that's been since June of last year, why is it such a big a deal now?'
The answer is because of the mastery changes. For the defence tree, it's easier to block a large amount of damage from enemies without follow too far down the tree and you'll get some nice health thrown in as well for a simple 9 points. Now, if you want to go even further down the tree, we start getting masteries that increases your health regeneration and general sustain while below a certain health threshold and increased armour and magic resistance while there are multiple champions nearby.

I love Doran's Shield, it's a great item, but I think it's just too much of a good thing... I also want to be able to play Nidalee top again and deal more than 10 damage to someone with auto-attacks.
I swear I'm not bitter.

Monday, 6 January 2014

BONUS: Passive

Just for the fun of it, I thought I'd do up a little tier list of what I think some of the best passives in the game are and why I believe they're so powerful.
We're going to divide it into 3 categories which will be Offence, Defence, Utility, and Core(which will be passives that define the champion).

We'll things off with...


Placing as what I believe to be the third best offensive passive in the game is...

Darius with Hemorrhage.
There are two parts to this passive. First part is, of course, the bleed. Decent base damage, scales with 30% of Darius' bonus AD and stacks up to 5 times. The second part is a 5% movement speed buff for each enemy champion affect by the bleed. This is actually pretty huge. With his base speed of 340, if you have 3 enemy champions with a bleed in a team fight, you're gaining 51 bonus movement speed.

The second place winner for best offensive passive in the game is...

Kha'Zix with Unseen Threat.
This passive is a big part of Kha'Zix's early game damage. Bonus magic damage and slow on his next attack and he gets a charge of it when he leaves enemy vision. Juking in and out of brushes and using your ultimate effectively can drastically increase the total damage output of Kha'Zix

The first place winner for my opinion on best offensive passive in the game is...

Brand with Blaze.
Not only is his kit designed to combo with his passive but it is ridiculously powerful as well. 8% of a champions maximum health as damage over 4 seconds. While it is reduced my magic resistance, all it takes is a few applications of Blaze early game and your opponent is back in their base.

Moving from offensive passives, let's take a look at my top three for...


Starting with third place we have...

Xerath with Ascended Form.
With Xerath's ranges, there's not much he isn't safe from when positioned correctly. Unfortunately, a lot of attack damage bruisers can dive onto Xerath quite easily. That's where Ascended Form comes in. 15% of Xerath's ability power is added as armour. Since you're usually building Xerath pretty damn aggressive, this adds up fast.

In second place we have...

Irelia with Ionian Fervor.
While one of our favourite Ionians has been beat down with the nerf hammer on numerous occasions, that doesn't stop Ionian Fervor from making it to this list with good reason. While 10% crowd control reduction isn't much, being by 2 people ups the power to 25% reduction and if you're fighting 3 or more, you're gonna be loving the 40% reduction.

While Irelia's Ionian Fervor is amazing, there is one passive that tops all others for defence.

Poppy with Valiant Fighter.
This is an absolute nightmare of a passive. If any damage that Poppy takes exceeds 10% of her current health, it's reduced by 50%. If you deal 100 damage to a 900 health Poppy, you're now dealing 50 damage to the 900 health Poppy. Having this is rank one is pretty much a no brainer.

Anyway, as great as Valiant Fighter is, damage and survivability aren't the only things champions can have for passives. Now we move onto...


Ranking in at number three is...

Jinx with Get Excited!
I was honestly tempted to put this in with the offensive abilities but I figured it would fit in better right here. If Jinx receives a kill on a champion or tower or they died within 3 seconds of being damage by Jinx, she'll gain 175% bonus movement speed that quickly decays over 4 seconds. Repositioning, chasing, running away, you name it, this passive is perfect for such a bursty all-in marksman.

Now let's Get Excited for the number two placement.

Fizz with Nimble Fighter.
The two glorious parts of this passive are as follows. Number one, Fizz takes reduced damage from enemy auto-attacks. If you see an enemy marksman that's going mid, I'd even suggest getting a Doran's shield to stack that damage reduction. Part two allows Fizz to ignore unit collision. That alone is pretty nice but in combination with his damage reduction makes this a great passive for a melee assassin.

For our final Utility passive we have one of the best support passives in the game.

Sona with Power Chord.
After casting 3 spells, Sona will charge her next auto-attack to deal bonus damage and apply a specific effect depending on what the last spell was she cast. Hymn of Valor doubles the bonus damage, Aria of Perseverance reduces her target's damage output, and Song of Celerity slows opponents. Can't get much more utility than a passive like that which is why I believe that Power Chord is the best utility passive in the game.

Now that we've gone over all the general types of passives, we're gonna take a look at passives that define the champion they belong to. They may not always be the most powerful passives but the list toppers are great.


First passive that defines the champion it belongs to.

Morderkaiser with Iron Man.
Not only is this an awesome Black Sabbath song, but Iron Man can make Mordekaiser incredibly durable in prolonged fights. Unfortunately, not so useful when he's burst down quickly.

The second passive that truly defines it's owner's playstyle is...

Evelynn with Shadow Walk.
If this doesn't define Evelynn then I don't know what does. After a short period of time, Evelynn stealths and begins regenerating mana. Evelynn can only be detected by abilities and items that give true sight or if she gets too close to an enemy champion.

Now, there's one more passive that defines it's owner even more than Evelynn. He's a new champion but that doesn't stop his passive from being incredible.

Yasuo with Way of the Wanderer.
This passive reduces the damage of Yasuo's critical strikes but doubles his chances of getting one. All you need to buy is 50% critical strike chance and let this passive do the rest. That doesn't seem like much to define a champion though, does it? That's why Yasuo also gets a shield that charges when he moves. Any type of movement or displacement counts to charging it and, as long as he keeps moving, Yasuo can be deceptively tanky.

Well, that's it for my short just-for-fun tier list of champion passives. All I ask is that you keep in mind that this is entirely my personal opinion and I am not saying these are the absolute best passives as there are many others that are quite strong in the right situations.
Be sure to tell me what you think in a comment and happy summoning.

League of Numbers

You would think that someone who has played a game for coming close to 6 years would've figured out how to get better, wouldn't you?
I guess I can't say I haven't gotten better as I've upped a division every season so far.
That being said, I'm going to be talking about the primary skill that has helped me climb the ladder over the years and it's that main reason the game ticks.

If you've never seen this show, I highly recommend that you watch it(if you like criminal dramas).

Numbers are everything in League of Legends. Stat values, damage calculations, even skillshot missile speed. So why do I say that understanding the numbers can make you a better player? Let me tell you this.

Assume your opponent has 250 health and 50 armour and magic resistance and you're going to be able to get one ability and attack in before they can turn around and kill you. Your ability deals 200 damage and your auto attack with deal 90 damage. Do you get the kill? You're about to deal 290 damage to someone with 250 health, aren't you? They take 174 damage since the 50 mark for MR and Armour reduces damage by a third. You died.
Now, let's factor armour penetration and magic penetration into this. We'll say you have 10 of each. Do you get the kill? Nope, still dead.

See, if you only look at your damage, you're not going to get anyway. You need to do the quick calculations for the end results.

Sometimes it's to figure out whether or not your Syndra or LeBlanc has enough damage to kill someone in a combo, sometimes it's figuring out whether or not a top-laner can turn on a 1v2.
If you're terrible at math, fear not, you're not the only one. It takes me a long, long time to figure out most equations but you can make a habit out of anything. For instance, it took a little bit of practice but I eventually memorized the damage reduction for certain defense stat marks. 25, 50, 75, 100. Damage reduced is 20%, 33%, 43%, and 50%.

Typically once people get past the 100 resistance mark, you have to work harder on kiting and focus fire but just in case you want to figure out how much damage people would take from things, you use 100/(100+resistance) and the results will be what % of the damage dealt they will receive, not the damage they'll mitigate.

If you're looking for a good way to practice this, I'd recommend playing a champion Annie or LeBlanc or someone that has assassinations as their primary role. I wouldn't recommend champions like Fizz or Talon or other champions that can be punished extremely hard if they mess up.

Whether your preference is AD or AP, carry, tank, or support, numbers are what drive the game so it is advised to learn as much about them as you can. Even if you aren't great with math, learning a few of the basics for game calculations can be the difference between giving or getting first blood.

Sunday, 5 January 2014


There comes a point in one's life when they must make a choice. Do we play the typical metagame team? Do we go full ham with a dive comp? We could also enrage them with a poke comp. What would I choose?

In other games, cheese strategies are usually pretty obvious. Early Roshan kills with Ursa in Dota 2, Starcraft Protoss hallucinate(all glory to HuK), etc.
That being said, in League of Legends we have a larger number of options to cheese with and while having more options, most of what I'll be highlighting will be very niche strategies so just make sure to take it with a grain of salt.

To give you an idea about what I'm talking about when it comes to cheese strategies, let's say the enemy team has an early game AD top-laner and an AD jungler. Not uncommon. For top lane, some people would just focus on hard counters or getting a safe or contested pick. Personally, I'd rather Cheez-It and pick Rammus.
Alright, we've got a little slice of cheese here but what's the big deal?
Well, assuming that you'll be mostly solo or ganked by the jungler, it's safe to assume armour is a good way to go. For a different flavour of cheese, let's cheese the runes and masteries as well.
A flat armour rune page will grant you 40 armour and grants Rammus 10 bonus AD. Flat armour rune page and straight defensive masteries will get you to 88 or so armour at level 1. Let's get some sharp cheddar in there as well with Rammus' Defensive Curl and a cloth armour start.
With this setup, you can have 130 armour at level 1 which grants you a bonus 32.45 AD(which totals at 86 level 1).
Now, assuming you're against a team that is 90% AD(with just the support in this example being AP), why wouldn't you pick Rammus? Thornmail and Sunfire Cape and then build AP from there with a Rylai's Crystal Scepter and a Zhonya's Hourglass.

Now, in most situations, this would be considered trolling. I mean who is going to have a flat armour rune page? I know I certainly don't.*I may be lying here. not my fault it's funny to watch people auto-attack me for like 10 damage at level 1*
The gouda news is that Rammus isn't the only one that can cheese. It just makes it easier that he already looks like a wheel.

Rush Athene's Unholy Grail on Zilean and get Tear of the Goddess and a Morellonomicon. 40% CDR and enough mana to spam your Rewind on cooldown. After using your ultimate, spam your Rewind and you'll have your ultimate again in about 38 seconds(assuming Rewind is max rank). Not bad for a 3 minute cooldown. Not the kind of hardcore cheese we're going for with Rammus but I'd still call that cheese.

Ever since Galio was released, he's been one of my favourite champions. I don't play him often but when I do, I cheese.
Flat AP rune page with a good offensive AP mastery page and a Doran's Ring will give Galio 77 AP at level 1 which gives him a bonus 46 damage on his Resolute Smite, totalling at 126 damage at rank one with a 24% slow and massive AoE.

End of the day, there are a large number of options that people don't usually look at because they're inefficient or not quite up to par with other things in a general game. That doesn't mean cheesing like Kraft is always bad! Most cheese builds are very niche to begin with so just be sure to keep that in mind.

TL;DR Grab yourself a salt cracker, cheese it up, and go ham, you'll make yourself a nice snack.


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Striking a Balance

For a long time we have shown (some) affection towards supports and what they do. In the Pre-Season 4 patch, we saw a large variety of changes aimed at support scaling and their gold income as well as big changes to how warding works in the game.
In addition to these changes, we also see changes and new additions to the masteries which a large number of champions absolutely adore.

Right now we've got a thing going on for very tanky top-laners that focus on sustained damage rather than burst with Shyvana being a prime example of this. That's not saying that we don't like burstier top-laners, we're just really fond of the sustained damage and, let's face it, as long as we like tanky top-laners, we're gonna have some variety there.

Jungle changes were designed to open up the jungle to more carry/damage oriented junglers but unfortunately I think it pushed us even further away from them. We can still have early damage dealers for junglers but in most cases you'll see them shift into a beefier tanking role eventually.
Then there's the glorious middle lane. What is, in my opinion, the most terrifying lane in the game. Make one mistake and that's going to follow you around for a good long time. Pull ahead and you're going to be painting a nice big bullseye right on your back. For the most part, mid hasn't changed all too much. We're seeing a few more AP champions become more popular but I think we've reached a fair balance between AD and AP mid-laners.

Finally, we go back to the beginning and take a look at bottom lane.
AD Carries(or Marksmen if you prefer) are in a tough spot. They're being pushed further and further out of the meta due to the popularity of assassins, divers, and bursters. This is also due to the fact that games became a lot shorter in Season 3 since first blood could easily decide a game at top level play and while Season 4 has less snowballing, the increased gold generation for supports means more items and more power for supports who were already in control of the lane early on in most cases.
Now the thing is that most of the marksmen that are still popular aren't traditional carries. They peak at mid-game rather than late-game. Lucian, Ezreal, and Corki are examples of a caster style of marksmen while Jinx and Draven are more traditional carries that can still perform exceptionally well early on.
With the exception of Jinx, all of these champions have at least one active ability that can help them become more mobile thus can be more difficult to catch.

In Season 4 we may not see the bot lane that evolved from the late Season 1/early Season 2 European metagame which was the marksman/support we've come to understand as standard.
What I think has a high chance of becoming standard is swapping the positions of the marksman and the mid-laner.
Draven, Ezreal, and Corki occasionally see mid play already although it's more of a niche pick. Mind you, Annie support was considered a niche/troll pick for a long time as well.

The pros to having Draven, Lucian, Ezreal, or Corki mid is that they all have plenty of poke and harassing abilities already as well as a decent amount of burst(especially Corki and Lucian). They're all fairly safe laners and Draven can fairly easily avoid ganks between the usage of his Blood Rush and Stand Aside and Corki and Ezreal have no issues with just escaping.

Unfortunately the cons to this setup can be pretty punishing.
The players have to be exceptionally careful of being all-in'd as they don't have as much burst damage as a mage or assassin to turn on fights all the time. If they fall behind, it's going to be incredibly difficult for them to get back into the fight. Finally, they're extremely position reliant(especially Draven and Ezreal) so there are times when you could drastically lose a trade by moving into what you may think is a good position.
That being said, the only real difference between a tradition assassin/burst mid laner and the marksmen mid is the size of the burst. Pretty much all of the cons also apply to traditional mid-laners so there's that.

Next, with the marksman going mid, that means we have a space to fill bottom lane.
How would you feel about laning against Leona and Annie as a Marksman? What about Galio and Cassiopeia? Would Fiddlesticks and Talon be more your cup of tea?
The best thing about having this kind of lane setup is that every move you make causes a reaction in the enemy. Every time you see Galio walk into that bush, you know that if he taunts you, it's a free stun for Cassiopeia. The moment that ray of sunlight hits you, you know a bear is about to as well. Where Talon goes, a murder follows.
Even if you both leave lane, the enemy will be terrified to get close enough to that bush to ward. The jungler won't be able to help them, they'll just die as well.

That being said, champions that typically buy magic-resistance or have some forms of magic damage mitigation are exceptionally good picks against this. While he's a niche pick, Galio support is strong against the lanes of duo mages(such as Leona and Annie) as well as Sivir for a carry. All in all, the same way you counter any other AP heavy setup.

The rest of the team composition is pretty straightforward. Try to find a balance between AD and AP for your top and jungler. As far as picks go, it doesn't really stray far from anything else.

Here I'll give you some team compositions that have potential to be interesting at the least and I hope you'll give some thought to and try out!

Early game teamfight comp: Renekton top.
Zac jungle.
Corki or Sivir mid.
Annie/Leona bot.

Wombo Combo: Wukong/Riven top.
Wukong/Lee Sin jungle.
Ezreal or Draven mid.
Galio/Cassiopeia bot or Orianna/Annie.

Split Push comp: Renekton, Nasus, or Rumble top(someone who can fight well when outnumbered).
A jungler like Lee Sin or Udyr that can be a splitpusher later and good ganker early.
Sivir mid.
Fiddlesticks/Talon or Galio/Cassiopeia

Please note that this post is based purely on the opinion of a single person and I am not saying anything is good or bad, right or wrong, just that there's a lot of options to think about in this game.