Monday, July 18, 2011

A Word on Karthus

Karthus is a very unique champion in the fact that really, you WANT to die in the team fight; preferably with the entire enemy team around you.  He is a good farmer with Lay Waste, he has an amazing slow with Wall of Pain, and good AOE damage from Defile.  But Requiem is mainly what I want to talk about.  Karthus’ Ultimate is one of the most annoying in the game.   It has high base damage with a 0.7 AP ratio, and can and will hit every enemy champion in the game no matter where they are or even if Karthus can see them.

Because there is absolutely no targeting involved, some people (me included) refer to Karthus as a faceroll champ (meaning, you could slam your head on your keyboard somewhere around the 1 key, and roll your face across the keyboard to the \ key) and get kills.  I will not deny that playing Karthus affectively excluding his ult does take some skill.  But you could theoretically get to level 6, and then just sit in the fountain spamming the R key and get kills.  (Hmmm... Now I want to try this…)
Getting magic resist with a Karthus on the enemy team is a must, though I would not say that Karthus is OP.  But maybe a small tweak to his Ult would be good.  Really it wouldn’t have to be anything drastic.  Make it so it would only hit champs that Karthus had sight of when it finishes channeling (still ignoring distance) or make it so it deals less damage the further away Karthus is.  And I only say this as a “well that would be nice” scenario, because I do not believe Karthus is over powered.  He is just really annoying.

Knowing how to counter him is really the key though.   It’s a bunch of simple things like:
1.       Don’t bunch up in team fights.  (Why would you do this anyway???)  His dying inside your team will eat your HP for breakfast with Defile.
2.        I don’t care how much damage Karthus can output, DON’T TARGET HIM FIRST!  Once he is dead, he will continue living for 8 seconds (usual length of a teamfight).  Take out someone else, because then it becomes a 4v5 instead of staying a 5v5.  (AND on top of that, Karthus gets to cast at no mana cost once he is dead.)
3.       Some people come with built in spell shields (Morgana, Sivir, Nocturne).  If you are playing one of these champs, you MAY want to save your shield for his ult if you can.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Akali: The First of Shadow

There exists an ancient order originating in the Ionian Isles dedicated to the preservation of balance. Order, chaos, light, darkness -- all things must exist in perfect harmony for such is the way of the universe. This order is known as the Kinkou and it employs a triumvirate of shadow warriors to uphold its causes in the world. Akali is one of these shadow warriors, entrusted with the sacred duty of Pruning the Tree - eliminating those who threaten the equilibrium of Valoran.

A prodigal martial artist, Akali began training with her mother as soon as she could make a fist. Her mother's discipline was relentless and unforgiving, but predicated on the fundamental principle: "We do that which must be done." When the Kinkou inducted her into the order at the age of fourteen, she could slice a dangling chain with a chop of her hand. There was no question - she would succeed her mother as the Fist of Shadow. She has had to do much in this role which others might find morally questionable, but to her it is in service of her mother's inviolable doctrine. She now works with her fellows Shen and Kennen to enforce the balance of Valoran. This hallowed pursuit has unsurprisingly led the triumvirate to the Fields of Justice.

"The Fist of Shadow strikes from the cover of death itself. Do not impede the balance."

Akali is a hybrid anti-carry champion with huge burst damage and is a fantastic chaser.  She is probably the best hybrid character in the game with her passive, Twice Disciplines, which adds magic damage to her auto attacks based on her AP and spell vamp based on her AD.  She has Mark of the Assassin for burst damage, Crescent Slash (which deals AD) and AOE damage, Twilight Shroud for defense, and Shadow Dance for chasing and juking.

The biggest drawback for Akali is that she is squishy AND melee.  She alleviates some of this while hiding in her Twilight Shroud, but it has a fairly long cooldown for how often you are going to want to use it.  But the best way to prevent your death is to just do what Akali does best; run in, assassinate someone, and run out (Twilight Shroud/Shadow Dance for safe exits), while your tank takes all the hits.

While there are several champions that can very viably go Hybrid (Shaco, Twisted Fate, Ezreal, Kog’Maw, etc), most of these characters would actually do greater damage by just picking AP OR AD; whereas Akali would be missing out by only picking one.   You are losing either extra spell vamp or extra magic damage, both of which are going to make you far more deadly if you have them.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

8 Simple Rules for playing League of Legends

These are some very useful tips for playing well in League of Legends.  These will not make you win every game, it will not make you unkillable, and it will not make you more skilled than you really are.  These are just basic and fairly straight forward things to do to prevent dying a terrible, terrible death at the hands of your enemies.

1.       I have seen this many places, but it requires repeating.  Do not chase Singed!
2.       Last hit, last hit, last hit, last hit.  Quit pushing your lanes all the way up to the enemy tower unless you are in the position to deal a huge chunk of damage to it.
3.       Buy at least 1 ward every time you go back if you can afford it and know where to place them for maximum coverage.
4.       Don’t stay at a tower that you KNOW is going to go down.  You are just going to give the enemy team a tower AND a kill.
5.       Never give up Baron or Dragon for free if you can do anything.  Don’t just give away a kill, but try to stop them.
6.       Unless you are guarding your base, do not just stand around.  Always be doing something.  If you deadlock while trying to push a tower, move on.  You are wasting time by continually trying and failing to push a tower or just standing at a tower.
7.       Going off by yourself after the laning phase is the best way to get yourself jumped on by the entire enemy team and getting killed.
8.       Do not JUST follow someone’s champion build.  Every game, with every team comp (for your team AND theirs), you WILL need to vary your build even if it’s just a little.  There is NO reason to get a Last Whisper if your enemy team has no armor.  Adapt your build to each game.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


During the laning phase, keeping track of where your laning opponent(s) is located is quite important.  Are they hiding in the bushes waiting to jump out at you?  Did they go back to buy?  Are they headed to the jungle or to another lane for a gank?  As important as keeping track of your own lane is, you also need to keep track of ALL enemies, not just the ones in your lane.  You can help your teammates and they can help you with wards and calling “MIA” when their laning opponent disappears.  But you should not always rely on these measures alone.

Whenever someone gets ganked, dies, and then starts bitching because I didn’t call MIA, I tell them the same thing every time; “Use your mini-map.”  Watching the mini-map is the easiest way to know where your enemies are.  If you can’t see an enemy (or they have a global ult) they are a threat to your lane, and you should be playing more cautious.  Do not rely on your teammates to tell you when someone disappears from their lane, because they can’t always let you know.   I cannot count the number of times where I have been 2v1 and one of them breaks off while I am still engaged with the other.  I WILL NOT stop what I am doing to type out MIA while I am in the middle of a fight.  It’s just plain stupid to do this.  You will be opening yourself up to a world of hurt if you suddenly pause.  And it might not have even been worth it because maybe they weren’t going to gank, just laying down a ward.

But knowing where your enemy is, is not just important for prevent ganks.  It’s also important for pushing lanes, doing your own ganking, taking dragon and/or baron, and pretty much every other aspect of the game.  If you know that 2 people went back to buy, and there is a 3v3 at your top turret, it’s fairly safe for you to push bottom or take dragon if you have the firepower. 

Once out of the laning phase and on to mid or late game, MIAs become far less important, but much more deadly.  If it is not your job to be by yourself (Master Yi and Twisted Fate, I am looking at you…) and you are out alone with no enemies visible on your mini-map, they ARE coming after you, and you WILL die.  It is a good idea to discourage this kind of soloing on your team.  If I see someone running around by themselves, way over extended pushing a lane, I will type ALL MIA to try and get their attention.  And if it’s the enemy, group up and take them out.  But again, you need to understand that the enemy team is missing and that tasty Veiger off by himself may very well be bait in a very big, very deadly, fishing net.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rumble: The Mechanized Menace

Even amongst yordles, Rumble was always the runt of the litter. As such, he was used to being bullied. In order to survive, he had to be scrappier and more resourceful than his peers. He developed a quick temper and a reputation for getting even, no matter who crossed him. This made him something of a loner, but he didn't mind. He liked to tinker, preferring the company of gadgets, and he could usually be found rummaging through the junkyard. He showed great potential as a mechanic. His teachers recommended him for enrollment at the Yordle Academy of Science and Progress in Piltover, where he may very well have become one of Heimerdinger's esteemed proteges, but Rumble refused to go. He believed that Heimerdinger and his associates were ''sellouts,'' trading superior yordle technology to humans for nothing more than a pat on the head while yordles remained the butt of their jokes. When a group of human graduates from the Yordle Academy sailed to Bandle City to visit the place where their mentor was born and raised, Rumble couldn't resist the temptation to see them face-to-face (so to speak). He only intended to get a good look at the humans, but four hours and several choice words later, he returned home bruised and bloodied with an earful about how he was an embarrassment to ''enlightened'' yordles like Heimerdinger. The next morning he left Bandle City without a word, and wasn't seen again for months. When he returned, he was at the helm of a clanking, mechanized monstrosity. He marched it to the center of town amidst dumbfounded onlookers and there announced that he would join the League of Legends to show the world what yordle-tech was really capable of, without hiding behind a foreign banner.

''Ugh, it's gonna take forever to scrape your face off my suit!'' – Rumble


Rumble is a heavy hitting, tanky DPS champion with devastating moves, trading blows with him is likely to leave you dead.  Flamespitter’s damage is massive.  While he hides behind his scrap shield for protection, Rumble can cripple you with Electro-Harpoon and then finish you off with some fire.  He has an extremely powerful laning presence with his Ult, The Equalizer.  Rumble can push lanes line nobody’s business through being able to burn minions with Flamespitter and his regular attack at the same time.

Rumble really excels at pushing lanes, taking out turrets, and protecting allies.  He has so much slow (especially if you give him a Rylai’s) that no champion will be able to catch up to your escaping carry.  And then because Rumble is fairly tanky, and has his Scrap Shield for a speed boost and damage mitigation, he can get away too if necessary.  Chasing people down with Rumble is also a breeze; a well placed Equalizer, 2 Electro-Harpoon shots, and Flamespitter to finish them off.

One of my favorite things to do with Rumble (is a little mean… but I am ok with that!  ;-)  ), is to get someone extremely low in lane, have them escape behind the safety of their tower, and finish them off with my Equalizer.  Rumble is another one of those champions that people say is OP.  Most common complaint I hear is that The Equalizer is broken because of how much damage it can do.  It does not really do that much damage, and you just have to move off the “wall” of damage and it does nothing. 

Not many people on the American server seem to be able to use Rumble correctly or play him that often, but he is extremely popular on the European server.  I will hopefully be able to throw up a game play video this weekend some time for Rumble.  I would love to see some better Rumble players because he is a lot of fun to play, and an interesting champion fairly different from the others.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Trollz will be Trollz

This may come as quite a shock to you, but not everyone who makes up the League of Legends user base is going to be a nice, intelligent and helpful person.  In fact, a large portion of the player base would, at first glance, appear to be made up of 8 year old's with pleasant Summoner names like “Xplosiv3D1arrea” and “EyeH8Jews”, and so on... and mentalities that fit their names oh so perfectly.  There are lots of different types of these people playing LoL matches every day.  I will list some examples and the proper response when each one shows up in your game.

1.      The Feeder—Chooses to, for a variety of different reasons, to continually suicide into the enemy team.  Will sometimes blame others for their deaths even though it was very obviously on purpose.
Response:  Ignore them, try to play the game as best you can.  It isn't likely, but you MIGHT be able to win anyway.  If not, surrender at minute 20 and Report them for feeding.
2.      The Harasser—Whether provoked or not, The Harasser will spend all game shouting profanities, racial slurs, noob, and the like.   Usually they target one person.
Response:  Ignore them, try to play the game as best you can.  There is no telling whether or not this person is good at the game so you might when, you might lose.  Report them after the game for harassing.
3.      The Troll—This player is not here to actually play the game at all.  They are just playing so they can ruin someone's day.  They will spend all game bitching for no reason, calling people out for being bad, build items on champs that make no sense (AP on Garen for example), and/or general game disruption.
Response:  Ignore them, try to play the game as best you can.  Report them after the game is over.
4.      The Leaver—The most irritating type, but also the easiest to deal with.  At least you don't have to ignore these people, as they are no longer in the game.  It could be the disconnected at level 1, or maybe RAGE quit some time during the match.
Response:  It is not impossible to win a 4v5, I have done it several times.  It does take good teamwork though.  But if you decide you give up just because someone else quit, then you are just giving away a victory that could have been yours if you kept on trying.  Keep playing, try to win.  Report the leaver after the game.

And there are a lot more where that came from.  Did you notice the trend?  Just ignore them, try your best, strive for victory under slightly skewed conditions, and then report the griefer after the match.  Riot has recently added a new system, The Tribunal, to help with all these griefers in our games.  By submitting a report every time someone fails to uphold the summoners code, you are adding just a small part to the cleaning up of the game as a whole.  And you can do another small part by voting to punish those that deserve it in The Tribunal.  But the biggest thing that you could do to prevent these attacks, is just don't react to them.  Every single one of these griefers is only doing it to get some sort of response.  And if they keep getting a response they are going to continue to do it.  Riot gave us a /ignore command for a reason.  USE IT.

As a side note:  Just because someone is not doing well, does not mean they are a griefer.  Maybe they are new to the game in lower level games.  Maybe they are trying out a new champion and can't seem to get the hang of it.  Don't be snotty about it, but ask if they are new to the champ or game.  If they say yes, then give them a break.  Suggest websites with information, give small pieces of advice, or (I cannot stress the first word in this enough) CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Don't just tell them they are bad and should quit.  If you know how he/she could be doing better, tell them in a polite way.

You will always get people on your team who are not at the same skill level as you, or that just do not understand certain game mechanics, but that is no reason to start raging yourself.  Don't become one of the griefers.  Unskilled players and griefers will always be a part of the game, but you can do a lot to prevent the numbers from getting outrageously high.