Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Monkey King initial thoughts...

So, I don't own Wukong yet - no one does, he isn't out - but looking at his abilities and champion spotlight, I'm pretty excited. Tomorrow feels like a long wait so I'll just mention my first impression of him right now instead:

I'm thinking "Mk 1 Renekton" - he looks OP as hell if in the right hands but not so OP as to be unkillable when any old noob is playing him.

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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Oh, Riot... Why must you lie?

So, yeah, EU split currently in progress. We were told no more than 12 hours. We were then told another two hours.

Riot has finally realised that setting a time frame is stupid but that doesn't excuse the fact that you can't just throw out numbers to deal with an immediate problem because when people find out those numbers aren't true, they'll be much more annoyed than they initially were.

Bad Riot! Bad! No dinner for you!

Edit: I take it back. They haven't learnt their lesson from pulling times out of a hat and throwing numbers around. Supposedly, this will be done be 15:15. I, for one, am sceptical.

Edit 2: I'm listening to the Stream - they're giving out more stupid time scales for things coming back online and being fixed. I wish they'd realise that doing that is really bad. And bringing the forums back online during server downtime? Really? I'd keep it offline for a couple of days if I were you. The trolling will be awful.

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Friday, 15 July 2011


As a bruiser, Leona is a more viable choice. I haven't played her enough to know if she can compete with "the big three" (Warwick/Irelia/Udyr) but right now, she seems pretty solid as the top lane choice.

As everyone is saying, she's way too squishy and easily crowd controlled to be a competitive main tank pick but as a bruiser, she's certainly able to do a decent job. Right now, she feels *a lot* like Poppy and to be honest, I see her being thrown on the same pile of "niche" trash champions like Poppy unless she gets a bit of TLC. Riot seemed pretty proud of their first female tank but in all honesty, she falls pretty flat if played as a tank. Seemingly, she has the highest base armour and second highest base health but somehow, she just doesn't feel like it at all.

Still, give her time and she might end up becoming a decent bruiser pick - that's how I've been playing her and it's certainly paying off right now.

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Saturday, 9 July 2011

Queuing without a full team

How are 90% of players in League of Legends so bad? I really don't understand it. The amount of times I've queued for normal games with two friends and we've had the two worst players I've seen (Since the previous time I queued with two friends) who manage to be so bad that no matter how bad our opponents are, the three in our premade can't turn the game around. I'm sure plenty of other players have experienced this and it's starting to get very frustrating that two bad players can ruin a game for a whole team.

How do you even get to level 30 with no idea how to play this game? I mean, it's not like they were just bad at the champions they were playing, they made rudimentary mistakes that show a complete lack of understanding for the game and I can't help but wonder how one can play 100-500 games and still be this abysmal without having thought "You know what? I'm terrible at this game. I should stop playing."

This might sound like a rage post and I suppose it kind of is but at the same time, it's more a post of supreme shock and surprise - I'm genuinely finding it hard to believe that these people exist. I mean, the other thing is, they always instantly lock in on one of those champions who isn't a competitive pick and either dominates or feeds and feeds hard. Veigar, Twitch, Eve, Karma, Jax, Teemo, Kassadin, Ezreal, Pantheon are all common examples of this and you just have to think "God, why do you play this champion? Go watch a stream or check the Dreamhack replays - you'll know in a second the champs you're picking are bad with a half decent opponent and you'll know why they're bad." Genuinely, these bad players are discouraging me from ever wanting to solo queue ranked without, at least, a really skilled friend playing with me.

Take two of the games I had today as examples: The first one, we get matched with a premade of two (Probably meaning we're up against a premade of 5) and they waited for us to lock in - we chose Amumu to jungle, Ashe to take bot and I took Warwick to solo the top lane. We assumed they were waiting so they could pick based on what we picked but they suddenly locked in on Twitch and Veigar - two champions I'm always worried to have on my team because they can so easily feed - and as soon as the game began, said they wanted to lane together. "Twitch and Veigar in a lane together?" I thought to myself "This won't end well." and as soon as I saw they were laning against Rumble and Caitlyn, I knew the game was over.

They fed. They fed hard and constantly throughout the whole game, all the while shouting abuse at us in German as we attempted to give them advice and offered to switch lanes and so on. As team fights started to happen, Veigar and Twitch would constantly run off alone and get caught (They didn't even have oracles so I can only assume Twitch was deliberately engaging 1v5, thinking he could kill someone, always failing - Veigar was just an idiot), meaning we'd have to engage to try and save them. Often, Veigar and Twitch would manage to steal a couple of kills and then we'd get aced, which was even more annoying because it made us look bad as, yes, the whole team had a lot of deaths but Twitch and Veigar had some kills too. Incredibly frustrating.

The second game we played, the two were clearly a premade as they both had "BR" in their summoner name - clearly, BR is some sort of amazing "clan" that is so awesome, no one has heard of them. Have you heard of them? No? Oh, okay. I guess I was right. They both locked in instantly on Pantheon and Jarvan. Jarvan is a nice solid pick but Pantheon suffers from "Noob pick" syndrome in which only bad players insta-lock on him. We pick a pretty solid team, build around the idea that Jarvan would jungle, I would take top on Rumble, we'd put Caitlyn mid and send our Taric bot with Pantheon.

We get in the game and get "RUMBLE BOT" and "Rumble go bot me with Jarvan top" - Jarvan hadn't locked in with smite. Oh dear. Jarvan and Pantheon double laning (fortunately, they enemy team had no jungler either - Normal games <3) against a decent team comp was, again, not going to end well. We decided to have Caitlyn go bottom to be babysat by Taric and I would take mid on Rumble - not ideal to mid on Rumble but I'm a pretty solid Rumble so it was never going to be too big a problem as long as top didn't feed and did it's job. Simple, right?

So, Jarvan and Pantheon are constantly throwing themselves against the enemy tower - they get a couple of kills and a couple of deaths each but eventually, start dying more than they're killing. They have a combined creep score lower than I had on Rumble (And I was laning against Teemo - not the best lane to have on Rumble). Eventually, they lose their tower and both just start running all over the map, engaging alone against multiple enemies and then shouting abuse at us for not helping them. After about 20 minutes, we were in the lead on kills (Thanks to Taric, Caitlyn and I not feeding, primarily) but Pantheon and Jarvan had decided they'd had enough and the surrender vote spam began. We obviously denied them the surrender but then they both AFK'd on the summoner platform, moving from time to time to stop the AFK and called us all "insta-lock noobs" - The exact thing they'd done.

Obviously, we'd lost the game and it was because of the other type of bad level 30 player - the "Clansman" as I call them. Basically, the Clansman is a decent-ish player but because he plays with friends a lot and has a two or three letter tag before his name, he thinks he's better than you and he has the God-given right to speak down to you, play however badly he wants and blame you, pick whatever useless, shitty champ he feels like and still feel pro at the end of the game. Just because you have letters in front of your name, unless those letters are "SK" or "CLG" or one of the high ranking team tags, I'm not going to respect you because you've achieved nothing, you're just a try-hard kid with no skill.

Rant over.

For now.

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Sunday, 3 July 2011


Morgana is a champion that gets a lot of shit from bad players. The bizarre "Support" tag because of her one defensive ability means a lot of players who can't think for themselves write her off as being similar to Kayle as a damage-y/support-y hybrid but to be honest, this just isn't true and I think Riot were playing it fast and loose with the support tag when making Morgana - she's not a support, she's an AP and a damn good one at that.

Just on the subject of the support tag... I really think Riot use it in an odd way. Is any champion that has a buff or heal to be considered a support? If so, this is incredibly inconsistent. If Morgana is a support, why isn't Alistar? Why isn't Orianna? Hell, why isn't Gangplank? It doesn't make any sense and it shows that whatever criteria Riot use to decide what tags a champion should have is completely nonsensical and that a lot of champions need a rework on their tags.

Back on topic, Morgana is amazing - I adore the fallen angel. Despite the fact that scantily-clad, tattered-winged, evil corrupted angels are sexy to the extreme, she has some pretty cool and unique abilities to boot. There aren't a lot of champions out there who can be compared to Morgana, giving her a really unique playstyle that has great synergy with lot of other champions.

Basically, you'll be solo laning on Morgana - probably the top lane but possibly mid depending on who your team's second solo laner is - to focus on getting as much farm as possible. Morgana's W (Cursed Soil) is, in my opinion, one of the strongest farming tools early game. To make the most of it, throw it on the caster minions and let them drop down low. If you've build right, your auto-attacks should be able to finish them all off very quickly and if your timing is good, you'll be able to pick up most or all of the front lane of minions with auto-attacks while the soil is ticking. Her W is also going to be your main source of damage outside of your ultimate while you're duelling in a lane - it's not burst but combined with your snare, it can chip away at someone's health very nicely and remove a chunk of their magic resistance. You'll want to max her W first, picking up one point in her Q at level 2 and a point in her E at level 4.

Her E is another great skill and, like her W, it's easily underestimated. For one thing, it makes you immune to all debuffs - including most forms of CC - making you hard to gank early game if you can shield yourself at the right time but it also absorbs a lot of magic damage late game, scaling really well with your AP, meaning you can more-or-less avoid having to grab any magic resistance items (Except in specific circumstances, of course) - grabbing a frozen heart combined with her E is usually all I need in terms of defensive items in 90% of games.

Her Q is actually her least important skill to max out - the snare is all you really need it for early game - the damage isn't as good as that of her W but the burst it gives is nice late game. You'll basically want to time it along with her W so that you snare someone inside it, maximising your damage output. Your basic combo will be to snare someone on your cursed soil and instantly follow up with your ultimate and against most targets, this should be a kill in lane.

Her ultimate is the best thing Morgana brings to a team (Though, her E can be used to save people from AP nuke and CC and is extremely useful). You'll want to use it as early in the team fight as possible and hit as many targets as you can (obviously). If you can get it off correctly, you'll get a ton of damage and a stun on the entire enemy team, most often meaning you're guaranteed to come out on top - combined with an ultimate like Amunu's (meaning their whole team is CC'd for most of the fight) or Nunu's (Slowing the enemy while waiting for your stun and then hitting like a truck along with your damage output from your ulti), this is going to be devastating in every team fight and there's really no way you're going to lose the game unless your enemies have a really strong team or your team is filled with awful mouth-breathers (Quite possible at low-mid ELO).

In terms of itemisation, keep in mind that Morgana's abilities have very hefty cooldowns all-round, meaning you'll want to grab some CDR (I get the maximum allowed from masteries - 9% - and then try and get to at least 30% by late game) but combined with her having to get in close for her ultimate, Lich Bane is a really solid choice to maximise her damage output and avoid standing around waiting for cooldowns doing nothing. If the enemy team is populated by high health champions, Deathfire Grasp is another solid choice, giving her even more damage output outside of her basic abilities (Which, as I said, are not at all spammable, even with maxed CDR). Given that she has to get into the fray quite a lot, a great defensive choice is Frozen Heart and I think I've taken this on every single game I've played on Morgana - CDR, armour and mana (And the slowed attack speed aura) are all great on Morgana and, as I mentioned before, given the power of her E, she should be quite tanky with just a frozen heart, able to take the damage jumping in to use her ultimate is going to thrown your way. Also, Deathfire Grasp and Frozen Heart with the right mastery build should mean cooldown reduction is no longer an issue.

I just played a game on Morgana where I was able to dominate from the word go and keep that up the entire game. The enemy team all feared my presence in lane and, because they weren't great players, they were constantly asking how they were losing to Morgana and how I was so good at her. In honesty, I'm not that great of a Morgana player, I just know her abilities and have a comfortable build in mind when I start playing her and I know that most players I come up against don't understand her as a champion and have probably only seen her played badly, giving me a huge edge as they're very likely to completely underestimate what she can do (Often, people barely know what her abilities do outside of her skillshot). I have to admit, I abuse this psychological advantage throughout the game and I've carried so many games to victories as Morgana that I'm starting to think she's my favourite champion.

Edit: Also, her new artwork is amazing. So was her old one but this one is hot :D

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