Master Yi Changes (PBE)

Incoming Master Yi Re-work, finally! I’ve made a couple of snide comments in the past about how overpowered AP Master Yi is when playing ARAM, and this still holds true (it’s also true that I can’t seem to have the same overpowered results with him). Not only is there going to be a visual overhaul, but his kit is being reworked as well.

Master_Yi_Comic

Via LeagueCraft:

Why’d Master Yi get a new look?

Master Yi was one of the first League of Legends champions ever created. Back then the game had a less established artistic identity. We’ve learned a lot over the years, but we also thought it was important to preserve his core look and feel as a part of LoL history. The differences are subtle, but when you check out the new Yi you’ll notice his proportions are more in line with his fellow champs, his animations are more polished and he has some sweet new acrobatic moves on Alpha Strike, Double Strike and Highlander.

Why does Yi need a design update?

Most of AD Yi’s power comes from his basic attack combined with the steroid effects on Wuju Style, Highlander and Double Strike. Without AP, there’s almost no incentive to master your active skills – Meditate’s not a very effective disengage and Alpha Strike can actually make you lose DPS since you could be attacking during the cast animation. By contrast, AP Yi requires careful management of Alpha Strike, Meditate and Wuju Style to maximize damage and survivability, but doesn’t do a whole lot with his basic attack until he gets Lich Bane.

While both these playstyles are interesting in their own right, they don’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive, and there’s probably a unified design that offers the best of both. Moreover, while AP Yi’s a rather compelling late game fighter, he’s extremely frustrating to face in lane, so scaling back Alpha Strike and Meditate was a necessary part of the update.

What’s happening to AP Yi?

While straight AP probably won’t remain a prominent build, AP Yi players will find many of the familiar elements of their playstyle intact. While Alpha Strike and Meditate are scaled back so they’re less overwhelming in lane, carefully managing your active abilities will play an important role in staying alive and maximizing your DPS. You’ll also have the added power of AD Yi’s basic attack to make up for your less devastating Alpha Strikes.

How’s the new Master Yi play?

We imagine the updated Master Yi will work well in both mid lane and the jungle. We definitely want to skew his itemization away from the typical tank-heavy fighter builds. The updated kit rewards glass cannon DPS builds that rely on disengaging with Alpha Strike and Meditate to stay alive. Most of his power still comes though items rather than natural scaling through levels. Overall, Master Yi players should have more strategic options, and more incentive to master his full kit to fight effectively.

These aren’t full details, obviously. However I like the idea of the changes to Yi; it appears that AD Yi will scale better and AP Yi will be scaled back. I’m hoping this is the case, because although I don’t mind the idea of either flavor of Yi, I don’t like the fact that he’s so powerful early-mid game. I’m ok with him fitting the “carry” role, where he is insanely powerful at end game, particularly on ARAM, where sometimes “end game” doesn’t happen. Hopefully further details will tell us just how far he has been buffed/nerfed. Perhaps he will fit more of a hybrid role now? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Covering Your Bases in ARAM

Edit: This information pertained to Season 3 Runes/Masteries. While I am always updating my information on the site, I am aware that search engine queries are pointing at this post due to page rank. For updated Runes and Masteries, follow this link.

As I pointed out in my last post, I own a large percentage of the Champions in League of Legends. When playing any of the game modes that allow you to choose any of the champions (excluding those that were banned), this is a blessing, as you have a large selection of champions to fit many roles, and can help your team comp, pick counters, etc. When playing ARAM, it can be a bit of a hindrance. When your champion is picked for you randomly, you can be at a disadvantage mainly due to the fact that you might not have the optimal runes and masteries set up for a particular champion. ARAM is great because it forces all players into one lane, so there are instant team fights, usually before the minions even spawn, and it forces strange team comps that would be laughed at in Classic. However, this mode also sheds away a bit of the strategy of the traditional game. Due to this fact, the only real strategy in ARAM is how you build your champion in each match. The foundation of this is built upon your Runes and Masteries, and that is what I’m going to cover today.

Runes:

To completely cover your bases, you are going to need 5 rune pages. However, you will only start out with 2 rune pages, and the only way to get more is to buy them (In-game currency or RMT). These pages will allow you to play any role, and will add some benefits to any champion that you play. I label my pages “Armor Pen”, “AP MP5”, “AP Health”, “Straight Defense” and “Support”. I also recommend that new players don’t bother with purchasing runes until you are Summoner level 30, as you will not be able to use the Tier 3 Runes without being maximum level. Either save your IP or buy some champions along the way. To compile these pages, you will need: Marks: Armor (0.91×9 = 8.2 Armor) Armor Pen (1.29×9 = 12 Penetration) Magic Pen (0.87×9 = 7.8 Penetration) Seals: Armor (1.41×9 = 13 Armor) Mana Regen (0.41×9 = 3.7 Mana Regen) Scaling Health (19@level18x9 = 175 Health) Glyphs: Scaling MR (2.7@18×9 = 24 Magic Resist) Scaling AP (3.1@18×9 = 28 Ability Power) Scaling CDR (-1.11@18×9 = -10% Cooldowns) Quintessences: Armor Pen (2.56×3 = 7.7 Penetration) Ability Power (5×3 = 15 Ability Power) Gold per ten (1×3 = 3 gold per 10secs) Health (26×3 = 78 Health) Now some pictures and notes, in that order:

ArmorPenRunes
Armor Penetration Runes

This rune build grants Armor, Magic Resist and Armor Penetration. AD based Champions need Armor Penetration to counter any armor that the enemy team is going to build, and needs Armor and Magic Resist for his/her own defense, as most will be building straight damage items. This allows an early game boost needed to get kills/assists and get gold for later use.

Ability Power and Mana per 5 Runes
Ability Power and Mana per 5 Runes

For the glass cannon caster, this build grants Flat Ability Power, Ability Power per level, Magic Penetration, and Mana Regen. These are the bread and butter stats that casters (some supports can benefit from this build, more on that later) need to get kills and have some sustain. Back line fighters with long range poke, the casters don’t have to worry about building too much defense, and many AP granting items already have some built in defense.

Ability Power and Health Runes
Ability Power and Health Runes

For the AP Bruiser, and especially for those AP Champs that don’t have mana (Akali, etc), this build provides Flat Ability Power, Scaling Magic Resist, Scaling Health and Magic Penetration. This type of champion doesn’t need as much of an early AP boost as much as they need sustain. I choose the scaling MR over the scaling AP here because these champs tend to be melee, and anti-caster, so you’ll need the extra MR.

Straight Defensive Runes
Straight Defensive Runes

This is for the tanks, and you’ll randomly be the tank a time or two, regardless of if you always like to play ADC’s. A tank needs MR, Armor and Health. I chose to stack the scaling health seals and flat health quints to allow for an early boost and extra health every level, and to use Armor marks instead of seals. The loss of a couple of points of armor is more than made up for with the extra health.

Support Runes
Support Runes

This is actually the Support rune build that I use in Classic games. It is still useful in ARAM, and if you are going to play dedicated support, I will still recommend it, although many times when I play Sona or Soraka I choose to get more AP because heals scale off of it and sometimes that works better than this build. Depends on your mood/playstyle. This build gives what supports need to support, including Armor, Magic Penetration, Scaling Cooldown Reduction and Gold per 5. Supports typically don’t get minion or champion kills, so the extra gold helps with buying items. Supports spam their abilities, so CDR is needed, and the Armor and MPen help with pokes on both ends.

Masteries:

To cover all of your bases, I recommend the use of 7 Mastery pages. Thankfully, you can have up to 20 Mastery pages without having to spend a dime on them, so these you can set up as soon as you are Summoner level 30. Until then you won’t have all 30 points to spend, but you can start spending the points before you are maximum level. I have labeled my pages “AD Defense”, “AP Defense”, “AD Tank”, “AP Tank”, “AD Utility”, “AP Utility”, and “Support.”

Attack Damage and Defense
Attack Damage and Defense

This page is for your AD Bruisers, like Pantheon, Kha’zix, Garen, etc. It’s 21/9/0, and provides all of the AD oriented skills in the Offense tree, along with health, armor, and MR in the Defense Tree. This page typically combos with the Armor pen rune page, so that the Penetration and defensive bonuses stack. This page can also be used for ADC’s, if you like a little extra defense for them.

Ability Power and Defense
Ability Power and Defense

This is your AP Bruiser’s mastery page. Someone like Akali or Elise who will benefit from additional AP/Mpen, and also from the Health and Armor/MR. I use this page in conjunction with the AP Health rune page, so that the bonuses stack. These types of champions either don’t have mana or don’t have a need for as much of it, because they aren’t spamming abilities and that’s why we avoid the Utility tree.

Attack Damage Tank
Attack Damage Tank

Typically tanks are more AP based, but there are some that rely on Attack damage and Armor Pen. Tanks like Volibear are a good example, although if you’re using a Bruiser and you end up being the only tank-ish champion on your team, it might be a good idea to build tankier as you will be taking the brunt of the damage. This provides a small amount of CDR and AD/Pen, but mostly gives a defensive boost that the tank will need. Combined with the Straight Defense rune page, you will have plenty of extra health, armor and MR to survive the early team fights and protect your team.

Ability Power Tank
Ability Power Tank

Same as the AD Tank page, but in the offensive tree take points in the extra AP/MPen. This will apply to most tanks, as most tanks are Ability Power based. This will also be combined with the Straight Defense rune page for maximum protection.

Attack Damage and Utility
Attack Damage and Utility

This page is made for ADC’s. It mainly provides offensive boosts, but also gives some mana and mana regen. This helps with sustain and allows you to spam your pokes, with is going to be your primary focus in the game. I combine this page with the Armor Pen runes for maximum harass/damage.

Ability Power and Utility
Ability Power and Utility

Like the AD/Utility page, except for AP casters, who are going to be glass cannons. The offense tree shifts to the right, utility remains the same. Combine this with the AP MP5 page for maximum damage, with AP Health for more sustain.

Support Masteries
Support Masteries

The Support mastery page is also like the Support rune page, I built it for Classic, but it can be used in ARAM. I recommend using this build when you are going to play a true support, I.E. never killing creeps or going for champion kills, only assists. It provides more starting gold, and gold per 5 along with CDR (this combined with the CDR from runes means less items with CDR need to be built, allowing for some AP or other supporty items to be built). Extra movement speed is great for jukes.

General Tips:

Team comp is what makes or breaks ARAM. You will be given 5 random champions, and you won’t know who you are opposing, so take this into account when trading or re-rolling champs. If you can’t stand your champion, offer it up for trade before re-rolling, as someone else might be particularly good with that champ. If you have an all melee team, think about re-rolling for some range. If you have all AD or AP on your team, think about re-rolling for the opposite. You might still get unlucky, but your efforts will not go unnoticed. From there, you can worry about your rune and mastery builds. Let me give you an example: I get into the lobby, and I have Olaf. My team consists of Elise, Shyvanna, Garen and Blitzcrank. We have very little poke, so it would be best that someone re-rolls. I volunteer, and end up with Twitch. We are still an AD heavy team, but we at least have a little more range. At this point I would choose my Armor Pen rune page and my AD/Utility Mastery page. Each game is going to be different, and you won’t necessarily have teammates that know their champions, or work together with trades/re-rolls to get the best possible team comp. But if you practice these steps, you will win more games. Teams that work together win a hell of a lot more than teams full of trolls. If you don’t get a champion you want, don’t rage quit. Stick it out. I have had plenty of games with champs I am not so good with that still ended in victory because I/my team didn’t give up. Keep playing! The more games you play, the better you will get. Happy Gaming!

67 Champs

I just purchased my 67th champion in League of Legends, the lucky selection was LeBlanc. I have played her a few times when she was free, and had mild success. She’s one of the trickier champions, but when used effectively she is definitely able to burst down opponents. I have recently decided rather than being as selective with my champion purchases, I am just buying up everything from the lower tiers. I want as many options as possible to randomly roll. I am still very much stuck on ARAM, and that fueled this decision. I have 5 champs left in the 3150 IP tier, and own all from below this tier. Of course I own champs from the higher tiers as well, but I’m just going to try to “catch em all.” Here’s the list, thus far:

  1. Akali
  2. Alistar*
  3. Amumu
  4. Annie
  5. Ashe
  6. Blitzcrank
  7. Caitlyn
  8. Cho’Gath
  9. Corki
  10. Darius
  11. Dr. Mundo
  12. Elise
  13. Evelynn
  14. Ezreal
  15. Fiddlesticks
  16. Fiora
  17. Gangplank
  18. Garen
  19. Gragas
  20. Graves
  21. Heimerdinger
  22. Janna
  23. Jax
  24. Jayce
  25. Karma*
  26. Karthus
  27. Kassadin
  28. Kayle*
  29. Kha’Zix
  30. LeBlanc
  31. Lee Sin
  32. Lux
  33. Malphite
  34. Master Yi
  35. Miss Fortune
  36. Morgana
  37. Nasus
  38. Nautilus
  39. Nidalee
  40. Nocturne*
  41. Nunu
  42. Olaf*
  43. Pantheon*
  44. Poppy
  45. Rengar
  46. Ryze
  47. Shaco*
  48. Shen*
  49. Singed
  50. Sion
  51. Sivir
  52. Sona
  53. Soraka
  54. Taric
  55. Teemo*
  56. Tristana*
  57. Trundle*
  58. Tryndamere
  59. Twisted Fate
  60. Twitch*
  61. Udyr
  62. Urgot
  63. Veigar
  64. Warwick
  65. Xin Zhao*
  66. Ziggs
  67. Zilean*

So out of 113 champs I’m at 67, which means I still have a long ways to go. Out of the 67 champions owned, I own skins for 14 of them (donated by the *), but those are only purchased with real money, so I haven’t invested as much as I might have liked into the game. But for being free to play, I don’t ever feel like I’m being pushed to buy anything, or gouged when I do. Most champs I bought with the earned currency, and that continues to be a motivator to play one more game, especially when your first win of the day is available. Next post I’ll be discussing rune and mastery setups that I recommend for ARAM, to cover all the bases. Until then.

What do you know about ARAM?

With League of Legends’ latest patch, Riot introduced a new matchmaking queue, based on a game mode previously available exclusively in custom matches. The game mode is called “ARAM”, or “All Random, All Mid”.  It originated with people playing on the “Summoner’s Rift” map, simply ignoring the top and bottom lanes, and picking random champions. Later, Riot enabled the  use of “The Proving Grounds” which was their newbie training map, and contained only one lane. I discovered the game mode during this phase. I had heard and read about it before, but never really had an interest until one day I randomly decided to try it out.

What I found was an amazing game. Much like in Guardians of Middle-Earth, there was a map that was a single lane, and allowed for 5v5 matches, although there was such a limit on champions in that game (though they are steadily adding more) and picking a random champion was not enforced. Back to LoL, this mode was very enjoyable, aside from a couple of issues. The main issue was the fact that because these were custom games, there was no part of the LeaverBuster system that was used, so if people got an undesired champion, they would simply dodge and then join another lobby (I was even guilty of doing this a couple of times). The other issue was that custom games only allow a certain amount of IP (Influence points) to be earned per day. I didn’t realize this at first, because I was jumping around between ranked and dominion games with some ARAM sprinkled here and there. One day I got on a roll and kept playing ARAM games, and ended up having a win where I only earned about 3-5 IP, whereas I would normally earn around 40-50. After doing some reading I found you could only earn about 2 hours worth of game time in IP per day with custom matches (with the average ARAM match running 20-30 minutes). So I only play custom matches when testing now, but am not limited while playing ARAM anymore.

To counter these issues, Riot created ARAM matchmaking, so the IP issue is immediately null and void (there are no IP limits in matchmaking lobbies, as these are all PvP). Also, because this is sanctioned matchmaking, the LeaverBuster system works, and if you dodge out of an ARAM queue, be prepared to wait 15 minutes before you can play another game. To make things a little more fair, Riot went a step further by adding in a re-roll option, so that when you get stuck on a team that is all melee champs, a couple of you can re-roll to get some range or added CC, whatever you may need. The system allows for 2 re-rolls maximum, and you earn points towards more re-rolls by completing matches. These points accumulate faster dependent on how many champs you own. I liked this fact because I have over 60 of the champs, so I get re-rolls quick, and that’s helped me from getting stuck with champs I completely suck with. Not to say I’m guaranteed a win if I get a champ that I like, nor that I will automatically lose playing a champion that I am not comfortable with. I just get to pick and choose if I want who I end up with.

However, I will say that ARAM should be required playing. Because of the random factor, you never know who you’re going to get or face, and it challenges you to be good at different roles. It challenges you to learn all of the champions, not just ones whom you favor. I have found that after playing ARAM matches for a week, I have learned to play some of the champions I hadn’t really touched, or at one point decided I didn’t like. I also believe that the random factor helps in determining skill level. An example:

When playing ranked you get an ELO. If you don’t know what ELO is, educate yourself. When playing normal 5s, 3s, Dominion, and I’m assuming ARAM, there is a “hidden ELO”. I believe Riot is calling it “MMR”, short for “Match Making Rating”. This works like ELO, but is kept hidden from users. So when you play Ranked in the Bronze division, you are playing those that are in the same division. Theoretically you would also play those from the Bronze division while playing another game mode, but it appears that because ARAM just started and I have noticed a lower quality of players with me, MMR is different for each mode. This could just be my perception, but it seems to be the case. Now, because of the fact that players aren’t allowed to choose who they play, they might not have runes or masteries set up for every champion combination, or they may not know how to play the champion very well. A “good” player will adapt to the situation through his item purchases, and use of skill shots, etc. A “bad” player will not take AD/AP scaling into account, will have a hard time with the character, and most likely feed as a result, and cause your team to lose. So, does this bad player on my team account for my loss, and subsequent loss of MMR, and cause me to be stuck in “ELO hell”? That is a discussion for another post I believe, but the point I was trying to get at is MMR or ELO or whatever you want to call it goes out the window when playing ARAM.

ARAM forces players to play as a team, to adapt to situations differently. There are no walls to jump over. There is no place to hide, and when the entire game is team fights, towers will be dived. Players have to learn their champs quickly, but it forces them to learn what you can do to counter opponents, and counter strange team builds that aren’t part of the “accepted meta”. I think that everyone should play ARAM just to be able to say you can win with anyone. It builds the skill set and confidence needed to move forward in the traditional game, and I think it would help some people adapt to become a pro. Maybe I’ll follow my own advice.