The Wandering Caretaker

Going back to my post, The Wonder Above, I had talked about the speculation around the new champion teaser. Today Riot released more information about that champ, who’s name is in fact, Bard. The discussion revolved around whether or not Bard would be a support, and being from Targon, be a big tanky champion. This much we can confirm.

Bard_Splash_WP

Bard is his name, so I think we can drop the speculation about it being a race, unless more of these champs show up at a later time. We can also drop the idea that it’s Ao Shin, obviously. The symbol that was shown up in the sky above the makeshift camp in the teaser is his, in that he can create tunnels through walls, thankfully not limited only to the spots where they are already visible. He’s basically the support version of Rek’Sai, to be honest, though from a different region of the world. You can see the full reveal over here. I’ve been having good luck with the new meta supports and/or newer champions who are supports, so I’m stoked for this release. I’ll be saving my IP for him certainly.

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Bard’s kit is very much about wandering and securing objectives, and that is the new meta that has emerged this season. Since there isn’t a champion spotlight video just yet, you’ll have to visit the earlier link to see his abilities in action, and I’m not going to go into great detail here. They also haven’t released their recommended builds but I imagine the typical tanky support builds will be viable, with maybe a splash of AP for early poke. I will probably run my usual Tank rune page and Support Masteries for this champion.

tankrunes supportmastery

Looking forward to checking him out. As of yet the release date has yet to be revealed.

#leagueoflegends #championreveal #riot

Rek’Sai, the Void Burrower

Well that didn’t take long.

Called it. This time, my guesses as to what to expect from a champion teaser were on the money. In the teaser that I wrote about in my last post, I guessed that the new character would be someone suited to the jungle, and that it had something to do with the Void. I was correct on both accounts. Go me.

You can check out the whole reveal page for Rek’Sai, the Void Burrower over on the official site, but I’m going to break down the abilities and such here.

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Passive: Fury of the Xer’Sai

Rek’Sai gains fury whenever she attacks her enemies. Burrowing consumes her fury, briefly regenerating her health.

This passive sounds really cool, though it’s unclear if she will be untargetable when burrowed. You can move about after burrowing, and the health regen is mild but could help for sustain in top lane.

Q: Queen’s Wrath/Prey Seeker

Unburrowed – Queen’s Wrath

Rek’Sai lashes out, dealing damage to all enemies around her with her next three basic attacks.

Burrowed – Prey Seeker

Rek’Sai fires out a pulse of void energy in a straight line skillshot that detonates on the first enemy struck, damaging, and revealing the target and all nearby enemies also hit by the missile’s explosion.

Having an AoE damage ability is nice for a jungler to help clear those camps faster. The video on the site just shows her standing still though, so I’m unsure if you can move without cancelling the remaining attacks. Rek’Sai has one of those kits that has different abilities dependent on what form she’s in (burrowed/unburrowed) so each will have its own pros/cons. Being burrowed and using Q gives you a skill shot instead of AoE, but your field of view is cut down while burrowed, so you would have to quickly shoot it off right after going underground. Then after a hit you’d at least know where your target was.

W: Burrow/Unburrow

Unburrowed – Burrow

Rek’Sai burrows underground, gaining Tremor Sense (a unique mechanic that shows Rek’Sai all enemy movement in a wide area around her) and increased movement speed at the expense of vision range and access to her basic attacks. She ignores unit collision as she moves around.

Burrowed – Unburrow

Rek’Sai bursts out into the open, knocking up and damaging all surrounding enemies.

Ok, so more is explained here. When burrowing, you can’t see, but you do get a little sonar of sorts that shows nearby enemy movement. She can also use this as an escape with the increased movespeed and ignoring unit collision. Having a knock up when unburrowing will be useful for chasing.

E: Furious Bite/Tunnel

Unburrowed – Furious Bite

Rek’Sai bites her target, dealing increasing damage based on her fury, or true damage if she has a full fury bar.

Burrowed – Tunnel

Rek’Sai digs toward a target location, creating a pair of long-lasting tunnels at the two ends of her path.

Here’s where jungle ganks come into her kit. Being unburrowed, she has a nice damage attack, but while burrowed, she can created tunnels meaning she’ll be able to gank from the other side of walls without having to burn flash. The tunnel lasts a little while too, so it could also double as an escape tool (use it, get under wall, when enemy burns flash to chase, just go back through tunnel).

R: Void Rush

Passive: Rek’Sai gains attack speed.

Active: Rek’Sai channels briefly before burrowing and dashing towards any of her tunnels, briefly gaining significant movement speed once she emerges.

Ok, so it’s  unclear how long those tunnels might last. However, this means you’d be laying down tunnels quite a bit, or else you wouldn’t have access to your ult very often. Good for a gank, and it appears global, however some what limited compared to other ults. Not sure what to think about this, will have to wait for full champ spotlight or patch notes to get a better idea about it.

Riot has basically pegged her as a jungler, as described here:

Jungling

Rek’Sai is a mobile menace at all stages of the game, creating tunnels throughout her own jungle to help her dart from camp to camp. But she doesn’t just burrow quickly; she kills at speed, too. Queen’s Wrath brings mass carnage to each camp’s monsters, dealing solid area of effect damage to every enemy around her, while Furious Bite deals powerful single target damage. Monsters will fight back, but Rek’Sai – once she’s generated enough fury – can sustain through the slaughter by burrowing, which restores her health and speeds her toward the next camp. And once her jungle’s empty, it’s time for Rek’Sai to turn toward the enemy jungle.

Tremor Sense is central to Rek’Sai’s counter-jungling runs, which focus on killing enemy camps while her counterpart’s away rather than dueling directly. By checking for movement in her intended direction, Rek’Sai can at least understand where her opposing jungler isn’t, then use that knowledge to burrow in and steal camps, effectively starving her opponent out of their jungle and forcing them into premature ganks, or worse yet, into Rek’Sai’s lair. Pity those who dare stray too deep into the burrower’s home: her tunnels offer incredible mobility, and with good vision control, Rek’Sai can easily coordinate her allies as she hunts down wandering targets.

Then there are her ganks. Rek’Sai’s relative lack of burst damage means she thrives best when she ganks for her high-damage allies, using her considerable utility to slow and stop her target’s escape. Most crucially, Rek’Sai’s tunnels give her unique angles of attack into enemy lanes, from which she can damage her mark with Prey Seeker before unburrowing beneath them. The knock-up provides a strong enough window for most assassins to secure their kill, but even if her enemy’s still alive, Rek’Sai can turn to her own abilities – Queen’s Wrath and Furious Bite in particular – to add extra damage into the mix.

Overall she sounds like a fun champion. Look forward to trying her out.

#leagueoflegends #reksai #champion

Sona Rework + Gnar Reveal

A new patch is coming down the pipeline in League of Legends. This time around it’s number 4.13, and with it comes a lot of tweaks and fixes like a normal patch. It’s been a long while since I went over some patch notes or really paid attention to the game, but outside of the Doom Bots mode that I talked about recently, there hasn’t been a whole lot going on. I know the pros are doing there thing and I haven’t been really watching. I like when the action heats up in the fall, that’s when the best games happen. So yeah, it’s about time some news came out of League that I really care about. I’ll leave the link to the patch notes here, so you can read them if you’re curious. One part that I did find particularly interesting was this little tidbit:

Toasters rejoice!

  • Improved match loading speeds by 10-30%, particularly for older machines

Not only is that pretty damn funny, since I’ve made the toaster joke countless times, but it’s also a great improvement. Loading times can be atrocious, and that sometimes makes me not want to play the game. On a serious note, there are some nice fixes/changes in the full notes, but I didn’t want to spend too much time on that. The biggest part of this patch that I’ve got my eyes on is the Sona Rework.

You might recall that I spent some time at the end of season 3 trying to promote out of bronze. It was my first season of ranked play, and I didn’t take it very seriously, but I wanted to get at least to silver, and I managed to accomplish that. I ended up using Sona in a large portion of the ranked games that I played, and had some success. I really enjoy playing the support role (though solo-top Shen was a blast too), and I loved playing Sona. So much so, that when given the opportunity to play her in ARAM still feels like a treat. She’s been one of my favorite characters for a long time, so seeing her get some love is a great. The question is, is it really love? Or a hidden nerf?

Looking at her skill updates, I feel like it’s nice to have a visible aura rather than the implied one, but apparently they’ve actually reduced the range of the auras, and rather than being a continuous passive, the passives are better but only for a couple of seconds. All of the added benefits when using power cords seem to be better, but since I haven’t tried her yet, I’m not sure if this rework is going to be awesome or not so hot. I know that other reworks I’ve written about ended up being for the better (Master Yi, Rengar, among others), but time will tell on this one. I hope they didn’t ruin one of my favorites.

They did give her a visual update as well, and though I’m not overly fond of her base model, the Pentakill skin looks better than it did before. I look forward to trying her out.

Another reason why I’m excited to talk about League again, is that there’s finally a new champion on the horizon. It feels like so long ago that Braum came out, but I realize it really hasn’t been that long. I picked him up not long after his release but I’ve been on sort of a break from the game so I haven’t messed around with him all that much. I hear he’s been pretty well-liked on the pro scene. Anyway, the new champion was teased a while ago (which I somehow missed) and was revealed earlier today. His name is Gnar, and he’s one angry Yordle.

gnar-screenshotFULL

I love Yordles. At least a couple of them. I don’t understand my affinity to short races, but it’s there nonetheless. Gnar is an interesting champion in that he has the two form thing going like a few others do (Elise, Jayce, Shyvanna), but it’s based in a different way so as to stay fresh. Basically, the little guy has a couple decent abilities and as he does stuff, he builds rage. That sounds like Tryndamere or Renekton, I know, but he actually changes form after an ability is used once his rage bar is full, or after a few seconds of it being full. This means he’ll take a little finesse to master. His abilities change once in this form, and he has to be “Mega Gnar” to use his ultimate. When he’s Mini, he is more agile and has some poke, when he’s Mega he’s more in your face brawler. I like the trading of styles like that so I think this champion will be a fun solo-top champion.

It never fails, I’ll take some time off from League of Legends, but I’ll always be back when cool new stuff is there to try out. More on this as I know more.

#leagueoflegends #gnar #sona