Friday, December 7, 2012

Crank Dat Kitty Cat

Tankdalee is back! I am so happy playing Nidalee as my first pick for top lane, as her team fighting ability just tripled when the S3 patch hit. She is queen of her lane once more, and though she's no longer sporting the Triforce, I think you'll find her new toys just as fun.

For info on Nidalee, weekly plays, or just a really nice place to hang out, check out RF Legendary's stream:

He's also working on a guide on LoL King. It's looking pretty good so far:

First thing's first -  Runes and Masteries. Her Runes have not changed.

AD for last hitting, because getting CS is the most important thing. (Here's a hint - GET those siege minions! They're worth more than 2x a melee minion in gold!)

Armor for...well, armor. It's top lane, where mostly bruisers go.

Flat + Scaling MR - If you have an AP top, you're not completely defenseless. If you don't, you still have some MR for later in the game.

Her fancy new Masteries, on the other hand...

Improved Ignite and creep damage in the offense tree, all of the damage mitigation in the defense tree, and some Mana regen in the utility tree completely round out her character with enough sustain to keep you going until level 6, and enough scaling abilities to help you late game.

Nidalee's build is very, very versatile. It all depends on who your opponent is, how your team is doing, and so on. When starting, I suggest either a Doran's Blade if you think you'll do well, or a Cloth + Pots if you think you'll need the health. Boots aren't a great start anymore. I've tried the Flask + 2 wards + 2 pots with her. It works, but you already have so much innate sustain that it's redundant and makes your harass lack power. 

If you're snowballing hard and will have time to stay in lane, Brutalizer -> Black Cleaver would be a pretty good idea. Not a single stat is wasted on her. If you're snowballing and might have to leave soon, I'd grab a Giant's Belt. Your first big item, if it wasn't Black Cleaver, should 90% of the time be Warmog's. This item is cost effective in lane and makes you very, very big when combined with your Cougar form's natural Armor and MR.

Need MR? Spirit Visage is great on Nidalee. It buffs her heal, her Warmog's passive, and adds to her growing health pool. Need Armor? You have several options here, and I'll try to explain them all to the best of my ability (without getting biased.)

Does the enemy team have a very, very fed AD Carry? Yes? Go Randuin's Omen.
Does the enemy team have multiple AS based champions? Yes? Randuin's Omen.
Is your enemy team comp fairly AD based, but no one's really scary? Iceborn Gauntlet.

Mixed Damage? Guardian Angel.

Do you need to increase your damage and really up your team fighting utility? Iceborn Gauntlet.

I am in love with the new Randuin's Omen. Health, armor, and a passive on it's predecessor that isn't chance based? Awesome. The Active easily slows the enemy team for at least a good 3.5 seconds if you're in Cougar form. The health still helps against bursty champions as well, so if there's a fed AD Carry, but you're afraid of an assassin - level burst, don't fear. That 500 health will definitely help.

The Iceborn Gauntlet is my new Trinity Force. This baby makes me so happy. Again, not a single wasted stat on Nidalee. CDR always helps keep your AD Carry healthy and buffed through team fights. The armor is great, the Mana gives you more sustain, the AP makes 75% of your spells more powerful...but the icing on this decadent cake is the special Sheen proc:

"After using an ability, your next basic attack deals physical bonus damage equal to 125% of your base attack damage to surrounding enemies and creates a field for 3 seconds that slows enemies inside by 35% - 2 second cooldown."

Permaslow. With the CDR from the item itself, your constant Cougar harass will keep the enemy carry locked down and permaslowed for the whole teamfight. Need to peel? Permaslow anyone near your carry. Its AoE is not huge, but it's certainly enough to slow 2-3 people diving on your carry. With only Warmog's and Iceborn Gauntlet, I was able to run through the entire enemy team for whole team fights, turning and attacking at will. I'd chase off the squishy carries, turn around and perma slow the mobile champs jumping my carry, then turn around and finish off the squishies. I walked out of these engagements with at least 40% of my health remaining. 

For something trolly and very heavy on the split pushing, Banner of Command is a cool item. It's not something I would really run on Tankdalee, but if you're really trying to split push all game, go ahead and get it. It only helps.

To round off your build, you need a pair of boots and an enchantment. I personally prefer Boots of Swiftness. I ran them before the added slow reduction, because I love running fast in bushes. If you need armor or MR for your laning phase, feel free to get Tabi or Treads. As for Enchantments, I prefer the Captain utility, as my teammates are almost always behind me or running towards me. The AoE is actually rather large. I don't have a screenshot, but it's about the length of the outer mid turret to the inner. I don't know about you, but giving my teammates a x2.5 Janna passive sounds good.

Go ahead and try her out. Remember to abuse the brush at all times, start harassing at level 3, and kill that ADC! See you on the Fields of Justice!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Oh Fiora...

I absolutely adore Fiora. I got her double bundle the day she came out, and Headmistress for Halloween. Unfortunately, being an Ahri/Riven main, I have trouble finding the time to play her. Why, you ask? Everyone else brings much more to the table than she does. She has raw damage, and a really cool ultimate, but she's a melee glass cannon without proper escapes and the inability to fight well if she built tanky instead of carry items. (*cough* Irelia, Jax, Darius *cough*)

Several new items came out for melee ADCs, but none of them are really good enough to make the triage of ADCs viable without making Irelia, Jax, and other bruisers 10x more awesome. It's a major catch 22. The only way these champions will be more viable is if their kits are reworked to make them more bruiser-y. Mobility creep has completely taken over LoL, and it's frustrating when these bursty, mobile champions are also given a hard CC plus an additional soft CC or two.

Well, there are a few things we could fix with just a few tweaks to her kit.

1. Fix her ultimate:

Currently, her ultimate will end if you enter an unwarded bush or become stealthed. This greatly decreases her damage and leaves her vulnerable.

2. Buff her passive:

It doesn't scale into the late game at all. A few suggestions would be to:
  • Double its effectiveness every time she crits.
  • Add Tenacity when at full stacks
  • Reduce damage by a small amount (10%, maybe make it scale,) when at full stacks.
3. Give her a soft CC:

Maybe add a small slow to her second Lunge, or a successful Parry.
I think these small tweaks could really make her shine as a melee champion. Let's hope Riot will notice!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Aegis = Worthless?

Hello my friends. We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of our cherished Aegis of the Legion. Do not cry, for he is in a better place now, standing beside The Heavenly Father and - wait wait wait. Wait. What happened to Aegis?

Price inflation? Check.
Loss of stats? Check.

Can't say I didn't see it coming, folks. With the rise of cost for defensive items, this all-in-one package was bound to be destroyed. The stat nerfs, however, were a low blow.

You used to gain:
270 Health
30 Armor
39 Magic Resist
8 Attack Damage

Friendlies received: 12 Armor, 15 Magic Resist, and 8 Attack Damage

For only 1925 gold.

Now you gain:
250 Health (-20)
30 Armor
35 Magic Resist (-4)
10 Health Regen per 5 (Not bad)

Friendlies receive: 10 Armor, 15 Magic Resist, and 10 HP/5

For a mere 2150 gold, you can own this bad boy. And you know what? It's not so bad. We all knew Aegis was a bit OP for what it was, and with the ambient gold increase, the nerf wasn't even that bad. I'd still build this on supports like Alistar, or junglers like Skarner. It's simply situational now instead of a must buy.

Now, at the cost of a (400 gold) Null Magic Mantle (+20 Magic Resist) + 650 gold, check out the upgrade:

Runic Bulwark:
400 Health (+150)
30 Armor
60 Magic Resist (+25)
10 Health Regen per 5

Allies receive: 10 Armor, 30 Magic Resist, and 10 HP/5

At the cost of 650 gold, you receive 150 Health, 5 extra MR for yourself,  and you double the MR of the aura. That's only 650 gold!

Do all the math before you assume something's been nerfed into oblivion. Try it out yourself - you might like it!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why You Should Wait Out the Preseason

Remember the beginning of Season Two, when you got paired up against Plats in your placement games and got trashed? I certainly do, and I don't want to repeat it. I'm going to wait until half the population returns to their original Elo, and wait for the new items and jungle changes to set in before I get on the Ranked bandwagon. I'd like to discuss why you should consider doing the same.

If you have a naturally high Elo, go ahead and have at it. You can climb back to where you belong in a matter of a few games. Could you have a string of bad luck and drop to 1k Elo? Sure, but the Elo gains are going to stay around +/- 20-30 for a very long time this season, until the system gains confidence in your ability to play. You'll climb back up soon enough.

If your Elo was very low last season (bronze or even pre-bronze,) I suggest you wait it out. You're struggling with the basic game mechanics as it is, and some big changes are about to be thrown in your face like a bittersweet pie. I'd suggest reading a few guides and playing in normals in the meantime. Visit for more help with the game mechanics, champions, choosing your role, and anything else you need help with.

Soon, new items will make some older champions more viable, or new champions simply OP. Your normal "go to" item build will change, some minor, and some drastically. (I for one see Mercurial Scimitar being used on every ADC ever.) It will take time for you to test all of these and see which ones you like the most, if you haven't already done so on PBE. Prices have changed as well, making champions like Riven (whom you usually just bought a Ninja Tabi, a Chain Vest, then called it a day against,) keep their power a little longer in the lane phase.

Don't be too rash. Wait it out, try the new jungle and items, and see where your favorite champions stand after the changes. Once you've settled into the new Summoner's Rift, go ahead and claim your Elo!

See you on the Field of Justice!