To be frank here, Blitzcrank is in a tight spot. When you're playing as him, you're encouraged to do the same thing every time: wait in the bush until an opportunity arises, and then hook your kill in before popping them into the air and silencing them to prevent any counterplay. Sure, there may also be times where Blitz will instead use his W to run up to you and then hook you when you try to flash away or use other blinks or dashes, but the principle is still the same; it's a little too easy to set up kills with Blitzcrank.
One thing to keep in mind here is that Riot Games didn't design Blitzcrank to be the aggressive support he's commonly played as now. To prove this, we have his champion spotlight, which has Phreak recommending you build items such as Infinity Edge and Trinity Force on him, AD damage items. Blitzcrank was supposed to be an AD Bruiser.
Since Blitzcrank's release, Riot has given us Thresh, a dedicated support whose kill potential also centers around landing a skillshot hook. Albeit his kit has far more defensive options, and his hook is telegraphed, on top of requiring Thresh to jump onto enemies himself in order to follow up with any of his other skills. Even further back than that, there's Nautilus, who's ganking and kill potential also depends on his ability to land a skillshot that brings enemies to him. Nautilus is finding niches all over the Rift, while Thresh is still one of League's most popular supports, so what niche does Blitzcrank have left? Being a highly aggressive support that encourages a repetitive and simple playstyle? Not on my watch.
The idea here is not to completely kill Blitzcrank's potential as a support, but to merely give him more options while finding him his own niche and unique playstyle in the meta that doesn't involve easy hooks and locking down enemies with simple combos. As the title of this blog post says, my opinion is that Blitzcrank needs a rework. Badly.
Here's an example idea:
- The first step is to encourage Blitzcrank to focus less on setting up kills for his team and more on cracking skulls on his own. Giving him better chase potential when no one's around to aid him should suffice.
- Ah, Blitzcrank's hook. One of the most iconic moves in the whole game. It should be obvious why taking it out completely isn't an option. Instead, let's settle on making it scale with AD while toning up it's mana costs.
- Aside from fueling the high mana costs from constantly throwing out Rocket Grabs, this ability will also be around to encourage players to stack mana items to boost its damage and shield strength.
- Power Fist is still the bread and butter ability to combo Rocket Grab into. Due to the long windup before Blitzcrank can stun anyone with this ability, his killing potential bases around charging up Power Fist beforehand and then timing his hook properly to reel someone in just before the attack goes off, guaranteeing a stun. Since Blitzcrank has no other means of inflicting crowd control on enemies after using Rocket Grab, him starting to charge up this move is almost always a decent telegraph for when he's about to hook, leaving potential counterplay. If one were to simply forego this ability and just hook them outright, the pulled enemy can easily walk away if there's noone nearby to chain in cc of their own.
- Yes, Overdrive would now be Blitzcrank's ultimate. Attack speed wouldn't really appeal to this new kit, so Blitz now gains attack damage instead. As is the case with actual machinery, Blitzcrank will start to hurt himself if he's in overdrive for too long and lets himself overheat. In order to avoid punishing himself, Blitzcrank needs to claim his kill quickly and cool off before hunting for his next victim.
Theoretical Item Build
If anyone would like to share their thoughts on either Blitzcrank's current state, or this idea for a rework, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.