Good day fellow summoners, (LONG ARTICLE WARNING, LOOK FOR THE TIPS SECTIONS FOR FAST AND CLEAR READ)
With a new season, there are new possibilities within the League of Legends. These possibilities are a blessing to some and a bane to others, since change doesn't always work for the better. So today I want to spend a little time going trough these changes and what they mean. For those interested, you might get some tips from this, and for those who think I am full of crap, you get to shout at me in the comments section.
Now most of us know that there have been a lot of changes in the jungle, in general it's become harder to clear it. In my opinion this is valid 'cus, let's be honest, it was too easy in season 3. But with the changes to the jungle there have also been changes to and jungling items to compensate for the increased difficulty. So why is it then, that with all these changes, I see the majority of people still clinging to the "old ways"? Here are some things I think you should seriously consider doing if you are jungling.
A lot of junglers still cling to the idea of clearing the first buff without using smite, without understanding why they were doing it in the first place. In season three if you cleared the first buff smiteless you could actually clear the other buff with smite to get double buff and level 3 without any hassle and proceed to gank. In the preseason however the experience gains changed so you wouldn't get level 3 unless you cleared a smaller camp with your 2 buffs. Now you might be of the opinion that you got screwed, Riot has however, thought about things for a change.
The answer to this conundrum has come in the form of a reduced cooldown of smite. Making it possible for you to use it more often... But how does this actually help you!? By smiting the first buff! This accomplishes a couple of things: It takes less time to clear the first buff, which has you taking less damage and takes less time off your team mates (so they don't miss farm). It gives you a more efficient clear route, by clearing a small camp in between your buffs and having smite for both buffs. It gets you to level 3 with double buffs in preseason the fastest and with the least health lost.
Another thing that changed is that you now have a clear definition in jungler types. Not just AP or AD, but rather Late game tank, Early game ganker and speed farmer. The choices don't just come from which champion you chose, but also in the form of which items you purchase. It'd be good to think about these things before you even start the game. The first of that being "what does my team need?" and secondly "in what capacity would I fill this role the best?". Now this is not an easy choice to make, but it's one you should consider.
The champion defines your role, but the item defines your capacity. As mentioned before, the new items are roughly split into three categories, namely Tank, Ganker and Farmer. The way I see it they are split like this:
- The go to items for tanks that focus on dominating late game. It gives you a clear mix between ganking and farming by giving you a timer in the form of Conservation stacks. When you have the max 80 stacks you should clear 2 camps, when the 2 camps are done you should gank... Clean cut order: Gank -> Clear 2 -> Repeat.
- The main farming and counter jungling item, for junglers that want to oppress the opposition. It gives you three things to do; FARM FARM FARM FARM FARM FARM FARM! Warding and Counter jungling. A lot of people underestimate what depriving the opponent of gold and gank opportunities actually does for your team. (it's really hidden OP when used well, just my opinion though)
- The go to items for Ganking junglers with a version for AP and AD respectfully. These are actually the items you should go to when your team is screaming for ganks as they give sustain and damage stats so that you can gank more often, even the gold passive rewards you for ganking more then jungling.
Now you could still choose between Jungler types mid game, grabbing Spectral wraith over Ancient golem on Sejuani if the team needs you to gank more often. Or grabbing Elder lizard over Wriggle's on Warwick when someone is loosing lane badly and the jungler isn't putting that much pressure. In my experience though, it's better to pick one role before hand and setting your runes and masteries to go along side that role rather then changing the plan mid game. Rule of thumb though: Needs over Wants.
For support there have been a lot of changes I myself was apprehensive about. Trinkets and Wards but especially the lack of threw me off my game. But at the end of the day I'm pretty satisfied with the new options we specialists got in preseason. The entire team now wards, because they loose nothing by doing it, having a dedicated slot and all. The only thing that still bothers me is the limit on 1 per player, making it harder to counter stealth on champions.
The distinction between different types of support has become just as clear as those between the jungler, not ranged and melee or squishy and tank. But rather, Damage/Poke, Utility and Defense/Tank. They now have their very own item chain for each, even though the is seeing a lot of play due to some oversight on the development part. Because I do not believe that the current iteration of double was intended, strengthened by the upcoming nerfs to it. But that's a bit of a side tangent, back to the support types:
These are the bulky, control champions that sit in bot lane, soke damage and place Crowd Control on the enemies to secure kills or keep them at bay. They should build as the health usually has good synergy with their kits and upgrading it to gives them the ability to protect even more. I'm talking of course about champions like:
These are usually squishy champions with not a lot of control or buffs but with a lot of damage in their kit. These champions focus on poking down the enemies making it riskier for them to make a move, it's an aggressive and generally harder type of play, since to poke, you have to get in range. They should buildas their innate damage and likelihood to attack enemies allows them to generate gold from what they would already be doing. This concerns champions like:
These are the champions that have a lot of crowd control or buffs that help the marksmen out a lot. They focus on buffing and debuffing so any dealt damage is optimal and every received damage is minimal. They should buildto maximize their mana regeneration and increase their gold gain from a safe distance. I'm referring to champions like:
- Sona (really racked my brain on this one, as she could easily fit in Offense)
Now this is not a guide to how to support, this is just an example of what would have the best synergy with each support in my opinion. Some of these cross the lines, just like in real life, where you can't make boxes where everything fits.
Other changes that I think are noteworthy and need discussing are masteries. Now there is a lot of change here as well, a lot of improvements but a lot of herp-a-derp too.
The offense tree for instance has Spell Weaving, Blade Weaving and Warlord. With the first two having limited use on the majority of champions and just lackluster number of all. Spell Weaving is in the best shape out of the three, having 3% bonus damage on abilities is pretty neat. Blade Weaving however requires you to use abilities apart from each other by 1 second in order to get the 3% increase of damage on your attacks. There's only a few champions that could pull that off, and then even fewer that would have any use for it. Hybrid champions like Akali, Evelynn, Jax and Kayle seem to have the most use for this...
While Warlord is the most disappointing of all, requiring 3 points to get 5% of your bonus ad as extra AD. That means with you only get 5 extra AD? Don't get me wrong, every extra AD is good AD, but there are other things you'd better get in the tree to get to 20 so you can take Havoc at least that increases any and all damage unconditionally.
Now I personally feel they did a great job with the defense tree, although some people dislike that Oppression is only useful for limited champions. It's actually fine by me, since there are a lot of slows in the game, and creating a team without slows is pretty hard to do, and then there are still items. No, the only real issue I find with the Defense tree is the complete and utter uselessness of Runic Shield. Now the idea of a 50 health shield sounds nice, but that shield stays a mere 50 health worth and only comes back if you die. Not a single person will be able to keep it up past the 5 minute mark, and after that time it means nothing since 50 health is a lousy support auto attack (and even then deal damage to you).
It is not worth the point and anyone taking it makes me pretty mad in game. >_<
They did a lot of work on this one, adding in trinket range and trap duration modifiers and additional ways to gain gold, which is all nice. The only thing I disagree with is that last one... How Wanderer made it to be the last tier over Intelligence is beyond my comprehension. As any real support would want the CDR on abilities and items, where as I see little use for 5% movement speed out side of combat. I feel these two have been swapped in importance. But I'm more then happy to run 10/0/20 on my supports for the time being.