This Goddamn Champ
Well, went from being a support juggernaut to a support control skirmisher that plays like riven with a kit that looks like a 'best of' from other champions, taking the funnest parts. High outplay potential, with aggressive scalings to promote living on the edge. still borderline useless alone, and cannot really instigate fights, but counter potential should be tight. Using base AD for everything may seem overkill, but it seems better to soften her power curve considering the extreme feast or famine potential. Still in the process is stripping her down via design by subtraction, which means the kitchen sink is finally out, at least. I know it'll be seen as too much, so might as well ask what you'd rather see go.
Actually, About This Champ
Twinblade wielding Guardian (in almost every sense of the word, including parent) gone mercenary. Themes of vengeance, survival and protection. Defends allies through a mixture of joint mobility, clutch intervention, and bursts of blocking, before turning the tables via retribution - a resource gained from defending allies, allowing her to go on the offense, through new or altered abilities that share cooldowns with their more defensive counterparts, which allow her to displace, control, bleed, and cut through multiple targets in small, focused areas, to seal her role as a cooperative "duolist" - best suited for 2v2s, but in a way that demands risk from both of them and restraints that hamper her solo performance despite the duelistic kit.
Might end up making things a little too hectic at botlane. Gonna have to balance that around mana and cooldowns.
Aesthetic and Story
She's someone who's had to fight through armies just to keep another alive. She'll do it again. She's trained to navigate and escort whomever her partner may be, through or around any fight, others be damned. Friend or foe. Maybe the next contract will finally give her what she's been searching for.
Growing up as a soldier, she eventually earned the right to carry an heirloom. One half of a double blade - so to most: just a sword, though a named one at that. It may have many other names, but she simply knew it as Defender. Trained and already naturally skilled beyond the capacity of her peers, despite it all, when the sudden and unjust war came to her lands, she could do nothing for her people. As the army swallowed the lands of her friends and family, soon darkness took her, too.
Only - unlike the others, she woke from the darkness. Woke to sound of distant crying. Dust lay thick in the air, shafts of light through the canopy making the clouds of dust and the corpses apparent. Her face was stiff with caked blood, and throat raw from breathing - Still breathing. Through the confusion a question crawled up her spine: 'did I do this?' That she had no honest answer left an obvious mark on her expression and poise. Her sight trailed down to her hand. In it, she held Defender, as clean as when she'd first received it. Her sight trailed further and attached to the hilt was a blade black and caked in blood - its sister blade: Vengeance.
Again a cry rang out through the stagnant air to clear her mind. Lenaieka followed the call. The puddles of blood soaking into the earth splashed as he walked through them. She came closer to the voice, trudging through the swamp of death. Her eyes, as they strayed from the path, saw many corpses. Too many. Some in uniform and some not. The answer to her role in this lay caustic and bitter on her tongue, but as still and fresh as the corpses.
Once more she heard the cry and the tiny source sat baptized in blood. Lenaieka's sword slipped from her hand and she rushed to pick up the small child. For a moment Protection and Vengeance lay behind her, and guilt and maternity streaked down her face as tears. Her mask of blood cracking as the tears fell to reveal her face. Trembling, the only thing certain in her mind was the she had to protect her. This was her path. Thin and narrow, as all else was unclear except for one small thought. A name. Nanamoré. Little Nana. I'll keep you safe.
Yet after all that, there was little safety to be found. The self-proclaimed emperor sent assassins and soldiers after her. And trying to send gentle Nana to safety and away from this, resulted in the potential new surrogates' death, and the child held hostage. Fate would not have them separated, and the emperor would not let them live. After years on the run, going between the necessities to survive and naivety of a childhood that Lenaieka was determined to give her, she was eventually confronted with the situation. The emperor had to die.
The false emperor - the target of her vengeance.
The girl - the symbol of her redemption.
It was as if they were choices set before her. When she committed herself to killing the emperor, even if it was to bring safety to her and the girl, that morning Nanamoré had disappeared. She set of in search for her, casting aside thoughts of vengeance. In trade for information on the girl she sold herself as a bodyguard. Repeatedly she was lied to by the desperate, used by the cruel, but still protected those who needed it by no other virtue than that need. She never knew which one they were until she had already defended them, and as if fearful of what would happen if she once more started down that path, against them, too, she set aside vengeance to find her surrogate daughter. And so still she remains a protector itinerant.
"There's a line between protection and vengeance. I am that line." - Lenaieka
- When Moving
- I'm coming for you.
- I'll find you eventually.
- Don't worry. Mommy's coming.
- Sweet child.
- When Intervening
- Decide: fight or flight!
- I'll pull you through. Don't worry.
- I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.
- I'd better not regret this.
- When Using Rescue
- Stand with me!
- I'll defend you. Come what may.
- When Using Pack Tactics
- Attack them. I dare you.
- Be brave, child.
- When Using Red Wall
- This far! And no further.
- I am the line!
Playing as Lenaieka
- Always keep your range in mind. Just running at your opponent is rarely going to get you anywhere. Your mobility is conditional. make sure those conditions are met.
- Your best shot is having an ally that can take risks with you as you drag them into danger.
- Be aware of your weakness against mages. You can't intervene a spell, and you can't kill what you can't reach.
- Understand your ability to trade; Your shield isn't strong by itself, but strong for two targets, and Blood is a great source of sustain, but keep in mind your vulnerability in trying to get it.
- Trust your ally: they can bleed your targets before you go in, and intervention doesn't block for you, but it does for them.
- You can do a lot of damage with AD. But you won't get to deal it without Retribution.
- If you're not tanky enough, there's no reason not to focus you. You can't intervene strike against yourself. You might want to make sure you're less tempting of a target than your ally.
- Keep in mind what you want to use your retribution for. Blade wall can be a wind wall for all the damage you can block, and deal a lot of damage for those caught in the narrow area, but if they're not at least slowed, there's little stopping them from flashing over, or to the side to interrupt you, or killing your ally.
- Speaking of blade wall, it might be tempting to use it for damage, but the ability is narrow and easy to walk out of if they're not locked down, and if they are locked down, you're neglecting power of the deflection. And even with the burst, it locks you down, so spending the cooldown on an ally for the expected chase might be better.
Playing Against Lenaieka
- Her ranges are very short. Separate her from her enemy or an ally, and she loses mobility, damage, and survivability - and that's just from her own kit, let alone theirs.
- She relies a lot on controlling the fight and doesn't have a lot of survival against burst as she scales best with offense. Get the drop on her and focus her, and she'll not likely be of much use.
- See a juicy target near Lenaieka? Be careful as she can stop you dead in your tracks: If she sees you, she can stop your auto attack, stun you, and stop a significant amount of damage aimed at that target, as well as stop your escape route if your were planning on dashing, and all of it just as fast as you were planning on killing them.
- Keep track of her retribution, or don't let her build any at all, and you'll have an easier time reading her. Don't get tunnel vision, however, if you're melee and you come across her and an ally, keep in mind how hard it is lock her down by yourself.
- Things I Want (to Keep)
- Retribution for your ally reflected in the opportunity to use aggressive abilities as opposed damage stat increases.
- Which abilities are used are elegantly decided by what your target is, or double clicking.
- Cooldown reduction as a reward for playing right and coordinating well. More actions feel better.
- Emphasize cooperation, not just personal effort as the method of winning.
- Cooperative strength puts both at risk to achieve, and require both to be close, despite possibility of operating effectively at different ranges.
- A sense of brutality and force in the playstyle, like a pack of wolves tearing at the enemy. Merciless against few foes - selective and patient picking off the weak when facing many.
- To that end, make cooperative skirmishing possible, and in the right comp, effective.
- Might be hard to achieve with the juggernaut weight and feel, but I still want weight. (Re)Positioning is the key element for skirmishing. Displacement through knockbacks is probably best way of allowing skirmishes, while maintaining weighty feel.
- Make your partner matter. Who you share defiance with could/should affect the other abilities in some way.
- Cool Situations
- Q to get an ally from the middle of a teamfight to a squishy.
- Q to only stealth, as your ally keeps running in the same direction to safety.
- W to let your partner become a bigger threat, before dashing to blood for movement speed and heal, or Qing to it to heal them.
- W blade walling from stealth, 0.5 seconds before attacking, absorbing incoming attacks before they realize you're blade walling and bleeding them dry in more sense than one.
- E to dash through minion waves to reach your target behind the target.
- E to dash off of bloodstain for ally, and dash back in to attack allies.
- R to pull enemy off of bloodstain to let your ally heal.
- And of course, combos like R to pull enemies over you, retribution Q to knock them back and away from ally, E to dash at an angle, auto to dash through enemy and knock ally to safety and retribution W to bleed and block projectiles.
- Balance Tuning Issues
Power is intended to be gradual. That is because conceptually it's strong early and falls off later, with exaggerated snowballing to cooperative nature, but it's a playstyle I want to remain active throughout the game, to promote small squad tactics later, while knowing you sacrificed teamfighting capabilities, poke, (reliable) cc and other traditional support strengths for that opportunity.
Due to base AD scaling, can easily backfire and scale too well into the lategame, making teamfights too easy when it's supposed to be a downside. Easy to reduce if strategy and playstyle remains valid.
(some of) the right knobs to turn for that is make sure she can't engage, she has to piggyback, struggles when locked down, and she needs to be selective about her targets while locked down and getting kited. Separation should be an issue. Should find ways to emphasize that. Currently range is the simplest and most effective.
- Current Plans
- Number crunch: Comparatively to other similar champion abilities, the cooldowns are higher, damage is lower, but synergetically way higher.
- Check if balance between defense and offense is right: I want her to be an aggressive defender, but still a defender.