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Shard, the Broken Reflection is a champion concept that I recently came back to thinking about. Once I created him as a anti-magic variant of Taric, with a huge sprinkling of Pokemon flavour underneath. Back then, Taric was a top-of-the-line support, providing his teammates with stat auras and heals and a stun despite not contributing much to the teamfight himself.
Back in the day, midlane was entirely dominated by AP mages - the nukers, who took you down with a single combo, and the mDPS champs who simply wore entire teams down through sustained damage. That was when I started thinking: "Say. There's a lot of sustain supports. There's quite a few tank supports. But why isn't there one that focuses on countering the enemy mage?
A few years later, the game shifted around dramatically, focused far more on mobility and skirmishing than massive teamfights. And then along comes season 5 with the attention shifting more and more towards the league of tanky bruisers. Still, there's no champion that would fit my concept quite right. A champ that would do his duty as a support, but really shine when laning starts to break down - protecting his ADC from burst provided by the midlaner.
We have Braum, who can catch the shots. We have Lulu with her shield + HP boost to mitigate the damage. And of course, there is Morgana with her Black Shield that does the same and blocks the resulting CC. But what I'm aiming at is a champ, who'd take advantage of the tendency that bursters have - to blow the combo on the carry you're protecting. And turn this very tendency against the burster himself.
By the way, for those of you who haven't - look up the previous version of this concept, that still lingers in the long-forgotten corners of this Wiki. And compare its Q to the way Soraka's Astral Blessing was remade. I had a fair laugh when I did.
Old wives' tales say that breaking a mirror means seven years bad luck. This takes its root in the story of Shard, an alien entity that has been watching mankind for time immemorial.
Aeons ago the islands now known only as Shadow Isles were as teeming with life and everyday's pleasures as Valoran. Its denizens were a hardy people, if somewhat wary of strangers. But then the throne came into the hands of a certain young man. Sickly and frail since the day he was born, in his isolation he would have his only friend in a magical mirror that was said to only ever speak the truth. The boy would spend hours talking with the mirror, sharing his pains with it just as it told him tales of lands, both nearby and far away, that it has seen over the ages.
Time passed, and the boy became a man. And the man was crowned king. At the ceremony, a mysterious old man approached the king, introduced as an ambassador of a distant country. Many a tale has he spun, and amongst them one in particular - of a powerful spell that allows men to transcend mortality and live forever. The king was enthralled and begged the sage to stay at the court as his advisor. He accepted.
Soon after, preparations have begun. The king's men toiled day and night, preparing the site, procuring bizarre tomes and exotic ingredients. In one of their last talks, the Mirror pleaded the king to abandon his folly, as it would bring about only Ruin.
The king, however, went through with the plan. As the old man and his acolytes began chanting the spell, he could feel the power surging into him. He held the Mirror close to show his friend his ascent to godhood.
No one knows what happened that night. No one who witnessed the ceremony was ever heard from again - no one, save for one mysterious figure, who was found there the next morning, kneeling over the desiccated corpse of the king. As it stood up, villagers fled, for in its broken, mirror-like face reflected all the evil that transpired and would transpire in days to come - for soon after thick, noxious fog would start to appearing out of nowhere, choking people in their sleep and booming with the moans of the damned dead. Amidst it, the creature would walk silent, stopping only to stand vigil over those of the dying who had none to die with.
Over the next seven years, the mists covered all of the archipelago, scaring away most inhabitants and turning those less fortunate into vile mockeries of living creatures. Some say the last boat to leave the Shadow Isles, as they came to be called, had no sail, no oars and no rudder. It had only a single being inside, clad in white, no emotion reflected in its lucid face. The boat was later found ashore near Bilgewater - empty.
Ever since then, another tale is spun by old wives. Fear not death, they say. You have all your friends and family to send you off and remember you. And even if you have not, you will not be alone. The hand holding yours will be ice-cold, but the memories of you will be held close to a warm, compassionate heart. A heart still bleeding from beind shattered so long ago.
Summoner beware, however. As kind as he is, Shard houses in his mind the horrors of a thousand deaths. Pray he never decides to share them with you.
- To live is to die.
- Pain stays within.
- You are. Not. Alone.
- Would you like to see what death's like?
- Tell me where it hurts.
- Life is pain. Death's the same.
- Why don't they ever learn.
- Death is a release.
- Come. Take my hand.
- Take a look in the mirror.
- Ring a ring o'rosies...
Thanks for the comments, guys. As I see, the two main problems about this concept are the ult and the overall simplicity of the skills.
I must agree, the basic skills were designed with simplicity in mind. Their use requires quite a bit of practice to time right with the short windows of opportunity they provide versus their high mana costs, but that's not their key factor. What I intended with them was to be useful in creative ways, as opposed to "one skill - one trick".
The innate is free sustain, that's true - but mind the mana costs. They're deliberately on the high side for what they do, as Shard should not be spamming them. In order to use his skills repeatedly, Shard has to keep on his toes, "catching" enemy spellcasts to refresh his passive while staying far enough to avoid them. That's one for a dynamic gameplay, since I *hate* passive play.
While Q might seemingly be a typical "hit-to-win" skillshot, I intend it to be the exact opposite. Your aim with it will be NOT to hit the enemy, for in this case it's only a mediocre'ish and heavily overpriced poke. Instead, the aim is to position is to cut off the enemy's pathing, either forcing trades or granting the protected character some breathing space. On a side note, with pinpoint aiming, it's possible to hit the enemy with the primary shatter, then force them to escape through the field for extra damage that is likely to exceed the bonus for hitting the enemy. Oh, and the cooldown is deliberate to an extent, as it was intended for the field to be "sustainable" - so that there could be one out all the time, as mana allows.
With the W i wanted to go for a little lane heal, but with some tricks to it. The recharge on the stacks is static (yep, another thing I forgot to add when writing the concept in the first place), so the best way to obtain them is to get hit - yet another incentive to dart around the enemies, baiting attacks for stack generation. The heal might not be much in a clutch, but that's where building pathways come in. What I had in mind was to allow Shard to build beefy and still remain relevant in mid-to-late game. With a little health in his items, the active on the W can heal for quite a bit even with just 3 stacks. Plus it could soften incoming AAs quite a bit as a side bonus. In essence, the W is to promote diversifying the build - a tankier build also provides more sustain to the laner, while a squishier build hits harder.
The E is a staple of the build, both a life-saver if it blocks an enemy CC and some pretty hard AoE CC to turn the fight around on the foe. As with the other skills, my aim was to make it useful both offensively and defensively while allowing for counterplay. An offensive use might be to get up close and personal with the enemy, cutting them off with a Q field between them and the turret, and then to catching the particle of an enemy's defensive skill (cait's or ez's dashes come to mind) to stun them.
And now the biggest offender as far as I noticed, the ult. Just as you pointed out, it's loosely based on Yorick's Omen of death. What I made it for, however, is the buff it provides. Think of it this way - as long as the puppet's alive, the protected champion is MUCH harder to take down. And attacking him hurts. So the logical choice would be to go after the puppet... but then Shard can order it off away from the fight, giving you a choice to either chase it while taking the pain from the enemy's attacks or focus the protected champ and hurt yourself... or focus shard, to take down both the puppet and the shield. But then you run at risk of getting pelted by BOTH the enemy marksman and his clone... This mind game goes on. And that's exactly what I intend with the skill. It's the ultimate miscommunication punisher and the perfect tool to play around enemies, pretty much forcing them to make mistakes for your teammates to abuse.
And that last sentence would be the perfect sum-up of Shard in my humble opinion.
Any comments are welcome so if there's anything you don't like or maybe something you'd wish changed, I'm all open to discussion. What I'm most interested in would be:
What would be your approach to a game-changing ult revolving around turning the aggression against the aggressor?
Art by the one, the only Kassyndra.