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Carry by Proxy - Why (Some) Assasins Don't Fall Off Late

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Let's start this off by saying I'm a Leblanc player. She's just so damn fun... Now, I've recently seen a lot of "LB OP NERFNERFNERF OR I QUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" comments/threads/rage in a range of places, be it Youtube, the LoL Forums themselves or in-game. When people tell these raging people "LB is not OP, buy magic resist", I'm happy. Because there's nothing funnier than someone raging at your "OP damage" when they have base MR. Execpt for Singed, that's the only exception. I digress. The other most common reply to these raging people is "LB falls of late-game". This, I'm not so sure of. This blog post is my dismantlement of that argument. I will reference Leblanc almost all the time. She is the one of those champions that suffer from this position. I know her best out of all of those. This can be applied to all of the champions in the same position.


The Argument

The argument at hand is that Leblanc's damage drops off late. This is partly true. Her damage does fall off in a way, but it's only relative because her enemies are naturally tankier as they level. At level 6, you can 100 - 0 someone in an instant. You are less likely to do that to someone with 4 or more items that's level 15. So, it gives the impression that her damage falls off. Then there's the point the enemy team may/will have resistances. Eventually, someone will build a defensive item or two. Naturally, that will lower her damage. That has no meaning, however. Let's say a Sona does 100 magic damage. Buy a Null Magic Mantle and she will do less than 100. Simple. Whether you are Sona or Leblanc, if someone builds magic resist, she will do less damage. That's not damage falling off late at all. Well, it is, but it's not specific to Leblanc or assasins in general. That's why this particular part of the "falls off late" argument is invalid. Everyone falls off eventually. Now, let's look at a late-game monster. Take Kog'Maw for example. A 6 item Kog is a terror. He will do a ton of damage. Get a defensive item and he will do less damage. There. Kog just fell off late because you got some armor and/or magic resist. That's the basis for the "falls off late" argument not working.

A lot of these assasins in the same position as Leblanc are single-target. This is another one of those "LB isn't OP because..." reasons. The idea is that a 'viable' AP carry has aoe burst and can do a ton of damage to multiple targets in the course of a teamfight. Take Katarina for example. She was very popular in IPL5. 3/4 of her skills do aoe damage. Was Leblanc picked? No. Not as far as I know anyway. Sure, Distortion does aoe damage, but it's not likely to be used specifically for that aoe damage, so I won't count it. Instead, Leblanc does incredible burst to a single target in quite possibly the shortest time in the League. Most people using the "single target damage" argument refer to that single target nature as a weakness. I disagree. I believe it to be a strength. My reason(s) are below.


My Argument

The first argument is against Leblanc's damage falling off late-game. First off, I'm a 1300 player at the moment. In my elo, people don't build defensive items unless they're a tank, are copying a certain build from a guide to the letter or belong in higher elo. Because of this, I can 100 - 0 someone easily, even late game. In these cases, my damage hasn't dropped off at all. It just stayed at peak for the whole game from 6+. Now I'll use realistic examples of things that will appear under normal circumstances. I've pretty much explained this already, but here it goes again. The "falling off" of damage is an illusion. As the game progresses, people just get naturally tankier. As a result, you are less likely to completely burst someone down. It's just a fact of life. Also, they will build at least one defensive item each. Resistances reduce damage. People tend to put off building resistances until later in the game, once they have their core build completed. This gives the impression of damage falling off late. Think about this, the reason your damage fell off late was because a defensive item was purchased late. Would your damage fall off at level 3 if someone got some magic resist? Of course it would. Regardless of when resistances are gained, they will still reduce damage. What is seen as falling off late is simply a pattern that has been developed by the general meta of build orders. I'm not bashing the meta at all, just in case you think I am. I am simply stating the meta as what is happening right now and the cause for what people are seeing.

Now, I want to talk about single-target damage. This is, in fact, a strength. By focusing all your damage on a single target, it allows you to deal more damage to that target. Think of Taric heal. You can heal 2 people or just one. When healing a single person, it heals for more. The same logic applies. If you could do the same damage a single-target assasin like Leblanc has to an entire team, that would be totally broken, right? The only exception to this rule is Darius. Because he's.... Darius. So, we've established that focusing all your damage on a single target lets you do more damage in your burst combo. What does this mean? It means that you can instantly remove someone from a fight. This is where the blog title comes from. If you can instantly kill the enemy AD carry or force them to recall, you did your job. You carried indirectly. By making their carry useless. You have reduced the fight to a 4v5 as a result of your kill or almost-kill. Your team now has a massive advantage. Let's say your team wins the resulting teamfight from your instakill initiation. You carried your team by creating an opening for your team to exploit. Sure, you didn't do all the damage in the fight, but it was that advantage you created that won the fight. I call that carrying a game or a fight. Now, I'm sure some of you are thinking "What? 4v5? No, it's 4v4 because of your cooldowns!" True, I can't put out much, if any damage for a while now, but that's fine. The fight is still 5v4. Why? I have a lifebar. I can be targeted. Once your cooldowns have been used, you esentially become a punching bag. You are now just a squishy tank. Being able to be targeted by the enemy team is an advantage because while the remaining 4 of the enemy team focus you, they aren't focusing your team, who are focusing them. That means, as soon as you die and the enemy team switch focus to someone else on your team, they are already fighting at a disadvantage. If you kill someone before you die yourself, then you also carried by winning the teamfight. Then there's the possiblility the ignore you because of your cooldowns. That's okay, just wait a few seconds and you will be able to instakill someone else. This is especially true of Leblanc with lots of CDR, but can be applied to any of the assasins of which I speak. You may not be able to do your full burst, but you will still have enough damage to probably take someone else out with the rest of your team's damage. There you go, even more carrying!

The last thing I want to talk about it Guardian Angel. This is what bothers me. If you kill someone before you go down, then you did your job, but if you take out someone with GA and you pop it, what then? Was it worth it? I really don't know on this one. At the very least, they won't be reviving mid-fight and finishing your team off. They will probably only revive with 1/2 their health anyway, so they might just run away to heal. That would be the same as killing them. But what if you almost kill them, then die? Or what if you kill them the first time and then die? It'll be a 5v4 in favor of the enemy. This is the only time I can think of that a champion like Leblanc or Shaco isn't so useful. The same applies to if the enemy team has Zilean. I won't count Yorick because they'll just die 7 seconds later anyway.


So, that's my argument against Leblanc and other similar champions falling off late game. The only true counter to these chamions is Guardian Angel. Even then, one would need to kill them before GA pops to realistically make their effort useless. Popping a GA will be worth it or not worth it for them. It depends on the situation at hand. If their team can tangibly win a fight anyway, then popping the GA was worth it. It's also worth it of the assasin gets away after popping the GA. It's really situational. If you get anything from reading this, it's that I want you to know there's more than one way to carry. Creating huge advantages here and there is another way to carry, not just playing in the bot lane or mid lane and doing the most damage possible to an entire team. Well, that's me out for now. Thanks for reading. Feel free to poop on what I say. I'll enjoy reading what you have to say. I'm into that kind of thing.

DID YOU KNOW: IONIA IS WAS A PLACE IRL?

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