This is a tentative rework for Cassiopeia, the Serpent's Embrace. After having remained mostly untouched for years, her rework during the Shurima update sent her down a rocky road of balance and design changes. Her initial update mostly aimed at defining her hypercarry power curve, but shifted a lot of power towards her Twin Fang, while failing to address its gameplay issues. Her second update in V6.9 improved her even further, though, and made her play much more consistently, but still left her in a middling state between a DoT mage and a not-quite-poison mage.
At the core of Cassiopeia's issues is a fair amount of redundancy: her Q applies a DoT, her W applies a DoT, and her E applies a lot of DPS, and on top of that both her Q and E are fairly spammable. All of these inputs don't really add up to as much depth as they should, and create a lot of unnecessarily difficulty and dependency on good ping to succeed. The changes below aim to fix that while reconciling her themes, giving her more unified sources of damage while also letting her play a bit more with her different poisons. Cassiopeia would still have a lot to do from moment to moment, but she'd also get to make more impactful decisions along the way during fights.
Innate: Enemies afflicted with Cassiopeia'spoisons are dealt 3.5 - 12 (based on level)(+ 2.5% AP) magic damage every 0.25 seconds, stacking infinitely with further applications while the target remains in combat with her.
Currently, one thing that bothers me is how Cassiopeia has multiple DoTs going around when they basically achieve the same purpose, which I think tends to muddy her power expression a fair bit. Because of this, I feel it would be a good idea to combine all of her poison damage into one singular effect which would increase over time. I think it's necessary to specify that the poison stacks over combat, rather than upon concurrent applications, because many of her poisons now potentially last for very short durations, and would make for a very choppy damage curve if the stacks dropped each time.
Because I'm removing Cass's current passive, I also changed her base movement speed to a constant 340, and in order to push her a bit more towards battle mage territory, I reduced her attack range to 500 from 450. Additionally, since her playstyle is meant to be fairly spammy, I think it would make more sense for her to be manaless, particularly since her damage here would be significantly less free.
Active:Cassiopeia hurls poison at the target area which strikes after a delay, afflicting all enemies hit with Noxious Poison for 1 second.
Cass's kit feels a bit redundant when you consider that she has two spammable, low-cooldown nukes at her disposal. The resulting combination often makes for very messy button-mashing, without any real gameplay being added by piling one spam effect on top of the other. Here I more or less combined the two effects, with Q remaining Cass's main poison applicator. I changed the effect's bonus movement speed specifically to make Cass better at chasing her target, and not kiting them backwards, since I also made her W more freely usable.
Active:Cassiopeia spits forth a gob of Miasma that remains at the target area for 2.5 seconds after a delay, and expands in size if an enemy steps on it, afflicting all enemies on it with Debilitating Poison.
Cass's current Miasma is fairly experimental in how it incorporates the Ground effect, but in the end, it doesn't especially add to Cass's gameplay or contributions. Similarly, the effect's use as an arc with a minimum range makes casting it occasionally awkward. Keeping in accordance with Cass's overall spamminess, I reduced the ability's cooldown and area of effect, which should allow her to trap enemies more consistently while kiting or chasing them, without having a portion of her DPS locked behind a large cooldown.
Active:Cassiopeiadashes to the target enemy champion or large monster, bites them, and recoils back to her attack range from them, healing herself and applying Paralytic Poison for 0.5 seconds.
This is probably the biggest change I want to implement on Cassiopeia's kit. I am not at all a fan of her current E, which makes no thematic sense (why is she flinging her teeth at people?) and carries little genuinely interesting gameplay, even with a host of conditionals tacked onto it (you basically just spam it non-stop once you get the poison trail rolling).
As a replacement, I figured this ability would work better as a kind of situational empowerment to her other abilities. The healing and root combo is there so that Cass can buy herself a breather in duels, while also letting her catch enemies caught by both her poisons. I made the healing scale with maximum health, rather than AP, as I think it would make more sense for Cass, as a battle mage, to be a bit more durable, even if she wouldn't be as tanky as the likes of Vladimir, which would also make her a little less snowbally overall.
COOLDOWN: 100 / 75 / 50
Active: After a delay, Cassiopeia blasts the target cone with her gaze, stunning all enemies in range directly facing her.
I removed the ability's damage and slow mainly to put emphasis on her identity as a DPS mage, as well as establish clearer success and failure cases for her opponents (success = turn away, nothing happens, failure = get stunned). In exchange, though, I increased the stun's duration at later ranks, and reduced the ability's cooldown significantly.
What do you think of this? What are your thoughts on Cassiopeia, both before and after her rework? What do you think is her identity? Does she fully capture that on live, and do the above changes bring her closer to the gameplay fantasy you'd want to achieve with her?