Lulu the Fae Sorceress - First Impressions
The highly anticipated new support champion has been recently released. As someone who plays a lot of support, it was an easy choice for me to take the plunge and see how Lulu plays. Here's my first impressions and very basic guide to her.
Lulu was designed to be played as a support, which she fits well. She's rather unique compared to the other supports, which makes her fairly exciting and novel.
First, it should be noted she has a very active playstyle. While most supports generally continually buff their teammate while staying back, Lulu can be somewhat aggressive thanks to Glitterlance and her other spells that have the option of targeting either allies or enemies. Your passivity level goes drastically down when playing as Lulu, although don't mistake her as an AD carry.
Speaking of which, the reason why she seems so unique and fun is because of her well designed kit (Kudos to Xypherous once again). Her spells have multiple usages, and a really interesting thing is how Glitterlance works. There will definitely be a 'learning curve' in terms of mastering her because of this utility. You often have to make decisions to choose between casting on an ally or enemy, while also being aware of positioning.
Pix is a neat pet too. He's essentially a more visible form of a buff, but it's a very cool one at that. What makes Pix great is manipulating him to be able to use Lulu to the best of her potential.
As with most supports, she's rather weak. Not surprisingly, she's an easy target alone. She definitely was designed to be played as a support - I've seen some players try AP on her but it's rather unoptimal, especially considering how tuned her spells are to utility purposes. She has overall weak base stats, including the slowest movement speed in the game (base of 300, tied with Nautilus and Anivia).
As mentioned before, her passive is Pix, an untargetable 'pet' that follows her around. He is esentially on a very short 'leash' however, and is not a rigid object. This means his positioning can be slightly altered by moving Lulu short distances, meaning you can have Pix be on your right side, left side, etc. Plus, he can be attached to other players. Using Pix properly can make Lulu's abilities more effective, as you'll see in my impressions of other abilities below.
Otherwise, he aids by attacking whenever his 'owner' attacks, by firing 3 rapid projectiles per attack that deal magic damage. This makes him great for AD carries with attack speed and makes up for Lulu's lackluster attack damage. Pix's attacks can be intercepted/blocked by other units however, so frontline fighters can prevent much of his damage to the intended targets.
Glitterlance offers something a little new by presenting a more challenging but rewarding 'skill-shot' ability. It deals damage and has a very heavy slow (80%!) for a short duration on hit. It shoots from both Lulu and Pix, although enemies can only take damage from one bolt. Normally, Pix is attached to Lulu, so you'll just end up seeing two shots fire fairly close to each other - but it's more than just shooting two shots at once.
Keep in mind Pix is a short distance away from Lulu, so depending on where you aim, you can alter the direction both shots go in. For example, if you aim very close to Lulu, you can have the shots cross each other and fire off in two separate different directions , giving the potential to hit more than one opponent in two different areas.
The fun part is combining it with her other ability (Help, Pix!) to really change trajectory. This ability attaches Pix to either an ally or enemy for a short time. If an ally is targetted, they get shielded and have Pix follow them around (aiding in their attacks), or if an enemy is targetted, magic damage is dealt and he provides vision of the target while attached to them. Glitterlance fires a bolt from both Lulu and Pix, so even when Pix is suddenly far away from Lulu, it will not affect his ability to fire said nuke. This means Glitterlance has huge range and directional potential, depending on positioning of targets.
Check out these diagrams to get a better grasp of what I'm talking about.
Here's what it looks like when just shooting at a distance by default.
Here's what it looks like when aiming closeby. Notice the directional change.
Here's what it looks like when Pix is attached to someone else. Note that Glitterlance will still cause him to fire off in the direction of the cursor, even if Lulu is nowhere near. This allows you to shoot beyond Lulu's casting range, and hit across multiple directions.
Whimsy is her signature buff/debuff spell. When cast on an ally, it increases movement speed and Ability Power by a large amount for a short time. If cast on an enemy, it morphs them into a harmless critter (slowed, cannot attack or cast spells) for a short time.
Besides being an amusing ability, it gives Lulu even more flexibility. I foresee it as mainly being used to disable enemies, but the ally buff does come in handy sometimes. It can be casted on Lulu herself, so it can be used to get out of bad situations.
There is no scaling for this spell besides levels.
Wild Growth, her ultimate, is a simple buff that dramatically increases the size and health of target allied champion, knocking enemies away on initial cast, and gives them a slowing aura. This is an incredibly useful spell to save allies or gain the advantage in team fights. Not much else to say except timing it to knock back enemies properly takes practice.
She fits into the game just fine, and is likely going to become a favourite champion of mine. Keep in mind she is more active and loses a lot of passivity most supports have.
Standard support builds seem to work. The usual Philosopher stone, Heart of Gold, lots of wards, etc. Shurelia's Reverie seems to be a must since she benefits a lot from cooldown reduction and has the slowest movement speed in the game.
Strengths: Flexibility and activity. She's more aggressive but doesn't necessarily have to be. Her spells have multiple utilities for either allies or enemies. Skill-shot mastering will be fun and rewarding.
Weaknesses: Slowest movement speed can make it very punishing for being caught out. It can make it real difficult to get to teammates/enemies in time, or to escape an ambush. It's a very direct constrast to Janna, another favourite of mine, who makes it easy to get to places.
Also, while Lulu does have flexibility, it can only be applied to one side. Meaning, you have to decide whether to cast on an allied target or an enemy. She also has long cooldowns.
Complexity is both a strength and weakness. While it won't take long to get used to her, she is more complicated than other supports.
Well designed in my opinion. Voice is quite fitting. One of her laughs includes a snort, which is hilariously cute. Note Whimsy forms change depending on her skin, so her classic is a squirrel, Bittersweet is a bulgy-eyed cupcake, and Wicked is a black cat with a ribbon. Thus, you can tell quite a bit of effort was put into her.
She has extra voices when casting abilities, which is a nice touch. Visual feedback is good, but unfortunately it can be difficult to distinguish between Glitterlance projectiles and Pix's attacks (or to even see Pix's attacks). Often times it doesn't matter since Pix's attacks disappear incredibly fast anyways.
Overall I'm impressed by Lulu. I think she'll be yet another favourite support champion for me. Her massive utility combined with an interesting skill-shot mechanic makes for long term 'practice-and-reward' playstye.
She's definitely different and fun.
Extra stuff for the Curious:
-She rides her broom like a witch when Whimsy is cast on her.
-If you attach Pix to an enemy, it makes it much easier to hit them with Glitterlance since Pix is right next to them. If they're running away, Pix will be in a position where you can just aim in front of the enemy to fire in the direction they're running in.
-Remember that Pix's attacks scale with attack speed. This makes him useful for increasing damage output of AD carries.
-Don't forget that using Pix as a nuke also grants vision of the enemy. This can be useful when chasing an enemy into bushes, and may be more favorable than casting on a healthy ally.
-Don't forget Whimsy, when casted on allies, also gives a big Ability Power boost to them. Useful for mages and poking wars.