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Midseason 2017 - An Introduction To Support Item Quests

By Rilea

 

"We want the Support player’s laning actions to be more interactive, meaningful, and drive towards a feeling of progressing through the game without simply piling on more gold, as it’s very easy to do more harm than good that way. adding quests and their rewards is just one of several steps towards improving the Support experience."

 

Overview

 

Riot has recently revealed drastic changes to the core support items and their upgrades, that are bound to hit on Patch 7.9 as part of Midseason 2017. Ancient Coin, Spellthief’s Edge and Relic Shield are all getting new features. Whilst each item has had some stat adjustments, the most prominent change is the introduction of a quest tied to each item; requiring the player to earn 650 gold sourced from their core support item.

 

These quests unlock a reward unique to each item:

  • Ancient Coin line – Gain an elixir that grants a skill point when consumed, meaning you’ll finish levelling all your abilities at level 17. Champion kills will also grant gold and restore mana.
  • Spellthief’s Edge line – Tribute procs grant a burst of movement speed (50% Movement Speed for 1 Second)
  • Relic Shield line – Gain a shield that regenerates while out of combat. Executing minions with 'Spoils of War' accelerates the regeneration. 

 

In order to complete the quest, players must also upgrade to the second tier of items (Frostfang, Nomad’s Medallion, and Targon’s Brace). This is to further deter non supports from grabbing these items.
 

Limely and Riot Colin:

"To limit the item to those who are interested in investing in the item for the item’s sake, the quest cannot be completed unless you have at least the second tier of the item (Nomad’s Medallion, Targon’s Brace, or Frostfang)."

 

The Ancient Coin line has also seen some updates, as minions killed by your allies will sometimes drop orbs containing either gold or mana, requiring the player to pick up the orbs to receive the rewards; similar to Thresh’s passive of collecting souls.

 

Effects on the support meta

 

Ancient Coin

 

Ancient Coin Cost: 350 +5% Cooldown Reduction +2 Gold Per 10 seconds

UNIQUE Passive: Enemy minions killed by your allies sometimes drop coins that give either 20 gold or 8% missing mana (minimum 15).   Quest: Earn 650 gold using this item and upgrade to Nomad's Medallion.
   
Reward: Favor is upgraded to Emperor's Favor and you receive an Elixir of Skill.  
   

 

The passive laning phase enforced by Ancient Coin will be somewhat maintained; it will still be a good item for efficient gold generation in a defensive lane, or when playing a ranged champion struggling to efficiently proc Spellthief’s (such as Rakan).

However, the survivability provided by Ancient Coin has been impaired, considering it no longer provides health and players must now move to the minion wave to gain gold, forcing them into a vulnerable position away from the safety of their tower.

Though the pick-up range is fairly lenient, meaning players won’t have to be right next to the orb to pick it up, players are still more vulnerable compared to current Ancient Coin style of hugging the tower.

The quest reward is obviously useful, particularly in reaching level 11 quicker and putting another point into your ultimate.

 

 

 

Spellthief’s Edge

 

Spellthief's Edge Cost: 350 +5 Ability Power +2 Gold Per 10 seconds

UNIQUE Passive: Damaging spells and attacks against champions or buildings deal 10 aditional damage and grant 8 Gold. This can occur up to 3 times every 30 seconds. Killing a minion stops you from triggering for 6 seconds per minion slain.   Quest: Earn 650 gold using this item and upgrade to Frostfang.

Reward: Tribute is upgraded into Queen's Tribute.  
   

 

Despite the fact aggressive poke champions (e.g. Karma, Lulu, Zyra) are already particularly popular, the changes to Spellthief’s will likely increase their prevalence further.

The quest reward is incredibly useful in not only maximising the gold efficiency of the items, but also closing the distance to secure a kill in a close skirmish.

Champions that may have opted for Ancient Coin in the past (such as Janna) may instead choose Spellthief’s and adopt a more aggressive playstyle in lane. Ignite’s popularity may consequently increase in keeping with the aggressive playstyle the changes encourage.

There is also potential for other burst mage supports to emerge (such as Lux or Syndra) who use the extra movement speed to set up their crowd control and then chain their abilities.

 

 

 

Relic Shield

 

Relic Shield Cost: 350 +75 Health +2 Gold Per 10 seconds

UNIQUE Passive: Melee basic attacks execute minions below 195 (+5 per level) Health. Killing a minion heals the owner and the nearest allied champion for 15 Health and grants them kill Gold. These effects require a nearby ally. Recharges every 40 seconds. Max 2 charges.  

Quest: Earn 650 gold using this item and upgrade to Targon's Brace.

Reward: Shield Battery, a permanent shield that regenerates slowly outside of combat.

   

 

it’s unlikely the Relic Shield line will have a meaningful impact on the meta, particularly compared to the Spellthief’s and Ancient Coin changes; it encourages execution of minions (which supports should be doing regardless), and we may see an increase in isolated engages compared to constant skirmishes to allow the shield to regenerate.

Tankier supports (such as Braum & Alistar) will likely still opt for Relic Shield.

With that said, the introduction of a regenerating shield might just encourage the use of tank supports further. Getting the extra durability to be able to successfully pull off an engage and not blow up immediately is exactly what champions like Leona or Thresh need.

 

 

 

Final thoughts
 

It’s fantastic to see all the attention Riot has given supports recently, with the addition of Rakan, support-focused statistics, and these upcoming changes to core support items. Encouraging active gameplay during the laning phase will be a healthy and exciting development for the bot lane, and will be crucial in separating the good from the great supports.

 


Rilea is a Diamond 1 Support Player, you can follow him on twitter by clicking here

You can follow him on Twitter by clicking here

Midseason Invitational 2017 - Play In Round 1: Group B Preview

After day one and Group A's matches, it's time for Group B to play their first round of matches. The Commonwealth of Independent States, South East Asia, Latin America North and Latin America South representatives are all looking to get to the next stage and have the chance to face either Team SoloMid or Flash Wolves.

 

The 8 minor region league champions were split into 2 groups of 4 teams and only 1 will get out of each group to face off against the Flash Wolves and Team SoloMid and earn a chance to compete in Round 3.

 

Click here to check MSI’s format if you aren’t familiar.

 

 

 

Tier 1 Teams

 

Virtus.pro

 

Hailing from the LCL, this year's CIS representative are Virtus.Pro and not M19 (ex-Albus NoX Luna) as most would have expected.

After a very close regular split with 4 clear cut teams fighting for seeding, Virtus.Pro secured the third seed with a 9-5 record. In the Semis they ran into fan favorites M19 and after a long drawn out Bo5 they managed to upset and take the 3-2 win. In the other side of the bracket seed #4 Vaevictis managed to do something similar. In the finals, VP had to fight tooth and nail in another series that went the full distance and gave them the ticket to their first international tournament.

Albeit being a Tier 1 Minor Region, none of the players on Virtus.Pro have any international experience. While this might be seen as a disadvantage, the players might come out and surprise the opposition that is not expecting an opponent to the caliber of previous CIS representatives.

If there's one thing to highlight, is that VP play well as a unit. They roam together and know how to set up plays as a team, which might give them the edge in a BO1 format.

 

Key Player: Paranoia

 

Paranoia might be the key for Virtus.Pro to unlock a lot of their games. His Taliyah is frequently banned against him for good reason as he is very proficient with the champion, pulling off duels and often roaming to give his teams leads. His main fallback is Ahri, so expect a player that likes to play heavily towards duels and roams to get advantages.

 

Marines Esports

 

Marines Esports is this year's GPL representative. They absolutely dominated the Vietnam championship with a 12-0 record, qualifying to the Garena Premiere League. Despite a scare against the Kuala Lumpur Hunters in the semi finals, who were 2-0 up before being reversed swept, the Marines had an easy time qualifying by smashing Ascension Gaming in the finals with a clean sweep.

If you watched All Stars Barcelona you might recognize some of the players names. Optimus and Levi both represented the SEA region at the tournament and now they get to prove their worth at a more serious event.

 

Key Player: Levi

 

Vietnamese Jungler Levi is definitely the player to watch on this roster. Already being compared to his compatriot SofM, who now plays for Snake Esports in China, Levi is a very talented and mechanically proficient player, who was also the second Vietnamese player to reach Challenger in the Korean server. He is an aggressive jungler that will often build early game leads for his team with the likes of Lee Sin, Graves or Elise.

 

Tier 2 Teams

 

Lyon Gaming

 

Even though they're a tier 2 team by Riot's standards don't let this fool you because Lyon Gaming is definitely tough opposition. They are representing Latin America North once again, looking to prove themselves in front of international competition, something they have struggled to do in the past editions.

As per usual, Lyon completely demolished their competition in their region, finishing the whole season with a 33-1 game record (yes, they only lost a single game). The team narrowly failed qualification to Worlds last year losing 3-2 to Albus NoX and this year they're coming back with almost the same roster.

 

Key Player: WhiteLotus

 

It's very hard to say who's the player to watch for Lyon Gaming. Between Oddie (Jungle), Seiya (Mid) and WhiteLotus (ADC) there's no shortage of talent in this lineup. While most will have their eyes on Seiya, it's worth talking about WhiteLotus as well, a player who has consistently performed in all international Wildcard Tournaments, from his games on Kaos Latin Gamers in 2015 to putting Lyon on his back and getting them very close to Worlds qualification last year.

Given that the meta features a lot of enchanter supports and Ivern as a top jungler, it's hard to imagine a world where Lyon won't ever try to play around their star Argentinian player.


 

Isurus Gaming

 

Last and maybe even least is Isurus Gaming. The team had solid performances throughout the split, locking down first place in the regular split with 6-2-2 in series. Given that LAS' playoff system is a gauntlet system, there were only one step away from MSI, already directly seeded into the finals.

They swiftly ended Furious' Gaming cinderella story, clean sweeping them 3-0 in the finals and booking their ticket for MSI.

Historically, Latin America hasn't been a region that performs well at international events, often being bottom of the pack in multiple tournaments, it's up to Isurus to break that trend. In order to do so, Isurus bootcamped in Korea before the split began and given their results it seems like it might just have paid off.

 

Key Player: Emp

 

Emp completely styled on his competition in the CLS Opening Season, ending the split topping damage and gold stats in the whole league. A former AD Carry player, Emp is now trying to carry his team from the mid lane.

Expect him to be on picks such as LeBlanc, Ekko (his favorite) and Syndra to name a few.

 

 

Expectations:

 

Group B is definitely harder to call than A, given that teams from Tier 1 seem to be closer to the Tier 2 teams. Isurus is expected to be the last place team in this group and given their region's history, VP and Marines are supposed to be the two teams contending for the top spot, but it's important to not count out Lyon Gaming, they have been very close to making it to worlds once and maintained almost the same roster coming into yet another international tournament.

It's still expected for the Russian team to place first given the region's recent results, while Marines will be very dependant on their star jungler's performance to make it out of their group.

With that said, the arguably strongest tier 2 minor region team in Lyon might just come in and sweep everyone and they're my bet to get out in first place. There is definitely a bigger chance for contested matches here in Group B.

Midseason Invitational 2017 - Play In Round 1: Group A Preview

First Split Champions are being crowned all over the world in 2017 but Competitive League almost never stops. The Mid Season Invitational starts tomorrow with Round 1, featuring the former wildcard regions, battling it out to get a chance to face off against the big leagues.

 

The 8 minor region league champions were split into 2 groups of 4 teams and only 1 will get out of each group to face off against the Flash Wolves and Team SoloMid and earn a chance to compete in Round 3.

 

Click here to check MSI’s format if you aren’t familiar.

 

 

 

Tier 1 Teams

 

Red Canids

The Red Canids are this year’s Brazilian representatives and are sure to be heavily supported by a fantastic crowd. After 2 splits in the bottom half of the league, the ex-INTZ sister team invested heavily for 2017 and the majority of the lineup is not a stranger to international events. Brtt and Dioud, RED’s bot lane, represented Brazil at worlds in 2015 when they played for PaiN Gaming and the team’s starting mid laner is Tockers, who played for INTZ at worlds last year.

The team finished the split in second place, tied in the standings with INTZ at 11-3 in games. The team won a lot of their games from straight up winning lanes and snowballing early leads, but

also showed good decision making in the mid/late game stages.

 

Going into playoffs they beat paiN gaming 3-1 and then clean sweeped Keyd Stars in the finals. The team showed a lot of growth throughout the season and in playoffs showcased superior macro and good understanding of lane assignments and lane priority, which isn’t very common in minor regions.

 

Key Player: Tockers

Tockers is Red Canids’ most important piece. A wrist injury hasn’t allowed him to play all games but the sheer game knowledge that he acquired from his time at INTZ was instrumental for his team’s success. Whether in or outside the game, you can expect him to be impacting the team in more than one way.

 

Supermassive

 

Supermassive has been in the top of the Turkish scene since their inception in 2016, they won the IWC tournament in 2016 and qualified to MSI, where they managed to take a game off of Counter Logic Gaming. After missing the 2nd IWC qualifier losing to Dark Passage in the 2016 Summer Finals, they’re back to the international stage.

 

They were the clear cut best team during the regular split and then beat Fenerbahce and Crew e-Sports Club in playoffs in two 3-1 series to reach MSI.

The core of the roster is still the same that attended MSI in 2015 and all players have played at international events, Supermassive has a very experienced roster.

 

Key Player: Stomaged

It’s hard to pinpoint what is Supermassive’s strongest member given they function very well as a team. While their weakest link is probably Naru, the other 4 players have all been solid performers throughout TCL. With that said, while Zeitnot is their main carry and Dumbledoge a big name, Stomaged was responsible for a lot of their wins during playoffs, with impressive performances on Rengar, Ivern and Graves to name a few.

 

Tier 2 Teams

 

Dire Wolves

 

The Dire Wolves have been a consistent performer in Oceania and after consecutive splits of Chiefs dominance they finally managed to win the OPL. They finished the regular split with 25 points in first place, which granted them direct access to the finals, as the Oceanic League uses a gauntlet system, similar to the LCK in Korea.

 

They ended up meeting 2nd seed Legacy in the finals and they took them down with relative ease by beating them 3-1 in the Finals.

 

Key Player: Shernfire

Dire Wolves jungler Shernfire is one of the main carries for the team and frequently racks up the same or even more kills than his teammates. Initially a sub, his promotion to the main roster in the beginning of the OPL split was the change the team needed to reach the next level.


 

Rampage

 

The Japanese scene is quite recent compared to other minor regions. The LJL has mainly been dominated by Detonation FocusMe and Rampage in the last splits. After a close regular split, where 3 teams ended 8-2, Rampage head into the playoffs as the 2nd seed and after a close BO5 with Unsold Stuff Gaming, they surprised in the finals and clean sweeped their biggest rivals.

 

Key Player: Tussle

While Rampage has relied on ADC YutoriMoyashi as their main carry, who managed to go deathless in 9 consecutive games, Rampage will be very dependant on Korean jungler Tussle to be able to reach the next level and surprise international competition.

He has shown stellar mechanics on Lee Sin and Graves in past IWC tournaments and has recently picked up Elise, his most played champion during playoffs. Expect teams to target ban him to limit his influence in games.

 

 

Expectations:

 

Group A was immediately called the group of death due to the presence of both Brazil and Turkey, two minor regions that have qualified to main international events multiple times. Considering both teams have veteran players with international experience, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where either Red Canids or Supermassive aren’t the main contenders to make it out of Group A to face off against Team SoloMid.

 

With that said, expect Dire Wolves to put up a fight, the Oceanic Region has shown improvement and with Shernfire leading the pack the team can definitely pull off some upsets, especially in a BO1 format.


Rampage is the expected last place for this group and while the regions performances in other events have always left them 1 step away from top 4, in the group of death it seems like they won’t have much room to perform.

LPL Interviews with Doinb, Rookie, Mystic and Imp

We recently had the chance to interview some of the Professional League Players over in the LPL in China. We asked Doinb about his mid Kled Pick and Rookie about his 3 favorite mid picks currently. For ADC, we asked Mystic about picking Kog'maw and Imp about Jinx.

 

 Be sure to subscribe to LolKing's YouTube channel for upcoming stat videos, and other League of Legends coverage!

 

 

 

 

Gunblade LeBlanc And Other Champions That Can Use This Build

By Cody 'Avin' Gerard

 

The Brief Fall and Quick, Knife Shooting, Resurrection of the Deceiver

 

After her nerfs in patch 7.5, Leblanc was supposed to be gutted. Her main source of damage was gone, turned into a glorified mobility tool. Instead, she came back as broken as ever, sporting a new, wacky looking build that had many coaches, analysts, and casters scratching their heads for a while.
 

This new build involves rushing a Hextech Gunblade, sometimes followed by a Lich Bane. On the surface the build makes no sense. For starters, in rushing Gunblade, Leblanc is wasting 40 AD in stats that a traditional Leblanc will make little to no use of, and the components make even less sense.

 

While Revolver is helpful in trades, it offers no CDR or mana regen, stats a traditional Leblanc needs to succeed, and Cutlass offers her almost nothing as a component item. The active is decent, but its stats, life steal and AD, are almost entirely irrelevant to her.

 

Upon further digging though, the build not only makes sense, but is actually extremely powerful.

 

The most obvious benefit are the extra AP ratios offered by Gunblade and Lich Bane, which supplement the damage Leblanc lost with the nerfs to her distortion. This offers her not only the same (if not more) ridiculous burst she had before, but allows her to do it much quicker and at a much safer range.
 

Leblanc gets to use a combination of Gunblade, her Q, a Lich Bane empowered auto attack and her chains to burst a target quickly and from long range. This frees her up to use her Distortion as a gap closing or repositioning tool, rather than a risky damage dealing ability. Gunblade’s active also offers a slow, making it easier for her to stay in range to land follow up abilities, especially her chains, which often provide the finishing blow on her burst combo.
 

To top this all off Gunblade turns Leblanc into a self-sustaining monster. Her Q interacts with Gunblade’s heal on spell damage effect in such a way that she can regain up to 300 or 400 health on a minion wave. The initial hit is counts single target damage for the purpose of healing and any subsequent bounces count as AoE. This sustain allows her to take even or slightly disadvantageous and turn them into winning ones, making it nearly impossible to bully her out of lane at any point after she has completed her Gunblade.


Combine this sustain with the AD from Gunblade’s stats and the tower pushing potential of Lich Bane and you get a champion that becomes nearly impossible to deal with from the mid game and onwards in 1 vs 1 situations, if they get even slightly ahead.

 

Other Champions Who Might Enjoy Shooting Knives

 

The brutal, quick, safe burst and sustain the Gunblade, Lich Bane build provides is not exclusive to Leblanc. There are other champions who can use this build effectively. What a champion needs to abuse this build are the following things:

  • A safe wave clear or low cooldown poke spell which allows them to abuse Gunblade sustain.
  • A kit that has an auto attack buff or encourages weaving auto attacks in between abilities or ability rotations to make a Lich Bane viable option.
  • Ideally, the champion has some form of mobility, allowing them to get in and out of Gunblade and auto attack range safely, as well as give them safety in the split push.
     

These are some of the champions which fit these criteria.

 

Ahri

   
From kite mage to full on Assassin      

 

     

Ahri has already seen Gunblade picked up on her numerous times in competitive matches to devastating effect, as seen in this clip from the NA LCS quarter finals.

 

 

Here, CLG’s mid laner Huhi kills Kennen almost instantly. He Sprit Rushes over the wall, hits Altec with a full damage combo, including Gunblade’s active and a Sheen (not even Lich Bane) empowered auto attack after he had cast all his spells, taking Kennen from about 90% to about 5% health. All the while, Huhi gets to save the final charge of his spirit rush to help finish off Zyra. In another circumstance,  this might have been needed to as an escape, affording him a degree of safety he might not have with a traditional Ahri build.

 

Ahri also makes great use of Gunblade’s sustain with her Q, which she can use to hit every minion in a wave twice, thus sustaining off Gunblade’s passive and possibly her own, which already heals her every few spells. The mobility provided from the speed burst on her Q as well as the three dashes on her ult can also make her a slippery split pusher in addition to a brutal duelist and assassin when paired with Lich Bane.
 

 

Viktor

   
The 700 range burst mage

 

     

Viktor is an interesting case. He lacks the mobility and thus the safe split push and assassination potential that other champions on this list have, but he passes all the other tests to abuse this build with flying colors. His E allows to instantly clear waves, hitting every minion twice, making him an ideal candidate for abusing Gunblade’s sustain and he naturally builds Lich Bane anyways because of the auto attack buff on his Q.
The real reason I put Viktor on this list however, is his Hex Core. The Hex Core, when maxed out, is the highest AP item in the game, sporting a whopping 180 AP. This additional AP allows Viktor to thrive with the extra AP rations provided to him by Gunblade and Lich Bane, giving him the ability to absolutely delete any even slightly squishy champions that might step into his fairly sizable range.

 

 

Kayle

   
Bringing back the Alex Ich burst      

 

   

Kayle checks all the same boxes as Viktor, but like him lacks the mobility, however, her E and the attack speed she’ll gain with her Nashor’s Tooth allow her to be a brutal split pusher, with her ult and the heal and speed boost from her W providing a fair degree of safety.

What the Gunblade and Lich serve to do is give her with the ability to duel any squishier champion that might try to stop her. She already thrives against tanks due to her passive, but is vulnerable to burst when her ult is down. Having Gunblade and Lich Bane ensures that any champion that has the damage to burst you and gets close is met with a quick and swift death.

 

 

Ekko

   
Less Mobility, More Burst

 


Ekko would be perfect candidate for this build. His primary place in late game team compositions is already as a split pusher and flanking assassin. He is a Lich Bane user with an auto attack buff, mobility on his E and the ability to clear entire waves with his Q. This gives him a perfect sustain ability for Gunblade to synergize with.

The problem is that building Gunblade would prevent him from building an item that is currently core to his build, and even with Gunblade would be hard to justify removing: Hextech Protobelt. Protobelt provides Ekko with the extra gap close he needs to reach targets sometimes, as well as the extra bit of burst Ekko’s kit is designed to lack. Gunblade can satisfy the later condition, but not the former, at least not in the same way. It provides a slow which could be used to help run down the target, but it is not the same as the quick dash provided by Protobelt.

This means Gunblade would open up more opportunities for opponents to CC or out run Ekko than Protobelt. The trade-off of course is the increased dueling potential and sustain offered by Gunblade.
 

There are other Champions that might fit on, such as Kassadin, Kennen, and Aurellion Sol to name a few, but these are the four which, in my mind, are most well positioned to abuse the unique sustain and safe burst that Gunblade brings to the table.

 


Written by Cody 'Avin' Gerard

You can follow him on Twitter by clicking here

LPL Post-Game Review - The Global Ganking System

Welcome to LPL's Post-Game Review: a detailed analysis of team compositions in League of Legends. In this video, caster Remember looks at the Global composition Invictus Gaming ran recently with Taliyah, Shen and Rengar.

 

 Be sure to subscribe to LolKing's YouTube channel for upcoming stat videos, and other League of Legends coverage!

 

 

 

 

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