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A new champion is joining League of Legends: click here to see Kled, the Cantankerous Cavalier!
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Introducing Kled, The Cantankerous Cavalier

Riot has revealed a new champion today: Kled, The Cantankerous Cavalier


"Noxian soldiers say a lot of things about the murderous yordle known as Kled. They claim he's fought in every campaign ever waged by the Noxian legions, acquired every possible military title, and has never once backed down from a fight. These claims, like all stories about folk heroes, are dubious. But one part of Kled's legend is undeniable: when he rides into battle on Skaarl (his cowardly steed), the Cantankerous Cavalier fights ferociously to protect what’s his… and to take whatever he can get."

 

The new champion Kled has been revealed, and he seems ready to get into team fights and cause some real chaos. His kit is based around both him and his steed Skaarl.

Skaarl has his own HP bar that adds to Kled's, but if that portion is depleted Skaarl will run away, leaving Kled to fight on his own until he builds up enough courage meter to bring him back. He can recharge it by attacking towers, champions, and epic monsters.


Let's take a look at his kit and how he will play out.


Riot labeled him as a Skirmisher, and here is the original definition from the subclass post:

Unlike Assassins, Skirmishers aim to shred through any nearby enemy that approaches. Because Skirmishers lack high-end burst damage or reliable ways of closing in on high-priority targets, they are instead armed with situationally powerful defensive tools to survive in the fray, along with extreme sustained damage to cut down even the most durable targets.

 
His kit seems to reflect this pretty well, using his movement boosts and additional health bar to be able to get into their team and cause sustained damage to the enemy team, however he will have a more difficult time achieving this if he loses Skaarl, because although he gains movement speed moving towards enemies, his mounted Q and E are key for sticking on targets.

The ultimate will be a huge strategic tool for moving your team around the map, and forcing teams to react when you are looking to fight. Good use of it will let you punish uncoordinated teams extremely hard, but poor use will lead to charging into death.

 

 

 

 

 

Abilities Preview
 

Passive: Skaarl the Cowardly Wizard
 

Kled's semi-trusty mount, Skaarl, has its own health bar and takes damage in Kled's place when the two ride together. Any bonus health Kled picks up through items, runes, and masteries also applies to Skaarl. When the lizard's life bar is whittled down to zero, it'll run for the hills, leaving Kled to fight alone.

When fighting solo, Kled's abilities change and he gains movement speed while heading toward enemy champions. Kled can restore Skaarl's courage and bring the craven critter back by attacking towers, champions, or epic monsters.

 

Q (Mounted): Beartrap on a Rope

Kled throws a literal beartrap tied to a piece of rope, dealing damage to all enemies it passes through and attaching to the first enemy champion hit. If the Cantankerous Cavalier sticks close to the struck target for a couple of seconds, he'll reel in the rope, pulling his hapless target towards him while applying a slow and a decent chunk of damage. This ability deals bonus damage to minions.

 

Q (Unmounted): Pocket Pistol Overload

Kled fires his gun, blasting a wad of bullets in a target direction and knocking himself backward.

 

W: Violent Tendencies

Passive: Kled's basic attacks cause him to frenzy, granting attack speed to his next four basic attacks. The fourth frenzied blow deals bonus damage based on a percentage of the target's max health.

 

E: Jousting (Mounted Only)

Kled and Skaarl dash toward a targeted area, dealing damage to enemies in their path and temporarily gaining a burst of movement speed. If Jousting strikes a champion or large monster, Kled and Skaarl can reactivate the ability to dash back through the struck target, again dealing damage.

 

R: Chaaaaaarge!!! (Mounted Only)

Kled and Skaarl charge toward a targeted location, building up a shield and boosting the movement speed of allies in their wake. Skaarl will home in on the first enemy encountered, ramming them to deal damage as a percent of the target's max health. 

 

 

 

Pre-release Analysis

 

Itemization wise and despite still not having any info on his ability ratios, it's extremely likely that Kled is an AD champion. Similarly to other champions in his class, Skirmishes like Yasuo and Fiora, he will be building mostly offensive items, with focus on one or two defensive items to increase his and Skaarls durability. Items such as Frozen Mallet seem like a really strong fit for Kled, as it's an item that will grant him more stickiness, a good chunk of Attack Damage and Health to make sure his cowardly mount doesn't run away too early in fights.

 

He's definitely an aggressive, carry type top laner and it is likely that it will be his main position. That said, jungling does seem possible and doable as 'Violent Tendencies' should help his clear a lot. When ganking, 'Jousting' can be used to close the gap and apply Red Buff to slow them.

 

As for what kind of playstyle he will have, he's definitely a strong skirmisher and teamfighter, especially if he can get a good initiation with 'Chaaaaaaaarge' as his teammates will gain movement speed from following him into the fray. That said and unless he's build with tankier items, he can't stay in the frontline for a long time, or he'll risk losing Skaarl and a great part of his mobility to reach his desired targets. If he manages to avoid most damage with his shield after ulting, he'll be mobile enough to dive the back line and slay the enemy carries with his strong single target damage.

 

As for split pushing? It seems possible, but Kled is at his strongest when he's able to cast 'Chaaaaaaaarge' from a distance and get a big shield to have the edge in a 1v1 brawl.

 

 

For more information, including video previews of Kled's abilities, make sure to check out the Champion Reveal!

 

Pro Tier: Kassadin Riftwalks into Competitive

Kassadin is a champion that usually surges back and forth between popular and irrelevant in competitive play. The fact that he has a weak laning phase, is matchup dependant and should never be blind picked makes him a very volatile pick, especially in pro play.

 

Recently he’s sprung back to relevance, but it hasn’t so widespread. Europe has seen The Void Walker 13 times in the last few weeks, while in the LPL over in China and LMS in Taiwan have picked him 16 and 12 times respectively. The pick seems to have not have such high priority in the two other major regions, with only 5 games each in Korea and North America.

 

Interestingly enough, the pick hasn’t done so well either. The pick has a sub 50% winrate in 4 major regions, the exception being Taiwan, with a soaring 83% Win Rate over 12 games played (10-2 currently).

 

Region NA EU CN KR TW
Kassadin Winrate 20% 46.2% 37.5% 20% 83.3%

 

 

So what’s behind this sudden resurgence, even if it’s not doing consistently well?

 

1. Favourable itemization changes

 

While it’s been quite a while since the mage itemization rework, in general, most of changes helped Kassadin. While Rod of Ages now gives less mana, imperative for Kassadin’s ultimate, the new Catalyst passive is much stronger in combat, not to mention the lower price. Aside from that, all the other changes help Kassadin immensely.

The introduction of Cooldown Reduction to more items and the abundance of the stat in Ability Power itemization. With Abyssal Scepter and Zhonya’s Hourglass now giving CDR and alongside items such as Lich Bane and Ionian Boots of Lucidity, there are multiple ways for Kassadin to itemize and guarantee he has lower cooldowns without having to change his usual build.

 

2. Good mid lane matchups in the current meta

 

Another factor that helps Kassadin immensely. While he was never a strong blind pick champion and will likely never be, most matchups currently are easy for him to handle. Aside from the frequently banned Malzahar and a resurging Cassiopeia, no other meta pick can really punish him that much.

Vladimir, currently the most popular mid pick in all regions, doesn’t have enough early game pressure and is usually picked due to his fantastic scaling.

Viktor has a good laning phase but is in no way oppressive enough for Kassadin, especially since he needs to get his Hex Core upgraded before he's a real menace.

On the other side of the spectrum and to give another example: LeBlanc, a pick that is frequently used to dominate and snowball from the get go can’t do much against Kassadin due to his passive, Void Stone, reducing incoming magic damage by 15% and Null Sphere, that gives Kassadin a shield that absorbs incoming magic damage.

 

3. Frequency of Lane swaps

 

While it is likely that this will change soon enough with Riot’s update on changing lane swaps and their prevalence, it certainly has been a factor that helps Kassadin get through laning. While the mid lane isn’t directly affected by lane swaps, junglers have to do special, vertical pathing close to their strong side (where the support, adc and top laner are). Since jungle pathing is more predictable in lane swaps and the other 3 members are just shoving and hitting a turret, the mid lane becomes more isolated, allowing Kassadin to get past what can be a rough laning phase pre level 6.

 

 

The Rift Walker's Problem

 

As mentioned previously, Kassadin is very weak early on, he’s extremely easy to gank and kill as he’s not very mobile before level 6. He needs to fully stack up Rod of Ages and start building towards his second item before really being active in skirmishes and teamfights. Besides all this, his waveclear is extremely weak and when his turret gets sieged, he can’t really do much unless his team rotates to help him out. This gives the opposing team a lot of time to work with and build up an advantage. You’ll frequently see Kassadin’s tier 1 mid tower fall early and his team relegating him to a side lane, where he can farm up and get to the mid game point when he’s finally strong. Not all teams have been able to exploit this weakness, but good coordination from the opposing side can easily result in a tower and drake advantage so they can be ready to fight Kassadin later on.

 

Fnatic set up a dive in between turrets, take down Kassadin and his Tier 1 turret.

 

His Biggest Strength

 

Kassadin’s is extremely versatile at what roles he can fulfill come mid game. Once he closes 2-3 items he can fulfill the role of a splitpusher as he frequently runs Teleport, but this doesn’t detract from his strong skirmishing and teamfighting in the late game. With Kassadin and most current top lane meta picks such as Fiora, Gnar or Irelia, a 1-3-1 Split Push composition can be set up. But this is a very dynamic split push composition as it can easily translate into a full blown teamfight by having both solo laners join with their globals and good flanks.

 

 

Splyce set up a 1-3-1 and eventually force a teamfight with Teleport flanks

 

Kassadin Standouts

 

Chres “Sencux” Larssen

 

Splyce’s Mid Laner Sencux is the only mid laner in EU who seems to be comfortable enough with the Rift Walker to show him frequently with 5 picks this split, quite above from his counterparts who have only picked him twice at most. Not only has Splyce locked in Kassadin frequently, they also seem to do extremely well with it, Sencux has an 80% winrate, 10.40 KDA and is present in 73.2% of Splyce’s kills in these 5 games.

 

Unique Itemization:

 

In Europe it seems the build is somewhat different to what other regions have been going for. After Rod of Ages completion, most players tend to build Morellonomicon second. Not only is it a strong Ability Power item that grants 20% Cooldown Reduction, it now also gives 400 flat Mana, that contributes to increasing Kassadin’s Rift Walk damage.

Aside from this, Morellonomicon has two extremely strong passives. Grevious Wounds, that can cut healing from champions such as Trundle or Vladimir and a restore on 20% of maximum mana on kills and assists, allowing him to use Rift Walk more frequently without worrying about the increased mana cost.

Recommended games to watch:


Chu "FoFo" Chun-Lan

 

FoFo, J Team’s mid laner in the LMS has only pulled out Kassadin twice and it seems like it is used specifically as a mid lane counter to LeBlanc. With the Rift Walker, FoFo has taken down eXtreme Gamers and Maple’s Flash Wolves.

In his match against the Flash Wolves, FoFo delays his Rod of Ages and opts for an early Negatron Cloak, in order to completely negate LeBlanc's early game pressure.

 

Recommended games to watch:

 

 

Conclusion

 

Kassadin is a weak laner with exploitable weaknesses in the early stages of the game as he needs to fully scale up before he is relevant to participate in fights or turn into a strong split pusher. The lack of wave clear in his kit is also a gigantic problem early on, so teams that don't bring a strong waveclear AD Carry pick such as Sivir will definitely falter as their towers fall one after anohter

These problems is more than enough for opposing teams to build up significant leads and neutralize the Kassadin pick, but if left unpunished, he can completely dominate fights and skirmishes in the later stages of matches.

LolKing's Pick of the Week: Support Leona

We've teamed up with Shakarez to create a new bi-weekly video segment called LolKing's pick of the week.

 

This week, we've decided to take a look at Leona. She just got updates to her kit recently with some quality of life changes alongside more Crowd Control. New players aren't doing so well with her as she takes some games to master and this is where we come in, to help you understand the champion better and do well with her.

 

 


Watch the video below to learn more about why Leona is currently a solid pick in the meta.

 

 

 

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

 

To recap, here's some of the strengths Leona brings to a team:
  • Deadly Level 2: Leona is one of the strongest level 2 supports. With Zenith Blade and Shield of Daybreak she can lockdown a target for 1.5 seconds and with Ignite and the help of her AD Carry, instantly blow up a target at level 2.
  • Natural Tankiness:  Leona's W, Eclipse, gives her Bonus Armor and Magic Resistance for a short amount of time, allowing her to tank a ton of damage whenever she goes into the fray. As an added bonus, she then does AoE damage at the end of the spells duration
  • Strong Roamer with a ton of Hard CC: After level 6, Leona is insanely strong at locking down a target. With R, E and Q she has a total of 3 seconds of Hard CC she can do to a single target, which is usually enough time for her teammates to react and help her take down an opponent. After grabbing Boots of Mobility, her roam potential is strong and if enemies don't have Flash, it's very likely that they'll be dead soon enough.

 

Learning with LolKing

If you want to learn Leona, we have tons of resources at LolKing:

C9 Pro Picks - Smoothie's Bard

Welcome to Cloud9's pro picks

 

In this series, members of C9 guide you through playing League's top champions. Today, Smoothie whips up a guide on everyone's favorite Caretaker: Bard

Bard has been part of League of Legends for over a year now (time really flies, doesn’t it?) and as time has gone by he has progressively become more and more popular, from a pocket pick to a staple, part of any professional support’s champion pool.

 

In many ways, people consider him a jack of all trades, as he can fulfill multiple roles in a team composition, from there, it’s not much of a stretch to compare him to Thresh. What do they have in common?

Their depth

 

Click here to access Smoothie's Bard Guide

 

Both champions have a wide variety of tools in their kit that can be used in multiple ways. Learning these two champions is hard and mastering them is probably even harder, which unlocks a whole other level for the most mechanically adept players, who can truly shine with flashy plays to carry their team in small skirmishes or full blown out teamfights.

Some might even say that he’s the new Thresh, now overtaking him in popularity.


Laning

 

Bard is known for having an oppressive laning phase. Cosmic Binding can lock up one or even both target so the AD Carry can dish out damage and he is deadly in short trades, where a basic attack paired with meep damage and cosmic binding will swiftly proc Thunderlord’s Decree and do a ton of damage. A good Bard Player will constantly look towards locking up someone with his Cosmic Binding, by comboing it with a wall, minion or another enemy champion.

 

 

 

 

Roaming and Out of Combat Mobility

 

Another of Bard’s strongest points is the ability to roam and move around the map. Firstly, collecting a chime grants him out of combat movement speed for 7 seconds, that stacks up to 5 times. This enhances his roaming ability if he’s ever moving to try to set up a kill in another lane. In addition, Magical Journey allows him to traverse walls and quickly cover ground, making him strong at showing up unannounced and helping his whole team rotate from Point A to B.

It’s worth mentioning that while Caretaker’s Shrine isn’t the strongest of abilities, it does grant 50% movement speed for a short time, that can be essential to close the gap or escape.

 

Pick Off

 

One of his specialties, most of Bard’s kit allows him and makes it easier to isolate one or a few targets and lock them down before they can escape.

Cosmic Binding is can easily catch targets close to each other or to terrain, Magical Journey is extremely useful to catch up and surround an opponent and last but not least, Tempered Fate is the epitome of Bard’s strength as a pick off champion, allowing him to lockdown opponents for 2.5 seconds while he and his team close the distance, swarm him and promptly layer all the crowd control before he can even blink.

 

 

 

 

Teamfighting and Objective Control

 

 

The beauty of Bard and his skills, especially his ultimate, is that it has a wide array of uses. When fighting to contest objectives such as Baron or Dragon, you can ult the jungler to prevent his smite, hit part of the team to wipe out the rest before the other half can do anything or simply ult the objective to gain time or reposition. The possibilities are endless but deciding correctly in a split second and hitting the right targets are the real challenger for any Wandering Caretaker Player.

 

 

If you haven't checked Smoothie's Guide yet, you can do so by clicking here!

Huge Changes to Laneswaps Coming Before Playoffs

In a pretty surprising move we are seeing some huge changes to early game coming before Worlds. There are some pretty sweeping changes to the early games, and teams who are able to adapt quickly will have a huge advantage on the competition. 

A quick summary of the changes:

  • The first turret taken will grant a "first blood" and award additional gold.
  • The early game damage reduction on turrets goes to 5 minutes instead of 7 minutes, however it's been boosted to 50% damage reduction up from 30%.
  • This bonus no longer applies to the bottom lane turret. You are supposed to really want to push and defend this turret early. This is one of the least subtle changes aimed at laneswapping we have seen.
  • Cannon minions spawn offset, bot lane at 3 minutes, mid at 4 minutes, top at 5 minutes, and then repeat.
  • After 20 minutes cannons alternates between 1 mid and 1 both top and bot.
  • After 35 minutes all lanes get a cannon in each wave.

These are some pretty huge changes, it really makes an effort to punish people who aren't properly defending their bottom lane. Even in a situation where you are trying to go against the 50% damage reduction, you still have to wait longer for your cannon minion to even spawn in those waves, so you've been double dipped in punishment and will likely have teams rotating to stop you before you can even trade. We will really have to see which teams can find ways to exploit these changes once they go live and which will fail to adapt. 

If you want more details check out the full post by Riot: Pre-Worlds Early Game Update

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