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Worlds 2016 - Introducing the Wildcard Teams

As part of our world coverage, we decided to briefly introduce INTZ e-Sports and Albus Nox Luna, the two Wildcard Teams in this year's League of Legends World Championship

There are 8 Minor Regions whose champion qualifies to compete in Wildcard Tournaments in order to qualify for Worlds and also the Mid Seasonal Invitational.

While Wildcard teams are far from favorites, their performances have been getting better year after year.

This year, the Wildcard representation includes the Brazilian Team INTZ e-Sports and the CIS side Albus Nox Luna.

 

 

 

 

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Pro Tier: New Champions showing up for Worlds

Worlds is right around the corner and one of the biggest questions is who will show up at worlds. Most teams last played on 6.15 (aside from International Wildcard teams who played their qualifier on 6.16) and the patch we will see at worlds is 6.18.


In between those 2-3 patches a lot of small nerfs and buffs were given to multiple champions, which in professional play can be enough to tip the scales for some changes to champion pools.

 

There’s also a lot of interest to see what is going to show up after what happened last year. The Juggernaut patch came right after teams qualified and it was a gigantic set of changes that completely shifted pick priorities.

 

This year’s changes pre-worlds have been much more mild, but with no teams playing competitively in these last two patches, a lot of testing has surely been done by a lot of teams and those paying more attention to rumors might have heard of some new champions showing up once more.

 

The Flex Pick

 

Probability to show up: Very likely

We covered Jayce last week, who started showing up much more after his 6.17 patches:

Jayce is a hybrid type of fighter, who can poke from afar and then use the movement speed to close the gap, go melee and finish off a target. Changing stances to hammer form grants resistances which encourages going melee without getting blown up.

Right now, he’s seeing play in both solo lanes. In the top lane, he can outrange and poke melee matchups. Ranged auto attacks are also very useful to deny Gangplank’s Powder Kegs.

Top Lane Jayce skips Tear of the Goddess and rushes Black Cleaver, as trades and all ins are more frequent in this lane. He also runs Stormraider’s Surge, to allow him to close the gap as melee after landing an accelerated Shock Blast from afar.
 

In the mid lane he plays a more poke oriented style, usually with Tear of the Goddess and Thunderlord’s Decree as his Keystone Mastery.

Top Lane

 

Probability to show up: Low

Kled was released back on 6.16, so he hasn’t seen his competitive debut, but slowly, professional players that are attending the world championship started to slowly pick the Cantankerous Cavalier.

Kled is an incredibly strong duelist and deceptively tanky with his mount Skaarl. Bursting him down is next to impossible, as his dismount animation completely stops full damage combos from killing him. With ‘Chaaaaaaaarge!!!’ he can always start a fight, on his own or with his teammates. The movement speed given is immense and functions very similarly to a sivir ultimate, allowing everyone to quickly engage a team or a straggler.

 

Once Kled completes Black Cleaver his cooldowns are low enough to string ‘Beartrap on a Rope’ time after time again, as he can continuously stay close by using ‘Jousting’ as well.

 

Jungle

 

Probability to show up: Average

Skarner’s last appearance at worlds wasn’t that great... Regardless, leading up to this year’s event he’s been seeing quite a lot of play. With Rek’sai and Gragas nerfed and if drafts tend towards banning top tier junglers such as Elise and Nidalee, there’s a chance we might go into the tier 2 champions and the Crystal Vanguard is one of them.

Skarner farms fast and has very good lockdown with Impale and Fracture. He’ll never be super high up in priority mainly because he’s incredibly dependant on flash and needs to get into melee range to dish out a lot of damage, so he’s dependant on facing less mobile compositions or with champions that can enable him.

Honorable Mentions: Olaf, Kindred, Evelynn

Mid Lane

 

Probability to show up: Likely

Ryze has gone through too many reworks, but it doesn’t seem like that will ever stop him from being a contested pick. The first rank on his ultimate is admittedly very poor, but come mid game his damage really starts ramping up.

Initially, players were still going for the double stacking build of Rod of Ages and Seraph’s Embrace, but recently the build has shifted towards going for a Morellonomicon right after Tear of the Goddess and grabbing a Rylai’s Crystal Scepter next to make up for the health he doesn’t get for not picking up RoA.

Ryze is deceptively mobile. He usually has Ghost and Flash at his disposal as his summoner Spells and with Stormraider’s Surge as his Keystone he can swiftly get out after going in for a trade or reposition until he unleashes his low cooldown highly potent burst once more.


AD Carry

 

Probability to show up: Low

Jinx isn’t really priority right now and it’s very likely we will see about at least 6 champions above her in priority in the AD Carry role. That said, she’s still an absolute late game monster and will take over games if they stretch out long enough past the 35 minute mark. Most teams will prioritise Lucian, Jhin, Ashe, Sivir and even Tristana, but Jinx still has this strong niche of a strong late game teamfighter with a deadly reset and some teams might rely on her as a comfort pick.

 

Riot Points Survey Giveaway

As you guys probably know, LolKing exists as a free resource thanks to the ads on our website. Every few months we run surveys regarding market research here and it's that time again--this month we've been fortunate enough to run two! Remember that you are under no obligation to participate, so if giving out information is not your cup of tea, we totally understand.

   

As thanks for answering this survey, we'll be picking twenty people who reply to our survey to win $20 RP cards:

         Click here to fill out the survey!   This giveaway will run until this Friday (9/30) at 11:59PM PDT. Twenty winners will receive a $20 RP card. Any region LolKing supports can win. Thanks everyone for participating!      

Ghost is the new Teleport - Mid Lane Mages

Mid Lane is traditionally the place where 1v1 duels happen often and junglers usually visit for ganks. Support roams are also frequent, everyone is constantly trying to swing the matchup for their mid laner, so it’s a very dynamic lane that gets a lot of attention, as the mid laner who is ahead can then translate an advantage to roams and invades to further amplify said gain.

 

So it’s no wonder that especially in ranked games we see a lot of assassins and burst mages in this lane, constantly trying to cement a lead through solo kills. Naturally, Ignite is ideal pick for these situations.

 

However, buffs to other spells and some assassins falling out of favor, throughout seasons we have seen more diversity in summoner spells. While competitive league is a completely different game from ranked matches, some strategies and tendencies tend to cross over and be adopted as players watch professionals pick up new things.

 

 

Season 5  - The Double Teleport Meta

 

In season 5 and even for a good part of season 6 (until patch 6.13), Teleport was the go to summoner spell for mid lane in competitive and it crossed over to solo queue too. Even a champion like LeBlanc, known for her extremely high potential for solo kills and all ins with Ignite, was frequently running Teleport, since it allowed her to have incredible map presence with TP ganks to either side lane.

Teleport was nerfed in the end of season 5, but this wasn’t enough to deter the summoner spells popularity, albeit reducing its dominance slightly in the middle lane.

Patch 5.22 - Teleport
  • Cooldown on Turret Cast - 240 seconds 300 seconds

 

Finally on 6.13, Teleport finally got another nerf that was the nail in coffin for the double TP meta.

 

Patch 6.13 - Teleport
  • Channel Duration - 3.5 seconds 4.5 seconds

 

Late Season 6  - Flash/Ghost Mids

 

The channel was simply too long for TP ganks and flanks to be effective with most mid lane picks. With Teleport being out of the picture, Ghost started to show up as one of the staple summoner spells in the mid lane, allowing mages to enhance their chase and kite potential in skirmishes and teamfights. The Spell was buffed back on Patch 6.10 and the buff was very significant.

 

Patch 6.10 - Ghost
  • Cooldown - 210 seconds 180 seconds
  • Movement Speed Bonus - 27% at all levels 28-45% (at levels 1-18)

 

Ghost on mid laners was not unheard of on picks such as Twisted Fate and Viktor for example, but with teleport out of the way, many more champions started picking it up as their second summoner spell, let’s have a look at some of them, from more common to more situational and obscure.

The reason behind the popularity of Ghost on most mages nowadays can be described with one word: Control.

With Ghost as a second summoner spell, these mages get a lot of extra control in fights. Most mages throw out a combination of spells and then have a downtime until they can contribute again. Ghost allows them to kite back or flank around, looking to position themselves ideally for their follow up spells. Most mages nowadays also use Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. When paired with Ghost it just allows them to chase and kite endlessly.

 

Malzahar

 

 

Malzahar is one of those Teleport mid laners I was talking about. He just pushes the lane, backs, teleports back to lane. Rinse and repeat.

With Teleport nerfed most of his roaming potential was gone. The channel time is just too long for him to use it to gank, as he then has no mobility spells to reach the back line.

With Ghost and the eventual Rylai’s Crystal Scepter pick up, Malzahar becomes a fearful control mage. With Ghost you can move back and forth during teamfights to land Malefic Visions and Call of the Void on key targets and the slow coming out from Rylai’s allows for Voidlings or even teammates to easily follow up. This iteration of Malzahar is much less about the 100-0 burst with your ultimate and more about controlling the battlefield with crippling AoE damage.

 

Cassiopeia

 

 

Cassiopeia might not be able to buy boots, but she sure is a swift snake, able to slither back and forth through fights with movement speed gained from hitting her Noxious Blast. While Ignite might be good for a surprise all in at level 2 or 3 with surprising burst, with ghost she can do much more in a teamfight setting, allowing her to move around the outskirts of a teamfight, flanking around reach a target with Noxious Blast followed by consecutive uses of Twin Fangs.

Ghost also gives her extra safety in lane. Cassiopeia is infamous as a champion that is somewhat easy to gank early on, with Ghost she has an extra escape tool to evade ganks, provided her initial position is good enough to allow her to increase the distance between herself and the ganker.

 

 

 

Syndra

 

 


Syndra quickly rose from a pocket pick to a must on every professional mid laner’s champion pool. Ignite is very tempting on Syndra. Laning against her becomes even more problematic as a simple combo pre 6 can easily lead to a kill and post 6, the potential of a 100-0 combo coming out is even higher, with the burn slowly ticking away as the opponent tries to run from the Dark Sovereign.

 

With that said, Syndra can still easily kill carries without Ignite, especially after completing core items. Replacing Ignite for Ghost results in losing some early lane dominance in exchange for a massive teamfighting upgrade. Ignite will guarantee you that opening first kill on a carry for sure, but Ghost will give you that extra mobility to move around and land consecutive Dark Spheres, and reposition to get good angles for stuns with Scatter the Weak.

 

 

 

Combined with the rising popularity of Rylai’s Crystal Scepter on her, Syndra is transformed from a pick off oriented mage whose main job is to blast one target to a strong teamfighting mage, that still has good burst, but isn’t totally zoned out or too far to go for more targets once she uses her first spell rotation. Similarly to Cassiopeia, she uses Ghost to move around the outskirts of a fight and find opportunities to land strong damage on multiple priority targets.


Orianna

 

 

 

Now this is probably the one you will find super weird to be on the list, but Orianna actually does pretty well with Ghost. In later stages of the game, Orianna might be seen as that champion that has an extremely strong combo that can wipe out teams with Shockwave and Dissonance, but before she gets to that point her burst isn’t that great. Ghost allows her to consistently move the ball around and it’s been a pretty annoying combination when ran together with Rylai’s, as her Command: Attack and Command: Protect will now also slow while she moves the ball around from enemy to teammate.

If I can’t convince you, maybe Cloud9’s Mid Laner Jensen can.

 

 

 

Patch 6.19 Rundown: Kog'Maw Back to the Drawing Board

You have to admire the courage of Riot to say "Well that just didn't work," which is exactly what we are seeing with Kog'Maw this patch, who is largely returning to his state many patches ago. It will be interested to see if they take another stab at reworking his mechanics or if they are just getting him to a comfortable spot and leaving him there. 

Be sure to check out the full changes below:

 

Anivia
 

Straightfoward nerf to E damage.

What's New:
  • Frostbite (E) damage nerfed from 55/85/115/145/175 to 50/75/100/125/150, chilled damage nerfed from 110/170/230/290/350 to 100/150/200/250/300

Aurelion Sol

 

Damaged shifted away from W to passive.

What's New:
  • Center of the University (Passive) damage buffed from 20-97 (at levels 1-18) to 20-130 (at levels 1-18)
  • Celestial Expansion (W) bonus damage nerfed from 10/20/30/40/50 to 5/10/15/25, but mana per second slightly lowered
  • Comet of Legend (E) no longer requires Escape Velocity and can be cast any time out of combat. Will now also start cast even if targeted out of range.

Cassiopeia
 

Cast range on W lowered, E heals less.

What's New:
  • Miasma (W) cast range down to 800 from 900
  • Twin Fang (E) heal scaling changed from 5/10/15/20/25 to 5-22 (at levels 1-18)

Corki

 

AD per level up.

What's New:
  • Attack damage growth stat up from 2.5 to 3.5

Dr. Mundo
 

E damage up and cooldown reduced.

What's New:
  • Masochism (E) min damage up from 20/40/60/80/100 to 30/50/70/90/110, max damage up from 40/80/120/160/200 to 60/100/140/180/220, cooldown down from 7s to 6s

Kled
 

Can do full damage to minions and monsters dismounted, but some nerfs to ults movement boosts.

What's New:
  • Skaarl, the Cowardly Lizard (Passive) no longer reduces his basic attack damge against minions and monsters
  • Chaaaaaaaarge!!! (R) movement speed trail duration down from 8s to 6s, and range down from flat 4500 to 3500/4000/4500

Kog'Maw
 

Reworked to his old non-machine gun state.

What's New:
  • Caustic Spittle (Q) regains attack speed bonus of 15/20/25/30/35%
  • Bio-Arcane Barrage (W) no longer doubles attack speed, increases attack cap, or decreases cast times. No longer deals bonus magic damage per hit

    Max health damage up from 2% to 2/3/5/6%, and AP ratio increased

    Bonus range rescaled from 90/120/150/180/210 to 130/150/170/190/210

    Cooldown up to a flat 17s

    Duration up to 8s from 6s

    Cooldown begins at start of cast rather than on effect end

Leona
 

Good ol' bug fix.

What's New:
  • Fixed a bug preventing Leona from Flashing during Zenith Blade's (E) cast time

Singed
 

Poison does same damage over time, but ticks more often.

What's New:
  • Poison Trail (Q) ticks per second up from 1 to 4

Soraka
 

Cooldown on W increased significantly early.

What's New:
  • Astral Infusion (W) cooldown rescaled from 4/3.5/3/2.5/2s to 8/6.5/5/3.5/2s

Twitch
 

Attack speed on Q lowered.

What's New:
  • Ambush (Q) attack speed nerfed from 30/40/50/60/70% to 30/35/40/45/50%

Udyr
 

Damage shifting to the on-hit cone rather than the passive burn.

What's New:
  • Phoenix Stance (R) proc damage buffed from 25/60/95/130/165 to 40/80/120/160/200, but the passive burn ticks 4 times over 4s, rather than 5 over 5s
 

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