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by Shakarez on February 14, 2016 1

Doran’s Ring has been the go to starting item for AP champions in mid and top lane for multiple seasons, however with the recent changes to The Dark Seal there’s now a valid alternative to the Ring, especially if you’re not playing a very mana intensive champion.

Let’s start by taking a look at the Dark Seal and Doran’s Ring Side by Side

Doran’s Ring looks like by far the superior item, it gives health that Dark Seal doesn’t have and while it doesn’t give Mana, it increases Mana Regeneration by 50% and has the mana on kill passive, so assuming perfect CS you could be getting back 24 mana per wave (28 on a siege minion wave).


However, the Dark Seal has some inherent advantages to it that make it a good purchase




1. Cheaper = more potions


The Dark Seal only costs 350 gold, meaning it’s 50 gold less than Doran’s Ring. This allows you to do one of two things, either go to lane with 3 health potions instead of just 2 you would have with Doran’s Ring or start with Dark Seal + Refillable Potion, which you can then easily upgrade into a Corrupting Potion or just keep it as it is and never spend more gold in potions throughout the early and mid game.


Not only can you take an extra potion but the healing on it will be increased! The Dark Seal increases healing from Potions by 25%. How big is this? More than you probably think it is!


As you can see by the picture above, the 3 potions from The Dark Seal will give you 562.5 health while the 2 potions and the health from Doran’s Ring will only give you 360 health. It’s worth mentioning that the health from Doran’s Ring is a bit more valuable, as it’s increasing your maximum health making you stronger in all ins.



If you use your three potions, you're getting 112.5 health from Dark Seal’s passive and increases its value to 766.25 Gold, making it 218.93% gold efficient.



(Secret Stash is not included as it’s a mastery you can take regardless of using Doran’s Ring or The Dark Seal)







2. Kill Participation = More ability power


The other advantage from The Dark Seal is the fact that kill participation will give you extra Ability Power.


Unique – Dread: Grants +3 ability power per stack of Glory.

Unique – Do or Die: Grants 2 Glory (+6 AP) for a champion kill and 1 Glory (+3 AP) for an assist, up to a maximum of 10 Glory stacks (+30 AP).

Upon death, lose 4 Glory stacks (-12 AP).


So essentially you can gain up to 30 extra Ability Power with Kills or Assists. Obviously deaths are very punishing, but just think of this as an extra bonus. The item is already good without it!






3. To sell or not to sell?



The other great part of getting this item is that you can opt to sell it, keep it as it is or just upgrade it to Mejai’s Soulstealer.



In a game where you’re not snowballing and not getting a lot of glory stacks, or even in a match where you die and lose most of your stacks you can just keep The Dark Seal until you eventually sell it by mid game.



If you are snowballing and feel you can keep snowballing you can upgrade to mejai’s and keep stacking the item, as Mejai’s Soulstealer gets you up to 25 Glory or 140 Ability Power.



If you do decide to just keep the Seal and sell it later into the game, it also sells for 245 gold which is more than Doran’s 160 gold given for selling. The Dark Seal’s sale price means you get 70% of the gold invested back to your pockets.









The disadvantages of starting Dark Seal


There are two main drawbacks of starting with this item over Doran’s Ring.


The first is your Mana Regeneration and sustain. As mentioned before, The Dark Seal only gives you 100 Flat Mana and no extra regeneration, while Doran’s Ring increases your Mana Regeneration by 50% and gives you 4 mana per kill.


  Mana Regeneration per 5 seconds
Level Base With Doran's Ring
1 6 9
2 6.8 10.2
3 7.6 11.4
4 8.4 12.6
5 9.2 13.8
6 10 15


The other drawback is that your maximum health is lower. We talked about how The Dark Seal will give you extra health total with the potions, but the 60 extra HP from Doran’s Ring means you’re more durable in an all in.




Conclusion: When Should I use The Dark Seal


You should look to use the Dark Seal over Doran’s if:



  • You’re not too mana intensive or don’t intend to stay in lane for long before backing (meaning you want an early power spike from an item), the less you stay in lane the less noticeable the lower Mana Regeneration will be.


In both these scenarios they needed the extra health from potions to stay in lane and not get poked out.


I hope I was able to convince you on the strength of this new item, don’t be afraid to try it out, you’ll be surprised on how situationally good it can be!

by Shakarez on February 12, 2016 2

We've teamed up with Shakarez to create a new weekly video segment called LolKing's pick of the week. Last week we covered the new Shen and the week prior we delved into why jungle Graves is a strong pick.

This week, we've decided to examine Lux as a mid laner. With the changes to vision and the lack of purchasable Sight Wards, the map is likely to be less warded and Lux excels at picking off enemies from the Fog of War

Watch the video below to learn more about why Lux 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 Lux brings to a team:

  • Strong Wave clear: With Lucent Singularity (E) and Final Spark (R) you have really solid wave clear on a short cooldown, not to mention the safe distance!
  • Good Blind pick and Safe Laning: While Lux doesn't do well against every matchup, she can survive against most champions in lane as she can simply stay back and farm if she has a tougher lane opponent.
  • A very strong and underrated Shield: Prismatic Barrier is probably the most overlooked part of Lux's kit, but a very strong tool. Not only does it shield you twice, it is extremely strong in a teamfight if you can land it on multiple teammates.


Learning with LolKing

If you want to learn Lux, we have tons of resources at LolKing:
by comely on February 11, 2016 0

Love is in the Air on the Rift!


Bring an extra dose of affection to your games with Heartseeker Orianna and Sweetheart Sona. Not sure which will most impress your sweetheart? Check out both skins in our model viewer and find out which is best! Give the previews a click to check them out.


If you need even more pretty pink and happy hearts, there are also 3 new summoner icons and a Harpseeker ward!





Sweetheart icons make a great mystery gift to that special duo partner on your friends list. Each costs 250 RP but the Lovely Icon is also purchasable for 1500 IP! The Harpseeker ward is also in the shop for 640 RP, it's a great way to keep an eye on your star-crossed crush on the other team.



by Ashelia on February 10, 2016 7

Riot announced today that the iconic game mode Dominion will be retired on February 22nd.


Summoners who have achieved over 100 wins in the game mode (not including co-op vs AI wins) will be awarded a special icon to show their dedication to Dominion.


While it certainly is a blow, it's not exactly a surprise. The game mode's draft queue often had absurd timers that exceeded an hour to have a single match. And try as they might, the Dominion afficionados never quite converted it into a mainstream mode--Riot cited that under 0.5% of the players actively played Dominion and that many of them were actually just bots leveling up. 


While we here at LolKing are happy to get our icons, we must admit we're sad to see the mode retired. Maybe this is a sign that Riot will consider adding some of their alternative game modes in the future, such as URF Mode or Hexakill. 

by comely on February 10, 2016 1

6.3 Patch Summary


Here are some of the major themes of the patch:

  • We're seeing lots of subtle changes--specific ability mechanics are altered to both nerf and buff certain champions.
  • Dragon buffs are being changed a bit in an effort to make them feel more consequential and interesting.
  • Riot took a look at the evergrowing boot trouble: swifties were too strong, so now other boots were altered.
  • Added a new assassain specific item to better define the role and help smooth out their itemization.
  • Mid game armor items have gotten a bunch of small changes to keep dead man's plate from being the instant choice every time.
  • Zeal items are still being tweaked, lots of similar items trying to find their own place in various builds.

Here is a quick rundown on all the changes so you can be up to date before heading into games.


  • Mark of the Assassin (Q) energy return is 40 at all levels instead of scaling up to 40 at max rank.
  • Shadow Dance (R) travel speed increased.
  • Pulverize (Q) can be buffered during Headbutt (W) to always cast when you reach the target.
  • Triumphant Roar (E) mana cost and cooldown increased.
  • Phosphorus Bomb (Q) damage reduced.
  • Missile Barrage (R) missile recharge time increased.
  • Timewinder (Q) cooldown decreased at early ranks.
  • Barrel Roll (Q) slow has full 2 second duration immediately instead of ramping up as it sits unexploded.
  • Drunken Rage (W) slightly shorter channel and 250 aoe around target for on hit damage
  • New Destiny (Passive) no longer stuns Rift Scuttler, and you can no longer cancel the auto attack recoil with End of the Line (Q) or Collateral Damage (R).
  • End of the Line (Q) damage on second hit lowered and added brief animation before detonating after colliding with terrain.
  • Test of Spirit (E) removed the delay when you miss and reduced mana cost starting at rank 2.
  • Vessels no longer have to last hit tentacles to count towards the debuff removal, just have hit it within 5 seconds.
  • Relentless Assault (Passive) stacks up to 8 instead of 6, but you get less attack speed per stack. Slightly more overall attack speed once fully stacked, but takes longer.
  • Passive attack speed boost moved from Caustic Spittle (Q) to Bio-Arcane Barrage (W).
  • Bio-Arcane Barrage (W) now deals at least 15 bonus magic damage at all ranks.
  • Hammer Shock (Q) lower base damage but slightly higher AD ratio, no longer only deals 80% damage to minions.
  • Heroic Charge (E) cooldown increased by 2 seconds at all ranks.
  • Keeper's Verdict (R) non-charged cast knockup time lowered.
  • Landing just short of target on leaps has been removed.
  • Bola Strike (E) cast time lowered, begins slightly behind you when cast while leaping.
  • Arcane Mastery (Passive) maintains same time limit, but also only lasts up to 5 casts, whichever is reached first ends the effect.
  • Desperate Power (R) cooldown lowered.

  • Battle Cry (W) given a small bonus AD ratio and every third attack has a crit attached that scales with level.
  • Audacious Charge (E) cooldown flat 12s at all ranks.

  • Death Mark (R) damage amplification lowered 5% at all ranks.




  • Mega Inferno Bomb (R) base damage increased, AP ratio increased, outer radius damage lowered.

  • 2nd Dragon stack changed from "+15% damage to turrets and buildings" to "Basic attacks burn turrets for 10-180 damage over 2 seconds".
  • 4th Dragon stack changed from "+15% damage to monsters and minions" to "You take 20% less damage from turrets".

New Item: Duskblade of Draktharr

Serrated Dirk + B.F. Sword + 850 gold (3250 total)

75 AD, 5% MS, +10 Armor Pen, auto attacks apply Nightfall (120s cooldown)

Nightfall: After 2 seconds, Nightfall deals physical damage equal to 90 + 25% of the target's missing health. If you get a kill or assist on the target before Nightfall detonates, the cooldown is refunded.


Cloth armor added to recipe.
Total armor from 25 to 30.
Total cost unchanged.

Total cost from 1100 to 1000.

Total cost from 2800 to 2900.
Crushing blow slow from 75% to 50%.

Deals 50% bonus damage to minions and monsters.

Total cost from 3000 to 2900.
Health from 450 to 500.

Energized damage from 30 to 40.

Move speed from 7% to 5%
Energized damage from 50-200 to 50-160


Proc damage from 30-100 to 50-120.


Total cost from 2800 to 2550.
Tracks how many times damage reduction has saved you.

Total cost from 800 to 900.

Total cost from 800 to 900.


Total cost form 800 to 900.
Out of combat speed from 105 to 115.




The full patch notes with lots of context can be found here.

by Shakarez on February 10, 2016 0

We're half way through the regular season in the spring split and as we keep moving onwards league leaders and contenders start becoming more well defined. With the Lunar New Year, there were no games in China and Korea had a week with less games. Here are LolKing's top games to catch up on from the fourth week of the season, including highlights of some plays from each game.

Korea: An impressive Rookie performance


Link to the match


This game of the LCK featured a matchup with two mid table teams, a very weakened CJ Entus after roster swaps and a struggling Longzhu that still haven’t found their form, despite the strong roster.


After dropping game 1 to CJ, Longzhu sub in three players, Flame, Crash and Frozen came in for Expession, Chaser and CoCo.


This would be Crash’s second game in professional play after having beaten the Afreeca Freecs in the past week.



From the draft we see two very interesting compositions, on Longzhu’s side, with Frozen’s Syndra and Pure’s trademark Bard, besides having Flame on a carry champion like Gangplank. Overall, a well rounded team composition that is strong in skirmishes and picking off targets with burst damage from Nidalee, Syndra and Bard but can still perform in sieges and teamfights.


On CJ’s side, MadLife has his infamous Thresh. The team went with strong teamfight elements and a Fiora meaning they were looking to split their team 4-1 while Fiora split pushes.


But Crash was having none of that. On Nidalee, he constantly invaded and punished Bubbling’s Elise play, not letting him do much.



Crash took multiple camps from his opponent and warded up the enemy jungle using Tracker’s Knife and Pink Wards so he could see his enemies every move. He started to amass quite a lead and by 20 minutes he was 80 CS up his jungle opponent.


If you’re looking to watch a dominant jungle performance I would recommend watching this match, if you’re looking for something else I would also recommend:



North America: Draven makes his return



Link to the match


Day two of the NA LCS put head to head a struggling Renegades team with two changes with the inclusion of Flaresz and Hakuho on the starting lineup against a star studded TSM that has been struggling to get where they want to be, at the top.



Renegades quickly picked up Nidalee and hid their ADC pick as long as they could to see more from TSM’s comp. After seeing both bot lane champions, Renegades locked in Draven, a champion Freeze is known for after terrorizing the EU LCS in the past year with Copenhagen Wolves.


The game started well for the Renegades and they even showcased a neat trick, blocking the minions in the first wave in order for them to reach lane after and die early so they could get an experience advantage.  From there, the team started to win multiple fights and even got kills on their Draven, meaning he cashed in on all those stacks and got a huge item advantage over his AD carry counterpart.



Renegades won fight after fight but were a bit too greedy and didn’t respect death timers. After winning a teamfight in mid lane and taking a turret, they moved to baron to amplify their advantage but most of TSM was already back up to contest that fight



After that the game went back to being even and many bloody teamfights followed and TSM showed superiority in this regard. While Renegades are still at the bottom of their region, they show improvements, it’s up to them to learn to translate advantages into wins now.


If you would like to see other games from last week's NA LCS I would recommend:


Europe: The Spanish Org Duel


Link to the match



The biggest match this week in EU was the game between G2 esports and Origen. Ocelote and Xpeke, two Spanish rival midlaners would face each other once again, but this time outside of Summoner’s Rift.


From the draft you could already tell it was going to have explosive teamfights. Despite giving away Corki, a pick that Perkz had used in the previous week to dominate the opposing teams, G2 still drafted a well rounded composition with extremely good teamfighting, with plenty of engage in order to have favourable fights.


On Origen’s side, mostly a siege oriented composition, with Corki and Ezreal being the main champions in the composition, protected by all disengage Janna and Tahm Kench can provide.


From the get go you could tell the game was going to be close. Kills showed up here and there but the gold was bang even for most of the early to mid game stages of the game.


27 minutes in G2 decided to accelerate the game and go for a baron attempt. Having Kalista on their side meant they had the advantage when taking neutral objectives and a huge teamfight broke out as both teams contested the neutral objective.



If you’d like to watch other games from EU in this past week I would recommend:

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