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Kled 101: Breaking Down The Cantankerous Cavalier + $20 RP Giveaway!

The new champion Kled has been revealed and requires mastering the mechanics behind both him and his less than trusty steed Skaarl. Check out our Kled 101 video below where we break down his mechanics so you can be ready when he hits the live servers! 

To celebrate his reveal we are also giving away a pair of $10 RP cards, and you can enter the giveaway below the video!

 

LolKing's Kled Reveal RP Giveaway

New Gangplank Build - Coming Back Stronger

Ever since Gangplank was reworked over a year ago, he’s been highly contested, in both ranked games and competitive play. During Worlds 2015 he was almost permanently banned and his priority was relatively high for an extended period of time.

 

When Patch 6.11 came along with the changes to Trinity Force, some players feared the worst for the Saltwater Scourge as his core item was taking a big hit with the loss of Zeal from the recipe, and consequently the Critical Strike the item gave.

 

Traditionally with the new Gangplank, we would see a very critical strike oriented build, with Trinity Force, Infinity Edge and then Zeal items or even more Infinity Edges in order to get close or even reach 100% Critical Strike. Since Gangplanks Powder Kegs can crit, his impact is much higher when he can AoE crit a team and destroy them.

The Trinity Force nerfs ended up not being too detrimental and didn’t stop Gangplank from being a strong force in the current meta.

 

   

Gangplanks’ Win-Rate is not spectacular, but it has been consistently around 52% for a month now

 

So what makes him so attractive, even after the Trinity Force nerfs?

 

Simply put, he’s still an amazing late game carry. He needs time to get rolling, but his impact in fights is superb once he closes his core items. He can impact fights from afar with his global ultimate, especially if you manage to get early upgrades and hit enemies with the epicenter of the Cannon Barrage. In later stages of the game he’s a strong sieger as teams are frequently zoned out by the threat of being hit by his barrel combo, that besides doing incredible damage, also has a very punishing and durable slow, 80% at max rank.

 

As the playerbase has been figuring out that he’s still relatively strong, players have steadily started picking him up again.

   

His popularity has been steadily increasing. Over the last month, it has gone up from 6% to 10%

 

If after the changes there was a short decline, players quickly figured out other build paths and setups to use in order to keep dominating with him.

 

 

Let’s take a look at the current most popular items on Gangplank and explain the new build that has been gaining traction.

 

   

 

Trinity Force: “An All Purpose Artefact”

 

The big selling point of Trinity Force was never the Critical Strike, it has always been the Spellblade effect from Sheen, which Gangplank uses and abuses as it works on his Powder Keg and Parrrley. The Crit was definitely good, but it was the icing on the cake, not the fundamental piece of the item.

 

The changes to Trinity Force were also not entirely bad. The new Trinity Force gives 20% Cooldown Reduction, a stat that Gangplank doesn’t usually itemize for in his build; and a bunch of Attack Speed. While the attack speed has a lower value for him in sieges and fights, it does make his split pushing better, as he can take down towers extremely fast with a ton of attack speed and powerful Sheen Procs.

 

After Trinity:

 

With the Crit removal from Trinity Force in mind, there are two options for Gangplank. Going immediately for critical strike items mean his 2, 3 item build is much less fluid, as he won’t be hitting 50% Critical Strike until much later than he used to before.

On the other hand, going for non Critical Strike items, namely items with AD and Armor Penetration, mean his mid game is stronger, but his hypercarry status is delayed.

 

The idea behind the most recent Gangplank build is to go for a more Armor Penetration oriented build. Critical Strike isn't as important of a stat in this build. Instead, the flat penetration will allow you to shred through opponents, especially ones that don't itemize defensively against you.

This allows Gangplank to spike earlier and have a stronger mid game, while still being relevant in the later stages.

 

Items

 


 

Youmuu’s Ghostblade:

Currently, most players in higher tiers of play are picking this up as a second item. High values of Attack Damage and Armor Penetration, 10% Cooldown Reduction and an active that grants him extra mobility, either to escape or close the gap.

 

Maw of Malmortious:

A solid replacement for Youmuu’s as a second item if Magic Resistance is a necessity against AP matchups or AP heavy compositions.

 

Duskblade of Draktharr:

While not nearly as popular as the other items, it’s being picked up frequently in higher tiers of play. The highest Attack Damage item that also grants Movement Speed and more importantly, more Flat Penetration.

Assuming you’re picking up Youmuu’s and Duskblade, you now have 30 Flat Penetration, not to mention that the remaining armor will be ignored by 40% if you hit opponents with a Keg.

 

Sterak’s Gage:

One of the preferred defensive items for Gangplank. It allows him to not get bursted nearly as easily and also increases his base AD by 25% (50% when the passive activates). What is so strong about this is that the increase on base AD directly affect your Spellblade procs with Sheen.

 

Infinity Edge:

Obviously still an extremely strong item as it gives Critical Strike and increases the potency of Crits. But in this build IE is usually picked further down the line, usually as a fourth or fifth item.

 

 

 

LolKing Resources

 

Patch 6.15 Rundown: Towers Can Bleed

A pretty long list of champions changed with 6.15, including a pretty big change to Nidalee with the removal of auto resets on her transformations, but there are also a ton of small but important changes sprinkled throughout the champion lineup. 
 

One particular noteworth change I want to address right away is to turrets.

Outer Turrets: Shared local gold down from 300 to 250, health up from 3300 to 3500, fortification duration down from 7 minutes to 5 minutes, and fortification damage reduction up from 35% to 50%.

So basically we have turrets that are sturdier early game, but that advantage falls off earlier. It's also super important to note that this fortification damage reduction no longer applies to bot lane outer turret at all! This means you can potentially pressure it very early.

We've also seen a new First Blood mechanic, similar to champions, added to turrets. It grants a total of 400 bonus gold to the killer's team, 275 split between nearby champions and a flat 25 gold per champion.

With that out of the way let's delve into the champion and item changes in this patch:
 

Braum
 

Calming down the early game a bit to make laning a bit less brutal for opponents.

What's New:
  • Concussive Blows (Passive) damage down at early levels and up at later ones
  • Winter's Bite (Q) damage down by 10 at all ranks

Corki

Call him Fedex cause he's droppin' more packages.

What's New:
  • Hextech Munitions (Passive) package cooldown down from 5 minutes to 4 minutes

Hecarim
 

Can't mash Q and run at you quite as effectively early on.

What's New:
  • Base AD down a bit
  • Rampage (Q)  damage down by 10

Illaoi

Tentacles are less sneaky.

What's New:
  • Tentacles are now visible in brush to enemy champions within their normal vision range

Jarvan IV
 

Getting some attack speed love on his flag, should help speed up his clear and give him more gank opportunities.

What's New:
  • Demacian Standard (E) passive and active attack speed increased from 10/13/16/19/22% to 15/17.5/20/22.5/25%

Karma
 

Shield was too strong, so bopping it down a bit and removing some utility.

What's New:
  • Inspire (E) can no longer target minions, and the shield amount is decreased by 10
  • Defiance (Mantra E) bonus movement speed scales 40/45/50/55/60% down from 60% at all ranks

Kassadin
 

Trying to help his laning strength a bit without making his path to late game too easy.

What's New:
  • Null Sphere (Q) damage rescaled from 70/95/120/145/170 to 65/95/125/155/185
  • Force Pulse (E) mana cost down from 80 at all ranks to 60/65/70/75/80

Malzahar
 

Rather than hitting Malz and then going to make a sandwich and coming back before you can CC him, you now only have time to take a bite of an already prepared sandwich.

What's New:
  • Void Shift (Passive) cooldown increased from 30/18/10/6 to 30/24/18/12 seconds, and shield duration down from 1 second after taking damage to 0.25 seconds after taking damage

Nidalee
 

Auto reset from R is gone, other changes to try and compensate, less mechanically gifted Nidalees rejoice.

What's New:
  • Javelin Toss (Q) minimum and max damage up at early ranks
  • Takedown (Cougar Q) base damage up early and down late, but AP ratio and hunted target bonus damage both increaed
  • Aspect of the Cougar no longer resets basic attack

Renekton
 

Making the ult a bit more terrifying for the enemy.

What's New:
  • Dominus (R) damage per second up at early ranks, and it grants 20 fury on cast

Shen
 

The most boring champion gets the most boring change.

What's New:
  • Base health regen down from 10 to 8.5

Shyvana
 

More dragon power points (technically fury) per second early game.

What's New:
  • Dragon's Descent (R) passive fury gain per second up at early ranks from 0.66/1.33/2 to 1/1.5/2

Sona
 

Technically already live changes, but now the tooltips won't lie to you.

What's New:
  • Fixed a bug that let her skip her global cooldown when casting Celerity into Perseverance
  • Aria of Perseverance (W) heal down
  • Song of Celerity (E) self movement speed down

Taliyah
 

Less surfing early on.

What's New:
  • Weaver's Wall (R) cooldown up early ranks from 160/140/120 seconds to 180/150/120 seconds

Vayne
 

Now you can teach those turrets the power of tumbling.

What's New:
  • Tumble (Q) now deals bonus damage to structures, and it also no longer crits separately from auto attacks it's all or nothing

Viktor
 

Ultimate moves faster towards him, but now only when you target him directly!

What's New:
  • Chaos Storm (R) only counts as "returning" and moves at max speed if Viktor targets himself.

Vladimir
 

Making ol' Vlad a bit less slippery.

What's New:
  • Movement speed down from 335 to 330
  • Sanguine Pool (W) cooldown up from 26/23/20/17/14 seconds to 28/25/22/19/16 seconds

Zac
 

Small quality of life change change so you don't fly off in a random direction.

What's New:
  • Fixed a bunch of bugs, not all of them but hey it's a start

Zyra
 

More power to the Q.

What's New:
  • Damage and AP ratio both up a bit.

Ardent Censer

 
  • +15% heal and shield power is now a unique passive

Mikael's Crucible

 
  • +15% heal and shield power is now a unique passive
 

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.

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