What It Means for a Champion to be "Toxic"

What It Means for a Champion to be "Toxic"

Morello is extremely fond of the word "toxic" when describing certain champions.  These champions are a rightful pain in the A**.  And do not foster the gameplay that Riot wants to achieve.  There is some misunderstanding amongst the community however on what Toxic means and who it applies to.  Hopefully after this short treatise on the subject, you can then harass Morello all day with his own language.  

I really, really hate this champion. 

What does Morello mean by Toxic?

Toxic is the word Morello uses to describe game play he believes is detrimental to the game.  What this means is so varied that it often confuses players about what he means.  In the past he mentioned the following champions as Toxic at one point or another.

  • Teemo
  • Vladimir
  • Irelia
  • Heimerdinger
  • Twisted Fate
  • Master Yi
  • Tryndamere
  • Evelynn

And the list could go on for awhile, but those are examples I can pull from memory.  There is some aspect about their kits that when taken to the logical conclusion, makes them entirely un-fun to play against or just generally deal with.  However, this does not mean they are overpowered.  Sometimes they are overpowered, but toxic describes a style of game-play, not their relative strength to the game.  In fact, many of those champions are not considered highly competitive right now but their game-play is still toxic.

Defining Toxic on a Champion by Champion Basis


Old Evelynn had a super stealth that let her bypass wards and walk right up to an enemy champion with almost no chance of detection.  Combine this with a close range stun and you get a recipe for one of the most infuriating champions possible.   If at any point you were even slightly past your jungle, you could be killed.  Riot nerfed her so hard, they actually stated they wanted her un-viable until they could fix her underlying issues.

The toxic game-play of Evelynn was that there was almost no counter to her and the damage she could do to your lane was extreme with only minor effort on her part. 


If Teemo ever becomes a super strong pick, I will quit this game until he is nerfed into the ground.  Teemo is infuriating in lane and infuriating with the invisible map pressure he creates.  Teemo in lane is annoying to play against with the constant hit and run.  The real toxic element of his kit is his ultimate.  Teemo creates map pressure with no investment on his behalf beyond a cooldown.  Have you ever gone to a Teemo lane and run over three mushrooms and almost died from that alone?  The only counter?  A pink ward or oracles potion.  Even then, if Teemo places the landmine at the entrance to a bush, you cannot see it before you step on it.   

Teemo's toxic element is mainly his ultimate.  Place mushrooms, control massive amounts of area.  This gets more and more powerful when you control important objectives like Baron. 


I completely hate this champion.  He is an abomination of design and it is hard to believe Riot let this champion out.  Here is how Vladimir works, heal, heal, heal and then kill you because his sustain is unfair.  There is no resource he dedicates to this, just a cooldown.  Which gets obscenely short as he levels up his Q.  Spell vamp just makes it worse.  Then there is his passive which rewards you with defense for building offense.  I will not mention his pool for the sake of my own sanity. 

Vladimir has been nerfed over and over since he was released.  AND HE IS STILL GOOD.  Vladimir's basic kit design is so strong and "toxic" that Riot has issues balancing him.  



 The champions Morello labels as toxic is well deserved.  I never enjoy playing against Teemo or Vlad.  The basic design premise behind them infuriates me when playing against them and is only fun for the person playing them.  Is Teemo hilarious sometimes?  Absolutely, those shrooms lead to funny situations.  Should a champion like Teemo be powerful though?  Hell no, that would be bad for the game if he was first pick/first ban worthy.  Burst mages like Annie are in a similar situation.  Morello is highly hesitant to make them powerful because of the binary play they create.  Either Annie can butcher you or she cannot.  Often times if a champion is too toxic, they get reworked to a point where they are no longer nearly as toxic.  But if a champion is labeled as Toxic by Morello, you can make a good bet that champion is unlikely to be very powerful for a long time.  







  • #228 sychonic

    Teemo isn't toxic, buy oracles gg.

  • #229 GentlemanGustaf

    "Teemo isn't OP, buy oracles gg."

    Fixed it for you.

    He's still toxic. After all, even with Oracle's Elixirs, he still has Toxic Shot.

  • #230 Emeraldw

    I did mention how if you plant shrooms at the entrances to a brush, you cannot see them?  That is in the article right?

    Teemo is such a pain....damn yordle.   

  • #231 Bpness

    I am a firm believer that oracles should show invisible traps in bushes but not make them target-able until u enter the brush. Oracle's a bad buy if a Liandry's charged shroom takes out half your hp before u can clear a shroom. It is 400 gold wasted if you are buying it to clear mushrooms w/o body checking them and doing it anyway. the argument that oracles counters shrooms is incomplete, because brush can counter oracles. 

    Inb4you should buy oracle's it is a situationly OP item. The ability to strip the enemy of vision can win games, but it needs that slight buff fix to it. 

  • #202 broloch

    If teemo shrooms are gone, I quit this game


  • #200 EnaiSiaion

    I don't get this thread. Yes, there are un-fun champions to play against, and for the sake of your game you should change them. But isn't fun something you have to earn by beating your opponents? How fun is it in Dota to get chronosphered and killed before you can move? How fun is reaper harrass in Starcraft? A lot of fun if you are BETTER and OWN the enemy so they can't do that and instead scatter before you.

    Sometimes Riot is so strict about anti-fun that they forget that losing itself IS not fun.

  • #207 GentlemanGustaf

    If a game is only fun when you win, it's not a very well designed game.

    Last edited by GentlemanGustaf: 5/14/2013 8:35:27 PM
  • #209 jacktheplum

    Still, 50% of games will always be losses, but that doesn't mean it can't be a good game if everyone did their best with their champion. Riot should loosen up their "anti-fun" criteria, because there will always be fun and unfun things in the game. Riot may say certain mechanics are anti-fun, but stuff like getting CC-locked and/or multi-ganked is no fun either. These unfun things will always be part of a won or lost game, and it's rather unnecessary to rule out certain designs just because the enemy team wouldn't like them.

  • #211 GentlemanGustaf

    You seem to be equivocating 'unfun' and 'anti-fun'

  • #213 EnaiSiaion

    Quote from GentlemanGustaf »

    If a game is only fun when you win, it's not a very well designed game.

    No game is fun when you lose, especially not a competitive game. The game can cuddle you and give you an easy way back in or make it so it doesn't hurt too much to lose, but in the end you still lose/fail/suck/get owned.

  • #214 GentlemanGustaf

    I lost plenty of games of Starcraft 2 that were still fun (and plenty of games of LoL, for that matter).


    Last edited by GentlemanGustaf: 5/17/2013 8:54:40 PM
  • #215 PedestrianA

    hater gonna hate, random players always QQ when they lose, no matter how, and this occupies a majority of the player population in LoL(much more serious than that in the other games), making the community even worse.

    For true gamers, their fun lies upon improving themselves, not winning, nor blaming how a champion nvr found strong in higher elos to be blablabla

  • #216 Yaamahri

    Seriously? "For true gamers"? Nice strawman argument. It doesn't matter. The devs themselves have said that there are champions that ARE toxic to play against because they have little intuitive counterplay against them. Take Vlad. Immense sustain in ONE SKILL, massive AoE damage, Damage amp, untargetability rolled into an escape, AND gets free health for naturally building what he should be building.

  • #225 Emeraldw

    "True gamers" is a statement that lets you shrug off other people and their desires.  

    You could make the argument that highly competitive people think like that, but that is only a sub-set of all gamers.  Most people are really just looking to have fun.  Getting better is a part of that often times, but no where near the sole reason.   


  • #232 Gprinziv

    It's actually the "No True Scotsman" argument, not the strawman :D

    But I'm with Gustaf in that I've had fun games, but not all of them are. Rounding out that argument, however, I've also had plenty of frustrating wins. Winning and fun have a strong correlation, but if I wanted to play a game where I always win because I found that the reason for my fun, I wouldn't be playing League.

  • #199 cBotJumper


    No mention of Yorick...


  • #201 PodziemnySamolot

    Nobody in his right mind dares to mention Da Gravedigger ;]

  • #227 Basinator

    Da Gravedigga?

  • #203 BuddyBoombox

    I love the idea of yorrick being a master of little minions.  but his sustain on a stick was overly brutal and as long as its a strong part of his kit, the rest of it needs to be balanced to counter his sustain.

  • #190 Cerbereth

    I don't see the big deal people make about Teemo. Yeah invisible shrooms hurt if you step on them, but Teemo the champion is extremely fragile and lackluster when it comes to offense.

    I think people get too caught up in the whole shroom ordeal and forget who it is they are actually supposed to be fighting.

    Teemo is also countered extremely hard by certain champions that most Teemo players will agree that yeah you can't win vs that champ.

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