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.
- Twisted Fate
- Master Yi
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.