Yasuo's Ultimate: Pain to Balance, But I Want to See More
Yasuo's Ultimate is interesting in how it interacts with the rest of the cast. I like how there is not only synergy in the nature of Yasuo's kit, but how the team around him directly changes his kit. This kind of inter-teammate synergy is relatively new and I want to see more of what Riot can put out using this idea.
A New Type of Inter-Action
Traditionally, champions interact based on the nature of their kits. For example, Amumu is great for AOE team comps because of his huge AOE root. This makes it easier for Morgana, Miss Fortune, Graves, etc. To land all of their AOE damage. But Galio would also work in place of Amumu. As would Orianna on any champion. No champion really has a specific kind of synergy built into their kit that directly interacts with another champion's kit. About the only example I can really think of is how Cassiopeia can utilize Singed's poison to spam her E. Cassiopeia gets some relief in her kit when Singed is around.
Yasuo works similarly to the Singed/Cassiopeia example. Yasuo's only source of knock-up in his kit is using a 3rd Q. He must build up the Q as well, but unlike an Annie stun, it does not store forever. Instantly gaining access to his ultimate can be difficult if he starts a fight (especially a team-fight) with no Q stacks built up. However, other team mates completely flip this dynamic on its head. The counter-play in his kit is revolved around this build up on his Q, but now all I have to do is pick another champion with a knock-up to literally make Yasuo's kit better. Malphite, Janna, Alistar, Wukong and more simply make Yasuo better.
This interaction makes team building so much more interesting. If I saw I had a Yasuo on my team, I might just pick a champion that makes him better. Malphite initiations with Yasuo ultimates have immense brutality potential. Who does not like that?
Ranked Vs. Solo-Que
Skills like Yasuo's ultimate take on new meaning when you can build a team around him. This is one of those times when a champion can be underpowered in Solo Que but overpowered in ranked.
What people pick in Solo-que and are good at using varies to such a large extent that you can never rely on them having something you think the team needs. Just because you pick Yasuo, does not mean you are going to see more knock-ups on your team. In such a case, Yasuo ends up having to rely on only his own source of knock up, which is much less reliable.
Ranked however fixes this problem. Your team knows you are going Yasuo and they will pick to help him out. The balance issue here is simple: Do we assume he is always going to have other knock-ups around or do we assume he will not? Obviously if your balancing Yasuo with the assumption of another knock-up, doesn't that mean he needs to have some power taken away? But then in solo-que there is no guarantee....That's tough to balance correctly.
If future champions have more synergies like this (and I hope they do), they have to balance assuming there will be the other elements present. I am not sure where Yasuo falls on the power scale, but I do enjoy the synergy and new interactions it creates.
I cannot wait to see what Riot can come up with next.
About the Author, Emeraldw:
- Loves psychology and philosophy. Then tries to apply it to even simple things like League of Legends.
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