Gentleman Gustaf here today to talk to you about Frozen Fist, one of the new items being introduced in the major item overhaul. Of all the new items, it might not be the most overpowered one (the consensus seems to be that that's Blade of the Ruined King), and it may not be the most interesting but situational one (I think that prize goes to Runaan's Hurricane), and it might not even be the one I'm most scared to play against (I'll keep that a secret for now), but it is the item I'm most excited to buy. Why? Because it fills a niche that I find interesting, and provides a more efficient version of an item combo that currently lacks efficiency on some champions
If Riot decreed tomorrow that you could only buy six items for the rest of the time, I'd get:
- The best item in the game, Frozen Heart
- Tons of damage from Trinity Force
- Aegis of the Legion
- Shurelia's Reverie
- Randuin's Omen
- Mercury Treads
So what is good about these items, and why do I think this is relevant to Frozen Fist? These aren't necessarily the best items in the game, but I do think they are among the most versatile and individually powerful. While Infinity Edge and Rabadon's Deathcap may be considered very strong items they are actually notable in that they are multipliers for other items; they increase the value of future items of similar kinds, On the other hand, while my six choices do have significant synergy, they are also simply very rounded items.
As well, IE and Rabadon's Deathcap really only find a place on AD and AP Carries respectively, while at least one champion on every class can build at least two of these items, and many more from each class build at least one. But ultimately, I am excited for Frozen Fist because it is good on the type of champion I love. I write a lot about AD Carries because I conceive of the game as revolving around them at the moment. You're either an AD Carry, or an AP Carry, or a class designed around carries, and the longer the game goes on, the more AD carries start to overshadow AP Carries. Why do I say that the other classes are designed around carries? This has been discussed at length here, but to summarize: a support's job is to buff and protect your carries, a tank's job is to protect carries and initiate for them, a bruiser's job is to make carries' lives miserable, and an assassin's job (not that they're all that viable at it at the moment) is to destroy carries. As such, the type of champion I prefer has the following qualities:
- High base stats
- Lots of utility and disruption on their abilities
- Spammable abilities
With these three qualities, you can bring a lot to the team fight that isn't damage, but amplifies the ability of your carries to do damage. The utility and disruption allows your carries to do more damage, either by insuring their safety or flat out buffing them. The spammability of abilities allows you to do so with consistency, and while it (presumably) lowers the flat out power of your abilities, it allows you to make decisions on the fly without being limited by your previous choice to use them. That is, when you use Blitzcrank's grab, you have to hope it was a good use, because you won't be getting it again any time soon. On the other hand, his Power Fist can be used as a reaction to something even if you used it 5 seconds ago. Finally, the high base stats allow you to build largely tanky, and rely on your base stats and utility to provide teamfight presence.
As such, I see Trinity Force and Frozen Heart as my 'core' items: they synergize directly with these three goals. As discussed in my article on Trinity Force, Trinity Force is strong on champions with high base values, and scales well with building tanky, while giving you enough damage to not be ignorable. Frozen Heart increases the spammability of your abilities, while making you extremely tanky, and splashing some of that tankiness onto your team via an attack speed debuff on the enemy team.
So if this item combo is so perfect, why am I even concerned with getting it, and why would I care about Frozen Fist? As discussed in my article on Trinity Force, Trinity Force is an exceedingly expensive item, and often wastes a lot of stats. On some champions, it simply provides so many stats that this is not an issue. After all, bruisers can often benefit from most of the stats, even if the crit chance can feel lack luster, and the AP and Mana aren't always that strong. But on other champions, especially those who are more like AP tanks, this is a big deal. They often find themselves wasting the health, AD, AS, and Crit Chance, and in fact, largely care about the sheen proc (to synergize with their high AD), and the AP/Mana (to boost their spells' damage and spammability).
But Trinity Force isn't the only item which can 'waste' stats. Frozen Heart, especially when combined with Aegis and Randuin's, can seem like a waste of armor. With those 3 items combined, most champions will end with well above 300 armor. Even with 54% Armor Pen, that leaves you with near 150 Armor, and there are simply times when you don't need that much armor. Against a double AP comp, even Frozen Heart by itself can seem a bit excessive on the armor front, something frustrating to champions who want it for its cdr and mana pool above all else. Skarner, for example, almost requires Glacial + Shurelia's, something which can be exceedingly frustrating against a highly magic composition.
Finally, Frozen Heart has a unique debuff aura, which makes getting two on the same team wasteful. But if two champions really need Frozen Heart, that shouldn't necessarily make them bad choices together, should it?
Frozen Fist: Best of Both Worlds?
Enter Frozen Fist. Frozen Fist brings almost everything that some champions want from Trinity Force and Frozen Heart combined.
Remember those AP tanks who may not like the stats on Zeal or Phage, but like the sheen proc and the phage slow? Maokai, for example, could gain a crazy amount from this item. If there's anything his kit could use, it's just a little bit more utility to tide him over in between Twisted Advances, and the AoE slow on his sheen attacks gives him that, combined with the spammability of his Q. Plus, with his heavy AP scaling, he's not exactly hurting from the AP. The only stat he would get from Trinity Force + Frozen Heart but won't get on Frozen Fist that he remotely cares about is Movement Speed, and he can pick that up elsewhere. And if the enemy team is loaded up on magic damage, he hasn't invested so heavily in armor as to be useless. Hecarim and Amumu could love the utility this item gives them, as it allows them to be much more disruptive when their ults are down. You probably wouldn't get it on Skarner because of the extreme slow overkill, but then again, you might just get in on Skarner because of the extreme slow overkill. Then of course there's Nasus, who is slobbering over this item.
There is really only one thing that has me sad about this item, and that's the price tag. It costs a whopping 3400 gold. Most of the champions I listed who might like this item are junglers, and if jungling for my team has taught me anything, it is that we are poor, poor, poor champions, and can't afford to buy real items. So if Riot makes good on their promise to increase early jungle gold, then I look forward to getting this item on my disruptive AP tanks so I can be more disruptive, have more AP, and be tankier. But if they don't, well, I look forward to season's worth of Shurelia's, Heart of Gold (well, it's gone in Season 3), and Aegis of the Legion. But then again, it's not like I was buying Trinity Force & Frozen Heart on those champions ever, so this is an improvement no matter what.
To everybody saying there's more gold in the new jungle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNTcR7b_tB0
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