Will Health Make a Comeback?
Last week I said I'd talk about health. Why do I think it's going to take a bigger role? Firstly, the per my last post the meta is more favorable to penetration, burst, and assassins. Also, defensive stats and items are going to get more expensive. As I predicted, per a recent post by Morello, armor and mr are going to move further up the defensive tree. This means no more 21/9/0 carries or even 1/3/26 supports that can have 6 armor for free.
Health may be ignored though, and it may end up being a cheaper alternative to surviving burst. Some champs have better base health and benefit more from health than others.
Lastly, in the thread where Xypherous said Force of Nature is not coming back, he also mentions that people "can build Warmog's" and "not feel silly"--this isn't evidence that Warmog's or health is going to be the best option, but it is evidence to me that they are at least trying to "buff health." Furthemore, in the Black Cleaver preview, he says "So your skills will be slightly less effective on targets with high health and low armor, simply because they’ll be doing less overall damage. Black Cleaver is incredibly effective at shredding targets with lots of armor, but doesn’t really do well trying to kill a mage with Rod of Ages, for example." And one more, from a forum reader: "How to win as wukong? Just rune and mastery for as much flat armor penetration as you possibly can, and get Black cleaver after picking up an armor pen item. 140 armor bruiser giving your team problems? NOPE. SUFFER ALL TEH DAMAGES." Response: "Well - Yeah. But then you run up into a 3k HP Mundo/Singed with 80~ armor and massive regeneration and you're like 'Wait a second, you didn't build any armor! ABORT. ABORT. I REGRET EVERYTHING.'"
I'm going to put the TLDR here first then.
- We should watch for health changes (if any) and where the health on items is in the future (see above).
- Let's review champs that are helped by health and who do well vs. it.
- Let's review an ignored health rune again and see if they might be worth it.
Champions to Watch if Health Makes a Comeback
Let's look at a list of people who benefit from having health due to their skills, whether it be scaling from health or of it, and who also counter it, and talk about how they might fare:
Some of the abilities here listed are underwhelming, but not all. Let's look at some of them.
Kog'Maw and Vayne might become worse now. Why? Because in the tanky/defensive meta, they were the best options for tank-melting. If everyone is better at melting tanks now, their position as the best to do this is weakened and the reasons to take them aren't as strong either. This applies less to Kog, especially if health really takes off. He also might have a better early and mid game since he reduces armor and mr with his kit already.
If health takes off, this will make the superiority of true damage dealers like Irelia be weakened. And she doesn't have strong burst, either. It may all add up to a nerf for her.
Speaking of, he already stacked health back when absolutely no one did it. Brutal. The true damage might not be as good, but the penetration is great and the stacking of health on himself while having that lifesteal and spellvamp will be nice.
Already overwhelming, this fellow is legendary for the survival of burst. Will he be one of the few who have a natural tendency to survive it? The guy sometimes didn't need much armor anyway--he just happens to benefit insanely from every single other thing that Randuin's and Frozen Heart provided.
Like Olaf or Cho, he was one of the few champs that actually could stack health for good reason in Season 2. Season 3 will probably do nothing to harm him at the worst and make him overpowered at most. Force of Nature's removal is the only thing hurting him, as the new jungle and other changes don't seem to be things he'll worry about. He can just max Q over W, after all.
Sejuani might actually be good soon. She may be able to stack health and cc the whole team, then let the big health have her W do more damage to the other team.
Spammable shield? Check. More damage on Ki strike? Check. More heals from Q? Check. A transition to health stacking is something Shen welcomes.
So far she's underwhelming, but it may be people haven't figured her out yet--her ability set is certainly much better than Syndra's, at least. And if it's easier to penetrate, AND she hits at health on two levels, she might be a better burster after the season changes.
Greater Quintessence of Endurance: A Reexamination
It's widely assumed that the Greater Quintessence of Endurance is a piece of garbage. Right now, it still is. And it probably still will be. We don't know how important health will be to the meta yet--I've simply made a case saying there's a chance it might be, and we should keep an eye on it and not wait for someone else to figure it out. We do want to be the first to the party, after all.
So, these quints are considered bad simply by comparison to the Greater Quintessence of Vitality, which gives you 2.7 health per level, or 48.6 at level 18. If you divide 48.6 by .015, you get 3240. That is, it takes 3,240 health for the Greater Quintessence of Endurance to surpass the Greater Quintessence of Vitality. And who needs that much health?
That was then. If, as Xypherous suggests, building a Warmog's is a viable or desirable option, how close would that take you to reaching your goal of beating scaling quints? Well, here's a chart of champions by health. It's sorted to have those that scale the most at the top. I do this because of champions like Gangplank, who has the most at level 1, but unlike many of the others that start high, he is middle of the pack for scaling. It's big. But, note how many of the champions on this list are strong or projected to be (Nunu / Trundle / Warwick / Garen / Olaf / Darius, for starters).
But that's not all! Here's a list of the actual amount of health by level you need to beat the scaling. It turns out that Endurance Quintessences are stronger for free in the first 4-6 levels, depending on champion. That is without factoring in masteries or items. What does this mean?
It means that if you build a Warmog's alone, just a Warmog's, you will always have more health from Quintessences of Endurance rather than Vitality. Furthermore, on some champions it only takes a Rod of Ages or Frozen Mallet, or perhaps a Shurelya's and Sunfire Cape, or perhaps a Randuin's and ....etc. Flat Health is 26, of course, which you can choose to go. You will surpass that at 1733 health with Endurance, or at level 10 with scaling.
Long and short of it: if health quintessences become viable and you know you're buying health items to meet the requirements, use Endurance Quints over Vitality Quints for scaling.Also note the Quint Quotient on these: 4.86 for Fortitude/flat, 3 for Endurance/%, and 2.5 for Vitality/scaling. Health seals may not be preferable over armor or mana regen, but if you use them, stick to what a few mids have been taking and take the scaling.
Furthermore, keep a lookout on item restructuring. If Warmog's AND new items with health are great, and you happen to have great health anyway...Endurance could even be better than flat, as at 4000 health each one is worth 60, and if you rush a Giant's belt item, or Warmog's, then you're looking at getting to 1733 pretty quickly.
Again, this is why you should pay attention to health and what to look at:
- Xypherous, a designer at Riot, is hinting you should.
- Penetration changes make armor and MR weaker.
- Some champions are better with and against health.
- Items are masteries are being restructured. Health, which we've forgotten about, might be a lot better. Don't forget to look!
- Health runes have long been ignored. Endurance Quintessences may be better than we thought.
What do you think? Are these smart predictions to keep an eye on?
Old Man Eyebrows
This week's eyebrows: