The fine line between underpowered and unwanted.

So lately I've been thinking about who should be allowed to be viable, who should be nerfed, and who should just be left Evelyn'd. It all started when I had a conversation about Rengar and at the end I said "well he has had so much play time in high ELO and so much work put towards balancing him that maybe Riot should just leave him weak because he has so many bad mechanics that it would be really difficult to do anything with him." And isn't that true with a lot of heroes? Their mechanics are just so bad sometimes that you just have to agree that they'd never be balanced in a way that would be fun, or would make them good at both high and low ELO.

 

So lets start with Rengar

I think Rengar, despite how much I like him, really exemplifies what can go wrong with a champion design. Now Rengar is a non-mana champion so keep that in mind. He can free push, free heal, do fantastic base damage, and has a good gank/escape ultimate. So what holds him back? If he's against a mana champion he can free push in to their turret while free healing (on the SAME ability!) and run them dry on mana trying to both fight back and CS at turret. If he's against someone with no sustain he can free sustain. Back when he scaled off health he could just stack health and win the game that way. With his great base damage he's an excellent contender for sunfire abuse.

So what did Riot say? Well, basically, they said "Fuck this we've tried so hard to make him balanced but just fuck it." So much work has been put down on trying to make this champion balanced, and mechanically by his abilities he just has too much going for him to possibly be considered balanced. If he's balanced then he starts making low mana tops like Jarvan worthless due to his infinite push. If he's UP he still has some usefulness to the game as a gimmicky gib-machine with SotD. So really the better choice is to leave him weak. 

Teemo.

I think Teemo should be nerfed. Why Riot ever tried to make him viable is a mystery to me. #1 most annoying champion in MOBA history, lets try to make him viable in tournaments. YEAHNO.

Not every champion should be competitive.

Not every champion needs to be good. For various reasons mind you. They just don't really fit in to the game that well and frankly make the competitive scene look worse for being there. 

Some just aren't fun to fight.

Going of of the above, Teemo, some champions are just straight annoying. And some just aren't fun. Take Galio for example. Galio is an AP mid that when he works and is balanced beats all AP mids. So what do you do against Galio? Farm farm farm. Morgana and Galio have both been nerfed and Riot doesn't really want to bring them back because quite frankly it's not fun for the opposing AP mid to fight a champion who just pushes all day while being basically immune to counter attack (And if you do fight Galio or Morgana they can easily kill you, or at least use their ultimate to CC you for a gank.) 

Some just are bad balance.

Rengar is bad balance. I said it above so I won't repeat but to make Rengar viable will take a LOT of work and quite frankly his kit has "too muchery" all over it. It's much easier to balance someone like Kha'zix who has clear defined weaknesses. What does Kha'zix have that Rengar doesn't have? The ability to get a reset, and some ranged harass. Other than that his concept is pretty much "kha'zix, just tankier with no counterplay, with healing."

Some just have no clear weakness.

Going with Rengar from the above again but also including for example Taric. Taric keeps showing up as the dominant support and has gotten 2-3 revamps because he has no clear weakness other than a lack of ranged counterplay. Now while ranged counterplay HAS become a big thing in supports lately (Thresh for example will bite you from range all day) Taric is still tanky, with burst, and a heal. Compare this to blitz: Tanky with burst. Leona: Tanky with burst. Taric is probably tankier than both of them and has a heal and fantastic group buffs. So Taric is one of these champions where his kit just has no clear weakness, and other melee champions often find themselves with no option on how to fight Taric.

Some are just stupid.

Sorry Cass but you're just really dumb. You're not bad balance, you do have clear weaknesses, you do have counterplay, but damn you're stupid. An AP burst caster with massive burst damage, massive sustained damage, and the counterplay is just to never fight her. She's beatable, it just isn't very fun. She has counterplay, but it's not very fun to do. She has weaknesses, kill her first. It's just like... when you get killed by Cass it's just like man fuck this champion. It's one of those things where Cass falls in to so many unfun categories that she really just becomes stupid. Syndra, you're next BTW. 

Talon, as much as I love him, falls in here too. What's the counterplay to Talon? The same as the counterplay to Annie. Survive their burst, kill them first. Both Annie and Talon are direct nuking no real counterplay champions. 
They just don't give the game anything to progress on. How do you learn to beat Annie? You learn to build tanky. That's it. 

Some would destroy solo queue as we know it if they were competitive.

Remember when Tryndamere at high ELO was a thing? Remember what happened to low ELO? Yeah. Sometimes high ELO is just so good at counterplaying a champion that it needs to be made SO GOOD to be good at high ELO that low ELO is just flailing it's arms around going IT'S DESTROYING ME AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. Sometimes this is somewhat fine, but if it gets too excessive then they need to be taken care of. You can't have Evelyn running around destroying every low ELO game, it makes getting in to LoL simply too painful. LoL is meant to be a fun game, not a trip to the Gym. We're here to have fun, not to practice and work out.

So I hope this helps people who always wonder why X champion isn't better.


Because I see that a lot. "Why isn't Master Yi good!" Because when Master Yi WAS good him and Tryndamere pretty much ran around destroying every game. Sometimes champions simply just aren't going to be good because if they were good it would not be good for the game as a whole. The game as a whole is the thing we're all here to play and must be preserved. This isn't Teemo Warriors Online, and that game would probably be in some circle of hell if it did exist. 

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Comments

  • #18 Mockstar

    Quote from Kinaro »

    Very nice post!

    In my opinion every champion that involves cloaking isn't so great design wise because cloaking is so one dimensional. Except maybe Twitch and Vayne, but still.

    So half the champions involving stealth are fine, and the other half aren't?

    Twitch, Vayne, Akali, Evelynn, Shaco. Am I missing anyone? Shaco's entire kit is based around stealth. Evelynn's stealth in its new form is actually very nicely interwoven with her kit. Akali...Akali could lose stealth and be fine if she was given something to replace it. It really doesn't fit the kit of a burst mage to stop and chill in a bubble in the middle of a fight, then come, then stop. Its clunky. But I don't play Akali, so I won't say it should be removed. 

    Twitch is the most one-dimensional of the stealthers, to be honest. It has nothing to do with his kit really, a blink would serve the same purpose and make him more versatile. 

     

  • #27 theekop

    Quote from Mockstar »

    Quote from Kinaro »

    Very nice post!

    In my opinion every champion that involves cloaking isn't so great design wise because cloaking is so one dimensional. Except maybe Twitch and Vayne, but still.

    So half the champions involving stealth are fine, and the other half aren't?

    Twitch, Vayne, Akali, Evelynn, Shaco. Am I missing anyone? Shaco's entire kit is based around stealth. Evelynn's stealth in its new form is actually very nicely interwoven with her kit. Akali...Akali could lose stealth and be fine if she was given something to replace it. It really doesn't fit the kit of a burst mage to stop and chill in a bubble in the middle of a fight, then come, then stop. Its clunky. But I don't play Akali, so I won't say it should be removed. 

    Twitch is the most one-dimensional of the stealthers, to be honest. It has nothing to do with his kit really, a blink would serve the same purpose and make him more versatile. 

     

    I like the stealth, just feels better than a blink. Also, there are times when i prefer his stealth over Ez's E  

  • #34 GentlemanGustaf

    Kha'Zix?

    Rengar?

  • #57 Kinaro

    When I said one-dimensional I didn't mean how well a cloaking skill fits in a champions kit. I meant, that you either see a cloaked champion or you don't, there is no graduation.

    Evelynn would be nice if she would also become visible by sight (green) wards, if she gets too close to them like it is with players.

    This would allow some buffs for her other abilities.

  • #6 decoy134

    Good post; it was a lot less blind rage induced and more of a contemplation on balance design. 

    So the conclusion is that most champions should at least be playable in game but not necessarily competitive or equal in power compared to other champions.

  • #5 Uthor123

    After reading the last article I figured this one would be full of flagrant douchebaggery as well (there was this in lots of past articles but the last one was much worse), but there was none of that this time, and this was well written and pretty much on the spot. Good read, and the stuff about Tryndamere definitely brings back memories.

  • #2 vhu9644

    so, wouldn't this apply a lot to champions with targeted gap closers and assassins in general?

    because targeted gap closers (especially ones that come with more cc) also lack counterplay, and especially on a melee champ with some form of cc, the end result is something akin to talon/annie, build tanky, and kill them, or kill them first.

    and the "stupid" argument, could apply to theoretically any champ.  what separates a "stupid" champ from a "non-stupid" champ?  its rather vague in the distinction why say, syndra is "stupid" while a champion like veigar isnt, or why cass is "stupid" but a champ like ryze isn't (unless they are, but im not sure how the "stupid" category is defined).  because one can say "oh, i think xin is just stupid, heal, dps, hard cc, gap closer", or "karthus is stupid, dps, super slow, global ult, farming potential"
    .  im at a lost on how the "stupid" category is really there.

    as for cass, i think the reason she was nerfed was definite, because earlier, her weaknesses were covered up by her strengths.

    As for syndra, i still don't know why shes next, but not any other mage. 

     

    other than that, i think it was a decent analysis, less rage-y than i expected, so im content :)

  • #7 supportking

    Ok lets compare syndra and veigar in a civil way

    syndra:

    OMG SYNDRA Q me all day, THE PERMA SLOW, every time I try to get close she just stun me QQ I`m ganna go kill myself now, oh nvm I just got 1 shotted by her LOL.

    veigar: plz let me q that minion :3, plz, plz, oh and do u mind standing still so i can line up my stun perfectly <3, and don't try to dodge the purple stuff falling from the sky, its just grapes, oh and teamfights could you just ignore me and let me ult the apc, oh wait its the league of ad casters :(

  • #8 vhu9644

    ok...  that sounds far from civil, more mocking than actual civil discussion

    im just using them as examples, because they roughly the same role of hyper-bursting a champion.  i could have easily used someone like leblanc or such.  the question still stands though, what makes a champ stupid, but not another champ?

    and tbh, i find it easier to stunlock a team with veigar than syndra (and its a longer stun)

  • #19 Mockstar

    Wait what? Veigar's stun is way easier to land than Syndra's. Infinitely so. And Veigar can ult anyone and they'll die, he just doesn't need anything else to kill the AP.

    Syndra on the other hand is clunky mechanically, ult-reliant (unlike veigar, who can whiff his ult and still remain relevant in a team fight), far more mana hungry, and has more bad matchups.

    Explain this. Because everything you said is against what I've seen from playing with and against these champions.

  • #31 GentlemanGustaf

    It's specifically (in my opinion) because of the way she forces you to play perfectly or OH SHIT THE TWIN FANGS, on top of just being a standard AP Carry

    Sure, lots of AP Carries have that 'mess up and take a lot of burst' style of gameplay. Veigar, for example, will wreck you if he hits his stun. But his stun is on a pretty decent cooldown. Cass just sort of throws down poison pools until one hits, and once it does, you take 5000 damage. But She's not OP or UP; she contributes about as much as an AP Carry should. Veigar, on the understand, just isn't always that great because he's much more single-target than you want your mage to be.

    Both Cassiopeia and Veigar can eliminate a target almost instantly. But where that's Veigar's gameplay, it's something Cass gets IN ADDITION to just being a regular mage. It's sort of the same with Kha'Zix/Rengar. Kit-wise, they can both stealth in and insta-kill you if you get out of position. But Rengar can do it while also building tanky.

    So apply that reasoning to LeBlanc. Why is it "stupid" that Cassiopeia can punish a mistake by instantly killing you, but it isn't "stupid" that LeBlanc can? Because that's what LeBlanc does, and it's ALL she does. Cass is a regular AoE mage on top of that.

     

  • #42 pWasHere

    If you are comparing Ults, Veigar's is only good against the enemy apc, against the other members of the enemy team syndra's ult is better with even one ball out unless Veigar has unrealistic amounts of ap. It also has a shorter cooldown and better range at max rank

    Also, Syndra has much more safe harass then Veigar. At max rank, syndra's q has better base damage, better range and better scaling than veigars. This gives her good sustained dmg throughout the fight. She can also use her w which gives her more utility than Veigar. It has a shorter cooldown, better range, more utility, and less mana. The only thing, Veigars beats it on is damage. Comparing their e, yes veigar's is easier to utilize, but it does not have the range of Syndra's. Syndra's also has a shorter cooldown and costs less mana and out damages it considering Veigar's does no damage.

    Overall, I do not see why you say Syndra has less good matchups. She does badly against all the champions that Veigar does badly against, only she has better range to deal with them. Also, Veigar's Passive means that he just gets to Syndra's level. She is not "far more mana hungry" especially with blue buff and a chalice. 

    Syndra has safer damage output, more utility, and better burst for anyone that isnt stacking ap

    Last edited by pWasHere: 2/11/2013 3:49:29 AM
  • #92 vhu9644

    i see
    so the stupid category is overwhelming punishment of mistakes on top of a decent base-line level?

    then that would apply to quite a few bruisers without much counterplay, as well as assassins and ap bursts that can follow with dps right?
    pretty much you dont want to create a champion that can punish you for mistakes harshly, as well as function very well without punishing your mistakes.

    thats what i got at least.

  • #21 Mockstar

    He defines stupid as a pointless counter play, from what I read. Cass' counter is to not duel her. Which means that you go for the Morgana or Galio, which in turn makes the game less fun.

    Syndra is stupid because her counter is she's squishy as jello. And incredibly easy to juke. And calls you on the phone and tells you she's getting ready to ult you and that you should be ready.

    Ryze isn't stupid because he has interesting counterplay. You can beat Ryze by pushing hard and roaming (TF). You can beat Ryze by harassing hard and staying out of his range (Lux). 

    Karthus, same idea. You can beat him by killing him, you can beat him by out roaming him, although it is harder. You can beat him by thinking globally and getting a support lux who can shield herself and the AD from his ult, or a Shen, or bring barrier, or whatever. 

     

  • #1 VVinrar

    YOU'RE SO CUTE AND EXACTLY WHAT I EXPECTED IN REAL LIFE <3

    Last edited by VVinrar: 2/10/2013 7:37:29 PM
  • #3 SaltyKracka

    Sputtering and unclear?

     

  • #4 Hashinshin

    yeah, that!

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