The Freljord Junglers: New Trundle and Sejuani

So the next patch is bringing with it a set of changes (even for Udyr) that will pretty much give me more toys to play with. I am looking forward to the Trundle rework. To some his change might seem minor but it's actually pretty big. It pretty much shoves him back into the spotlight and makes him a lot more viable in this current meta. Whether he becomes a force to be reckoned with is still up in the air. Sejuani is also receiving a change but hers, at least for me, turned out to be a bit less immediately impactful. Before anything is said - her changes are definitely an improvement but, like Trundle, it is still up in the air whether or not she'll be good.

Before I go on with their improvements I should state why they were seen as needing them. The visual remakes were Riot's decision and ultimately they're pretty awesome. I even like Trundle's new look. Sure it gets rid of his goofy looking model but it was hideous (animation wise) close up. Sejuani was just awkward and her sound effects were pretty terrible.

Anyways Trundle wasn't used much in Season 2 and in Season 3 (aside from the start for a bit) for basically the same reason. He's pretty team specific both on his side and on the enemy side. He excelled in games where the enemy only had one tank and he could make them into paper using his ultimate. He excelled greatly with a team that revolves around kiting and mobility. Kiting teams have sort of been phased out by now and everyone and their mother becomes big and beefy in this season. This issue is further exacerbated in Season 3 by the fact that everyone stacks health and he isn't getting anything worthwhile from his ultimate.

Trundle's inherent problems are also the fact that he was designed for Season 1 jungling and thus had high sustain and single target damage. Sustain hasn't been too much of an importance once leashing was introduced and only recently has single target clearing become a bit stronger. Trundle also doesn't scale as well as other champions (damage wise) into late. To add to that his damage builds tend to be expensive! There is also the fact that his animations sucked as in his Q not scaling with attack speed and him effectively nullifying his own attack speed bonuses and his ultimate screwed up chasing too!

Sejuani is a more curious case. When she was released I was all over that champion. She, at the time, fit a lot of things you'd want in a champion. Her damage scaled off of her health, she had insane initiation and she had constant sources of crowd control. However her issues became readily apparent when playing her and then Riot released Nautilus who is/was basically everything she was but better. Sejuani has no survivability or tankiness, dies if an enemy jungler breathes next to her, an expensive build (explained later) and her kit is difficult to use.

Before people go insane I should explain that last bit. Sejuani has pretty high damage for a character of her type. It's arguably amongst the highest of all the (AP) tanks aside from maybe a late game Amumu vs fatties. Her problem is that she has very little means of using it to its full potential. She tends to die very easily and the damage relies on her having her enemies frosted and to be on top of them in the middle of the crossfire. She is prone to getting knocked around, kited or killed before she got to use her damage. God help her if she failed since her cooldowns aren't forgiving either! So in short her issues were ultimately usability issues and the fact that she almost dies after her first clear.

New Trundle

Well let's look at his changes. I'd much strongly prefer to call this an update than buffs and nerfs. Like I said previously, his abilities didn't so much get changed in how they work but basically got touched up to work in the current meta.

His Q didn't change in function really. It also applies a small slow which isn't really there for CC. The important change to his Q is that they improved its functionality by sprucing up the animations. It now interacts properly with attack speed allowing him to invest in attack speed items and no longer screw himself with more levels into his W or buffs from teammates (like Sivir). The slow was placed on it so Trundle doesn't screw himself during chasing because he decided to nom on his target. Old Trundle was buggy in that sometimes you couldn't cancel the animation properly or "froze" him in place for just a bit but that small bit was enough for his target to get away.

His W had the crowd control reduction portion removed and replaced with healing increase. It also had its cooldown raised but with the potential to become lower with more ranks and in fact lower than what it used to be. The attack speed portion was also raised quite considerably at max rank. The numbers change allows him to basically keep it up at all times and make him a significantly stronger fighter while also giving the player incentive to level the ability.

The bigger thing here is the removal of crowd control. In my opinion it's not a big deal. The game has tons of knock ups and silly things that can't really be mitigated so it's not as valuable as it used to be (though it is good). The healing portion synergizes well with his kit though. His ultimate, his passive, his teammates heals and any lifesteal he has will greatly be buffed up with this change. Besides I'd rather be a magnet for crowd control (as a tank) knowing full well that I can quickly make up that health.

His E got a big change actually. It is no longer incredibly powerful at max rank but it's significantly stronger at earlier ranks. It's been standardized to a 35% at all ranks. Ranking up the skill will lower the cooldown of the ability but not the effect. This effectively makes it Trundle's one point wonder (probably) and makes it a bit less stupid late game since it was pretty overpowered. This change makes his W an attractive thing to level and increases both his ganking and his combat effectiveness.

Apparently the slow % has been reverted as of the latest PBE patch. Guess players will now have to decide between utility or fighting prowess.

His ultimate got a significant change. The % of resistances he drains was lowered at all ranks (though in this meta that doesn't matter) but instead of draining a flat amount of health he drains a % amount of health. In most cases this will roughly end up being a bit more than the previous incarnation of the skill but fat targets will give out a better payout. Trundle will still drain the same amount. Trundle also received a massive buff in how his ultimate functions. A previous issue with Trundle's ultimate is that the stats he gains go away quickly. He kind of doesn't get the most of the ability when he gets knocked around or whatever (or his target gets destroyed). Now after fully draining his target his ultimate stat gains will slowly diminish over 5 seconds. This allows Trundle to keep his stats for a bit longer. The animation for it was also touched up and it looks nicer.

Overall Trundle's changes are amazing. He can function the same as he used to but now has can take more offensive builds without wasting any stats due to bad animations and his abilities all needing to be ranked up. He was able to keep his late game power while gaining some mid game power. He gained some insane split pushing potential thanks to his W and the fact that he can bite towers (don't know if they'll remove that though). His ultimate now works effectively against health stackers and can free him up to build other items (again offensive) and become more gold efficient.

Fans of Trundle will not be disappointed by this. It is a great change. Sure aesthetically he is disappointing some people but gameplay wise it is as fun as ever.

New Sejuani

Well her changes are quite all over the place. Hell I still can't give much of an opinion on her until she's released live. The people in the PBE aren't necessarily "good" players so I can't properly test her out.

Her passive was reworked and no longer gives her any frost application or slow. That thing was basically worthless so good riddance. They replaced it with a pretty bad passive too. It gives her slow reduction and 10 armor that scales per level. I see the 10 armor as an obvious nudge to help her early game but 10 armor isn't that impacting and quickly negligible early in the game when she jungles. The slow thing also isn't that significant. I would say it's better than her old passive but still relatively weak for jungling. It eventually becomes helpful for team fights at least.

Her Q got an interesting but welcome change. They lowered it's range, upped its late game cost and it no longer applies frost. Instead it now has a lower cooldown at earlier ranks, it deals % health damage and knocks enemies up into the air. This is a big change. Now she effectively can ram into the front line and chunk a few targets (at least better than before) and cc people. She can peel and initiate just by slamming people. She basically gained some reliable crowd control and her Q, which tends to be her one point wonder, became more usable. More crowd control is always welcome along with good damage.

Her W also became a lot more usable. Her new W makes her next attack deal bonus magic damage to her main target and others near it. After that she starts twirling it around and it functions as her old ability. However the damage was simply upped all around including the scaling it has from ability power and her health. It lasts less too though. Her old ability used to do crap by itself unless the targets were frosted. If her targets were frosted her W would deal tons of damage otherwise it wouldn't. Now they buffed it up so that it doesn't gain any bonus damage with frost but it's already powerful by itself. This means Sejuani doesn't have to rely on having the perfect situation to have good damage.

Her E was buffed in the strength of the slow in the early levels and nerfed in the duration of the slow in the early levels. It still only functions against frosted targets. However her E also obtained a version of her old passive as a passive of its own. Now any of her abilities or basic attacks will apply frost. This just makes it much easier for her to have frost on targets. Basically anything she does with her kit will apply it and make E usable.

Her ultimate wasn't changed very much in how it functions. It now freezes all targets for the same amount of time regardless of who was the one hit by the ability. They did lower the duration of it in the first ranks to make it fair but it's much stronger late game. It also slows if it whiffs.

Overall her changes greatly increased her functionality and will make her a lot less situational of a use. She still doesn't have as much survivability as she should and has bad early clears but at least her team fighting has become less reliant on things going perfect. I don't have much opinion on her though. I really want to test her out in more games. I do think she'll need her passive buffed up with more armor though earlier though before her jungling becomes safer. At the very least her pre-game builds have gained more flexibility as she no longer needs to invest into cooldown reduction in order to amplify her jungle strength. She can take standard tank runes now thanks to her cooldowns and abilities being fixed up with proper numbers.

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