I’ve decided to start doing things a little differently – instead of awkwardly trying to shove my thoughts on any new champions I’ve tried in each week’s post, I’m gong to do a monthly roundup. Part of the reason for this is that we now have an account on the PBE (Public Beta Environment), which means I am no longer beholden to the free champion rotation. I can log in there and try any champion I want, whenever I want. (I also realize that I could have just done this on tect’s account post reveal, but shhhh.) And then if you guys aren’t interested in this aspect of the blog, you can just skip them.
So here’s that! Let me know what you think of the new format and if there’s anything you’d like me to add.
I’ve decided to start putting more work into these little descriptions since I will be doing them less frequently and some day I’d like to make a page dedicated to this sort of thing. For that reason I’ve decided to start using some numbers. One is a difficulty rating (based on my own experiences and what I think is easy or difficult for most new players) and one is just my own personal rating in terms of how much I like them.
1 – Great for absolute beginners. May mean they can be played in multiple roles, have a good balance of defensive and offensive abilities, don’t have many skill shots, have easy-to-understand abilities and in-game tooltip descriptions
2 – Have some difficult skill shots but still have reliable ways of engaging and protecting themselves. Good in most situations
3 – May have a unique play style/strategy or mechanically difficult, may have long ability descriptions and multi-part abilities, but overall are still fairly easy to understand and can be played successfully even if the player does not take full advantage of all of the champion’s capabilities
4 – Have multiple multi-part/step abilities, long and/or unclear ability descriptions, skill-shot reliant, forced to play around a specific strategy, few or difficult to execute defensive abilities
As for my overall preference rating, they all start at a 10 and then get a point deducted for each thing that I dislike, basically. Very scientific, I know.
I played him again last time he was free, post-update. To be honest, I’m not sure what they actually changed, but I liked him way more than I did the first time around. Partially I think this is just because I had adjusted my expectations – I knew that I was going to be trying to control his sand soldiers from a distance, which I was disappointed about the first time I played him. But for whatever reason I found him a lot easier to play (though by no means easy) and I actually kind of liked him. What fresh hell is that? (It probably helped that I wasn’t laning 1v2 the entire game this time.) One thought I had though is how random his passive feels. No wonder I never knew that those random turrets that spring up were Azir’s doing. It has nothing to do with the rest of his abilities. Like it kind of makes sense because he was a fancy emperor guy and so therefore he would have the power to just make turrets, but it has literally no interaction with the rest of his abilities.
Favourite thing – How satisfying zooming his soldiers around and stabbing people with them is. It sort of reminds me of that line in You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch – I wouldn’t touch you with an thirty-nine and a half foot pole (except I would, so I can kill you).
Least favourite thing – his ultimate. It should be so much more satisfying than it is.
Difficulty – 3.5
Overall – 6/10
Dude needs a new…everything. Either turn him into a radio announcer (Primetime Jax, anyone?) or get him a new voiceover. Also, why does he have a bunch of blue lights for a face? Why does he only have three fingers? WHYYYYYY? His bio is only two sentences. Like…what? They actually couldn’t come up with more than that? Perhaps that means he is getting reworked soon. He was fun to play but…sometimes that’s not enough. For a ‘Grandmaster at Arms’ (whatever that means), he sure does look and sound silly.
Favourite thing – His pounce. It looks funny but I’m a big fan of immobilizing people (just look at my highest mastery champions).
Least favourite thing – apart from his overall ridiculousness, his ultimate. It’s basically just some more stats, as if you had bought an item or something. Booooring.
Difficulty – 2
Overall – 4/10
Ohhh my god. Lmao. Not gonna write too much about this one, because I’d rather you go watch the video of me playing him for the first time, but TL;DW initially I hated him and felt like he was complicated for no reason but he eventually grew on me. I still feel like he’s complicated for no reason in some ways, but he grew on me and I can see why veteran players would enjoy playing him. Dashing around and throwing tornadoes is pretty satisfying when you can actually pull it off.
Favourite thing – how satisfying his dash and his tornado feels when you hit it
Least favourite thing – probably the way his wind wall works. I anticipated that I would love it but man, it is so hard to tell where it’s going to end up.
Difficulty – 4
Rating – 6/10
I found Trundle really boring. His story isn’t bad, but visually he’s just gross and not even in a cool way (I mean I guess he is a troll, but still), and his abilities leave much to be desired. It is true that not that many champions have abilities that can create terrain (which by the way is a term that has always confused me – now I know that terrain = structures, such as walls or turrets, but I still don’t understand why terrain does not = ground. After all, that’s what terrain means in the real world) so that’s nice, but I prefer other terrain abilities. Like Anivia’s wall.
I feel most older champions’ abilities are boring both in terms of how fun they feel to play and creativity. I also feel like many newer champions’ abilities are overly complicated for the sake of trying to be creative, but I still prefer that over boring. The absolute worst in my opinion are abilities that just give you attack or move speed or some other stat and that type of thing is largely what Trundle is all about, it seems.
Favourite thing – the fact that he can affect large areas of the map with two of his abilities (W and E)
Least favourite thing – probably his ultimate. Ultimates should feel epic! This does not.
Difficulty – 1
Overall – 3/10
I actually think that Vlad is really cool and I enjoyed playing him; I’m just really grossed out by him. He seemed simple enough, although I did have some difficulty using his ultimate. I can’t remember why now though. I felt like all of his abilities felt pretty satisfying to use, which I’m learning is a very important thing for me in games, as you can probably tell. I love the flexibility that his W offers – he can use it to escape or ‘pause’ a fight while he heals or something (like a built-in Zhonya’s Hourglass) and he can also use it to deal damage and start a fight. It is endlessly frustrating for enemies and I admit that I rarely succeed against Vladimir but there must be a way, surely.
Favourite thing – his W. He’s the only champion I know of so far who can become the floor. (Can we get some ‘the floor is Vladimir’ memes in the comments please?)
Least favourite thing – In terms of his abilities and character I actually really like everything about him. I just think he’s hella gross.
Difficulty – 2.5
Overall – 8/10
Malphite’s pretty boring. I think that he has a lot of potential – it would be cool if they turned him into some kind of angry volcano or something. But as it is, I feel like he lacks a unique identity, and other champions can do the things that he does better. The only fun part about him for me was his ultimate, but Rakan basically does what he does with his W and I’m sure other champions that I just can’t think of right now have knockup dashes as well.
Favourite thing – definitely his ultimate. In my opinion, the only fun part about him. That and the fact that he says “Rock solid.”
Least favourite thing – his passive (which is visually confusing, by the way – when he gets all glowy, is that bad? Because it looks awesome and like it should be good) and his Q. There’s nothing wrong with his Q as an ability but it feels and looks underwhelming.
Difficulty – 2
Overall rating – 4/10
I can kind of see why people say what they do about him (that he’s useless and only serves to make the enemy team’s jungler as useless as he is), but at the same time, not really. He definitely seems terrible at laning, but he seems great for killing monsters. Which is kind of his job, as a jungler. However I know that teams usually want junglers that can easily initiate or join fights and it does seem difficult for Nunu to do that unless his ultimate is available. Also, much like what I said about Azir, his passive seems really random – even the name is random. When I hear ‘visionary’, I don’t exactly think Nunu.
Favourite part – his ultimate
Least favourite part – his poor laning overall and the fact that the yeti burps every time he uses his Q
Difficulty – 2
Overall – 3/10
Katarina puzzles me because she seems quite difficult to play well, but I see people play her all the time. In fact I think I saw people play her even more frequently than I do now pre-level 30. This led me to believe that she must be a good beginner champion. I like her, even though I thought she was ranged. I do find the whole ‘catch or pick up a dagger’ thing kind of confusing. I assume that to pick up a dagger is to walk over or blink to one, but how would you catch one? Would you just run really fast or blink to an enemy near the dagger’s landing place after you throw it? Also, the sounds her abilities make are really grating. The ultimate is the worst, but the Q is pretty annoying too. I understand that people have to be aware that it’s happening, but can’t they do that in a more pleasing way?
Favourite part – her blink, and her ultimate, if it was silent
Least favourite part – the sound her ultimate makes. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.
Difficulty – 3
Overall – 7/10
He’s a hot pink scorpion, what’s not to love?! My biggest qualm with Skarner is that you can’t really lane with him, but that’s obviously not the point of him so I’m going to try to be objective here. His ultimate is arguably one of the most badass ults in the entire game, so that’s his biggest win. His W is just gorgeous. He has both melee and ranged abilities, plus a stun. All things I like! My biggest issue with him is probably his passive. I don’t like that it has the potential to help the enemy team (barely, but they do get a tiny bit of gold for capturing Skarner’s circles and take away the benefits that Skarner would get from his passive). That just feels unfair, especially because Skarner can’t even control where the circles go. Therefore everyone knows where they will be and there is an onus placed on both teams to defend those places.
I think I would like it a lot more if Skarner could place those circles wherever he wanted – not an unlimited amount, just the same number as there are now, and there could be a rule that they can’t overlap or stack or something. That would add a fun element of strategy to both playing Skarner and playing against him. It wouldn’t be just about finding Skarner, you would also want to find his circles, and the location of his circles might give you clues as to where he is now or where he recently was. What do you guys think about something like that?
Favourite part – his ultimate
Least favourite part – his passive
Difficulty – 2.5
Overall – 7/10
I had more fun playing him than I thought I would! I always think that health costs are interesting, and I liked that he has ways of making sure that he’s always within range of enemies to attack then (slows, movement speed boosts for himself, etc.). All of his abilities play well off of each other and that kind of consistency is something that I appreciate as well. I like that he has one ranged ability and that he has ways of healing himself, although I do wish that so much of his healing wasn’t concentrated in his ultimate. Unless the champion is support, I prefer for ultimates to be damage dealing.
Favourite part – Probably his backstory, honestly. It’s pretty good.
Least favourite part – His E
Difficulty – 1
Overall – 5/10
I really only have one issue with Thresh, which is that his backstory makes no sense in correlation with his role in game. He was clearly designed to be a support, rather than just falling into the role like some other champions with mismatched backstories. He has such a cool backstory, and they kind of ruin it by then designing him as support. It’s not because I feel like he’s “too badass” to be a support – rather, it’s because it just doesn’t suit his personality. His backstory gives no indication that he in any way wants to support others, even if it is to support them in the killing of others. He wants to torture people. How is playing support helping him further that goal? Yes, he collects souls in his lantern, but would he not be better served in a solo lane? Obviously Thresh is not the only champion with this problem, but he’s so thoroughly well designed in every other aspect that it just really makes me go WHY?! (Side note – tect also told me that Blitzcrank was actually designed to be a toplaner. Now there’s a support personality if I ever saw one! Maybe Thresh and Blitz should switch.)
Favourite part – his hook
Least favourite part – the way that his E and ultimate work – the visual indicator for the E is kind of confusing, and I wish you could place The Box somewhere rather than have it just appear around your own body
Difficulty – 3
Overall – 8/10
Man, Rakan is so much simpler than I thought he was. He basically just runs at people in a variety of ways. He runs at allies to shield or heal them; he runs at enemies to knock them up or charm them. The end. But the fun of running around and how well designed he is (visually and character-wise) make up for his simplicity. And while he’s simpler than I thought, he’s far from easy to play. Timing is really important with him, particularly in using his Q and E (making sure you can get in range of an ally in time to heal them after hitting a Q, and positioning yourself to effectively shield two allies, or the same ally again, with the re-cast of your E) so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend him for beginners.
Favourite part – his ultimate and his Q when I can actually hit it
Least favourite part – his E. It seems like a rather ineffective shield, even though you can cast it twice.
Difficulty – 3
Overall – 8.5/10
Sparkle Bubblefly is what I am currently calling the (hopefully) soon to be announced new champion. My prediction is that she will be female and have something to do with butterflies. My personal favourite theory that I’ve come up with will be that she will have abilities that are similar to Elementalist Lux and Kayn, being able to change forms based on her interactions in game. I think that she will start the game as a caterpillar, and be able to transform into a butterfly (possibly different kinds of butterflies or different colours, possibly with some tweaks on her abilities) at a certain point, and which ability tweaks or what kind of butterfly she becomes is dependent on her in game interactions. Those interactions might be that she can borrow other champions’ abilities or summoner spells (“hold onto your summoner spells”).
Essentially I think that her design will centre around the idea of metamorphosis, whether that’s literally going from caterpillar to butterfly, or smaller changes like stealing abilities. Her name might be related to that concept or butterflies as well. Perhaps the bubble shown in the teaser image (to the left) isn’t a bubble at all but rather a transparent cocoon, and that’s why the butterflies are inside of it rather than flying amongst the bubbles.
We also know, based on a PBE teaser, that she has an ability that can make other champions fall asleep. Initially, this really threw me off, and I was thinking that I must be wrong about the butterfly thing, unless ‘falling asleep’ is supposed to be like a caterpillar ‘falling asleep’ in a cocoon during the process of metamorphosis. So I did a bit of quick googling for fairytale characters with sleep powers and came up empty. That’s when I asked tect if he could think of any characters that were related to sleep or butterflies or fairies, and he said, “Butterfree?” I knew of Butterfree’s existence, but I didn’t know that Butterfree has an ability that causes other Pokemon to fall asleep.
And I was like
So, there you go. You heard it here first, folks: new champion = Riot’s take on Butterfree.
And that’s the champion roundup for this month! Next month’s will probably be shorter, because there’s a bit of September thrown into this one as well. Plus I won’t have to explain what I’m doing again. Like I said, if there are any other elements you’d like me to incorporate into this (ratings of other aspects, etc.) let me know!
I’m currently waffling about which champion to buy next. Happily, I now own all of the champions I truly love that I can realistically expect to play, so I kind of don’t care what I spend my IP on anymore, and I’ve also gotten to a place where I can appreciate most champions. Of course I still have my favourites, but even ones that I previously disliked have grown on me. First I’m going to buy LeBlanc, just so that I can buy her Ravenborn LeBlanc skin this week, and possibly Katarina if I can afford her before the Halloween event is over (so I can get Kitty Cat Katarina, but probably not) but after that I’m not sure.
Soon I will begin saving up IP for Sparkle Bubblefly, who sounds like she could be a new favourite of mine (butterflies, sparkles, burst mage…that’s really all I need to hear) and so therefore I will be very sad if I can’t afford her when she is released. But I can probably afford to buy another champion or two first. Let me know which champions you think would be good for me (preferably under 6300 IP)!
Also this is the perfect time to tell you that telling me what to do with my IP is one of the rewards available on our Patreon! It’s the top tier reward due to the limited nature of my IP as a resource, but even if you don’t want to spring for that, there are also other rewards that you might even like more, like bonus videos, private tutoring sessions with tect, bonus blog posts, etc. Honestly, you guys have no idea how much I want to make more content for League of Love. I have ideas coming out of all of my orifices but I can’t afford to dedicate any more time than I already do without your help. It’s all I ever want to do. As it is, not including creating Patreon rewards, I spend around 20-25 hours per week (on average) on League of Love related things, and tect spends around 11 or 12. And that’s just to do the 3 days of streaming/1 video/1 blog post per week that we’re currently doing. So if you have even $1 a month to spare, please check it out, and if you don’t, consider letting some of your League-loving friends know about us 🙂
Also let us know if there are other rewards that you would like besides the ones listed on the site. Obviously many people don’t have the financial means to support every creator that they enjoy, but if you do have the means but want something other than what we’re offering, definitely tell us.
On Monday, a special surprise that I filmed for you guys over Thanksgiving weekend will be released, so you can have fun guessing what that’s going to be. And the highlight video of my ranked placements has already been posted, so if you weren’t able to watch those definitely check that out! I mean, I know you already know the outcome, but still.
Death snack of the week: Would you believe me if I said STILL birthday cake??? Because it’s true.
P.S. If you’d like to add us on the PBE (can you even do that? I’m assuming you can), our summoner name is leagueoflovetv – shocking, I know.
P.P.S. I apologize for missing the blog last week! I was a hot mess. I mean let’s be honest I’ve been a hot mess like almost every day this month but ESPECIALLY last Thursday.