The Dark Seal is OP

Since after season 2, I’ve had an abusive relationship with League of Legends. A lot of things about the game annoyed me – I was infuriated that such a popular game would have so many problems with it – but I still had to play and keep up with it because it was the world’s biggest game, and I was a content pro­ducer and advisor.

Around seasons 4 and 5, I waned down my LoL gameplay to almost none, and mostly just kept up with it from an eSports perspective. I figured that there was no reason to play a “game” when all it does is frus­trate me, and I can gather all my research by watching others, without actually playing myself.

With preseason 6 rolling around, something I noticed a lot of people saying was how short the games were becoming. Most professional players said that their solo queue games used to be around 35 minutes on average, but now they were about 20.

If a game ends in 20 minutes, it obviously means that it’s saturated with action (or else one team wouldn’t be able to reach the Nexus in that time). I’m all about high-action gameplay, so I decided to give League of Legends another chance in preseason 6.

After going into a game, I noticed that there was a new Doran’s Ring alternative that was added to the shop – The Dark Seal. It gives +100 mana, +15 AP, and +25% healing from potions. It also had a passive effect – Dread / Do or Die – which grants +6 AP per kill, +3 AP per assist, and -12 AP per death (flooring at +0 AP and maxing at +30 AP).

If you watched my stream back in 2012-13 when I regularly streamed, you know that I am an extremely aggressive player who loves beating down my laning opponent and making them feel weak and vul­nerable. Even though I outwardly say that last-hitting minions is almost always the most important thing to do in lane, I will still forego farming in order to harass my laning opponent in order to assert my dom­i­nance in lane.

After I saw the Dark Seal, I realized that this ring was pretty much custom-designed for me.

It gives me a larger mana pool so I can use more abilities. It gives a decent chunk of ability power. It gives me a little bit more sustain in exchange for not having the +60 HP from Doran’s Ring. But most im­por­tantly, it rewards my hyperaggressive playstyle. If I manage to get a kill in lane, which happens very of­ten, I start stacking up ability power.

One important thing I tell people I coach is to not stay in lane for too long, even if you have full health and mana, because your laning opponent might have already bought items, and now has a power spike over you.

If you manage to send your laning opponent back to base through a kill, you’re going to start scaling up in power without having to return to base. Not only did you gain +6 AP from the kill, but you also got experience from the kill, and you’re soaking experience from the minion wave while your opponent is not. This almost lets you completely keep up with their item buys, without having to go back to base yourself.

During mid-game, I’m known to make majestically large errors that throw the game and bring my team into a downward spiral (and when I used to play ranked 5v5s, our jungler almost always stayed very close to me and acted as my pseudo-support to make sure I wouldn’t do this). This generally happens as a result of overconfidence – I smash my lane so hard that I forget that I’m still not strong enough to win in 1v3 fights.

The fact that this is a stacking item, and I lose stacks on death, is always in the back of my mind. I have a constant reminder in my inventory to carefully calculate my movements and decisions before making them. Although this isn’t going to make me any less confident in my play, it’s there to make sure that, if there’s a fuzzy line as to whether or not I will win an engage, I will choose not to engage at all (and not risk throwing my lead).

And finally, this item scales well into the mid-game, and is worth keeping in an inventory slot during the earlier late game. Without its passive, the Dark Seal provides 466.25 gold’s worth of stats for 400 gold. However, if you manage to hold on to max stacks, its gold worth skyrockets to 1,118.75 gold – that’s 280% gold efficiency.

So, the results of my Dark Seal games so far? They’ve mostly gone pretty well.

You may already know that I used to be a diamond-level player in season 2, so yes, this isn’t exactly too impressive (and if anything, it’s expected), seeing as my account is currently in low gold rank.

But, the point here is, a champion like Zyra, who is extremely vulnerable to death (especially when every champion and their mom has a gap closer nowadays), can still work extremely well with the Dark Seal, simply because of how good of an item it is for an aggressive playstyle.

I’m an extremely calculated player, and I’ll constantly be running a ton of numbers through my head dur­ing the entire game. There have been times when the Dark Seal has given me so much of a damage bo­nus that I miscalculate my damage, throw out my abilities to apply Rylai’s and Flash away, only to realize that I could’ve just held my ground and gotten a 1v4 quadra kill.

Now, as we can see by my defeat, what the Dark Seal doesn’t do is make you invulnerable to Warwick’s Infinite Duress, comboed with Jarvan IV’s Demacian Standard, Dragon Strike, and Cataclysm.

… That was a rough game.



As HotS takes a step forward, LoL takes a step back – S6 ranked changes

Not long ago, I applauded Blizzard for making grouping changes to their Heroes of the Storm ranked sys­tem.

Before the patch, players would be able to group as a premade party of any size between 1 and 4, then queue up for Hero League.

I indicated that this was bad, because a large part about MOBAs is playing with strangers, adapting to their playstyle, and working together. By eliminating the need to get along with other people, a critical aspect of MOBAs was not being taken into account for many people’s Hero League ratings.

After the patch, Hero League became restricted to only solo and duo queue. If people wanted to play as a group of three or four, they would have to play Quick Match; if they wanted to play as a group of five, they could play Team League. This restored the importance of teamwork and once again made it a uni­ver­sal element for achieving a high Hero League rank.

Recently, League of Legends decided that this was not, in fact, what they wanted to do. As Heroes of the Storm took a step forward, League of Legends took a step backward and changed their system to what Blizzard already realized was not the right thing to do.


So now, if you see that someone is diamond in ranked, you have no clue if they’re truly a diamond-level player, or if they just happen to have a lot of challenger- and master-level friends who carried them up the ranked ladder in five-man premade groups.

Luckily, I’ve become deeply involved in other games, so these changes to League of Legends won’t even be relevant to me…




I’m not unlucky, I’m cursed

I’m pretty sure that, in return for everything bad I’ve said about League of Legends and how much better Heroes of the Storm is, Riot has basically applied some sort of curse onto me so every game of League of Legends I play becomes the newest worst experience of my life.

Out of my last five ranked games:

  • 3 have had at least one person disconnect or ragequit
  • 2 have had two people disconnect or ragequit
  • 2 have had allies who have typed out very elaborate death threats (more detailed than the standard “go kill yourself” that you see every game)

During one of the games, after being called a homosexual during champion select for a reason I wasn’t able to catch, we went in game with a Draven who is also an aspiring comedian.

After our Leona accidentally uses her Flash and announces it in chat, Draven intentionally uses it, and re­plies, “same.”

League of Legends - Draven intentionally wastes Flash

Four minutes later, he leaves the game.

League of Legends - Draven ragequits after blaming his support

(Click to enlarge)

Not that it would’ve mattered anyway, seeing as now both our jungler and marksman were disconnected, but the enemy jungle Trundle then proceeds to run figure-8s around my lane, avoiding my wards and thrusting his club up my anus.

(Also, notice how in the second screenshot, my ping has mysteriously gone up to 47ms when it used to be 18ms at the start of the game. I basically live next door to the new Chicago servers.)

I can’t wait for Heroes of the Storm to become more popular so I can just quit this game entirely, instead of being forced to play LoL anyway in order to be a well-rounded caster for the world’s most popular game.

(This video isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or any­one officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trade­marks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)



Ironside Malphite – New skin preview on LoL PBE, full game highlights


Ironside Malphite is a new, unreleased skin only available on the League of Legends beta server (PBE). I cut up some highlights from a game I played with him earlier today.

Apparently the Kindred on the enemy team was Pawnce, a well-known entertainer who produces a lot of PBE content. I didn’t realize it until after the game, but when I went to his channel to watch a VOD of the live stream, I discovered that apparently the Rengar against which I laned was a mega troll.

(This video isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or any­one officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trade­marks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)



Temporarily disabled … should be permanent

Our prayers have been answered, at least temporarily.

League of Legends - Riven disabled

Riven, the most overpowered champion in League of Legends, and one of two champions that does not be­long in the game (the other being Yasuo), has been temporarily disabled. It should obviously be per­ma­nent, but I guess the world isn’t perfect.

With four gap closers, two forms of hard crowd control, a defensive ability that scales off of an offensive stat, a basic attack modifier with every skill, a mechanic called animation canceling that makes her look buggy and isn’t described in any tooltip, burst damage equivalent to an assassin, and unlimited sustain­ability at no strength reduction after purchasing life steal due to no resource limitations – it is as stupid as it sounds.

Xypherous, the designer responsible for giving birth to Riven, seems to really enjoy making changes to the game that piss people off (or at the very least, me).

He’s the creator of Nautilus, the tank with four forms of crowd control and an ultimate that basically crowd controls someone for several seconds as they watch in terror at the advancing depth charge that’s about to throw them airborne. Not to mention most people running away, behind their allies, and screwing over their entire team in the process.

He’s the creator of Lulu, the wildly underrated support that’s just as good as Janna at denying the ene­mies, but also deals several times more damage than her.

And of course, he’s responsible for reworking Heimerdinger and changing the champion that I loved.

I miss you, pre-rework Heimerdinger.

(This post isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or any­one officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trade­marks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)



“Nobody really talks like that!” – Zyra mid vs. Viktor in LoL ranked solo


Earlier today, I played a game of League of Legends as Zyra mid against Viktor in a ranked solo queue game in low gold league.

Similar to the PROJECT: Lucian skin preview video I released yesterday, I decided to cut up this video and only include highlights and funny moments, instead of putting up the entire VOD.

Normally, I don’t read the comments on my videos and almost never pay attention to chat when I’m live streaming. I understand that this isn’t exactly the most optimal way to produce content, because fan interaction is important, but the few annoying people who spam and constantly post memes ruined it for those who actually have genuine messages. (However, to make up for this, I always make sure to answer personal emails and comments left on my website.)

For some reason, I decided to break up the routine and read the comments on my videos earlier today. I noticed one from a user who mentioned that my voice completely changed a minute and a half into one of my videos, and he knew that I was faking the accent because nobody actually really talks like that, sup­pos­ed­ly.

I decided to humorously address this commenter in today’s video by claiming that the Chinese-accented voice was actually my real voice, and that I occasionally fake an American accent just to throw people off. I assumed that would be the end of that joke, and figured that the random commenter wouldn’t actually see my response to him.

Boy, was I wrong, and am I glad that I was wrong. Apparently, the person who left that comment about my accent is actually a regular viewer of my secondary gaming channel, and he left a comment on this vid­eo letting me know that now he’s somewhat convinced because my League of Legends in-game lan­guage is in Korean.

So, now I’m not sure what has happened – I can’t figure out if I successfully trolled this guy into thinking that I actually really do have a Chinese accent as my normal voice, or if he’s trolling me into thinking that I successfully trolled him, even though I didn’t.

I wish more people like this guy existed so I would actually enjoy reading comments on my videos and chat on my live stream.

(This video isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or any­one officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trade­marks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)



PROJECT: Lucian – new skin preview on LoL PBE, full game highlights


There are five new PROJECT skins on the PBE, and they’ll be released throughout Patch 5.17. I decide to hop on the PBE yesterday to play a game with PROJECT: Lucian.

I made this video a bit different than what I usually do – I actually went through and edited together highlights from the full game, rather than just uploading the full VOD like I usually do.

I don’t really play marksman, and bottom lane is my worst position, but my support was pretty good and set me up for a lot of kills.

Eventually, I scaled relatively well into late game compared to everyone else, and I was able to help carry my team, even though our Udyr was absolute trash and should probably never play League of Legends ever again. (At one point in the video, you’ll hear me saying “I think this Udyr has typed more characters in chat than he has dealt points of damage to champions.”)

The splash arts for all these PROJECT skins are pretty amazing – they’re all flashy and futuristic and look all sci-fi. Unfortunately, the in-game character models are a bit of a disappointment compared to their splash arts.

Although the spell effects are nice and reflect what is expected from the futuristic splash arts, Lucian himself just looks like normal Lucian with a slight change in wardrobe.

(This video isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or any­one officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trade­marks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)



Two games of Zyra mid against Fizz and Katarina in LoL

I played two games of mid-lane Zyra yesterday, one against Fizz and the other against Katarina. Both of these match-ups are considered unfavorable for Zyra (and favorable for the opponent).


Match history:

With the recent changes to AP items, I decided to pull Zyra mid back out and try it out again in some low-level League of Legends ranked play.

Before these changes, I felt as if Zyra was sort of in an in-between, where if she built high-damage, she was too vulnerable to death, but if she built items that synergized well together and well with her kit, she would just barely not have enough damage.

Because of the damage increases on most of the AP items, which allows flexibility in terms of build choices, Zyra’s build that just barely didn’t have enough damage before is now sufficient.

I use that build in this game and perform somewhat well. The post-game stats showed that I outdamaged our marksman by over 50% of her damage. This game also shows that no matter how badly your allies are doing (jungler on a dying spree, your top laner with a third of the enemy’s farm), as long as you keep up team morale, you should be able to carry if you’re good enough.


Match history:

After the successful Zyra mid game earlier in the day against Fizz, I play her again in a new game, this time laning against Katarina.

I bravely picked Zyra even though the enemy team had Malphite, Master Yi, and Katarina, three champions that can capitalize easily on Zyra’s weakness of poor mobility – and it worked out pretty well.

I ended the game with a score of 17/4/21, with 45k damage dealt to champions, 83% more than my marksman. I ended with only 162 farm because, not only am I bad at last-hitting in general, but my team started grouping up pretty early and I had to share lane minions.

(These videos aren’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or any­one officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trade­marks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)



Battle Boss Blitzcrank – new unreleased skin preview on LoL PBE

Source: is down, which means I can’t play any Heroes of the Storm or Hearthstone … so I decided to hop on the League of Legends Public Beta Environment to test out some more new skins.

Even in my eager excitement for the upcoming Heroes of the Storm patch, I still managed to focus enough to perform well and go 9/1/16 by the end of the game at 25 minutes.

There’s a pretty humorous backstory to this game.

As of today, the only game mode available on the PBE is Team Builder. So, I was forced to pick a role and queue up.

I queued up as a mid laner, and waited in queue for about 18 minutes before I realized this would be a perfect moment to use the “Why can’t I hold all these mid laners?” meme with the PBE server featured in the photograph.

I decided to switch to support, and queued up as Blitzcrank. I (literally) instantly found a game, but it was empty apart from myself and the team captain.

The other roles eventually filled up one by one, but there was one role that remained empty for about ten minutes.

Which role was it?

You got it, middle lane.

The lane for which I was sitting in queue for 18 minutes.

After I left queue, there was suddenly a scarcity of mid laners.

But it wasn’t the end of the world – we ended up finally finding a mid laner. But that would be too easy. Now our marksman Vayne had to complain about the fact that I was taking Ignite instead of Exhaust, because she wanted to take Ignite herself.

I obviously didn’t care at all and kept my Flash/Ignite combo, but the entire team started complaining and fighting with each other about summoner spells. People tried to force Vayne into taking Heal, but she settled on Exhaust.

In my opinion, Heal is not a summoner spell designed for marksmen, and I have no clue why everyone except I take it. This is coming from someone who used to run Heal/Ignite with no Flash back on Season 2, but stopped doing that because Heal got nerfed from a powerful baiting tool into a support summoner spell.

Marksmen are far better off taking Exhaust for self-peel and survivability against assassins, or Ghost for assisting in kiting away from movement-speed-buffed enemies. Cleanse is also acceptable if the enemy team has high catch potential and strong hard crowd control. Ignite is fine for combos like Graves/Leona who need that extra tiny bit of damage to secure an early-game kill during an all-in.

But Heal? Make the support player take it; the other options are far more effective for marksmen.

(Sure, go ahead and say I suck; I won’t notice because I’ll be too busy winning more games with Exhaust and/or Ghost.)