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). Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=od1voEWjXIY&list=PLKQUciHiP2v4FC-81KQi_y3eFTITpiftc Match history: http://matchhistory.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/#match-details/NA1/1924093617 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. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=-IuCVKJdCe8&list=PLKQUciHiP2v4FC-81KQi_y3eFTITpiftc Match history: http://matchhistory.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/#match-details/NA1/1924308037 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.
Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=u1lIbcnZZz8&list=PLKQUciHiP2v4FC-81KQi_y3eFTITpiftc Battle.net 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.)
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8gRH_W5IOE After doing an Academy Ahri skin preview a few days ago, I wanted to showcase some of the other Academy skins. The only other champion I play with an Academy skin is Vladimir. I’ve never played Ekko before (and don’t really plan on it right now); and I hate the new Darius rework because it feels clunky and unelegant. When I tried out the new “juggernaut” Darius, I ended up having a mirror match-up in top lane. Not only do I absolutely hate mirror match-ups, but apparently I was also against someone who wanted to win really badly, because he did a jungle camp at level 1 and teleported into lane at level 2. I swear that every time I went to hit him with Decimate, he would also use the ability, I would literally heal him, while he chunks down a quarter of my health bar. The Darius right now is fluid, responsive, and fun to play. He always has kill pressure onto you, and if you’re engaged in an extended 1v1 fight against him, you know that you’re going to get executed once you get low. The new Darius on the PBE feels laggy. His Decimate now heals you if you hit someone (which is completely counterintuitive to Darius’ personality and playstyle). His passive stacks randomly don’t apply once in a while. His slow is like a stun wannabe. I’m guessing that the reason I think he feels unresponsive is because I was laning against another Darius, and now basically all Darius does is slow you and tickle you to death. Unfortunately, once he tags a slow on you, there’s absolutely no way you’re getting away, so you’re forced to fight a mirror match-up Darius that you know is stronger than you because he got an early lead. Overall, once the juggernaut Darius changes get pushed to the live servers, I’m going to miss the old Darius. Anyway … the results of my Vladimir game has been embedded above. I had a pretty easy time early game because my laning opponent didn’t really have much of a clue as to what she was doing. Unfortunately, this sort of gave me a false sense of confidence because I assumed the entire enemy team would be as bad as their Katarina, and I got a bit reckless around Draven. After dying twice to him, we managed to get a surrender from the enemy team, and I ended the game 9/2/8.
Because of the recent juggernaut changes, a new meta is emerging on the League of Legends PBE, with a lot of Mordekaisers appearing in the bottom lane. This strategy will end up working, but it relies heavily on one of three things happening late game in order to be able to siege turrets without a marksman. The first option, least reliant on the team, is for Mordekaiser to use his ultimate on the enemy team’s marksman, then using the ghost to siege turrets. The second option is to have a marksman in the middle lane. The third option, that requires the most coordination and has the least reliability, is to have a heavy poke composition that will push the enemies away from defending turrets. Luckily, this hasn’t really become a huge problem yet on the PBE. The main reason is because there is usually a Mordekaiser vs. Mordekaiser mirror match-up in the bottom lane, and neither team has a marksman. A secondary reason is because the players are so bad that these kinds of strategies become irrelevant due to the abundance of mistakes made in every game. In the games I played on the PBE, I played two ability power assassins in the middle lane to showcase gameplay of new skins coming up. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EJMiaJSBbo The first game was with Cottontail Fizz. I was laning against Diana. Usually, I have a lot of difficulty beating Diana. She, along with Katarina and Riven, are three champions who I will crush in lane early levels, but then randomly die to, out of nowhere, once we reach level 6-8. (The fourth magical champion to use to defeat me is Yasuo, and with him, I will just get pissed off at the fact that he exists and lose to bronze players starting from before the game even begins.) Luckily, I did fine this game, and ended up forcing a surrender a little before half an hour (which is pretty quick for low-level games, seeing as nobody ever wants to group and pressure their base when we’re ahead). At the end of the game, I get a little bit of a shock when I discover that Mordekaiser can now not only control champions, but also control dragon with his ultimate. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlM4wv9MWXA The second game I played was with Academy Ahri. Academy Ahri is a skin being released along with the Academy skin series, with Vladimir, Darius, and Ekko being the other members of the set. This game went on a lot longer than the previous one, and again, being a low-level game, nobody was eager to press forward into the enemy base to win the game. Towards the end of the game, our Darius was just farming the jungle while the rest of us were trying to kill turrets, and when an ally confronted him about it, he said that he was “testing out the jungle” because he was on the PBE. In an hope to make him realize how stupid he sounded, I also sat back and began to play passively, farming the jungle and ignoring my team. When asked what I was doing, I gave the same response as Darius. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of my allies were skilled enough to actually see a problem with that. Regardless, the point of playing on the PBE is to try out the new skins before they’re released, and that’s what I got to do. I guess that’s a privilege on its own, and I shouldn’t also be seeking the privilege of winning games as well. (Contrary to popular belief, the point of the PBE IS NOT to find and report bugs. Bugs are regularly found and reported from PBE testing, and a majority of them make it through to the live release. These bugged features then promptly get disabled from live as they seek out fixes because they didn’t tend to them when the PBE community reported the problems earlier.)
I’ve got two more League of Legends ranked solo/duo queue games, one against Galio and one against Lux, both in the middle lane as Heimerdinger. The first video is a duo queue game that I played with Del. When we play together, he and I basically lose about 90% of our games. I’m not sure why he still invites me to games. The second game was a solo queue game, and is a bit more interesting. Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=_lKdF2YvVcI & http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZdzacsatPYU The first game was extraordinarily frustrating, to say the least. Del is low silver, so when I duo with him, I generally play with people who have absolutely no clue what they’re doing, and often actually do the very exact opposite of what you ask them to do. We could’ve easily won the game not long after 20 minutes, but for some reason, my team decided it wanted to play passively and give the enemy team an opportunity to catch up. There is an open inhibitor at top lane, so I tell everyone to stop what they’re doing, group together, and push top to get the inhibitor. Killing the inhibitor that early into the game means one person must be occupied at all times clearing the minions. I specifically tell our pants-on-head retarded AD carry to ignore the splitpushing Gangplank. We can trade; Gangplank can get our outer bottom turret and we can kill his inhibitor. But as we know, a random guy who has played 200 games this season and is still struggling in silver is much better than me. Sivir proceeds to ignore my instructions, goes bottom, fails to save our bottom outer turret, then dies in a 1v1 against Gangplank. That’s just one example. Stuff like this happens throughout the entire game. The second game went a lot better. My entire team wasn’t doing that great early on in the game, but we started playing extremely aggressively. We grouped early and caught the opponents off guard, invading their side of the map and viciously rotating until we were in control. Luckily, this worked because, in my solo queue game, the rest of my team were followers, rather than people who think they’re leaders (like the Sivir) and make their own decisions when they’re stupid and wrong. I don’t understand how Del enjoys playing this game.
Continuing on what I posted yesterday, I decided to also make my League of Legends games more accessible as well by splitting them up into individual videos. That way, they’re more easily searchable, and it avoids having non-content content (such as waiting in queue or taking a break) that would normally come along with a standard stream VOD. The videos will be titled with the name of the champion being played, the position being played, the opponent, an indicator that it is ranked solo/duo queue in League of Legends, and the rank (league, division, and league points). I have two videos ready so far, one playing in mid against the new AP Smite Ezreal that builds Runeglaive and Luden’s Echo, and another in top lane against Rumble. Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=sQuY2qCBTe4 & http://youtube.com/watch?v=kd8oGnyQFmg
For the past week or so, every time I went on the League of Legends subreddit, I saw people discussing the pool party event thing, where if the community collects enough points, they get free stuff. One of the posts talked about how, at this rate, it was impossible for the community to reach the grand prize, and they would barely even earn the first few prizes. Of course, this fellow failed to realize that the point of this event is to make people play more in order to get the rewards, not to just give them out at the rate the community is already playing. Somehow, the community managed to reach the reward of everyone getting a free mystery champion. I’ve been playing League of Legends for a pretty long time – I think I started sometime around 2012. In that time, I managed to collect a lot of champions. But, unfortunately, I don’t play quite enough to be able to unlock all the champions worth 6,300 IP. With this mystery champion gift reward thing coming around, I wanted to make sure that I got the most value out of it as possible. I was stockpiling a bit of IP because I wasn’t really interested in buying more champions at the moment, but I decided that now was the time to spend. There were two low-cost champions that I did not buy until this point. One of them is Poppy. I hate Poppy. I hate how she looks, I hate what she is, I hate how she’s played, I hate her abilities, I hate her skins, and I pretty much hate everything there is to hate about Poppy. The other is Taric. He is just too fabulous for me, and it’s irritating. But, I decided to set aside my grudges and think realistically. What if Riot decides to gift me Poppy or Taric? Not only would that forcefully put into my possession a champion I dislike, but it would also essentially waste my free champion mystery gift. So, I went ahead and spent 1,800 IP on Poppy and Taric. Then, I went on to buying as many 4,800 IP champions as I could, effectively lowering the possibility that I get a gift of less value. I bought a few before my stockpile ran dry. Today, I signed in to discover that my mystery gift was… Azir. I’m pretty satisfied.
In order to stay relevant as an entertainer in League of Legends, I decided to play a few ranked games to keep up with the game and see how it’s evolved in the months during which I haven’t really played the game seriously. It would be fantastic if I could continue being a caster without ever playing the game, but unfortunately, doing so leaves me in the dark in a lot of areas, so it’s critical that I continue to play the game first-hand to collect personal experience. I am proud to announce that the game is just the same as it used to be before I quit to move on to Heroes of the Storm. (Click to enlarge) Compared to this, playing Heroes of the Storm is like gliding through the heavens while cuddling a cloud. Edit: As a disclaimer, I’m all for a triple marksman team composition (even though it would probably not do too well against a dive composition like the one the enemy team had). I love innovation, and would like to see Urgot in a solo lane and Ashe as support being thrown in by Kalista’s Fate’s Call, only to crowd control them even further with a point-blank guaranteed Enchanted Crystal Arrow. What I’m pointing out in this post is the attitude that our Ashe brought into the game, as you can see by her chat messages and summoner spells.
Earlier today, Blizzard announced that globalization was enabled for Heroes of the Storm. Until now, Heroes of the Storm was region-specific. If you got a key, you had to make sure you got a proper NA or EU key for your account. Now, with globalization, every account can play on any server, and multiple regional accounts can be bound to a single Battle.net log-in. I decided to test out this change by logging in to the European Heroes of the Storm server. I finished some of the starting tutorials, then hopped in a Cooperative game. My ping was actually impressively low, compared to my expectations, and I tweeted about it:
I hovered around 132 ms when I played on the EU server. When I play League of Legends on the NA server, my ping often sits around the 140s.
Everyone says that their connection to the League of Legends servers are fine, and they blame it on my Internet, but it’s sort of hard to believe when stuff like this happens … lol
My NA-to-EU ping on Heroes of the Storm is lower than my NA-to-NA ping on League of Legends … trololol pic.twitter.com/jAJBZmhzlT
— Adam (@Parkzer) May 21, 2015
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJtGdtpkRAE Syndra is a champion I used to play a lot back when I actually used to regularly play League of Legends. I was never really that great with her – I would smash people in lane, but end up not doing much late game because I would randomly die too much. I started playing her a lot less (and almost not at all) after her nerfs. The damage on her Dark Sphere was reduced so she only reaches her former full damage potential on her Q ability once she skills it up to rank 5. The hitbox on her stun was also changed such that now, even when a scattered sphere strikes an opponent, it sometimes still doesn’t proc the stun if only the edge of the ball makes contact. As a consequence of these nerfs, Syndra’s win rate fall by around 7% or so. However, as I was browsing through League of Legends news, I found out that Syndra was going to get a new skin, Queen of Diamonds. I decided to sign in on the beta server to dust off my packed-away Syndra and try out the new skin. For whatever reason, every queue except for Team Builder was disabled on the PBE, so I queued up as a mid laner. After waiting over twenty minutes and not finding a game, I left the queue and was about to just not play League of Legends, when I noticed that the role in high demand for team builder was support. I decided to give it one more chance and queue up as support Syndra. Magically, only after several minutes this time, I got myself into a lobby. After another several minutes, we finally found ourselves into a game. The game itself went pretty well. The enemy marksman was unfortunate enough to pick Twitch (a champion notorious for a terrible laning phase) into a Syndra support. Even after Syndra’s nerfs, she’s still a pretty strong laner in terms of both damage and utility, as long as you don’t miss your skills. I started off with a standard support build of a gold generation item and a Sightstone. From there, I went on to my regular mid lane AP carry build, and get part-way through my second big item before we end the game. I try to provide a decent amount of commentary during this stream, so if you’re interested in learning more about the game as well as see a preview of the new skin, this video will serve both those purposes.