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3D Model Viewer Updated: Elementalist Lux and Other Ultimate Skins

The new Ultimate Skin, Elementalist Lux released just a few days ago and our model viewer is now updated with an extra drop-down menu so you can check out all of her 10 forms! Her pick rate has gone up a tiny bit so if you're having trouble getting her in enough games to find your favorite variations this is a great alternative.

Click here to access the model viewer page for Elementalist Lux!



 

 
Fortunately, this update also means you can finally check out the forms on the other ultimate skins Spirit Guard UdyrDJ Sona, and Pulsefire Ezreal.
 
Click here to access the model viewer page for Spirit Guard Udyr!

 


 

While we are super excited for this update, we are aware that some other models are broken. For example, my boy Karthus is being a bit retro and Bewitching Nidalee is a little too into the Halloween horror theme.

Some format changes and a rush of prep work for Season 7 have left us a bit behind on our beloved model viewer, but we are now focused on it and have fixes coming in the near future. We want to thank you all for your patience, and hope you enjoy checking out the ultimate skins!

Krugs Cause Continued Ughs

When we first saw the preseason jungle changes there was a myriad of concerns from the removal of smite buffs, the addition of plants, and the overall layout of the jungle hurting some junglers like Warwick and Nidalee. These concerns have come to fruition to various degrees, but one sticking point in the jungle layout that has been undergoing changes is the camp of Krugs.

Initially on release the main concern was the amount of time it takes to clear the camp. The camp begins with an Ancient Krug and Krug. When killed the Ancient Krug splits into 2 Krugs, and then the 3 total Krugs will all split into 2 Lesser Krugs, and because there is an animation and delay on each split, this tongue twister of a clear took quite a while.

Rather than making the clear faster, Riot choose to increase the reward for killing the camp, specifically the EXP earned. People immediately noted that killing the Red Brambleback buff camp and Krugs immediately gave the jungler level 3 and positioned him for an early gank. Most people assumed this was an unintended over buff to the camp until a tweet by RiotFearless confirmed it as intentional: 

People were, understandably, a bit concerned about this early jungle power spike, and the next day a followup tweet aimed to calm fears:

Unsurprisingly this turned out to be an extremely strong mechanic for junglers. The dangers of an early gank became immense for whichever side of the map your Krugs camp was on. Let's take a look at a couple of examples of just how powerful these ganks could be, both against bot lane:

 

As well as top lane:

 

Even if you know the gank is coming, or potentially coming, the cost to playing appropriately passively just to mitigate its chances of success are pretty high and would be a current and future balance concern at the least. Luckily it didn't take very long for the full impact of the change to cause some quick backpedaling on the design:

These tweets pretty much sum up what most of the community wanted out of the changes to Krugs, increase the rewards for the time spent doing them, but there seemed very little reason to introduce such a huge power spike into the equation when it just needed a firm nudge in the right direction.

While it was a questionable design choice, it's nice to see the quick reaction to implement and bring it back in line, especially while we are still in the preseason state where changes are more fluid and expected. 

Guide Spotlight: Ekko, Karma, and Vel'Koz

Today we are highlighting some great guides for a few AP champions. Preseason is a great time to explore some new champions that you might want to bring with you on your journey to climb the ladder in the upcoming 2017 season, and these champions are all great options to try out.

 

Ekko

For a long time, there seemed to a be a big debate between Riot and the userbase with how Ekko is supposed to be played. People kept wanting to play him as a tanky bruiser, rather than an AP heavy time bending assassin who used his skills to dart into and out of danger. If the latter sounds more appealing to your there is no better time to jump in and learn some Ekko than now.Be sure to check out this amazing new mid AP Ekko guide by user SaintKilian, and play Ekko the way he was meant to be played.  

Karma

Once in a while there comes a pick that is both truly annoying as well as effective, and tank Karma top lane certainly fits both. It's easy to overlook the massive self-healing on ultimate empowered W's, but when used properly it can really make tank Karma difficult to deal with while she spams the rest of her kit and chains Frozen Gauntlet procs on her enemies.
This guide by LolKing's very own Shakarez will turn you into an annoying juggernaut of slow painful death.

 

Vel'Koz

Vel'Koz has a great balance between being a back line siege machine, while also being able to get in there and combo people down for huge damage. Knowing when to stay back and poke to set up for a safe ultimate, and when to wiggle your tentacles up to the front lines to hit a big knock up combo can make or break games.If you're looking to master these tentacles look no further than this in-depth guide by user Barph, it'll teach you everything you need to know.  

Upcoming 6.24 Rylai's Changes - Biggest Winners And Biggest Losers

We are going into the last two week of preseason before the start of Season 7, but before the new ranked season begins Riot has some final changes in store.


Amongst them are changes to one of the most popular items amongst AP champions: Rylai’s Crystal Scepter.


Back in Season 5 the item’s passive was changed to include 40% slows for AoE abilities (up from 15%).
Throughout Season 6 we have seen almost every single mage in the meta pick it up. It was starting to get out of hand when champions such as Orianna started picking it up simply because the base stats on the item alone were good enough to justify the purchase and the extra slow was an extra benefit.

 

The 15 most popular Rylai's Crystal Scepter users - Patch 6.23
 


Let’s have a look at the changes:
 

Rylai's Crystal Scepter (Current) Cost: 3200 +400 Health +100 Ability Power
UNIQUE Passive: Damaging spells and abilities reduce enemy movement speed based on the spell type:
  • Unit-targeted: 40% for 1.5 seconds.
  • Area of effect: 40% for 1 second.
  • Damage over time, multi-hit and pet attacks: 20% for 1 second.
   
   

Rylai's Crystal Scepter (PBE) Cost: 2600 +300 Health +75 Ability Power

UNIQUE Passive: Damaging spells and abilities reduce enemy movement speed by 20% for 1 second.

 

 

 

 




 

 
   


It’s a pretty heavy hit to the item’s base stats across the board and the slow being reduced from 40% to 20% for Single Target and AoE spells is bound to hurt quite some champions.


On the other hand, Rylai’s will now be 600 gold cheaper, which is huge for champions who were purchasing it mainly for the 20% slow (those with damage over time skills) or those who were getting it to combine it with Liandry’s Torment burn passive, as slowed targets take double damage.


Let’s have a look at the biggest winners and losers with this change.


Biggest Winners:

 

 

Brand
 

This might sound like a weird one to be in the winner category as Brand could proc the 40% slow on all of his 4 spells. While he is losing that, his core item for both Support and Mid Lane Brand is now much cheaper, and his passive will still apply a 20% slow for a prolonged amount of time as it did before.


Furthermore, the other reason why Brand players will enjoy this change is because Brand is all about getting the Rylai’s + Liandry’s combo for extra burn damage. It’s worth mentioning that Liandry’s is also 100 gold cheaper, meaning his two core item power spike is now 700 gold cheaper!

 

 

Malzahar
 

Malzahar’s main way of applying the slow is with Malefic Visions, a damage over time ability that already only applied a 20% slow. One can argue that Call of the Void will not slow as much but it wasn’t his main spell for catching and locking down targets anyways. A cheaper item means he can reach that 2 item power spike of Morellonomicon and Rylai’s sooner, which is a key power spike for the Prophet of the Void

 

 

Singed
 

Singed mains can rejoice! They were mainly grabbing Rylai’s for the 20% slow given from poison trail. Finishing the item early means Singed can start itemizing defensively earlier and becoming that extremely pesky tank running around and slowing everyone while spamming laugh.
 

 

 

Zyra
 

Similarly to Brand, Zyra mainly wants the item for the double damage from Liandry’s Torment. Plants only applied a 20% slow anyways and only her Q is affected, as the 40% slow won’t matter much if a target is rooted by E or knocked up by R.


Supports also have more limited access to gold, so a 600 gold difference arguably matters more.

 

Biggest Losers:

 

 

Viktor
 

Viktor will probably still build Rylai’s Crystal Scepter but the slow decrease will hurt him a lot, especially for his Death Ray, as a less potent slow will make it harder for him to land both the initial damage and the aftershock on a target. All his spells apply a 40% slow currently so expect the Machine Herald to be much less of a menace in the future.

 

 

Syndra
 

Syndra is another champion who will be negatively affected by this change. Rylai’s is currently an item that gives her a potent slow on Dark Sphere, without sacrificing her burst as it’s a big ticket AP item. The slow from Dark Sphere made it much easier for her to follow up with Force of Will and Scatter the Weak.

 

 

 

Ahri
 

Similarly to Viktor, all of Ahri’s spells applied a 40% slow, with both Spirit Fire and Charm applying it for an extended duration so naturally this change does affect the Nine-Tailed Fox a lot. Similarly to Syndra, it’s hard to tell if she will still build the item, but she may need to rely on other high AP items such as Luden’s to ensure she can burst targets. On the other hand, losing Rylai’s means her teamfight presence is going to be lower.

 

 

Taliyah
 

Finally there’s Taliyah. The Stoneweaver is currently not in a good spot after the last nerfs in Patch 6.18 that ended her viability in competitive play and greatly diminished her popularity in ranked.
Taliyah is extremely dependant on the slow from Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. Taliyah is all about kiting back with Threaded Volley and using it while moving forward to create picks and facilitate her Unraveled Earth + Seismic Shove combination.

Without the 40% slow she won’t be nearly as menacing, so she will really need some love from Riot after the changes to her core item go through.

The Preseason ADC Shift - How Vayne And Twitch Snuck Back Into The Meta

Big patches usually bring big changes, and while in some specific roles it might feel as if the most popular champions haven’t changed much, in others we see a great shift, with some of the former top tier champions going down as other, previously considered more unusual choices become the flavor of the month.


This has been the case with the AD Carry role. While it hasn’t been the only position with big changes in terms of meta champions, we have seen a shift in popularity throughout the two preseason patches.


Vayne and Twitch both saw a surge in popularity, with Vayne becoming the most popular AD Carry in ranked matches, whilst Twitch is now sitting at 15% play rate, 10% higher than before preseason began.


Their resurgence isn’t random. It's a consequence of multiple other factors that allow them to thrive in this meta. Let’s have a look.

 

Fervor of Battle Nerfs


With Patch 6.22 came the infamous new Keystone Mastery Courage of the Colossus, but the rework to Fervor of Battle was one of the changes that really made a dent on the AD Carry meta.


To summarize, while extra Attack Damage sounds really good, having a higher maximum number of stacks, less time on each stack and no stacking with abilities effectively made the mastery much weaker for AD Carries, who only get 1 stack per basic attack. The champion most affected by the changes is probably Lucian. He can still stack Fervor faster than most in his role, but not being able to stack it with abilities hurts his damage rotations a lot.

 

Lucian was already consistently under 50% win rate and with nerfs to Fervor of Battle he's currently even weaker


The Fervor nerfs mean that champions such as Lucian or Ezreal have lost a part of their lane presence and those on the fence between two options such as Caitlyn are now defaulting to Warlord’s Bloodlust. It has gotten to the point where you will even see Lucian and Ezreal with that mastery, as not running them would lead to getting out sustained in lane.


In a meta where the added damage isn’t coming in anymore and sustain is king, Twitch and Vayne can sneak in and get through laning phase with more ease.


2. The Introduction of Lethality


Throughout the season we slowly saw AD Carries pick up heavy Armor Penetration oriented builds, trading the late game scaling that multiple critical strike items would yield for an earlier spike in power and more relevance in the early to mid game stage of matches. At first we saw Lucian do it, followed by Miss Fortune and Jhin.


In competitive play, Patch 6.15 effectively killed lane swaps and enforced standard lane meta, which in turn made these builds even more prevalent as establishing lane dominance and guaranteeing the first blood gold was (and still is) a great win condition to secure from the get go.


On Patch 6.22, Armor Penetration was slightly reworked with the introduction of Lethality. The reduction of flat armor penetration in early levels, combined with key changes to Ghostblade and Duskblade effectively killed Armor Penetration builds on AD Carries, taking away another aspect that granted them dominance in the earlier stages of matches.


While this doesn’t necessarily affect the early stages of the laning phase, Vayne and Twitch are still AD Carries that need time to grow into the game. They start becoming a real menace after two items (and just get stronger from there).

 

Armor pen builds gone for AD Carries mean that everyone is going back to Critical Strike oriented builds. These builds take more time to scale, which makes early game oriented ADC's less overwhelming to deal with for weaker laners.


3. The Current Support Meta


If in other roles we have seen new champions show up once more, the support meta is relatively untouched. Thresh is showing up more with the introduction of Courage of the Colossus and the new Alistar still provides strong teamfight presence. Yet the meta is still dominated by ranged supports.


Janna is still queen in ranked and has been at the top for months without end. Alongside her are other picks such as Nami, Karma, even Sona and Soraka to an extent. Brand and Zyra are obviously still a thing, but these defensive supports that rely mainly on shielding and healing carries are out in full force. The introduction of Redemption has been further encouragement for this archetype of supports (what Riot calls Enchanter Supports) to thrive.

 

Janna and Karma are frequently amongst the top 10 most popular champions in Platinum and above.


Why is this important, you may ask?

Well Enchanter Supports excel at keeping their carries alive. The combination of Warlord’s Bloodlust alongside defensive support picks allow these two carries to survive with more ease in the laning phase and get to the mid game relatively unscathed.

 


These three factors allowed these two hyper carries to come back in, but that isn’t the only reason why they’re peaking right now.


Vayne: A Tank killer and an anti-assassin AD Carry


With the new mastery, tanks are overwhelming the top lane meta once again. To take care of them, what better AD Carry than Vayne? Not only does she have True Damage to quickly dispatch the tankiest of opponents, Condemn is also an extremely strong tool to create distance from incoming opponents.


Patch 6.22 also brought a key change for Vayne. Using Tumble while in Final Hour now makes Vayne completely invisible and not even Control Wards will spot her. Being able to break line of sight with opponents allows Vayne to be safer from the ever so popular Rengar and Kha’zix picks in the jungle currently. Other strong junglers in the current patch such as Hecarim, Vi and Shyvana will easily get kited by all the tools that Vayne has at her disposal.


Twitch: Skirmishing and Teamfighting prowess


Twitch might not be as good at tank killing as Vayne (he is still pretty good due to Deadly Venom and his itemization) but in return he is strong in a wide variety of encounters, which is something that Vayne lacks (she's a rather poor pick against long range teamfighting picks such as Orianna and Viktor).


Whether it is catching the enemy carry isolated in a side lane to assassinate him, showing up unannounced in a skirmish after most crowd control has been blown or just doing tons of AoE damage from a distance with Spray and Pray, the Plague Rat is probably the jack of all trades if one is looking for a versatile AD Carry pick that is good in almost any type of fight.

 

 

Recent Buffs: Blade of the Ruined King

 


Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Blade of the Ruined King was buffed on patch 6.23. This item was traditionally core on these two picks but fell out of favor after nerfs. With recent buffs increasing the % current damage dealt on hit to 8% (from 6%) it’s very likely that these champions will start picking it more frequently once again, giving them more tools to dispatch and kite tanks, bruisers and those pesky assassins.


Competitive Viability?


It’s too early to tell, but despite their much higher pick rates, it’s likely that Twitch and Vayne won’t be nearly as prominent in pro play, despite now being more viable than they have been in a while. Scaling and poor laners get punished much more often in Pro play, where teams coordinate much better to set up frequent dives and communicate better in fights to shut down these kinds of picks.


You should still expect Caitlyn and Jhin to be amongst the most popular AD Carries, possibly alongside Ezreal and Ashe. Twitch and Vayne are still poor blind picks, but there’s now a reinforced probability of them showing up later into the draft when there’s more information on an opponent's composition.

 

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