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How Viable is MadstoneJungling?

 Oct 19, 2014  1287  2

If you watch Twitch TV often, you probably watch your fair share of League of Legends.  You have also probably heard of Trick2g, who is an extremely popular streamer in the League of Legends community.  Besides being an extremely talented player and entertainer, he has brought his own unique strategies to the table like any high-level streamer has done.  One of his signature Champions is Udyr, and one his signature strategies in the Jungle is called “Madstone.”  What this term roughly boils down to is quickly rushing a Madred’s Razor and a Spirit Stone.  Although you wouldn’t normally do this, because you can only have one gold-generating item at a time, and they both build into one, there are specific reasons for this itemization path.

The main concept behind Madstone is to give you amazing clear potential and sustain so you never have to leave the jungle.  With Udyr and a Madred’s Razor and a Spirit Stone your clears will be very quick, your mana will stay high even without having blue buff all the time, and you will be able to rush into a Feral Flare fairly quickly.  This also allows for a very fast dragon clear, if you are a particularly good, perhaps right when it first spawns. 

The key to Madstone lies in how fast you can clear, and when you can push the lanes when there is less of a threat from the enemy on the other side.  If used properly, like in the case of Trick2g, then Madstone Udyr can be an absolute game changer and it absolutely will secure you objectives.  However, there are many, many downfalls to this build, and I caution people from using it unless they really know what they are doing.

So what are the downfalls of Madstone?  First off, it is very dependent on your team composition.  If you are doing nothing but farming the jungle all day, and only occasionally pushing lanes in order to secure objectives, then that means your teammates are going to be playing without ganks.  If any of your lanes is performing poorly, you cannot be there to pick up the slack for them or camp their lane.  Madstone is highly contingent on the success of your team, and you really need to have teammates who know exactly what you are doing or they will be yelling at you all game for not ganking their lanes.  Furthermore, any jungler who has discovered what you are doing will be ganking hard in order to counter the fact that you aren’t ganking at all.  He might even camp the dragon when it spawns, fully knowing that you will probably go for a solo dragon very early on.  Madstone is a very high risk, high reward strategy that requires all cylinders of your team to be firing at the same time in order to pull off.  Another downfall of Madstone is trying to use in on anyone but Udyr.  It is easy to look at Trick2g’s success and think you can replicate it, but there is a reason he is such a well-known player with such a big following.  He is very good.  Many of us are not as skilled, and as such, we really need to know what we are doing before we go around trying to slap Madstone on other Champions just because they build into a Feral Flare.

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Most Evil and the Most Pure Champions LoL

 Oct 18, 2014  1588  1

There are many different motivations for characters in League of Legends.  On the subject of morality, some of them are very pure and good characters, while others are as evil as they come.  Let’s take a look at some of the motivations of the Champions and determine who the most pure and the most evil Champions are in Summoner’s Rift.

So who are the most evil Champions in Summoner’s Rift?  When it comes to pure terror in a small and cute package, Teemo and Veigar take the cake.  Teemo is a bit of a surprise, because upon first glance, he appears to be a very cute and sweet little guy.  If we delve into his lore however, we learn a much more dangerous truth.  He loves to go on solo missions, and loves the thrill of the hunt and the kill.  Although he is warm and inviting in person, on the battlefield he is an absolute terror.  Tristana says this about him: ''Teemo rides a thin line between chipper compatriot and unrepentant killer, but there's no one else I'd rather have as a friend.''Veigar is perhaps even more supremely evil.  Having been arrested for a crime he did not commit, he was locked up and imprisoned within Noxus for years.  After he finally escaped, he was a shadow of his former self.  He was driven mad and went to seek power from wizards across the land.  His motivations are to bring all of the city-states to their knees by using his powerful magic.

Besides the evil yordles, two other Champions stand out as being very evil characters.  Thresh is an evil and twisted reaper with a fascination for souls.  He used to be a sadistic jailer who would use chains to instill fear.  One day, his prisoners escaped, and hanged him by the very chains he used to torture them with.  Ever since then, he has been a relentless spirit intent on torturing the living souls he sets his sights on.  Singed is another contender.  He is a master alchemist who was enlisted under the apprenticeship of the famous Warwick.  After Warwick transformed into a wolf, Singed set about to terrorize the Ioanian troops.  He used his chemicals and concoctions on the troops, experimenting on them.  When there were no more troops left to use, he turned to his own body to run experiments on.

Now that we have looked at the evil Champions in Summoner’s Rift, who are the most pure and good ones?  Looking at the list, there are certainly more subjectively evil Champions then there are pure and good ones.  One of the good Champions that stands out is Karma.  She was once a tranquil and peaceful mystic who lived in a small Ionian village.  When the Noxian armies came to invade her town, the leading monks insisted on peace.  The troops were set to slaughter the town, but Karma used his spiritual powers to save the town.  Since then, she has combined the virtues of Ionian peace and war as a means necessary for protection.  So she only fights when she needs to.  Soraka is another very pure Champion.  She holds all living things close to her heart, and has protected the world of mortals as a celestial being.  She traded her immortality because evil threatened the world.  She only once turned on humanity, when Warwick betrayed her healing powers and slipped a knife in her ribs to thank her for her healing.  She seared his flesh with celestial powers to retaliate, but then vowed to leave her grove and heal people around the world who needed it.

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Does League of Legends Help You in Real Life?

 Oct 17, 2014  1167  3

League of Legends is a game that is composed of equal parts user skill, knowledge, manual dexterity, and strategy.  Part of the appeal of a game like League of Legends lies in the fact that it is simply designed game that holds a near limitless ceiling on player skill.  The learning curve for each Champion is different, and learning how to play with the strengths and weaknesses of each one is a unique experience.  If you play a lot of League of Legends, you may notice your skills in other areas, particularly games, have improved.  This is because in certain ways, League of Legends helps you become a better player, and a sharper person in general.

There is no doubt that League of Legends can make you a better gamer.  There is a lot of twitch gaming going on at all times in any given League match.  In order to be a good League player, you have to have lightning fast reaction times.  These reflexes will translate to other games and make you a better player overall.  I have noticed the most direct influence is actually in first-person shooting games, where twitch gaming is placed at a premium.  Outside of the reflexes you will gain from League, you will also learn map awareness.  Part of being a great League player is constantly being aware of your map, and knowing who is where at any given time.  This situational awareness may spill over into other games, once again first-person shooters come to mind.  In an FPS, we are usually confined to an arena, and most of the time we have some sort of radar or map.  Knowing where our opponents are is often a key to victory, and the situational awareness we have gained from League will definitely play a factor here.

We can talk about how League makes a better gamer in terms of concrete skills like twitch gaming and situational awareness, but what is it about League that truly determines in you win or lose?  Proper teamwork is that golden ingredient that separates a good player from a poor player.  In order to be successful in League, you have to be able to check your ego at the front door, and properly coordinate with four other players in order to achieve a common goal.  The benefits to learning communication, humility, and overall teamwork are very tangible.  Most team-based objective games will require these skills.  Outside of games though, your ability to communicate and work as a team will be a common theme in everyday life.  In school, you must often break off into teams to get work done.  Most certainly in work, you have to work as a team in order to do your job properly.  If you can learn to be a good communicator and team player in League, a game that takes a tremendous amount of dedication, skill, and patience, then there is no doubt that you can do it for your job in real life.

So the next time someone asks you how playing video games helps you in real life, you can tell them that League of Legends does a lot for making you a better person.  Your mental acuity will be sharper, your reflexes will be faster, and your awareness will be heightened.  Most importantly, your ability to communicate and work together on a team towards a common goal will be improved.  These are all very important skills that we can thank our favorite video game for providing us with.

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New Sion vs Old Sion

 Oct 16, 2014  2110  5

So Sion has received a pretty big rework, and over the next two weeks Riot will see whether or not he is well received by the community. At the moment people seem to like how he is, but many champs have gotten reworks only to be thrown back into the pool of unplayed champs after a couple of weeks. Don’t believe me? Look at Sejuaniand Soraka. These champions received significant reworks, having their abilities changed significantly, and while the changes aren’t quite as big as what Riot did to Sion, the pick rates for these champions stayed relatively the same. The main thing that the rework has to do is be good for the champion and make him meld with the current meta, and over the next few days we’ll see if that happens.

Essentially all of Sion’s abilities were changed, so lets go through them one at a time.

Pre-Rework Sion

Post-Rework Sion

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Learning Champions – Annie, the Dark Child

 Oct 15, 2014  1124  3

The scariest little girl in the League Annie was one of the first few champions released into the League of Legends in 2009 on the 21st of February. She is an AP mage that specializes in bursting down a target in one combo of her spells. She is an AP champion, and her primary resource is Mana.

Ability Breakdown and Uses

Annie’s passive is Pyromania. After Annie uses 4 spells, the next spell that damages enemies will stun everything it hits for a short time. This ability makes all of Annie’s offensive abilities a stun and can be used to inflict fear onto your opponents. When Annie has the Pyromania charged she’ll have a smoke ring circle her character and she will also briefly laugh, so your opponent will be fully aware if you have it up or not.

Annie’s first ability is Disintegrate. This is a single target Magic Damage spell that will refund the mana cost and reduce its cooldown if it kills an enemy. This is one of the strongest abilities to last hit with as its essentially free Pyromania stacks when you last hit with it. Additionally, the range on this isn’t that short so it’s good to catch people with on the stun. Find a good balance between last hitting with this and harassing your opponent. Max this ability first for the increased damage and reduced cooldown.

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The Best Champions for Peeling

 Oct 15, 2014  1241  4

For a lot of champions, it’s difficult to get away from tough assassins like Zed, Akali, and Kassadin. If champions like these manage to get onto your carries, your team will be met with a severe disadvantage in teamfights. This is why Peeling exists and why teams that can peel well for their carries will be able to turn the tide of any fight. While there are some items that let everyone on the team have peel, some champions are meant to peel with their ability kits.

To briefly explain peeling is the act of getting enemy champions off of your teammates, primarily through various forms of Crowd Control. Successful peels will allow your carries, whether it’s your marksman or your mid laner, to deal their damage safely while at the same time keep them from dying to enemy champions jumping on them. Peeling is very dependent on the champion that you have, but here are some of the best peelers in League of Legends. A lot of champions can peel, but the amount of utility these champions have make them some of the best peelers.

Lulu is probably the first thing people think of when they say "Peel," and it’s a well-deserved stereotype too. With Glitterlance she can slow enemy champions that would attempt to run at your team, and with Whimsy she can either speed her teammate up or slow down the enemy assassins. Additionally, with Help, Pix she can shield her allies and prevent them from dying. Lastly, if after all of that the enemy still manages to get to your carries, Wild Growth should prevent them from being able to stay on them. With a knock-up, HP gain, and AoE slow, Lulu can make anyone a knock-up bomb during teamfights.

People usually think the best Peelers would be in the support category, which is true. However I believe Nautilus holds a lot of potential both as a Tank-Initiator, and as a Tank-Peeler. To start his passive Staggering Blow roots an enemy he auto attacks for a short while, which should already stops them in their tracks. Additionally, he has Riptide and Dredge Line to slow and hook additional enemies. Lastly, he has Depth Charge to knock up a main target and additional enemies to let your carry escape.

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LoL Champions A-Z: Ashe -The Frost Archer

 Oct 14, 2014  851  3

The Frejlordian Archer was one of the first few champions to join the League of Legends in 2009 on the 21st of February. She is a Marksman who specializes more in utility than other Marksman champions. She is a physical damage dealer, and she uses mana as a resource for her abilities.

Ability Breakdown and Uses

Ashe's passive is Focus. After not being in combat for a few seconds, Ashe gains a stacks of Focus. When she has 100 stacks, the next auto attack she does will automatically crit, regardless of her current Crit Chance. This passive is very strong if you know how to use it to your advantage in lane.

Ashe's first ability is Frost Shot. This is a toggled ability. While on, Ashe consumes mana to make her auto attacks apply a movement slow that increases per level. This is a very strong tool to kite an enemy with or a great chasing tool for anyone thinking they can run away. This ability should be maxed second for its high levels of utility.

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What if League Champions Were Used in Other Games?

 Oct 14, 2014  2945  4

League of Legends is an awesome game.  We love the game so much because it is a game of skill and endurance.  We are given a set of Champions, and we must use our skills in order to come out on top and secure a win.  When teams are on the same page and avoiding toxic behavior, the teamwork involved in a game is second to none.  Perhaps most enjoyable is the very deep roster and set of characters in the game.  We love using our favorite characters, whether it is because of their name(please add link to unposted article “What’s in a Name”), or the way that they handle and play.  Sometimes I play League of Legends and I wonder, what else can be done with the characters?  Then it dawns on me…

We have already mused that League of Legends would translate well into other media forms, such as an animated series.  What if the Champions and overall world from League of Legends was transported into another game though?  Imagine the world of possibilities that such a crossover could bring.  This idea is not entirely unheard of.  There is already a fan game in development called League of Fighters that is being developed by Instaburst.  What League of Fighters does is essentially take part of the roster from League of Legends and pit them against one another in a fighting game.  It makes perfect sense on paper.  Champions in League of Legends have four primary skills, and this translates well into the mechanics found in fighting games.

Outside of League of Fighters, there is serious potential for both fan made games and for Riot themselves to make other games using their universe.  One potential game is an ARPG such as the Diablo series.  Imagine how fun a system could be based around the core skillsets of each Champion.  There could be loot in the form of the items found from the League of Legends shop, and this could be expanded on easily.  Skill paths and trees could be drawn on from the skills of each Champion, combined with runes and masteries.  The groundwork is there, and with such a unique and engaging roster, there would definitely be an incentive for players to keep coming back to the game.

The creative potential extends even farther.  An online trading card game is another possibility.  There are enough Champions in League of Legends that the game could remain fresh.  Items, minions, runes, and other things could be added as cards and suddenly you have enough cards to make a card game.  Another idea is a type of puzzle game such as Marvel Puzzle Quest.  These types of crossover puzzle games tend to do really well, especially on mobile devices.  Of course, no crossover game list would be complete without an MMO.  There is definitely groundwork in the League of Legends mega verse for an MMO, and it would be amazing.

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Will we properly choose the World Champion?

 Oct 13, 2014  960  1

With the World Finals coming up and the numbers of teams being reduced down to the final two, I want to take this opportunity to compare the different tournament style Riot has employed. For the group stages it was dependent on how many wins the team got in their group, and for the semi-finals onward it will be determined by a best of 5 match between two teams. The team that loses will be eliminated, and the team that won will advance after 3 wins. This was how the World Finals found themselves being played since season 1, although back then it was a Best of 3 match. After Fnatic's 2 - 1 Victory against team aAa(Against All Authority), the World Finals have been a best of 5 matches. TPA won against AZF(Azubu Frost) 3 - 1, and SKT T1 won against Royal Club 3 - 0.

However, many other tournaments follow a single elimination tournament, and while those tournaments aren't capable of gathering every team out there into one big tournament like Riot has, a lot of small tournaments that are run end up really successful. Team Ranked Games are similar in that when you go against a team you go up against them once, win or lose. So which one is a better scale for finding out which team is better?

At first thought you'll say the best of 5 matches that Riot tournaments currently utilize. However, let's think about how these tournaments tend to be set up. Teams learn ahead of time who they are playing against and are able to strategize against them. The teams are able to think of strategies, team comps, and rotations in order to counter the specific team they are playing against. While both sides are able to investigate the opponent they will be playing, this is still an unpredictable advantage for both teams.

In contrast to that, when essentially going in blind against another team, your team has to rely on their own abilities and take the risk of letting a specific champion through the ban phase. In the end the pick and ban phase is reliant on your team’s champion pool and individual tactics rather than trying to limit the pool of the other team. Is this a better way to determine which teams perform better? I am not able to make a final decision as a neutral party, but I am simply putting facts out there.

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How to Bring Back a Losing Lane

 Oct 11, 2014  2103  6

If you get behind in lane, you'll find yourself losing CS and EXP to your opponent, which might as well be the same as feeding him kills. After around 20 CS or so, your opponent will have the same amount of gold as a kill would give him. So if your opponent has 30, 40, or even 50 CS above you, you'll find yourself at an early disadvantage. If your lane has an advantage over you, then their team will have an advantage during teamfights. In order to prevent that, here are some ways to continue farming and not get too far behind.

Last Hitting: I previously wrote an article that talked about Harrassing and Freezing. If your opponent is doing that properly, your only option is to last hit with any way possible. For most champions, that means using their long range abilities or skillshots to hit minions far away. This way will make it so that you get some farm and your opponent won't be able to jump on you. However, if you're not familiar with the amount of damage that your champion does, you may find this to be difficult to do. Your opponent may also opt to just tank the damage you throw to prevent you from last hitting. If he does he takes the risk of letting you get the advantage in the lane, but last hitting should be a higher priority.

Roam: If your opponent isn't pushing the lane very hard and you have nothing to do, don't waste your time. If you're top you should be ganking mid or bot and securing objectives with your team as 5. When the enemy team sees that all 5 of you are together and their top lane is still top, they have to let you take objectives like Dragon or Towers. If you manage to get some kills then you are also helping your team. You can also pick up a few minions here and there in the other lanes. If you have TP this will be a lot easier since your lane opponent will have a hard time stopping you under your turret.

Ask Your Jungler To Camp: This is probably the most shameless way to get back into the game, but it can be the most effective. If your Jungler goes to your lane a lot, not only does it pressure your lane opponent, but it lets you go back to the minion wave and get some Gold and XP. If your Jungler is very good, the both of you can keep killing your lane opponent and eventually give you the advantage in the lane. Keep in mind that when you ask your Jungler there is a certain amount of etiquette that you should follow. Don't rage when your Jungler doesn't come when you ask him to. He didn't lose your lane, you did, and if the Jungler feels that his priorities should lie elsewhere, that's his decision.

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