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Where Azir Will Stand in the Current Meta

 Aug 29, 2014  3420  10

Riot revealed their newest champion, Azir, to be a mage with an emphasis on his movable soldiers. By summoning his soldiers and using his Q, he is able to constantly deal damage to enemies near the soldiers. In a sense he is like Heimerdinger except instead of stationary turrets, Azir has movable soldiers as his main source of damage. How, he is only capable of doing sustained damage both in lane and in teamfights but he does still have some burst in order to kill people.

After seeing a few games of Azir on the PBE, I didn't see anything spectacular about Azir's damage output. Granted he can prove to be a very capable harasser, but unless you have a good sense of where your soldiers are you won't be dealing any damage to enemies.

If we were to think about other sustained damage AP champions, the few that come to mind are Swain, Karthus, and even Amumu. However, these champs are very rarely played, and I think the same will be for Azir. As the newest champ he will get a lot of attention during the first week or two after his release, and unless people find a way for him to be really strong he'll just join the League as the 121st champion. If we look at the previously released champs, Braum was considered overpowered during his release, and now he's not played quite as much as before. Same with Gnar, who had a lot of hype during the first week and is no longer considered a high priority pick for top lane.

However, I do see some potential in Azir for a couple of reasons. One, with 40% cooldown reduction, Azir can summon up to 3 soldiers for fights and can deal A LOT of damage. Two, proper use of his ultimate can split the enemy team and allow your team to pick off the people who are trapped. Three, his passive can create another target for a fight if you're fighting near a destroyed turret. Lastly, if you can properly manage your soldiers and their attacks, you can essentially deal damage without having to be in range of the actual teamfight.

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First look at LoL Client and Patcher Update

 Aug 27, 2014  1514  3

Exciting news is on the horizon for League of Legends.  Riot has planned a major overhaul, redesign, and redevelopment of the League of Legends Client itself.  This is great news, as it seems pretty rare that we get fundamental changes to any part of League of Legends.  This current redevelopment of the League of Legends client probably fits in the with the design philosophy behind the upcoming visual update of Summoner’s Rift.

So what exactly will be changing in the future?  The first stages of the visual client update will fundamentally change the way that the Patcher and the Client Landing Page look.  These new visuals have been shared on the PBE Live Experience, alongside some new essential technology.  The “client” that is mentioned references to the entire technology that supports the pre-gaming experience.  Riot has stated that the alterations to the system as a whole are made in an effort to bring further stability to League of Legends.

As you can see from the official pictures, the overhaul looks beautiful.   The Patcher component of the client features deeper color hues, bigger pictures, and an overall more modern appearance.  All of the external linking has taken the form of panels, in favor of the original listing of links below the Patcher.  The Client Patcher Progress Bar has been moved to the top of the Client, and has a sleeker design itself.

What about the Client Landing Page?  This is perhaps the most exciting overhaul, as you can see by the picture.  Icons have taken a more visually appetizing appearance, and they blend better with the overhaul background of the Client Landing Page.  Major League of Legends News takes center focus, and the current League of Legend Champion rotation is listed below that.  We can also see in the listing of Champion rotation that each Champion has their ability parameters highlighted, as Draven can attest to.  This will give players a quicker cursory look at the strengths and weaknesses of the current free Champions for the week.  To the right of this are panels containing smaller news stories.  The familiar Friends List, Messaging, and Game Alert icon are at the bottom right of the Client Landing Page, with a sexier color scheme.  At the top of the screen is the same “Play” button to start a match, and the Player Level, Settings, and RP and IP counts are still in the upper right.

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Top Solo the Minotaur Alistar

 Aug 27, 2014  336  1

The once popular couple cooperation bottom lane champion, The Minotaur Alistar, has slowly faded from the summoners’ mind due to the development of supports and the designing of new champions. However, with a small fix, Alistar made a remarkable comeback again as a top solo, which caused great disturbance to top solo players who countered against him. Harassing with the cooperation of W and Q, it will not let you supply the minions. The HP regeneration of E allows the champion to retain blood during the transfusion period, and no champion wants to counter him since his ult does 70% damage at level 6. It is an easy thing for Alistar to cross turrets because his R turret attacks are fairly effective.

Generally speaking, top solo Alistar mainly uses W and secondarily uses Q to supply HP, and reach full HP after E at level 1. W is a ranged skill, and it is also Alister’s burst skill. When W is cast to your enemies, at the same time you can you can cast to the enemies, at the same time you can use auto-attack to consume them. After several times, you will realize the opponent does not have much blood left. Pay attention, if you can’t use W well, that means you are saving the life of your enemy. Therefore, you need to know the right opportunity when casting W. Q's AOE effects are very obvious in team fights, so if your teammate selects Yasuo, you can cooperate with his ult. The famous skill of Alistar’s WQ link is something that most players are able to manage, but if you can’t master them freely, then find some wild monsters to practice on them. 

The core items of Alister are Trinity Force, Statikk Shiv and Frozen Heart. If you are at an advantage, then you can first use Statikk Shiv instead of the Frozen Heart. Due to the existence of Alistar’s ult, he does not need to buy more defensive items, which will make sure he has enough output. Later in the game, Alistar can provide more damage by auto-attack instead of skills. Trinity Force can comprehensively improve Alistar’s ability, such as the magical bonus provides high output by casting W, Q, E and passive skills in the early game as well higher damage when transfusing blood with the opponent. At the same time, its own regeneration ability has been improved a little. Statikk Shiv can provide Alistar the needed attacking speed and mobility, which lets Alistar provide enough AOE damage. The Frozen Heart can restrain the opponent's physical output champion, and its provided mana and cool-down lets Alistar better use its skill combo. At the same time, Frozen Heart allows Alistar to gain tank ability. Once you can properly use the R skill, regardless whether you lose in the team fight, you will be the last one standing. In the later game, as long as the gap is not too wide, the team with Alistar can easily start a team fight or cross the turret. Alistar’s R can reduce 70% damage as well as allow Alistar to initiate and deal with most of the damage in place of his teammates. You also need to remember that Alistar has a strong backhand ability.

About the runes, I mainly use the red mark of double penetration, Quintessence of Resilience, Seal of Health or Seal of Armor and Glyph of Magic Resist. The mastery chooses the 21/9 as an attack mastery. I recommend you to choose Flash as a summoner’s skill, because W and Q's existence makes the support ability very strong. 

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NA Spectator Server Data Announcement

 Aug 26, 2014  297  1

As Riot's NA spectator server is experiencing issues, NA match data and replay are now incomplete on our Power pages. As soon as Riot fixes the problem, data and replay will be complete again for NA matches. Thank you for your understanding!

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LoL Champions A-Z: Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox

 Aug 26, 2014  1328  4

Ahri is a mid laner that specializes in charming and isolating one of the enemy champions away and killing them before engaging with her team. She uses mana as her primary resource, and her damage is all magical.

Ability Breakdown and Uses

Ahri’s passive is Essence Theft. Whenever Ahri uses a spell she gains a stack of Essence Theft, with a maximum of 3 per spell. Once she gets 9 stacks, Ahri’s next spell will heal her according to how many people the spell hit. This passive provides Ahri with sustain in lane and has no real offensive purposes. It’s pretty easy to accumulate 9 stacks since 3 out of 4 of Ahri’s spells can grant 3 stacks, so as long as you have the mana you can get the sustain out of it. The amount healed is dependent on how many targets you hit your next spell with, so when you see the indicator that this passive is up or when you see your orb turn green you should utilize it fully by using Orb of Deception next.

Ahri’s first ability is Orb of Deception. This is Ahri’s main damage skill and should be maxed first in lane. The main mechanic behind this ability is the fact that it launches the orb in the target direction and then comes back to Ahri, just like Sivir’s Boomerang Blade – however, it does damage on the way back which can be particularly powerful. The size of the orb is pretty standard, so it’s not particularly hard to hit people with, but it won’t be a surprise if you miss a few of them here and there. If you manage to hit people at the very tip of the ability, both instances of its damage will proc at around the same time, giving this ability a lot of unexpected burst.

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Yordles Practicality Report

 Aug 25, 2014  1083  2

As the cutest race in League of Legends, Yordles are loved by lots of summoners. However, after altering the recent versions, Yordles are not only loveable, but also has strong abilities. Let’s have a look at how the Yordles control the whole Summoner’s Rift. 

Omnipotent Yordles: Lulu

Currently, Lulu is the leader of Yordles. Born as a support, she can bring lots of buffs to the whole team in the current version and you can always see her appearance in the professional matches. What’s more, Lulu is a comprehensive champion. You can use her as a mid solo, top solo or support. In these positions, Lulu has great performance. This fully confident Yordles is full of childishness, combined with her faerie companion Pix, uses her performance in the professional matches to tell us that, it is the era of the supports and carries in Season 4, and she will become the most comprehensive champion in the history of League of Legends. 

The strongest ADC: Tristana

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Tactics of Starting Items

 Aug 23, 2014  800  1

League of Legends is an e-sport, details often determined the result. You often see teammates who entered the game randomly point their skills in the fountain. Generally speaking, it is not a good habit. Never point too early when you don't know what can happen after leaving the town. It is also not a good habit to buy the starting items too early. Below, I will give you some examples to explain why the habits are not good.

Top solo Ryze is very popular recently. Although he has bad escaping ability, if you can continue farming past 30 minutes, no one can potentially defeat you at this time. Generally speaking, the starting items of Ryze are Cloth Armor and Elixir of Fortitude. When laning against Tryndamere, if you take the Cloth Armor and 5 pieces of Elixir of Fortitude, you will miss the victory. Lots of players may think there is no fault in dealing with physical top solo in Cloth Armor. However, there are differences in fact. When countering the champions with ranged skills such as Pantheon and Gangplank, it is absolutely right to bring the cloth armor as your starting item. It can effectively prevent being consumed but when countering champions such as Tryndamere and Fiora, regardless that they are physical champions; they do not mainly rely on consumption. Once you make a mistake on position and are attacked two twice plus E skill, you may be killed. The Cloth Armor is useless in this case. If you take the Sapphire Crystal, you can increase your output as well as quickly craft the Tear of the Goddess, which is undoubtedly the best choice.

Katarina is also a popular mid lane champion that we can see in ranked matches. I found that lots of players like taking Boots of Speed as a starting item. It is not a good choice. As an inferior champion in laning, she will be consumed and suppressed by the other champions. 4 pieces of Elixir of Fortitude can hardly let you safely experience the laning period. Doran's Shield is a better choice, the effect of passive life steal and damage reduce can greatly increase Katarina’s laning ability. The mobility of the boots cannot bring any advantage to her except when the opponents have weak champions such as Karthus. Talking about the Boots of Speed, I have to say that, to lots of laning champions it is not equal between its price and its value in the early period, especially the boots at level 1.

There is another jungling champion I have to say, Fiddlesticks. The starting items of Fiddlesticks are also varied, such as Doran's Ring, Hunter's Machete and 4 pieces of Elixir of Fortitude, and Mejai's Soulstealer. After analyzing carefully, you will find that the Hunter's Machete, 2 pieces of Elixir of Fortitude and 1 ward are the best choice when playing jungling Fiddlesticks. You can ensure the efficiency of jungling whilst protecting your vision from being invaded. Other choices are far too risky, if you were caught; chances are you will lose everything.  

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When to Chase – The Five-Second Rule

 Aug 22, 2014  3010  6

In League of Legends, we all want to be the hero.  Getting kills in League is a satisfying and rewarding experience.  We are given a bonus to our gold reserves, a special caption appears with our accomplishment, and we have the inner satisfaction of knowing that we bested another opponent.  Feats like Double-Kills, Triple-Kills, Quadra-Kills, and the elusive Penta-Kill further serve as a siren call for us to utterly devastate the competition in League of Legends.

There is no doubt that any successful win in League of Legends revolves partially around securing kills on the enemy champs.  However, this is only part of the story.  Have you ever faced against a fed Katarina and won despite being behind a good number of kills on the scoreboard?  That’s because kills aren’t the sole route to victory in League of Legends; they are just a part of it.

Success is determined by a myriad of factors in the game.  Farming CS, securing objectives, and pushing waves of creeps wins games.  Proper selection of complimentary champions before the match begins helps to determine how easy or hard this is, but it is ultimately a means to an end.  League of Legends requires everyone to play some sort of role, no matter how seemingly small.  Perhaps when you were being owned by that fed Katarina, your Udyr helped you to win the game by split-pushing and grabbing a tower when he could.  Or maybe your tanky team composition helped you overcome her burst damage.  Whatever the case may be, there is always things going on both in front of and behind the scenes in any given League of Legends match.

This brings me to an important point.  If kills are only a part of the bigger picture, then why do we chase the enemy for kills, committing all sorts of deadly sins in the process?  It can usually first be observed early on – one champ in lane is in the danger zone, and the opponent has a good amount of life left.  Thinking he can tower dive successfully, he goes in, secures the kill, but gives out a kill in the process.  Or maybe its mid-game and you notice the enemy Teemo is almost dead, and you chase him anyways.  He kites you and mushrooms you to death, and you end up not even getting a kill.  Don’t worry, we forgive you for wanting to get the jump on Teemo, who wouldn’t?

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Whether to Raise The Standards of Ranked Matches?

 Aug 21, 2014  3668  11

With the recent establishment of the Master team, the subject on whether to raise the standard became popularized. Currently, the bar is set quite low to attend ranked matches. You only need to reach level 30 and have 16 champions, you can attend the ranked matches. 

Let’s have a look at the low standard. Nowadays, there are 8 champions only requiring 450 gold in League of Legends, and there are 16 champions only requiring 1350 gold. That is to say, once you just have at least 14,400 gold to buy the 16 champions, you can meet one of the standards. To 14,400 gold, you can collect all by average 100 gold per match after playing 144 matches. As we all know, we can have 100 extra gold rewards by the first victory each day in League of Legends. In fact, you can collect all the gold by attending fewer matches. 

Among 144 matches, if all are Summoner's Rift, some beginners can master the usage of 1~2 champions. However, it’s a pity that to most of the beginners, the 144 matches, half or even more are Co-op vs. AI or All Random All Mid, which are less competitive. As a result, these modes can’t highly improve the operation of the players. 

Besides, if a beginner uses all his gold to buy new champions for the sake of meeting the standards of ranked matches, then he will encounter severe problems; or rune. Generally speaking, in ranked matches, we need at least 2 sets of runes, one set of AP and one set of AD. Before the platinum, they are enough to satisfy the player's needs. The price of these 2 sets of rune are about 28,000~29,000 gold.

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Support’s professional quality

 Aug 20, 2014  1822  4

After playing rank matches for a while, you may become confused about support as your ranking upgrades, which is the same for me. Before the Diamond tier, I was good at top solo. However, I stayed in Diamond V for quite a long time. Basically, every Diamond player will play support and they can play the role quite well. I think there are still some details they haven't notice. In solo queue, I think it relies on the player’s ability in laning, but in later game team fight; it relies on the support’s professional quality to win.

To best play the support, the first thing you have to learn is when to appear in certain positions. Only after you know how to do it, will you know what is unexpected. For example, in one of my ranked games, I played Annie as support. The opposing side was a double junglers lineup. At level 2, the ADC and I pushed the minions to the opposing turret. When I went back to the mid lane, the opposing mid solo was Orianna, and our mid solo was Katarina. After I helped Katarina to get the first blood, her laning pressure reduced a lot.

Support, it is never one person’s support. It’s the whole team’s support. It is indeed the support’s responsibility to protect the ADC for better development. However, it’s not the support’s only responsibility. No matter for the jungle area or the mid lane, timely support can change the situation dramatically.

To sum up, I think most supports are suitable to use boots as early as possible. However, it’s not absolute. Only when you are in a favorable situation can you have the chance to support or gank better. When you are in an unfavorable situation, you absolutely have no chance to do that. If you insist on doing that, the ADC is at the risk of being killed. ADC may cause the bottom lane to be in an unfavorable situation. However, whether or not the bottom lane can obtain more advantages relies completely on the support’s ability.

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