Thursday, July 12, 2012

LoL - Morgana Ability Primer

I found the Warlock in League of Legends. Finally. Okay, so she's actually a fallen angel, but she plays like a Warlock, or at least the playstyle feels like coming home to me.

I'd been just randomly choosing characters in my first few play sessions. I love the fact that the free to play champions rotate weekly. It makes a whole lot of sense. You can play every one and never pay or, like me, when you find the one you're looking for, plop down some IP for the character and RP for a cool skin. (I went with Blackthorn, fwiw. Looked awesome.)

I'd been searching for a toon that was both decent at minion farming, but could really bring the pain to champions. So far, I'd felt like I'd either gotten one or the other. They were either bearish to level up, or ineffective at snagging me those all-too-important champion kills. I've done a few melee, a few ranged, and a few glass-cannon mage-types. They all left something to be desired.

I'm sure better/more experienced players than I can make those other toons into stone cold killers. As a Warlock, I require a certain amount of deviousness to my playstyle. While I believe I can play decently with any of the champions, I do have very specific set of skills. Skills that make me a nightmare for a player like you....

The point here is that champions are not one size fits all, at least in my limited experience. I enjoy a specific playstyle (my infatuation with DoTs and corrupted abilities is not unique to WoW, though it doesn't always take the "evil toon" form. For instance, in the old Final Fantasy MMO, I was a Red Mage.) Finding the champion that fit me was pretty much priority #1. Morgana is that champion.

I called this a "primer" and then rambled on for five paragraphs. Apologies. It would have been hard to fill a whole post with abilities though, as in League of Legends you basically have four. Morgana's are as follows:
  • Dark Binding - An aim and fire spell that will root the first thing it hits. Also does a decent amount of damage at higher levels.
  • Tormented Soil - This is a black circle of death. Does damage over time as well as applying a magic debuff. It works well for farming, and is great for weakening champions.
  • Black Shield - Only works against magical attacks, but blocks interrupts and stuns so that you or a buddy can escape.
  • Soul Shackle - The super ability. This one links you up with nearby enemy champions, does a good deal of damage to them, slows them, and explodes if you stay close.This is the champion-killer.
I need to do some research on the optimal order to buy items. I'm sure that information exists, I've just not really looked. For now, I just snag the recommended items in order. I go through mana like crazy. For my marks and seals, I'm focusing on ability buffs, cooldown reductions, and mana regen.

In game, I tend to farm minions from afar, slapped down TS until Soul Shackle is unlocked. I'll alternate between leveling DB and TS, as Dark Binding is useful when running away. I save Black Shield for last, as it seems the less useful of the four early on.

I'm still developing a lot of my strategies, but there are generally two ways I get kills. First, I'll try to lure a champion away so that we're 1-on-1. Then I bind them, throw TS beneath them, and go to town. If I have Soul Shackle, the damage wave is pretty intense. If they don't run away, they're probably going to go down.

The second way is to bait melee champions. I'll be standing in a cloud of minion and they charge in, expecting me to run like a normal caster. When they get close, I pop Soul Shackle and throw down TS. I save DB for when they've realized their mistake.

It's a nifty little playstyle, relying heavily on good timing and aim. Right now, with cooldowns basically a full (I am a newb), missing with a DB is awful. I can't afford to misplace my mana-expensive abilities. Hopefully, through seals and mastery, I'll be able to give myself a little more wiggle room.

I believe Morgana is pretty unique in that she's a caster with strong abilities, but also has a decent amount of survivability. Most of the other casters feel fragile. Morgana feels like a warlock. She regains health through damaging, and can take a little bit of a beating.

She also has wings that are burning in her Blackthorn skin. How can you beat that?


  1. Morgana is a great pick, one of my favourite mid champion. But if you plan on trying ranked games be aware she'll be banned in 95% of them. I'd advise to check Cassiopeia as she plays a bit similary ( also leaves stuff on ground).

  2. Yeah, definitely not there yet. I'd heard/read something about how that works. Sort of like selecting a grand jury or something? Crazy. But yeah, it'll be a good idea to have backups.

    1. Basiccaly, before selecting your champion captain of both teams (1st person from top) will take turns in banning champions (6 total) - making them un-usable in that game.
      And as Morgana is nasty/safe pick she'll be there more often than not ;)

  3. Just as someone surfing the web and as someone who went from loving Aff warlocks to playing LoL several years ago, have you tried Malzahar? Take 1 in each skill, then focus R>E>W>Q and learn to bounce E off multiple targets and hit enemies with the E-W-R(F for Ignite) combo. It's very, very familiar to aff warlock players.

  4. Awesome suggestion. I'll look for him to go F2P and give him a try. It's always good to have options for the blind draft mode.

    I actually have a running note on my desk now. Morgana just happened to be the first one I could try for free that I felt immediately comfortable with.

    1. Feel free to hit me up anytime you want some training - I helped one of my friends up from 25 to 30, got some master class training myself from a guy with 8-900 wins when I was around 400, and then went on to train up two of our other friends to level 30, and two others to around 10-15. I'm on AIM as PratzStrike.

    2. Alas, I don't do AIM anymore. Thanks for the offer though. I'm not in a hurry to level, just casually derping around right now. (Which, derping for me does include doing a bit of napkin min/maxing. Go figure.)

  5. Morgana is my go-to AP champion in the middle when I'm in the mood to pub stomps. Normally, you'll want to max out Tormented Soil first. The stronger the AoE, the faster you can farm minions. Just lay the carpet down, watch the gold roll in. I'd suggest going for a Rod of Ages first (with a boots level 1 somewhere in there). Rod gives you the health, the mana, and the tankiness along with firepower to help you hold your own in the middle.

    Look into a Zhonya's as well. It's got the on use ability to turn yourself into a statue rendering you immune (Tip: Remember you can activate your items using numbers 1-6 on the keyboard instead of right clicking them, handy in a pinch). The trick is you want to use your Soul Shackle first THEN your Zhonya's. The channeling and DPS from Soul Shackle will still continue to fire while you're immune. They can't stun you, CC you, or kill you at all until the immunity effect wears off. And when it does, the stun effect from Soul Shackle kicks in leaving the enemy team completely at the mercy of yours.

    Final tip: When you Soul Shackle, 9 times out of 10, you want to run INTO them and chase them. It takes a few seconds before the stun activates (and you want that stun to go off).

    I have so many more nifty tricks and tips but I don't want to overwhelm you! :( But enjoy her!

    1. I hopped over to PvP this past weekend, still having a blast. So far, I tend to be one of the fastest levelers, and my kill counts vary widely based on how the game goes. Either way, I'm not usually detriment, which really is my goal (don't make an ass of myself).

      Typically, I snag a Doran's ring, then rod, then hat, then hourglass. That's been my basic progression and it seems to work out well.

      The running INTO the crowd takes a bit of getting used to. As a caster, my natural instinct is to run away. I gotta remember that the ulti is "blood in the water" time. Feed, shark, feed!

  6. Morgana is a very fun champ. I normally grab an early Amplifying Tome or boots, 1 health pot, and 2 mana pots. After that rush sorcerer's boots and either rod of ages for more sustain and survivability or rabadon's deathcap for burst. Make sure to get a void staff or abyssal scepter late game for more spell pen.

    For builds I normally use You can search for guides for any champion (which is really useful when trying a new champ out). This will tell you which runes and masteries to get. Just remember to be flexible with your builds. If a build says to get say an item with armor with only 1 AD champ and 4 AP champs than get a similar magic resist item.

    My advise though - Save that IP for level 20+. Buying runes at low levels is useful and cheap, but they don't make enough of a difference. The tier 3 runes are expensive when you need to get 27 runes and 3 quints(which cost more then some champs do).

    1. I've been focusing all my money on upgrades, almost never getting pots. I should probably try to work some of those in, shouldn't I?

      That mobafire site is good stuff. I found it partway through last week (just a general search for Morgana LoL build turns it up). I'm more or less using the most popular build on there.

      By the time I get to 20+, if I'm feeling underpowered, I'm not averse to throwing down some cash for runes. I already bought a skin for Morgana. I see it as supporting the game for the enjoyment I get. That is, it was easy to say I've already gotten $10 of fun out of the game. By the time I get to 20, I'm sure I can justify more.

      That's really why I'm growing fond of this whole F2P model. I'm a little hesitant on games that gate content behind payments and the like... but a game that lets me choose between grinding (time) and paying (money), I'm okay with that. It's sort of like the company is saying, "We believe in our product, and will let it speak for itself. There are no gimmicks here." The Riot team really seems to put value in their content. The skins are gorgeous, for instance. Purely cosmetic, but you can tell thought and enjoyment goes into them.

    2. I'm afraid you're in for a surprise than - runes are available only for IP, so grind, grind ;)

    3. Yeah. I learned that after posting this comment. Oh well. I've done worse grinds, and I'm not shooting for any specific ladder rating. Just having fun.