Monday, September 10, 2012

LoL - A Close Second

If Morgana is my favorite champion, then Caitlyn has swiftly risen to a close second. She is completely win in almost every way. I even dig that she's not completely over-the-top sexy like most of the other female characters. In a League dominated by impressive cleavage, she's very sheriff-next-door.

The sound of her crazy steam-punk sniper rifle is completely satisfying. I feel like a badass killing minions. Boom, headshot. Perfect.

As I approach 30, it seems to me that the way to go, at least for a newbie summoner (and I consider anyone still trying to hit 30 for the firs time a "newbie"), is to find two playstyles you're comfortable with and the build accordingly. For instance, I've tried many champions at this point, and have decided that melee life is just not for me. I'm terrible on it. I become a feeder. It doesn't matter if it's AP, AD, or tank. I need range.

Are there any true ranged tanks in LoL? If so, I've not found them yet. Morgana seems to come pretty close. I can build her so that she's a good instigator and can take a beating. The higher I get, the more important it is to have at least one tanky character. Late team play gets really tough without them.

With my proclivity toward ranged, this pretty much leaves me with AP carry, AD carry, or adopting a support role. I wanted, then, to become proficient with both an AP and AD champion. I like to think I'm generally carry, but the truth is I probably play support most of the time. There's always That Guy on your random team that thinks he's the greatest. I've found that it's far more productive to support him, bail his ass out, and make sure he becomes the true Power Overwhelming that he is in his mind. (I'm using the male pronoun, but it could be a she or it as well. Just roll with the stereotype, please.)

I should mention that That Guy isn't always wrong. I'm not saying that it's always a made up awesomeness. I've run into some players that really knew how to carry a team, and I'm happy to tack on assists to their kill count. Needless to say, I don't much subscribe to the complaining about "KS" magazine. I'm just find with having 20+ assists and less than five deaths.

My AP "slot" has been inhabited by Morgana for some time now. She's my "go-to," especially when no one steps up to take mid. I can provide a solid mid player. In an effort to improve my flexibility, I wanted to learn a solid AD ranged champion, and be able to support a tank in a lane (or another carry). It had been open tryouts for some time.

Miss Fortune filled the slot first. However, her skill set leaves something to be desired as far as I'm concerned. She seems to have very little in terms of escape. I die a lot more than I'd like to on her, and end up feeling like a glorified turret. There's just not a whole lot of nuance to be had, at least as far as my newbie opinion is concerned.

Caitlyn was free this week, so I decided to give her a go. I'd certainly been killed enough by the sniper shot of doom that I was curious. She did not disappoint. In her skill set, I find everything that I'd lacked with MF. Traps to help others escape and annoy. A blow back to take me quickly out of range. And a deadly finishing move to finish off the runners. I have to say, playing Cait feels glorious.

I'm not great yet, not nearly as smooth as I am with Morgana, but I think I'm swiftly improving. I'm using both of my mastery pages to support these two champions. One AD carry build, one AP carry build. I've only really got the runes for my AP carry page (and even that is a work in progress), but using that isn't completely awful for Caitlyn. I still feel effective (and, perhaps more important, am a real bitch to kill).

I've developed what I think is the "key" to LoL victory. Nothing groundbreaking, I assure you, but I've found that most teams can weather a bad or learning player, so long as that player keeps their deaths low. I don't always have to play stellar to contribute. I just have to not feed. Feeding is really the cardinal sin, even if you balance it with an equal number of kills. You need to strive to be positive, or at least keep the numbers low in order to not hurt your teammates. I'm very good at keeping the numbers low.

Once I get a better feel for the nuances of Cait, I could see where she could be a very frustrating opponent. I'm learning to use traps better, to use the blowback to leap hedges (in a single bound), and trying to improve on gauging the strength of my ultimate so that I can get enemies low enough before they try to run away (there's an art there). In the mean time, I'm keeping my numbers low (and contributing to victories).

Oh, and did I mention the sniper sounds? Yeah, the Sheriff of Piltover is just plain fun.


  1. It sounds like you are really getting the hang of this game. Cait is a fun champ and this is the first week that I actually did decent with her. I started the same way as you did and now I feel I can play most champs decently. I mostly play AD ranged carries and use a few AP champs if the team needs them. Lately though my go to champ has been Shyvana. She was the first big purchase I made and I failed miserably with her at first. Now I hop on games and am normally involved with almost every kill and have minimal deaths. The true key to melee champs is to not go in on your own unless its another melee. Know your limits. For instance Shyvana has a double strike for Q, AOE damage aura for W(also increases movement speed for 3 seconds), a ranged skillshot E that lowers armor and does some magic damage, and her ult turns her into a dragon that turns every attack into an AOE(and pushes people back + deals magic damage with the initial transformation). If I am fighting any champ alone I will use the E for a ranged attack and lowering their armor then pop my W aura for the speed, quick run in and Q then run right back out. Its just like a ranged auto attack poke(except it deals some decent damage). Most melee champs have a combo like this. Garen can silence then whirlwind in and out, Tryn can slow and whirlwind in and run out.

    As for ranged tanks there are none, however most of them have a ranged skill. Amumu can bandage toss and pull in then use all his aoe skills and run out. Malphite has a ranged movement speed steal(works awesome on a Warwick that is getting bonus speed from his blood scent). Nautilus can pull enemies in then use his aoe slow. The key with tanks is build as much HP and armor or magic resist(depends on enemy team which one you need more of.

    The only sad part about your selection is that Morg is almost always the first champ banned in ranked play. However if you ever end up as the team leader or a friend does where one of you can pick her you will almost always have a guarenteed victory.

    Sorry for another comment wall of text. You're one of the few good writers who plays LoL(I used to read for WoW, but I quit playing that).

  2. No problem and thanks for reading! I doubt you're the only person lurking around here that has quit/taken a break from WoW.

    My backup for Morg right now is Twisted Fate for AP. He seems great in a support role. I imagine I'll be playing more Cait. I do have a list of other AP champs I'm waiting to try when they go free.

  3. Twisted is a lot of fun with the micro management of his Pick a Card skill. There aren't too many warlocky champs right now sadly. Swain is the only other one that I can think of. He has a slowing leash attack, a snare, a dot that increases damage done by his other skills and an ult that launches 3 crows that pick random targets that return health to you while draining his mana bar. His passive helps out with the ult by returning mana for each last hit he gets.

  4. Yeah, I've played as Swain. He seemed a bit more difficult than Morgana I thought. I played her after trying him and was in love.

    Someone mentioned Malzahr (I think that's the spelling), and Cassiopeia. Said they had similar playstyles.

  5. Malzahar was the first 6300 AP champ I played and loved him, but he never seems to be free. He has an aoe like Morg's, a wall silence that requires great positioning, a dot, and a supressing dot ult. Plus his passive gives him a minion every 4 spell casts.

    As for Cass I have never played her, but whenever I play against her she always seems to get early kills and snowballs into a face melting machine.

  6. So definitely worth trying out :-).