8-20's Red Posts: Xypherous on GA and Top Lane

Posted on at 12:37 AM by Moobeat
Today's small batch of red posts features two informative, although not definitive, posts from Xypherous, an Associate Technical Designer, about the current power level of the Guardian Angel and about Riot's plans to "fix up" top lane.
Xypherous mentioned that Guardian Angel is on his radar. He talked a bit about how GA is commonly a "lose/lose" situation for the team playing against it and then he proposed a possible solution to keeping GA a viable option, but making it a bit more of a tactical decision:
".... make the item give almost zero statistics but be cheaper - then you actually have to make a decision between an stats and GA, instead of GA just always being generally good.

Mostly because by the time GA is properly explosive - Gold is less of a relevant concern as it tends to be super late game. Making them pay via slot cost seems to be the stronger disincentive at the moment."
It's important to remember that this isn't meant to be taken an announcement of future changes for GA, but is simply one of the Rioters thinking out loud about a potential remedy to such an iconic item. We know Xypherous has been devoting a lot of time to items lately, perhaps this is just the first item he is looking into altering.


Xypherous also briefly talked about Riot's plan to take a deeper look at some problems plaguing top lane and the popular top lane picks, as well as mentioning what they plan to do about the situation:
"The plan currently is to hit the various elements that cause top-lane to snowball hard in the time period between Season 2 and Season 3.

This includes the strength of early armor / the fact that certain rubberband mechanics have been invalidated (minion/towers) / the lack of early itemization to shore up weak lanes as well as a general pass on the various top-laners in question to get them in line - but there's a lot of other factors in there as well.

However, it's not a set of changes to be done lightly - especially not when Season 2 is wrapping up - we'll be focusing on getting this lane into better shape while we ramp up for S3."
This late in the season ( the finals are coming in mid October! ), it certainly isn't surprising to see Riot holding back such complex changes. What other drastic changes may lay ahead for us post Season 2?

93 comments

  1. GA nerf? No, they nerf M5 that way

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    1. Right, but who buys Guardian Angel in ranked? AND anyways, its not a nerf, its just changed a bit into a more situational item.

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    2. which is a nerf....

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    3. Everyone buys GA in ranked.

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    4. Ofcourse that everyone buys it, at decent elo or higher, that kid is probably talking about his ELO that is not visible yet

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    5. This will hurt ADC far more than Top lane....

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  2. Here's an idea to fix top lane: nerf Darius.
    There we go.

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    1. nerfing a horrible top laner who gets destoryed by almost everybody would not be a good idea

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    2. I'm sure you mean fix. Nerf is what they did to Tryndamere...and they did it HARD.

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    3. 1. Darius = Noob. No single need to nerf
      2. Trynda was hardly nerfed. He just wasn't any good in the first place
      How come ppl always complain about noob champs but ignore the clearly overpowered: Te emo

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    4. You got your numbers around the wrong way.

      Teemo is probably one of the most fail-safe tops out there. All you need to do is draw a opponent who isn't a pro top, last hit, harass when necessary, have good places of shrooms and you'll win top. He's one of the most skill-less characters in the selection, but he's noob proof. No combos to learn, no strategy. Just stand, shoot Q when necessary, and then bail over shroom field if you need to. He's hard to gank.

      Of course in most cases teemo get's built like a retard, which is easy because there's no good late game option for teemo. Hybrid, AP, AD they all end up being rather spectacularly crap. no nerfs needed.

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    5. temo is so rage worthy. abosulty hate champions that poke and run and never engage until ur almost dead, takes no skill to play those kind of champs.

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    6. Darius a horrible top laner who gets destroyed by almost everyone? wut. He is one of the biggest lane bully you couldn't be more wrong..

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    7. LOL, I dominate a Darius in top lane, no matter who I play. He's trash, 'nuff said.

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    8. darius is stupid iv played against and with darius, even if he loses his lane he owns the late game with his ult with rly strong in team fights u get pentas with hardly any work

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    9. Um, I have never lost lane as Darius. I've laned against Rumble, Garen, Fiora, Nasus, Yorick, Teemo, and Poppy. Some of them weren't easy match ups, but he can bully people out of lane and farm just fine. If you try ganking him when he's 6 all he has to do is focus one person and ult them around 350 hp.

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    10. You owned Yorick when being Darius? This Yorick propably was a paralytic or something. Darius can't own Yorick, never...

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    11. If you still associate Pentas with Darius, well... we can ignore you.

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  3. WHy they dont do something to AD carries?i've seen only corki/ezreal in top elo all the s2

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    1. there is also ashe and graves. sometimes tristana, too. rarely there are vayne, draven and kennen, but i think i never saw a varus, mf or caitlyn. these 3 truly need some love

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    2. Don't worry, Riot's gonna buff their AP ratios some more and everything's gonna be 'K.

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    3. You forgot the Kog Maw

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    4. My favorite carries are MF, Cait, Vayne, Varus. I pick Graves for tryharding and I hate playing Trist, Corki and Kog.

      And basically Ez aside who's super stronk atm I see a good variety in carries when playing or watching streams. I'd say they are really close to each other but bring different pros and cons.

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    5. Dunno why everyone is forgetting Sivir...

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    6. because everyone either sucks at Sivir or they are fighting a carry who's got better DPS early game, which is all the other carries annoyingly enough

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    7. I recall reading some Riot post somewhere recently in which somebody stated that Graves, Ezreal and Corki are "a bit too strong right now" - Likely nerfs headed their way to give more room for the other AD carries.

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    8. I hope so, I played my first ever Ezreal match in PVP and dominated. Way too easy.

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    9. I think the only reason ez is one of the best right now is his early game dmg and that fact that his ult has lower CD than most AD. And i played ezreal alot and tbh he's the easier AD carry to last hit with out pushing to me.

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    10. At least show your name when correcting or arguing with people. That's a matter of respect ;)

      On a sidenote yes I forgot Sivir as I put her in the do-not-like category... And ad kennen makes me cry... Stop playing him like that or a squirrel will die...

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    11. Uh, in the current metagame, most times you would have a AD Carry (sivir, Corki, Vayne) bot with a support(soraka, sona). Then when they have farmed well, they go top and smash hard, most people forget about switching lanes. Oh and the Tank goes top, AP Carry or maybe a AD Carry (Varus, Ashe) goes mid (Annie, Ryze, LeBlanc, Vladimir)(duh) and maybe a a bruiser or an off-tank going to the extra top. Also maybe there will be a jungler (leesin, shyvanna) so there will be a solo top(Yorick, Irelia). Thats that about the metagame currently, it may change in Season 3. oh, i may be wrong but thats what i know about lol's current meta!

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    12. Nidalee is a better Solo top than Darius, and she is cheaper...

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    13. Darius will beat Nidalee all day. She will have better sustain, but at 6 her heal will be useless, unless she is going AP Nidalee. But even then her only good damage is her spear.

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    14. Wrong. Nidalee's kiting potential is limitless, kite Darius around, make him waste his abilities and THEN go in, he's a very CD dependent guy with no escape, don't see how Nidalee can fail vs. him unless he gets babysat by the jungler.

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  4. i rly hope for more variety in itemchoices, and hopefully more items in general

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    1. You will wait till your misserable deaths. RIOT is too dumb to make new items, they prefer new champs for scrubs. sad but true.

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    2. Don't bitch about the company who makes the game that you are playing.

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    3. Would prefer some more magic resist items that gave a bit of HP too, and if they are taking the stats off of GA then you would need another item that gave both MR and Armour (yes armour, I'm English)

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  5. all these babbies crying about darius bing "OP" let me ask you what major tournament saw darius picked and banned very often... oh thats right none of them, darius isnt ban worthy, hell hes hardly even pick worthy. if hes "so OP" wouldnt pro teams be scrambleing to pick or ban him? I mean moneys on the line and if darius is just so good theyd do everything they can right? oh whats that? they dont want him, because hes not good? I know its hard to hear that your feeding darius because your bad but the truth hurts.

    hes middle of the road at best. top 50 probably, top 25? NO, OP? not even close

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    1. Pretty much the only reason he was picked was because they wanted to disrupt Shen's ultimate at top. I think that was the crs vs lgn game.... can't remember

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    2. Darius's entire play style has inverse vaule the higher ELO you go.

      In ELO hell played properly he's a complete monster. Jungle Darius can single handily carry a team to victory if both sides are crap. He can tank, carry, engage, CC an support all at the same time. Which doesn't matter since at low ELO your ADC is probably going to be incompetent anyway.

      At high ELO he screws his own team over. At high ELO having a character that needs to get fed, that has his entire skillset based around executions, is highly detrimental to say the least, since the ADC is the pivotal character. Darius has no real place in high ELO.

      He's still massive fun to play.

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    3. Everything that seems strong and frustratey players get's titled op nowadays. People are quick to call op/up - even before the champ came out.

      The thing with Darius is his ult does not only seem strong (truedamage) but also is heavily frustrating (no cd if used right, hard to counter - people. Asically just need health but meh). Even the designers at Riot agreed with that. He's not op, he is simply over-frustrating, hence why he has some fixes planned.

      I think it's a good thing to make him less frustrating while not nerfing him.

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    4. a lot of people generally dont ban him and dont play him because there's this thing to League players known as a secretive insta ban. They know what makes the game an unbalanced challenge so in the mind of the players they dont bother with him because they want a good long game with a team on par with them so that by the end of the game everyone is smiling because they had fun.

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    5. ^ Ahahahaha, are these kinds of people for real? Seriously, are you?

      Yeah, they wouldn't use a champion with big money pool at stake because of "secretive insta bans" and "honor", so they can have "good long games and fun"...

      ...what a fucking tool.

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    6. Referring to my comment a bit above: Show your name when you correct/argue with people. Being an anon flamer makes your comment worthless in the books of many.

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    7. True, very true.

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    8. darius? All you do is stomp like cho, he is noob-type champ that can expolde but not OP. A bit like Annie, before 2012.

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    9. Um, Darius doesn't need to be fed at all. His level 1 damage with only a regrowth is still just fine. He is not OP, and you don't play him to show of your skill, you play him because he's fun. I don't think he's ban worthy, because he doesn't bring a lot for his team. Aside from a small pull and a true damage nuke. Where you could just as easy pick malph and be unstoppable and have heaps of CC

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    10. To add. Darius isn't a ban worthy champion specifically because there are higher priority bans. He's just an annoying champion. Just like shaco. Soraka. Competitively I wouldn't ban them but in a game of regular draft? Hell yes. I hate those champions because they are annoying. They're easy to counter but just something I don't like dealing with when I'm trying to have fun.

      On the flip side. Ranking? Oh no. I'll ban people like Alistar, Blitzcrank, Shen, Malphite. Champs like that over anyone. Specifically because their CC is so heavy.

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  6. Champions such as Irelia, Olaf, Yorick and Riven are dominating toplane atm, Irelia is easily the most broken because she doesn't really have a bad matchup.

    Granted she loses early game to practically anyone, but now that junglers camp top so much, you can't afford being very aggressive at this stage (which usually will be the time you don't have wards as toplaner, as well as being fairly squishy and therefore vulnerable), because if you die once, your lane is practically lost since it snowballs so much.

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    1. I've had nothing but success with Singed vs Irelia top lane. I'd recommend you trying it. Maybe at TOP ELO it gets worse, but I'm 1500+ and I love seeing Irelia top as Singed.

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    2. Riven dominating top? Sorry, but whats ur elo?

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    3. Nidalee's not that bad of solo top.

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    4. "Riven dominating top? Sorry, but whats ur elo?"

      You love no cost champs dont you scrubby?

      GTFO

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    5. People need to stop bitching about these champs. Honestly. It's simple. If you want to beat Riven, an easy match up is Kennen. For Yorick, pick Nasus. For Irelia, pick Olaf. And for Olaf, Kennen is an easy win, or even Poppy/Jax would win. Nidalee is good against most lanes as long as they aren't building super tanky.

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  7. Talking about OP champs, everyone with attackspeed reduces are being OP atm (malphite,gragas,nunu).

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    1. S Anivia and Ezreal are OP?

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    2. Ezreal has exploded onto the pro circuit with the W first build from china, the only safe pick againt ezreal is graves and corki as he hard counters every other ADC with jis tremendous harras and attackspeed slow.

      This has forced the "big 3" ezreal, graves, corki. Who are picked the grand majority of the time.
      Followed by the situational 4 ashe, sivir, urgot, komaw these guys are only picked for special team comps usualy picked after the enemy has picked their adc.
      No other carries see play on the pro scene because either they suck or they are hard countered by ezreal, corki, graves

      The big 3 all have a dps steroid, a dash and 2+ nukes. They arnt truely dominate in any part of the game they are simply above average at every part.

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    3. And from what you said, everyone is going to play ezreal because his on sale too... :(

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    4. he was my main...

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  8. how to balance top lanes: nurf ninja tabi so ads have a chance and top lanes that do a lot of md like jax and vlad arent just auto wins. also makes non mana champs *weaker* than mana champs, if they have longer lane sustain why should they also have the same or more damage.

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    1. If both sides have ninja tabi what gives if they are nerfed? The situation stays same as the champ with more dps or ganks wins. It's not that easy.

      Also if you haven't seen... Resourceless champs have high cd times to balance them. Sure without a resource you can poke longer but what gives if you can only poke every 7sec+ when others have like 2sec cd or hit way harder and quicker with autoattacks?

      I trust Xyph to get top lane right somehow - He's smart enough to figure out a mess like that. Can't say it enough: It ain't that easy.

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    2. Amen to that Akuni. Gods speed to Xyph and his team. But I do have to agree, resource-less champs seem to have an edge. Then again I probably just get frustrated with them and throw my mana away. Forever in elo hell :(

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    3. Seems like xph is being asked to fix everything. Isnt he already big man on campus for upcoming item changes? Now hes gotta fix top as well?

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    4. Yeah he was doing QoL stuff earlier and now he works on items and top lane, you can find some interesting posts here or via red/devtracker.

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    5. manaless champs also have relatively less CC than mana champs, and most don't have that much hard CC

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  9. Why doesn't riot fix GA the same way Icefrog did in the old DotA?
    In the old days, DotA had a similar item called "Aegis of the Immortal" where a player could buy it and get a couple of defensive stats and 3 charges with revive. After the charges where done, the item was basically useless even for its measly stats.

    Still that was an imbalanced item so Icefrog just removed it entirely from the shop and added it a single charge item with revive dropped only by killing Roshan (Nashor).

    Riot could do the same thing with GA. Make it a drop by Nashor picked up by anyone. I understand that picking up items in LoL is really hard cause it's not coded but perhaps there could be a system ie: Killing baron gives you a token which can be redeemed for a GA in the shop. Or even someone could "sacrifice" their Baron Buff to get a GA lasting as long as the Baron buff did. Surely 5 people with GA would be insanely OP but take a good a look at M5. That's practically their late game strategy really.

    Overall, GA needs some serious tweeking and I'm hoping RIOT will do something more than remove the stats and use it essentially as a REVIVE only with an item slot instead of spell.

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    1. Honestly it could be fixed by just speeding up the revive animation. The 2-3 second revive forces a team to wait around the dead body so they can finish it off. Forceing the team to switch targets is the real big deal here. I mean counting the revive as bonus hp and weighing the stats its just a glorified aegis of legion.

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    2. Troll, this isn't Maplestory.

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    3. Nope basically he's right. GA adds extra health (through revive) and some stats. Speeding the animation up - not sure if that helps. Taking the revive away and just making it a plain healthboost maybe. Part of your damage wouldn't go to waste when rev triggers but would just continue till death. Channeled spells especially would not break and of you could see quicker if you can kill that person or not. I guess most people wouldn't like it though as it takes GA it's iconic 'thing'.

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  10. Make it a consumable that cost like 1-2k for one revive.

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    1. Nice idea, but i think 500-7500 gold will be ok for revive (item active).

      But riot is too dumb to think about it, deal with it.

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    2. Meant 500-750 sry.

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  11. hard to tell how to fix it...maybe lowering stats
    a consumable idea doesn´t seems to fit entirely
    but we all knew this was coming eventually after seeing M5 again and again with 3 or 4 GS per game...
    But what i hate the most it´s that the other teams didn´t learn the lesson and kept going without GA´s as well...as we saw with the match Elohell vs M5, Elo hell was able to kill 8 times M5 members but still they got ace that single teamfight and lost that match, close but not enough sadly

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  12. High elo darius ..... stop talking sh@t..
    http://hu.twitch.tv/tsm_dyrus/b/329373324

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    1. Indeed. All Darius's defenders are scrubs who love playing op/no cost champs, simple.

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    2. I don't understand why everyone hates Darius, he's not OP at all. It's like they've never played against pre nerf Zyra or Diana.

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  13. There's another discussion with Xyph going on in na general discussion called ''Logic, Game Theory & Top Lane.'' I'd post the link but since blogger still decides to freeze when opening the copy/paste menu... Use a redtracker to find it easily :p

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  14. "about Riot's plans to "fix up" top lane." - Fix ur brain idiots, and take ranged champ against those "scarry" bruisers.

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    1. This only works if you kan keep the distance as carry aka as cait with net and traps ie. Also it takes the usual tanky spot meaning you have to have a tanky jungler or sup or mid for initiates and dmg soaking.

      Ofc you can counter top bruisers - but does that honestly solve the innate problems of top lane being snowbally and way stronger than the others with a few 'op' champs compared to the rest? I don't think so.

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  15. Actually it all depends on the skill of the summoners when playing the individual champions ultimately.. You can have an extremely OP champion and when you suck you still lose to a UP champion with a good player. So it doesnt really matter how great or how lousy a champion fares at a particular lane, its how you play it.

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    1. My favorite example of this is rainman (I think) with pre-rework eve stomping a jarvan in mid by building the same items (bruiser'ish). In the end skill matters a lot.

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    2. You can also run a marathon with your legs tied together if you usain bolt raceing againt a cripple child.

      Picking a weaker champ obviously isnt a guarenteed loss but it is a noticable disadvantage. If skill was truely the ONLY factor we would Not have had patches every 2 weeks for the past 3 years.

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    3. Skill being the only factor was never the point. It was one factor of many which get's underrated quite often. So yeah, you slightly missed the point. No problem though this is a civil discussion.

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  16. Oh yeah! One of the latest tournaments with the whole M5 team with GA was ridiculous.
    Also, agreed with AS debuff having a tad too strong impact on the game right now.
    I'm still sad about Urgot being nerfed rather hard because of what in the end was the "item's fault" though (that's my theory at least, even if I understand how strong position swapping is)

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    1. The problem with urgot is he craps all over the enemy AD carry early game, abd is an unkillable wall of meat lategame. As long as you can make up for his low damage late game by picking a stronger scaleing team line up youve got a very string team comp ready to go.

      Hes still quite strong, competitive teams dont pick him all the time like they do with corki, graves, ezreal but your still bound to see him pretty often in tournament games

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    2. Also urgots true "super item" isnt GA tho it is a common purchase, glacial shroud is urgots "little friend" (say hello)

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  17. Just quietly, I've been doing the M5 build on my ADC's recently, building the GA straight after the IE, but before the PD.

    Finding those performances to be much stronger as I don't need to rely on the soloQ folk from peeling off me as much.

    Anyone been trying it?

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    1. Depends what the enemy team does. Infinity first is fine. Afterwards either first zeal if I can kite, last whisper if they stack armor or guardian angel if I get focused with every cc and dmg possible... Never building phantom dancers as second item directly though. If I get focused and the stack armor I rarely go even with GA and brutalizer. It's cheap and helps until you have enough for LW.

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  18. RIOT - Renerf Irelia Over Time

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