Red Post Collection: Winter Wonder Orianna concept art, PBE coming back soon, Phreak on various topics, and more!

Posted on at 3:08 PM by Moobeat
[REMINDER: Snowdown is ending soon!]

This afternoon's red post collection includes Riot Zeronis with concept art for Winter Wonder Orianna, Riot Feithen noting the they are aiming to start PBE updates back up on January 5th, Phreak commenting on various topics, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

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Winter Wonder Orianna concept art

Riot Zeronis has tweeted a concept art for the recently released Winter Wonder Orianna skin:
"This proves that I can design cute skins too!! <3 "
You can find this and more art from Zeronis over on his deviantart page!

PBE Updates Coming Back Soon

While the PBE has been on break for a few weeks, Riot Feithen tweeted out that January 5th is the target date for things to start back up!
"Jan 5th is the target!"

If you need a refresher on what is currently on the PBE - including the new Challenger Ahri and El Tigre Braum skins - check out our comprehensive PBE page!

Gypsylord on the new year and his 4th Champion

As 2014 was headed out the door, Gypsylord tweeted out a reflection on the year and a small tease that he's working on his fourth champion!
"Dear players: Thanks. Been a great year. Your support is what makes spending my days working on Vi, Jinx, Gnar, and champ #4 ;) possible."
When asked for more, he noted:
"Sorry but can't say when he'll come out. Don't want to set false expectations and whatnot."

ZenonTheStoic on "Simple Champions"

In a reddit thread expressing interest in more "simple champions", ZenonTheStoic shared his thoughts on this year's releases and on his hopes going forward:
"That's a good point! I think we released two easy champions in 2014, if you count Sion as a new release: Sion and Braum. The reason I don't count Gnar as an easy champion is because his transformation mechanic is surprisingly hard to play around. This is definitely a topic we discuss in champion team. We don't want to make another Taric-easy champion, of course, because in that case the ceiling of skill expression and mastery is very low, but Braum I think was a huge success in terms of being easy to play and still allowing players to become better over many games. I'm hoping my next champion will be easier as well; probably not Braum easy, but much closer to Braum than to Azir. 
There will, however, be two passives."

Phreak on Last Whisper, Doran's Shield, and Zyra's MS

Phreak, LCS caster and pun extraordinaire, has been busy on the Tips & Tricks board discussing both AD carry itemization, the value of Doran's Shield, and the movement speeds of several mages!
First off, he jumped into a discussion on AD carry itemization in the context of when it is a good time to purchase Last Whisper:
"Here's how the items stack up for about 80% of the AD Carries. Hopefully this'll help you make your item-buying decisions.

Critical Strike is the single most under-coster/under-represented stat out there. Items like Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer/Statikk Shiv are GIGANTIC damage increases, so you will always look to buy both these items. If you care about your basic attack damage, you want both of these and you want them early. Most pros build IE/SS or IE/PD as their first two big items every game.

The big-ticket life steal items (Bloodthirster, Blade of the Ruined King) are reasonably strong damage items, but you get what you pay for. The gold you sink into life steal isn't sunk into damage, so you're getting understandably less damage per gold than an item like Phantom Dancer, Last Whisper, Infinity Edge, etc. This is pretty much just straightforward logic, but it's worth keeping in mind: You get what you pay for in extra durability by buying lifesteal instead of increased damage. Understandably, Ruined King is a bit higher on the Damage - Durability slider.

Last Whisper is just fine as a third item. After IE/PD, you're basically saying "Okay do I want life steal (BT or BotRK) or do I want more damage (Last Whisper). It's actually efficient 25-30 minutes into the game, because you WILL be hitting front-line tanky targets, and even against squishies, it's better than you might think. The Chinese Marksmen at the 2014 World Championship typically built Last Whisper third, optimizing their damage output at the expense of durability.

There is one huge caveat with Last Whisper though: Part of the reason the item is so good is because Armor Penetration is the best multiplier in the game for physical damage skills. If your champion doesn't deal meaningful physical damage though abilities (Corki and Kog'Maw primarily) you actually don't have a reason to buy Last Whisper. It actually falls beneath Blade of the Ruined King (which also provides lifesteal) making it a fairly senseless purchase on those champions.

So there are basically two main builds I see from AD Carries:

Infinity Edge -> Berserker's Greaves -> Phantom Dancer or Shiv -> Last Whisper -> Bloodthirster -> Durability item.
Infinity Edge -> Greaves -> PD/Shiv -> Bloodthirster -> Last Whisper

There are some other builds with Trinity Force and stuff as well, and the math gets more complex there, but following those two builds should work for most of your games. You also may find yourself needing something like Quicksilver Sash (vs. Warwick, Malzahar, Zed) and those can be slipped in mid-build as well."
He continued:
"That's a decent rule of thumb, but keep in mind that no matter how well or poorly you're doing, you basically always want to wait until after two major items are completed before thinking about LW. All the Armor Pen is going to do is multiply whatever damage you currently have, and if you don't have any damage yet, there's nothing to multiply."
Next up, Phreak switched to Doran's Shield and what sort of damage is reduced by it's passive:
"There are roughly 4 different "ways" damage can be dealt.

Basic Attack / On Hit. This is any basic attack, things like Mystic Shot, Double Up, etc. These are really common of course, and interact with Doran's Shield. Note that most of these abilities are rolled INTO the basic attack and thus are only counted once total, as though you had simply attacked your target. You'll typically not see Doran's double-dip an ability like this.

Single Target Spell -> This is anything that deals damage in one chunk to one single target. A spell like this receives full power from Spell Vamp and Rylai's. Some older champions do this in more ways than you'd expect, like the second half of Akali Q is actually a Single Target Spell. This stuff will be affected by Doran's Shield, as it says in the tooltip of the item.

Damage Over Time -> Swain Q, Swain E, Brand Passive. This will trigger full Spell Vamp and reduced effect from Rylai's. Will not be affected by Doran's Shield.

Area of Effect -> Whether it's a damage over time effect or not, if it hits multiple targets at the same time (Malzahar W, Morgana W, Brand W, LeBlanc W, Kayle's E), it's usually this. These will trigger the reduced versions of Rylai's and Spell Vamp, and will not be affected by Doran's Shield.

Proc -> This is stuff that doesn't apply anything. Sunfire Cape is an example of this. The bonus damage on Shyvana's E, Kog W, MF W, Nami E are others. Unaffected by Doran's.

Warwick ult and Shyvana Q are multiple basic attacks, so each would be reduced by Doran's.

Syndra's R is actually multiple single target spells, so each is reduced.

Unfortunately, there's just a lot of "this is how the ability was coded." Jax is an old champion, and his W and R are both "Single target spells" even though they probably should be "proc" abilities. There's no good way to intuitively know this, and other similar abilities don't work this way.

I believe Karthus Q becomes a "single target spell" instead of "AoE Spell" when hitting only one target."
Lastly, Phreak sprouted into a thread on why Zyra's base movement speed is lower than most other mages:
Zyra : MOV. SPEED 325 
Why is she slower than these particular champions? .-.
Syndra: MOV. SPEED 330
Malzahar: MOV. SPEED 340
Akali :MOV. SPEED 340
Annie: MOV. SPEED 335
I can't speak to many of the other champions. I know we are fairly inconsistent with things like base stats (I'm not personally a fan of that).

But Zyra specifically has:

A lot of reach - You can spam plants to deal damage for you from very far outside almost anyone else's range.

A lot of crowd control - Her E is an almost 2 second long root and spawns a slowing plant, completely unblocked by minions. This has about 1,000 range I believe. Her R is a gigantic knockup that you also can't chase through. You can theoretically dodge away, but if you're running at her, you're pretty much guaranteed to eat it.

So because she's long ranged and hard to reach, the compromise is that if you manage to dodge her stuff and catch up to her, you're pretty much ensured the kill. If she were long ranged, could easily inhibit your progress, AND was fast, I'm not sure there'd be anything you could do about her.

To speak to the other champions you listed at least a little:

Syndra has a similar set of mechanics to Zyra - Long range, lots of safety tools. She's only 5 MS higher, so that's not far off. Zyra is a bit longer ranged than Syndra, so I can see this being somewhat fair.

Malzahar has rather short range. He also has no crowd control unless he's channeling it. I think it's totally fair to give him high move speed for a ranged champion.

Akali is melee. Totally fair, IMO.

Annie has no long-ranged tools at all. She can stun, but she's hard capped in her range. She's somewhat on the high end of movespeed for a ranged champion, but she's short ranged (for a ranged champion) so this is fine, IMO.

Heimerdinger is an oddity. He doesn't keep people at bay very well, but he has plenty of long range tools. I don't know why his move speed is as high as it is."

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