Red Post Collection: Tentative Urgot Changes, Unpopular vs LCS picks, Leona drawing from AX, and more!

Posted on at 7:41 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features Meddler with a tentative set of Urgot changes he hopes to get out by 4.15, Xelnath and Phreak discussing unpopular and LCS picks, and IronStylus with a Leona drawing straight from this weekend's Anime Expo!
Continue reading for more information!

Tentative Urgot Changes ( aiming for patch 4.15 )

As mentioned yesterday, Meddler is looking to make a few short term Urgot changes to get him into a better spot until his full rework can be completed.

Here's his post on the tentative changes, which he is aiming to get out around patch 4.15:
"Hey all. 
Long delayed update here and a change of plans. My original hope had been that we'd be able to rework Urgot's gameplay without needing substantial art support. That's proven to be too optimistic however, with the sort of changes we'd like to make including some new skills and other functionality changes that need animation, spell effects, sound and potentially model changes. Urgot is on our list for such a full rework, that's a ways off though (Sion's up next for major reworks, and we've been tentatively discussing Poppy as an option for after that, though that's not yet certain). As a result the new plan's to do some much shorter term work on Urgot that, while it won't fix everything, should help out on some of his issues and get him into a better spot until we're free to do larger scale work on him. 
That shorter term work's potentially going to be split into a couple of patches. The first (and I'm guessing that would be around patch 4.15, though not certain on that yet) focusing on some general cleanup and quality of life, with a possible follow up set of changes to add in a bit more power if appropriate. 
Tentative list of changes we're looking at for that first patch (note, not yet in testing, so may well change): 
  • Basic attack missile speed increased to 1600 (from 1300)
- Given Urgot's short attack range a more responsive auto attack's appropriate for the risk he's often putting himself in
  • Recommended item update
  • Some minor visual effects clean up

  • Acid Hunters now check for Noxian Corrosive Charge on both start and end of Acid Hunter cast
- Currently only checks at start of cast, penalizing swift follow up shots after firing the E at long range and attempts to sneak in a final homing shot as Noxian Corrosive Charge is close to expiring)
  • Mana cost increased to 50 (from 40), half mana cost refunded on kill
- Primary goal here is to punish Urgot less for last hitting with Acid Hunters when he needs to. Slight increase in cost to maintain a bit more harass cost, though still aiming to have this be a net buff to Urgot's mana usage.
  • CD reduced to 120/110/100 (from 120)
- Adding a bit of late game power, without increasing his potential lane bully case
  • Mana cost reduced to 100 (from 120)
- Standardization with standard ult mana cost"

He continued:
"As above this is an initial set of changes targeted at feel and clean up more than power. Assuming these don't spike his power substantially (think it's unlikely they will, but been wrong before) we'll then look into whether there are some other safe buffs we can throw his way too. To be clear however Urgot's still got some substantial game health issues in his kit so we're not going to just keep throwing raw power at him until he's back to his previous problematic state."

When asked to confirm if the mana restore will work on minion kills, Meddler confirmed:
"Yes, minion killing's the intended use."

As for what the build changes might be, Meddler explained:
"Just some minor changes aimed at convenience for existing Urgot players/better starting point for new Urgot players (Last Whisper in, Doran's Blade start, Mercurial out, Brutalizer/Tear/Glacial Shroud in explicitly not just as components etc)."

When asked about his comment about Sion's rework being next, he clarified:
"Next major rework (so full visual update, really big kit changes, lore update etc). Might well see some smaller reworks and/or visual updates first though, not certain on the timing of those off the top of the head."

When asked about making Urgot's shield scale off AD, Meddler replied:

Meddler, if you're reading this, how does making his shield scale off AD sound? 
AP is such a useless stat on him, especially as there is literally only one thing that scales off AP for him, and he will NEVER get any items with AP outside of the Baron buff or an allied Lulu. If not AD, scale off his health? Scale off Armor?
One change I'd like to test, but have only limited confidence in at present, is having his shield scale with mana instead of AP. Doing so would offer some additional build distinction for Urgot (tanky mana build versus raw AD/pen build) and supports using Tear which I feel's fun and synergizes well with the Q refund change if that sticks. Potential downsides are a risk of forcing Urgot down a single build path, damage and tankiness from one stat via Manamune/Muraman (snowball issues) or alternatively, if the Muramana changes go through, a lack of appropriate mana items to support such a passive.


Do you think you can give urgot some compensation for the planned manamura changes, as it completely takes away urgots late game power that he needs to stay relevent and gives bonus effects quite useless on him.
Yeah, would definitely want to add some compensatory power somewhere if we go ahead with those changes and they cut significant power off Urgot. Not sure what form that would take yet though, few things such as a the possible mana scaling above, I'd want to look into to help make that decision.

Unpopular Picks & LCS Picks

When asked about what Riot is doing to bring up and encourage unpopular picks rather than being left to see the same handful of picks in the LCS each week, Xelnath commented:
How much effort do you put into making underused/underpowered champions viable again? I feel like those kinds of fixes are pretty low on your priority list, and you never make it that far down the list because as soon as one high priority fix is finished, another one pops up to take its place, and so those other champions never get looked at because they're "fine".

I get tired of seeing the exact same champions over and over again everywhere I look, from LCS to spectate live to Twitch, while never seeing some other champs. Not only does it ruin the diversity of the game, but also the fun of watching as well as playing when people think you're trolling by picking a champ that isn't part of the meta or the tier right beneath it.
I realize how LCS not showcasing your favorite champion can be frustrating. It sucks to not see played by a pro and believe that somehow you're not playing the game right. 
However, the nature of LCS is to play the champions those players can play well at the razor's edge of skill- this is distinctly different from the rest of the world. Take look at Gambit gaming a few seasons back - they shook the world up by pulling out some impressive team comps that were well-executed. 
That said, yes, we do look at under played champions and ask "Are these guys in a good place? Do they have a clear role?" If not, we think about appropriate actions relative to the amount of work they need. Full rebuilds (Sion) require the most, followed by Gameplay Updates (Rengar, Skarner, Sona) followed finally by Visual Updates (Sivir) and lastly Balance Updates (Lucian next patch). However, all of these require a certain amount of testing to be sure they are of a quality level that won't damage the game. 
This is why these things take time. Full rebuilds might take two years. Gameplay updates between months (no art required) and a year (vfx, no model required). 
But... there's always champions lurking below the current OP meta tier who are waiting to surge up and overpower the rest. This is why you see things like the full ADC item rework - we want to try to fix problems on the whole CLASS of characters (Marksmen most recently) rather than just singularly bump a single champion up. 
Sorry, I know that's not the answer you want to hear, but we believe that many of our problems are deeply rooted in tough discussions, experimentation and so on. We are being careful to not damage the competitive quality of our game while pursuing the heart of these issues."

Phreak also added in:
"I'd like to chime in too, if you don't mind:  
Also realize that the LCS is only eight teams per region. Not everyone plays every champion. Thinking back to last season, it took people a long time to pick up Zed, despite being a ridiculously strong champion. Players often just don't find the champion, despite being an awesome pick overall. I remember replying to a thread on this very forum where a player was like "Dude wtf look how bad Zed looked in this Korean game. Come on Riot, buff Zed. He missed his Q and did no damage. Clearly a trash champion." That thread existed. It was upvoted. On early Season Three Zed: A champion we nerfed multiple times and was STILL #1 pick/ban at the World Championship last year. Just sayin'.

It's also much easier to imitate than to innovate. A lot of players look to the Korean teams and say, "They're the best, we'll just follow in their footsteps." Unless LCS teams are willing to step out and find their own powerful picks, you're just only going to see the small set of champions that highly-regarded teams like Samsung Blue or SKT T1 K play. Last week we barely saw any Kog'Maw played in the LCS. This week, we have him played almost every single game. Because people realized, "Oh right, Kog'Maw's really strong." The game didn't change in the LCS over the past seven days: LCS players' perceptions did."

Xelnath returned to add in:
"Thanks, David, that was a really great contribution. 
Kog'maw is a great example of where a team must choose to play protect-the-kog'maw - but that might be impossible vs a team composed of the right set of divers/assassins/vi, etc. 
These strategies exist - the people that are capable of practicing them? Less available until popular. 
We want to enable these kinds of things - Yasuo Knockup comps are a new example of a specific synergy type. AoE Wombo Combo, etc. We don't go out hunting for any specific comp usually, but instead try to ensure that thepotential for them to exist does.

... and by the way, for every strategy that survives to LCS play - there's 10 times as many that still work just as well at lower levels of play."

IronStylus' Leona Drawing from AX

In a surprising twist, IronStylus was also caught drawing Leona at Riot's booth at Anime Expo.

Here's what he shared on the forums:
"I'll post a high-rez pic when I get the file ;)"

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