Welcome ladies and gentlemen to another installment of League Weekly! This week I'm going to be bringing you the first of many season 4 change entries. Pre-season has been underway for a while now and we've all had a chance to get our noses in it. The game has definitely changed in a lot of ways that are both evident and subtle. However, we are still rather early in the pre-season, so there is bound to be more change on the way. I plan to cover the changes as they come out to try and help my readers(and myself) adapt as fast as possible. Things are just now settling down from the initial pre-season patch and trends are beginning to emerge already. In this installment I'll be going over the logic behind them to help you have a broader understanding of the changes around you. Times like this are the most exciting in League of Legends because anyone can discover a new way of doing things that can bring an edge if they have a proper understanding of whats going on.
So let's take a step back and try to examine the direction that Riot is aiming to take the game. What is the motivation for all the drastic changes?
Let's list the changes that we know.
- Increased gold for supports and junglers
- Vision re-work/Trinkets
- Item changes
- Exp/Gold changes and dragon re-work
Riot has repeated time and time again that they aim to reduce snowballing with these changes, and they have done a wonderful job with that particular objective in my humble opinion. They have also told us that they want to increase the impact of junglers and supports as the game progresses. They have achieved this with supports in a large way, but the jungle continues to have a hit or miss feel to it. Not that the jungle is particularly worse off. I just feel like Riot didn't quite get the results they were hoping for. Like always, certain champions are shining with the overhaul while others are falling off in a big way, but I wont hold that against them. I'll be going over things like the jungle and masteries in more detail in later entries. For now I'm going to focus on a broader outlook of the S4 changes.
Most of the changes out now are particularly tuned towards changing the snowball nature of the game. Riot has given the losing team a LOT more room to breathe, and it wasn't easy. Almost every change we see is geared towards this concept. What does that mean for the us? We need to find every bit of help Riot has given us when we are on the losing team, and take advantage of it. To do this we have to know what those potential advantages are.
- Dragon gives scaling gold and XP.
- Vision changes make it hard for an enemy team to control the map with impunity.
- Minions no longer grow stronger in side-lanes when an inhibitor goes down.
The days of losing and inhibitor and being forced to "turtle" until it comes back up may be passing. The vision changes make it where you can venture out of your base and ward your way around the map. The enemy may have wards watching your every move, but at least they cant just spam pinks and oracles to completely blind you. The minion wave "balancing" makes it so you are able to actually push when you make a pick off of your aforementioned wards. Managing to grab a dragon when your behind is a life saver right now. Not to mention it's all the more possible due to the rest of the changes.
Dig deep in S4. Comebacks can happen. Plays can be made. Play smart and play for objectives. You have a much healthier chance of coming back than you have had in the last season.
These changes strike both ways though. As the winning team in season 4, you have to get yourselves together and close that game! You can no longer take a deep breath and relax once you've gotten an inhibitor and baron. The enemy team has way too many ways of coming back if you let up on the pressure. However, if you keep you aggression on high and immediately press your advantage to secure more objectives, it can still be a smooth road to victory. Don't let up. Step up and lead your team. Group and take objective after objective. If you let up at the wrong time, a couple of plays will bring the game right back to even.
Support income increase
Now that we have gone over what the game flow changes mean, I want to delve into what the changes to support and jungle income mean. This is somewhat of a shaky subject to discuss so early. I feel like we haven't seen the end to the adjustments in this category by far. However, there has already been a notable change in game play from these changes, and I want to discuss them.
As far as supports go, I'm noticing a huge front line presence coming out of the tankier supports(Taric, Leona, Alistar), a great off-carry presence out of the ap caster supports(Fiddle, Zyra, Annie), but a mediocre presence out of the traditional utility based caster supports.(Janna, Sona, Nami) Not that I feel like they have gotten particularly weaker, I feel like they are just still limited in what they can spend their gold on. Riot has tried time and time again to give supports a new item path destiny, and has even completely changed the vision system to help with this. These utility based supports are coming up short when compared to people like Leona who can realistically build a Randuins Omen and a Banshees Veil. They have half assed AP ratios and a squishy ranged nature. How can they build to compare to someone like dcap support Annie? How can they take this extra gold and contribute to the team in such a meaningful way? Riot tried to compensate by updating and tweaking these supports, but the directly tangible advantage of gold spent is plainly evident. I expect Riot to tweak supports further, but for now, If you're a strap my boots on and kick some ass with Leona kind of player. Don't shy away from the support role. Your dream of a true tank support has come true.
Jungle income increased.
I haven't had as much of a chance to study the jungle as intimately as I would like before writing too much about it. I'm going to keep this particular section short and sweet. I promise to delve deeper into this subject in the coming weeks. Riot has put a ton of extra gold in various different points of the jungle, including a new camp, and basically said "Show me what you got". The jungle is such a delicate position that is affected by almost every single change in the game. Masteries, champion picks, vision changes. All of these things have a huge impact on your decisions as a jungler. The dust is still settling, but one thing is for certain. There is a LOT of potential gold income if you can jungle successfully. So there is a lot more potential for old favorites like Lee Sin, and long time maybes like Kha'Zix. Don't be afraid to jump in there and find what works for you.
Some points to remember in S4 jungle.
- Masteries are way different. Don't be afraid to experiment with weird setups for any particular game.
- Everyone can have a ward now, but the first batch only last for 60 seconds!
- A lot of things are different right now. It important for you to pick according to the game you are in during this transitional phase.
I hope you enjoyed reading this installment of League Weekly. Please comment below and tell me what you think, I want to hear all of your theories! I want to learn as much as I can from you as much as I want to teach you. Please like and share.
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