Changing Play

Yesterday was patch day for League of Legends. The big ticket items were the rework for Kayle and the introduction of another new 6300 IP champion, Wukong the Monkey King. Having been a previous enthusiast for Kayle, I was eager to see what changes she had coming her way, as I felt she was a bit on the weaker side of things. She had a great passive, but wasn’t able to really fulfill either of her roles as a support/carry very well. Of course, when the video was released, I was a bit saddened. I had just finished up all of her rune page a few days back, and the change meant buying 18 new runes and 3 new quintessence if Phreak’s predicted build would be more suitable. So, after I put the daughter to bed last night, I jumped into a few games to play with her to get a feel for the revamp.

I’ll be blunt, I’m not super happy with the Kayle rework so far. It’s not bad per-se, but it has definitely taken her far away from what she was before. Where before she was a good support/carry blend, that could be nasty super-late game, she’s now more of a pure carry. The hit to her heal spell, Diving Blessing, is a real kick in the nuts to any aspirations of support play. Nidalee’s heal was a far superior support tool before this change, as it has a better cooldown and a vastly greater power ratio, and after the change, it’s not even a comparison worth making. It’s as if the functions of Kayle’s heal have been swapped, making it more of a speed boost than a heal now.

That’s not to say that all the changes were bad, but Kayle is clearly no longer the champion I once played and enjoyed. She is being put almost wholly into the carry slot than the support slot. That shift is a new way of thinking when playing as her and how to approach building her. Once I’m able to get past this paradigm shift, I think I’ll have a strong hold on Kayle, but I’m not entirely sure if I want to. Playing a pure carry can be fun, but in LoL, I really enjoy more diverse and complex champions. Nidalee may take over as my primary champion after this patch.

As for Wukong, shocker, he seems pretty strong on the power curve. He’s also 6300 IP. I’d really like to see some more low and mid-range champions released, Oriana was the only one in recent history who came in under 6300 point. Relatedly, I’d enjoy a more frequent IP push-down for older champions. The push-down doesn’t have to happen as frequent as new releases, but doing a price cut of 1 old champion for every 2 new ones that gets released shouldn’t be something that will cause a revenue loss, and would go a fair way to pleasing customers.