20 Mar 2013

The new League system heavily favours luck.

After playing a good 500 ranked matches with the new system, I can only draw one conclusion. The new divisions and tiers are impossible to climb without a fair degree of luck. No, it's not Riot's fault. With the established meta and guides and videos everywhere telling you how to play; it's hard to be outright bad at LoL these days. Sure, there's still plenty of awful players; but compared to a year or two ago everyone has stepped up their game immensely. With the playerbase being marginally better than it used to be, it's much harder to carry a game successfully.

So with everyone playing their roles in at least a half decent capacity, it's much harder to stomp your way up the solo queue ranks. You have to rely on your team being at least half competent, at any rate. For example, yesterday I went 12-3 on Jax at top in 25 minutes. Game over, right? However, we had a Corki and a Thresh who both kept getting caught outside of our base. We never once had a 5v5, because before the fight started these two would get themselves killed. I tried to ward for them, I asked them to play safe- but all I got was insults in return. You can't win them all.

The new divisions place a large reliance on luck to move up for all but the best of players. This isn't Riot's fault. A year ago someone on your team could feed the enemy team 10 kills in the lane and you could kill your opponent in a different lane just as much. However, since everyone is better at the game chances are while you are stuck playing against someone with equal skill, the rest of your teammates are dying repeatedly.

Quite simply, even if you play your best and perform well early game in every single match- it still boils down to your team in the end. That's where the luck comes in. You can't win a teamfight unless your allies do their jobs properly. You can only help influence your team in the right direction. Ultimately, if you want to raise your rating- just keep playing as many games as you can and luck will get you there eventually. So, good luck folks!

18 Mar 2013

Quinn and Valor

Her helmet looks pretty gay.

Quinn hasn't been out for long but it seems she's not a typical attack damage carry. In fact, all the research I've done indicates she would perform better at top or mid as a counterpick. Her short range makes it hard for her to beat a fair few carries at bottom lane. Don't get me wrong, if you know how to play her you can succeed anywhere on Quinn, she's not a bad champion. She's the second character on LoL to have a blind, following in the footsteps of Teemo.

There are already several ways to play Quinn, she works well as an AD caster mid, or a bruiser top. With the incredible speeds she can achieve with her ultimate she can gank other lanes with ease. I've personally been taking her top most games, because she can deal with almost every common top laner without too much trouble. She can bring a fair amount of utilitiy to mid and late game team fights, however she's very squishy and her ultimate is on a very long cooldown.

Regardless, Quinn is a fantastic champion. Expect to see her incorporated into the meta in the next few months. Try her in different lanes, see which one you prefer. Also, if you have any additional information on how to play her- let us know with a comment!

17 Mar 2013

It's taken awhile but I've hit gold.

When I first got placed in ranked I was in Silver 3. After a little work I managed to work my way up to Silver 2. Sadly after that I was knocked back down to 5 by a long losing streak. Sometimes it is impossible to get out of a losing streak and you just have to persevere through it. There's a reason I haven't been posting much, and that's because I wanted to at least get gold for a little credibility.

I'm a little proud of myself.

Being in Silver 5 for an extended period of time has definitely made me a better player. You have to carry pretty much every single game to get out of there. I found that if I didn't take a leading role such as top or mid, we lost almost every time. For those of you wanting to get out of division 5, my best advice is to be patient and work your way out of there slowly. Make sure you play your best champions, and tell your team what to do if you have to. If you have a choice between an inhibitor and baron, take the inhibitor because then you can take baron easily. Don't get frustrated, you will lose more if you do.

Once I got back up to Silver 4, I climbed my way up to 1st division in a few days. A large factor in that was luck, but I managed to win a lot of the games for my team by playing hyper carries such as Jax and Diana. Finally, yesterday I undertook 3 series in the space of 10 hours. I was determined to get gold, and after a large amount of matches I made it. Now I need Platinum, yay. Good luck to everyone else trying to climb up the ranks!

14 Mar 2013

Vi hints and tips

Vi is one of my favorite champions, even after the nerf she received. She's a very potent pick in many situations. I know it's an awful pun, but Vi is a very viable jungle at the moment. She can hold her own in top lane, but personally I think she is more suited to jungling. As a bruiser champion, she is able to initiate effectively and throw a veritable wrench in the opposing teams plans.

Vi can rape towers with her E.

Ultimately Vi is a rather easy champion to pick up. There is a degree of finesse to mastering her, which mostly lies around positioning your abilities correctly. After playing many ranked games with her and retaining a good ratio of wins and scores, I believe I can provide a guide with enough information to help other players master our punch happy friend. So take a look at this guide, it might help you improve on Vi. Bear in mind, I prefer to play her jungle so the advice will be centered around that.

Vi stands in dead Karthus and doesn't afraid of anything.

Vi: hints and tips
- When starting the game in the jungle, kill Wolves or Wraiths and proceed to take the nearest buff smiteless (you don't need a huge leash, just a reasonable one). Then head over to the other buff and smite it. You will end up at level 3 at the earliest possible stage which allows you to perform a potent gank with all of your abilities.
- Vi has a fantastic clear speed, even post nerf. Take every good gank opportunity, you should be able to keep up.
- When laning instead of jungling, you won't have a blue buff or a Spirit Stone. Therefore, manage your mana efficiently or purchase something like a Frozen Heart for more sustain.
- Lifesteal is good on Vi, but it's not always necessary. I prefer Blade of the Ruined King over Bloodthirster, but it's down to preference.
-  You can use your Vault Breaker to dash over a lot of the terrain walls. It's possible to make it over a lot of them without fully charging it. Practice getting over walls when you have the chance, it could save your life.
- Vi's passive may seem a little weak at first, but Blast Shield is actually incredibly useful. It allows you to win early trades, tank minion waves, and even return to a fight on low health and survive. Keep an eye on the cooldown, and use it to your advantage. With a few health items it scales well into late game.
- Vi is really slow, so plan accordingly. Try ganking lanes from the optimal angle at the right time. Sometimes it's a good idea to get sight wards so you can enter a lane without being noticed.
- Denting Blows (W) is a great steroid for taking down any target. Getting a little attack speed can compliment this.
- Excessive Force (E) has a huge area of effect. It can clear creep waves and camps with ease. It's also lethal for taking down champions. Try to position yourself well in a team fight because the splash damage can and will kill champions.
- Assault and Battery (R) is Vi's game changer. Using this ability correctly is vital. Most of the time you will want to use it to tunnel a dangerous threat in a team fight, such as the enemy carries. However, it can also be used defensively to peel for your team. Only experience will teach you how to use it best.
- Always remember that your excessive force should be hitting multiple targets. 
- When typically ganking a lane, you want to come in from behind your opponent. Either land a Q to knock your opponent back, or use it to close the distance for an ultimate. If you manage to successfully get on your enemy, it should guarantee a flash or a kill. Vi is amazing at ganking even without her ult, so don't be afraid to try before 6.
- Vi is not really a main tank. She can perform the role but she's more of an initiating bruiser. Bear this in mind in champion select, because she can't take the frontline alone.
- Manamune is actually a viable purchase on Vi if she's laning. I still prefer her in the jungle though.
- Don't underestimate Vi's knockback. I've turned many fights on low health with a good knockback followed with Blast Shield and Excessive Force.
- Remember your role in a team fight. Tunneling a single target won't always be the best thing to do. Always remember to peel when you can.
- Vi's E resets her auto attack, so press it just after hitting an enemy. It's also amazing for pushing towers. Don't be afraid to split push.

9 Mar 2013

Ezreal hints and tips

As of late Ezreal has become uncommon to see in a match. Even more so after the small movement speed nerf he received. Ez is not a bad champion. But he is a situational one. To be the most effective on our prodigal explorer, it's vital to pick up a few early game kills and secure momentum to steamroll the mid game. There's a common misconception to Ezreal, that his late game is bad. That is wildly incorrect. He is only useless at the end of a game when either the enemy team has too much health or if the enemy carry out scales him. For example: you can't expect an Ezreal to compete with AD carries like Vayne, Kog, or Tristana unless he gets a good lead.

Ezreal isn't so great on the 3v3 map.

Fact of the matter is, Ezreal is a very difficult champion to master. To keep up with other champions you need to consistently land all of your skillshots, and gain a good lead early on. He can even win many 1v1 situations if you play him correctly. Regardless of the haters, Ez is a fantastic champion and I though I would provide a guide with hints and tips on how to play him. I am not the best Ezreal, but I have enough experience and research to play him right.

So for you lovely people who want to get better at Ezreal and master him- try to incorporate some of these hints and tactics into your strategy.

Sometimes you can't get ahead in the lane, so you just have to outfarm them.

Ezreal: Hints and Tips

- Some players are best on Ezreal using smartcast. Try it out and see which works best for you.
- Using your Arcane Shift is the key to winning most fights. Using it offensively can get you killed, whereas teleporting too late will leave you missing out on kills and assists. Remember you can shorten the cooldown by landing skillshots.
- The best way to win trades in the lane is to land your skillshots. You don't have to trade to hit your opponent with abilities.
- When any kind of confrontation is incoming, begin stacking your passive up immediately. The attack speed bonus can win you the day. 
- Early game you have an unparalleled ability to burst your opponents without trading. Practice landing an auto-attack, follow it up with a Mystic Shot, and finish it off with another attack. This combo should strip away a formidable amount of HP before your opponent reacts. You can decide to continue hitting them or port away on top.
- Don't take minion damage. At the beginning of the game it's your time to shine. Ez takes a lot of damage and doesn't have much health. Don't lose it to the creep wave.
- In a teamfight, use your ultimate at the beginning on as many targets as possible. Trueshot Barrage serves two purposes: To unload damage for your team, and to instantly bring up your passive stacks. Aside from teamfights, use your ult to snipe kills, start a fight, or even clear minions.
- Essence Flux doesn't do much damage when you're the AD carry. However, it does increase the attack speed of your allies. Use it on them when you push down towers, or in a team battle.
- It should only take a few games to get to grips with the terrain that you can Arcane Shift over. Always stay near a wall you can use to escape or reposition yourself.
- Don't be a hero. Too many Ezreal players play him like Rambo. If you get hit by one stun or the wrong champions sticks to you, you're dead. Learn when it's a good time to go out and poke for your team, and when to stay at the back. Staying at the back is boring, but you will have to do it a lot.
- Icebourne Gauntlet will not make you a good Ez player. It's a good situational purchase, if the opposite team has a lot of attack damage or if you are desperate for a slow. Trinity Force is still acceptable if your team is coordinated and can peel for you. Sometimes it's a better idea to just build Ezreal like a normal carry.
- Building a little health early can help a lot. A couple of Doran's blades or a Phage can help you survive against high burst like LeBlanc.
-  CS is important. Ezreal is a powerhouse in the lane. You should try to zone your opponent and get ahead. Use your Q to farm if necessary. Just make sure you're last hitting to the best of your ability.
- Always try to take part in the earliest teamfights. Ezreal can do a lot of damage and any kills will put you ahead. Staying ahead is probably the biggest key to winning a game on Ez.
-  Once again. Stay at the back! In a teamfight, you want to wait until all of the hard CC has been used and even then you can still get destroyed.
- When in the lane, try to poke them down a little with your skillshots before forcing trades. That way if they fight back you can kill them outright. If you get an enemy to 70% as you hit level six, using your full combo followed by an ultimate is a guaranteed kill.
- Remember to build to counter the enemy team. The same build won't always work, so mix it up a little. That doesn't mean buy armor or magic resist, that means buy armor pen and crit if the opposing team is excessively tanky, or lifesteal if it can win you a few fights.
- Warmog's and Guardian Angel are fantastic items if you're getting tunnel visioned by an annoying player. Once you buy it you can probably kill them 1v1.
- Try not to pick Ezreal against a bruiser heavy or tank based team. He can kite them, but he sucks at killing them. Always focus the weaker targets first.
- Red buff is amazing early game on Ezreal, as soon as your lane is over either ask your jungler nicely for one or just take it from somebody.

I hope my advice will help some of you play Ezreal better. I know a lot of it is common sense and knowledge, but sometimes even the best of players forget the basics. But remember most of all to have fun! Because that will make you play better too.

4 Mar 2013

Preachy vs Phreak

I was recently informed that one of my friends, a fantastic player named Preachy managed to take down Phreak on stream. What's more, Phreak even called my buddy a bad Elise. I am quite proud of this feat, it's just a wonderful demonstration of how game creators aren't great at their own production.

I hope a lot of you have seen this, I found it hilarious:

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