By Charles Perez (King’s Decree)
Ivern the Green Father is one of the most unique champions ever released for League of Legends, unfortunately, that’s not a good thing.
Now I know why Jungle Support was never a thing; it seems like they would go hand in hand, but at the end of the day Ivern is missing a few key elements to make the role a legitimate threat. At the same time I think he’ll be a great niche pick in certain circumstances because the skill cap is so immensely high.
If you would like a detailed look at his kit itself, head on over to our champion preview, but the gist of it as follows.
- Passive “Friend of the Forest”: Click on a jungle camp to start a channel, several seconds later the camp can be claimed. Consumes HP/MP, can be smited to claim instantly.
- Q “Rootcaller”: Send out a skillshot to root the first enemy hit. Nearby teammates can dash to the rooted enemy if desired.
- W “Brushmaker”: Passively gain bonus magic damage and range. The active, which is on an ammo system, can make brush at the target location.
- E “Triggerseed”: Place a shield on oneself or a nearby teammate, after a short time the shield explodes dealing damage and slowing enemies.
- R “Daisy”: Summon a golem that attacks and knocks up enemies after 3 hits.
-Extreme Level of Utility
-Strong Counter Jungling
-Crazy High Potential
-Pitiful Amounts of Damage
-Difficult to Play Well
Ivern has pretty much only one role: to be a tanky utility based jungler. He can’t play support because most other supports far outclass him, and every other lane requires other prerequisites Ivern can’t fill. Additionally, he can’t go for a damage route because then he wouldn’t be able to continue pumping out helpful perks. Ivern should be the last one dead in any team fight.
While his kit is certainly confusing, there is a fairly standard way of playing him: assist teammates as much as possible. Sounds dumb, after all that’s what everyone does, but Ivern especially. Because of his passive, he doesn’t have to waste time farming. Prep the camps and spend the rest of the time controlling vision or ganking. This is exemplified by the fact that Ivern doesn’t need a lot of income to be effective, just swing by the jungle every now and then.
Towards the mid game, both the Q and R becomes increasingly important. Q opens up for ganks or team fight engages, and R assists in skirmishes or helps takes objectives like turrets. This is where Ivern shines -short, sweet, and frequent engagements.
Late game is where he starts to fall off a bit; he doesn’t scale so all he has is the base kit – the kit that he’s had all game already. This is also where the teammate reliance really kicks in. If you’re surrounded by early game, or otherwise low damage champions, then the game is lost. It won’t matter that you kept a teammate alive a few extra seconds more if they can’t do anything with it.
After watching and taking into account all the pro/very high elo play so far, I can come to only one conclusion: nobody knows how to build Ivern for sure. At least, there is a very clear divide from one of two builds: a full tank Cinderhulk into Locket of the Iron Solari or an off tank with Runic Echos into defense (varied also by a Runic Echos into Stinger into defense). After trying all 3 myself I wouldn’t say any of them are flat out wrong, just yet anyway.
Going full tank is great if, say, you’re partnered up with someone that you can rely on and communicate with, but generally speaking I think it’s safer to build some damage just in case. Just be careful not to play too riskily and die. Like mentioned before, Ivern needs to stay alive and casting spells as long as possible.
- Get into the habit of placing a brush on yourself when attacking enemies, the bonus damage + range is invaluable.
- Brush synergizes with Rengar and Nidalee, be wary of helping an enemy, but at the same time be on the lookout for assistance.
- Daisy is great for tanking turret shots, command her to attack a turret while your team dives.
- Similarly, Daisy will tank epic monsters allowing for teams, or just Ivern, to take very little to no damage.
- Q (Rootcaller) allows a dash to any enemy hit, be that a minion or champion. Take the opportunity to move in creative ways, such as through the jungle or away from someone.
- E (Triggerseed) is incredible at keeping allies and yourself healthy, use it every time it’s off cooldown in engagements. Additionally, the aoe damage can be good waveclear in a pinch.
- Be extremely wary of an enemy duelist jungler like Kindred or Master Yi. They will make your day a living hell.
Level 1 Cheese: At the start of the game, if you started on the south side of the map, head to your opponent’s red buff and steal it, then head to the top lane for a killer level 2 gank. The Q + red buff almost always nets a first blood. The same could be done on the north side start, but without red it’s less good.
Long Term Viability
Ivern is a strange one, I think he has one of the highest skill ceilings, and by extension one of the most game changing outputs. However, there’s a few hurdles in the way.
- He fundamentally makes you rethink jungling due to the passive. Because of this, there is a large portion of the playerbase that will not even bother playing Ivern, much less find success.
- Learning how to build and play him at a base level. This is a given for any new champion. Take Bard for example: we know now that he has a great kit and can solo carry games with stuns and picks, but back when he was released people thought he was garbage. As people establish a good item set and playstyle, his average skill level will rise.
- 2 of his abilities are double edged, both Q and W can -and will- be used against you. Notably this will mostly affect, and be frustrating for lower elos.
- Because he is so low damage it’s difficult to solo carry. Ivern at this time is a niche pick within high damage, but low mobility compositions. In other words: this just isn’t his meta.
Taking all that into account, my overall prediction for Ivern is this: he will not see much SoloQ play, nor will he do well win rate wise. There are far too many drawbacks for the average player while so many other junglers are exceling in this meta like Elise and Rek’Sai.
However, in competitive, and by extension very high elo play, there is a chance he is considered broken to the point of pick or ban every game. In professional play, there is a significantly higher amount of playtime, preparations, and communication, which is everything Ivern needs to excel. The only issue is that he may need too much to be worth it. Why take a chance on Ivern when, again, Elise and Rek’Sai are pretty much just as good? In short, he may hit it big, but will probably only see rare play in a surprise gimmick comp or something.
The Friend of the Forest
No other champion in my several years of playing has incited such excitement because of the all the possibilities. Ivern is such a fascinating dichotomy of simple to pick up and play, but excruciatingly difficult to master. I think in time Ivern will be a powerhouse in the right hands, but it’s going to take a long time, longer still for competitive play.
Ivern the Green Father very well may one day dictate and morph the League of Legends meta as we know it, but that day is not today.