League of Legends: Have A Plan To Kill Everyone You Meet
Patch v126.96.36.199, Caitlyn and the buffing of the buffed buffs of buffyland
By Jason (Hhean) Harper, OnRPG Journalist
Greetings fellow summoners, this is the patch v188.8.131.52 article for League of Legends. The game in which political debates are tossed aside in favour of 5 on 5 grudge matches to the pseudo-death. This patch rides the buff/nerf rollercoaster up out of the deep valley of nerfopia, a rework to one of the most critical mage items in the game, a new form of exhaust and also a brand spanking new champion in the form of Caitlyn, The Sheriff of Piltover.
Caitlyn is a poking, long range damage dealer, suited to hitting the enemy from as far away as possible. She sits right alongside other champions like Ko’Maw and Ezreal who can force a character out from their tower just through the use of their incredible range. Her main job is to skirmish around, whittling down the enemy team before and after the main team fight, while trying to use her long range to pick off the squishy targets hiding at the back of teams. Her damage output is far from the best, but her extreme range allows her to deal damage from a position of relative safety.
Her passive, headshot, is a great tool during the laning phase, and for grabbing a golem or lizard buff. Every 8th auto attack will give her some bonus damage, which should be used, much like the other passives of this sort, to harass enemies in a lane. This is actually very easy to do, given a shot from a bush counts for 2 attacks, and her auto attack range is the longest in the game currently, barring only a level 18 Tristana.
Her Q, Piltover Peacemaker, is a high damage, long range skillshot that deals damage in a straight line, deceasing in damage with each target it hits. Its one second wind up time, combined with a fairly slow projectile speed can make this a challenge to hit with regularly, but on the upside the projectile is very wide, which allows for a fairly large margin for error on moving tagets. Annoyingly, the learning curve on this ability isn’t helped by the fact that its targeting template is slightly off, both in width and length. It is slightly shorter range, and slightly wider than the template implies. This is her main bread and butter ability, because despite its high mana cost, it has a good damage output over a long range and a short cooldown (Though unless you are going for a manamune, or is stealing the golem buff from your team’s mage, she will be out of mana shortly if you try to use it every time it’s off cooldown). Level it first, max it first, love it, farm with it, kill champions with it, embrace it, give it a pretty bow and marry it.
Yordle Snap Trap [W] works similarly to Nidalee’s Bushwhack ability. She places down a trap, visible to the enemy team, that deal some damage and reveals the enemy that steps on it. The difference with Snap Trap though is it also immobilizes the enemy, and you are only limited to having two placed down at a time. This makes the ability less about map control and more about setting up ganks and cutting off lines of retreat in your area. It also reveals everything around it the moment it is placed, so you can use this for checking around walls, and in bushes, even if you don’t intend to use it as a trap. Pick it up at 3, max it second.
90 Caliber Net [E] (Yes, it is even spelt Caliber in the EU version, rather than Calibre. My spell checker is currently screaming at me and making lewd gestures. I’m filing this one right alongside all the references to ‘Armor’ in the EU client), is a skillshot that slows the first target it hits, and fires Caitlyn backwards in the opposite direction. This works like many of the other jumps and teleports and jumps in the game, allowing her to move through walls. Great for avoiding chasing enemies, not so great in pursuit. Grab it at level 2 and max it last.
Her ultimate, Ace in the Hole [R], is a targetted ability that deals damage to a single target in range. It has a long channelling time, and very poor damage, so overall isn’t worth using often. I wish I could say something more positive about it, but for the same mana cost as Karthus’ ultimate, and dealing the same base damage it only hits one target compared to Karthus’ 5 target hit, it isn’t global and you can only hit the target you want to hit in a one on one or when chasing due to the interception mechanic. I know comparing such wildly different abilities isn’t very fair, but pitting it against another ability with the same mana cost and a similar intended purpose (acquiring a kill from far away) it comes out lacking. It has the bonus of applying on hit effects though, so this can be used for tagging someone with a golem buff’s slow or triggering a sheen, but it won’t work alongside her passive. I tend to use it when chasing, or use it for harassing people under towers. Using it in team fights is a waste of mana, when you could be using it on her other abilities.
Item wise build her as any other attack damage character in the game at the moment. Infinity edge, last whisper and a banshee’s veil set her up well. If you’re having a slow early game, stocking three Doran’s Blades works out well for her to get power early. If you’re doing very well, grabbing a manamune early can also really help with some of her mana issues, and will help her sustainability later in the game. Only do that option if you have money to spare though.
Rune and mastery wise, simply build her as any other AD ranged character. I personally go 21/0/9 on her with armour pen, mana regen per level, cooldown reduction and flat health quintessences. The cooldown reduction isn’t really needed, and is more of a personal preference of mine.
As for the more general changes this patch, the changes to exhaust are a nice improvement, both from the view of people using it, and from those being hit by it. It no longer means you can shut down an auto attacking carry with a single spell, but at the same time it also allows for some versatility if, for example, you know that the enemy Anivia is about to make your stunlocked Kog’Maw into a frozen, then exploding popsicle you can quickly reduce her damage by (hopefully) enough to allow your squishy caterpillar to escape.
The biggest change to all casters everywhere is the removal of Zhonya’s ring and replacing it with two new items – Zhonya’s hourglass and Radoden’s Deathcap. How does this change the game? Well, it means most casters now deal more damage due to the deathcap, and don’t care much about losing the old triggered ability. A few, specialized tank/mages also can pick up the hourglass for all the old goodness of zhonya’s, plus a fruity armour topping.
Jungle Olaf is now possible again! Whoo! I had really missed getting my head kicked in by a raging barbarian. Udyr is now a fierce tiger, rawr! Unfortunately, the buffs don’t address the fact that Tiger doesn’t really serve much of a purpose compared to the other stances’ utility (tanking, crowd control and farming). Garen got buffed! He really needed it. Yeah…
Wards got made cheaper, and had their health system reworked. Don’t worry folks, you can go back to using them for tanking towers again, and ward baiting. Due to their limited duration they aren’t so useful at map control any more though, but they cost less while being less useful at least. Oh Wriggle’s lantern, how I love you.
Baron and Dragon once more have been changed. Baron got nastier to deal with, presumably to deal with the sheer number of champions able to solo him, and the Dragon piñata now drops less shiny candy when beaten. My guess why: see my previous concerns about gold steam roll last patch.
To discuss some of the changes yourselves, visit the League of Legends section of our forums, or post in the massive League of Legends thread in the free to play MMOs section.