League of Legends Season 11 – 7/10

The other day I wasn’t too successful with my placement games in League, so I decided to play more ranked two days ago as well as yesterday. We finished on two losses last time and ended up with four losses and three wins this time around with only two more games to go. My current placement ranked is Silver 2, which is alright. If I get two more wins I’ll gain another 76 LP, bringing me rather close to Silver 1 or potentially even the gold promos.

Anyways, in the first game, we played an MF+Zyra bot lane against an AP Twitch Support and a Crit-Jhin. Our team was mostly owning the enemy lanes. Our Ornn in the top lane went 3/2/10 by the end of the game, completely shutting down the 1/11/4 Darius until the very end of the game. With the feed from Top Lane, Diana got rather strong and ended up with a score of 13/13/5 by the end of the game, dealing the second most damage on our team. Our Ekko did alright. He got one out of five dragons and ganked a fair amount in mid and top lane, ending with a score of 7/10/9… Problem was the enemy bot lane, though. Jhin didn’t really do too much until the late game and my MF was rather strong, dealing the highest damage in the game… The problem we had, however, was the enemy Twitch. Twitch Support shouldn’t really be a thing but thanks to a lot of buffs to his AP scalings and thanks to some AP items working really well on him, it is a thing. The Twitch had the second highest damage in the game and while I was poking from afar using my plants and poking him down and everything, he just ended up getting a lot of kills onto me. Once I picked up my Liandry’s, I was able to deal decent damage and even kill two targets, but most of the time I was wondering if I had gone colourblind since my screen was constantly grey.

With 15 deaths and the second-lowest amount of gold in the game, I wasn’t too proud of this game… but we still managed to win somehow. My biggest concern here was that there is little to no counterplay to Twitch. He doesn’t get revealed until he attacks you. He just one-shots you… and then he goes invisible again. His Damage-Over-Time effects deal true damage but thanks to Night Harvester they also deal an additional 125 (+15% Ability Power) magic damage, per tick. Night Harvester also works on Auto-Attacks, which is why Nashor’s is so good… and generally, this build is no fun at all, which is why I started banning Twitch until that build gets nerfed again.

In the next game, I played Vel’Koz together with my Tristana against a Maokai + Kai’Sa lane. Our biggest problem was that Nidalee would hang around bot lane and chase us down relentlessly. Her spears were really accurate and it’s just rare to see a Nidalee, let alone a good one, in your games, so I underestimated the damage most of the times that she’s able to deal with no items. Later on, her spears would nearly one-shot you and it was just an annoying match overall. Our Brand wasn’t doing too good while our Volibear didn’t deal a whole lot either in the game. Meanwhile, the enemy Maokai would constantly get poked down by me in the lane, only to get rescued by a Kai’Sa-Heal or a Shen-Ult. They eventually ended up grouping rendering our fed Kha’Zix useless in most scenarios… and we ended up losing a game that felt like an even game even when it really was not. It was more of a Jungle vs. Jungle game and eventually, Kai’Sa popped off, too, when they started grouping, leading to our defeat.

Nothing to do about that loss. Was just a bummer. Go next, I guess.

In the next game, we played as Lux + Vayne against MF + Seraphine. Since I didn’t expect any early kills, I opted in for a Guardian build with Imperial Mandate. I then built the Zhonya’s to protect me a fair few times against the enemy Yasuo, Garen or MF. Eventually, I picked up an Oblivion Orb before buying my Watchful Wardstone. With a score of 3/7/23, I felt as if I didn’t do too badly. Sure, I could have died less but in the end, we lost the game because of other reasons, really, and the enemy team just ended up farming us in our base, so those deaths weren’t really my problem…

The biggest issue in this game was that I did basically no damage at all. It at least felt underwhelming even though I did more than Zac, Seraphine and Elise and nearly as much as Malzahar. My bindings were good and with a 42 vs. 48 kills game, it was actually quite close. Sadly our Malzahar was not doing too good, struggling quite hard against Yasuo, and while our Gragas ruined the Garen in top lane early on, Garen eventually was just unstoppable with this Bruiser-build of his that allowed him to tank for ages while cashing out damage like an assassin. In the end, MF actually also got a bunch of kills but she didn’t really pose a threat, in my opinion. I think if I had opted in for Luden’s Tempest instead of Imperial Mandate, I might have been able to actually one-shot her among the other squishies. It was just unlucky that Seraphine landed some really good ultimates on us, giving them the win. This was especially frustrating as we lost while having a 4k gold lead at one point of the game.

The next game we played was a Xerath + Draven lane against a Vel’Koz + Varus lane. This was a bit more of a stomp, to be honest, with Diana scoring 23 kills and with Shaco popping off with his 16 kills. Our Draven wasn’t doing too good, so I ended up roaming a bunch and securing kills in mid lane. Eventually, we ended the game with 55 kills and 38 deaths, as a team.

This game, we actually nearly threw the game as they kept winning team fights while grouping while we didn’t go for picks when our comp is all about picking off enemies. Our Diana said that they have no late game and that we’re winning this for sure, but it was getting rather close, despite us having a rather big lead. Luckily, we ended soon after that. Despite having the lowest gold in our team (I often didn’t get assists for kills that I assisted at), I actually dealt decent damage. In the actual damage graphs, it doesn’t really show it but my ultimate shots were able to chunk away quite well at the enemies, securing us a bunch of kills… so I’m quite proud of that.

Alas, in the last game, I had to first-pick so I decided to go for Leona. I’m not too confident on her but since our team didn’t hover anything, I had to go with something with CC and Tank capabilities. We faced off against Alistar and Vayne, which isn’t the scariest matchup, especially as I can E to the Vayne to stun her and Samira can just E to her and juggle her up for two stacks of her passive. I kinda fucked up by not buying items at the beginning of the game, giving them a free level 2 with no engage from us but we then just killed them a whole bunch and were snowballing out of control. Our Syndra wasn’t too good at the game but our Top+Jungle were just godlike. Poppy played 11 games of Poppy this season with a 100% win rate. Volibear also had a high win rate in a similar amount of games. They ended up doing their job and we snowballed in bot lane and the enemy Ryze wasn’t too scary. We won the game quite easily, despite the hickups with coming to lane with no items, etc.

Here and there I tried pushing the lane and ended up stealing a cannon minion from Syndra. Syndra then would ping “?” on me, then flash on the spot and recall. I decided to apologise for it… but then it happened another time and they just stood still for a minute or two, potentially raging IRL. I’ll have to be careful about stuff like that in the future. Apart from that, I enjoyed using this build with the Solari into Zeke’s. My next item would have been Abyssal Mask. Honestly, I’m not sure if Zeke’s is really that worth it but I’ll have to check the damage on that again next time. Abyssal Mask would have given me the MR against Gragas and Ryze that I really needed on top of amplifying the damage my teammates did by 10% whenever I cc’d enemies.

Oh well, that brings us to the end of those play sessions. I’ll just have to continue banning Twitch and playing the champs I’m good at while being careful about my positioning. Playing CC was alright that game… but as you can see I had only about 9k gold at the end of the game and tank items are expensive. Playing tank isn’t that rewarding, in my opinion.

Looking forward to reaching gold somewhat soon and potentially climbing up higher. Hope you liked this update.

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Season 11 – Placement Games 2/10

Season 11 has started! So I played three games from my placement series but one of them was a remake so that doesn’t count really. Alas, here’s an update:

In the first game, we had a promising comp. My duo mate’s Jhin got picked by the enemy so he went Miss Fortune instead. Since we already had a lot of AP damage in our team and since the enemy team had three melee-champions, I decided to pick Senna to keep them at bay with Glacial and my W and to poke them from afar. The enemy team was rather beefy with both Tahm Kench and Swain but they were mainly AD, so I had high hopes for this one, especially as the Jhin picked Magic Resist runes against a double AD bot lane… alas, I started poking him out of lane but Swain apparently didn’t connect yet so we got a remake, sadly. While I would have loved to play that game, I’m also kind of glad that we didn’t since our top laner was auto-filled. 

The next game went horrible. My duo mate and I were playing Jhin and Vel’Koz which is great since the enemy team didn’t have too much range and since Jhin is super strong right now. My Vel’koz is not too shabby either, so I had high hopes for this game in champ select… if it weren’t for our teammates. Our Top Laner and our Jungler were premade, too, and played Teemo and Vi. Teemo lost early against the Irelia, so that wasn’t good… Irelia quickly snowballed and became close to unstoppable. Vi is a great pick in the jungle since you can gank rather early with your Q and since your ultimate as Vi is incredible in team fights. The problem was that Vi just didn’t gank at all, resulting in us having a hard time in bot lane with Orianna roaming a lot and Kayn ganking way too much. This would be no problem if it weren#t for this annoying Draven+Lulu lane that we had to face. Draven can snowball really hard if you don’t shut him down early. We missed opportunities to get kills on him and eventually he kept one-shotting me and Jhin. At the same time, Draven would use his flash and heal all the time but we’d still get no jungle attention from Vi… I mean, nobody really did get any ganks from Vi. 

Alas, the enemy Kayn was three levels above our Vi, got all the dragons but one, and was super strong, too. Our Gragas mid went full damage but didn’t really have an impact. Our Bot Lane was super behind. The Vi went full damage as well, despite being behind, and since Orianna, Irelia, Draven and Kayn would constantly roam and kill us in our own jungle, I amassed a lot of deaths. This game was horrible. We were not able to do anything while our top laner and our jungle were constantly flaming us. It was not fun at all, especially since Draven would also go invisible after every kill. The biggest problems were Irelia, Kayn and Orianna, though… so it was too much to handle, and alas, I lost my first game.

The third game that I played yesterday was a Nami+Lucian game. We had a Malphite Top against an Akali that got super fed. Our Yi got some early kills… Yasuo refused to play an AP champion, so I was basically the only AP champion in our team, especially with Malphite going full tank. We got some good kills early so things were looking good. I was sure that we’d be able to stop the Akali later on in team fights with our Malphite’s and my ultimate ability. Sadly, though, Ezreal ended up getting a bunch of kills and… Lux kept one-shotting me with one Q+Auto.

Welcome to the League of Oneshots where Yasuo is able to flame you even when he’s 2/8 with barely any kill participation and where Lux one-shots you harder than Akali – who btw was always there to clean up as well.

In the end, I had to mute everyone but since Lux and Akali were so fed I couldn’t ward anything. Yasuo and Yi kept dying right when Drakes were about to spawn. Meanwhile, Lucian was falling off, Ezreal got a bunch more kills in our base before they ended up finishing. It wasn’t fun at all.

So, that was my last game of the day. I was a bit frustrated with the quality of the games. The placement games so far ended up placing me in Silver III… which is fine. I can climb out of that. If I win some of the next games, I’ll place higher though, so I’m going to try to focus more on my positioning in the next ones. 

Again, most of this post sounds like I’m blaming my team or whatever but I know that I played like garbage, myself. Sure, my team’s decisions at times weren’t optimal but in the end, what counts is that I play better, or else I won’t be able to reach platinum.

Goals for the next games:

  • Get some good bans in. Samira is less of a problem compared to all the assassins in the game.
  • Watch my positioning. I need to die a lot less, especially with my current champ pool!
  • Mute everyone. I just gotta do it. Everything that has to be communicated can be communicated via pings. I don’t need the chat for anything but the “gl hf” I type at the beginning and the “gg wp” at the end of the game. 
  • Focus. The longer games continue and the more frustrating they are, the more I lose focus. These past two games were lost at minute fifteen but we could have had good team fights to turn the game around, potentially.
  • Stay positive. Again, just do it. “Oh, we’ve got a Yasuo who’s never played the Champion before? I’m sure he’s smurfing. Oh, he died five times already? He’s not gonna be worth any more gold!” I gotta stay positive and focus on the goal of the game: Winning. I only gotta get upset at my own mistakes, as always.

I did the latter part quite well in those games but I eventually lost focus, especially when teammates started flaming… I should have just muted them.

So, uh, in case I wanna keep my post-streak up, I’ll post more on this in the near future! Hope you enjoyed this post. Did you start playing ranked yet? The grind tends to be rough at the beginning and at the end of the season but I’m sure I’ll get some good games soon!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Looking forward to LoL Season 11

Another year, another season. League of Legend’s Preseason 11 has started quite a while ago, and with 2021 being around the corner, I thought I’d take the time to write a post on it.


Just like other seasons, there has been a major change in the Rift this time around to keep the game fresh and innovative: The Item Rework!

Alas, this season brought a whole new shop system and the introduction of Mythic items that basically are supposed to be super overpowered but you can only buy one Mythic item. On top of that, they have Mythic passives that add bonus stats to all other Legendary (aka completed) items, including boots! These new Mythic items, as well as a bunch of new other items, replace about a third of the old items that got removed. Meanwhile, the last third of the items have been reworks. Generally, I feel like a lot of the items are quite strong but not too strong. There are some items that still need to get touched but I’ll talk about that later.

Before we talk about my issues with the new season, I wanted to talk about what I’m looking forward to, my champ pool, builds I’ve enjoyed, and what I’m glad about.

As a Support player, I made it to Gold last season and this Pre-Season, so I want to reach that goal again in the next season and potentially even climb past it to Platinum+ if I’m good enough. Riot changed the ranked system in a way that is going to make climbing easier, so I’m happy about that. From now on, there is no promotional series (aka “win two out of three games” to be promoted) between the ranks of one division. Instead, you have to reach 100 LP to climb from, say, Gold IV to Gold III. Once you’re at 100 LP in Gold I, you need to win three out of five games to be able to get to Platinum IV, which is a great change! On top of that, being at 99 LP is less frustrating now as a win translates into, say, +16 LP in the next rank if you gain 17 LP after your win. This is a welcome change that I’ve been asking for, for quite a while now actually. There was nothing more frustrating in League than winning a game only to gain 1 LP and to then get inters, feeders and AFKs in your promotional series only to reach the next step in your climb.

I’ve been playing a bit of ADC this season and have been enjoying a plethora of champions in that role. Alas, I’m going to go with ADC for my second role and I’ll most likely play (in this order) Jhin, Caitlyn, Ashe, and Varus. Otherwise, I obviously would also manage to trade roles or potentially pick something else to fit my team’s needs. On Jhin, I’ve been enjoying the crit builds a lot with Krakenslayer/Galeforce into Rapidfire Cannon into Infinity Edge/Bloodthirster. With Krakenslayer your third shot basically deals as much damage as your fourth shot, which is a pretty big deal. Meanwhile, you’re super fast with Galeforce and also gain a dash to get out of some peculiar situations, which is quite fun. Most of the time, though, I play a lethality build with Eclipse into Collector on Jhin, running Dark Harvest, and basically one-shotting everyone. The Collector is incredibly broken as it basically executes enemy champions at 5% of their health, which sounds like nothing… but if a Champion had about 5000 HP, they’d get executed at 250 HP, which is surreal… and a lot of fun.

But my main role is obviously Support. I’m a sucker for mage supporters and enchanters and I used to play a lot of Nautilus and Braum in the past… but tank supporters feel incredibly weak. Unless you get super ahead, you can’t get tanky enough and you can’t really set up kills either. Tank items are constantly getting nerfed when it comes to their tankiness (the part that you need) when it’s actually the damage that should get nerfed (the part that a Tank/Tank Support doesn’t need). At the same time, Tank items are extremely overpriced and you end up in this weird spot where you need kills as a supporter to make the dream possible. I wanted to try out Tahm Kench again and some other champions that I used to main, like Taric, but I’ve put it off since everything else feels a lot stronger and better in my humble opinion.

And I don’t mind that. I don’t mind that tank supporters feel weak in a tank meta. I don’t mind not having to dodge a thousand hooks in the bot lane. I really don’t. Obviously, people still play tank supporters and statistics say that Leona, Thresh and other champs are really strong at the moment… but I just personally don’t like the feel of tanks, at the moment, and alas, I go for mages and enchanters instead.

This brings us to my current favourite mages to play in the Support lane: Xerath, Zyra, Vel’Koz, Brand, Neeko, and Morgana.

Xerath and Vel’Koz are incredible at poking down enemies from afar, setting up kills or securing them when your ADC isn’t close enough yet. Both of these champions scale well into the late game but don’t need many items to burst people down. Xerath has a lot of burst damage, a slow and a stun in his kit as well as a semi-global ult and a lot of sustain through his passive. I tend to go for Luden’s Tempest into Event Horizon on him, although Liandry’s into Demonic Embrace also can work quite well on him against tanky teams. Luden’s Tempest gives you some movement speed on every proc and adds a lot of burst-damage to your abilities when you hit enemies. Meanwhile, Event Horizon adds an increase in damage on abilities that hit enemies at more than 750 range or that immobilize them. Xerath’s Q is already 750 range long when tapped, as far as I know, so this is a great item on him as well. Vel’Koz has a knock-up on his E as well as plenty of tools in his kit to zone enemies, secure objectives and kills as well as a lot of true damage to melt enemies away, which is just lovely. I tend to go for the same items on him as on Xerath. On these two champions, I tend to run Comet, Manaflowband, Transcendence/Absolute Focus and Scorch… and then I go for Cosmic insight+Cookies in the second tree or I opt-in for Presence of Mind and Coup de Grace for some extra damage.

All the other supports I mentioned have also great poke and some degree of utility to them. Zyra is incredibly nice to pick when you have an Ezreal for your ADC. Ezreal scales well into the late game and usually buys Tear for his first item, so picking up lane-dominant supports like Zyra can help him scale away without problems or maybe even pick up an early kill or two to snowball. Zyra is also great against Melee comps that are fairly tanky, as you most likely will buy Liandry’s+Demonic Embrace into Morello. The double burn procs on all of your plants which makes you great for taking Baron Nashor or for team fights. Brand already has a DoT on his passive, so obviously, you want to capitalize on that by building double burn, hence resulting in a triple burn. Brand also has a Stun in his Q when applied on a burning target as well as percentage-health damage in his passive (and if I remember correctly, the other part of your passive with hitting three abilities on one target actually does true damage!). Hence, Brand doesn’t need many items to really shine and he’s also great to take objectives or to team fight with.

And well, Neeko,… is… interesting. She never has been weak but people don’t really play her as a Support anymore. I usually go Luden’s or Protobelt on her. You can also build Night Harvester on her or go for the double burn if you want to. There are a lot of different options for her and you can easily catch people off-guard with the clones, her damage, her utility and her epic ultimates in team fights, which makes her a great pocket-pick.

As you can see these are all mages… but sometimes you just have too much magic damage on your team already, so I have two picks for that case to balance out the damage more: Ashe and Senna.

On the one hand, Senna has been one of my favourite champions to play last season. She has great scaling, great poke and a heal (that scales with Attack Damage), as well as some decent CC on her W in form of a long-range AoE root. Her E ability lets you camouflage your teammates to get away or to engage on people in a better way while her ultimate does decent damage and even shields allies at a global range! My favourite build on her is Eclipse into the Collector. I usually run either Grasp of the Undying or Glacial Augment on her, based on what I play against. The items generally are the same as Jhin’s as you’re basically doing the same thing as him… but in a less artsy way.

Ashe, on the other hand, is a fantastic pocket pick of mine that I haven’t seen too many people play as a Support yet. Essentially you run comet to poke enemies down with your W and you stack up Focus on enemies to then burst them down with your Q. Your E provides vision for your team while your W makes it easier to hit the comet. On top of that, your ultimate is a great engage/disengage tool at a global range, although I suck at landing those. As for builds, I tend to go for Imperial Mandate into Manamune into Ravenous Hydra. This build is all about your W which does more damage thanks to Imperial Mandate and Muramana (the upgraded Manamune) and which basically also amplifies your allies’ damage by a considerable amount as well. All of the items in this build have a lot of ability haste, resulting in you basically being able to spam your W while not running out of mana. Muramana also applies on-hit damage to all of your attacks and spells. Ravenous Hydra heals you and also applies some AoE damage to your volley and auto-attacks. Overall, it’s a fun build to try out into some team comps or when your team is lacking in the physical damage or CC department.

Speaking of ability haste: Cooldown Reduction has been changed. Before the change 10% cooldown reduction would allow about 11% more casts and getting more cooldown reduction would result in even more casts of abilities, which was great. Getting 40% cooldown reduction was basically what you’d want most of the time as it scales exponentially. The new system, however, is all about ability haste which stacks linearly, just like most other stats in the game. There is no cap on how much Ability Haste you can have, meaning that it’s possible to even reach 50% or 60% CDR with the new system, although you’d have to opt-in for very specific items to do exactly that, resulting in potentially losing some power as you’re not going for more damage but more tasks. This new system is actually also quite cool as it means that getting less is better compared to before.

The last category of champions that I’m playing this season is about enchanters!
I mainly tried out Nami in the preseason as well as a few others and overall, everyone felt quite neat to play. Nami, Bard, Janna, Soraka, Lulu, Sona, Seraphine, and Rakan are great champions to pick up (and yes, I count Bard and Rakan as Enchanters) especially with all the new items. Before the item rework, you’d go the exact same items on every enchanter in every game for your first three: Ardent Censer, Athene’s Unholy Grail, and Redemption. There wasn’t much variety from game to game and while I miss Athene’s Unholy Grail a ton… I’m kind of happy about the new changes. Generally, I go for Imperial Mandate on Nami followed by Ardent Censer or Staff of Flowing Water.

Imperial Mandate causes immobilizing abilities to mark enemies and deal extra damage – and allies can proc the mark to deal even more damage on top of that. Nami’s Q, E and R work great with this item. Ardent Censer is still a great item but sometimes I have to opt-in for the Staff of Flowing Water as it’s basically made for Nami… I mean, what item would be more befitting of Nami who’s already wielding the Tidecaller’s Staff? The Staff of Flowing Water grants you and your allies Ability Power and Movement Speed whenever you affect them with your abilities. The bonus MS paired with your passive works great to rescue allies in bad positions while the ability power works quite well with a lot of champions… although it’s mostly for yourself. When I play with a Kog’Maw, Lucian, Varus, Senna, or Kai’Sa this is a great pick-up as it enables them, even more, to get away, kite better, get closer, or add damage to the abilities that scale with AP in their kit. Ardent Censer, however, gives you and your ally on-hit damage and attack speed, which is also great. It just depends on the champions.

Now, this is a great change for Enchanters: You basically have your Mythic Item, your Support Item, Boots, an Enchanter Item, and potentially another… but what do you do with your last slot? Generally, you’d get more pink wards but you can only place down one at most on the map and you can only carry two at the same time. Buying an additional item results in no more pink wards for your team, which sucks. Alas, you’ll get… hear me out… the best item that was introduced this season… the Vigilant Wardstone.

For a price of only 1100 gold, you get an item that grants you the ability to store three pink wards at the same time in your inventory. Once you placed down 20 Stealth Wards (#easy #supportlyfe), it transforms into the next level of the item which basically grants you some bonus stats… and then you can also invest another 1300 gold into it to get even more bonus stats. The end result is an item that stores pink wards (that you still have to buy) but it also grants you bonus movement speed and ability haste (GREAT for enchanters!) and… it also increases the cap for stealth and pink wards placed. You can now place down a maximum of four stealth wards and two pink wards (instead of three/one) with this item.

Vision = Power

On top of that, you also have other options that you can go for as far as items go… Zeke’s procs now whenever you CC enemies, so it’s a viable option to use on champions like Nami as it doesn’t require a short ult cooldown to work efficiently anymore. Meanwhile, Moonstone Renewer is a great item for times when you need to heal a lot instead of dealing a lot of damage. Instead of amplifying your damage with Imperial Mandate, you instead opt-in for amplifying your heals, which is great on Soraka, for instance. Also, you don’t have to buy a completed Morellonomicon to have Grievous Wounds as a Mage but can instead just build the Oblivion Orb for considerably less gold. And that’s lovely. On so many levels.

Now, earlier I talked about issues with items that I have and… well,… The Collector is just unhealthy for the game. Being able to execute people like that is a bullshit mechanic to have in a game as it makes champions like Jhin, Senna, Draven and even Veigar incredibly strong with little to no counterplay. Again, 5% of your maximum health is a huge amount of health still… If they tuned it down to 2.5% or maybe just 1%, it would be considerably less strong to the point where it was useless… Alas, I’d say that the item should receive a nerf to its stats and/or its price. Being able to build this as your second item every damn game on some champions and get away with just having two items is bullshit and super unhealthy. It not only makes it easier to get kills but also rewards you a bonus of 25 gold every time you take down an enemy, which eventually pays for your next item, making you even stronger. It’s a snowball item like the Sword of the Occult, which is unhealthy for the game.

At the same time, healing is too strong in the game even though it was supposed to go down. Tanks are also too strong. It’s not the problem that you can’t kill them easily… after all, that’s their purpose: They’re tanks!
The problem is that they’re dealing a ton of damage to enemies around them. Sunfire and some of the other Immolate-Mythic-Tank-Items are way too overtuned, in my opinion, with their damage increasing based on your other tank-stats such as your health. Being tanky is good but dealing scaling damage is not so good for the health of the game. Now, I haven’t played League in two weeks so maybe there’s been another patch. Alas, I’ll hold off on this rant for until I’m home again, this Sunday. I may write about this again in the new year.


I hope you enjoyed this looooooooooooooooooong post. I wouldn’t have thought that this would turn into a post that is nearly as long as my Moonlighter review… Oh well. Personally speaking, I really enjoy writing about topics like these here with my strategies or thoughts on a meta. As mentioned before, I don’t like being forced to play tanks or whatever in a season. I play what I enjoy and this season… I can do that. I can play enchanters and mages, poke and cc, I can do all kinds of things and still have fun with the game while climbing. I’m looking forward to Season 11. And I’m looking forward to potentially writing about these topics as well throughout the season.

How about you? What champions are you going to play? What are your thoughts on any of these changes and my pool? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Indietail – Minion Masters

Today we’re taking a look at Minion Masters, a card-based Strategy-game by BetaDwarf! It’s a free-to-play-game with some interesting mechanics and while I’m not sure if it counts as Indie, it certainly isn’t a triple-A-title!

In Minion Masters you play as a Minion Master against others, increasing your rank when defeating them and dropping in the leaderboard ranks. Each Minion Master has a unique way of attacking units and three different abilities that are unlocked whenever you level up. You increase your level by gaining enough experience points, to do that you have to control the bridges on the map that connect the enemy-territory to yours.

The third dragon was certainly an overkill but at least I get style points for it!

To do that, you need to play cards that cost mana. Mana is generated passively and is consumed upon playing a card. There’re three different types of cards: Spells, Minions, and Buildings.
Spell Cards range from AoE-damage to buffs for your minions to spells that summon minions. Buildings can do all kinds of stuff as well from summoning minions overtime to healing nearby units to damaging enemy buildings or generating experience points.

So, when you want to take control over the bridges you need to summon Minions that then walk onto the bridge. There’s also a variety of Minions (just like in every card game) with flying and ground, normal and siege, and ranged and melee units. To win a round of Minion Masters, you need to destroy the enemy Master Tower where the Minion Masters are standing on.

As for modes, there’s Solo-Battle, Team-Battle, Draft, Challenges, Expeditions, and Mayhem. As a beginner, you should go for the Challenges since you’re then playing against NPCs that reward you with cards upon winning. That way, you’re able to build a decent deck relatively early on. The Expeditions and Mayhem are only temporary modes, meaning that they rotate every few days and are only available for a few days.

Expeditions, on the one hand, are sort of like a story-mode where you go into an area and have to defeat enemies to gain glory. Once you have enough glory you can then challenge the bosses that all have unique spells and get harder the less glory you have. When defeating “normal enemies”, you’re presented with three “missions” that grant you bonus-glory if you achieve them before winning. These games are against actual players as well, so you’re always against people in your skill-bracket, except when facing off against the bosses. At the end of every expedition, you receive a certain reward, based on that expedition.

Mayhem, on the other hand, are modes with extra-rules, like a group of minions spawning on every side of the map every half minute or you summoning a minion whenever you use a spell. In this mode, you get a free entry once and after that have to pay 750 Gold to enter again. After losing three times, you’re out of the “run” and need to pay the fee again but are rewarded based on your performance. The best reward is awarded at 12 wins, giving you a card. Sometimes it’s not worth the effort, so you should always check the rewards beforehand.

Mordar is one of the available Minion Masters and features a revival-mechanic for minions!

Draft gives you a random deck and a random master when you attempt it. In the Draft Queue, you get to choose from one of three cards for your first card and so on. There’s quite a lot of RNG involved in this queue, so I usually don’t go for it at all.

Solo- and Team-Battle are the Queues that I usually go for. Here you build a deck, choose a Master and are facing off against enemies in your skill-bracket. Between matches you can also change up your deck a bit to improve it. Team-Battle is divided into premade and random since it’s harder to play with someone random than with someone you know. You also get to make up for each other’s faults when you’re playing premade, which I like quite a lot, strategy-wise.

Each season lasts for only one month. After that, you get a season-reward based on your rank for every queue. In the next season, you start at Wood again but are rewarded with points towards the next division based on your last rank. In the May-season for example, I ended up in Platinum 4 in solo Queue, I think, giving me quite a lot of points in the June season, so that I had to start from Silver 1 only if I remember correctly. That way I didn’t have to grind too many ranked games again before reaching the previous rank and possibly climbing higher.

Speaking of ranks, there’re different ranks in Minion Masters: Wood, Stone, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster. Each rank has five divisions from 5 (lowest) to 1 (highest).

After winning this round, I got awarded 160 points towards Platinum 4. On top of that, I received 48 Gold and some profile experience. Leveling up your profile gives you cosmetics, more deck slots and occasionally Gold and Rubies.

Before I’m going into strategies and the deckbuilding, I wanted to talk about the game’s business model and the resources that you get in-game. There’s gold acquired from Missions, playing the game and free tokens. It is used to buy cosmetics in the shop as well as some cards and new power tokens. Every day you gain a free token, that awards you with either rubies or gold. On top of that, there’re season and power tokens. Season Tokens award you with a certain pool of cards depending on the battle-pass-theme. Power Tokens can be purchased for gold in the shop and grant you one random card. Via this mechanic, you’re able to get powerful cards even when you’re low on shards. Shards are awarded in different ways in the game and are used to craft cards. And then there’re the previously mentioned rubies. You’re able to buy skins and other kinds of cosmetics with rubies but have to invest real money into the game to get these. The game only funds itself with DLCs (like the All Masters DLC) and ruby-purchases but is other than that free to play. There’s a season pass in every season that rewards you with rewards in every tier if you buy the season pass of the game for rubies. The free season pass only grants you rewards on every few tiers, similar to other games BUT Minion Masters also grants you rubies now and then that you then can use to buy the season pass. The season pass itself kind of pays for itself if you achieve most ranks, meaning that you get new cards, gold, shards, avatars and skins on top of rubies, so I would say that players should keep their free rubies and then buy the season pass to gain even more rubies off of that.

The Bones & Bravery season pass
Apep, the Slither Master with random cards and toxic breath.

The different Minion Masters can be unlocked with both Shards and Rubies but to win the game you just need a good deck and skill, so while getting rubies makes it easier with the battle pass and the faster-acquired masters, it’s not pay-to-win, which I like quite a lot.

As for strategies, you have a huge amount of cards from all kinds of factions to chose from to build a deck that consists of ten cards. I used to play quite a lot of Apep, a Minion Master that gains a free minion card with his first and third skill, and used to run a deck with even more cards that summon minions of a higher cost or grant me more mana, so that I could save up mana and have an advantage of the enemy. The downside was that I didn’t have much control over my deck and could technically just lose due to bad RNG.

Morgrul’s Ragers

After that I used to play a deck focused around “Morgrul’s Ragers”, a card that gives all minions on the battlefield increased damage when a Void-minion has damaged the enemy’s Master Tower. So of course, I would run a deck with the Rammer for example who only attacks buildings (including the Master Tower) on top of Swarmers and other fast units that come in packs and can deal significant damage as well as ranged ground units that could deal with flying units.

And right now I’m playing the latest Master, Morellia, who’s got a Necronomicon that can either summon skeletons, give friendly units more health, harvest health from enemy units that heal the own Master Tower or decrease a 4+ mana spell’s cost, which in itself is quite strong, but her third quirk gives her “The Queen Dragon” as a card which summons Nyrvir, an undead dragon that has plenty of health and damage. On top of that Nyrvir also has a Quest going where you need to collect spectral essence from units to gain a bonus effect. So my deck is focused on Accursed units that all give you spectral essence. At 20 spectral essence, I gain extra effects as the quest is finished. Also since Morellia’s early game is not as strong as some other Masters’ I’m also running an experience-shrine that gives you bonus experience passively. Therefore I reach level 3 faster and can finish at that point most of the time.

Every day you receive a daily quest with a gold reward. You can have up to three quests. On top of that, there’s also special quests every now and then and the daily chests that contain two season pass tiers and can be received by winning three games every day.

To combat different enemy units, you need to play certain other units. There’s a unit called “The Cleaver” which costs 6 mana, for example, and does huge amounts of damage but has low attack-speed since its cleaver gets stuck in the ground after every swing. To combat that one I’m running the Skeleton Horde. For flying units, I have some ranged units, for hordes of enemies I have the Blastmancer and there are even more cards that can be used in certain cases. Every unit has a counter of some sorts!

Usually, you want to gain an advantage on the enemy by answering enemy minions with minions that need less mana. There are also other mechanics like pushing units with other units so that slower enemies get faster to the scene of action. Small features like that add quite a lot to the game since it makes the game Easy to learn, hard to master“.

Settsu is one of the Masters you can choose from and can enter the battle-field as a “minion” herself!

My favourite part of the game, however, is the fact that the rounds are fast-paced and only last 2 to 4 minutes on average. The longest rounds I played were 8 minutes long, which is still not that much. So when you’re running low on time, it’s a great thing that these games are really short and can be fit into every schedule – while other games need more time quite often.

But even if I’m praising this game so much, there are a few things that bother me. For instance, you’re gaining shards slowly, meaning that you can only craft up legendary cards that cost 2000 shards after quite a while. The other thing is that the announcer is sometimes really delayed with his commentary and that the music of the game isn’t that great. That is why I’m usually listening to music on Spotify while playing the game. Also when your teammate leaves the game, you automatically lose the game, no matter if you were winning or not. I would like a feature where the game is paused and you’re either able to “surrender”, hence losing the game, or “Fight on!” having both decks available and playing for two alone. Your teammate would then still lose since he left, but you could at least save yourself from possibly losing your rank.

The collection view, showing all of my owned cards.

All in all, Minion Masters is a good game. It has some flaws to it but those may be changed in the future since the devs are active on the game and publishing a new patch with balancing-changes and other features every few weeks. The game has quite a lot of replay-value especially since it’s a competitive game with short rounds. There are also 38 achievements on steam that you can go for. Since it’s free, you should check it out for yourself if my review wasn’t enough for you.

Anyways, cheers!

This post is part of a contest/challenge called Blaugust! The goal is to post as much as possible and participants are awarded with different prizes depending on the goal they achieved. My aim is to post on all 31 days of August and if you’d like to know more about this “event”, you should check this post out.