Happy St. Patrick’s Day from The League Report!

Roses are green,

Violets are green,

League of Legends is going to lag all St. Patrick’s Day,

Because Riot is mean.

Enjoy the ISP lag, my Charter/Comcast/AT&T/Quest/CenturyLink/Potato using friends!

– A sad League of Legends player named Steve

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Why I Main Thresh

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Thresh: The Soul reason to main support.

Thresh is the reason I call myself a support main.  This champion managed to turn what I thought to be the most boring role in League of Legends when I first started the game (Season 3) into my favorite role by far.  I remember when I first started playing League of Legends and getting stuck with support and playing Janna / Nami / Annie every single game.  I only played Annie because I thought it was fun and super cheesy, and this was before she actually took off as a top tier support.  Even in the Annie games I had played I felt like I was just sort of mashing buttons and standing in a bush, waiting for my next back to buy wards.  Nothing was very enjoyable down there in the bottom lane of Summoner’s Rift, and I felt like I was more of a spectator than someone actually playing on the team.

Then I picked up Thresh.  I remember how excited I was to play the champion because of how popular he was in the LCS, and I had never played him before.  His kit looked incredibly fun to play, and I come from an FPS (first person shooter) background in video games, so I absolutely love champions based on skills shots (I’m looking at you Ezreal).  Thresh’s hook is an incredibly fun mechanic to play with, and I love the constant threat that I give in lane with it.  This ability was very easy to learn and adjust to immediately, and I always smart cast all of my spells so I didn’t feel the need to practice it too much.  Thresh’s lantern is also an amazing ability, perhaps the greatest spell in the game that isn’t an ultimate.  This ability is a huge factor in lane, in teamfights, and just roaming around the map in general.  It can be used to create a gank, escape a gank, get a teammate into a good position, get a teammate out of a bad position, to give vision, and even to bluff and scare the enemy team thinking someone is going to take it.  This ability took me a small amount of time to get the range down, but I quickly learned it and it is very simple to use (if your teammate GRABS THE DAMN LANTERN).

Now onto the E… the Flay.  Oh. God.  My first few games with Thresh I was told to not smartcast his E.  I wish I had these games recorded, because they were absolutely hilarious I’m sure.  I would basically try to E, and do one of the following things:

1. Miss completely

2. Stop walking, stand still trying to figure out the direction I wanted the flay to go, and miss completely

3. Flay in the opposite direction, either saving someone’s life on the other team or costing someone’s life on mine

4. Did I mention MISS COMPLETELY?

After a few games I said YOLO, and decided to smart cast it.  This was the best decision I have made in my short League of Legends gaming career.  As soon as I started smart casting this spell, I understood the mechanics of it more and didn’t need to think about the range or the direction I was going.  It just made sense.  Put the cursor behind me parallel to where they are running = They will come back to me.  Put my cursor in front of me, or literally on the enemy, and they will go in front of me.  It was simple. It made sense.  I highly recommend you do this if you are learning Thresh, because a Flash+Flay is nearly impossible without it.

Thresh’s R is very simple to use, but it is also very simple to mess up.  The Box is his ultimate ability, and it goes off immediately upon hitting R.  Until his last nerf, the box literally went up immediately and slowed anyone who walked into the walls. This basically meant that upon landing a hook post level-6, you would follow the hook, hit R, then flay them into the back of the box.  This was almost an insta-gib in lane if you hit the ADC (or the squishy Sona/Nami support), and if you’re maxing E (you better be), your auto will take a huge chunk out of them as well. Match this combo with a Draven or any ADC with burst and you pretty much guaranteed a kill regardless of summoner spells on the enemy.  However, with the latest nerf, The Box takes a little bit of time to “be built”.  The walls need a moment to set up, and this can let the enemy escape before it even slows them or does any damage (which is a ton by the way).  I have found that I have had to change the combo up a bit here, and I will now flay them immediately upon hitting R if they don’t have flash.  If they do have flash, I will wait for them to flash, flay them immediately at the end of their animation, and then hit R.  If you let them flash AFTER you use your ult there is a good chance that they will dodge all walls and you will be left with a useless box in the middle of the lane.

All in all, Thresh is just fun to play.  Every game he makes an impact, and his utility is second to none.  He has an incredible kit for both supporting and carrying, and he can be built many different ways.  If you build a full CDR Thresh you can land a hook every 4 seconds. I do this nearly every game now because I find it to be the most fun and rewarding part of the game.  Everytime you land a hook, whether it be from 2 pixels away or max range in an unwarded part of the map, you get this satisfied feeling that just isn’t matched by many of the other champions on The Rift. If you haven’t tried out Thresh, or you don’t like the support role, I highly recommend you pick him up and play with him for a bit.

Final thoughts: Thresh top lane, Thresh ADC, and even Thresh jungle are all pretty fun to mess around with.  I prefer top Thresh out of all of these, and if your team comp allows it, build full Attack Damage and watch the enemies melt with one auto attack.

Have fun Flaying!

– Steve

My Thoughts on Team Builder

My first thought when I opened up the new lobby type on League of Legends called “Team Builder” was “damn… am I playing Warcraft 3 again?”.  The layout was very simple to understand, and it looked like it was made for a Battle.Net game which came out about ten years ago.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing… I actually really enjoyed the layout, and it made me feel like I was playing an online competitive video game again.  Staring at an outdated client while there is a countdown at the top of the screen has never stood out to me as something a competitive game would have, so this new lobby just made the game feel more intense before it even started.

Okay, okay, I talked about the lobby enough… right? Nope.  It’s a small part of the experience, but it really is a necessary part of any online game in my opinion.  Hell, even Halo 2 had an amazing pregame lobby on the Xbox and that game came out a couple thousand years ago. My favorite part about the lobby is the opportunity to chat with your teammates while you are waiting for a match to be found.  This is a great way to get to know your teammates and joke around a bit before the match, and I felt like it got rid of much of the toxicity which plagues the fields of justice.  In this lobby you can see the champions and roles that everyone is playing, and you can discuss strategies using your team composition.  On top of this, everyone got to play the role that they asked for, so there was no need to argue in the lobby over “pick order vs. call order”.  I felt a much friendlier atmosphere in the Team Builder lobby than the usual blind pick / draft pick lobbies.

Some issues with Team Builder that I ran into during the few games that I played are as follow:

1.  The roles aren’t properly labeled.  I had a “fighter” support, and it ended up being a Darius who actually wanted top lane.  The roles mix sometimes in the pregame lobby process of choosing them, and this can make for some odd team compositions.  I had a Malzahar ADC that same game.

League of Legends Team Builder Issues

Team Builder please…

2.  You cannot establish a solid team composition without booting players on your team and waiting for the right champion to show up.  It would be nice if you could call a role and maybe 3 champions in which you wanted to play so that you could choose based on your teammate’s champion choices.

3.  My final complaint isn’t really a complaint, but a suggestion.  This lobby was really fun and reduced the toxicity in every game I played ten-fold, and I would like to see it implemented in a non-blind pick format.  As I stated in problem #2, I think that you should be able to choose a few champions to go into the draft lobby with, and choose from those after a banning phase has gone through.  In a ranked lobby, I think that you should just need to call a role and not a champion.  This would allow for both the banning phase and the picking phase to occur.  Draft would still go in order like it currently does, but you would only be able to choose a champion to fill your respective role, and everyone would be happy because they would get the role they wanted.  For example, if I wanted to jungle Elise, I would go into ranked queue with “jungle” as my role, but not Elise.  The draft lobby would go through as normal, and if Elise was up when it was my turn to pick, I would pick her.

On a completely unrelated note, I am terrified of spiders but Elise is my favorite champion in the game.  Oh what a tangled web we weave…

All in all, I really enjoyed Team Builder and I hope that they find a way to implement it into the Live server forever very soon.  The toxicity levels dropped dramatically, and I actually felt like the people on my team were my teammates rather than crazy psychopaths sitting behind a computer screen waiting to stab the next person who stole their blue buff.  The game was fun… really, really fun.

TL;DR:  Team Builder = #Worth

– Steve