League of Legends Thoughts – URF Mode Top 10 Favorite Champions

Ultra Rapid Fire Mode, or URF Mode, is the most recent gametype on the League of Legends Live Client. As I’m sure many of you have played it I am not going to go into detail as to what it is, but I am going to mention a few of my favorite champions and list the the reasons why I like them so much. Once you have read this post I would like to ask you for your favorite champions in the League of Legends URF Mod.

My favorite champions in URF Mode:

1. Blitzcrank – Hook, E, R, Dead. Repeat. AP Blitzcrank is hilariously fun to play in this game mode, and his cooldowns are all very low. Hitting a hook on a squishy target is almost instant death for them.

2. Maokai – The burst, the chase potential, the damage, the sapling traps… This champion is way too fun to play in URF Mode. Maokai can chase down and stun opponents across Summoner’s Rift, while also throwing saplings (or presents if you’re awesome and use the Festive Maokai skin), and dealing tons of damage to enemies around him. Want to have some real fun? Sit in a bush that and stack saplings in it, then lure an opponent into the bush and watch them get deleted instantly.

3. Thresh – Essentially a 0 second Cooldown on your hook if you hit it. If that’s not fun I don’t know what is.

4. Elise / Jayce – Both of these champions are ridiculously fun to play because of their ability to switch forms. You have so many abilities that are off cooldown at any given moment that you confuse yourself more than anything. I had a blast switching between forms and face rolling my keyboard for games on end.

5. Ashe – W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W W. Then some R’s. Then W W W W W W W W W W W W W. Then GG.

6. Soraka – Just… hilarious. Good luck killing her is all I can tell you.

7. Nunu – Baron and Dragon are no match for the Nunu. Have fun soloing the jungle and never needing to back for anything!

8. Riven – If you want to face roll some enemies, here’s your champion. You are given endless chase potential with a shield that has nearly a 0 second cooldown. It’s almost silly if you lose.

9. Ziggs – Bombs away!

10. Mundo – Such health, much cleavers.

These are my Top 10 Champions to play in URF (for fun, not to win). Please comment with your favorite champions to play for this League of Legends Thoughts – URF Mode post!

– Steve

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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

Thoughts On Showdown 1v1 Game Type

With Snowdown approaching the League of Legends Live Client, I have been playing the new “Showdown” game type on the PBE.  I absolutely love the 1v1 game type that Riot has introduced, and will explain why.

Rules of 1v1 Showdown:

Draft Pick, 3 bans each

Blind Pick after bans, both players can be the same champion.

First to 100 Minions Wins

First Player to Die Loses

First Player to Destroy the Enemy’s Turret Wins

01010 Day 1…

As you can see there are three ways in which to win a game of Showdown.  The most fun way to win in my opinion is to kill the enemy champion.  I enjoy playing early game champions with fast paced kits, so I mainly play Riven and Lee Sin.  Unfortunately, these champions are usually banned, so I tend to try out a lot of random champions.  Thresh and Blitzcrank were both quite fun, as was Sion and Dr. Mundo.  Showdown is a really great place to try out different champions and test out how they do in low level duals.

My favorite part about Showdown is the ability to capitalize on your opponent’s mistakes.  You don’t need to worry about the enemy midlaner or jungler coming into your lane at any point in the game, so you can control the game however you want.  If your opponent makes a mistake you have the ability to take full advantage of the game and dictate what the opponent can and cannot do for the next few minutes.  If at any point they would put themselves into a situation where they could possibly be killed, you can take that opportunity to finish the game.  I have won countless games at level 3 because of bad positioning and the false sense of security that many players have.  If at any point you see a chance to get a kill, you can go in without fear of being ganked.  The entire game is up to you, which is what makes it so fun for me.

Another thing that I love about Showdown is how fast paced it is.  Sometimes I don’t even look at the minions and just wait until I have a chance to either trade very well or get a quick cheesy kill at level 2 after they burn their abilities on the wave.  Lee Sin and Riven are both great for this early game strategy.  Sometimes I win games without even touching the minion wave.

My main suggestion for Showdown is to bring Flash with you.  Many people go fully aggressive with Ignite / Exhaust or Ignite / Barrier.  This can work, but against aggressive players like Riven who will try to all in you early it doesn’t help.  Anytime I see that the enemy doesn’t have flash and I do I know that I can force a fight, and if it is a favorable fight I will be able to chase them down with flash and end the game.  It is also great for surprising your opponent with an engage that wouldn’t be possible without the quick blink across the screen towards them.  I tend to run Flash / Ignite in every match-up.

Make rune pages!  Remember that you don’t need to worry about a lot of the threats from Summoner’s Rift, and you also don’t need to try to scale to late game.  Focus on winning the game early, and adjust your Masteries and Runes accordingly.  Make sure to create a few rune pages with and without Magic Resist, as a lot of the champions used in Showdown do not deal magic damage.

This is your chance to really improve your laning skills as well as testing the limits of a champion.  I already feel a lot more confident in 1v1 situations because of Showndown, and I will only get better as I practice more and expand my champion pool.  This is also a great place to test out unfavorable match-ups and trying to cheese your way to victory with a quick, smooth play before the opponent can even react.  Focus on your strategy in Showdown, watch for mistakes, work on your mechanics, and have fun!

– Steve

League of Legends and Working Out

I have been a gamer since I was 5 years old, and damn did I look it all the way until I was a junior in high school.  I didn’t much care about my appearance, nor did I care about my diet or exercise plan.  Don’t get me wrong, I played tennis at a near collegiate level, and I played soccer all my life.  I was good at these things, but they were never things I had to really work hard on.  When I was a junior in High School I weighed the same amount as my skinny mother.  I was near 6 feet tall, and built like a string bean.  Great for tennis, sure, but it wasn’t a good look.  Junior year I started pounding away in the gym, lifting weights and eating as much as I possibly could.  I would drink a 24 ounce water bottle 7 times a day.  This would eventually lead me to gaining a significant amount of muscle, and evening my height and my weight out a bit.  I still work out 5 times a week, and I am addicted to it.  I love the satisfaction that it brings, and I love how good it makes me feel afterwards.

Why am I telling you this on a League of Legends website?  Well, it’s simple.  When you workout, whether it be playing a sport, lifting weights, or doing cardio, your body releases endorphins.  These endorphins make you feel great, but they also have a positive effect on your mind.  I always have my best gaming sessions after a good workout.  The good feeling involved with working out can carry to your gameplay, and the new found focus can bring reaction time and decision making to a new level.  Diet is also an important piece of your daily life, and if you have a good diet your mind will excel. I tend to plan gaming sessions around my workout times, so that I can benefit from the post-workout effects.

“Do you even lift?” – Alistar (Quote may not be accurate)

I recommend that if you don’t play a sport, lift, or run, you try some things out.  I can almost promise that you will get addicted to your new found fitness hobby, and it will carry positively to other parts of your life, even League of Legends.

Do you workout?  What is your favorite routine / lift / machine?  Do you notice a change in your gaming afterwards?

 

Try it out, and leave a comment if you do!

“One For All” Details and Analysis

As some of you may know, Riot announced a new Gamemode last week called “One For All”.  This mode hit the PBE a few days ago, and I have had some time to play around with it and form an opinion.

To start, I just want to explain what “One For All” is in my own words.  One For All is a 5v5 battle on the Summoner’s Rift, where each team consists of 5 of the exact same champions.  The game is played out like any other game on Summoner’s Rift, and there are no changes in items or objectives.

The Pregame Lobby – A team captain gets to ban 3 champions from the game, just as a normal draft lobby is conducted.  This results in 6 total banned champions for that game.  After the banning phase, each player gets to choose a champion which is then up for vote.  Each player’s respective team can see their vote, however, the other team cannot.  It is a majority rules system, so whichever champion has the most votes will be the champion that is played by all members of that team.  If there is a tie, or no majority, the game will randomly choose from those which are tied for the most votes.  Potentially you could have 5 different votes, meaning it will be a 20% chance for each of those champions to be chosen.  Each team votes on their own team’s champion, so it’s not a mirror match 5v5.  This means you could potentially have, for example, 5 Garen’s Vs. 5 Syndra’s.  You could also have 5 Garen’s Vs. 5 Garen’s.  It depends how the vote goes, and it is blind to the other team.

The Game – The game is conducted like any other League of Legends game on Summoner’s Rift.  Depending on the champion selected, however, the meta will differ.  Some teams will have a jungler, some will not.  Some teams will go 2-1-2, which means two champions top lane, one midlane, and two bottom lane.  Sometimes you will even see all 5 players go mid, making it somewhat of an ARAM.

My Thoughts – I like the idea of this mode, mostly because it gives players something fun to play that differs from the current meta.  I do think, however, that the game is decided too quickly based on which champions are playing which.  Hard counters exist in League of Legends, and if you are playing 5v5 against your counters, you probably don’t have a chance.  The fun factor of this game can die quickly when one team has complete advantage over the other team just from level 1.  Some games are close, but for the most part they have been very short and one sided.  This makes it a bit frustrating at times, and has already somewhat kept me out of that playlist.

I would almost like to see the champion select be random.  I think it would be more fun if every player on each team had to choose a different champion, and then the game randomly chose one of those champions for the team.  This means teams could not always pick the “most OP champion”, because it would still end up being a game of chance.  It would also force variety in the playlist, which I think is a big part of the potential fun the playlist brings.  Once players find a few champions who excel at this playstyle, we will probably see little variety in champions chosen.  My idea would force games to be a bit more random and exciting.

What are your thoughts on One For All?  How do you think Champion Select should work?