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I was talking to some players on Skype and suddenly we started to talk about OP champs compared to others, and then we started to talk about Orianna. Immediately they commented about her ult, which is one of the best ults in the game IMO, coz it does a wonderful CC (pulls everyone in) and does a lot of AoE damage, at a long range.
Then we compared it to Gragas ult. Which is almost the same, except it pushes everything out. So the comparison started, since they got a similar playstyle (throwing and zoning).
Both their passive are OK. Gragas passive gives 4% HP every time a spell is cast, Orianna's passive is like a strong on-hit stacking effect (like Malady), which scales with AP.
Gragas is melee, Orianna is ranged. That makes a good difference at laning phase, but it can be compensated with Gragas' Body Slam.
Gragas Barrel has a delay to be activated, you gotta position it well to do effective harass or last hit well. Orianna's Command: Attack makes her ball do the same, but the damage is instant and she can combo with her Dissonance. Gragas has to keep rolling his barrels while Orianna can just let her ball stay in the field and use Dissonance whenever someone approaches, or just reposition it with Attack.
As an escape tool (not including the ults), Gragas has his body slam which can let him cross small walls and slow whoever he slams into. Orianna can kite with his ball + Dissonane. Both are usually OK in the fights.
Now the real difference between them: the Ult. While the damage from Gragas' ult is higher than Orianna's, Explosive Cask has a high side effect: it pushes people from the barrel, spliting the team and sometimes saving dying champions on the opposing team, which is frustrating. You gotta foresight the enemy movement and calculate the right spot and the right timing for the cask, or you'll screw everything. What about Orianna's Shockwave? Even if you miss it, if you still catch someone, it's still a good point to the team. Compared to the Cask, it almost never screw up teamfights for your team mates.
And that's why I think Orianna is superior to Gragas. Ok. Gragas has a better scaling and more base damage at his skills, but the Ult makes a huge difference in every teamfight, and I think I'd always pick Orianna over Gragas as an AP carry. Yeah, I know there are better picks than them, I just wanted to compare both of them.
I'd like to know what you guys think about it as well, if you got pissed when you first saw Orianna's ult and you played Gragas.