@Riot: Been playing a lot of Sejuani. Here's what I think.

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Gløry

Senior Member

08-03-2012

Caution: wall of text, Attachment 508883 TLDR at bottom.

For reference, I really like jungling on Nautilus in ranked, and was tearing stuff up with him till he became permabanned. I never gave Sej any thought, since she appeared to just be inferior to the other jungle tanks, doing more or less the same thing as Amumu/Malphite/Nautilus, but ineffectively.

So here's my take on Sejuani. I haven't played her in any ranked games, A) because I haven't bought her and B) because if I did I would just get queue dodged or trolled.
**Update** I have bought her, and played her in a few ranked games, after many dodges. I'll get into this later, but Sej suffers from Karma's problem of "teammates need to know my champion as well as I do before I can play it optimally." Sej is also incredibly reliant on a really good leash for blue, and if your teammates don't feel like providing that, well, it's gonna be all my fault, that they don't get as many ganks, right? :\

Playing sejuani, power level aside, is fun. The mounted champion feel is there. You charge right into the midst of your enemies and disrupt them. It's cool. She has a Game of Thrones reference for her selection quote. She's one of the best-looking models in the game. This is all awesome.

•Awkward cooldowns on main combo
Attachment 508885
But there are a few situations where her mechanics fall short. Her ganks are good early game, what with that awesome gap closer and powerful slow--but the powerful slow is fixed at 11 seconds CD, and the gap closer starts at 19, and generally speaking will be the last thing you level. It's frustrating when your AOE slow is up, but you can't make it actually be an AOE slow without auto attacking multiple things.

This also shows up in the jungle. You Q-->E one camp and knock it out, and then at the next camp your E is ready to go, ready to slam down the big base damage...but your Q is still on cooldown and the Passive Frost debuff doesn't last long enough to make it really worth your time to auto attack various targets and then E, because around the time you finish that rotation, your Q is almost up anyway. Meanwhile every other tanky jungler just automatically hits everything with their AOEs.

On a side note, I do note the interaction with her ultimate--it also applies frost and her E has a huge range, so you can ult-->E and when they come out of the stun they'll be in a nasty 70% slow. You can then save your charge for the next CD of the E. Except....that brings me to the big problem with a tank based around slows. Their good-ness is proportional to how unsafe your enemy plays. If someone is really overextended, your slows will provide tons of DPS time for them to get taken down. But if they're really overextended, more traditional hard CC junglers like Amumu/Naut/Xin/whoever can take them down just as easily.

•No defensive steroid:
Attachment 508884
Either way, she's a competent early ganker and clears the jungle fairly well, despite the aforementioned stutter of the Q and E cds. The real question comes down to...how does she do in late game teamfights compared to Amumu, Nautilus, Malphite, Maokai, Lee Sin, Leona, Skarner, Galio, Alistar, Jarvan, Volibear, Shen, Rammus(people you could conceivably build all-tank and go head first with? Well I can tell you that the one thing she lacks is something every single other one of these has. Defensive steroid, shield, passive dmg reduction, or heal. With the side effect of making them more sustainable in the jungle, they also keep the heat off them in late game teamfights.

Sejuani has nothing going on in this category. Her W, northern winds could have given some armor/MR. She could get x flat armor/mr for every unit (or champion) affected by perma/frost. There are sensible ways to work survivability into her kit, but they were avoided. Why? My guess is that since she directly scales offensively with a defensive stat (something somewhat rare), Riot wanted to be conservative, and try to incentivize building straight tank. There are two problems with this. The first is that it doesn't scale hard enough, and the second is that if all you build is HP, you're still going to die.

• X-Zibit style Scaling on W
Attachment 502803
Problem 1: The scaling of Northern Winds. Sub-problem 1a: its scaling scales with levels, and then the entire thing scales with whether or not Frost is on the target. Your probable ganking-oriented skill path is W, E, Q, E, E, R, with levels 2 and 3 being reversable if you dont want to gank at level 2. The problem is you have to level E to get the slow % up there, so you're basically stuck with W at level 1 or 2 for a while, where it scales with 1-1.25% of your hp, or 1.5-1.875 if they're frosted. I can't think of a single other ability whose ratio scales with level except for abilities based on the opponent's health, and Trundle and XZ's q because they'd be just monsters at level 1 otherwise. I digress. While I actually advocate the use of scaling scaling in more cases, because it's a very finessed way of fine tuning balance levels throughout the course of the game, here I think it was too conservative.

•Building straight HP not sufficient for survival
Attachment 508898
Problem 2: building straight HP. My typical build on Sejuani is regrowth to double GP10 with either Merc treads or mobility boots. Mobility clears the jungle fast and keeps pressure up, Mercs gives you MR you aren't likely to get anywhere else. After that I grab a kindlegem and wait to finish it into Shurelyas. Then, if I'm way closer to Aegis than my support I'll pick it up, but if theyre already making it, I'll get a giant's belt, hoping for warmogs if it's early enough in the game. The point is, you're encouraged to build HP, and indeed this is one of sejuani's only reliable ways to do damage, but it leaves you very lacking in defensive stats. Randuins and Bveil don't actually have all that much HP on them, and you don't need the mana from bveil at all. Frozen Heart is a phenomenal item and a must-buy on her, but it feels wrong to not buy HP when you make HP so attractive on a character. In summation, building Sejuani is just awkward. If you commit to the warmogs, you will still die to sustained fire from the AD carry, since you're gonna wind up with around 100 armor and MR. *edit* I've swapped entirely to buying Sunfire here--the damage you get from the HP + the passive on sunfire is way better than the damage you would (eventually) get from that expensive warmogs. Warmogs is just a pipe dream for Sejuani, and will only get you killed by Jayce and Amumu faster.

•Sucks with hybrid offense items
Attachment 508899
Problem 2a: She can't add more damage with anything except HP, and the scaling on that is frankly weird. Other similar champs can work in offensive/defensive split items like Abyssal Scepter--Sej scales so poorly with AP compared to others, (such as amumu, a legacy ratio champ who was rightly toned down in the AP scaling compartment) that she may not even WANT abyssal, and she can't afford(survival-wise) to build it, either. The other champs can work in these items because they have defensive stats built into their movesets and can bridge the gap with them. Sej only works one way, as far as I can tell, and that's with a lot of HP.


•Great initiation, but can she save lives?
Attachment 508902
Another problem people have with Sejuani is they say she can't peel. And this is sort of true--her only hard cc being her ultimate, it's sometimes hard to do something about the guys on your carry. I contend that this is more people being used to Leona/Maokai sorts of peels. Sej can auto or Q into some tanky DPS and press E, and suddenly they just got hit with a Leona ult, basically. But it won't help unless your carry creates some distance for himself, while maintaining DPS. It's not like Alistar where you can just be still and keep autoing. So you have to be used to playing with a Sejuani to know how to utilize her strong slow--a weakness that she shares with, say, Karma. *side note, she can't really CC AD carries. Which, combined with her lack of a defensive steroid and burst, basically translates to her getting killed when she does her job sometimes. It means that when you lead the charge, your team had better follow through and hopefully your top lane is a tanky dps like Irelia who can make the most of your 70% slow on their carry.


Other champions have buttons to press to fall back on in dangerous situations. Sejuani has nothing. The thing is, some of these champions also have better armor/mr/HP base stats than Sej. She's pretty average all around here. Oh and 315 movespeed for a mounted champ? Boo!

I outlined a few solutions above. Either work some armor/MR into her kit, or make the HP scaling on her w really scary, even with only one point in it, since it's not feasible to actually level the W hardcore. Or conversely, make it feasible by turning E into the one point wonder--start its slow % higher. Currently you HAVE to level it to make it the scary slow it can be. Or how about making her Q, W, or E reduce attackspeed? At the least, let frosted minions do x% less dmg to Sejuani. This helps her sustain in jungle without affecting her durability in teamfights, which Riot seems to be afraid of buffing. Also, have her ultimate apply Frost after the stun ends, so 2/3 of the duration isn't wasted.

And how about giving her Q some increase utility, if you're gonna keep it at such a huge CD. Either give it a maokai style knockup, or give it a draven-style knock aside. I like that one. This way she can disrupt channels, and charge alll the way through a teamfight in order to spread Frost. It also allows her to escape more reliably, and lets her "herd" the enemy during ganks if played well. Also fits thematically.


Anyway, there's my somewhat rambly assessment of Sejuani. I've REALLY enjoyed playing her and I plan to buy her. Seeing as how all the tanky junglers are being banned in ranked and slowly nerfed, perhaps with a few adjustments, Sejuani could have a place.

edit:

TL;DR:
•Sej's Q and E cooldowns are staggered too much early game, making jungling awkward.
•Sej's E requires points to be any good-making it hard to level up her W, which has scaling scaling, which hurts her dmg threat midgame.
•Sej's only reliable way of building offense is HP--she needs to build HP to do relevant dmg--if she builds HP, she lacks defensive stats, which gets her killed.
•Sej lacks a defensive steroid.


Update: New jungle announced. Supposed to be less forgiving to AOE clearers, to better enable some sidelined single targeters to compete. While, yeah, Trundle and Fiddle might see a comeback, Sejuani and Nautilus will be the new benchwarmers. And Sejuani was already like, 4th string towel boy. Especially since you can't leash anymore, Sejuani just can't handle that kind of damage. I'll give it a tentative "we'll see" though, but it's not looking good.


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Nigra Waterpark

Junior Member

08-03-2012

Not to be a **** but could I get a tl;dr?


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Vladdypoo

Senior Member

08-03-2012

IMO she just needs a stat buff... her kit is very interesting and could be good (very strong ult)... either more damage on her whirlwind move or more tanky stats because she suffers from the issue that if you build tank, you do no damage and only threat is your ult, and if you build damage, you jump in and die instantly


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Iarayn

Senior Member

08-03-2012

I think while Northrn Winds is active, which is pretty often, she should also get a damage reduction :V

Simply because if you look at just about any other tank, they have some sort of defense or shield...


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Ginga

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08-03-2012

Hmmm....it might help to use some bolds and underlines since it's a huge wall of text.


With that said I'll add some of my input.

As a tank, she lacks any abilities that actually aids her survival. Nothing to reduce enemy damage, no shield, no armor/MR steroid.

Her other problem is that she's an exclusive jungler, she has no where else to exist, but the problem with that is as a jungler, she's completely outdone by nearly everyone else. She has a lot of cc, but she has nothing beyond that. Even someone like Nautilus, who might even be better at chaining CC's than Sejuani can do considerable damage and is shown to be capable of going to top lane if he wanted to.

Sejuani is made so that laning is impossible, but her jungling is subpar as well.


You CAN increase her stats to make her better.........but do realize that they'll have to be increase really dramatically to make up for her shortcomings in her kit. She has a kit more fit for a Bruiser, but her attack and ability damage blows.


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Gløry

Senior Member

08-03-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginga View Post
Hmmm....it might help to use some bolds and underlines since it's a huge wall of text.


With that said I'll add some of my input.

As a tank, she lacks any abilities that actually aids her survival. Nothing to reduce enemy damage, no shield, no armor/MR steroid.

Her other problem is that she's an exclusive jungler, she has no where else to exist, but the problem with that is as a jungler, she's completely outdone by nearly everyone else. She has a lot of cc, but she has nothing beyond that. Even someone like Nautilus, who might even be better at chaining CC's than Sejuani can do considerable damage and is shown to be capable of going to top lane if he wanted to.

Sejuani is made so that laning is impossible, but her jungling is subpar as well.


You CAN increase her stats to make her better.........but do realize that they'll have to be increase really dramatically to make up for her shortcomings in her kit. She has a kit more fit for a Bruiser, but her attack and ability damage blows.
Thanks for the input, I took your suggestion.

Hm, as far as her jungling vs everyone else...it's comparable in speed, but without defenses mixed into her kit she's going to take more damage than the rest.


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universe within

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Member

08-03-2012

I read your entire post but I don't have time to give you feedback atm, but I will bump and say that I agree with all your points as an avid Sejuani player.


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Gløry

Senior Member

08-03-2012

Please read, Riot.


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Gløry

Senior Member

08-03-2012

I also think that naming her Sejuani was a mistake. I can't think of anything this might be referencing other than a tribe of Gauls called the Sequani, but they didn't have much to do with cold climates. It's just such an awkward name, I think it really hurt her popularity.

It sounds like Szechuan. Cmon. No one saw this? Szechuan chicken? *facepalm* NOT the first thing I want coming to my mind when you show me his boar-riding arctic warrior.


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DarthCranium

Junior Member

08-03-2012

Nobody ever plays this hero, maybe something does need to be done. The karma rework shows they don't completely abandon unpopular heroes, but it does take forever to get something done...


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