Why hasn't Riot changed Xerath's passive already?

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FineyLeee

Senior Member

03-27-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelnath View Post
Clearing an entire wave with a single spell is a dangerous place to be. Haven't other champions had this kind of power nerfed?
Difference is, most other spellcasters have two aoe spells for clearing waves, so they can twoshot a wave easily. Xerath only has his Q, but technically it's on a low-enough cooldown that he can just fire it twice.

HOWEVER back to topic:

I am but a eune gold player, and I haven't played Xerath for a good while. But what I felt with him is that other long range mages (such as Brand and Lux) outclassed him, while he was a safer pick against tankier shortrange mages (such as Ryze or Morde). My playstyle (and the intended one I believe) is to poke, and stay at such a distance that you don't have to worry about building tanky. In practice though, this is harder than it sounds. There are always the assassins that manage to catch up to you, and when they do, they cc you enough to prevent you from running away...

But to further emphasize Xerath's intended playstyle, couldn't his new passive be something intended to make assassinations a tad easier for him to survive (while not making him unaffected by them)? I'm thinking something along the lines of maybe tenacity and/or a Banshee's Veil shield that only blocks CC?`This would require him to still flee if an assassin catches up to him, but maybe he'll have an easier time surviving...

Thoughts?


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Phil Nye

Senior Member

03-27-2013

Honestly, I always have wanted to see Xerath have a magic shred, one problem that made him seen (and to an extent, is still seen this way) as less valuable was his relative lack of utility. A MR reduction somewhere on his kit with all his AoE/quick successive focused damage, his invisible power would be less visible, would be less "selfish", and would give him utility via damage, which would lend itself too be potentially powerful with certain comps.

Of course, this would probably be more effective if his ult worked in a more sustained damage fashion. Plus, I think it would be cool to see a blue shred debuff particle in the game, and might free up Xerath's locus to grant other bonuses.

On another note, I would be more than glad to see Lux have less dominance in the long ranged burst niche. It's been quite annoying to have a champion hog it up for so long. Champs like Ziggs and Xerath will not really get anywhere as long as a "utility mage" outranges and rivals them in damage.


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Plyas

Junior Member

03-27-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelnath View Post
Let's assume these are the goals:

* Make Xerath more broadly fun to play.
* Focus on sustained damage over burst.
* NOT make Xerath a counter-mage-mage. (aka, don't give him free permanent MR)
* Increase the tactical depth of playing Xerath
* Reduce the raw power without gameplay (40% free magic pen is the primary culprit here)
* Retain his identity as a long-range attacker

Questions:
* What are the differences between the champion I've describe above and Xerath now
* What is he missing?
* What can he afford to lose?
* What would you hope to gain in exchange?
* Does this fit the concept of why you play Xerath?
I would have preferred to send this privately, cause it is very long, but alas, no private forum messages allowed. I hope Xelnath is still keeping up with this thread!

The current situation in my opinion:

Xerath is fun to play when a) your team understands that you need to poke or fight over objectives, and b) the opponents don’t force all out fights when you don’t have the ability to disengage.

a) This is true moreso than for Nidalee or Lux, and similar in some ways to Ziggs. AP Nidalee is hyper mobile so she can easily participate in moving fights and random skirmishes by skirting the fight and adding her damage/healing when possible. She can also roam effectively due to the mobility and hit a skillshot to begin a gank, then follow it up by closing to the targets. Lux can participate in moving fights because she has CC and a shield. She can roam relatively effectively because her laser is such long range and she can continue to move and fight while maintaining a 1000 unit distance from major threats. Ziggs struggles somewhat with moving fights but does provide AOE slow and a displacement. He also roams somewhat more effectively because of the AOE slow and long range ultimate.

b) This is untrue of Nidalee, Lux and Ziggs. Nidalee disengages by leaving quickly, Lux disengages via CC and damage mitigation, Ziggs disengages via AOE slow and displacement.

Xerath has immense difficulty optimally participating in moving fights due to the siege nature of W. This is not necessarily a bad thing as he is a siege champion. However, because his relative utility is very small (single target, two-component, skillshot stun), he is too ineffective in suboptimal fights (ie when you cannot W and/or ultimate is down). If you miss the E-Q you effectively won’t be able to contribute. On the other hand, if you hit your E-Q you are minimally rewarded because the Q won’t come off cooldown during the fight and so you are encouraged to get closer and auto the enemy (somewhat at cross purposes with being long range). This means regular Xerath players have a very low reward/risk ratio for participating in small, mobile skirmishes, reducing the amount of fun being had.

Next, Xerath cannot disengage effectively without assistance if a fight is being forced. This means that positioning and W use is extremely highly skill-capped (I personally think that’s what Batjewman means about Xerath being high skill-cap, the positioning requirements are among the hardest in the game). The speed boost on W is not enough for him to be highly mobile and, unless you are already set up in W, you can only use the speed boost after the .5s cast time, by which time you have been caught by a hard engage. This also places a relatively higher burden on your team to position and to take care of you. This burden is relatively lower at higher skill levels, because players understand the situation.

The base tactical depth of Xerath is low because at the moment it consists of: who do I stun and how many people can I damage. The higher level tactical depth of Xerath is immense due to the positioning requirements and movement prediction required to effectively use his W and to teamfight.

Xelnath’s questions are highly interrelated and some answers have come out of the discussion above already. For example, in order to make Xerath more broadly fun to play; he needs to be more focused on sustained damage than burst. More sustained damage would fix the reward/risk ratio of small fights and fighting when Xerath’s ultimate is down.
Working backwards, let me present a concept for him and then tie it into the questions.

E: Mage Chains deals magic damage to an enemy. Mage Chains also leaves a trail of Unstable Magic lasting 1.5 seconds as it travels from Xerath to the target. The target and enemies in the trail are affected by Unstable Magic for 1.75 seconds. Unstable Magic slows affected enemies by 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40%. Unstable Magic will trigger if a marked enemy is hit by one of Xerath's spells refreshing only the slow for 1 second. If Unstable Magic is triggered by Arcanopulse, the cooldown is reduced by 40%. If Unstable Magic is triggered by Arcane Barrage, the cooldown is reduced by 20% (may only occur on one barrage).

I would also increase the range on Locus E to 1100 to bring it more in line with Lux. Since it is no longer a stun, capping the range is less of an issue.

This change provides a lot of the answers we seek.

• It makes Xerath more broadly fun to play because it increases his sustained damage in small skirmishes. For example, now in a level 5 2 v 2 fight, the Xerath can cast E, then Q and without CDR have Q back in 3.6 seconds before it goes back on its 6 second cooldown. This will allow Xerath to contribute three spells to the fight, increasing the reward of a small skirmish. This reward is balanced off by removing the stun from the E-Q. In addition, the risk of small skirmishes is reduced because the slow component of the E makes the Q easier to hit. With this setup, E will be off cooldown again within about 3 seconds of Q returning (after 6 seconds). This creates another good decision point about using the Q or waiting for E to get the reduced CD.

• It does not reduce the skill cap overall because you no longer have the stun to guarantee two additional hits of Q/R and these are therefore more skill reliant.

• It focuses on sustained damage by allowing additional Qs. In combination with the required nerf to W (reducing the burst), Xerath’s ultimate also becomes more like sustained damage due to the lower cooldown if Unstable Magic is triggered. This is partly why I suggest a slight E range increase, because it allows Xerath the option of increased sustained damage while sieging an objective. Two notes: the mana cost on Q may have to be slightly reduced to encourage more sustained damage; having the Q CD reduction when triggering Unstable Magic also helps the complaints about his wave clear because double Q will be much sooner if an E is used.

• It increases the tactical depth of Xerath’s kit because you can now use E in a variety of ways. You could E a creep to create a path of slowing and control the enemies pathing, you could use E to disengage a fight with the slow trail, if enemies are at max range you have a decision point about whether to Q/R and not get the reduced cooldown or have them in range for E to get the reduced cooldown, you can assist teammates with mild peel or try to maximize damage, you can use E to wave clear more effectively as mentioned above, etc.

• At the same time, it does not change the standard Xerath play pattern of E-Q, W-E-Q, (W)-E-R-Q-R-R etc.

• It maintains Xerath as a long ranged champion. As far as I see, it does not provide any cross purpose encouragement and only encourages Xerath to stay at long range. The further you are when E is cast, the longer the slow trail.

• It adds to what he is missing: sustained damage and disengage. The CD reduction when triggering Unstable Magic provides the sustained damage, the slow trail provides the disengage ability.

• What can he afford to lose? In addition to changing the penetration on W, he can definitely afford to lose the single target stun if replaced with an AoE slow. He could also lose his passive.

• From an opponent’s perspective, one thing that is discouraging is getting 100-0’d during the stun by late game Xerath. This removes that issue and allows the use of flash, dashes, etc. to increase the counterplay to his power late.

I think with this change, his passive could be left alone for simplicity. In that case, a nerf to W reducing the % magic pen along the lines of the Void Staff change might be sufficient.

If changing his passive then I would suggest (as others have) moving it to his W or removing it. In conjunction, I would change the W to MR reduction when hit with a spell. It could be 12 / 15 / 18 / 21 / 24 for 4 seconds. This brings him in line with Ryze, Amumu, Kog’maw and provides benefits to the team also. Alternatively, it could just be flat magic pen, but that has not yet been given to a champion as far as I’m aware.

A suggestion for a new passive would be:
Static Field: When Xerath casts a spell the surge of power creates a magic field in a 250 radius circle around him for 3 seconds. Xerath and allies gain 15 mana regeneration while standing in the field. This again promotes sustained damage and artillery by providing mana and an incentive to siege. It also mitigates any need to reduce Q cost while it is being cast more often. The number was guessed at by providing greater regen than every item because of the temporary nature of the field while trying to keep it reasonable.

Alternatively: Give him back his stun if he hits three spells within 3 seconds.

I don't track the forums closely, in the highly unlikely event that you'd like any other responses from me, feel free to add me: Plyas on NA.


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Ailwuful2

Senior Member

03-27-2013

Hi Plyas, I read a chunk of your wall of text. I dislike your ideas.

Xerath being rooted for range with W is fine and niche. It doesn't work as a passive because I don't want to wait to cast a long range spell. Also, you don't pick Xerath against a team that can engage on you too fast, and you don't get close enough for anyone to close in at you on team fights, you cast your stuff at near max range, which is usually over the range of Mage Chains. The problem with this not being that fun is you only get your Q to cast, and your ultimate.

Also dislike the Mage Chains remake, it is overly confusing in the way you stated it, and doesn't really add any more fun to him, it's just a slow that you may proc on people that were on the path, and a cooldown reduction when you hit. It's just a buff to make him stronger, it's not what he needs, and you removed the stun which is used to disingage.

He needs to do more than just Q and ult at high ranges, and he needs the burst from ult shifted to sustained.


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vaultboys

Member

03-27-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelnath View Post
Clearing an entire wave with a single spell is a dangerous place to be. Haven't other champions had this kind of power nerfed?
I think instead of changing his passive maybe we can give his E another weak cc or a silence.This way, I believe, his skills would be easier to hit and his play ratio would go up.Now for E's slow, it must be really short duration or really low percentage.For a silence, I am not sure.What do other people say about this?


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Talamare

Senior Member

03-27-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelnath View Post
Let's assume these are the goals:

* Make Xerath more broadly fun to play.
* Focus on sustained damage over burst.
* NOT make Xerath a counter-mage-mage. (aka, don't give him free permanent MR)
* Increase the tactical depth of playing Xerath
* Reduce the raw power without gameplay (40% free magic pen is the primary culprit here)
* Retain his identity as a long-range attacker

Questions:
* What are the differences between the champion I've describe above and Xerath now
* What is he missing?
* What can he afford to lose?
* What would you hope to gain in exchange?
* Does this fit the concept of why you play Xerath?
Have you considered swapping his ultimate and Q, so that his Q shoots out low powered long ranged aoe circles, and his ultimate shoots off 3 super long lightning lines


When I am playing an Artillery Champ I want to be able to SPAM my spells, almost like a long range Karthus, but obviously this will require a damage reduction


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Gold Sion

Junior Member

03-27-2013

i have a problem over him but not his passive his passive is awsome no idea wat ur talkin about yea i am not important nor that great but i have notice some bug with xerath apperently his ulti cast has three shots but why u shot the third one and u die it doesnt do damage jet u can see it blast so does his q u see it but it doesnt do damage this makes lose battles easy and not ensure a kill if u do ready this riot people i which of u to change that pls.


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Xelnath

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Systems Designer

03-27-2013
16 of 25 Riot Posts

Wow, there are so many good posts that appeared in the last day. Reading now...


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A Swarm of Koala

Member

03-27-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelnath View Post
Wow, there are so many good posts that appeared in the last day. Reading now...
While you do that, could you surreptitiously swap Ashe's and Talon's passives?


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Xelnath

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Systems Designer

03-27-2013
17 of 25 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Swarm of Koala View Post
While you do that, could you surreptitiously swap Ashe's and Talon's passives?
Do you mean their secret passive where they blow kisses at each other when Tryndamere isn't looking?