[Analysis / Discussion] Akali balance at Diamond

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Renpsy

Senior Member

05-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by comikins View Post
Conarch (no longer at Riot) designed Akali and Katarina as melee assassins with marks/resets and virtually no cc. Their kits have slight comparables just like Scorpion/sub zero and Ken/Ryu.

Akali needs a Diamond elo buff that does not effect lower elo. How? Create utility, actives on skills, creative “outplay” combos. All this while not buffing any damage.

Let’s examine some changes since Riot is busy:

Passive
Scale off AP: Discipline of Force: Akali's auto attacks deal additional bonus magic damage, increasing by 1% for every 5 ability power. Discipline of Might: Akali gains additional spell vamp, increasing by 1% for every 10 ability power. Removing Gunblade warrants a stat revision towards AP.

Q
Since Akali has two Kamas I can see an interesting twist to add a second bouncing mark like Kat. Or, add an active to the Q where Akali uses her second kama to silence the enemy. Her E would feel stronger and add interesting combos.

W
Problem is W is binary as Diamond elo will pink/oracle immediately negating escapes.
Should Akali get an active when enemies get true vision?

Possible Changes to Shroud:

1) Add an active - ammo system for her shroud where she can jump once to the center of the shroud. Possibly adding a movement speed buff for her and her team while in/on the shroud.

2) If no ammo system, then increase the slow so you can escape true vision

3) All enemies that touch the shroud get a MOTA

4) Add a vision limiting effect to twilight shroud similar to how graves smoke screen works to nullify “immediately counterplay” from Diamond elo players placing pinks in shroud every fight. Enemies should stand directly in the center to see Akali. She will be able to conceal the approach of a jungle in lane. Use it as a peel to protect the carries from dives. Zone carries in a fight.

5) Attacks and abilities directed at Akali while within the smoke cloud have a 10/15/20/25% chance of striking the enemy AND nearby friendly target.

6) Add an active - Akali consumes her shroud, stealthing her for 1 seconds.

E
Add a movement speed buff if she procs a MOTA, increasing if she procs two MOTAs.

R
Akali can Shadow Dance as a Skill shot (to anything but an enemy) with ranges based on charges. I.E. 3 charges in 800 range, 2 charges 600 range, 1 charge 400 range. If Akali misses her target she accidently and consumes her marks she is left to die or shroud.

Thoughts?
Question for the last one. What you are saying is you use more charges in order to cover more distance correct?


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Holy Malevolence

Senior Member

05-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by comikins View Post
Conarch (no longer at Riot) designed Akali and Katarina as melee assassins with marks/resets and virtually no cc. Their kits have slight comparables just like Scorpion/sub zero and Ken/Ryu.

Akali needs a Diamond elo buff that does not effect lower elo. How? Create utility, actives on skills, creative “outplay” combos. All this while not buffing any damage.

Let’s examine some changes since Riot is busy:

Passive
Scale off AP: Discipline of Force: Akali's auto attacks deal additional bonus magic damage, increasing by 1% for every 5 ability power. Discipline of Might: Akali gains additional spell vamp, increasing by 1% for every 10 ability power. Removing Gunblade warrants a stat revision towards AP.

Q
Since Akali has two Kamas I can see an interesting twist to add a second bouncing mark like Kat. Or, add an active to the Q where Akali uses her second kama to silence the enemy. Her E would feel stronger and add interesting combos.

W
Problem is W is binary as Diamond elo will pink/oracle immediately negating escapes.
Should Akali get an active when enemies get true vision?

Possible Changes to Shroud:

1) Add an active - ammo system for her shroud where she can jump once to the center of the shroud. Possibly adding a movement speed buff for her and her team while in/on the shroud.

2) If no ammo system, then increase the slow so you can escape true vision

3) All enemies that touch the shroud get a MOTA

4) Add a vision limiting effect to twilight shroud similar to how graves smoke screen works to nullify “immediately counterplay” from Diamond elo players placing pinks in shroud every fight. Enemies should stand directly in the center to see Akali. She will be able to conceal the approach of a jungle in lane. Use it as a peel to protect the carries from dives. Zone carries in a fight.

5) Attacks and abilities directed at Akali while within the smoke cloud have a 10/15/20/25% chance of striking the enemy AND nearby friendly target.

6) Add an active - Akali consumes her shroud, stealthing her for 1 seconds.

E
Add a movement speed buff if she procs a MOTA, increasing if she procs two MOTAs.

R
Akali can Shadow Dance as a Skill shot (to anything but an enemy) with ranges based on charges. I.E. 3 charges in 800 range, 2 charges 600 range, 1 charge 400 range. If Akali misses her target she accidently and consumes her marks she is left to die or shroud.

Thoughts?
No to the Q, Akali's far better designed than Kat is and doesn't need to emulate her. Plus it would throw the entire "Single target assassin" thing to the wind, which would be a horrible thing to do.
Adding a second active to shroud to jump to the center would definitely help skilled players, but the newfound safety would require cuts from other parts of her kit as it would drastically improve both her early game and overall safety. Which could work, but I can't say it'd be worth it.
Turning shroud into an offensive move is a terrible idea.
Smokescreen would be decent, but wouldn't really fit her playstyle.
RNG is bad in all forms.
And the biggest problem with shroud is that it's stealth based. Giving it more stealth wouldn't really do anything.

We don't need to emulate Kat.

And... That just sounds weird.


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comikins

Member

05-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renpsy View Post
Question for the last one. What you are saying is you use more charges in order to cover more distance correct?
Yes. If you have three charges you can dash a total of 800 range. I can see how this can be converted similar to Ahri where it consumes all your Shadow Dances so you get multiple smaller disengages or one 800 range disengage.


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comikins

Member

05-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holy Malevolence View Post
No to the Q, Akali's far better designed than Kat is and doesn't need to emulate her. Plus it would throw the entire "Single target assassin" thing to the wind, which would be a horrible thing to do.
Adding a second active to shroud to jump to the center would definitely help skilled players, but the newfound safety would require cuts from other parts of her kit as it would drastically improve both her early game and overall safety. Which could work, but I can't say it'd be worth it.
Turning shroud into an offensive move is a terrible idea.
Smokescreen would be decent, but wouldn't really fit her playstyle.
RNG is bad in all forms.
And the biggest problem with shroud is that it's stealth based. Giving it more stealth wouldn't really do anything.

We don't need to emulate Kat.

And... That just sounds weird.
Akali's current Q is great. If I were to change it I would make it non binary. I send my Kama and AA for dmg or activate a silence.

If you throw out my 3rd and 5th suggestion for the Shroud it remains defensive and less binary. The shroud itself has to counter true vision or require enemies to commit to standing in the center since Diamond elo players ALWAYS pink/oracle.

Smokescreen removes the binary nature of a circular shroud since it's obvious Akali is standing in it.

Her E still needs thought. I can see it working like Varus' Q where I can hold down E for increased damage with a small movement speed buff.


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comikins

Member

05-22-2013

@ Sayath

I can see Twilight Shroud having an active 'cloak of invisibility" where if the enemy uses true vision (pink/oracle) Akali can reACTIVATE Shroud, removing it from the ground and placing it on her back, keeping the MR/AR stats and .5 second stealth. It's now a disengage cloak as she repositions herself from true vision. Shroud becomes quazi mobile, less binary. This defeats easy pink counter play but making oracles a better true vision option (400g vs 125g).

I also can see Shadow Dancing getting resets on kills, assists, and True Vision within 1000 range (range of pink wards). At least Akali could Shadow Dance to a nearby enemy unit, use her new "reveal" shroud trip, or all-in the enemy as counter play.


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sexy hexy

Member

05-22-2013

I have nothing of value to add to this discussion.
I just wanted to thank you for this post.
It is extremely enlightening and actually makes me want to do more research into the champions i frequently play.
Like many others have said, I wish we had more highly intelligent posts like this.


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Sayath

Senior Member

05-22-2013

Regarding silences / etc on Q:
Silence is a pretty strong hard cc, especially against mages. Akali is supposed to be a hypercarry. This is pretty much in direct conflict with that.

Other points:

1.1) The ammo system has the problem of the stacked case. For example, if you allow Akali to have 2 Shroud charges, then you have to balance her against having 16 seconds of invisibility. Guess what, that won't end well.

1.2) Jump to the center of shroud: I can see this one work. However, in essence it's a free positional jump like Kha'Zix's. Therefore, I question whether it is not simply overpowered. Also, using it seems pretty straightforward.

2) If you increase the slow further, you end up with a pretty heavy AoE slow. Unsure. However, it would definitely be harder to use than a simple point & click move to shroud.

3) Just no. Placing shroud on top of enemies / them walking into it has no great depth.

4) Vision limiting effects are pretty powerful. It does fit the theme, but given the size of Twilight Shroud, I question whether that is the right approach.

5) Ezreal's defocus idea has some gameplay problems. First, it's random. Second, you reroute damage to allies who potentially could die because of it. Unsure.

6) Optimal gameplay will always be to use the full 8 seconds of shroud and then consume it. Sometimes you'll want to consume it earlier, but this is quite straightforward. Also, it mostly helps the no-true-sight case.

7) Movement speed buff by detonating MotA through Crescent Slash: Unsure. I question, however, how much you can really do with that.

8) Shadow Dance to allies is also pretty straightforward. You made it a skillshot which makes the threshold higher, but it's still an escape on a champion who had no escape. Also, won't you simply use it every teamfight the same way? Get in, deal damage, get out?

9) So the obvious gameplay is to always activate Twilight Shroud again when the enemy uses true sight. The things that you do always tend to do, don't tend to have a high skill ceiling.

10) So I get one Shadow Dance charge for the enemey placing a pink ward? Again, this one feels pretty obvious to use, but it seems more useful the more true sight is present. Therefore, I'd suggest testing it.


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comikins

Member

05-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayath View Post
Regarding silences / etc on Q:
Silence is a pretty strong hard cc, especially against mages. Akali is supposed to be a hypercarry. This is pretty much in direct conflict with that.

Other points:

1.1) The ammo system has the problem of the stacked case. For example, if you allow Akali to have 2 Shroud charges, then you have to balance her against having 16 seconds of invisibility. Guess what, that won't end well.

1.2) Jump to the center of shroud: I can see this one work. However, in essence it's a free positional jump like Kha'Zix's. Therefore, I question whether it is not simply overpowered. Also, using it seems pretty straightforward.

2) If you increase the slow further, you end up with a pretty heavy AoE slow. Unsure. However, it would definitely be harder to use than a simple point & click move to shroud.

3) Just no. Placing shroud on top of enemies / them walking into it has no great depth.

4) Vision limiting effects are pretty powerful. It does fit the theme, but given the size of Twilight Shroud, I question whether that is the right approach.

5) Ezreal's defocus idea has some gameplay problems. First, it's random. Second, you reroute damage to allies who potentially could die because of it. Unsure.

6) Optimal gameplay will always be to use the full 8 seconds of shroud and then consume it. Sometimes you'll want to consume it earlier, but this is quite straightforward. Also, it mostly helps the no-true-sight case.

7) Movement speed buff by detonating MotA through Crescent Slash: Unsure. I question, however, how much you can really do with that.

8) Shadow Dance to allies is also pretty straightforward. You made it a skillshot which makes the threshold higher, but it's still an escape on a champion who had no escape. Also, won't you simply use it every teamfight the same way? Get in, deal damage, get out?

9) So the obvious gameplay is to always activate Twilight Shroud again when the enemy uses true sight. The things that you do always tend to do, don't tend to have a high skill ceiling.

10) So I get one Shadow Dance charge for the enemey placing a pink ward? Again, this one feels pretty obvious to use, but it seems more useful the more true sight is present. Therefore, I'd suggest testing it.
Right now Akali maxes R, Q, E, W. There is no variation, no incentive to max another skill. We should keep this in mind.

To summarize points worthy of further discussion:

1.1 Shadow dancing to center of shroud. Costs 1 Shadow Dance, increases juke potential as you would have misdirection and invisibility if you jump to shroud before its cooldown.

1. 2 One possibility is increasing the shroud slow at later levels, giving akalis skill order some variety and allowing her defensive flexibility and team benefits.

2. Consuming the shroud actually resembled the pre-shroud fixes a few patches ago. I felt the delay buffer allowed me to outplay my opponents better.

3. Shroud working more like smoke cloud, like Graves. Enemies inside the shroud will be slowed and will have their vision reduced by 675 range; everything else will look like it is in the Fog of War. I would test it.

4. Gain 1 Shadow Dance each time true site placed within 1000 range (pink ward). You could then shroud for vision and have at least 1 Shadow Dance available for a jungle escape or back to your shroud .


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Enter Tragedy

Senior Member

05-22-2013

Akali has some fundamental problems outside of exceptionally low elo or low level play. Many of these plague assassins in general, but akali seems to be one of the worst. Recent nerfs and some of the stuff being kicked around on the pbe makes me kinda sad TBQH. Akali is one of the most fun champs to play IMO, and she is the right balance between needing skill and being able to do her job sometimes out of just being good. However we all know that a good team can completely counter her. To survive these teams you almost have to go full defense and wait till someone is low to actually do something. As it turns out this essentially makes the team fight a 4v5 until the later stages when you won't just get focused down or you can clean up.(of course you do more when you're fed and you're team is not really far behind) However in games where you're not exceptionally fed and you're team is somewhat behind you just don't have the impact to possible turn things around in a team fight.(not to mention you have no cc(which wins games these days) and you really don't have other things that help like high aoe damage)

Someone posted the idea of removing the cooldown on her R which would be a mistake which was pointed out by a rioter. Instead of that maybe when she gets a kill with her ult the cooldown is reduced to 0 in addition to getting another stack.(similar to Bladesurge on irelia)

This would amp up her team fight potential just a bit while not making her post 6 lanning any stronger.(unless she turns around a gank because of it which IMO is not a bad thing when you think of the high risk high reward game play she is intended to have)

I have some other ideas, but I am still working on those. I understand that riot doesn't want to make her post 6 lanning phase any better and want to ease her snowball just a bit. Balancing this while not making her complete trash in high elo team fights is quite tough.

Another issue is that akali brings 0 utility to the team. Even zed,kat, and talon have utility.


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my0w

Senior Member

05-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enter Tragedy View Post
Akali has some fundamental problems outside of exceptionally low elo or low level play. Many of these plague assassins in general, but akali seems to be one of the worst. Recent nerfs and some of the stuff being kicked around on the pbe makes me kinda sad TBQH. Akali is one of the most fun champs to play IMO, and she is the right balance between needing skill and being able to do her job sometimes out of just being good. However we all know that a good team can completely counter her. To survive these teams you almost have to go full defense and wait till someone is low to actually do something. As it turns out this essentially makes the team fight a 4v5 until the later stages when you won't just get focused down or you can clean up.(of course you do more when you're fed and you're team is not really far behind) However in games where you're not exceptionally fed and you're team is somewhat behind you just don't have the impact to possible turn things around in a team fight.(not to mention you have no cc(which wins games these days) and you really don't have other things that help like high aoe damage)

Someone posted the idea of removing the cooldown on her R which would be a mistake which was pointed out by a rioter. Instead of that maybe when she gets a kill with her ult the cooldown is reduced to 0 in addition to getting another stack.(similar to Bladesurge on irelia)

This would amp up her team fight potential just a bit while not making her post 6 lanning any stronger.(unless she turns around a gank because of it which IMO is not a bad thing when you think of the high risk high reward game play she is intended to have)

I have some other ideas, but I am still working on those. I understand that riot doesn't want to make her post 6 lanning phase any better and want to ease her snowball just a bit. Balancing this while not making her complete trash in high elo team fights is quite tough.

Another issue is that akali brings 0 utility to the team. Even zed,kat, and talon have utility.
What utility do Zed and Kat bring?