Greetings citizens. I come to you with glum news. It seems as though the Riot Summoners have chosen me to be sacrificed to the Lords of Balance. The Hammer of Change is near, hovering above me dangerously, with a hideous squint in its bearer’s eyes. Yes, you heard me correctly, I am about to be nerfed into the ground. Or possibly not. You see, Riot has no idea what to do with one of the faces of League of Legends.
As I stand, I am a glorious tank. I will soak up all the damage, spin around a bit, make bushes scarier than they actually are and execute someone every 3 minutes (if I’m lucky). Alright, as a champion, I am not in the best position. There are tanks that are less tanky than me but offer more crowd control or more damage or both. While this does bother me, that others are allowed to outclass me on the Fields of Justice (they certainly do not outclass me outside the League), it doesn’t bother me that much. I have my own little niche and a selection of items. I am a simple champion, perfect for those just starting out. There are plenty of people who enjoy playing me as I am.
The same could be said for a fellow champion, Skarner, the crystal scorpion. Unlike myself, Skarner has always had it rough. He varies between being really good and being used by no one at all, most often the latter. He was ‘reworked’ last season, and remained in a weakened state for a long time, before a few buffs finally gave him a nice 50% win rate. Skarner’s mental state though was ruined. Shunned by both other champions and the Riot lore team, Skarner turned from a genuine character, with a deep, interconnected story, to some sort of hideous monster guarding a cave. The sort of story you’d give to a monster like Cho’Gath or Fiddlesticks, not wise, kind Skarner.
Another champion, Fiora, also received a rework. While her abilities were incredibly all over the place and were in need of some tweaking, the Lords of Balance decided to get in touch with the Lords of Plastic Surgery and gave her a whole new look, even though she didn’t need it. At all.
Anyway, back to me.
My problem is actually somewhat similar to that of your own Heavy Weapons Guy. I am simple. Perhaps too simple. Riot wishes to add some complexity to my kit without actually changing it. What they’ve done so far is add a new passive mechanic to my ultimate spell, which I don’t unlock until level 6. The basic idea of this new mechanic, called Villainy, is that I deal extra damage to whoever last killed a champion on my team. Via a percentage of their max health in true damage – something that is SUPPOSED to be rare but is being slapped on pretty much everyone these days.
While Villainy sounds interesting, it does have its downfalls. Firstly, it takes away the decision of who I attack first away from me. Being a tank, my job is to leap into the enemy team and try and get their squishy enemies. If I manage to do that now, I’ll probably be able to kill one person. But with Villainy around, what if one of the enemy team’s tanks manages to kill a team mate? My options are now limited. I can try and kill the squishy if I can get to them, but the game is almost forcing me to attack the tank who just killed my friend. And tanks attacking tanks is a silly thing to do unless it’s a 1v1 scenario. Worse, as I am a somewhat immobile champion with no way to stun or slow my enemies outside of a silence (which prevents the use of spells for a brief duration), I don’t need to be going from target to target, chasing whoever has been marked as a Villain by my passive.
Another issue is that Villainy makes me even more one dimensional. I get it. I’m that boring old gold knight with a giant sword trope. This just makes it worse. On top of that, Villainy means I HAVE to let someone on my team die to get my new passive. Worse, this new passive means I need to have a LOT of my power shunted around so I don’t become too powerful. A lot of my power was in my shield passive and my silencing ability, but everything was equal. Now the power has been put into my ultimate and my spinning ability, with a LOT of power removed from my shield in general. It all seems rather silly.
The biggest problem though is that I don’t need this. I had a rework not too long ago. I’d recently found items that increased my performance. There are so many other champions who are in desperate need of change, and Riot seems to be ignoring them, to focus on people who can survive as they are.