Thursday, February 28, 2013

League Analysis: Ashe - The Sad AD Carry

Going along the lines of champions that I (and apparently many others) think need some sort of rework but aren't up for one, as far as I am aware of.
After reading this particular thread on the League of Legends forum and noticing some Ashe rework suggestions on both the forums and the League of Legends subreddit, I believe the champion Ashe is a good focal point for this Analysis article. Like with the Gangplank article, I will list as many cons as possible then rework her abilities to try to remove as much of the aforementioned issues as possible.

Problems With Ashe
  • Ashe has no escapes. While several other AD carries also lack an escape the problem is a little bit deeper than that. For instance, while Ashe can use Volley to help slow enemies to help escape, it may not slow all the enemies due to the limitation of targets hit by Volley, which, when compared to area slows like the ones Varus and Miss Fortune have, makes Volley seem rather inferior (it's also reliant on maxing out Frost Arrow, which is unlikely in the laning phase). This doesn't mean Ashe is the worst at escaping (there is technically still Sivir), but she's down there.
  • Ashe lacks any sort of discernible steroid. This one has probably been mentioned to the point that just putting it here is the equivalent of beating a dead horse, but the fact is every other AD carry has some notable way to increase their damage output besides Ashe (attack speed bonus, attack damage bonus, etc).
  • Ashe also lacks offensive tools. In fact, like Gangplank, she's a 2-button attack champion (with her Volley and Enchanted Crystal Arrow), one of which she uses on a regular basis.
  • Ashe's passive is horrible, especially in the later stages of the game. While it can be devastating when utilized properly during laning phase (unless the passive is wasted at level one to hard leash for your jungler), the extra crit chance isn't doing her any favors once she starts getting items and enters teamfights where she's going to be autoattacking constantly, thus rendering her passive useless since she won't gain any crit chance.
  • Hawkshot is also pretty badly designed, especially given recent champion abilities that offer similar utility over the last year. It has a minute long cooldown and is essentially a limited version of the Clairvoyance summoner spell. On top of that, while the bonus gold is nice to have, another passive could potentially be worth more gold (like bonus attack damage, for example) than the passive money generated over the course of the game by the current one.
Ability Changes for Ashe

As you can see there are quite a few issues with Ashe. In this section I will suggest changes to Ashe's kit to cut down on issues related to her in a fair manner, as mentioned before.

Passive (Focus Becomes Frost Arrow)
The general idea here to incorporate Ashe's Q, which is a toggled ability that enables Frost Arrows, into her passive while removing her old, rather bad passive. There are a number of ways to make this work, but I think the best new passive in this case is the following:
Ashe's basic attacks chill the enemy, reducing their movement speed by 8% for 2 seconds. This effect can stack up to 3 times.
While this may not seem like much and, in fact, looks like a couple other passives (or a combination of them), other abilities will interact with this new passive.

Q (Frost Arrow Becomes Freeze Armor)
Now that Frost Arrow has become Ashe's passive, it's safe to say she needs a new Q spell. Freeze Armor would do the following:
  • At the cost of some amount of mana (50/55/60/65/70, for example), all enemies affected by Frost Arrow have their armor reduced by 3/3.5/4/4.5/5% per stack of Frost Arrow for 5 seconds and the duration of Frost Arrow is refreshed.
    • Alternatively, the armor reduction could instead be a damage increase against the target.
    • Both these effects only apply to Ashe, not other allies.
  • The cooldown would be short to moderate (about 10 seconds).
  • It also passively increases the duration of Frost Arrow by 0.5/0.75/1/1.25/1.5 seconds, allowing Ashe to apply it to multiple targets easily if needed.
  • The idea of this ability is to give Ashe a steroid ability that works with her passive, in particular one that allows her to damage her focus target by a significant amount.
W (Volley)
Volley doesn't really need much of a change in comparison to other abilities. I'd probably cause each arrow in the volley to deal splash damage and apply Frost Arrow (or at least apply Frost Arrow), but besides that, despite the fact it's not the best offensive ability I wouldn't change it beyond that (though I would consider normalizing the cooldown so that at rank 1-3 the cooldown isn't ridiculously long).

E (Hawkshot)
Hawkshot, in my opinion, is in need of some fixes. For instance, the following modifications could be made:
  • When Hawkshot reveals enemies, it show their location for a few seconds after leaving the area and mark them for an extended duration of about 10 seconds.
    • It marks enemies that enter the area Hawkshot reveals as well and refreshes the mark as long as enemies are in the area.
  • Enemies that are marked and come within 1000 range of Ashe are revealed and grant Ashe bonus movement speed (12%/14%/16%/18%/20%) for as long as they are marked and within that range and for a moment after.
  • The cooldown is shorter at higher ranks (60/54/48/42/36 seconds, for example).
  • This makes the active effect more desirable for use in combat as well, since she can kite more effectively and just generally be more slippery.
  • The passive could use modification too. It can increase any manner of offensive stats (attack speed, attack damage, crit damage, crit chance) or another stat (such as movement speed, which is appropriate given this ability's new mechanic), though this isn't as high of a priority with the active change.
R: Enchanted Crystal Arrow
Like Volley, I probably wouldn't change Enchanted Crystal Arrow too much. For instance, the scaling could be changed to AD from AP or it could deal physical damage instead of magic damage. One thing I would definitely add in light of the other changes is that Enchanted Crystal Arrow instantly applies 3 stacks of Frost Arrow to all damaged targets instead of the slow it normally applies.

In addition, Enchanted Crystal Arrow can grant a passive bonus to the Frost Arrow slow (2%/4%/6% increased slow per stack).

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