Wednesday, November 19, 2014

League Analysis: A "More Extensive" Singed Rework

When patch 4.19 was released a little over a week ago, I had my eye on the rework and visual update of Singed. Since he was one of my main champions and helped carry me to Gold rank and beyond, only to be pummeled by what I believe were some heavy-handed nerfs, I felt he became a rather inferior picked (to which I responded to by picking up Nasus). While my evaluation of the state of Singed may have underestimated his potential, it is clear that his play rate dropped and has only recently been on the rise for various reasons, such as meta changes and usage in Worlds. The slight rework Singed received also helped increase his play rate as well, though it subsequently dropped.

Despite his condition in the past two seasons, Singed only received a slight rework because it was said his kit was robust. I agree with this statement, but I believe that Singed has some design flaws that were overlooked and a few parts of his kit may need some sprucing up.

What to Rework?

Singed has a few points of contention worth looking at. Based on them, I propose the following changes:
Singed gains 1.25 Magic Resist per level.
At the moment Singed has no Magic Resist per level. Given that he is classified as both a tank and a fighter, he should gain at least the same amount as other melee (1.25 Magic Resist per level). Even melee supports received Magic Resist per level over a year ago and since his kit strongly implies getting into melee range of enemies, he should probably get that extra durability.
Empowered Bulwark has been changed to Crippling Chemicals, which reduces the damage dealt by enemies affected by Poison Trail, Mega Adhesive, and Fling by 10% (or some other value), lasting for 2 seconds. In addition, Singed ignores unit collision when using Poison Trail.
While Empowered Bulwark is somewhat useful for providing Singed with a decent amount of mana to use his abilities, his mana problems later in the game aren't as significant (even without mana items due to reasons such as his Insanity Potion providing mana regeneration). In addition, while the maximum amount of bonus stats provided by the passive is a little over 4000 gold assuming he can somehow get 6 fully stacked Tears of the Goddesses (which I'm pretty sure is impossible but let's assume it is for the sake of theorycrafting the maximum potential of Empowered Bulwark), a more practical build usually yields about 500 bonus Health, or a little over 1300 Gold of stats. In addition, the passive, compared to other stat scaling passives like Vladimir's, isn't that interesting despite the existence of good defensive items with Mana.

Crippling Chemicals allows him to provide a little extra utility for his team while giving him possible jungling options. It also makes up for the loss of Empowered Bulwark by providing flat damage reduction, which will help in all stages of the game (even accounting for the fact Singed scales very well with Health compared to other defensive stats, which meant his former passive was a little stronger than it looked). The new passive also rewards enemy players for playing around Singed's mechanics and the Singed player for utilizing his mechanics well, emphasizing skillful play.

The second part of the passive is a bit of a quality of life change that emphasizes the mobility of Singed (not to mention creep block is terrible).
The Mana cost of Fling is reduced to 70/75/80/85/90.
One issue I've had with Fling for a while was that its mana cost was very high. The first rank of the skill is whopping 100 mana, meaning that Singed can only use it a few times during the early game to do a bit of damage and displace the enemy. The mana cost increases by 10 more for each rank as well, meaning the skill is costly to the point that building mana is almost mandatory. While displacing the enemy is a potent and sometimes lethal, effect, Alistar's mana costs were reduced many patches ago, especially at later ranks of the skill. A similar change would be beneficial to Singed especially since the damage of Fling is pretty similar to Alistar's Headbutt.

On a somewhat related note, the Sky Auto Attack trick should probably be fixed considering Alistar's Headbutt and autoattack combo was fixed.

Final Statements

While these changes may not seem like a lot, they are rather significant in terms of making Singed a more approachable and polished champion. He now has the stats that help his role as a melee fighter or tank, a utility-based passive that emphasizes both individual skill and group play, and a quality of life change that falls in line with other mana cost changes that have been going on for all of Season 4. I considered retaining Singed's ability to scale with Mana but he didn't scale with it hard enough to justify making him a champion like Ryze. Therefore, I instead decided to make Mana more of a bonus stat that isn't actively stacked (ideally items like Rod of Ages and Frozen Heart should still do about as much for Singed now as it did before, if perhaps a little less).

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