Where the Blade goes: the naming of the blade

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This is a League of Legends fanfiction, featuring Talon.

A Microsoft Word document version can be found here.

Where the Blade goes:

The naming of the Blade

By Daxisheart

Several years ago

Talon bit into the apple. It flowed juices so sweet that Talon almost dropped it from shock.

It was a far cry from what he was used to, of course. Sure, the vendors and sellers on the streets had some good stock now and then, but never had Talon and his friend been able to reach that stock. Never did they skirt those streets. No, they skirted the streets from where they came from, streets full of those whose fruits were uncertain, whose names were stolen and self made, whose words were as poisonous as their stock sometimes. Even so, stealing from these people was better than another hungry night, and stealing from these people escaped the sight and cares of the Noxian High Command. There was no point in risking their sights. He’d rather try and steal and starve for another night than be seen.

Now, though. It was different. Before him was a dining hall, filled with food. Not just any food, all the food that he could desire. More than he was able to imagine. There were plates with beasts he hadn’t seen or heard of, there was a stack of vegetation placed in a rather unorthodox manner, there were things that he imagined he could steal and live a week off of. So many choices before him, he could not imagine what to eat first.

So, Talon decided to eat what he knew, and he had chosen an apple, and it had tasted…

“Delicious?” The voice was commanding, as deep as the shadows to which Talon hid in. From behind him came a rumble of armor, shaking and heavy. A cape flowed from the man, his magnanimosity defining him before his words. He sat, and Talon then stared into a man whose eyes had seen much. “These apples were harvested but a day ago, from the one of Noxus’s best plantations. They are usually served to the High Command, and the old dingbats in there barely eat them sometimes.” The man picked one up, and bit into it, practically devouring it in half, three times the amount Talon could fit into his mouth. With his mouth full, the man continued, “They never finish their food, those dingbats, Swain worse of them all, and so they usually give it to me and my barracks. As you can imagine, my men are quite grateful.” The man chewed and raised an eyebrow.

Talon kept his eyes still, never leaving the man’s face, never leaving his surroundings, but he gave a small curtsy. “As am I,” Talon said, “for this pleasure, Sir Marcus.”

The man seemed to ponder for a moment. “I never did tell you who I was, did I?”

Talon slowly shook his head.

The man named Marcus laughed, booming and deep. “Ah, what a wonder. I am Marcus Du Couteau, part of the Noxian High Command, High General of the Noxian army, and…” Marcus took out a small blade, simple and dull, marked and used, and pointed it between Talon’s eyes. Talon did not blink, and Marcus grinned. “The one who defeated you, Talon of the Noxian Slums.”

“Give me no title,” Talon replied. “Dead men have little need for names.”

“Do they?” Marcus said, eying the young man before him. The clothes were abysmal, scratched and cut, holding back the cold as much as toilet parchment. The face was almost emaciated, dark hollows instead of cheeks, hair brittle and falling apart. The general bit into his apple once more, looking thoughtful. “Do dead men walk and breathe, Talon? Do they stare with eyes that continue to watch the environment, never dropping guard for a moment? They do they eat the most delicious red apples that have been scorned by men who care not of other men?”

“What do you want, Du Couteau?” Talon asked. He wanted to get to the point already. He gave a gave a glance to the dagger held in Du Couteau’s hand. He gave his many daggers no names, as there was no reason to hold such meaningless sentiment. However, he knew which dagger was which, and the one dagger held in Du Couteau’s hand was his oldest, most used dagger, which had tasted the blood of thieves and innocents and even a friend, which Talon kept close as his final, desperate defense. A defense which had failed to the man before him. “Kill me, enslave me, do as you must. But hurry and tell me.”

“What if I were to employ you?” Du Couteau mused aloud.

Talon did not respond immediately. Rather he stared at the man before him, who ate an apple with one hand and played with a dagger in another. “What do you mean?”

“What if you were to work for me, Talon of the Worn Dagger? Take missions that I command, undergo the words that I say, work for me.” Du Couteau leaned back, his armor heavy and uncomfortable. “In return, I offer you training of your blade, I offer you food and nourishment, and I even offer you a room in my own house, in the House of Du Couteau, and…”

And it was that moment that the two heard a thump. Something fell, something in the corner of the room, a yelp. Immediately, Talon snatched the dagger from the very fingers of General Du Couteau, before his very eyes. The corner of the room was dark, unlit by the candles that gave light to where Talon and the General sat, but that was no issue for Talon. He was born in such darkness, and his aim was perfect; the used dagger flew across the room, and landed solidly where he had aimed, embedding itself deep.

Suddenly, Talon was aware of what he was doing. He had been on edge since he had entered the streets of House Du Couteau, had been wary of the servants that stared at him, of the guards that scoffed at him, and of the man that had defeated him. The sound had surprised him, and he had reacted before he could think. A familiar feeling set into Talon’s stomach, one of fear.

Talon stared into the shadows, ready to flee at any moment. From the darkness where the blade entered glared two eyes, emerald and sharp and absolutely angry. There was a flash of red hair, long and flowing.

“Katarina!” General Du Couteau shouted, getting up immediately. He waved his hands at the candles, and the corner was lit, revealing a young female whose hair flowed like passion and whose eyes shined just as bright. Katarina Du Couteau was her hand, and her shirt was stuck into the wall where Talon’s daggers pinned her.

She dodged my blade, Talon realized with a beat. He had aimed at the area between the collar bones, right below the neck or so, and she had dodged, managing for the blade to only sink into her shirt and into the wall. Not only that, she was unbalanced when he had aimed at her, and still managed to escape as well as she did.

She was very good, Talon understood.

“What do you mean, a room in House Du Couteau?!” Katarina immediately exclaimed. The General stood before her and grimaced. She stood up, a bit awkwardly, and pulled the blade from where it pinned her into the wall. “Why are you letting someone like that into our house?”

The General could only sigh. “Why are you here, my dear Kat? Where were you?”

Katarina glanced up, where a structure of a dragon’s head was mounted on the wall. “Nowhere,” she replied, suddenly thinking about the reality of her situation.

“You were eavesdropping,” the General said. He glanced at where she had hidden herself, and shook his head. “You prepared this before hand.” A thought struck him. “You’ve done this before.”

She blushed, complimenting the red of her hair. “I haven’t,” she said, not really clarifying anything.

Where Talon lived, one had to be either strong or clever. Not necessarily smart, but clever. Clever minds brought clever tongues, and clever tongues learned to lie. The great minds could coordinate their entire bodies to lie with them, and any tale they spun would be believed by the unaware. Talon had learned how to deal with these men, beyond the blade, and he could see through clever tongues quite well.

Clearly, Talon thought, she did not have a clever tongue.

As if hearing his thoughts, Katarina stared daggers at him.

The General knelt down to meet his beloved daughter. “Katarina, please go back to your mother, to your sister. I’m dealing with something right now,” the General said.

“This deals with us as well!” Katarina exclaimed. She pointed to the boy sitting at the table. “Why are you offering a room in our house to a slum rat like him? Talk with us about it first.”

The General only sighed. “Please, my dear Kat. Go.”

Katarina shook her head, but her feet followed his orders. She walked in front of her father, towards the exit.

As they passed, Kat threw his knife into the table, embedding it deeply. She scowled at Talon, and Talon only stared back. Her noted her green eyes, and suddenly realized he had rarely looked into people’s eyes before, at their faces. Certainly, none as passionate as those of Katarina’s. He wondered how much this would change in the future.

Closing the door behind her, the General sat in front of Talon once more. “I’m sorry about her,” the General said, “she’s around your age, I guess, and she’s rather… passionate about things, to say the least.”

Talon stared at the door for another moment before looking back to the man. “Why are you doing this?”

The General blinked. “What do you mean?”

“You left me alive,” Talon said. “And you tell me to come here, trust me to do so. You offer me a job, thinking that I would not slit your throat the moment I have the chance. Tell me, Marcus Du Couteau, why you do so.”

Du Couteau sat there for a moment, wondering how he should answer this. He noticed that there was only one apple on the table, the one apple that he had not finished. There was a knife that was embedded there, courtesy of his daughter. There were plates of food. Du Couteau had a nagging feeling that something was missing.

Ah! That was it. The apple that Talon had bitten into. It was gone. Du Couteau glanced to Talon’s lips. There was a wetness there.

He grinned. The young man was rather deft.

“When the guilds sent me, I did not know what I was expecting,” the General started. “It was an odd request, rather unfit for one of my position, to be honest. Assassins were dying, left and right, the best and the brightest, to some… unknown kid in the streets. They were rather… hesitant to share too much information with me, Talon, about what was happening. I chalked this up to just guilds being guilds, and decided to accept the request, to see what was it these guilds were searching for. They blamed you for the death of these men, and so I wanted to see exactly who could beat the blade masters of the guilds.

“And, what did I expect to see? Certainly not what I saw, Talon, certainly not this. Do you recall the encounter, but several days ago? I was wearing much different things, definitely better than this heavy and useless armor. But there I was, ready to fight for my life against the assassin of assassins, and then I see… a child. A boy. Dirty. Emaciated, maybe starving, looking into the light from whence I came with the same look that blind pups have when searching for their mother’s teats.

“But then you launched those daggers from the shadows, but then our blades were drawn, and what a fight that was, boy, matched only by nostalgia I have of that prodigy prince or of family Crownguards. Your body looked like it was about to fall apart, still does, really, yet your movement was like wind… like shadow. It was only through a dozen and a dozen years of fighting that dodged a slash that would clearly have severed the tendons in my hands. And a thrust that would have left me limping for years. And a stab that would have pierced my heart. You see my point.”

Du Couteau grinned. Talon almost scoffed. The man says it like the man didn’t reciprocate just as much as Talon did.

“When I finally knocked you down, and finally held your last dagger, the last of a hundred, and held my own blade at your throat, I realized how young you were. Maybe as young as a dozen winters, maybe as old as two dozen summers. The same age as my own Katarina, and forcing me to fight with such seriousness. Even today, you amaze me. I may be wearing useless armor, but you still manage to snatch a blade from my very hand before I react. I wonder, Talon where you plan to be in five more years. Or ten.”

Talon didn’t know why he answered. “Not starving after five years. Maybe not dead after ten.”

Du Couteau nodded. “Admirable aspirations, and as I suspected. But maybe there can be more than that. You are very strong, Talon, as talented my own Katarina. Mayhaps you train together, but that is for another day. I offer you a chance to escape the slums and underbelly of Noxus. I offer you a chance to not starve, to learn like a scholar, to be something of a soldier.”

Talon was silent as he stared at the man. Finally, he said, “Why do you trust me?”

“You could have killed me.” The answer was laughable, but there it was. Talon waited for Du Couteau to elaborate. “I offered you many chances to kill me today, Talon. I turned my back on your to tend to my dear Kat. I wear this meaningless armor to slow myself down. I left you in here, and you could have pointed my food, or run away forever. Yet, you came to this house, simply by trusting my words that I would not kill you. I know you never let go of the environment, Talon, and you had all these chances.” Inside, Du Couteau thought about how quickly and silently Talon ate a simple apple, and grinned.

Talon shook his head. “You should know. The stupid heralds and soldiers of Noxus say it every day. The strong rule the weak, so it goes, and it is one of the rare truths of this world, Du Couteau. We both know it.” Talon paused, staring at the food. “I have… a debt to you. You could have killed me. I owe you, for letting me live, since I am no longer a dead man walking.”

Du Couteau raised an eyebrow. “Is that honor of the battle that guides you?”

Talon spit on the floor. “Only fools pledge their lives to honor. Allegiances do not feed mouths, only blades do.” Talon looked at Du Couteau. “I live and die by the blade. Let me live, Du Couteau, and I shall be your blade, your shadow.”

Du Couteau paused. “It is true,” the man slowly said, “that the strong rule the weak. That is a truth of this world. Maybe, though, that is not the only truth.” Talon stared at the man, as he is wont to do. “Just keep that in mind, the Dark Blade of Shadow, Talon. Perhaps you can learn more than you’d think as you serve me.”

“Two conditions,” Talon said. “The first is that I will obey your words, and only your words. Do not put in the treacherous military. No lesser or greater man shall rule me. Promise me.”

The General gravely nodded.

“The second is that you better dare not give me such a tasteless title.”

Du Couteau grinned, but Talon’s face was dead serious. “I agree to your terms. Welcome to my employ.”

The General removed the blade in the table, and cut the palm of his had. Red blood flowed. He handed it to Talon. Talon looked at the man, and then reciprocated. They then shook.

“Outside, my dear Kat is probably waiting and eavesdropping. Tell her I have employed you, and follow her to the guest room at House Du Couteau.”

Talon nodded. He grabbed his dagger, turned, and walked away. Or slinked away. Something about the way he walked and moved made the shadows embrace him. That was where he grew up, Du Couteau knew, and that was where he belonged.

Walking to the window, Du Couteau watched as Katarina bickered and yelled at Talon, but led him to the house anyways. Talon did not respond. The boy probably did not put much weight into words. The night took over as the two disappeared, Talon first of all, and Katarina later.

Talon would have much to learn. He would be strong, Du Couteau knew, stronger than he is right now. On the other hand, Du Couteau could see the grays in his hair. He could feel the weight of his armor. Du Couteau knew his time was now, and it would soon be gone. He would need help, not a successor like his dear Kat.

He would need a blade. Someone who would be his blade, and the shadow behind it. Talon, The Blade’s Shadow.

Marcus Du Couteau grinned. The boy would never suffer such a tasteless title.

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Champion Kit: Thanarre

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Thanarre

The Inheritor of Destruction

Stats

Health 467 (+89) Attack damage 52 (+3.5)
Health regen. 7.1 (+0.67) Attack speed 0.677 (+3.1%)
Mana 285 (+30) Armor 15 (+3.2)
Mana regen. 6.75 (+0.75) Magic res. 30 (+1.25)
Range 175 Mov. speed 320

Abilities

Passive: Striking Shadow
Every 3 seconds, Thanarre’s auto attacks deal an additional 5% / 6% / 7% of the target’s missing HP as magic damage.  This effect is doubled against Champions.

Q: Reap
Thanarre swings her scythe in a half circle in front of her, dealing 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+ 1.3 bonus AD) physical damage to all enemies and makes enemies hit bleed for 4 seconds, dealing 4 / 7.5 / 11 / 14.5 / 18 ( + .1 AP) magic damage per second. Auto attacks reapply and refresh the bleed. The bleed stacks up to 4 times.
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 Mana
Cooldown: 6
Range: 500
Angle: 180 degrees

W: To Shadows
Passive: The active is automatically activated on champion kill or assist, and the cooldown of this ability halves.
Active: Thanarre cloaks herself, turning invisible for 2.5 seconds. She gains 6% / 7% / 8% / 9% / 10% movement speed, and moving in the direction of an enemy champion doubles the movement speed boost.
Cost: 60 Mana
Cooldown: 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16

E: Binding Edge
Thanarre’s scythe extends and slams the enemy into the ground, snaring them for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds and dealing 65 / 105 / 145 / 185 / 225 (+ .6 AP) magic damage.
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 Mana
Cooldown: 10
Range: 500

R: Mark of the King
Thanarre uses the remnants of the King’s power to launch at an enemy, marking them and dealing 100 / 200 / 300 ( + 1.3 bonus AD) ( + 1.0 AP) physical damage. Enemies around this marked enemy take 6% / 9% / 12% more damage for 6 seconds, and the marked enemy will have grievous wound for 6 seconds.
Cost: 100 Mana
Cooldown: 80
Range: 850
Mark aura radius: 450

Lore

In the Shadow Isles, some of that which exists there don’t know their beginning very well. Some of them were created, some of them adapted. Thanarre was probably born someday, when she knew not, probably from some mother, whom she knows not, in some place where, which she knows not. What she does know is that she is the daughter of the King of the Shadow Isles. Undying as he was, crafted with powers that he had, she was the inheritor of this heritage of destruction, and just as he leads the fate of everything to death, so did she.

Just as Mordekaiser and Hecarim before her, she left the Shadow Isles to beckon Runeterra into destruction, with the the Scythe of Death given from the King himself. She would traverse the lands in her cloak of darkness, tributing power to the Isles so that one day the King could be freed. Something changed, however. She stepped into waters that were swimming with life. She found the Plague Lands, buzzing with more variety than the vacant darkness of the Isles. She spoke with the yordles, humans, and half-beasts who knew her not for what she was. She laughed, she smiled, and when she remembered her mission, she cried.

She found that she thirsted not for the despair of her trapped King but for the earnesty of light, of life. Every step that she took, she tributed less to the King, to the Isles, until finally she no longer stole from life but flourished with it. When she finally arrived at the Institute of War, she was still similar to how she was before. She still bore the Scythe. She still wore the cloak of darkness. She still had the deathly powers of the King. Her quest had changed, however, and now she fights for Runeterra, against all those who would bring Runeterra to its end, against her father, the King of the Shadow Isles.

EDIT:

Changed Q mana costs from 50 / 65 / 80 / 95 / 110 to 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90

Reduced W movement speed from 6% / 8% / 10% / 12% / 14% to 6% / 7% / 8% / 9% / 10%

Aesthetics and Lore: Thanarre

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Aesthetics and Lore

Thanarre, the Inheritor of Destruction

 

In the Shadow Isles, some of that which exists there don’t know their beginning very well. Some of them were created, some of them adapted. Thanarre was probably born someday, when she knew not, probably from some mother, whom she knows not, in some place where, which she knows not. What she does know is that she is the daughter of the King of the Shadow Isles. Undying as he was, crafted with powers that he had, she was the inheritor of this heritage of destruction, and just as he leads the fate of everything to death, so did she.

Just as Mordekaiser and Hecarim before her, she left the Shadow Isles to beckon Runeterra into destruction, with the the Scythe of Death given from the King himself. She would traverse the lands in her cloak of darkness, tributing power to the Isles so that one day the King could be freed. Something changed, however. She stepped into waters that were swimming with life. She found the Plague Lands, buzzing with more variety than the vacant darkness of the Isles. She spoke with the yordles, humans, and half-beasts who knew her not for what she was. She laughed, she smiled, and when she remembered her mission, she cried.

She found that she thirsted not for the despair of her trapped King but for the earnesty of light, of life. Every step that she took, she tributed less to the King, to the Isles, until finally she no longer stole from life but flourished with it. When she finally arrived at the Institute of War, she was still similar to how she was before. She still bore the Scythe. She still wore the cloak of darkness. She still had the deathly powers of the King. Her quest had changed, however, and now she fights for Runeterra, against all those who would bring Runeterra to its end, against her father, the King of the Shadow Isles.

Design

A scythe user who was an assassin. This greatly beckons to death, naturally. I couldn’t just add an entire ‘Death’  into this game, obviously; even Karthus isn’t that powerful. What I could add was someone who is very similar to death. There was probably influence from diskworld.

That said, the King of the Shadow Isles is a mysterious figure who definitely exists, but at current in Riot’s lore, there’s absolutely nothing that I really know about him. There’s things to be gleaned from a Reddit AMA, and a post elaborating on what we could know about the Shadow Isles and its king, but for the most part I can go crazy with the lore aspect.

Now, there becomes an issue of aesthetics. The current lore I have for her is generally about pretty good, in my opinion, although it could use some elaboration on how she became as such; it’s like she saw life, said it was ‘cool’, and then decided to protect it. Now, like the lores of Jarvan or others, I can leave a lot of stuff open and to be elaborated later. For example, she could have interacted with several champions on her quest around Runeterra before the Institute of War. I wish there was more to be elaborated, but the specific style of Thanarre – Come from evil to do evil, see the good, and then turn, using evil’s own powers to fight against it, is still unique in LoL. Well, I’m sure that’ll change eventually, maybe even soon, but whatever.

What I *am* worried about how she is presented – game/mechanics-wise – compared to her lore. She’s a protector that assassinates. Like, the end of the lore is pretty bright, but I really wanted to add something along the lines of ‘she’ll protect Runeterra, in the only way she knows how’. She has the deathly powers of the King (her ult is tentatively called ‘Mark of the King’), and she’s here to protect Runeterra. An assassin protecting, by killing? Eh. I can possibly spin it in this way – “She fights because this is all that she can do to protect Runeterra. This is all she is. She is the daughter of the King, and in her rebellion against him, she uses his own powers. The only power she has.” Compared this to a cognitive dissonance of just an assassin trying to protect.

I haven’t though too much about what her lines would be. Maybe “I serve as I can” in champion select, or something. I think her lore can be spun right, but who knows.

Design Process: Thanarre

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Design Process

Thanarre, the Inheritor of Destruction

https://championconcepts.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/champion-concept-thanarre/

Origins

There hasn’t been many scythe users in League of Legends. I guess I wanted to do one.

The RWBY trailer is probably one of the largest influences. I literally watched this the day before I thought of Thanarre, and I’m absolutely certain that this inspired the creation of a scythe user. While I did originally not care if the character was male or female, it eventually became female, so Thanarre probably echoes the trailer more very much right now.

Abilities

Crafting her abilities was based off of two things. First of all, the champion utilized a scythe. Second of all, I wanted to utilize an idea I’ve been keeping around forever: a passive that makes the character invisible on kill or assist. Of course, while I initially didn’t plan it for a scythe user, making a scythe user invisible and moving around really fast, assassinating people- you’ll blink in, kill someone, blink out, as if literally from shadows, was something that seemed really cool to me.

There developed the W. I didn’t feel right making a kit that had this kind of passive without some other stealth. What occurs is a direct snowballing move, wherein this assassin thrives better the longer this goes on.

Another idea was gapcloser ult, something along the lines of Diana or Akali, but with a long cooldown. For some reason, my assassin designs often seem to be hybrid, and thus so scales her ultimate. I wanted team utility, particularly easy applying of assists so that she can activate her W passive easily.

From there, I simply added something that would make sense to me. She needed CC, so she had her E. She needed something basic to fight with, a skill to harass or sustained damage, and so came her Q. I wanted extra damage, and I just gave her a passive that seems fun. There’s a lot of passives similar to hers, Zed’s and Jarvan’s come to mind immediately, but her is somewhat unique.

History

The kit has undergone a *lot* of changes, and still continues to do so.

The largest and most blatant change would be the Q. It used to give a slow on the bleed. Now, keep in mind that it already can be reapplied forever. The way it works is that, after you Q’d someone, you can permanently apply the bleed as long as you’re attacking them. It has a 4 second bleed that can be reapplied, refreshed, and stacked, so there’s a considerable amount of time to try and hit them.

The W has undergone some changes as well. I originally wanted the passive invisible time to be variable. It originally was a passive invisibility that didn’t actually activate the ability, just something close to it, which had variable invisible time, increasing per level, and I think even movement speed. I eventually scrapped this, for the fact that it seemed excessive work and understanding: kill someone, go invisible. That’s all that the passive tries to do, and level capping this seemed odd. There are balance considerations, however. Also, double bonus when moving towards champions was easy and made lots of sense; I could make it so that escaping wouldn’t be easy, seeing as she already has a pretty great escape with the invisible. I could make it so that fighting and assassinations are encouraged, and not leave such a high utility of speed if you screw up playing with her somehow. Therefore, I don’t have to give such a high speed. The base bonus speed is rather iffy – it’s unique, in which skilled activated base movement boosts are rather rare. However, I have to admit I’m not sure about the balance of such a thing. Base MS boosts, as I understand it, directly make % bonuses better. However, it’s kind of a big deal to consider how much movement speed to give. Currently, 40 is a good amount, I guess, but pales in comparison to most other flat increases (Vayne can be tripled, Sivir can always have 50 extra as long as she’s hitting someone, Jayce, even Sona). Basically, it’s possible for this to be very weak at the moment. But that’s a numbers thing. I also thought about giving it the ability to see nearby enemies, the whole ‘death knows where you are’ thing, but felt it was trivial and excessive on an ability that already had a fair bit.

The E has stayed the least touched, although there were ‘Quality of Life’ considerations behind him. This champion would probably go top lane. I can see her mid lane, of course, but the range on her abilities and the rather weak base damages make it so that it’s a considerable risk. She has various abilities to keep enemies at bay, to juke and disengage, while harassing and not really engaging directly until a moment later. The problem with this is that she has considerable mana costs, and so I considered making it  a bit lower. I also considered letting it keep a 10 second cooldown, but opted out at the last second. One of the things I considered was a scaling snare duration, which I’m still not sure about. Mana costs, snare duration, cooldown, and damage – that’s a lot of things to increase per level. While right now it seems as if Q is the obvious choice to level up, making a skill weak but giving it lots of incentive to level up is pretty fun. However, it’s such a trap to level it up compared to Q, unless I give it a scaling snare duration. Q’s magical bleed, for example, doesn’t increase bases very much. At the same time, however, it has very good scaling on the bleed, .4 AP scaling for every q slice, and stacking up to 1.2 AP scaling currently with only 3 extra auto attacks. Currently, you can get 1.8 AP scaling + 1 bonus AD scaling off of 3 auto attacks, a Q, and an E. That’s a lot of interesting damage, and over time that’s worth a lot.

The ultimate is sorta interesting. I wanted a *really long* reach for the ult. That’s pretty much the basis of it. In exchange, I didn’t want too high bases – the Q is the majority of the damage. This ult should be more utility and damage. What I did give it was considerable scaling. 1 AP scaling + 1 bonus AD scaling. The more damage this champ buys, the higher damage she’ll directly do. Instant gratification. I essentially built this around an Akali length ult, based off of one video I saw, in which Akali bypassed all Veigar’s stun walls with a single dash.

Now, that was probably a fringe case, but I’d like to do something like that. Particularly for this skill, I’d make it so that I *can* bypass everything, brief invulnerability for example. I may actually bump up the range to around 900 units, which is about Diana’s dash if I’m correct. After this low damage ult, I wanted some utility – she has a single snare, and it’s cooldown is pretty large. I figured to make it increased damage – superficial damage, team utility, and etcetera. Her base damages also becomes less bad with this up. also, its current size is roughly a bit larger than Darius’s Q, which is a pretty large

Balance and Revision

First of all, I’m seriously considering  adding grievous wound to her ultimate, but only to the 1 target she marked. Easy AoE grievous wound around a champion as a point and click is just eh (combined with the damage + damage % increase, obviously). However, grievous wound on a single target is interesting – in a 1v1 scenario (Which I must always keep in mind since she *is* intended as an assassin), it’d make a lot of fighting hard for people. Also, it works very well as a ‘mark’ gameplay – the enemy champion is marked, and is going to be a lot hard to save now. There’s concern about how much damage it may help out the team, as Vlad’s ult is comparable and isn’t even a point and click, but revision isn’t particularly hard. At worse, it’d be 6% / 7% / 8% increased damage. Nerfing the AP ratio isn’t a particularly important thing either. It should be noted that this champion does considerable mixed damage, and due to the anti-synergy of AP scaling but dealing physical damage (and a similar on the Q), usually Thanarre will be a bit easier to build resistances against. The increased damage does provide a lot of utility, especially considering I might employ grievous wound on the marked enemy.

As for her E, I might change the cooldown to just 10. In comparison to similar abilities, this probably gives her a good uptime on her snare compared to what it can do, especially considering it’s point and click.

Notably, I might decrease base. In further consideration, having choice between leveling Q or E makes a lot of sense. They’re keystone abilities of her. W has very little incentive to be leveled – an assassin needs damage (Q, E, R) until they reach a point where items can make up for things, and W is an ability whose passive makes up for the lack of leveling. That said, I also want Q’s physical aspect nerfed, or at least its base damages. Its bleed scales sorta hard with AP (.4, up to 1.2), and its base increases are rather trivial. I might keep its level 5 the same, but just decrease its early levels.

Another way to incentivize leveling choice between Q and E is to make Q’s mana costs scale harder, while having a mildly low early cost. I’m actually liking this process – while Q has blatantly more damage per level, leveling E has a lower mana cost and a better snare (and it’s not like its damage is *bad*).

I think Q cooldown might be decreased a bit. Maybe to 6 seconds. This champion would work really well with Trinity or Lichbane, off the top of my head, and I’d like it if she *could* spam that. It’s not that big of a deal if she can permanently bleed someone with only Q.

Her W is an issue. I obviously can’t give it a low cooldown – it’s already 2.5 seconds of stealth along with a movement speed boost. The reason I had it at 4 seconds reduction is an arbitrary number that seemed reasonable given the possibility of CDR. With 20% CDR, which is achievable quite easily independent of Item build, through either Elixir or Blue, she has a 12.8 second cooldown on her W. Assuming use uses W, and survives its full duration, she has  a realistically 10 second cooldown on it. Now, here’s where it gets tricky – an assist at this time could let her invisible for another 2.5 seconds.  It would also decrease the duration by 4 seconds. Meaning that realistically she has a 6 second cooldown on her W assuming even 1 assist, if she can utilize the full duration of her W and its passive.  This is a lot of conditionals and realistically, this may change.

However, the things I’m taking into consideration, why she doesn’t have a refresh on this W: it automatically activates, and if the W ability refreshes, she has a realistic 5 second invisible + movement speed bonus. That’s ridiculous. Of course, why must I make the passive this way? Why can’t I just let it refresh and balance around that, instead of making a *forced* invisible on a champion? Well, that’ s her main unique mechanic. One of the most amazing things about LoL’s gameplay design is that things that proc on kill or assist are an amazing emergent property. Of course, I didn’t want Katarina level proccing, just doing a unique and flexible mechanic on her W. So, I’m trying to balance around that. One consideration I’ve gone through is having the cooldown for her W half each kill or assist – At 0 CDR, it’s 10 seconds at level 1, which is realistically 7.5 once she becomes visible and the passive is gone, and 8 at level 5, which is realistically 5.5 once the passive is gone. There is a very realistic probability that it can be spammed once teamfights start, but that’s the whole point. Risk reward. A base decrease is strange to balance around, and I *do* want the ability up, but needs a bit of interaction between characters. This is another reason why the bonus MS can’t be overpowered. If there’s a possibility that it’ll be up a lot, I don’t want it too powerful.

I actually considered a slow on the W. No damage, just a slow on the next hit. After taking the slow out from Q, anything could work. But… it sounded way too powerful or annoying. Nah.

As to her passive, there’s a minor issue… It’s a very weak initial fighting ability. I mean, it’s okay, but it requires engaging and disengaging to really apply it. the weaker the enemy is, the better it gets. Outside of lane, I’m sure that it’s fine, but in lane, it’s pretty weak at fighting champs. At level six, champions will have at least 800 HP, realistically 900+. At If they are at 300 hp, she’ll gain an extra 36 magic damage if they had 900 hp. That’s…. eh. It’s not bad, but it’s just really bland. It’s less than half a nuke added to your auto attack, which already had considerable risk to get that much.

A major issue that occurs is that she gains great last hitting ability. Like, massive. At 6% hp, a melee minion with around 80 HP would be missing 365 hp. At 6%, she’ll be dealing an extra 21.9 damage, free. With even base stats, at level one she can probably deal between 50-60 damage already. With just a little bit of AD, She *easily* last hits. Sure, it’s on a 3 second cooldown, but still, that’s not too big an issue. While I don’t mind her in the jungle (she’s probably gonna fit in there as snug as a bug, or whatever the idiom is), in lane it could potentially provide a lot of cheap utility, while at the same time, it will barely be effective at fighting champions (due to the nature of the lane, champions’  HP will be generally upkept, and she’d have to risk it to damage them to even apply the passive, which will be mitigated considerably), it’s a rather eh passive, in my opinion. It fits, but something needs to be changed.

Decrease the passive, and make it deal more damage to champions. Easy. Double damage is an easily understood number as well.

I’m also considering adding an additional kill or assist refreshing to her passive. While the W passive is nice, it doesn’t actually help deal more damage. If I add this, this W is essentially an extra damage dealing for when she reinitiates the fight. It’s like a free skill, something along the lines of Katarina, just extremely weaker in nature. It’s not like the 3 second cooldown was very bad in the first place.

One of my key concerns is that this champion might go more bruiser-ish rather than damage. I gave players a *lot* of incentive to build offense – the scaling on her Q’s bleed and ult AP is ridiculously, combined with a moderate ability on E. The passive, for example, doesn’t even need scaling, as it scales off the enemy. The rather massive auto attack incentive she has could possibly bypass all need to *be* stealthy and just go bruiser-ish, applying lots of bleed and getting a couple procs of her passive up. I’m considering upping her Q bonus AD scaling, as well as add a pinch of scaling on her E, but this still doesn’t solve the issue. What I do know is that she has rather long cooldowns for a bruiser, so I’m hoping this makes up for it.

Another design consideration is much and multi-directionally she scales. She scales with AP, with AD, as well with AS and a bit of MS. She will probably require good resistances if she wants to really get the full damage from her bleed. These aren’t that cheap. I’m incentivizing offense, but it may be a trap that leads her to being weak or useless until she gets her items, and snowball. At the same time, building armor or magic penetration is not encouraged due to how much blatantly mixed damage she has. I gave her great auto attack incentive, but some of her best scaling also comes from AP. While it’s generally fine to build pure AP, and possible even pure AD, I do want hybridism as a key feature and strength. Possible a AS/AP on hit build would work best?

This is mostly a design consideration, but also a numbers and scaling consideration. Good bases allow for more bruiser building, as I understand, and good scaling leads to more offensive building. Bad scaling but bad bases leads to an underwhelming champion. Good team utility, moderately okay assassination, and a pretty good 1v1.

It’s a strange kit, in my opinion. This assassin does lots of sustained and DoT damage. She can’t burst someone from 100 to 0, as I understand it, but the longer the fight goes on the better she will be, as she will be harder and harder to pinpoint due to her W passive, while she’ll be doing lots of DoT if she manages to isolate someone (which the ultimate encourages the enemy to do).  Currently I’m not fine with what she is, but I’m hoping my changes can work.

But hey, a sustained DPS/DoT assassin. While this would normally be considered a bruiser, maybe it can work here; there’s a niche for most everything, right?

Review: Nhan-Fiction’s Cerule, the Mystic Mermaid

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Obtained from http://nhanfiction.com/2012/09/26/cerule-the-mystic-mermaid/
http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Nhan-Fiction/%28Custom,_Fan-made_Champ%29_Cerule,_the_Mystic_Mermaid

I’ll critique by first stating how I believe the abilities to work and the design in how they work, the strength level of the kit, the overall impression and opinion of the kit, and then suggested changes.

Abilities by themselves:

Passive:

Seems…. Okay. Like It sounds like it’s kinda powerful when it can chain AoE with nearby targets, and could possibly add very little to enemy character interaction while superficially boosting ability damage.

Q:

There’s a reason that most champions usually don’t have varying AoEs – it’s really bad/annoying design in which the enemy much constantly remeasure the ability and makes it difficult to respond to. Imagine if Sion’s shield’s AoE change, and so every level up you must pay attention to that. Spell ranges usually don’t change with notable exceptions, because the design confuses the opponent player. Widening of the AoE is not recommended.

It seems like a very strange ability/mechanic. The obvious upside is that you can drag an enemy to you (assuming they’re within 500 range) or you can push enemies away. It’s like a knockback over time, as far as I can tell.

It’s strange. You haven’t clearly defined it. The closest I can think of it something akin to Cerule’s E.

That said, the algorithm for the knockback, and just as importantly, the MS of the enemy when they move backwards, against the tide, is (their ms – push unit). When they stop moving, they move in a direction with the value of  (push unit). When they move in the same direction as the wave, they move with value of (ms + push unit) (this only makes sense). Is this correct?

This ability gives a LOT of potential for griefing your allies, if the previous paragraph is correct. Not only that, it’s a continuous knockback which would do insane things in teamfight because someone is always moving. NOT ONLY THAT, the graphical design of this would be

W:

Shield that can explode. Makes a lot of sense, easy enough. However, a variety of issues appear when presented with what it can do, particularly with opponent player interaction. By itself, it makes sense, something along of a more flexible Sion shield. The largest issue that appears is that the bubble burst has way to many advantages. The worst part is where it says that a bubble burst can occur when the shield is broken. This is an absolute no-no. A player must feel good when they do something correct. Sion is old, legacy design, but even then his shield makes sense: You see him shield. You want to either blow up the shield, and once you play this game a bit, you understand that you gotta run away. Blow up or run away, risk reward. If you blow it up, you take away his damage. You feel really good about that.

However, this shield is just wrong. There is absolutely no incentive to blow up the shield of the shielded enemy. Why? It’ll just explode, dealing damage to you. Of course, you can’t even leave the shield alone. It can be activately by the enemy. When the enemy Cerule places this on  a nearby minion or champion, you have to either run away or be out of range AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. Not only that, if she places it on a remotely close enemy champion, you probably can’t even escape. NOT ONLY THAT, if you choose to fight, the enemy Cerule can burst this at ANY TIME at ANY shield strength. Even if the shield is useless when broken, when you’re fighting you have very little option in responding to this shield. When the shield hits very small numbers, for example, a good Cerule would just explode it and make you take damage. There is *very* little player interaction on that; a high level player will never let a shield go broken useless, and a high level enemy of the Cerule has little he/she can do to respond.

Also, it’s possible that the knockback can be used quite dangerously. You could, for example, save the enemy with that extra 250 knockback at the worst time.

Also, widening of AoE is considerably discouraged.

E:

This ability is straightforward enough, even if it has a lot of abilities. It’s easy to show to the opponent players how it’s bad to be in there. Now, there is small difference in how large the AoE can be, and because of this, the damage values could sort of be neglected. Just make it do *damage* without making these differences which simply add more to learn without much to worry about. If you make all the rings worth the same damage, and possibly slow, you set a very easy to understand precedent for the opponent to respond to. With the way it works now, there’s a *lot* to memorize: damage values, slow values, as well as unit pull values which are ridiculously unique to her. The AOE is Only 400- that’s a difference of 133 units per ring. Various champion models are already larger than that. Unless you meant the AOE RADIUS is 400, in which case, still not much better, but now it’s feeling *really*, really large.

I’m not sure why it’s stated that it’ll trigger all passive procs, seeing as she’ll be channeling during this time? At best it’ll proc 1.

The cooldown is ridiculous. Design-wise, if she gets 40% CDR, she can have this almost always on with exception of 2.5 seconds. I know that in a real situation she’ll rarely be leaving it active for 5 whole seconds all the time, but still.

R:

As far as I understand the best way to implement this is to do something similar to the walls of Karthus and Anivia (and maybe something like Malzahar’s Q). Your move hovers over and area, and two walls can slam together. This will, as I understand, push all enemies in the wall to the center area, as well as dealing damage.

Considerably unique, yet still basic.

Strength level:

Ridiculously overpowered. Ridiculously. Like, I understand that she’s somewhere along the lines of a support or a makeshift AP carry if needed, although it’d probably be subpar. However, what she can do and provide is just stupid.

You’ve tried giving her strong moves with high CDs, as well as a persistent threat with her passive (Lux/Leona-ish).  She does little damage, sure: .65 ult + .35 shield +  .4 Q, for 1.4 AP scaling without her E. 230 + 240 + 325. Annie, one of the best benchmarks for AP Carry-ness, deals 245 + 280 + 425 (and another 35 at least from bear if optimal), as well as 2.1 AP scaling from just three abilities. I’d say that, going AP, Cerule would do either 50-75% of normal AP carry damage (especially considering other AP carries usually deal more damage on average than Annie, either through sustained DPS or other means).

What she does provide is a sickening amount of CC, slows, and utility chained with her damage. In just base amounts of utility and CC, she might provide more collective CC than ANY OTHER CHAMPION.

You have 1 AOE push/slow/knockback-over-time from her Q. You’ve got AOE knockback from her W. You’ve got a large AOE circle movement-over-time + base slow on her E. You have a AoE knockback to an area  + 1.25 stun on her ult.

This, good sir, is absolutely ridiculous. For comparison, I’ll redirect to Orianna. She has an AOE slow + ms boos that fades, as well as an aoe knockup ult, and she is considered one of the most powerful champions in the game as you reach higher levels. (The best AP mid in the world, Toyz, literally carries with just the CCs shown above.)

Cooldowns won’t help. High mana costs don’;t help. The thing is that these two resources, and limits, are inherently limitations upon the lane. Mana doesn’t become a major issue for most AP casters outside of the lane, or late game.

That said, Nautilus has ridiculously higher risk (melee, w is applied on auto, E is PBAoE), while having even longer cooldowns. Leona also comes to mind in terms of comparable CD, scaling, and base. This champion would literally be better as a tank because of the PURE CC UTILITY that she can bring on the team.

Also, passive is fun and fine, but it’s counter intuitive when combined with a champion that has really, really long CDS. It may promote a certain style of play, but is this style frivolous?

Overall:

She brings a LOT of utility to the team. Ridiculous amounts of it. She has a lot of user interaction counter-intuitiveness. Her mechanics are innately unique, which is fine, but may be strange in terms of how they would work with everyone.

Suggested changes:

  • Passive is generally fine, but abilities that synergize with it better would help. Passives should generally glue kits together, while this just barely/superficially promotes her AP carry route while providing little to her support route (for comparison, look at Leona).
  • Shield should NOT burst and deal damage when broken. Additionally, maybe scale down damage if the user Cerule explodes the shield when it’s at lower health.
  • Ult gives ridiculous CC. It’s like a Alistar headbutt, aimed, ranged, and more damage. For comparison, Ashe’s ult is one of the most amazing ranged initiations, and it’s already hard to aim, while Orianna’s ult is even simpler than this, and her kit is already high skill capped. I would say that, at the very least, take away the stun. Maybe make the knockback go one direction- Sort of the Q/Rumble Equalizer, and knocks the enemy that direction.
  • Normalize all the AoEs. Both user and enemy have to adjust all the time for each and every level, and a lot of grief could occur when you consider that ‘If only I had leveled this to have been able to hit them now…’
  • Take away the extra ring aspects of her E. It’s frivolous and trivial and most likely the players/team won’t notice too much (since it needs to be DISTINCT (Leona ult, Ziggs ult)) to make it really worth something. Think about how the push/pull/slow aspect should be made, because at the moment the slow is already *considerably* amazing without this new mechanic going on.
  • E counter-synergizes with the passive. You want to auto attack, but then you channel for 5 seconds and can’t. It’s just wrong when looked together.
  • Q has amazing potential for grief if I understand it wrong, as well as just screwing up in general. I’d just saw scrap it, and add an additional effect for Cerule when she’s in the area of water made.
  • E range and radius should be considered better. I’m not sure if the risk, rewards, and tradeoffs are appropriate at the moment.

That’s my current summary. I would say that I am no professional at champion creation, obviously, but this is how I perceive it, and I believe the arguments I made are pretty okay. Sorry if it’s messy or if I’m harsh, I have a tendency to do stream of consciousness when critiquing.

Champion Concept Kit: Thanarre

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Thanarre
The Inheritor of Destruction

Range: Melee
Resource: Mana

Passive:
Auto attacks deal an additional  6% / 9% / 12% of the target’s missing HP as magic damage. Thanarre can only do this once every 3 seconds.

Q:
Thanarre swings her scythe in a half circle in front of her, dealing 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+ 1.0 bonus AD) physical damage to all enemies and makes enemies hit bleed for 4 seconds, dealing 10 / 12 / 14 / 16 / 18 ( + .1 AP) magic damage per second. Auto attacks reapply and refresh the bleed. The bleed stacks up to 3 times.
Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 Mana
Cooldown: 7
Range: 500
Angle: 180 degrees

W:
Passive: Automatically activates active on champion kill or assist and decrease the cooldown of this ability by 4 seconds.
Active: Thanarre turns invisible for 2.5 seconds, and gains 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20 movement speed. Moving in the direction of an enemy champion doubles the MS boost.
Cost: 60 Mana
Cooldown: 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16

E:
Thanarre’s scythe extends and slams the enemy into the ground, snaring them for 1 second and dealing 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+ .6 AP) magic damage.
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 Mana
Cooldown: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10
Range: 500

R:
Launches at an enemy, marking them and dealing 100 / 200 / 300 ( + 1.0 bonus  AD) ( + 1.0 AP) physical damage. Enemies around this marked enemy take 6 / 9 / 12% more damage for 6 seconds.
Cost: 100 Mana
Cooldown: 100
Range: 850
Mark aura radius: 450

Inception

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