League of Legends Has a New Class and Subclass Guide on Riot's Blog
When I first started playing League of Legends in early 2010, the class structure was pretty easy. There weren't very many champions, which made it much simpler.
Ah, how times have changed. League of Legends has 130 champions right now, which is just insane. Trying to categorize every character into the original few -- which were basically Tank, Support, AD Carry and AP Carry -- is a little difficult with that many characters.
So Riot sat down and created a new Class and Subclass guide. They broke every champion into six main classes and a total of twelve sub-classes. And even though some champions still don't fall exactly in line with these, it's a great start.
So... What Does This Mean?
Obviously having different descriptions of classes and subclasses doesn't really change the game. Champions will still be played the same way, maps and game modes really aren't effected, and Teemo is still an annoying piece of $hi%.
But it does help both Riot and players in several ways:
- As Riot comes up with new characters, they can more easily look at which class/subclass hasn't received a new champion for a while, then focus on that type.
- New players who like a certain subclass--such as Vanguards--can more easily determine other champions they'd like.
- Balancing teams may be easier. Even though you'll still get lots of the "I'll play whoever I want, you filthy casual!" type of teammates, hopefully some will pay a little more attention. That way you don't end up with five Enchanters (one of the Controller/Support subclasses.)
Here are the class/subclass combos to give you an idea of how it works.
A Tank is still a Tank- a champion that can take a tons of damage and helps draw fire away from their teammates. If an item boosts health, armor or magic resistance, it's fair game for Tanks.
The two subclasses are Vanguards and Wardens.
Vanguards are beefy characters like Leona that tend to go on the offensive. They charge right in and start the fight. Their abilities aren't as focused on drawing fire, which is why they tend to start the fight and hopefully force enemies to use abilities on them so their teammates can mop up.
But Wardens, such as Shen, are more defensive. Shen's taunt and ultimate make him a great fit for this category. He gets into the fight early, but may save these abilities for a second and use them once his teammates come under fire.
I love my Mages--I've always been a magic dude. From the old school Hero Quest board game to my 8971267 playthroughs of Skyrim, I tend to favor the magic route over sword and board. Even though a little survivability with Mages never hurts, you can always just build a glass cannon by focusing on your AP.
In the new subclass system, Mages in League of Legends can be one of three things: Battle, Burst or Artillery mages
Subclass: Battle Mages
Battle Mages are those like Vladimir who slowly but surely burn down their opponents. Don't expect them to nuke the enemy into oblivion, but they still have an important role to play.
Subclass: Burst Mages
Burst Mages are those like my gal Annie, who can nuke enemies into oblivion... but are best focused on just 1-2 vulnerable enemies at a time. Lux--another favorite of mine--also falls into this category... just as anyone who can fire a giant freaking laser of death should.
Subclass: Artillery Mages
Artillery Mages, like Xerath, are the ones with crazy long range. Obviously that has some advantages, but they're toast if you get too close.
Fighters are those ladies and gents that like to get into the thick of things and do some damage, but aren't quite as Tanky as... well, Tanks. If they have any crowd control, it's more about creating vulnerabilities than drawing fire.
For these folks, you need a combination of defense (to keep you alive long enough to do some damage,) along with some additional firepower. Trinity Force comes to mind.
One of my most memorable games was playing Ezreal on top lane vs. a Nasus. Unfortunately this Nasus was a great player. We became the 2 most fed champs that match, so it was essentially a Me vs. Nasus game.
About 2/3 into the match, I remember wasting my Arcane Shift towards him to get one little shot in. He then slowed me, walked up to me and pummeled me into oblivion with his Q.
Juggernaughts are the fighters like Nasus that can operate as kind of an off-tank; A beefy character that can also does tons of damage. Their only downside is they tend to be slow.
Good old Xin Zhao falls into the Diver category. I remember when Xin first came out, he was ridiculously OP. Seeing him dive straight for you was pretty freaking scary.
Divers are faster and more dangerous than Juggernaughts. Even though they have less health, they make up for it in damage output.
Slayers are for people who like to take down an enemy without the sissy ranged magic stuff. They dive straight for vulnerable, high priority targets and take them down with melee.
Similar to Mages, having a little extra defense from items doesn't hurt, but your main focus will likely be increasing damage output.
Anyone who has never tried Akali... well, should try her...?
Assassins are essentially the melee Burst Mages. They dive in and nuke an enemy down as fast as possible--usually a (fellow) squishy. They're a lot of fun, but the downside is they're squishier than that worm you accidentally stepped on after it rained.
A Skirmisher like Fiora doesn't have the high burst damage that an Assassin does, nor can she close the gap between herself and a baddie quite as well as Assassins such as Akali can.
That said, Fiora and fellow Skirmishers have more defensive tricks up their sleeves, so they can stay in the fight a bit longer and do lots of damage over that time.
This one is actually a little confusing to me, as Riot's main site still calls these Support. But essentially it's the same--these champions focus on assisting their allies rather than dealing damage directly.
As someone who likes to play Support, I can tell you that some extra defense is critical. You're basically walking around with a giant target on your head.
When I think of Enchanters, I think more about Everquest than I do League of Legends. In essence, an Enchanter focuses on affecting allies directly, such as through Janna's shield ability and ultimate.
Disruptors are the annoying ones. Characters like Anivia that slowww youuuu dowwwwwnnnnnnnnn.
While they may not do tons of direct damage or directly augment their allies, they still make a major difference on the battlefield. A correctly-timed stun or slow is all it takes to win a team fight.
There are no subclasses for Marksmen, because it's pretty straightforward. Teemo, Ashe, Caitlyn, Miss Fortune--basically any character that attacks from ranged with physical damage falls into this category.
As you look at these, keep in mind that not every champion falls into one of these categories. For example, Lux can be seen as Disruptor or a Burst Mage. It just depends on how you play the champ.
What's your take on the new League of Legends class/subclass system? Do you think it'll be helpful, or that Riot should've taken this time to do something more useful like develop more Brolaf-style skins?