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My five big hopes for League of Legends in 2019

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Expert
7th January, 2019
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I’ve been writing a lot about the off-season lately, and for obvious reasons: there’s not much else going on.

But with all the major reasons starting up again within the fortnight and rosters pretty much settled, my first column of the new year is going to look forward.

These are my hopes for League of Legends in 2019. They aren’t based on anything but my own opinions and I don’t consider them predictions. What follows is simply a list of things I think would be kinda cool (and somewhat realistic) additions to the game.

Tanks
Looking back at Worlds 2018, it’s no surprise that the games were so full of kills and excitement. Almost nobody picked champions who can take a beating, with the exceptions of Urgot and Sion (Tahm and Alistar don’t really count since they never have the items to get truly beefy). 2018 was the year damage dealers ruled, but I miss having champions in the game who can say no to all that.

Look, I get it, League is (arguably) better to watch when there is kill potential. Nobody wants a return to Maokai-Shyvana-Mundo top lanes 24-7, but it would be nice if one of my favourite classes was relevant again.

I don’t know how you achieve this without spoiling the most entertaining pro meta of all time, but RIOT showed last year that they aren’t afraid to take risks when it comes to balance changes. Again, I’m not asking for tank dominance, just relevance.

Udyr update
As someone whose highest mastery champion is Morgana, I’m glad she and her sister Kayle are getting visual updates, but come on. Udyr looks and plays like a champion who was designed before RIOT really knew what they were doing.

I know why that is: he was.

His kit has some interesting concepts (though I find his constant zipping around, stealing my jungle camps incredibly irritating) but is flawed. You basically only get to play with three skills, none of which feel exciting to use. The concept of super short cooldowns with no ult is interesting, but it doesn’t play out in an interesting way. It’s not even as if he has a bad win rate, he just isn’t interesting or fun.

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On top of that, all of his skins are dreadful except for Spirit Guard, which, as reddit often points out, is what the champion should look like by default.

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No more immunities
Mobility creep is a real issue, but I’m tired of invulnerability. It always seemed to be attached to champions whose kits are great in solo queue but awful in professional play. Sounds fine, right? But that also means you get to feel bad about losing to a champion who isn’t even good. I mean, who has fun playing Tryndamere, for example? And how?

Xayah, I think, started the trend of these type of skills being attached to champions who see pro play. Worse, hers came with built-in mobility and fairly reliable crowd control. Then the new Akali came out and it was decided she would have true invisibility or mega stealth or whatever they called it.

Granted, she can theoretically still take damage, but only from AOE or well-aimed skill shots. Cool idea in theory – it hadn’t been done before – but Akali is a testament to the adage ‘just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should’.

Leave the jungle alone
This one already sort of came true, at least for now, but remember that funnelling didn’t really start until halfway through last year.

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Still, I’m glad that RIOT has left the jungle well alone during pre-season. As a pseudo jungle main, the role is in a really good place right now. There is a wide array of champions who can be played without having to get flamed in champion select and they all have a reasonable impact on the game when played well.

Yes, I’d like to see more tanks in the jungle, but they’re not unplayable. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Keep doing weird stuff
Funnelling went down like a lead balloon with most, pros included, but I hope that reception doesn’t scare RIOT away from mixing things up.

People don’t like change, but as Kha’Zix almost says, change can be good.

I hope we see some more unusual ideas come to League in 2019, but I also hope they aren’t just ‘make this thing massively overtuned’ a la the juggernauts patch of yesteryear.