Category Archives: Written by Andy

LoL Summer Split Finals and Nuzlocke Pt. 2!

Good Morning Everyone!

Thanks for tuning in today. We got a greta topic and something I haven’t written about as much as I’d like to. The League of Legends Summer Split Finals were last weekend and I am a huge TSM fan. (I know I know, cut me some slack.) Last split they made it to the finals and got beat by a CLG team that caught fire at the right time. This split they looked nearly unstoppable for 16 weeks. So even though it’s already been a week, if you don’t want spoilers, turn back now.

Game 1: TSM looks uncoordinated, C9 got an early lead. TSM tried to claw back in, but they couldn’t get the team fights to go their way. TSM’s bot lane was double killed eaqrly by C9 which seems rare for Doublelift and Biofrost. They gave up a lot of dragons, just couldn’t seem to get the team work together. I was hoping this wouldn’t be the case, obviously, as it was all too familiar a feeling. C9 looked really good, and I was praying it was just nerves or a bit of rust. TSM falls in a rather quick game 1.

Game 2: TSM gets first blood. Bjerg managed to claim it it a similar fashion he was FB’d in Game 1. TSm manages to take the first dragon: Infernal. After the first 4 man gank bot, TSM gets a 2 for 1 and first turret blood. They have a huge gold lead. TSM catches Jensen Mid and Impact top for two more solo kills. Next thing you know TSM has 3 Drakes. TSM then appears to be setting up baron after a ton of cat and mouse, almost 15 minutes of no deaths. C9 feels they must try and stop the Baron. C9 has a great Velkoz ulti but TSM is able to secure 2 kills while giving none up. The score is 7 to 1, but C9 did stop the baron. C9 engages over Mt. Drake and TSM picks up another 2 kills, then take baron. All c9 did was delay the inevitable. They pick up another kill after the baron and push to inhibitor. TSM has a 10k gold lead at 32 minutes in. They pick up two more kills and split mid and bot for inhibs. C9 manages to pick up two off Bio and Hauntzer after staying too long in the enemy base. TSM goes for Elder, it’s a bait and C9 falls apart. After wiping most of the team TSM makes a final push and takes the Nexus for Game 2.

Game 3: TSM First blood goes to Sven. C9 counters by killing Hauntzer Top after he looked slightly over extended. C9 Jungler rotates Mid and they take out Bjerg. Shortly after, they try Mid again. This second C9 gank Mid fails and is turned around by TSM for 2 kills making it 3 to 2 TSM and they manage to get first turret blood out of it. C9 is keeping it close due to Hauntzer getting caught again. Impact keeping C9 in it. He’s playing very well. YOu can tell he wants the win badly. TSM sends all 5 top, pick up a kill on Meteos, the turret and are up 5k gold and two dragons at 23 minutes. Sven harasses Meteos all game and has out farmed him. Sven will not leave him alone and is counter jungling him to death.  Team fight breaks out, in Top Red side Jungle, TSM picks up 4 kills to cement their huge lead, leaving only C9’s Jensen alive. Doublelift has a NASTY Jihn snipe. In the middle of the team fight, he manages to thread the needle between two champs and kill a fleeing Ashe among her C9 teammates, they are unable to block. C9 loses their DPS and the team fight goes to TSM. They are able to make a final push shortly afterwards for Game 3.

Game 4: Picks and bans are odd due to team counter picking and banning out champs. C9 gets Rek’Sai and Jihn (Both hotly wanted by both teams), forcing DL onto the Lucian pick. Crowd goes wild. Sven has the most amazing lvl 2 gank based on C9’s Taliyah pick. Knowing she was going to push the mid lane then farm enemy raptors, Sven took his red buff and was waiting for her, the slow from red buff combined with Bjergson being ready, netted TSM an easy kill and first blood . C9 answers by killing DL. Sven has a great jungle camp steal, still harassing Meteos in the jungle. The pressure Sven provided for 2 games had to be soul crushing for Meteos. Score is 2 to 1 C9, but TSM is out farming and gets the first dragon. TSM has a great ability to slowly gain little advantages here and there to gain incremental leads that add up over time. C9 gets first Tower in top lane and the extra gold along with it. TSM has a great turn around gank on bot by Haunzter using his Shen Ultimate, to gain advantage and take out Meteos. Another failed gank mid by C9 goes in TSMs favor. TSM picks up two more kills by catching Sneaky and Meteos out separately. TSM picks up a second Infernal Drake. Hauntzer is getting shut down, HARD the last two games. Really struggling against Impact on Gnar who is playing like a man possessed. TSM is forced try to take advantage while Hauntzer is trying to hold off Impact. Impact is an absolute monster and able to 1v2 TSM when reinforcment arrives for Haunter. Vision is great for TSM side, they bait baron, but nothing happens. Then something crazy happens and C9 loos like they want tp base race TSM. TSM is much faster and get an Inhib. C9 fails to take the mid land 2nd turret. C9 has to back off to defend, of the game would end. TSM goes for Baron for real this time, and C9 manages to kill Biofrost. C9 gets a HUGE team fight and Impact turns around a guaranteed lost team fight. When everything seems hopeless, Impact executes an incredible Ultimate turning the fight in C9s. C9 managed to get Baron and bring back the game to try and tie the series. This is exactly what they needed to stay in it. 11 to 11, C9 had the gold lead w/ Baron. TSM has 4 drakes. There are two very long team fights. Lots of bulk on both sides, both team kiting very well and chipping each other away. The second team fight has the most insane ending of any League of Legends Match I have ever seen. Please take a few moments to watch the clip below. It is unbelievable.

 

As this team fight begins to go downhill again for TSM, Taliyah is able to split TSM up with a well placed wall. This allows Impact to really get in and do some work while TSM is separated. AS TSM begins to fall, Doublelift goes HAM. His Lucian skill really shines and he almost effortlessly kites and POUR damage onto the other team. He has a perfect Culling absolutely melting everything in his way. It was absurd. That team fight allows them to push out their lanes, bait a fight at Elder Dragon, finish off C9 one last time and push for the game, the series and the summer split victory!

This victory also guaranteed them a spot at worlds with a first round bye!

Some takeaways: Jihn and Ashe were popular for both TSM and C9, respectively. Rek’sai is absurd, apparently she’s been nerfed 7 times, with 0 buffs, since release. First picked almost every game. TSM playe a lot of Echo. C9 played a lot of Trundle. All in all, it was a greats series and a ton of fun to watch. I am very excited for Worlds, where NA has really struggled on the world’s stage. If TSM can keep the fire burning, they will absolutely be able to contend with the best Korea has to offer. They may not win, but they will put up a hell of a fight.

Nuzlocke Update 2:

So we left off in Cerulean City, having defeated my rival. I decided to press north to beat the nugget bridge, and head towards Bills. There were plenty of trainers to level up my team and be ready for Misty. Just left of the nugget bridge, Route 24, is where I went to find an Abra. Little did I know that Abra doesn’t seem to spawn there in Yellow Version, so the first thing I found was an Oddish. Great find since I did not have a Grass type. I catch it without issue and add it to my team. While working my way to Bill’s house, I am fighting hikers, who have rock and fighting types. The Oddish is doing well until… it doesn’t and dies. I get an unlucky critical hit, and the Oddish goes down. Our first causality. I am stunned. It’s a bad one because it was a greatly needed grass type. I press on, keep leveling, meet Bill and head to Misty. I decide to use the Moonstone I found on my Nidorino because the moves that it will learn as a Niodrino are not worth the stat losses.

Once fighting her, I find I’m in a bad spot. My team is wounded, Misty’s Starmie is absurdly bulky and I cannot switch safely into anything. Bubblebeam is ripping my team to shreds. I need an opportunity to heal and almost need a KO to get the free switch. I did the unspeakable and threw my lowly lvl 8 Spearow into the fray, I use a potion on my Nidoking, the Spearow is decimated. Another fallen poke. He sacrificed for the team. He will be remembered… sort of. My fresh Nidoking is able to finish off the Starmie and win me the Cascade badge.

I walk away from my second gym fight battered, bruised, and with two dead pokemon. My team is ok, since I never got used to having Oddish actively making a difference on my team. I proceed to Vermilion City.

Just outside the daycare, Route 5, I look for a new poke, hoping to find another Oddish. First poke, Pidgey; second poke, Rattata; third poke… Abra! I am ready with my Butterfree, and use Sleep Powder. After a few pokeballs, Abra is mine. This is a HUGE power boost. The Abra is low level but I’ll be able to train it up, no problem. I skip Route 6 and head to the city. I find the Old Rod, and use Route 6 to try and fish. Knowing the old Rod won’t hit much of anything, I catch a lvl 5 Magikarp and decide to hold off on leveling it until I have surf. My team is pretty full, I don’t really have room.

I run to the Diglett Cave and catch… a Diglett. Surprise! I am trying to round out the team before the S.S Anne and a Diglett will help back up Nidoking against Lt. Surge, since Nidoking has no ground type moves, just the resistance. I clean up all the trainers on Rt. 11 and catch a lvl 16 Drowzee. I take my time going through the S.S. Anne without issue, and very quickly dispatch Lt. Surge. After losing my first two pokes, Things are going smoothly. The team is holding up well and I am picking up a good number of reserves.

Upon getting HM01 Cut, my third badge, HM05 Flash, it was time to proceed through the Rock Tunnel, and ultimately, Lavender Town. While proceeding to the Rock tunnel, I encounter a trainer with a Sandshrew. While fighting with my full health Diglett, the Sandshrew lands a Slash, Critical Hit and now I have a dead Diglett. This isn’t so bad because Nidoking will eventually have Eartherquake, but its hurts me in the short term.  I train outside the Rock Tunnel and until ready make my way in. Eventually, I fight a trainer with a Voltorb. I am working on raising the Geodude to a Graveller because rock moves would be a huge boon. The Geodude leaves the Voltorb with 1HP after a Rock Throw and, of course, the Voltorb had locked in Self-destruct. The move deal nearly 60 HP worth of damage and the Geodude falls. Another low blow. Graveller would have been SO GOOD, it was very crucial due to it’s defenses and health pool. I am too deep to leave the Tunnel. I need to press forward and the rest of my team is healthy. Both of my rock and ground types are dead. A few trainers later, I am nearing the exit, and I encounter a trainer with a Graveller. In a moment that classic Greek tragedy deems mandatory, my Butterfree’s Confusion does not quite one shot the Graveller and his rebuttal Rock Slide OHKO’s my Butterfree.

Bye-Bye, Butterfree!

This has turned into an absolute blood bath. With my team barely intact, I make it to Lavender Town. It is appropriate because I have many Pokemon to bury and mourn. I decide to head towards Celedon City for three reasons. The Route in that direction has potential fire types (Growlith or Vulpix in R/B), it’s the direction of the next badge, and I want to hold off on heading South. Theres lots of water and I may need to try fishing once I have a better rod. My team is hurting for a water type. I also know the Snorlax is down there and may need to make that my one pokemon for the Route.

I make my way to Celedon and I am relying on Nidoking, Pikachu, Abra (which has since evolved into Kadabra), and Mankey. I am forced to use Diglett for Cut, but he cannot participate in battles. Ready to catch a new guy on Route 8, I encounter several trainers. While power leveling the Kadabra, I must have blinked for a second and a 70%-75% HP Kadabra dies. I don’t even know how it happened. I knew he was fragile; I was just trying to get him leveled up to the rest gang and he croaked. Not even an Honorable Death… I head towards the tall grass, and the first encounter is actually another Abra. I have no way to stop it and it Teleports away. I lose my chance to catch something on this route. Goodbye Abra, and any potential fire types. I grab my Drowzee as a solid back up Psychic poke and power him from 16-26 to become a Hypno. I think Hypno is a bit tankier than Kadabra, so he will be good for helping me defeat Erica in Celedon City.

I train for a bit outside the city and then go to fight Erica. my team is a lvl 28 Nidoking with Ice Beam, lvl 27 Hypno, lvl 26 Pikachu for Thunderbolt, lvl 25 Mankey who will not help with Grass types, I fill the empty spot with a Nidoran Female that I’ve gotten to a lvl 17 Nidorina. I do not really want both Nidoking and Queen on my team due to lack of TMs and lack of type coverage, but I cannot afford to be too picky right now.

Against Erica I lead with my Hypno. She sends out Tengla and I realize I don’t have type advantage due to Tangela being strictly Grass. After both landing a hit, I switch to Nidoking and Ice Beam Tangela away. She sends out Weepinbell and I send out Hypno. After landing a Vine Whip, Hypno take little damage and lands Confusion. Second turn the Weepinbell goes first again with Razor Leaf. Critical Hit, Hypo dies after losing 80% of it’s health. I spent all that time getting Hypno TEN levels to evolve and it DIES. Thanks for nothing! I switch to Nidoking and Ice Beam levels her Weepinbell and Gloom.

I am broken. I have lost my rock type, my ground type, two psychic types, the only grass type I’ve encountered and my Butterfree. I watch 5 of 7 pokes get REKT by critical hits in the span of 3 gym badges. My team is:

lvl 28 Nidoking
lvl 26 Pikachu
lvl 24 Mankey
lvl 17 Nidorina

I need to potentially replace three spots if you count the Nidorina. I need a grass type, water type, and fire type. I need Bulky guys that won’t be so fragile. I need a Snorlax. I have some sort of a plan, but it’s looking very, very grim at the moment. I may need to break out the Magikarp. I need to see what Routes I even have available to me. Lavender Town is an option for a Ghost type which could be huge. I need to cruise through the rocket hideout for the Silph Scope, but need to replenish the team first. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

Let’s take a moment to remember our fallen teammates:

-Oddish, you were critically smote when you we’re truly needed. You were so young.
-Spearow, you were used as bait to save the important team members. I’d throw you under the bus again in a heartbeat.
-Geodude. I had high hopes for you, you could have been the chosen one and a Voltorb with nothing to lose claimed you.
-Diglett, a Sandshrew without a cause critically Slashed you into the grave.
-Butterfree, you were one of the very first pokes I caught, you lasted a long time. I was hoping I’d be able to retire you of my own freewill, and not have you fall in battle. The rocks were too stronk.
-Kadabra, the glass cannon. Alakazam would have been sick, but you were bested while training.
-Hypno. You had big shoes to fill, you looked to be up to the challenge, Critically Sharp Leaves were your demise, you will be missed.

So in the immortal words of Dylan Thomas:

“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Goodnight, sweet princes.

As always, thanks for reading! You can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook Page as well!

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Overwatch Agent D.Va!

Good Morning Readers!

We’re back, two weeks in a row and we’re keeping this train a-rollin’. As I previously mentioned, I’ve been spending most of my time in Overwatch. I played a ton during the beta, and then decided to buy it when the game was released. It’s a ton of fun, it has a ton of potential, and I really think it will only continue to improve as Blizzard finds what direction they want to take the game in.

When I first started playing, knowing I am absolute garbage at FPS’, I decided to keep it simple and just play some one who wasn’t very mechanically complex like Tracer or Genji. I stuck to Reaper due to his power, bit a bulk, and the ability to heal as you eliminated people. His teleport and temporary invulnerability also give him mobility and a fail safe if you get in a sticky situation. The two biggest problems I encountered with Reaper were his inability to be played in every game type, and the fact that everyone wants to play a damage dealer. Reaper always seems to be great on attack, and not nearly so much for me on defense. Of course he CAN be played every game, but I often felt that he just wasn’t as optimal as other picks.

Which also leads to the second issue of team comp. More often than not I find most teams lack Tanks and Healers. I haven’t followed competitive as much as I would like, but I’ve done seem reading. The general consensus seems to be a balanced team comp of two damage dealers, 2 tanks, and two support are generally a good starting point. More times than I can count we’ll have 1 healer OR Tank, not even both, and a bunch of people trying to be the hero.

Wanting to actually contribute to winning, and find a hero I could play in most situations, lead me to a couple of choices. Mei always seems to be good at whatever she was trying to do. Reinhardt is actually close to being one of the best heroes in the game. Winston and Road Hog both have great advantages as well. After trying a bunch of different heroes, I couldn’t play any of them except for Road Hog. While I enjoy playing Hog, he is a much more offensive tank, with the ability to heal himself, and peel but he can’t block like Reinhardt can.

Finally I settled on D.Va. I had tried her in Beta, didn’t really get her, and decided to give it another go. I very quickly went from Reaper being my most played characters at around 9 hour, to D.Va going from 0 to 15 hours of game time. This was also right around the time of her buffs. I started to learn to play her before the buff, and I only got better once the buffs were in place. Since picking her up, I was able to start climbing a bit in ranked. I quite often feel like i can carry, especially with good heal support keeping me alive. For a tank, it’s not uncommon for me to have the gold medal in damage. She can shield incoming fire and entire ults for your team. Her ultimate can clear or help you objectives. She does it all.

First thing’s first, her auto attack never needs to be reloaded. When not tanking you can constantly pepper the enemies to whittle them down. While the range on the guns is short, you are the tank so you’re going to be mixing it up with the enemies. You will almost always be close enough to rain a constant stream of damage onto the opposing team, especially in choke points like King’s Row.

Her shield will block almost every projectile and ranged auto in the game outside of Zarya’s, Symmetra’s and Winston’s lasers. The shield can be held up for 4 second straight before it needs to recharge. When you aren’t using the shield, it recharges over time. Proper management is key. You don’t want to blow the Defense Matrix when you don’t need  it and not have it for when you do. Timed right, you eat an entire Phara ult, McCree High Noon, 90% of a Whole Hog, or stand between a Reaper ult and your squishies.

These two “attacks” in conjunction with each other allow you to get in the fight, harass and chip down the enemies, weave your shield in between attacking to absorb the heavy blows like Soldier 76’s helix rockets, then go right back to attacking while they are reloading; giving your shield time to recharge. Add a solid healer to the mix, (looking at you Matt, Machine Gun Monk) and you are hard pressed to ever take too much damage.

D.Va’s shift is similar to Solider’s sprint, but in my opinion, much better. Upon activation, D.Va will rocket boost straight ahead for a few seconds or until canceled with your attack button. You have the ability to turn while you are using it, which allows you to charge in or out of combat if you get in a bad spot. The big different between this and Soldier sprint is D.Va’s ability to fly with the boosters. You actually leave the ground when you use it, so you can reach high ledges, or fly over gaps. This makes closing distance on a hard to reach Widowmaker, Hanzo or Phara much easier. When you make contact with someone while boosting, they will actually be knocked back and damaged. That means timed correctly, and in the right direction, you can knock people off the map for an easy kill. Just be careful not to fly off the map yourself. You can also use it to knock people away from your squishies for a little bit of peel. The dealt damage is not insignificant, so I routinely finish off fleeing enemies by running them over.

Lastly you have your Ultimate. D.Va self-destructs her Mech and jumps from the suit. After a 3 second delay, the suit will detonate killing anyone in Line of Sight. It deals enough damage to kill almost every champion in the game in one shot. Even the tankiest characters do not want to stand near when this goes off. Now, while powerful, all your opponents need to do is hide behind a corner. As soon as they are out of LoS, they are safe from the blast. So our job is use this when they are grouped up, least expecting it and do not have time to escape. A well timed self-destruct will easily net 4-6 kills. I have yet to get a solo team kill, but I’ve gotten plenty of Quadra Kills. The key is using the Booster in conjunction with the Ult.

Once your Ultimate is ready, you want to booster your mech in an angled position to fly the Mech off the ground and towards the opposing team. Once flying, pop the ulti, D.Va will jump out and watch her Mech soar through the sky. After reaching maximum distance the Mech will drop out of the sky and onto the opposing team, hopefully not giving them enough time to escape. Good Bye, Enemy Team.

There are tons of really neat tricks you can do, like jump the Mech over walls and starting your boosters far away from the fight. You can try to flank the team after a death and cut off any escape route the may have.  This way, they never see it coming.

It’s also worth noting that because of the Mecha, D.Va essentially has two lives. Once you take enough damage to die, the Mech is destroyed and D.Va jumps out. You don’t immediately die. You then have much less life, no armor, and just a pistol to defend yourself. You are given a second Ulti which calls a new Mech for you to jump in. This ult charges much faster than normal ulti and can be filled faster by dealing damage with the pistol. The damage is not weak either. Don’t be afraid to keep fighting while you are out of the suit to get it back faster and to keep the damage going. You’ve got long range on your pistol, keep the fight up by backing out of direct line of fire.

You just want to avoid being focused while you are out of the suit because you WILL die. You cannot take any hits. If you can stay alive to call back the Mech, you get a second life again and can keep the cycle going. You can chain these “lives” back to back and it makes D.Va a very difficult hero to kill.

All of these things combine make D.Va a great pusher, defender and attacker. I have been able to make her fit and work in all game types and she fills a much needed role in MOST of the games I play.

General Tips:

Again, you are the Tank. You want to get in, soak damage, have faith in you healers and really disrupt the enemy team. On big pushes or ultimates, be sure to have your Defense Matrix ready. Your team can fire on the enemy while you protect them from almost all incoming damage. Since D.Va always does a surprising amount of damage, disruption can be in the form of shooting the enemy and making them move, along side shielding to block their assaults. It’s all about being able to shift gears quickly.

When you’re close to winning the game either by making a final push with the payload or preventing a final push from the enemy team, save your ult! If you need to keep the enemies off the payload, you can ult right on top of it. They will have to run which will either get you the last few feet you need, or they will all die, and you’ll get the last push you need. Same thing goes for defending. They can’t push the payload if they are dead or running away. Don’t be scared to save your ulti for these last second scenarios when you see the game in coming to an end. Don’t fire off your ulti blindly if you may need it a minute later.

When calling back your Mech, try not to do it in front of the enemy team. If you’re taking lots of fire, you’ll pop right back out of the suit when the animation is done. You’re a sitting duck until the animation is over.

If you have Self-Destruct, and are about to lose the Mech, there’s a time frame of roughly 1 second where you can ult while the Mech is being destroyed. This can be good in times where you don’t have time to re-call the suit THEN Self-Destruct . Just press Q as you’re about to eject and then fight like hell.

When you re-call your Mecha, you start with full life again. This can be key if you are down to only 10-20 life outside of the suit. By calling in a new Mecha, you start off fully healed, so just keep surviving and dealing damage and you’ll back to tanking in no time.

Nerfs:

Blizzard just released notes on the PTR about the next round of nerfs. D.Va is on there. The good news is they are just adjusting her shield recharge time. It’s going from 0.5 second to one full second. Meaning when you lower your shields, it takes 1 second to start recharging instead of 0.5 seconds. This is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I believe that what this does is make her shield use more reasonable. As it stands, the up-time on the shield is nuts. It’s very powerful. In addition to being more balanced, it’s going to force us D.Va players to really work on managing the shield more accurately. I think this raises the skill ceiling and rewards the better D.Va players. You just have to be hyper aware of your gauge and know it’s going to take a bit longer to get the recharge going.

Once the full patch notes are official, we’ll go over everything and see where that places all the heroes. There are also changes to the way rankings are going to work, which is nice. Since the season just ended, i’m looking forward to doing my placement matches for season 2. I think I’ve already improved leaps and bounds from when I started playing this game. I will definitely be streaming my placements and ranked games. Ill be sure to give heads up on Twitter and the Facebook page on when streaming is happening. In the mean time, i’m going to keep practicing Tanks so I have several to choose from. Reinhardt is next on the list.

Nuzlocke Update:

Ok, so far, so good. I didn’t start the challenge until I was able to buy pokeballs, so I quickly rushed through the beginning, got my Pikachu, pokedex, and pokeballs. I started by heading back to Route 1, and encountered a lvl 5 Pidgey. Bingo. Pikachu’s Thunderbolt couldn’t knock it out in one shot, luckily, and I had my first pokemon. I ran to Route 22, but was careful not to engage Gary and luckily found a Male Nidoran, which would be key in the future. This was the coolest find and a pokemon I’ve never used before. I am excited to get a Nidoking in the future. I moved onto Route 2 and the Viridian forest, counting them as separate zones. I caught a Rattata and a Caterpie, respectively. Finally pressing through to Pewter City, I made this my base of operations. I could train my guys just outside the city and get their levels up to try and beat Brock. Once my Pikachu was lvl 11, my Nidoran was lvl 12, and my Caterpie (which evolved) was lvl 9, I felt I was ready. Nidoran picked up Double Kick at lvl 12, which makes fighting Rock types a breeze. Brock was no more, and I readied myself to move on Mt. Moon and Misty.

I think the key is going to be having tons and tons of potions to make it through long stretches without a pokecenter. My pre-teen memory served me well, and there’s was pokecenter on Route 3 outside of Mt. Moon. I ended up running into a Mankey on the first shot. I really don’t remember the pokemon being THIS cool early on in RBY, but I’m not complaining. I trained up the team to the mid teens, aimed for lvl 15 each. After fighting tons of Spearow, and even a couple of Sandshrew, I realized how lucky I was to get a Mankey. Having a fighting type will be huge. I’m really only using the Butterfree, Nidoran, Pikachu and Mankey because I don’t want to use a normal type rat, and I’m not sure a flyer is needed right this second. I’m going to keep them as reserves if i get introuble and Trani them up if need be. I decided to step into Mt. Moon to catch my guy, and lo and behold, instead of a crappy Zubat which was almost guaranteed, I found a Geodude. I wish I had a way to stream my Nuzlocke run, because my team so far is almost unbelievable. You’ll just have to trust I will be playing the game with the utmost integrity and documenting everything.

After taking the Mankey and the Geodude back to Route 3 to train, I got them a little higher and decided to go through Mt. Moon. I have Pikachu to kill flyers, Nidoran with normal and fighting moves for a lot of coverage, Butterfree with Confusion to kill fighting and poison types, plus sleep powder for catching and utility, Manky for pure fighting, and Geodude who currently only has tackle will act as a wall until i can get some rock and/or ground moves. I tried to fight as many of the trainers as possible to explore more of Mt. Moon even though I can STILL remember the fast way through the mountain. Funny how memory works.

I had plenty of potions to keep the team healed, I fought the Maniac and took the Dome fossil. I’m pretty sure Kabuto is better than Ominite but I guess we’ll find out after the run is complete. My Nidoran Evolved into a Nidorino, and I made it to Cerulean City after defeating Team Rocket. I went back and caught a Spearow just before the City for another reserve poke. I healed up at the pokecenter, went to fight Gary who was also a breeze since I was ready for it, then called it there for now.

I just have to hope I don’t rush too quickly, keep my guys all topped off, and be ready for those long stretches without access to a pokecenter. So I’m on track to have an absolutely insane run. I think so far with this team I can go the distance. I’d like a fire type and a bulky water type, but other than that, my team isn’t full of useless guys and I’ve already got two poke in reserve.

Recap:
Lvl 16 Pikachu
Lvl 17 Nidorino
Lvl 13 Mankey
Lvl 12 Geodude
Lvl 16 Butterfree
Lvl 7 Pidgey

Reserve:
Lvl 3 Rattata
Lvl 8 Spearow

Brock has been defeated, I am in Cerulean City, and no poke-deaths yet.

Thanks for reading! You can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. We also now have a Facebook Page! All blog posts will be pushed live over there:

https://www.facebook.com/ModernGentlemenGaming

Thanks again, and good luck!

Otakon and the Nuzlocke Challenge!

Good Morning Readers!

I know! I know! I do this far too often! I write for a while, I disappear, I make everyone think i’m dead. It’s cruel. I’m a terrible person. WordPress was so kind to remind me it’s been 5 month since I last published anything. FIVE MONTHS! So that would put us in back in March… right after Katsucon. What’s been going on since then? Well we’ve had MTG release two new sets, Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon, and we’re already looking towards Kaladesh. League of Legends has released 3 champions; Aurelion Sol, Taliyah, and now Kled. Overwatch Beta has come and gone, seen a full release, a few patches and even it’s own new champions Ana, and hopefully soon, Sombra. Heathstone is… Hearthstone I guess. There was a ton of news with balance and design issues, and then “A Night in Karazhan” (spelled that correctly on the first shot, without looking!) was just released. I haven’t been keeping up with Hearthstone as closely as I used to. We started streaming our D&D sessions. The first one was really positive, and I’m hoping the next ones will be as well. I’ve dabbled a bit in WoW and may jump back in before the launch of Legion. Pokemon Sun and Moon spoilers have been going on and the game release is on the horizon. Finally, we saw the release of Pokemon GO and the fever it caused among fans and non-fans, alike. That was probably the closest I came to writing something, right after the initial launch weekend. Alas, that did not happen. I am Team Mystic, as are most people I know, in case you were wondering and I’m level 21.

I’ve been playing a ton of Overwatch, mostly, working on applying to grad schools, working in general, and preparing for Otakon for two weeks straight. Now that Otakon is over, I feel like the summer is quickly going to come to an end, football will start, autumn will be here, and I may have the urge/time to write again. So here we are.

Otakon was a blast. This year was a little different than years past. Normally, most of the group cosplays, we hit some panels, we party and we hang out. This year, they we’re doing something called the Portable Kaiju Super Battle League. The idea was to make a Pokemon (portable kaiju) team, walk around the con and find their Battle Masters (Gym Leaders) and win to earn badges. By winning 8 or more badges by Sunday, you earned the right to face their version of the Elite Four.

While I knew for sure I was going to partake, I had really no idea what to expect. I didn’t know what kind of leaders and teams to anticipate or how competitive it would be. I have dabbled in competitive Pokemon training/batting in the past, so I decided to prepare for the worst. I also didn’t want to just use the strongest guys I could make. I was worried about disqualifying myself after reading the rules and seeing how vague they were. I saw a “No legendary” clause, so I decided to stay away from “Ubers” entirely, using Smogon’s tier list. I also figured by build a very strong Under Used (UU) team, with as few Over Used (OU) guys as possible, I could beat most of the OU teams I faced. I was confident and figured there would surely be Gym Leaders who were not SUPER hardcore, and I knew they wouldn’t be using Legendaries (or Ubers, hopefully) based on the rules.

While thinking all of this over, I realized I’ve always wanted to cosplay a Pokemon Trainer, and it all sort of just clicked. I could throw together a quick Trainer Red cosplay with the help of Lumi Cosplay, and I’d build my team to mimic his. My team would be cosplaying along side of me and I could role play the whole thing. I built a team of Pikachu, Charizard, Blastoise, Venusaur, Snorlax and Espeon. I debated going real old school with the Lapras, but the Espeon gave me better type coverage with less redundancy. For you Pokemon nerds out there (like me) here’s the complete break down of the team:

Charizard @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Fire Blast
– Air Slash
– Focus Blast
– Roost

Blastoise @ Assault Vest
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 184 HP / 252 SpA / 72 Spe
Modest Nature
– Rapid Spin
– Scald
– Dark Pulse
– Ice Beam

Venusaur @ Venusaurite
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 248 HP / 96 Def / 144 SpD / 20 Spe
Bold Nature
– Giga Drain
– Sludge Bomb
– Substitute
– Leech Seed

Pikachu @ Lightball
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Substitute
– Thunderbolt
– Grass Knot
– Hidden Power Ice

Snorlax @ Leftovers
Ability: Thick Fat
EVs: 188 HP / 144 Def / 176 SpD
Careful Nature
– Curse
– Body Slam
– Rest
– Earthquake

Espeon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Magic Bounce
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Psychic
– Dazzling Gleam
– Shadow Ball
– Morning Sun

So I’m thinking, “Surely I’ll run into issues and difficult opponents, but I can try to out play them and I’ll do my best. I can do it”. I had faith. The first two days of the con were awesome. We were running around, finding Gym Leaders, challenging them and winning. We played all sorts of Doubles and Triples battles, with Singles mixed in. We fought a Water trainer, a Grass Trainer, a Fighting Trainer, a Fairy Trainer, Steel, Ground and Ghost. There were so many more we never even had the chance to fight. Each Leader took their job seriously and we loved every second of it. It was one of the most epic things I’ve ever done. Elementary School Andy was screaming with joy on the inside. It was like living the dream. And I was doing it with a super on-theme, and awesome team. I was beating Gym leaders with my trusty Pikachu and the original Kanto starters. I can’t speak highly enough about the event.

Finally, come Sunday, I had enough badges to fight the Elite Four. I said goodbye to my friends as they went to explore the con, and I queued up the Pokemon theme song. I was so pumped. I knew I could do anything. It was really emotional. If you were following me on Twitter, you saw me updating everyone over the course of the weekend and then… radio silence…

I showed up Sunday morning and the lines to fight the E-Four were insane… I was worried that would be the case but I never imagines it would be that bad. I was nervous there wouldn’t be enough time to fight all four. I waited in line, and started chatting with some of the people who had already faced some of the E-Four. I started hearing things like “This one guy’s using Mega Blaziken and a Protean Greninja…” and “This other guys is using Mega Rayquaza.” My heart sank. Not only was there not going to be enough time to actually face them all, I was completely outgunned. My poor team was pretty much mathematically eliminated before I even stepped in line. I had a PIKACHU for Christ’s sake! To put it in perspective, Pikachu has 320 total stat points while Mega Rayquaza has 780. Yeah, ok… Those rules about No Legendaries? Clearly that was a restriction for us and not them.

I wanted to make a cool team that still has some shot at winning and I was severely punished for it. So… I left. I didn’t even try. I did not want to waste the few remaining hours of the con standing in line to get my teeth kicked in. Building that team had risks I was fully aware of, but I was still pretty bummed. I am not a Pokemon master, I did not become a Champion. It was very anti-climactic, but… now I know. This was the first year they did this event, I had literally no idea what to expect, they said they would do it again next year, and improve upon it. I believe it can only get better.

All in all, the con was amazing, both Lumi Cosplay and Bellexi Cosplay looked amazing. Bellexi got some SERIOUS press and even shout outs from famous cosplayers for her Road Hog cosplay. As I’ve said many times, these are very talented women and always make a splash at these cons. Next on the list will either be AUSA or Katsucon 2017, depending on some factors.

Regardless, this con gave me a serious itch to play some Pokemon, I’m excited to try Sun and Moon, and until it’s released I’m trying a Nuzlocke Challenge for the first time! I found out I could buy R/B/Y on my DS for ten bucks. You can’t really beat that, plus I figured it would be the perfect version for a nuzlocke challenge. I am debating getting Red or Yellow. Yellow being the choice I’m leaning towards for a number of reasons. If I ever want to play through the game normally, I’d want to play Yellow, since I never owned it as a kid. Secondly, you get all the starters in Yellow throughout the course of the game, so you don’t have to just pick one. Now for the those of you who aren’t aware, a nuzlocke challenge has a bunch of self imposed rules you have to follow to make the game a bit more interesting. Here are the ones I’m using:

  • The challenge doesn’t start until you can obtain pokeballs.
  • If a Pokemon faints, it “dies” and you must release it into the wild. You cannot use that Pokemon again.
  • You may only catch the FIRST Pokemon you encounter on each Route.
  • If you fail to catch that Pokemon, you’re out of luck. Move onto the next Route.
  • If the first Pokemon you encounter is one you’ve already caught, you can keep trying until you find a different Pokemon species.
  • If I go with playing Yellow, I will not use the starters given to me throughout the course of the game. Using them would feel like cheating. I will just use my starter Pikachu.
  • If you run out of usable Pokemon, and all of your Pokemon are “dead”, you lose the game, you have to start over.

I figured it would be way fun because if I fail, I don’t mind restarting R/B/Y from the beginning over and over. It’s just a neat way to try and add variety to the game. Plus, I can document my progress here.

I will get some time in before next weeks article. Thanks for tuning in. Again, I apologize for the long span of nothing. I appreciate everyone who enjoys reading what I write. You can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. I’ll be streaming Overwatch in the near future. Thanks again for everything!

GP DC and a Foray into the Unknown!

Good Afternoon Readers!

This weekend I was able to do something I haven’t done in a very long time. I went and played some Magic. The GP was Team Sealed and was hosted in Washington DC. On Saturday we went and played in some side events, and It was fun jumping back into the scene. As always Matt and I tried to sleeve up close to the same 75. We both Played Jund. Here’s the List I played:

Jund:
Creatures (14):
4 Dark Confidant
4 Tarmogoyf
2 Scavenging Ooze
2 Kitchen Finks
1 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Kalitas, Trator of Ghet

Planeswalkers (4):
4 Liliana of the Veil

Spells (18):
2 Abrupt Decay
3 Terminate
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Kolaghan’s Command
1 Maelstrom Pulse
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Thoughtseize

Lands (24):
1 Forest
2 Swamp
3 Blackcleave Cliffs
2 Blood Crypt
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Overgrown Tomb
3 Raging Ravine
1 Stomping Ground
3 Verdant Catacombs
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Woodland Cemetery

Sideboard (15):
2 Fulminator Mage
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Anger of the Gods
1 Shatterstorm
1 Thoughtseize
1 Duress
2 Kitchen Finks
1 Courser of Kruphix
1 Dismember
2 Grim Lavamancer
1 Spellskite

Round 1, I played against Naya Burn. Game 1, I was facing down 3 Goblin guides by turn 2, and the game was quickly over. There wasn’t much I could do. I brought in the extra Finks, Courser, Duress and Spellskite. I was able to tear up his hand early, land a Liliana to clear the board along side a Finks and stabilize. Shortly after I closed out the game with a Tarmogoyf. Game 3 was similar, Early Discard combined with his one land allowed me to stabilize early. Finks and Huntmaster were able to put it away. I was super rusty, but it felt good to win the first round with a little luck.

Round 2, I keep a slower hand, but it’s good. In hindsight, it didn’t really have any early interaction, and maybe should have been a mulligan against ANY opponent. Regardless it was a terrible keep against.. a second Naya Burn player. He beat me very quickly after I got stuck on two lands. I sided almost the same way, Kept a decent hand, but kept getting boned on my lands. I was forced to play shocks when I didn’t want to, compound that with a bad Tarmo block into a Nacatal + Atarka’s Command and I couldn’t defend myself. I was quickly run over in what felt like two non-games. Oh well, can’t win them all.

Round 3, was G/R Tron. Running Stone Cold at this point. Game 1 I do my best to get under his tron lands, but a one turn late Inquisition allows him to play the Map and get the land he needs. He plays Karn, and I kill it after one activation. He plays… another Karn, and I kill it after one activation. then when I’m starting to mount a comeback he plays the new Ulamog and I literally have nothing in my deck to deal with it. He wrecks my board and I’m quickly dead. Game two, I get a quick start combined with turn 3 and 4 Fulminators. I keep him off mana the whole game and close it out with a Goyf and a Ravine. At this point I know my only hope is to be quick and Thoughseize the Ulamog out of his hand. He mulligans to 5 on the play and Turn 1s a Chrome Star. I have an early discard spell, don’t see an Ulamog and I take his only way to get more lands. Turn 2 he cracks the Star, makes Green and draws into Ancient Stirrings and casts it hitting the land he needs. Then does it again the next turn. He then draws into Ulamog a turn or two later, and I have no way to deal with it. GG

Tron is brutal for us, but I felt like I played decently against him. I feel I got a bit unlucky, as after my first turn he had nothing of any merit in hand. He just happened to draw very well into what he needed.

Finally, Round 4, my opponent didn’t show. Well… Quite the hollow victory, I suppose, to end 2-2.  Matt did a bit better than me. Beating Lantern Control Round 1, Losing to U/R Eldrazi Round 2, beating Merfolk Round 3, and beating U/W Eldrazi Round 4. The last match of the day also lead to the single greatest line I have ever heard in a sanctioned match of magic, but maybe I’ll let Matt tell that story if he’ll do a write up from his side of the tournament.

We both really like’d our lists, I definitely need to add a Damnation. He was playing the single Seal of Fire, which is something I’d like to add moving forward. He played Olivia in the side and I did not. I didn’t miss her. I was glad I did not include Slaughter Pact, Matt is thinking about dropping his. Finks we’re great all weekend as well, and I am still a huge fan of Kolaghan’s Command. Kalitas over performed for both of us, as did Huntmaster, so we both like the 1-1 split.

Kalitas really gives us a way to get extra value out of all of our removal spells. Things like Pact and Seal of Fire give us the ability to get value off Kalitas right on Turn 4 when she comes into play. If you manage to untap with Kalitas, you’re going to start to steamroll your opponent with 2/2s while clearing their board. There’s also the bonus of Kalitas being able to eat it’s own Zombies and become monstrously huge. Tack on Lifelink, and we have one very formidable creature taking a very impactful role in Jund.

I know this was a short “tournament” report, but you gotta dip your toes back in somehow. Also the meta is going to shift again with inevitable nerfing of Eldrazi in April. I will be staying by the old faithful of G/B/x in one form or another, but right now I’m enjoying casting Bolt and Bobs. Jund is still very viable in modern, as it can always be tuned to have the advantage in almost any match up. I would absolutely give it a shot if you want to play “fair magic.”

Lastly, Matt has been getting into legacy, and I think I’m going to do the same. I literally know nothing about the format, but a local shop does Tuesday tournaments with a proxy limit. Matt also knows a guy who is gracious enough to hook us up with real duals and the like so we can partake. I am very excited to learn this format and mostly get to cast things like Deathrite Shaman, Brainstorm, and Hymn to Tourach. Matt intends on playing BUG Delver, while I think I’m going to take a stab at Shardless BUG. Again, I know literally nothing about the format so i’m going to start here:

Creatures (15)
3 Baleful Strix
4 Shardless Agent
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Tarmogoyf

Planeswalkers (4)
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Liliana of the Veil

Lands (22)
2 Bayou
2 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Polluted Delta
2 Tropical Island
3 Underground Sea
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Wasteland

Spells (19)
1 Sylvan Library
4 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
3 Force of Will
3 Ancestral Vision
2 Hymn to Tourach
2 Thoughtseize

Sideboard
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Null Rod
1 Thoughtseize
1 Divert
2 Flusterstorm
1 Force of Will
1 Golgari Charm
1 Krosan Grip
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Hymn to Tourach
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Chill

List looks sweet, no idea what changes I’ll need to make for the board, and I’m sure things will change once I see the local Meta. I am excited to try this out and see how it goes.

Thanks for reading. and hopefully I’ll have some Legacy reporting to do in the next few weeks. I will be out of town, for 3 of the next 5 blog post days. I will try to have some posts ready to go up while I am gone.

You can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. Thanks again, and keep fighting the good fight against the Eldrazi Menace.

League of Legends and the Curse of the 90 LP!

Good Morning Readers!

Welcome back! I know I’ve been bad about posting bi-weekly, but willpower is finite (I’m looking at you, Rich). And that’s a conversation for another day. Regardless, I’m still grinding the ladder in Ranked League of Legends, even though I haven’t been streaming as much. While all of my friends have left me in the dust and reached high Silver, I am still stuck in Bronze 1. I did get to actually experience what promos felt like!… after I dropped to Bronze 2 for two whole games, and quickly reattained my Rank of Bronze 1.  (Thank God!)

I’ve been doing a solid job getting 3-4 games in each night after work and around dinner at the sacrifice of going to the gym (RIP, Pecs like Braum).  Last night I hit 90 LP, for the third time, after I won my first match of the night. Like clock work, I proceeded to lose the next 5 in a row, and drop back to nearly 0 LP. Now, while this is soul-crushingly frustrating, I am trying really hard to JUST focus on my goal. That is to get better. Regardless of rank, regardless of stats and KDAs, win-rates; I just want to get better.

The last LoL article I wrote covered a wide variety of high-level ideas I know I need to improve upon.  I still need to keep these things in mind, but in addition, I try to keep a note pad of “post-match thoughts.” Writing these things down while they are fresh in my head allows me to go back over a game and see where things went wrong, or what I did right. It also allows me to notice trends or patterns in my play, one of which is glaring.

1.) I am getting REKT in my secondary role 

This is a brutal truth, but I f***ing SUCK at top lane. I think need to give it up. I think back to Season 2 when I was playing a lot, and I would play Top and Mid. I *feel* like I would do well, I was decent. Dueling felt like something I was good at. Since then, Top lane has changed so drastically, and I do not have the champion knowledge, or flat out practice time put in, to be good at it. Top lane is just so much harder than I remember it being.

The role of top champs has changed as well. Quite often, I’d want to play a carry like Riven or Fiora, but our Jungler would be Ekko or Xin, and our Support would be Sona or Soraka, and we’d have no tank. So I try to go Darius, who is much more of a bruiser or juggernaut, and then I’m against a Malphite or Volibear, who have much higher ability to tank or sustain. It’s not required, but in Solo Queue it’s not uncommon for the top to need to be a tank or you are just at a severe disadvantage. So then you suffer from the issue of NOT being able to carry as a tank.

Secondly, Even when I was playing the “carry” type champs top, I’d find I’d have no lane presence. I am CONSTANTLY being bullied out of lane and unable to stop my lane opponent from farming. I would do my best to keep up in CS, often going toe-to-toe, but unless the Jungler camps top, I struggle to pull ahead or even maintain parity. This leads to a situation where I am constantly under turret, and the opponent is just free farming.

This could be for several reasons. One, I am getting counter picked, and my champion is just at a disadvantage. Two, the Jungler isn’t doing a good enough job facilitating kills while I am under turret all game. Or Three, I really am just bad at the role. Now, I suspect there is some combination of the three. It’s highly unlikely I am being counter picked EVERY GAME. Its equally likely the bronze janglers are just bad. Many games I’ve asked for help over and over and been ignored. Now there’s and argument I SHOULD be able to hold my lane, and I believe that’s true, but when someone is drowning, it IS a team game, and you’ll lose if you don’t use teamwork to help the floundering player. But most likely, it’s just number 3. My lack of knowledge combined with all of the above means I’m going to have a bad time. So what can I do to fix this?

Well, I can go back to Normals, and keep practicing Top. I can reevaluate the champions I play and find ones that CAN carry and are tanky, (like Voli or maybe a Wukong or Shen). Fiora is a bit tanky, but difficult to play. All of this involves me stopping the grind, and going back to practice in Normals again. This may be a necessary evil.

…but then I look at my stats and I get this glimmer of hope:

Darius : 5-2
Riven: 6-8
Gnar: 2-4
Fiora: 0-1

Clearly this is a small sample size, BUT 13-15 isn’t horrible. The problem is those stats alone don’t even begin to tell the whole story. I am carried most of those games or helped until I can stabilize in the mid game and start helping the team. I don’t generally carry like I hoped to. So I think I have to stay the course and give up on Top. I am able to recognize my lack of skill in dueling,  and quite often just bullied out of lane.

The other option is pick a new role, which leaves me with Mid and Jungle. There is zero chance I support because there’s just no way I can do it, I’m really bad at it and I don’t have the patience to do it. I used to play a lot of mid, and I learned how to jungle a LONG time ago. After many talks with many people, these tend to be the two roles that people feel are best for carrying. Junglers can dictate the pace of the game, and many mid champions are very snowball-y with the ability to roam. Both roles I’d have to completely relearn which… forces me BACK into Normals. Soooo…

2.) Who do I play mid?

I used to have a TON of Ahri games under my belt. I’d love to go back to playing Mid. I bought Yasuo in preparation to begin learning him.  I’d learn Zed too but he’s basically perma-banned every game. Fizz is an option, good for snowballing and ganking. I used to love the high risk, high reward champs that came along with mid. They all have very high mobility, the ability to escape ganks and can be very powerful.

Now you may be thinking, “well if you suck at dueling, why go back to Mid, Noob?” My thought process is most of the mid champs are ranged, and involve a lot of poking. Even Yasuo and Fizz play almost like ranged champions. Yas has the whirlwind, and Fizz can dash in and out like it ain’t no thang. Removing the melee aspect of Top lane with Poke just removes so much pressure. Being able to poke, poke, poke, then commit to a fight you KNOW you can win is almost like ADC. The mid champs have the ability to poke while farming, and then execute the opponent.

As much as I like the IDEA of Jungling, I am not sure how good I’d be at it. It’s been a very long time and the jungle has changed multiple times since then. It makes a  certain mindset to be a good Jungler. I’d love to learn Elise, Ekko, Xin, or Lee Sin, but who knows if I could? Only way to know is to try I guess. So when I do play normals, maybe I should force Jungle and see how it goes.

It’d be great if I could just ADC every game. I know my champions, I know the opposing champions and I’m solid at the role. Sadly, that just isn’t one of the options, and even then…

3.) I am having trouble carrying as an ADC.

Many games, with my support, we will win lane, I’ll be consistently up 10-15 CS in lane, we often get a kill or two, or AT WORST we don’t feed, and hold lane. Generally, we can push the tower, avoid ganks, and play well. Unfortunately, most games, my other teammates will feed their lanes, or the Jungler will die while ganking. We do a killer job keeping the opponenet ADC in check, then 20 minutes later, i’ll be like 1/0/3 or 2/1/2, etc and their ADC is magically 10/3/5. Like, wtf happened?

Bot is not a lane where you can really roam, especially playing some ADCs that require huge amounts of farm (I’m looking at you Kog). Mid is the only lane you can really gank. They will see us coming a mile away, and if the roaming doesn’t result in a kill, you could essentially put yourself 10-12 CS down, negating any lead you may have had. So often times, I am focused on farming, harassing the opponents, maintaining vision and Dragon control, and watching the rest of my team fall apart. I have to hope my team can just survive the laning phase, so we can get to team fighting where I really shine as a teammate. Lots of times the game is lost long before the laning phase is even over, even if Bot lane has given up zero deaths.  This falls under “things I cannot control” but my point becomes that it seems more difficult to carry when you aren’t able to roam or affect the game until after the laning phase. It’s harder to carry as an ADC. If someone out there disagrees, please tell me. I love to have conversations about this stuff.

Regardless, I know there are still things I need to work on as ADC. My farming can always improve, my positioning is mediocre, and I die too often:

Kog’ Maw:             9-8 | K: 5.5  | D: 3.5  | A: 6.2   | CS: 172.4
Miss Fortune:  17-18 | K: 6.1  | D: 4.9  | A: 8.1   | CS: 187.1
Lucian:                   3-6 | K: 5.3  | D: 5.3 | A: 8.8    | CS: 210.9
Jinx:                         1-3 | K: 3.0  | D: 3.8  | A: 6.8  | CS: 177.8
Trist:                       0-1 | K: 6.0  | D: 5.0  | A: 3.0   | CS: 231

I die way too much. Again, these are small sample sizes, but Jinx and Kog are close to where I want to be in KDA. For farming, Kog is the worst which should NOT be the case. He’s so item dependent, that I really need to do a better job farming. For one reason or another, my farming is just better on Lucian, Jinx, and the one Trist game I played. I think I need to play more Jinx, even thought they were both losses. She’s among my three most played champs, but she just happen to get nerfed right when I started playing Ranked. Even with the recent Kog changes, he still feels like Kog’ Maw, Void Horror Sprinkler from Hell. The problem is I don’t always have the team to back him up. Working on my positioning will help, but I still need a strong front line.

I think the bottom line is I still just need to get more ranked games under my belt, one way or another. I worry changing my secondary role will severely set me back, but if I don’t start making a change now and ACTUALLY CARRYING games, I’m never going to climb. It’s a rock and hard place. The ultimate goal is still just “get gud.” I need to stay focused on that goal no matter what happens. The ranks and stats and climbing will come along with it. Until then, I may just need to go back to Normals and really start finding a second role I can master, because I don’t think Top is for me.

Thanks for reading, I hope this insight into my frustrating Bronze career is helpful. Learn from my mistakes, and get out of ELO Hell. If I help just ONE person not want to punch their monitor, then I’m doing God’s work.

Tomorrow, me and my teammate Matt are going to GP DC to play in side events, check out the scene and the artists. I may play, or I may report on Matt’s play. Regardless We might have some sweet Modern or EVEN LEGACY 8-man tournaments to report on, even if it’s not me playing. Stay tuned.

You can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. Stay strong and DON’T TILT!!

-Andy

Quick Stream Update!

Hello Everyone!

It’s been a crazy week and it’s almost over! Normally I would do a Friday/Saturday night stream, but it looks like Ranked is currently down. Tomorrow, the gang will be playing D&D all day/night. I am going to monitor Ranked Queue this evening and, if it goes up, try to get the stream going. Just be sure to follow me on twitter @TheGreat_Andini to catch the stream time on twitch.tv/thegreat_andini. I’ll be sure to tweet 30 minutes to an hour before hand! See you soon.

-Andy

 

What I’ve Learned Playing League of Legends

Good Morning, Everyone!

So the Season 6 Ladder is in full swing for League of Legends. Boy, I knew it would be difficult, but I didn’t know it would be THIS difficult. I finished my placement matches in Bronze 1. I figured this would be the case, since I ended last season at Silver 3, and everyone was starting this season about 1 tier down. I have been playing ADC and Top as my preferred lanes. I actually think I’ve been playing well, and I zoomed up to 90 LP very quickly. Unfortunately, I ended up crashing just as fast. Since then, I haven’t really put much time into Ranked. The only option right now is “Dynamic Queue” which mean I could end up in games with 2-4 man pre-mades, and against 2-4 man pre-mades, and get crushed over and over. They are supposed to be implementing a “Solo Queue” which would alleviate the 3-4 man groups. Also as time goes on, I am expecting all the people rushing the Ladder to have reached their goals, and not be stuck in Bronze and Silver. For example, in one of my Bronze games, I was matched against a Silver ADC who was Platinum the previous Season. He absolutely massacred me, it was quite the sight, as he was clearly not a Silver player. I don’t want to catch these people on their way up game after game. So I took a break from ranked.

My ultimate goal is to get better. I want to be a better ADC. Now consequently, I also have to learn another role for ranked, and Top hasn’t been great to me. For climbing the Ladder, I am probably much better off playing Mid or Jungle, but that would require me to completely relearn those roles. It’s not beyond doable, but I’d need to do it in Normals. We also have a ton of Junglers on our “team”, so that would relegate me to mid. Which I don’t hate at all, but the time investment is something to consider.

But as far as ADC goes, I know what I need to do to get better and I know what I should work on. It’s really just putting in the time now. So lets take a look at my game plan so to speak:

Step 1: Stop Caring About Your Rank

This is seriously the most important thing, in my opinion. There is almost nothing I can control in each game. I cannot control who my teammates are, I cannot control who my opponents are, I cannot control what champions are picked or banned, and I cannot control the plays any other player makes, be they good or bad plays. This is going to lead to a lot of losses (and some wins) that I had almost nothing to do with. Due to this, stressing out about these losses will only make me play worse. I can only control what I do. So what does this mean for me? Well I have to learn to let go and not tilt when my opponents are throwing. If I am playing well, I need to be proud of my performance, and be sure to keep that good play rolling into the next game. If I play consistently well enough every game, over the course of enough games I will start to win more often than I lose.

Caring about your rank will only stress you out. You are going to lose games and LP. There is nothing you can do about it. So just play to the best of your ability each game and be proud of your play.

Step Two: Recognize Where YOU Messed Up

The first step is not to make it sound like I am flawless; I am far from it. The key is to avoid always placing blame on your teammates for a loss. You were on that team as well. I guarantee you there is always something you can do BETTER. It may not change the result of the game, but being able to recognize where you made mistakes is key to fixing them and ultimate turning losses into wins. Streaming has helped with this because all of my games are recorded. I can go back and view my mistakes. For me it’s little things like improving my CS, my positioning, mechanics, and my decision making.

1.) For ADCs, “CS-ing” is the most important thing you can be good at. (CS stands for Creep Score, and its what you get for last hitting minions) Farming gets you money and allows you to buy the big items that win you the game. The better you are at farming, the faster you can get those items and become stronger than your opponent. Each kill is worth roughly 12-15 CS, so if you’re head by 45 CS, you essentially have three kills over your lane opponent. THAT’S HUGE! Practice your farm skills, know how much damage your champion deals so you don’t time it incorrectly. Practice farming under turret so when the enemy is pushing, you miss as few CS as possible.

When you are at the 5:45 minute mark, the total possible CS is 50. Make note of what yours is each game. They say you should be hitting 46/50 consistently. 92% is hard to do, especially when the enemies are trying to kill you. This is still a good goal to strive for, the better your farm, the better off you’ll be. Don’t be afraid to take some jungle creeps on your way back to lane, the Frog and Golems give like 100 gold, and if you hit them up each time you come back to lane, that adds up quickly. (Just be sure not to take too much damage from them)

2.) For positioning; don’t get caught! Nothing feels worse than an easily avoidable death because you over extended and didn’t have flash or an escape route. Don’t get too close to the team fights. You can’t make plays if you die because you thought Lucian was a good front line champion. Let your tanks and support peel for you and kill anyone that gets in your way. You won’t always be able to get to their squishies and carries. In these cases you have to kill what you can, even if that means their tanks, who are currently up front. You are no good dead, and you don’t want to die while trying to run through their front line because “I HAVE TO KILL TEH CARRIEZ!! DUH!”

3.) With mechanics we’re talking champion control. Kiting is a very important skill to learn. Normally, when you are JUST auto attacking from max range, you fire your attack, then you need to catch up, then you fire again if/when you get in range. Kiting allows you to stay in range of the enemy and fire off more autos since you don’t need to waste time catching up; you’re just staying in range the whole time.

You do this by moving between each auto, even going so far as to stop your attack early while still dealing damage to the enemy champion. You can find examples and guide of this tactic on YouTube.

This works even better if your attacks apply a slow (like Red Buff). If you’re good enough at kiting, opposing enemy melees may never be able to close enough distance to attack you back, and you can kill them without getting a scratch.

4.) Trading in lane. This is an amalgamation of everything above. You need to get as much farm as possible while preventing your opponent from doing the same. You can attack them to force them to back off from the minion wave and render them unable to last hit. This is called harassing. You have to pick and chose the right moments to harass so you are dealing more damage than you are taking. If you go to harass and end up losing more life than you took, you are now in an unfavorable position and can be forced to back off or be killed. This would be a lost trade.

I like to think of it like this: When playing Lucian, I have to use mana to cast my spells. It’s limited, so when I cast a spell I have to think what I’m getting out of it. If I Q, and I kill 3 minions and then the Passive double shot kills another, that’s about 100 gold for 45 mana. Not bad. If I use an ability and miss all the CS, I wasted mana which is not efficient. You’re essentially trading mana for the chance to make something happen. So if I use mana to dash at the enemy, auto them, Q and then auto to burst them down, they may Flash or Heal, or give me a kill. All three of those outcomes will put me ahead. I trade my mana for their summoner spells which will make them less likely to get away in the future during a gank.

Any trade you come out ahead is a good one. So pick your timing, positioning, and openings carefully so the enemy doesn’t have a chance to turn it around, and cause you to blow your Flash or Heal.

5.) Finally, decision making. You just got done a big team fight, 4 of the enemy champs are dead, do you push towers, kill dragon or kill baron? Well that’s a great question and there is never going to be one right answer. The key is learning which objectives are most important at what parts of the game. Towers give team gold, Dragon doesn’t. Dragon and Baron give important buffs, Towers do not. You need to recognize and improve upon your decision making skills so you aren’t wasting time doing nothing while the enemy waits to re-spawn. Every second you wait is a second closer your opponents are to defending. You don’t want to rush Baron when you have enough time to actually push the nexus and just win. Too many games are thrown away by Baron-ing at the wrong time.

So how do you improve upon these things? When going into a game, I try to repeat them to myself. Be in the mind set to remember all of these little details until they become second nature. For CS, if my lane opponents have too much sustain to harass, I will focus solely on CS and make sure to never miss one. As I am walking to or from lane, I check the jungle quick, and see where my Jungler is, make sure I am not stealing his CS before I kill a jungle mob or two.

As ADC, I am constantly warding the river and trying to keep my eye on Dragon for control of the map. If Dragon is down, I make sure to help my Jungler call out when it will be up by watching the timer. I practice my kiting every chance I get so it becomes second nature. When a team fight is going to erupt I try to put myself in a position where I will be able to deal a lot of damage without getting instantly deleted.

As far as decision making goes, I need to work on that the most. When we play 4 or 5 mans, I let someone else do the shot calling, because I am much better at following directions than giving them. I know it’s something I am not great at, so I let someone who is strong do it. In solo-queue this is different because you are playing with 4 other randoms, so you need to do the best you can. The better you are at recognizing bad calls, will help you avoid terrible situations and warn the group. Just remember you cannot make your teammates do anything, you can only tell them what you think the team should do. Don’t get hung up on it and just make the best decisions you can for you and the team.

Step Three: Emotion and Playing From Behind

This falls under “not tilting,” but I have seen too many people literally give up and rage quit when the score is 0-3, the other team winning. This is obviously an extreme scenario, but even if the score is 12-20, people seem to get easily discouraged and quit when a game is still very much in reach. We all get emotional because of course we care about the game. We wouldn’t play Ranked if we didn’t care and didn’t want to win.

Also, everyone has bad games. If this is you, and you have died 3 times in a row, you have to learn to play from behind aka “learn to get carried”. This involves playing extra safe, getting as much CS as you can, even if that means missing a bunch to avoid dying. You are not going to carry every game. Sometimes you can’t play to win, and you have to play to NOT LOSE. Let someone else carry the team to victory. You do this by not getting in the way and don’t make it more difficult for someone else to carry. It’s hard to be humble and not get frustrated in these situations, but the more relaxed and safe you can play, the better.

As I play more and more, I am continuing to learn these things and cements them in my brain. I want it to become second nature. The less I have to think about the correct plays the more consistently I can execute them. Once this is the case, it just becomes finding the 2-4 champions you want to play and play them to death. Then put in the time and play as many ranked games as possible. As I said early in the article, I am most likely waiting for Solo Queue to be released before I jump back into ranked, but I am using this time to learn some of the top tier ADC and really work on my basics. When Solo Queue finally is released, I’ll be ready to climb.

And always remember the League of Legends Serenity Prayer:

“League of Legends Gods, grant me the serenity to accept my teammates that I cannot change, the courage to kite the opponents I can, and the wisdom to know how to carry. In Infinity Edge’s name we pray, Amen.”

Thanks for reading and, as always, you can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. Thanks, everyone!

-Andy