For some time, Riot Games seemed to have reached the limit of creating unique abilities for characters. Recently, League of Legends Twitter was littered with endless memes about recycled abilities on newer champions. But League’s 159th champion Renata Glasc will silence such sentiment, as Riot has introduced two never-seen-before features. These include the new form of crowd control that forces the affected enemy champions to attack each other, and a single ability possessing a shield for the allies while also being an offensive ability against the enemies.
At this time, only Renata’s abilities have been revealed but, stats-wise, the Chem Baroness could ultimately change the competitive landscape of League of Legends and the paradigm of ranged supports.
Renata’s stats in League of Legends
There is a very good reason why very few champions in the game are capable of casting shields on allies, and the reasoning lies in the concept of diminishing returns. Diminishing returns implies that each unit of a said stat will possess less value the more it is added. Graphically, it will show as a convex curve with the dependent value changing less as the independent value continues to increase. Many major stats in the game are directly or indirectly affected by diminishing returns.
For example, Attack Damage and Ability Power, despite not having diminishing returns, are respectively checked by attack speed and ability haste. Attack speed has a hard cap at 2.5 while ability haste is designed around its diminishing returns. Even movement speed has diminishing returns. Shields, on the other hand, absorb the post-mitigated damage that the champion took. Since armor and magic resistance do not have diminishing returns, shields as a bi-product does not. The situation becomes more complicated when we add the fact that the true value of the shield, or the effective HP, is dependent on the stats of the ally, not the shielder.
The potential of shields is the reason why it is heavily gate-kept by Riot Games. Many shielders are support champions whose kit is centered around the protection of their teammates. It is also common to see them have one or even two abilities that are much less powerful than their peers. Lulu, for instance, suffers from her Glitterlance having a minor impact. This is in the later stages in the game as a cost of her abilities like Help, Pix and Wild Growth being one of the best defensive abilities in the game.
Renata Loyalty Program, however, does not adhere to these established patterns. Not only is it an Area of Effect ability that can apply her shield on two separate occasions, it also acts as an offensive mechanism by damaging and slowing enemies. With a multi-faceted ability like this, one would expect her other normal abilities to be slightly weaker, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Handshake has one guaranteed crowd control upon landing with another conditional one attached to the second cast. Bailout is likely one of the best combat buffs in the game with a Sion-esque revive mechanic attached. This ability also increases in value as the game progresses. Comparing these abilities to Janna’s Zephyr or Sona’s Song of Celerity makes one think that Renata’s normal abilities have enough value to be considered ultimate abilities.
An aggressive ranged support
With her extremely overloaded kit and a passive that enhances damage for her and her allies, Renata will be an aggressive ranged support in League of Legends. She has the potential to fulfill two roles that the current predominant aggressive ranged support, Karma, is incapable of. Firstly, Karma cannot be paired with brawl-focused champions such as Samira. With Renata’s kit, she can fill the role of a melee support by providing windows of attack through her crowd control while granting her bot laner a powerful offensive buff. Additionally, Renata introduces the potential of bruiser bot laners such as Irelia returning to viability in League of Legends. Secondly, Karma compensates her early game power for not having an ultimate ability. Her ultimate, Mantra, simply enhances her normal abilities.
Meanwhile, Renata’s Hostile Takeover makes abilities like Sona’s Crescendo feel negligible. It is worth noting that Renata will likely not have the same pressure that Karma will have in the laning phase. However, her effectiveness will continue to increase as the game progresses while Karma’s effectiveness plummets.
Renata can potentially redefine the role of ranged support by filling the niche that other champions could not in League of Legends. Not only does she possess an arsenal of spells with immense utility and value that appreciates in value as the game progresses, but she can also enable her allies to have an aggressive early game as well. My only hope is that the champion has poor defensive stats because, otherwise, League of Legends players may need to prepare themselves for Renata’s reign of terror.