Artillery mages generally did poorly, underrepresented in all levels of play from low ELO to professional, and often had low chances of winning. As a class they’ve struggled for several seasons in a row now, and in recent metas they’ve failed to find a decent spot. We haven’t had a conversion in a while, but now we can use it for artillery mages.

I. Current changes in the meta and why they harm artillery mages:

  • The prevalence of highly stable, highly mobile medium-range aircraft has increased. Artillery mages have a hard time with survival or mobility; having both is doubly hard. Yone, Yasuo, Viego, etc. all heal waves and can choose the path of the vampire scepter in the shield.
  • The emphasis is on Drakes and Scuttles rather than alleys and seats. Artillery mages are much better at dealing with towers and lanes, while they have trouble with rivers and skirmishes in the jungle.
  • The roaming play style is still the dominant play style in the medium, despite previous changes to the amount of damage Cannon Minions inflict on towers. Artillery mages can’t compete with assassins, even if they are in the lead.

II. Problems with the artillery mage detail in season 11:

  • Statistically, the mythic mage is less efficient than AD and AP assassins. The average gain on Everfrost/Luden/Liandry trades is 50.7%. For comparison, 51% for Eclipse/Duskblade/Prowler’s and 52.5% for NH/Rocketbelt/Riftmaker. If we exclude Riftmaker as a strength, the gain for NH/Missile Belt is 53.1%.
  • Artillery mages can no longer disrupt the path by acquiring the Seeker’s Army Guard through certain nerves. This not only makes the game harder against AD middles, but also for AP assassins like Fizz, who artillery mages have built Zhone against to survive Ultra.
  • While Horizon Focus is a bit strong, it has become an all too necessary investment for Artillery Mages. This means that the first 2 items purchased are usually Ludens/Liandrys + HF, which hurts the flexibility of the build. The former second reaper is generally a bad buy, even against full AD comps, because you handicap yourself by not buying HF, where most of your vitality comes from.
  • In previous seasons the Medjays, although not designed to carry heavy loads, carried artillery magazines. Despite this, Mejai scored 200 gold points in S11. Additionally, it is more difficult to hold stacks, as the survivability of artillery mages is affected by Zhon Nerf’s actions, as well as the need to build Horizon Focus. Classically, they paired Mejai with Jonja so you wouldn’t be too distracted. Now that Armgard in Zhonya is no longer worth it, it is often optimal not to upgrade Dark Signet, but instead buy Horizon Focus.

III. Like probably NOT upgrading artillery mages.

  • They don’t need fans to do damage, because that would only turn them into props. Small nerfs on base damage in exchange for a better AP ratio would make sense (like what they do in Xerath).
    • In fact, their damage, for the most part, is good.
  • You don’t need any slack. Some (like Ziggs) even need nerds for their golf cleanup.
  • They don’t need amateur mage battles because they’re already good with them.
  • They don’t need more power when they play from behind. They’re very good at it. Even if he loses, if an artillery mage can at least unload his full rotation in a command fight before he dies, he’s still doing something. This is part of the reason why artillery mages were delegated to support – in a teamfight, dying as a support mage isn’t scary, as long as you find your combo.

IV. Possible ways to discourage artillery mages

  • Survivability. Artillery mages don’t have to defeat assassins, but they should at least survive. Some artillery mages are good in this regard (like Ziggs and Lux), but others (like Velkoz) lack innate survivability and reliable CC. Almost all midliners in the meta need ANYTHING to not die, whether it’s mobility/disconnect (Vlad, Fizz, Zed, Katarina, Ekko, Ahri, Cassadine, Sindra), resistance/shields (Galio, Swain, Rumble, Diana, Annie, Ori), or something else (passive Anivia, etc.).
    • Now that Armgard is pumped up, it would be nice to have some more body armor.
  • Better carry potential / higher volatility. At this point, Velcosa 0/2 is honestly not that different from Velcosa 2/0, or at least not as different as the other champion going from 0/2 to 2/0. So it looks like artillery mages can’t have much of an impact on the game, even if it goes through. Increasing transshipment potential could mean adding a little more capacity to their equipment. Or maybe a small snowball system or capacity building injection – that gets them out of their support role and back into the center.
    • For example, I like the idea of having artillery mages interact with champions. Xerath returns mana when it automatically attacks champions. This (theoretically) adds a good amount of skill expression and prevents AFK wave cleaning. But now there’s the problem that if you’re in range of Xerat Auto Zed, he’s in range of 100-0 you.
  • Probably changes the quality of life. Better Q hitbox for Ziggs, Vel’Koz W/E doesn’t disappear after death, etc.

Thank you for reading.

Source: Original link

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