Mastering A Champion: Taliyah

Kim “Sky” Ha-neul

Champion mastery separates players at every proficiency level in League of Legends. Everybody’s heard the mantra from the pros: If you want to climb Elo, then you need to learn master two or three champs for a given role. Understanding matchups and critical item spikes defines the limits for plays, counter plays, ganks and dives. Yet even professionals can – and have – suffer in lane due to matchup inexperience.

An example is Jin Air Green Wings’ (JAG) Jin “Blanc” Seong-min. During the July 6 series against CJ Entus (CJ), Blanc faced Kim “Sky” Ha-neul twice. Sky played as Taliyah twice. Sky won lane twice, finishing the second game 13-2-8. So maybe it’s time for everybody to learn a little about the Stoneweaver of Shurima (released May 18, 2016).

Let’s start with something Blanc continued to mistake: Enemies who dash over (or are knocked through) Unraveled Earth’s boulders cause the boulders to detonate instantly. Before reviewing the numbers, remember that Unraveled Earth is Taliyah’s “E” ability and scatters 18 boulders in a cone.

So when Blanc continually tried to Shurima Shuffle on Azir his champion exploded before he could even cast his ultimate ability. Taliyah’s boulders deal 50% of Unraveled Earth’s initial damage (maximum of four boulders per enemy). The ability detonates after four seconds if an enemy does not dash over (or is not knocked through) the boulders – which slow by 20% (+ 4% per 100 AP).

All of Taliyah’s abilities interact with rocks in some fashion by the way.

Her passive (Rock Surfing), activated by moving near terrain or structures, adds between 20-40% (based on level) bonus movement speed, which both increases and decays within one second of activation or deactivation. Additionally, entering combat disables the passive and causes a five-second cooldown. Watch Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg stream while playing Taliyah and notice how the passive aids in his ability to pressure other lanes after pushing his wave. He hugs the wall as he heads top or bottom.

Speaking of pressure, Sky used a skillfully done Taliyah ultimate during a CJ Baron attempt, literally separating the JAG Jungler (Park “Winged” Tae Jin) from the rest of his team by creating a rock wall that obstructed the exit from Blue Buff (on Blue side).

As for the ability itself (Weaver’s Wall), Taliyah channels for 1 second and then summons a rock wall that moves through Summoner’s Rift in a target direction, creating impassable terrain for a few seconds and knocking aside all champions it passes through. Taliyah can reactivate Weaver’s Wall during the channel to ride at 1500 speed. Taking any damage or moving in any direction will force her off the wall, which will continue along its path undisturbed. At level 16 the wall has a range of 6,000 units.

Oh, and reactivating the ability destroys the wall, otherwise it remains for six to eight seconds depending on level.

Back to Sky. Winged was already in the river while his team was racing to arrive at the Baron pit. Sky ulted toward the Blue Buff exit, causing a potential Baron steal from Winged to be much more difficult given that his team could not assist him. Winged chose to cede the buff in exchange for life.

Riot will alter Taliyah’s “W” ability, Seismic Shove, in a later patch; but for now, the ability marks a target location, deals magic damage and knocks up any champions standing on the target location. An individual can recast the ability prior to the knock-up in order to knock a champion in a target direction.

So the idea is to cast Unraveled Earth underneath an enemy and then use Seismic Shove to knock them through the boulders. Remember the immediate damage from Unraveled Earth caused by knock-ups?

Finally, Taliyah’s “Q” (Threaded Volley) acts much like a Lucian ultimate. This might be her most difficult ability to comprehend. She hurls five shards of stone in a target direction during 1.5 seconds, and this deals magic damage. Enemy champions struck by a stone shard receive 50% damage from subsequent shards, while minions receive 50% bonus damage. This ability also causes the ground around her to become “Worked.” This means that, while on “Worked Ground,” Taliyah gains 10 – 20% (based on level) bonus movement speed, and only unleashes one shard of stone after casting Threaded Volley. This refunds half its mana cost.

For builds, check out Mobafire.

Taliyah itemization has been variable so far, though Sky built the same six items in both games. So the real question isn’t what to build. It’s why JAG allowed Sky to play Taliyah a second time, more than doubling his kills from the first game while maintaining the same number of deaths.

 

** All numerical data retrieved from the League of Legends Wiki **

 

 

 

 

 

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