Dueling Fates, Heroes, Sylph, DotA 2

Heroes of the Dueling Fates

During the International, Valve excited the audience by teasing not one, but two new heroes in a single video. Valve did not name these heroes in the trailer, nor did they provide the release date. For the time being, we have to assume that both heroes will come out together, along with the Dueling Fates gameplay patch. Despite the lack of official information from valve, the trailer might be giving away more than it first seems. By analyzing the information in the trailer, we might get a peek at these new heroes’ capabilities.

Swashbuckling Armadillo Man

DotA 2, Dueling Fates

Image captured from youtube.com

This hero took center stage in the Dueling Fates trailer, showing off a a variety of skills. We see our rapier wielding friend start by performing a variety of acrobatics at the opening of the video. What he does next however is far more interesting. Though it’s to a creep and not a hero, he disarms his attacker before kicking him away. Currently there are very few ways to disarm an opponent, effectively preventing them from auto attacking for a few seconds. The main source of this is Heaven’s Halberd, a 3400 gold item that doesn’t see much competitive play due to its highly situational usefulness.

Hero abilities that disarm are also rare in DotA, and most of the time they have significant drawbacks. Crystal Maiden’s “Frostbite” ability disarms an opponent, but requires her to put herself close to the fight. Invoker’s “Deafening Blast” ability is probably the best source of disarm in an ability, but it has a 40 second cooldown. If this ability is a reliable disarm with a reasonable cooldown, it would be a first for DotA 2.

The next exciting thing our hard-shelled friend does is slice off Bristleback’s quills. One of the hardest things about dealing with a Bristleback is getting through his damage reduction. With the introduction of the Silver Edge item and the Break mechanic in 6.84, this became considerably easier. Break is a mechanic that turns off a hero’s passive abilities like Axe’s “Counter Helix”, and currently Silver Edge is the only item in the game that does this. With so few ways to apply this very powerful debuff, it would make sense for Valve to introduce one in this hero.

Finally, Swashbuck McArmadillo rolls into a ball, barrels through creeps, and crushes Magnus under his weight. Based on the video, it could operate similar to Tusk’s snowball or Earth Spirit’s “Rolling Boulder” ability. As a melee hero, some kind of movement ability that would help him engage or disengage more easily makes sense.  Unfortunately, there is not enough information here to guess how this new hero’s ability will be unique.

Sylph

DotA 2, Dueling Fates

Image Captured from youtube.com

Despite only appearing at the tail end of the video, we know a surprising amount about the second of the Dueling Fates heroes. Thanks to some proactive data miners, not only do we know Sylph’s name, but also her ability names. Of course these names could change before the patch is released, but they’re still useful for speculation.  Let’s dig in!

Sylph’s first ability is “Grapple”. This could be a number of things from a movement ability, to a disable, or a combination of the two.  Based on the text, it is reasonably safe to assume it’s a disable of some kind. When grappling, one is generally holding on to their opponent trying to gain the upper hand, so a disable seems likely.

This feisty fairy’s second ability is tentatively called “Shadow Realm”. To be honest, I’m not sure where to even begin with this ability. At first I thought it was a mobility skill or perhaps some kind of escape mechanism. Upon looking at the data closer, I noticed that this ability also had audio triggers marked for “impact”. This leads me to believe this ability involves a projectile of some kind. My best guess is that it is a projectile that applies some kind of buff or debuff to the first hero it hits. This could be anything from granting allies invisibility, to removing the hero from the game briefly, similar to Puck’s “Phase Shift”.

Compared to the last ability, “Flash Powder” is a much easier ability to imagine. This ability might be a targeted spell that will either blind enemies or grant evasion to allies. While these two things sound the same, they can be very different. If the ability blinds enemies in an area, then enemies that enter the fight later will be unaffected. However, if “Flash Powder” grants evasion to allies, then all enemies will be negatively affected no matter when they get to the fight. Either way though, this could be a great engagement tool for team-fights if my guess is correct.

Sylph’s final ability is also the only one we catch a glimpse of at the end of the video. “Will O Wisp” will cause Sylph to send out a little companion to attack her enemies in some way. Will-o’-the-wisps are commonly known as phantom lights that lead travelers astray at night. Slyph’s ability could very well be meant to do something similar. Perhaps it will force enemies close to the wisp to walk toward it slowly, allowing Sylph to re-position her enemies. If so, this could be an incredibly powerful team-fight ultimate.

The waiting continues…

The Dueling Fates teaser video came out almost two months ago, and Valve has not released any further information. In typical Valve fashion, these characters and the accompanying patch will just be done when they’re done. There is very little that gets the DotA community as excited as the prospect of trying new heroes. Here’s hoping that these two are worth the wait.


Featured image captured from YouTube

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Outlandish League of Legends Champion Personalities

For the most part, champions in League of Legends’ personalities fall under a few broad categories:

  • I’m a fighter to prove/defend something
  • I’m a ninja
  • I’m just a murderer
  • I’m good at fighting so they sent me here
  • I’m a yordle and I’m funny and whimsical and free spirited
  • I’m from the Void and I’m scary AF
  • I’m just insane
  • I love death and am hyper emo and obsessed with it
  • I’m really p*ssed off and edgy

However, there a few champions who break these molds and stand out as true icons on the rift, champions so unique that during any game you will get a “OMG I LUV (insert name) LULZ” every game you play as them. Personally, I like these champions a lot. I like any character that is not just, “I’m here because I am good at killing.”

Amumu just wants some friends :( (Image:http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Amumu/SkinsTrivia)

Amumu just wants some friends 🙁 (Courtesy of leagueoflegends.wiki.com)

Amumu, the Sad Mummy, is one of these champions. He is great. He has a ward, he has a composition named after his ultimate (Curse of the Sad Bullet Time), and he’s really sad. All he wants is some friends, but he can never seem to find any. His abilities consist of throwing out his mummy wraps, crying, throwing a fit, and cursing an area around himself. A far cry from the swordsmen and bowmen of the Rift, yawn. Cheer up bud, you have a friend in me Amumu.

Zac, in all of his delicious glory (Image: gameonhub.weebly.com)

Zac, in all of his delicious glory (Courtesy of gameonhub.weebly.com)

Zac, the Secret Weapon, was made for this, literally. He was made in Zaun, a land of untapped scientific exploration, and looks like he is made of green Jell-O. You can also get his skins or chromas, which make him look purple, gold, orange, or pink Jell-O respectively. He also has a Pool Party skin, which finally puts clothes on him in the form of a Speedo and snorkel mask. He is blue Jell-O, and he has little rubber duckies in him. In-game, he gets bigger the more health he has, and the bigger he is the bigger area of effect his spells have. In his lore he always got picked on in school for being a green gelatinous monster. Middle school kids can be merciless and brutal.

Nunu and Willump, respectively (Image: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Nunu/SkinsTrivia)

Nunu and Willump, respectively (Courtesy of leagueoflegends.wikia.com)

Nunu, the Yeti Rider, is a parka clad boy who rides a yeti. Honestly, the yeti does most of the work. The yeti walks around, the yeti can consume minions and monsters, the yeti’s blood boils, raising his and an ally’s attack speed and movement speed, and the yeti has the power to control the temperature in the air around him and make it so cold that enemies get slowed and eventually take damage. Nunu, the boy, throws snowballs. Oh! The yeti’s name is Willump! Did you know that?

He's a king, he couldn't get a hat that fits? (Image: http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/champion/tahm-kench-126/skins)

He’s a king, he couldn’t get a hat that fits? (Courtesy of mobafire.com)

Tahm Kench, the River King, is just a hungry demon looking for some grub. He makes jokes about eating, he taunts people with threats of eating them, and he just eats people. He has a taunt specific for most of the champions in the game, and he spits up a hamburger, then re-eats it. Ewwie. This guy will truly eat anything! He even eats Zac! (Zac looks delicious, that’s the point of this article.) He even eats his teammates. He just eats, and eats, and eats, then his team wins.

I didn't think it was possible to get enough Draven in one photo, this might be it though. (Image: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Draven-sees-it-all-with-style-407545861)

I didn’t think it was possible to get enough Draven in one photo, this might be it though. (Courtesy of deviantart.com)

Draven, the Glorius Executioner, while he is just a murderer, puts quite a twist on it. Back in Noxus, where he hails from, he was an executioner. People would come from all around to see some of his executions. Then, one day, a prisoner tried to run away, so Draven threw the axe at him. It caught him flush, and the Glory came to the Glorious Executioner. Primetime, Beast Hunter, and even Draven, Draven takes many forms. (Editor’s note: It’s not Draven, It’s Draaaaaaaaaven.)

Malphite isn't your everyday rock. He can be: marble, obsidian, green, a transformer, a boat, he can even be coral! (Image: leagueoflegends.wikia.com)

Malphite isn’t your everyday rock. He can be: marble, obsidian, green, a transformer, a boat, he can even be coral! (Courtesy of leagueoflegends.wikia.com)

Malphite, the Shard of the Monolith, is a solid foundation on which a team can be built. He has an engage, his ultimate ability, that is really hard to counter. He is a champion who, if on the other team, should not be taken for granted. He can be really tanky, a true mountain of a champion. His primary focus is building rock-hard armor, which boosts the power of some of his abilities. If you haven’t figured it out yet (somehow) he’s a big rock. Without joking though, yes his ultimate is a crazy good engage and yes you can build a team composition around him.

There are more champions who don’t fit a mold, Annie, Orianna and Nautilus to name a few. Sadly, a lot of the champions are cookie-cutter, no-nonsense fighters. The Garens and Darius’s of the world are fine, I guess, but they don’t bring very much fun to the table. It’s always nice to have a character like Draven in your rotation to liven things up a bit.