What all gamers can learn from what’s wrong with the League of Legends community

When you’ve played League of Legends for as long as I have, you end up seeing a lot of stuff. People telling people to kill themselves, people threatening to kill other people, homophobic slurs, racial slurs it’s all there. In the midst of it all, you always kind of find yourself wondering “I know this is bad, but what is it that sets it apart from other games/sports whatever in terms of how toxic the community is?” Then, today, it finally hit me. It’s the victim blaming.

Let’s say you’re walking down a street and you see an elderly lady getting mugged. The unwritten rules of our society basically state you should probably try to help the old lady. Failing that, we’re kind of ok with you at least trying to get her help. We’re not so keen on you walking away, but if the situation looks dangerous enough we’ll even excuse that.

Video games kind of have the same unwritten code for when you see someone getting bullied or harassed. If you see it, we’re pretty cool with you trying to stand up for the person. We’re still pretty cool if you don’t say anything but perhaps offer some comforting words or a report after the game. And you know what, in many games I’ve played a lot of people will do just that. If you see a troll on the other team or it becomes clear that someone else is getting verbally abused or what not, most gamers will at least empathize with their situation. “Sorry friend, that sucks, I’ll send a report.” We know we can’t necessarily stop the harassment but at least we try and minimize the damage and give the person a bit of comfort.

Enter the League community. In this community, what the rest of society and the gaming community might considered an acceptable response to bullying and harassment gets thrown out the window.  You’re happy when the people around you stay silent when you are being harassed because more often than not everyone else in the game (both teammates and opponents alike) will join in against the person being abused. Instead of offering comforting words to a new player who is being abused, the average league player seems to feel the need to join in the ridiculing of that player. Going back to my old lady being mugged analogy, the League of Legends community would be the person who saw the mugging happening and decided it would be fun to go and give the old lady a kick for themselves. Yup, it can get that bad.

Honestly, I’m really not sure why it has come to this. Why people seem more likely to attack someone who is already being victimized than to attempt to come to their defence or offer some kind words. Is it really that hard to stick up for someone or at least try and minimize the damage done by the actions of some other dick?

Fellow gamers, the one thing I ask of you is to not let your game’s community reach this level. Stand up for those being bullied, abused, harassed. Make it so that the trolls/bullies are the ones who feel isolated and alone, not the players who are already being attacked. When we started playing games, I like to believe that this was the norm. That may be naive, and that’s fine, but i still believe it’s something worth striving for and in games not called League of Legends I believe it’s still something that can be attained.

Four things I never want to see a support doing

Hi everyone. I’m a little sad no one filed a missing 2hp report but I am extremely thankful that so many of you continued to check out the blog and let me know that my posts were missed.

A new season is upon us, and even if you don’t main it, you just know you’re going to end up playing some support. So, as a support main with some years and a tiny bit of success under my belt, let me point out a few things that I never want to see a support, myself included, doing.

-Not Building a Sightstone. I don’t care if you’re playing Thresh, Velkoz or support Riven, if you want to win games on support you should have a Sightstone in your inventory. Trinkets simply aren’t enough and you really can’t rely on any other position to adequately ward for you. You will be amazed at how many fights you will win, even if your team is super far behind, simply because you have enough wards to get a pick or snipe that pesky ADC hiding in bush.

-Farming out a lane. League of Legends conditions you to want to kill those creeps. I mean, why else would they keep track of how many you’ve killed, right? But when you’re on support, I don’t ever, almost ever, basically never, want to see you farming a lane. Just because a lane is empty doesn’t mean you should be in it. In fact, if your ADC is gone that means it’s a perfect time to go drop your wards or go for a nice roam to the mid lane.

Rarely will you ever seen high level support players farming out a lane. Instead, you’ll see them ganking or expanding their team’s vision. You might think support is boring, but I promise you that the other team’s midlaner won’t agree when you hit them with a surprise gank. Just remember not to leave your ADC alone in lane if it means that they will be unable to farm. That is still your priority.

-Rushing that big AP item. Another mistake I see a lot of support players make is rushing a damage item like a Haunting Guise, Deathcap, Zhonyas, etc. This might be tempting, especially when you’re ahead on mage supports like Annie, Vel Koz etc, but don’t do it. Even with those big ticket items, you will never do as much damage as your true carries.

Instead, use that extra gold to rush support items that can keep your carries alive. Mikael’s Crucible, Righteous Glory, Runic Bullwark etc are all fairly costly items that will make a huge difference in your ability to protect your team, and the earlier you can get them the better. They’ll allow your team to keep winning fights which means you will eventually end up with the gold you need to buy that Haunting Guise anyways, oh, and win the game.

-Leaving your carry in a team fight. So many times I see supports pretending to be top laners as they chase after enemy carries. Some supports like Leona and Thresh make it especially tempting to go headlong into a fight. But once again, this simply is not the best course of action. Your primary function is to protect your team’s damage dealers so that THEY can do the damage.

You might think they’ll be fine on their own, but even fed carries can die one on one to champions that are better suited for dueling than they are. So try throwing your Leona ult on to the enemy team and then stay standing beside your ADC to deal with anyone who comes near them. I promise you that you will start to notice that you are winning more team fights and more games.

If you look back over my suggestions, you will notice that none of them really require much in the way of skill to execute. They are all things even the least skilled support player can do that will still make a big difference in how your games are going. Yes, they might not seem as fun as the alternatives, but they will get you wins. And, ultimately, that is what most of us are trying to do.

And as always, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t leave you something fun to watch. So check out this video of some solid peeling by a Janna. Nothing flashy, just keeping her Vayne alive so her team can win the game (because a fed Vayne is GG, noob).

F*** Your Invade

Guys, I never thought I would say this about myself but I am in a League of Legends video that i’m not unhappy with.

We are playing with an Amumu and are reasonably certain that the other team, rocking a Blitzcrank, are going to invade our Blue. What happens next is a perfect example of how you counter a level one invade. Feel free to tune in at 3 minutes to see the action, or come in sooner if you want to hear about people getting hit with bottle caps in bad places

TwoHp Starts Slow with a Video

Ok, so I’ve gotten into this habit of writing up these amazingly long and elaborate posts at work and then never posting them when I get home. So why don’t we start with baby steps and go back to posting League videos that I enjoy.

I know this is a lot to ask from you guys, especially my non League friends, but knowing how I operate I think a like or two would help get me going again. So if you wouldn’t mind, or heck if you want to unfollow me for asking for likes I can understand that to, but I would also like to trick myself into doing this again because I miss this, I would love to know that you guys are still out there and I swear I’ve even got some non League stuff that just needs to find a way out.

Thanks everyone. Oh, and here’s the video! If you like the video please give its creator, nlionf some love. Great video. I would hate to play against him.

Preying on Braum: A Review and Quick Counter Guide

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Hi everyone,

Sorry for my hiatus from posting. I know I always say this but I miss you guys and hope to catch up with you all soon. Now, to the matter at hand – Braum.

If you have yet to see this guy there are plenty of other sites that will tell you all about his abilities and show you what he looks like. What I want to do is tell you what he is capable of, or mostly what he’s not capable of.

My first impressions of his game play is that he is a Leona in reverse. Leona’s kit has always been super good at engaging, almost to a fault. Even her defensive abilities often end up being used offensively, even if you don’t mean to. Braum is the opposite. Outside of his Q  and ult he has no other offensive capabilities and even the ones he has are somewhat inconsistent.

Because of this, it is extremely hard to be aggressive with him. His dash (W) is generally only reliable to move into and not past the creep line and you have to be able to land his Q consistently, and usually be at close range, to be able to follow it up. You can put some hurt on your opponents with the Q but most other supports and ADCs are capable of harassing Braum and running.

Where he does excel is defending against all ins. All of his abilities are designed to deal with an enemy team that wants to dive into you. He can slow, knock back and absorb a good amount of damage – especially from melee attackers. He is ok against poke comps but seems to have trouble stopping overwhelming amounts of AoE CC. Once his ult is down his own CC is somewhat inconsistent (you need to land it) or it takes a while to activate (his passive). If you are picking a team to fight against him I would recommend going heavier on poke and aoe than on a hard dive/engage comp.

In lane he is great against any melee support who is looking to come and fight you. Where he struggles is against ranged champions who can poke him and his ADC down. Outside of using his abilities there is very little Braum can do to stop a ranged support from poking him. His base defensive values are fairly high, so it does take a while to poke him down, but he can never really stop the steady stream of poke coming his way – especially from long ranged attackers like Zyra or Annie.

My guess is that as players get better at playing him we will see Braums be more effective against ranged supports, but right now most people seem to be struggling mightily. I’ve been using Zyra against him and have effectively been able to freely harass Braum and his ADC. People forget this, but since the Season Four changes mage supports are actually super strong. In most support games where I play Zyra or Sona I am usually one of the highest damage to champion dealers in the game.

What has been keeping these AP caster supports in check is the prevalence of champions like Thresh and Leona. These champions can blow up squishy mage supports fairly easily, even when the Leona or Thresh is not played well. Braum, on the other hand, struggles mightily to engage on these caster supports. What this means is that if you first pick Braum there is a great chance that the other team will pick an extremely pokey  support mage that will out damage your Braum, and quite possibly your whole team, by quite a bit.

I think you can sum up my recommendations as follows: If you want to play Braum try and do so against teams that are looking to try and hard engage on your team. Try and play Braum with an ADC who is capable of providing enough poke to keep you in lane. Braum does provide some decent defence to immobile ADCs like Varus and Miss Fortune, even just by being able to handle Leona.

In lane, try and tag your opponents with your Q when you are close enough to them to follow it up. If you are having trouble with that, consider maxing your W so you can dash forwards more or just weather the storm until you get out of lane phase. Braum’s defensive team fight capabilities are not to be scoffed at, but you will likely need someone else to start team fights – ideally the other team.

If you are playing against Braum consider using a mage support who can prey on his lack of offensive capabilities. If you can avoid his Q, and any ganks that come your way, you should be able to out poke him. Champions like Zyra or Annie, who have long auto attack ranges, are really great for wearing him down because they can stay safe while doing so. Braum is naturally tanky so you will use a lot of your mana trying to get him low with your abilities. Instead, get a Kage’s pick item and hit Braum with as many auto attacks as you can, while staying safe.

I would even consider starting with some AD in your Runes or Masteries so you can really poke at him. Only do this if you don’t need defensive stats to avoid damage from Braum’s ADC, who really should try and follow up Braum’s moves with their own poke.

My final verdict on Braum is that he does have some very apparent strengths, but almost all of them are only good defensively. With that said, who knows what the pro players will show us. Braum in other lanes might be interesting, though I think he will be limited by a lack of offensive abilities, and players who are extremely good at the game mechanically might be able to get more out of him than someone like myself.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Riot change him if players are struggling with him too much. I could see them altering him to allow his Q to go through targets. This would give him a much more consistent way of engaging in bot lane and would gave him a bit more presence in top lane with some aoe.

We’ll have to wait and see what Riot decides. For all of his cool animations and, to quote Phreak, “incredible pecks.” I just don’t see this guy catching on for most of us. Pro teams that can put him in 2 v 1 lanes might be able to avoid his weak laning phase and utilize his amazing defensive strength later, but the average player will still get much more use out of Thresh, Morgana, Karma and Leona, as long as the Leona is not played into a Braum. That’s pretty much the only time I would pick Braum to come out the winner.

 

Patch 4.5 and Supports

Hi everyone and welcome to 2Hp’s 4.5 Bot lane  update. Let’s talk about who you should be playing, what you should be building and what champs you should be watching.

The best three champs in bot lane are… Thresh, Leona, Morgana.

This list really hasn’t changed in a while, though if you haven’t followed Morgana’s rise than it might surprise you that some would consider her better than Annie. With the nerf to Annie’s stun duration, I just don’t believe that Annie has the same high level of strong CC and utility that my big three listed above have. In my opinion, Annie, along with Zyra, is now on a list of mid lanes who became supports but are now poised for a return to mid lane as soon as long range poke and assassin mids fall out of favor (so basically, when they nerf Nidalee).

Also, I received a comment on Nami play and I want to address this directly. I believe Nami is a perfectly fine support with a great kit. Like Thresh, she was one of the first champions designed specifically to fulfill a support role. You will not, and should not, see Nami played anywhere other than the bot lane.
The problem with Nami is the skill curve involved in playing her. Yes her abilities are great, but to use Nami effectively requires a great amount of practice and coordination. Basically, her bubble (Q) is one of the toughest skill shots in the game to land. Her problem is that other supports like Thresh, Leona and Morgana are just as effective as Nami is but require much less skill to use effectively. If you are willing to take the time to master Nami I could see you having a lot of success with her. The problem is that most people don’t have the patience to do this.

Of the big three, who should I play?

This is a fun question, and I think it really speaks to the current variety in bot lane. I think all of these champions have unique strengths and weaknesses depending on what your team comp is like, who your opponents are and how good you are with your champ.

Morgana is probably the safest choice of the three, considering she is pretty effective at countering out the other two. She is very easy to play passively and has a great kit for playing aggressively – once you figure her out aka learn to land bindings.

With that said, there are ways for good Thresh and Leona players to defeat you. If they reach level 2 before you, and you take your binding first (which almost everyone does), then they can catch you out quite easily. If you stand near your ADC than there is a risk that you will shield the wrong person. Leona especially can really punish you if you are slow on your shield or she goes on you or your ADC when you don’t have the shield on. So be careful, but consider Morg a decent counter pick to Thresh or Leona.

Leona, in the right hands, remains the best hard engage support in bot lane. Sure, they nerfed her tankiness a bit. That just means that you can’t afford to get poked as much or launch as many bad engages as before. If you’re smart and pick your engages well you can wreck the other two big three.

Morgana can be tough to play against as Leona, just make sure you pressure her and try to bait out her shield as much as you can. Thresh is a pure skill matchup. He can flay you out of your zenith blade (e), but if you actually get on to him, you will kill him almost every time. Once Leona hits level 6 her engage gets very tough to handle, even for Morgana. Just remember that sometimes it’s better to not follow your ult in and stay back to peal for your ADC, especially in team fights.

Thresh, If you have followed this blog for any length of time you know that this is my favorite champion in the game. The nerfs to his auto attack range have hurt his ability to poke out other supports, especially when they are paired with long range ADCs. What keeps him extremely relevant is the fact that his utility outside of laning phase remains unrivaled amongst supports. No one else in the big three can do what he does in team fights. He can engage, lock targets down, slow an entire team and use his lantern to save allies in a way that no other champion can do.

If you want to beat Leona in lane you need to practice flaying her out of her zenith blade. If you can do that then she is useless against you until she hits 6. Try and poke Morgana as much as possible or max your hook and just keep throwing it at her and her ADC until it works. The way to beat Morg is to pressure her, not sit back and wait for her to bind and kill you.

What should I be building?

Good question. I’m still waiting to see what the pros are doing after the patch changes. Basically, Riot has made it easier for supports to invest into certain items because the build path now contains cheaper items that build into the big item you want while still providing you with significant bonuses in the mean time. Ranged APs, Morgana and Annie, should continue to start with the Spellthief’s Edge because the gold generation is ridiculous. I will upgrade it to tier two but will only finish it if I feel like my team doesn’t need a Talisman to get everyone into fights.

I run Talisman on Thresh and other supports that I feel like can’t use the Spellthief or take advantage of a Doran’s shield. The new item, Forbidden Idol, is a great hold over between the Nomad’s Medallion and the final Talisman. I usually build it first or second after I get my sight stone, if I’m not building a chalice.

You can also start with a Ruby Crystal if you want to rush a Sight Stone. This makes you tanky but does make you vulnerable to poke (fewer pots) and or doesn’t allow you to buy wards. Doran shield is pretty much only good on Leona or possibly Thresh. Only her mana costs really allow it. Pretty much everyone else needs some bonus regen.

I definitely recommend working on one or both of the new mid tier support items and then turning them into whichever of their finished items you think you need. They offer you things like move speed, mana regen and CDR. All of these are valuable on supports. Are they more important than building a chalice and upgrading it to a Mikael’s Crucible? That depends on how much hard CC the other team has. If they are frequently locking down your ADC then I would consider rushing a Mikael’s. Mikael’s is also great if your support is mana hungry.

What should I know about the Rune changes?

The flat armor given by seals has been decently reduced. I would seriously recommend that you consider subbing them out in favor of flat health seals, or a combination of flat health and flat armor . If you’re feeling particularly bold, or like you can survive the early game without immediate armor, the improved armor per level seals make you a beast in the mid to late game. Sometimes I run them with armor quints (which haven’t been changed) to make sure that I still have enough armor to survive the early game.

CDR and mana regen quints and glyphs both received buffs. Both can be worth looking into, depending on your play style, but the armor changes are the big one. I will tell you right now that doing a full regen page will only solve so much of your mana problems. Eventually, you just need to learn to make your abilities count and to manage your mana so that you have some when you need it.

One Rune set up I have been having some fun with is running armor reds (value is now about the same as armor yellows), health yellows, armor quints and magic resist blues. Throw in a Doran’s Shield and you enter lane with over 40 armor and mr and 700 health. You are very hard to kill with this set up and can do a lot of trading with the enemy champs.

What support champs should I be considering playing?

I will give you three of what I consider to be the more obvious second tier supports, who might not be as tier two as we think. I am not including Annie in this list. This doesn’t mean that I don’t believe she is a strong support. I just feel that enough has been said about Annie and I would like to introduce you to some supports who have received less coverage.

Karma: Karma has already been seeing a respectable amount of play. You would think it’s her strong poke potential that has made her popular but it has actually been her move speed enhancers. Her mantra enhanced shield actually provides her and all of the champs around  the cast target with a significant move speed bonus. Oh, and did I mention she does a ton of poke damage? Karma is great against Morg and can also be played with some success against Leona and Thresh as long as long as you give them the proper respect and are good enough, mechanically, with Karma to be able to handle an all in from Leona or Thresh.

Zyra: Zyra continues to have solid damage, great poke and some massive team fight AoE CC thanks to her ult and grasping roots. The biggest problem with Zyra is that she remains on the squishy side. It is very difficult for her to survive getting CC’ed by Leona or Thresh.

Sona: There was a time early in the last season where everyone was playing Sona. Yes, she received some slight nerfs at the start of the current season, but I’m not convinced it hurt her that much. What scared people away from Sona was the fact that she needs to be handled with extreme care. Her poke and sustain are amazing, but you have to work your butt off to keep her from getting killed by the likes of Leona or Thresh.
The simple truth with Sona was that it was just easier to play Annie or whichever of Leona and Thresh wasn’t picked. If more people start playing Karma and Morg it wouldn’t surprise me to see Sona make a return. Sona pokes just as hard as Karma and can out sustain both Morg and Karma in lane.

Blitzcrank: I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t give some love to my favorite mechanical golem, and quite frankly, I believe the love is deserved. With the slight nerf to Leona’s W and the armor seals, Blitz is becoming one of the last “tanky” supports. At the very least I think it’s getting easier for him to survive against Leona.

If you love Blitz, try and encourage your ADC to play a high early damage champ with some mobility like Draven or even MF. Even Leona can’t afford to be pulled in against these ADCs as they will chunk her down quite quickly. Also, Blitz just has a psychological effect that no other support has. People play differently when there is a Blitz in lane and in the game in general. A good Blitz can turn this fear into a solid win.

In the end, you’ll never really know how the 4.5 changes affect you until you actually play some games. So get out there, play some bot lanes and let me know what you’re liking and what you’re not liking in 4.5.

Random support tip of the day:

Laning against a Blitzcrank can be pretty scary, especially if Leona, Morgana and Thresh have been banned. Instead of picking a squishy support and hoping for the best, get creative with your pick in lane – try running a Lee Sin, Jax, or Jarvan support. What you are looking for is a champion who is capable of immediately engaging or disengaging when Blitz lands a hook. Jarvan, Jax and Lee Sin are all capable of escaping after being pulled or can all rapidly move to fight if Blitz hooks their ADC. This can be a lot easier than picking a squishy caster support and trying, desperately, to avoid grabs.