Ways to Win Wednesday: Don’t get BoRK’ed

Blade of the Ruined King (BoRK) sapping your chances to win? Tired of not being able to kill Lux before she lazers you? Well stick around, League fans, because this post has the cure for what ails you.

The BoRK epidemic is still going strong, despite Riot actually bringing in a hotfix to try and balance things out. The notes from this fix are here, but even Riot admits the item still needs more tuning. In the meantime, every player and their friend’s Karma continue to build this item. So how can it be stopped?

Short answer: Armor. In fact, Riot actually used the hotfix to make this item less punishing on armored characters (but worse if you have no armor). A lot of bruisers will naturally end up with enough armor to deal with this item. On ADC’s it is worth considering building a Guardian Angel instead of Warmogs, if you notice that the other team is stacking BoRKs.  GA’s passive remains amazing. It just was not as cheap to build as health.

If you are going to fight BoRK with BoRK, you should always try to make sure that you go contrary to Han Solo and activate yours last. Not only will this allow you to steal back some of the health that was just taken from you, it will also negate the speed loss that would otherwise allow you to be caught or kited. If you are not using a BoRK, try and remember to look to see if your opponent is using one. If they are, remember that they will be able to have a bit more health than they currently might have. They also have another way to slow and catch you, if they get close enough to engage you.

One other side-effect of BoRK’s popularity is that a lot more champs are now sporting higher attack speeds, and champions such as Jax, who rely heavily on attack speed, have come back into favor. Though we may not see him as much, and his mana costs remain outdated, Malphite remains a fantastic counter to all things attack speed. You can also plug him into pretty much any position outside of the ADC role. So if the other team looks like it will be relying heavily on BoRKs, Jax, or any other attack speed based group of champs, consider trying to sneak in a Malphite pick.

With the increased popularity of running bruisers in the mid lane, there has been a drastic increase in the usage of long ranged casters such as Lux, Nidalee, and Xerath. With her recent nerfs, Nidalee has fallen off a bit and Xerath remains played only by those who have mastered him, but even first time Lux continue to snare and lazer teams from behind the safe confines of their bruiser lines.

One champion I believe is perfectly equipped to deal with this problem is Nocturne. Yes, Lux has massive range. That doesn’t matter to Nocturne, who can dash to her regardless of how far back she is standing in fights. And  even if he can’t get to her, he can at least block her snare or lazer. If you do opt to run Nocturne mid, you might want to consider building him a Tear of the Goddess to ensure that you can spam your Q. It does a decent amount of damage and the speed increase makes it much easier to reach those pesky casters.

There is one final champion who I believe can help out both against those squishy long range casters and against the increase in attack speed. He may not seem very fast, himself, but Gragas is just the man for the job. Once a mainstream, nerfs to the cooldown on his ult caused him to fall out of favor. What people forget is the cool down is still pretty darn low for an ult (easily going down to one minute with some CDR), has a one to one AP damage ratio (perfect for blowing up that squishy Lux), and he can help your team engage or disengage at will.

Oh, and did I mention that his Caskets (Q) actually lower opponent’s attack speed? This guy is so tanky, and does enough AD damage with his W, that I have even successfully ran him as an AP bruiser top plane. I think the Fiora I was up against was quite surprised when I started the game with around 80 damage (after chugging some grog) and was easily winning trades against her. Definitely give him a try.

The week is only halfway through and a lot could still change. The IEM World Championships should introduce us to some new strats, new popular champs and new ways to get ourselves killed in solo que. But, until the lessons from IEM start to sink in, just remember that all it takes to solve your current LoL problems are armor, Malphite, Nocturne and Gragas. Oh, and a way to increase your elo without having to solo que.

I can’t help you with that last one, but hopefully these other tips are as useful for you as they have been for me. Let me know how it goes, and good hunting!

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