Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's wrong with Sivir?

Well some people would tell you nothing. Her win rate is 48.54% when writing this. This is higher than other popular champions such as: Shen, Tristana, Elise, Jayce, Lulu, and Nunu. She is great at pushing and chasing, has a ton of early game burst damage, and "she has no counters in bot lane" - Luscious Lenny, an avid Sivir player with over 1000 ranked games as Sivir this season. So why don't more people play her?

I've been playing her quite a bit lately and I decided to look into it. I did some research on the forums and interviewed a couple Sivir players to see what they thought.

"Compare Sivir to Varus + Ashe. Not as strong in the utility category. Compare her to Lucian or Corki. Not as much damage. Compare her to Cait or Ez. Not as strong poke. She doesn't do anything better than other ADCs." - KingDempz. She's known for her pushing ability, but even then split pushing isn't usually the best choice. She pushes so hard but she isn't the best duelist nor does she have a reliable escape to help her out of the tricky situations she inevitably gets in. So why can't she do anything better than other AD Carries? Well the problem is she really has no specialty. She is best known for pushing as I said, but she also has great early game burst, a strong 1v1 ability in her spell shield, and a lot of team utility from her ultimate. She has so much power in those areas that this requires her to have other problems like very short range (the shortest of the AD Carries), high mana costs, and no escape in order to be balanced. This leads to a champion that feels clunky and not intuitive to play, as her kit isn't cohesive.

Tentative Sivir Visual Update
So what if we gave her a rework? What would people like to see? Here were some frequent requests:
  • Longer range
  • Lower mana costs
  • Make Ricochet a toggle ability like it used to be or have some other interesting effect
  • Change her ultimate somehow - or just remove it entirely
  • Many people want a better escape besides her ultimate, but others don't want to change her spell shield because it's iconic
  • Different effect on successful spell shield
  • People like that she is a pusher and burst carry and want to maintain that

Keeping the above in mind, here is my proposal:

She really needs an identity as a pusher, poker, utility, or burst ADC. I think she's closest to a pusher or burst right now so to maintain her feel we should emphasize those concepts. I also LOVE her movement speed theme and want this to be even more pronounced.

Tons of people want increased range, as it's currently the lowest of all AD Carries at 500. Her short range fits her well in lane because she is an aggressive in your face type of champion. It's just not very forgiving for running away or for team fights. 525 range would be great for her as it is just a little bit more to make her not quite so risky, without giving her too much poke power.

Passive - Fleet of Foot "Sivir gains 10 movement speed for 2 seconds when she hits an enemy champion with her abilities or basic attacks. This effect can stack up to 10 times to a cap of 100 bonus movement speed. Sivir's multi-target spells can add multiple stacks." With this change, in the early game Sivir wouldn't get as much movement speed from her passive so her chasing power would be reduced, but as her attack speed increased with items and her ultimate, late game she would be able to kite better in team fights. This would balance her out a little by making her easier to use in team fights by trading in some of her early game power.

Q - Boomerang Blade is a great spell and loved among the community. I think it should be left alone as I like it exactly the way it is. The mana cost could be reduced though, and this might be possible due to other changes I list below. If the damage on her Q has to be reduced to allow lower mana costs though, then I don't think it's worth it. Personally, I love her high risk-high reward play, and having the insane damage on her Q is a part of that I wouldn't want to give up.

W - Ricochet should be kept as is. It's a good iconic spell that keeps her identity as a pusher. Many people want the toggle back, but I feel she already is a great pusher, and if you give her the toggle just for more power in team fights it seems like she would be too powerful. AD Carries are meant to do single target damage and focus one champion. A few of them like Miss Fortune can do damage to the whole team but it's only for a short time and it's very conditional. Making Sivir's W bounce to the whole enemy team 100% of the time would pretty much make her an AOE champion like a Mage and she would need to be balanced around that. Honestly, it seems like she still is balanced around the idea that she is an AOE champion, which would explain her very short range, high mana costs, and poor late game scaling, just like a Mage. So, if we revert her back to the AOE monster she was, we can't solve her other problems because she needed some liabilities to have all that AOE power.

E - Spell Shield should have a different effect than returned mana. It doesn't make sense on the character. I think on a successful spell block it should give her a large amount of bonus move speed for a very short time (maybe 50% increase for 2 seconds), which would stack on top of her passive. This would be like giving her a dash or other escape that a pushing champion should have. Many people wish she had a better escape, but many people also don't want to change her spell shield because it is an integral part of Sivir, so I think this could satisfy both sides. Also if you take away the mana boost from her spell shield, then you can reduce mana costs on the rest of her kit because she no longer needs to be balanced with that in mind.

R - On the Hunt should have the team effect removed. In the lore, Sivir is meant to be a mercenary, so she shouldn't be helping out her team. From a gameplay perspective, the team utility is taking too much from her personal kit making her weak. New effect: Bonus movement speed and attack speed granted for Sivir based on the number of enemy champions nearby -the fewer there are the more you get. This gives her more of an "On the Hunt" feel when chasing down prey 1v1. This fits better for a pushing champion as she will be able to duel people better, or run away easier if necessary, like Quinn or Vayne could. By making this big change to her kit, her ultimate becomes much less impactful on the game, which will allow her numbers to get tweaked in places she needs it such as base stats, auto attack range, and mana costs.

I realize some people won't like removing the team buff on her ultimate, but in order to give her other things she needs, we have to remove some things. She is already a pusher/burst/utility champion and this is just too many things at once. She can't be good at everything, so if we remove the utility aspect of Sivir, we can solidify her identity as a pusher by giving her improved mobility and dueling skills, while still maintaining some of her early game burst damage.

I love playing Sivir in her current state and would be a little sad to change anything about her, but I think she needs more than a visual update to truly be loved by the community again. Maybe my suggestions won't make her perfect. But it's a start.

Below are the forum threads where I did my research:
LoL Champion Feedback - To Sivir Fans
LoL General Discussion - To Sivir Fans
LoL Guides & Strategy - To Sivir Fans

Reign of Gaming - Let's Talk Sivir
Reign of Gaming - Why is Sivir bad?
LoL Champion Feedback - Sivir changes I would like to see
LoL Champion Feedback - Sivir to become viable again
LoL General Discussion - What could be done about Sivir?
LoL General Discussion - A serious request regarding Sivir. @Morello pls.
LoL General Discussion - About Sivir....(Visual Upgrade and some Move Changes)

No comments: