Let’s talk about Mordekaiser

In a time where the League of Legends community is waiting for the Urgot’s rework, I found myself thinking about another underplayed (maybe not, if you are playing in BR, hue) Champion that I used and I will always love: Mordekaiser, the Master of Metal. As today (08/02/2015), it is not in a really bad shape (see LoLKing.net):

lk-mordekaiser

With 49-50% win rate I would say he is fine. Low popularity and low ban rate simply means Mordekaiser is not a favorable pick and he is not seen as a threat of some sort. The first question is: is Mordekaiser balanced? I would say yes: he is not overpowered nor a guarantee loss, you can play him and wreak havoc like with every other Champion. The problem Mordekaiser has lies on his concept: while at least Urgot has a kit and mechanics that are overall creative and good but simply fails to be effective in the game, Mordekaiser is just outdated. It is an old Champion with clear strengths and easy to exploit weaknesses. Maybe is fun to play, but being fun is not the same as being competitive: you should be fun and competitive. And competitive means worth picking, maybe worth banning sometimes. Means making the players remember that there is a Champion named Mordekaiser, and you shouldn’t fuck with him.

What Mordekaiser just need to achieve that is a kit rework while preserving his creative idea. I don’t expect to see my beloved Master of Metal picked in the LCS (at least the pros aren’t picking him to troll the audience, like they do with Urgot or Teemo), but reaching a point where it could be even just a niche pick worth a mention would be fine.

All ability icons are from the League of Legends Wikia. It is worth to mention the fact that we are here just for ideas and concepts, and the numbers may not be really accurate or balanced.

lw-mordekaiser-P Passive: Iron ManMordekaiser is protected by a metal shield equal to 15% of his Maximum Health. The shield regenerates by 3% every second after 5 second of not being damaged by an enemy Champion or Monster.

When Mordekaiser damages an enemy with one of his abilities, 35% of the total damage dealt is converted into the shield.

Context: the actual Mordekaiser’s passive forces him to play aggressively and pushing his lane to keep the shield up. As an immobile fighter/mage, this puts him in dangerous situations he can overcome only if he is clearly stronger than his enemies. This new passive, instead, removes the decay over time of the shield, makes him scales with Mordekaiser’s Maximum Health (providing interesting itemizations) and so gives a way to play around his lack of mobility: solid protection against harrass and soak up damage during the initiation of a teamfight. They key during the early lane phase is to manage the shield, while Mordekaiser’s enemy must be able to perform a good harrass to make this difficult. Think about Malphite’s passive, except that Malphite has his shield instantly while Mordekaiser has some control over it and can manage to keep it up during a fight.

Q: Mace of SpadesCosts: 3% of Current Health.

Cooldown: 8/7/6/5/4 seconds.

Mordekaiser’s next autoattack in the next 6 seconds gains 425 range and 80/110/140/170/200 (+1.0 AD) (+0.4 AP) bonus magic damage. Enemies in the path between Mordekaiser and his target are struck with an echoing force that deals 40% of the total damage as magic damage.

The enhanced autoattack deals 40% increased damage if it strikes only the main target.

Context: this is just a minor change of the original Mordekaiser’s Q ability. Flat Health cost is changed to a percentage of the Current Health. Base and bonus damage and cooldown remain the same. The real point here is the way this ability now act: instead of striking a target in melee and have your autoattack “echoes” to surrounding target, it now increases the range of your next autoattack so you can “poke” your enemy and you have a better control of your “echoes”. The bonus damage against isolated target is lowered to 40% from 65% because with those changes it is easier to proc it (before you just need minions around you or even behind you to trigger an “echo”, now you just need to not have any additional target between you and your main target). Visually, it could appear like a Malphite’s Q that starts from Mordekaiser and ramps up until it reaches its target.

W: Creeping DeathCosts: 5% of Current Health.

Cooldown: 24/22/20/18/16 seconds.

Passive: Mordekaiser gains 5%/10%/15%/20%/25% crowd-control reduction while his shield is active (stacks with Tenacity).

Active: instantly restores Mordekaiser’s shield to full and surrounds him with a cloud of metal shards for 6 seconds. Enemies caught in the cloud suffers 25/38/52/66/80 (+0.4 AP) damage each second and are slowed by 15%. The cloud has 250 range radius.

If this ability is used on an allied Champion, Mordekaiser transfers the cloud, his shield and this ability’s passive to him for the duration of the cloud. Mordekaiser can still build up the shield for his ally by dealing damage.

At the end of the cloud, all remaining shield is lost.

Context: this is my idea for giving both a way to handle Mordekaiser’s lack of mobility and utility. What I created is a “panic button” Mordekaiser can use to have a burst of survivability to endure a fight or simply try to walk back to safety. In addition, he can basically give his entire shield to an ally for maximum peeling. However, he can’t cast this ability on a minion anymore and at the end of the effect the entire shield is lost (means you trade a burst of toughness in exchange of being weak when it ends). In addition, the cooldown is sightly increased.

E: Syphon of DestructionCosts: 4% of Current Health.

Cooldown: 10/9/8/7/6 seconds.

Mordekaiser pulls his mace over his shoulders and charges a powerful smash, striking every enemy in a 700 radius cone dealing 50/95/140/185/230 (+0.4 AD) (+0.6 AP) magic damage.

If Mordekaiser charges this ability for more than 3 seconds, the cone radius is increased by 1200, the damage is increased by 30% and all enemies struck are knocked up briefly (approx. for 0.2 seconds).

Mordekaiser can move while charging his mace but he will be slowed by 15%.

Context: pratically a combination of Sion’s Q and Vi’s Q that gives Mordekaiser more choices and a bit more utility, in addition of being more enjoyable to play. The knock-up is mean to be just like a mini-snare that stops the enemy briefly. On top of that, the cooldown scales with the ability’s level and the base damage was lowered because the new AD rateo, that encourages an already present hybrid itemization (see Q).

R: Children of the GraveCooldown: 120/105/90 seconds.

Mordekaiser curses an enemy Champion within 850 range, dealing 100/150/200 (+0.4 AP) + 10%/15%/20% (+4%/100 AP) of the target’s Maximum Health as a magic damage over 10 seconds.

Mordekaiser is healed for the 40% of the damage dealt by this ability.

If the cursed target moves more than 850 range away from Mordekaiser, it will be slowed by 30%. A line appears connecting Mordekaiser to the cursed target, giving a visual help (white: ok, yellow: careful, red: more than 850 range away).

If the target dies while being cursed, it becomes a ghost under Mordekaiser’s control for 30 seconds with a 1125 range leash. The ghost is fully healed when it spawns. While the ghost lives, Mordekaiser gains 15% of his Maximum Health, Attack Damage, Ability Power, Armor and Magic Resist (calculated at the time the original target died). The ghost can’t use abilities or items, but his autoattacks can apply on-hit effects provided by the items the original target had at the time he died. The ghost’s autoattacks deals magic damage and 25% less damage overall.

Using a Quicksilver Sash, Mikael’s Crucible or the Cleanse Summoner’s Spell removes the tethering snare and the damage, but not the curse debuff.

Context: Mordekaiser’s signature move is here to stay, it would be a crime to change that. But it is now improved: the initial damage has been removed in exchange of a flat damage plus a percentage damage that helps against squishy targets. In addition, there is the dreadful presence of the tethering snare: Mordekaiser wants you to be his pet, you won’t just turn your back and run away. The rest of the ability is sanitized and simplified, removing a lot of fluff and made easier to understand. And yes, you can QSS the whole thing except for the curse debuff, so at least the entire ability is not destroyed by a single item.