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):
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kit and mechanics that are overall creative and good but simply fails to be effective in the game, Mordekaiser is just outdated.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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.