In one of our previous League of Legends Champion Spotlights, we wrote about how excited we were for Syndra, the AP Champion with a high skill-cap and tremendously cool telekinetic playstyle that looked like she was going to be the sick nasty version of Orianna and Morgana combined-- unfortunately, we were wrong: she was tremendously underpowered, and in serious need of a buff.
Then, we ranted about how disappointed we were with her kit. And if you don't want to read through that piece of fanboy moaning (although we think it's a particularly eloquent moan), here are the take-home points: even though the animation of her picking up minions and throwing them is so unbelievably cool, it also makes her upsettingly predictable. In other words, when you see her picking up something, she's readying a slow. So back off for six seconds, and the ability will go back on cooldown.
Her combos are also high setup, low pay-off. If you can get your orbs out, then line yourself up to launch it, then congratulations: you've just pulled off a one-second stun that others get to do by pointing and clicking. And it only cost you two abilities, including one best suited for your escapes. Oh, and that stun? It's a second long.
If your face isn't in your palm right now, you have some serious resolve.
Also, her Q and her R. I really can't with this one. Her Q powers her R, but you need 20% Cooldown Reduction to get it to its maximum power. I don't like it when champions need extra items to boost what should come to them organically, and what does come organically to other champions.
Between all of that, and her low AP Ratio scaling, she can't do much of anything except look really cool, so there's really no reason to play her right now except to look really cool.
Though we say that like it's not something that's on players' minds, the ubiquity of vanity skins says otherwise. (I have one for my Arcade Sona, so I would know). So consider Syndra a skin for Morgana that also debuffs her to smithereens.
Fortunately for players who really want to like her, our prayers have been answered. Syndra is getting a buff!
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On the League of Legends Message Board, Riot Representative Phreak made it known he was listening to fans. For the uninitiated, Phreak is the dude in all the League of Legends Champion Spotlight videos who thinks everyone should jungle.
Check out his insight into how he intended Syndra to be played:
Now check out what he has to say now that he's been flamed by just about everyone ever:
She's a long-range mage. Saying, "Actually bro, the best way to maximize your damage is to walk into melee range" doesn't make sense for this champion. Compare to someone like Morgana who has a lot of long-range gameplay, but supports her close range ultimate with Black Shield.
That said, we do recognize that Syndra is weak and we plan to buff her.
Edit: I misunderstood what you meant with the orbs, I think.
This was in response to someone who said that the best way to do damage with Syndra was to get her into melee range, to which Phreak patronizingly objected.
It's a fine objection, but it ignores the criticism. Syndra's ultimate range is so absurdly small that she has to go incredibly close to her target to nuke hir, almost so much that she's in melee range. For a squishy AP carry, that's simply piss-poor design. And because Syndra's so gosh-darn weak with her burst damage, it means that she's basically just kamikaze-ing for no damn reason.
So Riot, you have plenty of choices for your buffs. Choose at least two from this list, but we'd be happy with all:
-Make it so Syndra's passives are just active on her at all times, even without the ranked abilities, then give her a different passive. It doesn't make sense that everything should kick in at Level 18, when Syndra is at her absolute most useless.
-Give her higher AP ratios.
-Have her stun last for much longer, considering how easy it is to screw up.
-Reduce her Q cooldown so you can get three spheres out without extra CDR. If you can find a way to do this that's similar to Draven's Q-mechanical, that'd be wonderful. Maybe throwing one of her spheres instead of one of her minions could refresh cooldown on the Q, as well as refresh the life of the sphere.
-Increase the range of her ultimate.
-Totally optional: What if your teammates were the only ones who'd be able to see Syndra holding a creep/sphere with her telekinesis? That would mitigate her predictability while still giving her the cool factor that you bought her for.
Again, any two from those five (or even all five, if you're feeling sinister and generous) would do the trick.
I'm sure you all agree.