Rengar Counter Pick Topic For Essay #Intro Thank you guys for reading this post, this is my first, and probably my last rant post. I've been meaning to talk about this for a long time, but I've kept this quiet for now because I felt like Rengar hasn't been fairing too bad since his rework, but now that I played him again for the first time in two months, I felt like I had to make this post. Rengar has always been an impossible to balance champion, in fact Rengar's history has been a cycle of Nerfed, Left in the trash, Reworked, Nerfed, Left in the trash, Reworked. Around the end of Season 6, Rengar was essentially in the "trash" phase, where he was finally done being nerfed. But unlike other times, he felt actually somewhat balanced. He was difficult to play yet still viable, and still fun. It was around this time where I got really into Rengar, he was such an enjoyable champion to play due to his high skill cap revolving his combo and his ferocity mechanics, and it was super enjoyable just to instant kill squishies. But at the same time, I could see the problems with his design. I doubt any of the squishies I popped enjoyed disappearing faster than an 0/8 Yasuo main in a teamfight. Rengar was also way too similiar to K6, to the point where you would always pick the one which was better than the other. On top of that, his ultimate had big health problems. In low elo, where no one bought pink wards to counter it, it was insanely powerful. But in high elo, this ability got countered super easily and Rengar suffers because of it. So I was certainly excited when they announced they were going to rework Rengar. While some of riot's past reworked didn't come out too well, some of my favorite champions, including my main GP, came from reworks. I am also a fairly optimistic person, so I hoped for the best. When I read his rework, I continued to be optimistic. The ultimate looked cool, and I was sure that the clunky Q animation was just something I had to get used to. When the changes hit live, my opinion of him started to develop, but it was blurred. Rengar on release was really broken, and continued to be nerfed over and over. And as he was nerfed, the problems with him started to get more and more apparent until his most recent nerf where every problem with Rengar appeared to me in an instant. So instead of boring you with this premise, I'd get to talking about the problems with him. #LUL COUNTERPLAY When discussing Rengar on the boards, one of the most common complaints that comes up is that old Rengar lacked any meaningful counterplay and that new Rengar feels much better to face. This just simply isn't true. Sure, Rengar's Q can actually be dodged now, and is slower than the old one. But that doesn't matter when his jump gives him a guaranteed crit that also stacks with IE. A full assassin Rengar can kill an adc with his crit, and then just 1 Q. Not to mention that his Q is now AOE which allows him to kill squishies at once. I would also like to argue that his new Q doesn't actually have any new counterplay attached to it. Sure it is a skillshot now, but it is only useable at melee range, and fairly fast. One of the main points of skillshots is that they can be sidestepped and dodged. But you really cannot sidestep a skillshot at point blank range in half a second. The only way that this ability can fail is if a champion dashes away, flashes, or if the Rengar simply misses it because he is not used to the spell yet. For the first two cases, you could still flash away from the old Q in a fight just fine, and all that needed to be added was the ability to flash his passive jumps like how you can flash a fizz Q. For the last point, a competent Rengar is likely to land nearly all of his Q's, while a new Rengar player is going to miss alot. This leads to Rengar being much more consistent in higher elos (something which I'll discuss in detail later). So what else did Rengar get for counterplay? His Ultimate changes. I personally feel like the ultimate changes do add some level of counterplay, but the problem is that the counterplay has to do with macro and not micro, so most low elo players won't understand how to play against his ultimate, which leaves them frustrated. Not to mention that if you are alone farming a side lane, then this ultimate is way more powerful than the old one. Although the act of being alone and farming vs a Rengar is a mistake in itself, lower ranked players don't understand this and they get frustrated when they see that they could have done nothing when in reality they could have. While these seem like more minor problems, just git gud and counter it, there is a really huge problem with this ultimate that does not have to do with counterplay that I will discuss later. #I AIN'T GOT NO SATISFACTION Playing against Rengar has always been frustrating, but at least he felt fun to play as. Not anymore. When you played old Rengar, there was a level of enjoyment to be had when you executed your combo perfectly and the target ended up dying instantly. It was fun because it was difficult, and it didn't always happen. Out of every ten old Rengar games that I played, I maybe got the perfect oneshot twice, and if I did, they'd both be in the same game. Getting the oneshot to happen was a goal in itself, and a fun one to achieve at that. When you play new Rengar, however, it becomes an entirely different story. His oneshots now boil down to jumping on a target and hitting all of your buttons. Sure, your target will be dead, but getting oneshots is so much easier now, that his gameplay just suffers from it. Every kill feels the same, get to your carry and unload and they will be dead. With old Rengar, it felt interesting, like a hunt. Riot justified his new Q by saying that the old Q had too much animation canceling and when he comboed a person, they wouldn't understand what was happening. I would like to counter that argument with one champion. A toplane bully who's name starts with and R and has insane burst damage and animation cancels. That champion is Ri... nah, its Renekton. If you've ever played against a Renekton, you would know that when he fights you, his combos are all about animation cancels. And if you saw his combos, you'd be right. In a standard Renekton combo, you will use an auto attack in between every ability, and every auto attack will have its animation cancelled by an ability. Despite his excessive animation cancels, he is still considered a fairly healthy and balanced champion. Of course, Renekton and Rengar are different champions, and Rengar's problem is different than Renekton, but the point is removing animation cancels is not a valid reason to replace his Q with a new Q, that still lacks true counterplay. I haven't even talked why I his new Q is unsatisfying, but there really doesn't need to be any explanation. Just look at the animation of the two Q's, and the sound that they make. Old Q looked like a feral attack, something savage that a feral hunter like Rengar would use. The sound of it was the sound of a quick thrust, with an immensely satisfying roar that came from Rengar almost every time he used this ability. You could really feel the power in this spell, and it was so fun to use. New Q, on the other hand, just looks wrong. When have you ever seen someone in a movie, video game, or anywhere else, strike the way that Rengar strikes when he uses his new Q? The answer is never, because his Q is an odd looking spell that looks more like something that only exists because of some weird numbers and calculations that riot came up with to try and make his Q balanced (overloaded). Not even the sound it makes is satisfying. It sounds like someone who doesn't know how to use a knife (or sharp claw hand?) is wildy swinging blades around and cutting the air, which is actually not very inaccurate, but still unsatisfying. #Q: Overloaded This is an interesting point to make, but I believe its true. What was Rengar's old Q? An auto attack reset that gave attack speed if empowered. That's it. There wasn't any special gimmicks or things about this spell, and it didn't need to have them. He already had the ferocity mechanic, bonetooth necklace, and his brush hop. What about his new Q? Well its a semi auto attack reset, and AOE damage spell, a spell that hits two times (might not seem like much, but when TLD and BC are a part of the game, double hitting spells are really valuable), and a spell that can cause a miniature dash. It also used to deal more damage than the old Q. While that doesn't seem like much, think about the fact that they added all this to the spell with almost no downsides other than the fact that it is very slightly slower (which is offset because of the extra damage it deals, you need less Q's to kill a target now), and you can miss it (but not dodge it.). Essentially, this spell is just his old Q, with a worse animation, and a shitload more shit attached to it. Of course, riot has to nerf this ability to hell, by nerfing the dash and the damage to the point where his level 1 Q now deals less damage than an auto attack. Of course it scales better later on but the point still stands that there's too much going on in this ability and Rengar does not lose much in his kit for it. #Bonetooth: Another win for my collection! This is a part of Rengar's kit that has always been a problem since conception, and I'm surprised Riot hasn't straight up removed it. Before, it used to give utility effects. Some of them were really necessary, like bonus jump range, while other were barely noticable, like 2 out of combat move-speed. With the new rework, all of the bonetooth effects that were useful were put onto Rengar's kit, and instead he got a new necklace that gives him free damage on every kill. On paper, this sounds like a great idea, but in practice, it really isn't that great design wise. I like the more active way that this passive works now. You actually have to think about who you want to kill instead of camping the same lane over and over for free stacks. But at the same time, bonetooth still has the same feast or famine effects as always. I'm going to go over the problems with this passive very quickly. Basically Rengar loses damage in his kit to make up for this passive which gives free AD. However the AD is locked unless you get a kill. Once you get a kill, it becomes easier to stack the rest of the passive since Rengar is one of the few champion who actually gains more gold than usual when he kills a target, in the form of free AD. This causes a huge feast or famine where Rengar gets a few early kills and begins to snowball incredibly hard, harder than before, or fails his ganks and falls behind early, become more and more useless as time goes by. Despite the power that this passive brings, you really do not feel its effects in game. The extra AD is essentially invisible power, which is considered toxic design by Riot's philosophies. Of course, a more active reward for this passive would cause a problem too, since it would be bad for playing to have to learn and begin to play around new mechanics when Rengar begins to get kills, which is why I'd advocate to have this passive removed. It is good thematically, but it simply does not work in game. #W: The spell that counters itself Rengar's non-empowered W is a dumb ability that does not fit at all in Rengar's kit. It is a spell that heals you depending on how much damage you've taken in the last couple of seconds. This ability promotes you waiting to use this spell at the last second to get the maximum effect out of it. But Rengar, especially new Rengar, is best when you dump all of your spells out instantly, so you can get those ferocity stacks and get to your empowered spell. Therefore, this spell is essentially useless on a standard assassin Rengar in anywhere outside of extended fights (which Rengar isn't designed to do) or clearing. While the old W was hidden power, at least it synergized with Rengar's kit and helped him survive fights without dying instantly. Empowered W is a whole other story. It's fun to use to get away, and a good reward for getting onto your oppenent and killing them since the new R makes it much more difficult. I personally like this spell but I can see the problems with it. It is incredibly frustrating to play against this spell where Rengar instantly kills your ADC, and you hit your cc spell, say a Morgana Q, but he just runs out scott free with the movespeed and cc cleanse he gets with his empowered W. In skirmish scenarios, this ability can be annoying, but I still think that this a fun ability. #LC$BIGNONPLAYS With the Rework, Rengar has seen massive play in the LCS. Even with all the nerfs and changes, he's still a powerful and contested pick. Why? Well it has to do with his ultimate. The new ultimate is an incredible tool in LCS, simply because of how effective it is at zoning. It is essentially a 12-20 second DO NOT FIGHT MY TEAM button that forces the enemies to play defensive while your team gets free baron or drake. An ability like this is incredibly powerful in professional play, but the 99% can't use this ability like this at all. This means that Rengar starts to become the next Ryze or Kalista. Nerfed for everyone because of his abuse by the 1%. He ends up being balanced for LCS, but terrible for anywhere else. #Bruiser Rengar: The Last Straw I've written this entire rant with the focus being on assassin Rengar, since this rework was part of the assassin update, and Riot themselves said that he was going to be assassin. But that ended up not being the case. Instead with his rework he became an incredibly powerful bruiser. Infact, you'd think that his kit was designed with being a bruiser in mind. His Q synergizes extremely well with Black Cleaver, his W effect is much better in a bruiser who wants to stay in the fight and deal damage, than an assassin who wants to blow up a target instantly but die immediately afterwards (or escape if you play it well), and his bonetooth makes up for the AD you lose from building tanky. His Q is also really good in sustained damage. Sure you lose the burst from building damage but you can constantly Q people as a bruiser, dealing good damage. Even still, you used to be able to oneshot as a bruiser, before he was ~~raped by the nerf dildo~~ beat with the nerf hammer. The biggest sin with this, is that this a massive change in playstyle that 1. Riot has not made any attempt to nerf this playstyle specifically. 2. Riot had promised Rengar players that he would continue to be an assassin after the rework. If Riot had said that he was going to be a bruiser now, it would be more acceptable, but the fact that they **LIED** about this, and then ignored all of the feedback from Rengar players after the rework, and then left him in such a trash state is honestly the biggest sin that this company has ever done towards me, an ex-Rengar player. That's why I call him the new Malz. He was nerfed so hard that the only way to play him is as a completely different role, on top of making his kit feel less satisfying and still not fix some of the main problems that he had. #Other Oddities When Rengar was reworked, they dropped all of his quotes when they stacked bonetooth, even though he still had the ability to stack bonetooth. Why they were removed, no one knows. They should come back. His E was given a cast time, because he used to be able to instantly root you due to how ferocity worked. Because you can no longer hold ferocity, his cast time should be removed on this spell because he can no longer instant root you. #Conclusion To conclude, Riot reworked Rengar in an attempt to make him healthier and more easily balanced, but ended up making him even less balanced, and less fun than before. He feels bad to play against, he feels bad to play as, and it feels bad to be forced to build him tank. What Riot does next is what matters. I doubt that they want to keep him in such a shit spot. They'll likely try to continue changing and tweaking him until either they leave him alone, rework him again, or simply revert him. I was just extremely disappointed with Riot after this rework, and how they handled the aftermath of it, that I felt like I needed to write this. #TL;DR rengo sux new malz rito plz fix Edit: Reformatted some paragraphs.

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