Ladies and gentleman, it’s time to panic.
Teemo, the undisputed king of troll champions in League of Legends thanks to his infuriating poison attacks that’ve caused many a painful and infuriating death for his opponents, is getting a few adjustments that are expected to make the cute and deadly creature more powerful in a few key ways.
The changes to Teemo, who’s often referred to as “Satan” (or something along those lines) by seasoned fans, are only available in League’s public beta so far, meaning they’re still subject to change before they go live for the vast majority of the game’s tens of millions of players. The League of Legends-focused site Surrender at 20 already took a look at them, and it looks like the biggest thing the buffs does is boost Teemo’s mobility as well as his potential to execute more sophisticated types of attacks than the ones he can right now.
First, there are some changes to his passive stealth ability, which makes him go invisible whenever he’s out of combat for more than a few seconds. It’s a big part of what makes him an insufferable terror to go against—particularly for less skilled or experienced players who are still getting their feet on the ground in League. The new buffs make it so Teemo goes into his invisible mode slightly faster. When invisible, he’ll now also move faster when hiding in one of the many brushes that pepper the landscape in League’s main map. And, finally, he’ll do extra damage when coming out of stealth. These combine to give the furry monster more power to ambush his opponents. From Surrender at 20:
If Teemo stands still for 1.5 seconds, he becomes stealthed.
While in brush: Teemo sets up his camouflage twice as fast and can move around without breaking his stealth.
Upon breaking camouflage by attacking or moving, Teemo gains the Element of Surprise, increasing his attack speed by (10 + [5 per level])% for 3 seconds.”
[NEW EFFECT] Teemo camouflage’s twice as fast in brush & can move in brush without breaking his stealth
Time to stealth Stealth reduced to 1.5 seconds from 2 seconds.
Attack Speed bonus changed to (10 + [5 x level])% from 40%.
Along with his new stealth upgrades, Teemo’s infamous poisonous mushroom landmine trap has also been tweaked slightly. He’ll now be able to bounce mushrooms off one another when laying them—giving him a chance to assemble more elaborate traps on the fly, or shoot a mushroom towards an opponent from a distance like so:
And they have increased casting range:
You can see more examples of the new mushroom in this Surrender at 20 preview:
Adding some extra utility to an already insanity-inducing ability might sound like crazy talk. But it’s important to note that the poison mushrooms are actually getting nerfed in a few key ways along with this change. Mushrooms now only last five minutes instead of ten, and they take 1.5 seconds to activate once placed on the ground instead of 1 second. Opponents can also kill the mushrooms more quickly than they could before.
A League developer who worked on the Teemo changes chimed in on the game’s message boards to explain the tweaks, saying that they were made to simultaneously reduce some of the frustration of playing against him while also adding more of an element of skill to playing as him:
I had a few specific goals for these changes:
1) Reduce some of the ambient frustration Teemo causes by just having immortal shrooms.
2) Give this little devil some more skillful ways to express himself as the evil that haunts all of us in our dreams.
3) Give Teemo some sort of fall back team-fight pattern that doesn’t just involve right clicking dudes in range so he can feel more useful when his team isn’t on the same page as him in terms of baiting enemies into mine fields.
The interesting thing about Teemo is that, despite his reputation for being an awful troll pick of a champion, he’s not actually all that viable in League of Legends’ current meta-game. He’s rarely banned from ranked matches—particularly high-level ones—meaning that he’s not exactly a hotly contested pick for people who are serious about playing to win. And he has little to no presence in the game’s professional scene right now. Buffs could be a much-needed improvement to add some dynamism to the monster’s kit, then.
Whether or not the League of Legends community will accept the fact that Riot’s given its resident force for pure evil is another story, however.
Lead image via Riot Games