This new design has raised even more eyebrows with the reveal of his abilities, too. He has a host of unique mechanics which have generated doubt across the community, which the developers have sought to clarify.
Here are the seven greatest doubts that the League community has about Akshan, answered by his creators. .
How is Akshan different from Tristana and Lucian?
Marksmen in the midlane have become a trend over the past few years, with Tristana and Lucian common picks in both competitive and ranked matches.
However, these champions had a few negative effects on the game. Due to this, the goal with Akshan was to "mitigate the areas in which marksmen played in solo lanes were most frustrating".
To answer this, some strength has been moved to his ability to roam around the map, making him less oppressive in lane. In addition, low base damage means Akshan isn't particularly strong in the opening minutes of the game.
Is Akshan really a marksman?
Although Akshan falls within the realm of marksmen, the truth is that Riot Games wanted to be a little more ambiguous when it comes to his true power.
In fact, the champion is more of a hybrid of a marksman and an assassin. This means he needs to gain the advantage if he really wants to shine in-game.
Through his three-hit passive, we expect that he's capable of dealing huge amounts of damage in trades. However, the passive is far from that of Vayne's W passive, for example, and Riot assures us that is, in fact, the case.
If we compare him with other assassins, they exert a large amount of DPS, but lack sustained damage. This is where the assassin part comes in, as a lot of his damage is more burst.
How does Akshan's revive mechanic work?
One of the most questioned parts of his kit has been his ability to revive allies. Riot have moved swiftly to reduce concern by ensuring that the mechanic only works against enemies that Akshan has recently damaged, in a similar way to Rengar's passive.
It will not be enough for the champion to simply get an assist, but he will have to actively participate in the final seconds of the kill.
As for the problems this mechanic can cause, Riot stated that it had satisfactory results in the testing phase, but that they will be also watching how it works in live games.
However, they say that they were not willing to remove the ability just because of theoretical worst case scenarios, and that it was worth taking this risk.
How does Akshan's hook work?
Another of Akshan's unique abilities is his grappling hook. Although it was initially designed for Camille, Riot weren't able to introduce it until now. There has been some concern about the movement capabilities the champion can gain through the hook, but in reality it isn't as big a problem as it seems.
When using E (Heroic Swing), Akshan is still exposed to enemies, and the ability is interrupted the moment he collides with an enemy. This means Akshan won't be able to escape from characters with the ability jump to him, such as Lee Sin or Rengar.
It is useful, but not a lifeline we can always use.
Why does Akshan have such an overloaded passive?
Akshan's design was based on eliminating the frustration of Lucian and Tristana in the midlane. However, it's the design of these two marksmen that has allowed them to shine in the midlane, by abusing damage output and being safe into a variety of matchups.
Akshan needed tools to be able to respond to these kinds of rivals in lane -- the bonus damage from the 3-hit passive is a Riot staple, but the shield meets other needs.
This comes from Viktor's Q (Power Transfer). With this little extra defensive tool, Akshan can compensate for his lack of strength and carry out trades without the need for strong base stats.
This will make players more interactive with their opponents, without being too oppressive.
How was Akshan played in the test phases?
Although it is still too early to draw conclusions about Akshan and whether he's 'broken', the dev team has revealed that during the testing phase there was a clear trend.
This is Press the Attack being the main keystone rune, and then the use of a variety of marksman items. Galeforce is a key item, but both Kraken Slayer and Immortal Shieldbow were prominent also.
However, testing was somewhat limited, and Akshan could easily swing in other directions while on the PBE. Riot has already explained that in a single day on the live server, more games are played than in all the previous test phases.
How are Akshan's base stats compared to other champions?
Akshan is a bit behind the curve compared to other marksmen when it comes to stats. He has only 500 range, along with Lucian, Sivir, and Samira. However, he has a movement speed of 330, which is slightly higher than most marksmen.
He has lower health than Tristana and Lucian, and a base damage of just 50 -- which is also much lower than others in his role. As a reward, he scales much better.
Basically, he has a weaker early game, where he won't be oppressive in solo lanes like other marksmen, and then a lot stronger as he moves into the late game. With his roaming potential and the variety in his abilities, his strength doesn't just come from stats.
In general terms, we can expect a launch with somewhat disappointing results in terms of winrate, that gradually increase to balance out at around 50%.
It's a decision that has become a hallmark of champion design in League.The philosophy seems to have changed to one where a champion is released underpowered and then buffed, rather than overpowered and later nerfed.
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