League of Legends

A Rioter’s personal stance on the state of marksmen

LeagueofLegends7 - A Rioter's personal stance on the state of marksmen

Found this comment by Captain Gamplay aka /u/GreaterBelugaWhale while lurking at r/katarinamains

I'm going to heavily caveat this with "this is just my opinion".

Marksmen are systemically overpowered. That's gonna be true of a role that is functionally mandatory to the game. Yes there are some cheese counters – but they are seen as cheese. If they were actual accepted counters to them, we would see pros adapt rather then literally bench themselves and wait out until we make their role OP again (looking at you Rekkles). And there are also really good reasons that we keep them overpowered. They create a very understandable game-flow for all players with inevitability (they will win the game if not dealt with).

That said, Marksmen have low agency. Agency is a measure of how impactful their own actions are at determining their success – and I strongly suspect this is what marksmen actually complain about. They got this weird conception that they are supposed to be carries (adc lul) – but that's literally the opposite of what they are. The more reliable your output is (repeatable ranged unmissable dps), the less agency you can have. Really you can view every ability as a way to buy agency – and the more unreliable (missable/dodgeable/high cost/difficult to position/long CD) your ability is the more agency it can buy. And since Marksmen put the majority of their power budget in a very reliable ability (AAs), they can buy the least agency. Imagine how miserable a fight would be if Marksmen had the most agency. You can't outplay an AA, you can't wait for it to be on CD or dodge it, and therefore the Autoattacker also can't outplay with that AA. Anything you tried to do to stop this, the marksmen would negate because they have higher agency. Every other role MUST have agency over them – or they reliably lose because marksmen are reliable. So as long as their AAs consume the majority of their power budget, they are functionally very powerful cannon minions, not carries. Carries are the players who do something proactive that wins the game – definitionally something that requires high agency (ie: Malphite Ulted 5 ppl).

This is made worse by how well marksmen scale with gold, which just means they need to be weak early game. Since games snowball and players tilt and get mad at teammates, mistakes can easily compound to functional defeat before they get enough gold. This effect is generally sharper the further away from coordinated professional play you get (especially with flaming teammates in game – something I assume basically never happens in actual profession matches). I would go as far as to say that a significant amount of our players should probably not even be playing marksmen at their MMR since they and their teammates simply can't play around them well enough.

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