League of Legends

Bruisers should not just be tanky assassins

LeagueofLegends10 - Bruisers should not just be tanky assassins


This is just a personal philosophy, and (I believe) runs counter to Riot's actual champion design philosophy.

Lately, we have seen a number of popular bruisers explode onto the scene, taking over solo lanes with great mobility, damage, and defense. Riot's official classification puts champs like Fiora and Jax in the Slayer/Skirmisher category, with everyone else being a Diver (durable initiator who deals mostly single target damage) or Juggernaut (low mobility high threat).

However, in practice (and in design), these champions rarely feel like they deserve the classification of "bruiser." The word "Bruise" indicates blunt force nonlethal trauma – like the goons hired by a mob boss to rough up some poor schmuck. However, Riot's bruisers are very lethal and very sharp. They are only called "bruisers" because they are hard to kill. When you are playing them, you are not playing to rough someone up to make them think twice about getting close to you. You are just killing them. And in most cases, they don't even want to fight you.

Divers are the more mobile portion of the Fighter class. Divers excel at singling out high-priority targets to blitz toward, immediately forcing those targets (and their teammates) to deal with the diver’s presence. Divers are not as durable as the tanks or juggernauts of the world, but Divers can take their fair share of punishment while bringing enough damage to be a real kill threat if left unchecked.

This classification just turns Divers into tanky assassins. (Jax and Fiora, as Duelists, are quite literally classified as tanky assassins already.) This is unhealthy for the game because it reduces the power of assassins, tanks, and carries by proxy. Why would you play a glass cannon when you can do the same damage with a REGULAR cannon?


My argument is that Riot needs to redefine Bruisers and reclassify/rebalance champions to fit the new definition. Instead of "Singling out high-priority targets," bruisers should be "Constantly picking fights, charging in to threaten opponents with their damage." It's the same idea, but no longer carries the connotation that the diver needs to be able to press R on the enemy carry and turn them into beef carpaccio.

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I'm not saying that every Diver needs to give up their burst damage. Certain champions, like Rhaast, Elise, Warwick, and Lee Sin, feel pretty fair and mostly act as mobile disruptions who do happen to deal a bunch of damage with their full rotation. Others, though, need their burst window slowed down. Do less damage over a longer period of time.

"But how can you kill someone if you do less damage AND it takes longer?" Because you buff the diver's CC. Halve Vi's E damage but give it a knockback. Gut Diana's scaling and make her passive and Q stun briefly. Delete Rengar Make the knifecat into a real assassin for god's sake, none of this bruiser-assassin hybrid nonsense. Import Gragas and Gnar into the Diver role (rename it to Bruiser), and push Skarner over to the Vanguards to refilll their ranks.

What I am NOT arguing: Divers should be less tanky. I think they are in a decent spot right now, especially with the damage/CC blocking abilities like counterstrike, parry, defiant dance, etc. that let them be conditionally tankier.

What I AM arguing: Bruisers should not excel at killing carries. While divers should be a threat to carries, they should definitely not be as big a threat as assassins are. Assassins kill things in 1 second. Bruisers make them suffer for 5-6 seconds.

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