Here’s a very brief summary on Rageblade’s situation: when preseason started, the item was quite good and it made On-hit ADCs the best out of their class.
Sadly, that lasted for LITERALLY one day, because Rageblade got hotfix double nerfed (cost increased, damage decreased). By the end of the patch, Lethality users were the best in class while all on-hit adcs performances were ranging from average to below-average.
The Rageblade nerf felt like a knee jerk reaction. They thought it was too good and that it needed nerfs, but it was rather the opposite: crit was too slow and expensive, needed buffs.
As time have passed a lot of crit items got buffs, the only one that got worse was the Collector
Since then, the nerfs to Rageblade haven’t been undone and the item has remained almost untouched, just some bugfixes and minor changes. A Rioter recognized that it was in a somewhat sorry state, but they were planning on giving it some buffs to make it more appealing.
So, the most recent buff Rageblade came and it was this one:
I guess upping the gold value by about ~125 gold is something, but it was disappointingly meaningless buff for those that were waiting for it.
The Former Users
The item saw a massive drop in pickrate in most of it’s users. I tried to make a more detailed table with champions portraits, but I got lazy midway and decided against it, so here’s the info without much fluff.
I don’t want to just throw the numbers, so I’ll give some details:
– Kai’Sa now prefers to build crit and spike fast, so by the 3rd item mark you’re better off with an IE instead of a Rageblade. Muramana changes made it way less interesting to go for hybrid builds, and I bet she’d still prefer KS/Collector to previous Muramana/Rageblade considering how nasty her midgame is with those 2 new items;
– Kalista always had it as a luxury item. She used to go BorK -> RH -> Bloodthirster, as a drain tanking ADC of sorts. She follows a similar build nowadays (Shieldbow -> RH -> Bloodthirster), so not much have changed for her with that item and I only added her for the sake of completion;
– Kayle loved the mixed pen, but now the item just doesn’t suit either builds: her passive got an AP ratio buff, so her most popular build fully invests into it; and if you want to go for crit kayle, just pick IE for the stronger crit waves;
– Kog’Maw is the champion that still builds it the most often, even if the PR dropped by 30%. So, yeah, stats indicate that almost half of the players of this 0.6% PR champion gets Guinsoo. I prefer the Navori build, but that’s for another discussion;
– Most Master Yi players are playing Duskblade/Collector now, so he is now kind of a burst assassin instead of a melee carry;
– Varus’ playerbase is divided into ‘mage-y’ lethality players and right-clickers. He got his passive on-hit damage from Blighted Quiver nerfed, so the right-clickers just go full crit;
– And finally, what is, IMO, the best example of what is wrong with Rageblade: Vayne. Vayne is the ADC that values AS the most, as her 3-hit passive is the strongest in the entire game. The Phantom Hit passive is also great on her.
But even on Vayne, she now prefers Phantom Dancer: it’s cheaper, it got the second part of pre-preseason Rageblade (ramping Attack Speed) and, most importantly, it doesn’t deactivate her crits, so she doesn’t give up the burst provided by crit damage.
Vayne builds Phantom Dancer more often and performs better with it.
Rageblade still has a niche for her in the sense that it slightly outperforms crit build when she is fighting hyper tanky comps, but even then it seems questionable.
A lot of people still build Rageblade on Vayne because they are used to, and not because it’s her best option.
The New ‘ABUSER’
Before I start, I want to give a disclaimer. I don’t hate Senna. I played like 3 games with her this season, as I’m having more fun with other picks now, but she’s still my highest mastery ADC.
That being said, I do hate Kraken Slayer/Rageblade Senna.
The thing that makes me heavily dislike this build is that Senna being played as a long range machine-gun is at odds with what she was initially supposed to be. I love that a champion has build variety and I didn’t even mind when she was going for that tanky, Grasp-Mallet-Black Cleaver route last season. But KS/Rageblade is just… wrong.
Senna was a slow, hard-hitting ADC, the type that exceled in short trades but lost every extended one. Similar to Jhin, but with way less burst, more supportive utility and a very different powercurve.
KS/Rageblade Senna throws that out of the window. She gets to a decent amount of AS and still hits super hard. But the worst part isn’t that Senna can become a machine-gun. The worst is that now Rageblade, in it’s current design, must be balanced by keeping it’s only consistent user in mind: SENNA, of all things. I repeat, SENNA became the on-hit ADC.
The fact Rageblade can’t be better for it’s intended users because of this weird abuse case is honestly sad.
How could it be changed?
I have two suggestions on what could be done with the item:
– Nuke Senna’s interaction with it by making Wrath’s passive take in consideration crit modifiers;
– Make the item cheap.
For the first part, Senna getting free crit chance from her passive makes her interaction with current Rageknife’s/Rageblade too good. A change that could be implemented would be Wrath’s passive taking in consideration champions crit modifiers in it’s damage calculation.
To make it clearer, Senna has a penalty on her crits and they are multiplied like this = 175 x 0.86.
If Senna’s crit modifier was taken in consideration, she should get 30/34 on-hit damage per 20% crit chance from Rageknife/Rageblade, instead of getting 35/40. You could even leave the damage uncapped, so it’s still is an option on her, but it only becomes really strong if the game stretches to super late game.
For the second part, a price reduction would make the item better serve it’s purpose.
The crit -> on-hit conversion is there to make builds with low crit chance convert that unreliable stat into something useful, so you wouldn’t feel bad about sitting on ‘just’ 40%/60% crit chance. You exchange potential burst for consistent damage output.
Sadly, with that 2900g price tag, you are better off just living with that unreliable crit chance and building the non-crit items you intended to.
The reason why I believe on-hit should be cheaper is that it would differentiate it’s playstyle from crit: with crit builds, you are fully investing into being a glass cannon, so your DPS late-game should be better than on-hit peers because you invested all your gold on pure damage items.
On-hit, on the other hand, would allow you to spike sooner and cheaper at 2 items and then invest into items that better suit your plans. More defensive-oriented AD items like BorK, Wit’s End, Maw of Malmortius, Death’s Dance, Edge of Night…
There you have a clear trade-off: your damage output is going to be lower than your peers, but you get good build versatility in exchange. Ezreal is basically the poster boy for that, end game Ezreal has considerably lower DPS than his peers, but he has a lot more freedom in item choices and can adapt to how he wants to play every match.
Rageblade should be the ‘Ezreal of AD items’, the item that would bridge build paths between ADC/bruiser itemization. It even shows up in both sections, so it’s clearly intended to be an item for both classes.
Anyway, I’ll end it here because I’m 1.400+ words deep into this and I believe that’s enough. Thanks for reading and I’d love to know if you have a different/better solution for this item.
TL;DR: As long as Senna is able to abuse Rageblade, the item won’t be balanced for it’s intended users; nerf her interaction with it and lower it’s price to a more accessible amount, so it opens up champions itemization.
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