today I have gathered you here to derail a bit from the usual speculations and / or complains about how strong and / or broken the new Champions kit is. I won’t even draw comparisons to other Champions kits (or already existing items cough).
Id like to talk about the range creep that melee champions have been going through for quite some time now. There used to be a time where the default melee range was 125 and there are still plenty of those around. Examples of this are: Mundo, Camille, GP, Jax, Renekton, Riven, Tryndamere, Maokai and about 40 more.
The last time one of those was released – with the exception of Sett – was in 2016. Pantheon, Mordekaiser, Aatrox, Wukong, Garen, Kayle, Sion and Yorick all sit at 175 range after their rework. Irelia sits at 200. Rell, Kayn, Yone, Ornn, Sylas all got released at 175. All of these are before the range increase multiple of those get on attack modifiers.
Viego currently sits on the PBE with 225 attack range. Just to illustrate how much that is: the range difference between Viego and Camille (or anyone else of almost 50 melee champions who didn’t have the pleasure of being reworked or released in the last few years) is the same as the range difference between Caitlyn and Vayne – a matchup notorious for being very one sided due to its range difference.
Or to put it differently: The range difference between Urgot and Viego is almost identical as the difference between Viego and the above mentioned champions.
I don’t think this has become a huge issue yet as top lane is a long lane and most champs have gap closers but it’s something that should not be underestimated that we should keep and eye on in general and with Viego specifically. Kaisa for example went from quite terrible to really strong shortly after he release when she got a 25 range increase. A not insignificant amount of Irelias power actually comes from her having 200 attack range and I can recall multiple situations off the top of my head where I would not have died if she had less.
Attack range is the only stat in the game that can not be altered by items (aside from RFC which only lasts for one auto) and a very vital one on top of that so considerable thought should go into that decision when designing a champion.
I will not make any judgements on the balance of it if it was a conscious decision to give this champ so much range in accordance to his kit and other base stats – I just want to make sure that this balance act is actually occurring every time and not just slapped on the champ because it feels good – because it does feel good. And it does feel smoother. But unless we also update all the old champions that don’t get this treatment then it’s something that has to come at a considerable trade off.
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