League of Legends

What is with Riot and constantly trying to foist weird, imbalanced hybrid damage gimmicks onto Katarina? Why can her ult proc item passives? What does she get from being this questionably balanced?

LeagueofLegends7 - What is with Riot and constantly trying to foist weird, imbalanced hybrid damage gimmicks onto Katarina? Why can her ult proc item passives? What does she get from being this questionably balanced?
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TL;DR – Katarina's ult proccing item passives and being hybrid damage doesn't make sense when every other hybrid damage factor for assassins has been removed (Gunblade, Akali's hybrid damage). She already has a distinct identity from other assassins thanks to her blinks and daggers, why does she also need hybrid damage?


First it started with her rework – which went over positively for the most part, because the changes to the gameplay mechanics were genuinely an improvement over previous Kat, who just bounced around everywhere with her blinks and mark damage. But they also put AD and AP stats onto most of her kit, which resulted in the Gunblade abusing menace.

Then the pre-seeason comes along, and Gunblade is removed from the game, with its closest approximation being Riftmaker, which lacks the upfront direct burst Gunblade offered, making it much more of a niche/contextual item pick (which is good). This update also flat-out removed any items with hybrid AD/AP stats, so hybrid stat abusers like Kat, Kayle, and Akali were hit pretty hard (which can be considered good or bad).

Akali and Kayle were in similar states, but were both changed around to compensate for the loss of hybrid abuse, (as well as both being waaaay more recent than the original Kat rework from the Assassin pre-season), pushing them towards a Pure AP assassin role (which was happening over time anyways, with the shift of most of Akali's damage to pure Magic) and a flexible item pool respectively.

So what happens with Katarina? Instead of adjusting her numbers to compensate for the shake-up, and pushing her more into an AD or AP assassin role, they double down on the weird hybrid gimmick by not only turning her Ultimate's damage into almost a half-split of Physical and Magic, but also giving it the ability to proc item passives.

And now, within a month of the pre-season starting, we've reached the point where Kat is flat-out abusing Kraken Slayer, an ADC mythic, as well as Blade of the Ruined King, both of which she'd otherwise never build.

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Why? What is making Kat unique or distinct besides (I know, over-used term) bloating her kit with these weird gimmicks and making her a balancing nightmare? It's abundantly clear that champions that do hybrid damage are almost impossible to be balanced properly, which is (I assume) why they got rid of those aspects for Kayle and Akali. There's supposed to be some modicum of skill in item choice – if you're dynig to a champion a lot, you pick an item that negates their main damage, either Attack Damage or Magic damage. There are no items in the game that give adaptive Armor and MR. Health would normally count, but that's negated by Kat abusing both a %health damage item thanks to her ult's proccing item passives and true damage.

Not only is Kat still a hybrid damage dealer, it's also on her ultimate ability, one of the most infamous damage abilities in the game, because it's just an AOE of pure death. Why does her ult need to proc item passives? Why can't she be pure AD or AP? She's already insanely unique as being the only assassin, nay, only Champion in the game with the ability to blink multiple times in a fight of any length, and her gameplay is a very interesting experience with her darting around the battlefield to deal her damage.

"But there are other champs who have dealing true damage as a core feature of their kit, like Vayne, Camille, and Cho'Gath!"

Yes, but their kits are balanced around those sources of damage. Camille's is an incredibly choreographed burst of true damage, Vayne's kit is focused on her %health true damage procs, to the point where she has very little damage outside of it, and Cho'Gath's, Darius's, etc true damage are highly choreographed executes. Kat's is just there, in her ultimate, thanks to kraken Slayer.

"But there are still other champs that deal hybrid damage, like Camille, or Varus, or Jax, or Kog'maw!"

yes, but their kits are balanced around either the potential to deal hybrid damage, like Varus and Kog'maw being late-game hypercarries that can build flexible items and require serious help to reach the point where they can devastate the game (and even though they both heavily favour Magic damage), or Jax and Camille, again, being very telegraphed duelist type champs, whom you know are going to deal hybrid damage, because they want to win fights by themselves and splitpush.

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