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Let's Talk Warwick

Creator: SpawnOfHell April 17, 2013 10:21pm
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SpawnOfHell
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Soooo.... everyone knows the League's number one wolf champion. Warwick's a champion whose viability has fluctuated greater than most champions for a very long time now. He's had a lot of 'OP' moments as well as times where he was considered completely useless (like right now). Despite this I don't really see a lot of discussion going around about Warwick, probably because of his lack of popularity. I personally really like Warwick mainly because of the whole 'werewolf' theme, and would love to see him to become strong once more. I think most of his lack of viability right now is not due to targeted nerfs but mainly because of an extremely obsolete and outdated design. I'm going to list some of what I believe to be Warwick's biggest issues and possible ideas on how to tackle them.

No defined role
Warwick is just a really weird champion despite how simple he is to play. He's not really a tank, bruiser or DPS champion. He's 'ok' kind of in both lane and jungle, but doesn't really have anything which makes him stand out from comparable champions, other than not-so-much-anymore immense sustain. This makes him extremely hard to put on a team because he can't really provide any huge wealth of CC, damage or team utility that basically every other champion is capable of.

How to fix this
This really needs to be fixed, because it's one of Warwick's major flaws and why he isn't played at all. He doesn't really do anything that well. He gives one kind of nice CC, an ok attack speed team boost and some decent damage but honestly, it's not enough to justify picking him over other champions who could provides something infinitely more substantial. If he could just have more damage, more crowd control and an actual defined kit at the cost of some of his other abilities he would be much easier to put into a role.

Doesn't scale with anything
Warwick has the worst scalings in the game, hands down. His kit makes absolutely no sense from a design standpoint and his abilities are contradictory with each other. He barely scales offensively at all because of a lack of AD scaling. His passive scales with attack speed, but attack speed synergizes badly with his ultimate which actually slows down his DPS the more attack speed he builds. His ult provides lifesteal which, despite it doing magic damage, does heal him, but because you don't build AD the healing it gives you is so pitiful you barely feel it most of the time, especially if you're ignited. As such, pretty much the strongest way to build him is 40% CDR with heavy emphasis on tanky items. Back when Warwick was FOTM this wasn't a problem because he was one of the few champions able to perform well as a damage dealer who was really tanky, but nowadays the idea of 'champion who does damage while building full tank' applies to basically every bruiser-type champion in the game.

How to fix this
Warwick's awful scalings are a remnant of Season 1 mechanics, so it really shouldn't be a challenge to simply update them, whether this means giving him more AD ratios to make him an actual AD-based bruiser or giving him a damage ability that isn't his Q. Either that, or revert his base damage nerfs so he's actually a respectable threat when he's not building damage. His ultimate also needs to be changed somehow so attack speed isn't completely counter-productive when you're using it to do damage. Maybe making it actually scale with AS by increasing the number of attacks you get in the suppression scaling with the AS you have. If this is too weird, then I think that reverting these damage nerfs:

Hungering Strike: percentage damage reduced to 8/10/12/14/16% from 8/11/14/17/20%.
Infinite Duress damage changed to 250/335/420 (+2.0 bonus attack damage) from 200/300/400 (+1.67 total attack damage).

Would be a good start. The change in scaling to the ultimate was stupid because no one builds heavy AD on Warwick in the first place so that made the scaling almost non-existent, and the base damage buff barely meant anything. The Q nerf was also stupid because the spell eats his mana pool so all it did was make it significantly less rewarding to use while laning.

Doesn't fit in the metagame
Obviously this issue comes and goes, and doesn't apply to Warwick specifically, but honestly, when was the last time Warwick fit perfectly in the meta? I'm not sure. He wasn't great when Atmog's was the metagolem bruiser build, didn't fit in the double AP meta, or the season 2 jungle, or... I could go on. But seriously, when a champion doesn't seem to perform well in several shifts in the meta, something's really wrong.

How to fix this
This isn't something that can be easily fixed, because the metagame is ever changing with Riot constantly changing things so that different strategies are found and used. Honestly though, Warwick's just been left behind in a game that's constantly revolving. No amount of buffs or nerfs to his current kit will make up for this without blowing things completely out of proportion. He needs some kind of rework to become good in the metagame. Putting reworks aside for now though, just some changes to his current abilities to suit the current meta would change him greatly. Here's a passive rework for example:

Eternal Thirst: Warwick's damage attacks deal (X/level) damage and heal him for X amount. Every 4th (let's say) autoattack Warwick swipes at enemies in front of him, dealing damage to all enemies in front of him in a cone (think Phoenix Stance), healing him for 30% of his passive per enemy hit. This deals 120% bonus damage to minions and monsters.

Of course this isn't exactly how I would do it in terms of balance, but this would do so much for him: speeding up his jungle, solving his awful pushing issues, and making attack speed a more substantial purchase on him. In addition, since this would cause him to uncontrollably push when top laning, it would give less incentive for players to use him for the toxic 'infinite sustain and uncounterable spam Q harass' playstyle that Morello hates. Obviously it would still be his strength, but now he also has a weakness at top lane that can be exploited. The idea is that this makes him more viable as a jungler which he was designed to be and give him a weakness while laning.

Another thing that really needs to be brushed up is his ganking. Warwick has really powerful ganks with his ultimate but without it, he's a piece of ****. This is really bad because the current meta basically revolves around ganking junglers snowballing lanes and pushing towers down as early as possible. Warwick can't do either of these. I'm actually not sure what could fix this without seeming completely half-***ed (e.g. attaching random slow to his Q) but it's a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Not Fun
Let's just admit it. Warwick doesn't have a defined role, he doesn't scale well, he doesn't fit in the metagame, and on top of all that, he really isn't that fun to play mechanically. You click on things, watch the autoattack animation, and occasionally click on your other abilities and target an enemy. He's got a really bland and boring playstyle, and when you have a boring champion who's not even viable, no one's going to play him.

How to fix this
Honestly, I don't know. There's nothing you can really do to make a boring champion fun to play short of a complete kit rework, and that's something beyond my scope. Maybe you guys have some cool ideas to share however.


So, these are my thoughts on Warwick as he is right now. Obviously the main point is for you guys to give some thought on Warwick's current status in comparison to my own and suggests things that could be done to make him better. What do you think are Warwick's biggest weaknesses? How can they be solved? Do you think Warwick is so bad a rework is necessary for him?

tl;dr: Warwick is outdated, not viable and really boring to play. What do you think can be done about it?
OTGBionicArm
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My problem with WW is his lack of thematics.

His Q is for some reason ranged and deals magical damage. He kinda flails and damage happens and he gets healed. Why? Logic would tell me he has to physically strike you for damage to happen. It should be a small targeted dash strike that deals physical damage. Because that just makes ******** sense.

His E also irks me because all it does is make him run really fast even though the flavor text says something like "Warwick goes into a frenzy". Should be more of a buff to him than what it is if he's hell bent and out for the blood of the weak.

His ultimate is magic damage too and that utterly confuses the hell out of me, because it procs on-hits as if it's 5 separate auto attacks. Also, it gets stopped by a fly so much as landing on him.

His passive should be left alone, however.
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I don't like how he has 2 passives, both which are good, but also useless as his q is his only damage tool.

It'd be nice if they combined his w+e, passive is movement speed, active is attack speed. This would leave room for more utility play for the new (e) skill.

But we all know this isn't gonna happen.
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Pretty sure WW is on their list of decrepit, ancient champions that need reworks.
Satella
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If Warwick came out today, he would have a dash/blink that goes over walls, % max health damage, a reset on kill or assist, true damage on-hit, and immunity to CC during his ultimate.
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Loved your post, Spawn, +rep :)

I liked your idea of a passive rework - I would actually love to be able to clear jungle that little bit faster. I also liked OGT's ideas. Making Q some sort of lunge/dash makes far more sense than the ranged swipe he has now (lol wut, I've never actually thought of that before).

I also wish he had some sort of buff/change to Blood Scent. Like OGT said, it's kind of odd and meh. So he gets a little movement speed when chasing a low health enemy. That's cool and all, but so what? He doesn't have a slow or a bleed or anything but his Q or ult to catch someone. You ult + Q and that's it.

Hunter's Call is amazing, and I've always loved the idea of giving your allies an attack speed boost. But it is pretty lame compared to Nasus' W, Janna's W - just about anyone's W. It'd probably be too much to say something like, "Enemies are slowed by terror" when he howls, but that'd be awesome (sort of like Tryndamere's Mocking Shout, without the damage reduction).

Anyway.

Loved the original post! :)
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OGT? y u spell my acroname (yes, i combined acronym and name) wrong?
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Satella wrote:

If Warwick came out today, he would have a dash/blink that goes over walls, % max health damage, a reset on kill or assist, true damage on-hit, and immunity to CC during his ultimate.


He'd also have some form of AoE jungle clearing, don't forget that!
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D: omg, I'm so sorry D: I wasn't even thinking :(
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I think, giving his E an active that deals aoe dmg and slows, which gets increased if he is in his ragemode, would be a nice way to increae his power. Also, this passive could also increase the power of other spells. Maybe put his actual passive onto an ability and make blood scent with more effects his new passive?
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