Neeko is the name of League of Legends’ newest champion, described by Riot Games as “A shape-shifter from a long-lost tribe of Vastaya.” Announced a week ago, she has finally made her way to the test server of the Rift and settled somewhat comfortably.
Typically a champion takes a while to find their place within the team composition but Neeko has an entirely unique move set, which has left her being mismatched into every role possible. And weirdly enough she works well in most lanes. Riot Games believed that she should be played as a mid-laner, however, what this past week has shown is that Neeko the curious chameleon can’t be limited to one role.
As previously mentioned her abilities are extremely unique as she is the first ever champion to utilise disguise techniques. As a chameleon she uses her abilities to confuse and trick her opponents. Her abilities are as follows:
Passive: Inherent Glamour
Neeko’s passive called “Inherent Glamour” allows her to change into any member of her team at will. This is the backbone for Neeko’s ability kit, as it allows her to confuse the enemy team leading to some insane outplay potential. This effect is broken once she is damaged, causes damage or uses her Q or E.
Q: Blooming Burst
Neeko’s first active ability is called Blooming Burst and is a zoning tool used to poke enemies from a distance. Neeko throws out a seed which blooms upon impact, dealing damage within a circular radius. If it last hits a minion or damages champion or large monster it will bloom again dealing even more damage. This additional bloom can occur twice per Blooming burst, leading to three times the amount of damage.
This ability will be vital for large group fights, which seems to be the meta at the moment. As Hashinshin puts it the current meta is extremely group fight heavy, which has been coined the “deathball meta” due to these skirmishes being simply put a hectic ball fight of 5v5 until one team dies first or loses enough aggression.
Neeko’s second ability is called Shape-Splitter, a perfect name which explains a lot about the ability. Upon using the ability Neeko will send a clone of herself in a direction to confuse the enemy. This will also give her a slight movement speed increase to make sure she can get away from danger. However, this ability is not that straightforward. Combining Shape-splitter alongside her passive makes this a lethal engage tool also. As not only can she create a second clone of a friendly champion, that clone can be used a bait for enemy champion abilities as shown in her reveal trailer.
Neeko’s third ability is an adaptive root, called Tangle-Barbs. This ability defines her as a deadly champion in the right people’s hands. Neeko throws a spiral which roots any enemies it hits. However, this is an adaptive ability, so it has other effects. Such as, the more targets the spiral goes through the longer the root duration for the last target hit. This also counts for minions, so throwing your spiral into a minion wave is the ideal way to hit the enemy champions, as it will root them in place, allowing you to easily land a Q for maximum damage. This adaptation counts up to three targets and the root has a maximum duration of almost three seconds; which is insane.
R: Pop Blossom
Neeko’s ultimate ability is the reason why so many players fear her. Pop Blossom is an area of effect nuke which not only causes massive damage but slows and then roots enemies. This ult is considered hard to land due to its flashy start up and finish being easy to predict. However, her kit plays well into this. For example, using Tangle-Barbs to stun enemies and then using her ultimate is a sure fire way of getting a kill. However, the best method is to use Neeko’s passive as while Neeko is performing her ult the flashy entrance is hidden, until its too late. Leading to a large amount of outplay potential for Neeko.
Now if it didn’t seem destructive enough at first take into account the enormous AP scale ratio that Pop Blossom has, when compared to most other abilities in the game. Sitting at a scary 130% of your ability power, the ability can get some insane damage numbers late into the game. Some Redditors worked out that at with full item build Neeko’s ult has the potential to do upwards of 4000 magic damage. As the Redditor, Destroyer29042904 put it themselves:
“lets see full combo your build, 1806+(500+0.9889 Q)+(170+0.6889 W)+(220+0.4889 E)+(200+0.2889)=4565 magic damage before resistances, which is nutty”
Neeko will be arriving in the main game sometime during the next patch, 8.24. Which gives the community a little more time to decide where best to place her in the current deathball meta. Neeko’s kit is so well rounded that she could be used in a number of places. Which Riot may want to change as currently the only role that doesn’t suit her design would be the ADC. This is due to her abilities requiring her to be in the middle of team fights or peeling for team members rather than the sidelines. However, with only the ADC role not working for Neeko it still leaves four other places for Neeko to shine.
Riot Games sold her as a mid laner and while this is true, she’s also extremely deadly in the jungle due to her deceptive abilities and gank potential. Also, with that extremely strong AOE ultimate and her (CC) stun abilities she would be a great support. Our prediction is that Neeko will be played in most lanes at first, until she finds her place in two or three prominent lanes. Those being mid, support and jungle.
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