Smolder has been out for a few days now, and the consensus on him is very twisted. Most people assume he is very strong in the late game, but his weak early game doesnt make it worthwhile, and call him a bad champion because of that. Well, they are wrong.
Riot has just released their new champion Smolder. He is a new ADC that specializes on casting abilities and has a stacking passive. These stacks are what make him problematic. Once he reaches 225 of those stacks, he gains an elder dragon like passive that can execute his enemies. Obviously this is a balancing nightmare and Riot Games made sure it takes a while until Smolder gains all those stacks.
LoL: Smolder Is Pretty Good Actually, If He Gets There
So Smolders laning phase is a bit lacking and high elo players and pro players alike are trying hard to figure out a way to safely get him to his power spike. The unfortunate thing is that there really isnt any conventional way to get there.
As per usual, players are looking towards Korea for inspiration as they are the best League of Legends players in the world. And wouldn't you know. The home country of Faker figured something out.
The YouTube channel LoL Dobby shared a video on how Korean Challenger Players use Smolder.
While the most usual builds in EUW rush Essence Reaver and Navori Quickblades, the Koreans take a different approach. At the start of the game they don't buy a Doran's Blade, they instead start off with a Doran's Ring and opt into an early Dark Seal.
They pair this with an early level into his W ability, which makes longer range poking and actually bullying the enemy ADC a thing. The W scales with AP, and the early adaptive force also gets converted into AP due to the Dark Seal.
Their leveling order is W - Q - W - E -W, this means that at level 5 they have 3 points in W. The Q will be maxed by level 10 right in time for the mid game.
Even though the early approach to items and skill points is different, the build stays the same. Essence Reaver into Navori Quickblades and finish that off with a Rapid Firecannon. Some players are even building Spear of Shojin, Trinity Force or even a Liandry's Anguish to make better use of the Burn and AP Scalings.
In conclusion: Smolder isn't weak, you are just building him wrong. Try out this build (preferably not in ranked) and let us know how it went!
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