The Smolder Paradox - Is Calling Your Mom OP? | RiftFeed

The Smolder Paradox - Is Calling Your Mom OP?

News 05-04-2024 14:45

Smolder is widely considered as a very cute but dangerous ADC. He is also considered an absolute design failure.

Heavenscale Smolder
Smolder is really strong in the late game. | © Riot Games

Smolder released in the early days of Season 14. At the start he was considered a terrible champion and there was basically no reason to play him because his early game was incredibly lacking. But from a few highlights we have already seen what Smolder can do in the late game. 

So for days after release people were unsure what to do. The champion didn't function in lane, and the payoff of a strong late game could also be achieved with other champions that didn't have such a rough start.

But as per usual, China was way ahead. Builds started popping up how there are players having great success with AP Smolder in the early game and actually transforming him into a lane bully.

This strategy was quickly adapted, and it turned out to make the champion absolutely broken at all stages of the game. 

The Rise And Fall Of Smolder

Smolder splash art
Smolder was a big mistake. | © Riot Games

So Smolder was established to be incredibly strong in higher elos but players at the bottom of the skill bracket were not hitting the expected results. Riot Games have decided to give Smolder some Buffs. This, expectedly, was a horrible mistake and the champion was basically able to hold competitive games hostage for over 30 minutes due to how insanely strong he was. 

While new champion releases usually start with a bad win rate that increases with release time and the play rate slowly dwindles, Smolder actually was the first champion that has the opposite. The win rate kept climbing and more and more players have checked out the champ.

With more new players testing him and having instant success it was clear that there was something wrong with him. The Champion was so popular that he even had a steady player base of people playing him in the top and mid lane.

So Riot finally pulled the trigger and hit Smolder with the nerf hammer. The nerfs from 14.5 and 14.6 actually hit him so hard that Riot even buffed his base stats a little bit with Patch 14.7 but to no avail. 

The Champion is officially Ryze 2.0. He is incredibly strong in the right hands and, if given the much-needed time to scale, can have a significant impact on the game but in a Ranked Environment he will never be as good again. 

Champions like Azir, Kalista, Ryze and now also Smolder are intentionally kept weak to create a more diverse pro play meta.

Now there is only one real question left. If Sylas steals Smolder R, does he call Smolder's Mom or his own?

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Erik Feldengut

Meet Erik, a writer on the Riftfeed content team, specializing in League of Legends and Gaming.

His daily routine revolves around gaming and watching others play, with a side gig at TU Ilmenau studying 'Applied Media and Communication Sciences'...