Terça-feira, 16/7/2019 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

Reviewing League of Legend’s newest champion, Neeko

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A drawing of a Poro from League of Legends. Done by Austin Miller, donated by Austin Miller

League of Legends released their newest champion, Neeko, the Curious Chameleon. She’s a burst mage who specializes in fooling and misleading enemies,  then quickly striking them down. This marks the 142nd d champion to be added to League of Legends.

Neeko comes from a race of island-dwelling shapeshifters; however, a disaster strikes the island, and she becomes the sole survivor. She changes into a bird and flies to a ship, eventually arriving in a city for the first time. After leaving the city, she travels to the Kumungu Jungle, where she meets and befriends Nidalee, one of the older champions in League. Eventually, Neeko developes romantic feelings for her; Nidalee doesn’t reciprocate those feelings, however, so Neeko leaves Kumungu Jungle.

As is able to be figured out from her lore, Neeko is a lesbian, making her League’s first LGBTQ+ champion. Many fans were able to figure this out before her lore was released, however, as her voice lines showed that she admired a large number of the female champions and generally disliked the male champions. This led to talk on social media, and, in a response to Twitter user CiprianStefim, who noted that Neeko seemed to prefer female champions in a post, Senior Riot Lore Writer Matt Dunn said, “She doesn’t ‘seem to’, Neeko *does* like female champions more than male champions. Neeko identifies as a lesbian.”

Neeko’s design is based on two principles: primal human clothing, and alien-looking chameleon feature. The most obvious part is the primal clothing; all she really wears is an animal-skin dress and a flower in her hair. Her chameleon inspiration can be seen in her tail, the small amount of blue scales on her arms, and her large eyes. This part, however, is very much underplayed. While the large eyes, tail, multicolored hair, and somewhat discolored skin does make her seem inhuman, she is still recognizable to be a humanoid.

I would have preferred it if they took this in a more major direction, such as giving her a long tongue or having her eyes never pointing in the same direction at once.

As stated before, Neeko is burst mage”, who uses deception and trickery to get her opponents where she wants them, then quickly “bursts” them down. The main way she fools her enemies is her passive, Inherent Glamour. Using it allows Neeko to become a copy of an ally champion.

Her health, level, and appearance all appear identical to the ally. In addition to this, her W (the ability assigned to the W key), Shapesplitting, makes a clone of her and turns her invisible for a short time, providing a decoy and a movement speed buff.

If Neeko is disguised as an ally, the clone will be a copy of the ally. Using these abilities will set her enemies up for her to use her E, Tangle-Barbs, which roots enemy champions to the spot and does a small amount of damage. It can hit up to three enemies.

While rooted, Neeko has two options on how to slay them. If there’s only one of them or they’re all bunched up, she can use her Q, Blooming Burst, which fires a projectile onto the selected area, dealing a lot of damage. If it damages an enemy, it bursts up to two times, dealing an increasing about of damage each time. Alternatively, if there are multiple enemies all scattered about, Neeko can use her Ultimate, Pop Blossom, an area-of-effect spell that, once activated, starts a brief uninterruptible channel, during which Neeko can’t attack or use abilities, excluding summoner abilities, provides Neeko a small shield and then detonates, dealing an astronomically high amount of damage to any enemies inside of the area. This ability has gained infamy for its tendency to deal so much damage that it slays enemies in only one hit, and the remaining enemies can usually be taken down with Blooming Burst.

As she has very little AD, and lacks the distance or gap closers needed to be an ADC, it is her worse role by and far. In addition to this, if she is played as an ADC, she will be paired with a Support, and therefore the lack of follow up damage from her engages will usually result in an enemy surviving the engage.

The pros of her going Top is that she does have range advantage on most standard Top laners, and her damage early on can often lead to her picking off the enemy quickly. The cons of her going Top is that her biggest weakness is Magic Resistance, which quite a few Top laners build or naturally have. This means that she won’t be able to burst her lane opponent down and roam like her kit wants. Not to mention, Top is the most oftenly ganked lane, so even with her clone, you’ll find that two enemies negates having a decoy.

At her initial release, people assumed she’d be a Middle laner, and while she can work Middle lane, it isn’t advised, if my streak is anything to go off of. Then again, I’m Iron 2 in Mid, so I honestly don’t know what to do here.

She does well in the Jungle, a bit above average. Her clear is incredible, she has a root, and her W makes camps focus her clone, allowing her to damage the monsters without being damaged herself. In addition to this, because she can change her appearance and her clones keep the appearance, she can easily gank and force enemies to expend spells. The only downside is that if she’s found in the jungle and chased out, she falls off too quickly to catch up.

Support is the definitive way to go when playing Neeko. Since you’ll be playing with someone else, your transform and clone abilities will be at maximum usage, your root allows your ADC to deal damage freely, and your Q and Ultimate are bonus damage at that point. Plus, many of the support items work very well on Neeko.

The best way to counter Neeko is to pay attention and ward a lot. Neeko can’t fool you if you know who’s where and where they are going. Keep track of who’s dead on the enemy team, and who’s in what lanes. In addition, make sure you and and your team buy wards and warding items to minimize the amount of area Neeko has to transform without being caught. Then, build Magic Resistance and Tenacity.

As for what I personally think of her, Neeko is the most balanced champion League of Legends has released in a while, and her design and lore is very interesting. Yes, she can slay champions with low defense in one hit. Yes, her abilities make her another example of Yasuo, where her performance in the game depends more on how unskilled the opponents are than on how skilled the player is.

However, she can be taken down in one hit herself, and any form of CC just ruins her, and champions like Garen or other magic-resisting tanks can resist her damage and take her out easily. Despite this, she remains fun, both to play as and to play against. It’s enjoyable to mess with the enemies’ heads and destroy them with only one ability, and it’s even more fun to be forced to put actual thought into your strategy while you’re playing against Neeko, rather than just attacking and dodging with very little differentiation. I give Neeko a 9.8/10.



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