The State of Marksmen and the Meta Explained (The rework doesn't fix the core problems, yet)

_This is a very long post about what is wrong with marksmen and why. [Part two goes into what the Rework on PBE accomplishes, and fails to accomplish. ]( To understand the Marksmen rework, we need to first understand what marksmen are right now, and why they’re in the state they’re in. The largest issue with marksmen right now is agency; They are a necessary tool that a team needs to turn success into victory, but they themselves feel like they didn’t contribute to success. **Marksmen are the only irreplaceable cog in the machine of war of a successful team composition, but just because they are necessary doesn’t mean they are important, or fun to play.** Worse still is that the function of part dictates its design. There's little room for embellishment or diversity in a kit that needs to fill all the unique niches of a marksmen, and ultimately whichever marksmen fill the niches best at the moment are the only ones worth playing. Marksmen's serve three purposes - **To take contested objectives, to force the enemy team to invest in armor, and to scale well with the reduced XP. **They accomplish all three far better than anyone else, so while none of these are satisfying reasons to play a marksmen, it is what they all have ultimately been balanced around. Let me explain. While anyone can build glass cannon and put out the damage to take objectives quickly, objective taking is more than DPS; range gives the safety to take contested objectives. Towers are particularly important, and they are immune to spells. Taking them comes down to attack speed, range, and either AD or AP. AP AS are rare, and the few that do it (Azir, teemo, and Kayle) are fairly low range, and none get nearly the AS most marksmen get. This has left marksmen the only class that can seige towers, especially ones defended with good waveclear that would leave melee’s stranded under tower. HP items have a much lower opportunity cost than armor ones - A damage focused champion still has options like Rylai’s, RoA, Frozen Mallet, Black cleaver, etc, while offensive armor items are limited to Zhonya’s and Sunfire cape. And those who don’t care about offensive itemization, HP and MR stacking negates magic damage very effectively, while HP stacking alone is enough against AD Assassins and most bruiser, who deliver their damage from abilities that simply can’t scale high enough to burst a high hp target. However, armor quickly becomes a necessity against the high, sustained damage of marksmen, and thusly marksmen require the enemy team to sacrifice a large part of their power budget simply because they are in game. Melee ADC’s can’t fill this role nearly as easily, as they are inherently much more vulnerable; CC, coordination, and burst are much more relevant and viable options against them than ranged ADC’s. Levels are inherently far more valuable for abilities than auto attacks, as the AD and AS gained per level pales in comparison to the increase in base damage when you level an ability. One level gets you 2 to 3 ad, and 1 to 3 AS - less than 150 gold of stats, while leveling an ability gives generally gives you 35 to 60 more damage as well often reducing its CD. For example, Karthus relies nearly exclusively on his Q for damage early game. He gains 40 damage per level, with a .6 AP ratio. That means a point in his Q is equivalent to 66 AP, or more than a 1250 gold NLR. Sure, ADC’s also level abilities, but at no point are they more reliant on abilities than auto attacks. The ability they are leveling tends to scale off items harder than AP casters or is itself just another steroid for auto attacks. Also, marksmen tend to only really rely on one ability for damage, while casters typically have two, so level 9 is the last large power spike for marksmen’s, while mages take till 13. Melee ADC’s once again can’t really fill this role either. They tend to be forced out of lane by ranged champs, especially when the ranged champ has a support to peel for them, but more importantly the defensive bonuses (HP, AR, MR) for leveling are MUCH more important for them than Marksmen, both because being melee makes them far more vulnerable, and that they tend to get higher stats per level. **Not only does function dictate design, it also dictates use.** There's always an ideal way for a part to achieve a function, so marksmen end up in the same position (Duo Carry Bot), role (Sustained physical DPS), build (IE, PD/SS,LW,BT, Zerks, Defensive item/TF), and playstyle (Conservative back line squishy). Not mentioned, but important, is your duo lane needs to be bot or mid for dragon pressure, while the long lane of bot lane offers too much risk for many current mids, and offers weaker roaming potential for them. As such, bot lane is the typical duo lane. **All other roles are optional (eg, assassin-free comps are fine), and every other role has a ton of variety in build paths, playstyles, and lanes. **Every other lane has a large variety of roles, but because of the many strategic niche’s only marksmen can provide right now, they can’t be noticeably different from each other without being overpowered. Marksmen currently have too much strategic power to have enough individual power to see use outside of their ideal lane/role/build/playstyle. To summarize * Teams need a marksmen to take contested objectives * Teams need a marksmen to force their opponents to spend gold and item slots on armor * Marksmen scale just as strong or stronger with gold as anyone else, but the least with XP, so a Marksmen + support is the ideal duo lane. * Marksmen are uniquely similar and uninteresting, due to the nature of their strategic purposes and necessity * All of these detract from making Marksmen fun We’ve forgotten how strategically overpowered, game warping, and meta defining marksmen are. We call a kill-the-marksmen an assassin meta, a set-up-the-marksmen a mage meta, and a don't-die-to-the-marksmen a tank meta, all while forgetting that since s1 the game has always revolved around best utilizing your marksmen to win the game, and preventing the other team from doing the same. Yet quite often marksmen are little more than a small Kog in a large warmachine. Vital, yet trivial. This is why they need a rework. [_Part two is "Why This Rework Isn't It, Yet" (Entire line is a link)_]( _Part 3, [**What, Why, and How the Preseason Changes the Game**](, is up! It goes in depth into all the systematic preseason changes, and their effect on the game._
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