My Galio Feedback/Rant -- What Isn't a Galio?

As a preface, I should let you know that I'm not a Galio main, so I invite people more knowledgeable about the champion to add to this discussion and challenge my opinions. With that said, here goes: *** While "what's a Galio?" has been a running joke from quite some time, I think there are some aspects to Galio that have been already well-defined, unique and interesting. Malicious Metal made a pretty good thread about that [on the Gameplay boards](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/nm58LPZd-whats-a-galio), but to reiterate, here are what I think have been key features to him: * **He's a sentinel, both in and out of combat:** A big part of Galio's old lore is that he's been around for a very long time -- not only that, but he's seen basically all of Demacia's history unfold before him, both the good and the bad. Because of his unique origin and the centuries spent watching over the kingdom, he's accrued a lot of wisdom and knows when to intervene, and when to stay back. In-combat, he also tends to mostly hang around the back line, using his spells to aid them, and only approaching the enemy team when he can catch them all under his influence. * **He's a strategic champion first and foremost:** In practice, Old Galio isn't especially mechanically intense. He's mostly quite slow, all of his abilities tend to be spaced out over a duration, and all cover an area of effect. Most of his gameplay comes from knowing when to go in and when to hang back, who to lay his shield on, and how to trap the enemy into his ult. He definitely wants to swoop into a fight when the opportunity calls for it, but otherwise he'd rather hang back at a distance and try to absorb incoming spells and protect his team. * **He feeds off of magic:** While perhaps not implemented in the clearest way, one important aspect of Galio is that he doesn't just nullify magic, he uses it to power himself up. That's why he scales off of magic resistance, and why Bulwark heals him for every hit its target takes. In a game environment where Maokai uses enemy spells to heal himself, Galio could be the more offensive counterpart to that, using the magic he absorbs to better pressure and disable his opponents. If you've seen Galio's new kit and VO, you probably know what I'm getting at, and it's that **New Galio has very little of these key features**. Instead of a wise, brooding flying sentinel, we have yet another boisterous bruiser who thinks about little more than throwing himself into brawls and hitting stuff. Old Galio was a low-mobility spellcaster focused mostly on poke and ally utility, with his crowd control mostly centered around his ult's taunt; New Galio has 2 dashes, 2 AoE knockups, an on-hit effect that's spammed in combat and only a hint of ally interaction, with his taunt taking a back seat to all of this. Old Galio's kit may have been dysfunctional and boring, but his niche as a backline-oriented, part-Warden, part-Battle Mage was one worth keeping, and his personality was similarly unique and valuable. Much of New Galio looks lifted from other champions (his W plays very much like Warwick's E even in practice, and likely stemmed from the same idea), right down to his personality, which carries little originality in an age where we already have upbeat punchy champions like Vi and Zac. His personality isn't particularly Demacian either, and it feels like much more could've been done to bring him in more with that part of his theme: even his previous quotes, which were light on content and even did include a bit of friendly defiance, carried much more of the Demacian sense of duty and military discipline. *** Some bulletpoint feedback on his new kit: #Colossal Smash: * The new innate feels mostly satisfying to use, but largely in the same way that any generic bonus on-hit damage feels satisfying. Galio was one of the few melee champions in the game to not have any kind of bonus associated with his autoattacks, which made sense with him being part-mage, and I don't think this new effect is a great fit for the theme or playstyle I imagined he'd have. * I agree that Galio could use some sustained damage to be more of a battle mage, but no battle mage has most of their damage focused on an on-hit effect, and the end result mostly makes him feel like some kind of fighter champion. This is an issue with the rest of his kit too, but this new innate makes him feel a lot like a diver with extra crowd control and AoE. * As several players mentioned already, the scaling could use some tweaks: currently it's a total attack modifier, which means it scales with total AD, which has the tooltip look like he's intended to build AD to enhance its power, when that shouldn't at all be the case. Having his enhanced attack deal _bonus_ damage, and throwing in an AP scaling, would likely make a lot more sense overall. * As a side note, I'm not particularly happy that Galio gets semi-spammable pseudo-PBAoE damage right after Zac, Sejuani and Maokai all got called out for having much of the same thing. Only a select few tanks should have any significant AoE damage, and I don't think Galio really should be one of them, especially since now he does so much of everything, though he definitely should have above-average damage overall. * Not entirely sure yet, and I'll have to test this further, but I think **Colossal Smash can last-hit allied minions**. The one instance where I may have seen this was when an allied minion was right next to me and close to 0 health, otherwise I haven't seen the ability damage allies in any way. #Winds of War: * I like this ability, and I think it fits Galio rather well. Landing the tornado end onto an opponent and having it trail them for the full duration feels excellent. * I don't like the name, though, in part because "Winds of War" is a tad generic, but also because "Righteous Gust" feels like a better fit for his Demacian theme, and didn't need to be changed. * I question the max health damage on this ability, mainly because of its range. I understand that it's useful to give some champions a means of dealing consistent baseline damage, especially tanks, but at this point very few new releases _don't_ have some kind of target-agnostic damage, and I feel Galio's consistency should stem from his ability to poke already. Tanky champions already often feel like their durability is being devalued, and this will only worsen that problem. * Adding to that, I feel like loading a lot of the ability's damage onto a location-based DoT is going to screw over low-mobility champions more than anyone else, since mobile champions would be able to dash out and evade most of its effects. As with tanky champions, low-mobility champions already struggle in an environment where a lot of abilities feel like their counterplay amounts mostly to dashing out of harm's way, something they often can't do, and this ability also risks making that issue worse. #Shield of Durand: * I think the ability's a bit of mess. It's full of different effects that don't synergize with each other at all and all feel lifted directly from some other champion's kit, offering little new gameplay. * The shield has no synergy at all with the active, since only some autoattacks carry magic damage, and doesn't scale with rank either, so it might as well be a second component to his innate (even then, though, it's basically just a more specific Malphite passive, and offers nothing new). * The active feels lifted straight from Warwick's own E, right down to the damage reduction during the wind-up, and would likely play exactly the same if the ability weren't charged up. I think it's important to keep Galio's AoE taunt, but this doesn't at all reflect how he used it previously: Old Galio's ult was about catching the enemy team at the exact moment where they were clumped together, thereby reacting to their movement, whereas this new effect is much more like Primal Howl, where you trail targets with telegraphed CC and proactively go for them. * There's not much synergy between Galio's W and E (you can't dash during the wind-up), and while I acknowledge that it's likely intended for there to be more counterplay, that counterplay yet again mostly just favors champions with dashes, since low-mobility champions aren't easily going to be able to evade his wind-up even with the self-slow and the split between the wind-up and the dash. * I'm not happy that Galio lost his allied shielding on his basic abilities, for a number of reasons: for one, Galio ends up being mostly a pretty selfish champion right up to level 6, and ends up with only really one "true" Warden ability, with the rest of his gameplay being mostly standard tank/fighter fare. It also means Athene's Unholy Grail, a fantastic item on him, ends up no longer working well at all on his new kit. Old Galio had a lot of ally-oriented utility, and I don't think that should've been taken away from him, even if he could definitely use a complete rework to the utility he had (Bulwark works better against autoattackers than against casters, for example). #Justice Punch: * The ability's pretty cool, but feels completely alien to Galio. Even if you accept his new look as a massive, walking stone colossus (**which, by the way, looks a lot like Aatrox in-game**), that just makes the idea of zipping through the battlefield even less believable. By this ability's very nature, it makes New Galio want to constantly throw himself into a fight, when that wasn't at all what Old Galio was, or should've been about. * But really, though, I'd like to see this ability somewhere, because it's fun to use and carries unique gameplay, which could be far better expressed on another champion. It's perhaps a tad short-ranged at this time, but if it were on a diver, being able to dodge abilities by dashing back, and then knock someone up by dashing in would be useful to have. Galio, by contrast, doesn't really want to dodge abilities (in fact, he should want to eat up as many of them as he can), and knocking enemies up was never really his thing. * Adding to the above, it really doesn't feel great to give yet another dash-knockup combo to a fight-happy hunk of (carved) muscle, because we already have that on Vi and Zac. This is one of the reasons why I think New Galio feels mostly like an amalgam of ideas and champions that have already been done. #Hero's Entrance * If this ability's allied dash component had been combined with Idol of Durand's taunt, I would've been extremely happy. I still think that is what should happen, rather than adding yet another AoE knockup to a champion who never specialized in such a thing. * In practice, the ability itself plays fine. I don't think the bonus knockup at the center is particularly relevant, since the core of this ult's decision-making comes down to searching for allies in need of peel, and Galio himself has little control over his landing location, but otherwise it's not bad. * This might come from inexperience, but the allied defensive bonus doesn't feel very visible, mostly because it's damage reduction and not a shield (giving them his magic shield might've been a better alternative, though both effects tread a little on Shen's toes). One ally buff on a long-cooldown ult does not a warden make, and I think Galio's going to end up becoming more of a counter-engage Vanguard than anything else, which has nothing to do with his preestablished identity. *** The **TL;DR** to all this is that **I don't think Galio's new kit or personality are a good fit for him, and that he's going to lose a lot of his old identity and playstyle when significantly more could be done to preserve both.** When his VGU was announced, I was hoping to see a wise, flying, anti-magic sentinel, who'd combine warden and battle mage features to soak up enemy spells, dish out in kind and protect his allies in the process; instead, the end result looks like yet another brawny bruiser obsessed with fighting other big types, with both abilities and character traits that I've already seen many times before on other champions. I've been extremely happy with Riot's full VGU's thus far, and when a champion got redone completely, with little of their old kit remaining, I fully understood why, but **Galio's VGU feels a lot like Karma's**, where a lot of his unique identity and playstyle have been needlessly thrown out in favor of more generic features. What also frustrates me is that I don't even know if this feedback will ever make a real impact at this point. When a change gets shipped to PBE, it's mostly to test out bugs and perhaps make some small tweaks, whereas my criticism here basically amounts to wanting Galio's VGU to be redone. Many less popular changes have been shipped to Live in spite of much more vocal negative feedback, and to this day many of those issues have remained unaddressed, and I fear that shipping this new champion is going to divide Galio's playerbase much like Karma's, where any subsequent change to pull him in either direction is going to piss a lot of players off. I respect Riot tremendously, and I think it's clear that many talented designers and artists have put a lot of work into overhauling Galio, but the direction selected for him feels wrong. I urge whoever at Riot reads this to reconsider releasing Galio's update in its current form, if that is at all possible, or at least look into a potential fallback plan if things don't go well.
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