Week 3: Kalista

As Kalista was one of the most banned champions in week 3, I want to write about her. However, I simply don’t have enough knowledge of the champion or how she plays, so I intend to research her abilities, review some game tape from LCS and play her over the next few days to learn a little more about her to find her strengths, weaknesses and identity. I’ll also try to look into what makes her strong in competitive play.

Kalista fills the role of a high mobility Marksman. She uses her auto attacks to kite enemies, and is highly reliant on attack speed to be effective. She can bring a lot of high burst as a fight wears on due to Rend and she can harass fairly well in laning phase due to her Sentinel passive in conjunction with her support. She has fairly good lane control because of her constant mobility.

Kalista is an extremely unique champion. Everything about her is part of her identity because almost no one fills a similar niche that she fills. No other champion builds a hurricane. No other champion has the inherent kiting potential in her ultimate. No other champion can grab a team mate and literally control a little of their actions. This, of course, makes it hard to target something without hurting who she is.

Her biggest strength is her ability to maintain a small distance from an attacker at just about any time because of her passive. It lets her control how a fight goes and when she wants to engage. However, she lacks the natural ability to instantly jump away from an opponent that an Ezreal or Graves have through Arcane Shift and Quickdraw. The gist? She’s better the longer a fight goes on because her mobility is never on cool down and she can always generate (or reduce) space if she is capable of auto attacking.

In a lot of ways she reminds me of a ranged Riven. Riven is a fairly strong champion, but the thing that makes her strong (her fairly high mobility due to numerous short dashes) is also her undoing. She simply can’t instantly dive on someone or instantly escape from someone, but she can always keep up with or escape from someone over time.

With all of that, I have a few proposals. As I said before, it’s hard to target what should be nerfed because everything about her is fairly unique. I tried to go for ways in which her game health would be increased without necessary reducing her uniqueness.

1. Lower the passive damage on her Sentinel (W) when she attacks with her Oathsworn. It reduces a little of her lane strength and eliminates a little of her invisible power. Despite the fact that I had played with (or against) Kalista’s for a while, I didn’t actually know how much damage was actually inherently in her passive. It’s a symptom of invisible power, though, because you always need thing to be stronger when they’re invisible and less noticeable.

2. Reduce the cast animation speed of her auto attack (very slightly). It keeps her nearly the same, but gives a slightly larger window of opportunity in which to attack Kalista effectively. A longer cast time means a little longer time spent catching up or dealing damage before she jumps away again.

These are both decent areas to hit without necessarily hurting her identity.