League of Legends: grading Mordekaiser’s reworked kit

League of Legends. Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Riot has released the details about the (second) rework of Mordekaiser, so it’s time to take a look at his new abilities and grade how strong he will be when he enters League of Legends.

Mordekaiser has always been a troublesome champion, especially since his first infamous rework during the Season 6 juggernaut update. After trying (and failing) to shoe-horn him as a bot laner, Riot has gone back to the drawing board on the Master of Metal. Today, Riot has released the details of the newest abilities to hit League of Legends, so we’re going to grade how strong and weak they are.

"Passive – Darkness RiseMordekaiser’s basic attacks deal bonus magic damage. After three spells or attacks against a champion, Darkness Rise deals damage to nearby enemies and gives movement speed until Mordekasier is out of combat.More from League of LegendsBee’koz Vel’koz Skin: Splash Art, Price, Release, How to GetKing Beegar Skin: Splash Art, Price, Release, How to GetEMENES retires following leave from Cloud9, cites military serviceEMENES Donezo Manifesto: Former Cloud9 Midlaner airs out grievancesTeam Heretics Perkz: European legend reportedly playing for TH"

This is basically a combination of the keystone rune Phase Rush and the item Luden’s Echo. It not only brings back the “three-hit passive” meme, but it’s also fairly straightforward. It’s not as though there is a window for the enemy laner to play around (like Camille’s passive), it’s just going to be a matter of knowing that he’ll get this burst of speed and damage when he attacks.

Grade: D. Pretty underwhelming

"Q – ObliterateMordekaiser slams down his mace, dealing damage in an area or bonus damage to a single enemy."

So it’s kind of like his old Q – Mace of Spades (they really should have kept the names tied to classic metal songs, btw) mixed with his W – Siphon of Destruction. It’ll be interesting to see if Q still has an auto-attack reset, making it easier to proc his passive. In any case, it’s a fairly straightforward ability.

Grade: C. Unlike his passive, I don’t take off points for Riot making his Q a straight damage boost.

"W – IndestructibleThe evil overlord absorbs 25% of damage taken and damage dealt. Casting once generates a shield with this value. Mordekaiser can cast again to consume 50% of the shield for health."

I like abilities that can be used in multiple ways and this should make Mordekaiser a pseudo-tank since he can tank a bunch of the damage in the middle of a fight. However, this is all dependent on whether the shield/heal has an AP ratio and just how much he can tank. The heal, though, will be nice into poke lanes, but again that will depend on any ratios the ability comes with.

Grade: B. Again, this ability offers a lot of different ways Mordekaiser can outplay his opponents, which is really nice.

"E – Death’s GraspPassive: Mordekaiser gains 25% Magic PenetrationActive: A deadly claw drags enemies towards him, dealing damage."

The passive is pretty dumb, to be honest since it could enable Morde to ridiculous amounts of damage without even having to fully itemize into AP. The active is basically an upgraded version of Swain’s E – Nevermove and it makes up for the fact that Mordekaiser has no real gap closer in his kit.

Grade: C. I could see the passive being either super oppressive or super useless depending on the numbers. The drag is nice to let Morde stay in melee range, but not ground-breaking.

"R – Realm of DeathMordekaiser banishes a single enemy champion to the Death Realm for a 7 second 1v1, stealing a percent of their core stats. If he kills his target, he consumes their soul, keeping their partial stats until they respawn."

This. Is. Awesome. Like this is actually kind of revolutionary.

As Riot explained in their video on the development of Mordekaiser, using this ability actually teleports you and the marked enemy to another dimension, meaning you can’t be targetted by other enemies for that duration (and the enemy can’t be saved). This ability alone could make Morde viable in pro play because he’ll have the ability to isolate out a particular enemy (maybe the squishy ADC who desperately needs peel). At no point in League of Legends have we had an ability that will actually take you and someone else out of Summoner’s Rift, so I’m really excited to see how many different uses we can find for this.

Grade: A+. Nothing else to be said, I can’t wait to see this in action.

Overall, Mordekaiser looks like a better-balanced champion than some of Riot’s more recent re-works. According to their own definition, Morde doesn’t have a lot of the “powerful tools” like mobility, dashes, high range. However, if that shield/heal have a low enough cast time and no resource costs it could be oppressive, especially if he can be flexed between multiple roles.

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What are your thoughts on the reworked Mordekaiser’s kit?