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League of Legends Champion Review: Thresh, The Chain Warden

by on January 28, 2013
 

League of Legends has recently released their newest champion to the public, Thresh, after a long time in the player test realms. The champion was originally planned for release just after christmas, but due to the tournaments and the balancing that needed to be performed his release was slightly delayed. However, did the time spent in the PTR help this champion become balanced? Let’s have a look.

First off let’s have a brief look at how Thresh looks both in and out of game. As with every new champion, Thresh has his standard skin and a purchasable alternate skin. His standard skin is really good, giving him the true feel of a soul collecting warden. His portrait and in-game model are both really well constructed with great use of artistic design. Thresh does have a similar background to Hecarim, hence why they look similar to one another and the likeliness is spot on. His alternate skin however leaves something to be desired. Deep Terror Thresh has the look of Davey Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean with his octopus style head along with the sea life around his body. The portrait is the best part of this skin as it truly captures the champions look underwater. However in game the skin just seems off, it might have to do with the colour contrast in comparison with the portrait. After talking to players in game, they agreed that the skin seemed to bright in game whilst the portrait showed that it was supposed to be relatively dark. This might be a skin Riot will have to look back on in the coming months.

The last problem to bring up about Thresh’s design is his in game emotes. His taunts and dance are both great utilising wither the chain to create some stylish moves or using the lantern to absorb souls whilst taunting his opponent. His joke however just seems wrong, now most LoL champions jokes are either funny or corny but Thresh’s just seems lazy. It doesn’t make me laugh or face palm in corniness, if anything it makes me question why Riot chose those jokes for his emote. One of his dialogue options as he walks around the map is ‘I am the thing that’s under the bed’ which makes a much better joke rather than his current one. This is a small issue as the main problems should come from his design, gameplay or balancing, but it is upsetting to see that Riot might have gotten lazy on that small area.

Now let’s cut to the chase and have a look at Thresh’s skills, as well as see how balanced they truly are in game.

Passive: Damnation

Thresh can harvest the souls of enemies that die near him, permanently granting him armour and ability power.

The passive is essential to playing Thresh right. This is because he does not have armour per level at all, meaning that his armour will only be improved from buying items for him or from him collecting valuable souls. The souls will only drop from enemy champions, super minions and tank minions whilst the regular minions have a random chance of dropping souls. So you might be saying to yourself ‘Does this mean he can get a ton of armour and ability power without items?’ the answer to that is no. Upon gaining souls, the amount of armour and ability power you earn starts to drop to a cap. This means that you cannot rely on your passive to do everything for you, you still have to build appropriately to counter what’s hurting the most. Overall his passive is really well balanced, it gives you an early game objective whilst being in lane as well as gives you a chance to become a tanky powerhouse come late game.

Q: Death Sentence

Thresh’s attacks wind up, dealing more damage the longer he waits between attacks. When activated, Thresh binds an enemy in chains and pulls them towards him. Activating this ability a second time pulls Thresh to the enemy.

Thresh’s Q is a great ability, combining many aspects from different champions such as Blitzcrank, Skarner and Nautilus. This ability allows the champion to have both sustainable crowd control on individual targets as well as a chance to initiate on an enemy team in conjunction with his ultimate. The abilities passive does do some substantial damage early in the game when it come to poking at enemy champions but late game the passive is capped and won’t be as damage dealing as other teammates abilities. This makes it so that Thresh can be a dominant support champion, using his Q to pin down on the ADC (Attack Damage Carry) or Support so that his teammate can finish them off and secure kills.

W: Dark Passage

Thresh throws out a lantern that shields nearby allied champions from damage. Allies can click the lantern to dash to Thresh.

Thresh’s W ability is definitely the ability to look out for in the fields of justice. The lantern has the capabilities to help teammates secure important locations such as dragon, baron and buffs whilst also making sure that teammates can be shielded as they head into or as they are in team fights. This allows Thresh to become a great initiate, going in with his Q, popping his W to let allies come to him and the dropping his ultimate to deal huge amounts of damage and slow the enemy team. The only slight issue that has been found with the lantern is the range you have to be to gain the shield from the lantern. Whilst Thresh can be very far away from the lantern, teammates will need to pretty much run directly over the lantern to directly receive the shield. This means your mostly going to be throwing the lantern directly on your teammates in fights to guarantee their survival which can be a little tough to pull off if your inexperienced.

E: Flay

Sweeps his chain, knocking all enemies hit in the direction of the blow.

The E ability is an interesting mechanic in itself so allow me to explain how to pull it off. If you aim the ability towards you, the enemy will be pulled towards you. However if you aim the ability ahead of you, the enemy will the pushed away from you. This allows Thresh to single enemies out and either pull them in or out of team fights to guaranteed a secure kill. This along with his Q, W and ultimate give Thresh a lot of crowd control in the lane he is in. This in turn would mean that enemy champions would have to beware of Thresh’s abilites to potentially cause a team fight to be completely one sided. The damage output however is quite low which means that this ability is only really meant to be used for crowd control and not damage output.

Ultimate/R: The Box

A prison of walls that slows and deals damage if broken.

Thresh’s ultimate has a lot of potential for many things. With this ability you can single out an enemy champion for a kill, crowd control an entire team for a team fight or use it whilst escaping to ensure that the enemy cannot catch up. With this diversity, his R is really dominant when it comes to the game. The slow is incredibly strong, causing a 99% reduction in speed as well as having a 1/1 AP ratio on it for additional damage output. This ability is the reason why players have to make the decision to be either a support or mid laner. Do you go mid to counter the potential AD Bruiser or do you go support in the bottom lane to ensure that your ultimate can secure kills for your teammates. Either way you end up going, this ability is the one thing you need to master on Thresh as it drops the box immediately on your current position rather than dropping it where ever you please.

After playing with Thresh from the week of his release, I am happy to say that he is a great addition to the LoL roster. The champion is an exceptional choice for multiple positions due to his crowd control and his late game damage output. Although his abilities can be a little troublesome at first to master, he will become a dominant champion if you allow yourself time to learn his mechanics and builds. Overall he is a must have for support champion players and a potential pick up for those playing champions in the middle lane.

So what do you guys think of Thresh, the chain Warden? Do you think he chains together his abilities like a boss or do you think his soul wont last too long in the fields of justice? Be sure to post your comments below and enjoy the new champion from Riot Games and League of Legends.

 

 Score Description
9 Gameplay
Thresh Plays incredibly well in the game. His abilities are both balanced and can deal great amounts of damage in the right hands.
7 Graphics
His in game character model for his default skin looks brilliant however it is his alternate skin that does make the score fall for him when it comes to graphics. In game, the alternate skin leaves something to be desired and It is a combination of the colour contrast from the portrait and the lack of change when it comes to his animations and sprites.
5 Emotes
Thresh’s emotes are a slight let down from the rest of the character. Although his taunts are really well contructed, his jokes arn’t nearly as funny or as corny as other champions.
10
Lore
Thresh’s lore is really interesting and constructive due to his ties with Hecarim. It is a must read for anyone that is interested in character Lore and the lore itself stands out in comparison to other champions.

High  Replayability
I can see Thresh being used alot over the coming months in Season 3, especially with the Leagues update coming very soon. Many amatuer and Pro teams will benefit from having a Thresh on their team as well as casual players will enjoy constantly absorbing souls and helping their teammates.
7.5
Overall
Good

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