Tuesday, October 23, 2012

League of Legends: Jayce's Hyper Charge

Over the weekend I picked up one of the newer champions in League of Legends: Jayce. He's pretty widely considered to be the 'overpowered' champion of choice these days and I figured I should play him to figure out how he works. And to kill people with an overpowered champion, you know how it is. I've started out using the build they were using in the season championships a couple weeks ago where you completely ignore two of your skills and only put points into Q and E. It's been working out reasonably well. We have a lot of competition for the top lane in our games and no one wants to play AD carry bottom lane so I've been trying Jayce out down there with success. But I was wondering if maybe I should change my skill order. The skill I've been skipping seems like it might be good for an ADC role. I figured I should take a look to see what exactly it does.

Jayce is interesting in that each of his three main skills are actually two skills in one. His ult swaps between melee mode and archer mode with a different set of skills (on different cooldowns) in each mode. I'm interested in particular with how his W works in archer mode...

Hyper Charge: Jayce gains a burst of energy, increasing his attack speed to the maximum amount for 3 attacks. These attacks do 70/85/100/115/130% of his attack damage. Cooldown 14/12/10/8/6 seconds. 40 mana.

The first thing to point out is the maximum attack speed is 2.5 attacks per second. It turns out it doesn't interact favourably with slows so if you have a debuff on you it may actually be less than 2.5 attacks per second but I'm just going to ignore that for now. I think they recently made a change so attack speed buffs kick in whenever activated to partially reduce the time before your next attack. As such, I'm going to assume it gets used, on average, halfway between the cooldown of the previous attack. So over the course of one second you'll get 3 attacks in with the damage modifier appropriate for the rank of the skill. You're also going to lose that second's worth of auto-attacks, along with half of an attack.

It's also interesting to note that this skill actually increases your AD scaling as you put points into it. Almost every skill in the game gets more base damage when you level it, or lower cooldown, or a longer CC duration. This one scales more with more points...

Regardless of rank, you're looking at gaining 3*X*AD damage while losing .5*AD+AD*APS. At low levels your APS is probably in the .6-.8 range. At higher levels, if you don't stack attack speed items, you're probably more like 1.4. So...

At rank 1 early, you'd gain 3*.7*AD-(.5*AD+.7*AD)=.9*AD.

At rank 1 late, you'd gain 3*.7*AD-(.5*AD+1.4*AD)=.2*AD.

At rank 5 early, you'd gain 3*1.3*AD-(.5*AD+.7*AD)=2.7*AD.

At rank 5 late, you'd gain 3*1.3*AD-(.5*AD+1.4*AD)=2*AD.

Later in the game it seems pretty mediocre to use the ability at all if you haven't ranked it up. But if you max it out first it looks to be a bit of a beating, especially if you're just picking up AD and ignoring attack speed. The attack speed it still good while the ability is on cooldown so it's not bad by any means, but it does decrease the power of hyper charge.

One thing I accidentally stumbled on while testing against bots today is getting 3 very fast attacks out is actually pretty good when you have a black cleaver item. It gives the target a debuff that stacks up to 3 times for an armour shred... If you have other physical attackers on your team that seems like it could be a pretty big deal.

So, is this worth leveling up early? I'll need to look at the gains from the other abilities I guess, but I think next time I ADC him I'm going to try maxing it first and seeing what happens.

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