Thursday, August 21, 2014


gnarly [nar-lee]
1. Gnarled, disgusting, twisted, dangerous, etc.
2. Slang. Cool or excellent.

EX. This week we're gonna take a look at the latest gnarly champion released in League of Legends, Gnar the Missing Link.

Not much is known about this primitive creature from a more primal age, but some things can be gathered by cave paintings and the creatures own nonsensical jabbering.; millenia ago, Gnar was just a yordle boy when a great evil threatened his tribe, and he rose up to defeat it with his bone boomerang.  For some reason, perhaps by the creature or by his own people, the boy was frozen in true ice. Vacantly, he stared on the wastes of Valoran as time marched on before him, and yet, not even such magic could contain the beast within. After escaping the ice, the creature wandered Runeterra until he was taken in by some yordles. It did not take long for them to learn that the boy...

...had a monstrous temper.

But, he is pretty easy to forgive, being the cutest champion in League of Legends-- I mean his alt skin has the little creature, a mix between a fennec fox, a mogwai and Taz the Tasmanian Devil, wearing dinosaur footie pajamas!

So, how does the cutest champion in League of Legends (and yes, this is a scientific fact) stack up in the top lane? How does his transformations from mini-Gnar to Mega Gnar affect his laning phase? Will he dominated team fights in Season 5?

The most important gameplay element to keep in mind when playing this little manaless AD champ is his passive Rage Gene; whenever Gnar is in combat, his rage meter rises. When Gnar's rage meter hits 100%, he transforms into Mega Gnar! Unlike other champions who transform, Gnar has no control over when he changes forms, except by how long he stays in combat to transform. As Mega Gnar his abilities and stats change dramatically. After a short period, he turns back to his default form and cannot gain points in rage meter for a short period. To understand how to play Gnar, we need to look at each form:

For the rest of this break down, we will refer to his default form as mini Gnar.

Mini Gnar is a rather squishy ADC that specializes in poking down foes and getting last hits with his Q, Boomerang Throw. His Boomerang Throw is a skillshot with crazy range that hits all targets in its path, but requires Gnar to reposition to catch it or suffer from the abilities long cooldown. In order to survive in lane, mini Gnar only has two other abilities; his W, Hyper, rewards him for consecutively auto attacking enemies. If he gets off three auto attacks on an enemy target, in a short time period, he deals a small bit of extra magic damage and gets a movement speed boost. This gives him the ability to better dodge, flee, kite and chase his foes in lane and in team fights, but doesn't have the same innate clutch utility as his E, Hop. Hop allows Gnar to leap to a nearby location or target. If he Hops to a target enemy, he will follow the momentum of the hop, and will bounce to the other side of the target. Hop is crucial for escaping from dangerous situations, repositioning, and chasing down foes. Combining these abilities would make Gnar seem like he has a strong kit, but he has difficulty against most match-ups and requires his other form to succeed in getting kills.

Mega Gnar trades attack speed, mobility and range for the kit of a tankier bruiser that is a team-fighting terror that can turn many situations in your team's favor. His Q, Boulder Toss, is a ranged attack that hits the first enemy in the line of the skill shot and slows nearby enemies. The best part is that, if Mega Gnar picks up the boulder, it dramatically reduces the cooldown of the important gap-closing, kiting, and killing ability. His W, Wallop, is a skillshot that stuns all targets hit and cannot be interrupted by a stun! This move's really begins to show off Mega Gnar's teamfight potential, especially when you can initiate with his E, Crunch, where he hops to an area and deals damage/slows all enemies in the immediate area. But all of these abilities don't have the teamfight turning potential of Mega Gnar's devestating R, GNAR!, in which he slows and knocks all enemies nearby in a specific direction and, if they hit a wall or tower, they're stunned!

Ultimately, learning how to chain Gnar's abilities in either form, and in/out of either form, are the key to gnarly success!

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