If you've ever played in the top lane during a League of Legends game, chances are you've encountered a Singed player in your lifetime.
You know, the guy who sprays poison all over the place, can proxy farm you and ultimately cause you to tilt beyond anything you thought was possible.
A brave soul took to the League of Legends forums and created an essay (we're not kidding, the forum post is lengthy. Grab your lunch and read the original here) as to what needs to be done with Singed.
Luckily for us, Kujararanch, the poster in question, left a nice TL;DR which reads as follows.
"Singed's kit has not aged with the game and makes him not fun to play anymore. In the past he could adapt with items however with recent changes and additions it has become impossible to do so. Singed's kit does not fulfill its role anymore resulting in the champion not having an identity anymore. Singed as a champion is victim to a lot of indirect changes thus Riot has unintentionally nerfed him into the ground over time. The statistics about the champion's positioning is inflated as only dedicated mains play him, resulting in his win rate/difficulty being inaccurate. Singed does not need a massive rework, however his passive must be changed and his other spells adjusted to correspond with recent changes."
Kujararanch also gave us a bit of back story. Kujararanch mains Singed on three acccounts, one in NA and two in Korea. He states in his introduction that he's "very concerned" with the state of Singed. In his essay-styled write up he also alludes to the fact that Singed has gotten worse as each season goes by.
He broke it down into several aspects but we're going to focus on four essential points brought up by Kujararanch.
The Case To Buff Singed
This post wouldn't be created without Kujararanch thinking Singed needs some sort of buff. He starts off by explaining this and says, "I don't think he needs a full rework – none of us want Singed to be OP – especially Singed mains, I just think Singed could use a few lifestyle changes that can help Singed feel like playing Singed again. You may call them buffs, I want to think of them more as adaptations to an ever changing game."
A brave Rioter by the name of Manwolfaxeboss took on this task of replying to the essay and said, "You're right in that the majority of people playing Singed are Singed mains. This has been true for nearly all of LoL's life. Even when he's been very strong, he's not a champion that appeals to many, whether due to playstyle or persona (almost certainly both). His mastery path is rather obtuse and skews heavily towards strategy rather than tactics."
According to Manwolfaxeboss, buffing Singed doesn't appeal to enough people to make it worthwhile to do so. "Even when Singed is statistically OP he doesn't draw players. Wouldn't that make him a good candidate for a visual/gameplay update? Perhaps, but that's the Champ-Update team and I can't speak confidently to their prioritization."prevnext
Kujararanch starts this segment off with some common sense that many often overlook. "Singed comes from an era where champions were for the most part immobile. These days though, there are champions that can get from one side of the screen to the other with much ease – and most importantly without items. Basically, there is too much mobility in the game, mobility that makes it extremely difficult for Singed to either catch anyone – or run away from."
That... That makes a lot of sense.
According to Manwolfaxeboss, the biggest reason for some of Singed's feeling of being "too slow" comes from the removal of tenacity from his ultimate. "I pushed back quite hard on the removal of tenacity from R. I would have liked to see defensive stats removed instead. My reasoning was that I never want to stop running as Singed. If I need to die, fine, but let me die running. Felt like we were removing more fun than power. That said, I also understand why we removed it. Singed being able to "freely" access the backline was not meant for his power profile. That was the riddle for Singed players to solve, not the inverse where backline has to figure out how to avoid him."prevnext
We all know that League of Legends is a game of matchups. If you're countered to begin with, you're most likely going to have a bad time. While Kujararanch understands that Singed is meant to have matchups not in his favor, he quickly points out that there's just so many against him while barely any are for him. "It is clear to me that ranged matchups are intended to be a weakness for Singed, that I can understand. Singed is supposed to counter melee – but the only melee I can actually counter for the early game are Tryndamere or Jax – which eventually outscale me. I do not believe that there is another champion with as mana bad matchups as Singed. In any matchup, I feel like I did pretty well if I can get at least 50 cs in the first 10 minutes of the game. That is a really low bar, but that is where Singed stands now."
Manwolfaxeboss actually agreed with everything that Kujararanch stated and said, "Singed doesn't have many winning ones and some of his previous ones have been removed. He used to be able to bypass this with proxy farming, but that isn't as viable as it used to be (for good reason). 3x Dark Seal in laning phase was fun initially because it felt like gaming the system, but now it's more like you're forced to just to survive. Singed has a decent level 2 all-in with Ignite, but for the most part his early game is weak."prevnext
Early Game, Mid Game, Late Game
Let's face it. Some League of Legends champions are better suited for different parts of the game. That's just the way it is and that's part of why League of Legends' games can be won during the pick and ban phase.
As previously touched upon, Manwolfaxeboss alluded to the fact that Singed's early game used to be dominated by proxy farming. According to Kujararanch, that's not the only reason why Singed's early game has suffered. "Proxy Singed was hurt when the removal of the bounty for killing a champion that has died too many times was removed. That essentially was the end of proxy Singed for most people. Some of us kept trying to do it – but often than not it simply made the opposite team snowball much faster."
"Another thing that hurt Singed was the re-pathing of minions – before Singed used to be able to kite minions into the jungle to avoid taking so much damage. But that isn't the case anymore. This makes proxying a very dangerous and not so rewarding tactic."
As for Singed's mid game, thats where Kujararanch believes Singed has an opportunity to shine if he gets lucky enough. "Reaching six means we can stay in lane longer to farm, and ULT is a powerful ability but I find myself mostly using it to push waves and reduce the damage taken while I push the waves or to regain mana and HP. But here is the kicker, Singed has to be very far ahead in the midgame to have any impact in the midgame."
To this point, Manwolfaxeboss completely disagreed and said, "Assuming you aren't woefully behind, Singed's midgame is quite powerful."
Here's where things get tricky. Singed's late game is all about the build according to Riot. "Singed is forced to buy items that shore up his weaknesses rather than enhance his strengths. Rylai's + Liandry's (RoA) are natural fits for Singed, but suboptimal due to current state of LoL. I agree that even though Singed's win rate may be fine, his current best build option isn't compelling. It's not why most Singed players want to play Singed."
Kujararanch echoed this sediment and said, "I recall a moment when one Riot member said that all Singed has to do is build RG, Deadmans plate, ZZ'rot and use ghost to catch someone. What champion has to build those many items simply to feel useful?"prev