League of Legends Designer Explains the Interaction Between Zoe and Morgana's Abilities

The League of Legends champion designer responsible for creating Zoe recently clarified why a [...]

The League of Legends champion designer responsible for creating Zoe recently clarified why a certain interaction between his new champion and Morgana works the way that it does.

Zoe's Sleepy Trouble Bubble can put enemies to sleep if the champion can successfully land it, a new form of CC that you might think Morgana would be able to block with her Black Shield. The Sleep CC occurs after a brief delay where the ability causes enemies to become Drowsy which makes the move a two-part attack, a specific type of ability that's usually blockable by Morgana. However, unless Morgana can protect herself or an ally before the bubble initially makes contact, the Sleep debuff will still be applied.

When the question was raised on Reddit alongside the video above that demonstrates Black Shield's interactions with other multi-step CC abilities, Riot Games' CertainlyT, Zoe's designer, said that the interaction was intended.

"I chose this model after some thought, though it was a close call," CertainlyT said. "Ultimately what is in game right now is as follows: There is one moment to Black Shield Zoe's Sleep, and that is when the target would be hit by the missile/trap and become Drowsy."

CertainlyT went on to explain his reasoning for why this version of the interaction was picked over others:

  1. This model offers the most play for both parties: Morgana has the ability to Black Shield the Drowsy, but she has to use her Black Shield in response to the spell cast itself, which might be a waste if she or her ally dodge.
  2. The alternative of Black Shielding Drowsy, having your Black Shield break and watching your ally fall asleep seemed problematic for other reasons -- the Morgana player would be punished for doing what seems optimal (reacting quickly and exercising good judgment about their ally's dodging capabilities).
  3. This is most consistent with how Black Shield works elsewhere. Here is where we came to different conclusions. You have chosen a number of delayed CCs that have conditionals on them (of course Black Shielding with 3 stack Braum P mark on you blocks the follow on stun, we haven't initiated the stun sequence yet). There aren't a huge amount of true multistage CCs in League. I used Nasus W (a progressive slow, which Morg E does not stop from progressing) and Malphite/Vi R (Knock Ups with follow on Stuns after the target lands which is not prevented by Black Shield).
  4. This is most consistent with how Black Shield has been re-shaped on over time -- the spell was originally developed as a Cleanse + CC immunity but we preferred the anticipatory play model over the purely reactive one.

Though others disputed the relationship between the two abilities by citing other champions as examples, it appears that the interaction between Zoe and Morgana will stay as is since it's intended.