It’s no secret that Fizz is probably one of the more hated champions in League of Legends, and he’s especially prevalent now given his rise in popularity and power in the current meta. But Season 6 is the season of Champion Reworks, and I’m interested to see whether or not Fizz will get a rework in the future, and more specifically if he will get new abilities. He’s certainly a case of a champion that has a lot of things that goes against Riot’s Design philosophies, and a couple mechanics that do kind of qualify as unhealthy design. That said, Fizz is still an interesting champion and is one of the more unique takes on the assassin playstyle, that has had a lot of cool alternate playstyles be popular as well. And if you guys enjoy the video hit that like button and if you don’t hit that dislike.
Now before this conversation starts, we have to talk about what would make a champion qualify for a rework. And I’m talking more specifically about the new game design and kit part of a rework, where he gets his abilities changed significantly, not the kind of rework that is just a visual upgrade. As for the other kind of rework which is the visual upgrade and lore revamp and stuff, Fizz probably doesn’t qualify as much as a lot of other champions, so it’s not really a key topic to touch on. So when it comes to reworking a champion’s gameplay, and doing things like giving them new abilities, new mechanics, and a rehashed gameplay design in general, the biggest thing that will contribute to a champion needing a revamp in that area, to put it simply, if they have problems in the design of their gameplay that Riot views as significant.
As to whether or not Fizz falls under that category, I’m not entirely sure. Now I know there’s a lot of people out there who don’t really like fizz, so to those people I actually do want to say that fizz’s gameplay design might be a little bit more reasonable than you might think so hear me out. So let’s start breaking down Fizz in a spot where most people probably take the biggest issue with him, which is of course playful trickster, his E. This Fizz ability is pretty notorious because the mechanics involved with it typically make it something that many would view as being frustrating to play against.
From the invulnerability, waveclear, slow effect, and high amount of damage and versatility, it’s hard to make a case for such an ability, and for a really long time I thought this ability was, well pretty dumb and I’m not the biggest fan of playing against Fizz, but after messing around a bit more with him as a champion, and talking to some champion designers about Fizz, I actually think his playful trickster is..
Mm I’m not going to say well designed, but it’s actually very interesting, as I don’t think this ability is a problem at all, and even if Fizz does get a rework it’s likely that this ability could remain unchanged. And although I can’t deny that it is a pretty frustrating ability to play against, the fact that it’s frustrating to face kind of gets complimented by the idea that it is fun to play with and use, and it’s a reasonable way to give him the outplay potential that his kit needs to have as an assassin. And it might be a bit weird to think about, but the reason why Fizz’s E is at least kind of balanced, is actually because of the very nature of it being overloaded. Because Fizz has so much of his power put into his playful trickster, that actually makes the ability a lot more fair.
And the reason why that is, is because it forces Fizz to have to choose and make an active decision when using the ability. If he uses it as a part of his damage combo, then he suddenly has no escape since he used it aggressively. And if he uses It as an escape, then he’s doing a lot less damage in that situation. And since it also gives him waveclear, it means that he will be using it in lane somewhat often, which leaves him windows of opportunities to be vulnerable to ganks and engages. It’s those trade offs that Fizz has to decide between when using playful trickster that makes this ability reasonable design. Fizz will at least in theory never have a super high burst combo and an escape in a given situation, he’ll never have waveclear and an escape, you get the idea. However, that is kind of just on paper, because if Fizz gets super fed and no longer needs the damage from playful trickster to kill his target, then this ability does become a lot more frustrating, since the trade offs all of a sudden become a lot less meaningful.
But it is important for him to have some kind of outplay potential, as that is a core element of what makes assassins work, and it’s also a part of why assassins snowball like crazy, so in the sense that because he is supposed to be an assassin, this ability is arguably fair to have on his kit. It’s definitely frustrating to play against a lot of the time don’t get me wrong, but it’s actually some other problems with the design of his kit that make this ability and his kit overall potentially worse than it is on paper. Whether or not you think playful trickster is poorly designed or not, there are other problems worth bringing up with Fizz.
First off, we have his passive. Now this ability might not be poorly designed in the sense that it doesn’t cause any unhealthy patterns of gameplay, but what it does suffer from, is just a total lack of excitement or any interesting traits at all. This is probably one of the most lackluster and in some situations useless passives in the game, and a lot of the time it’s kind of bugged anyway. Whether you like or dislike Fizz, it’s important to consider both sides of the story when discussing his design, and the passive is questionable since it doesn’t really do anything to contribute to his kit in any way, half the time it might as well not even exist. Loads of champions in League have super cool passives that do a lot of stuff and add in a lot of gameplay, and Fizz’s passive does practically nothing, and is a big reason that might make him due for a rework.
A new passive could add a bit more excitement to his kit and give him a lot more depth as well, and with assassins getting that depth is really important. Most assassins lack a lot of depth, since their gameplay patterns often come down to just they kill their target or they don’t, and fizz is definitely no exception to that since his ultimate so heavily reinforces that playstyle, that by making his passive a completely new ability, it could make fizz have a lot more complexity and depth which would be a good thing to give him in order to make him feel better to play and potentially give him more meaningful counterplay too. It’s not really something that is poorly designed, since his passive doesn’t contribute to any unhealthy gameplay patterns, it’s just that it’s an ability that has a lot of room for improvement, and is probably where Fizz could stand to benefit from the most if he actually got a rework. So we have his Passive as something that is pretty questionable, but what is definitely the biggest problem in his kit, and might actually be one of the worst designed abilities in league of legends I have to say, is actually Fizz’s W.
And the reason why I say it might be one of the worst designed abilities, is because so much of it conflicts with Riot’s design philosophies. Riot has a lot of rules they set, and goals and ideas they want to accomplish, and Seastone Trident, his W actually breaks a lot of those rules and direct conflicts in accomplishing those ideas. And this is because his W is probably the cookie cutter case of what is known as Hidden Power in a champion, which is something that Riot very much actively wants to avoid and they have stated it time and time again.
And when I say Hidden power, what it means is something that is more powerful than it appears, making it difficult for enemies to see or respond to it, and the magic damage that ticks over 3 seconds is exactly that. It’s unintuitive how much damage you might take from this ability, and it’s ambiguous when you take a lot more damage than is apparent, because it feels like the game is tricking you, it’s like lying to you in a sense that it’s so unclear how much damage you might actually take. This is typically why there are a very small number of damage over time effects in league of legends, and most of them have very clear effects or do a flat amount of damage, because abilities should be clear cut – you know that, Okay, I get hit by this and I take this amount of damage, or I get hit by that and this happens and its clear to you what happens, but this ability is the total opposite.
The indicators on this ability should be more obvious that are you taking damage from it. For example when you face a darius, the bleed you are taking has this massive indicator all over your head and it’s right in your face, and every single damage tick does the same amount of damage, but with Fizz that kind of clarity is just not there. Especially since it has missing hp scaling, the amount of times you can finish someone off with the passive damage ticks is quite frequent and it’s generally frustrating to die to because it feels like you really should have lived, when in fact you just take 8% of your missing health in the last few seconds right as you have escaped. Dying from variable damage numbers on a DOT is not only frustrating but confusing, and the missing hp scaling combed with the lack of a clear indicator makes it ambiguous to play against and it’s a bit too much hidden power tied into a single ability. And this ability is not really overpowered at all honestly, I mean it’s okay, it’s just that this idea of hidden power is something that riot very actively tries to avoid, and is one of the biggest examples of something that is unhealthy design.
So with all of that said, let’s stop ranting about his W and bring it back to the main idea of whether or not this makes Fizz actually qualify for a rework. At least the way I see it from a design perspective, we have one semi relevant reason of his passive, and one relatively significant reason in his W. But is that enough to make him worthy of getting a rework? Well, it’s not entirely clear. One ability doesn’t necessarily make the entire champion poorly designed and unhealthy, it just creates some situations in game that have that type of gameplay. So what do you think? Should Fizz get new abilities in the form of a rework? Leave a comment.