Cassiopeia, the Serpent's Embrace
Cassiopeia's been one of the champions where I've decided to leave well enough alone - after all, her kit was coherent and self-synergystic (mark enemies with poison and DPS them down), her counterplay was apparent and accessible, and she brought something unique to the team as a sort of anti-mobility mage, introducing the "grounded" status effect into the game.
With the goal of LoLReDux being to ask myself "Is this the best I can do?" however, I've given Cassiopeia a second look (without turning to stone) and raised the bar a little bit. The old Cass is fine, sure, but I can't help but feel there's room to capture the essence of this sinister serpent in a more exciting way.
After digging deep into her lore, there was one thing that stood out to me as a lost opportunity: before she became all scales and tail, she was duplicitous, deceitful...Was there any way to inject the Cass we know with a little bit of that hidden venom without compromising the monster she's become?
Pulling from the iconic snake imagery that defines her, I've given Cass a way to relive her sly and secretive past while allowing her to have an even more horrifying presence. Now, she can take on her former appearance to poison her foes, wait for the right moment to strike, then shed her false skin to put the squeeze on them.
Since the old Cass had such a solid kit, I wanted to preserve as much of it as I could, while giving it a bit more depth and variance than "keep tagging with poison and spamming Twin Fang." Noxious Blast, Miasma, and Petrifying gaze continue to exist in nearly the exact same form, and Cass still benefits uniquely from her allies' poison-based effects.
Cass's niche as an anti-mobility mage has not only been preserved, but enhanced: keeping the ability to ground enemies, she now also benefits greatly from enemies that have been successfully immobilized, using that moment of weakness to pivot into her main damage-dealing tools.
All values in blue are meant to give a general idea of the ability's properties, and are subject to change.
Recommended Positions: Solo Sidelane
Innate: Hidden Venom
Cassiopeia applies a crippling venom to her weapon every 8 seconds, causing her next basic attack to poison its target for 20 to 250 (based on level) + (40% AP) magic damage over 3 seconds and applying a Lingering Curse for 16 seconds. Performing this attack while in brush does not reveal Cassiopeia.
Lingering Curse stuns its target for 1.75 seconds upon expiration, and expires 100% more quickly while its target is poisoned.
Q: Noxious Blast/Constrict
HUMAN: Cassiopeia snaps, creating a noxious plume at the target location after a 0.4 second delay that poisons enemies for 75/110/145/180/215 + (90% AP) magic damage over 3 seconds, and slows enemies affected by Lingering Curse in a wider area by 25% for 3 seconds.
SERPENT: Cassiopeia slithers over to the target location and constricts enemies within it after a 1.2 second delay, pulling them towards its center and dealing 100/150/200/250/300 + (100% AP) magic damage. Stunned enemies are crushed, causing Constrict's's damage to instantly destroy shields and ignore 40% of the targets' magic resistance.
Range: 850 (Noxious Blast range), 75/150 (Noxious Blast minimum/maximum radius), 500 (Constrict dash range), 320 (Constrict effect radius)
Targeting Type: Skill Shot - Circle
Cooldown: 5.5/5/4.5/4/3.5 (Noxious Blast), 18/17/16/15/14 (Constrict)
Cost: 50/60/70/80/90 mana (Noxious Blast), None (Constrict)
W: Serpent's Reach/Slither
HUMAN - PASSIVE: While in brush or obscured from enemies, Cassiopeia unleashes her basic abilities without restraint, warping her appearance to increase Noxious Blast's and Miasma's range by 15/20/25/30/35%.
SERPENT - PASSIVE: Cassiopeia gains 30/35/40/45/50% bonus movement speed while near enemy champions that cannot see her.
Range: 1000 (bonus movement speed radius)
Targeting Type: None
E: Miasma/Petrifying Scream
HUMAN: Cassiopeia spits forth eight bolts of venom in an arc, leaving clouds of petrifying venom on the ground for 5 seconds, poisoning enemies that stand within it for 20/25/30/35/40 + (15% AP) magic damage per second, and grounding enemies affected by Lingering Curse until they are no longer poisoned.
SERPENT: After a brief delay, Cassiopeia lets out a shriek in the target direction, dealing 75/125/175/225/275 + (70% AP) magic damage to enemies in a cone and silencing them for 1.8 seconds. Stunned enemies are petrified instead of silenced, shielding them for 15% of their maximum health for 3 seconds and extending the stun while the shield persists.
Range: 700 (Miasma range), 160 (Miasma effect radius), 825 (Petrifying Scream range), 80° (Petrifying Scream angle)
Targeting Type: Skill Shot - Circle Array (Miasma), Skill Shot - Cone (Petrifying Scream)
Cooldown: 24/22/20/18/16 (Miasma), 13/12/11/10/9 (Petrifying Scream)
Cost: 70/80/90/100/110 mana (Miasma), None (Petrifying Scream)
R: Second Skin/Crawling Retreat
HUMAN: Cassiopeia sheds her false skin, leaving it behind with its current health and emerging as her true serpent form. While in this form, Cassiopeia gains different abilities and a melee attack, applies Hidden Venom's crippling poison with each attack, and becomes camouflaged while out of combat for 5/4/3 seconds.
SERPENT: Cassiopeia dashes to her false skin if it's within 500/600/700 units, entering it and regaining her human facade.
Cassiopeia's serpent form has an independent health pool equal to 75% of Cassiopeia's total health, which recovers at a rate of 5% per second while within her false skin.
If her false skin is destroyed, Cassiopeia will regenerate it around herself after 40/30/20 seconds. The false skin is indistinguishable from her human form while her serpent form isn't visible to enemy champions.
Targeting Type: None
Cooldown: 40/30/20 (Second Skin; starts upon use), None (Crawling Retreat)
Cost: 100 mana