Sylas, the Unshackled

Overview:

Sylas was...probably one of the more difficult redesigns to follow through with. Not because his problems stumped me in any particular way, however, but because the main tool he brings to the game - stealing enemy champions' Ultimate abilities - doesn't have a place in a game like League of Legends.

For those familiar with DotA, this particular function may bring to mind Rubick - who can copy any ability in the game, not just Ults. But while DotA is defined by characters composed of many simple and general-use tools, League's more holistic and self-contained kits are greater than the whole of their parts.

 

Since the ideal of kits like these is that every Ult is uniquely tailored to its champion, a champion that steals Ults will never truly be "whole" - taking abilities they can't fully optimize, and wielding a set of basic abilities with no keystone. All that said, Sylas's Ult is very thematically cool and had a tremendous amount of work put into it, so I can't help but feel guilty for proposing changes that undo that work.

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A grab-bag Ult isn't Sylas's only problem, though, as his base kit is also a generic "best-of" reel of Things That Melee Characters Like with no unique direction or hook of its own. These changes are meant to lean further into his "mage convict" theme, turning him into a magic bruiser who refuses to be locked down, and who bides his time until leading his team into a revolution against their oppressive crowd-controlling foes.

 

Sylas can now typically be found with arms bound, and lashes out with his chains to rough up nearby foes while sapping their magic. It may take a few tries, but he can eventually break free, allowing him to unleash a more brutish flavor of magic and gaining the mobility he needs to wreak proper havoc. 

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The loss of an Ult is a fairly major change, so I wanted to otherwise keep as many of his ability formats and functions intact. He can still lash his chains around and use them to grapple to foes, keeps some form of mid-fight self-healing, and gains access to his current level of mobility once he breaks his chains.

He can still technically siphon away his foes' magic and unleash it back at them as well, but rather than stealing unique abilities that he has little synergy with (especially now that his kit is a bit less generic), he can send it back as a blast of pure, unrefined force. 

All values in blue are meant to give a general idea of the ability's properties, and are subject to change.

Class: Diver

Recommended Positions: Solo Midlane, Solo Sidelane

Complexity: Low

Innate: Hijack

Upon coming within 350 units of an enemy champion, Sylas will ​siphon their magic, silencing them for 1.25 seconds and gaining a stack of Hijack. Sylas can only siphon each unique champion's magic once every 10 to 4 (based on level) seconds.

 

After 2.5 seconds (refreshed by siphoning an additional champion's magic), Sylas will unleash the stored magic upon the nearest enemy champion within 400 units, dealing

20 to 105 (based on level) + (60% AP) magic damage.

While Unshackled, the range at which Sylas can siphon and unleash magic is increased

by 100%.

Q: Lash Out

Sylas slams his shackles' chains towards the target location, creating a shockwave that deals 60/115/170/225/280 + (80% AP) magic damage to enemies in the area after a 0.6 second delay.

While Unshackled, Sylas will instead leap to the target location, dealing 100/175/250/325/400 + (120% AP) magic damage to enemies in the area, and to enemies in a wider area around it after a 0.6 second delay, though enemies can only be damaged once.  

Range: 775 (target range), 200 (first shockwave radius), 400 (second shockwave radius)

Targeting Type: Skill Shot - Circle

Cooldown: 10/9/8/7/6

Cost: 50/55/60/65/70 mana

W: Break Loose

Sylas struggles against his shackles, cleansing himself from all crowd control, breaking enemy tethers, and gaining a stack of Jailbreak for 12 seconds. Upon reaching 3 stacks, Sylas will temporarily break free and become Unshackled for 8 seconds, altering his abilities.

While Unshackled, Break Loose no longer grants stacks of Jailbreak, but instead heals Sylas for 30/60/90/120/150 + (50% AP), increased by 0% to 100% (based on Sylas's missing health).

Each subsequent use of Break Loose within 6 seconds increases its mana cost by 25%, up to 100%. Crowd control from enemy champions removes all stacks of Jailbreak. 

Range: Self

Targeting Type: None 

Cooldown: 5/4.75/4.5/4.25/4

Cost: 50 mana

E: Kingslayer

Sylas flings the chain from his collar ​in the target direction, tethering himself to the first enemy hit for 3.5 seconds, rooting them for 0.35 seconds before slowing them by 15/20/25/30/35% until the they break the tether by moving 250 units beyond Kingslayer's maximum range.

While the tether remains attached, Sylas winds up a magic-infused headbutt every 1.5 seconds, causing his next basic attack to deal 65/100/135/170/205 + (100% total AD) +

(85% AP) magic damage.

While Unshackled, Sylas's headbutt gains 400 bonus range and causes him to leap to his target. 

Range: 650

Targeting Type: Skill Shot - Line

Cooldown: 14/13/12/11/10

Cost: 65 mana

R: Uprising

Sylas lets loose a wave of pent-up magic, cleansing all crowd control from nearby allies before shielding them for 150/200/250 + (125% AP) and granting them 40/50/60% bonus movement speed for 4 seconds. Both the shield and movement speed decay over the duration.

 

Uprising can only be used while Sylas is Unshackled.  

Range: 1000

Targeting Type: None 

Cooldown: 100/80/60

Cost: 75 mana