Marksmen are a class that have come into their own as the game matured, and are now a staple, if not the staple, in every team. While the permanence of marksmen is likely something that needs to addressed (who could replace an AD Carry?), a larger and bigger issue is that of many marksmen essentially being treated as vessels for big items. This has the result of making a lot of marksmen feel a) homogenous, and b) not too powerful, interesting or unique on their own, instead all starting out as weaklings before getting their required items and turning into glorified DPS pumps. While a big issue with this comes from marksman itemization, which has very little variation and too much focus on just raw stats, a large part of the problem also comes from marksmen kits themselves, which often substitute interesting and unique gameplay for perfunctory stat steroids and uninspired abilities thrown in with little regard for internal synergy or great success cases. The goals of the changes below are the following:

Currently, there are a lot of marksmen out there that link to a very strong theme: CaitlynSquare Caitlyn is the game's sniper, AsheSquare Ashe is the ice ranger, GravesSquare Graves is the close-quarters shotgun brawler, and so on. However, some of these themes aren't executed nearly as well as they could be: for example, Caitlyn plays almost exactly like the opposite of a sniper in most situations, Graves's gameplay isn't particularly defined by his range, and KalistaSquare Kalista, who's meant to be forever bound to her sworn allies, tends to act on her own. While ultimately all marksmen should be good at laying down consistent damage from a distance, that leaves a ton of room for each ADC to express their own playstyle in a manner that is completely distinct from any other's.

A big issue with many marksmen is that they're frequently given on-demand free power, often in the form of raw stats, and that their kits as a result lack true moments of success or unique strength. In the worst case, some ADC kits are deficient to the point of almost being empty, simply because they're expected to have most of their power focused on items. The biggest offender here is TwitchSquare Twitch, whose kit feels tremendously weak simply because he blows up in the late game with a full build and his various stat bonuses that pad out several of his abilities, and champions like Miss FortuneSquare Miss Fortune, QuinnSquare Quinn and even VayneSquare Vayne have a lot of power placed on on-demand stats when they could express it in far more interesting ways, which creates an issue of visible power as well. On top of this, marksmen often don't synergize with stats in a particularly interesting manner: even with AD scalings on abilities and some on-hit effects, few marksmen make interesting use of the stats they build, and surprisingly no marksman, bar AsheSquare Ashe (and DravenSquare Draven, before his passive got changed), has ever interacted with crit on their kit, despite critical strike chance being the ADC stat. While this is likely due to crit right now being random and lacking in original gameplay, which is why the reworks below rely on a different critical strike system and item set (in short, every third instance of autoattack or spell damage is a crit, deals no base additional damage but can be modified with items and abilities), there's a general issue with marksmen not integrating stats very much past their own basic attacks. In the end, each item has to make sense on a marksman beyond just offering necessary AD carry stats, and stats on marksmen need to feel truly interesting and rewarding, even if it comes at a cost to on-demand steroids and general power.

A running issue with many marksmen kits is that their abilities tend to lack synergy, simply offering a bit of damage, crowd control, utility or mobility without interacting with each other in interesting ways. Marksmen with major hybrid scalings, such as EzrealSquare Ezreal, CorkiSquare Corki and VarusSquare Varus, tend to be the clearest examples of this, with effects that may share a theme, but don't really mesh too well with each other (this also leads to AP or AD builds on those champions often feeling incomplete either way, as there are "dead" effects on their kits that don't really do much at all). While not every champion needs to have as much synergy as, say, a mage combo, every kit needs to be internally consistent, and the best kits have abilities that build upon each other to lead to unique expressions of power and skill. This is an issue intrinsically tied to marksmen often not making interesting use of their stats, as well as them not expressing their niche in a truly unique way, so creating more kit synergy would allow for more interesting use of stats and set a clearer niche for each ADC.

CaitlynSquare Caitlyn

Niche: The Sniper
  • Caitlyn was designed at a time when mid lane marksmen were a thing, and was expected to survive adequately while completely on her own. Needless to say, times have changed, and while Cait is still occasionally good as a lane bully, the core problems in her kit really stand out: from a power perspective, she's kind of oppressive early on, but doesn't really function like a good marksman even with a full build (she's more of an AD mage with a kit that lacks internal synergy). Additionally, she doesn't really feel like a sniper at all: her passive is pretty much the opposite of one shot, one kill, her Q plows through multiple enemies at a time, and her ultimate, which is the closest she has to a sniper ability, does not give her any opportunity to express aiming skills. The goal of these changes is to turn Caitlyn into a true sniper, using her AD mage elements to put emphasis on aim and planning, while rewarding her marksman builds by making her a lethal threat at all levels when allowed to properly snipe her targets.
  • Stats:
    • Attack range reduced to 425 from 650.
    • Base attack damage increased to 65 from 50.
    • Attack damage growth increased to 5 from 3.
    • Attack speed growth reduced to 1% from 4%.
    • Movement speed increased to 340 from 325.
    • Basic attack projectile speed increased to 4000.
  • Headshot:
    • Reworked: hovering the cursor over a large unit within 1250 units now causes Caitlyn to focus them. If she does not break focus with her target for 「 1.6 seconds, sped up by 0.75% per 1% bonus attack speed 」「 1 / attack speed 」 seconds, she marks them for the next 5 seconds, Sight icon revealing them for the duration and causing her next basic attack to consume the mark, critically strike and deal 150% damage.
    • Enemies can see if they are being focused or marked, and when marked a laser links them to Caitlyn, visible through any form of Sight icon sight.
    • Only one target can be marked at a time.
  • Piltover Peacemaker
    • Renamed to Perch.
    • Mana cost removed.
    • Cooldown reduced to 1 second from 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6.
    • Reworked into a toggle.
      • When toggled on, Caitlyn becomes unable to move, but gains 225 / 375 / 525 / 675 / 825 attack range.
      • Additionally, issuing an attack command fires a bullet in the target direction which stops at the first enemy champion hit, counting as a basic attack.
      • While perched, a circle appears around Caitlyn, visible to her only, indicating her maximum attack range.
  • Yordle Snap Trap:
    • Cooldown changed to 21 / 17 / 13 / 9 / 5 from 20 / 17 / 14 / 11 / 8.
    • Cast range increased to 1000 from 800.
    • Caitlyn can now hold up to 3 traps at once, and can lay down each one with a 3-second delay.
    • Arm time reduced to 1 from 1.1.
    • Damage removed.
    • Vision on affected targets reduced to Sight icon sight for 3 seconds from True Sight icon true sight for 9 seconds.
  • 90 Caliber Net:
    • Cooldown reduced to 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 from 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10.
    • Cast range reduced to 425 from 950.
    • Dash distance increased to 425 from 400.
    • Damage removed.
    • Slow icon Slow duration increased to 2 at all ranks from 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2.
    • Slow icon Slow strength changed to 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60% from 50% at all ranks.
    • Instantly toggles Perch off before dashing.
  • Ace in the Hole:
    • New Passive: Headshot bonus damage increased by 50% per rank, up to 200 / 250 / 300% total damage.
    • Active can only be used while Perch is toggled on.
    • Cooldown increased to 140 / 100 / 60 from 90 / 75 / 60.
    • Active reworked: allows Caitlyn to mark any visible enemy on the map with Headshot, also causing her next basic attack to gain global range and deal true damage to targets marked by Headshot, lasting until Perch is toggled off or Caitlyn fires a basic attack.

Niche: The Sniper
  • Headshot (innate)
    • 「 New Innate - Live Crit: Caitlyn hones in on nearby enemy champions that she faces, taking (2 / attack speed) seconds to fully lock-on. Once locked-on, Caitlyn gains Sight icon sight of the target for 3.5 seconds and her next attack against them during that time is guaranteed to critically strike. Progress toward locking on will reset if Caitlyn loses sight of the target or turns away from them for longer than 0.5 seconds. 」「 New Innate - Stack Crit: Caitlyn passively generates critical strike stacks on all nearby enemy champions that she's facing, applying one every (1 / attack speed) seconds, but does not otherwise generate critical strike stacks. Before locking-on, critical strike stacks will reset if Caitlyn loses sight of the target or turns away from them for longer than 0.5 seconds. Caitlyn gains Sight icon sight of targets she's primed for critical strikes (locked on) and innately deals 50% AD bonus physical damage on critical strikes. Caitlyn can only trigger critical damage on her basic attacks. 」
    • The locking-on reticle is the same as the current reticle for Ace in the Hole.
  • Piltover Peacemaker (new ability, same name)
    • Active: For the next 8 seconds, Caitlyn immobilises herself at her current location and gains 225 / 375 / 525 / 675 / 825 bonus attack range, as well as causing her attacks to become intercept-able by other enemy units. Caitlyn will see a reticle indicating her attack range while perched. When the effect ends, Caitlyn gains 35% increase movement speed for 2 seconds. If deactivated early, the cooldown is reduced by the remaining duration.
    • Cooldown: 20 / 16 / 12 / 8 / 4
    • Cost: 0 mana
  • Yordle Snap Trap:
    • Cooldown changed to 21 / 17 / 13 / 9 / 5 from 20 / 17 / 14 / 11 / 8.
    • Cast range increased to 1000 from 800.
    • Caitlyn can now hold up to 3 traps at once, and can lay down each one with a 3-second delay.
    • Arm time reduced to 1 from 1.1.
    • Damage removed.
    • New Effect: Now instantly readies Headshot.
      • Vision on affected targets reduced to Sight icon sight for 3.5 seconds from True Sight icon true sight for 9 seconds.
  • 90 Caliber Net:
    • Cooldown reduced to 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 from 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10.
    • Cast range reduced to 425 from 950.
    • Dash distance increased to 425 from 400.
    • Damage removed.
    • Slow icon Slow duration increased to 2 at all ranks from 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2.
    • Slow icon Slow strength changed to 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60% from 50% at all ranks.
    • Instantly toggles Perch off before dashing.
  • Ace in the Hole
    • 「 New Passive - Live Crit: Headshots will ignore 20 / 40 / 60 % of the target's bonus armor. 」「 New Passive - Stack Crit: Caitlyn's critical strikes ignore 20 / 40 / 60 % of the target's bonus armor. 」
    • Active: Ace in the Hole can only be activated during Piltover Peacemaker. For the next 5 seconds, Headshot will lock on to targets at global range (still requires sight) regardless of Caitlyn's facing direction and her next attack against a locked-on target gains global range. If Caitlyn does not fire the shot, Ace in the Hole's cooldown is reduced by 50%.
    • Cooldown reduced to 90 / 60 / 30 from 90 / 75 / 60.

EzrealSquare Ezreal

Niche: The Caster Carry
  • Though well-loved by the community as one of the most aim-based marksmen around, Ezreal's struggled in recent times. Though his AP playstyle enjoyed a recent bout of popularity due to his interaction with on-release Runeglaive, as a marksman he suffers from a lack of overall damage compared to most other ADCs, and as an AP assassin he just doesn't have that much to do after blowing his combo. Ez is mostly well-designed, but suffers a bit from flaws common to older AD/AP hybrid champions, as his passive isn't good at all on AP Ezreal (it's not that good on AD Ezreal either), and his W feels terrible on AD Ezreal (it's also not too spectacular even on his AP build). The goal of these changes is to concentrate Ezreal's power and allow both his playstyles to feel really good, while also putting a bit more emphasis on comboing his spells together (he is a caster marksman, after all) and occasionally putting himself close to his targets in-between powerful bursts of long-ranged damage. Building attack speed on Ezreal should feel a lot better, though he'd also be able to shine even when focusing on cooldown reduction instead (he'd be able to do both with Nashor's Tooth or Zephyr, though).
  • Rising Spell Force reworked: critical strikes against enemy champions energize them for 3.5 seconds, causing each of Ezreal's basic attacks and abilities against them to reduce his abilities' cooldowns by 1 second.
  • Mystic Shot no longer reduces Ezreal's cooldowns on its own.
  • Essence Flux:
    • Reworked: Ezreal fires a small pulse of energy that slowly travels in a line, passing through all enemies it runs through. If Ezreal hits the pulse with a basic attack or ability, it detonates, dealing 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+ 80% AP) magic damage to all nearby enemies and critically striking them.
    • Range increased to 1250 from 1000.
  • Arcane Shift:
    • Bonus AD ratio removed.
    • Fires a second shot to detonate Essence Flux if it's within range.

KalistaSquare Kalista

Niche: The Duo Marksman
  • Though only a relatively recent addition to the marksman roster, Kalista's already made herself infamous for the friction induced by her kit: her unique interactions with a specific ally are often needlessly frustrating and forceful, her abilities give her easy access to power most other champions have to work harder to earn in lesser amounts, and her unique movement paradigm is implemented in such a way that she takes a lot of options away from her opponents in combat, especially melee champions with limited mobility and crowd control. On top of this, her identity's all over the place: despite having her character, lore and core set of mechanics firmly entrenched in heavy dependence upon an ally, Kalista's ended up becoming one of the most independent marksmen in the game, a strength reinforced by Riot themselves in recent changes. With a kit picked more for its competitive abuse potential than for its capacity for fun gameplay on all sides, and weaknesses that are either insignificant (e.g. her reliance on allies) or simply poor design (e.g. basic attacks that scale less with AD), Kalista needs to be refitted into her intended thematic niche. The goal of these changes is to bring her ally synergy to the forefront in a manner that makes playing her, with her and against her truly fun, and to make her overall strengths and weaknesses a lot more pronounced and coherent.
  • Martial Poise
    • Renamed to Vendetta.
      • Components renamed to Martial Poise and Oathsworn.
    • Martial Poise reworked: when near her Oathsworn, Kalista doesn't move normally, but instead dashes 325 units in the target direction at a speed equal to her current movement speed (affected by both boosts and Slow icon slows, and interrupted by immobilizing crowd control).
      • Kalista's movement and other actions are independent, meaning she can use basic attacks and abilities while dashing.
    • Oathsworn reworked: Upon right-clicking an allied champion, Kalista marks them for her death pact and causes the Oathsworn symbol to appear above them. If the ally accepts by clicking on the symbol within the next 5 seconds, they instantly become Oathsworn to Kalista for the rest of the game and prevent Kalista from selecting another Oathsworn. Otherwise, Kalista can try again on any allied champion.
      • Animations removed.
      • Stun icon Stun on self and ally removed.
      • Quotes upon bonding are no longer global.
      • The Black Spear removed.
  • Pierce
    • Cooldown reduced to 7 / 6.5 / 6 / 5.5 / 5 from 8 at all ranks.
    • Mana cost reduced to 50 at all ranks from 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70.
    • Base damage removed.
    • Pass-through on-kill removed.
    • Now applies on-hit effects.
    • Now deals 9 / 13 / 17 / 21 / 25% of target's maximum health magic damage to enemies in combat with Kalista's Oathsworn, capped at 200 against jungle monsters.
  • Sentinel
    • Passive removed.
    • Active cooldown reduced to a static 5 seconds from 30.
    • Recharge time reduced to 90 / 75 / 60 / 45 / 30 from a static 90 / 80 / 70 / 60 / 50.
    • Mana cost removed.
    • Sentinel range changed to 2000 / 3000 / 4000 / 5000 / 6000 from 5000 at all ranks.
    • Sentinels last 30 / 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 seconds instead of 7 laps.
    • Sentinels' movement speed now scales with Kalista's movement speed.
    • Sentinel reveal time reduced to 2 from 4.
    • Sentinels now Slow icon slow stalked enemies in combat with Kalista's Oathsworn by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%.
  • Rend
    • Mana cost reduced to 20 from 40.
    • Cooldown reduced to 8 at all ranks from 14 / 12.5 / 11 / 9.5 / 8
    • Spears last as long as Kalista remains in combat with her target.
    • Base damage per spear changed to 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 from 10 / 14 / 19 / 25 / 32.
    • Total damage capped at Smite's damage at the same level against jungle monsters.
    • The first Rend stack no longer deals additional damage.
    • Slow icon Slow removed.
    • Mana refund per kill removed.
    • Kalista's Oathsworn now applies Rend stacks to enemies already affected by Rend with their own attacks.
  • Fate's Call
    • Dash range increased to 1400 from 1100 to match the recall range.
    • Active now reveals the mark above Kalista's Oathsworn and prompts them to click it to retract them into her, instead of automatically sucking them in. This is accompanied by Fate's Call's activation quotes, e.g. "To our side."
    • Airborne icon Knockup duration reduced to 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 from 1.5 / 1.75 / 2.
    • Quotes upon activation are no longer global.

TwitchSquare Twitch

  • Deadly Venom (Innate)
    • New Innate: Twitch's basic attacks reduce his target's maximum health by 12 / 18 / 24 / 30 / 36, which is represented as Black Health to the right of the champion's health bar. This is increased by 1% for every 1% of Twitch's critical strike chance. Reduction in maximum health is treated as true damage and will be resisted by health shields and invulnerability. Deadly Venom lasts for 60 seconds or can be removed by the fountain's healing. Deadly Venom on targets does not grant assists.
  • Venom Cask
    • Deadly Venom applied increased to 24 / 42 / 60 / 78 / 96 from 24 / 36 / 48 / 60 / 72 (2 stacks).
  • Contaminate (E) renamed Expunge
    • New Passive: Twitch's unit kills and champion takedowns spread 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45% (+10% per 100 AD) of their Deadly Venom to surrounding units.
    • Active: Twitch begins expunging surrounding enemies of their Deadly Venom, rapidly removing the Deadly Venom from their system while deal physical damage 「 based on 」「 equal to 」 the amount consumed. Twitch cannot attack while Expunging and his movement speed is slowed by 35%. Twitch can reactivate the ability to cease Expunging. Twitch's bonus attack speed will improve Expunge's speed.
    • Expunging's base speed consumes 10% of the target's maximum health's worth of Deadly Venom every second.

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