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The Unreliability of Lurker


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In this video I point blank charge Virgil in two engagements over 30-60 seconds in order to maximize the chance that spikes will land on him. The first was with timescale boost with intent to kill, the second was for testing and illustration. Over this time Virgil is struck 5 times with minimal effect.



From what I've understood, the way Lurker's ultimate works is that each "spike" applies an invisible mark. The mark increases the chance that further spikes will land on a target. Marks are prioritized based on proximity to Lurker and proximity to each other, so clumped units and units closer to Lurker (within 5 units) will be targeted more often.

It also seems that the ultimate will not focus non-visible units, such as those above ground or in bushes, even if they were just previously "marked", but this just may be my observation and not truth.

The synergy is to utilize W to increase timescale over 5 seconds, along with items like Sliptide or Yamato, in order to speed up the spike rate, and thus damage rate. On the final second of W, that is a 50% timescale increase. Assuming a linear relationship, Lurker's 4 spikes per second would increase to 6 spikes per second. Or rather 6 spikes for one second.



Now I know lurker has usually been regarded as a strong champ. He is a carry that easily farms the jungle, in the past his large AOE would, with chance, wear down teams. He has an AOE attack that often hits more than once and can attack while invisible in exchange for being immobile and dodge-able. He may be built off his auto attack or INT.

From his inception, nothing about his ultimate has changed that would affect the targeting logic. The damage was changed slightly and the energy cost was increased.



However based on the video above I cannot agree that this is a healthy state to be in. It is long outdated. His damage is very unreliable from level 6 and onward. In comparison to other similar "clean-up" carries such as Leo or Shadow, I know that upon hitting level 6 my damage is still very weak. These champs do not possess AOE attacks like Lurker and cannot farm as well at level 1, but in terms of scaling both of these other champs could in fact also solo Levi quite early, much earlier than Lurker, and grow significantly faster and harder than Lurker.

You can also argue that Lurker is significantly more difficult to play than both of these champs as well since Lurker requires burrow-timing, has a 1.2 second channel skillshot, and of course has a higher vulnerability to all skillshots.

It is possible that the video is simply bad luck, merely a singled-out case, but I have played Lurker many, many times and I know this is a very common norm. I can gank as Lurker and barely provide any damage, especially if the Q misses.

  1.  Lurker's ultimate is very RNG dependent. The damage this ability provides in real-life usage is lackluster at best and worthless at worst. Assuming a miraculous 100% hit rate the (level 3) ability does 100 (+15% INT) x 4 = 400 (60% INT) per second. The video provided shows a hit rate of at most, once per 6 seconds. Even assuming half of a perfect hit rate, at 200 (30%) INT per second, that is extremely weak considering how deadly Shadow or Leo is late game, or even midgame.
  2. The ability punishes aiming on multiple units in attempting to deal burst/focused damage. If there are creeps, those creeps also receive a mark and thus vie for targeting priority with champs. The intent to inflict maximum damage on multiple units does in fact the opposite. And as a ganking jungler, lane creeps would reduce your damage output significantly. A situation where there are only champs in range is not only rare as a ganker, it is completely backwards to how Lurker, or really any other champ with access to large AOE, would be played. In the video provided there were creeps in the AOE. This cannot be avoided. To attempt to alleviate this problem Lurker stood point blank at Vergil. It made no difference, I hope.
  3. With the above two points in mind, Lurker needs to build survivability and energy sustain to get as close to targets as possible and upkeep the ultimate as long as possible. Items that would increase damage significantly, Argus, Yamato, and Ancient Rune, are not only difficult to afford as well but end up possibly doing less damage since the other two needs are then neglected, which means a reduced ability to use the ult effectively in the first place.

It takes way too long for Lurker to deal significant damage appropriate for a carry/nuker, both in overall stages of the game (early/mid/late) and also in direct usage.

It takes an enormous amount of money to build appropriate survivability, sustain, and damage to use his ultimate and it can take a very long time for his ultimate to land enough times to deal significant damage in a teamfight (30+ seconds).



'Haha, Lurker is so strong though". In the past. This fact is outdated. How many nerfs since inception? Every ability.

  1. Passive now has scaling weapon damage based on level
  2. Q deals less damage, stun duration depends on number of champs hit
  3. W has 50% timescale backlash, and cooldown begins when ended. (The latter should singlehandedly kill the complaints about mobility, since Lurker already used his W to ensure his Q lands)
  4. E no longer restores energy, has a significantly higher cooldown, cannot target massive units. (These mitigated his outrageous jungle control, although right now other champs can easily solo bosses a lot sooner than Lurker now)
  5. R energy cost increase in exchange for damage increase. (1.6% max energy to 2%)

This isn't 2013/4/5/6 anymore, Lurker has been normalized since then, and now what I purport left behind



Lurker's distant Dota cousin. Possesses Earth Split, which behaves like Lurker's Q and Diabolic Edict/Pulse Nova, which is similar to Lurker's R.

DIABOLIC EDICT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwzT7xBaEHE

PULSE NOVA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAbbCk109ss

You can see how this ability is likely to be much more impactful since it is governed merely by Leshrac's ability to get close to you, and isn't so randomized.

This is modern. If Lurker, a squishy agility champ, gets close to you and spends energy on an expensive ability such as his ult it should do significant damage reliably, like a level 6 Leo. Not necessarily as much damage since Lurker R has no CD, but made so it is impactful that level 6 is hit.

"But Leshrac is intelligence and Lurker is agility": http://www.aeonofstorms.com/topic/2610-rework-terminus-lurker/?page=2&tab=comments#comment-49105

see Whale's comment



You can try improving the RNG targeting logic significantly, or just altogether do away with its RNG aspect

You can improve its spike rate from 4 spikes per second to more

You can improve W so that it isn't only the last 2 seconds of 5 seconds of an ability with a 20 second cooldown where the ultimate's damage is significantly impacted. 50% timescale for 4 spikes to 6 spikes for one second is not very impressive anyways.

You can allow R to apply on hit effects, which would allow his AA and INT identities to fuse

But you can't improve his jungling simultaneously, as that is already strong.


Grass, you are boiing about a champ only you play

I know it seems like I have undisclosed interests in improving Lurker. But I genuinely believe Lurker is in need of an update to his ultimate.

I believe competitive play is not acceptable to Lurker due to his risks and unreliability. He is difficult to choose a lane for and inferior to alternatives. You have to play a lot harder and better as Lurker than your opponents.

I have not seen anyone else play INT lurker competently for years, and I feel it was not my skill nor the champ, but the inability of my opponents to compete. Or it may have just been that RNG was in my favor. 🙄






Edited by Head
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To illustrate I've just played another game on EU

I straight farmed for 20 minutes against new players so I was 4 levels ahead and had 4 times this Nova's farm, who probably hasn't played more than 3 games

I have 4 other clips similar to this one but I do not want to upload 4 videos


Nova was isolated for a good 8 seconds

I would have done more damage just buying Superheated



Edited by Head
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That is a little odd, but not impossible.



see Whale's comment


This is also not true, or at least hasn't been true for some time now.

Feral's starting STR/AGI/INT is 22/36/32, and his growth is 3/6/6. He's very much an AGI hero and any changes he will undergo will likely move him further in that direction.

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