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Some musings about Overlord


This champ is undoubtedly strong if given the chance. He has to work to reach that point in endgame where he can build enough attack speed to proc his passive enough to hopefully refill his energy stores. More energy means more true damage. Even when built support a 4 second lockbox is potentially very useful.  When built either INT or DPS he always performs high in the numbers game.


But I argue that Overlord is not overpowered, but severely lopsided. Not in a good way, his early game is incredibly weak. Though he possesses a decently high base weapon damage, a 4 second lockbox, and an instant projectile ranged attack, he has no way to combat anything that can outtrade his autos while staying outside of his W range (see any mage, DPS, bruiser, and support, nearly anyone not melee). He is like a DPS carry but with no mobility or overwhelming offensive power like Huntress.

See his abilities.



Q: From level 1 this ability is nigh worthless until Overlord gets Cerebro. It cuts Overlord's base weapon damage, which is most significant in the early game since base weapon damage comprises the far majority of his weapon damage total. Its hefty weapon speed cut makes it a complete DPS loss to use, especially in combination with the base weapon damage cut, but above all its cost is unsustainable. You can't use this ability to poke by hitting nearby units, as that would mean the Q would be costing Overlord multiple times. In fact, at this point in the game its ability to multi hit units is a downside. Its just too expensive, and Overlord is too weak to be able to deal significant AOE damage with its damage/speed reduction. In real practice, using Q 3 times before affording Cerebro completely depletes Overlord's energy.

The only  two purposes I can see to use this ability is to poke and steal INT, but again that would mean exorbitant costs. Managing energy is the most important thing to Overlord all game, but this ability shouldn't be used until you have ways of regaining energy or making its multi-hit useful, whether its by Cerebro or Attack Speed, or spamming E.

The other is to deal more damage by proccing E, which would deal true damage. Overlord starts with around ~300 energy. By going Energy talent and a Energy Mox, he can get to 600 energy from level 1. That means at 7% proc, level 1 E deals 21 true damage to 42 true damage using Q. Unless your target is using Fortify, that is not worth the 50% base weapon damage and attack speed cut. You will do far more damage by just using your regular auto attack, which before any attack speed item hits around 3 times for every 1 Q you can land.

Obviously this changes when Overlord has upward 2500 energy, but until that point, why does Overlord have an ability that not only costs so much, but greatly weakens him? For such an expensive ability why is it a DPS DECREASE until midgame?


You can argue to scale the multi-hit with ability level, such as 0 additional units hit to 1/2/3. But you can also argue then that Q would better be left at level 1, since that would make it cheapest to use and lessen the burden of multi-hit. However I believe with 50% base weapon damage cut, in addition to its hefty attack speed debuff it maintains enough benefit to level up.

If not that, Q can simply lose its attack speed debuff. This would allow Overlord to enter the game more quickly and allow his Q to be less of a liability to energy costs and damage output. It's base damage cut alone should balance the ability at early stages of the game (even though early-game Overlord is far from strong).

Or maybe Q can just simply have a flat cost per use regardless of the # of units it hits.

Or give it a unique benefit, have it grant scaling  range while active, although this is risky. You don't want to have this kind of firepower requiring as little commitment as an artillery champ.

In other words;

1. Why does Q have the highest penalties at the earliest levels of the ability when the ability's source of scaling is near negligible (low %Current energy values) at early game?

2. Why is Q so expensive yet a DPS decrease until attack speed can reliably refill energy or energy pools become large enough to warrant using it with E?

The fact that it multi-hits is no longer a boon enough. This is similar to an argument of whether its better to hit every unit on the map for 1 damage or deal 1000 damage to a single unit. Obviously the latter is always better.

There is no doubt the ability synergizes well with Cerebro, but with an attack centric build this is a moot point, as spell damage isn't the main source of damage for Overlord then, but rather a combination of physical and true damage.



W-Brain Schism

W: A level 1 lockbox that lasts 4 seconds is great, but with a range of 3.5 -. 5 it had better be. As Overlord's only significant ability until level 6 he has a lot of losing matchups with this ability being his only way of deal damage besides autos. If I am able to reliably get off W, I max and use this ability to grant me the whopping 50 INT steal, so I can actually scale with my opponents and creeps so I can last hit.

But if Overlord's auto attacks are his main source of damage, then why does this give only 5 INT at level 1? It has a 27 second cd and the INT steal only lasts for 40 seconds. If Overlord an auto-attack centric champ, and has no other significant options in the early game, then shouldn't the scaling be 20/30/40/50? 10 more weapon damage is decent at level 1, but besides a slightly empowered auto-attack there is no follow-up to Overlord's W until he is dealing significant damage with E procs.


Speaking of INT stolen duration, it was lowered from 60 seconds to 40 because it was temporarily stacking. This stacking was removed, but the duration was never reverted.



Obviously, come late game Overlord is rapidly dealing huge amounts of physical/true damage in shorts bursts. If you buff his early game, taper down his endgame. Reduce the %Current Energy Scaling damage from E. It performs well once finally achieved, although easily shut down by any sustained debuff immunity.

A hyper-carry like Kerrigan, who easily wipes teams once built, has a relatively much easier ride with her E stacks and Q and built-in sustain. Shadow is oddly similar with the Vortex and Overlord's W.


just getting to that point is unnecessarily difficult, long, and not very fun. Having only your W to play around with until Cerebro isn't good, but Overlord is still redeeming by the numbers currently. He almost always performs high numbers, although it may be inflated by R's.

That is why I prefer INT, R is a reliable source of damage when invested heavily into, and a single auto attack with Cerebro and Nightstalker can send a huge burst of damage down a chain of heroes, while still keeping W/R a relevant source of damage. On a DPS build, R is far from impressive without E to back it up. With INT now giving 3 energy per point, INT Overlord still has massive energy pools to make use of E compared to having energy items such as Bioplasmid and Energy Saber.



Edited by Head
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I can agree about Psionic


but he really just needs to place his orbs and then you are permanently zoned in lane. You can't do anything about those orbs, if you approach them you will get W'd, and it cost Psionic 0 energy to do so. In lane, what Psionic has over Overlord is range, in addition to being able to use Q and W to deal damage.

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I would put a hold on this idea as we may investigate Overlord's early game better



It seems that due to having the probable best attack animation in the game and decent base/growth attack speed, running nearly-pure attack speed builds creates a strong enough damage output to be competitive with other burst. Running lethal barb, though risky, can also be an option not well-explored


although early game Q is still irrelevant even more then as there is no energy pool to take advantage of


Edited by Head
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I don't think there is an issue with Q in the context of the entire match. The way his heroic was redesigned was so that Overlord can take full advantage of Attack Speed builds (despite you finding more success building him as an INT hero, his max damage potential is unlocked as a DPS with a large Energy pool and Attack Speed). 

However Levels 1-3 of W and E are under review.

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yes i definitely see how the fact that q/e is just so powerful towards end game it warrants tempering in the early game, even if it feels like the champ lacks a whole kit until then.

Just like with Cyprus, who needs to be opportunistic until he can get items, Overlord has to be opportunistic with ults for assists to increase income and snowball potential. At least with Overlord he has this ability to gain kill participation with barely any commitment in the early game.


But on the other hand Cyprus is most appropriate as a mid lane champ who can handle being alone and utilizes the roam potential. Correct me if I'm wrong but Overlord as designed is not a midlane champ but requires a helping hand due to a lacking laning phase. That is my overarching issue, just how lacking is that laning phase? In the situations where Overlord can safely W his opponents laning isn't difficult. When he cannot, I argue he only has an auto attack.

Edited by Head
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28 minutes ago, Head said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but Overlord as designed is not a midlane champ but requires a helping hand due to a lacking laning phase.

The original design was meant to be a mid hero on paper, however not all ideas translate as well into the finished product. There was a point where I nerfed him into the ground because of the Mob but I think he's closer now to being a fully realized and balanced hero. Maybe a tweak or two away.

Situationally, I think he can still mid, but not against the current top tier mid heroes. Farming assists with his ultimate is a great way to keep in shape and pave the way to late game domination, so he doesn't need to leave mid as much.

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