SUPER. HOT. No, I'm not talking about that game. I'm talking about Ornn, the newest and hottest champion of League of Legends. Menacing horns, blazing left arm and heavy tools... Sadly, as much as I liked how Ornn looked and played, I had to admit that Ornn's initial winrate was pretty terrible with 35%. Although many champions often have low winrate right after they are released, 35% was just too much.
So, as a reporter, I decided to try him out myself and see how he really is. While I may not be as good at games as I was back in early 00s, I know I've still got it, and although I've only played Ornn just once in a bot game, I was confident enough to call myself an Ornn main who could play Ornn as almost every role. So, thus began my journey to get an S+ with Ornn.
Game 1 - Fumble in the Jungle
Even at a glance, there's no way that Ornn can survive against popular ranged bruisers on the toplane. So, as much as I wanted to be in the toplane for an honorable one-on-one, I decided to go to jungle instead.
When the game started, I saw Vayne on their side of the toplane and felt relieved at how I didn't have to face Vayne on the toplane with Ornn. As I saw Alistar, our toplaner, being turned into a tender beef patty by Vayne, I tried to save him through a gank. Unfortunately, as both of us had no way to catch up to Vayne tumbling away at the right moment, my decisive gank was for naught. Also, that failure came with a cost of our botlane duo getting owned. When I finally made my way to the botlane, our midlaner disconnected from the game. A perfect way to start the day.
Game 2 - Just to prove that I'm a sane person...
After a quick smoke, I rejoined the queue. Once again, the only spot that I could get was ADC. As much as I wanted to play Ornn, there's no way I can play Ornn as ADC unless I wanted to be reported by 9 players. So, after choosing Tristana, it took me 16 minutes to destroy the game and get the game over with. I know this has nothing to do with Ornn, but I just wanted to prove how I'm perfectly capable of playing League of Legends like a sane person.
Game 3 - The Fire Below the Teamfight
Realizing how I'll never finish this article within this year if I kept trying for top Ornn, I tried out something different - Support Ornn. Again, I started to dance in the blue camp because you have to dance with Ornn, and my ADC, Ezreal, started to dance too. What we didn't know was how it wasn't time to be dancing.
While the first blood hasn't been shed, I had to start the laning phase while being barely alive. Although Ornn's CC potential was great, the set-up takes a while. In other words, it's very difficult to be aggressive in the laning phase. Of course, as a compensation, Ornn's ability to counter their aggression was phenomenal. While Ezreal and I were doing okay in the laning phase, the peace and quiet didn't last very long.
Evelynn, Rengar, Twisted Fate and Bard (Mid Bard, no less) all came down to the peaceful botlane and made a mess of everything. While this should be a good opportunity for Ornn as he isn't the best at initiating a teamfight, the results weren't that good. They were just stronger than us. Whenever we fought, we were the ones losing, and our enemies became stronger and stronger. When our TF tried to ult anywhere, their Bard made sure that our TF doesn't get to anywhere...ever.
The early game went just like the first game. We did score some kills, but it was more or less the same as the first game. First of all, enemy Rengar was just too strong. Until the midgame, everyone on our side started to suffer a bad case of Rengarphobia. The fact that our toplaner was Fiddlestick - one of the squishiest champ in all of League - didn't help, and our jungler Evelynn was definitely not tanky either. I was the tank that everyone needed, but as I was supposed to give up any sort of farming for my ADC, I couldn't itemize fast enough to survive against Rengar. At this point, Rengar was strong enough to kill somebody by just pointing at a general direction towards us.
What's also frightening was how their midlaner, Bard, also became a killing machine with some helping hand from Rengar. I never realized how Bard could pack a mean punch with right items until that game. It was the same for their ADC, Jhin. Soon, all I could hear was "An ally has been slain" being repeated over and over again.
Still, I had hope. I had hope that this will be the last game that I played for this article, and I had hope on how almost all of our ults were AoEs that could really change the tide of a teamfight. Thankfully, my hope has been answered as we miraculously managed to win a teamfight that happened in the midlane... Except that hope was quickly extinguished as their Riven killed us all with a Triple Kill.
I've had enough.
To be completely honest, I almost quit on the spot. They realized how a full-scale teamfight could work against them, so they started to catch us one by one so that we wouldn't ever be able to pull off another miracle like that. The fact that my teammates somehow became confident enough to wander around on their own made things worse as they opened themselves up to be caught off positioned.
To make things worse, my team started to turn among ourselves. As Evelynn got on our Twisted Fate's nerves, our TF started to feed, and our Fiddlestick also did the same. My only solace was that our Ezreal did his thing without saying a word, and my only hope at this point was how I started to have some defense items.
As we were doing our best to lose the game, their Riven started to push the botlane alone. As we were holed up in the base and had some grudge against Riven, we all rushed towards Riven to get her out of spite even if that meant our base would be ravaged in process. What happened next was a small miracle...or a huge oversight from their team. After we killed Riven, enemy team's champions started to come to us one by one in a perfect formation for me to use my ultimate.
After that teamfight, we were free to take the Elder Dragon and also the Baron. It felt like we finally had the game in the bag, until...
While we were massacred before making any use of Baron buff, at least we realized how we actually stood a chance in teamfights. Also, my item build was almost complete, and I was ready to take on the world.
After winning several consecutive teamfights, it almost became difficult to lose a teamfight. With enough defense items, Ornn becomes complete. It becomes almost impossible to lose as long as your teammates are trying to win. Let’s compare Ornn to Malphite. Malphite was once feared for his ultimate that can AoE airborne. Of course, Ornn’s AoE is situational, but it’s honestly not as bad as you’d think. More often than not you’ll be sending your enemy up in the air while your teammates mow them down with items that you’ve upgraded.
Being able to buy items without going back to base is a good perk too. It really shines during the laning phase, but it was especially awesome to be able to buy a Warmog in the middle of enemy base just to heal up, and I didn’t have to pay the shipping cost.
Ornn as Tanky Support
To be honest, I was grasping at straws because I wanted to play Ornn, but it’s much better than I thought. In fact, I’ll even say that Ornn is better as support rather than a toplaner. Because...
- Many popular toplane champions have strong ranged harass, which Ornn is helpless against.
- CC abilities are very strong, but the damage output is questionable.
- Since W scales with health, stacking health is okay too.
- Not only Ornn's kit does a lot in a teamfight, he allows the entire team to have a slight edge over the enemy in terms of itemization.
While the optimized item build is still under discussion, this is how I built my items. I didn’t realize that I could only ‘upgrade’ one of my items, so I couldn’t upgrade neither my Sunfire Cape nor Abyssal Mask. While Sunfire Cape could be replaced with Thornmail or Randuin's Omen depending on the situation, Abyssal Mask's aura is just too good to replace with something else. Since Ornn's W scales with enemy's health, this is one of few ways to empower that damage.
As for the runes, I used a set of runes that are rather 'extreme' to say the least, with all Marks and Seals being used to increase Defense by 17 right from the start. Glyphs had MR Per Level runes and my Quints had Gold runes so that I could build items faster. I'm fairly certain that this isn't the best set of runes for Ornn, but hey, I won with this rune combination, so I must have done something right. Right?
Masteries are the ones usually used by tanks, but with a small twist with the Courage of the Colossus since Ornn has plenty of airbornes that he can make use of.
Just like that, my journey to get S+ ended in just 3 games. Right now, Ornn’s winrate is one of the lowest among all 138 champions. In my humble opinion, it must be because Riot Games made a support champion and called him a toplane champion where ranged champions reign supreme. Don’t be like that. Be a support. Be a tanky support that's easy to play and hard to be killed. With you on the battlefield, you can make everyone as powerful as SKT T1.