The Rotating Game Mode Queue this weekend is bringing us an oldie but a goodie with the Legend of the Poro King game mode. Now, you and 4 friends can take to the Howling Abyss and romp with the legendary Poro King himself. This game mode isn’t nearly as complex as something like Nexus Siege or Blackmarket Brawlers, but nonetheless, let's go over some of the unique mechanics and dish out a few suggestions.
Instead of your everyday Flash, Heal, or Teleport, every player is sent into the Legend of the Poro King with two (mostly) unique Summoner Spells.
Poro Toss, is the most important of the two and the most familiar. If you are a frequent ARAM player, you will notice that this ability is almost the exact same as Mark (partially because Poro Toss was the original inspiration for Riot to add Mark to all ARAM games). For those of you who usually stick to Summoner’s Rift, allow me to explain. When you activate Poro Toss, your champion will toss a Poro in a straight line. This has a long range, like Lee Sin’s Sonic Wave but doubled. Keeping with the Lee Sin analogy, if the Poro hits a champion, it deals true damage and you can reactivate the ability to dash to your target.
This is great for a lot of reasons, but in Legend of the Poro King, it isn’t all about dashing in and getting kills. Once ten poros have hit 10 enemy champions, the Legendary Poro King is summoned to the battlefield (which we will talk about in a second)! After the Poro King has left the battlefield, the team who summoned him has their Poro Count reset to 0, while the enemy maintains the count they had before the King was summoned. This mode is basically League of Legends dodgeball, so you want to be throwing your Poros at the enemy team on cooldown and you want to be sure that you are dodging your enemies Poros.
To the King!
This ability is only available when the Poro King is summoned to the battlefield and fighting for your team. When you activate this Summoner Spell, you will dash to the King’s side no matter where you are on the map. This has two main uses. It allows for very effective dives (tower or otherwise) since you always have a safety blanket to get you out of trouble. The other use is a quick way into battle after you revive. When you respawn in fountain, you can instantly active To the King! And you will be thrown straight into the thick of things very quickly. This ability is far more situational than Poro Toss, but it can allow for some really big plays.
The Legendary Poro King
Now that we have gotten Summoner Spells out of the way, let's talk about why we want to summon this fluffy guy to begin with. When the Poro King has been summoned, a large circle will appear by the summoning team’s nearest living structure. Moments later, the Poro King will plummet from the heavens and smash into the ground, dealing magic damage to any enemies in the radius. The Poro King is large, bulbous, has a great mustache, and pushes down the lane towards the enemy Nexus. Whenever he reaches a road block, such as an enemy tower, he will begin to attack it. He has a large health bar that the enemy team can deplete by attacking him. In a ring around the Poro King, allied champions will occasionally receive heals and mana returns when he is on the field. The Poro King will also toss out little Poro bombs occasionally in a circle around him that will deal damage to enemy champions.
If you have summoned the Poro King, you want to do your best to go hard on the enemy team while he is around. More than likely they will be distracted by the Poro King and will be much easier to surprise with damage or a Malphite to the face. If the King is against you, for the time being, you need to try and focus him down before the enemy team can call in reinforcements and before he mows down your entire base. Do your best to stay aware of the enemy champions trying to protect the King and you will do just fine.
While this mode may take place on the ARAM map and still lives up to the All Middle aspect, it is certainly not All Random. Teams are dropped into draft and the first pick player is asked to do some banning. I would suggest banning champions with narrow focused abilities or team-wide damage (Karthus, Zilean, Malphite, Jhin, Miss Fortune). When the bans have all taken place, it becomes a blind pick situation. You really can’t go too wrong in this mode, but there are certainly suggestions that can be made. If you are looking to build a nice even comp, I would suggest 1 AP support/utility champ that does a lot of damage and brings CC (Zyra, Lulu, Morgana, Lux, Orianna), 1 tanky dive champion (Nautilus, Volibear, Tahm Kench, Maokai, Malphite, Alistar), and 3 damage carries of your choosing (try to keep it mixed in terms of AD and AP). That comp is nice and balanced, but honestly, you just want to get some damage and have fun hitting stuff.
What’s new this year
For this year’s Snowdown Showdown, Riot has added a brand new element to the Legend of the Poro King game mode. In the trinket slot, players will now be able to choose what type of snax that they have in their inventory. Those who wish to test the loyalty of the Poro King can interchange Poro Snaxs at will at the shopkeeper on the now even more wintery Howling Abyss. Once the Poro King arrives onto the field, players who he is allied with can feed him their snax, and each different type will make him do something different.
Feeding this to the Poro King will cause him to shoot a bunch of ice missiles at his enemies.
Perhaps the Legendary Poro King needs to control his coffee intake a little better because this Snax will make him bounce around a small area, dealing damage and knocking back enemies hit. He also gets a shield for some reason?
Super Spicy Snax
As is video game/anime tradition, feeding the Poro King this Super Spicy Snax will cause him to spew fire from his gob like a adorable, mustached dragon. Oh, also it damages enemies caught in the blast.
Rainbow Party Pack
This snax appears to make the Poro King...um...barf out a bunch of snacks around him, causing all of the Poros on Howling Abyss to rush to his side, bumping into (and displacing I guess?) any champions in their path.
So those are all the snaxs, but Riot also added in Dark Star Poros and Star Guardian Poros if you buy and equip the respective icon from the LoL store.
Legend of the Poro King certainly can come down to team comp, but what it is really about is your team’s ability to hit snowballs regularly and timing your deaths appropriately . Howling Abyss can lead to some really quick swings in terms of team favor, so timing is everything. That being said, this mode is just a little bit more strategic than ARAM. As long as you have some nice CC to lock down charging targets, you should be able to get by with a little frustration and a lot of fun.
*images and Gifs courtesy of the great folks over at Surrender@20.net