Zeke's Convergence: A Guide to the Least Popular Item on Summoner's Rift
Thu 12th Oct 2017 - 1:39pm
In the middle of Season 7, Riot got rid of the support item Zeke's Harbinger noting the items failure being that it was too complicated to use. In this mid-season update, Zeke's Harbinger was reworked and replaced with Zeke's Convergence, which currently considered the most complicated item in the game as it has a passive, in a passive, in a passive, I've decided to explore the inception of Zeke's Convergence and find out for myself just how complicated this item really is.
WHY DID RIOT GET RID OF ZEKE’S HARBINGER?
In its removal, Riot acknowledged the frustrations many players saw in the complexity surrounding Zeke’s Harbinger’s charge-to-trigger buddy system. While the item had great high moments, those moments were largely infrequent and, because of this, players deemed the item inefficient.
With the release of its replacement, Zeke’s Convergence, it was reforged with the intention of creating a item with a more reliable active - aiming to make the gold you spend to buy the item feel like less of a gamble.
IF THE ACTIVE IS MORE RELIABLE NOW, WHY DOES NO BODY BUILD IT?
There are two vocalized opinions as to the lack of popularity surrounding Zeke’s Convergence.
- NO HEALTH STATS
Zeke’s Convergence is an item best utilized by initiating tank supports and, while the item provides magic resist and armor, it does not provide health - a critical stat for tanks. While magic resist and armor aid in the durability of tanks, it is health that not only multiples their value, but also multiplies the value of other support items - specifically Locket of the Iron Solari and Redemption whose values are multiplied by bonus health alone.
- ONCE AGAIN...TOO COMPLICATED
Unlike the old Zeke’s, players don’t need to stare at a small square on their screen to see when, or if, they will receive a power spike. It is important to clarify that the reason people find new Zeke’s to be complicated has nothing to do with the in-game frustrations they found with the old Zeke’s.
The complexity surrounding new Zeke’s is in the item’s description itself. In a recent buff to the item, Riot has removed one of these complexities (no longer requiring champions to auto attack the same target as their ally to apply additional buffs), but even after that modification players still find themselves scratching their head trying to figure the item out. These are the current stats for Zeke’s Convergence as of Patch 7.19:
In the item description, it is hard for the reader to understand what the whole passive is let alone each component's duration, when exactly your ally's attacks will become empowered, how they are empowered, and how to empower yourself to apply bonus damage.
While new Zeke’s is hard to understand, the item isn’t anywhere near as unreliable to proc as old Zeke’s charge-to-trigger buddy system was. The complexity behind new Zeke’s is simply the fact that the item needs a headline public service announcement to get a running start (much like Ardent Censer needed in its early reworked days).
WHAT DOES ZEKE’S CONVERGENCE DO?
First of all, the item provides 30 magic resist, 60 armor, 250 mana, and 10% cooldown reduction, making it over 100% gold efficient without even calculating the value added from its passive and active effects.
Zeke’s Active effect is Conduit, which allows you to bind to an ally (limit, one conduit per champion). This active has no cooldown so switching ally targets is easy and allows you to maximize your passive by being able to link your conduit to any carry at any point of the game.
Zeke’s Passive effects will only activate if you are in range of your Conduit ally when you cast your ultimate. When activated, the following will happen:
- FROST STORM
Upon casting your ult, you will be surrounded by a frost storm for 10 seconds (Graphics: You are tinted blue, your conduit is surrounded by ice). This frost storm looks like an Anivia Ultimate that follows you. Any enemies inside or tagged by this storm will be slowed by 20% for 2s. So, consider yourself a walking Rylai’s passive, except instead of slowing enemies by 20% for 1 second, you can slow enemies by 20% for up to 10 seconds (so long as you stay on top of them).
- ADD BONUS DAMAGE TO YOUR ALLY'S AUTO ATTACKS
Upon casting your ult, your ally's auto attacks will do bonus magic damage for 10 seconds (Graphics: Ally is tinted orange and has their conduit surrounded by flames). Each of their auto attacks will instantly do +25% AD as bonus magic damage and another +25% AD as bonus magic damage burning over 2 seconds - which means each of your conduit ally's auto attacks producing a total burn damage of +50% AD as bonus magic damage for the next 10 seconds.
I compare this burn to the bonus on-hit damage from Ardent Censor. At level 6, using base stats alone, Caitlyn will deal 15 extra damage instantly, and another 15 over 2 seconds per auto attack if she is applying buffed autos from Zeke’s. If she is procing Ardent Censor, she does a flat 24 bonus on-hit per auto. These numbers are comparable and more abusable from Ardent Censor in small trades throughout laning phase, but that is considering base stat numbers alone. If we factor Caitlyn having a BF Sword by 9 minutes, that increases her Zeke’s burn to 25 instant and another 25 over 2 seconds —and it only continues getting stronger as she gets more items. Ardent Censor’s on-hit buff maxes out at 35 bonus on-hit per auto.
- BUFF YOUR OWN FROST STORM - FROSTFIRE COVENANT
Upon casting your ult, if you touch an enemy that has been auto attacked by your conduit ally, your frost storm will produce a stronger slow and ignite to do damage per second to that person. Let’s break this down.
- THIS IS A PASSIVE IN A PASSIVE
To proc your first passive, Frost Storm and enhance your conduit ally’s auto attack, you needed to ult within range of your conduit ally.
In order to proc your second passive, Frostfire Covenant, you need to target the same enemy as your Conduit ally. This will require coordination which is hardly much to ask for a support and an ADC to have.
- STRONGER, LONGER SLOW
The Zeke’s Passive has a 10 second duration. Within that duration, your Frost Storm applies a 20% slow for 2 seconds (regardless if your enemy stays in the frost storm or not, if you tagged an enemy with your frost storm and they flash away, they are still slowed by 20% for 2 seconds. If you tagged an enemy in the last second of your frost storm’s duration, that enemy is still slowed by 20% for 2 seconds). If you apply Frostfire Covenant by tagging an enemy your conduit ally has auto attacked, you now apply a 40% slow for 3 seconds.
- IGNITE YOUR FROST STORM
When you proc Frostfire Covenant on an enemy target, your Frost Storm ignites and deals 40 magic damage per second for the duration of the 10 second passive. You know what else does 40 magic damage per second in a giant frosty circle? Anivia’s Rank 1 Ultimate.
- THIS IS A PASSIVE IN A PASSIVE
CAN ZEKE'S FIND SUCCESS IN SEASON 8?
When paired with Assassins, Crowd Controlling ADCs, and Diving Tanks, Zeke's will empower initiating team comps. Imagine a level 6 Zed roaming bot. He is passing the Dragon pit right as his ADC Ashe lands her ultimate arrow on the enemy Caitlyn. His support, Rakan, jumps forward and chains his CC on the Caitlyn, presses R, and creates a frost storm that gives Zed more time than he needs to walk up, press R, and walk away to the sweet sounds of the announcer declaring "an enemy has be slain".
It could be argued that removing the Ashe arrow and Rakan Ult would still result in Zed killing Caitlyn, because... you know... it's Zed - killing squishy ADCs is what he does. And while it is possible for a Zed to roam bot and solo the enemy ADC, no one at a high level wants to take that gamble in champion select. Sure, there are metas in League of Legends where assassins and their items were overtuned, but the most success Assassins find on Summoner's Rift is when their teammates have the ability to set up plays and spoon-feed their assassins to victory, and Zeke's is one of the best aggressive tank support items in the game to help with that.
WHAT CHAMPIONS SHOULD BIULD ZEKE'S CONVERGENCE?
Because initiating tanks can be found in roles other than support, the scope of champions that have some form of synergy with the item is extends beyond tank supports to include: Alistar, Amumu, Blitzcrank, Braum, Dr. Mundo, Galio, Gragas, Hecarim, Illaoi, Jarvan IV, Leona, Malphite, Maokai, Nasus, Nautilus, Nunu, Rakan, Rammus, Sejuani, Skarner, Taric, Thresh, Trundle, Udyr, and Zac.
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