Ekko, The Boy Who Shattered Time is the newest champion to be released for League of Legends and man oh man is he broken. It’s almost as if Riot didn’t even try to balance this champion. His kit is so powerful, it’s almost comical. Ekko has three slowing abilities (two of them being area of effect), three blink/dash abilities, an area of effect stun comparable to Amumu’s ultimate in strength, a self-heal more substantial than most dedicated healers, a shield stronger than Lee Sin’s or Diana’s, a substantial movement speed boost, a harassment ability that has a longer range than Blitzrank’s grab, and he also does tons of damage to boot. Ekko literally does everything you’d ever want, and has no apparent weaknesses. But before we make use of our Jump to Conclusions mat, let’s take a look at his skills one by one to see what makes him so powerful.
Ekko’s passive is incredible. First of all, his damaging abilities and basic attacks apply stacks of Resonance to enemies. It seems all of Riot’s latest champions or reworked champions have stacks of something or other these days. At three stacks, the target takes a bunch of bonus magic damage and also gets slowed from between 40% to 80% over the next two to three seconds. Yes you read that right. Ekko’s PASSIVE can slow an enemy by EIGHTY PERCENT. The scaling on the bonus damage is also fairly high. The formula to calculate the bonus damage is 15 + (12 x Ekko's level) +70% AP. It’s almost like hitting them with a free regular strength spell every third time you hit them!
As if this passive wasn’t already beastly enough, Ekko also gains bonus movement speed equal in strength and duration to the slow he applies to the enemy whom he is attacking. So if he slows an enemy by 80%, he then gains that movement speed himself basically doubling the effect.
Ekko’s Q is a long range ability called Timewinder. Timewinder is a skillshot that when cast, Ekko will throw a magic device to a target location. At maximum range or whenever it hits an enemy champion, it expands creating an area of effect slowing field. Timewinder has a range of 1,075 so it can be used to poke in lane or initiate ganks. For comparison, Blitzcrank’s infamous Rocket Grab has a range of just 925. The damage on an out-going Timewinder is relatively mild dealing just 60 to 120 base damage with scaling based off only 20% of Ekko’s AP, but the slowing effect ranges from a hefty 32% slow at level one to an even more potent 60% slow when the ability is maxed out.
Now if this was all Timewinder did, it would still be an excellent ability. A 60% slowing effect is nothing to sneeze at, especially with an effective range over 1,000. But, like Ekko’s passive, it has yet another utility to it. The magic device actually returns to Ekko after a short time, dealing nearly TRIPLE the outgoing damage to enemies it strikes on its return flight (120 to 280 base damage +60% AP scaling). So in a short range battle when this ability is easy to hit both times, you’re looking at an 80% AP scaling ability with up to a 60% slow.
Ekko’s W is called Parallel Convergence. This may be the spell that puts him up into the range of broken. Like the others, this ability also has multiple utilities. First, it has a passive effect. When this ability is learned, Ekko’s basic attacks will deal bonus magic damage to enemies below 30% health based on a percentage of their missing health. The damage formula is calculated as (5% +1% per 55 AP) of the target’s missing health. In other words, it’s as if he has a Blade of the Ruined King except for free, dealing magic damage instead of physical damage, and dealing damage based on missing instead of current health which makes it a lot easier to finish people off with whereas Blade of the Ruined King is more effective at the start of a fight. Low health enemies are like a bag of oats ready to feed Ekko easy kills.
Parallel Convergence has an activated ability that creates a large area of effect slowing sphere on the battlefield. The sphere slows enemies that walk through it by 40% and has a casting range of 1,600!
If Ekko enters the sphere after casting it, it will detonate, stunning all enemies within the area of effect for 2.25 seconds. For comparison, Amumu’s ultimate only snares enemies for two seconds so Parallel Convergence is better and only has a 14 second cooldown when maxed out compared to Amumu’s ult which has a cooldown of 100 seconds.
Finally, if Ekko enters the sphere and detonates it, he also gains a robust shield ranging from 150 to 330 health plus 80% of his ability power. One use for Parallel Convergence is to cast it in front of you while running away and walk into it to gain a shield that’ll help you survive. Or cast it behind you and the slowing effect of the sphere will help you leave your pursuers in the dust. Another use is to simply cast it right in front of you during a team fight. Walking into it will not only grant you a shield that will be very helpful in the ensuing fight, but you can stun multiple enemies as if you were Amumu ulting them. Like I said, this is probably the ability that puts Ekko into the OP realm.
The thing about Parallel Convergence is that although it takes three seconds to channel, Ekko doesn’t actually channel this ability himself – he summons an alternate version of himself that channels for him. Ekko can therefore be channeling this ability while also moving around and attacking normally so it’s really not a detriment. It also can’t be interrupted and while enemies can see the alternate version channeling – so they’ll know the ability is coming – they can’t see the targeting locator so they won’t know exactly where it is being cast.
Ekko’s E is Phase Dive and is equally as troublesome as his other abilities. When activated, Ekko will dash to a target location and gain 300 bonus attack range on his next basic attack. When he uses this basic attack, he will blink to his target and deal bonus magic damage as well (50 to 170 base damage +20% AP). So technically this is two teleports built into just one ability. This spell has a lot more utility than other champions who have similar blinks because of the initial dash. For example, Ekko can use the first dash to simply make a little distance and escape an enemy. Or he can dash away/toward you then basic attack you from a distance which blinks him to you and suddenly Ekko is right on top of you.
You never know if Ekko is coming or going and that makes playing a squishy champion against him almost impossible. It also makes it a lot more difficult to hit Ekko with targeted abilities since he is constantly buzzing around. Phase Dive is a ridiculous ability that can be used either to escape or to initiate an assassination. It can be even be used on enemies through walls!
Finally we have come to Ekko’s ultimate, Chronobreak. When learned, Ekko is shadowed by a hologram of himself which shows where he was four seconds ago. When the ability is activated, Ekko will blink to his hologram, dealing magic damage to all surrounding enemies and also healing himself based on how much damage he has taken over the last four seconds.
Before we talk about the damage or healing, this ability is clearly already is very useful because Ekko can simply blink away from enemies using this ability when he is in trouble (plus don’t forget he already has a dash/blink in Phase Dive). Chronobreak can also be used to blink onto enemies if your hologram is currently near them. In fact, just having your hologram near enemies will generally force them to back off and retreat.
The formula for Chronobreak’s damage is 200 to 500 base magic damage plus 130% AP scaling! It may be difficult to actually land this damage-wise since enemies will try to stay away from your hologram but when you do, your opponents will feel like Perfect Cell getting Instant Transmission-Kamehameha’d in the face by Goku. And remember I said earlier it also heals Ekko? The formula for that is 100 – 200 base health plus 20% to 30% AP plus 1% per 30 AP of damage taken. For example, if Ekko has a meager 200 AP a maxed out Chronobreak will heal for 200 base health plus 36% AP of damage taken. This self-healing effect has a higher AP scaling ratio than the healing spells of most support champion’s heals like Sona and Nami. That is kind of insane in its own right.
In their champion spotlight, Riot recommends Luden’s Echo, Lich Bane, and Rabadon’s Deathcap for Ekko. These are indeed great items for him for obvious reasons. Other items that Ekko will benefit greatly from are Zhonya’s Hourglass, Abyssal Scepter, and of course Void Staff. For added cooldown reduction, go with either a Morellonomicon or Nashor’s Tooth. Blade of the Ruined King could be an item worth experimenting with as well since it couples nicely with the passive effect of Parallel Convergence. The extra attack speed from Blade and Nashor’s Tooth also helps apply stacks of Resonance faster.
Ekko is truly an outrageously overpowered champion so my recommendation is for you to buy him immediately as I envision a nerf in his near future. Enjoy the ride while you still can! He simply does too many things and he does them all better than other champions that have similar abilities. His shields are stronger than other champions, his heal is stronger than other champions, he has an area of effect stun as a regular ability that is better than other champions who do this for their ultimate. He has tons of movement speed, oodles of slows, and several dash/blink abilities while many other champions don’t even have one.
Ekko doesn’t even have any weaknesses to speak of. His abilities are all amazing and while he is incredibly slippery, even if you do catch him he isn’t even all that squishy thanks to his shield and heal. Oh, and he also has one of the highest level one base armor stats in the game, a starting health stat that ranks among the top half of champions, 32.1 base magic resist instead of the more normal 30, and one of the highest base health regen stats in the game as well.
Ekko is very fun to play as since you always feel like you have something to do and getting kills feels like you personally earned them through skill and positioning. Unfortunately, he’s not that much fun to play against. You need to play another high mobility, high burst damage champion (such as LeBlanc) to face him but even then it will simply boil down to a grueling battle of micro between you and the Ekko player.