Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Riot Games are reworking League of Legends champions left and right these days and the latest to get the rework treatment is Fiora. Fiora’s rework is one of the most drastic and controversial yet as pretty much the entire way she’s played has been altered. Some abilities got better while others seem far worse than their old version.
Fiora’s passive got a buff in that it will now not only heal her as she deals damage, but also increases the damage she deals as well. Called Duelist's Dance, her new passive identifies vital weaknesses in an opponent after a short period and when Fiora next attacks that opponent; she deals a percent of their maximum health in bonus true damage, heals herself, and also gains some bonus movement speed for the next couple of seconds. This is obviously better than her previous passive which merely healed her over time each time she dealt damage. A vital area is shown as a colored arc on an opponent. In order to exploit the vital, you need to attack the enemy from that direction.
Her Q is still called Lunge but works slightly different. Rather than lunging at a targeted enemy champion, Fiora now lunges in a target direction and immediately stabs a nearby enemy if one is in range. She can no longer immediately cast a second Lunge at no mana cost which has some Fiora veterans a little upset since this change takes away a lot of her battlefield mobility. It’s not completely gone, however. If she damages an enemy with Lunge, the cooldown on the ability is reduced by 60%. Because the second dash is no longer instantly available, Lunge also got a damage boost at later levels.
Unfortunately for Fiora players, Lunge’s range got reduced from 600 to 400. That isn’t much of a range at all and makes kiting her much easier than before. Most ranged champions have basic attack ranges longer than 400 units which means they can effectively poke Fiora while staying out of Lunge’s range and there is almost nothing she can do about it. Overall I would have to say the new Lunge is worse than the old version.
The way Riposte works has been changed quite dramatically. It used to passively increase her basic attack damage and also could be activated to parry the next incoming basic attack against her, dealing magic damage back to her attacker. Well the passive part was taken off the ability and Riposte was also turned into a skillshot. These may sound like bad things but there is good reason for the changes. When activated, it can now parry ALL incoming damage, including damage from abilities, and Fiora can now even shrug off crowd control effects by timing this ability properly. This is extremely powerful and works almost like a spell shield. For example, Fiora can now negate Teemo’s blinding dart ability which previously was one of her biggest weaknesses.
As previously mentioned, Riposte is a skillshot now. Rather than sending damage back to the champion that attacked her, she damages all enemies in a line which you have to aim. This does make it a little more difficult to pull off, but it’s worth it when you do. The first enemy hit also has their attack and movement speed slowed and if Fiora parries a crowd control effect, they’ll be stunned instead. The damage is roughly the same as the old version of Riposte but this ability is still far superior because it can now parry crowd control. Riposte is clearly better than it used to be but now requires a little bit of skill to utilize at full effectiveness.
Fiora’s E used to be Burst of Speed, but that has been changed to a new ability called Bladework. When activated, Fiora gains +50% attack speed for her next two attacks. The first attack slows the enemy and the second attack will critically strike. Although the old version of this ability actually increased her attack speed far more, the critical hit on Bladework’s second attack is nice for added damage. Still, going from +120% attack speed at later levels down to just +50% is quite a reduction. I’m not sure if this ability is better or worse overall. You’ll know when Bladework is active because Fiora’s sword will be glowing.
Perhaps the biggest change to Fiora is that the infamous Blade Waltz also got done away with. Fiora veterans are furious at this change because the new ult doesn’t work in the same way. Fiora no longer becomes untargetable and fluently dances around the battlefield repeatedly slashing at helpless enemies. That ult was what made Fiora so dangerous in the past. Now that it has been changed, she isn’t nearly as fearsome even though several of her other abilities deal more damage than before.
Her new ultimate, called Grand Challenge, works in conjunction with her passive of identifying vitals in enemies. First of all, Grand Challenge has a passive effect which increases the movement speed of her passive, all the way up to +50%. When Grand Challenge is activated, she will immediately identify four vitals in a target enemy which can then be attacked to trigger the bonuses from her passive each time. If she hits all four vitals, or if she can at least hit one before the enemy champion keels over dead, it creates an area of effect heal that will restore a good chunk of health for both her and her allies in the area over the next five seconds.
Grand Challenge is a decent ultimate because it deals true damage but the downsides compared to her old version are numerous. It doesn’t make her become untargetable and it only hits one enemy champion instead of multiple. You still need to get close to your opponent after popping your ult so that you can basic attack them and there is nothing stopping his teammates from melting you down while you try to focus whoever you are targeting. While Fiora is near her target she will have increased movement speed based on her passive, but this only goes so far in helping actually achieve the strikes needed to make your ult worth it. Furthermore, you need to attack the enemy from various directions to exploit all four vitals. This is easier said than done and can be especially difficult to do in a team fight.
Grand Challenge is best used in a one on one situation as the movement speed bonuses will prevent the enemy champion from escaping and they are pretty much forced to duel you. Compare that with Blade Waltz which was best used in team fights and the whole feeling of Fiora has changed.
In conclusion, Fiora’s rework is interesting to say the least. She plays differently but it is still a little too early to decide whether she is better than before or worse. Some players think she has been ruined while others are quite happy with the changes. One thing that is for certain is that her mobility has taken a hit and her Lunge range should probably be buffed a little bit to prevent ranged champions from harassing her without incurring much risk. Any ultimate that deals true damage is always powerful but I also can’t help but think that Grand Challenge is still inferior to Blade Waltz. I no longer fear going up against Fiora and in my opinion that alone says a lot about this rework.