LoL: Hunt of the Blood Moon and the Death of my K:D
Hunt of the Blood Moon will become available again between 02/17/2017-02/21-2017
I’ve always been oddly critical of any new mode League of Legends decides to bring up. Partially because the gameplay behind them completely invalidates any actual work I’ve put into learning the game, but mostly because I suck at it. The Hunt of the Blood Moon is no different.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s a quick, fun match. There’s lots of killing, lots of dying. Summoner’s Rift also got a cool face lift, even for the regular 5v5. At first I thought it was for the autumn season, then was like “Cori it’s winter, you’re fucking dumb”.
In my opinion, the Hunt of the Blood Moon is code for “Who can be the biggest asshole in a League of Legends Game”. Shortened to HotBM – also raises questions in my not yet emotionally developed mind.
Played on the well-known field of Summoner’s Rift, but with no minions and the outer laning turrets missing. The laning turrets closest to your base are still functional until 6 minutes into the game when they also disappear.
Your champions are restricted to only “Assassin” types. Arguably, the most fun to play due to their ability to dash to targets and make sneaky escapes. There’s a list. You can find the list here (I’m lazy). Most champions are available in the free rotation, but if you don’t have some sort of experience with the champion, I would suggest to stick to what you know because the game goes too quickly for you to take the time to learn your burst combos for surrounding situations.
No minions means no laning phase – something I kind of take pride in the amount of time I’ve practiced and perfected farming with my main champions so…I was thrown off from the get go. It doesn’t raise an issue in buying your gear because you are literally drowning in coins the entire match even with no coins awarded to kills.
No laning phase means that the fights start as soon as you can find somebody to engage in. This is the proverbial hide and go seek…then kill. It doesn’t take long for First Blood to come up on your screen. Most teams immediately head for the river bed and the fighting starts there. Warding is just as important as in a normal 5v5 match due to most of the game being fought in the jungle.
Leveling is also not an issue as you start at level 3 and level up so quickly that I’ve been able to have my Ult before I even met an enemy champion on the field. Everyone seems to level at the same pace, so there is absolutely no edge by getting more kills or like….having any sort of strategy. Strategy, something I’m using very loosely, meaning who you can catch fucking up and prey on the loser who made the wrong decision.
Instead of taking over the opposing teams base, to win the game you must score 350 points for your team by
1) Killing the ghosts in your opponents jungle (There are a max of 8 that randomly spawn) (+3 points)
2) Killing enemy champions (+5 Points)
3) Killing the Demon Heralds (Located in the Baron and Dragon Pit) (+25 points).
Going back to the “strategy” I mentioned earlier, I have seen a pretty successful one where 4 members go around team killing, while 1 team member with really good evasive skills goes around killing the ghosts. It makes sense with the ghosts giving you 3 points and killing the enemy gives you 5. Stupid fucking Shaco is a great one for running around the opposing jungle due to his disappearing tricks and the other dumb annoying things he does when you’re trying to kill him.
There are certain buffs that add to the chaos. Everyone gets the Blood Pact buff granting extra movement speed outside of combat and 50% CDR. There’s also the Demon Brand buff granted to a champion who kills 3 ghosts or enemy champions without dying or returning to base. This one took me a while to figure out, and I’d always wonder about it on my death recap due to the True Damage that it inflicts. I cannot stress how crucial this buff is especially considering how easy it is to get. The buff makes you invisible until your next attack or ability (max 45 seconds after 2 seconds out of combat), completely restores all of your health, and does 20% of the target’s maximum health as True Damage. I have legit died from an ambush attack in less than 1 second when people have this buff. When your screen goes kind of hazy red, it means this buff is enabled.
The ending is a little bizarre. The losing team is teleported to the Baron’s nook and a second later the winning team is teleported behind them to, what I assume, assassinate them in a way that looks sort of… ISIS-y? Is that a thing? I mean, it’s a circle of champions, surrounded by another circle of champions, and then the losers drop dead to the ground. It all seems sort of final, which is never a feeling you get while playing a league game because you know there’s a death timer and eventually you’ll be back in the mix of things again. I’m not saying I don’t like it. I’m just saying that it struck an emotional chord with me that I was not expecting to feel from League of Legends.
I am not a fan of the immediate team fights and going from 1-100 real quick. Riot has done this before and especially shows true in ARAM, but at least ARAM has a little bit of actual strategy left to it. I like ARAM, but will still get really frustrated at how people with no skill can make this work for them. It was the same with Dominion. The premise behind “Roles” no longer exist and it’s more about who can deal the most damage in the least amount of time and hopefully not die. Yes, these are the most fun aspects of the game, but if you’re not working for it then THE FUCK is the point.
I found the Assassins only aspect to be interesting. Personally, I’m a little sad that Vayne didn’t make it into the pool given her personality, but I guess she wouldn’t fare well in a group of assassins. Assassins are normally super bursty so the team fights turned into less of a group thing and more of a “who has the balls to go in first” and “who can get the last hit.”
I’ve tried to figure out if your Runes and Masteries really come into play because leveling is so quick to come by, but I also have maxed out an 8 Page Rune set and don’t want to buy more so it’s not something I’ve thought on for long. I think, if anything, doing a special mastery set would probably help the most, but I can’t imagine it making that big of a deal in the long run.
The two main champions I played with were Akali (who is my main top) and Ahri (my second choice mid if Ori is banned). Akali, a firm believer in balance, and Ahri, the slut of LoL (I’m being so serious, read her bio), seemed to be the 2 least suited for the role hunting the blood moon. Maybe Fizz too, but I never really saw anyone play him or play him successfully. There was one game where both were taken and I was stuck making a choice. I chose LeBlanc…for some stupid reason. I didn’t do terrible. I also didn’t do great. With enough luck, you’ll get one of those last second kills, but because I knew nothing about her burst combos or how her Ult worked, I spent the majority of the time button mashing and hoping for the best. Come to think of it, even with the champions I frequently played, I spent the majority of team fights button mashing and praying that I didn’t die. More often than not, I did.
It’s a hard pill to swallow for someone that spends every second of a normal 5v5 match calculating her moves and biding her time for that perfect strike. After every single moment of calm, I would be faced with an intense 5-10 seconds of frenzy followed by (maybe) one kill and a greyed screen with “Death Recap” prominently displayed at the top.
Unlike ARAM, you can return to base and heal or buy gear. It didn’t seem to matter in Blood Moon because I seemed to trade a kill for a death. If there was a magical moment that I did get a double kill, it was also usually followed by the death timer. There were plenty of people that could pull off a kill streak, but the question remains: Why can’t I?
I can confidently say that team composition makes up for about half of it. There’s no support to bail you out if you find yourself losing. There’s no tank to absorb the damage. No time to poke. No time to think about your next move. This game mode is the real-life video game equivalent of finding yourself face to face with a bear and you need to make a fight or flight decision NOW.
In the end, the game mode is fun. It’s not for me, but I can see why people like it. You fast track to the End Game with no need for a 20 min Early Game last hitting minions and poking the enemy. My average game length lasted about 15 minutes and my average game patience last about 3. It’s a nice break from the pace of 5v5, but I couldn’t imagine it being more than just a temporary game mode going a long the same path as Hexakill and Dominion.
Should you play it? Obviously. If you figure it out, send some tips my way. I’ll just be in a corner trying to hide in my Twilight Shroud wondering why my K:D is reaching embarrassing ratios and hoping someone throws an easy kill my way.