Riot Games’ champion launches have been hit-or-miss. Few remember the old LeBlanc and Xin Zhao launches that have caused Riot to be extremely cautious when it comes to power levels, but many of us remember how ‘useless’ Kai’Sa was on release.
It seems that the latest release, Pyke, is not that different from Kai’Sa if we are to believe some of the reactions from pro players and top-tier Challenger players. Cloud9’s support, Andy "Smoothie" Ta, asks a simple yet important question to kickstart the debate:
Is it just me or does Pyke REALLLLLLY suck..?— Andy Ta (@Smoothie) June 1, 2018
Shoutcaster and coach Nick “LS” De Cesare’s take, in comparison, is slightly more reserved, as he acknowledges the potential his kit has. Perhaps some number tuning could help sway LS to the Pyke side.
Pyke is laughably bad due to his lockouts and numbers being so sad. Beautiful kit, but he feels like an even worse Shaco in terms of gameplay.— Nick De Cesare (@LSXYZ9) May 31, 2018
Counter Logic Gaming’s support, Vincent "Biofrost" Wang, was not sold on the champion’s laning phase, even calling it ‘one of the worst laning phases ever.’ However, he also acknowledged the potential the champion has. Perhaps some number tuning is in order?
I played Pyke and it was quite dissapoint.I was expecting oneshot adc with only one spell.... sucks— Kim "Wadid" Bae-In (@WadidXD) May 31, 2018
In a more serious series of tweets, Wadid highlighted how difficult the champion is to play should opponents be aware of his abilities and that, while Pyke’s lategame is solid, the question was more about whether he could reach it with the way the game has been flowing as of late.
Just be careful not to pick him in the jungle; Galen "Moon" Holgate found that out the hard way.
(pyke is not good)— Galen Holgate (@Moon1) June 1, 2018
On the flipside, Pyke’s ultimate does give full bounty to the last person that assisted the kill, and it seems that Passive benefits other champions have on kill do react positively with his execution – provided you don’t miss it, as Team SoloMid’s Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez found out. 100 Thieves support Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black’s experience in a Draven-Pyke duo turned out quite revelatory.
Oh wow, Pyke Ult w Draven assisting the kill gives Draven a cash out for his passive stacks. :o— Zaqueri Black (@aphromoo) May 31, 2018
Riot Games have already reacted with minute buffs to his health regeneration (7 health per 5 seconds instead of 5), base mana (415, up from 380), base armor (45, from 42) and base attack damage (62, up from 60), but such changes are only set to help slightly with laning.
Still, Maria "Remilia" Creveling’s rank is set to take a nosedive as she is intent on mastering the champion.
At the same time, Raymond "KaSing" Tsang is probably enjoying Pyke way too much. Other European teams may best be wary of Splyce's ability to pick that, now that their support has seemingly unlocked some of the champion's potential.