Mordekaiser’s reworked spells and splash art dropped this morning, and for the most part, it all made sense. The updated art is a doozy and definitely captures the aesthetic of a dark behemoth.
The spells also make more sense than Mordekaiser’s current kit. He gets a passive that empowers every few basic attacks, a standard attack reset and boost on his Q, a defensive W, and a bit of crowd control on his E. All basic AP bruiser type of stuff—think Swain and you basically got it.
But then there’s his ultimate. This is where he is very much unlike Swain. Just looking at what the spell does makes it seem like it will be the most overpowered form of CC in the entire game.
Mordekaiser’s new ultimate, Realm of Death, banishes both the Mordekaiser and a chosen enemy champion from the map. That’s right, they’re both removed for seven seconds.
That is absolutely nuts. Think about Mordekaiser walking up to a teamfight and removing the enemy ADC for seven seconds. Poof-they’re just gone. Good luck trying to fight back against that.
What’s more, judging from Riot’s behind-the-scenes footage, his new ultimate is a point-and-click ability, which means you can’t even defeat it with mobility spells—other than to get the hell out of dodge. And even though opponents still have the ability to defeat Mordekaiser in the death realm one-vs-one, that’s not the point—by the time the come back to the Summoner’s Rift, all of their allies could be dead and they could be staring at an entire enemy team in their face.
It’s not like Mordekaiser won’t be strong in that one-vs-one either. His entire kit has been re-imagined around the thought of him as a one-vs-one beast. But the fact that he can choose any enemy to cast ult on is what’s broken. And it won’t just be that way in solo queue—professional teams draft whole team compositions where each champion relies on the others. Imagine taking a Zilean, or a Taric, or a Jinx out of a enemy composition right before a big objective fight.
This hearkens back to Mordekaiser’s last big update. That came in 2015 and and caused him to be permabanned at Worlds. We don’t know if he’ll be that broken yet, not without seeing his numbers, but it seems like we could be headed that way.
All in all, the redesign team did a great job with new Mordekaiser. It definitely feels and looks better than the old one. And hey, if the cost is that his ult is broken on the PBE while Riot balances things, that’s a decent price to pay to bring such a cool-looking champion back into the mix.