The words “assassin” and “support” don’t often appear in the same sentence when describing a champion, but after Pyke’s full reveal today from Riot, well… there’s a first for everything.
An assassin support certainly sounds terrifying, and yeah, it’s just as nightmarish as it sounds. Pyke’s kit is chock-full of stealth, high-damage, gap closers, and even some play-making crowd control. Have we mentioned that this is a support champion? Yes? Well, it’s worth mentioning twice.
Passive: Gift of the Drowned Ones
“When Pyke is unseen by enemies, he rapidly regenerates some of the health recently lost to enemy champions.”
Q: Bone Skewer
“Tap: Pyke stabs and greatly slows all enemies in front of him.
Hold: Pyke readies and then throws his harpoon, impaling the first enemy struck and pulling them a fixed distance towards him.”
W: Ghostwater Dive
“Pyke dives into spectral waters, entering camouflage and gaining a significant increase to his movement speed that decays over a few seconds.
Camouflage hides Pyke from view while enemies remain outside his immediate area. Attacking or casting spells immediately ends camouflage.”
E: Phantom Undertow
“Pyke dashes, leaving behind a drowned phantom. After a delay, the phantom returns to Pyke, damaging and stunning enemies it passes through.”
R: Death from Below
“Pyke strikes in an X-shaped area, blinking to champions and executing those below a certain flat amount of health. Enemies in the X that are not executed take damage equal to this amount.
When a champion dies in the X, the last ally to assist also gains full kill gold and kill credit, and Pyke can instantly use Death from Below again for a short period of time.”
Support btw haHAA.
Ghostwater Dive, the ability that grants Pyke camouflage, is the perfect tool for initiation, or as an escape, depending on what situation you’re in. You don’t want to waste your Q, Bone Skewer, when starting a fight. That’s the ability that allows him to throw his harpoon at an enemy, grabbing them and yanking them toward him, sort of like a Nautilus anchor.
Instead, use this ability to pull unwilling victims back into the fight when they try to run away (they’ll almost definitely try to run away).
Phantom Undertow, the E, is Pyke’s gap-closer. He dashes a respectable distance, leaving a specter of himself behind. After a short delay, the specter dashes to him, damaging enemies in its path. Think of it as a Shen taunt, but replace the actual taunting function with a lot of damage. This is an excellent tool to use straight out of stealth from Ghostwater Dive.
When the victims are finally low enough, whip out the pièce de résistance, Death From Below, which causes Pyke to teleport a short distance to his target location, dealing massive damage in an X pattern, executing low health enemies. If Pyke executes one enemy with the initial blink, but there are enemies within the zone that aren’t low enough to execute, he still deals damage to them. He can then reactivate the ability for a short time to deal more damage to the champions remaining. He can reactivate the ability to deal damage again for a short amount of time to chain it.
It’s hard to believe Pyke is a support while looking at him, and you may be correct. After all, Ekko was originally designed to be a mid laner, but spent months as a top laner immediately following his release. There’s a good chance players will be able to put his tools to good use as either a top laner or jungler. We’ve got our money on jungling, due to his crowd control and speed for ganking.
As an AD support, however, a big concern players may have is finding the gold to afford the high-cost items AD assassins need to buy. Don’t worry, because in order to remedy this, Pyke won’t get AD just from buying AD. All bonus health, whether it be from items, runes, or anything else, gets converted to more AD on Pyke, according to a report today from League news site The Rift Herald.
Yes, this means Pyke will be incredibly squishy, but it also means he can do cool things like buy the Relic Shield as an AD starting support item, or even standard support items like Redemption and Knight’s Vow.
Either way, if he’s in your game, watch out, because he’s probably the most frightening support champion in the game. Well, maybe not as scary as Lulu in her Bittersweet skin, but he’s close.
Pyke should arrive with Patch 8.11 about two weeks from now.