The recent rework shipped on the League of Legends Public Beta Environment for Fiddlesticks looks amazing, both from a visual and a gameplay perspective.
After being considered a joke of a champion in the jungle and being mostly picked in the support role for years, Fiddlesticks might be back as a dominant jungle pick. While the current jungle tier list doesn’t have Fiddlesticks anywhere near the top-five best junglers, this might change once he’s shipped to the live servers.
Why Fiddlesticks needed a rework
Fiddlesticks was one of the first champions to be considered for a visual update and kit rework when Riot announced the next VGU roadmap. Riot provided a number of champions that the community could vote on to choose who will be the next champion to be updated.
His current kit is pretty straightforward. He has a passive that grants some movement speed if he doesn’t move, a fear, a life drain, silence, and an AoE ultimate with a blink included. While this kit might have been decent in the past, it’s outdated and telegraphed compared to recent releases such as Qiyana, Senna, Aphelios.
His primary role used to be jungle, but with constant changes to the jungle and no compensation buffs for some time, he was forced out of it. His new calling was the support role, but he became too oppressive due to the crowd control loaded in his kit via fear (Q) and silence (E).
After a couple of updates of being popular in the support role, Fiddlesticks was nerfed in Patch v8.15. While the only nerf affected the damage and mana cost of his silence (E) ability, it was more than enough to stop him from being pick or ban status. Since then, Fiddlesticks has slowly faded into obscurity and has a below one-percent pick rate across all regions.
The reworked kit
Fiddlesticks’ new kit is outstanding. Riot went all-in with his scarecrow story and kept the core, fear-centric ideas behind his kit while also updating it to reflect modern standards.
His old passive, which granted movement speed if he didn’t move, will now be an active that will replace his trinket. The new passive-trinket will grant Fiddlesticks two stacks of effigies that look exactly like Fiddlesticks. These effigies grant vision like regular wards. Enemy champions who approach an effigy activate it, causing the effigy to fake a random action, like basic attacking or casting Crowstorm. After this, the effigy destroys itself. At level six, the effigy acts like a red trinket as well, allowing you to clear vision.
His Q, Terrify, was also reworked. It now passively fears champions if Fiddle’s abilities do damage while being unseen by enemy champions. The active portion of the ability terrifies the target and deals damage based on current health. If the ability is cast on an enemy who was recently terrified, it will do double damage instead of terrifying them again.
Fiddlesticks’ W, Bountiful Harvest, was upgraded from being a single-target drain to a multi-target drain. The last tick deals extra damage and grants extra healing based on the target’s missing health. If it finishes the channel or there are no targets left to drain, the cooldown is partially refunded. This allows Fiddlesticks to jungle extremely easily and clears camps without issue if you manage it properly.
His E, Reap, was reworked from being a targetable silence to a melee range sweep, which deals damage and silences enemies, allowing for more counterplay. Fiddlesticks’ R, Crowstorm, is unchanged but it’s more powerful due to the passive fear from his new Q.
How will Fiddlesticks fit into the current meta?
If you saw our jungle tier list, you most likely noticed that AP junglers are extremely potent in the current meta. With solo laners preferring to go for aggressive, attack-damage oriented bruisers, an ability-power focused jungler fits perfectly in such a team composition.
While three out of five junglers on the tier list—Ekko, Elise, and Lee Sin—excel at invading the enemy jungler early, the success of Karthus, who’s weak against invades, shows that this doesn’t matter as long as you focus on farming early and reaching your power spike.
It’s unclear if Fiddlesticks will be able to match Karthus in power level and be a suitable pick up if Karthus is banned. But based on the feedback on League’s PBE, he looks quite strong. He’s able to do quick, leashless jungle clears without losing too much health due to his new AoE W.
One of the strongest aspects of Fiddlesticks’ kit is the mind games he can pull off with his passive, which looks just like him and acts as a sweeping ward after level six. This alone makes him a great pick without taking into consideration other aspects of the kit.
Feast or famine
One issue that Karthus is facing right now, and something might become a problem for Fiddlesticks as well, is the early invade. The denial of jungle experience and gold without help from your team against incoming invades from the enemy jungler can hurt both of these champs.
If Karthus is behind, he can still be useful via his ultimate to provide some global assistance. Fiddlesticks doesn’t have this tool at his disposal, however. If he’s behind early, he might have issues coming back into the game.
His kit is untested on the live servers by high solo que and professional players, though. It’s too early to tell if this will have a huge impact on him and whether he can duel the aggressive and popular junglers in the current meta.
Why will Fiddlesticks be a top-tier jungler
Fiddlesticks’ rework has kept core aspects of his previous kit but added new tools to his disposal. While this doesn’t seem like an issue based on current feedback, it might become a problem once his kit is released on the live servers. Based on past experience, Riot tends to put way too many tools into its latest reworks. The most recent example is Wukong, who’s the most picked and banned top laner in the game right now.
One of the most theoretical problems of Fiddlesticks’ current kit could be his ultimate in combination with the new Q, which will fear entire teams and deal a lot of damage. His ultimate only affected one person before and was counterable with a QSS on the primary target. But now, entire teams will need to invest into a QSS or Tenacity to be able to survive Fiddlesticks’ ultimate combo from fog of war. Combined with his new passive, this will make Fiddlesticks a contested pick from the first day of his release onto the live servers.
While the rework will most likely move Fiddlesticks out of the support role, he’ll definitely become a pick or ban champion for the jungle during the first couple of weeks up until the community gets used to his jungle clear and passive.