Welcome to a new segment for Splitpush!
“Cap’s Champ Corner” is a segment where we discuss Riot’s new champion/rework and assess their value for what they bring to team comps. Two things to keep in mind:
One, this is mere prediction based on PBE and analysis. I don’t say with absolute certainty that these ideas are law.
Two, this is an assessment of a champion’s kit strength rather than numerical strength. Don’t expect gushing over numbers or scaling all that often.
To start things off, we have League’s newest champion: Ivern, The Green Father.
Currently, champions like Nidalee, Rek’sai and Zac dominate the jungle in pro play. Boasting strong early clears and mechanical versatility, Ivern needs the tools to compete with them early. As it turns out, the nature spirit has just the trick: Asking politely.
Ivern’s Strength at a Glance: Friendly Forest Fellow
Unique to the Green Father is how he deals with jungle camps:
Friend of the Forest (Passive):
Ivern cannot attack or be attacked by non-epic monsters. Ivern can create magical groves on jungle camps which grow over time. When the grove is fully grown, Ivern may free the monsters to recieve gold and experience. After level 5 Ivern can share jungle buffs with allies.
While not resourceless, Ivern can tag a camp and go off to do other things. This makes his presence quite strong even at early levels. Even a level one gank could be possible should he start Q. It becomes even stronger post-five, giving Ivern the capacity to share buffs among allies and getting double value from each buff. Such sharing is perfect for champions who are mana/red hungry.
Such a talent also gives the green hierophant considerably strong counter jungling, able to tag camps and quickly get out. Tag, smite, out. It’s a counter speed not many can boast. Enemies who botch a gank can expect to lose half their jungle to the spry and cheery treant as he merrily skips through your buffs.
“Tag, smite, out. It’s a counter speed not many can boast.”
Two unique strengths Ivern brings are his Q and W:
Ivern conjures a vine dealing magic damage and rooting the first enemy hit. Allies can click on rooted enemies to dash into attack range.
Passive: In brush, Ivern’s attacks are ranged and deal bonus magic damage.
Active: Ivern grows a patch of brush for 30 seconds. For 3 seconds the area in and around the brush is revealed.
While everyone is freaking out about Brushmaker, I find it even more insane that Rootcaller allows Ivern to give his allies a dash. Juggernauts like Darius or dashless powerhouses like Galio now have even more ways to get into a fight without wasting resources like flash. Rootcaller Pulverize Headbutt Alistar is a combo to be feared. Likewise, this also means ganks and teamfight presence are insanely beneficial to allies. Imagine an Olaf comp with a jungle Ivern, able to get the frothing berserker deep into the fight without having to blow flash or a Sivir ult.
Finally, Brushermaker has a huge number of uses. While everyone likes to point to Rengar, other champions like Caitlyn or Kha’zix can also abuse Ivern’s bushes in unique ways. In addition, cheeky things like brushing up dragon’s entrance can make an enemy think you’re busy doing it, only to lure them into a trap.
Weakness at a Glance: Bark worse than Bite
With his strengths laid out, Ivern does have some clear flaws. As a supportive jungler, he doesn’t bring a lot of raw strength to a team; don’t expect the Green Father to be nuking squishies or transitioning into an incredible carry.
This weakness transitions into another glaring flaw: Jungle dueling. As a supportive character, Ivern isn’t going to be slugging it out with deadly foes like Elise or Lee Sin. If he has to fight, you’ll need assistance otherwise there’s little you can do but flee. I don’t imagine Ivern to be all that amazing in solo-queue, considering how team reliant his skills and abilities can be.
“If he has to fight, you’ll need assistance otherwise there’s little you can do but flee.”
Along with this, Daisy doesn’t strike me as something all that spectacular:
Ivern summons his sentinel friend Daisy. If Daisy attacks the same champion three times in a row, she will create a shockwave knocking enemies up for 1 second (3s cooldown). Daisy gains additional damage and defenses based on Ivern’s Ability Power.
Recasting this ability will direct Daisy to a new target or position.
This ult would seem amazing if we hadn’t just got the Yorick rework, whose own ult (Maiden of the Mist) blows Daisy out of the water in terms of what she can do. Why would I want Daisy when the Maiden brings more versatility? The Maiden can push and help Yorick solo objectives, Daisy not being as good at either and only bringing an occasional knock-up.
Moving onto the last part of his kit: Despite the fact that Q is incredible, E doesn’t seem to bring all that much to the kit in terms of synergy:
Ivern shields an ally, absorbing damage. After 2 seconds, the shield bursts dealing magic damage and slowing enemies by 70% for 3 seconds.
Triggerseed has a problem. Squishy allies usually desire a shield, yet the slow encourages its use on front-liners. You want to protect the squishy and keep them alive, yet you also want to throw it upon a front-liner to get the most out of the slow however. This means the treant will likely be good at one or the other, rarely both.
The hippy treant won’t be available at the World Championship, but I expect to see Ivern making a rousing appearance once pro play starts in Season 7, testing the waters to see if he can stack up to other clear-heavy junglers. If he’s successful, I foresee Ivern being a staple who will always have a special, niche place.
My second prediction is that Ivern will see some support play. He can harasses from range, combos with champions who thrive on being able to poke from the brush, and has Daisy the Meatwall to draw aggro and CC. Such a champion could see use in setting his allies up for success at the cost of his own power.
“If he’s successful, I foresee Ivern being a staple jungler who will always have a special, niche place.”
Finally, these predictions come with a caveat: If the meta swings in favor of champions with strong duel potential then the poor ancient of happiness will see his power significantly decrease. He can counter and clear well enough, but fisticuffs are not his forte.
With my prediction made, what do you think? Do you think he will see play and become a new staple of pro jungling? Or will Ivern have a long way to go?
Final Analysis (TL;DR)
Strengths: Supportive jungling, unique strengths of bush and ally-dash.
Weaknesses: Little self-power, Daisy is a bargain bin Tibbers.
Pro Play: Likely due to the amount of unique things brought to the table, Jungle/Support.
Author: David “Cap” Rizzo
Editor: Christopher “chhopsky” Pollock