For many assassin enthusiasts in League of Legends, Prowler’s Claw has been an essential item in their builds since it allows them to dash through an enemy champion for easier access to the squishier backline players they’re trying to take down. Riot Games, however, has shown off an earlier iteration of the item where the dash through was actually a blink.
In the most recent Quick Gameplay Thoughts blog post, Riot’s game analysis associate QA manager Adam “Afic” Cohen talked about what the game analysis team does for League. He brought up Prowler’s Claw as an example of how they try to understand how players might use in-game content and how it could affect the meta.
In the example, the active ability of Prowler’s Claw was originally set as a blink. The team first thought about which champions would get the most out of the item’s blink and how oppressive it would be to play against. Pyke immediately came to mind due to his Phantom Undertow ability, since the blink would almost guarantee a stun on enemy targets—unless the opposing players have godlike reflexes or great prediction skills.
This would also be a destructive item on many other champions, like Lee Sin, who could instantly blink behind an enemy to kick them into his teammates for a quick, easy pick. Diana could use the blink to instantly drop onto the backline to use her ultimate ability without having to dash toward them first, which removes a ton of counterplay from the side of her opponents.
“We decided that this combo of abilities removed the counterplay to Pyke’s E too easily without enough drawbacks,” Cohen said. “It also made tracking the movement of the Prowler’s Claw user more difficult, and we predicted that higher skilled players would be much more likely to succeed with this item than the rest of the playerbase.”
After testing different iterations, Prowler’s Claw was finally given a dash since it still provides enemy players with a chance to counteract the champion in the middle of the animation. So if you’re someone who likes to play squishier champions, you should be thankful that the game analysis team changed things up—because you probably would have been looking at a lot more gray screens.
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