Orianna – A Review

Posted: June 4, 2011 by atenthirtyone in Champions

Well, our long awaited new champion of mixed reviews is here. Our robotic BALLerina with a mechanical pet ball and the voice of pretty much the Portal series’ GLaDOS. She was suppose to be delayed due to both Riot’s need to prep for Dreamhack, as well as potential copyright issues… but the delay was only one day! Anyway, let’s take a look at the new champion.

Passive: Clockwork Windup

This is definitely an interesting passive for a champion that appears to be a mage. Personally, I really like this passive because it means that she isn’t useless when she’s out of abilities to use, and that AP will now benefit your autoattacks which is really nice. Orianna’s range is pretty average (550 range), and her animation isn’t half bad. The concept of your autoattacks getting stronger after attacking the same target means Attack Speed has some value to Orianna. However, autoattacking is not something you should always do. After all, you are still a squishy mage.

Q: Command – Attack

This is Orianna’s bread and butter method to positioning your ball, as well as basic nuke. While, it’s not the strongest nuke nor does it have the best AP ratio (0.6), it does have it’s advantages. First, Orianna’s range on this ability is very respectable with it being at 925. Second, it’s on a relatively low cooldown as you level it up (It’s only 4 seconds before Cooldown Reductions at level 5!) allowing you to spam it quite a bit. Third, it will act like a skillshot from it’s current location. Now, this can be a bad thing since it only does it’s maximum damage if there is a single target. However, I really like the challenge of this ability being a skill shot since it comes in a a path to the location I selected. This ability combined with her W allows Orianna to zone and harass the crap out of many champions during laning phrase.

W: Command: Dissonance

Perhaps, Orianna’s most versatile ability in the game. I can use this with Orianna’s Q for a really nice poke and harass combo, which is my staple in the laning phase. I can use this on myself when the ball is attached to myself for a nice speed boost to get back to lane. I can tag one of my team mates with a speed boost (that can potentially give everyone else it if they stand on it) if I attached my ball to them with E. This is such a damn good ability. The scaling is 0.6 but that’s fine since you get a CC with it.

E: Command: Protect

Besides Q, you have two ways to control your ball. Either you reset the leash by going out of its range, or you use this ability. Like her W, this is an ability that is both offensive and defensive, although it tends to lean towards defensive for supporting your team. It grants a nice shield that can’t compete with monster support shields like Janna or Karma, but it’s alright (0.6 ratio). If it passes through enemies, it also harms them in its path which is nice, but it’s also fairly weak for a damaging ability. That said, if you can master a singe target Q that lands right behind them, land your W, and manage to hit them when retrieving your ball back with E, that’s not a bad combo. It’s no Malzahar, Annie, or Swain combo, but it’s not that bad.

R: Command: Shockwave (Ultimate)

Think Singed’s Fling… kinda, but aoe. This ultimate will launch everyone in its range towards it and then briefly “stun” them (there is probably closer to a knock-up mechanic rather than an actual stun but nevertheless players lose control). What to say about this? This is an aoe movement altering ultimate. Not the most damage, but it helps controls the battle in a team fight or gank. It’s on quite a long cooldown at first, so use it conservatively unless it lets you get a kill, gank, or save a teammate. Eventually, it should be up every team fight in the late game.

Now I picked up Orianna the day she came out due to the fact that I was saving IP beforehand and I was interested in picking up a mage. I don’t really play any type of mages or even support, so I thought it would be a good idea. I played around a good 40 to 50 games with her, so I feel like I have the most experience with her out of our fellow writers. Keep in mind, that I am absolutely not an expert at this game, so this is purely my own opinion backed by my own observations with Orianna. Now, I will discuss how Orianna is as a character by going through the phases of a game, and final overall thoughts on her. Note, that these are on only Summoner’s Rift, as I have not seen any Oriannas nor played her on Twisted Gankline.

Early Game – Due to the nature of her long range spells, Orianna is an incredible harasser in lanes. She can go mid pretty well against the most of the common mid lane characters, and is a great duo laner on bottom as a babysitter champion. She can harass a majority of the champions in the game while being very safe using distance. That said, there is two weaknesses with Orianna in the early game. First, she can use up her mana extremely fast so a Catalyst or a Tear of the Goddess is really necessary as soon as possible. This also means that you should try to only hit the enemy champion with her Q so you can do the maximize damage possible with your Q+W+ combo. Second, Orianna does not trade well. She does not have any sort of healing and is on the squishier side in terms of defense stats. Therefore, you really need to avoid taking damage as much as possible and outharass your opponent. Careful usage of her E and W will allow you to reduce or even avoid taking much damage.

Mid Game – Now, a tower or two are down, and  people are now starting to move away from their lanes to accomplish other goals in game. Orianna is extremely strong during this phase due to two reasons. First, she is an amazing kiting duelist character. The same strengths in the early game aka laning phase will allow you to win fights, IF you avoid getting close in the first place. Therefore, avoid fighting heroes that don’t care about range or can close the range extremely quick through teleports or charges. Second, and more importantly, she is amazing in small team fights and ganks. During this time, her damage is pretty good and her ability to support is amazing. It is a good idea to focus on doing tasks with your teammates at this time. Oh, and if your team doesn’t have someone that absolutely needs the blue, please ask for it. You will be much stronger and sustained with it.

Late Game – Buffs, dragons, and baron are the main focus now. A good team fight result for one team can swing them into victory or a huge advantage. Orianna doesn’t exactly scale the best in the game. However, with low cooldowns and a potential dps increase due to her passive, she doesn’t become useless completely. That said, if she is behind in terms of gold strength (items), then she will feel a bit weak. However, you should still focus on being a team fighting champion. Do not be a lone wolf with Orianna.

Overall Thoughts – Orianna is not a champion for everyone. If you wanted the new champion who can kill everyone and everything, then Orianna is not a buy for you. However, Orianna is a team-oriented champion. Int he early game, she harasses the crap out of the enemy laners, creating a disparity in gold strength for your team. In the later parts of the game, she brings long range pokes, decent sustained dps, and more importantly a great deal of support abilities to help your team win. Her W and Ultimate are extremely potent abilities I think more Oriannas should focus on using correctly. I feel like that Orianna should not be played fully a support nor a carry. Instead, Orianna’s strengths is being a low cooldown hybrid damage/support champion that is very useful in team fights (similar to Lux). In addition, Orianna is a champion that heavily relies on positioning with herself and the ball to perform well. While, she may not seem impressive compared to many champions old and new, she brings both uniqueness to team composition and the game as a whole.

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