Well, it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these first impression articles, so I thought I’d get back to it, especially for some of the more recent champions, and maybe for some general stuff. Plenty of great things to talk about in the wide world of league, but for now, let’s start with the most recent champion released: Ziggs, the Hexplosives Expert.

Ziggs is a ranged mage with an ungodly amount of zone control, however he is lacking in any short of hard crowd control outside a single small knock back (For comparison, it’s a little bigger than Maokai’s). He is extremely squishy, and lacks a reliable escape as well, so once you close the distance he’ll go splat real quick. However, unlike most other mages, Ziggs is amazing at area-denial and psychological attacks, keeping enemies from moving in specific directions, or even from leaving specific areas at all. For starters, let’s look at Ziggs’ kit and how it all ties together.

(Passive) Short Fuse:

Every 12 seconds, Ziggs’ basic attacks deal bonus magic damage. Every spell cast lowers this cooldown by 4 seconds. In all honesty, this is probably his most “meh…” skill, it just doesn’t match the sheer, unabashed joy blowing someone up. Handy for early game for getting a bit of extra damage. It can hit deceptively hard, but the longer the game goes the more lethal it is for Ziggs to stay in auto-attack range. If you’re feeling gutsy, or safe, toss out some empowered bombs, but the safest way to play is behind your allies. I will give it credit for that risk/reward factor, it can make for interesting choices for damage output, it’s just not nearly as fun as the rest of his kit. Maybe if the empowered-auto had a bigger explosion animation? He is hurling bombs you know!

Bouncing Bomb:

The bread and butter of your damage, and one of the highest skill-cap abilities in the game. Unlike other skill shots, the bomb will fly to it’s target area and then bounce, traveling a shorter distance before bouncing again. On the third landing or first contact with an enemy, the bomb will explode dealing a moderate sized Area-of-Effect damage.  The bomb will also bounce further/faster the further away it is, and will bounce over walls (ignores terrain, so don’t be trying to bounce off a wall), making it possible to bounce a bomb over a minion wave and right into a champions face. Getting the bounces just right at the varying distances can be a challenge, couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve screwed up and had a bomb bounce into a minion rather than the champion behind them. Still, there are a lot of tricks to be had, and it hits like an absolute truck.

Satchel Charge:

A pack of C4 (shush, that’s what it is) with a small area of effect, and the only source of hard control Ziggs has. Enemies inside the blast radius are knocked back, and Ziggs can use the pack to launch himself much further. The cooldown is fairly restrictive, so it needs to only be used at the perfect time to maximize it’s effect or to save your life. This can be used to launch Ziggs over terrain, but there isn’t any indication how far he’ll go from the skill itself. Try using it in a custom a few times to get an idea of how far you’ll go and what you can/can’t jump over. It’s damage is alright, but not good enough to justify leveling over Bouncing Bomb or Hexplosion Minefield. Speaking of that last one…

Hexplosion Minefield:

Ziggs hurls out multiple proximity mines that damage and slow any enemies walking through. Mines do less damage if a single target detonates multiple mines, but the slow amount will remain the same. This is, by far, my absolute favorite skill from Ziggs. The minefield is big enough to completely lock down entire pathways, restricting how enemies can engage. Honestly, the bombs individually don’t do that much damage, but they make for absolutely amazing mind games. It’s like tossing out Lux’s Luminescent Singularity, no one actually wants to go through it. Minefield lasts even longer than that, but unless you have 40% cooldown reduction and a ton of mana, you won’t be able to keep the Minefield up 100% of the time. A well placed minefield can trap half the enemy team on the other side of a wall, or set up an easy kill with the slow in conjunction with your other skills and allies.

(Ultimate)  Mega Inferno Bomb:

Ziggs hurls a massive inferno bomb, dealing massive to anything caught in the middle of the explosion and 75% to anything in the outer reaches. And when it says “hurls” that means you can litterally almost bomb top or bottom lane from Mid. Yeah, it’s a skill shot with the range of a Pantheon or Twisted Fate teleport. Landing the ult at that range requires a measure of skill, but for every time an enemy is blue-pilling out from their tower with 200 life, you can bomb them long before the 8 second cast time is done for them. Has a nasty problem of flying straight up for a couple seconds if you try and drop it on top of yourself, so don’t try and use it as damage right now or it’s possible the enemy will simply run out of the explosion radius before the warning even displays. And there is a massive warning to go along with the insane explosion radius, but it only appears about a second and a half before impact. Unless they were already moving, that’s usually a sign you’re about to be melted into nothing. Can be used as another form of area denial, but that’s wasting the cooldown when your could just use all your other skills for that. Since it has a massive range, it also gives the ability to snipe things like buffs from enemy junglers (especially when they’re trying to hand off the buff to the enemy mid) or Dragon/Baron from the enemy team.

On the upside, Ziggs has excellent harass, and what he lacks in hard control can easy be made up with mind games and the large radius on his Minefield. His ultimate has ludicrous range and his jump and bouncing bombs have a high skill ceiling to get perfect use out off. Honestly, I can think of a single thing I’d want to have improved. He’s got a great kit and plenty of ability to reward both new players and expert players. I’d put him in the same category as, say, Lee Sin or Orianna, fun champions that can do amazing things in the right hands. Of course, he also has several weaknesses, very low life and defenses, and no escape besides his little C4 pack, which can be easy to misplace when you’re running for your life.

If you’re on the fence about grabbing the little bomb maniac, he gets a heart-felt recommendation. Now go out there and blow crap up!