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League Of Legends Update: Gnar, The Missing Link

by on September 1, 2014

by Brett D’Agostini

Gnar!

Riot is at it again with a completely new take on transforming champions! Gnar is a mobile, punishing attack damage focused bruiser. Gnar is an awkward champion who goes from a kite focused ranged carry to a tanky melee brawler who will wreak havoc in your team fights. In this review I will give my overall impression of this reckless fur-ball, based off of my experience in this game (over 5000 games, across 4 years of playing and ranked Platinum 4 [so far] this season ).

(Mini Gnar: Normal Form) 

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(Cute as hell, just look at that fur!)

(Mega Gnar: Full Rage)gnar3

(What the hell just happened?!)

Kit and Abilities:

Gnar is an extremely versatile champion and has a unique kit, allowing for a variety of plays and builds. Here is the rundown of both his Mini and Mega Forms and abilities.

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Rage Gene: Passive

Gnar has a unique use of a pre-existing passive, Rage. His skills are free to cast (no mana/energy/health costs) but attacking or using skills causes him to fill his Rage bar. Upon reaching 100 Rage, you can cast an ability to change into Mega Gnar or you can wait a few seconds and it will happen anyway. Mini Gnar and Mega Gnar have different stats and abilities, although his abilities share the same cooldowns. This allows for fair play against his transformation, we don’t need any more champions with 7-8 freely usable skills.

*cough* Lee Sin, Nidalee, Jayce *uncough*

Mini Gnar has bonus movement speed, a ranged auto attack and increased attack speed. These bonuses are replaced with bonus health, armor/magic resist and health regeneration upon transforming into Mega Gnar. You gain attack damage to compensate for a melee auto attack. Mini Gnar is squishy (easy to kill) and focused on skill and keeping a distance, while Mega Gnar is tanky (hard to kill) and will stick to you and maul you.

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Boomerang Throw: Q (Mini Gnar)

Gnar’s Boomerang is the bread ‘n’ butter of his kit. A long range slow that if caught reduces the cooldown by 60% making this a beast of a spell. It does physical damage, and applies a slow that increases with rank. Once thrown, it will return upon hitting an enemy, or if it reaches maximum range and returns to his relative position. After the first enemy is hit the remaining only take 50% damage. This is a great ability for kiting, and paired with his second ability hyper, you can run from/chase almost anyone if you keep a safe distance and catch the boomerang consistently.

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Boulder Toss: Q (Mega Gnar)

Mega Gnar’s Boulder is a massive smack in the face or the back, depending on the direction of your enemy. Once thrown, the boulder does AoE (Area Of Effect/Splash) damage and applies slow to all enemies within the range of impact. Just like Boomerang, if you pick up the thrown boulder the cooldown is reduced by 60% as well. This is excellent for chasing down fleeing opponents, and since you’re Mega Gnar and extremely scary already, they will all be running.

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Hyper (Passive): W (Mini Gnar)

Every 3rd consecutive attack or spell on the same target (includes multiple targets and continues if proc’d before transforming) deals bonus magic damage equal to a base amount (scales with ability power) and a percentage of the target’s maximum health (capped against monsters, just as all similar instances are) and increases Gnar’s movement speed by 30%. Gnar also is granted the movement speed bonus when transforming back into Mini Gnar from Mega Gnar. This passive, paired with his Q as stated above, is a lethal combo. Whether you want to get in some free harass in lane, bully your opponent as they try to run, or if you need to escape keeping this passive going can increase your chances of outplaying your opponents.

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Wallop: W (Mega Gnar)

Mega Gnar unleashes a slamming attack that damages and stuns all enemies in a large area in front of him. This is a great tool for laning, and for team fights. Paired with his Boulder Toss it can make it seemingly impossible to escape his grasp, or to chase him even as he’s slower in this form. This ability scales with attack damage, but it’s more for utility rather than a killing blow.

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Hop: E (Mini Gnar)

Gnar leaps to a location, gaining bonus attack speed for 3 seconds. The amount of attack speed scales with rank. If he lands on any unit, he will bounce off of it. If the unit is an enemy they take physical damage equal to a base plus 6% of Gnar’s Max health. Hop allows Gnar to keep a safe distance, or increase his chances of killing an opponent. More and more kiting potential, and you can even use this ability to help push towers if it isn’t needed to escape or chase.

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Crunch: E (Mega Gnar)

Gnar leaps to a location, dealing physical damage and slowing enemies (same as Hop, but AoE) in the impact area. If used to trigger his transformation Gnar will bounce off an enemy, transform mid air and apply the damage from Crunch both times. Take note that enemies can only be damaged once from the ability.

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GNAR!: R-Ultimate (Mega Gnar)

Gnar knocks all enemies within the radius of the ability into the direction specified, dealing physical damage and slowing them by 45% for a short duration that scales with rank. If enemies hit terrain, the damage increases by 50% and are stunned instead of slowed (scales the same as the slow). Take note that this can only be used in Mega Gnar form. Mini Gnar also receives bonus movement speed for Hyper, scaling with rank as well. This is a fantastic ability that can catch a player, or even a team off guard. I personally have won team fights by flashing, jumping in with Hop and then using GNAR! to throw an entire team into a wall, stunning them while my team follows up for the kills. BIG (literally) play potential.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Keeping your bonus movement speed up with Q/W can help you kite and potentially kill anyone who can’t gap close to hold you down.

  • Saving E in Mini form can make it very difficult for opponents to engage on you. Similar to most squishier champs with escapes (Ezreal, Lissandra, Tristana, Caitlyn, Ziggs) this is your only real escape, you can mitigate engages with your Q or your ult but nothing else can put distance between you like Hop.

  • Boomerang Throw applies hyper to multiple targets, if you get enough attack speed or cooldown reduction you can keep Hyper’s movement speed buff going for extended fights.\

  • Using Hop/Crunch to transform can really throw opponents off guard. Try to proc one tick of Hyper before changing into Mega Gnar, then using Hop/Crunch to jump in and get bonus damage and speed your giant fuzzball up.

  • As mentioned above, if you can catch someone with Boomerang toss, then transform with E, jump into there team and use GNAR! you can easily initiate a huge stun on the entire time.

  • Works well Top Lane, Jungle, and some have been playing him Middle lane although mages can be hard to deal with early on.

  • Try to pair up with another champion with lots of initiate and crowd-control (CC) to wombo-combo a team.

  • Works well with Amumu, Zyra, Alistar, Karma, Orianna, Lulu, etc.

  • Catching Boomerang and applying Trinity Force’s On-Hit effect can deal a lot of burst and keep your opponent stuck while you run around them in circles. If you’re good at catching his boomerang, definitely try out this combination.

  • Maxing Q seems to be the most viable option; more damage, more slow, more throwing. Shorter cooldown and catching the boomerang will allow you to proc Hyper more often.

  • I usually max Q first, but if my opponent is building armor and health his Q will start to fall off quickly. Pick up a few extra points in W and watch their armor because useless.

  • For more tips/tricks, Riot has some posted toward the end of the official page http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/champion-reveal/gnar-the-missing-link

Runes:

I’m going to list a couple of safe rune pages but if you’ve played the game or champ enough then you can do whatever is comfortable for you, as with almost any champ.

Insert AP Tryndamere joke….

Marks(Reds): Attack Damage(Flat) / Armor Penetration / Attack Speed

This is so you can trade in lane early on, these are really the only viable options. If you really want to utilize his W and max it first, you should probably pick up Hybrid Penetration runes.

Seals(Yellows): Armor(Flat) / Health(Flat or Scaling) / Health Regen(Flat IMO)

As a generally squishy champ in his Mini Gnar form, you need defensive stats to trade in lane. If you end up going against a bruiser like Riven or Renekton in lane they will out bully you without any chance to respond.

Glyphs(Blues): Magic Resistance(Flat) / Cooldown Reduction (Flat or Scaling) / Armor(Flat)

As stated above, defensive stats from Runes can really make up for a champion’s weaknesses. If you are against a strong physical damage opponent like Riven or Renekton, flat Armor Seals and Glyphs can help a lot.

Quintessences(Purples): Health(Flat IMO) / Attack Damage(Flat) / Attack Speed / Armor/Magic Resistance(Flat) / Armor Penetration

Quintessences in my opinion should always be used in combination with something else to help steroid another stat. I like to use a combination of attack damage and armor penetration, makes harassing with his Q/Auto-Attack strong and if they build some armor you can shred through it at early levels. Health quints are very strong as well, and after armor seals were nerfed, armor quints with health seals are a very strong combination.

Masteries:

Masteries are very similar to runes, if you know what you’re doing then you’re probably safe keeping on doing what you’re doing. For those who don’t know what to do, you have 1 of 2 options (mainly).

Offensive Page (feel free to move a few points around):

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Defensive (feel free to move a few points around):

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Builds:

What has seemed to be the most viable from my experience and professional players is something between a mix of defensive stats and attack damage. This allows for good play in both forms, Mini and Mega, while utilizing the strengths of his kit.

Core Items: Trinity Force

Boots: Mercury Treads or Ninja Tabi (Depending on lane and enemy team composition.) You can also pick up Ionian Boots of Lucidity if you know what you’re doing and need cooldown reduction for MORE skills to outplay your opponents.

Offensive Items: Blade of the Ruined King / Black Cleaver / Frozen Mallet / Blood Thirster / Youmuu’s Ghostblade / Last Whisper

Defensive Items: Sunfire Cape / Randuin’s Omen / Maw of Malmortius / Atma’s Impaler / Frozen Mallet / Guardian Angel / Warmog’s Armor / Thornmail / Banshee’s Veil

Impressions from fellow League Players:

Impressions from JoelWhoKillz (a fellow Gnar player)

Gnar is one of only two champion’s I liked enough to not only purchase day one, but also get the bundle for. (The other was Lucian.) After hopping into a few games with him, I’ve pretty much stuck to the core ideas I have around him, which is that he needs to be built as a tanky DPS. Attack speed, Health, and Armor or MR, depending on your situation. As Mini Gnar, you move and attack much faster, at the expense of being what the enemy believes is squishy and easy to kill. However, when building him tanky, he becomes much harder to kill, while still being very mobile, and having a high damage output due to the passive on his W. On top of this, because of the scaling nature of his W, this is what I like to max before anything else. Suddenly, you’re Vayne without the true damage, but just as tanky as any heavy bruiser. I’ll generally max out Q second, leaving his hop last.

For building Gnar, I try to always take a few core things. Blade of the Ruined King, and Black Cleaver are two of my favorites. These two things on Gnar seem to just go perfect with the passive on W, allowing you more % based damage, and more utility and health thanks to the Cleaver. From here, I start looking at the enemy team, are they heavy in AP or AD? If they’re heavy on AD, I’ll build Ninja Tabi, Randuins, Warmogs, and Sunfire Cape. Sometimes I’ll drop the Sunfire and get an Atmas for fun, as it also scales with Mega form. When the enemy team is balanced or AP heavy, I’ll switch out the Tabi boots for Merc Treads, the Randuins becomes a Maw of Malmortius and the Sunfire becomes Mercurial Scimitar. I try to always keep the Warmogs, because I like the extra HP and sustain it provides. With either of these builds, you’ll be tanky enough as Mega Gnar to be right in the middle of the enemy team causing havoc, but still be able to easily take down anyone in lane or otherwise as Mini Gnar with your OP damage outputs. Of course, all of this is just how I like to play him. It’s still early in his lifespan, so feel free to experiment based on your own preferences and playstyles, Gnar is pretty versatile and can be played to your liking.

Impressions from SuperMarioBro (a fellow Gnar destroyer)

Gnar is a champion who is deceptively tanky while being a highly mobile fighter. I don’t play him myself, but when I go against him, I pick Ryze. He seems to offer the most in out trading him due to Ryze’s q poke then w-q-e combo as he gains levels. Gnar’s kit is interesting to say the least. His q offers a slow with a relatively short cooldown if you manage to catch his boomerang over and over. His w offers him a strong source of health percentage Magic damage which offers a mix of damage while laning which is hard to itemize against. His e allows him to hop, and if he lands on a target he leaps again for the same distance over the target he leaped on in the first place. This is an amazing skill for escaping or putting yourself in a favorable position for killing your opponent in lane. Now his ult only comes out in his Mega Gnar form, in which he always gains a different q w and e. His q acts the same, but he throws boulders instead. His w becomes a stun and his e makes him come crash down on opponents, slowing them. His ult makes him slam his opponents into a direct from himself. If there’s a wall there, they will be stunned. That’s pretty much his kit.

Laning against Gnar can be challenging for some champions that can’t keep the harass going on him. He’ll begin to bull people out of lane with his w 3 hit proc which also gives him increased movement speed, so he’s hard to get hands on. More so once his passive kicks in and he has 100 rage, he will automatically turn into Mega Gnar, which grants him less attack range, slower movement speed, but also grants, a large health boost, magic resist, armor, and attack damage. If one trades with him, but catches him at the wrong time when he’s about to transform, he’ll quickly turn the fight against you with multiple forms of CC and the sudden tankiness when you thought you were going to kill him. All in all, he’s not an extremely hard to lane against champion, but he does offer a bit of a challenge to more melee top laners that can’t hop on him and punish him back.

Other:

Feel free to add me on League of Legends, my IGN is Sentient Pulse on the NA Server. Just make sure you let me know who you are, my friend’s list is almost completely full. I play every role efficiently except support (my girlfriend is a boss at support and I suck at it).

Official Links:

League Of Legends Wiki:
(Includes Geeky Stats)
http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Gnar

League Of Legends Reveal:
(Includes Lore)
http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/champion-reveal/gnar-the-missing-link

Various Build Sites:
(Might work… or it might make you feed)
Team Solo Mid’s SoloMid.net: http://ftp.solomid.net/guide?champ=gnar
MOBA Fire: http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/champion/gnar-120
Curse’s LoLPro: http://www.lolpro.com/guides/gnar
ProBuilds.net: http://www.probuilds.net/champions/Gnar

Special Interactions – Easter Eggs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z0j-C0DWl0
(via Brofresco LoL)
https://www.youtube.com/user/BroFresco

Other Updates Keep An Eye Out For:

Upcoming Champion:

Azir: The Emperor of the Sands

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http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/champion-reveal/azir-emperor-of-the-sands

Upcoming Game-Mode:

Ascension
http://boards.pbe.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-gameplay-feedback/mE0AKGAQ-ascension-game-mode-coming-soon-to-pbe (Reveal on League Of Legends)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG2mPCGB6IM (Gameplay via Brofresco LoL)

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Upcoming Skins:

HeadHunter Caitlyn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfgP7UpyGNA (Pre-Release Teaser via SkinSpotlights)

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2 Comments
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