While this hero is a lot of fun IMO, I think he's been off the pace for a while. The last change he received was a nerf to his starting damage - formerly one of the highest for a 600 range hero - from 51-61 -> 46-56. He was being changed fairly frequently way back when, but has (I feel) been neglected for too long. Skill roundup follows:
Situationally very good, and can cause chaos in teamfights. Has the potential to be one of the longest non-channeled stuns in the game in the ideal two-enemy setup, but that doesn't happen much in practice. Can and will also bounce to creeps and neutrals, lessening its effectiveness. 700 range (good) but 14 second cooldown (bad) and doesn't deal any damage. It also suffers from being incredibly telegraphed due to its slow travel time, meaning you can forget leading with it against any hero that has an escape, disjoint, etc.
This skill is the only reason we used to see VJ a little in the tri-lane meta, and is also the skill S2 has fiddled with the most since VJ was released. Heals (or damages) for 80/160/240/320 over 8 seconds, which doesn't compare favourably with most of the burst healing abilities around these days. The upside should be the fact that it can heal in an AoE, but the radius is very small (340) requiring allies to bunch up around the recipient - suicidal if enemies are around! VJ is conceptually a support hero, so he isn't expected to get much in the way of items, and the mana cost of this skill (140) precludes spamming it despite its decent cooldown. It's a decent out-of-combat heal, but that's about it.
Voodoo Jester's signiature skill, and the reason he's so much fun to play. Cannot be removed in any way, although the damage is still just magic and can be mitigated by anything that usually works. Short range, slow to come out, small AoE, whopping 35 second cooldown and takes a relative eternity (12 seconds) to apply all its damage. Healing counteracts the internal damage counter, as does hp regen. A cursed hero that escapes combat can TP to the fountain and will usually survive.
This does fantastic damage early and midgame due to its physical damage type, but tapers off later for the same reason. It has a short cast range of 400 and requires channeling, so you usually can't expect to get this skill off for more than a few moments in a teamfight before someone stuns you. Shroud and shrunken head are both possible solutions, but again, VJ is a support hero and isn't going to be able to afford those items in a proper game, particularly since neither do anything for his mana problems.
I'm really not sure which of these things needs to change to make VJ an attractive pick over his role rivals, but I definitely think he needs a little TLC. I suppose if I had to pick one skill to tweak, I'd probably pick the same one S2 always did - Mojo.
Honestly, I think the hero is perfect.
He is really strong, functions as support or dedicated ganker... You seem to largely underestimate Cursed Ground and even the power of his ult with bounces later on. EASILY among the strongest skills in the game. Mojo might be a little underwhelming as far as versatility is concerned compared to other heals, which is not a bad thing, since the heal is still very strong in solo pushes, pauses between skirmishes mid-game, and even helping a carry survive in a small fight with the slow but significant HoT. How can anyone tweak that without making it stupidly strong once more, if it did have to be buffed?
Proof that LoL players are definitely brain damaged and have no clue what they're talking about :
Chronos was extremely bad early game and could only KS with his blink then blink away as he would die in 2 hits. Xin is like Pyromancer early game, can towerdive anyone once he gets to level 3.
He doesn't need too much. His skills are all fine in my opinion and would just retouch on his base damage. Feels like Hellbringer where that one nerf broke the camel's back. Perhaps revert or just retouch his base damage to make him a more fearsome attacker in lane again.
I'd prefer it if his W was just reworked altogether, but since that isn't likely, how about we touch up the travel speed on cocktail a bit? We don't want cheap heals, his E is already really strong, and his ultimate doesn't need tuning, so I see Q as being a primary target for tuning, if any is needed. Travel speed is the one thing that strikes me as bad about this skill, but I don't want it to be fast. Just a 50 ms increase would work wonders for the skill, as it makes it easier to land the initial stun, which is arguably the most important, while making stun locking two heroes less effective.
Other than that, I don't see too much wrong with him (besides his heal). He still hits like a truck, despite being 600 range, and he is a support hero that can scale very well with items (probably moreso than Bubbles).
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He doesn't need anything major. I didn't like the damage nerf, but a subtler buff like increasing the collision size of his ward might be great.
As a Voodoo player I would love to see a revert (or partial revert) on the base damage nerf. His abilities are pretty much perfect and versatile as they are right now and changing them is something I'm not really in favor of.
Buffing travel speed on Cocktail as skeloperch suggested would impact his gameplay in negative ways. Slow travel speed on Cocktail lets you "set up" for ganks and lets you get into position and accurately predict where to cast Cursed Ground. On top of that, slow travel speed also makes Cocktail on 2 heroes devastating - faster travel speed would nerf all of that.
If anything I'd like to see a buff to Q scaling instead of a buff to Q travel speed. Bounces scale 2/4/6/8 right now, which means a 1/4/4 build is severely gimped for CC capability and is mostly only useful for Q setup combo into curse/mojo for the kill.
I feel like the versatility and effectiveness of his skills do not warrant him to have any higher base damage than what he has atm, but that could be just me. I think he has just lost flavor, much like how Witch Slayer is not played as often in the competitive scene anymore either (does that mean WS needs buffs? Nope, not at all. Same is the case with VJ).
Every single one of his skill is amazing and I think all S2 needs to do is make VJ come on the competitive scene more often is to bring him in flavor (which is often achieved by releasing a very sick Alternate Avatar of the hero).
Every hero below has one or more new ability effects, Check them out:
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From my (low MMR) experience, VJ is a fun and solid hero. But he does have a slight "sluggish" feel some times; you often know that under the right circumstances you can devastate the whole enemy team, yet you never seem to be able to come to those circumstances.
His Acid Coctail is a great stun, and as some have said, I too wouldn't want to see the projectile's speed changed. But I do feel it could get a bit better (maybe, just maybe in the way it works in Dota? 50 damage to enemy heroes per bounce).
I am not sure what exactly is the reason why VJ (for me) feels underwhelming, but what ever change was made to VJ, it would have to be small, as the hero has a lot of potential as is.
I think the hero is on a good spot as of now. I've played him a lot and found him both fun and effective. Acid cocktail is really slow but there are plenty of cases you are better off waiting for other enemies or creeps to be around before using it for full effectiveness, and if it had a higher travel speed the stunlock effect would be even more drastic under these situations. This makes it a rather unique stun mechanism and even though it does no damage it can be devastating under the right circunstances while still being relatively decent (initial 1.5 sec stun) as an emergency break on 1 target.
The only skill that feels weak with him is Mojo, and it's witouth doubt the only thing I'd change if needed. The aoe radius is quite pathetic, very rarely you will catch more than 1 hero to make a significant impact with it even when outside combat. I suggest increasing the radius a tad bit.
Cursed ground is fine - the only thing you could change is probably a cast time reduction but even then I doubt it's needed. His mana costs are fine because VJ isn't supposed to be a pure support - I play him as a ganker/roamer/support that needs his items as well.
Definitely not underwhelming. I don't feel VJ needs any buffs since he has 3 high potential skills that let him gank very well, Acid Cocktail, Cursed Ground, and Spirit Ward.
Acid Cocktail is a 700 range single-target stun (even at lvl 1) which can bounce to additional heroes and cause stun lock. It does not need to cause damage because VJ has plenty DPS in his other skills to abuse the cc. Acid Cocktail also is useful for clearing jungles so he can gain the levels to invest points into Mojo. Great players with knowledge of the bouncing mechanic can also abuse the additional bounces offensively on isolated targets.
Cursed Ground is a DOT debuff that cannot be purged and scales with the more HP enemies lose. Also, it is not like you can tp away... if VJ was close enough to land it on you chances are you are not gonna get away bar having a blink or some other escape mechanism. Setup dependent hero as well.
Once it is boosted by SOTM it becomes a deadly teamfighting tool. Even w/o SOTM, Spirit Ward deals great damage.
Mojo is still a very versitile spell as it can be used to heal or used for its DOT. It belongs on VJ to round him off as a support. Its maybe the best healing spell for pushes as it can heal creeps and heroes alike. When used in conjunction with Cursed Ground you get some easy guaranteed damage.
VJ still has an above average 305 base mvsp and strong 46-56 base attk. He harasses well already and does not need a base damage revert. Borderline hero as all three of his high potential skills can end up doing little as Q can be disjointed, E does nothing agaisnt vs Shrunked Head, and you can be canceled out of Spirit Ward quite easily.
Last edited by KingIsRey; 06-07-2012 at 09:19 AM.
For matter of consistency, I dislike how SOTM works with him.
IMO, bouncing should be retained in some way on his level 3 ultimate.Staff Effect: Increases Spirit Ward damage from 60 / 90 / 120 to 90 / 120 / 150. Changes Spirit Ward number of attack bounces from 0 / 0 / 1 to 0 / 1 / 0 additional target(s) and splits its attack to 1 / 1 / 3 targets.
Last edited by man_guy; 06-07-2012 at 10:31 AM.
Buffing the radius of his Curse and Mojo can really make him on par with DS if not better. More drafting option for Drafter.
There are several examples above of what VJ can accomplish with gear (e.g. SotM) and since I pub with the hero myself I know that they are true. Fun though that is to do, you can't really say that 'carry voodoo' is an actual viable option for him. If you're going to pick an INT hero and farm with him, you'd just take someone like Torturer instead.
I created this discussion because I feel a little like backwards-Chandler up there; VJ was popular for a brief moment, he got knee-jerk nerfed, then we never saw him again. I certainly don't think any of his skills need reworking or anything like that, I just think a small nip and tuck here or there might help him out. Whether that comes in the form of a revert like HB got or elsewhere, or not at all: that's the kind of discussion I'm looking for.
Last edited by Dominare; 06-07-2012 at 06:22 PM.
He was pretty much picked or banned in every "early tri-lanes meta" game.