Written by Nat Seeto
We’re just a week out from Fiddlesticks’ rework and as a Fiddle main, it was quite interesting to see an update on my favourite scarecrow. If you missed out on the grand reveal, here’s a quick rundown and comparison of his new abilities, plus a few tips and tricks. So let’s get our Surprise Party skins on and dive into it.
P: A HARMLESS SCARECROW
Gone is the movement speed and also… your wards? Your passive now replaces your trinket with effigies that can fake abilities before disappearing. After level 6, they also act as control wards. Having these effigies raises the skill cap for Fiddle and provides opportunities to make some big mind game plays. Are they wasting abilities on your clone, or do they ignore it? You can adapt to how your opponent plays with some sneaky positioning. However, you’ll still need control wards to maximise your vision, so always buy these over potions at the start as your drain will be enough to sustain you in the jungle.
Surprise! Now your fear does damage! This ability keeps the OG point and click fear and spices it up with a bit of damage. A bonus feature is that if your target has been feared recently, it doubles the damage instead. While the duration is lower than the old fear, the passive is the real star of the show. If out of combat and unseen, the next ability will fear opponents. Best combined with ult for maximum utility.
W: BOUNTIFUL HARVEST
The drain hits different when it’s AoE. The drain duration is shorter, the damage is less and it heals less. Fiddlesticks already wasn’t a great duelist and now with less damage, he’s even worse. However, an upside is that the AoE will reveal enemies that are within drain range. Farming and taking objectives is a little easier, and many are building tank Fiddlesticks to duel a bit better and get that last tick of the drain off.
Supportlesticks takes the biggest hit here now that the bouncing crows are gone. You now slash your beautiful scythe in a crescent and silence those in the centre. Adding in the slow is nice, but can be a little redundant for those who like to do a Rylais rush. The added challenge of the skill shot means you’ll actually have to aim now, but that gives you more control on which targets you hit. Fiddlesticks excels at taking multiple jungle camps at once, but it’s a little harder now without the crows. I’m going to miss seeing that crow beating up my blue buff and gromp at the same time.
The removal of the space in the name of this ability is almost the biggest change. Fortunately, Fiddlestick’s signature ability hasn’t been altered too much, with a little increase in tickspeed, making it more consistent against mobile opponents. However with Q passive, ulting in from fog can pull off some pretty big 5 man fears which can quickly turn around a scary situation. As a helping hand, indicators will show which enemies you will fear once you blink.
Is there anything that could’ve been done better? Now that there’s been some time to adjust, we can see the win rate slowing down as people find these problems that keep Fiddlesticks from being a good pick over other jungle champions. He’s slow and that lack of movespeed seems to be the source of many complaints where your drain is interrupted because your target took one step away. With a few quality of life changes and minor damage buffs, there’s potential for him to be good without being broken.
There’s good and bad: Fiddle’s kit is refreshed and has a bunch of cool new tools that give a bunch of outplay potential. However, his raw stats aren’t enough to compete at a high level. There’s a lot you can get away within the depths of Iron 2: there’s less vision, less invades and just less of the things that bring a threat to Fiddlesticks. Overall, I‘ve enjoyed the rework - the kit is fun, the visuals are amazing and there’s enough utility for some genius plays. But the fact remains that with low dueling capacity, Fiddle can only really fight with his ult making him very easy to counter.
R.I.P. bouncy bois.