In my previous blog I mentioned the build I am currently running, the mana/cdr-focused build. Well. I already knew that in theory it could work having done well in botgames but botgames are a poor example of it working in an actual game so I was not convinced it would work in practice against actual people.
Not only did it work, but it worked so well that the game I ran it in was literally the best game of League on Ashe I have ever played, ever.
I checked my stats.
I viewed my record on the web, listing every single Ashe game. I narrowed it down to games I won, games I had similar end gold to, and games where I had reasonably low deaths. And while there were three games that were at least vaguely comparable...this game that I played was literally better in almost every way. I've had games where I've earned more gold, but usually slugfests that lasted longer than they had any right to that in one critical teamfight we ended up losing. But those games weren't me playing well; those games were both sides having screwed up enough to let everyone even their deadweight members (read: me) get to basically-or-entirely full-build.
This was a game where I actually played well. Better than I have ever played before. Was it perfect, no. I made mistakes. I did get caught out a few times (albeit once I knew I was probably overextending and another time if my jungler had been with me rather than pressuring botlane turret we would've won and it was my fault for knowing my jungler wasn't there yet still trying so at least half of my deaths were easily preventable), about 65% of my ults missed even when they had every right to hit (I once missed a point blank ult on Yi--which ended up allowing him to steal a drake he had no right to steal because if I hit my ult he'd have been killed. Granted, that was the aforementioned time that our jungler was right there near us and easily could've helped but chose not to, butstill, feels bad), I often was too far away from the engagement and didn't autoattack as much as I should have, being overly safe and staying too far back so I didn't help my team quite as much as I ought to have.
But in spite of those mistakes.
I played incredibly well. The stats tell the story; I had almost the top damage in the game (the only one higher than me was the enemy team's Xerath, due to Xerath, like Ashe, being a very very heavy poke-based champion and he was only higher by like a few hundred), had top turret damage, one of the highest objective damages in the game, had the third-highest cs in the game (second only to my own team's jungler and for whatever reason the enemy Vayne who somehow had a bunch of CS in spite of being utterly worthless), had the second-highest gold in the game (beaten only by Qiyana)...
...I was fed. I was incredibly fed. Remarkably, I think I only got a bounty on me once, a small one at that, which was collected by the enemy Yi when I overextended and got chain-cc'd (again, that was the aforementioned time where I knew I was overextending but decided to greed for it for no real good reason), but I had every reason to be proud of my performance that game. I got first blood, I got first brick as well, I collected a number of tower plates, I was heavily winning lane and basically made the enemy Vayne be useless all game long (Vayne out-csd me all game long, somehow, in spite of me hard-winning lane, probably because she split-pushed and farmed while her entire team was being wiped out across the map in a 4v5), I was doing a ton of work.
It was everything I had ever hoped to achieve.
And I did it with the mana/cdr build.
And played as best as I ever can.
I won the lottery.
We got a four-cloud drake soul. This, combined with my 40% cdr, meant that my ult was literally on URF timing--every 20 seconds. So I could spam it. Fire it at the beginning of a fight, fire it again in the middle of a fight, and fire it a third time near the end of a fight. No joke, I had fights where I shot off three enchanted crystal arrows!
We also had an incredibly competent team which won or went even across the map. My support was a good 65% of the reason I was able to win lane (I won't pretend that was me); my jungler had a bit of a weak start but was a monster in teamfights; my midlaner hard-stomped the enemy midlaner; my toplaner did a bunch of work in teamfights and I didn't see them die very often so presumably they did well toplane, too. (Given how the enemy toplaner was basically a nonpresence, that suggests my toplaner won.)
We had remarkable coordination and good synergy. There were a few instances of not ideal interactions (Singed tossing an enemy out of the trajectory of my ult for instance where we both targeted the same person at the same time but he caused me to miss--whoops!), but by and large we were able to chain abilities one after another to lock them down, deal a ton of damage, and just...dominate.
That game shows everything I want to do with my games.
It will never happen again!
I will never do that well again and if people expected me to perform that well every game they would be sorely disappointed. That game is the exception to the general rule of me sucking hardcore. And I was only good because my team was good as well. I'd say that I wasn't good because of my team, and my team wasn't good in spite of me; I'd say that, yes, I have the right to say my team was good in part because of me, if I can also acknowledge I was good because of my team.
That is to say, I was not carried, but I did not carry; we all played an equal part in that victory and I easily could have honored any of my teammates. (And two of them honored me!)
Most games...won't have that.
So I will never do this well again.
But this game showed me what I could do.
What I can do at my best, when the stars align, when everything goes right.
It shows the theory can work in practice.
It shows that the build, given the right circumstances, can pop off.
It's hella fun and can still perform remarkably well and it suits my playstyle and I think given all of that I will continue to run it in future games, with the hope that those games will go as well as this one did.
But who knows.
If I keep practicing.
Honing my skills, refining them.
Keep on trying this out.
It will end up being my thing and working.
Now if you don't mind I am going to bed now.