Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
With double buffs on, Ezreal might as well be a different champion.
With the Red buff inflicting a Slow effect and True Damage, and the Blue buff reducing skill cooldowns and replenishing mana, Ezreal was able to use his skills to much greater effect than normal.
For instance, regarding the most crucial kiting skill, Arcane Shift:
At the highest skill tier, Arcane Shift had a base cooldown time of eleven seconds. The maximum cooldown reduction you could get was up to 40%, which was how much he had now, meaning his Arcane Shift had an actual cooldown time of about seven seconds. Every 1.4 seconds, hitting something with Mystic Shot would reduce all other skill cooldowns by one second. That meant Arcane Shift could be used every four to five seconds!
Being able to emulate Flash every four to five seconds, in addition to an actual Flash spell for emergencies… who could hope to pin down a fleeting phantom like him?
This was the ultimate level of kiting with Ezreal!
Even though Shen had Randuin’s Omen, Ezreal was nevertheless easily able to maintain the ideal distance from him, leading him around by the nose.
He led Shen down the corridor and up to the walls of his own base. With the combination of Muramana and Last Whisper, he was dealing tremendous damage to Shen. Since Ezreal also had some Lifesteal going on, whatever harm Shen had managed to do to him was also being healed back by his own blistering attacks.
At the moment, Ezreal was still sitting on roughly two-thirds of his health. With no hope of taking him down himself, Shen could only keep up the pursuit while waiting for his next Shadow Dash, as well as the help of his teammates.
When he reached the base perimeter, Lee Sin hopped over with a ward, ready to lend aid to Shen.
Luocheng spotted Orianna and Sona—they were almost upon him, too. So he used Arcane Shift to jump across the wall, into the enemy’s base!
Although he was unable to see them now, Ezreal continued to fire Mystic Shot blindly, wasting no opportunity to wear down their health bars.
Shen was losing his patience. He’d waited an agonizing eternity for his next use of ‘Shadow Dash’, and had been preparing to Taunt Ezreal just as Orianna caught up to them, so that she could finish him in one go.
The problem was that this Ezreal was too cunning, sticking close to the wall, then jumping over when he saw Orianna closing in. For a moment, Shen couldn’t decide whether to use that Shadow Dash or not.
If he used it now, he’d just be passing through the wall to chase after Ezreal some more. Otherwise, he’d have to take the long way around, entering via the Top lane—a most frustrating, infuriating way of doing things.
Luocheng had been flying this kite for some distance, now: Coming ashore from the river, he’d led his pursuers on a merry chase through the woods until they’d arrived outside the enemy base—and now he was trespassing brazenly across their home ground!
It was a kite that was leading his enemies to insanity!
Unable to touch him, or catch him, all their skills and attacks were useless. All they could do was let him lead them around like an ox, while taking all kinds of damage in the process.
Teasing, insulting, humiliating… the art of kiting was also a form of psychological warfare. At this point, Orianna, Sona, Shen, and Lee Sin were all having their sanity tested by Ezreal.
When they thought he was going Top, he’d be heading for Mid instead. They’d move to surround him at the Wolves camp, but then he’d turn out to be in the corridor beside it. Just as they’d thought that they had him in the bag, he’d stepped right into their own base, sneering down at the lot of them.
This feeling of being toyed around with was inexplicably rage-inducing. When they finally caught that scamp, they’d chop him up into itty-bitty pieces!
Shen was foaming at the mouth. Dashing through the wall after Ezreal, he lunged with his blade outstretched!
Just then, Sona got her Flash back, and she used it to dive into the base as well, unleashing her Crescendo upon Ezreal!
Both sides had used plenty of Summoner Spells during that last team fight, so Sona was the only one who could Flash, and only because it had just come off cooldown.
Watching Sona descend upon him like a woman possessed, Luocheng knew it was not the time to be stingy with his skills. He hurriedly Flashed to the side, avoiding what would otherwise have been certain death.
Something as useful as Flash had to be held on to, only to be used in the most critical moments, when it could even turn the tables completely. An ADC like Shallow Dream used every one of her skills flawlessly, and held onto every trump card until the last possible moment. Unless you ganged up on her with three or four champions, you would have no idea what else she still had up her sleeve.
Ezreal had Flashed directly backwards. Against Sona, Shen, and Lee Sin, staying still would be very bad for his health. Retreating to a safer position, he relied exclusively on Mystic Shots to Slow the whole bunch down.
“You’ve got nowhere to run!” His three pursuers had found some measure of calm now. Ezreal was trapped within their base: If he moved any deeper inside, he’d be cornered against the Nexus Towers and the Fountain. For him to have blundered into this death-trap on his own, it filled them with the gleeful anticipation of imminent vindication.
“Ah, he’s trapped…” Qianqian beheld the enemy Nexus, and the twin towers looming over it.
The damage from these towers was no laughing matter. With the amount of health Ezreal had remaining, he wouldn’t be able to survive four shots from them. What’s more, it was the enemy’s Fountain behind them—and yet Ezreal continued to flee in that direction. It was as though he was running straight towards his own doom.
Brilliant blue bolts continued to fly from his fingertips, and he teleported as much as he ran, leaving a trail of swirling blizzards in his wake. Even now, Ezreal was still attacking.
He backpedaled until he was between the Top-lane inhibitor and the Nexus. The Nexus Tower on the left had already begun to attack him.
Ezreal’s health plummeted as he took two shots from the tower, but now he was right between the Nexus and the Fountain.
At first glance, one might make the mistake of thinking he was on his way back to his Fountain to recuperate. In truth, he was now surrounded by enemy towers, caught in a no-man’s-land with little hope of making it back out alive!
Skirting around the edge, when he was between the Nexus and the Fountain steps, he wouldn’t get attacked by the towers anymore. But then he kept going, making a full circle and coming out on the right side of the Nexus!
Circling around their Nexus?
The four pursuers on the opposing team didn’t know what to make of it!
The key to this maneuver was that all the pursuers simultaneously concluded that Ezreal was trying to get a free Execution in their Fountain, so they all scrambled madly after him. Moreover, they were all hurting for health and mana, so they instinctively gravitated back towards the Fountain . 1
Mystic Shots continued to fly, Slowing down the pursuit, while at the same time expediting the cooldown on Ezreal’s Arcane Shift!
Flitting through the shadow of the enemy’s Nexus Towers, Arcane Shift became available once more just as Ezreal moved past the massive Nexus crystal.
He looked at his health. Almost all gone, now.
He had to make sure to keep out of reach of the tower on the left. Though he’d have to enter the attack range of the right-side tower, he’d use Arcane Shift to escape the hazard immediately!
Was there anything more thrilling, more heart-pounding, than kiting enemy champions around their own Nexus? Four at once, at that!
This death-defying waltz upon the razor’s edge had the spectating Qianqian, Lin Dong, and Xiao Bei all short of breath!
After a long, desperate flight across half of Summoner’s Rift, no one could have predicted that Luocheng would choose to lead his pursuers over here!
Fleeing into the enemy’s base was already irrational enough. To be circling the Nexus like this… he was really going round the bend!
Who else would do something like this, besides Luocheng?
Ezreal stepped through another pair of linked portals, but the travel distance was very limited. It felt like trying to get across a fathomless chasm even though you knew you couldn’t jump that far. If you screwed up, there would be no retries!
Holding his breath, he passed through. A moment later, he alighted near the way out to the Bottom lane, holding out a hand to catch himself as he came to ground.
There were some differences between Arcane Shift and Flash. When performing an Arcane Shift, he needed a split-second to step through the dimensional rift, and then another brief moment to recover upon his exit.
As such, when Ezreal fell on one knee before the looming Nexus Towers, all three spectators—and even Luocheng himself—could feel their hearts hammering behind their eyes, as though straining to burst out from their throats!
Would one final burst of light erupt from the tower, bringing Ezreal low at last… or would he actually be able to make it out of this dire peril?
All eyes were glued to the tip of the scepter held aloft by that monumental stone statue, already imagining the deathly glow that might appear there any moment.
An instant stretched on for an eternity.
Though they could see it vividly in their imaginations, ultimately the tower didn’t fire after all.
Ezreal wasn’t in its range! He’d used Arcane Shift to put himself just beyond the reach of its attacks, just toeing the line of fire. If he wobbled even slightly in the wrong direction, the tower would instantly blast him into oblivion!
There were several long sighs behind him. Even Luocheng himself could feel his fingers trembling ever so slightly.
It could clearly be seen from Qianqian, Xiao Bei, and Lin Dong’s expressions: That ordeal had very nearly given everyone a heart attack!
This… how… what…
Just a moment ago, Shen, Orianna, Sona, and Lee Sin had been sure that Ezreal had finally been cornered. And yet, right before their very eyes, he’d gotten away from the tower, and was presently making his departure from their base by way of the Bottom lane!
As he fled, Ezreal hurled his Mystic Shot at the newly spawned minions—he was still industriously whittling away the cooldown on Arcane Shift!
Orianna was currently the closest to catching him, and she pushed herself to the limit. Sadly, she’d made the same mistake as her teammates a moment earlier: When she noticed Riven’s duel with Vayne, she decided to go over there instead, since Ezreal was done for anyway.
Furious at herself, Orianna charged towards the Bottom-lane Inhibitor, zoning Ezreal off so that he wouldn’t dare to leave the base simply by jumping over the wall.
As long as she kept him from doing that, Ezreal would be forced to go out through the exit, whereupon the Inhibitor Tower would put an end to him.
Ezreal hit Orianna with another long shot, Slowing her down. However, he continued to follow the wall towards the opening.
“You’re… you’re going to get killed, that way…” Qianqian whispered in despair. After such a magnificent display of kiting, even looping around the enemy’s Nexus and making fools of his pursuers… in the end, he was being forced to his death beneath another tower.
“I won’t die, sweetheart.” Luocheng gave her a confident smile.
Another Mystic Shot onto the minions behind him, and he’d shaved a good two seconds off of Arcane Shift’s cooldown.
With the pressure from Orianna, he couldn’t stop for a single moment. He continued to move towards the Bottom-lane tower.
The imposing tower flared with light, and a burst of energy arced downwards, homing in unerringly upon Ezreal!
He really didn’t have much health left. One shot from the tower should be enough to take him down.
Just before the shot hit him, a shimmering yellow sphere of energy enveloped him!
His Barrier absorbed the damage from the tower. He wasn’t dead!
The Barrier spell only held for two seconds. In order to make sure that he could survive passing under the tower, he waited until just before the shot hit him before activating his Barrier, buying himself as much time as possible.
Over two seconds, the Barrier absorbed a total of two shots from the tower, and Ezreal was able to get away with his life. Then Arcane Shot finished its cooldown, and he calmly blinked out of the tower’s reach before a third attack was fired.
There was a brief instant when the tower lit up again, a fine red line leading to Ezreal… but when he stepped out of its range, that last, fatal shot was cancelled.
Holding on to his last few points of health, Ezreal had successfully escaped!
Out from the Baron pit and all through the jungle, pitting his wits and reflexes against his pursuers, then taking the ultimate risk of passing through the enemy’s base, circling around their Nexus, and finally deploying his Barrier with infinitely precise timing… This might have been the longest-running pursuit in the entire history of the game, with the most unbelievable getaways ever witnessed!
Maybe it was thanks to a few mistakes by Lee Sin, a few missed shots towards the end. Maybe if Sona had been a little faster with that Flash-ulti, or if Orianna had moved around the other side of the Nexus to trap Ezreal in between… but it was also because they’d done what they did, that Ezreal was able to pull off this whole series of breath-taking escape maneuvers!