[box]Wiggle if You Wriggle is an article written for the Over the Bar (OtB) column for ggChronicle. The column focuses on often overlooked portions of the game.
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Wriggle’s Lantern: The item that made a legend, the legend that created a following, and the followers who were misled.
Wriggle’s Lantern is a historic item. No, no, it is a legendary item. It is one of the most disdained legendary items in this game we love, League of Legends. Sure, it is useful. Sure, it is cost-efficient. Sure, it gives you most everything you need. But no one wants it. No one loves it. People have to be begged, cajoled, tricked into buying this item.
In this column, we take a look at this item, it’s history,and where we go with it from here.
Wriggle’ Lantern was mentioned in the premier Journal of Justice. The item was found in the Kumungu Jungle by the great explorer and League champion, Ezreal. The lore may not interest most but it’s founder is a point of note and the Journal also references how it was used for pathfinding through the jungle.
So here is an item, made primarily to help junglers clear faster. We should remember that until fairly recently the junge was a much more frightful place and only a few champions could endure it’s travails and rigors.
More Recent, But Still History
People did catch on. Wriggle’s Lantern was a staple on just about every jungler until the infamous jungle remake. It simply provided clears that were much simpler and much better. But that item differed from the Lantern we see today. Back in the day, Wriggle’s Lantern healed you off of it’s item procs. This made it’s sustain ridiculous.
Still, the item was almost exclusively used in the jungle. Then along came a couple revolutionary minds. Most notably, a Teemo player made Wriggle’s a staple of their build. An Ezreal player,clearly continuing on the original lore of the item, used Wriggle’s all the time when he went middle.
The latter referenced player was Voyboy, now a key member of Dignitas. He not only used Wriggle but vehemently defended his use of the item against other players and Rioters alike. Indeed, Phreak was known to lambast the decision in LoL’s General Discussion forums.
There was a brilliance to Voyboy’s “madness”. Not only did Wriggle’s provide ridiculous sustain but one benefit of using it on Ezreal middle was that as soon as it was purchased it was relatively simple for Ezreal to solo the dragon with alacrity and stealth (he could Arcane Shift over the back wall to engage).
The legend continued to grow; The Rainman took a champion considered by most to only result in trolling and losses and with Wriggle’s Lantern he, got to rank one on the solo queue ladder. As referenced above, that champion was Teemo. With Wriggle’s he became a force that could not be stopped top-lane and he could protect himself from ganks with fields and fields of mushrooms.
The Rainman went on to join Team Solomid and TSM frequently used multiple Lanterns in competitive matches. Of course, The Rainman is no longer with the team but his legacy remains and the item is still seen frequently in competitive play.
Present Day Wriggling
Wriggles has gone through a number of changes that have significantly nerfed the item from it’s glory days. Most notably the procs no longer heal from life steal or spell vamp.
Most recently, the lifesteal portion was nerfed from 15% to 12% as part of Riot’s aims at lowering lifesteal numbers in general.
Despite all of it’s other nerfs, Wriggle is seen more today than ever. And yes, it is still used by a lot of junglers as was it’s initial intention but more than eve it is a staple of top-lane bruisers and many AD Carries.
One can rarely be faulted for building the item. It is in incredibly cost-efficient. What is more, is it provides a free ward on a constant basis.
This is great for top-laners who generally need to have one ward protecting them from the opposing jungler at all times.
The free ward also makes it similar to a gold per ten second item. The general gp/10 items grant five gold per ten seconds which amounts to thirty gold per minute. Wriggle’s, on the other hand, gives a free ward every three minutes, or the equivalent of 25 gold per minute (assuming you wanted to spend that gold on wards).
Top-laners are pretty balanced at the moment. Namely, there are not many champions that can maintain in lane while ‘giving up gold’ by buying gp/10 items.
Riot has created a good trade-off. If you buy gp/10 items you are noticeably weaker and a smart lane opponent will take advantage.
Wriggle, however, is a different creature. It has the gp/10 feature granted via wards but it is also cost-efficient for armor, damage, and life steal. These are traits that almost all top-lane bruisers build towards. The combination of all the aforementioned stats also allow for a bruiser building this to excel over their counterparts, especially if they build gp/10 items.
You watch professional players build Wriggle’s on their junglers, bruiser, and carries. Clearly, you should build this item!
No, not necessarily. First, as an AD Carry, a Wriggle’s Lantern really puts your build behind. Mainly, you are building for straight damage and armor and foregoing items that will give you that real threat in a group fight.
As a number of junglers, you can focus on other items as you do not necessarily need that sustain or help with clear time. Udyr, Maokai, and others simply do not need the item any longer.
As most bruisers, Wriggle’s is a great item. But do not fall into that trap of building it every time you go top lane. Yes, it provides decent sustain and armor. But it does not provide anymore sustain than a vampiric scepter.
What?, you ask. It grants three whole more percent of life steal! Yes, but if your Wriggle’s procs it takes away life that you could potentially steal. What does this mean for your aspiring top-laner? Well, it means that, particularly if you are laning against a magic damage dealer you would be remiss in not considering other builds. While, Wriggle grants great armor and life steal, you will be wasting that armor if you are facing off against a Kennen, Singed, or Vladimir, for instance.
A top-laner should also be wary if they are going against a ‘hybrid’ champion. By hybrid I do not refer to to the usual hybrid like Jax (although he is included in the group) but instead to common top-laner like Irelia and Udyr who, while dealing decent physical damage, also deal large parts of true damage in the former case and magical damage in the latter via Tiger Strike or Phoenix Strike.
I hope you are more informed from this little expose and you are a bit more flexible with your builds. Perhaps you will be the one to find the next Legendary Build!