What do we make of the Ragewing trait and it’s emblem?
Ragewings are one of the few traits that come with an inherent downside or debuff. The only other trait that comes close is the Assassin trait which innately throws the user into the enemy back line. One could make an argument that both Swiftshots and Cavaliers also fall into this category as in niche situations the innate trait bonuses they apply can become a detriment.
Having a Cavalier emblem on a melee carry means you have to adjust you positioning as they will charge ahead and allow themselves to be targeted first. Diana with a Swiftshot emblem will also completely waste her spell as she attacks from two hexes away.
Now something completely unique solely to Ragewings are that 2 of it’s original units are actually negatively affected by the trait bonuses . I can think of no other trait where the original units would have been better off without them having the trait. These Ragewing units being Hecarim and Shen. This bring us to the question everybody’s had since the start of PBE:
What do we do with this emblem?
Mitigating the Low-Roll
As we went over in part 1, there are three main ways to make use of this:
- The most common way: Using it replace one unneeded Ragewing unit to play a stronger board
- Knowing the early game holders so you’re not exactly down an item and in relation all the possible comps/lines along with it
- Going for the 1st by knowing all the super niche and rare cases where it can go from one of the worst items/augments to your uncontested win condition
We all basically know how #1 works from playing Sett Reroll, Xayah, or Swain Reroll so let’s skip that and jump straight into the interesting parts:
An Emblem is an Item:
Emblems require two components to craft and take up 1 items slot, therefore they should be treated as items. As an item what effects does this one provide?
- +5 mana per auto
- AS during enrage
- Omnivamp during enrage
- innate abilites
- +5 AS (component)
- trait family (Shapeshifter, Swiftshots, Cavalier’s, etc…)
- don’t gain mana from taking damage
- mana-locked for 4 secs (sometimes a pro…)
- 3/6/9 unit trait tree
Augments such Component Grab Bag and Urf’s grab bag give you immediate power by dropping an item. This is why certain augments that drop emblems are much better at different stages of the game because some are just stronger items. For example not only does a ‘Mirage Emblem’ give a +1 towards a trait, it’s basically treated as a Rageblade when it’s the ‘Duelist’ variation. ‘Guardian Emblem’ is a bootleg Warmogs, ‘Whisper Emblem’ is a ‘Shiv/LW’ (and a free 1st), ‘Swiftshot Emblem’ is a ‘RFC’, etc…
In this manner what is a ragewing emblem? A big part of why it’s so hard to use is because there are little to no item holders that cause use the ragewing emblem as an item. So not only do you not get good value from the awkward trait tree you also lose out on an item that every other emblem gets.
Holders + Lines
There are no lines or general knowledge about good ragewing emblem holders early game as no one in the right mind spends time trying to optimize something that is bad. Either way I spent a couple weeks tackling this concept from every angle and these are all the viable options not mentioned in Part 1: Just remember viable =/= good.
Unfortunately/fortunately the Ragewing Jinx bug/tech was revealed and long before I got this article out so it’s a lot less impactful sharing it now. If you missed out on it, it was essentially Ragewing Jinx repeatedly casting her spell over and over again in an infinite loop.
What caused this to occur was the fact that ‘enrage’ blocks all forms of mana gain but missed the niche Jinx interaction where she gains mana on missed traps. Also for visual clarity purposes the mana bar slowly drains while in enrage to represent how long they have left in enrage. A harmless feature that allowed Jinx to fill up her mana bar before it ran out allowing for infinite casts.
Anyways I wanted to keep this part in even after it was patched as I still feel like it’s important as we learned loads of information from that small slip in the code. While it was still a thing Jinx was a great item holder and even possible late-game carry when hyper-rolled. She still is a pretty decent holder just not as broken.
“Magewings” is what I’ve named the interaction between the Mage units with a Ragewing emblem as well as Ragewing units with the Mage emblem (Rage-Mages?).
The exciting thing to note here is the fact that, “the 2nd cast from Mage units does not trigger the ‘enrage’ again.” This means that some units can completely bypass the 4 second mana-lock by virtue of their cast-time. Due to the emblem also acting as a shojin/healing item it meshes very well with a lot of units. This is largely when you have to play Ragewings and you have AP items, which actually allows for a wide variety of late-game options due to how powerful AP comps are right now.
There are a select examples that are relevant enough to list here. I went through every unit testing them in real games to see their casting times and viability.
Ryze is the best example of this. The first 2 casts he will suffer the manalock for a second or 2 but after the 3rd cast it will completely be bypassed, allowing him to reap the benefits of the extra mana and healing -two BIS buffs that usually take up 2 item slots.
Level 7 board. You can pivot into many late-game AP options such as Shyvanna or Ao shin.
Although the cast time varies based on her spell and none of them completely allows her to bypass the manalock it will help shave 1-3 seconds. The most/only important thing about Zoe is getting her to cast as many times as possible so building all manner of mana items on her is great to keep her spells going.
Not a carry but Mage Hecarim -as I’m sure most of you already know is great. The CC is huge and it allows him to shave seconds off his mana-lock allowing for a longer upkeep of constant CC.
Obviously once you hit Shyvanna and have items for her you can start to think about capping out your board with Mage Shyvanna instead.
Shyvanna is a special case because she doesn’t exactly follower the usual rules for ragewings. She will always be enraged no matter what for the duration of her fire breath and end it thereafter. Much like Mage Ao Shin it should be an easy board clear after the first cast.
With 5 mages it’s basically ‘Tantrum’. The board is very compatible and strong; a Shyvanna transition from Sy’fen Trainers is very easily done to cap out your board.
Nami is actually not a good candidate for the emblem. She will cast the 2nd time before here 1st cast is even finished meaning that she still gets stuck with the 2-3 second manalock. I just added her here to inform players as it seemed to me it might be something many people would try as I myself had to test it out before realizing.
In a vaccum it’s not terrible as she doesn’t really lose any mana/time as the +5 rage grants it all back but it definitely makes her an emblem holder not an emblem user.
Shi Oh Yu
Compatibility-wise Shi Oh Yu has no trouble fitting in 2+ ragewings with Xayah as a duo-carry. There are a lot matching synergies between Jade and Ragewing such as Swiftshots, Dragonmancers, and Shapeshifters that allow you to play almost every unit you hit. This is a variation you can play at 7
You can play 4 shapeshifters at 8 or replace Gnar with Soraka/Anivia or play Yasuo with Karma + Ashe or play Sejunai + Talon or pivot your board into Shyvanna. Tons of options here but they all hinge on how well SOY does with an emblem.
Well it isn’t terrible but there is definitely a trade off. For the same reasons Axiom Arc is useful on SOY the ‘enrage’ manalock is bypassed and instead provides 2 very much needed buffs in healing + AS. This comes with the hefty penalty of not being able to gain mana through damage taken which is really SOY’s main source of mana.
Definitely give it a shot when given the right spot. The outcome might surprise you. As for itemization I recommended 2x damage or damage + EON.
Ragewing Emblem Trade Offer:
Sy’fen gets: 25% Omnivamp + 50% AS during enrage plus some extra mana on hit
You get: – 81 LP
Definitely not a trade offer I’m super excited to take. It actually doesn’t sound too bad in a vacuum if Sy’fen had an RFC (which is already a fantastic item on him) but you probably want to play either Shen/Xayah/Hecarim and 2 bows are definitely more needed on Xayah.
Healing and AS are the two things Sy’fen wants and having it all in one item sounds great but the penalty of having to play Ragewing units with no significant overlapping traits and losing your main source of mana gain is much too steep of a price to pay.
I just want to quickly go over some more detail regarding how powerful these augments are and the units that can abuse them. Some super important (but niche) information to go over:
- You don’t need Ragewing activated for these augments to work so you don’t even necessarily need Ragewing units fielded
- With Scorch in particular:
- You don’t gain mana from spells so you can count/guarantee scorch procc-ing on certain autos/spells (Ex. Ragwing Corki will cast the first time in 4 autos meaning his Scorch damage will be the 1st rocket of his spell and then so on and so forth. It’s always constant.)
- Units like Yone who don’t even cast can still use scorch just by having an emblem
- Tantrum on any Rage-Mage/Mage-Wing unit means on the 1st cast the unit will cast a total of 4 times in a row.
- Tantrum opens up a the window for any any unit to also partake in the Mage-Wing interaction. For instance Corki will cast twice and go almost straight back to farming mana for his next cast as well as receiving +5 mana per hit and omnivamp. Sy’fen will ‘Charge -> Bite -> Charge -> Bite’ instead of skipping his first bite like Mage ‘Sy’fen’ does. With ‘Tantrum’ the ragewing emblem suddenly becomes very sought after and many options open up.
- Again Corki is great for this as it guarantees that at least one of his spell cannon shots will procc scorch. Talon is great as well, his first cast will activate on the ring of blades and eventually cycle towards his final stab.
- Ao Shin again is great. He guarantees at least 4 of his… thunder balls becoming true damage and dealing 33% more damage. That means a base 2* Ao shin with no items will do 528 extra damage with 2128 damage becoming true damage, especially great against those Mystic Shi Oh Yu comps.
- Even units like Yone and Volibear who don’t make use of the Ragewing aspect at all can receive the Scorch buffs as all it matter is the 5th attack.
- Most realistically it’s going to be played on a Swiftshot unit like Varus to be paired with Xayah. A Varus 3* with duo carry with Xayah is nothing to scoff at as especially if Varus proccs scorch on his cast.
I also want to quickly mention that knowing the flowchart of possible augment choices per game it’s not uncommon to get tantrum/scorch when already having a Ragewing Emblem. It’s really just the gamble on both ends whether you make/take the emblem first or pick the related augments with the latter generally being the safer choice.
This concludes the two part ascertainment of the value of the ragewing emblem. At the end of my research and testing phase my opinion was changed somewhat -not that I think the emblem was good now- but I did feel like there were a lot more unexplored options and underutilized methods to make the most out of nothing.
I will still not be happy taking this emblem during a tournament but I will at least be confident knowing it’s limits and possibilities and that it’s not completely over.