The Loose Cannon vies for your Riot Points
With the League of Legends 2013 Championship out of the way, it's time to get back to the grindstone and start testing out some new characters. The first post-Finals addition is Jinx, the "Loose Cannon," and she's...interesting, to say the least.
Riot Games really went all out on its latest Champion, even going so far as to create an official music video for her. All of that care and attention really payed off, because Jinx is definitely one of my favorite champions in a long while.
League of Legends: Jinx (Mac, PC)
Jinx's aesthetic is somewhere in between Tank Girl and Harley Quinn, and has a design that looks rather unique to League of Legends. Her shtick is that she's insane and loves blowing things up, which is good enough for me as her playstyle is a ton of fun. I'm not a fan of the Pippi Longstocking hair, so I opted to pick up the "Gangster Jinx," skin, which offers up ribbons instead (pictured above) on top of a 1920s veneer. Overall I think it's a more original skin, and one I tend to use exclusively.
As an AD Carry, Jinx has a ton of tools at her disposal -- more than a lot of other ranged characters. For one, she can switch her auto-attack at will from a sustained damage speed boosting minigun to an AOE damage rocket launcher, allowing her to change strategies on the fly without a massive mana cost early game. It's like a small minigame that isn't found in a lot of other MOBAs, and a welcome change that actually plays out as well as it sounds.
Zap! is a very easy to use line skillshot that reveals enemies, making it perfect for clearing brush or exposing a stealth Champion -- again, a very versatile ability. She also has a trap at her disposal called "Flame Chompers," which tosses out three mines that stay active for five seconds. If any Champions walk over them, they become snared and are dealt damage. Although it can be countered rather easily, the trap still allows her some form of escape. It can also function as a harassment, or a team fight initiator.
Her ultimate is called "Super Mega Death Rocket!" and it functions like Ashe's and Ezreal's, in that it travels in a straight line until it hits a target. True to the name, it happens to be very strong, and seems to have a huge detonation and AOE range. The ultimate also does a massive amount of damage and has a relatively short cooldown time. In short, if aimed well, in its current state it's one of the best ultimates I've seen in the game.
As a tradeoff for all this firepower Jinx doesn't have a ton of mobility, but her traps and massive amount of damage allow her to get out of trouble in other ways. With that said, a talented assassin can make short work of Jinx if you're not careful, so I hesitate to call her "overpowered" at the moment with the right counter. In lower-ranked games though, you will get a few of those accusations -- so be prepared!
During my playtime with Jinx, I tested her on Summoner's Rift and Dominion, and I found her to be extremely enjoyable and competitive in both modes -- especially Dominion, where she can wreck shop fairly quickly. I wasn't able to randomly get her in ARAM, but I have no doubt that her traps and her ultimate would be deadly on such a tiny map.
If you enjoy playing ranged characters in any sort of capacity, Jinx is a ton of fun, and pretty formidable to boot. Given the amount of care that went into her from Riot Games, I hope future characters follow suit, and I wouldn't hesitate to make Jinx part of your roster.