Deep Insight Into Rift Herald

      A few weeks ago Riot Games announced a new neutral monster called Rift Herald, who lives in Baron Pit for the first 20 minutes and gives an interesting buff called Doom’s Eve if you kill him. We will talk about that new monster and how to take the maximum advantage of Doom’s Eve.

General Information

– Spawns at 4 minutes in the Baron Pit

– Re-spawns every 5 minutes

– De-spawns at 19:45 if it’s out of combat, if not then it de-spawns at 19:55 no matter what.

– Dances if you dance (this is really important)

– Takes 35% less damage from ranged basic attacks

– +50 gold per player. 250 gold in total when killed.

– You can find the timer below Baron’s timer

– Drops Doom’s Eve buff to the killer:

Duration: 2 minutes

10% increased damage and 40 movement speed

Enhanced Baron recall

Empowered minions:

      – 40% increased attack speed and 100 extra range (cannon minions)

How Can I Kill It?

      Let me explain to you a little story. I was playing my first game in the new patch, I was Irelia and I decided to call my Jungler and kill that new Rift Herald guy. We went there, both really confident because the enemy Top Laner was dead. We started hitting the Herald and after three hits my Jungler was almost dead. I tried to tank it but I dropped really low. Then the enemy Mid Laner and Jungler decided to check Rift Herald and guess what. Double kill for the enemy team. I’m sure I’m not the only one who experienced that disaster, that’s why I will try to explain how to kill it effectively.

      That eye is the key. The eye will periodically open for 3 seconds, when that happens basic attacks from behind deal 15% of its maximum health as true damage. Also, if doing damage from behind brings him to 15% health the eye will stay open, which makes easier to finish the kill.

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      As you can see, that mechanic requires two players, one who’s going to tank it and the second one who will deal damage from behind. It’s extremely difficult to solo this guy without failing so be careful. Remember that basic ranged attacks will deal 35% less damage, an AD Carry won’t be that key against that monster.

When Should I Kill It?

      The best moment to kill Rift Herald is when the enemy Top Laner is dead and you spotted the enemy Jungler on the bottom side of the map, this way the only one who could interrupt you could be the enemy Mid Laner, who’s not that big threat as you would easily outnumber him.

      There are other opportunities to kill the Rift Herald. For example, if the enemy team is taking Drake you should kill Rift Herald in exchange. These kind of decisions are really versatile, but in general what you need to know is the position of every single enemy player because Rift Herald deals a huge amount of damage. Also, remember that Rift Herald is something you can kill to balance the trade. Tower for Rift Herald or Drake for Rift Herald are some of the trades you can take. The important part is what you are going to do with Doom’s Eve buff. If you don’t take any further objectives or kills in the next two minutes then you lost that trade.

What To Do After Killing Rift Herald?

      That’s the interesting part. Doom’s Eve is a really powerful buff if used properly and you have many ways to get ahead thanks to it. The most popular, and probably most efficient, choice is to give that buff to the Top Laner. It will allow him to get ahead in lane and possibly take the enemy tower thanks to the empowered minions. It’s an easy way to snowball your Top Laner and he will be able to roam freely due to his advantage in lane. For example, you are playing Top Lane and you killed your enemy with your Jungler’s help. Then you both move towards Rift Herald and kill it. Probably the Jungler dropped low due to the damage but you can still push Top Lane to force a Teleport or take some damage to the enemy tower (or take it if it was already low). At that point you can go back to base and maybe Teleport Bot Lane while you still have Doom’s Eve, kill the enemy Bot Lane and get the tower. That move would be PERFECT but obviously the enemy team won’t stay passive looking at you while you destroy every objective. You probably have to give up drake in exchange, which in my opinion it’s fine. Or maybe while you are getting kills in the Bot Lane your enemy Top Laner will take down your tower.

      You don’t necessarily need to do all that, maybe you decide to stay in your lane and kill your enemy again with that 10% increased damage then finally get the Top Lane tower and roam to the Mid Lane instead. As you see, if the buff goes to your Top Laner you can do many moves around the map thanks to Teleport.

      You can also give the buff to the Jungler. I recommend Top Laner over Jungler but it’s not that bad if Jungler changes the way he spends his next 2 minutes in the map. If the team decides to give the buff to the Jungler, he should gank the easiest lane (Don’t try to gank a LeBlanc or Janna and Ezreal because you will waste your time) and stay there while pushing the tower. It’s really important to make ahead as many teammates as you can. You can think about it as a “empowered minions delivery”.

      Mid Lane is not a good lane to use Doom’s Eve on. Remember that minions don’t gain any defensive stats. It will be easy for your enemy to kill your empowered minions. He will play safe and avoid trading with you. Your Jungler can gank for you; however, it’s safer if you give the buff to your Top Laner or Jungler.

Swapping Lanes?

      When Rift Herald was announced people started to talk about lane swaps between Top Lane and Bot Lane. In my opinion it will change a lot of the meta in competitive games but it won’t change the way Ranked Solo/Duo Queue games are played in low-mid ELO’s. That’s why I will explain why is good to lane swap due to Rift Herald but I won’t give a deep insight about this strategy.

      An example of a good lane swap would be to start with standard lanes, give your Top Laner Doom’s Eve, get top tower then lane swap. In the Top Lane your AD Carry and Support need to keep pushing with the Jungler so they draw attention. Meanwhile, your Top Laner with the Doom’s Eve buff is laning against the ADC in the Bot Lane. At this point you force the enemy team to make a decision: Stop the guys that are pushing top? Or collapse on the Top Laner with Doom’s Eve? In both cases you win something. With their first choice, if three enemy players try to defend a tier two Top tower that means they are going to lose a tower in the Bot Lane. In the second one, if they don’t stop your team pushing, they will lose tier two Top tower. Your Top Laner would more than likely die; however, you got their tier two Top tower, which is not bad at all. You can also initiate the lane swap but I don’t recommend to do that because of Rift Herald. You should lane swap when you want to avoid 2v2 in Bot Lane and your Top Laner is able to hold the lane 1v2.

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