Riot Games is testing out a Pyke ultimate rework on the Public Beta Environment that can let Pyke execute any champion in the game all the way from full health.
A new spin on Pyke has hit the PBE and Riot seems to be leaning into the same philosophy as it did for the Swain and Olaf reworks by giving Pyke’s ultimate a theoretically infinite boost. The PBE changes make Pyke’s ultimate’s execution threshold lower for each time he has executed any enemy. Here’s what the Pyke ultimate rework would mean for Pyke if it makes it to live servers.
Pyke ultimate rework has infinite scaling
The Pyke ultimate rework focuses on amping up the fantasy of crossing names off your list with increasingly terrifying executions, a thematic emphasis on Pyke’s character fantasy. In addition, his passive will now periodically allow Pyke to execute enemy minions and grant a nearby ally the gold instead of himself.
This is an interesting angle for Riot Games to take to address some of Pyke’s issues with scaling into the later stages of a game. Pyke cannot gain bonus maximum health from anything, converting all basic health to bonus attack damage. This is meant to ensure that Pyke’s assassin play style can’t be combined with tank items to make him a highly mobile bruiser. The side effect is that Pyke is significantly more squishy than most melee supports and can sometimes fall behind once enemy teams get enough items to both threaten Pyke and keep themselves alive.
Since the Pyke ultimate rework on PBE scales the execution threshold on Death From Below each time Pyke executes any enemy from any source, a good Pyke will be rewarded for hitting key ultimates as Death From Below become easier and easier to land. The interesting implication of the wide-ranging sources for Pyke’s new ult buff is the use of support items and the Minion Dematerializer to access other ways to add executions to his tally.
Will this new version of Pyke spam executions?
Both the Steel Shoulderguards and Relic Shield support item offer the ability to periodically execute minions below a certain threshold to share the gold with a nearby champion, while the Minion Dematerializer rune offers three more free executions after a short delay against minions. Pyke’s new changes certainly give more reason to look at the Minion Dematerializer rune, but given that three executions accelerate Pyke two minutes and 40 seconds ahead on his new passive, other runes will likely still offer more value.
What this does ensure is that Pyke is likely to be seeking out every other wave in the mid-game in order to scale up his ultimate. This means that smart Pyke players will want to make sure they’re getting as many extra executions from their new passive as possible. Both of these changes will amplify the impact of experienced Pyke players who can both land crucial Death From Below casts and balance map influence with lane presence.
While it’s theoretically possible for this new iteration of the Bilgerwaterian murderer to kill enormously tanky champions from full health, the real threat is in his increasingly easily executions on squishier members of the enemy team. The more time Pyke spends on the map executing minions and champions, the harder it gets for AD carries and mid laners to safely position around him in team fights.
Overall this Pyke ultimate rework looks to create more opportunities for skilled Pyke players to leverage his signature style and abilities. Pyke will dip in and out of lanes, helping to push waves with support items and his new passive, before disappearing into the fog of war to influence the map elsewhere. A fed Pyke will become all the more terrifying for his increased ability to reach out and delete squishy damage dealers as the game progresses.