One of the first things that most players of League of Legends had to learn was how to properly farm. It is one of the most important things in the game to master too. Proper farm can make the difference between winning and losing your game. However, many pros and top lane players are now flipping the script on its head with a new playstyle called Frostmancy, which is yet another gold generation tactic.
As cool as it is to see innovative strategies, I feel like spellthief's no farm solo lane should be hard nerfed/fixed.
— Sam Hartman-Kenzler (@RiotKobe) February 9, 2019
Frostmancy is the latest craze to take over solo queue and the competitive League scene. Just recently, Clutch Gaming’s top laner, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, utilized this strategy in an LCS match, proving its effectiveness and legitimacy. (Unfortunately, they still lost their game). This build path and playstyle is yet another successful attempt at manipulating certain items and runes in order to make gold. While not many people are supportive of the strategy, let’s first discuss what Frostmancy is, and why so many people think it is bad for League of Legends.
Using Frostmancy is pretty simple, but is an effective way to get ahead of your lane opponent with minimal effort. First, you will need to lock in an AP caster in the top lane like Lulu, Karma or Sona. In the professional scene, many players are locking in Zilean as well. Afterward, you will need to run the primary rune of Kleptomancy, which is in the Inspiration skill tree. Finally, you will need to first-buy the support item, Spellthief’s Edge, which will eventually lead into Frostfang.
The laning phase is where things get different. Instead of last hitting and farming up minions, you will focus on harassing your lane opponent. Players basically rely on hitting their opponent for income, due to both the Kleptomancy rune and Frostfang. You are allowed to hit minions, but only to manipulate the wave to your advantage. You cannot farm by last hitting. The only time that you can regularly farm is when you finish the support item’s quest.
The combination of Kleptomancy and Spellthief’s Edge is all about the increased gold generation. Although it may not seem like it at first, players can actually make around the same amount of gold (or even more) than they would have simply by farming regularly. This allows the user to focus on harassing their lane opponent instead. It becomes even more effective against melee-ranged champions, a common option used in the top lane. After completing the support item quest, the user can even resume traditional farming while continuing to reap the benefits of the increased passive gold generation.
Additionally, a by-product of this strategy is the increased vision. With a second player building a support-based item, teams have an added source of wards that they wouldn’t normally have. Furthermore, Frostmancy is a very effective method of avoiding the new CS bounty system. Since the new mechanic only punishes players with high farm counts, Frostmancy users are immune. Gold generated from items and runes does not contribute towards bounties of any sort.
Ultimately, the time that would have been spent farming minions can be put towards denying your opponent instead. In the meantime, your items and runes generate your gold passively with no effort required. Frostmancy is a very innovative strategy, but there has also been a backlash against the playstyle from players and analysts across the scene.
Multiple League of Legends players and analysts have already spoken out against Frostmancy. For example, North American caster Sam “Kobe” Hartman-Kenzler tweeted that he doesn’t like “how it manipulates farm numbers and bounties.” Streamers and casters like William “scarra” Li and Clayton “CaptainFlowers” Raines have agreed with him on the subject as well. Ram “Brokenshard” Djemal, the coach for SK Gaming, took to Twitter to voice his own displeasure:
30 seconds into watching this Zilean top lane and I already want to smash my head into a wall
— Ram Djemal (@brokenshard) February 9, 2019
Top pro players have already been seen using Frostmancy in solo queue, like TSM’s Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik, Team Vitality’s Lucas “Cabochard ” Simon-Meslet, and Team Griffin’s Son “Lehends” Si-woo. If you look at the builds of top lane players on champs like Karma, Lulu, and Zilean, they are all running Frostmancy. It is becoming a bigger trend that could quickly take over the new meta, similar to how prominently the gold funneling strategy affected the meta in 2018.
What are your thoughts on Frostmancy? Should Riot Games make some changes to combat the strategy or should they leave it alone? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more League of Legends news, check out our League of Legends portal!
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.
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