Originally Posted by Nyx87
I don't even like that the healing reduction no longer applies when you heal allies.
For me, I believe the issue is play/counterplay like others have stated. Healing is effective at all times as it permanently increases your HP, while Shields must be utilized or timed to absorb damage optimally. Soraka heals someone, walks away and it sticks forever. Janna shields someone, walks away and it lasts 5 secs.
In Diana's case, whom you brought up, she actually gets a subpar shield unless it is completely absorbed, refreshed and then absorbed again. Lots of room for counter play there.
Before responding to your counterplay argument, some points about healing and shields:
- Since the champions' abilities are balanced for SR one can generally say that shields and heals are balanced in respect to each other. Introducing a healing debuff badly skews balance in favor of shields. I don't see any mechanical difference between Dom and SR that actually necessitates the healing debuff.
- Grevious Wounds
: The entire heal-counter mechanic is available unchanged in Dom (both the items and ignite). In fact some argue that this mechanic makes shields better than heals even in SR (that is, without any healing debuff).
Now on to your counterplay argument. Two points:
- Counterplaying shields
generally means baiting
them. That is, making the player use it, wait it out and then attack while it is on cooldown (yes, in some rare cases, such as Diana, there are additional possibilities, but I'll cover that with an example in my next point). Baiting also makes the player waste mana. Let's take the vanilla case of Janna's shield. It has a 5 sec duration and 10 sec cooldown. That leaves a 5 sec window for plays if it is baited, which is plenty (not to mention the wasted mana). However, the major difference between Dom and SR is that mana is a non-issue in Dom. This has 2 consequences in relation to the shield baiting counterplay. First - and most straight forward - is the fact that Janna won't mind wasting mana on a shield. And second, near infinite mana means you can (and should) prioritize stacking cdr. Discounting any cdr runes, Janna can easily have 29% cdr by the first or second back: with the cdr mastery, cdr boots and a fiendish codex. This means the 5 sec window for plays after shield baiting just got reduced to 2 secs. By the time she finishes her BFT (which is the first completed item after boots on pretty much every ap champ) the window for plays is ONE measly second, ie nonexistent.
- Counterplaying heals
: You and the other posters seem to be under the impression that only shields can be counterplayed. This is just not correct. Almost all self-heals need to fulfill certain conditions to work. In the majority of cases this means attacking an enemy champ or minions (just a few examples: Tryn, Cho, Vlad, Warwick, Xin, Fiora, Swain, Skarner, Nunu, Fiddle, Irelia, Khazix,...). The fact that conditions need to be met means there is a possibility for counterplay.
In fact, let us look at Diana's shield counterplay you mentioned. Ironically the counterplay against it's refresh is almost exactly the same as the counterplay against the other example you cited - Nunu's Consume. That is, fight them away from creep waves, since the easiest way to refresh Diana's shield is to stand in the middle of creeps (of course she can also opt to just stick to you by pulling and jumping you... but that is a different issue...).
Even the most vanilla heals like Soraka's, Alistar's and Taric's have these counterplay options. By forcing Soraka to heal out of combat she wastes the armor buff on her heal. Both Taric and Ali have long cooldowns and need to melee or be close to dying creeps respectively, to reduce them.
Finally, I would like to mention an additional point about healing abilities in Dominion that hasn't been raised at all yet.
The fact that there are Health Relics
in Dom actually makes healing abilities less useful than shields even without the healing reduction, since healing is readily available to all, while shields obviously aren't. That is to say, a healing ability doesn't confer a unique advantage, unlike a shield.