Originally Posted by Meddler
It's certainly possible that Syndra's mana costs are still a bit high and that's something I'm interested in assessing after this set of changes. She is intended to be more mana restricted than some of our other recent AP champs however, and consequently be rewarded for itemizing for mana in the same way that champs like Anivia are.
Regarding bonus damage when manipulating Dark Spheres there are a few reasons this was avoided. The first is to avoid a situation where not using a Dark Sphere is always the wrong play. At the moment there are a number of situations where throwing a minion or going for the knockback without stun are the better choice. If Dark Sphere's granted noticeable bonus damage however we'd have to cut the spell's base damage significantly to account for that, which results in a spell that feels pretty poor when not combo'd (a forced combo effectively). This is the same reason that Dark Spheres don't have an AOE damage aura, -MR aura or anything similar while present on the ground. We tested those sorts of effects and the benefit was extremely hard to notice/feel, while the base damage of Dark Sphere itself had to be a lot lower to compensate for that invisible power.
So you want to make a combo-champ, but you don't want to give her any repercussions for not combining skills? Thats the entire idea of a combo champ, if you fail to get the combination you will be punished for it, but if you succeed you are rewarded with high damage or good cc.
Again I will reference Anivia. Her Flash Frost does half the damage it would if you fail to land either its moving damage or its exploding damage, get the both together and you get alot of damage. Her E is almost completely useless without the enemy being Chilled from either Q or R and the the punishment is entirely noticable to the player. Any Anivia player knows that the only situation you should use E against a non-chilled target is if they have bare minimum health left. Other than that, not using Q or R before E will ALWAYS be the wrong play.
I am disappointed you did not respond with any thoughts on my thread as I think the very design flaws with Syndra is important to acknowledge if you plan on fixing her. You say there are currently scenarios where using E or W without an orb is optimal to the circumstances, specifically for damage, but please explain to me as a mage, why is Syndra using E on its own to do damage? Syndra is very squishy, she requires proper positioning to not get melted, so I don't see how people are using E without the orbs as a source of damage without first placing themselves in compromising positions.
Currently Syndra has for 4 separate skills, each of them do something, each of them are unique. The problem is that none of them work well together because the skills only have a minor interaction with eachother tied together entirely by the one skill, Dark Sphere, her main source of damage. Her W, E and R are almost entirely dependent on Q already, and yet there are no true rewards that come from combining those skills, nor can the skills truly be combined without the presence of her Q.
Lets look at other combination champs;
Anivia - 2 skills apply one Debuff. 3rd Skill on low cooldown can be combined with either of the two for High burst damage.
Brand - 4 skills apply one debuff. All 4 skills provide a different benefit. All 4 skills can be combined with eachother.
Cassiopeia - 2 skills apply one Debuff. 3rd skill on low cooldown can be combined with either skill (can also be combined with Teemo & Singed poison) for high damage output + cooldown reset.
Unfortunately there are very few of these champions available now. Even Zyra doesn't fit into this category as her plants are a mediocre part of her kit and almost unecessary with the amount of damage/cc she has with base skills alone. I was hoping that Syndra was going to be the next champion that had more depth than just skill order, but I may have gotten my hopes up.
Even after reading everything that I've written here it's now come to my attention that my suggestion wouldn't even be close to what I want. In order to make Syndra a true combo champion her Q's would need to add a debuff to the enemies and when they are hit by any of her other skills they take bonus magic damage and the debuff is removed. This could in fact be something all of her skills can apply. When the enemy is hit by or even walks on an orb, they get the debuff applied to them.
This will add a psychological level of play that all us Syndra fans were hoping for but were let down by.