I feel like I haven't seen the once great cow in forever. Is there a reason that he isn't played so much anymore? It's not like he got weaker with Season 3. His jungle isn't as great anymore since he can't start boots, but that shouldn't affect his support role. Is he just anti-fotm?
The nerfs hit him hard. I think they reversed the range nerf on his W, but the mana cost of his early E went up by nearly 50% (from 28 to 40 iirc). Over time that's a lot of sustain you're missing out on in the laning phase. He's still good though, obviously. He used to be like Taric in that he could play offensively or just spam heals if he was losing lane. They just wanted to shift him into more of an aggressive support.
He takes too much skill to use effectively. And he's constantly banned.
Ali is one of my main supports, I am also new to the game therefor have a lack of experience. Yet i still able to use him effectively, I dont think it takes that much skill so I will disagree with you there. He does get banned in a lot of games I am in though.
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He requires a good ADC and/or good co-ordination to work well in lane; bad ones make him mad. Most solo queue ADCs are bad and/or it's just difficult to co-ordinate well with a stranger used to a different playstyle.
People are now picking safer supports since Season 3 was really good to support in general, and so the aggressive playstyle of Ali isn't quite as appealing as it was before, in comparison to more passive supports who are now being picked again.
Also, just FOTM cycle.
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