I decided that a reasonable way to get used to the game again would be to play all of my heroes once in bot matches, just to get a feel for them again.  Here are my impressions.

Janna – I remember why I like Janna – aside from the cheesecake.  Her whirlwind does solid poke damage and is useful as a slow.  It’s also a great lane clear for when your ADC is out of lane, especially in the mid/late game.  Zephyr puts on the hurt if you level up AP, and sets up targets for the kill – or alternately, can help your ADC get out of a jam.  Shield is a lot better than I remember it, and now there are fancy items that make it even better, like the censer of whatisname.  Serious item study will come later.  Also, playing support, I have the comfort of stepping into a role that nobody else wants to play, and thus I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes.  That is always nice in a social game like LoL.

Veigar – I also remember why I like playing Veigar, and he seems a lot better now.  Deathfire Grasp is a skillshot now, but it hits and kills up to 2 enemies, making it vastly easier to build his AP stack.  He just does SO MUCH DAMAGE, it’s wonderful.  The only problem is that everyone wants to play solo-mid.

Zilean – Zil is interesting, and I’m happy to play him as an alt to Janna … but he’s just not as fun.  It’s his rewind power.  I understand, in theory, how good it is, but it’s just not very interesting.  His ult is great, though.

Tristana – I can’t last-hit very well, and I’m too aggressive to play her properly.  It’s a skill I should practice, I suppose, but if you’re going to be on a team and suck, it’s perhaps worst to suck as the ADC.

Caitlyn – Her long-range poke is good, though I doubt I’ll be nearly as effective with it as I was against dumb bots.  Given just how long-range and standoffish her ability set is, I figure that it would make the most sense to practice my ADC game with her, because of that slight margin of safety.

Jax – I decided to try jungling with Jax, without actually reading anything about how to jungle.  After a few minutes of flailing helplessly and failing to get any Xp, I gave up and crowded in on top-lane.  I remember why I liked Jax before, and he’s a lot of fun to play, but I need to do some serious practicing and studying to learn him properly.

Ziggs – He reminds me of Veigar, but with more range, less damage, and better standoff/escape.  Meh.

Sona – I’ve heard that she’s a top-flight support, and given her direct healing abilities I can understand why.  She seems a lot more vulnerable than Janna, but that might just be my misunderstanding of her abilities and ranges.  Her ult is just as brutal as Janna’s, but in a directly offensive way rather than a defensive manner.

Zyra – She’s really fun.  Her W plants are a lot of fun to set up and trigger, and can do a fair bit of damage to a rooted enemy.  I like her, but I can see how she needs some serious finesse to play well.  I definitely want to practice more with her.  Given her diversity of slows and rooting abilities, I can also imagine her playing as a very offensive support, setting up kills for the ADC.

Rengar – I don’t own him, and don’t figure to buy him.  Looking at his ability set, it became clear just how much of a jungle-ganker he is, to the point that he’s really not set up well to do anything else.  Nice burst damage, the leaping ability is cool, and it’s nice that he doesn’t need any mana – but you need to really know how to jungle well to be able to use him.

Nautilus – I don’t know why, but Nautilus is a lot of fun.  I don’t own any big heroes like him.  It’s also not obvious how exactly he should be built – AP, DP, tank, jungle?  I don’t know.  I suppose this is why I like him.

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