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Sympathy for the Drow - De-Vilifying the Dark Elves

The "Evil" races in DnD have always rubbed me kinda the wrong way. Partly once I learned that a lot of them come from racist stereotypes (Orcs, Drow, and Goblins in particular) and also just because it doesn't make sense to me. Even Nazi Germany had variation and dissenters and it only lasted for 12 years. Why would a clearly evil society never change over hundreds of years? In my opinion, a story is only as good as it's villains. So, I've set out to try and make the traditionally evil races slightly more believable and even sympathetic in places.
Now, I've not been a DM very long, only like three years. But the first campaign I ever ran was through Curse of Strahd which paints the Vistani (an itinerant society heavily based on the real world Romani) as a conniving group of thieves, murders, and vampire-worshipers. Thankfully, I found through reddit and other sites how to steer away from the racists depictions of the Vistani and making them seem like, at worst, opportunists. So, I hope to be able to do that with some other of the classic DnD antagonist races.
I've read some other phenomenal post on here about evil races that totally inspired me as well. There's a great two part post about Decolonizing D&D which I adore. The post about alignment is easily my favorite. There's a couple great ones on Orcs and Yuan-Ti too so if some of my ideas are lifted from them, I hope y'all consider it flattery instead of theft. So, here are some primer notes before I get into it.
For creating the Dark Elves, I tried to keep as much as I could from the books. Obviously some stuff has to get thrown out the window though. I also tried to standardize calling them Dark Elves instead of Drow partly because I feel like Drow has a much nastier sound to it and calling them Dark Elves follows the naming convention with the High and Wood Elves. I tried to model them after real-life matriarchal societies like the Mosuo people of China and their pantheon after real deities like the Greeks, Romans, and Norse. I also quickly realized that building a society is inseparable from geography. Where a people are from effects their language, values, mythology, history, and family structure. I've tried to outline details I think are necessary to making this society realistic while leaving it open ended enough to be place-able in different worlds with relative ease. All that aside, lets get into the meat of it.

The Dark Elves: Elven Outcasts

The Elves are a varied and magical people that come from many planes and many environments within them. But none are met with more distrust and fear than the Dark Elves. Easily set apart from their cousins by their charcoal or pitch-black skin, pink-red eyes, hair of grays and whites, and shorter stature, these people have earned a reputation as killers, thieves, demon worshipers, and liars. But history is a cruel mistress, something the Dark Elves know better than most.

The Divine Divide

As the legends go, when the world was still young, Corellon Larethian lived on the Plane of Arvandor with his fellow Primal Elves. They were wild and mutable, emotional and free in all things. They changed shapes at will, gave and took freely to and from the world, and never stayed in any location too long. They wandered to and fro, scattering their peoples across almost every plane. However, this unbridled freedom was not without a price. Arguments, feuds, and small scale wars were incredibly common between them. Some elves would find themselves stranded on far off planes after most of their companions impulsively decided to leave. Their self serving impulses drove them to often completely disregard the needs or wants of others if they went against their own desires. And their reckless revelry was wreaking havoc on the natural world with Elven parties decimating whole planes of edible plants, wild game, and drinkable water.
One such Primal Elf began to see the destruction of their ways and talked to other elves about their actions. Slowly, this Elf by the name of Lolth amassed a small following of devotees that saw the negative ramifications of their inconsiderate freedom. Lolth and her followers agreed to take on fixed forms to show recognition of the dangers that impulsivity could bring. Lolth led this small group of devotees to Corellon to ask for his support. Now, Corellon did not lead these Primal Elves: he was just as wild as the best of them and did not take kindly to others telling him what to do. But he was the First Elf ever born and was universally respected amongst the Primal Elves and if Lolth could convince him, others would surely follow. Corellon listened to her proposition and agreed that they should change to prevent more destruction and conflict, but refused to order his kinsfolk into any action. He was an Elf, same as all of them, and he wouldn’t dare order around his family. He balked when Lolth asked him to take a concrete form as a show of solidarity and brushed her off as a killjoy.
Lolth was unsatisfied with this outcome and her following set out to convince each Elf to change their ways to preserve the beauty of the worlds. However, without the support of Corellon, many elves refused her offer. Her anger grew with each failure and her opinion of Corellon turned sour, something she made no attempt to hide from her Elven siblings. Now, Corellon is a proud god and once he caught wind that Lolth was bad mouthing him in an attempt to win over others, he became enraged. He railed against Lolth calling her a snake-tongued thief and Lolth called him incompetent and cruel. Their tempers flared and all the elves chose sides between Corellon’s freedom and Lolth’s stability. During this great debate, the Primal Elves turned to violence. The Dark Elves maintain that Corellon’s side threw the first blow, while the High Elves claim that it came from Lolth’s side.
No matter the source, this violent outburst soured relations between Lolth and Corellon forever after. He cast her and her followers out of Arvandor and barred her from ever returning. He also cast all but his most trusted kin from Arvandor, forcing them all to live lives on other worlds out of fear of another perceived insurrection. Thus, the Seldarine remain in Arvandor to judge the souls of Corellon’s faithful when they die and Lolth takes refuge in Arcadia with her pantheon where she minds the souls of the Drow. Corellon’s faithful call her pantheon the Dark Seldarine, while her faithful call it the Myrkalfar.

Myrkalfar: The Spider Mother’s House

Lolth the Spider Queen is the unquestioned head of the Myrkalfar, with all other deities seen as her divine family. Lolth is considered at times to be fickle or even cruel, but her ire is never gained without good reason. A very involved deity, her followers constantly search for signs of her favor or scorn in everyday life. When a Dark Elf contemplates a risky or controversial decision, they consult priestesses or perform their own rites which often gives them direct and succinct answers. She serves as an example to matriarchs of Drow families as demanding yet understanding, punishing yet guiding. She asks for a lot of her priestesses, demanding they be an unflinching example of everything a strong leader should be. The Myrkalfar is often presented as a divine household, with Lolth as the matron.
Keptolo is the consort of Lolth and considered to be the ideal of what a male should be. Beautiful and kind, strong and hard working, he helps Lolth in everything she does. Sometimes he serves as a messenger, other times as an agent of redemption, sometimes as a divine healer. When a Dark Elf is tasked with a divine charge, he is usually the one to deliver the message and guide them through their charge. He serves also as a fertility deity and is often worshiped by women or men seeking a child. Outsiders see him as a weak and subservient husband to Lolth, but his faithfulness to his matron is considered a virtue and his status as a “husband” is relatively alien to the Dark Elves as they have no binding marriage in their society.
If Keptolo is the agent of Lolth’s mercy, Kiaransalee is the agent of her vengeance. She is the eldest daughter of Lolth and Keptolo and one that Dark Elves pray to when they feel wronged. Only the most binding and serious contracts are signed under her name. To break an oath made under her name is sure to bring destruction. She is also the governor of the dead, judging the souls of those passed in the afterlife. She opposes the mindless undead created by mortals, but spirits and revenants that return to finish unresolved business amongst the living are considered under her protection. Should a Dark Elf encounter a returned spirit that is seeking vengeance, it’s their duty to leave them on their way and pray that the spirit isn’t there for them. This reverence of certain undead is something many outsiders consider downright evil.
Selvetarm is the Dark Elven warrior goddess and youngest daughter of Lolth. Often depicted with eight arms, she represents the pinnacle of hand to hand martial prowess, but often is without restraint. She serves as both an inspiration for warriors, and a warning. Vhaeraun is the eldest son of Lolth and governs ambition and stealth. Both of these traits are not necessarily vilified, but worship of him is highly scrutinized. Haughty and rash, tales of him often include deceiving his fellow gods for good and ill and more often than not are cautionary ones. He’s depicted as wearing a mask, either as some punishment for endangering Lolth and her family or to hide his identity for various schemes, possibly both.
Malyk is Lolth’s youngest son and a youthful deity of change and growth. He’s often seen as a bouncing young boy that Lolth and her family have to reign in from wild misadventures. His freedom and curiosity is often seen as a double edged sword, both gaining him great riches but also putting him in tremendous peril. He has strong ties to sorcerers and when a child is born with innate magical talent, he is often the one thanked for it. He serves as an outlet for a Dark Elves youthful chaotic nature, but also warns them of the ramifications of their actions.
Ghaunadur is a strange figure in the pantheon. Their place in the family is a bit of a mystery, sometimes called the sibling of Lolth, or her child, or even as Lolth’s parent. What makes them truly unique is that they are a formless deity, something that Lolth once warred with Corellon over. The legends go that when Ghaunadur joined Lolth, they refused to give up their changeable nature. When questioned, Ghaunadur pointed to the slimes, oozes, and formless creatures of the world and said that they wished to protect them from the Elves and the Elves from them. Lolth agreed, cementing their position as the deity of the changing forms of nature. Their favored creature is the ooze, but they govern all natural creatures. Dark Elves often pray to Ghaunadur to protect them from the creatures that lurk in the depths of the forest.
Zinzerena is Lolth’s sister and is the goddess of poisons, illusions, and magic. Viewed as an elderly and patient figure, she often serves as council to Lolth in desperate times. She’s said to be the mother of all poisons and venoms and her teachings are all about finding the wisest solution to a problem. Zinzerena teaches that even though the spider is small, it’s bite can still fell a panther. Despite her perceived age, she’s considered the younger sister of Lolth and is thought to be incredibly quick and nimble: a reminder that not everything is as it seems.
Eilistraee is Lolth’s niece and daughter of Zinzerena. Considered the black sheep of the pantheon, she serves as a goddess of redemption and moonlight. Dark Elves that turn their back on their family or scorn traditions will sometimes find themselves turned to Driders, half-spider half-Dark Elf creatures shunned by all. Eilistraee is said to watch over these creatures and if they are repentant, offer them challenges that they could complete to redeem themselves. Lolth often views her with contempt or mistrust, but never hates her and maintains her place in the pantheon. Dark Elven faithful rarely worship her as the others. She’s also one of the only deities of the Myrkalfar to claim no animosity toward the Seldarine and their faithful.
Spiders are the sacred animal of Lolth and are often used as an example of social order and the importance of family bonds. Each strand of silk serves the web as whole. More literally, the giant spiders of the Underdark are multifaceted and incredibly useful creatures. Serving as beasts of burden, war steeds, meat producers, household guardians, and silk producers, they are present in almost every facet of society. Their silks are used in everything from wound dressings to armor to architecture. To kill or steal another family's spider is considered akin to stealing a member of the family. Smaller and more poisonous spiders are often kept in temples and their webs are used as divining tools for priestesses.

Elven Exiles

The recorded history of the Dark Elves is full of contradictions from High Elf and Dark Elf sources. What historians can agree on is when the Elves of the Prime Material arrived, the followers of Lolth secluded from their Wood and High cousins and retreated into the Azelarien, also known as the Green Sea in Common. A massive forest, nearly 1 million square miles of dense and vibrant trees, that grows denser and darker the farther in one ventures. For countless eons, the High, Wood, and Dark Elves lived in relative harmony in their own corner of the world. High Elves lived near the forests in towns and villages, the Wood Elves lived in the lightly forested outlands of the Green Sea, and the Dark Elves lived deep in the central forests which was so dense that very little light reached the forest floor.
As time passed and their villages turned to cities, the High Elves began expanding into the forest, chopping some down to build homes and heat their furnaces. This began pushing into the territory of the Wood Elves and eventually the Dark Elves as well. These two peoples formed a shaky alliance to push back the expansive tide of the far larger High Elven armies. This alliance proved successful however and the High Elven forces began losing ground. What happened next is a matter of some debate. High Elven historians attest that the Dark Elven armies used Wood Elven soldiers as unwitting bait to lure the High Elven armies into a trap, thus causing a schism between them. Dark Elven historians state that the Wood Elven armies turned on them after the Wood Elves met in secret with High Elven leaders and bargained for their independence. Some Wood Elven historians claim that after a brutal defeat on the field, they were met by High Elven dignitaries that offered them clemency if they turned on their allies. They initially refused, but after the dignitaries threatened to make the same offer to the Dark Elves, they had no choice but to accept. No matter the cause, the histories agree that the Wood Elves turned on their erstwhile allies and helped push the Dark Elves into a rapid loss of ground.
Facing the might of the two armies with their own relatively small one, the Dark Elves were beaten into a hasty retreat into their own territory. Losing every open encounter, the Dark Elf matrons developed a new strategy of combat. The armies switched from training as many as quickly as they could, to training only a select few in multiple different forms of combat and magic. As the High and Wood Elves advanced into their territory, they quickly found their supply lines cut out from under them, their soldiers ambushed while sleeping, their scouts captured, and their leaders assassinated. And even if they would make it to a Dark Elf settlement, they would find it abandoned and booby-trapped, warned by their fast and silent scouts. If the Dark Elves couldn’t face their enemies head-on, they would weaken them with quick and decisive strikes.
Eventually, the war ground to a stalemate. The High Elves couldn’t push into the Dark Elf territory far enough to capture any cities of note without taking severe casualties and the Dark Elves were only managing to hold the invading armies back and couldn’t muster a force strong enough to push back to the enemy capital. Thus, the war cooled into a tense peace. The leaders came together to draw borders, but neither side fully forgave nor forgot one another’s actions. High and Wood Elves viewed the change in tactics by the Dark Elves as an unethical violation of the standards of war. The Dark Elves felt a particular animosity toward the Wood Elves, considering them backstabbers in their darkest hour.

Dark Elf Families: Matrons of Order

The Dark Elf society, to an outsider, looks like an oppressive and cruel society of slave traders and backstabbers. But the truth is more subtle. The Dark Elves value tradition and filial piety above almost all else. To a Dark Elven citizen, their family name is their most valuable possession and they are taught from a very young age that to look after their parents and their younger siblings is the highest virtue. Ancestors that have achieved great things often have shrines in a household alongside the gods themselves. A Dark Elf going against the will of their family is considered one of the highest taboos and often causes them to be outcast from Dark Elven society as a whole. Dark Elf society is matrilineal meaning that the eldest woman in each family is revered as the household leader and receives great respect from her family and society. This also means that the males of the society don’t inherit wealth as frequently as the females.
Dark Elven families are quite large, often with multiple generations along with aunts, uncles, and cousins living in the same household. New children almost always reside with their mother. Males of the society are expected to care not for their own biological children, but for the children born to their sisters, aunts, or nieces. This results in a striking amount of sexual freedom for both men and women, but is often viewed from the outside as promiscuity. The Dark Elves do not marry in the traditional sense, instead favoring long term partners with one another that can end at any time with no concerns to material wealth or ownership.
However, to become a member of a Dark Elf family is not entirely a matter of heritage. When a family that cannot support another child has one, they are often adopted by more well to do families and raised as one of their own. These adopted children are considered just as legitimate as if they were born into the family. Also, should a family lose all their heirs or become destitute, they often ask to become assimilated into other families for their own safety. The latter is considered a morose ceremony as the members of the smaller family forsake their surnames. To take in such a family is both an extreme honor and grim burden, as it means ending another family's line.
The borders of Dark Elven civilization only goes so far as there are trees so many newer up and coming families have expanded underground, a difficult and slow endeavor. This has put multiple houses at odds with one another for territory. However, Dark Elves do not tolerate open hostility between families as they have a very strong sense of collective identity. Dark Elves do not war against fellow Dark Elves, same as a spider does not fight its own web. This leads to many tensions and conflicts needing to be resolved in other ways. Most families will attempt a diplomatic solution, but when that isn’t an option, sabotage and coercion is the favored outlet. Murder is considered a bridge too far by most houses, but subterfuge in almost every other facet is, while not accepted, tolerated.
Legends of Lolth’s rebellion and the tension of their enclosed territory have imbued the Dark Elves with a strong sense of symbiosis with nature and conservancy. Sustainable living is the cornerstone of Dark Elf society. In the wild, no creature is killed or plant destroyed unless it’s a matter of self defense or necessary to survival.

Dark Elven Sex and Gender

As with many Elven peoples, sexuality is seen as a fluid and non-binary matter. Same sex relationships are usually seen as just as acceptable as male-female relationships. Since Dark Elves have no marriage structure, same sex life partners are common and widely accepted. Inheritance is passed along by the family as a whole, not linearly, meaning some houses may have matrons with no direct biological descendants while still serving at the elder matron. Power dynamics in relationships are still a factor, with the elder female in a gay relationship considered slightly above their partner socially and is seen as the inheritor in cases of property or genealogy. Male same sex relationships are accepted with little controversy. Since children are passed down their mothers line, the males have no social obligation to sire an heir as with other societies.
Transgender and transexual Dark Elves are met with slightly more controversy. Lolth’s rejection of the Primal Elves mutable forms is sometimes cited against transgender and transexual Dark Elves. Ghaunadur, however, is considered the patron god of these people and teaches that just as they are part of nature, they can change their forms. Many of these people join the religious order of Ghaunadur, serving in various roles both in religious ceremonies and as forest guides. Some even consider them to be blessed by Ghaunadur and are highly sought after in forays into the forests for protection. Children born to transgender Dark Elves are still expected to be a part of their eldest mother’s family or eldest father if no woman is part of the union.

Slavery Amongst the Dark Elves

While the Dark Elves do take slaves, their slavery doesn’t look the same as many other societies. When a family becomes indebted to another and they cannot pay off the debt, a member of their family, usually male, will be sent to work for the owed family. They give him room and board and are expected to care for him as if he were one of their own. He’ll work for them for an agreed upon amount of time before returning to his native family. Injury or misuse of this person is often grounds for them to leave and the debt to be nullified. Children born to servant fathers needn’t worry about inheriting their father’s status since they’re considered to be their mother’s child. On the rare occasion that a female servant has a child while in servitude, the child is returned to the mother’s family to be raised by her family while she works off the remaining debt. Some trade of servants does occur between houses, with indentured servants being traded for goods or services or even other servants of special skills, but the family of the servant reserves the right to veto such a trade for any reason.
During their frequent clashes with external armies, the Dark Elves do sometimes take prisoners of war, though very rarely are they used for slave labor. They never bring them back to major settlements, often keeping them on the outskirts of their territory to prevent them from learning critical knowledge of their territory. Most prisoners are held as bargaining chips to be traded for passage, supplies, or captured Dark Elves. Captured military leaders are sometimes brought to Dark Elven cities to be tried for their crimes against their people.

Dark Elven Government: Independent Houses

Unlike many other cultures, the Dark Elves lack a centralized government. Societal etiquette govern the standard for how certain crimes and disagreements should be handled, but each family unit acts as its own governing body. Disagreements within families are thus resolved internally. Inter-family disputes are resolved in multiple different ways. Most often, the two matrons of the family will meet and agree on terms to fairly compensate both sides. In cases when these talks deteriorate, the High Priestess of Lolth is often called to serve as the mediator and serves as the ruling body between disputes. Her rulings are final and indisputable, as she is considered the mouthpiece of Lolth’s will.
In times of crisis, historically the many houses of the Dark Elves have convened to discuss threats to all of Dark Elven society. This is uncommon as it’s difficult logistically to gather all the matrons in the same place at the same time, so often houses are represented by either the second eldest woman of the family or the eldest daughter of the matron. The High Priestess of Lolth often resides over these meetings as an arbiter in the event of split decisions or in delivering guidance from Lolth herself.

There's my take on the Dark Elves. Any comments, suggestions, questions, outrages, and critiques are welcomed. This is my first comprehensive look at a whole race so if I've missed things, I'll try and patch them up. I'd like to do similar things for Orcs, Goblinoids, Kobolds, and others so those might be seen soon. Thanks!
submitted by Lerad to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]

Portrait (One-Handed) Megathread

@Admin - is thread pinning a thing here?
Thanks to the following users for contributing to the original thread:
OldSchoolRPGs IvanLR l-o-o-o-o-l Fellhuhn SonyCedar Rhinoar passthepass2 bob101910 mjselvig SidFishGames ACalmGorilla Xyrd pinkythereddog masterdude Dravvhen ijoshea Red_Gyarados88 flyingcloud11 Hugmesoftly MysticalKittyHerder Kinghtmare_2002 poopskins Yumeito vtrickzv Ceona puuhs_mama RowThree MrKupka ferallknight2 ZoopaJr SepticGnome DashieKin BreakingInReverse CageBearsBottoms Skypeh DarkBlueMullet UndeadAura Skooller mynery Neeyt stony419 Deurstopper kecup10 drowsy_damad kagrenzel27
Special thanks to Yumeito for instructions on how to make any game run in portrait mode.

User descriptions are favoured over the author's descriptions from the app store (only games which didn't leave their description have a copy-paste of the description from the app store).

THE LIST (alphabetical):

10000000 - A Dungeon Crawling Puzzle RPG Matching Game. Run the dungeon, match tiles and run for as long as you can
Achikaps - A simple economic strategy
AFK Arena - Sit back and relax in a beautiful world full of epic tales, exciting adventures and an abundance of rewards. Rediscover the fun of mobile gaming again!
Alluris - It's basically Choose Your Own Adventure with good graphics and a ton of content/unlockables. Paid offline with a demo.
Almost a Hero - Is this idle RPG clicker game Almost A Hero actually any good? (LAUGH) Do chickens fly south in the winter? Of course it is. We have stacks of flawed and slightly brave characters for you to evolve and train. Epic battles where you can get killed as many times as you wish. Beguiling magic to be leaned. Dark secrets to uncover. Lurking evil to be defeated. Look, we’re not going to lie to you, only losers and oddballs fit into our family. A blindfolded archer, a shape shifter who never gets it right, an explosives expert who’s blown himself up more times than he can remember. They’re all here. So if you don’t think you’ve got what it takes to be a hero - this is the game for you! Almost A Hero! There’s never a dull moment with these nutters! They put the ‘ooh’ in kooky!
Antiyoy - excellent strategic & conquest game, completely free, updates with user content, just great !
Arena Allstars - A turn-based strategy game where you compete with up to seven opponents in an epic real-time battle. If you are looking for a quick matchup, choose Team Co-Op Mode and take down your opponents in less than 10 minutes. Draft your team, execute top-level strategies and strive to be the last person standing! Compete in the monthly tournaments to earn rewards and ascend the ranks in Arena Allstars.
Bleentoro - A simple logic game. It has no advertisements or microtransactions. Features: Easy to learn, Campaign and sandbox modes, Simple UI, Smooth animations
Buriedbornes - Great turn based old-school RPG where you proceed through a dungeon generally with 100 or more floors. You choose your path between left and right and can face monsters, or get new equipment/skills and experience different events with curses or boons. Many character classes to choose from if you spend a decent amount of time playing and unlocking them. A large part of the game is deciding which equipment or skills to take when looting to replace what you currently have, with some pretty crazy abilities on both.
Cado - Rotate the world to fall to the goal in an infinite amount of random generated levels. Find and collect fun and crazy gamemodes and try them out in the extras menu. But don´t touch these red obstacles or you will die a slow and painful death and burn in hell for eternity (and respawn after that). Maybe.
Card Crawl - A solitaire-style dungeon crawler game played with a modified deck of standard cards. Clear the dungeon of 54 cards by using item-cards, slaying monsters and managing your limited inventory. On each run, you can use five ability-cards (mini deck building) to gain unique skills. By collecting gold, you can unlock 35 more ability-cards to access new tactics and even higher scores.
Card Thief - Move through a deck of cards as a stealthy thief. Sneak in the shadows, extinguish torches, pickpocket guards and steal valuable treasures without getting caught. In your thief hideout you can use your stolen goods to unlock powerful equipment cards. Each heist you can use 3 equipment cards to become a skillful master thief.
Cards Keeper - Challenge yourself in a brand new adventure to become the ultimate Keeper of Cards! Write your own legend playing by different characters with unique skills. Fight against dangerous monsters and mystical bosses, upgrade Heroes equipment, power up abilities, find rare artifacts and complete quests. Be sure, there're more indescribable mysteries waiting to be found...
Chessplode - Chessplode is modern chess for everyone, it makes chess fun even if you're bad ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, one simply move... can change all game.
Clash Royale - Enter the Arena! From the creators of Clash of Clans comes a real-time multiplayer game starring the Royales, your favorite Clash characters and much, much more. Collect and upgrade dozens of cards featuring the Clash of Clans troops, spells and defenses you know and love, as well as the Royales: Princes, Knights, Baby Dragons and more. Knock the enemy King and Princesses from their towers to defeat your opponents and win Trophies, Crowns and glory in the Arena. Form a Clan to share cards and build your very own battle community.
CLICK-POCALYPSE II - CLICKPOCALYPSE II is an incremental/idle RPG. Create a party to bravely explore terrible dungeons and mercilessly exterminate every monster in the world. Find items, go up levels, learn spells, upgrade abilities, and earn achievements.
Clicker Heroes - The massive hit game from Steam and PC browsers comes to mobile with new features! Clicker Heroes is the idle RPG that started the subgenre! Embark on your quest and begin a simple, yet incredibly fun adventure. Tap to attack monsters, hire and level up heroes to unlock their unique abilities. Slay monsters for gold, find treasure, and explore new worlds.
Cookie Clicker - The original idle game where you bake cookies to rule the universe! This is the official Cookie Clicker app by Orteil & Opti. Accept no substitutes!
Cryptogram - Decipher the hidden text to reveal the motivational quote! Can you figure out the pattern in each puzzle? You'll be rewarded with a thoughtful message by one of hundreds of different poets, preachers and prophets!
Deep Town: Mining Factory - DIG DEEP and uncover the hidden story behind Deep Town and along the way dig deeper and build higher to produce more resources! 🔨🔧⛏
Destiny Child RPG - about collecting girls and create the best decks to fight in ragna raids, worldboss, pve or pvp.
Digfender - Beneath your castle an enemy lies waiting. Grab your shovel and prepare your defenses!
DOKU - Minimal Material Sudoku - A Sudoku Puzzle app for clean and casual gameplay. Master the classic puzzle game in the comfort of Android's native Material Design language.
Doodle Jump - Journey up a sheet of graph paper, perpetually jumping from one platform to the next, picking up jet packs, avoiding black holes, and blasting baddies with nose balls along the way. Laugh with delight as you blow past other players' actual score markers scribbled in the margins. And be warned: this game is insanely addictive!
Downwell - Its retro art style is really nice to look at, and the gameplay keeps you coming back. Definitely worth the 3 bucks. It's also available on the Switch for the same price too.
Dragalia Lost - The only gacha I'll even consider playing at this point. Even with their generosity I still debate playing because of the addictive nature of gachas. I play very casually now. But this is the best gacha, bar none. And it's portrait when 99% of the rest are landscape.
Dragon Ball Legends - Get ready for the all-new Dragon Ball smartphone game that fans around the world have been waiting for! Battle it out in high quality 3D stages with character voicing! Enjoy 1 on 1 action against rival players from across the globe!
Dragon Quest V1 - V2 - V3 - V4 - V5 - V6 - V8 - The game that started the legend of DRAGON QUEST is here at last for mobile devices! Discover the RPG that won the hearts of two generations! Enter a fantasy world of sword, magic, and monsters in one standalone package!
Enframe - portrait puzzle game (shameless self plug as I am the developer)
Farm Punks - Grow hilarious fruit and shoot them down a mountain with your giant cannon! How far can you roll? Take control of each fruit as it rolls down the mountain and try and earn as much cash as you can before it turns to mulch!
Feud - Feud is a turn-based strategy game made by some guys you haven't heard of yet. Originally a board game designed by Dave Cordell, it's been polished and tweaked and generally mucked about with to bring it to the glowing screen you're reading this description on. Unless you printed it out? Think of the trees. Please.
Fire Emblem Heroes - Nintendo's hit strategy-RPG Fire Emblem series, which has been going strong for more than 25 years, continues its journey on smart devices. Fight battles customized for touch screens and on-the-go play. Summon characters from across the Fire Emblem universe. Develop your Heroes' skills, and take them to new heights. This is your adventure—a Fire Emblem that's like nothing you've seen before!
Galaxy Warrior: Alien Attack - Guide your spaceship through the vastness of space destroying menacing aliens and powerful bosses. It would seem that there is nothing to discover in the Solar System. But in the most remote corners of the Universe mankind has come up against cruel resistance. You are the only one who can save the galaxy from an alien race of invaders!
Golf Blitz - Great PVP golf game made by the same guys who made Super Stickman Golf 3. Though I wish they'd release a 4th installment, this is a good alternative.
Hidden Folks - Search for hidden folks in hand-drawn, interactive, miniature landscapes. Unfurl tent flaps, cut through bushes, slam doors, and poke some crocodiles! Rooooaaaarrrr!!!!! A strip of targets shows you what to look for. Tap a target for a hint, and find enough to unlock the next area.
Holedown - Dig deep underground by shooting balls and breaking blocks, traversing your way to the planet cores. With limited shots per round and some blocks fixed firmly to the wall, thoughtfully strategize and aim for maximum impact. Knock down as many blocks as possible while collecting crystals for upgrades and getting deeper beneath the surface.
Hoplite - A turn-based strategy game focusing on tactical movement around small maps. Enjoyable if you like roguelikes that require tactical movement and almost puzzle-like combat. Upgrade your abilities or stats as you progress through each floor.
Hyper Heroes - TAP, SWIPE & SLING your heroes to send them smashing towards hordes of monsters, unleashing explosive power on impact and looting epic treasures!
Just Change Color - it's arcade title, every level takes less than minute to complete (but may depend on skill and level of character you play with). It was designed to kill few minutes on bus, toilet, in bed and similar situations
Kittens Game - Kittens Game is a village simulation text game. You manage a village of kittens as they acquire resources and unlock new technologies. Over 30 different buildings, 50+ resources, hundreds of technologies and upgrades. No ads or micro-transactions!
Lichess - Chess. Nice turn based game where you can select the speed of games and also have the option for correspondence play/asynchronous play. I also just enjoy trying to solve the puzzles built into the app as they really get you thinking. There's also plenty of stuff in game to help learn in the Study section and being able to analyze your games/openings.
Magic The Gathering Puzzle Quest - Magic: The Gathering and the original Match 3 RPG are re-imagined in Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest, an epic deck building, strategy and deep leveling role playing game!
Mario Kart - Mario and friends go global in this new Mario Kart as they race around courses inspired by real-world cities in addition to classic Mario Kart courses! These destinations will be featured in tours that rotate every two weeks! In addition to courses based on iconic locales, some of your favorite Mario Kart characters will get variations that incorporate the local flavor of cities featured in the game!
Meteorfall: Journeys - Extremely polished card-based roguelike. Classes are each fairly unique, and each run feels great.
Mighty Heroes - It's nice to have a card game that can be played in portrait mode. I just grabbed this off the play store myself so I'm not sure how balanced or nuanced the play is yet but I've enjoyed the 2-3 hours I've put into it so far. If you play you'll get serious Hearthstone vibes, but the combat is a bit different as your monsters only attack straight ahead, and don't generally take damage when they attack.
Miracle Merchant - In Miracle Merchant you become the apprentice of a master alchemist who creates potions for thirsty customers. By mixing and combining different ingredient cards you create powerful potions based on the needs of your customers.
Night of the Full Moon - A stand-alone card game. There is no mandatory beginners guide, no internet connection, no brush map, no ten strokes. The plot will be played in the card battle. Each NPC and BOSS are given a mission and a temperament. Different choices will bring different endings.
NYTimes Crossword - Solve and enjoy the same puzzles printed in the daily newspaper in this app built by The New York Times.
OK Golf - NEW COURSE! - Llyncapel Ruins, Wales. It's not real golf, but it's OK! OK Golf is the essence of golf, refined to a tee. Play a quick round anywhere, anytime on stylish dioramas inspired by classic golfing destinations. Easy to play, hard to put down, perfect for all ages and handicaps!
Onitama - Immerse yourself in an ancient Japanese setting and discover Onitama, an exciting, fast-paced strategy game! Onitama is somewhat reminiscent of chess and rather addictive with its dynamic game mechanic in which warriors face off so their master may win the game. Concentration and luck are the only weapons you'll have at your disposal! You'll need to fully master mind and body to defeat your opponents.
Ordia - A one-finger platformer where you play as a new life form taking its first leaps into a strange and hazardous world.
Piczle Lines DX - The follow-up to the highly praised prequel Piczle Lines DX offers hours of addictive, mind-bending logic-puzzle fun! Create pictures (PICture puzZLE) by connecting the right dots. With an ever-expanding puzzle mode, as well as a gripping story mode Piczle Lines DX will keep you entertained for hours and hours!
Ping Pong King - "I'm Ping Pong King" is a very fun and exciting table tennis game. The goal of this game is to beat 16 rivals and win the crown; these funny stickmen can be world’s best champion, your boss or super grandma. It’s an easy finger-tapping game, simply tap right or left of the screen to control your stickman. Be careful not to miss any ball, or you'll fail this contest!
Pizza Boy GBA Pro - **This is Game Boy Advance emulator.... NOT a Game Boy Classic/Color emulator!** The finest emulator of Nintendo Game Boy Advance is here!
Pocket City - Build your own city as mayor. Create residential, commercial, and industrial zones. Build parks and recreation spots. Respond to crime and disasters. Watch your city come alive! This is the FREE version of Pocket City. The full version contains more features, including a sandbox mode where everything is unlocked! Get the full version for the best experience!
The Battle of Polytopia - An Epic Civilization War - The Battle of Polytopia has begun. Lead your civilization into war in this low poly turn-based strategy game. Adventure into this world of blocks: explore, gather resources, farm, mine ore... Build an empire of epic proportions, train your warriors and send them to fight with armies of other civilizations. A new take on the classic strategy 4X game with beautiful low poly art.
Puzzle & Dragons - A gacha based puzzle game, where you build your team of monsters and try to overcome enemies with different abilities in dungeons. There's quite a lot of depth to the game but it can get super grindy if you are trying to keep up with the collaborations and events in game. Think bejeweled but where you can make multiple matches of 3 or more gems in one turn. Each of your monsters has one or more special abilities that can be used, and you have one "leader" with passive abilities and a friend's monster you can bring along that also provides a leader ability. I still come back to this but when I was first into it I couldn't put it down for the longest time until I burned out. It's nice that there is a coop mode as well.
Really Bad Chess - Really Bad Chess is just like chess, but with totally random pieces. Try 8 Knights, 4 Bishops, and 3 pawns — why not?
Reigns - Sit on the throne as a benevolent (or malevolent) medieval monarch of the modern age and swipe your royal fingers either left or right to impose your will upon the kingdom. Survive the seemingly never-ending gauntlet of requests from your advisors, peasants, allies, and enemies while maintaining balance between the influential factions of your kingdom. But beware; each decision you make might have implications and unfortunate consequences down the road that could put your reign and family’s dynasty at risk!
Rising Empires 2 - 4X fantasy strategy - Rising Empires 2 is an epic 4X turn-based strategy game in a fantasy setting, where six races strive to build the strongest civilization and lay claim to all the land on the Surface and in the Netherworld.
Rogue adventure - Rogue Adventure is an incredible fusion of turn-based deckbuilder card game, rpg and roguelike, with an old style game pixel graphic. Discover different worlds, each with unique enemies and dangers, defeat all the bosses to become a hero. Find hundreds of different cards and powerful skills to create your perfect deck. Unlock new classes to try different strategies and have unlimited fun. Each run is unique, choose your path, find enemies, elites, bosses, merchants and treasures, and build your perfect strategy.
Shattered Pixel Dungeon - Best roguelike on the phone IMO and one of my favorites. Been playing since '15.
ShooMachi - Is It Wrong to Try to Strike a Bonanza by a Shoot 'em up game? Retro JRPG style Bullet hell Shoot'em up game ShooMachi
Shop Titans: Epic Idle Crafter, Build & Trade RPG - YOU are the new craftsman in town. Help the heroes in epic battles against fearsome monsters that lurk in the dungeons. Personalize and design your store, build epic armor, swords and gear for the heroes to defend your village. Team up with blacksmiths, tailors, priestesses, carpenters and herbalists to make your business prosper. Trade, sell or auction your products to the highest bidders from other shops. Sell your goods to warriors and even add a surcharge!
Siege: Titan Wars - Similar to Clash Royale but much faster based and rather unique as well. I dropped most of my other games besides this one and COD.
Skyforce Reloaded - The spirit of the retro arcade shoot‘em ups, captured with modern visuals and design. New entry in the series will keep you entertained with all the things you’ve came to love in scrolling shooters. Meaty explosions, incinerating lasers, collosal bosses and diverse aircrafts to pilot.
Star Traders RPG - Play this free RPG before you upgrade to Elite and enjoy hours of turn-based strategy for free! The Trese Brothers never run ads in our games -- enjoy an ad free, permission free experience! Command your officers and crew from the bridge of your star ship to travel, trade, and battle across the immense Star Traders Quadrant. Employ a wide variety of strategies as an Assassin, Bounty Hunter, Trader, Pirate or Smuggler. Can you manage your resources, crew and officers well enough to turn a profit in the complex economy that’s sprawling across the on-going interstellar conflict?
Sudoku - The Clean One - Basic Sudoku game. Don't play it all that much anymore, but it was the best of the bunch when I did.
Super Fowlst - Great little roguelike that can get quite intense. I usually play more chill games but this one scratches that Action-game itch when I get it.
Tap Healer - Healing Touch - A great game that gives you the feeling of playing a healer in an MMO. You'll have npc allies that will tick damage on the enemy as you use your different abilities/talents to keep them alive. If you enjoy playing as a healer in RPGs this game is worth checking out, there's not really a story but as you progress you can actually see what it's like to play a healer in small dungeons or eventually large raids.
Tap Titans - The world has been overrun by terrible monsters and titans - It needs a hero to bring peace to the land, and that hero is you! As our leader, you must grab your blade and vanquish the terror. With the help of other warriors you can summon along the way, collect artifacts to make yourself stronger and destroy the dark forces to bring peace to the land.
Tap Titans 2 - The battle continues! Grab your sword and gather your heroes to battle mighty Titans in more than 70,000 levels. Enter tournaments, collect pets and become the ultimate sword master. An immersive Idle clicker RPG experience for all. The Titans are back, so join the adventure and tap tap tap to victory!
The Greedy Cave - In a land far, far away there once was a vast continent called Milton. It was a land where the power of rule came by the sword and the arcane, where Men who devoted themselves to the blade or to magecraft, could become the finest warriors, wisest wizards or the greatest adventurers. In this land, there are several kingdoms divided by borders but united through history. Countless stories of alliances, upheaval, and moments of peace bedeck this tapestry, but that is a tale for another day.
The Quarry - Great resource management game. Where you mine and transport resources to build and mine more. Just like factorio!
The Sequence 1 - A unique puzzle game. Build a sequence using special modules to transfer binary cell. Find solutions to solve 72 levels with simple and complex structure. Are you ready for a challenge?
The Sequence 2 - This is the next chapter of successful puzzle game [the Sequence]. It features new modules and introduces new game mechanics. Create moving sequences to bring "Binary Unit" to the destination point. Many levels could be solved in different ways, which allows to improve one's results and get into a higher position in leaderboard. Think out of the box to get to the next level! Create unique mind-blowing sequences!
Tower Fortress - A mysterious tower has risen! It emits plumes of noxious green smoke from its summit making people sick. Strange creatures infest the tower but if nobody tries to ascend it we will all be doomed! Are you that hero?.....
Triple Town - An original puzzle game in which you try to grow the greatest possible city. The larger the city you build, the more points you score. You build your city by matching three or more game-pieces: combine three grasses to make a bush, three bushes to make a tree... until you've filled the board with houses, cathedrals and castles. Along the way, you'll have to outwit giant bears who will try to block your progress.
Troll Patrol (Early Access) - A puzzle game which combines the tile-matching and RPG genres by offering a unique experience: Play as the last defender of the threatened troll den where vicious village people and heroes from far away castles and kingdoms knock down your door. Stand firm, take whatever weapon is close and fight them off to get your family and friends to safety. Protect what is rightfully yours, your home, your heritage. They come for blood, for revenge, to still their blood thirst. But you won't allow it.
Trueskate - The ultimate skateboarding sim.
Twinfold - Twinfold delves into the duplicity of duplication. A roguelike about merging golden idols and squashing angry faces. Manipulate a labyrinthine tableau with the swipe of a finger. Merge and munch on golden idols level up and gain game-changing abilities.
Ulala Idle Adventure - Whether you’re sleeping, eating, or taking the subway - come play Ulala: Idle Adventure! Ulala is an idle MMORPG, which brings to life the excitement and adventures of the Stone Age in a fun and social way!
Void Tyrant - Build a deck as you battle across the galaxy, gathering powerful cards along the way. With strategy and a bit of luck, you might be able to reclaim the Eyes of Chronos. A single-player adventure, play with 500+ cards and three unique classes to engineer a custom deck to your own design. Rooted in the simple hit-or-stand mechanics of blackjack, Void Tyrant is an easy to understand roguelike with engrossing depth. Battle quirky aliens, disarm traps, upgrade your spaceport, and face off with the sinister Wruut.
Ware Wolf Online - Defend your village from the forces of evil or become a werewolf and hunt your friends! Join the mystery game, fight for your team and find the liars among your ranks. Werewolf Online is a multiplayer game for up to 16 players. Each game has different teams such as villagers or werewolves all fighting to be the last team standing. Use special abilities to uncover the roles of other players and convince your fellow players to work with you.
You Must Build a Boat - Travel the world in your boat, from the top of the Mage Tower to the bottom of Hell
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Vault 7 - CIA Hacking Tools Revealed

Vault 7 - CIA Hacking Tools Revealed
March 07, 2017
from Wikileaks Website


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Press Release
Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Code-named "Vault 7" by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.
The first full part of the series, "Year Zero", comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence (below image) in Langley, Virgina.
It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.
Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including,
  1. malware
  2. viruses
  3. trojans
  4. weaponized "zero day" exploits
  5. malware remote control systems

...and associated documentation.
This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.
The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.
"Year Zero" introduces the scope and direction of the CIA's global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of "zero day" weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include,

  1. Apple's iPhone
  2. Google's Android
  3. Microsoft's Windows
  4. Samsung TVs,

...which are turned into covert microphones.
Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force - its own substantial fleet of hackers.
The agency's hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSA's hacking capacities.
By the end of 2016, the CIA's hacking division, which formally falls under the agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI - below image), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand,
hacking systems trojans viruses,
...and other "weaponized" malware.


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Such is the scale of the CIA's undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more codes than those used to run Facebook.
The CIA had created, in effect, its "own NSA" with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.
In a statement to WikiLeaks the source details policy questions that they say urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIA's hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency.
The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.
Once a single cyber 'weapon' is 'loose' it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by rival states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor stated that,
"There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber 'weapons'.
Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such 'weapons', which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade.
But the significance of 'Year Zero' goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective."

Wikileaks has carefully reviewed the "Year Zero" disclosure and published substantive CIA documentation while avoiding the distribution of 'armed' cyberweapons until a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA's program and how such 'weapons' should analyzed, disarmed and published.

Wikileaks has also decided to Redact (see far below) and Anonymize some identifying information in "Year Zero" for in depth analysis. These redactions include ten of thousands of CIA targets and attack machines throughout,
Latin America Europe the United States

While we are aware of the imperfect results of any approach chosen, we remain committed to our publishing model and note that the quantity of published pages in "Vault 7" part one ("Year Zero") already eclipses the total number of pages published over the first three years of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks.

Analysis

CIA malware targets iPhone, Android, smart TVs
CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA's DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation).
The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see above image of the CIA for more details).
The EDG is responsible for the development, testing and operational support of all backdoors, exploits, malicious payloads, trojans, viruses and any other kind of malware used by the CIA in its covert operations world-wide.
The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell's 1984, but "Weeping Angel", developed by the CIA's Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.
The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom's MI5/BTSS.
After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a 'Fake-Off' mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In 'Fake-Off' mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.
As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.
The CIA's Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user's geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone's camera and microphone.
Despite iPhone's minority share (14.5%) of the global smart phone market in 2016, a specialized unit in the CIA's Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads.
CIA's arsenal includes numerous local and remote "zero days" developed by CIA or obtained from GCHQ, NSA, FBI or purchased from cyber arms contractors such as Baitshop.
The disproportionate focus on iOS may be explained by the popularity of the iPhone among social, political, diplomatic and business elites.
A similar unit targets Google's Android which is used to run the majority of the world's smart phones (~85%) including Samsung, HTC and Sony. 1.15 billion Android powered phones were sold last year.
"Year Zero" shows that as of 2016 the CIA had 24 "weaponized" Android "zero days" which it has developed itself and obtained from GCHQ, NSA and cyber arms contractors.
These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of, WhatsApp
  1. Signal
  2. Telegram
  3. Wiebo
  4. Confide
  5. Cloackman
...by hacking the "smart" phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.
CIA malware targets Windows, OSx, Linux, routers
The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware.
This includes multiple local and remote weaponized "zero days", air gap jumping viruses such as "Hammer Drill" which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ("Brutal Kangaroo") and to keep its malware infestations going.
Many of these infection efforts are pulled together by the CIA's Automated Implant Branch (AIB), which has developed several attack systems for automated infestation and control of CIA malware, such as "Assassin" and "Medusa".
Attacks against Internet infrastructure and webservers are developed by the CIA's Network Devices Branch (NDB).
The CIA has developed automated multi-platform malware attack and control systems covering Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more, such as EDB's "HIVE" and the related "Cutthroat" and "Swindle" tools, which are described in the examples section far below.
CIA 'hoarded' vulnerabilities ("zero days")
In the wake of Edward Snowden's leaks about the NSA, the U.S. technology industry secured a commitment from the Obama administration that the executive would disclose on an ongoing basis - rather than hoard - serious vulnerabilities, exploits, bugs or "zero days" to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers.
Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturers places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability.
If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others.
The U.S. government's commitment to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process came after significant lobbying by US technology companies, who risk losing their share of the global market over real and perceived hidden vulnerabilities.
The government stated that it would disclose all pervasive vulnerabilities discovered after 2010 on an ongoing basis.
"Year Zero" documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration's commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA's cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.
As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in "Year Zero" is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts.
The CIA attacks this software by using undisclosed security vulnerabilities ("zero days") possessed by the CIA but if the CIA can hack these phones then so can everyone else who has obtained or discovered the vulnerability.
As long as the CIA keeps these vulnerabilities concealed from Apple and Google (who make the phones) they will not be fixed, and the phones will remain hackable.
The same vulnerabilities exist for the population at large, including the U.S. Cabinet, Congress, top CEOs, system administrators, security officers and engineers.
By hiding these security flaws from manufacturers like Apple and Google the CIA ensures that it can hack everyone at the expense of leaving everyone hackable.
'Cyberwar' programs are a serious proliferation risk
Cyber 'weapons' are not possible to keep under effective control.
While nuclear proliferation has been restrained by the enormous costs and visible infrastructure involved in assembling enough fissile material to produce a critical nuclear mass, cyber 'weapons', once developed, are very hard to retain.
Cyber 'weapons' are in fact just computer programs which can be pirated like any other. Since they are entirely comprised of information they can be copied quickly with no marginal cost.
Securing such 'weapons' is particularly difficult since the same people who develop and use them have the skills to exfiltrate copies without leaving traces - sometimes by using the very same 'weapons' against the organizations that contain them.
There are substantial price incentives for government hackers and consultants to obtain copies since there is a global "vulnerability market" that will pay hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for copies of such 'weapons'.
Similarly, contractors and companies who obtain such 'weapons' sometimes use them for their own purposes, obtaining advantage over their competitors in selling 'hacking' services.
Over the last three years the United States intelligence sector, which consists of government agencies such as the CIA and NSA and their contractors, such as Booz Allan Hamilton, has been subject to unprecedented series of data exfiltrations by its own workers.
A number of intelligence community members not yet publicly named have been arrested or subject to federal criminal investigations in separate incidents.
Most visibly, on February 8, 2017 a U.S. federal grand jury indicted Harold T. Martin III with 20 counts of mishandling classified information.
The Department of Justice alleged that it seized some 50,000 gigabytes of information from Harold T. Martin III that he had obtained from classified programs at NSA and CIA, including the source code for numerous hacking tools.
Once a single cyber 'weapon' is 'loose' it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by peer states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.
U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt is a covert CIA hacker base
In addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ("Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe" or CCIE) are given diplomatic ("black") passports and State Department cover.
The instructions for incoming CIA hackers make Germany's counter-intelligence efforts appear inconsequential: "Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport" Your Cover Story (for this trip) Q: Why are you here? A: Supporting technical consultations at the Consulate. Two earlier WikiLeaks publications give further detail on CIA approaches to customs and secondary screening procedures.
Once in Frankfurt CIA hackers can travel without further border checks to the 25 European countries that are part of the Shengen open border area - including France, Italy and Switzerland.
A number of the CIA's electronic attack methods are designed for physical proximity.
These attack methods are able to penetrate high security networks that are disconnected from the internet, such as police record database. In these cases, a CIA officer, agent or allied intelligence officer acting under instructions, physically infiltrates the targeted workplace.
The attacker is provided with a USB containing malware developed for the CIA for this purpose, which is inserted into the targeted computer. The attacker then infects and exfiltrates data to removable media.
For example, the CIA attack system Fine Dining, provides 24 decoy applications for CIA spies to use.
To witnesses, the spy appears to be running a program showing videos (e.g VLC), presenting slides (Prezi), playing a computer game (Breakout2, 2048) or even running a fake virus scanner (Kaspersky, McAfee, Sophos).
But while the decoy application is on the screen, the underlying system is automatically infected and ransacked.
How the CIA dramatically increased proliferation risks
In what is surely one of the most astounding intelligence own goals in living memory, the CIA structured its classification regime such that for the most market valuable part of "Vault 7", the CIA's, weaponized malware (implants + zero days) Listening Posts (LP) Command and Control (C2) systems, ...the agency has little legal recourse.
The CIA made these systems unclassified.
Why the CIA chose to make its cyber-arsenal unclassified reveals how concepts developed for military use do not easily crossover to the 'battlefield' of cyber 'war'.
To attack its targets, the CIA usually requires that its implants communicate with their control programs over the internet.
If CIA implants, Command & Control and Listening Post software were classified, then CIA officers could be prosecuted or dismissed for violating rules that prohibit placing classified information onto the Internet.
Consequently the CIA has secretly made most of its cyber spying/war code unclassified. The U.S. government is not able to assert copyright either, due to restrictions in the U.S. Constitution.
This means that cyber 'arms' manufactures and computer hackers can freely "pirate" these 'weapons' if they are obtained. The CIA has primarily had to rely on obfuscation to protect its malware secrets.
Conventional weapons such as missiles may be fired at the enemy (i.e. into an unsecured area). Proximity to or impact with the target detonates the ordnance including its classified parts. Hence military personnel do not violate classification rules by firing ordnance with classified parts.
Ordnance will likely explode. If it does not, that is not the operator's intent.
Over the last decade U.S. hacking operations have been increasingly dressed up in military jargon to tap into Department of Defense funding streams.
For instance, attempted "malware injections" (commercial jargon) or "implant drops" (NSA jargon) are being called "fires" as if a weapon was being fired.
However the analogy is questionable.
Unlike bullets, bombs or missiles, most CIA malware is designed to live for days or even years after it has reached its 'target'. CIA malware does not "explode on impact" but rather permanently infests its target. In order to infect target's device, copies of the malware must be placed on the target's devices, giving physical possession of the malware to the target.
To exfiltrate data back to the CIA or to await further instructions the malware must communicate with CIA Command & Control (C2) systems placed on internet connected servers.
But such servers are typically not approved to hold classified information, so CIA command and control systems are also made unclassified.
A successful 'attack' on a target's computer system is more like a series of complex stock maneuvers in a hostile take-over bid or the careful planting of rumors in order to gain control over an organization's leadership rather than the firing of a weapons system.
If there is a military analogy to be made, the infestation of a target is perhaps akin to the execution of a whole series of military maneuvers against the target's territory including observation, infiltration, occupation and exploitation.
Evading forensics and anti-virus
A series of standards lay out CIA malware infestation patterns which are likely to assist forensic crime scene investigators as well as, Apple
  1. Microsoft
  2. Google
  3. Samsung
  4. Nokia
  5. Blackberry
  6. Siemens
  7. anti-virus companies,
...attribute and defend against attacks.
"Tradecraft DO's and DON'Ts" contains CIA rules on how its malware should be written to avoid fingerprints implicating the "CIA, US government, or its witting partner companies" in "forensic review".
Similar secret standards cover the, use of encryption to hide CIA hacker and malware communication (pdf) describing targets & exfiltrated data (pdf) executing payloads (pdf) persisting (pdf), ...in the target's machines over time.
CIA hackers developed successful attacks against most well known anti-virus programs.
These are documented in, AV defeats Personal Security Products Detecting and defeating PSPs PSP/DebuggeRE Avoidance For example, Comodo was defeated by CIA malware placing itself in the Window's "Recycle Bin". While Comodo 6.x has a "Gaping Hole of DOOM".
CIA hackers discussed what the NSA's "Equation Group" hackers did wrong and how the CIA's malware makers could avoid similar exposure.

Examples

The CIA's Engineering Development Group (EDG) management system contains around 500 different projects (only some of which are documented by "Year Zero") each with their own sub-projects, malware and hacker tools.
The majority of these projects relate to tools that are used for,
penetration infestation ("implanting") control exfiltration
Another branch of development focuses on the development and operation of Listening Posts (LP) and Command and Control (C2) systems used to communicate with and control CIA implants.
Special projects are used to target specific hardware from routers to smart TVs.
Some example projects are described below, but see the table of contents for the full list of projects described by WikiLeaks' "Year Zero".
UMBRAGE
The CIA's hand crafted hacking techniques pose a problem for the agency.
Each technique it has created forms a "fingerprint" that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity.
This is analogous to finding the same distinctive knife wound on multiple separate murder victims. The unique wounding style creates suspicion that a single murderer is responsible.
As soon one murder in the set is solved then the other murders also find likely attribution.
The CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.
With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.
UMBRAGE components cover,
keyloggers
  1. password collection
  2. webcam capture
  3. data destruction
  4. persistence
  5. privilege escalation
  6. stealth
  7. anti-virus (PSP) avoidance
  8. survey techniques

Fine Dining
Fine Dining comes with a standardized questionnaire i.e menu that CIA case officers fill out.
The questionnaire is used by the agency's OSB (Operational Support Branch) to transform the requests of case officers into technical requirements for hacking attacks (typically "exfiltrating" information from computer systems) for specific operations.
The questionnaire allows the OSB to identify how to adapt existing tools for the operation, and communicate this to CIA malware configuration staff.
The OSB functions as the interface between CIA operational staff and the relevant technical support staff.
Among the list of possible targets of the collection are,
  • 'Asset'
  • 'Liason Asset'
  • 'System Administrator'
  • 'Foreign Information Operations'
  • 'Foreign Intelligence Agencies'
  • 'Foreign Government Entities'
Notably absent is any reference to extremists or transnational criminals. The 'Case Officer' is also asked to specify the environment of the target like the type of computer, operating system used, Internet connectivity and installed anti-virus utilities (PSPs) as well as a list of file types to be exfiltrated like Office documents, audio, video, images or custom file types.
The 'menu' also asks for information if recurring access to the target is possible and how long unobserved access to the computer can be maintained.
This information is used by the CIA's 'JQJIMPROVISE' software (see below) to configure a set of CIA malware suited to the specific needs of an operation.
Improvise (JQJIMPROVISE)
  1. 'Improvise' is a toolset for configuration, post-processing, payload setup and execution vector
  2. selection for survey/exfiltration tools supporting all major operating systems like,
  3. Windows (Bartender)
  4. MacOS (JukeBox)
  5. Linux (DanceFloor)
  6. Its configuration utilities like Margarita allows the NOC (Network Operation Center) to customize tools
based on requirements from 'Fine Dining' questionnaires.
HIVE
HIVE is a multi-platform CIA malware suite and its associated control software.
The project provides customizable implants for Windows, Solaris, MikroTik (used in internet routers) and Linux platforms and a Listening Post (LP)/Command and Control (C2) infrastructure to communicate with these implants.
The implants are configured to communicate via HTTPS with the webserver of a cover domain; each operation utilizing these implants has a separate cover domain and the infrastructure can handle any number of cover domains.
Each cover domain resolves to an IP address that is located at a commercial VPS (Virtual Private Server) provider.
The public-facing server forwards all incoming traffic via a VPN to a 'Blot' server that handles actual connection requests from clients.
It is setup for optional SSL client authentication: if a client sends a valid client certificate (only implants can do that), the connection is forwarded to the 'Honeycomb' toolserver that communicates with the implant.
If a valid certificate is missing (which is the case if someone tries to open the cover domain website by accident), the traffic is forwarded to a cover server that delivers an unsuspicious looking website.
The Honeycomb toolserver receives exfiltrated information from the implant; an operator can also task the implant to execute jobs on the target computer, so the toolserver acts as a C2 (command and control) server for the implant.
Similar functionality (though limited to Windows) is provided by the RickBobby project.
See the classified user and developer guides for HIVE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why now?
WikiLeaks published as soon as its verification and analysis were ready. In February the Trump administration has issued an Executive Order calling for a "Cyberwar" review to be prepared within 30 days.
While the review increases the timeliness and relevance of the publication it did not play a role in setting the publication date.
Redactions
Names, email addresses and external IP addresses have been redacted in the released pages (70,875 redactions in total) until further analysis is complete. Over-redaction: Some items may have been redacted that are not employees, contractors, targets or otherwise related to the agency, but are, for example, authors of documentation for otherwise public projects that are used by the agency.
Identity vs. person: the redacted names are replaced by user IDs (numbers) to allow readers to assign multiple pages to a single author. Given the redaction process used a single person may be represented by more than one assigned identifier but no identifier refers to more than one real person.
Archive attachments (zip, tar.gz, ...), are replaced with a PDF listing all the file names in the archive. As the archive content is assessed it may be made available; until then the archive is redacted.
Attachments with other binary content, are replaced by a hex dump of the content to prevent accidental invocation of binaries that may have been infected with weaponized CIA malware. As the content is assessed it may be made available; until then the content is redacted.
Tens of thousands of routable IP addresses references, (including more than 22 thousand within the United States) that correspond to possible targets, CIA covert listening post servers, intermediary and test systems, are redacted for further exclusive investigation.
Binary files of non-public origin, are only available as dumps to prevent accidental invocation of CIA malware infected binaries.
Organizational Chart
The organizational chart (far above image) corresponds to the material published by WikiLeaks so far.
Since the organizational structure of the CIA below the level of Directorates is not public, the placement of the EDG and its branches within the org chart of the agency is reconstructed from information contained in the documents released so far.
It is intended to be used as a rough outline of the internal organization; please be aware that the reconstructed org chart is incomplete and that internal reorganizations occur frequently.
Wiki pages
"Year Zero" contains 7818 web pages with 943 attachments from the internal development groupware. The software used for this purpose is called Confluence, a proprietary software from Atlassian.
Webpages in this system (like in Wikipedia) have a version history that can provide interesting insights on how a document evolved over time; the 7818 documents include these page histories for 1136 latest versions.
The order of named pages within each level is determined by date (oldest first). Page content is not present if it was originally dynamically created by the Confluence software (as indicated on the re-constructed page).
What time period is covered?
The years 2013 to 2016. The sort order of the pages within each level is determined by date (oldest first).
WikiLeaks has obtained the CIA's creation/last modification date for each page but these do not yet appear for technical reasons. Usually the date can be discerned or approximated from the content and the page order.
If it is critical to know the exact time/date contact WikiLeaks.
What is "Vault 7"
"Vault 7" is a substantial collection of material about CIA activities obtained by WikiLeaks.
When was each part of "Vault 7" obtained?
Part one was obtained recently and covers through 2016. Details on the other parts will be available at the time of publication.
Is each part of "Vault 7" from a different source?
Details on the other parts will be available at the time of publication.
What is the total size of "Vault 7"?
The series is the largest intelligence publication in history.
How did WikiLeaks obtain each part of "Vault 7"?
Sources trust WikiLeaks to not reveal information that might help identify them.
Isn't WikiLeaks worried that the CIA will act against its staff to stop the series?
No. That would be certainly counter-productive.
Has WikiLeaks already 'mined' all the best stories?
No. WikiLeaks has intentionally not written up hundreds of impactful stories to encourage others to find them and so create expertise in the area for subsequent parts in the series. They're there.
Look. Those who demonstrate journalistic excellence may be considered for early access to future parts.
Won't other journalists find all the best stories before me?
Unlikely. There are very considerably more stories than there are journalists or academics who are in a position to write them.
submitted by CuteBananaMuffin to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Petu's Challenger Shen Guide with Detailed Matchups! (2017 Summer)

SELLOUT(?) EDIT: Guide is up on Solomid.net

Hey, /summonerschool
I'm Petu and I've been playing Shen since his rework in 2016. I hovered around MasteD1 last season and I’ve been Challenger for the whole of season 2017. In April, I was ranked as the best Shen in the world by League of Graphs. This is my third Shen guide and I’m hoping it’s going to be valid until the next season. The last chapter of the guide lists my personal tips on every single top lane matchup. You can use this guide before every game and CTRL+F the champion you’re playing against for a brief overview of the matchup.

Table of Contents

Pros and Cons Playstyle Abilities Runes Masteries Itemization Gameplay Tips Matchups

Pros and Cons:

Pros: Map pressure Playmaking potential Supportive capabilities Tank shredding Dueling
Cons: Requires great map-awareness No waveclear No built-in sustain Long ult cooldown

Playstyle:

Shen is the dictionary definition of a tank. If ahead, he can tank the enemy team 1v5 for an extended period of time due to his Ki Barrier and Spirit’s Refuge. But he also plays like a support, he can keep his carries alive by using his ultimate and positioning his Spirit Blade near his carries in teamfights. Shen is also an incredible powerful duelist against tanks due to the MaxHP% Damage on his Q and the constant passive shields. Shen can also initiate teamfights extremely well with a Taunt+Flash Combo. His dueling power and global ultimate (and teleport) make him an excellent split-pusher.

Abilities:

Passive – Ki Barrier Cooldown: 10 seconds
After using an ability, Shen shields himself from 50 - 101 (based on level) (+ 14% bonus health) damage for 2.5 seconds. If the triggering ability successfully affected at least one champion, Ki Barrier's cooldown is reduced by 4 - 7.5 (based on level) seconds. Shen's power manifests as a Spirit Blade that he can control with abilities.
Even after the passive nerfs, Ki Barrier is a strong ability. It allows him to trade better in lane and tank for longer in teamfights. It’s also great for surprising turnarounds – some people just never remember the shield. In theory, a level 18 Shen could keep his shield up 100% of the time in teamfights with proper use of his abilities.
Q – Twilight Assault Cost: 140-100 Energy Cooldown: 8-5 Seconds
Shen recalls his Spirit Blade to his location and empowers his next 3 basic attacks within 8 seconds to deal bonus magic damage. Enemies the blade collides with are slowed by 35% for the next 2 seconds when moving away from Shen. If the Spirit Blade collides with an enemy champion, the empowerment is enhanced, dealing bonus damage and gain 50% bonus attack speed. Empowered attacks against non-champions deal additional damage, but their damage is capped.
This is Shen’s main ability and it should be maxed out first. It gives him great damage, chase potential and easy passive procs. You should always try to keep your enemy between you and your Spirit Blade to maximize the damage output and amount of Ki Barriers. Mastering the use of your Spirit Blade is a major key to success with Shen. The tooltip doesn’t mention this, but Twilight Assault increases your Autoattack range to 200. This can be useful in many situations. It’s very important to use all three of your empowered basic attacks to get Energy back (Shadow Dash Passive) or you’ll find yourself running out of Energy.
W – Spirit’s Refuge Cost: 40 Energy Cooldown: 18-12 Seconds
Shen primes his Spirit Blade for 2 seconds, causing it to project a protective zone around it for 1.75 seconds if he or an allied champion move nearby, causing allies in the zone to dodge attacks.
Spirit’s Refuge might seem like a lackluster ability, but a good W on your carries in a teamfight can mitigate so much damage that it could turn the whole fight around. Your W is good against champions like Renekton, Camille, Mordekaiser etc. because their trading patterns involve an autoattack enhancer. Rank 1 Spirit’s Refuge has a 18 second cooldown, so opponents can punish you if you waste it. Using your W correctly in teamfights can be tricky sometimes as you might have to leave your Spirit Blade near your carries and avoid using your Q. Spirit’s Refuge blocks Jungle Monster basic attacks including Rift Herald and even Baron Nashor but not the Dragon!
E – Shadow Dash Cost: 150 Energy Cooldown: 18-10 Seconds Range: 600
PASSIVE: Shadow Dash's and Twilight Assault's damage recovers 30 / 35 / 40 Energy.
ACTIVE: Shen dashes in the target direction, dealing physical damage to all enemy champions and monsters he hits and taunting them for 1.5 seconds.
Shadow Dash, Shen’s most iconic ability after his Ultimate. This is Shen’s playmaking tool and one of the reasons I play him. Taunt is an extremely powerful form of Crowd Control; It allows you to protect your teammates and pick off enemies. It’s also really good if you’re getting pushed to your tower in lane because taunting someone gives them tower aggro. The threat of Taunt allows you to CS safer undertower. Similar to his W, Shen’s E has a long cooldown which can be abused by smart opponents. Shadow Dash can be combined with Flash to change the direction or extend it’s range. This allows Shen to pull of amazing multi-man taunts in teamfights or when getting ganked. Missing your taunt can lead to lost trades or teamfights.
Ultimate – Stand United Cooldown: 200/180/160
Shen channels for 3 seconds, shielding the target allied champion for up to 5 seconds. The shield scales based on the target’s missing health. (Max value at 40% HP) Upon completing the channel, Shen and his Spirit Blade blink to the target ally’s location.
And here we have the reason why we pick Shen: his ultimate, Stand United. Stand United is such a powerful ability, it allows you to split-push without leaving your team in danger. Shen’s Ultimate combined with Teleport gives him more global pressure than any other champion in the game. If you have a Twitch (stealth) or a Zac (gap-closer) in your team, you can use Stand United to engage sneaky ganks and catch your opponents completely off guard. Stand United’s cooldown is extremely long and wasting it can set you behind by a lot. The more you play Shen the easier it becomes to quickly judge whether or not an ultimate is worth it.

Runes:

Standard: VS. AD VS. AP Budget VS. All
Experimental: 30 CDR @ 18 Aggro VS. AD Aggro VS. AP
There is no clear consensus on what the optimal rune page for Shen is. Choosing your runes comes down to preference mostly. The two pages at the top are the only ones I use and need to play Shen. Different Shen players prefer different runes, but almost everyone uses attack speed marks and health seals. The rest comes is up to you. If you’re skeptical about the HP regen quints you can substitute them for Armor or Health. Personally, I’ve found much more success with the added sustain that the regen runes provide. If you’re new to Shen I would advise you to use the budget page.

Masteries:

Standard Alternative
Shen uses Grasp of the Undying as his Keystone. Fervor and Courage of the Colossus were options in the past, but in my opinion Grasp is the clear winner. There are interesting options in tier 4 of the the Resolve tree. All of them are good but right now I prefer Fearless because it’s a very strong mastery and makes your laning phase safer. The first mastery page is what I use in all of my games. The “Alternative” page was shown to me by Riddler Shen. He likes taking short trades often and abuses the damage of Grasp and Fresh Blood in combination with Assassin.

Itemization:

Starting Items:
Choose your starting items based on the enemy laner and the difficulty of the matchup. Doran’s Shield is a good option versus any champion and you can’t really go wrong with it. Ruby Crystal + 2 Pots used to be my favorite start but the new DShield is probably outright better. Triple Bead start feels really good, but fills your inventory, which can be quite annoying. Cloth armor and 1 Rejuvination Bead might be my new favorite start. It gives you armor and sustain and allows you to get your items faster than the other options.
First back:
Pick up one of these on your first back. If you can’t afford one, buy components like Ruby Crystal, Cloth Armor and Boots of Speed. You should always have one control ward on the map, so buy one on your first back aswell. Buying a refillable potion on your first back is also very efficient and allows you to have those 2 potions whenever you need them.
Core:
Shen’s core build consists of one waveclear item, tank boots of your choice and a tank item of your choice.
Defensive Items: Shen can build any tank item in the game that doesn’t give mana. Your build should vary from game to game depending on the enemy team composition.
Offensive Options:
Never build more than one offensive item on Shen. Nashor’s Tooth is a fun item but doesn’t offer any survivability, so I would advise you not to build it unless super fed or in a normal game. Titanic Hydra should be your go-to offensive option in 90% of games.
Supportive Options:
If you have a fed carry on your team, you should build one of these as a third item. Locket now scales with your Bonus HP, making it extremely powerful in late game teamfights.

Gameplay Tips:

Matchups:

Aatrox – Easy Block his 3rd hit with W. Never trade when he is close to 5 stacks. Be aware of his revive passive and don’t dive him carelessly.
Akali – Medium Block her Q-AA with W. Sunfire cape lets you see her in her shroud. She can kill you level 6 with 2 or 3 ult stacks. If Akali doesn’t snowball with kills she’ll be useless in the late game.
Camille – Medium Always (try to) dodge her E, Camille’s W is often easy to dodge by moving towards her, Block her second Q with W. Camille is exceptionally good at setting up ganks due to his E and Ultimate, so you have to be very careful when pushing against her.
Cho’Gath – Medium You lose short trades, Shadow dash out of his Q, try to predict when he will ult and block some of it with your passive shield.
Darius – Hard Darius has kill pressure on you from levels 1-3 but you can try to trade with him levels 4-5, Block his AA-W with your W and move/dash to him when he Qs to deny the heal. Shen can’t duel Darius in the late game because of his passive and true damage ult. In teamfights try to peel for your carries and deny Darius from getting the reset on his ult.
Dr. Mundo – Easy Unlosable matchup, dodge as many Qs as you can and block his E with your W.
Ekko – Easy He has good waveclear, but can’t kill you. Dodge his Q and W his Dash-AA.
Fiora – Hard You can fight her early, but she will always beat you in a 1v1 unless you’re super far ahead. If you get a gank, you have to taunt-flash her or otherwise she will parry your taunt. Try to deny her Ultimate heal by blocking the vital procs with your W and then walking next to a wall.
Fizz – Medium Most of Fizz’ damage comes from his W so you have to block it. Always try to dodge or dash his ultimate. Avoid fighting him in the early game.
Galio – Hard Galio destroys Shen is every aspect. He beats you in waveclear and can match your ult with his ult/tp. The only way to win this matchup is by getting a gank early and snowballing. He outscales you aswell.
Gangplank – Hard You have to bully or kill GP level 1-4 or you lose the matchup completely. Set up your spirit blade behind his creeps for a level 1 trade and deny minions from him. If he has a barrel up, dash in and taunt him and immediately kill the barrel to win the trade. Wait for him to Orange your taunt before Q-slowing him. Don’t be afraid to use W or your passive whenever it is up to block his Q poke.
Garen – Easy Block his Q with your W and you basically won the lane.
Gnar – Hard Gnar can constantly harass you and kite you later with frozen mallet. Try to get as much farm as you can while staying healthy. Look for ults and win the game through global pressure. You can use W to prevent him from proccing Hyper.
Gragas – Medium Don’t E before he uses body slam. Block his W with your W. Don’t ult near him because he will either E you or R you to cancel it.
Heimerdinger – Hard Stressful matchup because you have to consistently dodge his Rockets and Grenades. Your W blocks turret autos (even his R-Turret) so use it to trade with him in his turrets. Once you get through the laning phase he can’t win you 1v1. If you ult bot at a bad time you’re most likely going to lose your tower.
Illaoi – Hard Playing against an Illaoi is like a minigame where you have to dodge her E and tentacle attacks. If she hits her E you dash out of range. If she misses her E you dash in and take a short trade. When she ults you dash out and reengage when the ult is over.
Irelia – Medium Use your W right before she stuns you and then dash in to trade. You can beat her in a 1v1 if you’re even. Not a very mechanical matchup.
Jarvan IV – Medium I haven’t had enough experience in this matchup to judge it accurately but it seems like the matchup is pretty even. You can block his passive AA with W. If he misses his E-Q you can punish him with a taunt into extended trade. If you’re getting ganked be sure to save either your taunt or flash to get away from his ult.
Jax – Medium He wins level 1, after that you’re even until the late game. When Jax activates his E, you should wait a bit and then Taunt through him to dodge the stun and force him to follow you. Then you drag your spirit blade through him and use the empowered autoattacks to win the trade. Don’t even think about dueling him in the lategame, he is Jax!
Jayce – Hard Great Jayce players are a pain the ass for any melee top laner, even more so for Shen because he doesn’t have any ranged abilities or waveclear. The constant autoattack harass can be tilting, but you should remain calm and try to get any cs you can. Landing a taunt doesn’t guarantee a good trade: Stormraider’s Jayce will E-Q after the taunt and chase you with autoattacks. Pick your trades carefully and you will eventually outscale him. Try to save your W for his Cannon W or first melee attack (bonus damage).
Kennen – Hard Kennen is very similar to Jayce. Get as much cs as you can while staying healthy. Pay attention to his W stacks and block the empowered autoattack with your W. If he uses E to waveclear you can get a good trade or even kill him with a taunt into Q.
Kayle – Hard Another ranged lanebully (man I hate top lane sometimes). Kayle does a lot of damage, but she’s easy to gank. If you land a taunt she’s screwed. Kayle scales super well so be careful about 1v1ing her in late. You can protect your carries from her with your W and Taunt.
Kled – Medium His Q is a pretty slow skillshot and it’s relatively easy to dodge from max range. If he has W up, let him get 1 aa on you and then use W to block the 3 remaining attacks. Don’t wait too long before using E to escape his Q because it will interrupt your dash. Kled’s roams are really telegraphed so you have more than enough time to ult wherever he’s ulting.
Lissandra – Hard Lissandra isn’t played at all this season so I don’t have much experience vs her. She has harass, waveclear and crowdcontrol to stop your ult. Your W is practically useless vs her so I would wait until level 4 or 5 to level it up. You can stop her from teleporting to her claw with a welltimed taunt.
Malphite – Easy Malphite’s kit is so binary that there’s not many tips I can give you. You beat him at all stages of the game and his only way of stopping your ult is his ult. Losing to a malphite in lane is practically impossible.
Maokai – Medium You beat him early but lategame his passive heals become way too big and you can’t kill him solo. Your W doesn’t stop his passive heal (even though it should). He can interrupt your dash with his Q so you should wait before using it. If you get a lead you should play really aggressive and stop him from getting to late game.
Mordekaiser – Easy Mordekaiser is useless if he’s behind but if he gets ahead of you he’s going to be a big problem. You should block his third Q with your W. Mordekaiser has no escapes so ganking him is super easy. Ask your jungler to gank top and snowball your lead to other lanes with your Ult.
Nasus – Easy Nasus is weak in the early game and you can bully him. Try to prevent him from getting free Q stacks. Blocking his Q in trades is very important. Your TPs and ults are much more impactful than his. Post-6 try to bait him into using his ultimate and then disengage. Once his ult is down he has no way of beating you.
Nautilus – Medium Nautilus does a surprising amount of damage with his E in the early game. You can block his rooting autoattack and W hits with your W. When running away from him try to wait until he hooks and then dash away. If you dash first he can interrupt it with his hook. If he’s diving you activate your W just as his ult hits you.
Olaf – Hard Olaf is rarely seen in the top lane nowadays, but he’s one of hardest matchups for Shen. He can chase you forever with his Q and you can’t taunt him because of his ult. Olaf falls off pretty hard in the late game. He has no way of stopping your ult so you can escape with it if necessary.
Pantheon – Hard Pantheon, the bane of all top laners. Pantheon is an extremely dominant lane bully for the first 10 minutes of the game. His constant Q spam will eventually result in a kill if the opposing player doesn’t know how to play against it. You have to play extremely safe in the early game vs a Pantheon (even more so if he has ignite). Let his first Q hit you without blocking it, this will proc the Doran’s shield regen. Block his second Q with your passive shield and after that keep on using your passive whenever you can. If you dash at him early you will die. Get as much cs as you can and stay healthy because he can burst you to death from ~50% HP. Pantheon falls off extremely hard in the late game so you can most likely duel him around level 14. Be ready to ult where he is ulting! If you get your jungler to gank top, keep in mind that he can use his ult to escape the gank if you use all your hard cc right away. His passive shield blocks your Q bonus damage. You can interrupt his E with your taunt.
Poppy – Easy Poppy hasn’t seen much play since the nerfs. He doesn’t have kill pressure on you and you outduel her at all stages of the game. Don’t dash on her before she uses her W. You can stop her ult channel with a taunt if you’re quick enough. Always walk out of the second part of her Q.
Quinn – Medium Quinn is annoying like any other ranged top laner, but Shen has the tools to deal with her. If you get marked by her passive or she’s dashing on you, be ready to activate W. Quinn’s damage comes from her passive and blocking it will result in you winning almost any trade. Quinn can interrupt your dash with her E knockback so wait for a good oppurtunity before dashing towards her. You can match her ult roams with your ultimate. Quinn wins games by picking off lonely carries, but you as Shen can completely stop her from doing just that.
Renekton – Medium Renekton is a lanebully, but Shen is one of the best counters to him. This matchup requires experience but once you get used to Renekton’s trade pattern you can win him in lane. With enough experience you’ll block every stun which will stop him from getting fervor stacks. If you block the stun you’ll win the trade every time. Renekton’s ult is similar to Nasus’: You want to bait it out, disengage and then reengage.
Rengar – Medium Good Rengar players are scary because they have so many options and know which one to choose at all times. Some Rengars cheese by taking either small wolves or raptors before coming to lane and try to kill you on the first wave by hitting level 2 (thanks dekar). You can trade with Rengar when he’s just used his empowered ability. This will guarantee that he can’t cleanse your taunt. If Rengar ults to jump on you, use W when he’s mid-air to block the guaranteed crit. If he has a combat summoner spell (Exh or Ign) don’t even bother trying to fight him.
Riven – Medium Riven is difficult to chase or get away from, but a good taunt will turn any fight in your favor. When you see Riven dashing towards you be ready to activate W before she stuns you. This will deny her from getting fervor stacks (if she has fervor) and using her passive efficiently. In extended fights try to dash ’under’ her 3rd Q to dodge the knockup. The outcome of this matchup is heavily influenced by the skill of the riven player. Under high diamond Shen should win it most of the time.
Rumble – Easy This matchup used to be much harder but the new Doran’s shield just destroys Rumble completely. You can play very aggressive against a Rumble if you keep your ward coverage up. Save your W for when he overheats and block the bonus damage autoattacks. Post-6 keep your dash because you need it to escape his ultimate. Rumble players are used to being the bullies and playing aggressive against them can work surprisingly well.
Singed – He probably won’t be in lane anyways Honestly, I haven’t played versus a Singed in ranked this season. My only tip is to not chase him.
Sion – Medium There are two different common Sion builds: Tank and Full AD. Shen performs better versus the tank variant, but can handle AD Sion aswell. When you see Sion charge his Q IMMEDIATELY dash at him (Unless you want to escape ofc). If you dash quick enough he can’t knock you up and you will interrupt the channel. After that just stay close to him and chase him with Qs. Sion’s ult is easy to dodge by moving and even more so with a dash. The only way you lose to a Sion is if you take a fully charged Q to the face. Sion players like to Q in bushes because you won’t see the range indicator. Just keep this in mind and don’t get hit by his Q.
Swain – Hard Seeing Swain in champ select makes me want to not play Shen. The matchup is absolutely terrible and you have no way of beating him without jungle assistance. Your W is almost useless versus Swain and he will beat you in extended trades due to his ultimate. If you dash in he will root you and then you take a full duration E-Q to the face while he walks away. The only oppurtunity you have on him is level 2 if he uses his cooldowns to clear the wave. The best tip I can give is either dodge or pick another champion.
Tahm Kench – Medium Tahm Kench is a tank that deals a surprising amount of damage, similar to Shen. You beat him by not letting him get 3 passive stacks on you. Your W is very important. Use it when your think he wants to go for a trade. If he can’t get his stacks on you he has no way of winning the trade. You outscale him pretty hard and your ultimate is way better than his. If you get a good trade don’t be afraid to keep chasing him until he uses his E. That’s when you back off (now he doesn’t get to heal through the grey health).
Teemo – Medium Teemo will harass you pretty hard in the early game, like any ranged top laner. You can’t win short trades vs him because of his blind. However, extended fights fall in to your favor. Most Teemos build like an AD Kennen: Frozen Mallet and attack speed items. If you miss your taunt he can chase you down and kill you, so wait for the perfect opportunity before using your E.
Trundle – Easy Trundle is generally the counter to tanks, but Shen’s kit functions well against this troll. Blocking Trundle’s chomp with your W allows you to get good damage on to him without taking any in return. Good Trundle players will stop your dash with their pillar. Get a feel for your opponent and you’ll see if he can do this consistently. Trundle’s ult is extremely strong vs any tank and I would advise you not to duel him when he uses it.
Tryndamere – Medium Tryndamere feels very oppressive, but beating him is possible. Tryndamere with a full rage bar is one of the strongest early game champions. Tryndamere with no rage is one of the weakest. The key to beating tryndamere is playing aggressive from the start, you can’t let him hit minions for free and build up that rage bar. Zone him with your Q from level 1 and force him to use his rage to heal instead of fighting you. If Tryndamere gets ahead you’re in for a train of pain. He can dive extremely well with his ultimate and is hard to stop from snowballing.
Urgot – Medium Urgot is a lane bully like most ranged champions. His Qs can’t be blocked by your W unlike Ezreal’s. Urgot’s most important ability is his E. You should always dodge it by moving or by dashing. If he hits his E he’s going to get atleast 3 Qs on you for free. Urgot has no escape so ganking him is extremely easy, especially pre-6. Try to get your jungler to gank him and enjoy a free lane. Once you’re ahead he can’t fight you.
Vladimir – Hard Vladimir is super annoying to deal with. He can poke you until the end of the world because he doesn’t have mana. He heals any damage you deal to him in lane and escapes ganks with his blood pool. He’s very similar to Swain, one of the champions I would either pick another champion against or dodge. If the Vladimir is bad you might get a taunt on him and kill him. If you get a lead you can start bullying him and denying him gold and experience.
Wukong – Easy Wukong has been out of the meta for a long time, so people seem to have forgotten how strong is level 2 and level 3 are. However, he’s not a problem for Shen. When he dashes to trade, you can pop your W, block his Q and then taunt him. His trading pattern is simple and you can hit a taunt 100% of the time when he dashes to you. Beating him should not be a challenge.
Yasuo – Medium Yasuo players have extreme variety in skill. Beating a Yasuo with Shen is easy, unless the yasuo knows how to play against you. Yasuo can block your Spirit Blade with his wind wall, denying your empower autoattacks. This cripples Shen completely and allows the Yasuo to destroy you. Bypassing this is pretty simple: you have to hit your taunt! When he’s taunted you can freely Q through him without a fear of him stopping the blade with his wind wall. After he’s slowed by your Q you can hit him 3 times and back off. Yasuo’s ult gives him a huge bonus armor penetration, so dodging the tornado is extremely important, especially in late game duels. Shen’s W blocks Yasuo’s Q. The tornado is only blocked by it if you’re the first target getting hit by it.
Yorick – Easy Yorick is very easy to deal with as Shen. Most of his damage comes from his Q and his ghouls. Both of those are blocked by your W. He has no movement abilities so you can hit your taunt without much effort. Always wait for him to summon his ghouls before you use your W. If you get caught in his trap after you’ve wasted your E and W you’ll get chunked or killed. Smart usage of your W wins this matchup completely by itself. Lategame he has no chance of dueling you. Once you get a Titanic hydra you can oneshot his ghouls with the cone attack.

TL;DR:

Runes
Masteries
Skill Order: R > Q > E > W
Build tank items
Splitpush and ult when team is fighting
If you follow all these steps this will pop up in your client.
In all seriousness, I would appreciate if you read the guide and gave me feedback. I’m trying to share my knowledge of the champ as well as I can! You can talk to me about Shen in the comments, the shen main discord channel or my youtube channel. I’m not sure why I use my free time writing >5000 word guides about virtual ninjas :thinking:
submitted by PetuTheBeast to summonerschool [link] [comments]

[Beyond 3.0] Server Downtime for ~9 hours | Frontier Livestream with devs at 2 PM GMT

Update is LIVE!

Beyond 3.0 Launch Day Livestream

Beyond 3.0 CGI Trailer - Commander Chronicles: The Deal

Will Flanagan on the forums:
Hi everyone,
Soon you'll be able to strap yourself into the cockpit of the Chieftain and explore a host of new gameplay features - Chapter One is almost here!
The galaxy servers will be down today from 9.30 AM (GMT) for approximately 9 hours. There is a chance that this could run over, so we really appreciate your patience. As usual with these updates we'll keep you as up to date as possible.
While you wait, join us for a pre-launch livestream at 2:00 PM (GMT) for a Beyond - Chapter One recap with members of the development team on YouTube here.
We'll post the changelog soon, and add update information to the thread as it comes in.
Keep an eye on our social media channels too for regular updates on the server status. We will try to respond to as many queries as possible, but we will give everyone advanced notice for when the servers come back online, and social media is your best bet for knowing when the servers are back up and running!
Thanks!

Elite Dangerous: Beyond - The Features of 3.0

(Includes improvements Coming Soon for Crime and Ship Destruction, Kill Warrant Scanner, Superpower Bounties)
Edward Lewis:
Here's an overview of all the features coming to Elite Dangerous: Beyond - Chapter One. With one or two exceptions (outlined within the section) the information below is how the feature will work at launch of Elite Dangerous 3.0.

Patch Notes

New features for 3.0

Crime
Missions
Ships
Trade Data & Galaxy Map
Engineers
Weapons and modules
Galnet Audio
Installation and Megaship Interactions
Surface material system
Quality of Life
Misc Features
Consoles

Fixes and Improvements

This update includes well over 1000 fixes for various issues that have been discovered and investigated during the development process since the release of 2.4. For the sake of clarity, we have primarily listed below fixes for issues that have been reported to us by the community or other important changes.
Art
Audio
Camera Suite
Consoles
Controls & Control Devices
Engineers
Galaxy Map/System Map
General Fixes & Tweaks
Holo-Me Creator
Hyperspace/Supercruise
Installations/POIs/USSs
Launcher (PC Only)
Missions
Multi-Crew
NPCs
Outfitting
Player Journal
Powerplay
Render
Ships & SRV
General Ship Fixes and Improvements
Anaconda
Asp Explorer
Cobra Mk. III
Diamondback Explorer
F63 Condor
Federal Gunship
Imperial Clipper
Imperial Courier
Imperial Cutter
Orca
Python
SRV
Type 7
Type 9 Heavy
Type 10 Defender
Viper Mk4
Stability Fixes
Starports/Outposts/Surface Ports
Synthesis
User Interface
VR
Weapons & Modules
Wings
submitted by ChristianM to EliteDangerous [link] [comments]

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