With the patch having debuted for three days, I thought it'd be worthwhile to make a roundup post so that people who have been avoiding playing, as well as people who have been playing but still aren't sure what's good and what isn't, would have some reference on the data of the patch and what things are doing well based on data and what things aren't. Disclaimers:
- This post is based on data 3 days into the patch so there's the chance that a week from now the meta does not quite look the same as it does right now
- With that being said, with the number of games available for analysis, I think there's a decent portrait to be painted about the meta
- Data is taken from u.gg and op.gg. Most of the numbers are going to be Diamond+, the samples from Masters+ are a bit on the small side. I will occasionally bring up higher ELO if I think it helps make a point but will mostly avoid it.
- Because this analysis is based on winrates, it's really hard for me to give a perspective that's going to match overall high elo (Challenger) because of the specialization of the players there and the low sample size for games. Kindred or Nidalee might be good (though their winrates look like theyre in the trash can), but unless there's some sort of statistical data to back that up, I'm not going to go claiming it.
- THE TIER LISTS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE COMPREHENSIVE. THEY ARE MERELY MEANT TO GIVE DIRECTION. IF SOMETHING YOU THINK IS STRONG IS NOT ON A TIER LIST, ITS NOT BECAUSE IT'S BAD NECESSARILY, IT'S BECAUSE I'M NOT TRYING TO PUT EVERY CHAMPION IN EVERY ROLE ON LISTS
I'm going to make this its own section because I think it probably deserves that.
Winrates tell a pretty compelling story about what class of champions is strong in general right now, especially for Top and Jungle. In Top lane, as of the time of writing this post, the top 5 slots for win rate are all occupied by tanks: in order, it is Poppy, Malphite, Shen, Cho'Gath, Maokai, all at about 54%+.
a similar story develops. The top 3 win rates are Amumu, Nunu, and Rammus. Sejuani, Zac, Dr. Mundo
all are also doing well.
The unifying thread between all of these picks is that they all go Sunfire first item for their Mythic. Why are Sunfire tanks at such a high win rate?
- We're still early into the patch. This means a lot of experimenting, a lot of suboptimal play, a lot of compositions that are probably much more "for fun". Tanks exist solely to punish this kind of experimentation because most of the time, tank itemization is not as punishing of a lack of optimization as most carry builds are. If I build Randuin's when I should have built Frozen Heart, it's not great, but I'm likely still getting the job done. Compare that to the case of an ADC. If you build BT where you should have built a Last Whisper upgrade, you suddenly have 0 damage to deal with the tank who just finished a Randuin's - the choice is much more important for non-tank roles.
- That aside, if it were truly just the nature of the early meta, we likely would see some tanks fall to the wayside. This is also not the case. The lowest win rate true tank at the time of writing this post is Ornn, sitting at ~51.5% win rate. The fact that no single champion representing the class is below 50% would likely point towards other sources of strength. This strength comes from
- Sunfire Aegis. A lot of people have realized just how much raw damage the item provides. The flat damage, on top of the bonus health scaling, and the 72% amp over prolonged fights, as well as the empowered autos make this item a full package. The stats it provides, while not completely cost-efficient, are actually much nicer than the old Sunfire Cape. This is because Sunfire Aegis is a complete package. It is one of the strongest 1-item spikes in the current meta. It gives health, armor, MR, ability haste, and damage in one for 3200 gold. The immediate spike a tank gets from buying Sunfire is very hard to compare to the spikes other champions get off of their Mythics.
- This is in direct contrast to most Mythics for tank-busting. Kraken Slayer, Eclipse, Divine Sunderer - one of the problems with building most of these, is that champions get one choice of Mythic. A lot of the time sacrificing the slot for more efficient tank-busting is just not something players tend to do. More importantly, most of these items require more than 1 item to start efficiently working through tanks. Kraken Slayer needs additional attack speed before the True Damage can start punching Holes, Eclipse needs the Assassin to be naturally accelerated otherwise Sunfire will out-value it, Sunderer wants a Cleaver to maximize the physical damage dealt. The only exception is Liandry's, which starts working immediately without assistance.
- Tanks are both evergreen champions, but also exceptional game accelerants. Traditionally, tanks spike hardest mid-game when they have two tank items that out value the damage items the enemy teams carries have. In these scenarios, the team fighting and diving pressure a tank creates incredibly useful in forcing around the map and opening or widening leads. But this isn't to say tanks traditionally fall off - they are a mainstay in maintaining team formation during fights. They are useful over the duration of the game, but one thing the addition of Sunfire Aegis did was to make their 1-item spike incredibly potent alongside all their other spikes. This is actually huge for the class as it shores up one of their weaknesses - the inability to function incredibly well off just 1 item.
In the current situation, tanks are the complete package. Having one while ahead makes you snowball that much harder - many of the top lane tanks have their highest win rate in the 0-25 minute game length window - Ornn, for example, has the same win rate pre-25 as he does post 40
. Having one, in general, tends to make the game easier to play historically, but when they double as carriers throughout the mid-game, win conditions are much easier to realize.
Outside of Tanks, the best picks are side-lane carries - not much of a departure from the previous meta. To list a few, you have Camille, Kled, Yorick, Wukong, Fiora, etc.
Most of these champions want either Goredrinker or Trinity and they all share the common thread of spiking on 1 and 2 items. While these champions don't boast as high of a win rate as their tank counterparts, they are a pretty high combined pick rate when categorically grouped and all perform between the 50 and 52% mark - stable, staple picks.
For most of these champions that want Trinity Force, the staple build might look something like Trinity, Ravenous Hydra, Death's Dance, Sterak's, GA
. One might consider options of BoRK, Wit's End, or Black Cleaver depending on the situation. If that sounds familiar, it's because it is - these champions haven't changed much as a result of itemization changes.
For champions in the same vein as Wukong or Kled, Goredrinker into Black Cleaver is probably the staple opening combination (though perhaps Trinity for Wukong) and then default to the normal bruiser build. If you're a top laner, and you liked playing these champions - good news, they're the same champions they've just about always been, and they're not particularly bad.
One exception to this list is Kayle who is overperforming incredibly well due to her incredible synergy with the new Nashor's Tooth and Riftmaker, effectively replacing the old Nashor's Gunblade. The sample Kayle build looks something like Berserker's > Nashor's > Riftmaker > Deathcap > Hourglass > Lich Bane. One could consider Banshee's, Void, Demonic Embrace as alternatives. Explanations and Notes
The main concept - and you'll see this enforced further down once I get through all of the other roles - is that most of these champions spike well with their Mythic and have good amounts of innate synergy. An example of this - in Trinity users - is that the Trinity builders always had good synergy with Trinity. The Mythic change just gave them better synergy with it. What the new items did do, is create more options for champions to have synergy with. Naturally, the best champions are the ones with very high synergy with their items.
One way to break down Sunfire users is to think about just how much high innate synergy they tend to have. What do tanks want to do? They want to live long in the middle of a team fight and disrupt the enemy. What does Sunfire do? It gives them omni-tank stats to do that against any kind of damage - gold inefficient as it may be. What does it do on top of that? Provides extra reward for being able to stay alive in the form of damage.
What do Kled or Wukong want to do? Engage the fight and get into the thick of it and just kill people. What happens on the engage? They're usually in the middle of everyone in the backline and taking huge amounts of damage. Goredrinker gives them a second wind to go berserk even more.
I'm going to include my ideas on a tier list here, just for the sake of people who want an idea of what to pick - but do take it with a pinch of salt. Tier List:
|S ||Sunfire Users, Camille, Kayle, Vayne if into Tanks with a stable jungle matchup |
|A ||Fiora, Wukong, Jax, Quinn, Kled, Volibear, Kennen, Urgot, Jayce, Akali |
|B ||Mordekaiser, Sett, Teemo, Irelia, Darius |
Outside of Tanks, Jungle has a good amount of diversity. Most of the picks are champions with strong synergy with their Mythic choices. Hecarim and Vi
with Trinity Force, Kha'Zix
with Duskblade, both forms of Kayn
with Goredrinker or Duskblade for Rhaast and Shadow Assassin respectively. From the previous jungle meta, the carryovers are Graves
- both are incredibly stable at relatively high P/B presence. Graves goes Eclipse -> Lethality, Evelynn goes Harvester -> Deathcap -> Lich Bane/Void -> etc.
One pick to watch is Sunfire/Stridebreaker Udyr - it is performing extremely well in higher ELOs at the moment with a 57.5% winrate in Diamond 2+, and a 62% win rate in Masters+ Explanations and Notes
Overall jungle playstyles seem to relatively favour opportunistic playstyles rather than gank-heavy pathing. This is consistent with the fact that though the items may have changed, jungle EXP has not changed a huge amount (I believe the Krug changes were mostly XP neutral). What has
changed, obviously, is picks that work well in the infrastructure.
The unifying thread is that jungle picks with clear choices and synergy with their opening Mythic perform well. A few standouts that popped up include Chemtank/Sunfire Skarner
and Goredrinker Olaf.
The jungler is still a carry-oriented role - make no mistake. The tanks that are popping up are going to feel like carries due to the strength of Sunfire. The difference is, the timing of spike - you really want to be able to spike on items 1-3 as the jungler right now.
Other things to note:
I suspect the changes to Gromp (restoring HP and mana when killed) likely also helped bolster Kha'Zix - as the guaranteed sustain from his rotations, on one of the camps he takes the most easily - likely gives him more opportunity.
The consuming of the smite item is actually very helpful to champions who previously simply did not care that much for going any of Warrior, Echoes, or Cinderhulk - Hecarim comes to mind here. Tier List
|S ||Sunfire Tanks, Kha'Zix, Hecarim, Kayn, Evelynn, Udyr |
|A ||Graves, Vi, Skarner, Olaf |
|B ||Master Yi, Xin Zhao, Elise, Rek'Sai, Fiddlesticks |
No Tanks here. Except Sunfire Sett
at higher ELOs, who is pretty
Abusers create a holy trinity at the top from Diamond to Master- Fizz, Ekko, and Galio
A lot of the big winners here are AP Assassins and Burst Mages - Luden's Annie
, Harvester Diana
, Riftmaker Akali
. Perhaps the biggest winner is Katarina
- who tends to build Harvester > Nashor's but can just about go any build under the sun due to the changes to make her abilities deal on-hit damage. Viktor
seems to continue to perform well, in spite of the hotfix nerfs but not quite at the insane winrate he was before.
There's also Kayle
, who seems to be overtuned right now due to the combination of new Nashor's and Riftmaker, as was the case in top lane. Explanations and Notes:
In the case of Luden's and Rocketbelt, the Mythic effect of 5 Magic Penetration per additional Legendary is incredible for mages who have good base kits for dishing out damage but lacked the numbers to punch through. A lot of the AP Mythics send burst mages and Magic Damage Assassins over key thresholds for being able to remove targets. The 200-300 base damage on Protobelt, on top of the Haste and additional MPen really push Ekko, Galio, and Fizz over the finish line, giving them the finishing power, but also the manoeuvrability in fights that make them plain obnoxious to try to deal with.
In these cases, it's less of a question of synergy between champion and mythic, but more or less a raw numbers game. Do Fizz and Ekko have high synergy with Protobelt? Yes. But they could also have equally good synergy with Luden's or with Night Harvester - the question is which item puts them over the finish line. The raw numbers on Rocketbelt itself are the highest - it gives the most damage, and the highest haste. In the case of Galio, Ekko, and Fizz, it also serves as an auto attack reset in a pinch.
The absolute best picks, Katarina, notwithstanding are the ones who, like I said so many times before now, have really good synergy with their mythic item (Liandry's Malzahar
for example), or whose Mythic item choice gives them the little bit of extra damage or Haste that they lacked from before.
Most of these champions are also exceptionally good skirmishers who can brawl in the thick of it when all of the champions hit their Mythic spikes and the game begins to devolve into more loose fighting. In SoloQ in general, these types of champions almost always historically perform well - think of your Talons, your Zeds, your Katarinas - but in this case, the roster is different due to itemization. Tier List
|S ||Fizz, Ekko, Galio, Kayle, Katarina, Akali, Viktor |
|A ||Diana, Malzahar, Annie, Rumble, Brand, Jayce, Xerath, Sett, Orianna |
|B ||Qiyana, Zoe, Syndra, Sylas, LeBlanc |
Bot lane statistics seem to tell the tale of extreme determinism. At relatively lower levels of play - more things are viable. You see Kraken Slayer Kog'Maw, Kraken Slayer Vayne.
The higher up the ladder you go, the more it starts to look like the way to win bot lane has nothing to do with relying on scaling, but simply winning lane.
The 3 most dominant picks at the ADC are Samira, Jhin, and Ashe
. 1 of the 3 will be in about 1/3 of all games, and all of the 3 have very favourable winrates.
Other picks popping up include MF
One unusual but seemingly very potent niche pick is Swain
In the support role, the same story is mostly true. Lane dominant and kill pressure oriented supports with playmaking potential are outperforming their enchanter counterparts - Bard, Leona
, and Thresh
. The higher you go, the more the enchanters disappear. Though in all honesty, this likely has little to do with Mythics. Explanations and Notes:
Bot lane mythics aren't particularly game changing - the changes to ADC itemization gave ADCs more flexibility in what they go, but not necessarily more power. Shield Bow is a bastard combination of a Bloodthirster and a Crit item, Kraken creates much more concentrated DPS come late game, and Galeforce gives flexibility in positioning through the midgame.
What none of these items do particularly well, however, is spike immediately in terms of damage. Shield Bow certainly makes ADCs live longer in fights, but ADCs have never particularly been champions that can somehow carry fights on 1 item, no matter how long they live. Kraken Slayer streamlines DPS, but you need more attack speed - perhaps a Guinsoo's - to really start punching holes. Of the 3, Galeforce is likey the strongest single item spike, but is also the least utilized.
In an overall meta game where the teams surrounding the ADCs are spiking incredibly hard between items 1 through 3, the best ADCs, unsurprisingly, are the ones that facilitate well - Jhin and Ashe. Samira is Samira and we don't talk about her.
Kai'Sa also makes sense in these terms, as while most ADCs are getting slaughtered by literally everything on the map, she can join in with her frontline through Killer Instinct - her build also got streamlined by Mythic addition. The simple build of Kraken + Nashor's + Runaans gives her all 3 evolves when built with a Doran's.
This is also in line with Enchanters not doing well. If the thing you're trying to Enchant is dying from every which angle and every which way, there isn't much of a point to pick it. Picks with better disruption or better presence, or that have more ways to create advantages for the team mid game are simply the easier avenues to victory.
One other personal note is that I think Imperial Mandate is just gratuitous on most compositions at this point. Teams on the current patch very rarely are going to need the extra damage granted by the mandate, but are likely much more thankful for the massive AoE shield from Locket, or the stat auras. Even the movement speed from Shurelya's is likely more useful than even more damage
. The key exception is likely Annie support, who has an incredibly high kill pressure in lane, and also gives massive playmaking potential later on to her team. Tier List
| ||ADC ||Support |
|S ||Ashe, Jhin, Samira, Swain? ||Bard, Annie, Leona, Thresh |
|A ||Kai'sa, Miss Fortune, Draven, Kalista ||Alistar, Morgana, Nami, Janna, Rakan, Pantheon |
|B ||Draven, Senna, Caitlyn ||Soraka, Taric, Lulu |
Snowballing in General
While the statistics don't seem to point towards this, I expect that as the meta gets more solved, games are going to become increasingly deterministic.
What Mythics don't do is fundamentally change the tenor of the game - people will still play towards win conditions around Herald, around Dragon Soul around Baron. what they do do, is change the way champions spike. Mythic item completion is probably one of the most important aspects of the game for areas outside of the Bot Lane, and due to Mythic passives, every subsequent completion makes your champions that much stronger than your opponents. This means that the avenues to victory, while unchanging, are much harder to contest once your team starts to get behind if the enemy team executes properly around them.
The general ubiquitous picks seem to support this. You don't see many hyper scaling ADCs outside of Kai'Sa, and you do see a lot of mid-game power in almost every role. There is a lot ot be said, however, that mid-game tends to be one of the strongest compositions for SoloQ either way - so it's possible that I'm exaggerating this point.
EDIT: Udyr is Stridebreaker and also Sunfire not just Sunfire. Edit was to clarify this.
EDIT2: Updating Disclaimers to talk about the Tier Lists cause a lot of people take issue with them