Preseason: The meta report
An analysis of the meta game in each role and their corresponding champions.
Carl Jung once asked, “Can I take a meta seriously if it exists in the preseason?”
He was a wise man with more questions than answers.
Let’s dive right in.
With the rune update, many changes were Blaaaaah.
Tanks are good, and so is every other kind of champ.
I know we’re used to having something to complain about when it comes to Riot and what they consider “fair,” but contrary to popular belief, League is currently a very well balanced game (if you don’t count Zoe.)
Because of this, it’s not so easy to say which ‘thing’ is the best thing or which strategy is dominant. I’d argue that this is a good thing. Such times are rare in League of Legends and open up a rift (no pun intended) where exploration and experimentation are often rewarded with LP and exciting games.
So what does this mean for the overall meta? Well, it means that the only thing needed to climb is decent team compositions and good game knowledge. If you know how to counter pick, do it. If you don’t know how to counter pick and are a one trick pony, know your matchups.
If your team needs more tankiness, damage, CC, or utility, consider filling that role. There is no one strategy right now to gain easy LP, and there is no one champion that will do well even under bad performances (as long as you don’t count Zoe.) Seriously.
Ultimately, the meta currently sits in a spot where a well-rounded composition and consistent, reliable playstyle wins you the game, and we’re all the happier for it.
The bot lane
As for your ADC and/or Support needs, focusing on summoner and champion chemistry will increase your win rate. Try duoing with a friend or, if you’re friendless, check with your teammate every new game to see what their preferred playstyle is. If your support is aggressive, consider sacrificing some farm to make good trades when they go in. If your ADC is in need of some extra hand holding (otherwise known as bad,) you should sacrifice your lane pressure and play around your jungler. It might be boring, but it’s effective.
To get champ specific, it would seem that champions who benefit most from the inspiration rune tree will be more dominant than the champions who don’t.
Ezreal is the obvious pick here, what with Kleptomancy being his go-to, but others to keep an eye on are Twitch and Miss Fortune, who have great burst potential and can burn out their damage in the mid-game and then immediately apply the Stop Watch (another benefit of the inspiration tree) to let their team finish off the scraps. They’re always one big moment from turning an entire game.
Aside from maybe Lucian, who has the lowest win-rate of any ADC at the moment, there isn’t a carry who can’t see great success on the ladder with the right team comp. So keep that in mind as you make your decisions regarding what ADC to play.
Don’t sacrifice your experience and fondness with Sivir over the hype surrounding Miss Fortune because you think you’ll win more. You probably won’t without enough practice, and by the time you master her, another “op” champ will rear its head. It’s the circle of life.
For support, experience reigns supreme. Thresh might look fun when you watch challenger players smash a max range q + w + e combo, but losing all your LP isn’t. Playing protective and having a sacrificial mindset will allow you to see the most success as a support in the current meta.
Let your ADC farm and try to keep him alive as long as possible. If that means playing Soraka, play the Raka. If it means going Ali, be unable to milk those all day. Until somehow Censer rears its ugly noggin again, that’s the support’s role. GGEZ.
The mid lane
If you’re thinking of practicing your mid lane skills this season, you’re in luck. Currently there isn’t a real limit on what champs you can play in the mid lane and that means you can find someone who looks fun and take them into a comp without a care in the world.
For those who are experienced in the middle and want to know what champ they can use to most quickly post their Plat-3 Reddit montage, consider the following; Morgana, Zilean, Xerath, Malzahar, and any other mid laner that has a z sound in their name… (like Zoe.)
The meta in the middle part of Summoner’s Rift seems to suggest safety as its key component. Being able to douse the fire an enemy gank creates while also being able to spread the flames of your own jungler’s work is what people consider most when taking their champs to the faker-lane.
The champions listed above, who mostly have spots in the top 5 win rates for the midlane, all have certain things in common. Morgana and Malzahar both have their spell block shields, which help with countering any cc and damage a jungler might try to put on you. Zilean has an ultimate that prevents you from dying, which is self explanatory, and some speed to go with it. And Xerath has extreme range to help him stay out of sticky situations to begin with.
All of which spell “safe,” which in the meta today more accurately translates to “safe LP.”
If you want to play mid, play safe.
The “boring” top lane
Did I say boring? Forgive me, I lied to you.
Kayle and Teemo currently sit at first and fourth for win rates in the top lane, while Malphite and Sion sit at third and fifth.
Those champions are very hard to find similarities in, but if one were to be picky for an explanation, it could be said that all of these champions share the identity of being disruptive, and involve quite a bit of unorthodox mechanics and playstyles. Teemo is an obvious example, what with his blind for the ADC’s and mushrooms lying about. But there are things that could be said for the rest, too.
Malphite and Sion both are incredibly tanky, and boast extreme amounts of hard CC, whilst Kayle, much like the mid laner Zilean, has an ultimate that makes a champion invulnerable for a period of time.
So what’s the name of the game in the top lane? Game knowledge over everything.
Know the counter picks and matchups and pick champions accordingly. Currently, the top lane should be left to the students of the game who study the match they are in and play safely and patiently… as well as Riven mains.
Welcome to the 2018 jungle
The jungle, unlike most of everything else, has a very clearly defined meta. Any champ that can lock down a single target and absorb pressure in a teamfight is a green light.
Xin Zhao, with his targeted dash and ultimate, is a prime example of a good champion to pick up for any junglers who feel their current main is lackluster. The champ currently sits at a strong 53.5% winrate according to Champion.gg and is probably not going to fall off in terms of usage unless his damage or ultimate, which blocks all ranged attacks for a period of time, gets a nerf
Some more great options include Warwick, Shyvana, and Rammus. All of which have blaringly obvious jobs in the early and late game. Focus the AD carry and start some conflict.
Although the jungle doesn’t have a direct opponent in the same way a lane does, it is often considered the hardest role to play at maximum efficiency. Not only are you responsible for getting your team fed (most of the time,) you’re also in charge of keeping track of the enemy jungler and warding in appropriate places and at appropriate times to keep your own laners from being served up to your opponent.
For this reason, it would be wise to take the Zombie Ward rune. This rune allows for expired wards (and wards you clear) to spawn visible wards which grant a good amount of vision for three minutes. This makes for an easier time counter jungling and ganking, but also means that any rotations made by the enemy will be something you’re privy to. And your team will be thankful, and largely more alive than without.
So in short, vision and lock down are a must in the current jungler’s meta.
That’s all there is to cover for the meta as it currently stands. As always, there will be constant fluctuation in what people are playing, so take this article with a grain of salt (or the pounds of salt we have for a certain Zoe) and keep yourself up to date.
As always, GLHF on the Rift, and stay tuned with RealSport to keep up on all things League of Legends.
What do you think of the current meta? Let us know in the comments below!