Hey guys, MasteR of LoL here, and I’d like to make a rather detailed post about my thoughts on the current meta and a bit of advice for teams trying to get into competitive play.
First of all, the current meta is having Tanky bruiser/tanky ap top, ap mid, ranged AD + support bottom, and a jungler (of course there’s some slight variation). The Europeans were the first to start doing this, with NA following shortly after. The first major tournament this was done at was Dreamhack. Personally, I believe EU won this tournament, since NA conceded to their meta (thinking it was better).
Recently you may have noticed Goose (Atlanta’s team), who qualified for Kiev(correct me if I’m wrong), running Jarvan + Leona bot lane and other variants. Another interesting thing was Rock Solid (now Dignitas) running katarina in competitive games (and beating CLG in whatever qualifier it was). This is kind of where I’m going with this post… so without further delay, here’s what I think of the meta:
I think that the current meta isn’t optimal and that there are way better team comps that can be ran to counter this meta specifically. You may have heard Dyrus talking about things similar to what I’m going to talk about.
Bot lane is the easiest lane to cheese (as seen by Goose). Run double tanky dps (singed + taric, blitz + taric, j4 + leona, j4 + LS, etc etc) and you will destroy ranged ad + support (the reason being, both champions deal dmg, whereas in support + ad, most of the dmg is done by the ad, focus the ad carry and the support can’t deal anywhere near enough dps to keep you off, and the ad carry can’t fight or they will die). Next let’s go to mid. The main reason the current meta was popular was due to the belief that AP destroys AD mid, which isn’t necessarily true. Take any ad with a strong early game (MF, graves, vayne, corki, whatever) and you’ll destroy AP carries mid (AD win early game, when the AP caster has few spells, AP win later, specifically after 6 in most cases, so win hard enough early game for it to not matter post 6, problem solved). Another thing with AP vs AD is AP’s usually take ignite, whereas AD’s generally take exhaust. Exhaust>Ignite in fights that last a decent amount of time and both players are in attacking range. I’ve tried it a bunch with MF previously (as has Dyrus), and it works. If they decide to go for the kill, exhaust before their burst, and just auto attack them down. The same concept applies to ranged AD carries in the top lane. They win early due to a range advantage and lose later. The jungle, well, not much to talk about there. It’s moving towards mobile junglers with fast clearing abilities and strong abilities to counter jungle (usually AoE spells, such as shyv, udyr, noc, LS, etc etc).
To sum up the last paragraph, I expect to see the meta shift towards something like this: Either Tanky AP top (rumble, kennen-ish, maybe ryze, or a few others), Ranged AD Mid, dual bruiser bot, good early/mid game jungler (possibly with teleport) OR Ranged AD top, AP mid, dual bruisers bot, same type of jungler. Another interesting thing is support champions. I think they’d most likely fit into the jungle/ap mid role. Maybe something like: AP janna mid, ranged ad top, dual bruisers bot, jungler with more magic dmg (to compensate for Janna’s lack of burst, such as fiddle, cho, malphite, karthus, etc).
I’m actually quite surprised something of this nature hasn’t already occurred in big tournaments. My guess would be people are afraid to try new things large scale and don’t want to be humiliated, especially when everyone else is using the current meta, so it’s just a safer option not to do anything extreme.
As far as my advice goes… I’d suggest people (especially those trying to get into competitive play) to try new things that may seem unusual or odd. League of Legends has a variety of options (91 champions, 14 summoner spells, 3 different mastery trees encompassing 30 points, and a large number of runes).
As for the meta changing, it changes because some pro players (or teams) do something new that is successful, then the masses follow. But why be part of the masses, when you can be the reason the meta changes? That’s what separates professionals, from everyone else. For example, TSM running double/triple lantern at whatever tournament. For the next 3 weeks all I saw was everyone playing an AD carry going lantern and claiming TSM did it, so it’s good. That’s another issue with professional teams doing things. They do things in certain situations for specific reasons and that’s why it works, going lantern every game on AD isn’t a wise choice, then again nor is never buying a lantern.
This brings me to my last point I want to make: Items. If you’ve noticed, very few people buy mid tier items (brutalizer, lantern, tiamat, etc). However, I think mid tier items are going to come into play soon, especially with comps that are designed to win early game, where there is no point in attempting to go for something like an IE. The main reason mid tier items aren’t popular, is because if you don’t do something aggressive with them, they’re not worth it, and in the long run will make you lose the game, however, if you use them correctly and it fits with your team comp, then it would be worth it.
That’s all I can think of now. If you have any questions, ask away! If you’re confused about anything or want more insight, that is also welcome. Also, feel free to add your own suggestions of the meta, and I can comment on that too (maybe debate about it, in a constructive way).