Basically I just felt inspired to share my thoughts and opinions on the current meta and more specifically, patch 5.18, and how this patch will impact both competitive play, namely Worlds, and solo queue. For those of you who are interested, I’ll begin by breaking down the more inconsequential changes to individual champions and incrementally work towards encompassing the meta as a whole at the end of the article.
Let me know what you think about my thoughts on the changes below, and how you think it’ll impact Worlds.
Self-explanatory, a buff to Anivia’s objective control. This buff is relatively minor and will not propel her anywhere near a tier 1 pick for mid. This change does absolutely nothing to address her irrelevance pre-mid game and buffs her already strong late-game, which, if she never gets to, renders this change largely moot.
Braum’s prominence in the current meta has come from the power of his Unbreakable and the amount of damage that it can block during team-fights. Hitting his laning phase via the increased mana cost of his harass tool actually helps to punish him early which makes sense if he’s going to be increasingly valuable as the game goes on.
Caitlyn’s niche has always been lane control and relatively safe sieging and her downfall has always been that she just doesn’t do enough elsewhere, that her strengths are easily negated and that other champions provide what she does (albeit on a lesser scale) but also provide something extra. Buffing her traps makes her more valuable in very specific circumstances. In short – this change is irrelevant.
In his current iteration, an absurd champion that, regardless of how poorly he does in lane (despite having all the tools necessary to destroy the lane) he’s still incredibly potent throughout the entire game. Nerfs to his early game were necessary in order to counterbalance his disgusting potential to snowball mid-game.
Necessary nerf considering the actual damage potential of her spiderlings at max level. Hopefully she won’t be able to one-shot me with 2 items anymore.
Probably won’t buff him into relevance anytime soon but definitely a step in the right direction to making him a viable ADC again.
Same boat as Darius. Incredibly easy laning phase, coupled with the innate potential to snowball, insane carry potential and an AoE heal that Janna could only dream of. Like Darius, nerfs to her early game via base stats definitely called for.
The least broken of the juggernauts. Villainy is a stupid mechanic that isn’t necessary but whilst it’s in the game I guess it’s nice that they changed it so that it makes sense…somewhat at least.
Hitting GP’s late-game whilst needed isn’t exactly going to stop him from being a top tier pick. This nerf is definitely not enough to knock him down from the tier 1 position he currently holds just because of his raw nuking ability.
Might see play? Might’ve seen play anyway regardless of this buff. Although this buff in itself is not enough to propel him to a staple pick.
Scales too hard with AP to even be considered a viable support. There are so many other supports that can peel more effectively than her, so I don’t see her being playable in that position.
Oppressive. That’s the word that most often associated with this monstrosity. Disgusting presence in lane and creates an experience through his dragon mini-game that is simultaneously mindlessly easy to play with and bewildering to play against. Any nerf is a good nerf.
Irrelevant – will still be picked when she’s needed, buff didn’t do anything.
Honestly, this is the one nerf this patch that I say I’ll disagree with. I think Skarner’s relative jungle strength was actually quite on point. Actually, compared to some other top tier jungle picks I’d say he was quite weak. Not sure what the purpose of this nerf was.
In all likelihood, Tahm was going to be played regardless of these QoL changes during Worlds. I suppose it’s nice that they’re making his combo’s somewhat easier(?).
Whilst I wouldn’t call this a huge buff, this definitely makes it so that Twitch can actually escape from some situations rather than just dying in the intermediate time it takes for his ambush to activate. This is probably more of an early to mid-game buff than anything else
Interesting change to Dark Matter; might actually make it more self-sufficient and not as reliant on his stun. Will have to wait and see if his popularity increases at all or if it’s just another step to making Veigar viable.
Doesn’t address any of her issues – irrelevant.
Just fine-tuning the jungle. Nothing too substantial. Zeke’s nerf also necessary – that item was way too cost-efficient for the raw power it delivered.
Not a lot to see here; hopefully top laners won’t snowball out of control by the 10 minute mark, but that remains to be seen. Overall this patch will be more balanced than the last 2 but comparatively (to 5.15) still needs a bit of work in order to not only balance champions but to balance the established roles within the meta. Solo queue is solo queue, anything goes but at least this patch makes it so that there will hopefully be some variance in the drafting phase.
Thoughts on Worlds
It’s been said before but I’ll just reiterate it for clarity’s sake. S5 Worlds will come down to whichever team has adapted to these relatively new changes most quickly and more specifically, which top laners are able to fully utilise and embrace a meta which has shifted its focuses towards carry-oriented champions. The complete overhaul of the meta with patch 5.16 (which I wholeheartedly disagree with, considering how balanced 5.15 was), threw a lot of the current power rankings into question. The top contenders to take out the world championship remain unchanged, it is however, much harder to predict now than it would have been had the meta not been completely revamped.