A new season is finally upon us and with the arrival of patch 6.1, we figured it was time to take a look at the most banned champions at platinum+ and explain why they’re so strong--as well as why you should be banning them (or maybe even picking them if they’re available).
Season 6 Ranked Bans
The River King, Tahm Kench, has been seeing some nerfs in the last patches, but until the big nerf hits (likely to be on patch 6.2) it’s unlikely that this River Demon will be available in many matches.
Not only is he a champion that can be top tier in 3 different roles, he brings a lot of utility with his Tongue Lash, Devour (on allies) and a global ultimate in the form of Abyssal Voyage, a lot of tankiness with Thick Skin and his grey health mechanic AND tons of damage, with his devourer doing 32% of a target's maximum health after regurgitating.
As Tahm himself would say: “Disgusting.”
Dr. Mundo has had a recent resurgence in the pre-season. People started playing him in the jungle combining the earlier buffs to Masochism with Skirmisher’s Sabre. He’s since been nerfed, on both of his main damage abilities (Infected Cleaver and Masochism) but Mundo still goes where he pleases.
Whether he’s played in top lane or in the jungle, he brings to the table an extremely strong tank with very respectable damage. If you’re not careful, he’ll just sit on your squishy carries until they die!
This pirate has been seeing permabans in competitive since the World Championship in October and even after that, he continues to be one of the most banned champions, both in competitive play and Solo Queue.
Gangplank is a late game carry that scales up pretty fast and he only gets stronger and stronger. He has a lot of damage in his kit and a global ultimate, so it’s no surprise why he’s so highly contested. Grasp of the Undying also makes his laning much safer, definitely a must.
It’s no surprise Kindred are banned so often. The eternal hunters bring a carry element from the jungle. They have one of the strongest level 2 or 3 ganks in the game and can 1v1 most of the enemy junglers, making them a very feared skirmisher.
Kindred’s passive, Mark of the Kindred is a stacking buff that just gets stronger and stronger and if the game starts snowballing and they get to stack it fully early, it’s very hard to compete with all that damage and mobility.
Furthermore, Lamb’s Respite is an amazing ultimate that brings in a lot of utility in teamfights and skirmishes, allowing Kindred to completely stop a target from bursting an ally down.
Rengaris essentially a very strong solo queue champion. While in competitive play he’s harder to pull off due to team coordination, in solo queue he thrives off of chaos and lack of coordination to pick off isolated targets.
The current meta allows for level 6 junglers to farm up extremely quickly which is a big plus for Rengar. After that, prepare to see some exclamation points right before he jumps on top of you and if you’re a squishy champion, it’s likely you won’t even have time to blink before your screen turns grey.
Malphite is a super tank with a very powerful engage tool, Unstoppable Force. During pre-season a lot of factors made his popularity skyrocket. AD comps are very common, with even double and triple marksmen compositions which are exactly what Malphite wants.
Besides that, itemization and masteries also make him a much more solid laner. Corrupting Potion is an option that can bring him a lot of extra sustain and the buffs to Iceborn Gauntlet are very attractive for Malphite, as the item has 20% CDR and a slow field that scales with your armor, not to mention the very useful additional damage with the Sheen procs.
His laning is also very strong, as his innate tankiness paired with Grasp of the Undying make it very hard to push him out.
Graves is the newest jungle craze and it seems that a lot of these Marksmen pick are starting to show up more and more outside of the AD Carry position. With constant picks in competitive play, specifically in Jungle and Top Lane his popularity has only risen in Solo Queue and by consequence, his ban rate.
Graves essentially has very large amounts of burst. You’ll mostly see him jungle as it’s in this position where he can abuse End of the Line’s damage. A reminder that when hitting terrain, the skillshot will immediately travel backwards and suddenly you’ve lost half of your health bar. Graves is also deceptively much tankier than he seems, due to the resistance passive on Quickdraw and a Sterak’s Gage, that is usually a part of his build.
After being one of the most picked champion at worlds, it’s still no surprise that the Grand Duelist is still high on the Ban Priority. Fiorahas one of the, if not the strongest, two item power spike. With one of the Hydras (usually Ravenous) and Black Cleaver she gets everything she needs: Cooldown Reduction, Sustain, Waveclear and most importantly a LOT of damage.
The big advantage of playing Fiora is that she’s one of the few champions that can deal with and consistently kill tanks. Grasp of the Undying makes her laning even stronger and a good riposte can deny almost anything.
The Iron Ambassador shows up at the bottom of the top 10 most banned and with good reason. Poppy is another of those champions that can play multiple roles and recently she’s even been showing up as support!
Poppy is an extremely tanky champion with a lot of crowd control in her kit. Her passive grants her a shield based on her maximum HP and her W, Steadfast Presence grants her 12% Armor and Magic Resistance which is doubled when she’s below 40%.
Furthermore, her itemization right now is very good as she can build items like Iceborn Gauntlet and Black Cleaver and get 40% Cooldown Reduction from it, not to mention some defensive stats, utility with slows and armor reduction and a lot of damage.
At the world championship, Faker showed us the power of Ryze and a few months later, he’s still a fantastic solo laner.
Ryze is traditionally seen as a late game carry that needs to scale, however buffs to core items of his such as Rod of Ages mean Ryze is a menace much earlier into the game.
A well played Ryze will be able to keep you almost perma-rooted, definitely one of the worst feelings when playing League of Legends
Changes to dynamic queue and champion select both live and incoming changes
Party Rewards on Team Fire servers through February 24th for Taiwan, NA, Korea
New poro icons available for limited time: cosplay, art, and webtoons
Season 6 Has Begun
The new season is now up and running, featuring the new champion select and dynamic queue. This is the first season without the standard solo/duo dynamic, and it should prove to be pretty interesting. Only time will tell if the new systems lead to better games and an overall better ranked experience.
Dynamic Queue & Champion Select Changes
Thankfully just in time for season 6, we are seeing some tweaks to dynamic queue:
Premade 4s and 5s overwhelmingly likely to be match against matching sized premades
Improved queue times for high level players
There are also some additional improvements that are not ready for release but are on their way:
Solo-only ranked queue
Chroma and ward skin selection
Ability to buy skins during champ select
Higher prioritization of your primary selected position
Due to Team Fire's victory at All-Stars, Taiwan, NA, and Korea regions can enjoy a week of party rewards when queueing up with premades. The event is currently running on those servers and will last until the end of January 24th at 11:59PM PST.
The bonus increases with the size of the party and gets substantially larger if you use the new champ select queues! If you're looking for IP for runes, champions, or to mix things up with a name change, now is a great time to farm it up.
New champ select queues
Poro Masters Collection Icons
Available now through February 9th, these 3 new poro icons represent cosplay, art, and webtoons respectively. You can snag your favorite from the shop for 250 RP!
We've teamed up with Shakarez to create a new weekly video segment called LolKing's pick of the week!
For this week, we've decided to focus on everyone's favorite yordle: Poppy. Poppy was reworked by Riot late last year and has recently started to become a very viable pick for solo queue as well as competitive play in bottom lane as a strong support!
She's mainly seen as a support pick in Europe, but we expect her to spread to other regions due to her innate tankiness and high aggression during the lane phase. Watch the video below to learn more about this tiny, tanky terror and read our guide to refresh on match-ups for bot lane!
A strong lane phase. In lane, Poppy is an aggressive support. At level two, her power spike is devastating and can easily lead to a kill. For this reason, we often suggest taking Ignite as her summoner spell rather than exhausted--early kills are Poppy's thing.
Her ultimate. Poppy's ultimate is completely game-changing. Remember that the longer you charge it, the further the target gets flung back. When used correctly, it can completely turn the tide of a team fight.
Her passive. In addition to giving her ranged harass in lane, it also resets her auto attack allowing her to combo opponents for some quick burst. As an added bonus? Her passive's shield scales off HP, making her supremely tanky.
Competitive League of Legends started up late last week as all the regions duked it out across the world for the start of season 6. For the average player, there's a little too much content to watch--and that's where we come in! Here are LolKing's top games to catch up on from the first week of the season, including highlights of some of the best (and worst) plays from each game.
Korea: ROX Tigers and their Triple Marksman Composition
The ROX Tigers debuted LCK Spring with a very unique, triple marksmen composition, that they played in both games of their first BO3 series against CJ Entus.
Personally, the biggest surprise was seeing Kindred only get picked up 2nd rotation on blue side, indicating that maybe CJ Entus don’t play it or don’t necessarily value the pick as much.
The Tigers opened up their draft with Kalista, followed up with the Kindred and Alistar pickups, with this they already have a very strong early game, paired with two different forms of Hard Engage (Kalista ultimate and Alistar’s Headbutt/Pulverize combo).
After seeing CJ’s 2nd rotation on red side they’re in a unique scenario where they can actually counterpick both solo lanes (usually top or mid is saved for last pick), so the Tigers lock in LeBlanc and Quinn.
These two picks bring a lot of skirmishing potential to the Tigers’ composition and obviously a lot of damage. Even though it’s not a very tanky composition from the Tigers they have Kindred’s ultimate, Lamb’s Respite, which proved to be an essential tool to avoid getting bursted by Viktor or assassinated by Fiora.
In game the Tigers were very dominant, they played around small skirmishes and pick-offs in order to ensure a gold advantage. After cementing a large gold lead, they finally started to siege and force dives, with their advantage in itemization and with tools like Lamb’s Respite, Unbreakable Will and Fate’s Call, they could ensure they could do these dives and get out unscathed.
After a decent showing at IEM Cologne taking 2nd place, Qiao Gu played their first match in LPL against none other than the 1st Chinese Seed at Worlds, LGD Gaming. It seems like the disappointment isn’t over for them yet, not even with two roster swaps and the introduction of Eimy and recently crowned World Champion, MaRin.
Qiao Gu completely dominated from champion select. After showing Dr. Mundo, QG took Trundle, a direct counter to him as Subjugate saps a large part of a tank’s resistances, making them easier to kill.
They also picked two flex picks (flex picks are champions that can be played in more than one role) in Trundle and Tahm Kench, making it hard for LGD to figure out what role each was going to be played in.
In game, Swift and V gave MaRin a warm welcome to China, and dove him over and over again, showing why the rest of the world has kept Tahm Kench perma banned due to his innate tankiness paired with insane amounts of damage.
Intelligent Itemization: Tahm Kench rushed Boots of Swiftness in order to not get affected by Rumble’s slows as much and to be able to get into range for Devour.
After amassing a large gold lead, mainly coming from kills on top and mid lane, it was smooth sailing for Qiao Gu as they ended up taking the series 2-0.
North America: Immortals start strong with an unconventional pick.
With a roster composed of 2 ex-Fnatic members and 3 NA residents from top 4 teams of the last split, Immortals have been one of the most hyped up teams in the pre-season and they delivered.
With only Huni’s pick left to lock in, Immortals go for a rather unconventional pick: Cho’gath.
It’s a very strong pick here as he’s currently one of the only champions with Silence, one of the most effective crowd control effects against mages like Ryze. Not only that, Rupture is a great tool against less mobile champions such as Ryze or Miss Fortune who will easily get caught if Flash isn’t up for them.
The match started slow with both teams taking down each other’s towers in both side lanes. But with the map open and no outer turrets, the Immortals started to use their composition with double global ultimates (Rek'sai’s Void Rush and Twisted Fate’s Destiny) to pick up kills and cement a significant gold lead.
Cloud9 never stood a chance. Between Feral Screams on the AP champions and well placed knockups coming from Cho’gath, Janna and Rek’sai, Immortals made sure C9 could never really contest or execute their composition in teamfights.
After what was an unexpected win and impressive display against this split’s favorite’s Origen, the reformed Fnatic roster ended up faltering to Vitality in the 2nd day of the EU LCS.
Interestingly enough, Fnatic ended up drafting the exact same composition that they used to take down Origen, but Vitality was well prepared for them.
Oddly enough, Fnatic ended up drafting Zac after seeing the Morgana pick up from Vitality. While Zac has a lot of AoE crowd control, tools like Dark Binding and obviously Black Shield can really stop Zac in his tracks and impede him from being the teamfight menace that he usually is.
The move that gave Vitality a big part of their advantage early on was Cabochard’s Teleport down to botlane after seeing Fnatic back off. With it, he picked up a lot of precious experience and gold and managed to set the pace for an otherwise disadvantageous matchup against Olaf.
From there, Vitality gained most of their gold lead from having the superior 2v2 matchup with a lane bully like Miss Fortune and by having Shook on Elise help Cabochard on Fiora solidify the lead versus Gamsu on Olaf.
In teamfights, Fnatic could never fully engage due to a very well played Morgana by KaSing and with Fiora being ahead Vitality guaranteed that they could always splitpush and avoid big 5v5 encounters.
Jhin is the latest champion to join League of Legends is a bit of a performer. And while he may not win Best Actor at this year's Oscars, he has several unique dialogue lines pertaining to his fellow champions.
Thanks to the due dilligence of Comley, Shakarez, and StillGray we've spent the time on the PBE making a video of all of his interactions we could find! We've also transcribed the quotes below for everyone.
If there's one thing Jhin hates, it's Noxus. And as a fellow marksmen, he's of the mind to let Draven know exactly how he feels about his likely lane opponent's nation.
“You shout and throw machetes. How quaint”
“Clearly you’ve never performed in Ionia”
“I find your work very very… obvious”
“You can take my soul… if you’ll shut up”
“There is such a thing as too much gold, my dear”
“Here’s the thing, I don’t need your god, I need more time for production”
“When you speak I don’t hear god, I hear an idiot babbling”
“I thought diamonds were a girl's best friend”
Another likely lane opponent, Jinx becomes the target of Jhin's ire as well for her unhinged ways.
“So many guns, all lacking in meaning or artistry”
Jhin is the type of guy to make a snobby remark about Lucian's dead wife whose soul Thresh imprisoned.
“Your story is revenge with guns and ghosts, how droll”
"Break a leg... oh, break a leg... ah, delightful, I do cut myself up."
Another musician? Better make sure Sona realizes she's not the star of this show.
“Your music lacks the cruelty of a masterpiece”
“You should learn the power of silence”
“Your work will be forgotten, I am ahead of my time”
“Step out of my light! We call it background music”
Jhin really, really hates Tahm Kench. Then again, let's be honest, what ADC wouldn't?
“How inelegant your words are, surely a fool wrote your script”
“Before you ask, yes, your whole ensemble makes you look fat, very fat”
“You have too many lines”
“That is ridiculous, who let you wear that horrible thing”
“Why would anyone listen to a creature so ugly”
Jhin has fairly complex lore with Shen, and he definitely holds some grudges.
“You helped lock me away, you tried to stop my work, my art cannot be contained”
“Your father’s death denied me a performance, you will be his stand-in”
“I remember your father, he thought he could censor me”
“Your father was a merciful man, only his failure will be remembered”
“I have been planning your final performance, for a very. long. time.”
Much like Shen, Jhin has a grudge against Zed because Zed is Shen's student.
“You wanted to kill me back then didn’t you? You will learn, art cannot be killed”
“An understudy can’t upstage me”
“You think you can stop my performance?”
“I offer an exclusive service, you’ll find I murder the competition”
“You belong in the shadows, no audience could love you”
“I remember your master, he was worth remembering”
“You were wrong to kill your master, I needed him for this performance”
Garen and Katarina:
Garen and Katarina are a forbidden romance--one from Demacia, the other from Noxus. Jhin likes to poke fun at that in his interactions with either.
“The always enchanting tale of star-crossed lovers”
“Your finale will be a duet”
We used Swain as an example, but other Noxus champions will trigger these. Jhin really despises Noxus, finding their acts of "art" (killing) to be an insult to murder due to their lack of style and finesse.
“Your war was an impressive production, but it lacked soul”
“I’ve been asked to do so many boring performances in your nation”
“Noxians treat killing as a sport, it is an art”
“Your people mistake loudness for import”
“How gauche your nation is”
These lines didn't seem to trigger in-game, but we suspect they are for champions from Ionia just like how Noxus had its own set of lines.
“You only understand harmony, discord is required for contrast”
“My dear countryman, you remind me how little our culture has advanced”
“I am avant garde you are stuck in the past”
“The noxian invasion should be a wakeup call, we need more elaborate productions”
“I do what others will not, that alone is innovation”