Season 7 begins in less than a week and a big number of changes have lead to a big shift to the meta and to popular champions.
Here at LolKing we are making sure we have updated guides for all the champions once the season begins, but until then, we will be giving you some quick guides in case you want to pick up champions that are on the rise, at the top of their role or simply unconventional picks that work and are doing well currently!
Other Quick Guides:
AP Kog'maw is one of those old school picks that we would often see come out from Froggen and other mid laners back in season 2. With Kog'maw's rework, the pick disappeared, but ever since his rework was essentially reverted on 6.19 he has been showing up occasionally. Currently as a mid laner he's one of the highest winrates in the game, but is only played seldomly.
You might be asking yourself, why play Kog'maw with assassins jumping left and right? The answer is, you shouldn't for the most part.
One of the main reasons behind his low playrate is the fact that he can't be blind picked as there are many lanes that can shut him down. Instead, Kog'maw does best when he can be picked after seeing the enemy mid lane pick and when that mid lane pick is not an assassin or a burst mage that can take him down very fast.
If you're looking to play him, look for matchups versus other mages that you can outrange, such as Orianna, Viktor, Ryze, Cassiopeia and even those annoying Elementalist Lux players that are running rampant.
Kog'maw has insane poke with Living Artillery and surprising burst if he can combine Void Ooze with a quick Caustic Spittle and Living Artillery stike to proc Thunderlord's Decree and quickly dispatch a squishier target.
If you have been paying any attention to win rates in the past few months you might have noticed that Sion Support is usually around the top win rates, despite having a rather low play rate. Sion is an off meta pick that is bound to catch your opponents off guard and surprise them with the amount of damage you have while still being tanky and not having access to much gold.
Sion Support is all about abusing the brushes to land that sneaky Decimating Smash onto an unsuspecting opponent. Roar of the Slayer can be used from afar against ranged matchups to slow down opponents and make it easier to follow up with your other crowd control and Soul Furnace is just a means of helping you win more trades as you negate incoming damage with the shield.
Preseason even made Sion Support stronger, giving him Courage of the Colossus as a keystone option. The new keystone allows him to be even more oppressive in trades. If he ever lands hard CC he will have two shields to make sure he can negate any incoming damage.
For the most part you should look to play Sion with long ranged AD Carries that can follow up easily after you go in, such as Jhin or Caitlyn. Try to avoid playing Sion into Soraka, Trundle or Alistar as these three champions have tools to instantly cancel your Devastating Strike.
QuinnTop Lane is for the most part full of tanks right now, but the highest win rates in platinum and above show us that carries are still well and alive in this position. Kayle, Cassiopeia and Quinn are amongst top win rates currently.
Quinn is still an extremely frustrating lane bully to play against. Ranged top laners in general got a big buff as they can abuse Fresh Blood and Greenfather's Gift to constantly wittle their opponent down. Combine those two masteries with Quinn's Passive Harrier and she will be forcing enemies out of lane with ease.
But winning lane is only part of the game and you will need to translate that advantage to the other lanes. Luckily for Quinn, with behind enemy lines you can quickly zip to another lane after pushing it in and look for gank opportunities to help your other lanes get ahead.
There aren't any lanes that are really problematic for Quinn, but watch out for ganks, if you play too aggressively and far up you are bound to get ganked. Quinn is pretty easy to punish so careful management of waves and good ward coverage to evade the incoming jungler is key.
The new Ultimate Skin, Elementalist Lux released just a few days ago and our model viewer is now updated with an extra drop-down menu so you can check out all of her 10 forms! Her pick rate has gone up a tiny bit so if you're having trouble getting her in enough games to find your favorite variations this is a great alternative.
While we are super excited for this update, we are aware that some other models are broken. For example, my boy Karthus is being a bit retro and Bewitching Nidalee is a little too into the Halloween horror theme.
Some format changes and a rush of prep work for Season 7 have left us a bit behind on our beloved model viewer, but we are now focused on it and have fixes coming in the near future. We want to thank you all for your patience, and hope you enjoy checking out the ultimate skins!
When we first saw the preseason jungle changes there was a myriad of concerns from the removal of smite buffs, the addition of plants, and the overall layout of the jungle hurting some junglers like Warwick and Nidalee. These concerns have come to fruition to various degrees, but one sticking point in the jungle layout that has been undergoing changes is the camp of Krugs.
Initially on release the main concern was the amount of time it takes to clear the camp. The camp begins with an Ancient Krug and Krug. When killed the Ancient Krug splits into 2 Krugs, and then the 3 total Krugs will all split into 2 Lesser Krugs, and because there is an animation and delay on each split, this tongue twister of a clear took quite a while.
Rather than making the clear faster, Riot choose to increase the reward for killing the camp, specifically the EXP earned. People immediately noted that killing the Red Brambleback buff camp and Krugs immediately gave the jungler level 3 and positioned him for an early gank. Most people assumed this was an unintended over buff to the camp until a tweet by RiotFearless confirmed it as intentional:
Known and intended. One of the reasons why we don't want to speed up Krugs taking. https://t.co/i0zhbHFdw0— Jo Graylock (@RiotFearless) November 23, 2016
People were, understandably, a bit concerned about this early jungle power spike, and the next day a followup tweet aimed to calm fears:
Seeing lots of stress around Krug start. If this turns out to be the dominant start, we'll tune it. Lots of levers there to keep it fair.— Jo Graylock (@RiotFearless) November 24, 2016
Unsurprisingly this turned out to be an extremely strong mechanic for junglers. The dangers of an early gank became immense for whichever side of the map your Krugs camp was on. Let's take a look at a couple of examples of just how powerful these ganks could be, both against bot lane:
As well as top lane:
Even if you know the gank is coming, or potentially coming, the cost to playing appropriately passively just to mitigate its chances of success are pretty high and would be a current and future balance concern at the least. Luckily it didn't take very long for the full impact of the change to cause some quick backpedaling on the design:
We have changes in testing for Krugs start. Still higher than average XP and Gold on the camp, but will require scuttle or raptors to hit 3.— Jo Graylock (@RiotFearless) November 29, 2016
We do want Krugs to be high reward with higher time costs, but first clear needs some special casing to keep laning impact reasonable.— Jo Graylock (@RiotFearless) November 29, 2016
These tweets pretty much sum up what most of the community wanted out of the changes to Krugs, increase the rewards for the time spent doing them, but there seemed very little reason to introduce such a huge power spike into the equation when it just needed a firm nudge in the right direction.
While it was a questionable design choice, it's nice to see the quick reaction to implement and bring it back in line, especially while we are still in the preseason state where changes are more fluid and expected.
Today we are highlighting some great guides for a few AP champions. Preseason is a great time to explore some new champions that you might want to bring with you on your journey to climb the ladder in the upcoming 2017 season, and these champions are all great options to try out.
EkkoFor a long time, there seemed to a be a big debate between Riot and the userbase with how Ekko is supposed to be played. People kept wanting to play him as a tanky bruiser, rather than an AP heavy time bending assassin who used his skills to dart into and out of danger. If the latter sounds more appealing to your there is no better time to jump in and learn some Ekko than now.Be sure to check out this amazing new mid AP Ekko guide by user SaintKilian, and play Ekko the way he was meant to be played.
Vel'KozVel'Koz has a great balance between being a back line siege machine, while also being able to get in there and combo people down for huge damage. Knowing when to stay back and poke to set up for a safe ultimate, and when to wiggle your tentacles up to the front lines to hit a big knock up combo can make or break games.If you're looking to master these tentacles look no further than this in-depth guide by user Barph, it'll teach you everything you need to know.
We are going into the last two week of preseason before the start of Season 7, but before the new ranked season begins Riot has some final changes in store.
Amongst them are changes to one of the most popular items amongst AP champions: Rylai’s Crystal Scepter.
Back in Season 5 the item’s passive was changed to include 40% slows for AoE abilities (up from 15%).
Throughout Season 6 we have seen almost every single mage in the meta pick it up. It was starting to get out of hand when champions such as Orianna started picking it up simply because the base stats on the item alone were good enough to justify the purchase and the extra slow was an extra benefit.
The 15 most popular Rylai's Crystal Scepter users - Patch 6.23
Let’s have a look at the changes:
It’s a pretty heavy hit to the item’s base stats across the board and the slow being reduced from 40% to 20% for Single Target and AoE spells is bound to hurt quite some champions.
On the other hand, Rylai’s will now be 600 gold cheaper, which is huge for champions who were purchasing it mainly for the 20% slow (those with damage over time skills) or those who were getting it to combine it with Liandry’s Torment burn passive, as slowed targets take double damage.
Let’s have a look at the biggest winners and losers with this change.
This might sound like a weird one to be in the winner category as Brand could proc the 40% slow on all of his 4 spells. While he is losing that, his core item for both Support and Mid Lane Brand is now much cheaper, and his passive will still apply a 20% slow for a prolonged amount of time as it did before.
Furthermore, the other reason why Brand players will enjoy this change is because Brand is all about getting the Rylai’s + Liandry’s combo for extra burn damage. It’s worth mentioning that Liandry’s is also 100 gold cheaper, meaning his two core item power spike is now 700 gold cheaper!
Malzahar’s main way of applying the slow is with Malefic Visions, a damage over time ability that already only applied a 20% slow. One can argue that Call of the Void will not slow as much but it wasn’t his main spell for catching and locking down targets anyways. A cheaper item means he can reach that 2 item power spike of Morellonomicon and Rylai’s sooner, which is a key power spike for the Prophet of the Void
Singed mains can rejoice! They were mainly grabbing Rylai’s for the 20% slow given from poison trail. Finishing the item early means Singed can start itemizing defensively earlier and becoming that extremely pesky tank running around and slowing everyone while spamming laugh.
Similarly to Brand, Zyra mainly wants the item for the double damage from Liandry’s Torment. Plants only applied a 20% slow anyways and only her Q is affected, as the 40% slow won’t matter much if a target is rooted by E or knocked up by R.
Supports also have more limited access to gold, so a 600 gold difference arguably matters more.
Viktor will probably still build Rylai’s Crystal Scepter but the slow decrease will hurt him a lot, especially for his Death Ray, as a less potent slow will make it harder for him to land both the initial damage and the aftershock on a target. All his spells apply a 40% slow currently so expect the Machine Herald to be much less of a menace in the future.
Syndra is another champion who will be negatively affected by this change. Rylai’s is currently an item that gives her a potent slow on Dark Sphere, without sacrificing her burst as it’s a big ticket AP item. The slow from Dark Sphere made it much easier for her to follow up with Force of Will and Scatter the Weak.
Similarly to Viktor, all of Ahri’s spells applied a 40% slow, with both Spirit Fire and Charm applying it for an extended duration so naturally this change does affect the Nine-Tailed Fox a lot. Similarly to Syndra, it’s hard to tell if she will still build the item, but she may need to rely on other high AP items such as Luden’s to ensure she can burst targets. On the other hand, losing Rylai’s means her teamfight presence is going to be lower.
Finally there’s Taliyah. The Stoneweaver is currently not in a good spot after the last nerfs in Patch 6.18 that ended her viability in competitive play and greatly diminished her popularity in ranked.
Taliyah is extremely dependant on the slow from Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. Taliyah is all about kiting back with Threaded Volley and using it while moving forward to create picks and facilitate her Unraveled Earth + Seismic Shove combination.
Without the 40% slow she won’t be nearly as menacing, so she will really need some love from Riot after the changes to her core item go through.
Big patches usually bring big changes, and while in some specific roles it might feel as if the most popular champions haven’t changed much, in others we see a great shift, with some of the former top tier champions going down as other, previously considered more unusual choices become the flavor of the month.
This has been the case with the AD Carry role. While it hasn’t been the only position with big changes in terms of meta champions, we have seen a shift in popularity throughout the two preseason patches.
Vayne and Twitch both saw a surge in popularity, with Vayne becoming the most popular AD Carry in ranked matches, whilst Twitch is now sitting at 15% play rate, 10% higher than before preseason began.
Their resurgence isn’t random. It's a consequence of multiple other factors that allow them to thrive in this meta. Let’s have a look.
Fervor of Battle Nerfs
With Patch 6.22 came the infamous new Keystone Mastery Courage of the Colossus, but the rework to Fervor of Battle was one of the changes that really made a dent on the AD Carry meta.
To summarize, while extra Attack Damage sounds really good, having a higher maximum number of stacks, less time on each stack and no stacking with abilities effectively made the mastery much weaker for AD Carries, who only get 1 stack per basic attack. The champion most affected by the changes is probably Lucian. He can still stack Fervor faster than most in his role, but not being able to stack it with abilities hurts his damage rotations a lot.
Lucian was already consistently under 50% win rate and with nerfs to Fervor of Battle he's currently even weaker
The Fervor nerfs mean that champions such as Lucian or Ezreal have lost a part of their lane presence and those on the fence between two options such as Caitlyn are now defaulting to Warlord’s Bloodlust. It has gotten to the point where you will even see Lucian and Ezreal with that mastery, as not running them would lead to getting out sustained in lane.
2. The Introduction of Lethality
Throughout the season we slowly saw AD Carries pick up heavy Armor Penetration oriented builds, trading the late game scaling that multiple critical strike items would yield for an earlier spike in power and more relevance in the early to mid game stage of matches. At first we saw Lucian do it, followed by Miss Fortune and Jhin.
In competitive play, Patch 6.15 effectively killed lane swaps and enforced standard lane meta, which in turn made these builds even more prevalent as establishing lane dominance and guaranteeing the first blood gold was (and still is) a great win condition to secure from the get go.
On Patch 6.22, Armor Penetration was slightly reworked with the introduction of Lethality. The reduction of flat armor penetration in early levels, combined with key changes to Ghostblade and Duskblade effectively killed Armor Penetration builds on AD Carries, taking away another aspect that granted them dominance in the earlier stages of matches.
While this doesn’t necessarily affect the early stages of the laning phase, Vayne and Twitch are still AD Carries that need time to grow into the game. They start becoming a real menace after two items (and just get stronger from there).
Armor pen builds gone for AD Carries mean that everyone is going back to Critical Strike oriented builds. These builds take more time to scale, which makes early game oriented ADC's less overwhelming to deal with for weaker laners.
3. The Current Support Meta
If in other roles we have seen new champions show up once more, the support meta is relatively untouched. Thresh is showing up more with the introduction of Courage of the Colossus and the new Alistar still provides strong teamfight presence. Yet the meta is still dominated by ranged supports.
Janna is still queen in ranked and has been at the top for months without end. Alongside her are other picks such as Nami, Karma, even Sona and Soraka to an extent. Brand and Zyra are obviously still a thing, but these defensive supports that rely mainly on shielding and healing carries are out in full force. The introduction of Redemption has been further encouragement for this archetype of supports (what Riot calls Enchanter Supports) to thrive.
Janna and Karma are frequently amongst the top 10 most popular champions in Platinum and above.
Why is this important, you may ask?
Well Enchanter Supports excel at keeping their carries alive. The combination of Warlord’s Bloodlust alongside defensive support picks allow these two carries to survive with more ease in the laning phase and get to the mid game relatively unscathed.
These three factors allowed these two hyper carries to come back in, but that isn’t the only reason why they’re peaking right now.
Vayne: A Tank killer and an anti-assassin AD Carry
With the new mastery, tanks are overwhelming the top lane meta once again. To take care of them, what better AD Carry than Vayne? Not only does she have True Damage to quickly dispatch the tankiest of opponents, Condemn is also an extremely strong tool to create distance from incoming opponents.
Patch 6.22 also brought a key change for Vayne. Using Tumble while in Final Hour now makes Vayne completely invisible and not even Control Wards will spot her. Being able to break line of sight with opponents allows Vayne to be safer from the ever so popular Rengar and Kha’zix picks in the jungle currently. Other strong junglers in the current patch such as Hecarim, Vi and Shyvana will easily get kited by all the tools that Vayne has at her disposal.
Twitch: Skirmishing and Teamfighting prowess
Twitch might not be as good at tank killing as Vayne (he is still pretty good due to Deadly Venom and his itemization) but in return he is strong in a wide variety of encounters, which is something that Vayne lacks (she's a rather poor pick against long range teamfighting picks such as Orianna and Viktor).
Whether it is catching the enemy carry isolated in a side lane to assassinate him, showing up unannounced in a skirmish after most crowd control has been blown or just doing tons of AoE damage from a distance with Spray and Pray, the Plague Rat is probably the jack of all trades if one is looking for a versatile AD Carry pick that is good in almost any type of fight.
Recent Buffs: Blade of the Ruined King
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Blade of the Ruined King was buffed on patch 6.23. This item was traditionally core on these two picks but fell out of favor after nerfs. With recent buffs increasing the % current damage dealt on hit to 8% (from 6%) it’s very likely that these champions will start picking it more frequently once again, giving them more tools to dispatch and kite tanks, bruisers and those pesky assassins.
It’s too early to tell, but despite their much higher pick rates, it’s likely that Twitch and Vayne won’t be nearly as prominent in pro play, despite now being more viable than they have been in a while. Scaling and poor laners get punished much more often in Pro play, where teams coordinate much better to set up frequent dives and communicate better in fights to shut down these kinds of picks.
You should still expect Caitlyn and Jhin to be amongst the most popular AD Carries, possibly alongside Ezreal and Ashe. Twitch and Vayne are still poor blind picks, but there’s now a reinforced probability of them showing up later into the draft when there’s more information on an opponent's composition.