What will the League of Legends meta look like after the mid-season update?
© Riot Games
With patch 8.11 now live, we take a look at how the meta will shift ahead of the Summer Split.
The League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split for both the EU and NA LCS is just two weeks away. Riot Games stated that there wasn’t going to be a large mid-season update like in past years; instead there were multiple smaller patches released over the course of a month.
First we saw the jungle being addressed with the Rift Scuttlers and experience balancing. And now with with 8.11, there are a few new AD (Attack Damage) items, some old ones have been reworked and there’s even a new champion in Pyke. Riot stated that these changes were necessary to balance out early-game junglers and late-game ADCs – but how will the new updates affect pro play in the summer, and the meta in solo queue? We jumped into the Rift to find out.
Rumble in the jungle
First up: the jungle. Patch 8.10 brought the overall experience gain in the jungle down to make it more difficult for junglers to hit level four in the early game. Before, there were a number of routes a jungler could take and hit level four before the laners. This meant that the early pressure a jungler could bring to the table was very high.
As a result, Riot have changed the way the jungle works. After 8.10, the Rift Scuttler was reworked to provide more gold and experience, and so that it would become a contest-worthy neutral objective in the early game. The change proved to be so effective that even laners started helping out their jungler, since without the experience from the scuttler, their junglers would be at a significant disadvantage.
With the latest patch, the spawning time of the Rift Scuttlers has been slightly adjusted and the experience gained by killing other camps have increased a bit. This means that the Scuttlers are still important objectives, but not as much as in 8.10. Still, we predict that duelling junglers that are strong in the early game will be making a comeback.
Champions like Kha’Zix, Olaf and Trundle are all great at securing early objectives and snowballing the game. If, for example, Olaf would be able to grab the first Scuttler, he would be in a prime position to contest for the second one too. All Olaf needs is the first axe to hit to slow his opponent down. Given that the viking snowballs quickly, he could prove to be one of the highest picked and banned champions in the first weeks of the LCS.
Shaking up AD items
Some AD items have been reworked to make late-game scaling ADCs a little less scary. Storm Razor is a newly added item that gives one 100 percent crit auto attack if you haven’t attacked for a few seconds. Infinity Edge and Essence Reaver have also both been reworked. These three items have several implications for the game. The biggest is that crit ADCs are weaker than before. Champions like Tristana, Caitlyn and Sivir have a harder time scaling into the late game, and won’t be as dominant anymore. This creates room for other ADCs to shine.
Varus, Kog’Maw and Kai’Sa don’t necessarily have to build crit to do a lot of damage. We think that champions like the three mentioned above are going to be picked more often in the Summer split. Solo queue will be a little bit different, however. Champions like Quinn have a massive benefit from the new Storm Razor, because it stacks with her passive. Quinn can be a dominating threat once she gets to snowball a little, so expect to see her more during your games.
The mid-lane champion pool is going to change as well. Heavy wave-clear champions like Talliya have received both direct and indirect nerfs. In 8.11, Last Whisper went back to its original version. With wave clear being nerfed and Last Whisper being back, we might see a resurgence of AD assassins like Zed, Yasuo and Talon. Yasuo saw some play in the Mid-Season Invitational last month, so expect to see him more often during the regular season. In solo queue, AD assassins have always been around so we don’t think that their playrate will sky rocket.
The top lane is going to benefit from the new AD items too. Essence Reaver has a new passive that gives extra Cooldown reduction on auto attacks after using an ultimate. This means that bruisers are going to have a field day. Imagine a Jax being able to spam Counter Strike or Fiora lunging her way through the battlefield when she ults. While Quinn has been on the rise over the past several months, she will often be picked in the top lane too. Tanks might have a harder time against the buffed carry laners, so we might finally move away from the tank meta in pro play.
With the Summer Split set to start in two weeks, we’ll look to see if these insights come true when the pros hit the stage once again; we’ll be sure to keep you updated on the ever-shifting meta as soon as it happens.