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General Guide by DutchWolf114

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Do you wanna go off-meta? [Quick & Dirty Framework]

By DutchWolf114 | Updated on February 23, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Nidalee
    Rawrrrrr
  • LoL Champion: LeBlanc
    Now you see me....
  • LoL Champion: Ashe
    Slow Queen
  • LoL Champion: Sejuani
    Panzer Leader
  • LoL Champion: Ahri
    Charm their HP off
  • LoL Champion: Bard
    Best ADC

Runes:

Sorcery
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band
Celerity
Waterwalking

Domination
Zombie Ward
Ingenious Hunter
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
+5 Armor

Spells:

1 2
Basic
LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust

Exhaust

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

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Jungle Role
Ranked #41 in
Jungle Role
Win 49%
Get More Stats

Champion Build Guide

Do you wanna go off-meta? [Quick & Dirty Framework]

By DutchWolf114
Hello & Welcome
first things first

Hi There!

Welcome to the hub for what has become my quick & dirty off-meta support (and occasionally marksman ) series. Back in '17 in wrote my first guide on LeBlanc support, which since has turned into a series of guides. This framework is meant as a place to tie it all together, your one-stop-shop for off-meta builds :)

I don't want this to just be a list of my own guides (I'm not that vain you guys, seriously), so we're also going to use this to have a bit of a discussion about what constitutes an off-meta pick. A discussion I hope we can keep going in the comment section. That's the next chapter. Chapter 3 contains an overview of my guides, their current status, upcoming guides and a short discussion on the format of these guides. Up next is a selection of awesome guides you should really check out for various reasons. There's also a list of all off-meta guides I could find at the very end.

-DutchWolf
The Off-Meta What follows is a more or less in-depth discussion of what constitutes going off-meta. First we’ll discuss the concept the meta, which we need to establish what is the ”off-meta”. After that we’ll go through some different types of off-meta playstyle, followed by a short discussion of the relation between off-meta and trolling. Before we start out I want to point out that the initial release of this chapter is not just the result of my own intellect/insanity, but was written based on input from several other players. Therefor I want to say thanks to Silverman43, DobbieTheElf, Orrvaa, Laati, Kurotsu and Mind the Gap for sharing their thoughts on the subject. I hope that we, as a community, can keep developing this chapter together so please do comment and share your thoughts.

disclaimer

The Meta
Discussing “off-meta” is impossible without discussing “the meta” first, a term every League player knows and uses…but many would struggle to define. Meta is shortened from “metagaming”, meaning:

“...is any approach to a game that transcends or operates outside of the prescribed rules of the game; uses external factors to affect the game; or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game.” Wiki

This is still a very broad definition, for the particular usage we are talking about we have to narrow it down a bit. When talking about “the meta” most League players refer to “what’s normal right now”. In the most basic sense you could say that “ADC and support go bot” is part of the current meta (and has been for quite a while). These are the unspoken “rules” of the game. Rito never defined which champ should go where and as far as the game is concerned you are completely free to pick Gangplank, go bot and build him full AP. However, you’ll be frowned upon by your fellow players and you probably won’t be seeing it being played in the LCS. The meta is thus what the average players have decided to be “good” picks, builds and strategies. This can be based on buffs, nerfs and what people see pro-players or streamers do. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the flavour-of-the-month OP pick or strategy (for instance, Miss Fortune + Leona bot was stupidly OP at one point, but that didn’t mean other bot-picks were off-meta). A large part of the meta is also “what people are used to”. For example there is no real reason why you wouldn’t play Graves as an ADC in low-ELO, but he gets picked jungle so much that a botlane Graves will probably raise some eyebrows at this point. Like I said before, parts of the meta are also copied from what people see in the LCS or on streams. This makes sense, as the teams in the competitive scene spend good money on analysts who (in part) mathematically decide what the optimum strategy, build, team comp, etcetera is on the current patch. It can be misleading as well however, since coordinated 5v5 strategies are largely un-applicable to solo/duo as 5 randoms simply can’t pull off the same plays as 5 pro-players who all have direct-comms and train together for hours and hours on end.

For those interested, you can find a comprehensivewrite-up of the early meta of League (season 1-2) here.

The Off-Meta
Now that we (kind of) understand what “the meta” means, it would be very tempting to just define “the off-meta” as “anything that is not considered meta”. Technically that would be mostly correct as well. That is a surface-level analysis however, and there are some intricacies so let’s go a bit deeper. First of all, we could say that a champ that is rarely seen in the current meta -i.e. has a terrible pick rate- is also an “off-meta” pick. For instance, Aurelion Sol is barely played at the time of writing (presumably because assassins and bruisers would just dunk on him). Yet, most people wouldn’t consider it to be off-meta when you play Sol mid with his regular build. That is just considered a weak pick. The meta does shift over time, so something that is meta now might not be a few months down the road. Brand used to be a midlaner for example, that got picked as a semi-meta support every now and then. Right now, he is exclusively seen in the support role. There are other picks as well, like Master Yi top for instance, that are not the norm but are generally accepted as viable picks and are thus seen as a meta-pick.

To determine if something constitutes is actually off-meta we can look at 3 variables: position, role, and build. Position refers to the lane the champ is played during laning phase (i.e. top/mid/jungle/etc). The role describes the function the champ fulfills in the teamcomp, for instance ADC, APC, off-tank, healer support, etc. Finally the build is…well the build. Each of these can make a particular pick and playstyle off-meta in its own right. For instance, when the meta prescribes the midlaner is an assassin or mage and you bring a marksman mid this can be off-meta even if you play him as a regular ADC. When it comes to role, you can think of playing Ekko off-tank while every other Ekko will go full AP. This is also related to the build, however in this case the primary shift is the role (tank vs assassin) and the build is what logically follows. A better example of a build-based off-meta strategy would be Ezreal going full-crit instead of his regular blue-build. These are simple, single variable examples. Things get interesting when we start to muck about with more than just one thing. Before we go on, I want to point out one other type of off-meta: off-meta team strategy. Especially in high-ELO and competitive play, there are “normal’ strategies for winning the game. Diverting from these to develop new ways of succeeding or countering meta-strategies can also be considered off-meta. That being said, this goes well beyond the scope of this discussion and will therefor be ignored from now on.

Flavours of(f) meta
Let’s go through the various types and gradations of off-meta. First up we’ve got the very basic (s)off(t)-meta pick where you just play a champion in a different position but you pretty much do what you’d normally do otherwise. Think APC Ahri bot, ADC Vayne top, but also things like full-AP Lux “support”. These are technically off-meta, we’re not exactly breaking new grounds here (these are also more or less accepted by other players). Another soft form of off-meta is the “gg report Rito” broken arse build that completely goes against what you’d normally do. Vladimir bot was a thing for a while because of something Riot bucked up. Again, that’s not really subverting the meta or anything, it’s probably better to look at this like a temporary meta (like everyone running Thunderlord’s decree at one point or Dark Harvest being hot at the time of writing).

It gets a lot more interesting when you actually start to go against the intended purpose of the champ. My LeBlanc guide describes a playstyle and build that goes against LB’s kit and designed purpose (LeBlanc being designed to pop squishy targets in <1 second). We’re hitting all three of the variables here, playing here in a different position (bot), as a different role (allround support), with a build to match (utility/AP based as opposed to full-AP). There are different grades of this, as you could class my Nidalee build in the same category. However, Nid Sup stays a lot closer to the regular usage of her kit than LB does. Part of what makes these picks work is that they are semi-viable and your opponent will be confused af. This actually makes it easier to win sometimes, which is one reason why you would go off-meta.

It really gets borderline-trolling is when we really actively go against the champion’s main scalings to play another role. ADC Soraka, AP Sion, Crittlesticks and ADC Ahri spring to mind. The more viable of these usually have at least something that sort of allows them to succeed (Ahri’s mobility for instance). Others are just entirely based on out-skilling your opponent and really should not work at all (*cough BardADCcough*). The main reason people play this is that it is fun. League is a videogame after all, fun is what we are here for. Besides that, some of these can be really intense to play as you will be putting your skills to the ultimate test: no scalings, no abilities to really fall-back on, just you and your wits.

Some might have noticed I use a lot of support examples, that’s because that’s my particular field of expertise. You can probably think of other lane equivalents yourself.

Report that troll!
On the subject of trolling. There is a bloody fine line between “going off-meta” and “trolling”. The trolling we are referring to here is subtly different from “regular” trolling on forums, social media etc. Video game trolling can be defined as:

“…who deliberately provocative to other gamers with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument who gains entertainment to toy others emotions without the victim's knowledge. The Gamer Troll want their victims of not noticing they're having fun to make you rage or cry in the process of doing it in the first place. They love the feeling to dominate the other players' emotions to feel like a champ. Most of these trolls are very unskilled at most or current game he/she is playing at the time. Another reason a Gamer Troll will do this to other players' is when they cannot win the game or did try their best and they will not have any game sportsmanship of regardless the game match is for fun or competitive gameplay.” – UD.

One thing to observe here is that trolling can applied to either your team or the enemy. In the latter case you aren’t actually trying to make your team lose, but you try to make the other team less effective by playing on their emotions (examples include spamming emotes/mastery tokens, trash-talking in allchat, etc.). This form of trolling is less relevant for us here since the people that classify off-meta picks as “trolling” are usually on our team. The trolling we are concerned with here is more closely tied to intentional feeding and griefing:

“Purposefully…or otherwise sabotaging your teammates in an online game.” – UD.

This is closer to the definition that most people would give for trolling in League: purposefully ruining other players experience and/or LP. #notall, but there are a lot of players out there that will just assume an off-meta picks means they’re about to lose. These are probably the same guys that call losing lane “intentional feeding”, regardless of intent. So, generally speaking, going off-meta should not be regarded as trolling unless you intentional try to ruin your team’s match. There are some case where an off-meta build will be trolling regardless of what you do, for example full-AP Garen has to be a troll, since he has exactly 0 AP scalings making your entire build completely useless.
Quick & Dirty Guides
These are current, past and planned "Quick & Dirty X" guides. Fully Supported guides are updated for each patch and field tested at least semi-regularly. Limited Support basically means I will update the guide based on patch-notes and what I see in the game, but don't really play it a whole lot...so updates are somewhat theoretical. Finally, Unsupported guides might be updated every now and then, but aren't really looked after besides the bare-bones minimum.

Out-of-office out-reply
note: flavour-of-the-month

Fully Supported
Pounce on dat Ashe!
Champ: Nidalee
Role: Support
All About dat Ashe
Champ: Ashe
Role: Support
ADC: Ahri Damage Carry
Champ: Ahri
Role: Marksman

Limited Support
I Swear I'm Not Trolling!
Champ: LeBlanc
Role: Support
Here Comes the Cavalry!
Champ: Sejuani
Role: Support

Unsupported
A Good bArDC
Champ: Bard
Role: Marksman

Upcoming
Botlane Blitzkrieg (WT)
Champ: Volibear
Role: Support
ETA: Q1 2019

About Quick & Dirty


"adjective - expedient and effective but not without flaws or unwanted side effects"
-Mer. Webster Dictionary

The whole "quick and dirty" is meant to signify that my guides (barely) cover the very basics of what you need to know in order to play that particular champ in that particular role. They are quick write-ups (I usually spend <1 to 2 weeks on a guide) and I assume the reader A) knows how to play the role in general and B) is clever enough to figure a lot of stuff out on his own. For example, I'm not going to tell my audience of presumed ADC mains that Fleet Footwork is a solid keystone for ADC's, nor am I going to explain to a bunch of support mains how to ward or when to build Mikael's Crucible. I'm also not going to go into extreme detail about the champ's kit, or the pro's and con's, etc. There are multiple reasons for all this.

First (and foremost) I am lazy, sue me. Okay, I'm kidding...reason #2 is actually the primary reason: experience in the role --not the champ, the role-- is probably the most important factor in how well my off-meta builds will go for you. My off-meta guides almost invariably make you do things the champ's kit was not designed for at all. So if you are going to try this, while you are still struggling with the fundamentals of the role, it will be a lot harder, you'll have less successful games and you generally will have less fun. Think of it like trying to learn how to do a wheelie while you are still having trouble keeping the bike balanced in the first place. Simple example: part of what makes Nidalee (and LeBlanc) support work is that you can leverage your high-mobility to dominate the map using vision control, however that only works if you know how, when and why to ward. I also want to emphasize that, with my playstyle, these builds should be versatile...i.e. you're meant to be able to do more than just one cheap party-trick, so I want to encourage some creativity and brain activity rather than just telling you guys how to do it. I'm a firm proponent of good Old Blood & Guts' maxim "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results". Finally, I'm a bit of a perfectionist at heart, so if I don't limit myself in some way...I'd never actually release anything because I'd just keep expanding and updating it into oblivion.
Honourable Mentions
This is a selection of meta and off-meta guides that helped me out a great deal in developing as a player, writing these off-meta guides and/or are just pretty cool and therefor worth mentioning:

The Top Bear's "I Will Guide You" is not only the best Nidalee guide on the web, he is also an awesome dude that provided some valuable input for my Nida guide.

I feel obliged to mention the first guide I ever read, which is Jhoijhoi's "Ashes to Ashes". Still the benchmark in fabolous looking guides and a very solid ADC Ashe one at that.

Released around the same time as mine, and with pretty much equal views since, Ningen's "Fake Support LeBlanc" is the yin to my True Support LB's yang. Check it out for full-damage LB supp.

"The other" AD Bard guide is way better than mine.

My first support main was Janna and Jovy's the Guardian helped me out a great deal way back when.
obligatory JANNA video


Shout-out to Person6's WIP support Nida guide, really hope he finishes it one day 'cause I love other people experimenting with Nid Support.

On a similar note, ikkas's supp Nid is still a little rough around the edges but I do hope he keeps improving it.

I can't not mention Baekstra's old LB guide, which used to be the best LB guide. Do spam his inbox for him to update it again.

There are many other great guides I would love to mention but are either outdated or simply deleted and/or lost in the mists of the web.
Closing Statements
If you have any ideas about off-meta building, any guides you'd like to see, or general questions about the content of this framework, please leave a comment. Please vote if you enjoyed reading this. I hope you share my vision of this being not a single-read guide, rather a resource and discussion forum, so I hope you'll be back sometime :) Before I sign-off there two more things. I have noticed there are some regular readers that commented on more than one of my guides. Honestly, when I wrote the first guide fully expected it to bomb rather than get thousands of views....let alone turn into a series with regular readers. You know who you are: thanks guys, you are awesome.

And as always: thanks for reading.
-DutchWolf
Other Off-Meta Guides
Index
disclaimer
about this list (read before commenting)


TOP LANE GUIDES
Diana Hybrid Off-meta

Never fear change - Invincible Top Lane Karma

Pen or Sword? Doesn't matter, sun rules all.
Top Lane Bruiser - Leona the Defender!

Straight tank is boring

Help is not coming - Nocturne Top

My Full Magic Pen Rammus Build

Aggressively Running Away: The Art of Playing Singed

Yoyoyo S9 Skarner Top

Drench the Kench
Explained Tahm Kench

Bunny's Guide to Thresh Top/ADC/SUP

Toplane Splitpush Zilean Diamond 75% winrate
Zil Top Tank Challenger Build


JUNGLE GUIDES

Super On Hit/Attack Speed Ultra Sol Jungle

4 Fun Leona Jungle Guide

Diamond Jungle Malz - The Voids Legion

Jungle Taric: The True Power of Gems
Pink Diamond Jungle Taric

High ElO Jungle Offtank Vayne: Above the Limits


MID GUIDES

AP Ashe Viable or just fun to play?

Adapting to Mid Lane

WorMaws Guide for AP Kogmaw
Diamond AP Kogmaw - Acid Reign

AP Nami - The Queen of the Deep

Noc Mid R(o)ams Up Your Team
Their Screens Will Always be Dark - Mid

The Only Rakan Mid Guide You'll Ever Need

Reworked Hybrid AP Warwick One Shots Full Heals


BOT LANE GUIDES

ADC Heim how to get EZ Diamond

Bunny's Guide to Thresh Top/ADC/SUP

Twist Fate to your Will TF AD
Twist of Fate AD

Challengers Guide to Yas Bot


SUPPORT GUIDES

Kaji's Ahri Support
Glacial Dreams Ahri

Amumu Support

AP Cho Support - The True Lane Bully

Ez Sup: The Danger Hiding in the Bushes

J4 Sup - Dunkin' fo Demacia

The Stunning Squirrel: Kennen Sup

Fake LeBlanc Support

Mokujin Moakai

Snowballing your marksman with full support Nunu

Diamond Sup Ori - Command: Support

Sion A guide for Bronze/Silver

Control Mage Extraordinair

Urgam Support Crab Master

Voli Sup: Overbear Your Enemy Botlane

The Unstoppable Ranged Support

Ziggs Sup: Yordle Shooting Guard on the Wreckers

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Do you wanna go off-meta? [Quick & Dirty Framework]