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LCS/World's 2016

Creator: SwelteringMuffin September 7, 2016 12:54pm
SwelteringMuffin
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Hey friends,

So I'm the type of person that watches quite alot of NA/EU LCS, LCK (the koreans) and sometimes even LPL (china). I know most teams and their rosters from watching their games.

However, sometimes I get really bothered of watching the same picks over, and over, and over again. And the person that I am, I love when teams pull out new picks, even if it doesn't work out for them (the first time).

Here are some of my thoughts:

-Are regions such as NA/EU lacking too much on their champion pools?
What I see in games is that ALOT, and I mean ALOT of the players stick to just a couple picks that they're REALLY good at. And I completely understand that you have to perform at the maximum level you can with your best picks. But what happens when other teams target ban one certain person on the other team, you can quickly see very poor performance because they didn't expect they'll be targeted.

However when looking at teams such as SKT from the korean region you'll often see a much bigger champion pool with great performances aswell.

-This brings me to another thought, what do you expect and what don't you expect?
A thing called flex picking is really underrated in my opinion and the strategy isn't used enough, properly or good enough. Often you see picks like Karma right now, which is usually seen mid or as support. Although if you know your opponents, sometimes it's an obvious flex pick and for example you know that the support is probably not going to play it because he doesn't play it or is worse at it, meaning it's not an actual flex pick since you know in what lane it's most likely going to be. When you don't know which champion goes to which lane you could set yourself up for an amazing advantage.

-This brings me to another very strong and pretty underrated pick, Shen.
When we mention Shen in LCS/LCK/LPL, you'll immediately think about top lane. However I think Shen is a really good flex pick into support, which used to be a thing in LCS/LCK last year I believe. So why not bring it back to bottom lane? Shen's presence as tank in a 2v2 lane is much bigger than a wet noodle fight in top lane. It brings versatility, can be used as flex pick to surprise your opponents and it gives you a more favorable match.

-Another very popular pick right now: Tahm Kench.
He's got a pretty high priority as support and I can completely understand why. He devours a teammate in danger and all scaryness is gone right? Coming back to my previous mentioned thing, small champion pool. So what happens if a jungler picks something different than Rek'Sai and Gragas? Are these two really the only two champions possible to play and win games? I'm pretty sure there are better picks and picks to surprise your opponents with and outplaying them on Skarner where they haven't played much against.

-Bringing Skarner to the table to counter Tahm Kench and his devours?
I mean you can devour your adc and try to save them, but once you get ulted, two for the price of one?

I'd like to talk about one more thing which is lane swapping, it used to be a huge thing not too long ago. But since the changes we finally got some normal lanes where action can happen rather than ResidentSleeper first 5 minutes of every game that was being played.

How to change things up though and create chaos? Well, you could pick Ziggs as mid laner (or even as top laner?) and make him take part in the lane swap while the top or adc holds mid lane for a while. We all know what Ziggs like to do with turrets, exactly blow them up. This passive on Ziggs W can save so much time than the usual lane swap resulting in a completely different game. Like I mentioned before, I really like versatility. Which is the reason I play very strange champions and/or different builds into my role when playing the game. It's really not about these exact picks (Shen, Skarner, Ziggs), it's just about that strategic wise there is so much more to the game that teams aren't exploiting enough in my opinion.

What are your guys thoughts about LCS/World's 2016 and what strategies do you guys have in mind that could benefit a team by alot and would also be entertaining to watch?

To be honest I wouldn't mind seeing that boosted weeb NB3 VoHiYo with full AD rengar swapping into full AP rengar, I doubt he'd get that much ahead when playing against LCS/LCK/LPL teams though :p

Take care and don't forget to check out my guides ;)
Vynertje
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 7, 2016 2:00pm | Report
Quoted:
Are regions such as NA/EU lacking too much on their champion pools?


No, the changes that eliminated lane swaps from the game have made it so that the only viable picks are picks that can perform well in lane. Most players have a sufficiently large champion pool, but simply stick to 3-4 different picks because they are the only champions deemed 'good enough'. I haven't watched too much LCK but from the playoffs games I watched, champion variety is only slightly different (and I think that is simply related due to a different meta style). The LCK finals definitely didn't show MUCH larger champion pools than EU's.

Quoted:

A thing called flex picking is really underrated in my opinion and the strategy isn't used enough, properly or good enough


It isn't used as much any more because champion flexibility is that much more limited after laneswap changes. I.e. Karma isn't really as valuable as a mid laner any more, nor is Trundle regarded a good top laner any more. In 90% of the games you'll see them go support so the element of surprise is somewhat lost. Previously when trundle was played in both top/support equally, he would also be flexed much more frequently.

Quoted:

However I think Shen is a really good flex pick into support


He's not any more after the changes, he just gets pushed in and cannot duel any of the other supports 2v2. Before the changes (last year) he was good because he did fine 2v2 and could work without items/gold, that's no longer the case.

Quoted:

Another very popular pick right now: Tahm Kench.
He's got a pretty high priority as support and I can completely understand why. He devours a teammate in danger and all scaryness is gone right?


He also lanes very well into most meta support (except karma, although its a matchup he can turn at 6) because he's so much more tanky and deals a lot of dmg if he can get in melee range (which he can, against most of them).

Quoted:

Bringing Skarner to the table to counter Tahm Kench and his devours?


Skarner just gets kited and isn't worth playing overall. He's a pretty poor counter because Tahm generally hangs back a bit further and just won't be able to get in ult range. Any pro will play around the skarner pick intelligently and he will be useless.

Quoted:

So what happens if a jungler picks something different than Rek'Sai and Gragas? Are these two really the only two champions possible to play and win games? I'm pretty sure there are better picks and picks to surprise your opponents with and outplaying them on Skarner where they haven't played much against.


Reason why these two champions are played so much is because they combine strong early game presence with good clear speed and sustain. Other junglers don't have that as much; i.e. skarner has decent early game clear, but his mana sustain is worse and has no presence pre-6. In this meta, having early pressure is super important as it leads into first tower gold and snowballs advantages massively.

Quoted:

How to change things up though and create chaos? Well, you could pick Ziggs as mid laner (or even as top laner?) and make him take part in the lane swap while the top or adc holds mid lane for a while. We all know what Ziggs like to do with turrets, exactly blow them up. This passive on Ziggs W can save so much time than the usual lane swap resulting in a completely different game. Like I mentioned before, I really like versatility. Which is the reason I play very strange champions and/or different builds into my role when playing the game. It's really not about these exact picks (Shen, Skarner, Ziggs), it's just about that strategic wise there is so much more to the game that teams aren't exploiting enough in my opinion.


You can be absolutely sure pro teams are trying all kinds of niche strategies in their scrims. The way I see it, Riot's changes to laneswaps simply forces teams in a direction that requires teams to:

1. Have strong map presence (that's part of why Shen and GP are so contested); if you don't have any map presence the enemy team will just 4v2/5v3 dive bot and get that first tower and snowball theg ame.
2. In general, have lanes and jungle with decent early game presence in order to get that first tower (or avoid losing it). If you pick a weak early game jungler, changes are you'll get absolutely obliterated and snowballed.
3. The amount of globals in the game means there is a high priority on teamfighting as well; requiring teams to pick good skirmishing champions. This explains why we see more tank supports and mobile midlaners that can roam to side lanes instead of midlaners that tend to sit mid and farm/waveclear till later (viktor, azir).

In general, being able to set up a 1-3-1 and then collapse with all 5 members is instrumental to the current metagame and no team has been able to break this as of yet. Some teams have tried with full poke comps (forces 5 man to defend/engage) but to limited success.
SwelteringMuffin
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Hey Vynertje,

So you've quoted on all of my thoughts and options that it's impossible to pull off. And I understand very well how the current meta is and works with the last part you've mentioned.

Although you didn't answer my main question of my thread which is:
what strategies do you guys have in mind that could benefit a team by alot and would also be entertaining to watch?

We all know how boring it sometimes gets with the same picks.

So what are your ideas to change things up that could be beneficial to teams, but fun for viewers to watch? Or do you like the same old picks over and over again? I want to hear strategic ideas and stuff like counter match ups and why those counter match ups are so good against the usual picks.

Fyi, I'm all about changing the meta, picking different things and giving others players a hard time in game is what I love to do, players that chase the meta are behind of the curve. So if you love watching the same picks over and over again you shouldn't post on this thread because I'm looking for new ideas on this thread which can make league games more interesting and more fun to watch.

Take care ^.^
Vynertje
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Don't mistake my criticisms for liking the current state of the meta. I just don't see any way to change it up because there such obvious play patterns right now. That being said, I do like theorycrafting possible ways to change it up but we have to be realistic.

To just provide some framework to think in: Level 1 laneswaps are 100% dead, no possible team comp can possibly come out ahead and overcome the tempo/gold lead you get from the tower and first brick changes. Therefore, any form of innovation has to come from standard lanes as starting point. Minute 5 laneswaps are already a thing.

The nerfs to Rek'Sai and Gragas provide an interesting start: it limits the possibilities from the jungle perspective; you cannot have a tanky jungler with at least decent scaling + good clear speed/sustain + good ganks. This opens up for different junglers that also open up different playstyles. However, pressure remains key; farming till 6 won't be an option.

I think Ziggs is interesting in a sense that he can essentially do the same as gangplank; deny aggression on towers in laneswaps/roams by ulting the wave. However, he has the inherent weakness that he's a terrible roamer and that will probably get punished by someone like Taliyah mid.

Another change that is possible is after the 6.18 nerfs to Shen. Less globals may mean that splitpushing becomes less of a "put pressure on lane to be able to port elsewhere" thing and more of a "try to outduel and get kills 1v1". That might mean the return of a strong 1v1 but poor teamfighting champ, with some support of a high pressure jungle/mid (Elise/Taliyah for example to set up early dives and take towers).

Regardless, all these changes are very minor and will not suddenly shake up the meta, just create a slightly more diverse environment.
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Hey,

Vynertje wrote:
Minute 5 laneswaps are already a thing.


Vynertje wrote:
I think Ziggs is interesting in a sense that he can essentially do the same as gangplank; deny aggression on towers in laneswaps/roams by ulting the wave.


So as I mentioned, you could pick Ziggs as mid laner, and after 5 minutes of normal lanes you can make Ziggs part of the laneswap and let someone else hold mid for a while. 25%+ execute on a turret is quite a chunk and can get you ahead by alot, you might even pressure on t2 forcing the opponent to back or tp top.

Vynertje wrote:
The nerfs to Rek'Sai and Gragas provide an interesting start


Vynertje wrote:
This opens up for different junglers that also open up different playstyles.


I agree, nerfing these two champions may make junglers look for other picks. What picks do you have in mind that could be good into matchups like Rek'Sai or Gragas, or simply have a different playstyle that can benefit the team alot?

Vynertje wrote:
However, pressure remains key; farming till 6 won't be an option.


I disagree on this part because you can do very good even though you don't gank before 6. Sometimes you have these Nidalee picks where they powerfarm and get a great lead over their opponent simply because they cleared camps faster than the enemy jungler. So I'm sure there's room for that kind of junglers, as long as they powerfarm fast enough or are good in other ways.

Vynertje wrote:
Another change that is possible is after the 6.18 nerfs to Shen.


To be honest I bought Shen not too long ago to pick him up as a support even though I've known that Shen was busted long ago since his Q damage is insane. I'm doing pretty good on Shen and I like playing him, but I still think that he deserved this nerf. I think Shen is still in a great spot after his nerf and amazing as a support. Reason being is that when you initiate a fight with taunt you get great cc and deal some good damage, making both adc and support focusing you as you are right on top of them. Here's where your shield passive and your protective zone W does alot of work, you are being targeted by two champions while taking minimal damage as your adc deals tons on your enemies. This what I just explained is the huge advantage you have when you are in a 2v2 lane. When you're in a 1v1 top lane you can't pull off such a huge trade. Also in my opinion a huge advantage of support Shen vs top lane Shen is his ult. If you're a top lane Shen and need to ult to bottom lane you create a 3v2 which is a 1,5:1 ratio in your favour. When you're a support Shen and you ult to top lane you create a 2v1 which is a 2:1 ratio in your favour.

Little things like this is what I love about playing champions in different roles or builds. And it's the minor changes that can change picks and playstyles, it won't change the whole meta in an instant, but it will make it more fun and interesting to watch.

Take care~
SwelteringMuffin
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Hey,

So Skarner got pulled out a few times in Worlds with some cool plays.

I'm still waiting to see the Skarner Zilean combo, speeding Skarner up for free kills or enemy flashes, rather than flashing in for free kills.

Anyone else waiting to see some crazy stuff? Let me know :)

Take care
lordkesharq
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SKARN!!! i was so happy when they brought him out, was hoping to see him played, not sure we will get a skarner + zilean combo tho...

Now if they would bring our veigar and kayle this worlds would be great!
Guess who back, back again, old account got wacked, RIP

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