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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Breaking the Meta Day 2

Ever since my days in Guild Wars as part of the Imperial Guard of Cantha, I rarely followed the meta.
To me, it's honestly no fun to just use the same set strategies every single game, it gets so boring. Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, this carried on with me to League of Legends.

It always makes me jump with joy whenever I hear about a team pulling some new strategy out of the bag regardless of whether or not it wins. The game has changed so much since Season 1 where we would often see a mage in the top lane, marksman in middle, a jungler, and a tank and support in the bottom lane.
In Season 2, we began to more closely follow what was called the "European meta" with a bruiser or tank top-lane, a mage in the middle lane, jungler, and marksman/support in the bottom lane. The game was pretty slow and passive at this point. Soraka was a top-tier support because of her reliable sustain and was considered a very good competitive pick. Then we began to see more roaming supports that would rush boots of mobility and gank mid-lane multiple times with the jungler. Since bot-lane was so passive, the carry was mostly free to farm at the tower.
I was so ecstatic when another team joined the fray and became known for their game-changing aggression. Team Rock Solid was all about the early level plays, not waiting a few hours to farm up, it was go time at level 2.
During this time, we saw a variety of mid-lane champions that varied from the farm-all-day Mordekaiser and Karthus(which scarra was very well known for) or even Anivia with her excellent zoning power(that became Froggen's signature champion as CLG EU rose in power in Europe). After that, we began to see more utility based mid-laners like Orianna appear that focused more on control in fights rather than just crowd control and damage.

Season 3 brought about big changes that pushed burst mages and assassins to the front of champion selection. Zed, Fizz, and Kha'Zix(which has become Alex Ich's signature champion) and more.

Now, in Season 4, the only "meta" currently appears to be "supersoakers" in the top lane. Champions that just jump into a fight and soak massive amounts of damage and dish out some of their own.
Almost everything else in the game feels like a blank slate.
What better time to try to break the molds of seasons past?

My idea for you regards our duo in the bot-lane.
Does it always have to be a marksman? What if it were a combo like Galio and Cassiopeia? Galio flashes in and uses Idol of Durand and Cassiopeia follows up with her own ultimate to guarantee a stun. Because of the large amounts of crowd control between the two of them, it becomes very difficult for a jungler to gank their lane.
You could run with something like Pantheon and Lee Sin, even. Pantheon jumps in with his Aegis and Lee Sin can Safeguard to him to slow the enemy they're focusing. With the combination of their single-target burst, it's very easy for them to pick of single targets and Pantheon can gank mid-lane with the jungler incredibly easily with his Grand Skyfall.
Maybe you like supporting but want to mix it up with your team composition. Sending Sivir or Lucian mid offers some pushing strategies for Sivir or safe(ish) farming for Lucian because of his mobility. This also lets you run a bot-lane like Leona/Katarina, Soraka/Ziggs, or maybe Sona/Karma with their high poke and area of effect power.

This article is really to talk about something specific like Support Malzahar or anything, I just want to remind everyone that the meta is what you make it, especially now.
Everything has a counter even if it's not immediately obvious what it is.

A prime example is Yasuo's Wind Wall, it's great for blocking big and important projectiles but it has a very long cooldown. Late-game there's not much that Yasuo can do versus a hardcore poke team unless he has a Malphite or other form of long-range knockup on his team to combo with.
When it comes to Malphite on the enemy team and your team has a poke composition, make sure your Janna has quick reflexes as her ultimate can completely cancel Malphite's ultimate.
You can also consider taking Karma and, if she can get a lot of ability power, she can sit off to the side of her team and give them a massive area of effect shield to block a large portion of Yasuo's damage. Combo that with a Locket of the Iron Solari and your team's effective health just took a massive jump upwards.

The next time you're playing a game of Summoner's Rift with your team or even if you're just casually playing with friends remember to experiment. There's too many opportunities in this game to follow the same strategy every time and don't be discouraged if it doesn't work in the first game.

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