Content of the article: "I think people forget that champions can grow in and out of roles, and in some cases completely fall out"
League has existed for 11 years and the level of play goes up each year for everyone. Gold players today have comparable knowledge to a Diamond player a few years back and this trickles down to every other rank.
Naturally, after many years you develop a sort of pattern that teaches you how to play against champions. Take hook & binding champions as an example. If one is picked, both teams are pinging it out level 1 and being ready for it. If you are surprised by a blitz invade level 1, you are either a fresh beginner, or mentally afk in draft and loading screen.
Another one is teemo hiding in the lane, invisible waiting for you to walk up for a free trade. You just wait until he shows and then you wont hardlose level 1 to him. Same thing with Darius in the bush level 1, waiting for you after jungle leash.
Junglers are extra aware of their buffs when playing against Shaco because everyone knows he will invade.
Sometimes these patterns leave a champion completely nullified. And in order to bring life back into the champion we need new surroundings.
As an example, its been many years since I have lost lane or being killed in laning phase by a mid Lux. Her play is so telegraphed for me, that she has lost all lane pressure without even doing anything bad. However, Lux support has been really good for her and I can lose to that. Its different angles and playstyle and less of the good old "I farm from 3 miles away and occasionally poke" style.
We are seeing some champions like that right now. Especially with Pantheon recently. "He should go back to toplane" is just not feasable. The current rune system allows for too much lane safety and sustain to make Pantheon work.
His problem is that they want him so massively strong in the early game, that his power curve does not allow for a decent mid and late game. There is that moment when playing Pantheon, where you go from oneshotting anyone > wtf I deal no damage anymore. It can be minutes apart.
I dont think Pantheon has a place top lane. He gets outscaled too fast, and his powerful early game kit is more suited botside for Dragon control and Scuttle control.
Another champion that has seen this treatment is Swain. Too good as a support, but performs worse in lane. If a veteran Swain goes up against a veteran Jax/Trynd it will look ugly. Dodge this, dodge that, his cooldowns are to high, oh he has nothing left? aight all in him.
When I started to play in Season 2, Corki Leona and Graves Leona was one of the deadliest bot lanes. Corki is now a midlaner and is basically never picked bot anymore. He does not fit there anymore.
This is why new champions with new concepts are good. If there is 150 champions out, and you release one more, then that new champion has a possible of 150 lane matchups that are unique and need to be downloaded into your play pattern, and endless combinations with teammates.
Just not another Xin Zhao release please.
- LEC Summer 2020 Week 5 Draft Stats
- Swain rework feels like it made him terribly item dependent for too many stats
- The Review: Patch 10.13 Balance Change Analysis by the Numbers
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