Mathu’s Musings #2: Is it really the second Golden Age or another L of a patch in a long list of ’em for Riot and League of Legends? Join Mathu for M.M. #2!
After the fiasco that was the Ardent Censer meta of Season 7 Worlds, Riot made it their prime operative to nerf the existence of ADCs. You know how Riot is – create a nonsensical problem… and then create a nonsensical solution that they pretend is the ONLY WAY said problem could be resolved…
Enter the Season 8 meta of bruisers and “light bruisers” dominating the space. With ADCs having too low of a health and resistance pool to: a) survive the early game to hit their later powerspikes or b) survive the incredible sustained burst of freshly reworked champions like Irelia, Akali and Aatrox, the once-great archetype of marksmen were swiftly reduced to the laughing stock of the community. I suspect many players either left the role – or left the game – considering marksmen have the highest playrate of any archetype of champions.
It ushered in an era of fast-paced gameplay which saw the evolution of brand new early and mid game strategies. The professional Chinese teams usurped the Koreans as the de facto best region on the planet, winning the next three out of four Worlds where they were rewarded for their aptitude of an aggressive, snowballing style. As fun as it was to watch, League of Legends just did not feel like it used to with ADCs being unable to leave their impact on the game. Overtime, with Runes Reforged and now the Item Rework, even more damage was imbued into the game, resulting in the ranged, DPS class of marksmen (and their AP variants) feeling obsolete and redundant.
Archetypes that specialize in dealing consistent DPS and have naturally low survivability to compensate are the natural benefactors of this patch, and they will definitely have much more agency going forward into the season.
This patch, whilst not perfect, is definitely a step in the right direction. Despite every champion being given a Giant’s Belt, Cloth Armor and Null Magic Mantle in the late game, it will obviously affect the squishies more so than than the Tanks and Bruisers. Archetypes that specialize in dealing consistent DPS and have naturally low survivability to compensate, are the natural benefactors of this patch, and they will definitely have much more agency going forward into the season.
As far as the professional side of League is concerned, this also likely means Korea will be on top again. With more impetus on teams to nurture their DPS carries into the late game instead of a run-and-gun style, Korean teams will have home-court advantage, given that is how they have traditionally won titles. While the undefeated T1 looks like the clear favorite heading into MSI and beyond, it is important to remember that Nuguri is rejoining Damwon this summer to recreate the legendary core of the only Korean team that managed to stifle the Chinese during their past four years of dominance. The superteam of GenG will also have one split of synergy under their belt heading into the summer – GenG’s bot laner is Ruler, the man who won Worlds Finals MVP in the Ardent Censer meta that got nerfed ADCs in the first place.
I am generally looking forward to this patch; I expect it to be one of the biggest patches thus far and it will definitely shake up a lot in the meta for some time to come.
P.S. – Play Vayne. She technically got buffed more than other champions because a huge chunk of her damage ignores the Armor and Health that every other champion got!