Feb 4 2016 - 10:39 pm

LCK W4D2 Pick/Ban Recap

Patch 6.2 was fairly small but does have significant changes, so I'll briefly go over the champions I think are significantly effected.
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Patch 6.2 was fairly small but does have significant changes, so I'll briefly go over the champions I think are significantly effected.

  • Elise is slightly weakened but still Tier 1, and has a clear niche as the standard AP Jungler compared to the more style specific Nidalee.
  • Mundo was hit fairly hard and drops from Tier 2 to Tier 3 in both Top and Jungle.
  • Rengar was nerfed to irrelevancy in the Jungle with a now unreliable engage.
  • Tahm Kench saw heavy nerfs to his ultimates bonus damage, and falls all the way from high Tier 2 to mid/low Tier 3 at both Top and Support.
  • Shen is much more binary now, and while powerful from ahead he is equally as weak from behind, due to no longer having ranged poke or the ability to shield spell damage as easily. I think he's slightly weaker as a Top Laner and falls to the bottom of Tier 3 as a Support, and probably not a worthwhile Jungler.

As always for ease of reference here are my Tier 1's for each role before we get to the recaps.


As patch 6.1 wound down the top three ADC's really seperated themselves from the pack with teams backing off Ezreal (which I never had Tier 1 anyway) somewhat, and with the sparse play and success seen from Tristana and MF I've shortened the ADC Tier 1 to just three. Trundle and Braum were dropped down to Tier 2 Supports as well.
(Patch 6.2)

Top Tier 1: Ryze, Gangplank, Lulu, Fiora, Lissandra, Poppy

Mid Tier 1: Lulu, Ryze, Gangplank, Corki, Viktor, Zed

Jungle Tier 1: Rek'Sai, Lee Sin, Elise, Kindred, Graves, Nidalee

ADC Tier 1: Lucian, Kalista, Corki

Support Tier 1: Bard, Alistar, Thresh, Janna

Here also is my Tier list for first pick/first rotation champions right now.

Tier 1: Lulu, Gangplank, Corki, Ryze
Tier 2: Lissandra, Poppy
Tier 3: Lucian, Elise, Fiora, Graves, Kalista

As a quick note keep in mind that Kindred is banned in competitive currently due to a bug.

AFR vs ROX
Bans:
AFR (Blue): Quinn, Gangplank, Alistar
ROX (Red): Poppy, Ryze, Corki

Picks:
AFR (Blue): Lulu; Elise, Trundle; Lucian, Lissandra
ROX (Red): Kalista, Nidalee; Fiora, Bard; Viktor

AFR correctly first pick Lulu, and I don't like ROX leaving it up here with no clear power picks to grab on their end.


ROX first rotation Kalista/Nidalee. I'd prefer Lissandra/Lucian here but these are fine picks that hide their composition, and Nidalee is a comfort pick for Peanut. As you can see by my first pick/first rotation Tier list above Lissandra is the pick I really would like them to work in here as she just brings so much safety and flexibility.


AFR grab Elise/Trundle. These picks are a bit suboptimal but understable here. Trundle has no real reason to be strong here but is a decent denial from ROX as a good pairing for both Nidalee in sieges and Kalista as a melee for her ultimate. I don't really think these are enough reasons to take him here but it's not terrible. Elise is of course a powerful pick, but they do already have an AP champion and ROX has already taken their Jungler, so there's no particular need to take her here. Ultimately you want to hide your remaining solo lane so you are going to take two of Jungle/Support/ADC here, but ADC seems the odd one to leave out given Lucian is a much clearer power pick here than the other roles. I'd have liked to see Lucian + Elise/Lee/Rek'Sai here.


ROX second rotation Fiora/Bard. Bard is always a solid choice for me, and they have to blind one so lane here so taking Fiora who is quite a safe blind and a great champion for Smeb is logical given they already have an AP Jungler. There's an argument to be made for taking a safe Mid like Viktor/Ahri over Fiora here given that Lissandra is up who has a slightly advantaged lane against Fiora early and there are no such concerns for these Mid champions, but it's a very minor concern and given ROX's love of skirmish champions securing this pick for Smeb is probably a bigger consideration.


AFR last rotation Lucian/Lissandra. Great picks here as both the most powerful champions on the board and also good in this game with the aforementioned solid Lissandra vs Fiora matchup and Lucian being a great pairing with Lulu. Their composition is extremely powerful with my only qualm being I'd prefer they had Thresh/Janna to Trundle, but a great draft from AFR here nonetheless.


ROX last pick Viktor. They needed an AP Mid here and with no clear counterpick here Viktor is the obvious safe and powerful choice, as well as being a signiture champion for Kuro. While I don't approve of the picks they gave up to AFR, ROX certainly has a powerful composition here that fits their aggressive skirmish play style perfectly.


Both compositions are very powerful here, with Trundle the only champion not in my Tier 1 (and just now removed from it), and both teams have more then enough tools to win the game in a variety of fashions.

ROX vs AFR
Bans:
ROX (Blue): Ryze, Poppy, Alistar
AFR (Red): Fiora, Quinn, Gangplank

Picks:
ROX (Blue): Corki; Lulu, Braum; Lucian, Graves;
AFR (Red): Kalista, Nidalee; Twisted Fate, Thresh; Gnar

ROX first pick Corki over Lulu. This is a very close call for me, but I'd slightly prefer the Lulu. This is actually a win for AFR however given that there are two clear power picks up so they will get one and nullify the first pick advantage.


AFR decide to first rotation Kalista/Nidalee however, and throw away their chance at the powerful Lulu. This is the same first rotation ROX made last game so perhaps they really wanted to deny them these champions, but it's just wrong in this situation to me. The Lulu should absolutely be secured here, and paired with anything other then a solo laner.


ROX grab Lulu/Braum next. Lulu is phenomenal of course even if Corki isn't an ideal pairing for her. I'm not a huge fan of taking Braum this early and would prefer Bard/Thresh/Janna or just grabbing Lucian, but given what their last two picks end up being he makes a lot of sense.


AFR second rotation Twisted Fate/Thresh. This is now an extremely pick heavy composition with catch potential from all four champions. I like this core a lot in a vacuum, but ROX has a couple champions that are very strong against pick compositions already in Lulu/Braum so I don't agree with this direction in this scenario. Perhaps Thresh is just their preferred Support that's on the board however, and Mickey is a noted TF player (drawing multiple TF bans so far this season even). Given these factors and that my preferred picks of Lissandra + a Support would be in a similar vein if SnowFlower prefers Thresh, these picks are perfectly fine.


ROX last rotations Lucian/Graves. The Lucian was obvious and is always tremendous with Lulu. Graves is the X factor here, and while I think double and triple ADC compositions are overplayed currently this is the absolute dream one with Lulu/Corki/Lucian all being the absolute best in role for these comps, and Graves/Kindred being the last piece (and with Kindred disabled Graves is again the best possible). They are vulnerable if they get snowballed on, but if they can avoid giving up early kills their huge pushing power and extremely strong laning phase Bot/Mid should naturally acrrue them a tower and gold lead and with these powerful of picks it will be incredibly hard to stop them when they get rolling. Great draft from ROX and the Braum pick was very smart in retrospect to secure the ideal frontline Support while hiding the Graves.


AFR last pick Gnar. They would like to pick a tank here, as armor stacking is still valuable against ROX even if not amazing due to Corki/Lulu. Given the state of the draft in my opinion they also really need to take someone who has snowball potential in lane with TF to give them as many chances of getting ahead early against ROX's compositions. Given the lane matchup against Lulu, Gnar is probably the best combination of these factors as someone who can bully heavily with a lead and still be the teamfight presence needed. They also could have foregone the tank route especially given any armor stack will likely be delayed due to laning against Lulu, and gone all in on picks and snowball with Lissandra, who would obviously have a plethora of targets to catch out in teamfights as well. AFR's composition definitely has power specifically in creating kills, but they will almost certainly be getting outfarmed so they absolutely must make plays with TF to get the side lanes rolling, with a 4-5 man dive bot being the obvious huge threat.


Both compositions are powerful again, but ROX gets a decided edge here for having insane compositional synergy and laning power. AFR has a much narrower path to victory as a result.

AFR vs ROX
Bans:
AFR (Blue): Fiora, Viktor, Nidalee
ROX (Red): Poppy, Twisted Fate, Ryze

Picks:
AFR (Blue): Corki; Rek'Sai, Trundle; Zed, Lissandra
ROX (Red): Kalista, Alistar; Elise, Quinn, Lulu

AFR mirror ROX in first picking Corki over Lulu.


ROX first rotation Kalista and the newly unbanned Alistar. I'd much prefer Lulu as always here, and pair her with either a Support or Kalista/Lucian.


AFR take Rek'Sai/Trundle. Rek'Sai is an obvious pairing to balance damage with Corki, Trundle has synergy with Corki in terms of siege potential but that's not enough to make him optimal for me here. I'd rather see any of the Tier 1 Supports (Janna/Thresh/Bard).


ROX second roration Elise/Quinn. Quinn is also unbanned for the first time this series as Smeb has been terrorizing teams with the pick. I don't love blinding it, but clearly ROX has a lot of confidence in the pick. Elise is an obvious choice with two ADC's now to provide AP damage (and Peanut's standy of Nidalee is banned). I'd rather they take Lulu/Elise here and have flex potential for their last pick in addition to not blinding Quinn.


AFR last rotation Zed/Lissandra. I like these picks a lot and have decryed the lack of Zed picks into these multiple ADC compositions, and Mickey is also a famed Zed player. Both of these champions bring huge assassination potential against Kalista and Quinn in teamfights, and Lissandra has an extremely advantageous lane in terms of kill pressure. The downside of the Zed pick here however is that this is in fact a game where Lulu is still available, and she is an absolute nightmare for him in teamfights. She does end up being ROX's pick, and this relegates him to likely split-push duty which is fine but obviously not ideal. I still like these picks overall, but I do wish AFR had found a way to not be picking them into Lulu.


ROX's last pick of Lulu is an easy one as mentioned above. These are again powerful compositions on both sides, but I have to give the slight edge to ROX as the Lulu will make teamfighting very difficult for AFR, but ROX still have the tools to sufficiently match AFR's split-push if needed by maintaining the lane matchups.

SSB vs SKT
Bans:
SSB (Blue): Kalista, Viktor, Ryze
SKT (Red): Nidalee, Alistar, Lee Sin

Picks:
SSB (Blue): Lulu; Lucian, Trundle; Elise, Fiora
SKT (Red): Corki, Graves; Ezreal, Braum; Poppy

SSB first pick Lulu over Corki, as said previously this is my preference as well so solid start here.


SKT first rotation Corki/Graves. I don't mind SKT giving up Lulu given that they got Corki, I would far prefer they take Poppy to Graves here however as Poppy/Corki is the most flexibile and powerful first rotation combination you can reasonably expect to get in my eyes. They just fit in so many compositions while working well together, having completely different flex positions, and bringing balancing damage types. Missed opportunity here to me. Corki/Lucian also would have been a potential combination given the Kalista ban, as it would likely force SSB onto Caitlyn or Tristana to pair with the Lulu, but I have no idea how well they play those champions.


SSB take Lucian/Trundle. Lucian is an obvious pick for power, synergy with Lulu, and to deny from SKT who may go for a triple ADC composition. I again don't love these early Trundles into mobile carries and no tanks, but it continues to be picked. I'd like to see Lucian + Bard/Janna/Thresh once again.


SKT second rotation Ezreal/Braum and they do in fact go for the triple ADC composition. I'm not a big Ezreal fan so I don't love this, but it is a decent spot as these compositions are generally strong against Lulu compositions, and SSB has no threats onto SKT's backline so far. I'd take Poppy + Thresh/Bard here and leave the choice of whether to bring a third ADC or a Mid until last pick when you have seen all of SSB's composition.


SSB last rotation Elise/Fiora. I love these picks as Fiora has monstrous synergy with Lulu in addition to being a fine blind, and Elise is of course an obvious choice to balance their damage profile. SSB has a an extremely well rounded composition with no weaknesses that makes great use of Lulu's strengths, excellent draft.


SKT last pick Poppy. This is a fine pick to give them a major tank that can handle Fiora in the laning phase (keep in mind Tahm Kench was nerfed heavily this patch). Lissandra/Quinn could have worked as they have slightly stronger lane matchups against Fiora, but each of the three options provide a different play style for the composition so if they want a frontline for teamfighting the Poppy is fine. SKT's composition is fine and can certainly snowball their likely early lead, but I think they dipped unnecessarily deep into the power pool to force the triple ADC's, and they will get absolutely run over if Fiora/Elise/Lucian get fed with Lulu's support.


Edge to SSB here for both greater champion power and compositional versatility, while still having the tools to handle SKT's strengths.

SKT vs SSB
Bans:
SKT (Blue): Lee Sin, Nidalee, Corki
SSB (Red): Ryze, Kalista, Viktor

Picks:
SKT (Blue): Alistar; Rek'Sai, Lulu; Tristana, Gangplank
SSB (Red): Lucian, Graves; Poppy, Bard; Zilean

SKT first picks Alistar over Lulu and Gangplank. I don't hate this given that both are up and SSB may not want to take both given that they aren't hugely synergystic and it would remove any flex potential they have. That being said the pick here for me would actually be Lucian, as with both Corki and Kalista banned he is a massive power pick and as I said you can still likely get GP or Lulu on your next rotation.


SSB first rotations Lucian/Graves. I love the Lucian as a great power pick, but this is such a missed opportunity to pair him with Lulu here. Graves is a fine champion and maybe Flawless felt his pool being pressured by the Lee Sin/Nidalee bans and the fact Bengi played Graves last game so he may take it again, but you would have to think he can atleast play one of Rek'Sai or Elise. This was just a huge mistake by SSB in my opinion as well as a big mistake by SKT to allow them the opportunity to take Lucian/Lulu even if they didn't.


SKT grab Rek'Sai/Lulu. I'm great with these picks, taking the Gangplank over the Rek'Sai is a consideration for me unless you have reason to suspect SSB will take Rek'Sai and send Graves Top, as with Rek'Sai and Alistar you have sufficient AOE CC to setup GP's barrels effectively. This is fine though, and given that SSB already has two ADC's they are unlikely to take GP anyway.


SSB second rotation Poppy/Bard. I don't mind passing up on Gangplank here as it would give them triple AD threats and no CC to set him up. The Poppy is fine as a safe blind and they could use a tank, but I'd prefer they take Lissandra to have more balanced damage and flex potential for the last pick. Bard is a fine choice as always, although I would have gone with Janna given the two ADC's and Rek'Sai/Alistar to deny engages from.


SKT last rotation Tristana/Gangplank. Love these picks as the dual GP/Lulu flexibility makes it a safe blind, and Tristana is the best ADC on the board to pair with Lulu. Great picks and while their composition is a little AD heavy, it should be fine as Gangplank has significant armor penetration and the cominbation of his Ultimate and Lulu should bring enough magic damage to not be an issue. SKT ended up with an extremely powerful composition, even if I still think their prioritization is off.


SSB last pick Zilean. I like this composition better for Zilean than the famous NRG one from last week as he has two carries to ressurect in addition to the Poppy dives should they get ahead. They also have even lane matchups instead of terrible ones so getting a lead that Zilean can help snowball is a more realistic scenario. That being said just like NRG they picked him as the only magic damage threat on the team, which is a huge mistake in my eyes as he just doesn't bring enough damage to prevent huge armor stack efficiency for the enemy. It's not as big an issue as it could be as SKT doesn't have a tank Top, but it's still far from ideal. Ultimately I don't think Zilean is worth picking unless paired with a Fiora/Jax/Quinn, and while Graves is certainly in that vein, his burst heavy damage profile puts him not on the same level for me. I'd prefer they just take a traditional AP mage like Viktor here and be done with it.

Massive edge to SKT here as they have major power picks across the board and the one that isn't (Tristana) has her best possible partner in Lulu to turn her into a major force.


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