Now and again, professional League of Legends players in Korea will try something incredibly off the wall, only to make it viable. Then the rest of the world’s competitive regions pick it up until it becomes meta. And finally, solo queue players catch on, and the once-strange pick becomes the norm even for them.
Please, Rito gods, may that not be what happens this time.
Jarvan IV, mostly known as a jungler and occasional top/mid, was taken as a support in the LCK today by Afreeca Freecs. It’s painful typing this, but that wasn’t even the strangest part. Not only was Jarvan taken to the bot lane as a support, but he was built as an AP champion, and it worked. Not only did Afreeca win with it, but they won with it twice.
If this does make the rounds and enter the global meta, we can see a lot of solo queue teammates getting a little irritated.
The results are a little misleading, though. Afreeca’s Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon won both games against Jin Air Green Wings, sure, but it didn’t go that well. In the first game, he finished the game with a fairly depressing 1-7 record, and then brought it back a bit in game two with 1-1. The pick wasn’t OP by any stretch of the imagination, so we don’t think it’ll become the next jungle Ezreal or anything. It didn’t work super well, it just worked. That’s it.
The strengths are sort of obvious, if you think about it. His standard has decent AP scalings, and it’s super hard to dodge, so you can land adequate harass on lane opponents. It isn’t incredible harass, though, just passable, and it isn’t much more than annoying if you’re on the receiving end of it. Spirit didn’t exactly commit to building AP, though, because aside from the starting support item and a Zhonya’s Hourglass, he started building full tank.
Going full tank after that is probably a good idea, because after a certain point, the standard isn’t going to do enough on its own to justify going pure AP. It’s better at that point just to focus on landing your crowd control and surviving, and that’s exactly what Spirit did. Take that as a lesson if you’re going to try locking this in solo queue. Don’t blame us if you get nonstop flamed, though. Frankly, we’d flame you, too.