If you’ve noticed that League of Legends seems a little bit more like Cuphead than a MOBA lately, don’t worry, it’s not just you. Poke champions are all the rage right now, and it seems like we’re dodging more long-range skillshots than ever before. The last time this happened was the beginning of the 2017 season, and even then, it was just Varus and Jhin.
Now, there are poke champions coming out of the woodwork in every lane, and it’s all thanks to one thing—Arcane Comet.
Well, to be honest, the new rune system in general has favored poke champions quite a bit, with Arcane Comet being the icing on top of a very delicious cake. Two things happened with the new runes that empowered long-range harass. Firstly, resistance runes are now gone, left to fade into history like the rest of the old runes, which makes long-range harass deal significantly more damage early in the game.
Poke is at its strongest point in the early and mid stages of the game, so that’s a big deal.
Secondly, running the Sorcery rune path grants so much adaptive AP and AD that poke champions actually gained damage when the new runes were released, despite missing out on lethality and stacking AD and AP runes like they used to. Poke champions weren’t just buffed, they were double-buffed, and the fun doesn’t end there, either.
Not only do poke abilities deal more damage now, but champions can spam them even more thanks to the Manaflow Band rune, which, even after its nerf in Patch 7.24b, is still extremely potent.
And at the very tip of the iceberg sits Arcane Comet. You see, not only is poke more effective and more spammable, but thanks to Arcane Comet, there’s more of it to begin with. If a champion lands one of their long-range abilities from what seems like a mile away, a little bluish comet soars at you, explodes on impact, and deals even more damage. Sounds a little too good to be true, right? Yep, but it’s still true, and that’s why nearly every game is packed with two to three Arcane Comet champions like Varus, Xerath, and Jayce.
Xerath is so strong with these new runes that players have started running him support for the first time in his existence, just so they can play him in other roles. Morgana has made a comeback, too, as well as Ziggs, Anivia, Lux, and Vel’Koz. Even Zyra is extra scary now, because not only has she returned to the support meta, she’s actually a viable jungler and mid laner thanks to the new runes and her recent changes.
As for players that enjoy using fighters, bruisers, and assassins, it’s been an absolute nightmare. Good luck getting close to anyone for a kill when the entire enemy team can burst you down with mortar-fire before you even reach their vicinity.
Patch 8.1 is nearly here, and with no changes to Sorcery runes, Arcane Comet, or any individual poke champion in sight, it looks like the poke meta is going to carry on strong for at least the first few weeks of the new season.