EU LCS W1D2 Pick/Ban Recap
With the start of LCS came patch 6.1, so before I get into the recaps it's time to update the Tier Lists. Not that much has changed from 5.24, so rather then giving commentary on each Tier I'm just going to briefly go over the significant movers and give you the list. As a reminder these are based purely on my opinion, not who is most picked/banned.
Tahm Kench Top and Graves Jungle have both seen quite a bit of play so far, and while I still think they are being somewhat overvalued they definitely have clear strengths that can snowball out of control when they get rolling.
Miss Fortune saw significant nerfs in 6.1, and falls to the bottom of Tier 1. Lucian, Corki, and Kalista seem to be the clear top three right now.
The games have played out slower then expected (particularly in Korea), and the extremely predictable play of lane swaps at the moment have made some more risky lane choices like Lux safer then expected.
Finally, with the nerf to Precision and slight buffs to several keystones there isn't as much incentive to go Thunderlords anymore, and AD casters in particular were hurt by the Precision nerf. Thunderlords will still be the predominant mastery, but not nearly to the same extent and the Strength of the Ages users in particular could see a big uptick.
Competitive Top Tier List patch 6.1
Tier 1 Ryze, Gangplank, Lulu, Fiora, Lissandra
Tier 2 Tahm Kench, Malphite, Shen, Gnar, Quinn, Trundle, Mundo, Jax, Hecarim, Irelia, Jarvan, Rumble
Tier 3 Yasuo, Riven, Poppy, Nautilus, Zac, Maokai, Ekko, Renekton, Olaf, Sion, Singed, Taric
Competitive Mid Tier List patch 6.1
Tier 1 Lulu, Ryze, Gangplank, Viktor, Zed
Tier 2 Twisted Fate, Anivia, Ahri, Corki, Kassadin, Orianna, Lissandra, Leblanc, Fizz, Lux, Diana
Tier 3 Cassiopeia, Yasuo, Azir, Quinn, Ziggs, Varus, Syndra, Brand, Morgana, Jayce, Vel'koz, Zilean, Ezreal
Competitive Jungle Tier List patch 6.1
Tier 1 Kindred, Rek'Sai, Lee Sin, Elise, Nidalee
Tier 2 Zac, Graves, Evelynn, Nunu, Poppy, Rengar, Mundo, Trundle, Jarvan, Volibear, Gragas
Tier 3 Quinn, Pantheon, Shaco, Shyvana
Competitive ADC Tier List patch 6.1
Tier 1 Lucian, Corki, Kalista, Tristana, Miss Fortune
Tier 2 Ezreal, Vayne, Kindred, Sivir, Ashe, Caitlyn, Quinn, Graves, Varus, Twitch, Urgot
Competitive Support Tier List patch 6.1
Tier 1 Bard, Alistar, Thresh, Janna, Trundle, Braum
Tier 2 Morgana, Poppy, Tahm Kench, Lulu, Nami, Shen, Leona, Sona, Karma
Tier 3 Kennen, Zilean, Soraka, Nautlius, Brand, Blitzcrank, Vel'Koz, Taric
GIA vs UOL
GIA (Blue): Alistar, Tahm Kench, Lulu
UOL (Red): Gangplank, Lissandra, Graves
GIA (Blue): Kindred; Trundle, Shen; Corki, Vel'Koz
UOL (Red): Ryze, Ezreal; Elise, Thresh; Zed
GIA first pick Kindred with Ryze up, this is a huge blunder to me and Kindred continues to be overrated as a notch above the other junglers instead of merely at the head of the pack.
UOL rightly snaps up Ryze and adds Ezreal. This is overrating Ezreal as well to me and I'd much prefer Lucian here but this is UOL's second straight game with him so they clearly value him highly. Lee Sin also would have been strong here to pair AD damage with Ryze and have displacement against Kindred.
GIA take Trundle/Shen. I like the Trundle as a flex pick that is good at controlling Ryze in teamfights, but the Shen is a little odd to me as he is clearly going Top here with Trundle also on the team and he doesn't pressure Ryze much at all. He's always a fine pick provided you make use of Shen's uniqe strengths, and certainly a high damage Jungler like Kindred can do so. But they need to continue to take advantage of him with the rest of the composition.
UOL second rotations Elise/Thresh, these are always fine flexible picks and continue to hide their Mid. Solid picks, and it should be noted that with an AP Top and Jungler they have some extra incentive to last pick an AD Mid, which GIA should consider in blinding theirs.
GIA round out the composition with Corki/Vel'Koz. Given the 4 champions UOL has already, these are fine picks. Vel'koz is quite strong at handling a midrange carry like Ryze and they have provided a lot of magic damage to counterbalance Kindred's AD. The problem with the picks is the aforementioned incentive for UOL to pick an AD Mid, and given that Fox already played Zed the previous day it is an obvious pick here. Corki and Vel'Koz both have little defense against Zed and if he gets rolling their only saving grace will be the Shen and Kindred being able to counteract some of his picks. While this is a use of Shen, these two picks ultimate don't do enough to justify the Shen pick, as all he really does for the comp is split while they siege or wave clear, but there's no way he can outpressure either Ryze or Zed in the side lane. In the end I would have preferred to see a Mid with a stronger Zed matchup like Diana, who could also match Either Ryze or Zed in a split, especially with Shen backup. Ultimately GIA just doesn't have enough power from their solo laners here and are at risk of being snowballed out of the game in both lanes.
SPY vs EL
SPY (Blue): Trundle, Kindred, Tahm Kench
EL (Red): Gangplank, Lulu, Ryze
SPY (Blue): Lissandra; Elise, Lucian; Zed, Braum
EL (Red): Corki, Alistar; Lee sin, Fiora; Viktor
SPY first picks Lissandra, a solid pick as the one of the two remaining Tier 1 tops who is a flex pick.
EL first rotations Corki/Alistar. Strong picks here as well as Corki is the only Tier 1 ADC who is a flex pick. Both teams keeping their options open while taking strong champions.
SPY takes Elise/Lucian next. These are extremely strong picks as well, but they have given the same tell UOL did last game by taking an AP Top and Jungler. They don't have to take an AD mid, but they have extra incentive to and with no Ezreal to flex Mid a Zed pick has to be kept in mind by EL.
EL responds by taking Lee Sin/Fiora. Again strong and safe picks, and it makes sense to grab two sources of AD in these positions given the Corki already on the team.
SPY rounds out their composition with Zed/Braum. Zed makes perfect sense to balance the damage profile and Braum is a natural pairing with Lucian, all though his shield is rather unspectacular against EL's current composition. Overall however this is an extremely powerful composition with multiple compositional win conditions and extreme snowball potential at every position, absolutely love it.
EL last picks Viktor. The quintissential safe pick, his matchup against Zed is slightly dangerous but this is the case for basically every control mage right now. That being said he has little protection from the likes of Liss/Zed/Braum ultimate here, so I might have preferred an Ahri here to be less of a sitting duck against these powerful assassination tools. A fine pick regardless.
Both of these compositions are extremely powerful and I believe this is the first game this Season with every champion being Tier 1 on my lists. I give the slight edge to Splyce's composition for having generally stronger lanes, but it's very close. Excellent draft by both teams.
VIT vs FNC
VIT (Blue): Tahm Kench, Kindred, Lissandra
FNC (Red): Gangplank, Lulu, Thresh
VIT (Blue): Ryze; Miss Fortune, Morgana; Fiora, Elise
FNC (Red): Lucian, Poppy; Zac, Olaf; Leblanc
Easy first pick for VIT of Ryze and a mistake by FNC to leave it up without getting an OP in return.
FNC first rotations Lucian/Poppy. To be fair to FNC they did first pick Poppy yesterday so clearly they were willing to give up the Ryze in order to secure her here as well as the top ADC. I think this is a huge overvaluing of Poppy but they have been consistent with it and had success so far.
VIT nabs Miss Fortune/Morgana. This is a combination I have wanted to see a team try for a while now, I am surprised it didn't happen at all while MF was the #1 ADC on the previous patch in Korea. Obviously Morgana can Black Shield Miss Fortune to guarantee at least a couple seconds on Bullet Time if not a full channel, and if the rest of the composition can properly set it up this can be devastating.
FNC repeats the previous day by grabbing Zac/Olaf. I don't love these picks but clearly they feel they are powerful and the trio of Zac/Olaf/Poppy certainly does provide an imposing frontline to allow Lucian to free hit with little concern. to be fair they are somewhat favorable here as they both threaten the immobile Ryze and MF susbstantially. I would have vastly preferred them picking up Fiora, Bard, and Lee Sin to go with their Lucian over these first four picks, but this is clearly FNC's preferred playstyle at the moment.
VIT finishes with Fiora/Elise. While I love these picks in general their composition as a whole is puzzling as they have literally zero aoe CC to set up the aforementioned MF/Morgana combo. Given they already had MF/Morgana, picks like Malphite or Gnar Top and Rek'Sai in the jungle could have provided much more potent teamfighting. Alternatively they could have just taken Kalista or Corki along with Bard instead of taking MF/Morgana at all. Their composition still has a lot of snowball potential and raw power on the top side of the map, but all most all their eggs are in the damage basket exclusively so if they fall behind against the tanks of FNC they are absolutely screwed.
FNC last picks Leblanc to complete the exact same composition they had the previous day. She's a strong pick against Ryze in Mid providing immense kill pressure, and VIT lacks the CC to keep her from blowing up their squishies in teamfights.
I'm not a fan of either team composition here. VIT has stronger champions overall, but they have little synergy outside of general skirmish power, and as previously mentioned their pure damage focus is extremely susceptible to getting snowballed on by FNC. FNC's composition is generally strong from ahead but against most compositions would be completely unable to stem the tide from behind with poor waveclear and few options that don't involve all-ins. They get the edge here due to VIT playing into their hands, but I don't think this is a strong strategy long term.
*Post game note*
After watching this game I think I underestimated the pick potential of VIT's composition. Ryze/Elise/Morgana is definitely a scary CC chain on a single target out of position and combined with their heavy damage and split potential gives them quite a powerful composition when ahead.
H2k vs OG
H2K (Blue): Kindred, Tahm Kench, Morgana
OG (Red): Lulu, Gangplank, Zed
H2K (Blue): Poppy; Lissandra, Lee Sin; Corki, Leblanc
OG (Red): Lucian, Elise; Ryze, Braum; Kassadin
H2K continues the Poppy hype train by first picking Her. Nothing more to say really I think it's ridiculous to grab her with the likes of Ryze/Lucian up. Ryze is the pick for me.
OG first rotations Lucian/Elise, strong safe picks that hide their composition and provide mixed damage. Again the Ryze is a big enough priority that for me it's Lucian/Ryze but this is certainly acceptable. Also given that Ryze does infact end up lasting to their next rotation perhaps they had reason to think H2K wasn't going to play it.
H2K responds with Lissandra/Lee Sin. Love these picks normally and to be fair they are both strong at punishing Ryze but puzzling to me that he has lasted this long and if H2K can't play him they absolutely should have banned it.
OG nabs Ryze/Braum. Strong picks and again the Braum gets a bump here due to being an excellent lane partner for Lucian. OG has however picked themself into a bit of an odd position, as they have an AP Top/Jungle with both of the top tier AD Mids (GP/Zed) banned. This opens an opportunity for H2K to take a tank who can heavily itemize MR against the Ryze and likely triple AP comp, though this does require moving Lissandra to Mid where she is not as powerful as she is Top. Still a great draft for OG so far with extremely powerful champions.
H2K elects to finish with Corki/Leblanc. These picks are extremely puzzling to me as they have now picked themselves into a very heavy AP composition with poor scaling champions individually. This puts them on an extreme clock to snowball the game but their bot lane is far from imposing so they are completely reliant on snowballing Lissandra and/or Leblanc against Ryze and a counterpick. While both Lissandra and Leblanc are capable of punishing Ryze's lack of mobility the other will have to deal with a likely unfavorable matchup and as such having only the one lane to relaible attempt to snowball is a very narrow win condition for the team. A standard ADC like Kalista/Tristana/Ezreal would have given them a much more balanced damage profile and as a result a much better chance should things get to late game.
OG last picks Kassadin. This is a classic Leblanc counter and gives them three carries that are all capable of running away with a lead (along with an early game jungler capable of getting it for them). They are light on waveclear, but between The Culling, Ryze ultimate, and chip in's from Kassadin and Elise it's subpar but manageable. This composition is an absolute terror when ahead due to their immense mobility and skirmish power, and they clearly have a huge scaling advantage in this game despite picking triple AP. A great draft for OG and they have a sizable advantage going into the game.
G2 vs ROC
G2 (Blue): Rek'Sai, Zac, Shen
ROC (Red): Zed, Gangplank, Ahri
G2 (Blue): Tahm Kench; Lee Sin, Lulu; Kalista, Braum
ROC (Red): Ryze, Kindred; Alistar, Lucian; Mundo
G2 first picks Tahm Kench with the likes of Ryze/Kindred/Lucian/Lulu up. While I like Tahm more then Poppy, this is still a gross overvaluation in my book and Ryze or Lulu have to be the pick due to their flex potential.
ROC grab Ryze/Kindred, great picks that secure extreme scaling with mixed damage. Any combination of the four mentioned above would have been strong, although taking Ryze/Lulu would give up your counterpick potential in the solo lanes making that combination less desireable.
G2 grab Lee Sin/Lulu. This is a complete headscratcher for me even though these are normally two great picks. What is the point of having Lulu and Tahm Kench? You are obviously playing to protect an ADC and normally going all in towards this type of strategy is a positive but Tahm Kench has a sort of antisynergy with the other champions in these sorts of comps. If Lulu is using all her tools to protect the ADC the number of times they get caught out should already be at a minimum, and as such Tahm's W loses a lot of value as it cannot be used additively to allow aggression, but only as a fail safe that stops the ADCs DPS while Tahm ferries them to safety. Further this strategy is quite reliant on a strong hypercarry and there isn't really a Tier 1 hypercarry in the game right now, the closest being Lucian or Tristana. The combo of Tahm Kench and Lulu is complete overkill in this scenario and picking a composition so lacking in damage against sustained damage monsters like Ryze and Kindred is a silly proposition. If they are so intent on first picking Tahm Kench they would be much better served by pairing him with a second huge damage threat like Viktor in the Mid Lane to protect so you have more diversified damage and get out of your W having multiple high value targets to protect.
ROC second rotations Alistar/Lucian. These are absolutely perfect picks here as Lucian is the best ADC both based on pure power and to deny from G2's composition. Alistar is also extra excellent here as his displacement would be valuable against ROC's Kindred. Phenomenal first four picks for ROC, and they now have 3 significant ranged damage sources to whittle down Tahm kench.
G2 finishes their composition with Kalista/Braum. All of my previous criticisms apply and they have in fact even further double down on protection by selecting an extremely peel heavy Support and most kite heavy ADC. This makes no sense as you are giving all this protection to one of the shortest range ADCs with lackluster scaling, who also needs some of the least help protecting her. There is a S5 Urgot meta aspect to there team of having no viable targets for the opponent to focus that could certainly net them a win if they get ahead, but the pressure on Emperor to outplay opponents here is obscene.
ROC last picks Mundo. I really like this pick a lot as he is one of the few Tops that can punish Tahm's poor lane pressure by outscaling him. This makes the teamfight scenario for G2 quite grim, as unless Kalista is ahead it will be nigh impossible for their low damage composition to get through Mundo before the triple damage threats of ROC deal with their frontline. A fantastic draft from ROC here and they have a huge advantage against G2's extremely narrow composition.