EU LCS W4D2 Pick/Ban Recap
As always for ease of reference here are my Tier 1's for each role before we get to the recaps.
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
G2 vs SPY
G2 (Blue): Leblanc, Elise, Corki
SPY (Red): Thresh, Gangplank, Kalista
G2 (Blue): Poppy; Graves, Braum; Ezreal, Viktor
SPY (Red): Lulu, Lucian; Janna, Rek'Sai; Quinn
Ryze slips all the way through picks and bans here, I'm going to assume neither team feels comfortable playing him but you can assume I'd prefer him to most picks if they could.
G2 first pick Poppy over Lulu, Lissandra, and Lucian (Kalista and Corki both banned). While I think Lulu is a very valuable early pick she is nowhere near the power pick Lulu or Lucian are here. I would take probably take Lucian because there is a such a huge power drop at ADC here and you are guaranteed to get back something like Lissandra/Viktor at worst if they take Lulu/Poppy. Ultimately I think it was poor banning by G2 to allow a situation where you either must take Lulu and give up the Lucian (which they facilitated with a Corki third ban), or take Lucian and give up an insane Poppy/Lulu start. They obviously did neither so they clearly value Poppy higher than I do.
SPY first rotation Lulu/Lucian. Excellent picks and well worth the price of giving up Poppy, this is one of the most powerful first rotations possible right now based on both pure power and compositional flexibility.
G2 grab Graves/Braum next. I really dislike these picks as they locked themselves into a heavy AD compositon very early and the only value for Braum here is denying him as a lane partner for Lucian. I understand Elise is banned but Trick has played Nidalee multiple times already this season so to commit to Graves so early here is unnecessary to me. There really aren't any appealing power picks up here so not showing their second solo laner is smart in order to force SPY to wait until their last pick to counterpick it. Ultimately picking any three of Jungle/ADC/Support makes sense here so if they really feel these are the most powerful two they are logical picks, I just don't agree. Thresh + Rek'sai/Nidalee would be my choices here.
SPY second rotation Janna/Rek'Sai. These are strong picks as Janna is a phenomenal lane partner for Lucian and combined with Lulu this is obviously an incredible protect the ADC composition.
G2 last rotation Ezreal/Viktor. These are solid picks, Ezreal is the concensus fourth ADC for most teams and they need a huge AP threat as a blind pick to balance their damage which Viktor certainly is. I personally think Tristana/Caitlyn/Miss Fortune are all similar to Ezreal in power level and I'd probably prefer Caitlyn here to try and bully Lucian in lane given that he is so much of their damage.
SPY last pick Quinn. This is an interesting choice that gives them two ADC's to protect with Lulu/Janna, or a 4/1 split comp that G2 has no tools to deal with Quinn gets ahead. I don't mind the pick as the other four can definitely hold their own during the split, but should they get behind and be forced to defend as five their lack of magic damage could be a major concern. I would have gone for Malphite here given the triple AD damage dealers on G2 and the wombo potential with Lulu, but the Quinn is a decent pick.
In the end G2 does have a better teamfight but I feel SPY won this draft in basically every other aspect and as long as they are strong enough to hold as four against G2 they should have a decided advantage.
EL vs H2K
EL (Blue): Lulu, Ryze, Gangplank
H2K (Red): Kalista, Corki, Alistar
EL (Blue): Lucian; Lee Sin, Tahm Kench; Morgana, Fiora
H2K (Red): Poppy, Elise; Viktor, Ezreal; Janna
EL first pick Lucian. I like this pick given the Kalista/Corki bans, Poppy and Lissandra would be fine as well but I agree with this choice as the biggest power pick in the situation.
H2K first rotation Poppy/Elise. Either Poppy or Lissandra should be taken here as the premier flex picks left on the board, both are an option as well but given Poppy is most likely going to be played Top it limits their flex potential signifincantly so it's far from ideal. Elise is a great pairing as the safest AP Jungler to balance Poppy's damage. Great picks, although I ultimately don't love them allowing the first pick Lucian and still leaving one of Poppy/Lissandra for EL's next rotation.
EL grab Lee Sin/Tahm Kench. No problem with an early Lee, the Tahm Kench is just wrong for me however as I think his nerfs this patch weakened him to the point he is merely a niche pick for comps with multiple immobile carries. Given you already have Lucian he is totally unnecessary here, I'd much prefer a Thresh/Janna/Bard here.
H2K second rotation Viktor/Ezreal. These are powerful expected picks for their composition, although it is a little strange they decided to take their Mid blind and save Support for last. Viktor is a pretty safe blind and they likely just wanted to deny him from EL given they are also looking like they will need a big AP threat, so it's smart if you think you would probably rather just last pick Viktor anyway.
EL last rotation Morgana/Fiora. The Morgana Mid is quite the curveball. It is a decent matchup into Viktor as a farm lane where Morgana has more even if it's small kill pressure. I don't love Morgana Mid in general but the application of black shielding either Lucian or Fiora is a worthwhile one as it means if they can get either side lane rolling they will be a major force in teamfights. This also sends Tahm Kench to Support and their composition really isn't one with need for him as all their other champions are quite self sufficient. The Morgana pick is okay here, but I would have preferred a more standard pick like Ahri, or even Lux since you have Tahm to protect her.
H2K last pick Janna. This is a great pick and their choice to save Support for last pick was rewarded as she has huge value at controlling every EL champions besides Lucian.
Despite what is a minor mistake in my opinion to allow the Lucian first pick here H2K ended up with a fantastic draft, wheras EL took weaker champions in Morgana Mid and Tahm Kench, with not nearly enough synergy to justify their presence (especially Tahm). On top of this H2K has major kiting tools to deal with EL's low range composition. Massive edge to H2K here.
UOL vs VIT
UOL (Blue): Graves, Elise, Gangplank
VIT (Red): Alistar, Kalista, Kindred
UOL (Blue): Lucian; Poppy, Corki; Braum, Rek'Sai
VIT (Red): Thresh, Elise; Fiora, Jinx; Ahri
Ryze slips through again here, same as before I'd prefer him to most picks and he would be a consideration for the first choices on each side if they are capable of playing him.
This is the first time all season I will criticize a team for a Lucian pick as I've been a huge fan of the champion, but I do not think he is worth taking over Corki/Poppy/Lulu. Perhaps with the Kalista ban they were concerned VIT would first rotation Corki/Lucian if they took neither and for some reason they didnt wan't Corki first pick, but this seems rather unlikely considering they will take Corki with their next rotation.
VIT first rotation Thresh/Elise. These are normally solid safe picks at any point but Corki/Lulu + Poppy are up which is in my opinion the absolute best first rotation you can reasonably expect to get at the moment, and they should be the slam dunk picks. Thresh/Elise are fine champions and I get that Hylissang is a noted Thresh player so it has value as a denial, but they have nowhere near the versatility these champions bring.
UOL take the aforementioned Poppy/Corki next. While Corki's flex potential is gone with Lucian already on the team this is still an absurdly powerful first three picks and while VIT does still have Lulu to fall back on they have made a massive mistake in my eyes to give up these three power picks without securing a major power pick of their own. They are at a significant disadvantage already and will need to make up for their almost assured lower champion power level in higher synergy or countering UOL's composition, but the second is near impossible as Lucian/Corki/Poppy are extremely flexibile and safe champions with little weaknesses.
VIT take Fiora/Jinx next. The Fiora is great with Elise already to pair with her, the Jinx however is just abysmal. She just isn't a worthwhile champion right now after the nerfs to her Q and Infinity Edge, and she can easily get caught out by the package or Poppy, who conveniently can block the lantern as an escape. Just take Ezreal here who will have added value against a team who will have only Corki for magic damage (unless they take Nidalee), making Iceborn an extremely efficient item. He also of course has no such vulnerability issues and an escape that gets through Poppy's W.
UOL last rotation Braum/Rek'Sai. Braum is fine and blocking Jinx's rocket is valuable, Rek'Sai is a premier Jungle pick. Great picks and UOL has an absolutely monstrous composition with power picks across the board with the exception of Braum who is fine. They have phenomenal siege potential and zero power troughs throughout the game, just an insane composition that should never be allowed unless the other team is getting two major power picks like Lulu/Ryze/GP in response.
VIT last pick Ahri. She's a fine safe pick with kill potential on the carries, but it is a little odd they would take her over Viktor who has a much easier time blowing them up late game and doesn't get his ultimate countered by Poppy W. It's a fine pick but Viktor is just better here.
Huge edge to UOL here, and VIT really need to reexamine their champion prioritization if they value Corki, Poppy, and Lulu this lowly.
OG vs GIA
OG (Blue): Lulu, Corki, Poppy
GIA (Red): Kalista, Gangplank, Quinn
OG (Blue): Alistar; Graves, Miss Fortune; Ahri, Malphite
GIA (Red): Lucian, Elise; Fiora, Morgana; Azir
Once more for Ryze, same as before.
OG first pick Alistar over Lucian despite the Corki/Kalista bans again. This is really silly in my opinion as Lucian is a massive power pick in this scenario and Alistar is just one amongst a few powerful Supports.
GIA take Elise/Lucian. Perfect picks here as they secure the huge power pick and the safe AP Jungler to pair with it.
OG grab Graves/Miss Fortune. Pretty strange choices here, I do think they are both playable and MF is right there as an ADC after the top three so I don't really mind the picks. It is a little strange to take MF and a Jungler with zero CC to set her up but they do both have AOE burst so with proper setup they can be a powerful combination in teamfights, and Alistar is a good start to this end. FIne picks although I would have preferred Rek'Sai to the Graves, or taking Lissandra over one of these positions.
GIA second rotation Fiora/Morgana. The Fiora is a great blind solo laner and they have the Elise to set it up so excellent choice there. Morgana is not ideal here to me given OG's double ADC's meaning a potential lack of tanks to peel with her ultimate and the fact she isn't the most exciting lane partner for Lucian. That being said her Black Shield does gain some extra value with a carry like Fiora to support, so ultimately I think it's a fine but suboptimal pick. I'd prefer Bard here to threaten catches on the MF and potentiall reset teamfights if you can see a good ultimate coming for her.
OG last rotation Ahri/Malphite. This does accomplish the AOE CC setup I alluded to earlier, and Ahri is a good blind pick with the potential to chase down stragglers from the AOE and clean up the fight. Solid picks here as I think Malphite is generally underplayed at the moment, although he's not particularly amazing here as armor stacking isn't that amazing against Fiora and GIA has an AP Jungler. I would have gone for Lissandra + Ahri or Viktor, but these picks are fine.
GIA last pick Azir, and I really don't get this pick at all. Azir is a niche pick right now that should only be taken for kite compositions in need of major disengage from their Mid, and literally the only relevant short ranged champion on OG is Malphite who's ultimate is undeterred by Azir's wall. This is just a weak pick with no situational advantage to redeem it, and something like Viktor or Leblanc would provide far more threat to OG's composition, who will be happy to eat a few solider autos if it means channeling a bullet time.
I don't really like either teams draft here, GIA could win off the raw power of their first three picks snowball potential, but OG have a far superior teamfight and should have a clear edge as long as Fiora doesn't get out of hand.
ROC vs FNC
ROC (Blue): Corki, Gangplank, Leblanc
FNC (Red): Kalista, Alistar, Poppy
ROC (Blue): Lucian; Kindred, Braum; Ryze, Fiora
FNC (Red): Quinn, Lulu; Janna, Caitlyn; Malphite
ROC first pick Lucian over Lulu/Ryze. I actually like this quite a lot as with the Corki/Kalista bans yet again Lucian is a massive power pick and FNC are unlikely to take both Lulu and Ryze since they aren't the most ideal pairing and Gamsu has played nothing but tanks to this point.
FNC first rotation Quinn/Lulu. Really high priority on Quinn here, she is good with Lulu as a second ADC to support but I don't think she is worth picking this highly at all. Lulu is a great pick and my preference over Ryze due to her needed less setup from the rest of the composition in general. Lulu + Rek'Sai/Elise would be my choices here.
ROC take Kindred/Braum next. Kindred is re-enable after being gone for over a week, and I do think she is still a Tier 1 Jungler, although certainly not the best Jungler as teams thought at the start of the split. These are fine picks given that a composition with multiple ranged threats is less susceptible to Lulu's CC, and Braum has value against an assured double ADC composition from FNC as well. I would have just gone with Ryze/Rek'Sai here, but these picks do make some sense.
FNC second rotation Janna/Caitlyn. They are all in on the protect the ADC composition here with Lulu/Janna and the longest range ADC in the game. I don't mind this direction at all, as with the top three ADC's off the board Caitlyn is next on my list and they can certainly have a powerful 5 man siege of 4/1 setup with sufficient waveclear and loads of anti-dive. Really like these picks given they already have Quinn so MF is underwhelming, even though Janna isn't ideal into a double ADC composition due to the low amount of threats to peel.
ROC last rotation Ryze/Fiora. These are really exciting picks as their 4 carries might be the most monstrous composition possible in terms of raw damage. That being said while Fiora is certainly a powerful blind pick, given the Ryze pick I think she is suboptimal here as her presence validates Janna and Lulu who are going to have trouble controlling the huge ranged DPS brought by the rest of the composition. As fun as this composition is I also just don't think this is the proper way to get the most value out of these picks, as they all thrive with CC to set them up, and while they can certainly win fights I don't feel this is getting optimal efficiency from your champions. The picks are ultimately fine as they are the best in each position in terms of pure champion power anyway, but I would have liked it a little more with Lissandra instead of Fiora to balance damage and bring initiation while still not being an easy threat for Lulu/Janna to repel, in addition to dodging the Fiora vs Quinn matchup which is one of the few tough lanes for Fiora. Certainly an interesting composition from ROC nonetheless and one of the advantages of this type of composition is you have a sort of "oops I win" opportunity at every single carry position as if any of these champions get fed they are capable of single-handedly carrying the game.
FNC last pick Malphite. This changes things dramatically as I had assumed Quinn was going Top. It makes the early Quinn pick better if it is indeed a flex pick for them, but this is absolute wrong time to flex it! One of the best qualities of Quinn as a champion is that she counters Fiora! Don't give this up when you can easily craft a powerful 4/1 composition capable of holding against ROC's tankless composition. If they had just taken Lee Sin/Elise or even Graves they would have huge kill pressure on Fiora, and they give it up to take Malphite who is a teamfight champion when you have Quinn who is a split-push champion! I mean this can still work okay as a 4-1 but few and far between are the times I have seen teams actually be willing to use the Jungler as a split-pusher, and they could have just maintained the advantage they already secured by leaving her Top. If Gamsu doesn't actually play Quinn and it was Jungle all along then the Malphite does makes sense into triple AD threats, although I think Lissandra would have been a huge issue for ROC to deal with post Zhonyas as well.
This draft is a bit of a mess, I think ROC has much better champion prioritization but FNC has a much more cohesive composition. I'll give a slight edge to FNC because their siege is near impenetrable if they get ahead and ROC will have a hard time pressing their advantage through Cait/Lulu/Janna/Malphite if they can't secure Baron.