The League of Legends meta is in a shaky spot heading toward the end of the 2019 season. We’re still a couple of months away from the ranked season ending and Worlds arriving, and it seems the meta shifts in a dramatic way with each patch.
This patch, the latest shift to the meta arrived in the jungle. Tanks are back on the menu, or rather, they’re in control of the menu because they’re running the jungle meta. Sejuani and Gragas both boost incredibly high play rates, while Zac, Nunu, Olaf, and Poppy have taken hold of equally impressive success rates, according to stats site OP.gg.
But why? The latest patch, Patch 9.15, was much less extreme compared to its predecessor, 9.14, so it shouldn’t have affected much. Still, though, tanks now hold dominion over the jungle—good news for ADCs, but bad news for junglers who like to carry games.
Decline of the carry
The sudden appearance of tanks in the jungle meta wasn’t an overnight transition, despite it lining up curiously well with Patch 9.15. In truth, carry-oriented junglers have been falling to the wayside steadily for a few patches as importance has shifted more to solo lanes and the bot lane to win games.
The strange thing, in fact, is that carry junglers were buffed very slightly in 9.15 to try to stall or slow down this transition. But the shift to a more supportive jungle meta has been so steady and so sure that these buffs to Graves, Lee Sin, and Kha’Zix in 9.15 did little to nothing to alter the course. This happens fairly reliably every single year as the end of the season approaches. Teams at higher elos look to more traditional carries and the pattern trickles down into lower ranks. This year, it seems, is no different.
There are some carries that have held onto their stations for dear life. Lee Sin and Elise, for instance, maintain their high popularity despite success going more and more toward their tanky competition. Both champions, with the tools in their kit, can stay useful in more tanky metas. At least, they’ll do better than most other carries that can only deal damage.
Lee Sin’s success rate isn’t terribly great, but he still boasts one of the highest play rates in the entire game at 30 percent right now. Elise’s is impressive, albeit not as mountainous, at 13 percent. It’s unclear if both of them can hold on when Worlds draws closer, but if the past tells us anything, both Lee Sin and Elise should be fine. They’re always at least a little useful no matter what meta they’re in.
If you’re looking to jump into jungling right now, your best bet is sticking to tanks, though. Most tanks are relatively easy to play, including Zac, who may be the most difficult among them. Their competition, being Lee Sin and Elise, is notoriously difficult to master, so the tank arsenal is still going to be your best bet.