LCK W7D2 Pick/Ban Recap
There was only one LCK match today, thankfully it went three games at least so there is a decent amount to review.
As always for ease of reference here are my Tier 1's for each role before we get to the recaps.
You can find my entire patch 6.3 Tier List here (I missed a couple Champions, Ezreal Mid would be Tier 3 and Rumble Jungle Tier 2): http://www.goldper10.com/article/3155-patch-63-competitive-tier-list.html
Top Tier 1: Fiora, Gangplank, Lulu, Lissandra, Malphite, Poppy, Gnar
Jungle Tier 1: Nidalee, Gragas, Rek'Sai, Lee Sin, Kindred, Elise
Mid Tier 1: Lulu, Corki, Gangplank, Lissandra
ADC Tier 1: Kalista, Kog'Maw, Lucian, Corki, Caitlyn
Support Tier 1: Bard, Thresh, Alistar, Janna
Here also is my Tier list for first pick/first rotation Champions right now.
Tier 1: Gangplank, Lulu, Corki
Tier 2: Kalista, Kog'Maw, Lissandra, Nidalee
Tier 3: Fiora, Gragas, Lucian
CJ vs KDM(EMF)
CJ (Blue): Nidalee, Gangplank. Kog'Maw
KDM (Red): Twisted Fate, Kalista, Bard
CJ (Blue): Corki; Alistar, Lulu; Poppy, Rek'Sai
KDM (Red): Fiora, Elise; Morgana, Ezreal; Varus
CJ first pick Corki here over Lulu/Fiora/Gragas. I'm fine with this as Corki gets the slight edge over Lulu with the standard Kalista/Kog bans.
KDM first rotation Fiora/Elise. I'm fine with taking Fiora here, but in my opinion Gragas is just a much stronger AP Jungler than Elise so that would be my pairing. There's also the option of taking Fiora/Lulu as they are an exceptionally strong pairing but this does show both solo lanes and you aren't that afraid of CJ taking Lulu because Corki/Lulu isn't that strong unless you run Corki Mid and Lulu Top in a siege/kite composition, which not many teams do.
CJ grab Alistar/Lulu. These are strong picks, as while Lulu/Corki isn't ideal it's still fine with plenty of flex potential and as a valuable denial from KDM, and Alistar has even more value than normal here as he's exceptional at controlling Fiora in teamfights. They also had the option to take Gragas to hide their composition more, but that would make them quite AP heavy and denying Lulu is worth it here.
KDM second rotation Morgana/Ezreal. Morgana is always fine into Alistar, but I really dislike taking Ezreal over Lucian in almost any situation. These are both Tier 2 Champions in my opinion with multiple Tier 1's in each role available, and I don't see any reason they are particularly good here to make up the power gap. I'd much rather see Lucian + Bard/Janna/Braum here.
CJ last rotation Poppy/Rek'Sai. These are fine picks that provide them with balanced damage and engage, but this composition is really lacking in damage late game. GIven that with Corki bot instead of Mid they don't really have particularly strong lanes, this composition has too narrow a power spike window for my tastes to win the game, with Mid-game being the only spike for them. Lissandra would be a solid choice into Fiora here, but it would make them extremely AP heavy (although it wouldn't be the worst as KDM has no tank). Ultimately I don't think there were many better picks for them at this point given their need for AD and someone who can handle Fiora in lane, but I don't like where this composition ended up. I would have slightly preferred taking Quinn Top here to handle Fiora in the split and let the other 4 pressure as they are quite a strong group.
KDM last pick Varus. I really dislike this pick as CJ has plenty of engage and waveclear here so I don't see why you would opt into a poke composition. Last picking an immobile carry into Poppy/Rek'Sai/Alistar is just strange to me, and this also makes them very AD heavy against a CJ composition with three tanks. Any standard AP like Lissandra/Viktor/Ahri would have been better here in my opinion to balance their damage and in the case of Lissandra/Ahri offer far more safety and playmaking simultaneously.
I don't really care for either composition here, but I'll give a slight edge to KDM because they can easily outscale and even though CJ has the tools to engage on KDM's composition I think their window for victory is just too small given their lack of early game pressure.
KDM vs CJ
KDM (Blue): Twisted Fate, Poppy, Bard
CJ (Red): Nidalee, Kalista, Lulu
KDM (Blue): Corki; Elise, Quinn; Morgana, Varus
CJ (Red): Gangplank, Braum; Rek'Sai, Kog'Maw; Zilean
KDM first pick Corki here over GP/Kog/Fiora. I personally rate GP the highest of all these, but it's very close and Corki is certainly acceptable.
CJ first rotation Gangplank/Braum. Love the GP, and while I would prefer taking Kog'Maw here maybe they thing KDM is extremely unlikely to play Corki/Kog even though I think it's perfectly fine. Braum continues to just go way too high for my liking.
KDM grab Elise/Quinn next, and again I'd prefer Gragas to Elise. Quinn is a strong matchup into GP and a potential flex pick, but she's more useful this early on Red side because CJ will still get the last pick after you have presumably shown your other solo laner so they can dodge the Quinn lane. I would have gone Kog + Gragas/Fiora here, Gragas if you're confident CJ won't take her given the lack of CC and AD stacking between GP/Fiora or Fiora if you think they will because securing her AD damage will give you a great damage balance between Corki/Kog/Fiora.
CJ second rotation Rek'Sai/Kog'Maw. Kog is an easy pick here for power and synergy with Braum. I'd prefer Gragas to Rek'Sai but it's not a big gap and if you are significantly more comfortable on Rek'Sai this is fine.
KDM last rotation Morgana/Varus. KDM are running back these picks from last game, but I do like them more here. CJ has much weaker engage this time and you have the Quinn to split if you want to remove their Top laner from the engage/waveclear equation, they also have much better damage balance this game, which will allow Varus' poke to do significantly more damage. Ultimately I would have preferred Caitlyn/Janna here as I think it's a superior poke composition in this situation due to Corki being a better blind (and in general) Mid than Varus, and Janna being exceptional at peeling Rek'Sai/Braum with multiple great shield targets.
CJ last pick Zilean. This pick is ok as it does provide waveclear and helps Rek'Sai engage while offering protection for the immobile GP/Kog. It just doesn't provide them with much in the way of lane pressure or playmaking however, and in my opinion you are missing the mark if you don't take a playmaker into triple ADC's with little protection. Anything from Zed/Lissandra/Leblanc/Ahri/Twisted Fate would all have sufficient waveclear and a mutlitude of playmaking/assassination options against triple ADC's. This pick puts almost the entirety of engage potential onto the speedboosted Rek'Sai, and it's just not reliable enough.
KDM gets a bigger edge for me here as this time they have the lane pressure to get their poke composition rolling, and CJ lacks the tools to fight it. CJ does have insane scaling, but it's not like they auto win late as Quinn will still be an issue and any catch from Elise/Morg could be the end for CJ.
CJ vs KDM
CJ (Blue): Nidalee, Varus, Kog'Maw
KDM (Red): Twisted Fate, Poppy, Bard
CJ (Blue): Kalista; Alistar, Fiora; Rek'Sai, Viktor
KDM (Red): Corki, Lulu; Elise, Braum; Gangplank
Only two OP's (Nidalee/Kog) were banned here, so there are a ton of power picks available. This leaves five extremely contested picks (Kalista/Lulu/Corki/Fiora/GP) available, and it's very interesting to see which ones teams value most and which you can take to deny your opponent the best combination.
CJ First picks Kalista. Given that Kalista has been banned nearly every game the past week across the world it's unsurprising she would be deemed the most important pick here. Given the landscape of the 5 OP's up here however, there are 2 magic damage and 3 physical damage dealers, so in my opinion you should take one of the magic (Corki/Lulu) here so you can't get denied the possibility to take the remaining two on your next rotation. It's not that bad though as if KDM do take Corki/Lulu it's the least appealing combination of the five, so it's not that big of a downside. This is a very tough choice and I think Kalista is ultimately the right choice as allowing a Corki/Kalista or Lulu/Kalista first rotation is too scary.
KDM do elect to take the two magic damage choices in Corki/Lulu. While they aren't an ideal pairing this denies them from being pairing with Kalista and simultaneously keeps CJ from taking two more OP's as a Kalista/Fiora/Gangplank composition isn't very synergystic and is very lacking in CC. These are definitely the optimal picks here by denying CJ and essentially securing GP/Fiora for yourself later in the draft. This was a very unusual start to the draft, but I think both teams assessed the situation properly and made the optimal picks.
CJ grabs Alistar/Fiora. These are strong picks, and Fiora/GP is a tossup for me. Gangplank is a flex and has less issues facing Lulu in teamfights, however the Fiora/Lulu combination is extremely deadly and I wouldn't want to give it over to KDM here either.
KDM second rotation Elise/Braum. These picks are extremely standard at this point but I don't really like them. Once again I prefer Gragas, and I don't think Braum is strong against any of CJ's champions so far. Janna or even Bard/Thresh would just do more here both in lane and teamfighting for me, as Braum's shield is extremely low value against Kalista and CJ's two melees.
CJ last rotation Rek'Sai/Viktor, and once again I'd prefer Gragas. For Mid they need a big AP threat to balance their damage, and while it's technically a blind you know GP is a strong possibility as they need physical damage. Viktor is fine, but I would have slightly preferred Orianna/Zilean here to provide more engage opportunities through speedup\Shockwave on Alistar/Fiora/Rek'Sai, while also supporting Fiora via shields/Zilean Ult.
Ultimately both teams got powerful compositions as you'd expect with this many OP's up. KDM has the slightly strong roster in terms of pure power for me, but CJ secured the stronger lane matchups and in game synergy. Slight edge to CJ.