Theorizing the meta in patch 5.13 for LCS
Patch 5.13 in League of Legends brought a solid chunk of changes from buffs and nerfs to champions to re-balancing ability power items. Champions like Nautilus got weaker and items like Runeglaive got stronger. With these changes comes the chance for the meta in the League of Legends Championship Series to change to one focus with more focus on Tear and Rod of Ages. With that I bring to you my own little theory craft of possible changes and tier list of champions. If you want to read the patch notes for 5.13 follow the link here.
First, I will say a few things about the chart. This kind of serves as a too long did not read but not full. Champions with in the tier can be swap around based on preference. Obviously these all aren't absolute but just how I feel after the patch. Mentions down at the bottom are champions that I am unsure how the changes will affect these champions or if they will even be played at all. Mentions will be short handed to help save space since they lack some relevance.
Without further delay we will start things off.
Top lane is not changed by Patch 5.13 too much
Tier 1: Rumble & Ryze
Rumble and Ryze sit alone at the top without anyone else because I think the item changes help them a lot. If we look at Rumble one his core pen item Haunting Guise got a buff of 30 ability power when it get upgraded to Liandry's Torment for an extra 100 gold. Rumble use to build Rylai's Crystal Scepter got some change as well 100 more gold but its area of effect (instant) slow got put up to 40% and damage over time/multi hit 20% per 1 second. This makes rumbles ult harder to escape but he can also go new Zhonya's Hourglass. Hourglass become cheaper and lost some ap but that ap can be made up on Liandry's with a little extra. Rumble gets more wiggle room in his build path which I think will keep him a top pick. His team fight power is still high. Ryze also got strong at the cost of some health and some more gold. Archangel's staff cost a bit more for 20 extra ap and Rod of Ages got double the stacks on ability power and mana for 150 base health and 50 base mana on the item. He will be squishier as a champion with less health but we have to take into account that the additional stacking mana also goes to the Archangel's staff passive of a percent of mana becoming ap. I think that bit of health Ryze will lose will hurt him but it will be worth it for the extra damage he will get. I would say Ryze is looking even better as a carry top.
Tier 2: Maokai, Gnar, Hecarim, Shen
Gnar Hecarim and Shen are all unchanged. Gnar will continue to be that lane pressure yordle whose ult makes him a tank, Shen will continue to split and ult whoever needs it, and Hecarim will continue to be that back line dive threat. Maokai does take a hit because Righteous Glory did lose some health and got a longer cool down but i don't see Maokai getting the changed Rod of Ages. The extra mana and ability power is nice, but I see pro players sticky to glory for that immediate health and engage potential for his team.
Tier 3: Nautilus, Irelia, Fizz, Vladimir, Shyvanna
It is may be surprising to see Nautilus this low. I put him lower because of his nerf to his Riptide does hurt his clear and will open him to being pushed in more. It will make farming to that super tank harder for Nautilus. The Riptide nerf does hurt his trade potential a bit but not too much. I think Nautilus will still be a strong tank but the hit to clear does make me question him later on.
Then, we have the carry tops of Irelia, Fizz, Vladimir, and Shyvanna. Irelia, Fizz, and Shyvanna will probably still hold relevance as carry tops for teams. Irelia and Shyvanna have not been changed and most Fizz tops are usually attack damage based leaving him unchanged. Vladimir top has gotten more potential thou. TDK Seraph has shown what Vladimir top can do and now has drawn bans for it. Vladimir got a bit of a buff on Spirit Visage since the 20% now effects all healing. Will of the Ancients looks stronger for Vladimir now. The healing got changed to 15% on single target and 33% on area of effect the big thing being that the healing is calculated before resistances. Vladimir sustain still remains strong against tops that build heavy magic resist and allows him to keep himself healed in lane. Even thou Vladimir has a lack of CC for his lane he has the possibility to become a real split pushing threat in the top lane. However, I think the lack of CC will hurt Vladimir in team fights if his team does not have it elsewhere.
Ekko still strong but I feel he can be out shined by other carry top picks like Rumble, Ryze, Hecarim, or Vladimir. Jarvan needs a decent lane in order to not be useless later. Sion not the best tank since his W is weaker now and his mana cost are kind of bad. Galio has seen a game because of Giants. I think there is possible potential with new Rod of Ages but his mana cost and his reliance on flash ult make me question viability. Swain follows the same loses health from Rod of Ages gets more mana and ability power to try and sustain but ignite hurts swain a lot. Morderkasier got some love from the Will of the Ancient change but I don't think it is enough. I would love to see Riven but teams just like lane swaps and won't look for standard lanes for Riven. LCS teams always seem to level 1 invade to see the lane match ups they could do the same for Riven. No team seems confident enough to play her thou.
Tier 1: Gragas, Rek'Sai, Kayle
If the Meta possible gets some Tear and Rod of Ages champions then Gragas and Rek Sai will stay top picks. Gragas will stay as this strong early ganker and Rek Sai as this quick farmer with potential to gank.
Kayle is a bit interesting. I did not talk about it before but Sated Devourer was added this patch. It has a really strong passive with phantom hit that allows for on hit effects to trigger twice from basic attacks. With Kayle Passive shredding armor and magic resist on hit for 3% up to 5 stacks makes me think Kayle can be this top threat jungler. You combined Sated Devourer with Hurricane on Kayle when she uses her and you can shred 3 champions of 15% armor and magic resist in a few hits. While getting rid of the enemy team's defensive stats she can also make an allied champion invincible. You take this with some type of engage from top and/or support and you have this super threat because Kayle has a slow to stick to champions. However, the weaknesses are that Kayle needs to farm for Sated and the potential of being invaded if her team is losing. Kayle does have decent clear but she needs to be able to farm. If Kayle is going to work I think it will win hard but if it fails it will fail hard. I do not see a in-between.
Tier 2: Nidalee, Lee Sin, Nunu, Ekko
Then, the next set of junglers I feel that they play what the team needs in like supports in a way. Nidalee does lose some health in the jungle if they go the Rod of Ages route but get more mana or ability and the tear route cost a bit more for some extra damage. I don't see Nidalee being hurt by these changes since her range allows her to leash minions. We could see more Rod of Ages nidalee but I'm not too sure. Lee sin is still the same you play for early pressure and vision. Nunu is there for objective control and if you hate the other jungler and want to make his life hell he can do that too. Ekko is still an alright tank jungler has that area of effect stun and just ways to sticking onto someone.
Tier 3: Sejuanni, Jarvan 4th, Evelynn, Vi
These next few picks are not necessarily bad, but they need more defined team compositions. Sejuanni has received quite a few nerfs to things like her damage and clear she needs more a team fight composition if she wants to see more play. Her ultimate is really strong engage at least. Jarvan 4th his ganks are strong but he gets fairly low in the jungle in the early game. Jarvan wants to get damage early so he falls of late game. Evelynn puts on a lot of map pressure, but she has weak jungle clear and needs her team to engage for her. Vi signals where she going when she ults and gives the enemy team time to react. She has solid engage but can be fairly squishy depending on the build.
Udyr and Nocturne both have options for the new Sated Devourer but it makes them both really squishy and since udyr wants to run at people he is easy to kite and Nocturne will probably die once he dives in. Wukong usually build damage and needs immediate follow up so they don't die in fights. Zac super tank and solid engage but lacks damage and needs to snowball his lanes. I feel like this champion should be played but at the same time his ult can push people out of your teams AoE. Olaf works in certain compositions. He needs his team to be able to keep up with him and once his ult is down he has trouble sticking onto people if he can't get an axe on someone.
This is the biggest area of possible changes from patch 5.13. There are a lot of AP item changes if you haven't looked at the patch not I would do so now.
Tier 1: Azir, Cassiopeia, Vladimir
Azir gets stronger at his two item spike this patch which makes me think he will stay a top pick. Most Azir players like to go Morellonomican, Deathcap, and Void Staff. Deathcap got 5% more bonus ability power and Void Staff also got some bonus ability power. Both items did go up in gold so the build path is 405 gold more than before. I don't think that amount of gold will be super game changing. Azir also has the option for the Nashor's Tooth still, but Nashor's Tooth looks more situation based item right now for Azir. Cassiopeia use to be a top pick but got nerfs to sustain, but with changes to Tear, Rod of Ages, Ludin's Echo, and Deathcap. I think she will more than likely make reappearance. Tear and Rod of Ages still give her scaling but more in the damage department. Ludin's Echo now gives 10% move speed but lost 20 ability power. Death cap also has more synergy with passive as well now. With all these changes giving more power to Cassio and mobility i don't think she will be passed over. I went over Vladimir before I think the changes to Will of the Ancients will offer his strong sustain and changes to Luden's echo and Deathcap for the mid laner Vladimir will allow him more room to try and bully champions. Than for pretty much every mid lane champion Zhonya's Hourglass got cheaper so more stasis please.
Tier 2: Kog'Maw, Ezreal, Viktor, Jayce, Twisted Fate
Kog'Maw mid got more damage from Tear and more move speed from Luden's Echo. He does have some power trade-offs until he gets to his Deathcap. His Tear will scale harder but he will lose some damage until deathcap. With this shift on his scaling I think he is still good poke but needs more time than other champions. Ezreal I would say got an indirect buff from Runeglaive getting a buff but I feel that champions like Azir and possibly Vladimir and Cassiopeia can abuse that early game to scale and take a creep score or kill advantage in lane since middle lane Ezreal lacks wave clear so he can be pushed in easily. Other champions just have a lot of free time until Ezreal becomes that poke monster. Jayce another poke threat sees no changes he is not top tier because of his cool down on gate and his need to use gate to power himself up hurt him. He is still a strong attack damage poke threat.
Viktor and Twisted Fate server a more lane dominate role. Viktor has lane bully pressure but in NA and a bit of EU I feel that Viktor is played too passively. They usually just use Viktor as a farm tool until team fights and not so much as a lane bully. So just with that in mind I can't justify putting Viktor higher on the list even thou I think his Hex Core with Deathcap is a really strong combo still. Then, Twisted Fate I feel he can abuse scaling mid laners and attempt to snowball other lanes. His clear is still strong on this patch, but the fear is that if he does not get a lead he will be killed very easily by scaling mid laners. Just with that in mind I put him in tier 2 but still above tier 3.
Tier 3: Lulu, Ryze, Orianna, Varus
Lulu can go either Morellonomicon/Unholy Grail into Deathcap or Lunden's Echo. However, I feel out of lane Lulu just becomes a utility bot with no carry potential. I think she can still have strong lane pressure but scaling mid laners will become far more useful later. Ryze all I can say is that double scaling mid lane can be dangerous. At least against a tank top you know that they won't be doing too much damage but if you fall behind you become easy to bully in such a short lane. Orianna I feel can be strong but just gets out shined right now by more poke oriented champions so she goes down to tier 3. Varus drops as well because I feel like other poke champions out shine him. Kog maw E allows for either farm. Jayce can shock blast and has other ways of skirmishing and Ezreal will out scale super hard. With that in mind I don't have Varus as tier 2.
Karthus needs a lot of farm to become relevant because he goes Tear into RoA. Kassadin even with new tier he is vulnerable to attack damage mid laners like Jayce and to more all in champions like Cassio and Azir poke. His shield does help him thou. Brand has a lot of up front burst and his combo of Liandry's Ryali's got strong but all up front damage require killing someone off at the start and he is immobile. Nidalee mid possible with new tear or RoA just unsure of how well it would work. Anivia wants to go Tear and RoA her E does double on frosted enemies. High base damage with zone control but is super immobile and slow. Anivia’s wall can be difficult to use. Diana with Runeglaive mid or maybe a Nashor Tooth is possible after the changes. Katarina because someone is probably going to try and bring her back, but I doubt Liandry's and Deathcap changes will be enough.
The marksman and support roles I would say are the least touched so I won't stay on them too much.
Tier 1: Sivir
Sivir stands alone at the top because she was untouched. She received no buff or nerf even thou she is one of the most contested marksman champions. Righteous Glory also received a nerf on the active cool down so I would say that puts even more value on Sivir ultimate for her team. sivir ultimate and spell shield also offer her quite a safe lane. Then, Kalista received nerfs this patch so she gets even more breathing room against once of her harder match ups.
Tier 2: Kalista
I decided to give Kalista her own tier he objective securing ability is still unmatched combined with her jungler. Along with her rend damage she still quite strong later in the game even if her early game was hurt a bit. Kalista also has the ability to send out sentinels to search for the enemy and her ultimate allows her to save her support.
Tier 3: Corki Jinx Ashe Tristana Ezreal
Each of these marksman champions can be picked based on what the team needs. Corki offer a strong early lane phase with poke but falls of late. Jinx has a decent lane, has no dash, but is really strong late game. Ashe offers both scouting and pick potential with her ultimate. Tristana offers strong siege with her bombs. Ezreal has a safe lane, mid game power spike, attack damage poke, and an ultimate to help with side waves.
Tier 4: Draven Vayne Kog'maw Caitlyn Graves Twitch
I don't really know what to say for these guys. They can be player but they require more team compositions based around them. Draven wants to get stacks and snowball. Vayne is a strong one on one duelist, but she has a weak early game and short range. I will say Vayne does decent against Sivir and Kalista, but can still lose hard. Kog'maw shred tanks really hard but needs additional peel. Caitlyn has a power drop after lane. Graves just goes for nuking down someone. Twitch wants to assassinate someone in a more tank meta. They mostly just need more help than other marksman in their role.
Lucian as a champion I don't see doing well. He doesn't have a good way of getting through tanks and his lane phase is average. You kind of just group and lose. I feel like Miss Fortune is better than this champion currently.
Support as a role as a good bit of flexibility. Supports usually just fill what the team needs so it can be harder to tier supports. I won't put too much here but general notes.
Tier 1: Alistar Thresh Nautilus Janna
Alistar does stay up as a top support because his ultimate just makes him strong as a tank that he becomes hard to deal with. Thresh I would put higher than Nautilus now since Thresh has pick potential and more utility. Nautilus does have hard engage with his abilities, but the nerf to his E hurt his early lane as support in terms of trading. Janna is really strong disengage and her shield gives a lot of attack damage to a champion.
Tier 2: Morgana Shen Braum Annie
I would say these four are a tad more situation but still strong. Morgana has a lot of crowd control and pick potential. Shen and Braum can be these front line supports. Shen can save allies with ultimate and Braum can disengage with his ultimate and block poke with his wall. Annie offers a strong lane phase and a area of effect stun engage.
Tier 3: Bard and Kennen
I think bard has a strong lane and roam potential but can get caught out look for chimes. Kennen can also be a stun bot for someone like Kalista to allow his team to try and get free damage in a team fight. Both are out shined currently by other supports but still have the chance to see play if the composition allows for them.
To conclude, these are my current thoughts on how the meta could possible go. I do honestly think that the changes to ability power items can open up for change in the tier of a champion.
If you don't mind this is my first time doing something like an article. Any feedback would me much appreciated. There are bound to be mistakes so anything will help because I did have a lot of fun working on this. I would like to update this as new patches come out as well and do plan do more on theorizing champion, team composition, and/or analysis of LCS games.