With Patch 5.18, the patch on which the Season 5 World Championship will be played, released last week all the numbers are known for the upcoming Tournament. However it is quite hard to know exactly which champions will be played competitively by the best teams in the world. I’m going to look at the strong picks for each role and give a few of my opinions which Champions are going to be played and which Champions might fall out of favor. Today we will continues the series with a look at the jungle. Once again I will try to predict which Champions will come out strong and which will not. For a look at my first part about top lane please follow this Link.
This Article is basically a very short and compact post to give you some Ideas if you do not have much time or look for a specific champion. For a more detailed Article with a lot of thoughts and more Champions I suggest you are reading this article by Kilgannon.
In the most recent games the Spider Queen has been the Queen of the jungle once more. She ended the Era of Gragas and Rek’sai as the two must pick junglers in competitive play. Elise benefits from high base damage as well as an enormous single target lock down potential with her Cocoon. This strength comes in handy even more with the fall of the tank meta which reduces the amount of champions that can carelessly walk into a Cocoon and not be puished for it.
Even though her damage has been slightly nerfed in the recent patch she will stay a very high priority jungler for worlds and will most likely be seen in almost every game.
LeeSin has received a huge buff in patch 5.18 and will therefore most likely find his way back into the jungle as a very viable pick. His Ultimate now deals a lot more damage and can be a great execute as well as an engage or disengage tool. He offers a lot of outplay potential and is able to match Elise’s power in early skirmishes. Additionally he is great at ganking low mobility targets like Gangplank or Darius for example.
I believe Lee Sin will come back strong at worlds and will see a lot of play as well. I cannot think of him as a carry jungler but I believe that we are going to see the established Warrior into Tank build path.
Gragas has been a very strong jungler for the whole season and he still offers a lot. In teams that feature a carry top laner like Jax or Fiora the Jungler will mostly have to play a strong tank that can reliably protect his carries and possibly engage for his team if they want to fight. Gragas can do great at that but is vulnerable to early skirmishes by other junglers like Elise or Lee Sin. However I do not see him fall out of favor yet and I expect Gragas to play a key role at worlds.
Just like Gragas Rek’Sai has been dominant throughout most of 2015. Contrary to Gragas I fear that she may fall out of top tier for worlds because Champions like Elise and Lee Sin have become stronger again and they have similar play stile like Rek’Sai.
While Rek’Sai has stronger map control with her Ultimate and her engage is still strong I can see her getting outclassed by other champions. However I believe that she will fit very well against Champions with Cleanse since her knock up cannot be cleansed. In my opinion she will be picked every now and then but she will no longer be one of the most contested picks.
Nidalee has been a nice pick in the jungle that does well in poke compositions but does not offer a whole lot of pressure apart from her damage. Poke comps are still are strong way of playing the macro game and therefore Nidalee will surely be picked a couple of times into such compositions.
Aside from that I do not expect to see Nidalee. Most carries will be played in the three lanes which will not leave much room for an additional carry pick in the jungle.
Skarner has been dominating Solo Queue recently with an astonishing win rate of above 60%. He has also been played in the LPL Regional Qualifier which was played on Patch 5.16. He did not dominate as hard there since his objective control can be nullified for the greater part by superior vision control.
Additionally Skarner has been nerfed and is not as strong as he used to be. He does not offer a lot for his team if his Ultimate is on cooldown and cannot peel for his team if the enemy has more than one threat. However I do expect to see Skarner in a handful of games but I do not believe that he will be one of the most contested picks.
Vi shares her strengths and weaknesses with Skarner meaning that she is a huge threat to the enemy carries while her Ult is available but almost useless if it is on cooldown. She lacks strong objective control but her engage potential is significantly higher thanks to her larger range on her Ultimate.
I am very curious to see if teams actually dare to pick Vi since she has been out of meta for a long time and has not been buffed directly. She will profit from the buffs to the Warrior Enchantment and I think that she is able to do well since there will be less tanks and more potential targets for her engages.
Another Champion that might profit from the buffs to Warrior Enchantment is Jarvan, who has been out of meta as well. He takes advantage of the lack of heavy tanks and the popularity of a few champions without dashes, too. He is a very strong pick against the likes of Gangplank since Gangplank can neither cleanse his knock up nor evade his Ultimate without using Flash. That said I think there might be a very small chance that we might see Jarvan in the top lane where he has been popular earlier in Spring.
Like Vi I would like to see teams pick up Jarvan but I am not sure how much they are going to invest into him. I predict to see Jarvan at least once at worlds though and if he can do well he might rise in popularity over the course of the tournament.
Tomorrow the series will continue with Part III, where we will take a closer look at the mid lane and how the meta shift is going to influence those Champions at worlds.