During the last week of the European LCS, Yellowstar brought out a surprise pick against SK Gaming as Fnatic aimed for their 17th straight win of the Summer Split. With Corki, Gragas, and Lulu already locked in for SK Gaming and Tristana, Rek’Sai, and Fizz on the side of Fnatic, the European powerhouse opted to flex Trundle for their next pick. Given the current champion selections, it appeared that Fnatic was going to send Fizz mid, Rek’Sai jungle, and Trundle top, but with a last pick of Twisted Fate, it soon became apparent that Yellowstar would be supporting with Trundle. By the end of the game, Fnatic walked away with the victory and Yellowstar earned a 1-1-19 score. However, there were several key factors that had to align in order for the pick to be successful.
Did It Work?
Fnatic’s team wasn’t necessarily built around a Trundle support, but a lot of the team’s strengths complemented his kit. The game started off with a successful lane swap and fast push, giving the Fnatic ADC some quick gold in lieu of Trundle’s lack of 2v2 lane presence. Once the lane swap ended, Reignover gave the duo lane enough attention to help Tristana get to a point where she could farm without Trundle’s presence. By this time, Yellowstar was able to wander the map, setting up ganks and providing vision for the whole team to snowball to victory in just under 30 minutes.
Why Did It Work?
Although the pick worked for Fnatic, there is a tremendous risk to running Trundle support in solo queue. In this game, Fnatic was able to offset Trundle’s main weakness, his early game laning phase, by pulling off a successful lane swap to fast push followed by successful ganks to the duo lane. Because Trundle is a melee champion without any reliable poke or harass, it would normally be very easy for the opposing duo lane to force Trundle’s lane back to base. In a solo queue game, it’s incredibly difficult to pull off lane swaps and fast pushes, and even harder to guarantee jungler pressure afterwards. Without either of these key success factors, it’s highly likely that the enemy team can gain a lane advantage 2v2 and limit Trundle’s impact for the rest of the game.
Because Fnatic was able to funnel gold into their bottom lane, Fnatic’s Tristana was able to farm by herself with a reliable escape ability in Rocket Jump while Trundle did what he does best – roam the map and split push. Trundle’s Frozen Domain ability allowed him to roam the map, giving increased ability to get from lane to lane. With this, Yellowstar was able to use his early gold to buy a Sightstone and Boots of Mobility to set up vision all over the map for his team. In addition, Yellowstar was able to use Pillar of Ice to set up ganks for his lanes, slowing and blocking the enemy team from escaping.
The Tristana pick was not the only pick that ensured Trundle support success however, as Reignover’s Rek’Sai and Febiven’s Twisted Fate also provided unparalleled map pressure against their opponents. Both of these champions’ global ultimates were able to take advantage of the vision that Trundle was able to set up to secure map advantages. Lastly, Huni’s Fizz pick ensured that both top and bottom could apply map pressure while also having reliable escape abilities.
Trundle contributed to the split push composition by being able to be a pusher or a defender. Trundle’s Chomp and Frozen Domain allowed him to take down towers quickly, while his Pillar stalled out minions on the defense and his Subjugate ultimate prevented the enemy from tower diving. Furthermore, his ultimate allowed him to gain tanky stats during team fights on a support’s salary.
Trundle support worked for Fnatic, but it may very well not work for you. Fnatic supported the pick with a great split push composition and flawless execution in the early game to make up for Trundle’s weaknesses. However, there is incredible risk in a 2v2 situation that Trundle’s lane can quickly become forced out, hindering Trundle from working any of his midgame map pressure and roaming magic that we saw from Fnatic. In short, Trundle has great snowball potential with an above average early game, but the incredible risk to become a nonfactor in any other situation.