The rise of AMC
Recently something very unexpected has happened. AMC has taken a prominent place within the meta. AMC was always considered too risky for competitive or even casual play. With his lack of escape, the fear was that he was just too much of a sitting duck, reserved for the occasional pocket pick from the likes of Evan ‘Snoopy’ Jones.
This was a real fear when you think about what he brings in the shape of incredible early clear, a quasi-permanent AS buff and high ability damage; so in hindsight it does seem strange that he was ignored for so long. If I’m honest I think it was partly a case of everyone (including myself) believing the rhetoric a bit too much. However, on top of this I think there are more tangible reasons why AMC is particularly excelling in this meta.
One of the big things that is allowing AMC to flourish is how much teams are valuing Hide of the Urchin currently. It has been a very long time since we have seen mages and hunters building defense, going back to the days of Kukulkan (Ao Kuang back then) mid being the norm.
This is huge for AMC as it allows him to survive burst damage and use the MS from his hives as a pseudo-escape. Pretty much all mids currently are building Hiding of the Urchin, but AMC’s are regularly building it from the ADC role as well.
There is also another reason why it helps AMC that carries are building defense. He still does ridiculous damage. One of the problems with building Hide of the Urchin is that you’re probably going to have to sacrifice an AS item. That isn’t a problem for AMC as his hives give him a 50 percent AS buff in a 90 unit radius.
Early clear and late game meta
SPL teams are putting a big priority on early clear as a way of controlling jungle at the moment. This is noticeable in the resurgence of Raijin and the early stacking in mid.
AMC has ridiculous early clear. His level one clear is strong but he really starts to shine at level two. Once he hits two he can full clear the wave in seconds. Dropping Honey into a Swarm to apply the bees will kill a wave in a matter of seconds. This frees up the AMC’s team to rotate and look for more farm all over the map.
However, the games are also going late at the moment which suits AMC just fine with his 50 percent AS buff. There are few Gods in the game who fit the bill quite like AMC if you are looking for a God who can clear early and is a powerhouse in the late game.
The solo focus
Solo laners in the SPL must be in some form of shock at the moment with how much they are getting focused. Long gone are the days of solo island and this has allowed mids and ADC’s in particular to thrive.
There are lots of reasons why solo is getting focused so heavily at the moment but for the purpose of this article it is just enough to know that it is happening. This means that while Mid-Laners are still sharing most of their farm, they are not getting focused as much as they have in previous seasons. What this means is that AMC is eating less ults to the face and if people are diving him he normally has a jungler and support to peel.
In the duo lane though it is practically dream land for AMC. With all the focus on the solo lane, AMC is just allowed to free-farm with barely a whiff of a jungler. In a 1v1 laning environment there are very few equal to an AMC. So he is propelled to late game with his ability to clear and farm jungle quicker than most hunters. As well as making the opposing ADC’s life much harder with his incredible boxing ability and ludicrous burst damage.
While there are numerous reasons for an increase in AMC’s pick rate, the largest reason in my mind is a change in attitude. At the moment we are seeing a big upswing across the board in hyper carries who were seen as too risky and squishy returning to the meta. The willingness to build defense particularly in regard to Hide of the Urchin has given the likes of He Bo and AMC a new lease on life.
It will be interesting to see how the recent changes to Hide of the Urchin change this though. If I’m honest I don’t see a huge amount of change coming. The nerf to Hide wasn’t huge, what it has done though is make the stacks even more important, with the intention of it not being ubiquitously bought, but to fill further into its niche of a ‘win-more’ item. Even if the community thinks the nerfs are bigger than this, you will see these hyper carries but just with different items. My guess is Spirit Robe will now be the choice from behind.
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