As newer patches come into light, some champions fall into the shadows. This has become increasingly prevalent in Season 9, especially in the current, never-ending meta. A few champions – such as Yasuo and Riven – are always dominant if played in the right capacity. However, certain old-time favorites have seen their prime pass and should be left alone for the time being.
Don’t Get Pushy
Over the years, Gragas has seen a lot of play on the rift, dating back to the days of full AP Gragas Mid. Nowadays, the concept remains the same, but played in the Jungle instead. With someone like Gragas in the Jungle, there needs to be more stability in other lanes to ensure his utility. This can sometimes be an issue, as the current meta favorites higher DPS champions, but it’s also why Gragas is played.
The biggest drawback with this champion is the falloff when behind. If ahead early on, Gragas can be the key to a surrender from the opponent. However, he lacks the ability to climb back into the game. It isn’t particularly hard to build the right items, but it’s all about the timing. Some of Gragas’ core items – like Runic Echoes and Lich Bane – are much stronger in the earlier stages of the game. If purchased late, he’ll have little effect on opponents that have been playing the matchup right.
Overall, it’s hard to get rolling with Gragas unless it’s done early on. After the mid-game, he turns into a glass cannon that requires a lot of help from his team. A missed ultimate could mean Gragas gets flipped on his head in seconds, unless the situation is played right. His current 49% win rate is a warning to all who seek to play him, as he’s a complete hit or miss. In fact, this staggeringly average percentage is an improvement from recent patches, where he hovered around a 46% win ratio. Believe it or not, there’s a reason Gragas is currently ranked in the bottom 10 among Jungle champions.
A Bad Magic Trick
Despite the popularity among certain Twitch streamers, Shaco is probably one of the most outdated champions in League of Legends. In fact, he’s only been seen twice in the past three seasons of the LCS. Needless to say, it’s time to put Shaco back on the shelf.
For Shaco, it’s all about the element of surprise. If played properly, he can easily one-shot an enemy carry and go about his business. However, he lacks the tools to play effectively in team fighting scenarios. His ability kit provides little crowd control, a lackluster engage and an obvious clone that brings barely anything to the table. These qualities often make Shaco players more predictable and easier to play against, considering his weak abilities and inability to adapt to certain situations. Simply draft a tankier champion – like a Sejuani or Vi – and the Shaco will become useless in a fight.
As the game progresses, Shaco finds himself in a much bigger hole. His usage early on revolves around ganking opponents and stacking up gold. However, there’s usually only one or two enemies that he can actually take on in the late-game. If an ADC happens to step to far or wander by in the Jungle, that’s likely his only opportunity at greatness. Otherwise, he’s forced to rely on teammates to set him up. There are a select few that can play this champion at a high level, but in reality it’s probably best to save Shaco for normal games.
Lady Luck is Frustrated
Luck isn’t on Twisted Fate’s side, as he’s certainly fallen off in the non-competitive spectrum of the game. Of course, some professional players have dabbled with TF this season, but only because they’ve played him since the game was released. For most others, that is definitely not the case and therefore he should be sidelined until given the right opportunity.
Even though Twisted Fate was played 12 times during the LCS Summer Split, that doesn’t mean he’s viable for lower ranks. Overall, TF lacks the fire power that he used to have in prior seasons. Instead of the full AP build, many have turned to the on hit, attack speed build for higher DPS. This tactic has been effective in some cases, however it makes the champion utterly useless earlier in the game. Typically, the advantage is given to Twisted Fate because of his constant card spamming during the laning phase. When building mostly attack speed, the damage just isn’t there until he completes two or three items.
Like Shaco, Twisted Fate is at a crossroads when looking at the new era of the game. Champions are becoming more mobile and harder to play, whereas someone like Twisted Fate is lost in the dust. He’s simply just too plain to be played at a high level, at least effectively that is. That’s probably why he’s currently ranked in the bottom half of all Mid Lane champions in North America.
Featured Image Courtesy of Riot Games.
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