Patch 10.16 brought huge changes to the Rift, causing shifts in many pick priorities.
For a reference of an overview of patch notes, click here.
Because the entire meta is too overwhelming to analyze in a single article, here are the potential meta shifts in Korean competitive play, specifically in the bot lane, resulting from patch 10.16.
Ashe stood as a highly contested pick in patch 10.15.
In patch 10.16, Riot nerfed Ashe’s Q’s bonus attack speed. With the dominant lane bully bumped down a peg, Ashe’s team fight potential drops significantly. Though her overall kit remains unchanged, the bonus attack speed nerf means that Ashe cannot deal the same damage in a prolonged team fight as before.
This defeats the biggest role of the ADC, to deal consistent damage in an extended fight. Though Ashe still plays phenomenally in the early game, thanks to her vision control and poke, she will not be picked at every opportunity as she once was.
With the nerfs to Ashe, Caitlyn stands as the most viable poke heavy ADC for the laning phase.
With the buffs she received on patch 10.15 to her base damage, Caitlyn out trades most ADCs in the laning phase. Many of the popular picks in the LCK lack attack range and a strong early game, therefore the Caitlyn pick proves invaluable.
Once secured with a lead, Caitlyn proves incredibly difficult to deal with. Expect more Caitlyn play in the LCK.
Though buffed, Lucian will likely not see much or any Korean Competitive play. At least not in the bot lane. The meta prioritizes scaling champions. The extra damage to his Q and Ultimate will not be enough to help Lucian zone his laners from scaling.
Tristana may see more competitive play. With the buff to her E, Explosive Charge, the Yordle’s burst damage jumped up. This gives Tristana more scaling potential with her critical damage. Alongside her ability to push objectives, Tristana may make a comeback in competitive play.
Without a doubt, Ezreal will continue to see competitive play. Despite the nerfs in patch 10.14, Ezreal’s scaling into the late game and safety in the early game provides insurance for the bot lane to reach team fights.
Kalista will continue to be a staple pick in the LCK. With her ultimate, her synergy with popular supports is too strong. This leads into the support discussion.
The massive nerf to Sett’s W and E hurt Sett support. His viability in the bot lane came from his high base damage, essentially resulting in a hook champion with outstanding trade potential.
Without the necessary base damage on his skills, Sett support will no longer be a comfortable pick. There exist many tanks that simply provide more utility than post-nerf Sett.
Nautilus’s shield nerf pushes him out of top picks for the bottom lane. Nautilus’s trade potential drops significantly. He cannot soak as much damage, and therefore performs his job less effectively.
These nerfs to both Sett and Nautilus are not enough to completely eliminate them as picks in the LCK, but will definitely make teams think twice about picking them.
Many tank support options still exist, such as Pantheon, Tahm Kench, and Leona. But with the nerf of the overwhelming top picks, many different supports now have leeway to breathe.
The risk the engage and crowd control potential provide still stands high. If the tanks engage properly, typically either the enemy ADC will die, or the support will have to die for them. Supports that can effectively counter this type of play have made a comeback.
In such conditions, two viable ardent supports in patch 10.16 are Lulu and Yuumi.
The Lulu pick gradually sees more play. Her w, Whimsy, denies crowd control, which counters engage heavy champions. The boosts she gives her ally ADC give livability alongside damage, the perfect combination for 10.16.
As she remains invulnerable for most of the game, Yuumi still sees competitive play. But with her high mana costs, the Yuumi pick must be very intentional. The team composition must synergize well with the pick, or else the fights may seem like 4v5s the entire game. Mentioned before, the Lucian pick is weak. But when paired up specifically with Yuumi, the combination sees frequent play in some LCK teams.
Bard, a tanky healing support, provides roaming and map control that no other support can mimic. The utility from his ultimate is invaluable, able to save team fights from a distance. Despite his nerfs from patch 10.16, he will likely remain viable in Korean play.
Since Caitlyn is seeing more and more play, something quite fascinating is happening to the support role. Lux and Morgana support have made their debut on the competitive stage, picks that play very well with Caitlyn. These picks have made a definitive shift in the bot lane, making for completely new match ups.
Last but not least, Karma still sees Korean competitive play. Patch 10.16 nerfed her kit, as she too frequently top lane. But despite these nerfs, Karma stands as a strong pick, thanks to the flexible utility of her peeling.
Patch 10.16 nerfed many top picks from the bot lane. These changes should give opportunity for new champions to make a comeback on the competitive stage, alongside allow already existing picks more breathing room.
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