With the buffs to the general ADC role, alongside nerfs to certain dominating picks, Riot cautiously manages ADC as Worlds approaches.
As of Patch 10.15, here are the top three ADC picks dominating the LCK.
Ashe stands as the most notable pick for this patch. As of 10.15, she is undeniably overpowered.
Almost every match, teams rush to pick her. Though there were no substantial buffs to Ashe’s kit, the recent shifts in the bot lane matchups provide no realistic answer to her.
The Laning Phase
With the nerf of Aphelios and Varus, there exist no overwhelming lane bullies for the bot lane. Without these bullies, ADC players in the LCK prioritize farming champions to hyper carry team fights.
Ashe excels against these farm reliant carries. Her early game smacks the hyper carry match ups. With her W, Volley, she pushes enemy ADCs away from their minion wave. The width and damage of Ashe’s W has no answer in the bot lane. The other dominant picks lack the consistent poke damage, range, and area of effect to contest the damage and utility.
Ashe’s E, Hawkshot, makes for an incredibly safe laning phase. The vision provided by the skill is invaluable. Free vision of the enemy jungle is useful not just for Ashe, but for the entire team. This knowledge allows for more map control, and smarter, more aggressive team positioning.
In a Dragon/jungle dominated meta, Ashe’s vision from her Hawshot aids not only her laning phase, but the entire team’s laning phase.
Ashe’s kit is oppressive during early and mid-game fights. With the proper build set, Ashe’s scaling peaks at the mid-game. Her built-in slows and crowd control make her near impossible to deal with.
Her ultimate, Enchanted Crystal Arrow, provides amazing pick potential, alongside peel for herself. With the ability to stun an enemy from across the map, a properly utilized Enchanted Crystal Arrow can stop the enemy’s momentum, pushing the allied team’s momentum forward.
Ashe’s Q, Ranger’s Focus, makes it so she becomes stronger as the team fight progresses. Teamfights around objectives are the main focus of today’s meta, the ADC’s role being consistent damage throughout the fight. Her Q is perfect for such a role, as her auto attacks, thanks to Ruunan’s Hurricane (one of her core items), provide area of effect slows.
Without the conventional dash escape, Ashe seems like an easy kill. This assumption is wrong. Her built-in slows and stun make her near impossible to approach, especially if the ADC player positions beside their team properly.
Competitive games (in patch 10.15) are most often won or lost during the first half. Ashe’s early and mid game domination cement her as the strongest ADC pick in 10.15.
The Ezreal pick is very common in the LCK. Even after the nerf to his E, Arcane shift, in patch 10.14, he stands as one of the safest damage dealers in the bot lane.
The Laning Phase
Ezreal requires time to build up items to become a real threat. As his build revolves around building up his tear, his early levels lack the damage to bully enemy laners. That is why his main role during the laning phase is to farm up, which is quite easy thanks to his Q, Mystic Shot.
The distance and utility of his Q gives him the ability farm from a distance, even without a support. This allows the support to roam and help the jungle more comfortably. The help from the support can be game changing in the jungle focused meta.
His E, which serves as an escape, gives him livability that is essential to scaling into the mid to late game. Arcane Shift has the ability to jump walls. In a jungle focused meta, this allows for safer positioning for Dragon fights.
Once mid to late game comes about, Ezreal’s damage shines. His low cooldowns allow for procs on Sheen to multiply his damage. His W, Essence Flux, gives single target burst damage to both champions and large monsters. Alongside his global ultimate, Trueshot Barrage, Ezreal has excellent pressure in jungle fights.
Arcane shift lets him dash walls and distance himself to maximize damage alongside safety, depending on which he needs to prioritize. This gives Ezreal players many choices for play styles, making the champion adaptable to high stake situations.
In such high-level competitive play, ADC players need to know when to all in. They know when the opportunity is to maximize damage with Ezreal. Using Arcane Shift forward, without the knowledge that these Korean players have, is often suicide for an Ezreal player. But in the LCK, such a move often marks the beginning of the Ezreal team fight carry.
Kalista is, yet again, another hyper carry. Similar to Ezreal, she experienced nerfs in a previous patch (10.13) due to competitive teams abusing her. Despite the nerfs, Kalista is a highly contested pick in competitive play.
The Laning Phase
Kalista’s laning phase stands near the stronger end. Her all-in potential at one small enemy mistake applies incredible pressure. With so much mobility built into her kit, Kalista has no problems chasing down out of position enemies. Her E, Rend, slows and executes enemies.
Her W, Sentinel, similar to Ashe, provides vision control in the jungle. This vision creates opportunities for the ally jungle, potentially giving bot-side priority which leads to Dragon priority.
Typically paired up with engage supports with crowd control, Kalista utilizes her ultimate, Fate’s Call, to create an unrivaled synergy.
The beauty of the Kalista pick is in its safety. In the current meta, the support’s role is to ensure the ADC’s scaling. Quite often, supports die in place of their ADCs when attempting to disengage a fight. Fate’s Call creates windows of survival for the support, a safety net. Fate’s Call also serves as a forced engage, which, if paired with the right support, can be devastating in lane and in team fights.
Her passive gives her the ability to jump walls, which stand as barriers between the enemy and Kalista.
The stacks on Kalista’s Rend provide massive utility. Stacking damage, Kalista’s kit is built on executing targets after a prolonged fight. With the peel and engage built into her ultimate, Kalista excels at being safe in team fights, while maximizing damage during key moments.
Both the wall jump and stacking potential are essential for Dragon. Given enough stacks, the execution on Kalista’s Render can out-damage a jungler’s smite. The wall jump gives Kalista an escape, in case the enemy team collapses on Dragon.
As an ADC very reliant on movement speed, Kalista is countered by slows and general crowd control. AKA Ashe.
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