The mid season mage update has come and gone, leaving an interesting metagame in its wake. High win rate marksmen have been divided into two distinct categories with skirmish winning, armor penetration ADCs trying to finish out matches in the mid game and hurricane and critical strike building ADCs attempting to stabilize until decisive late game team fights. Top win rate mages have shifted to more AOE and control heavy champions such as Swain, Karthus, and Anivia, which have a greater impact in team fights. Most of the tanks from the previous metagame have disappeared from the top of the win rate list, with only Volibear remaining as a top tier jungle pick. The highest ranked support picks by win rate have also become more aggressive, with champions like Zyra and Vel’koz showing up near the top of the list. Let’s examine a few of the champions mentioned above in order to determine why their win rate is so high on the current patch.
Swain: 55% Win Rate
After the mid season mage update Swain was still under powered, so the Riot balance team decided to change the healing component of Ravenous Flock to heal for flat damage per rank plus a small AP ratio instead of the previous amount of 15% of the damage dealt. This change significantly improved Swain’s ability to sustain in fights and heal off tanks with magic resist without having to build AP items with magic penetration.
Swain players can start a game with a Doran’s ring and two health potions or a corrupting potion depending on the match-up. From there, typical Swain builds include a first item Rod of Ages to begin generating stacks as soon as possible. Next, Zhonya’s Hourglass and Spirit Visage are built to increase survivability when engaging in mid game team fights, and if the game drags out, common final items include Abyssal Scepter for magic penetration and Rabadon’s Deathcap for pure damage amplification.
Volibear: 54% Win Rate
Volibear is the current champion to pick in Dynamic Queue for junglers that want to be boosted, and by boosted I mean both movement speed and rank. Without any changes in patches 6.10 or 6.11 Volibear has moved up in position to become the highest win rate jungler as the meta has shifted and other junglers have been nerfed or fallen out of favor.
Volibear players have the option of choosing Stalker’s blade to decrease their chance of being kited or Skirmishers Sabre to increase their duel potential. Whichever path is chosen though, Cinderhulk always completes either item. Boots of swiftness and Dead Man’s Plate are core items built to increase movement speed, and Spirit Visage is important for not only magic resist, but magnifying the champion’s healing passive. Late game items to complete builds typically include Randuin’s Omen, Thornmail, or Sunfire Cape for armor or Titanic Hydra for wave clear and increased damage.
Miss Fortune: 54% Win Rate
With the nerfs to Lucian in patch 6.11 Miss Fortune has stepped up to take his place as a leading mid game spiking armor penetration marksman. Unlike critical strike builds that are reliant on multiple items being completed to ensure consistent damage, this alternate build path can provide a high level of uniform damage earlier in a match.
The armor penetration build starts with a Youmuu’s Ghostblade into a Duskblade of Draktharr. Using the Ghostblade active while waiting for the Duskblade Nightfall trigger to pop allows Miss fortune to assassinate opponents in skirmishes or duels. The Black Cleaver rounds out the core items in this build for armor shred that can be applied to multiple opponents simultaneously with her ult and works especially well with a heavy physical damage team composition. The more traditional Essence Reaver, Infinity Edge, and Statikk Shiv or Rapid Firecannon build is another viable path that sacrifices a mid game power spike for improved late game damage.
Zyra: 54% Win Rate
Zyra is a powerful support pick because of her zone control and CC paired with high damage potential after staying in the same area for a sufficient amount of time. In this regard, ignite is commonly selected while exhaust is still a viable option as a summoner spell. Zyra’s ultimate can also single-handedly determine the outcome of team fights if multiple opponents are knocked up and/or a large number of plants are enraged.
Zyra players typically start the game with a Spellthief’s Edge, then upgrade the Edge into an Eye of the Watchers for vision control to finish their first completed item. The additional two core items that should be built next are Liandry’s Torment and Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, since Zyra’s plants trigger the passive abilities on those items. Support builds commonly do not extend past three completed items, but in prolonged games complete builds can include Abyssal Scepter, Locket of the Iron Solari, Mikael’s Crucible, and/or banner of command depending on team compositions.
If you want to try shredding armor with a Black Cleaver Miss Fortune build or diving into team fights and sustaining as mid lane Swain, you can test any of these champions in a competitive environment in Attaq Online solo queue tournaments. You can sign up now for access to the platform, currently in BETA and running tournaments Thursday through Sunday every week with daily prize support. The platform offers free automated League of Legends tournaments you can queue for as an individual player, without the need for a pre-made team. You can sign up here now, and compete in events this week. All you need is an account on the NA server ranked for season six.