I’m not trolling, I swear.
Hello, all. If you’re like me, waking up in the seemingly alternate dimension that is the preseason, you may have recognized that a few champions are over-tuned with the new masteries. You’ll also notice that these few champions seem to be on the perma-ban list, such as Yasuo, Soraka, and the likes of them. The preseason gave rise to other champions, though, and through lack of play time, and previously being a little underwhelming, these champions have flown relatively under the radar. So, if you’re like me and proclaim a new main every other game, follow me as I take us all on an adventure into the uncharted territories that is the pre-season meta, and shine some light on some of the underrated champs.
Even though he has a nerf incoming, I still think he will be in a position where he can do well with his sustain damage and anti-mid kit. The silence, which is one of the last in the game, being AOE brings a lot into the lane, along with his unavoidable Malefic Visions, spitting out constant DOT. The suppressive ult is also great to pair with jungle ganks if communicated well. The new masteries are also yours for the choosing. Whether you want a 45% CDR rage-inducing Malzahar, or a bursty void being, he really is effective. However, the biggest and most daunting weakness for Malzahar is his lack of mobility, and the fact that he is a very squishy champion to begin with.
With the preseason, you may have noticed the overall nerf and increased costs to AP items. Swain, though, is the one of the original Rod of Ages fiends, and that item was left relatively untouched. Now, in ARAMS you may have seen some people stacking Rod of Ages over and over and just becoming a tanky DOT villain. Surprisingly, it’s actually not the worst idea considering the position that AP items are in. Now, I’m not saying stack six of them and call it a day, but grabbing a second could actually be more cost efficient versus picking up any alternative, while still allowing you, as Swain, to do Swain things… You know, for Noxus or whatever.
I believe Nami is in a great spot, along with many other sustain supports, whom we have come to know in a very extreme sense (die, Soraka). Nami brings a lot to the lane with trading ability, sustain, CC, empowering autos onto broken marksmen, and most importantly, a great spammable laugh emote. While Nami may not shine as bright as other champions (die, Soraka!) I think she’s a great pick with a ton of play potential.
Now, I know you’re all thinking, “Ponnox, Corki is a marksmen, they’re all crazy broken!” While this may be true, I feel like when most people played Corki, they tunneled too hard on the package part of his kit. Then, when they realized that it wasn’t as strong as anticipated, shifted their favor to other marksmen with more potential (Caitlyn, Kog, Graves, etc). The true magic of his kit, though, is the amazing amount of AP damage he deals without actually building much AP. A fun alternative is solo lane Corki. Taking Corki to the mid lane and farming your heart out, while having tools to avoid ganks gives Corki a good laning phase, while keeping his extreme mid game intact. Tossing a Void Staff into the build around the fourth or fifth item isn’t too crazy either, and allows for better siege potential later into the game, as your rockets will pack a little more punch than usual.
While this may seem outrageous to most, we see a rise in the power of gems with the inclusion of the new masteries. The 45% CDR allows Taric to heal and stun to an insane extent. The changes to the Resolve tree have increased his healing and overall annoyance as well, as he gets right in your face and smashes that glass. He still lacks a lot in his kit as far as being an amazing champion, but this preseason was very kind to him and gave him that small boost he needed. Picking him against an AD heavy team while stacking armour wouldn’t be the worst thing ever on the Rift.
While this only highlights a few of the champions that have missed out on the spotlight that is the pick and ban phase, there are still many more that, with some experimentation, can be found to be a little abusive. It’s the preseason, so don’t be afraid to experiment. There is a wide and beautiful world out there to discover, once you see all the potential.
All my Hot Love and Hot Chocolate,
Bailey Ponnox Dietrich