Oct 2, 2016

FOTM Report: World Stage (Kennen, Nidalee & more) - No Spoilers

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Professional picks do not always translate into strong ranked ladder picks since Riot balances for pro play. However, there are two specific champions that are being picked extremely often that I think are also particularly good for ranked ladder climbing: Kennen and Nidalee.


Picks From the World Stage

Professional picks do not always translate into strong ranked ladder picks since Riot balances for pro play. However, there are two specific champions that are being picked extremely often that I think are also particularly good for ranked ladder climbing: Kennen and Nidalee.

Kennen

Out of the two champions listed, Kennen is the one that I think is currently strongest right now. Most people play him as a top laner for his powerful harass against melee laners, and choose not to place him mid as a result of his low wave clear potential.

However, in solo queue it may be BETTER to play him mid lane, since it allows him to participate in team fights earlier on in the game without needing teleport.

Regardless, he brings:
  1. Excellent AOE CC;
  2. Good initiation from long-range;
  3. Massive mid to late game damage; and
  4. Safe early game harass.

Difference between old Kennen and World's Kennen

The primary difference between how people generally play Kennen and how he's been played at world's is when people build Zhonya's Hourglass.

Classically, most people either rush the item or build it second. However, building Hextech Protobelt, Rylai's, and THEN Zhonya's gives him a lot more team fight utility and increased damage.

Nidalee

Personally, Nidalee has always been one of my favorites for solo queue. Her mana-less gap closer/escape allows her to escape sticky situations with ease, and her long-range nuke has little counter-play other than dodging it.

What's Different Now?

Meta Shift
Jayce is now back in the meta, along with Varus. Although Nidalee may not be appropriate for every composition, if you can get her on a team with a long-ranged attack damage based nuker, enemy teams have a ton of trouble sustaining through the damage.

Although she can also work with tank compositions, she does not do quite as well in glass-cannon all-in compositions since she it makes her reliant on landing her spear in high-pressure situations.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Players now opt to build an early Rylai's after finishing their Runic Echos enchant. This allows Nidalee to splash AOE slow on enemy champions, and allows for easier engages after chunking down squishies.

A Few Other Champions

Without going into too much detail, here are also some thoughts on additional champions that have been getting chosen a lot in pro team compositions (no particular order):
  • Vladimir - Questionable to play him into ranked ladder. The main issue is that he needs to hit his ultimate before your team's big damage spells come out to maximize the 10%, but since it provides no hard CC, enemies can quickly escape before your team can follow up.
  • Ryze - His ultimate provides a lot of team utility, but needs a good amount of coordination to use effectively. Otherwise, the rest of his kit is just average unless you are a professional Korean gamer.
  • Syndra - She is in a decent place right now and capable of excellent plays. However, she's not quite the 100% pick/ban that you see on the world stage as a result of difficulties positioning her spheres for most players.
  • Poppy - Fairly average pick, she works but unless you are very specific about who you are ulting, it could end up saving enemies instead of strategically placing them. After her damage nerfs she is not the 1v1 powerhouse that she used to be.
  • Cassiopeia - Post nerfs, she also seems fairly average unless you have sick marksman mechanics as a mid-laner. 
  • Nami - After the Sona and Soraka nerfs these past few patches, Nami may very well be a sleeper pick. Her ultimate synergizes well with someone like Kennen, and we might be seeing a lot more of her for good reason.

Are there any champions you've been seeing a lot of in worlds and are considering picking them up? Agree/disagree on any of the points above? Comment below!






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