Rise of the Mages

By Daryl Zammit
on Jan 11, 2017

Ok so originally this was going to be a list of mage characters that have successfully migrated to the bottom lane and taken over the support role. I might definitely still get to that, but I honestly felt like this is something that needed to be discussed before. Just like most of you reading this, I am a League of Legends player, so I obviously play my fair share of games. This means that I am no newcomer when it comes to "Meta-Breaking" picks and styles; many a time have I had someone on my team, or the enemy team, try out a weird pick or play-style, with varying results.

 

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Then something weird happened; I played a game where the enemy team had picked a Ziggs APC instead of a traditional ADC. "Just another player trying to break the meta", I thought to myself. But in this case, Ziggs crushed us completely (I was playing ADC so I had a first-hand experience at the embarrassment). On to the next game, and another Ziggs chosen instead of an ADC. This seemed a bit weird to me, as I've rarely encountered frequent weird picks without there being a reason behind them, like the character receiving an impressive buff (Top Lane Tanky Fizz anyone?) or having a professional player influence the entire community. To my amusement, it was more than that. Way more than just that.

 

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To start us off, let me first talk about why Ziggs is now considered to be Master-Tier APC and why he is being thrown into bot-lane, according to my findings at least. A minor "update" altered Ziggs' Satchel Charge ability to include an extra tower-destroying 'hexplosion' effect, should the tower be below a certain percentage of its health. Obviously this is kind of a big deal, especially on mages who usually take a bit longer to destroy turrets due to their attack speed being lower than that of marksmen.

 

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"But this isn't anything new! This design has been in place for months now!" Well, yes. You're right there, but there's more. Enter Shiphtur, a challenger player who has been streaming himself playing Ziggs in botlane. But maybe Shiphtur isn't known well enough by people to have a big impact right? Well, how about Imaqtpie? My point here is that well known streamers are showing themselves succeeding in playing Ziggs in the botlane, and that they have very clearly affected the rest of the player base.

 

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But wait, there's more. As any marksmen main can tell you, the ADC role received a pretty harsh treatment after the end of Season 6 and many have been vocal about it. Their early game has suffered a big kick, and there have been comments of people complaining that they feel like the only way they can progress in the game as marksmen is if they are already in the lead. Not a very good position to have when picking a role to play as, especially if it’s your main/favourite role.

For this reason, people are slowly opting for an APC bot rather than the usual ADC, with videos popping up about appropriate mage picks for bot lane. Riot's own Meddler himself even commented on the matter, where he states that Riot would like to support non-marksmen options for bot lane because it is good for the game in creating variety, while placing the blame of sub-par marksmen performances on the current state of jungler dominance, which is currently being worked on.

 

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So yeah, apparently Season 7 is being pretty harsh on bot-lane right now, and we might come full circle in having mages back in the bot-lane just like in Season 1. Right now it definitely seems like it, but future patches might cement or discard this idea altogether (hello again now-defunct tanky Fizz). Feel free to comment your opinions down below. Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Do you like the way things seem to be shifting? I'll update you once any news comes out. Rant over.

Check out Part 2 where we take a look into mages that transitioned into the support role here.

Until then, cya!

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