League of Legends has deployed patch 10.14, the most recent update for the game that brings new changes to affect the global meta.
In season 10, the meta has fallen into a point where teams are either going all-in with dives or poking the enemies from a distance. In pro play, we see the same champions over and over with little innovation. Patch 10.14 hopes to move the meta forward, introducing new picks and nerfing some of the champions that are performing too well.
There are two types of meta right now in League of Legends, a poke meta and a hard engage meta. The hard engage meta is becoming even more prevalent thanks to junglers like Volibear and Sett. These are two champions that want to run at the enemies and chase them across the map. Champions that can initiate or set up plays are ideal for these types of compositions. Thresh, Nautilus, and Braum can jump in and absorb damage, and all three have some sort of CC.
Alistar fits into this category of a tank that can initiate. In patch 10.14, the minotaur is getting a small buff on his Q.
The top lane meta is dominated by bruisers like Wukong, Volibear, and Mordekaiser. In the LCK, Illaoi is coming up as an option against these picks with mild success. All bruisers in the meta go for tanky builds so they can frontline, no problem. In Season 10, the item on everyone’s build is Death Dance.
Death Dance has it all: CDR, armor, magic resistance, life steal, and damage. It’s the perfect item for melee champions that might also go for a Black Cleaver. These builds, while popular, are not effective for Riven. Riot is taking into consideration Riven’s particular needs and giving her a buff to her more damage-oriented build.
After the buffs, Riven might still not find her way back into the meta. In the current state, most compositions are trying to achieve something specific and Riven might not fit in that vision. Of course, there’s always a chance that a player in the LPL picks her up and makes her look OP.
On the other side of the balance, Varus is getting a necessary nerf. So far, Varus has a 99% presence in pro play. Varus has been banned 315 times in pro play across all regions, and the second most-banned is Syndra with 200 bans. Varus has been left open and picked only 19 times.
Lethality Varus is the most overpowered champion in Season 10. Varus can snipe enemies with his piercing arrow and the poke is just too strong. In a poke composition, even if the enemy targets Varus, there might be other sources of damage within the team. Not even the strongest front line can sustain through Varus’ damage.
Riot is hoping to bring him back to a healthy spot with some nerfs.
Pyke recently discovered its new identity as a mid laner. On its own, this champion can fight in the one-versus-one and his kit allows Pyke to roam to the side lanes very effectively. Even in the bot lane, Pyke tends to go for an offensive build with lethality items and none of the typical support items.
The theory behind the nerfs in patch 10.14 is that by nerfing Pyke’s W, it takes away his ability to roam. The same patch buffs Pyke’s Q and E, making the support assassin potentially more effective in the bottom lane.
Pyke still looks like a good option in the mid lane. Losing 20% movement speed later might not be enough to send him back to the bottom lane. On the contrary, because he has more damage, he might be even more attractive for mid players looking for a slippery option.