Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Back in May, I wrote an article titled “Top five most hated Dominion Champions” which listed Nidalee, Leblanc, Fizz, Lee Sin, and Jax as the most annoying champions to play against on The Crystal Scar. Not only are these champs incredibly powerful and hard to deal with but they are also pretty frequently played which can get tiresome after awhile.
In order to see just how big of a problem these champions are, I simply tallied how many times I saw each champion on the list over the course of my next 100 Dominion games played during the last two months. These games were played around 1,300 to 1,600 MMR. It is worth noting that the meta at other MMR’s may be different and it may be worth conducting similar experiments at other MMR’s to see how the most frequently played champions differ depending on the range of your Elo. Throughout this experiment I did not play any of these champions myself.
Here are the frequencies of each champion encountered in a span of 100 games played:
- Leblanc: 14 games (14%)
- Jax: 21 games (21%)
- Fizz: 24 games (24%)
- Lee Sin: 33 games (33%)
- Nidalee: 37 games (37%)
The above five champions appeared a total of 129 times in 100 games. That works out to roughly 1.3 appearances per game. In other words, you are almost guaranteed to see at least one of the five most hated champions in every single Dominion game you play whether they are on your team or against you. This goes to show these five champs are without a doubt among the most powerful Dominion champions in the game.
Since I didn’t play any of these champions myself, this potentially affected the experiment by reducing the appearance rate of these champions because I was actually only measuring how frequently they were picked among nine potential players rather than 10. This likely reduced their actual pick rate by up to 10% so Nidalee potentially would have been played in 41% of games instead of 37%, Lee Sin in 36% instead of 33%, Fizz in 26% instead of 24%, Jax in 23% instead of 21%, and Leblanc in 15% instead of 14%. This factor is something that must be kept in mind when considering the accuracy of the data.
At the time of this writing there are a total of 119 champions currently available in League of Legends. That means if all 119 champions were played equally as frequently, with 10 champion picks per game, you would expect to see the same champions in only 8% of your games (100 games * 10 picks / 119 total champions = 8%). So out of 100 games played you would expect to only see Lee Sin, for example, in about eight of them. That is far from the case, however, and Lee Sin is actually present in a full one third of all Dominion games. Nidalee is even more frequently played, being present in 37 out of 100 games. One has to wonder why Riot Games buffed her in the 4.11 patch.
A couple other things worth noting is that Nidalee’s pick frequency has actually gone down since her rework in June. Nid used to be most frequently picked Dominion champion but since the rework she has actually been surpassed by Yasuo. Leblanc’s pick rate also plummeted since the 4.10 patch (the same time Nidalee was reworked) because Riot removed the silence effect from her Sigil of Malice ability. Apparently this small change turned off Leblanc players enough to start playing other champions. Almost all of Leblanc’s appearances occurred during the initial stages of this experiment with 11 tallies in just the first 30 games, then only four tallies in the next 70.
If this data shows anything it’s that Riot Games really needs to work on Dominion-specific balancing for champions. They already dabble in this area a little bit as evidenced by changes such as a longer cooldown timer on Kayle’s ultimate for Dominion or less of a damage bonus on for Kha’Zix’s attacks on isolated targets, but these small tweaks are clearly not enough. It’s a little ridiculous to see the same handful of champions game after game after game. Champions like Rumble, Zac, Corki, Graves, Taric, Galio, Nautilus, and Nunu are almost never played. Many others are rarely seen on The Crystal Scar as well. It gets boring having to play around the same strategies and seeing the same champions every game. If you hate playing against the champs on this list, then chances are Dominion isn’t going to be much fun for you. Better balancing might help make long nights of playing Dominion more fun by increasing the variety of champions played and rewarding people for playing different champions.