League of Legends: Behind the Current Season 3 Meta

Author: MMOsite Writer DJWest

The League of Legends meta is ever changing and always looking for new ways to game the system and find an advantage over your enemies. As champions, items, and even map features get reworked patch-by-patch, new favorites and bans replace the old. Season 3 brought about a huge change, as with any season, and because of that we're seeing a lot of new and old champions alike filling the high ranks of play, either called "OP" by the masses or just niche enough to become a favorite pick for those with enough skill to master them. Let's take a look at some of the most used and most banned champions in League of Legends currently.

Insta-Bans

League of Legend's Draft Mode and ranked play have been favored by many players, especially those that hold a grudge, and season three is no different. Currently, by and far, the most banned champion in the game is Kassadin. Sitting at a whopping 66% ban rate across all levels of play, despite his power Kassadin only ends up getting picked in just under 10% of games because of his abysmal ban rate. Kassadin's reign of terror in Ranked play is not, however, is somewhat of an oddity. Kassadin himself has not received any significant buffs - certainly not something powerful enough to cause a shift. Rather, he's always been near the top tiers of play, but small buffs over time to everything from his abilities to Archangel's Staff have let him shine through as one of the most frightening carries in Season 3.

Coming in behind Kassadin - but only just - is Thresh, a very unique and very powerful support. While he lacks the ability to become a powerful Tank like some other supports (Leona, Nautilus), his abilities allow him to build almost entirely into support items while still remaining a powerful threat. With a pull, two slows, the ability to call other champions to him, and a passive that lets him stack armor and AP without items or gold of any kind, a good Thresh with good skillshots can become a surprisingly potent threat for a member of the team who is likely to have the least personally useful items.

lol s3 analysis
Thresh's pull doesn't tug an opponent as far as Blitzcrank's ability, but it can give you just the window of opportunity to get within casting range.

In third and fourth position are Vayne and Zed, two AD-based champions with massive damage potential. Vayne was often overlooked in Season 2 due to her high risk and terrible early game, but the addition of a powerful sustain item like Blade of the Ruined King gave players an option to help her survive aggression, while still dealing incredible damage. Similarly, Zed was often overlooked by many because of his buyers because of his odd play style, but as others mastered his semi-unique kit and realized the potential for a champion that can one-shot carries with ease, he has become one of the most dangerous champions to face in the hands of a skilled foe.

lol s3 analysis
Zed's ability to switch places with his shadow makes escaping difficult, even if you somehow survive his opening barrage.

Coming up just behind these are champions like Elise and Zac, famed for their chase potential and difficulty to kill in many cases, as well as others like Ahri, Shen, and Jarvan, all strong champions in their own right with many unique skills that, with the current meta, allow them to dominate in the right hands.

Mains and Favorites

With so many powerful champions being very often banned, players have to find safe, reliable mains that they won't be stripped of so often. One of the most popular picks is Caitlyn, with a whopping 40% popularity. While her late game isn't her strong suit, Caitlyn's borderline unbeatable range (especially in the early game), traps, escape, and long-range activated abilities all make her an incredible safe carry, one who can whittle down her lane foe's health without putting herself in any real danger as well as assassinating enemies from far across the map during teamfights. After her, Ezrael brings up the second most popular AD Carry, not unexpected after his place in last season's "Holy Trinity" of ADCs for high competitive leagues. Vayne, despite her high ban rate, rounds out this season's top three.

lol s3 analysis
Ezrael's ability to reduce his own cooldowns also means that you have your ult available for massive damage almost every time you need it.

Also ranking high is Lee Sin, whose ability to play Top Lane very effectively as well as being a powerful Jungle ganker who can play a Tank role, a melee carry, or anything in between (and having the ratios to do so effectively) assures that he will have a place in many teams. After Lee and the AD Carries, Leona, Sona, and Janna all rank above 20% popularity as three of the most commonly used Supports, each with their own unique play styles and each with an ult that can decide a teamfight regardless of how much gold they have.

lol s3 analysis
Leona's combined three CC abilities and defensive steroid also allow her to safely lock down almost any champion in bot lane that is caught alone with no difficulty.

Season 3 Overview

The general meta this season is a mixture of safety and risk; some AD Carries like Vayne are banned, especially in the higher leagues, because a good player who isn't completely shut down can utterly dominate a battle in the late game with her. Champions like Caitlyn and Jarvan get picked because they're fairly safe, reasonably hard to counter pick, and overall carry well enough into the late game that good skill and practice can give you the edge needed to decide games. Bruisers like Nasus are also in style, as well as any other champion that can build items leaning heavily toward Tank while still dealing out incredible damage.

lol s3 analysis
Conveniently, Nasus' ultimate gives him plenty of both whenever he needs it most.

But perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you can always make a champion work; Shyvana, Nidalee, Singed… all of these and more are used all the way up to the highest levels of Diamond tier. Whether a champion is "OP" or the "flavor of the month" doesn't matter half as much as the time and effort one puts into a champion. Still, there's a reason the pros choose the way that they do, and while we shouldn't always copy them, everyone can certainly learn a thing or two from them.

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