The Emerging League of Legends Meta for Spring 2021
The League of Legends Spring 2021 Season is upon us, bringing in a whole new heap of features courtesy of the preseason changes. Since the content release, there have been a few regional tournaments with the big leagues starting up and getting underway this week. With all this said, there seems to be an emerging meta for Spring, with a few champions and Mythic items dictating the pace. Here is what to expect from the League of Legends esports meta for Spring 2021 Regular Season.
Mythics are the new item class that launched in the preseason of Season 11. The introduction of the items shapes the meta to the point that enables certain champions or is defining a role entirely. Three Mythic items are the clear favorites of roles: Luden’s Tempest, Gorerinker, and Galeforce.
Luden’s Tempest is defining the mid lane in almost all scenarios. The only exception to this is Hextech Rocketbelt, which Twisted Fate and Akali work better with. Every other mage takes Luden’s Echo because the burst on it genuinely scales better with many control mages that are currently strong.
Goredrinker is the mythic item that Riot describes as survival healing, but it is a Bruiser’s best friend. Goredrinker allows the user to heal for 12% max hp per target hit. This works extremely well in many of this subclasses kit, meaning champions like Olaf, Darius, Aatrox, and Renekton get even more healing. Also, other frontline damage dealers like Pantheon and Gnar love it.
The other strong Mythic item is Galefroce. Galeforce has recently come out of nowhere for many carries taking it. Champions like Graves were taking Eclipse over Galeforce, but the recent value has placed Galeforce as a top item for many ranged Attack damage dealers. The execute value of the item, and the dash means AD’s have a meaningful choice whether they need the bash or the execute.
Top Lane is seeing a mix of 2020’s top champions and some returning faces to the emerging meta. Champions like Renekton and Ornn are still the most picked and banned, with Camille making appearances here and there. But the exciting part is the fresh faces, as Champions like Aatrox and Gragas are making professional games.
The League of Legends meta for the role seems relatively the same. Top laners tend to be the big bruisers that can dish out damage and be relatively tanky, potentially split push, or big threats that can create pressure in team fights. With the emergence of Goredrinker, the Mythic item makes it even easier for some champions to emerge in this meta. This explains the likes of Aatrox making a return, as his sustain becomes remarkably better. The same goes for Renekton, as Goredrinker helps him sustain even better, especially when the champion notoriously falls off by the late game.
Even with Goredrinker’s prominence, Top’s Mythic diversity is vast. Tanks opt for the Sunfire Aegis, Gragas preferring the Night Harvester, with Camille buying Divine Sunderer.
Not much has changed in terms of jungle priority heading out of Worlds 2020 into Spring 2021. The League of Legends jungle meta still focuses more on the farm meta, meaning Graves and Nidalee are still kings. However, a few new options are coming out to play.
Graves is once again dominating the League of Legends esports meta, with Graves the most picked Jungler in the off-season events and the LPL. The reason why remains the same, Graves hyper cleaves Jungle camps, and has a great kit for ganking and fighting. Galeforce further enhances Graves’ burst as Galeforce’s active dash and execute puts Graves up a notch we didn’t even know was possible.
Champions like Nidalee, Lillia and more are still play, with their clear speeds all strong. Their itemization remains the same, with Liandry’s a good shout for Lillia, and Night Harvester a pick for Nidalee.
On the other hand, a few other big Junglers are entering Season 11. Olaf is one of them as his ability to clear jungle camps and sustain is only getting stronger with an early Ironspike, which cleaves jungle camps, and builds into Goredrinker. This is big as Goredrinker boosts Olaf’s health regeneration, bolstering his kit. The same reasoning applies to Pantheon, who was recently permanently banned in the KeSPA Cup, with his draft priority still valuable into the new Season. One other addition is Taliyah. Taliyah has great ganking and a great clear speed with buffs someway in the preseason.
With the way the top lane and the jungle meta behaves, the mid lane remains relatively the same control mage meta. Orianna and Syndra are still gods of the mid lane, with a few more picks joining them.
The core behind the midline is the Luden’s Tempest Mythic. The additional burst works well all champions in the role, with the bonus movement speed a nice bonus for moving forward or retreating to a safe distance. Almost every champion in the League of Legends Mid meta uses this item, such as Orianna, Syndra, Zoe, Leblanc, and Viktor.
These are the champions seeing quite a lot of play right now. With the wave clear, farming and burst damage, the midlane can get what they need and fight around precious objective with their team when the junglers come out to play.
The only exception to this is Akali, as Chinese and Korean teams permanently banned her from off-season events and the LPL. It appears Eastern teams’ attitudes haven’t changed much since those events as Akali remains at an almost 100% ban rate, with it getting an appearance in the V5 vs WE series.
Coming out of Worlds 2020, Botlane is an entirely different place in the Spring Split. The new Galeforce item dominates itemization for almost every marksman. Jhin, Miss Fortune, and Kai’sa, are all big fans of the item, as Galeforce’s execute adds even more burst damage after these champions proc their passives and use their abilities. Furthermore, the extra dash on Galeforce allows once immobile Marksmen an escape opportunity every minute, which is nice in those flashless windows.
The only time that Galeforce does not come out is in double tank compositions, where Kraken Slayer is the situational go-to. Kraken Slayer is the counter item for tanks, with every third attack dealing true damage. The new tank builds are quite powerful, but recent nerfs made them less popular. Kraken Slayer naturally falls off in this rock paper scissors balancing.
Now for the ultimate exception, Samira. Samira released at the end of 2020, meaning she was ineligible to appear in Worlds or the Summer Playoffs. But now she is out of her cage; Samira is a very powerful Marksman in the right hands. Her ability to carry is there, and Immortal Shieldbow allows her to keep going that little while longer.
Support hasn’t changed much as it exits 2020. Engage supports are still highly sought for as they peel for the team’s carries, engage, and disengage for those necessary Towers, Dragons and Baron Pit objectives. Leona, therefore, remains as the prize of the bottom lane for ever stage of the game.
Although, other engage supports are seeing more interest. Alistar is earning more pick rate, becoming the second most picked Support. Galio also makes a return to the bottom lane, with Maokai the role’s freshest face. We have even seen a few pros play Rell, Sett, Shen, and more. Each support plays a little differently, with Maokai grabbing Imperial Mandate, Leona and Galio focusing on Locket and Alistar on the Sunfire.
Riot Games announced as the new League Season began, they were committed to keeping the Mythics and Champions balanced. 11.2 is their commitment to this, as many big offenders receiving nerfs. Akali is getting nerfs, as she is 100% pick and ban right now, with Galeforce going to a 1.5 min CD. Several underperforming champions are also getting spruced up, with some tank items getting some love after getting too gutted in the preseason. Others like Olaf and Maokai support are getting toned down in the areas they dominate in, which are further exacerbated by the Mythic they build.
It seems like the tuning being done isn’t going to do too much to the meta. Most of the nerf candidates remain strong, just a lot less powerful in comparison. Overall, it will be interesting to see how the west changes things up, as we discovered last Summer, the West and the Eastern metas tend to only share few common grounds in the Regular Split meta.