Oh no! Another ad mid! You’ve seen it, and you know it works now. Talon, Kha’Zix, Pantheon, Zed, and Lee Sin bursting you with physical damage, and you don’t have the AP/armor items to handle them, or the knowhow. Sometimes you’ll see Renekton, Xin Zhao, Jarvan IV, Jax, Wukong, or Vi in there too.
The reason that the AD mid meta is so frustrating is because most people don’t pay attention to what metas are, much less have to analyze and develop a response to meta changes, especially when people complain.
Fortunately, there are solutions.
The Old Meta
So first, a very simplified and shortened history of the mid meta. For most of Season 2, farming and pushing mages like Morgana, Anivia, Gragas, Ryze, Karthus, Orianna, and Twisted Fate were used for their spam damage, team fight presence, and ability to be highly defensive in passive in lane, yet capable of making big plays.
Now, we have a meta that isn’t solidly defined yet, but burst AD assassins are now viable and one of the biggest changes we’ve seen. What to do?
Being anti-burst or tanky is possibile solution to an AD mid opponent. You might protest, “then we won’t have magic damage.” First off, that doesn’t have to be true, and second off, that doesn’t matter as much as it did in Season 2. As long as the team comp is well-mixed and is done right, you can do that different pick.
Take armor seals. Take champions that could use Zhonya's, Frozen Heart, or Gauntlet off of a Chainmail purchase. Take a bottle vs. spam harrassers like Pantheon. And never, no matter how your teammates whine, ever feel you have to take a mage that cannot handle whoever it is that is at mid. Shield effects help, but Orianna is better than, say, Galio.
I’m also going to list some possibilities for mid picks. Some of these have already been seen and tested. Others are speculation. This is only a list of champions against AD mids, not mid in general. One can only talk about so much.
Champions to take Mid vs. AD Mids
Most AD mids don’t have a way to stop his healing. He can run away easily, and his Alpha Strike harass is a pain to deal with. Can also use Alpha Strike to avoid some moves.
Kite city vs. the right person. Ranged, heal, poke, and when they finally do get in range, she’s got her own moves to use.
Super high base stats, and good scaling. If they jump in, snowball, ult, and end it early if you’re that worried. Easier to get some free spells too since the opponent will be melee.
AP Taric has great sustain from free armor, heals, free mana, and his 3-hit combo. Deathfire Grasp and Lich Bane are great options. Frozen Heart if your team needs it. His combo hurts badly, especially against squishies.
Natural health, great sustain, the anti-burst champ. You can go Abyssal Scepter / Frozen Heart, or you can go Rod of Ages and another AP item, survive the burst, then eat them.
Similar to Taric. However, if they get the lead, they will be able to burst your shield down and you will be free for the rest of the game.
Early game harrass and keep the lead. When they go all-in, ult yourself at the beginning. If they are smart and save all their moves, kite by slowing and then running. Keep harassing. Push against those that don’t farm well under the tower.
Highly flexible and able to handle a lot of mid matchups, he can poke or go all-in himself. In melee form he has the free early armor and mana regen. Basically, all the strengths Jayce brings to top he brings to mid. And if he’s hard to gank at top, how hard is he to gank at mid? When he gets blue he can spam his Q into oblivion. He also roams really well from mid.
Again—hard to kill at top, hard to kill at mid. You can build more AP. If they go all-in, ult. Flip with ganks. Flip into tower. You can also play conservatively and outfarm and outroam.
Get a bottle, then an early chain mail. Harrass hard. If you get behind, farm with Q. If you get ahead, freeze and keep them highly zoned by keeping your ult up by your tower. This is mid. The tower distance is much, much smaller.
You really have to know what you’re doing with this. You have to get to 6 first and intact, then blow up, or you’ll lose. His passive doesn’t help much.
Highly niche, but his Q spam is .2 AP ratio when it gets to magic, and his E has .7, and his W scales with AP, and his ult scales 1.0. Wait to 6 then blow up. If they get close, use W and Q to harrass them off.
His ult has a 1.0 AP ratio, and his Q has .6. Then there’s the fact Malphite is great vs. Ads and hard to all-in. You can go your usual top build or you can go a little more magic focused.
You probably won’t get to do this. But you’ve got a shield, an opportunity to farm a Tear, and you can go AD or AP. His AP ratios are high. Whichever build you use make sure you have enough damage on your team or that the other team has enough squishies for you to blow up.
Shield spam, harpoon kiting, and flame harrass. Don’t lose the lead early or you will repeatedly get bursted.
High level 1 stats, the orange, and Parley harrass. Don’t go tanky. Get a lot of damage. You want to outburst anyone. GP doesn’t have better burst as a champ until his crit is stacked, but if he has a gold lead, his high early health and his orange, coupled with his passive, means he’ll shoot, they’ll go in, he’ll orange, then he’ll slow them. If they get out, he’ll shoot them again.
Before long he might be considered part of the typical AD mids.
Or, you know, you could just say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em (and then beat ‘em). But no one wants to read “just do what they do” as a strategy, now, do they?
Old Man Eyebrows
This week's eyebrows: