So this article goes hand in hand with the video I made yesterday and it's exemplified by videos like the latest Garen and Yorick videos which are posted somewhere in this article. The question is, does Champion Select matter at all in ranked?
There is a lot of conflicting advice given on forums like Reddit. Some players suggest that you play whatever you want since whatever works, some suggest that you try to counter your opponents, some suggest that you vehemently follow the meta and play what is deemed op at the time and the others are only playing one champion.
The Art of Peeling, or being a bodyguard, is a very important notion that needs to be learned by players especially those who prefer to play tanks and support champions. It has become even more important as the tank meta is here and Riot intends for it to stay. I've seen teams with multiple tanks all focus on trying to initiate or kill the enemy team and they leave their soft carries behind only for them to get sniped and killed because they have no bodyguards. I've seen players who have an idea on how to peel but do not know how to do it properly so they tend to fail in their attempts. This is what encouraged me to make a series on peeling. I am making this a two part series with one part detailing what makes an ability a strong peeling tool and the other detailing how to actually go about peeling.
So the Cinderhulk was released and sweet lord did it make an impact. I've been trying out as many tank junglers as possible and even some of the defensive oriented bruisers to gauge the impact the item has had. The item traded early game efficiency for damaging power and the item pushes the late game of tanks to come out earlier and as such was a buff to mid-late game tanks. It doesn't help the early game woes of any champion but that is a moot point when a proper leash can boost the jungler, a few jungle monsters were nerfed and, if your opponent plays a tank too, you are less likely to be invaded.
I personally feel the item was a boost to all tanks in the game but a much bigger boost to the tanks who were already good and/or had a monstrous late game. A few tank junglers still need a bit of a boost and many others are either moderate or strong but outdone hard by the uber tanks at the moment. Still though, as with every other time I've made a list, this is my opinion and it can change when more information is learned or when the inevitable changes to the champions are introduced.
I also have to mention that just because tanks have been reintroduced into the game does not exactly mean that diversity has been gained. We are in a transition point at the moment when the last batch of must-pick junglers are making their way out (through nerfs or otherwise) and we might just start seeing nothing but the same tanks be played once it becomes widespread either through solo queue or because LCS players start spamming them. I don't think we can ever truly expect competitive diversity in champion picks but hopefully we can gain some strategic role diversity such as picking between an assassin or a tank for a different type of team composition.
Players are rather hyped about the jungle changes that are coming which Riot hopes will bring up the effectiveness of jungle tanks. The first changes added were Gromp's passive being increased with bonus health, Bami's Cinder and the Cinderhulk items being added and a few champions receiving some jungle friendly buffs. These changes felt rather misguided as they do not seem to tackle the early game problems junglers would have with their first and/or second clears especially concerning safety and sustain. I felt that Bami's Cinder would be Quill Coat 2.0 in that it may be a useful item but it comes too late for it to make a difference for the tank jungler. By the time you get Bami's Cinder, most tank junglers would not have an issue clearing anyways and have little to no sustain problems. Also, needing to invest a lot to even obtain the item in the first place is quite a detriment and hurts your build versatility. To its credit though, it is a powerful item once you do get it and will help any tank jungler that gets behind on farm and definitely will have an impact in team fights. In a sense, Riot has buffed the mid game and late game of plenty of junglers by given them damage and presence.
The second slew of changes comes in the form of just flat out nerfing the damage of the most dangerous jungle monsters. This is a flat out universal buff for all junglers and, while bruisers will also be strengthened from it, tank junglers, especially the slow ones, will gain the most benefit from it.
This article comes in after Riot decided to make changing between smites cost you gold. Now I totally understand and actually agree that it is stupid that you could have done that in the first place. It completely negated the idea of decision making and risk reward that Riot wanted to promote with these machete upgrades. If you purchased Ranger's Trailblazer you should have better clearing but worse ganks than if you had purchased Skirmisher's Saber or Stalker's Blade. However, even though I agree with the change, I do believe it is beyond stupid and unfair to push it out.