The last two new patches for League of Legends has been to heroes that were considered by many as dead, due to players don’t often use them. This week, there were 60 different picks on patch 6.12 and over 70 on 6.11. Amongst all those picks are the resurgences of Cassiopeia, Hecarim and Shen.
Cassiopeia suddenly gets back into the competitive matches last week as she could finally compete against other popular pick heroes. Her Miasma covers a wider are of effect now, and she can use it to help in clashes or cut off tighter parts of the map. Also, the new Ground effect is very strong and can totally stop enemies from engaging or running.
On top of that, she now has more sustain than top picks such as Azir and Viktor. And lastly, the added mobility results in an easier time dodging skillshots and moving around agilely. You can watch out Cassiopeia in action below:
The Return of Hecarim
Consecutive nerfs to the carry junglers, specifically Kindred, Graves and to an extent Nidalee have changed the jungle meta back to mostly being focused around other picks, including tanks such as Rek’sai. With carry oriented junglers losing part of their early game power they can no longer constantly invade and this opens up for other picks to jungle safely and grow into the game.
Hecarim needs exactly this. His first clears aren’t the strongest or healthiest and he needs some gold to get going, but once he does he’s an unstoppable force.
The buff to Trinity Force is definitely one of the big selling points for the Shadow of War, the extra attack speed are important for him to clear camps faster and the cooldown reduction increase on that item is extremely important to make sure he’s always galloping with Devastating Charge and Onslaught of Shadows is up for more destructive ganks and skirmishes.
Finally, picks such as Karma and Sivir are very popular right now. Not only do these picks enable Hecarim to engage with the added movement speed, he also gets bonus attack damage from bonus movement speed he has from his passive, Warpath.
The Eye of Twilight was reworked some patches ago, but was seldom picked until recently. Right now he’s amongst the most popular top laners.
Why is he back?
Firstly, auto based champions are amongst the most popular picks in the top lane right now. Irelia, Jax, Gnar and Trundle are all very popular right now and their damage is largely coming from auto attacks. While Shen can’t always hold these picks in a split push scenario, a well timed Spirit’s Refuge can block a ton of incoming damage and let Shen hold or even win 1v1 trades.
Shen also benefits from lane swaps and long lanes as it opens up the map, leaving more room for plays, either with Teleport Flanks or a well timed Stand United. Hyper carries and compositions built around AD Carries with picks such as Caitlyn or Twitch are also on the rise and what better than a massive shield and Shen’s peel to keep these types of carries alive in teamfights.
Similarly to Hecarim, other popular picks also enable him immensely in skirmishes and teamfights. In these fights, Shen is extremely dependent on hitting his Shadow Dash, both for lockdown and the Energy refund to keep fighting. Karma and Sivir’s speed ups can be deadly on a Shen, so he can get close enough to hit them point blank.
Speaking of champion synergy, Shen also does well with with melee champions that want to get up close and personal. Good examples of this are Rek’sai and obviously, Hecarim.
Shen and Hecarim - The United Onslaught
Shen and Hecarim are a deadly combination that also complement each other perfectly. For Hecarim, his biggest problem is to be able to engage and do consistent damage without getting bursted extremely fast. On the other hand, Shen needs to land his taunt or his usefulness in a fight is greatly diminished.
By using both picks together, they can cover each other’s weaknesses and absolutely run over any opposing team. paiN Gaming showed exactly this in the CBLOL semi finals, where last year’s brazilian representatives at worlds completely ran over INTZ in game 3.
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