Hey Everyone, Shakarez from LolKing here!
Long time no see.
Today we are taking a look at some picks that have been showing up in competitive, either
because they're showing up outside of their most popular role or simply because it's just
an unusual pick.
Let's start with the support role.
Recently it has been dominated by ranged supports, including mages.
In competitive and even in solo queue, the most recent addition has been Malzahar.
The move from mid lane to the support role is due to two factors.
First off and most importantly, the changes to his W, Void Swarm on Patch 6.23.
The changes hurt mid lane Malzahar as a part of his pushing power came from the voidlings
multiplying themselves after killing minions.
However, the charge system benefits him greatly when he's not using it to push waves, which
is in the support role.
Void Swarm is fantastic in trades as they now multiply faster and as an additional bonus
you can use voidlings to block incoming skillshots such as Thresh's Death Sentence.
Secondly, the changes to Rylai's Crystal Scepter didn't really affect him.
While stats are lower and the slow was nerfed for some spells, Malefic Visions only gave
him a 20% slow anyways and the item being 600 gold cheaper makes it much more attractive
for a support.
As a pick, Malzahar brings a lot of damage to the table, similarly to Zyra or Brand Support.
However he's more durable than those two picks because of his passive, Void Shift.
While he might have less damage in later stages of the game than those other two picks, mainly
because his damage is mostly single target, he has very strong and reliable lockdown with
his suppression, that can only be cancelled with a Quicksilver Sash.
We covered this more extensively in an article and interviewed a challenger support player
who gave us some some synergies and counters, annotation on screen and link in the description.
Showing up frequently in the support role is also Miss Fortune.
She initially showed up when the ROX Tigers used it in their semi final match against
SK Telecom, surprising the world with their destructive Ashe+MF lane.
Since then it has been the go-to counter to Zyra Support.
Love Tap makes short work of Zyra's plants and Make it Rain provides a lot of ranged
Outside of lane, Bullet Time is still a devastating ultimate even without proper itemization to
back it up.
Once Miss Fortune finishes Black Cleaver it becomes an armor shredding death machine.
The reason why we have been seeing it is still largely because it is such a good pick into
Zyra, but it is also useful against Malzahar Support.
The logic is similar to the Zyra matchup.
Love Tap allows Miss Fortune to kill voidlings in two basic attacks and Make it Rain can
proc Void Shift from afar, leaving Malzahar vulnerable to crowd control and damage.
Finally up in the top lane, you might have noticed that Singed has been showing up here
Singed lanes relatively well against tanks and gets to scale freely when playing against
the likes of Maokai and Poppy.
They simply don't have enough damage to kill him so he gets a free pass against these champions.
Then there's his build.
You might have noticed Singed players stacking multiple Dark Seals.
The reason behind this is simple.
Singed is a champion who is very dependant on his health and mana sustain, without mana
he can't constantly use Poison Trail to clear waves and since he has a weak and very non
interactive laning phase, he needs health sustain to be able to survive incoming damage
from his opponents while he's walking around killing minions with Poison.
Dark Seal is an item that gives Singed every stat he wants and the only unique aspect of
the item is the AP stacking with kills assists.
The 25% increase on healing from Potions stacks, so Singed can get more out of Corrupting Potion.
Each charge of Corrupting Potion grants 125 health, but with 3 Dark Seals each charge
will give 219 health instead.
Other than that, the Ability Power from Dark Seal boosts his waveclear with Poison Trail,
the mana is naturally very important so he can use Poison Trail for longer and with his
passive he gets 25 health for each Dark Seal he purchases.
Later into the game and as you gain enough gold to purchase other items, you will be
selling your Dark Seals progressively, but you don't lose that much from doing so.
Dark Seal has a pretty high sell price at 245g, so you only end up losing 315 gold that
you invested in those early purchases.
From there, Singed usually invests into tank items that grant extra mobility and tankiness.
Righteous Glory and Dead Man's Plate are frequent purchases that allow him to run at the back
line to attempt to displace them so his team can follow and clean up.