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Welcome to LoL’s AD Carry Meta

AD carries are everywhere in League of Legends right now. Seen in every lane and the jungle in the opening days of 2016, marksmen are defining the new season’s meta. With new itemization, reworked champions, and weaker turrets, having a multitude of ranged right-clickers is a huge asset for pro teams. This is one of the most flexible metas for AD carries in a long time.

Let’s take a look at everything that’s been played so far, starting from the bottom.

Taking control of bottom lane

Across the major regions, one thing has become clear: Caster AD carries are where it’s at in the bottom lane. Lucian, Ezreal, Miss Fortune, and Corki have been everywhere. Focused on attaining leads in lane and snowballing it into victory, this meta’s best AD players are those who can establish dominance in the early moments of the game. This is the perfect time for lane-focused players like Pray, Forg1ven, and Deft to show exactly what they can do from the bottom lane role.

Meanwhile, more passive laners have shown that they’re not quite as effective, particularly with the tendency towards shorter game times. We’re not seeing hyperscaling champions like Jinx or Ashe (except for the case of Kramer), meaning teams are looking to find early advantages. Combined with generally weaker turrets, it’s become key for teams to have ADC’s that can take down turrets in the early minutes efficiently.

The one outlier to this rule has been Kalista, who has seen play in the LCK and LPL. A lane dominant champion that scales extremely well, Kalista can fulfill just about any need a team needs. Strong in lane, strong in the late game, expect to see the bouncing spear thrower more this season.

Sieging Down the Mid Lane

When Faker plays mid lane Corki, you know there’s something going on in center of the map. The best mids in the world are eyeing AD carries to find siege-focused, safe champions to play in the 2016 season.

Again, the mid lane is all about caster AD’s. Mid laners are looking for champions that can farm relatively safely while they slowly chip away at the opposing mid lane turret. But without the help of a support in the solo lane, they’ve got to look for mobility and kiting from their champions. As a result, Ezreal and Corki have been the most popular champions in mid.

So far, Corki seems to be the most successful. With the new addition of The Package in his kit, he’s able to back, grab the jetpack, and roam quickly around the map. When it works, it’s an incredible ganking tool, emblematic of what players are looking for in their AD carry mid laner in the current meta. Once the lead from roams is secured, snowballs are relatively simple. Just about any successful gank turns into extra objectives with an extra AD carry to tear down turrets.

Expect a resurgence of assassins as AD carries show up more often in the mid lane. But until that happens, no tower is safe.

AD Carrying from the Jungle

Kindred’s release opened the door for ADCs coming out of the jungle. The ghastly duo immediately became a priority pick due to her early damage, significant late game damage scaling, and teamfight-saving ultimate. As expected, Kindred has seen tons of action in the pick/ban phase, with many teams banning her away if they don’t plan on picking them up for themselves.

But what many didn’t quite expect is the prevalence of jungle Graves. Seen primarily in Europe and China, the Outlaw has proven that his most viable position isn’t exactly what was intended for him. His immense damage, solid mobility, and innate tankiness have led to him being a somewhat niche, but still powerful choice for junglers that have put in the time to learn the unorthodox pick.

Quinn Soars Top

Ah, Quinn. One of the most derided champions in League of Legends for a long time, it’s finally time for her to shine.

The lone AD carry seeing play in the top of the Rift, Quinn was picked up in China and Korea during the first week of 2016, with Looper and Smeb finding wins on her. Post-rework, she’s just as lane dominant as ever. Against melee champions like Untara’s Fiora, she’s able to shove them under tower, Vaulting away whenever they attempt to engage. Against ranged champions, her Blinding Assault strips them of vision, allowing for free trades. She has very few bad matchups in a 1v1 situation, making her a strong early game pick.

But where she really shines is once the roaming phase starts. Thanks to her ult’s immense mobility buffs, she’s able to get around the map with blinding speed, giving her the threat of showing up in any lane at any given time. What’s more, her dueling prowess makes her a big split-push threat. Now that she’s been proven to be powerful by some top-tier players, there’s a chance she becomes a priority pick.

With AD carries proving their power in a multitude of roles during the first week of pro play, there’s a strong chance many teams will be placing high priority on them for the rest of the season.

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