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What does Meta actually mean? (Wall of text)

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Osigalas

Senior Member

02-07-2012

This post is in response to the huge amount of QQing this community does about the Meta, the concept that certain champions should not be picked because of it, and the large amount of false information about what the meta of LoL is really about.

----Introduction----

Let me start by saying something, the 'Meta' of LoL isn't simply solo top, solo mid, Jungler, and duo bot. It is also not AP carry mid, Bruiser top, Support and AD carry bottom, and a Jungler who can gank well.
Most players do NOT understand what the Metagame of League of Legends actually is.
Those are two strategies, the first being a very high level strategy, and the second one being a mid-level one. If you want to understand the game on a more complex level you need to understand the LOW level strategies which hardly anyone in low to mid ELO ranked games even know exist.

----What does Metagaming mean?-----

Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game.
So given this definition, the metagame of a game can include many strategies.

-----Metagaming transcends simply thinking of a balanced team composition-----

When players think of a balanced team - they tend to think of balancing the types of damage output the team is comprised of, they think of having some CC which suits the enemy team.
A team balanced in this way is currently what the typical solo queue team is. This suits solo queue because of the lack of communication that exists naturally in league. There is no voice com for example so it can be difficult to communicate anything more complex than a gank or need to push after a team fight. Having balanced damage output and good CC is important, but the strategies behind team compositions are deeper than that!
But the thing is, team compositions have strengths and weaknesses based off of what champions are chosen that are more complicated than 'kog maw needs late game'.

To give an example, think of this team composition:

Master Yi Jungle
Wu Kong Top
Ziggs Mid
Tristana Bottom
Nidalee Bottom

This is a team comp that seems a bit strange at first glance but one that is actually amazingly effective given good communication of goals. The reason for this is that ALL of the champions that are part of this team are extremely good at pushing TOWERS. And not only this, they are good at pushing towers EARLY.
This is an example of a pushing strategy. This team composition isn't amazing late game (mostly due to Nidalee on support), but if you push down towers early and try to win in the early game then it is very strong. This team is also not ideal for large team fights, but it IS very good in small skirmishes which would happen as you are pushing lanes early.
Let's contrast this with a typical team composition you might encounter in Low to Mid ELO ranked games (and even some high ELO ones):

Warwick Jungle
Kennen Top
Sion Mid
Kog' Maw Bottom
Janna Bottom

What is this team designed to accomplish, when should it have won the game by ideally? Actually this composition is filled with STRONG CHAMPIONS. However these champions do not share SIMILAR STRENGTHS. Sion is very strong early game when enemies cannot burst his shield but falls off immensely late game, unlike Kog Maw who works in the opposite way. Kennen wants all of the enemies bunched together and Janna separates enemies from each other. It doesn’t make sense for them to be on the same team, even though each champion individually is good in lane.

This team does have strong team fighting potential but I guarantee that it is a composition that would struggle against the first example IF the first team had good communication and an understanding that they need to push extremely early. The reason for this is that the game would either never reach full team fights or the team fights would occur so early in the game that the gold advantage that the first composition has from towers would be significant enough for them to win fights.
Something I hope everyone realizes from look at this is that certain champions are good in certain roles based on the strategy you are running, rather than always being worse than others in that role. Nidalee support make sense in comp 1 due to her attack speed steroid and also her heal allowing for longer pushes. Nidalee support in comp 2 makes no sense as she will have too low farm to do anything in team fights and her abilities do not synergize with the composition.

----Some strategies/champions are safe, others are not----

Most solo queue strategies are quite safe. The reason for this is that all of the champions that are commonly picked are very strong in lane. However this is not always the most effective strategy. Some champions who have weak lanes are extremely strong in team fights, or at pushing. Normally teams comprised of weak laning champions are risky because if the lane is lost by a certain margin the advantage they have in team fights is lost.
An example of a champion like this is Jarvan IV in top lane. Jarvan’s sustain is low, and he has mana problems. However in team fights his ultimate FORCES a reaction, if you have him in a composition with someone like Kennen and they stagger their ultimates, chances are you can only avoid one. Try running Jarvan in mid ELO and watch what happens though – your mid will pick someone like Sion or Le’Blanc and get annoyed because Jarvan was nerfed too hard and isn’t viable.
To show the idea of picking a comp in the competitive environment, in a recent episode of State of the League (A popular League of Legends video cast) Doublelift of CLG was discussing CLG.NA’s experience in Korea. He discusses how one thing that the team that beat them (MiG) did was pick strong team fighting compositions which CLG struggled to deal with.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bEziAvifpos)


----0 CS support does not have to exist----

The reason supports with 0 CS exist is that AD carries are bot lane with them. The other reason is that most of the common supports that are played in ranked don’t scale amazingly with items – it is the effect of the abilities rather than the values attached to them that the team desires.
Some food for thought is that a team try running AD carry top, with an AP and support bottom – with the AP and support taking turns to CS in the lane. Whether this works or not is dependent on the AP picked. For example running Leona/Xerath might surprise you. Leona is a champion who scales very nicely with items because of how tanky she becomes. Xerath whilst he does scale well with items has less need for items due to his skill set – and easy to land stun (with ulti) and a natural Mpen boosting skill.
In a sense, the AP can support the support, and make the support into a tank – allowing for a more aggressive top lane AD role in some situations. This is a complex subject and requires case by case analysis, so I will leave the topic for people to talk about separately.
A good forum post I found about support here, that illustrates some things I hope more people learn to understand - http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=578949&highlight=support
All of this said, 0 CS support is important for some compositions.

----“Win the lane, win the game”----

This perspective is true when people are only picking champions for their individual strength, if you have a team that synergizes well and two lanes lose but one lane wins and the jungle wins, then you can come back. A team of worse players can beat a better team by having a stronger team composition!!

TLDR: Think about the team as a whole when you judge how effective a given champion will be!


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CertainPro1337

Member

02-07-2012

tldr: Meta stands for: morello eats two asians axxaxaaxaxcaxxaxaaaaa


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QcIoqo

Senior Member

02-07-2012

I used to play meta, got bored, I'm now 3 win, 0 loss playing splitpush master yi at 1300 elo.

Typical situation that happens in every game : Omg Yi is pushing bottom! Omg he so overextended Kill him! *Master Yi has a good ward and saw 5 enemy coming* *activate ghost, ulti, youmuu* *run through enemy base* Omg they got baron!!!!!! WE GOT TROLLED


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Sandwichdan

Junior Member

02-07-2012

Good Wall of Text, Definitely Worth a read, Wish half the people I end up queueing with had read this.


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K1CKER

Senior Member

02-07-2012

Nice read, basically what I`ve always been telling people and always get flamed for it.

The problem really is the people.

What does a stupid or inexperienced person do ? They just copy the so called "top" players. But because of their stupidity/inexperience they don`t understand what and why they`re doing something and can`t adapt.

Then what does this stupid person do to hide his stupidity? He goes on the offensive and aggressively flames someone who doesn`t fit into what he`s copying or if someone is doing something they just don`t understand.

And there you go: The awful community we have today, where kids are free to cry and berate their betters without getting smacked in the head.

Anyway I`m sure all these threads are pretty useless, anyone who might understand what is said here already knows it, and the others, well they`re hopeless.


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Dysond

Junior Member

02-07-2012

Food For thought... Worth a read. Thanks


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Dysond

Junior Member

02-07-2012

Quote:
K1CKER:
Nice read, basically what I`ve always been telling people and always get flamed for it.

The problem really is the people.

What does a stupid or inexperienced person do ? They just copy the so called "top" players. But because of their stupidity/inexperience they don`t understand what and why they`re doing something and can`t adapt.

Then what does this stupid person do to hide his stupidity? He goes on the offensive and aggressively flames someone who doesn`t fit into what he`s copying or if someone is doing something they just don`t understand.

And there you go: The awful community we have today, where kids are free to cry and berate their betters without getting smacked in the head.

Anyway I`m sure all these threads are pretty useless, anyone who might understand what is said here already knows it, and the others, well they`re hopeless.


We can only hope and do what we can to try and Change the League community man, posts like this might have an effect on loads of players if it gets enough attention.


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Osigalas

Senior Member

02-07-2012

Glad to see some replies - would be nice to get the opinions of people, the post was designed to prompt discussion =)


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QcIoqo

Senior Member

02-07-2012

Quote:
Glad to see some replies - would be nice to get the opinions of people, the post was designed to prompt discussion =)


Why I believe the meta is the way it is now :

Ad carry botlane : The reason why your team needs a ad carry is because they are the best scaling champs into lategame, if you have none, enemy team can just turtle and play safe til late and 100% win. (Exagerated a bit but kinda true)

Support : Support's first goal is to help his ad carry reach late game stage as fast as possible, by healing, warding and obviously take no cs, most support still have enough gold for 1 or 2 team items like shurelia or aegis of legion. Some like soraka are very strong in laning and useless lategame while others have huge utility lategame even without cs like blitz or leona.

Ap Mid : Most ap carries damage come 33% from items and 66% from level advantage. Ever seen a vladimir gank bottom as soon as he reach 6 while bottom is still lvl 5? He oneshots anyone, without having to land a skillshot. Same for a lot of ap. This is why your ap needs the solo lane more than the cs lane.

Solotop : Solotop is basically a counterpick lane. This is why you should always lastpick solotop so you can counter the enemy pick. This is why you see ad carries, ap carries and bruisers solotop. They all counter some champions hard and get countered hard by some champios. Having teleport on this lane or global ultimates like shen or gp will help a lot for dragon control.

Dragon : Dragon is the reason ur duolane is bottom instead of top. simple. Sometimes you can switch when you see you have huge lane disadvantage(ur gp is against pantheon and ur graves is against sivir), but it is gonna cost you all dragons.

jungler : There are a lot of different types of junglers and they are chosen based on these factors :
- Does your jungler need first blue at all costs? (fiddle) better have good level 1 compo (stuns and stuff)
- Are the lanes good for ganking (alistar bot) (singed top) Pick a strong ganker like maokai and get fast advantage)
- Do you want a single target cc team or an aoe cc/damage team? (Enemy ad carry is sivir and ap is morgana?) Both are very hard to focus so you better go for aoe cc like amumu
- thousands of other factors also influence the pick but im to lazy to name all.

This is why everybody wants to have a meta team and if you don't want to follow meta you can always go for ranked teams.


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XELLØS

Senior Member

02-07-2012

League of legends Meta = predefined crystalized theory which involves setting up a team or a strategy on a certain environment.


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