by Pockygom, Rue.

With the culmination of set 5.5--the Reckoning Worlds Tournament-- almost upon us (a couple hours as of this post), here is our analysis of the Worlds meta, as well as a tier list of what comps we expect to do well, and what items will be defining the flow of most games.

Jump to item meta

"Kledge" - SpencerTFT (NA rep)

Without further ado, here is the tier list, in order of how good the comps generally are (consistency + cap):

  1. Rangers (Aphelios/Akshan)
  2. Kled
  3. Draconic AP (Zyra 3/Heimer 2)
  4. 6 Sentinel Lucian
  5. Karma | Velkoz with SW spat
  6. Draven
  7. Velkoz without SW spat
  8. Nightbringers (Yas/Lee)
  9. Legion reroll (riven/yas) | Chug jug | Assassins | Vayne | Kayle (too expensive to hit reliably, but strong when capped)
  10. Niche stuff (dawn reroll/skirm reroll/kalista/ziggs reroll/gwen/renunu/brand reroll)

Rangers

Rangers (and variants) is the most consistent high-cap comp in the game. By playing around strong early tempo carry items like DB/Guinsoos and a variety of strong item carriers in the earlier game, Ranger boards can transition to capped variants like Aphelios/Akshan 2 with Teemo and revenant frontlines with relative consistency.

Kled

The level 5 reroll Kled comp is extremely strong currently. Utilizing IE/LW/Runaans, Hellions are able to safely roll for Kled 3* and cap out with defensive synergies and Teemo with high tempo. It effectively utilizes tomes and spats, and especially with a Hellion spat, this is one of the best comps in the game. The downsides to this comp are the possibility of missing on 5, which usually results in 8th, but it is highly consistent and has done very well in inhouses.

Draconic

Draconic has one of the highest caps in the game with 2* Heimer or 3* Zyra. However, the comp requires early commit with shojins/arch/guinsoos slam, and is relatively weak during the midgame. It relies on hitting good eggs and using the econ from draconic eggs to go 8 relatively healthy and cap out the board with Voli/Teemo. If the player hits, this is a very 1st place comp, but because it requires a draconic opener and relies on egg luck, the consistency of the comp is somewhat lower.

Lucian

Lucian has consistently been strong for the past couple patches. The meta shift has brought him back into the spotlight, but the sentinels board does cap lower than many of the AP boards, and has trouble capping compared to Aphelios. The strength of the comp is that the comp spikes at 4-1 with 2 cannoneer 6 sentinel Lucian. He also is flexibly itemized compared to many of the other carries in the game, using a variety of crit/GS/aspd/AD items. The comp tries to cap with Akshan 2 and random strong units teched in, but generally falls off lategame. However, in tourney the high tempo should reward players who are able to reliably play around HP and spike at 4-1, which makes this a consistent top 4/5 comp in tourney.

Karma

Playing off of early Blue Buff / Rabadons Ziggs, Karma has come back into meta. The strength of Ziggs 2 often allows Karma players to go to 8 and roll for legendaries to build a strong 4 invoker board with garen. This comp caps relatively well, but relies strongly on hitting legendaries on 8, and also starts to bleed out in stage 4 as the Draven and Lucian players roll down on 4-1 while the fast 8 Karma players have to push to level 8 on 4-5.

Spellweavers

With Shojins / JG slam, this is the AP comp that most players have to resort to if they're not strong enough to go 8. Velkoz is slightly weaker than Karma since it caps lower, but the strength of the comp is that it matches the AD comp tempo by rolling on 4-1 and hitting abom + Velkoz. The comp becomes far stronger with a spat, since SW fiddle can help to duo carry, and helps to beat Kled. Occasionally, tank item slams mean that the player plays more around abom, and Gwen/Teemo can also be secondary carries in the lobby. Another weakness of the comp is that it is highly positoning dependent on having the enemy ranged carry opposite side of Velkoz. This leads to many 50/50s since all Worlds players are very good at scouting and positoning.

Draven

Draven is similar to Lucian in that it spikes at 7 and can punish the lobby as they go 8. He also can be flexibly itemized with guinsoos/IE/DB and any combination of AD/aspd/crit items. China's innovation to frontline Draven caused him to dominate CN regionals, but the changes to his itemization both weakened the strength of Last Whisper and caused Draven's itemization to become a little more rigid. His early game strength also went down a bit, but he remains a strong comp that can play vertical legion in the midgame and transition to more capped board with 2 Forgotten and strong frontline units. However, due to his reliance on capping with Viego 2/Diana, he also struggles to scale in lobbies with a lot of defensive trapclaws. He also has a bad matchup versus spellweaver fiddle but has a good matchup into most Karma boards that are near equal gold value. In the current meta though, he has to be careful of other frontline threats if he's frontlined, like Riven/Lee/Kled (mostly the latter).

Rats

While Kled remains one of the dominant comps of the patch, the other Hellion variants are relatively solid, especially with a spat. Tristana is a decent out if a player misses Kled, since she shares much of the itemization that he does. With spat, a player can fit in 6 hellion 4 cannon, which is an extremely strong comp with high burst damage that can contend versus many of the other best comps. However, her relative weakness against very tanky frontlines remains a weakness that often causes her to lose to cavs or stacked brawlers. Aphelios also usually has a good matchup into her.

Ziggs reroll is also semi-viable if a player naturals a lot of Ziggs. He can occasionally be leveraged as a secondary carry in Kled reroll, but usually itemizing Teemo if possible is better. This might possibly be played if someone naturals a lot of Ziggs and uses him to fast 8 with hellions and pivot into invoker carry.

Nightbringers

Yasuo is somewhat weak in the current meta, and struggles against strong revenant frontline. If mispositioned, he will also get farmed by Draven and Lucian players. However, the strength of the comp rises dramatically with a spat, which opens up the options of Cavalier Yasuo. While most players won't be going into the game planning on playing Yasuo, a player who naturals a lot of Yasuos has an option to simply play vertical Nightbringer and cap out the comp with Teemo/Diana/Viego. It is also somewhat important to note that this is one of the few comps that has a favorable matchup into Kled with a relatively cheap board. A tanky Lee Sin will massively shut down Kled's damage, and Yasuo's ability to quickly burst a single unit with an AP build lets him burst Kled before he's stun locked by hellion CC.

Niche comps

Legion reroll - Will only see from early 2* riven (like 3-2) with runaans slam.
Vayne reroll - Will only see from early 2* vayne + combination of a lot of early bows, bf swords, belts. Main goal is to make 5-6 item vayne with vertical forgotten (lots of zekes/banshees claw)
Sins - Strong off of sin spat. Loses hard to Kled.
MF cavs - Decent comp that stabilizes well during stage 3. Low cap and loses hard to Akshan.
Chug Bug - Good to stabilize into sins/dawn reroll, but has a lower cap. Very strong with sin spat on riven.
Renunu - early renewer spat with early 2* sej/nunu (very high cap but super unlikely to get the right start)
Gwen carry - strong carrier of blue buff / gunblade. However, bad matchup into weaver fiddle/kled/aphelios. Biggest issue is difficult to cap without gwen 2, inconsistent on 8.

Items

Right now, the item meta leans towards slamming defensive items as flex options, while slamming most offensive options commits you to a subset of comps during stage 2.

Defensive

Mogs/Sunfire/Stoneplate - all strong slams onto brawlers and knights
Frozen heart - good into sins and on Kennen, always has good effectiveness on Diana or Voli
Bramble (good into draven kled critlucian jgkoz)
Trap claw - this item scales so well that it's slammable during any stage. This is almost mandatory to cap a board with backline carries.

Offensive

The way the current meta is played out, we see that offensive options hard commit you to a certain subset of comps very early on in the game. Due to the Draven change, LW has become a fairly rigid item that only works on a few comps. The most flexible item in the game is probably:

Giant Slayer - an item that scales well into late game and can be played on any carry. However, it burns a sword and bow, so it depends what the other free components are to commit to a comp. This item has infinite tempo when paired with an AD item (hoj/titans/deathblade)

Guinsoos - pretty much means you play for a 4 or 5 cost AD carry (Preferably Aphelios/Draven/Kayle). However, it is also good on Zyra and can be decent in other AP comps.

Blue buff - This opener is always into Karma/Teemo/Gwen. Most players play for the first two since they pair with strong early Rabadons slam.

Last whisper - This item is not flexible. It pretty much means Kled/Trist, can possibly flex into Riven reroll or Lucian.

Shojins - This item probably won't be slammed since it isn't as good as Blue Buff on Ziggs. Expect to see this mostly in draconic openers, or if people are forced to roll on 7 to play spellweavers.