Melee Carries: Why Right Clicking to Victory Isnt Viable Anymore
Admit it. While leveling up to 30 in League of Legends, you have played Master Yi quite a few times, thinking that he was probably the strongest champion in the game. The combination of a refreshable movespeed and attackspeed steroid and tons of free damage made Master Yi one of the most popular champions to newcomers of LoL and MOBAs alike. Many low leveled summoners achieved their first pentakill playing the Wuju Swordsman as an AD carry, but in the competitive scene, or even at mid to high elo ranked games, Master Yi is often played as a mage, neglecting his AD roots in favour of a gimmick AP assassin.
A similar champion with a similar situation, Tryndamere recieved a boost in popularity after the discovery of split pushing AP Tryndamere, completely bypassing his AD and crit steroids in favour of an unkillable pushing machine with his AP ratio heal. No longer do you see Infinity Edge Tryndamere, critting every champion on his way to victory, and instead watch Nashor's Tooth Tryndamere, split pushing and never joining teamfights.
Fiora? Not even played anymore in comepetitive games.
Forever alone Fiora
Melee carries have always been a staple of MOBAs, with champions like Phantom Assassin from Dota being able to win entire games just by building damage and wiping entire teams out with their autoattacks, but in League of Legends, melees are either bruisers or assassins; bringing damage from their spells and utility rather than hacking away with their swords and axes. Much of this is attributed to the strength of ranged ADCs in LoL; why would you use Master Yi when you can bring Draven who can deal just as much damage from a safer range and provide utility through his slow/knockback and AoE ult? Ezreal and Tryndamere can both be stunned and slowed, but Ezreal isnt rendered completely useless as soon as he gets slowed and exhausted by the support.
Season 3 has brought about a number of changes to help melee champions regain a place in the competitive scene. The implementation of Scimitar and Hydra have helped with the late game itemization for melee ADCs, adding damage and a movespeed buff to one of the melee carries' core items, Quicksilver Sash, and buffing Tiamat back into relevance. Along with buffs to melee items like Youmuu's Ghostblade and Atma's Impaler (both building out of Avarice Blade, a gold generating item that gives an extra 2 gold per cs) have made a compelling argument for melee ADCs to rise again. However, it hasnt been strong enough as most competitive teams still choose to bring utility and tankiness to lanes and crowd control to the jungle. Melee carries still remain as a high risk, medium to low reward pick in the competitive scene as they have no mid-game relevance and a really weak early game in most cases.
The main problem of melee carries lies in the itemization. Ranged AD carries fight from a safe range so they can get away with skipping durability items, but melee carries have to build a plethora of stats to remain relevant. Damage, Armor Penetration, Hp, Resistances,Lifesteal, Attackspeed, Movespeed, Critical Chance, Critical Damage (in no particular order). Very few items give 3 or 4 of these stats at once, and those that do are extremely expensive (Infinity Edge, Trinity Force, Zephyr are examples of these multi faceted items and make up some of the most expensive items in the LoL item arsenal). Without the gold to build these items, and the inability to safely farm said amount of gold, melee carries fall further and further behind as the game goes along, as a ranged adc only needs 3-4 stats in comparison to melee's 9. Cheap core melee items like Youmuu's and Atmas are great for filling that void in the mid game, but really fall behind when the game moves towards the late game due to their low stat weight in comparison with Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge. If a melee chooses to rush Youmuus, he will fall behind in late game, but if he chooses to rush Infinity Edge, there is a chance he wont even see late game, thus creating this impossible decision of choosing what to itemize for to maintain relevance.
Have a look at Aatrox's gameplay from the Public Beta Environment
With the upcoming release of Aatrox, Riot seems to be experimenting with adjustments to its high risk, high reward formula for melee adc. Having a knockup, a slow, a self heal and an attackspeed steroid locked into an AoE ult, Riot combines bruiser, adc and tank mechanics into a single champion to form a unique kit to handle skirmishes as well as deal a lot of autoattack damage. While Aatrox has yet to be released, current gameplay videos on Youtube have shown that his abilities are pretty strong overall for an auto attack based champion, but is more akin to Irelia or Jax rather than a true blue adc like Yi or Trynd, rewarding skilled play and choices with damage rather than item dependent gameplay with Yi or Trynd. General consensus on the test realm is that Aatrox was the perfect melee adc in his first iteration but the current iteration has made him into more of a bruiser instead. We will have to see what happens when Aatrox gets released in the coming week.
Interested to be a writer for RGN? Drop us an and include sample articles and we will get in touch with you.
For more information and updates, please follow us at