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Week of 10.10: Ranked Meta Breakdown
Heyo! Another patch, another ranked meta breakdown. I figure it's worth pointing out this is meant to be a general guide for the meta and not meant to go super in-depth as it's covering multiple stages of the game along with some compositions and now Galaxies. For more specific aspects of the meta I do have other articles in my 'week of' series pertaining to champions, items, etc. Anywho! This meta has been quite dominated by a few things; reroll compositions (both hyperroll and slowroll) and late game Gangplank. So let's dive into it!
Okay for the early game let's begin with the starting carousel. What's the top components to look for and what items are worth making early? Overall you can get almost any component from the carousel and make something useful with it so don't worry too much if you don't get what you wanted. That said there are a few components worth considering.

First, Glove. Glove is still a high priority because it's used in Shredder and as a defensive item for most carries. Last Whisper is still worth making early on as two Vanguard is popular and Bramble Vest is still a fantastic defensive item. But Poppy was nerfed so the main composition that Last Whisper became a popular counter to isn't as prevalent thus you don't have to get a Last Whisper to do well. It's not even a must have on Xayah anymore. Still, Glove is a fantastic item for Last Whisper, Infinity Edge, Quicksilver and Trapclaw. It even makes into Hand of Justice which is an all around good item and Shroud of Stillness is a very underrated utility item.

Sword, Rod, Bow and Tear are all in the same category of components that can help define what composition you may go for that game. Sword goes into many items, notably Deathblade, Infinity Edge and Guardian's Angel. The first two generally imply some type of physical damage carry later such as Xayah, Jinx or even on Kha'zix in Void/Brawler. Guardian's Angel is just overall a great defensive item.

Rod and Bow make into mainly Kayle items with Rageblade and RFC being at the top of the list. Bow is also the second component for Last Whisper which, as stated above, is still good in the meta. Rod can also be used for Morellonomicon for Kayle or Kai'sa as well as Deathcap or Ionic in multiple builds. Tear is a bit more narrow in what you can do with it but if you start with a Tear it does open the route of running Ziggs hyperroll which is a build that needs a lot of Tears.

As for the last components, well, Chain Vest is also a worthwhile pick up because of Bramble Vest, Red Buff and Guardian's Angel. Belt and Cloak are basically filler components that you can use for a lot of different items so you will be able to make something from them but they are definitely the lowest priority when it comes to components.

Alright that's it for components and different items, what about champions and traits? Well, as usual, you will want to play your strongest board. That means picking up pairs and playing what you hit. Upgraded champions will, in most cases, do more for your early board than specific traits. Focus more on pairs than looking for the right combination of champions.

If you have the option for both upgrades and traits than here's a few to consider. Two Vanguard remains a potent front line option early game and is definitely good to run if you get upgraded Poppy or Leona. A one star Jayce is also fantastic with a second Vanguard. On the opposite side of Vanguard you can run Ziggs with early Rebels which is good into Vanguard or Twisted Fate with another Sorcerer. Magic damage is a good response to armor heavy front lines.

Xayah remains the best one cost champion early game if you have items to put on her. You don't have to play Xayah carry later, you can just run Xayah 2 with one or two items to carry you through stage two and most of stage three. Graves, along with another Space Pirate or a Blaster, can be a good way to counter Xayah players early game because of his blind. Lucian is still a fantastic early game choice with early Cybernetics and Red Buff which compliments running Graves quite well.

Lastly let's talk about other front line options. The Protector trait is a bit meh but Jarvan and Rakan are really good champions so running them together can work well. Brawlers, on the other hand, are great because their trait is just a flat increase to health. More health in the early game is a great way to gain an advantage. This is also why Zz'rot Portal is often seen as an early game item since it increases the health of your board by a large amount with the construct.

To summarize; aim for upgraded champions over traits. Xayah is a good standalone carry, same with Ziggs and Twisted Fate. Cybernetics with Blaster is still good and Vanguards are likely the best front line to grab with Brawlers a close second.

And for the last section on the early game let's go over leveling and economy. Much like with champions the formula really hasn't changed as you want to aim to build your economy while buying champions as needed. It's very common to level aggressively on 2-2 and 2-5 to level four/five with level six at 3-2 but it can vary depending on how much gold you have and your board strength. In general try to push levels when you have a board advantage over most of the other players.

Scout and compare your board to others and determine if it's worth leveling aggressively to try and win streak. Win streaking still remains the ultimate goal of the early game as you retain high health and earn more gold than other players. It's not always possible as luck determines early game strength more than anything but knowing when you're stronger than others and pushing that advantage is important, so. Scout!

Flipping to the opposite side of the spectrum for leveling there is always the option to hyperroll. Basically you don't level at all and look to roll down for specific champions on 3-1 after Krugs. We'll go over this more in the mid game section with compositions but essentially the goal is to get to around 50 gold by 3-1 and roll for the specific champions you need for that composition. Doing this is meant to net you a quicker power spike in the mid game.

It is also okay to slow roll after you naturally hit level 5 and still look for three star one cost champions. When you should do this vs. rolling down is dependent a lot on how many of the specific champions you have going into 3-1 and how contested is the build. For example if you only have two Xayah's going into 3-1 but your items and composition make playing it plausible you can instead choose to slow roll (meaning roll your excess gold above 50) as you're not likely to hit Xayah 3 if you rolled all of your gold down. Again this is all situational and is something you will have to judge each time but it's worth keeping in mind as an option.

Overall your goal in the early game is to try and maintain high health and build up your economy.
We've moved into stage three and now a good portion of the lobby is either level six or they are hyper-rolling. A few slow roll builds may still be level five to get to fifty gold earlier but they will look to level to six by Wolves. Here's where the game splits into many different paths and generally where you as the player will have decided what route to go.

One route is you are playing a reroll composition which is either hyperrolling for a three star one cost champion or you're going to slow roll at six or seven. Another route is leveling to seven on 4-1 or slightly earlier and rolling to find a direction for your composition. Basically that means you roll to find a four cost carry and then begin filling in the gaps of your build as needed. Lastly you can go the route of going fast eight.

Fast eight is still the same as usual, leveling on 4-3 to roll for five cost champions and trying to two star your four cost champion. This is much riskier in the current meta because of how many reroll builds there are. If you fast eight without high health and a good economy you're putting yourself in a position to bottom four quite easily. So try to only fast eight if you're in a really good position prior to 4-3.

Instead of getting into the nitty gritty of each of these play styles let's just go over a few meta builds. First up let's talk about a new hyperroll build in 10.10, Void/Brawler!

Void/Brawler is a late game build that uses Kha'zix 3 as a mid game power spike to buy time for you to find Cho'gath 2 and Vel'koz 2. It is not a necessity to always hyperroll for Kha'zix in this build as you can slow roll if you want to. The goal is to roll for Kha'zix 3 and Malphite 3. Twisted Fate 3 is also doable but isn't vital to the composition later on, getting him three starred is mostly just because he'll be usable for Sorcerer later and he has okay damage at level three. Being Chrono he will also pair with Blitzcrank.

The core champions are all four Brawlers and all three Void champions. At level seven you'll likely have in Twisted Fate or another Sorcerer and level eight an Infiltrator like Fizz. Kha'zix 3 is really strong especially since you can now have RFC on him and he'll still jump, which was a change to Infiltrators in 10.10. Hitting him quickly is your power spike that will help you level towards eight where you're going to want Vel'koz and Cho'gath upgraded.

Kha'zix items can vary though RFC is a must have to help keep him from running around chasing targets. Infinity Edge is a common second item though any damage item can do well. Vel'koz preferably wants Morellonomicon and needs Quicksilver so that they can get their ability off uninterrupted at least once. After that items can be disrupted wherever with Cho'gath and Vi being the common ones to get additional items.

In terms of how to play this build it's fairly simple being a hyperroll composition. Roll down on 3-1 to find Kha'zix 3. The priority of champions to roll for are Kha'zix > Malphite > Twisted Fate and any additional Brawlers being the lowest priority until you hit Kha'zix 3. That said if you find Vel'koz or Cho'gath at any time post level five you should always buy them. If you don't find Kha'zix 3 on your initial roll down you can either get back to 50 gold and slow roll for him or roll down again on 4-1. Don't dip below 20 gold at that point even if you don't three star Kha'zix as you want to begin leveling soon at that point of the game.

So that's one example of a hyperroll build let's now touch on a slow roll composition. Mech/Infiltrator is still doing well in the meta and is the quintessential slow roll build. The champions to three star are of course Kai'sa, Annie and Rumble. It is definitely okay to roll for Shaco 3 and Kha'zix 3 but the priority is the two Mech-Pilots and Kai'sa. Here's what the build will look like at level eight:

So the core champions are of course all of the Mech-Pilots, Kai'sa as the main Infiltrator carry with Shaco and Kha'zix rounding out the composition at level six. At level seven and eight you will want a Sorcerer, usually Lux, and a Valkyrie. If you're unable to procure a Demolitionist's Charge for Kai'sa you can also play Ziggs or Gangplank for Demolitionist on your Super-Mech.

Super-Mech items are defensive in nature such as Bramble Vest or Warmogs. A path you can go is picking up dodge items such as Shroud of Stillness, Quicksilver and Trapclaw. Kai'sa works well with Morellonomicon and Seraphs but by far her best and most important item is the Demolitionist's Charge. Without it Mech/Infiltrator will have a harder time getting top two. Any extra items in this build go to Shaco and Kha'zix after.

Overall this build is simple like most reroll compositions. Aim to get to level six quickly but with good economy and preferably above fifty health. From there you will roll each round looking for the priority champions. Once you've hit Kai'sa 3 and Annie 3 you can begin leveling while you look for Rumble 3. A big part of this composition is scouting as you want to re-position your Mech every round.

Let's move on to one more build this time leveling to seven around 4-1 with the intent of finding a four cost champion. We'll focus this on Kayle specifically but this style of play will aim to find either Jinx or Kayle or both. Irelia is also okay to play for with Cybernetics but she isn't as strong of a carry as Kayle and Jinx (unless you three star her). So here's what a standard Kayle composition will look like at level seven: 

Essentially what your goal is at level seven is to roll to stabilize. That means you find a four cost carry, in this example a Kayle, and then the relevant champions necessary to protect and buff that carry. For Kayle the standard composition will be Chrono/Blademaster/Celestial. Chrono and Celestial can be swapped or you can have two of each and play Mystic instead. At level eight you will want Valkyrie in which usually is Miss Fortune.

Once you've found your four cost carry and mostly upgraded the rest of your champions you can save gold and look to level to eight. Sometimes you can do this earlier than 5-1 but most of the time it's going to be either 5-1 or a few rounds after. Once you're level eight you want to finish two starring all of your champions while looking for Miss Fortune. The thing to keep in mind for these four cost carry compositions is that the carry is the most important piece, so build around it with relevant traits and a front line.

Kayle is a flexible carry that can use multiple items. Rageblade, RFC, Guardian's Angel, Quicksilver and Morellonomicon are all common items you can play on her. In general a good rule of thumb is  at least one attack speed item and one defensive item. Your second carry is going to be Miss Fortune so keep items on a champion you're going to sell later such as Kai'sa. Miss Fortune does well with any ability power or mana focused items though Quicksilver is essential for her to cast her ability uninterrupted.

Alright that's a quick look into a few of the compositions and play styles in the mid game. There's definitely more than what is listed here. For hyperroll focused builds there's Shredder (Xayah carry), Ziggs reroll and Candyland (Poppy/Twisted Fate). A couple of other slow roll builds to check out are Space Jam and Star Guardian/Sorcerer. Lastly for more standard builds there's a whole bunch of variations on Kayle carry but there's also Jinx carry (Rebels or Brawler/Blaster), Cybernetics, Sniper/Vanguard or just builds focused on Gangplank carry. It's a diverse meta that leans a bit more towards reroll compositions.

Time for the late game! This is around stage five after Raptors but closer to stage six. This part of the game has a lot of focus on positioning and scouting. There is less to do in terms of leveling and power spikes but let's touch on what those are.

First, level nine. Level nine is the end goal for most games though it is difficult for any reroll compositions to reasonably get there by the end of the game. But if you are able to then often times level nine is a nice way to round out your composition. Generally this will happen by adding traits to round out your build such as Celestial, Chrono or Mystic. Another route is adding in standalone champions that are simply strong on their own (they may also have relevant traits to your build). These will usually be legendary champions with the best being Lulu, Thresh, Gangplank and Miss Fortune.

Lulu is by far the best solo champion in the game because of the CC her ultimate provides is insanely strong. She also opens up the ability to splash in Mystic or Celestial if you haven't already. Thresh is fantastic to add in because his traits are useful late game (Chrono/Mana-Reaver) and his ability artificially increases the power of your board in a fight. A good combination is to play Thresh 2 and have Lulu 2 on your bench to be pulled in. Blitzcrank, Wukong or Fizz are also potential champions to keep on your bench for Thresh as having them CC champions quickly is helpful late game.

Gangplank is one of the best legendary champions in the game and can be added in at level eight or nine for most compositions. Primarily you're going to see him in a Rebels build but you can play him outside of that. Just two star him, slap a Guardian's Angel on him and pair him with another Demolionist. It's definitely an investment, especially with Mercenary upgrades, but he can swing fights instantly into your favor. Miss Fortune is very similar in that regard with her ultimate, though less reliable. On the plus side for Miss Fortune she is a more common addition to various builds as she can be played with Jinx, Kayle or Kai'sa.

So when should you go to level nine? If you're not losing rounds terrible late game and have the money to do so you can aim for level nine sometime after Kayn. There is no specific timing to do so, just judge whether or not spending your gold to level is going to do more for you than rolling. In the case of not being strong enough late game it is often better to roll to try and hit upgrades to stabilize. It may be harder to find two star five cost champions but it's better to spend your gold and lose than lose while still having fifty gold.

Lastly you can also look to three star a four cost champion. This can be done at level eight or nine, it mostly depends on your health and board state. But the most common three star four cost champions are Vel'koz, Kayle, Irelia and Jinx. Make sure you always scout before committing to this though as it is easy to get blocked as there's only twelve of each four cost in the pool (and conversely scout to see if you need to block someone else).
One last thing to go over, Galaxies! This definitely won't be super in-depth just a few bits on each of them but they are a necessity to talk about in regards to the meta. 

Alright up first is the Lilac Nebula. Not much has changed for this Galaxy as Kayle and Irelia are still the top picks. Jhin is decent but Jinx is definitely much weaker early game with the slower fights. Overall it's best to keep in mind you don't have to keep the four cost champion or build a composition around them. Trying to overly force something when you're presented with better options is a good way to get a bottom four placement.

So, Neekoverse is interesting because it's actually a good Galaxy for more standard builds and less so for hyperroll compositions. Slow roll builds can do fine as most of them seek to three star at least one three cost champion but hyperrolling is all about one cost champions. Because everyone has two Neeko's the scaling of the mid and late game is skewed a lot. Basically more players can hit power spikes of two star four or five cost champions faster than normal which can out-scale one cost champions. This isn't always the case but it's definitely way easier to get overpowered  by a quick legendary two star five cost on Neekoverse more so than others when you're playing a hyperroll build.

The exact opposite of Neekoverse is Trade Sector. This is a Galaxy designed for those that want to press D. It's the best time to play either a hyperroll or slow roll build but make sure to scout! You need to know how contested you are before you commit to anything. Opposite to reroll builds you can use the free reroll each round as a way to increase your odds of finding higher cost champions. What that means is by leveling aggressively you will have a total of 10 champions in your shop for free each round meaning the odds of finding a three or four cost are increased.

Honestly the Medium Legends Galaxy is basically a standard game but longer. It does put way more emphasis on the late game which ends up being about positioning and scouting. That said it does provide extra time for reroll builds to hit their upgrades. Overall it's not much different than a normal game.

Superdense Galaxy was changed to now happen at the beginning of stage three instead of when you level to five. This is nice as it doesn't force the whole lobby into one play style. Superdense matters mostly for the late game where you get additional traits and champions to slot into your build. It depends on what your build is so there's no definitive best way to use the extra champion slot.

Treasure Trove is a fun Galaxy that helps out most compositions with the increased items and gold. It's especially good for Ziggs reroll as that build needs four Tears and having additional item drops helps reach that goal.

Star Cluster is a deceptive Galaxy as there can be huge gaps in power right after the stage two carousel. Some players will be disproportionately strong compared to others and it results in a lot of health lost earlier in the game than normal. So always be wary of what others are grabbing from the carousel and try to play what you got off the carousel until you can pivot out of it safely.

Galactic Armory is the newest Galaxy and another one that's easy to get baited into going builds you may not be suited for. What that means is the starting items can be a good indicator of certain builds. For example a Rageblade may signal to everyone 'Kayle!' in which case you will have to judge if it's worth it to pursue that or not. Basically don't focus on the items specifically for a build later, play normally to what champions and other components the game gives you and then factor the Galactic items in. Getting pulled into a war of finding a specific champion or build along with four other people is never in your favor.
Anddd that's all for today folks! Hopefully this sheds a light onto a bit of the current meta which, by the way, is definitely reroll heavy. While Kayle carry is still insanely popular it's common to see at least three players per lobby playing some type of reroll build. We'll have to see if anything changes in 10.11 next week or if not much will change until the mid season update! Thank you for reading <3

As always check out https://lolchess.gg/ as a great TFT resource! You can find more of me on my twitch here and twitter here as well as more GiantSlayerTFT content here!
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