Hey there MPL fans! I hope you enjoyed Week 1’s matches, which had a lot of interesting gameplay and unexpected outcomes. If you haven’t caught up on them, you can read our recap article here.
Since we’ve already focused on what happened with the teams, let’s change the angle and have a look at the meta instead, in terms of picks and winrates.
From our data, the top 5 most picked heroes were X.Borg, Grock, Esmeralda, Harith, and Diggie, with X.Borg having the highest winrate of these heroes at 69%.
X.Borg, A Rising Threat
So what’s up with X.Borg?
It’s interesting to note that he’s MLBB’s newest hero, released only 2 weeks before the Regular Season started, and yet he’s already established dominance in the meta so far.
X.Borg is basically a heavy damage-dealing fighter with Area of Effect abilities that can output lots of True Damage, and a passive that makes him quite versatile (skills change their radius and area depending on whether he’s armored or unarmored) with some limited degree of disengaging.
He fits really well into the current meta of heavy engages and teamfights, with less poking/ganking and more large-scale battles.
I won’t go into specifics for all his abilities, since you can refer to them on the MLBB Wiki, but it’s safe to say that he’s here to stay, at least until the next round of buffs and nerfs.
Grock and Roll
Good old reliable Grock is back! Well, he never really left, but there were times in the previous seasons where the meta didn’t quite favor him and his pick/winrate fell, and there were times where he was really OP. Now, though, he’s hovering at a 50% winrate.
Grock’s abilities center around zoning enemies and locking them down, with his slowing AoE smash, wall, and knockup ultimate, so he combos well with X.Borg and other immobile teamfight-oriented heroes, who need enemies to stay in place so they can deal their damage.
Esmeralda Casts a Spell on You
Esmeralda saw a lot of usage too, despite her low winrate of only 44%.
I think the issue affecting her winrate is that she’s not really a burst or heavy damage hero (though her damage is pretty decent), and is more of a counterpick, with her 2nd skill allowing her to steal enemy shields and her other skills being AoE damage abilities plus a bit of shielding for allies.
If her team doesn’t do well, she can’t turn the game around as easily as someone like X.Borg or Grock. Having said that, if teams start going for more shield-based heroes, her winrate will probably increase.
Harith and Diggie, Tiny Terrors
And not forgetting Harith and Diggie, of course.
In terms of winrates, Harith has a 63% WR, and Diggie is at 50% like Grock.
They’re both AoE zoning mages, but Harith’s focus is more towards mobility, damage, and locking enemies down, while Diggie’s niche lies in blocking CC for his team (his ultimate, which is one of the only skills in MLBB that can protect the entire team from CC) and crowd controlling enemies with his Reverse Time.
If you haven’t already noticed, the common thing these top picks share is their AoE damage or zoning abilities (with Diggie’s ultimate being the odd one out), which means they’re probably gonna be picked a lot in the upcoming weeks too, unless a patch creates a dramatic meta shift.
Marksmen: Falling Out of Favor
During Week 1, marksman heroes were strangely absent, and the marksmen that stood out were Karrie (33% WR) and Granger (55%), with roughly the same pick rate. Claude, who used to be really OP, only had a 26% pick rate with a 60% WR.
Let’s talk about Granger and Karrie.
They occupy different roles, despite both being marksmen carries. Granger is a long-range MM with heavy damage and is quite reliant on critical strikes (from his passive), who doesn’t benefit as much from attack speed, while Karrie relies a lot on attack speed and is a mobile hero who can easily shred tanks with her true damage passive. Unfortunately, neither of these niches are particularly strong in the current meta.
In the current meta of AoE damage and zoning, they can’t do as well as before cuz they get blown up too easily, which is kinda sad because marksmen used to be picked in most games in previous metas. The same applies to Claude, who gets locked down and destroyed too fast to deal damage or escape with his disengage skills.
Niche Picks, Strong Impact
In every meta, there will always be niche picks, and this one’s no exception. Formerly popular heroes like Gusion, Franco (not really THAT popular, though), Akai, Hayabusa, and Chou were picked less this time, but when they WERE picked, they performed well.
Notably, Chou had a 75% WR, Akai had a 71% WR, Franco had a 83% WR, and Hayabusa had a 100% WR! Well, Hayabusa was only picked in 5 games (26% pick rate), but that’s still pretty cool.
Basically, what this means is that they’re not OP enough to justify picking all the time anymore, but as counterpicks or situational choices (Gusion to dive the backline, Franco to catch an enemy out of position, Akai’s knockback ultimate, etc) they can still shine.