Welcome back to our weekly column on the Season 4 meta! Week 2’s games were pretty interesting with lots of solid picks and bans, but the meta remains mostly unchanged, with a few differences from Week 1.
First up, let’s have a look at the top 5 picks for Week 2. The most picked heroes were:
In terms of bans, the top 5 banned heroes were:
Terminology guide: WR = Win rate, PR = Pick rate, BR = Ban rate
Top 5 Picks Analysis
I’ve already gone over what makes Grock strong in Week 1, so I won’t talk too much about that, but it’s interesting to see that Grock has beaten X.Borg as the most picked hero. Surprisingly, Grock’s ban rate is really low, at only 25% BR.
I guess there’s no reason to ban him when there are other priority bans on more impactful heroes, especially since Grock’s very strong but doesn’t win games on his own (52% WR). It’s likely also the case that he’s a solid addition to most teams, so nobody really wants to remove him from their pool of potential heroes.
X.Borg, Still Burning
He was dethroned, but 2nd place is still pretty good. Despite having such a high PR, X.Borg’s WR is only hovering around 53% (which is solid, of course), with a measly BR of 22%. Makes sense though, even if he’s OP, getting picked a lot will lower his WR because not every team that picks him can win.
As for his low BR, the most straightforward explanation would be that teams are choosing to build around X.Borg and counter him instead of just banning, which isn’t too hard since he’s somewhat immobile, despite his crazy amounts of damage. Like Grock, it’s also because everybody wants to pick him, so they’re leaving their options open.
Meanwhile, Esmeralda came in third, but her WR is still quite low at 40%, with a 41% BR. I mean yeah, as mentioned before, she’s a solid counter-pick and a decent AOE mage, but she’s not a first pick or game-winner. Her niche IS useful, but in the current meta, she seems a bit out of place.
Kaja, a Feathered Fiend.
And then there’s Kaja, a really old tank/support hero, who somehow shot back up to a 53 % PR with a 68% WR and 47% BR. Note that he got reworked back in March (which was during Season 3), where they made him more of an area denial tank/support/mage instead of being very mobile.
His ultimate remains the same though, and that’s probably what most people pick him for. It allows Kaja to stun and drag an enemy away, which is pretty useful for catching carry heroes or vital damage dealers (like Granger and X.Borg), for his team to pick them off.
Granger, The Deadly Musician
Speaking of Granger, he’s sitting on the same PR as Kaja, at 53%. I think his PR shot up in response to the prevalence of heavy AOE damage and clustered team fights since Granger’s range is enough to comfortably hang around on the edges of fights, sniping enemies and avoiding the brunt of the action. Despite being a marksman, a role which isn’t prevalent in the current meta, he’s still valuable enough to get picked for his high burst damage, as opposed to the more sustained DPS of other MMs. He’s only been banned 19% of the time though, surprisingly.
Top 5 bans
In terms of marksman heroes, I think Karrie, Claude, Granger, Hanabi, and Kimmy are the most unique, with each having specific niches (Hanabi’s AOE bouncing attacks, Karrie’s antitank skills, etc).
Setting Claude, Hanabi and Karrie (who I already discussed before) aside, Kimmy is also a potentially very annoying MM to deal with, with her passive allowing her to move and attack in different directions while also converting attack speed into movement speed, which means she can kite enemies easily by attacking while running away instead of having to stop and fire.
I wouldn’t say she’s the most OP, just really annoying to deal with, and can throw out a large amount of AOE damage with her skills, so I can see why she got banned a lot. Note that even with a 19% PR, she already achieved a 57% WR.
He’s not the most unique tank, with a kit designed for crowd control that incorporates LOTS of slows plus an ultimate that can pull back enemies into a specific area, but in a meta where team fights and AOE damage are important, his ultimate is invaluable for either trapping enemies in place to take loads of damage, or locking them out of team fights by preventing their mobility. Pretty versatile.
It’s everyone’s favourite kung fu boy! He got banned a lot in W1, and this week’s no exception. I think Chou’s dangerous mainly because of two things: his short-range mobility, which allows him to reposition around the battlefield easily, and his CC, which can knock up enemies and move them out of the fight (mainly via his ultimate skill). At a 41% PR (because he is mostly banned), Chou already has a 60% WR. He is one of the heroes who has a 100% pick or ban rate: in 36 games played at MPL so far, he has been picked 15 times and banned 21 times.
He was the 6th most picked hero in W2, with a 50% PR and a 66% WR. I discussed his niche back in W1, but to briefly recap, he’s an AOE/zoning mage with the ability to lock enemies down easily.
He’s another highly contested hero, that’s why he’s also in the top 5 most picked heroes list. It’s no surprise that his ultimate is impactful and teams are reluctant to leave him open. Kaja is the kind of hero that can win your team the game when it goes late – one important pick-off on your opponent’s split-pushing marksman or while defending base could be the one kill that ends the game for your team.