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Is there a defensive meta?

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So, ever since the season 3 patch came out I've noticed that aggression seems to be the best way to get ahead. People come to lane stacking straight AD or AP to get an early game advantage that scales quite nicely into the late game. Armor and Magic resist do not scale as well with all of the Armor Pen and Magic Pen items. I understand that this is intended and Riot wants players to be more reliant on their health this season, but I don't feel like any of the health stats in masteries and runes compare with the damage options.

I don't have trouble playing with this new mentality, but personally I'm not a fan of it. As a long time support player I like to let my lanes settle and then look at my options. For instance, I like to protect my carry while they just farm. I like to be able to jump in and punish enemy's for trying to harass or gank my carry. Now by no means am I saying that this playstyle is non existent it just doesn't seem very prominent anymore. Most lanes I find my one option to be: Bully or be bullied.

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Senior Member


A "defensive" team comp would be one who can AoE clear consistently, sustain easily, and have multiple CC.

For example:
Morgana + Kayle exceptional clear time, scales well into late, easy engage/disengage
Lulu + Caitlyn/Graves exceptional clear time, scales well into late. exceptional disengage
Maokai + karthusexceptional clear time, scales well into late, easy engage/disengage, strong teamfight potential.

You should already see what makes a good "defensive" team comp for the defensive meta, but to have a strong defense does require some mobility, so Teleport because a must.

Just think about diving this comp under a turret:
Probably wont work out...

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Senior Member


Quick note before i really respond- i feel like offensive and aggressive aren't the same thing, especially when your talking about builds. IMO, offensive building is what your going for, compared to defensive building.

That being said, there's still a place for both in the meta. If your playing akali, you better be rushing some damage items early- there'll be time for defense later, but if your playing a champ whose ONLY asset is her (although admittedly insane) amount of burst, then you better utilize that and build damage.

However, if your playing a champ who really just has to stay alive, such as 1. every support in the game or 2. most tanks in the game, your going to want to build tanky-ish. Maybe don't go randiuns-frozen heart-warmogs-banshee's-thornmail, since you still have to have SOME offensive power. But pick up something like a sunfire, a black cleaver, just so you are somewhat of a threat- then pretty much stack a combo of hp+armor+Mresist depending on what you need.

Basically, I think it all comes down to your scenario and your champ. Carries really are forced to rush damage early and health later, while i'd say supports and bruisers usually have some more flexibility there, depending on the matchup. Also consider that a lot of carries buy dorans still, which is literaly offense+defense+sustain all in one cheap item, which is why it's so popular.