Status of Mid: Overly Dominant AP Carries?

Posted: September 13, 2011 by atenthirtyone in General, Laning

As of the date of this article being posted, AP carries have now become “standard”, “normal”, or “meta” (for you, meta meta meta scumbags). It’s quite rare that we see any AD carries such as Ashe, whom has always been quite weak at mid, but took it because of the farm potential and sadistically enjoy getting picked on by nearly every champion in the laning phase. There’s a reason for choosing AP carries over AD carries for the most part nowadays. AP carries tend to have more tools and power in the laning phase and mid game due to how they mechanically function (they use abilities). While they will not have the ridiculously late game scaling as an AD carry, most AP carries can take advantage of the mid lane farm because they can exert far more pressure and danger to their opponents. I mean, look at some of these mid lane AP carry champions:

Anivia – Extremely strong defensive champion due to her ability combos and her Rebirth passive. In addition, her ultimate, Glacial Storm brings more defense and amazing farming.

Annie – Is she close to a stun on her passive and you are within Flash range? Nope, nope, nope.

Brand – He can easily burn you from full to zero if he lands everything. Even if he cannot, his occasional harassment with his passive, Blaze will constantly chip away at your health.

Cassiopeia – Chip away at your health all day, every day with poison while being faster than you due to her poison abilities’ mechanics.

Gragas – Only person that can poke harder than him is Nidalee’s fully “traveled” spear, but… his barrels go through minions. Enjoy.

Orianna – Very strong harassment, and can threatened to kill you with her combo if you are a bit hurt. Also, very mobile.

Simply put, these champions all can harass very well, while still merrily farming on their own. However, what makes them far more scary than an AD carry champion is that a lot of them can combo their abilities to kill their opponent at mid. This forces their opponent to play a lot safer, which means two things. One, the opponent may lose gold/experience in lane for staying safe and in the back. Two, these champions use this pressure to have a happy time farming.

However, this is not just the issue of AP carries being better than AD carries at mid lane. A few months ago, I wrote an article regarding strong early game champions. I called one of these type of champions, the early game bully. Specifically, I am referring to champions that can easily, but must win their lanes – Urgot and LeBlanc. While, one is AD and the other is AP, they essentially have very similar mechanics in the laning phase. What I mean is that, they set up an ability when the opponent over-extends that will combo into others for a ton of damage. These combos will usually get the opponent to very low health, and sometimes kill them. In the past, few champions could really have a similar burst damage output, and would “give up” the lane. What I mean by “give up” is that they would play to survive and get as much farm as humanly possible. They would no longer play the lane to get as much creep as possible and win the lane.

Yet, if we look at some of the AP carries I listed, they simply can fight Urgot and LeBlanc evenly or even beat them. In other cases, some of these champions can put out a good of harassment back, while farming. This latter part is actually the bigger concern. Early game bullies need to win the lane by a decent margin because they simply do not scale as well into the late game where damage and team fights become a lot more vital. Their goal in the laning phase is to outfarm, while denying the opponent as much experience and gold as possible. In some sense, these champions are a less optimal for the mid lane, but they still need mid lane. This forces the players that play these specific champions to work and play a lot harder than before. Anyway, I hope you, readers found this article a bit interesting, and as usual, I would love comments. Never stop commenting.

Special Writer’s Note: I do not consider LeBlanc an AP carry because I consider her more of an assassin or anti-carry role. In the late game, she wants to hide around and snipe off loner or overextending champions. If LeBlanc tries to fight in a full 5v5 team fight, she will get targeted and murdered way too fast for someone that’s suppose to carry. A carry is someone that can stay in a team fight for most of the duration and continue to put out damage (either high sustained damage as AD, or be able to burst damage every x seconds repeatly as AP). LeBlanc’s moveset puts her at a lot more risk, but is more a 1v1er or a kill securing role.

  1. drhooble says:

    No love for Malzahar? Has he been nerfed so much that he is no longer viable? 😦

    • Gorgosch says:

      Yesterday I had to lane mid against Malzahar (As Mordekaiser).
      Malz put out some nice burst damage and silence was anoying if it hit. Beside that he ran out of mana to fast to be a thread in the end.

      To be honest, I have seen Malzahar doing better, but then they usually chiped health away in small margin and played more defencive.

      I liked this agression and with a bit more skill it may have worked.

      So far I think Cassio and Brand are my biggest threads mid.

      • drhooble says:

        I think a major problem with Malzahar players is that they don’t realize how powerful their E ability is. Malefic Visions gives you mana back per kill and does as much damage as his ultimate. If you get 5 kills with the ability it refunds itself, 6 and you gain mana. Running out of mana is definitely a problem with Malzahar but you shouldn’t have to spam your abilities too much. Farming with E is so OP it’s silly by 7th or 8th level. E and a voidling can kill a whole creep wave by 5th level without any additional support.

        Another problem is overuse of Q and W for zoning purposes will quickly drain Malz’s mana making him a non-threat. Zone when you have to zone but let E do that for you. E can take down even Mordekaiser’s health if he keeps getting hit with it.

        Also if you going to use Malz’s ult, for the love of ponies, please drop a Null Zone first. It’s the difference between melting an opponent and annoying an opponent.

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