Sett’s release in pro play will give top laners more options, but won’t shake the meta

20:00, 13 Jan 2020

The final piece of the preseason puzzle will come into play with the release of Sett on January 14. The half-Noxian half-Ionian bruiser is meant to be a straightforward alternative to the complexity that Senna and Aphelios have brought to the bot lane since their releases in November and December..

Despite League of Legends'patch 10.1’s release on January 9, Sett won’t become available to the masses for a few more days. For most, all that means is another champion to permaban during their placement games. For the pros however, it’s a race against the clock to figure out where League’s new solo lane slugger will find himself ranked in the meta.

The 2020 ranked season began January 10 and teams are returning from their respective offseason preparations to begin scrims. Since the conclusion of the 2019 World Championship, Riot’s introduced three brand new champions into the game, reworked Diana, and changed major game mechanics. Luckily, Sett’s probably not the most difficult champion for anybody playing at the highest level to pick up.

His Kit

Sett’s abilities can be summed up quickly with a single word: punching. If Aphelios’ extravagant release was Riot’s way of testing the boundaries of how much players are willing to learn, Sett serves as the opposite. Here’s a brief rundown of his kit.

Passive - Pit Grit
  • Sett gains health regen per second depending on how much missing health he has.
  • Basic attacks alternate between right and left punches, with right punches granting bonus range, attack speed, and physical damage.
Q - Knuckle Down
  • Gain a movement speed buff upon activation when moving toward an enemy champion.
  • Sett’s next two basic attacks will deal bonus damage.
W - Haymaker
  • All post-mitigation damage is converted into Grift u to 50% of Sett’s max health. As Grit decays, gain an equivalent decaying shield.
  • Activating will discharge AOE physical damage in a target direction. Enemies in the center take true damage.
E - Facebreaker
  • Slam enemies in front of and behind him to deal physical damage and slow by 50%.
  • If at least one enemy on each side is affected, they’re stunned for one second.
R - The Show Stopper
  • Suppress a targeted enemy and dash towards them, lifting them up and slamming them on the ground.
  • Leaves a shockwave AOE that damages and slows enemies.

The Meta

Historically speaking, slow, hulking juggernauts have struggled to find their grove in the meta due to their lack of mobility and kite-ability. If they plan on joining a teamfight and they’re not one of the most fed champions on the map, it’s usually a very bad time.

Sett may offer up a solution to this issue in that he brings a surprising amount of AOE crowd control for a bruiser. Plenty of people have tried him in both the top lane and jungle on the PBE, and his E and R are valuable tools for initiating ganks and fights.

Sett’s biggest problems will arise with the prominence of ranged top lane magees like Ryze, Kennen, and Casseiopeia. As long as lane bullies exist that can kite him out and keep him trapped in lane, he’ll remain a niche pick for specific situations.

  1. Conventional counters banned and teams are looking to draft a hard carry junger like Graves or Kha’Zix with solo laners that have good followup for early skirmishes.
  2. Draft a dive comp regardless of matchup and opt into a full tank or off-tank build on Sett.

Sett is both simplistic and incredibly versatile, allowing top laners to have a little more priority in lane and 1v2 outplay potential than they’d otherwise have on a standard juggernaut like Darius or Nasus. Unless his numbers are massively over-tuned right out the gate, it’s unlikely that he’ll be pick/ban on the big stage. He will, however, serve as a tasteful pocket pick top laners that excel at playing a skirmish/roam-heavy style or low-econ when necessary.


Image via Riot Games
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