He can soak up damage levels enough to destroy a planet.
Meta Matters is a series where we take a deeper look into the esports metagame. We’ll explore strategies used by the best teams and supplement that with our own research and statistics. Esports isn’t just a random group of people playing video games – the meta truly matters!
As an off lane Mobile Legends player, I revel at the sight of successfully pulling the enemies’ attention to myself from across the map. However, the 1v2’s I have performed, the clutch 1v3 Thamuz and Terizla plays (before they were nerfed), are gone to the gutter. Why bother with flashy plays or unforgettable X.Borg ultimates when the off lane has often been reduced to just Uranus.
No, I am not kidding, neither am I happy about this. Over the first three weeks of MPL-MY/SG Season 5, I have been hoping this trend would not catch on. However, the Malaysian and Singaporean professional teams have caught on to the strength of Uranus.
Related: Flameshot is an issue.
Why has Uranus become so prominent in the off lane role? Let’s look at previous meta off lane picks from the end of 2019 till now.
- Thamuz – Best off lane duelist.
- X.Borg – Strongest off lane pre-nerf. Post-nerf, he’s still a lane bully that scales into the late game.
- Masha – Incredible split pusher pre-nerf. Let’s not talk about her post-nerf viability…
- Hayabusa – Potential hyper carry and Marksmen replacement.
- Chou – Predominantly used as a flex pick.
- Jawhead – Strongest early game duelist and utility before one item.
Out of these five picks, only two stand out as the rest have either been badly nerfed or cannot survive the current meta abuse of four-men tower dives. This is where Uranus fits in. His kit allows him to clear waves effectively whilst dealing with the abuse most off laners suffer thanks to his strong base stats. To take it a step further, he can absorb even more pressure when he builds tank items and stacks his passive. This means that teams have been struggling to cope with the amount of time taken to kill him, which in all honesty, is a bit of a bummer.
Have a look at Geek Fam versus Siren Clan during the 3rd minute of game. Artz took advantage of his wave clear and durability to proxy the wave from Siren Clan. This posed no immediate threat to Siren Clan until Artz decided to proxy another wave when the Turtle spawned. This would enable Geek Fam’s minions to crash into Siren’s top land tier 1 tower, which was already at 50% of its HP. Sirens quickly cleared their waves to respond en masse to Artz, who was trying to clear another wave. This wasted a total of 12 seconds of Siren players walking to him and running him down. Within these 12 precious seconds, Siren Clan’s bottom tier 1 tower fell to Geek Fam and the Season 3 champions could have claimed the Turtle. Nevertheless, they opted for a less-greedy play.
Pix 5 caption: Notorious Villains vs Axis Esports Game 2. NV won the series 2-1.
Look at KaizerX in Game 2 of Notorious Villains vs Axis Esports. Most would say that it is odd that at 2:15, KaiserX decided to hop over the wall into the enemy base especially after dying in the first minute of the game. Take note that at this point of the game, all five members of NV have shown themselves on the map. Four at the top lane and Thamuz holding the mid lane. Considering this, KaiserX made a smart move to proxy both mid and bottom lane minions in one fell swoop before getting out.
Although Axis lost the game eventually, these two examples show that Uranus can be utilised to effectively brick wall other a team’s off lane and buy time for teammates to secure bigger objectives across the map.
Uranus is a quite a popular pick in competitive games. It is the joint 10th most-picked hero in MPL-MY/SG and is the fourth most-picked off laner behind Jawhead, Thamuz and Chou. Surprisingly, Uranus has an overall low win rate. Only EVOS SG has found consistent success on the hero.
Do I like seeing him being this effective in professional play? Certainly not, but I acknowledge that there is value in playing with such a defensive hero for a good early game start. However, players have become smarter and teams who pick Uranus will need to find a way to properly transition him to the late game.
Related: MPL-MY/SG resumes on 9 April 2020.
This is a guest post and the views expressed here are the author’s own. GideonQ is a caster and analyst for MPL-MY/SG Season 5.
eGG Network is the organiser of MPL-MY/SG Season 5, which will resume on 9 April 2020.