The beginning of the 13th season of League of Legends has brought significant changes to the game’s meta compared to the previous season. Players have seen champions like Ryze, who were not popular before, come back, as well as new builds for marksmen like Ezreal that are based on crits. While both casual and serious players have explored the new meta, it is professional teams that set the standard for the current state of the game. In the past, professional teams have found unique strategies for tournaments, and this patch is no exception.
A new style of champion has emerged in the bottom lane. These champions are not held back by the need to engage in team fights but still provide a significant amount of crowd control. One such champion that has taken on this role is Jhin, a marksman by design. Hanwha Life Esports’ support player, Kim “Life” Jeong-min, was the first to use Jhin in a supportive role and won on January 19th. This pick was later used in the 2023 LEC Winter Split by Excel’s Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé and in the lower levels of the North American League by CLG Faith. Since the start of the 2023 seasons, Jhin support has been the most surprising pick across the world.
Jhin’s kit does not appear to be suitable for a support champion at first glance. His auto-attack style of four bullets with the final one being a designated crit shot seems more suited for an AD carry and building towards that guaranteed crit shot. However, Jhin has more crowd control than most marksmen. His abilities, Deadly Flourish, traps and ultimate Curtain Call, all slow or snare opponents. Jhin can also set up these abilities from a safe distance.
In Patch 13.1, Jhin is best used as an AD carry and for building a crit path that requires a lot of gold. However, in the past, Jhin has been used with a lethality build that maximizes his abilities’ damage. This build, paired with Dark Harvest and Jhin’s crowd control abilities, makes Jhin a powerful utility support.
Other champions, such as Ashe and Heimerdinger, have also seen an increase in support play in the first week of pro play on 13.1. Even Lux, who is usually used as a mage support, has been picked more often because her playstyle fits the current utility support meta.