While some League of Legends champions have been heavily targeted by balance changes over the last few months, others have been overlooked by Riot Games—but that doesn’t stop them from being picked or banned in the ranked ladder.
This is the case for one particular champion whose last nerf was brought with Patch 12.16, over six months ago. He’s not dominating the ladder in terms of win rate, but he’s kept an average ban rate of 50 percent at the game’s highest level since Spring 2022.
Draven is that champion. He’s been nerfed a number of times over the years, but his snowball potential still makes him a scary pick in solo queue.
This is especially the case in the game’s highest level since Draven mains are rare but extremely fearsome. If you give them an early kill, they’ll quickly snowball and force their opponents out of the bot lane.
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A player on League’s subreddit recently highlighted that the meta generally favors early advantages and snowballing, rather than scaling. “Most of my picks outscale Draven but the game revolves around getting bot control so I have to play perfectly just to go even and my jungler has some semblance of control bot side… so yeah imma just ban it,” they wrote.
This means Draven’s impact is strengthened by the meta, making him as threatening as ever.
This was demonstrated a few weeks ago in pro play when G2’s bot laner Hans Sama played a major part in Fnatic’s defeat in the LEC Winter Split. After giving away two early kills to Hans Sama’s Draven, he snowballed, leading to a quick and easy win.
He did the same thing the week after against Team Heretics, earning the perfect KDA in the process. After that, every team target-banned Hans Sama’s Draven until the end of the LEC’s Winter regular split.
No one wants to see a Draven steamroll through games with his hard-hitting axes. Even if there are many ways to negate his snowball potential, a single mistake from the bot lane can make Draven a major threat. That’s why he’s still being banned so frequently in solo queue.
Despite a normal win rate (50.3 percent) in Masters and higher-ranked games, Draven is the third-most banned champion with an average of 43.2 percent ban rate, according to stats site League of Graphs.