There have been almost 100 unique champs picked this year at Worlds, with the most picks in Play-In history this year. These expanded picks allude to how broad the meta is this year compared to normal (though still very top heavy from the truly meta picks, cough Renekton, cough Syndra, cough lovers duo, cough).
But one of the most surprising picks is Ornn, who has seen two games after this G2 opener, the first coming from Lowkey Esports in their win over Damwon Gaming. Ornn only saw 12 games across all five major regions this summer, so what is he doing in these games?
In both cases so far, Ornn has been a last pick for a team heavily indexing on the opposite side of the map. What does that mean? Ornn is the most useful useless champ. If a team needs to focus on bot and mid, or if they just need a place to soak pressure, Ornn is their guy!
Ornn has a really high base value because of his passive. After hitting level 12, he can just start creating free items for his team. By the time he is level 16, Ornn will have created ~6,000 gold worth of free item upgrades, assuming his team buys compatible ones. Additionally, he is just a beefy tank with incredible engage and CC, the new age Maokai who also gifts free stats for his team. (Santa Ornn when?)
Specific Ornn Utilization
First, for Lowkey Esports. This team was famous for lane swapping and rotating around the map, so when they got pieces of a comp that looked good for the swap, Nguyễn "Hani" Tuấn Phát locked in
Ornn to send him to the bot lane and soak experience. Additionally, DWG locked in Garen/Yuumi for this game, so Ornn was even able to farm on top of soaking all the exp. They have no kill pressure over him.
Lowkey indexed heavily on the top side and rotated their Tristana to every turret they could reach. Ornn just spent the whole early game sprinting around to catch waves and sit pretty, just waiting for those levels till he could start dishing out free stuff.
With Tristana getting almost every single turret plate from all three towers and the free stats a bit later, they were able to dictate the entire pace of that game for the eventual win. It wasn't clean, and ended up lasting over 40 minutes. But Ornn also guarantees their team has late game scaling, since the enemy won't have access to the same stats.
His second pick was from G2 answering a Renekton/Taliyah top duo from Griffin. Renekton is one of the most oppressive laners in general, and when paired with a Taliyah, a single gank usually spells death for the other side. So not only can Ornn play farther back and sack his farm, he also has a dash to buffer during the stun and a CC immunity on his Bellows Breath.
Griffin went top to utilize the incredible combo, but time and time again, Martin "Wunder" Nordahl Hansen got the better of them, dodging the CC lock and sitting behind his turret when necessary. Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski even showed up a couple times and utlized Ornn's own crowd control to secure multiple kills and start snowballing.
From there, Wunder just caught waves and grouped with his team, providing the stats and engage they needed to close out the game quickly and cleanly.
Use Ornn in Soloqueue
Did you just get autofilled top? And they locked a lane bully? And you have no idea how to play League on an island? ORNN.
While the champion is not flashy nor a solo carry machine, if you are in an obviously weak side Top (due to autofill or general draft phase) he may be your best pick to win the game. Truly like Maokai back in the day, you just need to survive the lane and you will always be useful.
With the free stats, long range engage, big tankiness, crowd control, and a bit of mobility to really get in the thick of things, Ornn only falls flat on the damage side of things. But you're top! Take a trip back to 2018 and beyond, let your carries carry!
Ornn requires no fancy mechanics, he requires no advantage through impeccable laning. All Ornn needs is time. Much like Kayle, it gets to a point where Ornn is just strong no matter what. Unlike Kayle, however, Ornn doesnt need as much farm.
Really, if you think about it, all he needs is you (to lock him in). Give the Forge God a try.