Since his initial release in 2014, Gnar has slowly but surely disappeared from the champions you usually see when playing League of Legends. This very fact seems absolutely crazy as the Missing Link hasn't been nerfed since Patch 7.18 in 2017...
Over the past three years, Gnar has indeed been buffed nine times, and the most recent of these buffs actually hit live alongside Patch 10.13.
Until Season 8, the champion was still played a lot at a professional scale, with a pick rate of almost 44%. This rate dropped to 6.5% the Season after, and Gnar just became to be a tool pick to answer Aatrox. Since the beginning of Season 10, Gnar has a 5% pick rate in solo queue for a 49% win rate — which isn't really glorious.
Why is Gnar so unpopular?
- As a ranged champion, Gnar is quite weak in early game in most match-ups — which isn't ideal.
- His MGEA form puts him at a disadvantage in some match-ups and cannot be controlled, unlike Shyvana.
- Gnar must wait 15 seconds between two phases of transformation. This form is very useful for helping its allies, but if the enemy team respects Gnar's transformation timing, they have nothing to fear when it shrinks.
- In addition, Gnar's rage bar fades if he does not attack any enemy for a certain time, making his transformation impossible when he initiates a fight without first stacking his rage.
- The Frozen Mallet, Gnar's core item, is only slowing movement from 20% since Season 8 (it used to be 30%).
- Playing Gnar properly requires some playing experience with the champion, which does not help him.
Although Gnar is still playable in toplane if you're able to properly kite your opponent while paying attention to your rage bar, Gnar's transformation mechanic needs to be reworked so it can be easier to manage and control.
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Original content by "Nam".