Coming soon to a Solo Queue game near you – if it hasn't already – is the Troll King in the bot lane. First played this split in Taiwan's LoL Masters League, support Trundle also debuted recently in the west thanks to Fnatic's Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim. An explosion of Solo Queue popularity has followed with a surprising amount of success.
While the oddball pick was first considered experimental at best, and trolling (mind the pun) at worst, there's a lot more behind Trundle support than the restlessness of an undefeated team or enraging your Solo Queue opponents.
A TROLL IN NAME ALONE
Last year, Trundle took to the top lane as a possible answer to breaking the seemingly endless reign of Shyvana and Renekton. With his formidable ultimate, Subjugate (R), Trundle steals 20 percent of his target's magic resistance and armor while healing for the damage done, making him strong against tankier champions who stack these resistances.
In a post-Cinderhulk world, Trundle appears ideal, and has seen play in the top lane from Edward Gaming's Yang "Koro1" Tong, Invictus Gaming's Zhihao "Zzitai" Liu, and Snake's Xuan-jun "Flandre" Li with varying amounts of success. The troll king was also trotted out for a successful jungle stint by KOO Tigers' Ho-jin "Hojin" Lee in a recent match against Incredible Miracle.
However, with other stronger top lane options in an increasingly diverse meta, Trundle finds a new home in the bottom lane, offering the same resistance shredding while also adding zone control in smaller lane skirmishes. Trundle's Pillar of Ice (E) not only zones out opponents while also applying a slow, but knocks back anyone who happens to be directly underneath it.
Combined with bonus movement speed, attack speed, and healing from Frozen Domain (W), his ability to control the terrain of 2v2 and even 2v3 engages makes him an annoyance to those who try to start fights or gank his lane. With another slow from Chomp (Q), Trundle makes everyone around him sticky enough to win just about any trade.
"As a support, your primary role is to be annoying for the enemy team," YellOwStaR says of the pick. "You are not really able to peel for your ADC [with Trundle], but you can catch easily and slow."
IT'S RUDE TO STARE
When Machi E-Sports' Jian-Hong "Dreamer" Ceng locked in Trundle support in LMS Week 7 against Midnight Sun Esports, the casters were mystified, quickly changing their discussion from aforementioned Flandre's top lane Trundle to the eccentricity of the pick.
In the waning weeks of 2015 LMS Summer, Dreamer proved that Trundle support was hardly an oddity, picking the champion up in four of their remaining five games. This additionally inspired other LMS supports – Hong Kong Esports' Joo-sung "Olleh" Kim and Flash Wolves' Shuo-Jie "SwordArt" Hu – to give the troll a try.
While Dreamer's influence has been felt, Trundle has a low win rate of 29 percent in the LMS. Some of this can be attributed to the opponents those teams faced – for example, AHQ was heavily favored to beat the Flash Wolves regardless of SwordArt's support Trundle – but it also points to how finicky the pick is at high levels of play.
Trundle's strengths are his ability to engage, disengage, and create or control terrain. However, his lane pressure is limited to annoying opponents with his slow, rather than a harder form of crowd control like an Annie Pyromania passive stun or Thresh Death Sentence (Q). When taking this troll as a support, make certain that you have good coordination with your laning partner and teammates.
YELLOWSTAR UNDER THE BRIDGE
More recently, Trundle accompanied YellOwStaR and Fnatic in their final two matches en route to an 18-0 perfect regular season. As European spectators tried to wrap their heads around the pick, YellOwStaR's Trundle fit perfectly into Fnatic's playstyle of controlling vision through minion waves and roaming, allowing them to choose the skirmishes they wanted.
"[In the first game] SK had a better laning phase champions, you don't really want to fall behind so we had to swap," YellOwStaR says of their first Week 9 game, against SK Gaming. But he says that the forced lane swap worked out for them in the end. "Swapping can be good because Trundle has high mobility and good roaming potential to catch out people that are out of position."
YellOwStaR used Trundle's mobility not only to make picks, but also to secure the oppressive vision net that plays a large role in the majority of Fnatic's victories.
IT'S GOOD TO BE A TROLL KING
When locking in the Troll King as a support you want to abuse his aforementioned mobility by roaming, or aiding your carry in extended trades. While Trundle admittedly lacks hard engage, he more than makes up for this with his knack for hindering an opponent over an extended period of time. Regardless of position, Trundle is always at home shredding tanks. What he lacks in early kill pressure, he'll more than make up for in skirmishes once your team groups to fight.
"If people are trying to trade with you, don't forget that you are fast, you can slow people, and have some damage," YellOwStaR says, adding that Trundle still provides significant presence in lane, especially when you are engaged on. "You don't have to be afraid of fighting back because you are tanky too."
While Trundle won't likely become a must pick or ban in your next Solo Queue game, don't count him out as a viable option. With innate tankiness and the ability to control skirmishing terrain, this troll is hardly a joke.