Metas come and go. They define League of Legends play and can be so powerful that they completely shift how League of Legends is seen in itself. It either has the ability to make the game extremely fun or make the game one of the worst experiences in your life.

Therefore, metas are very important when it comes to the players. But how do metas come along? How do metas form and develop to change the scene of League of Legends itself? Typically, metas form through patch changes or new revolutionary playstyles that occur within the League of Legends

For example, the “tank meta” concerning the popularity of tanks came about because players were tired of playing just carries and bruisers. Meanwhile, they found out that tanks such as Poppy and Malphite could do as much damage as a Fiora if played right, eventually bringing in a meta that completely changed the landscape.

However, there’s been one meta that has not only completely changed the competitive scene, it’s also completely changed how League of Legends is viewed. It’s been a double-edged sword to the community, favoring some while completely damaging others.

This meta is “gold funneling.” No one saw this meta coming and even when you read how “gold funneling” works, it still seems extremely unlikely anyone would use this playstyle. But it’s here and it worked.

So, how has it revolutionized League of Legends? While, in the end, what I think has little say on your opinion of gold funneling, it drastically shifted League of Legends. New teams became the dominant powerhouses and League became a whole different game. These are all things that have become prevalent in today’s game and things that you should learn about. Let’s get started.

How Does Gold Funneling Work and Why Is It Important?

Gold funneling works such that you pool all of your basic resources into one player who can play a “carry” champion extremely well. Then, you build a team composition around that one player to ensure that they can perform to the maximum level possible.

You can see this in a Yi plus Taric combo where Taric gives Yi all his farm and then allows him to fight whenever he wants by casting his ultimate on Master Yi when he goes in, making him invulnerable while he shreds through the team.

You can usually tell that a person is gold funneling if their mid laner is allowing them to take all the gold in the wave. That’s how it works. Typically, the jungler will finish all their jungle camps and go straight to the mid lane where the mid laner will back off and let them have the gold.

Note that the mid lane is usually playing a tank of some sort so that they won’t be too behind, especially since the mid lane is extremely reliant on the champion snowballing out of control. So why is funneling important and how has it changed the entire game?

Before gold funneling became a thing—and essentially, before a large number of metas came up—the goal behind League of Legends was a team effort to make sure that each role played a crucial part in winning the game.

Top laners and supports were tanks who soaked up damage while keeping the enemy away. The jungler was crucial to securing objectives and generating early game leads while the AD Carry and mid laner were the main damage dealers of the group.

By utilizing every single piece of each role’s strength, teams would usually find that the team which could utilize each player’s strength correctly the best tended to win the match. However, as new metas came into play and new items and playstyles began developing, it no longer became all about a team effort.

Instead, it came down to who could carry harder. With changes in the mid lane and AD Carry, these roles became far more powerful. Meanwhile, top lane and jungle found carry picks such as Master Yi and Camille to be much better than playing a steady bruiser such as Gragas or Skarner.

For the past few metas, it was a conflict between a playstyle where a team effort meant the victory and a playstyle where one player put all the burdens of the other players on his/her back and carried them to victory.

However, with the introduction of gold funneling, players quickly found that pooling all their resources into one player was much easier than making a team effort to win the game. Why is this? Because it’s almost impossible to have five people working together as one consistently throughout a game.

Even then, it’s extremely hard to get five people to work together in the first place unless you’re playing on the pro stage. Therefore, by agreeing to pool everything on one carry, there’s less risk in team fights and a faster chance at snowballing which is what every team wants.

Soon after gold funneling began to take place, new champions such as Master Yi, Talon, and Kai’sa—champions that could hyper-carry their team to a victory—took place as the top dogs of the League of Legends meta.

Once the changes came into place, it became the norm for four players to put their trust in one player. No longer were top laners trying to do their best to keep their team away from the threats, they were trying to make sure their jungler could have the best opportunity possible to get into the fight.

No longer were the mid laners and AD Carries the main source of damage, they were the ones who picked up the scraps and finished off what the jungle carry couldn’t. The same goes for the support. No longer were the mid laners responsible for keeping their AD Carry alive, they were responsible for keeping the jungler alive at all costs.

As you can see, only players who were carrying were climbing the League of Legends competitive ladder. The same goes for the competitive scene. Teams that had at least one player who could hyper-carry started to play much better than teams that were built more around a team-based composition.

This is one of the main reasons that the new rookie powerhouse Griffin was able to oust out South Korea Telecom. South Korea Telecom was built around team fights and working together to win while Griffin had two hyper-carries, Tarzan and Viper, who used the gold funneling strategy to its maximum effect.

As you can see, the gold funneling meta quickly switched up everything before anyone could react. It favored those who could carry the team through a hyper-carry such as Master Yi while basically stabilizing all the other players on the team.

This meta ousted the former world champions, South Korea Telecom, while bringing new teams into the spotlight, such as Afreeca Freecs and Griffin. Gold funneling has changed so much of League of Legends that it could be legitimate to say that this meta was the meta that changed everything.

So What’s Been Done?

Whenever a meta becomes too strong or has been around for too many weeks, the League of Legends moderators make sure to change everything up so as to try to balance everything out. For the case of gold funneling, there have been huge changes.

The one biggest change is that junglers can no longer farm waves and receive the full gold amount until their jungle item is completed. Instead of receiving the full gold amount as a normal laner would, junglers will only receive four gold per minion kill.

This means that farming out two or three waves in the mid lane would only give you less than half of what a mid laner would get. By doing this, junglers are encouraged to go for more of their own camps while looking to gank and kill the lane opponent only, nothing else.

Of course, while this does almost completely get rid of the incentive to gold funnel via farming a lane, it also drastically decreases any inspiration of going into the lane in the first place. After all, for a jungler, farming out the camps is a much better option than only getting partial gold credit for a minion kill.

That being said, there have also been some unforeseen changes because the League of Legends board removed the gold funneling strategy. There are some pros and cons to consider even though getting rid of gold funneling has definitely improved the game as a whole.

Pros and Cons and Unforeseen Changes

Removing the use of gold funneling has made the game more even. It’s allowed top laners to play more bruisers and tanks once again while mid lane and AD Carry have gone back to be the respective carries that they once were. Now, supports are built around protecting the AD Carry and junglers are now focused on getting the mid laner and marksman ahead, not themselves.

However, even though League of Legends has changed back into a game where a team effort is needed, there have been some loose pieces that have littered the Rift.


Pushing in waves after a kill—a strategy so crucial to the early game—is not as stressed anymore since junglers do not get full gold participation from killing a minion.

This has killed the inspiration to prioritize lanes and push for a tower, especially when the jungler wants to snowball and become a major carry force in the late game. After killing a lane opponent, they’d rather kill Red Buff than a minion wave because killing Red Buff would guarantee more gold and experience.

This change has also gotten rid of the once-prevalent use of playing Smite in one of the lanes in order to get the buffs from the jungle item. Now, it’s always the usual summoner spells. If you’re top lane, you’re most likely going to go Teleport. If you’re mid lane, ignite or cleanse; if you’re AD Carry, heal and if you’re Support, ignite or exhaust.

The new changes now force junglers to just path their jungle and look for picks. One beautiful thing about gold funneling that made it such a stick-on meta was that junglers had a bigger role when, beforehand, they were almost obscure.

A small thing like pushing in a wave doesn’t seem like something to freak out about but for junglers, it was one of the biggest things that made them an important chess piece if League of Legends was a chessboard.

Therefore, even though League of Legends has gotten rid of an extremely broken and unpredictable playstyle, they’ve sacrificed an exciting aspect of the game. At the expense of taking away a potentially destructive meta, they’ve also enforced a more rigid type of League of Legends—one where creativity and playmaking are not as important as balance.


League of Legends is a game that’s constantly changing. There are always new things being added and new things being taken away. In this article’s instance, the gold funneling meta became one of the most important things in the game for the past few months. After it became too strong, changes had to be made.

In fact, gold funneling was so strong that it shook the roots of the competitive scene to their core while also completely changing the playstyle of recreational League of Legends. If you watched any of the LCK or NA LCS, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Therefore, it’s not wrong to say that League of Legends was rocked by the addition of the gold funneling meta. Its impact was so large that it was even a key to toppling League of Legends and its dynasty of competitive dominance. You’ll see many more metas come and go, but I can guarantee you that there will be no other meta as unique or as dominant as gold funneling.

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *