Let me preface this by saying that this is not a noob QQ rant; these are the observations I have made as playing part of a 5-man team, against other 5-man teams. As a team, our ELO is high and we have been matched against some of the best players in the game currently. The following champions are showing up in EVERY winning team:
Soraka is still game-breaking. I believe that in my entire LoL career, I have won exactly one game where the other team had Soraka and we didn't. It isn't because she's the only healer; she is just far too effective. If other healers were added that were as effective as her, they would be game-breaking also. She can keep herself infinitely supplied with mana and her heal is quite strong. She has showed up in ~40% of my games over this weekend (on the enemy team) and I lost every one. One game, she and Amumu just stood between our towers and killed all the creeps with Tantrum/heal. We had to send 3 people top just to drive them out, leaving the other lanes short-handed.
Alistar is way too strong. He has no weaknesses. He is a very strong tank with ownage stuns that is also impossible to harass in the lane (due to heal). Late-game he becomes an unstoppable stun machine. All he has to do is rush your team; then you have 3 options:
1) Ignore him and try to kill his teammates. He stuns you and knocks one of you back into their team. You all die.
2) Try to focus him down before he gets to you. You fail (he ults if necessary). He stuns you and knocks one of you back into their team. You all die.
3) Retreat from the inevitable stun. Lose your tower/inhibitor.
Oh yeah. His stun often throws you over his shoulder - this means he can do the stun, knock back into teammate combo easily without flash, at level 2. Or he can go stun/heal and just be impossible to kill. His choice.
Cardmaster's ability to push/break pushes is retarded. Even when your team is leading by a significant amount, he can stand back and annihilate your whole creep wave, so when you push, you don't have anything to take the tower hits. If you try to tank the tower, he will hit you with cards while you are desperately trying to DPS it down. If you are defending, he will kill your creeps in 1-2 casts and then you have to fight the enemy champions AND their creeps with no support. Oh and even if he has no HP, he can sit outside your base and safely spam you with cards.
Zilean is broken. I hope to God making recall affect itself was not intentional, because that is ****ing stupid. 2 sec CD on recall = a bomb every 2 seconds, a slow/haste every 2 seconds, and a <20 second CD on ult.
At least two of the above champions have been in the lineup of every team I have lost to this week. I lost 90% of the games where the enemy had Alistar or Soraka (our lineup has neither) and 100% of the games where they had Alistar AND Soraka. Against Cardmaster/Zilean, I only lost about 75% (unless they also had Alistar or Soraka).
As a whole, push strats are far too strong right now. A push-focused team (one game, they had Alistar Soraka Zilean Cardmaster Tristana + 4 promotes + rally) can down your base in ~20 minutes even if you defend. We literally could do nothing to stop them in that game. Carries don't start carrying hard enough until 40+ minutes, but even a normal game doesn't last that long in LoL. Carries are more effective in pub/solo queue games, but in team games, the pushing/ganking starts at level 6 and carries never have time to farm to effectiveness.
The only times that I have gotten owned by carries was when the enemy team had Soraka and Cardmaster or Alistar. Then they could break our pushes long enough for their carries to get farmed, and then come back for the win.
I am extremely concerned about the state of balance for the upcoming Baron's Cup Tournament. It would be nice to see some variation in the winning lineups, but in the state of the game right now, I don't see it happening. This Thursday's patch needs to contain some serious nerfage, or else every game we will be forced to pick between banning Soraka and Alistar and picking Cardmaster and Zilean, or banning Cardmaster and Zilean, and picking Soraka and Alistar.