Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Matt Plays League of Legends

I play League of Legends, which you know from past posts. One thing I want to do is get better at LoL and MOBAs in general, especially with Smite and Dungeon Defenders 2 happening. So, one thing I thought that might help me get better, is to make some MOBA match reports. Before that, full disclosure, I play ranked because there's less racism and trolling than in normals. I may not be good enough for ranked, as my Bronze 1 division attests, but it is a more pleasant experience all around.

So, from here-on-in, I'm going to try and keep updates on my League of Legends play (and later, Smite and Dungeon Defenders 2.)

To effectively try and win the game in any role, I need strong champions who can fill at least two niches the party needs, in addition to fitting the Meta. The roles that need to be filled are defined as a jungler, solo top, solo mid, ADC bottom and support bottom. Mechanically, there are things that every team composition needs to succeed:

1. Peel/protection for carries (this is hard protection, like a shield, heal, or knockback/up)
2. Crowd control (Hard crowd control, not slows)
3. Initiation
4. Lane Pushing (and taking the tower; anyone can push a lane, but you need to be able to knock the tower down, not just get a few hits in!)
5. Tank

Notice how damage isn't on that list? Damage is baked into the cake; everyone brings damage to help the team out. Yes, even support brings a little. Sona's Q, for example, or Taric's R.

If a hero can't do at least one, if not two, of these, and fill their lane role, I have to cut them from my pool of useful. This is sort of a two-pronged test: Do you have a lane you can work in? Do you bring things my team needs? So, someone like Poppy fails the laning test. In the reverse, Syndra has a clear lane, but she can't protect your carry (Scatter the Weak doesn't cut it folks), she can't initiate, and she can't easily take a tower with the minion wave

So, below I'm trying to narrow down my available champions to four or five that fit each lane. Italicized champions are ones I like the best.

Let me know if you think I've made a mistake anywhere, and if you have any suggestions for places where I've only got two or three options, or if I've got a champion unlocked (total list at the end) that I've not listed somewhere you think I should be trying them. I've got about 2,000 RP sitting around and 7,000 IP, so I can try a couple of cheap champions to add to the list. This doesn't mean they are bad, just that I don't play them as well as I should.



Tanky Jungle: Amumu, Malphite, Maokai, Rammus, Sejuani, Shen, Volibear
All of these provide crowd control, peel/protection, initiation and general tankiness. They lack damage, and can't really push lanes well solo to take the tower, except Rammus and Malphite. But, those two are too valuable to leave their team once team fights start to happen. Shen's ultimate is great, but Sej, Rammus and Mao each provide a lot more disruption than his taunt. But, if he's available, I have to really consider taking him just to keep my team from losing to Stand United.

ADC or Bruiser Jungle: Malphite, Master Yi, Warwick
Master Yi fits in a weird place; he can't really initiate a fight with Alpha Strike/Highlander, but he can win most duels or help mop up. He can also jump on the carry while dealing splash damage/avoiding AoE, which is powerful. We need to break him out if our top and support are both tanky, and that provides us with the ability to split push effectively. Ideally, I'll get someone like Xin or Jarvan who can go here as bruisers, but for now, Yi and Malphite are all I've got. Since his contribution is less than stellar in team fights, he can risk being away to knock down a tower. Warwick is a safe choice too, but I don't really like him that much.

AP Bruiser Jungle: Cho'gath, Nunu
Cho'gath and Nunu are probably the easiest, safest AP junglers (well, after Fiddlesticks.) They also provide tankiness and weak initiation, while Cho gets some hard crowd control and a painful burst in feast. I'll need to grab Fiddle eventually, but for now, Cho and Nunu are solid choices since most teams in Bronze 1 lack actual tanks (Note: Warmogs + Damage items is not a tank.) Master Yi and Warwick can build AP, if we're lacking good burst and already have the tanks we need, but even then, the only reason I'd take them is if Cho and Nunu were somehow off the table. Here's a place I'd like some extra thoughts.


Solo Top

ADC/Bruiser: Irelia, Jayce, Riven, Urgot, Warwick, Yorick
Yorick and Jayce are powerful bullies, whereas Irelia and Warwick provide more sustain to help deal with pokes, though Irelia's sustain is much, much lower than Warwick. She brings one situational CC, decent damage, and some natural tankiness, but really, Jayce brings a lot more utility to the floor, and with his stances, is able to not need the tankiness as much. Riven is a character I love in Dominion, but I've not had good success with in Summoner's Rift. She's an option, but any of the other four feel like they'd be better choices. Some people have said Urgot could go here; I just don't see it as safe, but if we're lacking ranged options and Jayce isn't available, I'd try it.

Tank Solo Top: Alistar, Cho'gath, Malphite, Shen, Singed, Warwick
Pure tanks are rare in Bronze, and so getting one of these guys to go top is going to help with protecting my squishies (I've, many times, slowed and flung an assassin trying to gib our ADC with Singed.) Yorick can be built as a full tank, but his pushing ability falls off without some ADC, which is why he isn't included here. Likewise, Malphite could be built a bruiser, but I prefer to build him as a tank.

AP Solo Top: Kayle, Master Yi, Nunu, Rumble, Warwick
If our mid is going Talon or Zed and our jungle is Noct or Xin, then we need some AP. That's what these guys provide us, and they'll obviously be taking at least one tank item early (except for Kayle due to her E giving her range.) Vlad, obviously, is one of the best choices, but he's not available to me yet. Unlike with Master Yi, I feel comfortable with Warwick going AP, since he's going to be building a little tanky anyway, his raw damage isn't that important. Master Yi can go here as a hybrid as well, abusing Meditate to stay in lane, with Alpha Strike to harass. Nunu and Kayle have strong sustain, but Nunu gets more tankiness for Kayle's escapes. Rumble just has an all-around weak escape, but brings some great AoE to team fights.


Solo Mid

AP Burst: Kayle, LeBlanc, Lux, Ryze, Syndra, Veigar
Lux has a lot more (and harder) CC than the others, whereas Ryze can get tankier. LeBlanc is the burstiest of what I have though. I like all three, but I've had more success with Lux. Against an AD Mid, I might be tempted to go Ryze, build to tear, then get the chain shirt for Frozen Heart before finishing Manamune. Veigar brings some CC, but I have had games where all five of the enemy were AP champions, and it is almost a crime to leave him on the table when that happen. Syndra's burst is amazing if you get two Qs out, but she just doesn't bring enough depth. Kayle can get away with not bringing the burst that the others do because of the insane utility she brings in team fights. Some supports (Janna, Soraka) can go here if we get a nontraditional support like Jarvan, but I would prefer not to do that.

Tanky AP: Cho'Gath, Galio, Maokai
So, what if we've got a lot of damage top and jungle, but they're squishy? Most people might say just be the burst team, but I don't want our team to lack raw tankiness. Sometimes a meat shield with a Rod of Ages (or, in Galio's case, just building a normal tank with an Abyssal Scepter as an aura item after the Unholy Grail, but asking your support to tackle the Aegis) is enough damage that you can't be ignored. All three of these provide the tankiness and disruption that a tank needs, while being fairly safe mid-lane champs (with Mao being perhaps the least safe.) They'll all suffer from mana issues early, so I've gone ahead and sacrificed the Armor Seals for Mana Regen instead. Armor comes easily, whereas Magic Resist (especially if you're going mid!) is too valuable to sacrifice.

Solo Mid AD: Kayle, Master Yi
If our top and jungle are AP, then we need some AD coming from mid-lane. This is an area where I just have Yi and Kayle, building AD/Attack Speed. I don't have Talon, Zed or the like. This is one role that I just avoid, but I clearly need to fill it in, though I don't feel like I need to do it quite yet, since mid lane is one that someone else will usually take. Master Yi is listed here if I absolutely have to fill this role, but I don't think anyone would be happy with that decision.


Bottom ADC

Ranged ADC: Caitlyn, Corki, Graves, Tristana, Sivir
Corki/Sivir need Manamune first, then build into Bloodthirster/Phantom Dancer. The others can go straight to the BT and then grab IE/PD. Either way, these three get much more mileage out of the bonus crit talents, while Corki/Sivir could use the bonus mana regen Mastery, meaning they go something like 21/6/3, while the others can go 21/9/0 to get +30 HP. Caitlyn, Graves and Tristana all also have better escapes than Sivir (and Cait and Graves are better at escaping than Corki; Trist's ult doesn't really count, I think.) All five push lanes fine, and they can all take the tower when they get there. Objectively, I know Sivir is the worst of the five, with Corki probably also down there, but so many people in bronze take AD tops and mids, that his gatling gun is providing the team a lot of utility to not want to take him.


Bottom Support

Utility Support: Janna, Kayle, Lux, Nami, Sona, Soraka
Sometimes, jungle and top are tanky enough. When that's the case, any of these supports are a better choice for me than picking a third tank. Sona and Kayle just provide your carry get out of gank free cards with their ults, along with helping to ensure escapes even without those. Putting those ults to use in team fights wins games. Janna's ult can be this, but it is a bit more situational, whereas Sona/Kayle you point and click. Soraka is good if we're heavy on AP, or if they are, for her bonus aura and shredding; though Sona's aura twisting can get enough MR that Soraka's passive is kind of a waste. Janna's whirlwind, bonus speed and shield make her a fairly solid pick. Sona and Nami also have the added bonus of doing a great job of keeping enemies in range of Ez/MF's ults, which have helped our team get several aces. Really, any of these ladies (and, oddly enough, they are all ladies), are excellent picks.

Tanky Supports Leona, Taric, Alistar, Nunu, Galio
If we're fragile, we need someone who can initiate a fight and eat some spells to the face. That's where these folks go. Leona is probably the best here; once she gets Aegis and Sightstone, she can initiate fights just fine with her E+W, she can also initiate over walls with R+E+W if your team is on the ball. The only thing she lacks is what Taric and Alistar have over Nunu and Galio: Sustain. If the other lane has a Sona or another healer, making trades with Leona is going to feel futile, fast. She can't knock down a tower like Taric can, but she brings a lot more of the tank-stuff than Alistar, Nunu or Galio. People tell me to try Maokai as a tanky support, but I don't think he'd be all that great, and I've never been in a situation where one of these five weren't available.


So, later tonight, I'll rebuild my Rune Pages and Masteries and try a few games and report back. Let me know if I'm overlooking any of the champions I have, or if there's a glaring gap I've missed in what I need.


My Champion Collection

Alistar, Amumu, Caitlyn, Cho'gath, Corki, Galio, Graves, Irelia, Janna, Jayce, Kayle, LeBlanc, Leona, Lux, Malphite, Maokai, Master Yi, Nami, Nunu, Poppy, Rammus, Riven, Rumble, Ryze, Sejuani, Shen, Singed, Sivir, Sona, Soraka, Syndra, Taric, Tristana, Urgot, Veigar, Volibear, Warwick, Yorick

1 comment:

  1. I was going to post a match report, but what could it really be? First game: "Won lane as Yorick, game was close. Then our ADC and Mid both d/c'ed because of Riot's crappy servers. We lost the team fight we were in the middle of and lost the entire middle and side lanes before they came back"

    Second game: "Started 0/0/3 with ganks as Sejuani, then top and ADC started complaining at each other and Talon announced he would feed and did so. Sona d/c'ed at some point, and I can't tell if it was server instability or being tired of being told she sucked worse than a $2.00 whore and should slit her own wrists."


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