Should you play Twisted Treeline?
After the initial hype died down over the Twisted Treeline update on Oct. 17, 2012, the 3v3 map has been left with a relatively low player count. While it hasn’t turned into dominion just yet, it feels like the population is dwindling.
Players may stay away from this map because they feel unrewarded when playing on it, however the Twisted Treeline has more to offer players than they believe.
The map is drastically different than Summoner’s Rift. There’s less emphasis on the laning phase, no vision control and constant team fights. These distinctions offer a completely different gameplay experience, and can help you improve as a player in some aspects faster than solo queue. The fast paced gameplay of the Twisted Treeline is great for refining mechanical skill, and learning the complexities of rotations and map control in a smaller package. Any player looking to improve his/her gameplay in these areas should consider playing this map.
The most obvious of the improvements Twisted Treeline can offer is skirmishing prowess. Because the map is limited to 3v3, the win condition is often times being the better team at small sided skirmishes. The key to winning these fights is knowing the champion power spikes and being proactive. There is no guide to these concepts, however having an understanding of them and being able to apply them in-game will help you succeed regardless of the map.
Because there is no vision control, being aware of the mechanics behind line of sight and what breaks it is an easy way to gain a slight edge in jungle skirmishes. The tight corners and patches of brush can be utilized to juke and surprise the opponent. A common strategy is to use a low health player as bait for the enemy team to overextend, and punish them with multiple players hiding in the brush. The tiny map size of Twisted Treeline makes this easy to setup, but due to the scouting trinket can be a bit risky.
Rotations and Roaming
A more advanced, and perhaps specific improvement is for zone control mage players. There are many choke points inside the jungle, allowing mages like Orianna to exert immense pressure while teams are rotating. Mages who control space from a long distance are able to slow down or dissuade entirely enemy team rotations, allowing a numbers advantage and essentially free turret pressure.
Click here for a complete list of the choke points.
A basic way to apply this pressure is to gain control of the minion wave. Take initiative by heavily pushing the minions into the enemy turret, and entering the enemy jungle with your jungler. This will put pressure of a 3v1 dive onto the enemy top laner, as well as giving counter jungle opportunities. Crucially, it also places the weight of making a decision onto the enemy bot lane. If they choose to follow your roam, they will be losing minions to the turret, and if they stay to last hit the minions your team gains total map control.
This technique will directly improve the effectiveness of mid lane roams when performed on Summoner’s Rift, it just needs to be applied in a different way. Aggressively push your minions into the enemy turret, and coordinate with your jungler to join your roam onto a side lane.
Summoner's Rift will always be the primary experience of League of Legends, but it's not the case that it's the only way to improve. Concepts and strategies that are used in high level 3v3 play are applicable to gameplay on Summoner's Rift. For most people, breaking things down into smaller individual pieces hasten the learning process. Thinking about Twisted Treeline in this way can help you learn what otherwise may be difficult aspects of the game in smaller sections.