Unlike the last guide will be in parts do to length this one is more a general guide until more specific five man parts come out. This will be longer than the other two parts so I’ll have a table of contents to help find information. I’ll also be organizing things a bit differently to try and make it easier to read.
This guide will not go over lane swapping and double jungle strategies because those take a lot of detail to explain and just this part is pretty long. A guide to lane swaps as well as more specific guides to a specific five man champions will come later.
I – Overview
II – Bans
III – Picks
IV – Warding Importance
V – Level 1
VI – Lane Phase
VII – Roaming and Diving
VIII – Objectives
Sieging and Defending Towers
IX – Team Fighting
X – Ending
(Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming’s compositions are the examples).
Controlled team fight compositions are quite flexible against most compositions. From the first two examples those style controlled team fight compositions are quite strong because the front line can absorb damage and dive from the other team while the back line is free to do damage. The damage threats are more than likely going to be from the middle lane and bottom lane and the team wants to keep these two alive as long as possible and the other three champions depending on who they are more of the front line and peel. This team composition will require more communication and strategy than the previous agro composition however it is very effective especially on the North American ladder where team fights happen a lot. The communication and strategy will be going into everything between lane phases to sieging to fighting. There will also be more ward play as well as vision is very important in most team compositions as you’ll be making most your decision off of vision.
This composition flexes bans mostly due to its style so you can a have a bit of freedom of what the team prefers to get rid of or what the team values on priority. Some teams may value banning champions that can get around the map easily and can dive or pick people off. Trying to deal with Twisted Fate’s or Shen’s or global presence may be too hard to deal with for some. Banning certain styles of champions also forces the other team to play something your team is more comfortable dealing with. The bans themselves are not just limited to global presence styled champions. Your team can also look to ban champions that are strong in team fights if you think they are first pick worthy but aren’t willing to take it. For example other teams might want to get rid of champions like Azir or Kalista because both champions are strong but you may not want to first pick either champion. Azir has team fight dominance and zone control while Kalista has the rend damage, mobility, and is a relatively safe champion. It is all about what your team values and what the team thinks it can or can’t deal with.
The picks this time around almost all the champions play a similar role but have different styles. This time around champions in the mentions section are still good to run but have some things I don’t like but are still good it more of a preference. It will be up to your team to decide which champions you want to run. When you draft your champions make sure you understand why you picked the champions together that you did and how they work together.
Preferred: (Tanks) Maokai, Shen, Gnar / (Bruisers) Olaf, Darius, Hecarim
Tanks: Maokai and Shen are both about protecting the team’s carries while absorbing damage. Maokai is the traditional tank where can jump into the middle of a fight with his Twisted Advance and use his ultimate to keep himself alive. His Arcane Smash also gives him a knock back and his Sapling is a slow so there is a lot of peel on this champion. Even in lane Maokai has his own sustain to keep himself alive. Shen is a bit different as he still has peel with his Taunt but the best thing about Shen is his ultimate Stand United where he teleports to any ally on the map and give them a shield. This is extremely powerful in teams as he can help other lanes in danger and combined with teleport he has a large amount of global presence. Both of these champions lack forms of damage so they want to keep the team’s carry champions as long as possible. The weakness of Maokai is that he can give a late game top a free lane if the other top laner is smart or there is no jungle intervention. This is due to the fact that Maokai does not build damage and has to rely on base damages. On the other hand Shen can be pushed in easily early on so he is vulnerable to losing his tower early on. This forces an early Bami’s Cinder buy for Shen over other items so he can try to clear waves.
Now we have Gnar who is mix between a tank and marksman. In this composition you want to fight when Gnar has mega form because of this I have included him in the tank section. The benefits to Gnar is that he can lock down multiple people with crowd control for a long period of time and at the same time he can have both damage and tank stats. The draw back to Gnar is when he is not in mega form he is super squishy and does not offer anything to team fights so there is a lot of emphasis on fighting with mega form. This requires both team coordination and also for the person playing Gnar to understand how to manage his rage.
Bruisers: These types of champions work well in controlled team fights if the mid laner is in a more supportive role or your team prefers a carry in the top lane. Olaf is strong because of this ability to force teams to deal with him in terms of damage because his ultimate Ragnarok makes him immune and Undertow always him to stick to enemy champions who get hit. When Olaf does not have his ultimate up he becomes a mediocre front liner.
Now I put Darius in here do to his rise in high elo solo queue and in theory I think he can be strong in this style of composition. His main issue is that he has no way to get himself into the middle of fights because he pulls champions towards him so you’ll have to bring hard engage from somewhere else. He has a good mix of sustain and damage that makes him a large threat along with a resetting ultimate. He did just get balance changes to his abilities in 5.18 but I don’t think that will take him out of the running.
Next is Hecarim who is not as popular anymore but I’m still a fan of his ability to dive the back line while being a damage threat. Hecarim’s ultimate Onslaught of Shadows gives a lot of flank potential and the fear status effect also allows your team to jump on the enemy team before they can move. The biggest issue for Hecarim is his early game where he needs time to scale, he can cut through his mana pool early on, and can be ganked fairly easily but if he can survive until mid-game he becomes a split push and team fight threat.
Mentions: (Tanks) Sion, Nautilus, Malphite / (Carry Tops) Gangplank, Rumble, Yasuo
Tanks: Sion and Nautilus both become these super tanks. Sion scales hard into late game and has ways to do damage while Nautilus can pick a person out easily. The issue for Sion is the fact that he does need that time to scale and can run low on mana early and can be vulnerable to ganks before he has scaled. There is little reliable crowd control outside of Sion’s ultimate Unstoppable Onslaught. Nautilus is a safe champion but lacks damage so when he gets onto the back line he really needs that follow up from the team. The best way to describe it is that Nautilus does not pose a threat himself similar to Maokai in a way.
Now we have Malphite who is a solid counter to champions like Kalista and Ashe because he builds a lot of armor which is strong against heavily rely on auto attacking champions. An item like Thorn Mail on Malphite versus a Ashe will cause Ashe to kill herself pretty fast. The thing with Malphite is that he feels super reliant on getting a good Unstoppable Force if he is not picked to be a counter to specific marksmen champions. Even when Malphite goes more damage items like Abyssal Scepter if he doesn’t land his Unstoppable Force he has almost no more damage or burst. I would hold Malphite as a pocket pick if anything there are much stronger tanks, bruisers, burst champions with more reliable kits.
Carry Tops: Now I put Rumble and Gangplank in mentions which can seem weird. The reason for this is because of the rise of juggernaut/bruiser champions like Olaf or Darius. Rumble is a really strong team fighter and Equalizer offers solid zone control and damage but his lane phase against bruiser top lanes is questionable. If Rumble falls behind the bruisers will tear him apart and dive him constantly because of their natural sustain and mix of damage. On the other hand if Rumble gets a good lane phase he can be a team fight menace. He is still runnable but you will have to be careful of the lane you draft Rumble into.
Gangplank went down to mentions for top lane because of a nerf to his Powder Keg where he lost 20 damage off the base damage of the keg and 10 percent off his keg’s armor penetration. The original armor penetration was 50 percent and Gangplank lost 20 percent of his armor penetration on the kegs. I think he still strong in the middle lane but his top lane defiantly got weaker since top laners tend to build armor more armor than middle champions I couldn’t put him safely as a top lane pick without seeing how much he power he lost against tanks and bruisers.
Yasuo top is a counter to Gnar and with the rise of Gangplank and Darius I don’t think Yasuo top is as strong anymore. Champions like Gangplank, Darius, or Maokai have natural sustain to help deal with Yasuo’s all in or dashing poke. Bruiser type champions like Darius can also trade with Yasuo fairly well so this makes Yasuo unreliable. If you can get Yasuo far ahead he becomes hard to stop because Wind Wall blocks projectiles and Yasuo’s high amounts of critical strike make it hard to hold him down once he gets out of control.
Preferred: (Tank) Ekko, Gragas/ (Mixed) Elise, Jarvan 4th, Rek’sai / (Other) Lee Sin
Tank: Ekko and Gragas get their own section because they are more than likely always going to be built like tanks unlike Elise, J4, and Rek’sai who have more freedom in their build paths. Ekko is very solid in this composition because he just has so many tools in his kit. Parallel Convergence creates this giant useful bubble that stuns enemy champions and gives a shield to himself along with Chronobreak’s healing and damage, Phase Dive’s mobility, and the slow on Timewinder makes it is absurdly hard to deal with Ekko. In team play there is just so much Ekko can do and I don’t see many down sides with this champion. The biggest downside would be the fact that Ekko can’t immediately engage or peel off enemy champions from the carries if they get jumped on.
Then we have Gragas another tank that has a decent early game gank power. His jungle sustain was nerfed a bit but he is still good. He has his ways to peel with Body Slam and Explosive Cask to keep enemy champions off the carries. Body Slam and/or Explosive Cask also serves as disengage or engage so the team gains more ways of starting fights. The problem with Gragas is that sustain nerf so he will get lower in the jungle now and that can be dangerous if he gets invaded. Another side effect of being lower in the jungle is he can’t as much early on.
Mixed: Now Elise, Jarvan 4th, and Rek’sai are in mixed because all three of these champions have the option to go straight tank or to go damage early on with gank pressure early on. These three are all about picking your poison. Elise has more pick potential, percent health damage, and she can use her spiders to tank jungle camps to keep her health high.
Jarvan 4th has a knock combo with armor penetration on his auto attack and his Dragon Strike. The combo serves as engage, the knock up is set up for someone like Yasuo, and Cataclysm as locks down an area of a fight and keeps champions locked in both ally and enemy. A problem with Jarvan is that he gets low in the jungle which can open him up to being invaded on.
Finally we have Rek’sai she has her sonar, can farm the jungle fairly fast, and can use her tunnels to get around the map quickly. An issue with Rek’sai is she does not have any big engage tools so you will have to find it somewhere else in the top or support area.
Other: I put Lee Sin here because he is a high skill capped jungler who can do a lot of work early game. He even got an indirect buff with the Warrior Enchantment giving five more attack damage. At level six he can also invade and look to solo out squishy enemy jungle champions Lee Sin is good at all stages in but he falls off later depending on a player’s skill currently. He is a mobile champion but it all comes down to the mechanical skill and decision making of the player to look for plays.
Farm: I did not include Farm jungles because in a competitive scenario they are really weak because they can be counter jungled early or they can’t match gank pressure. Jungle champions that do not give any map pressure forces their lanes to play defensively. If you think your lanes can be self-sufficient than go for it but I don’t think the risk matches the reward. Farm jungles like Amumu or Sejuanni are also opened to being invaded on and losing their entire jungle.
Mentions: (Other) Evelynn, Nidalee
Other: Now Evelynn forces respect with her passive that makes her invisible. She is also strong both as a tank and a damage carry and she can flank well using her ultimate and can slow the entire enemy team while having a large shield. Even though she lacks crowd control her damage can be insane if she gets to go a high damage build early, but if she goes damage she also has the threat of being invaded by an aggressive jungler like Lee Sin. That doesn’t mean Evelynn is bad to make Evelynn good it comes down to the skill and understanding of the person playing her. If there is someone on your team that can play Evelynn well than I would play her she is strong the only reason she is mentions is my lack of trust for western Evelynn players.
Nidalee is a champion is a mix. She has high damage capability and can move around fairly easily but she is also extremely squishy and does not have the option of going tank. Nidalee’s skirmishing is not awful but she can potentially be invaded and if she gets caught she is more than likely going to die. Her poke damage is strong and her heal that gives attack speed but it doesn’t make up for how weak she is compared to other champions. There are far better choices like Evelynn or Elise if you want damage.
Preferred: (Control) Viktor, Azir, Orianna / (T2 Control) Gangplank, Ahri / (Support) Lulu, Morgana / (Assassin) Twisted Fate, Diana
Control: Control Mages have a good mix of damage but they also have ways of stopping the enemy team from running through certain areas. An issue for control mages is their lack of mobility so they do need their team to protect them. First there is Viktor who is considered one of the best control mages next to Azir. Viktor have a lot of zone control through his Gravity Field and Chaos Storm both of these abilities take of rather large chunks of a lane or the river so they can force the enemy team to wait or walk through them. Once you take this zone potential and combine it with Viktor’s Death Ray you get a lot of damage to combo with the crowd control of Gravity Field. The draw backs to Viktor are his mana costs early on are fairly high so he can run dry without blue buff and he does lack mobility but his Siphon Power does give move speed after it gets upgraded to help deal with that weakness.
Then we have Azir who is really strong because of the zone control he sets up with his soldiers and Emperor’s Divide. His soldiers combined with Crystal Scepter create this area of two to three soldiers that the enemy can’t walk through without taking damage and being slowed. Then combine the soldiers with the wall from Emperor’s Divide that pushes enemy champions away and it becomes absurdly hard for the enemy team to get on the backline in a team fight. The fault with Azir is if he does get caught by the enemy team it can be hard for Azir to peel for himself depending on the champion. For example if Zed or Olaf get on Azir solo he is probably dead because Olaf ignores crowd control and Zed has his shadows to jumped to. Azir’s dash on Shifting Sands can also be stopped if an enemy champion steps in the middle of the path between Azir and his solider which can stop engages or retreats.
Last but not least we have Orianna whose zone control is mix of her ball and her team’s positioning. It is a bit weird to think of Orianna’s zone control being her teammates but it has to do with her kit. She can put her ball onto her teams with Command: Protect or self-position it with Command: Attack and she uses it as threat if the enemy team were to get to close. The man reason to put the ball onto a teammate is so she can use her ultimate Shockwave to pull the enemy into the ball so this style of ultimate combos really well with champions that like to dive in to engage like Alistar or Leona. The draw back to Orianna is the same like other control mages where she lacks mobility her only mobility is Command: Dissonance but that is also part of her burst as well as her speed up.
T2 Control: Now we have Gangplank who has been showing up more and with the nerfs I’m still unsure if he is top tier. I went over his nerfs early in the top lane part but his nerfs don’t hurt him as much in the middle lane because most middle lane champions do not build a lot of flat armor so the armor penetration nerf is not as big here but the flat damage nerf does hurt a bit. His Powder Kegs still serve as solid zone control and damage they just won’t be as over powering as before. Gangplank also has his oranges to cleanse crowd control to give him a safe lane phase. The problem with Gangplank is that he has no way of reliably of bursting the back line as his kegs are stationary and have a timer so the enemy team can kill the kegs to stop the chain reaction. If you were to miss a keg chain or have kegs killed by the enemy team it can stops the teams damage output and your team can easily lose a fight.
Then there is Ahri who doesn’t give zone control as much as she threatens control. She has a lot of mobility with Spirit Rush and Orb of Deception with the crowd control of Charm that all combine into a threat. Instead of spell zone control its more of a situation of an enemy team member over stepping his bounds and Ahri using her mobility to pick them off. Ahri does not play as much of an assassin role any more since her Charm lost the 20 percent increase when Orb of Deception hits the charmed target she is more a of a mage with a lot of repositioning capability. Her lane phase is safe with her bonus move speed from Orb of Deception and the healing from her passive. The issue with Ahri is she really wants to get items so she can clear the wave with one Orb of Deception or else she can be shoved in later on and her damage feels lacking more than other mages when she is behind.
Support: Now these laners don’t have much solo kill potential and are usually just counters for assassin or if your team rather have a carry top champion over a carry middle champion. Lulu is a solid champion who has been popular in competitive because of her ability to peel and her ability to keep champions with a temporary increase in max health and shields. Lulu’s early damage is strong early but falls off mid to late game but her utility aspect scales well into late game. You usually see Lulu in Jugger X Champion compositions but she can still be good in controlled team fights if you bring a more bruiser or carry styled top laner. The draw back to running Lulu is with a carry top is the lack of front line can be dangerous if the enemy team has champions that can burn through one tank quickly.
Morgana functions pretty differently from Lulu. Morgana has the safe lane with Torment Soil and Spell Shield but her Dark Binding gives her a lot of pick potential since her binding snares someone for two to three seconds. Her Spell Shield is insane because it blocks all spell effects until the shield is gone or destroyed so she can potential give a marksman a lot of free time to auto attack. Then for Morgana to use her Soul Shackles she wants to dive into the enemy team and Hourglass so her peel is weird engage and try to stun everyone type set up. Morgana’s biggest weakness is trying to keep everyone in her ultimate as because they can walk away if there is no one to help keep the enemy in range.
Assassin: Twisted Fate has been rising quite highly on ladder because of his global pressure and his high damage burst. Twisted Fate’s ultimate Destiny allows him to warp across large chunks of the map and makes roaming very easy. He has a lot of wave clear with Wild Cards and Pick a Card (Red) to keep the lane pushed up so he can makes these roams. Pick a Card also gives a good bit of utility because he can restore his own mana, he has an area of effect slow, or a point and click stun. The biggest issue for Twisted Fate is that he has an extremely small health pool so one bad trade could lead to his death or just having to go back to base.
Then we have Diana whose early game is fairly weak but has her own form of pressure by bringing Teleport lane. Early Game Daina can be push in and since she is melee range other mid champions that are ranged have an easy time harassing Diana when she goes to farm. Diana has a lot of dive and can pull the enemy team into her with the combo of Crescent Strike into Lunar Rush into Moon Fall. If you can teleport plays and survive lane Diana can work quiet well as a snowball assassin.
Preferred: (Tier 1) Kalista, Vayne, Tristana / (Tier 2) Mordekasier, Sivir, Ashe
Tier 1: Kalista is my personal number 1 marksman I think she is the best by far. Her early game is insane. Her sentinel has an absurd passive when both she and her support attack the same champion you do 10 percent of max health as magic damage to the target. The stacking rend also allows her to do nice burst trades with three or four rend stacks and rend stacks can be used to secure objectives like dragon around or sometimes over 1000 health. Kalista also hopes around a lot so she can dodge a lot of skill shots and forces the enemy to committee onto her even though she is hard to lock down. Fate’s Call also serves as engage, disengage/save for her support, or peel Kalista as a champion just does so much. The downside is that late game her rend damage does fall off later and she can give champions like Vayne an easier lane.
The other two champions that hold the tier 1 spot are Vayne and Tristana. Starting with Vayne who is strong because she can shred bruiser champions easily and she has the ability to one versus one most champions late game. Vayne has most of her trade in the three auto attack passive of Silver Bolts so she needs to match auto attacks against champions like Kalista or Tristana to trade well. She can use condemn to self-peel and stun an enemy champion against a wall so she has a small amount of self-peel. The biggest weaknesses to Vayne are her short range and her early game. She is extremely likely to being shoved in by champions with the ability to shove the wave fast and this forces Vayne to try and farm under tower while being harassed and the tower is killing the minions. She also needs levels to make her Silver Bolts stronger and to get her ultimate Final Hour that gives her Tumble stealth so she needs to survive lane.
Then we have Tristana who is mixed in lane she has nice trade potential with her Explosive Charge but when she doesn’t have the charge up she loses a lot of her trade power. The passive on her Explosive Charge where she gets splash damage when she kills a minion forces her to push all the time and makes her open to being ganked. The thing that makes Tristana really good is that she can reset and rocket jump all over team fights and her Explosive Charge takes towers absurdly fast. If you survive the lane with either of these two champions you can get some really powerful later game champions.
Tier 2: Now we get to Mordekasier who is strong but not as strong anymore. Mordekasier moved out of top tier because he got knocked down pretty hard by the nerf hammer. He lost a lot of his armor stats early which get made up a bit later game and his Harvester of Sorrows shield got cut pretty hard so he can’t have these absurd trading scenarios where his shield just blocks all the damage anymore. Harvester of Sorrows got its healing cut; it also costs health now but got a higher ability power scaling but all around still a big nerf. His damage is still high but he will have a harder time getting to use it and that’s why he dropped down. He can make a ghost dragon that follows him around that is really annoying but has a long cool down because of the nerf he got I don’t feel Mordekasier is a top tier bot lane champion anymore but still has potential.
Now back to more traditional marksman champions Sivir and Ashe. Sivir is a marksman that fills a more team oriented role in this composition. Sivir has a lot of pushing power with her Boomerang Blade and Ricochet to keep the enemy marksman pushed in and her ultimate On The Hunt serves as a solid engage or disengage tool for the team. The problem with Sivir is that her damage output also relies a bit on how the team is doing. She needs free time to get Ricochet auto attacks but if her team can’t provide her time to auto attack as she has trouble outputting a lot of damage.
Last but kind of least we have Ashe who is possibly the weakest marksman out of everyone. Ashe has a lot of control in her lane phase because of her Volley and Ranger’s Focus and has her own team utility. Once she gets Frost Shot onto someone she can start getting multiple Critical Strikes combining that with Volley and Ranger’s Focus you get this machine gun of damage that can be hard to deal with early and mid-game. Ashe also has her Enchanted Crystal Arrow that serves as engage and pick potential to get fights started. The big issue with Ashe is her lack of mobility she has ways to slow and stop the enemy team but has no way of speeding herself up or dashing around so once she gets caught she tends to just die because she can’t get away.
Mention(s): Jinx, Kog’maw
Both of these marksmen can be used in this style but there are some questionable traits about them. Jinx is debatable because she can snowball really hard but the issue with Jinx is all of her mobility relies on getting a kill in a fight or get a tower. In a team fight this is dangerous because it puts a lot more emphasis on making sure you can get that kill for Jinx to reset. If she gets jumped on and no kill or objective has gone down it puts her in so much danger compared to other marksmen that can run away or dash out. There is just something off putting about all of her mobility being in her passive.
On the other hand Kog’maw has zero mobility all he has is a slow. His late game damage can be absurd because of his percent health damage but if he gets caught once he is going to die. Kog’maw compared to Vayne does have more shred against a tank front line but the safety of Kog’maw relies so much more heavily on his at all stages of the game. Other marksman can use speed ups or dashes to try to escape if they get caught alone but if Kog’maw gets caught alone he just sits there and dies because he has no way of getting people off him outside of his slow that doesn’t help at that point anyway.
One of my favorite things about the support role in this composition is that you can still work around top tier supports being picked because of the flexibility the support role has compared to other roles.
Tier 1: Braum, Alistar, Janna
Braum is one of the best supports right now because he can do a lot. Winter’s Bite is solid harass and it sets up Braum’s passive to stun a champion. Unbreakable blocks a large amount of damage in fights combined with Stand Behind Me it makes it hard to work around Braum’s sheild. Glacial Fissure is strong disengage and reengage. The only con to Braum is that he has trouble engaging himself.
Then there is Alistar the other tank support who ultimate Unbreakable Will gives him 70 percent damage reduction and makes him a very strong team fight wall. Headbutt into the Pulverize knock up also serves as a solid form of engage especially if you get a multiple man knock up. Headbutt and Pulverize are also a form of peel to knock someone off or knock someone up when they are a carry. The one weakness to Alistar is that his lane phase is weak early on but a strong marksman can make up for it a bit.
Then for the top mage support right now it’s Janna. Her Shield not only blocks damage but gives a lot of attack damage which is strong at all points in the game. Her Howling Gale and Zephyr offer a lot of peel for carries as well. Howling Gale did lose a lot of range on immediate cast so you have to charge it up for the long effective range. Monsoon is a powerful team fight spell because it pushed enemy champions out of position while healing her team fights and can turn fights if the other team can’t kill someone through the heal.
Tier 2: Thresh, Morgana
Thresh is a champion that can do a bit of everything but he doesn’t excel at anything or does anything poorly. Death Sentence is pick potential and some peel, Dark Passage pulls a champion away and serves as a different form of disengage, Flay is peel, and The Box is a weird form of zone control/disengage that works well when the enemy team is already on them. His strongest points are his ability to reposition and peel. Everything else Thresh really needs to combo his abilities like Death Sentence onto a target to Flay enemy team members into The Box to get a good engage. That being said Thresh has one of the highest skill ceilings of a support champion even though I put him in tier 2 he can be tier one just off player skill.
Morgana I put in tier 2 because she peel is not as safe as Janna so it makes it harder to use. Dark Binding is a really strong pick potential spell as the binding is 2 seconds minimum. That snare is so long it kind of forces engages in a way if someone squishy gets tagged while dancing around an objective. Tormented Soil is used to farm gold stacks from Ice Shard because the damage is so low its damage only matters if a binding lands. Black Shield is nearly broken as a spell. It blocks magic damage but most importantly it blocks all crowd control until the shield is gone which is completely absurd when it’s maxed out so your marksman or middle champion get so much more wiggle room to do things in fights. Morgana’s ultimate Soul Shackles is harder to use as it requires her to be within a certain range of the enemy champions but as a support you will be squishy. Soul Shackles does not get its crowd control immediately you need to be on them for a few seconds to get the stun pop. Trying to stay in that range as a support is super dangerous however it can be used as an engage with Hourglass or it can be used to peel off a diving champion.
Other: Lulu, Nautilus, Shen
Nothing really changes for these three champions from what I mentioned early except it’s a 2v2 lane. Shen in top (preferred), Nautilus in top (mentions), and Lulu in middle (support). The only two things I can mention is Lulu does feel weak in certain match ups because of how squishy she and can get chunked out if she gets caught.
IV Warding Importance
Now that we are finally out of the long stretch of picks before the next part I want to talk about the importance of wards. I hear this thing from some lower elo players say things like “wards don’t offer anything”. Warding is very important in all team composition because they give you information on enemy location and movement so you can make correct decisions. That vision just opens the door to make moves. I will be going ward placements when relevant and it will be in that section of play.
V Level 1
The level one for this style of team composition is usually a defensive level 1. A lot of champions in this team composition want to scale into mid game to get their items and levels so they don’t want to risk a level 1 fight. The defensive strategy is to ward jungle entrances and go sit in a brush or under tower. If you have a team composition with a combo like Elise, Morgana, and Viktor you can look to invade yourself since you have a solid amount of chain crowd control and damage to try and grab first blood for an early 400 gold. Your team only wants to do early invade when you have chain crowd control to lock down a target. One thing to keep in mind is the other team is going to ward as well so if they notice you invading and set up a death brush your team could lose a lot of ground early. The other thing is to look at how much area of effect of damage that each team has if a five versus five were to break out. There is the possibility of winning the early five versus five but it all comes down to risk versus reward. For the most part the risk is almost never worth the reward because you operate on such a lack of information when you invade the enemy jungle. You can invade for wards but not many teams on ladder look to lane swap unless you’re super high up on ladder.
VI Lane Phase
Now lane phase comes down to individual skill and communication. Obviously the best scenario is everyone wins lane but that is not always going to happen. If a lane is losing look for the jungle and/or get a roam from another player. The jungler should not just spend the entire early game farming they should be looking to help their laners or invading the enemy jungler if the scenario presents itself. There are two things you want to remember is to buy wards and upgrade your trinkets once you are level 9. A lot of your early vision is going to be Sight Wards and Sight Stone. These wards need to be in river and on jungle camps like raptors to keep vision on the enemy jungler and possible champion roams. For trinkets it usually goes top and mid get Greater Totem because it recharges Sight Wards fairly quickly to keep vision up with the sight stones and Oracle’s Lens (sweeper) for the jungler and support to help deny vision by killing wards. During lane phase look to place some type of defensive pink wards as their vision stays up until they die or are moved to help deny vision along with sweepers while providing vision.
VII Roaming and Diving
Roaming in lane phase is a great way to try and find an early gold lead. Roaming does take a lot of practice because there is never really a 100 percent optimal roam because if it goes wrong you will lose something for it. It a risk versus reward type of scenario. The most common times to roam are after pushing a wave while the next wave is still trying to get to lane or when the other team’s laner has to back and your team’s laner doesn’t have to. When you want to roam always let your team know that way they can try and keep the lane in a position when you can roam. For example if the mid laner is roaming bot lane solo you don’t want the bot lane to pushed up to tower because your aren’t going to dive with two or possibly three squishy champions. That roam will usually require the bot lane to keep the wave in the middle or pushing in towards them so the mid laner can look to come in from river. The only time you would want a dive like that is if you’re far ahead out the gate.
The target of a roam will vary based on the positioning of the enemy champions. Let’s say the enemy bot lane if Ashe Thresh and you want to roam and kill them. The obvious thing is Ashe has no escape so she would be the one you want to jump on but you to keep an eye on Thresh since he can use Dark Passage to pull Ashe to safety if everyone jumps on her and he is farther back. What you can do is jump on Thresh instead even if he is farther away if you kill him you take away one of Ashe’s escapes being Dark Passage and since Ashe is over extended you can kill her as well and get two kills instead of one. The last thing to keep in mind are the cool downs of summoner spells and ultimates so you know if what could be option for them like flashing away or using ultimates to turn fights or escape.
Now to help explain diving I’ll use an example team composition from NA LCS and create a scenario to help example diving but first I’ll go over the basics. Before your team even goes for a dive you want to make sure the team has vision around the area being dived to keep an eye out for enemy reinforcements. One of the worsts things that can happen is your team starts a dive but the enemy team members get to collapse in time and they turn it around so with this danger you want to make sure you set up vision before you go for dives. At the start of a dive the bruisers/tanks should be taking agro from the tower first and when they are dropping agro they should inform the team. This way the next tank or healthy champion can take tower agro so the carry champions can still fight under tower. Your team never wants to be clustered together while diving because that opens up the dive to be turned around if the other team layers a lot of area of effect damage and crowd control. A full 5v5 dive is extremely dangerous and for the most part it should only be done if your team is extremely far ahead.
(I chose TL v TIP Semi because the compositions from both sides are easy to understand).
For the scenario will say it’s a four man dive by Team Liquid side using Maokai, Gragas, Vayne, and Janna against the bot lane of Ashe and Leona. First let’s look at the bot lane Ashe and Leona as a lot of crowd control at level 6 and Leona can dash herself onto someone. Then you look at other side with Vayne having Cleanse to deal with some of crowd control, Janna can use her Howling Gale to stop Leona’s Zenith Blade onto Vayne, and the two tanks between the Maokai and Gragas can peel if necessary. More than likely Maokai will be using teleport to get to the bottom lane so Gragas will be the one you want to take agro from the tower first while going onto Ashe. Once Gragas has agro Janna should look to be to wait and use Howling Gale and Zephyr when Ashe and Leona try to crowd control and defend themselves. Janna also has the decision of shielding Gragas so he can tank more or shielding Vayne for higher damage output. When Maokai shows up to join the tower dive he should look to snare Ashe and if she is already dead jump on Leona. Once Gragas is low preferably Maokai or Janna should look to pick up agro as he is dropping it that way Vayne can continue to auto attack. Vayne during the dive should be looking to put out as much damage as possible and using Tumble and Condemn to avoid crowd control and to peel or stun an enemy. If Ashe and Leona were to get reinforcements while the dive is happening the other team should look to peel out to avoid the dive being turned around. This is just a simple scenario and as you play you will run into scenarios where you can 3v1, 3v2, 2v2, or other champions showing up during dives as time goes on.
Dragon(s) / Baron(s)
Note that the most valuable dragons are the first, third, and fifth for most compositions.
The first objectives that are the easiest to go over in concept are Dragon and Baron. The idea for setting up for Dragon or Baron is to set up vision while deny vision to the enemy. For vision want to have Vision Wards in the river brushes and the Dragon or Baron pit and use Sight Wards in the enemy jungle. When your team is setting up the Sight Wards use the Oracle’s Sweeper or the regular Sweeper to clear enemy wards to vision deny vision in the river or jungle that your Vision wards cannot see. The reason it is important to clear vision in the enemy jungle is it forces the enemy team to face check every brush and play scared that a brush is stack with your team. When your team has this extra vision your team gets the option to either rush down Dragon/Baron or look to surprise engage the enemy team while they try to get vision of the river. If you get caught dancing for vision your team ends up in a position where team fighting is an option but you can also look to push a wave in mid, bot, or top lane towards a tower which will force the enemy team to make a decision. Pushing a lane while trying to dance around Dragon forces the other team to choose to rush the Dragon/Baron or rotate to the tower being pressured and if the enemy team decides to rotate then your team can move back to Dragon/Baron and look to set up vision.
Sieging and Defending Towers
The idea of Sieging is fairly simple but doing it correctly is difficult because it requires a good mix of communication and positioning. The set up for sieges is similar for all towers where you want to set up wards in the enemy jungle (and the ward over a base wall for inhibitors) around the turrets your team wants to siege. The wards your team places serve as warnings but also gives your top and/or mid laner to teleport two when they are split pushing or a safe way to rotate to siege for a different tower.
The five man siege is the most common form of sieging. Your team wards in the jungle around the tower and starts sieging it as five. The team should have the tanks/bruisers in front at all times and near tower range so the marksman can try to sneak auto attacks onto the tower. When the marksman tries to get auto attacks on the tower you need to be ready to peel instantly because the other team will want to take a chance to get that initial kill on a carry before a team fight. That why you see Morgana’s use Black Shield while the marksman goes for auto attacks and wait 15 seconds before doing it again. Black Shield doesn’t let any crowd control hit a marksman but it still doesn’t fully stop the enemy because they know that shield is down for a bit. Then when you are splitting in 1-4-0 style or 1-3-1 the large group doesn’t want to go for auto attacks onto the tower until someone goes to answer the split pusher(s). If your sieging four versus five the last thing you want to do is get your group killed while waiting on the split pusher(s) to get into position. Look to keep the waves pushed up as the large group but never fully committee for a tower until the split pusher(s) draw pressure.
Now as for fending off sieges it about understanding the basics of the scenario. When your team is being sieged against you want to try and look for a way engage a fight in your favor. One way of doing this is to look for a flank using a top laner or jungler to try and catch the enemy off guard. The pro of this is getting into a fight but if there are wards in your jungle and the enemy team sees your jungler they can pick him off or just look to straight up dive. It is another one of the risk versus reward scenarios. A very risky play is to try and have four champions clear while you have someone split push. This is super dangerous depending on your team composition because it opens you up to being dived so you have to very careful on how far up you walk to use an ability to clear a wave. There is also the option to brute force fight over the tower. This way is obvious where you throw out your engage ultimates and spells to try to kill the carry champions. The brute force way puts both teams in an even fight because they are going to see the attempt to force and your team won’t have any flanking threat. The last way to deal with a siege is to take a more patient approach where your team tries to find a way to land crowd control on the back line when the enemy team looks to force tower damage. The tower will take damage but you get a fight more towards your team’s advantage. It can take a bit of time because you have to wait for an opening between champions to try and get your crowd control in onto the carry champions.
IX Team Fighting
There are a first few basics about team fighting are understanding positioning. The positioning is similar to sieging in this composition where your team has tanks/bruisers in front and carry champions in the back and possible flanks from champions like Hecarim or Evelynn.
There are few questions that play into most control team fights that your team can ask itself.
Who can we be engage on? Who is priority to catch? Who can dive my team? What summoner spells/ultimates are up? Do my carries need peel immediately?
Peeling is different for most compositions because every champion does something different so I will be using another example.
(I will be using Team Liquid composition again to keep consistency with the previous example).
There is some anti synergy between the Orianna and Gragas since their ultimates do the opposite of each other but it doesn’t hurt what this composition wants to do. Janna is going to be on peel duty using her Howling Gale and Monsoon to keep Leona, Ryze, and Lee sin off of the carries of Orianna and Vayne. Maokai can jump onto someone with Twisted Advance into a group that way Orianna can use shockwave to pull the enemy champions into Maokai who can use Arcane Smash to try and get a knock up onto multiple champions for the crowd control chain. Orianna will continue to look to zone the enemy team using Command: Attack and Command: Dissonance to damage and slow the enemy team. Gragas has multiple options on what he can do Body Slam can be used to peel or used in combo with Explosive Cask. Explosive Cask can be used to spread the fight by pulling some enemy team champions in while knocking some away or as full on disengage if things go south. Vayne will be looking to auto attack as much as possible using her Tumble and Condemn to try and self-peel in combination with Janna’s peel. As long as the carries of this composition don’t die there is not enough tank stats for the hype aggressive composition to sustain damage from Vayne and Orianna.
This is just a super basic scenario of a team fight. Obviously this isn’t how every team fight is going to go. Vayne could get jumped on and your team might have to lose both Monsoon and Explosive Cask right at the start. Without a determined set of champions for this guide I have to more open about peeling in scenarios that most variables of this style of control team fighting compositions will face.
Ending can either be the easiest thing a team can do or the hardest because you have the gold lead but the inhibitor turrets are so close together it makes it hard to out rotate the enemy team for inhibitor towers. If you really a lot of trouble trying to break the base turn your win condition into getting Baron or 5th Dragon for sieges to help you out with breaking the base wall. Baron gives you empowered minions which are harder to kill than regular minions and the baroned minions help chip down the tower. On the other hand 5th Dragon gives double of all the bonuses and true damage so you can look to dive the other team and do absurd amounts of damage to towers. Either of the two is really strong and if you somehow manage to get both your team is set to win the game.
Once you break the base the safest way to end a game is to get all three inhibitors because three inhibitors being down means that two super minions will spawn in each lane. With six super minions plus the regulars minions flooding in the enemy won’t be able to team fight while defending the base. Most teams know this so they will more than likely desperation fight around the first or second inhibitor however these desperation fights usually start poorly because of how forced they are so most of the time you can win by peeling backwards and kiting out the fight.