A Different Approach to Team Composition (and working with a team)

Posted: September 12, 2011 by Joshua Adam in Complaining, General, Metagame

Wow, it has been a while. I hadn’t really played much due to moving (and life in general) but over the last week I’ve started to get a couple games in and now I do have something to talk about.

And yeah, TheWoebringer will probably get mad at me for this.

And everyone else who writes on this blog…

This is just a general observation, noting how things work even at my sub-par elo (~1100 if anyone was curious, but I’ve been pulled into as high as 1300-1400 and its no different there). Firstly, do NOT take TheWoebringer’s advice. Any player if they want to do a draft should have a good number of different champs under their belt and should be capable of picking for team comp. But past the basic team roles have some and idea of what you should or should not pick. If your team is CC light, don’t take a champ who requires that kind of support. If the enemy team is bruiser heavy or has Tryn, take an extra exhaust.  And for the love of god don’t take clarity because it seldom helps. Usually you can get away with not having certain team roles filled if you have champions that work well together.

Secondly: the games that I have won (even ones where we individually played poorly) were not won with a pubstar attitude. I won a game that had a kill deficit of nearly 20 kills; my team had 29, they have 46.  You win a game by working together even if you all individually have terrible mechanical ability. Mechanics… that will win you the early game. Higher concept/macro strategy is what will actually win in the end. What usually causes a team to collapse is when some moron decides to split push at the wrong time, the jungler leaves to clear wolves, and the team that has all 5 members present manages to get in an initiate, overpowers, and the win comes from there.

Thirdly, grow a pair. I hope that, for the women, that this analogy still works. Believe it or not, but if your team has plenty of CC, and your abilities are on a short cooldown, it’s very VERY easy to keep fighting it out. Case and point, the game I just finished, our team kept fighting well past when our HP dropped below 50%. The reason; the combination of Ashe, Ryze, and Akali allowed us to keep the enemy team slowed, stunned, and burst someone down the minute they try to move in (bare in mind this happened at their nexus towers). I had an instance where myself (as Singed) and my team’s Ashe (both of us at around 25%) were able to kite and kill a full health (and really fed) Garen. Simple awareness, positioning and the ability to kite enemies means that HP doesn’t mean a tremendous amount. Of course, you can’t be reckless (you never can) but don’t insist on going “B” just because your HP is below 30%. If anything sticking around will probably bait the enemy team into chasing.

And last of all–I can’t believe I’m gonna say this–help your teammates. Don’t get mad if a lane (or two) is lost. Don’t try to start soloing, randomly free farming, split push with no point, or start to turn on and not trust your teammates. Basically, realize that this is a team game. Splitting up and trying to be completely self reliant past the lanning phase is almost always the death knell of a game.

This is all, as you would expect, common sense advice. Yet, more often than not, common sense seems to seldom come into play… Hell, of the authors here I’m the most guilty of raging.

And this makes me a hypocrite.

  1. Hol Hols says:

    *Obligatory statement regarding low elo observations on a blog called No Elyeah you get it.*
    Bring back non-ranked draft pick!

    Picking for team comp is *nice*, and having lots of champions you can do well with is *nice*.
    But that would require the player to HAVE all those champions (not to mention the runes for them), and this will differ between players.

    I’d have to go with TheWoebringer though. I’d rather have someone play the easy AP caster he’s familiar with than go tank because WE MUST HAVE TANK OR WE LOSE OMG and then proceed to feed with Amumu. Or even worse, keep running away from fights because he’s scared to die.

    Yes, teams need to have a good composition.
    No, it doesn’t have to be according to meta.

    Solo top bruiser, Jungler tank, AP mid, AD carry + Support babysitter bot is the meta.
    It’s a smart meta. It’s also stagnant as hell. Team comps become predictable.
    It’s not even required for victory. All you need is a healthy helping of CC and some teamwork.

    The team with the most CC will win.
    Blitzcrank, Trundle, Anivia, Ashe, Amumu.
    You could arrange them according to the meta as far as laning phase goes, and you will win because you have the CC required to shut down the enemy.
    You could build Ninja Tabi on ALL of them just to piss the enemy off since you don’t need Tenacity.
    THEY need Tenacity, because of YOU.
    There’s plenty of gimmicky team comps that can win games because they have synergy or simply catch the opponent off guard.

    Macro strategy wins games, yes. The lone idiot going for blue in a warded jungle late-game will cost his team victory. The same applies in a different way; you could be ahead in towers only to have the enemy team decide that they are going to move as a 5-man group from there on out, with staggering efficiency.

    The ability to kill champions is nice. Late game it WILL decide the game when revive time-outs become critical. But pushing power is far more powerful. Do you protect top, bot or mid?
    We’re in your base. Do you kill Sivir or do you go for the 4v4 teamfight that’s about to erupt at the Inner top tower? Will there be a teamfight at all or are we just distracting? Do you honestly think you can catch Sivir? Et cetera. Macro strategy, as you call it. Thinking beyond ACE TEAM, PUSH NEXUS.

    If anything the first two towers lost are meaningless. There’s champions (and players) who just plain suck at the laning phase. They can’t farm like a boss, or the champion/player they’re laning against is outplaying them. What happens after that tower falls is that they’re freed. Everyone’s freed. Laning phase is over, and it comes down to teamwork, teamfights, teamplay.
    Guerilla warfare in the jungles. Traps and phantom pushes.
    And that is what will win or lose the game most of the time.

  2. jisho23 says:

    Couple things:

    You should never pick a champion that is beyond your “comfort zone” in a ranked game. That’s just generally stupid. Pre-game conversation is the only real way to avoid a problem with comp.

    And as far as team play goes–and understanding how your team works (that applies to all forms of play)–try and play to your strengths. If your team is bruiser heavy then you probably want to get that initiate so that your melees can get in and disrupt (if you don’t initiate then your bruisers are basically sitting around doing nothing). If your team is very harass heavy than you probably don’t want to force an immediate fight, rather chip them away and wait to counter-initiate. As you said you can get away with not following the standard meta (look at high level play, they mess with it in solo games all the time to find new combinations) as long as the overall composition and teamplay is there.

    By the way here is an interesting scenario that I just played last night: teams were Blitz, Sion, Anivia, Ashe, and WW versus Irelia, Udyr, Annie, Singed, and Caitlyn. Both teams are incredibly CC heavy and both have well pieced together comp (for low ELO no less).

  3. When I said never choose for team composition I was trying to make it apparent that team composition should not be the most important factor for choosing. Basically I mean that if you can’t play a champion decently don’t, even if it is the proper choice for team composition but if you have two champs you can play decently then it’s fine. Maybe I didn’t make that clear enough but that was my point.

  4. jisho23 says:

    But Woebringer, I’d assume common sense dictates that you won’t play in a ranked game a character you don’t know how to.

  5. damndirtycat says:

    I hate Fro Arguments.

    Neither of you are disagreeing with the other. Woebringer is saying that team comp doesn’t matter in the ELO we play, while you’re saying that optimizing a team requires team comp.


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