Strategies to counter any League of Legends team compositions
Article written by Zeeshan | Posted on: April 14, 2013
As we have already discussed about the ‘Most effective League of Legends Team Compositions’. Now we will discuss about how to actually counter these team compositions and their mixes. Please, note that this article mainly focuses on Ranked Games where you make champion picks in draft mode. Also keep in view that I cannot cover each and every micro in this article, but I will try to cover all major aspects and if your questions are still left unanswered then please use the Comments section below to let me know (and I will try my best to answer them). Though I will add a section where I will explain how you can actually counter the Effective Team Compositions without even going for counter-picks. In League of Legends every team composition is backed up with a Strategy, therefore you can deal with it in two ways:
1. By counter picking champions in-order to break the enemy team’s strategy.
2. By Out playing your enemies.
Keeping in view the most important thing, Synergy between the champions you pick. Counter-picking is the most effective way because in competitive game-play, there are high chances that your enemies are equally good as you are and then what lets you out-play them is Counter-Picking and a Counter Strategy.
Let me Explain the Synergy part. You don’t just have to counter a champion pick but also pick a champion that breaks strategy of your enemies by playing a unique role that could turn the tables to your favor. For instance, your enemy team has picked Irelia, VI (most probably jungler) and Lux (mid) on other hand you have got your hyper carry Kog’Maw and Alistar (Support); now its your turn to make a selection.
There comes 2 questions:
1. What would you go for?
2. What will be your core strategy?
Both of the questions are interdependent, which means that your champion picks will open the possibilities to the strategies and vice versa.
Analysis of Enemy Team (from the already made selections):
If you notice this situation, you will come to know that both Irelia and Vi have high single targeted damage. So if they manage to get to your Attack Damage Carry in team fights, he’d die instantly. Also, that Lux can snipe any Low HP target without even coming closer.
What your Team currently have:
You have got Alistar Support, who provides High Crowd Control to your team and can help your ADC pick kills or escape successfully during the laning phase. A hyper carry who has increased range and can shine in mid and late game if protected well.
What your Team Needs:
1. A mid laner Champion who can successfully counter Lux’s range and burst damage as well as shut her down, because no one wants to take a high damage Lazer every 20-30 seconds.
2. Top lane Champion who counters Irelia as well as provide some utility to overall team.
3. A jungler who can intercept enemies with their Tankyness as well as inflict damage in team-fights.
(i) You can go with Kayle for top lane, because she can do extremely well against champions like Irelia and has that amazing utility ultimate that can turn fights around.
(ii) For mid, you can go with Attack Damage champion like Talon who can really give hard time to Lux. Or maybe Kassadin who can give hard time to Lux. Or with any conventional mid champion, most recommended would be Cassiopeia (If you want good laning and AOE damage to counter enemy team comp), Ziggs (hard time for Lux, as well as poke from reasonable range) or Nidalee (extreme poke with those Javelins, will give total control in your hand regardless of how much ‘initiation capability’ is possessed by your enemies).
(iii) For jungle, most recommended would be Jarvan 4 ( Tanky, good damage output and Crowd Control), Ammumu (Tanky and good CC for both initiating and defending) and Shen ( perfect tank who can taunt away all initiations done by enemy team and can also split push to never let the enemy initiate with their full potential and if they do use ultimate to get into the fight).
Look, now this way you have actually filled your weak points where enemy team can hit. Some of them are,
1. They can lock down your AD or AP carry and kill them right away which will put your team on disadvantage. (Vi locks your AD carry, Irealia can jump onto them and can do the final blow with Lux’s ultimate, Thanks to Kayle Ultimate they won’t die to the burst).
2. Bot lane vulnerable to post-level 6 tower dives from VI ultimate. (if you pick Shen as jungler, you can turn enemy gank/turret dive to a 3v3 and take the advantage).
3. Counter enemy initiate. (For instance, any of your ally is caught in wrong positioning or by Lux’s light binding and enemies plan to collapse on them. What are you gonna do? Let them die? No, if you make the right choices in champion selection; you can actually counter initiate with Ammumu Q+R or simply with Shen’s Taunt or R)
This is one approach with which you can counter such a team composition that excels in initiating team fight as well as poke from far away. You can come up with your own approach or champion selection keeping in view the above mentioned questions combined with ‘how exactly are you going to break the strategy set by your enemies’.
Okay, so now we will just go through the ways we can break or counter the team compositions we marked as effective ones (if you want to check them out, you can find them over here).
1. Poke Composition
The main strategy behind Poke Team Composition in League of Legends is to be able to hurt your enemies with poke till you see the window of opportunity to strike. Therefore, to be able to win against heavy poke composition you will have to fill up your weak-points in early game by taking proper care of the lanes where Poke-type champions are laning and ganking where your allies feel weak. Moreover, neutral objectives like Buffs and Dragons are very important so don’t let your enemies take advantage by taking those objectives. Counter jungle if you can, because buff denying will hurt your enemies a lot (e.g. denying Blue Buff to AP Nidalee or Lux will put you in a lot better place while contesting dragon or while experiencing a team fight).
And most important is that, Don’t throw the game; take advantage over your enemies and keep it till the end of the game. And if they try to go aggressive on you by doing a lot of poke, don’t hesitate in initiating on them with your full force because if you would wait and take their poke they may do the same with you.
A heavy initiator team comp with hyper carries would be very effective against poke composition. Although League of Legends provide you with additional ways and champion picks to be able to counter such a composition. But I shared you the best practice that I have seen so far for dealing with such a team composition.
2. Assassin or Heavy Initiator Composition
This is yet another popular team composition in League of Legends. As I have previously explained in the analysis, to deal with such a composition you will require Crowd Control to actually break their initiations as well as the potential to counter-initiate when needed and Utility based front-line champions will be even better. For more details on this section you can consult the In-depth Analysis section above because it was specifically written to be able to deal with such situations.
3. Global / Semi-Global Presence Composition
In my opinion if your enemies execute this strategy perfectly, this is the most difficult one to deal with. One of the example is Shen + Karthus in same team, making turret dive a piece of cake where Shen puts his ultimate on the one taking the turret aggro followed by Karthus’ ultimate turning a 2v2 Bot lane fight to 2v4. The biggest disadvantage it gives to you is that they can take 2 kills, a turret as well as Dragon if they manage to execute the combo successfully.
- Your biggest bet is not to give away the advantage to enemies, play little defensive and possibly take advantage before everyone hits level 6. Also you will have to keep proper positioning (i.e. jungler closer to bot lane when expecting any sort of global/semi-global gank).
- Another way to counter such a strategy is by using the precious Summoner Spell : Teleport, as i mentioned this last time in ‘Most Effective League of Legends Team Compositions’. You can simply pick Teleport on your Top Laner or Mid Laner (or even pick a Globally/Semi-Globally present Champion, e.g. against Shen+Karthus you can pick Ziggs/Twisted Fate for mid to aid or counter-gank when needed). With Summoner Spell : Teleport skill, your ally can teleport to sensibly placed ward (in enemy bush or your own bush, so that when they use Teleport skill your enemies don’t get to see them doing that) and you can either go aggressive on enemies or just turn enemy gank to your own favor.
- There is still another approach that can be used to counter such team compositions in League of Legends. Sensibly initiate on your enemies’ weak point (Usually its the Bot lane because no team would like their Attack Damage carry to lag behind) and let your enemies burn their Global/Semi-global Ultimates to save their Allies and to try to Counter-Gank. The moment they react to the plot you planned, RETREAT. Yes, because fighting in such condition will not a sensible approach. And as we all know that global ultimates have longer cooldowns so Congratulations, now your enemies are vulnerable in the meantime. Strike with Full force and tell them who is the BOSS!
4. Utility oriented Composition
This type of team compositions in League of Legends excels in both initiating and defending. You cannot go directly for them because they can use their abilities to defend and instantly go offensive and turn the fight into their favor. They can bait neutral objectives pretty easily, Awareness through Vision ( WARDS) will be your best friend against such team composition.
You best bet is to get them in their Cooldowns. Make them burn their abilities, and when they burn them (making them burn their Ultimate abilities will be much more profitable) you eat them alive. Just like that, when they’d loose a remarkable amount of their offensive/defensive abilities there is nothing they can do but run or just die (given that you work as a team and work strategically).
So going with a tanky front line + Heavy Initiation composition will make it easier for you to get this thing done.
In the end, I would again say what I always say. League of Legends is a diverse game, there is no defined path to victory but Co-ordination and Co-operation; everything else just act like Perks. You can go with the one that suits you best, but keep in view that it should somehow relate to the Strategy you are required to execute in a certain situation in League of Legends matches. Because at some point in time League of Legends will require you to leave your Comfort Zone champions and pick something that your team actually needs, so its good to actually try and play new champions to open up the opportunities and strategies.
That’s it for now, I hope you liked it. If you have any Questions or Suggestions regarding this article, please share them with us in comments section below.
Fellow Summoners, I hope you go to Summoners Rift : League of Legends and shine. Good Luck and Have Fun!