Learning your Role in Teamfights Part 2: A Basic Example

This post is a follow up to yesterday’s post, so if you haven’t given that a read, I suggest you do so before reading this one.

For the example I want to go over today, we’re going to be taking a look at a couple team comps and how they’d match up in a relatively even late game.  Later in the week I’ll be going over some examples that discuss extreme cases with fed characters and feeding characters at different points in the game, but for today, we’re going to keep things a little bit simpler and just look at how these teams match up in a relatively even game around 20-30+ minutes.  Originally, I planned to do two examples today, but this exercise took a bit longer than expected, so we’re just going to go over one for now and I’ll see about getting a second example up tonight.

Blue Team: Pantheon top (me), Anivia mid, Maokai jungle, Kog Maw bot, Soraka bot

Purple Team: Nidalee top, Ahri mid, Lee Sin jungle, Graves bot, Janna bot

Let’s get right into it and analyze how these teams match up.

Long Range Mobility: Blue has a very slight edge in this regard with Pantheon having the semi-global jump vs. Nidalee’s repeatable Short Range Mobility skills.  This edge is very minor though, especially since Lee Sin also has decent cross-map mobility.  It’s also entirely likely that with these team comps, Nidalee would run teleport to completely erase any advantage that Blue could hope to get from Pantheon’s semi-global.

Short Range Mobility: Purple wins the Short Range Mobility competition by a landslide.  Blue has two targeted jumps that are useful for initiation between Pantheon W and Maokai W, but they have no generic mobility abilities and will mostly have to rely on Flashes to reposition in fights.  Purple on the other hand has low CD dashes on every single one of their characters other than Janna and Janna has incredible base movespeed between her passive and her W.

Zone Control: Thankfully for Blue, they have incredible Zone Control to make up for their poor short range mobility.  Anivia’s Q, W, and R are all incredibly powerful Zone Control tools, as are Kog Maw’s E, R and W autoattacks (since he has a considerable range advantage on Graves).  Maokai and Pantheon can also both contribute some minor poking between saplings and spear shots and Maokai’s ult and Pantheon’s E are both strong Zone Control tools once initiation has taken place, despite the fact that neither is terribly useful pre-initiation at controlling neutral space.  Purple’s zone control mostly boils down to Ahri’s Q and E poke, Grave’s Q poke, Lee’s Q poke and Nidalee’s Q poke.  They do also have Grave’s W, which is nice for counter-initiation, but isn’t as useful if the other team isn’t looking to engage.  While these are all decent pokes and can easily clear creep waves, they’re not as long range or as high damage as the Blue team’s pokes, which can easily kill someone slightly out of position in the span of a couple seconds.  Blue’s Zone control also expands well beyond damage with the two AoE slows to severely impede any attempts at initiation from Purple.

Damage Output: Blue has higher sustained damage output, while Purple has higher burst.  Both teams output a lot of both types of damage, but Anivia and Kog both sport low cooldown ults designed for sustained DPS and don’t lean very heavily on their ults for DPS, while Ahri and Graves have higher cooldown ults designed for bursting and notice a significant drop in damage output after they’ve used their ults.  Both teams have a fairly even mix of AoE damage output and single target output, with Blue’s AoE coming mostly from Pantheon and Anivia and Purple’s AoE coming mostly from Ahri and Graves.

Durability: Generally speaking, Purple is a more durable team.  Graves is beefy for a ranged DPS, Lee Sin and Nidalee both tend to build fairly tanky and Ahri typically has a core that involves Rylai’s at the very least and typically Hourglass and/or Abyssal as well.  That being said, the single tankiest character in this game is Maokai and he’s going to be problematic for Purple to kill and Soraka’s heals add considerable durability to her team.

Crowd Control: Both teams have pretty good crowd control.  Maokai is a crowd control beast with his W and Q, Pantheon brings a stun to the table, Anivia provides AoE Slows, an AoE stun, and a wall, Kog Maw has another AoE slow, and Soraka has her silence for counter initiation.  Purple has Janna’s full kit with it’s knockup, slow, and blow back, Lee Sin’s AoE slow and kick back, Ahri’s charm, and Graves’s smoke screen.  I’d say Blue has better general crowd control, but Purple has some very strong displacement skills.

Putting it all together: Looking at this from Pantheon’s perspective, let’s try to work out how to play teamfights.  The first part of this is figuring out how to play from a neutral position.  As a character with a semi-global, the first question we should be asking is should we abuse split pushing with this team?  The answer, in this case, is most likely no.  While you are capable of ulting across much of the map faster than anyone on the opposing team, you have poor short range mobility and will find yourself getting ganked and destroyed by the opposing team’s incredible short range mobility unless your team can pin down at least 4 members of the opposing team.  In other words, you cannot afford to lean on split pushing at first, but should your team siege up a tower and find themselves in a stalemate, you can split off while they keep enough pressure on the tower to keep the opposing team locked down.

Your general team strategy should be a methodical five man approach to objectives and then attritioning your opponents down to abuse your superior Zone Control.  Your team needs to be very careful at all points in time, lest you leave your Kog unguarded for a second, only for three members of the opposing team to jump over the wall and burst him down.  As this is how your team can best leverage its strengths as a team, you need to abandon the traditional Pantheon mentality of, “I’m going to split push and then try to jump across the map onto the opposing ranged carry.”  Your team wins the attrition fights, and thus the pressure of initiation is on your opponents, so your best course of action is sticking with your team and using your Aegis to peel and Heartseeker Strike as a counter initiation zoning tool to force opponents to take massive damage as they approach your primary damage sources (Kog and Anivia).  The decision to play further back and not dive the opposing team is made especially easy in this game, as Janna and Lee Sin both have displacement skills that can punt you away from your target as an assassin, thus relegating you to a defensive source of AoE damage.

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4 Responses to Learning your Role in Teamfights Part 2: A Basic Example

  1. Avi says:

    I don’t think you answered the original question though: What is Pantheon’s job in team fights, given this matchup? All you’ve said in the form of an answer is “don’t initiate”. Once the team fight starts though…what do you do?

    • SmashGizmo says:

      “…your best course of action is sticking with your team and using your Aegis to peel and Heartseeker Strike as a counter initiation zoning tool to force opponents to take massive damage as they approach your primary damage sources (Kog and Anivia).” I thought this pretty much covered it. You relegate yourself to peeling and zoning for your true carries.

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