Win from the Champion Select in League of Legends – Part 2

Engages & Pickups Composition

You can find part 1 here.

The primary goal of this comp is to have short engages and pickups. You have assassins, bruisers and maybe a tank, you often get CC and you have fast rotating champions and/or AOE dmg. You get burst damage and can catch a single target and kill him fast. Your 1v1’s and 2v2’s are strong, but you look for a 2v1’s and 3v2’s as much as you can.

Winning Conditions: Early – Mid – Late

This comp’s strengths and power spikes are early to mid, but it can still give a fight and potentially wins even if it goes late.

Some examples of champion picks for the engages comp are (patch 8.23):

Essential Elements:

Skirmish, Trap, Initiation, Crowd Control, Mobility, Burst Damage

  1. Top         Jax, Aatrox, Darius
  2. Jungle       Xin Zhao, Nocturne, Kha’zix
  3. Mid         Le Blanc, Ahri, Irelia
  4. Bottom      Lucian, Xaya, Vayne
  5. Support     Rakan, Thresh, Pyke

Other picks can work too, from Katarina to Alistar. What you need is to have a good balance. Prioritize taking the initiative in the fight, rotating fast, warding deep and catching people to enable you to then proceed to a larger objective – the tower, the drake or the baron.

Having CC and burst damage enables you to successfully pro-actively engage or trap, and when you succeed – either by killing the opponents or forcing them to recall – you must further punish by taking objectives.

Warding is important like any other comp, but deep warding is going to win you the game. A minimum of two oracle lenses is advised, because dewarding is equally important, while pathing into the enemy jungle as well. If they see you trying to trap, you will end up being trapped.

Things you should avoid:

  • Avoid 5v5’s teamfights; this composition is often weak in a teamfight, and you might be able to take on 3v3’s or even 5v5’s only if you meet some certain conditions.
  • ADC’s generally should avoid trapping, a rare exception would be catching the enemy ADC or Sup alone (Support needs to have hard CC for that).

With a scale 1 to 5, with 1 being completely countered and with 5 being the absolute counter against, let’s see the table below.

Interaction with other Comps at a Glance:

Wombo Combo3Minor Advantage
Poke2.5Execution/Skill - based
Early Game2.5Execution/Skill - based
Protect1.5Disadvantage
Split Push3Minor Advantage

When playing Engages vs Wombo Combo it’s all about execution because the compositions have similarities. However, what the Wombo Combo lacks in flexibility, it makes up in efficiency, although it’s harder to pull off.

You need to keep your distance, be relatively patient and wait for the right moment because you are most likely to lose in a straight 5v5.

If they malposition you can engage on one important element of their comp (Oriana), or if they have one or more essential ultimates on cooldown ( like Shockwave) you can potentially destroy them.

Your priority is to pick up individual targets proactively, with deep warding so you can receive the necessary information. With deep warding you will be able to identify safe “windows” to catch someone and then continue with another objective. You can divert and split push, thus not giving them the chance for a straight 5v5, while also forcing them to rotate or split and therefore become more vulnerable. This is how you play to win.

Engage And Power Through!

When playing Engages vs Poke, you have to embody what your composition stands for: Engage Power! When vs a Poke Comp you need to initiate fast, if you wait too much your team will be poked down, so force your way in and create an opportunity to engage.

Always take into account their disengage abilities – it’s not as straightforward to pull off vs a Janna for example, so you might need to focus on her first.

With this composition, you have a stronger straight teamfight, you excel when making traps, and excel in Baron/Drake Control. Sieging or being sieged is their strength; therefore, since you can’t afford to let them poke you, decide to either fight or abandon the objective.

If they get fed and much stronger, and you don’t have a comeback, they will be able to survive your engages and win the teamfight. We’re leveling here that it’s almost impossible to recover if that happens. Be the initiator and do not let them dictate their flow of the game. They have squishies – exploit that and always capitalize after a pick up.

Some Early Game Considerations for Engage & Poke

When playing Engages vs Early Game you must play safe, understand that their strength relies on the Early and if you don’t respect that, you will lose the game.

However, your comp is strong early on too, so try to choose your fights wisely. Calculate who got the stronger 2v2 at mid lane and at top, and who is the stronger jungler 1v1. Calculate all that from the start of the game, create a plan and when they force, especially before six, consider trading objectives. If you can trade a tower for a tower that’s great, but even losing trades are a way of staying relative until you can match their comp.

Try to guide your team with a  stable mentality and focused clarity through Early Chaos. Once you are getting into midame you can start regaining control if you are a bit behind, or you can escalate if you are ahead. When you are facing a Lucian mid, a Renekton top or other early game bullies, you don’t have to gamble too much. Try to decide the objectives that you need to sacrifice and the ones that you will fight for, wait for the right opportunities, your power spikes and engage when you meet them.

What About Engages VS. Protect?

When playing Engages vs Protect the carry – just kill the priority target, the enemy carry… if only it was that easy.  It’s a bit more complicated than that, but it all comes down to identifying your objective and following through.

On champion select, when you identify them running a Protect comp, a pick like Camille can help you lock the primary target. You must also pick strong split pushers not just engagers. Picks like Jax or Irelia can help you by pressuring their weaker counterparts that – due to their nature of being protectors – are relatively weak on 1v1 and 2v2.

This consequently forces them to divide their team thus making it challenging for them to respond to multiple threats.

In a 5v5 teamfight (these should be avoided), sometimes you won’t focus on the ADC first because the enemies will play it by the book. You can then try to kill the Tahm Kench first; this might come with a sacrifice, but this is WAR –  so sacrifices are often necessary to prevail!

There might be a stage of the game that you feel you can’t kill the ADC, that’s when you start to look for alternatives fast because you are running out of time, it’s time to get creative. In order to make a decision, run these questions through your thought process:

Can you split push? Can you Rush a Baron? Can you trap them, or surprise them in any way? Can a strong engager build GA and dive first to the ADC? All that should be taken into account.

What about Engages VS. Split Push?

When Playing Engages vs Split Push, play it by the book and you will win. Now, an essential element to this is your Mid/Top laner being strong enough to at least farm vs the opponent. Focus your gangs on the strongest enemy split pusher, if, for example they have a Jax and you leave him alone he will eventually, potentially, win a 2v1.

However, if you destroy or keep him under control that will influence the structure of their composition. They will want to go for a 1-3-1 which forces you to react, but when having superior mobility look for 2v1’s or Rush to an objective forcing them to a bad trade or to come to you.

The scenario “the enemies are distracted destroying our Nexus, lets Baron”, should be avoided, always respect their potential to backdoor. The Macro is a priority, the enemy will try to divide their resources and often attract yours to a certain area to focus on another objective.

Be careful when sending resources away from Baron or away from your inhibitors, anticipate an attack on the priority objectives and on your most vulnerable points while at the same time, see if you can force them to react by focusing a priority objective.

Team Compositions Are Complex

But with this handy series of guides, we make it easier for you to rise to the top and beat the competition. Stay tuned for the next installment of Win from the Champion Select: League of Legends!

Stay tuned for the rest of this 7 part series!