Win from the Champion Select in League of Legends – Part 3

Poke Composition

You can find part 2 here.

I first want to point out that I consider this one of the most challenging, but, at the same time, one of the most rewarding comps. It prioritizes sieging towers and rotating constantly and fast around the map. Patience is the underlying quality of this comp, you should resist the urge of engaging unless you can be 99% sure of its success, basically you don’t need to teamfight, ever.

When you poke them down, it won’t be easy for them to initiate. If the enemies are respecting your damage and you keep poking them successfully, they will keep retreating while you take one tower after the other –  at least that’s the theory.

Winning Conditions: Early – Mid – Late

The comp’s strengths and power spikes are early because of stronger laners, and mid when you start grouping and can set up a siege. You can win late when you already have met most of your objectives.

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

Essential Elements:

Sieging, Disengage, Mobility, Lane Bullying

  1. Top         Jayce, Viktor, Poppy
  2. Jungle       Nidalee, Gragas, Taliyah
  3. Mid         Zoe, Xerath, Ziggs
  4. Bottom      Ezreal, Caitlyn, Heimerdinger
  5. Support     Zyra, Morgana, Janna

When playing a poke comp, for the most part, you actively try to avoid fighting. In the early game, your priority is to farm up and lane bully your enemies when you can – not prioritizing the kill, but getting a CS lead and damaging the tower, that will help you get ready for the mid game.

The jungler should either focus to countergang, powerfarm, or babysit to get a winning lane. There are occasions that one of your laners will get the lead, with or without junglers help; you can then use that your advantage. A fed Jayce, for example, can roam around and provide massive sieging power and escalate the game in your favor. Don’t get baited into a fight though; you can excel at poking the enemies but in most cases your teamfight is rather weak.

When in the mid game, the team should start to group and siege. You should anticipate the enemies pulling the trigger and the outcome of that might determine the winner of the game; that’s why you shouldn’t just pick five poke champions. You need to have survivability in your mind when drafting a poke comp. A Janna, Poppy or Gragas disengage ultimate is necessary to the success of your comp! Play it cool, patiently and methodically, since identifying the next objective and taking precautions are the keys to victory with this composition.

Things you should avoid:

  • Teamfights. Consider their HP bars as mini objectives; the lower they get the safer access you have to primary objectives, kills are not that important.
  • The urge to dive when some enemies are low. It’s so much more rewarding in the long run when you just force them out of the objective for you to cleanly take it.
  • Getting flanked. Smart enemies will try to flank you. Be aware of that; keep your distance, ward properly, and keep an eye for missing opponents.

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:

Engages2.5Execution/Skill - based
Wombo Combo1.5Disadvantage
Early Game2.5Execution/Skill - based
Split Push2Minor Disadvantage

When playing Poke vs Engages, theoretically you have the edge if you survive their pickup attempts, and play your macro correctly. That said, it’s easier for the engage comp to do a pull of their strategy, and that’s why I rate it 2.5.

Laning phase is often in your favor, but respect their skirmish potential by warding extensively to avoid their traps. In the mid game, when the enemies engage – even if they one-shot one of your members –  see if you can punish their aggression, but don’t get carried away and chase kills. You can win the game by focusing towers and other objectives, since kills are not so relevant. If they try to split push and your laners can’t match theirs, rush to the major objectives.

When playing Poke vs Wombo Combo, you need to be aware that you have a disadvantage. You are playing for an early/mid victory, so if both teams gets full build, they will be able to destroy you. In laning phase, you have the upper hand and you need to come out of it with an advantage; be aggressive and dictate your tempo. They will try to slow down the pace of the game but don’t let them, since the jungler can focus on their weak spots and capitalize nonstop. Going into the mid game (even from their six level), respect their hard engage potential and poke them patiently to deprive them a chance of a good initiation, but also avoid dancing around the map and pick up your next objectives.

Don’t forget ward around the desired area and siege, siege, siege and be ready to disengage. Be mindful about time, as they outscale you.

Things to consider with the Poke Team Composition

When playing Poke vs Early Game, play with caution and ward as much as you can. If they get the lead, they can continue to capitalise, and you won’t stand a chance. In the laning phase getting the advantage is great, but getting even is still great, so don’t take risks. In the mid game, like warly, there is no need to take any high risks, since you naturally outscale them. Stay grouped and react to their engage.

If you are on the losing side, you can start stabilizing the game. Disengage efficiently and poke them down repeatedly, use your grouping/poking strength to slow down their tempo, the later it gets the easier for you to take the lead.

When playing Poke vs Protect, your enemy thrives when fighting but you don’t need to fight them, ever! If they lack initiation power and rely on protecting their carry, just be patient and siege, disengage or punish if they engage, and it should be an easy game.

Bully the laners to get an advantage there, as there is a high chance that their jungler will play around bot. If you focus there and it doesn’t go as planned, their carry can get fed prematurely; instead counter gank bot lane, or gang up when the enemy jungler was spotted somewhere else and you have a high chance of either succeeding on killing their carry or push it off the lane.

As the game progresses, keep harassing them from a safe distance. They don’t have a lot of initiation tools and you can probably disengage quite effectively if you don’t overextend, plan your Macro and rotate to one objective after the other.

When playing Poke vs Split Push, they may have the advantage, but if played intelligently, you can win in every stage of the game through superior Macro and objective trading. Both comps prioritize objectives and often the one that is decisive and won’t waste much time will have the edge.

During the Early, identify your winning lanes and exploit them; their laners are often weak early. Punish them with your poke, kill them if you can, but avoid taking high risks; if their Jax for example gets ahead, he might be able to steamroll.

When you are able to claim first tower, rotate your resources and start trading objectives, while also grouping early and interrupting their plans by forcing them to react to your siege.

The mid game is a chess match, so be aware of their potential to take multiple objectives and trades will happen. Only go for a split pusher if their Jax overextends, but be careful to never leave your base and baron exposed, and you should be able to win.

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!

This series was made in collaboration with Semper Solus.