Published on August 5th, 2013 | by esports1
A Closer Look at MVP Ozone: Picks and Team Composition
This week on Cloth5 we’ll have a special two-part series on Korea’s most hyped team, MVP Ozone. As the winners of last season’s OGN Champions Spring, managing to break CJ Entus Blaze’s 13-game winning streak, they’re looking to repeat that same level of success in this Summer season of Champions.
In this first part of our series, we’ll be taking a closer look at Ozone’s picks through the Summer season group stage and how they generally approach teamfights.
Top Lane Picks
Although most famous for his Zac play in the Spring season, Homme’s go-to champion in Summer was Yorick. He played Yorick for half of the season and maintained a 100% win rate on the Grave Digger. Yorick was a potent pick due to Homme’s excellent laning phase and his ability to sustain even when placed in a 2v1 lane. And quite frequently, Homme turned around ganks in against solo lanes since Yorick’s ultimate allows him to flip the tables on unfavorable situations. Post-laning phase, Homme was essentially used as a ult-bot to ensure hyper carries such as Vayne, Ryze, or Karthus could continue to dish out tons of damage. With this insurance pick, a carry like Imp could have the privilege of taking what would otherwise be called unfavorable positioning in teamfights to assassinate enemy carries.
Aside from Yorick, Homme chose to play Kennen, Shen, and Mundo for the other half of the games in the season. In his Kennen game, acted as a secondary initiator as Ozone relied on Thresh Death Sentences to initiate teamfights. The pick was super effective against Xenics Blast’s team (Elise, Jarvan IV, Malzahar, Caitlyn, Zyra) as his Slicing Maelstrom prevented ideal wombo combos that allowed Ozone’s superior sustained DPS to win fights.
During the 2nd game against Jin Air Greenwings Falcons, his Shen pick allowed the rest of Ozone to freely create skirmishes at will since he could always Stand United in and turn the odds in their favor. However, since the game was decided so early with DanDy’s Lee Sin receiving two double kills before the 9 minute mark, there was more or less a lack of opportunity to display what Homme might have done in a conventional teamfight. In the less-than-serious final game against Xenics Storm where they had already obtained a playoff berth, Homme ran a Mundo top with Teleport. Probably due to inexperience, he narrowly lost 1v1 duels against Kennen more than one time miscalculating Mundo’s power levels and letting the ninja yordle live with less than 100HP. At the end of the laning phase, Homme ended up feeding in his lane, granting 4 kills to the enemy Kennen and Nunu. Unless Homme manages to use the two week break in between the end of group stages and the bracket stage to exclusively practice his Mundo, do not look for him to pull it out as a pocket pick in the playoffs.
Perhaps showing the worlds’ first five-man Dragon’s Rage kick in competitive play, Lee Sin is only one of DanDy’s bread and butter jungle picks. However, his Lee Sin probably has the most potential in swinging the game in Ozone’s favor. In the two games picked, proved wrong the assumption that Lee Sin has no influence past the laning phase. Opposed to Homme who often acts as the secondary initiator on the team, DanDy used Lee Sin to create picks necessary for teamfights to unravel in Ozone’s favor. One thing most surprising about his Lee Sin play is that instead of focusing on the enemy jungler by dueling or invading, he’ll patiently wait in the fog of war for inevitable counter ganks. However, considering Lee Sin’s limitation in his kit to teamfighting, it will be curious to see how DanDy will perform against other rosters with impeccable teamfighting such as CJ Entus Frost if he still chooses Lee Sin.
Nearly as effective as his Lee Sin is his Elise which was used more as an safeguard pick in the times that Ozone ran with two hypercarries. Due to Elise’s kit that allows her to deal percent damage while still building tanky, DanDy snowballed his lanes early on without sacrificing his own durability during teamfights. With Elise, he created the same opportunities for picks as he did with Lee Sin as after he landed a Cocoon on a prime target, the rest of his team would follow with additional CC such as a Zyra Grasping Roots or a Thresh Death Sentence that often resulted in an immediate kill. With Nunu, Ozone ran a double AD composition which accelerated the typical fast push due to Blood Boil. As Ozone’s mid lane was Ezreal and bottom AD was Vayne, DanDy could simply rotate to either lane to push for an easy tower, all in the meantime stealing buffs and jungle camps in between. Since his Nunu counterjungled Reapeared’s Gangplank so frequently, it left Reapered devastated and unable to contribute to his team in any way.
However, if it’s an any indication from his play in Ozone’s last game against Xenics Storm, DanDy may have issues with playing carry junglers. During the match, DanDy picked Evelynn and was unable to make any solid contributions by the end of the game. Perhaps since he has the best sense and performs optimally in counter-ganking situations, his invades were failures and he was continually caught out by Storm which allowed them to snowball the game with their item advantage. Although this last game was not a “serious” one by all means, it could be an omen in the case that DanDy picks a more carry-type jungler in the bracket stages.
Middle Lane Picks
In a surprising outcome compared to Spring season’s performance, Dade did not choose Zed once throughout the Summer season. Whether it’s a pocket pick for the future in the playoffs, teams will have to consider it one of options when creating strategies against Ozone. Well, in all fairness, Dade has the mechanics and game knowledge to play any type of mid champion. From his picks in the Summer season, he showed a high level of proficiency with his Ryze and Ezreal play.
Although not the original creator of the build, Dade most certainly popularized the Tear of the Goddess > Rod of Ages > Spirit Visage build path that allows Ryze to have more sustained damage and durability in teamfights, and it works amazingly well against double AP compositions. In the game with the Ezreal pick, Dade’s familiarity with Ezreal’s mechanics (he used to play him as AP during earlier seasons), allowed him to carry the game even harder than imp on his signature Vayne pick. Even while building blue Ezreal, the majority of Ozone’s teamfights went so smoothly in their favor since Dade was picking up kills left and right that allowed him to hit his suggested build path earlier than expected.
If MadLife is God, Mata must be king. Both similar in the way they approach the game through a monopoly on vision control and the ability to create picks off the bat, Mata also has the capability to carry his bottom lane with Thresh which was Ozone’s top picked champion of the season (4 times). It seems as if Mata can do it all with Thresh ranging from the ability to duel a Draven-Fiddlesticks lane with a Vayne (G1 vs Xenics Blast) to even acting as a secondary roamer and assisting his team with securing more kills to snowball the game (G2 vs JAG Falcons). During teamfight scenarios, most of Ozone’s engagements reled upon Mata’s Death Sentences and he has a very high success rate with landing the hook.
When Thresh was picked or banned against Mata, he picked Zyra and Nami. Although not nearly as spectacular on Zyra, he still has the ability to create picks with her Grasping Roots and provide large enough zones of control so that imp can dish out damage as he pleases. However, on Nami, Mata displayed flashes of inadequacy in his game against Xenics Storm. Aside from losing their own footing against a duo lane, he often casted Nami’s Tidal Wave at rather peculiar times either missing any targets completely or overestimating its range. If other Korean teams can manage to tiptoe their way around playing against his Thresh, teams can secure Nami for themselves and could create disengage compositions that counter his picking potential.
AD Carry Picks
Known around the world for his signature Vayne play, imp stayed true to his past and was his most picked AD champion in the Summer season (4 games). With the nerfs to lane bullies such as Caitlyn and Draven and the immense power boost a champion receives upon completing Blade of the Ruined King, Vayne overnight became the top choice of AD carry in Korea. As he displayed in the game against Xenics Blast, as soon as he hit 6 he went to town on Draven and Fiddlesticks which is often considered one of the deadliest bully duos in bottom lane and picked up a double kill. Besides Vayne, imp showed the most promise with his Twitch play. Although only played for 1 game in the season, Homme’s Yorick pick allowed imp to play recklessly without repercussion as won the majority of teamfights by a large enough margin so that even if Twitch died, they were able to take down objectives without any problems since Dade was on Ezreal as well.
Aside from his Varus pick which was played at a proficient level with the ability to consistently land Chain of Corruption, imp played Caitlyn in their only loss of the season. Whether it be to the lack of practice on Caitlyn since she’s such an infrequent pick now, imp did not play up to par and was bullied in and out along with Thresh against Storm’s bottom lane. The choice to tunnel in on the Vayne pick through the group stages may have hindered imp’s mechanics on his other champions and it’s completely reasonable to think that Ozone won’t be able to pick Vayne every game that imp wants to since she’s highly contested, even after the recent minor nerfs to Blade of the Ruined King and her ultimate Final Hour.
The Typical Composition
- Top lane: Tank utility based champion that can create enough pressure to allow carries free movement during teamfights
- Jungle: A champion that excels in skirmishes that can followup crowd control created by Mata’s picks
- Middle Lane: Late-scaling champions whose power levels spike at around the mid-twenty minute mark and provides heavy AOE damage
- Support: Champion with the ability to create picks from range (Thresh, Zyra) and provide heavy zoning tools to lock opposing team in place
- AD Carry: Champion with heavy single target damage that can weave through fights to target high priorities
Although MVP Ozone did not play this particular team composition in every game of Champions Summer, it was their most played and they were highly effective with using it during both skirmishes and full 5v5 teamfights. Since picks from Mata often resulted in 4v5 teamfights, imp had the bonus ability to freely move around during teamfights, even often assassinating other team’s AD carries.
The Typical Teamfight
To illustrate how teamfights played out, we’ll use Game 1 of MVP Ozone vs Xenics Storm. Ozone’s team consisted of Shen, Elise, Karthus, Vayne, and Zyra. Storm’s team consisted of Zac, Yorick, Ahri, Ezreal, and Thresh. At 34 minutes a decisive teamfight at Baron occurred that changed the pace of the match.The game had been relatively close up to this point with both teams only having taken down 2 towers and a 1k gold difference. Due to Mata sweeping out vision at the Baron pit, they were able to chunk the bulk of it down before Ragan could try to disrupt with Zac. Since Smite was on Yorick and not Zac, DanDy was able to secure it with a Smite. Check out how it plays out at 1:53.
After Zac used Elastic Slingshot to propel himself into the Baron pit to try to steal, he failed and immediately casted Let’s Bounce hitting the entireity of MVP Ozone. However, the rest of Storm can not close the gap since Zyra laid down a Grasping Roots and Stranglethorns on the enemy Thresh and Yorick. After they’re knocked up, Shen provided even more lockup as he taunted into the same two people and he took the brunt of Storm’s damage from their carries as he was the only target in range. Meanwhile, Dade moved forward with his Karthus and along with imp’s help, quickly took down Thresh and Yorick before they could provide any utility to the team and Yorick was forced to cast Omen of Death on himself rather than a high damage carry. Since Storm’s frontline had dissipated, imp flashed towards both Ahri and Ezreal and dodged the Charm to easily pickup both kills.
What’s Come Closest to Beating MVP Ozone
Although Xenics Storm beat MVP Ozone in the second game of the set, this game did not have any clear indicators on how to beat them since you could tell from their picks and expressions on facecams that they weren’t in it 100% to win. However, game 1 of the set alluded to some potential weaknesses in Ozone’s typical compositions. Even with DanDy’s Elise pick, he wasn’t able to get the ball rolling along with counter ganks and wasn’t able to gain the upper hand in any situation. However, Storm was able to get towers and dragons from just continually skirmishing Ozone at any chance they had. Even though they never were ahead in kills, these skirmishes at the right time allowed objectives and gold to hover at an equal value. If it wasn’t for the Baron teamfight that occurred at 34 minutes, the game wouldn’t have been decided right then and there.
Throughout this season, both Dade and imp have picked late-scaling champions that have a certain time window of vulnerability before they just finish a core item and have a gargantuan power spike. If teams can manage to get ahead far enough with early game champions, they might be able to skip having to deal with those champions in teamfights all together. With a time clock of around 25 minutes, teams looking to capitalize on early kills and turret dives could look to picks such as Zac, Elise, and even Pantheon. Along with snowballing early kills, early vision control could allow the mid laner and jungle to create unorthodox ganking paths to keep down imp’s preferred Vayne pick. Also, Group A’s teams did not have a team that excels in strong teamfighting such as CJ Entus Frost. Since they have been relatively unpracticed in going against teams with such capabilities, they might waver if Ozone continues to choose team compositions that rely on Mata’s and DanDy’s picks.
Be sure to come back tomorrow as we continue our two-part series and take a look at MVP Ozone’s Level 1 and their general early game.Thanks to Instaclock for allowing us to use their OGN video highlights.