In this week’s OGN Champions Winter they moved onto the 3.14 pre season patch. This series not only gave everyone an idea of how Korean pro players are playing on the new patch but it also heavy determined the outcome for this group. In a neck to neck group containing KT Rolster Bullets, Najin Black Sword, and Samsung Galaxy Blue a single win or lose could decide their fate in the rest of their Champions Winter Season.
KT Bans: Lucian, Dr. Mundo, Annie
Sword: Kassadin, Sivir, Evelynn
KT pick order: Nidalee, Lee Sin, Ezreal, Elise, Leona
Sword pick order: Rengar, Olaf, Syndra, Sona, Vayne
Thought Process Behind the Bans
KT Rolster Bullets Bans: The Bullets banned out Lucian first which showed that they have something specific in mind to first pick for this game and they did not want Pray picking up Lucian during their rotation. The Dr. Mundo ban is somewhat targeted at Expession in the top lane. In patch 3.14, solo lane Mundo going 30 points into defense makes him incredibility hard to deal with in lane and unkillable later on. Not only that Mundo is currently in a strong state, it’s a comfort pick for Expession as he’s played him in past competitive games. The Bullets’ last ban Annie is no surprise either; all of the teams has been consistently banning or picking her early on. If Annie was left open you can expect Sword to be picking her up on their rotation.
Najin Black Sword Bans: Sword’s first ban on Kassadin is a targeted ban against Ryu. Even though Ryu’s Kassasin has not been the best in the past, it’s something that Sword does not want to deal with. Sivir has been consistently banned in all of the games of Champions played on the 3.14 patch so far and it is possiblely because of her ability to fast push lanes which fits in really well in the current korean meta. Along with Sivir, Evelynn is a first-pick must if she is left open. Due to the vision changes, Evelynn has become a must pick or ban all over the world. Her biggest weakness was pink wards and now that they are visible she can simple just clear them and continue to gank.
Thought Process Behind the Picks
With most of the highly contested picks banned, the Bullets first picks up Nidalee. Even though this is the post nerf Nidalee, she is still very strong and a key part of the poke/siege composition that has been ever so popular in Korea. On Sword’s first pick rotation they immediately locked in Rengar and Olaf. Both of these picks are not surprising at all, Rengar being the Flavor of the Month in Korea with the tank-into-damage split push build. Not only is this a strong pick by default, it is also being taken away from Insec. Before Olaf was globally banned from tournament play he was picked/banned nearly 100% in Champions Winter. Now that Olaf is unbanned he will be constantly picked again.
Back to Bullets’ side they picked up Lee Sin and Ezreal. At this point it is a mystery whether Lee Sin will be in the jungle or in the top lane but due to the Bullet’s history with Lee Sin it is assumed that it would be in the jungle. Lee Sin is also a pick taken away from Watch as he is also known for his high mechanical play on him. The Ezreal pick up is very safe at the early stage of the champion select phase. He is an all around safe carry and not to mention that Score is known for his Ezreal play in the past OGN Champion seasons. Score was known as the “Immortal Score” due to inability to die on Ezreal dropped only 2 deaths during the group stage of Summer. Sword proceeded to pick up Syndra and Sona during their rotation. One of the reasons that Syndra became such a hot pick in korea was because she is considered very strong against Nidalee and has the tools to shut her down in lane. Sona is a vital pick for Sword as she’s the only form of reliable initiation for the team.
Rounding off the Bullets’ team they picked up Elise and Leona as their last picks. Kakao is no stranger to Elise; it’s a champion that he had much success with in the past. Leona became much stronger due to the changes in 3.14 and paired up with Ezreal this is a flashback to Season 2 duo lanes. At this point Sword sees Lee Sin and Elise being picked up but there are no guarantees that which champion will be going top and which will be going to the jungle. As Sword’s last pick they chose Vayne in the marksman position for Pray. They heavily considered picking Twitch as it is one of Prays stable champions but between Leona, Elise, and Lee Sin, Twitch will have a really tough time surviving in a team fights. In the past weeks of Champions Pray has also been showing impressive plays on Vayne and carrying his team on his back so in the end Vayne was locked in.
Overview of the Compositions
KT Rolster Bullet’s Composition: The Bullets’ picks are overall a very early game orientated composition. With Lee Sin and Leona you are looking to make plays in the early and mid stages of the game to snowball for an early victory. Throughout the laning phase Lee Sin will be able to survive the laning against Rengar or last hit well under tower in a 1v2 scenario. In a 1v2 if Kakao on Elise comes to the top lane and lands a cocoon on either Vayne or Sona it is almost a guaranteed kill. The Ezreal and Leona lane has a really high kill potential especially against squishier targets like Sona and Vayne. While in a 2v1 Leona can zone well but she can’t help to take down towers as easy as a ranged support could. With the Nidalee pick they are looking to poke with Mystic Shot and spears till the enemy team is low and then dive them with Elise, Leona, and Lee Sin. This composition also provides multiple disengage tools such as Solar Flare, Cocoon, and Dragon’s Rage.
Najin Black Sword’s Composition: Between Rengar and Olaf’s early game damage they can pretty much instant kill anyone on the Bullets. Olaf’s gank would be extremely effective and their 2v2 potential are unmatched. In the current meta Rengar rushes a Sunfire Cape and a Spirit Visage then a Bone Tooth Necklace followed by a Triforce. This lets Rengar become an unstoppable split pusher. Syndra has the potential to bully out Nidalee in lane as she has no wave clear before level 6. Syndra is able to push wave and harass Nidalee with Dark Spheres. She also has the ability to crowd control her and nuke her down with Unleashed Power. In a team fight Sword is looking to land a Flash Crescendo on 3 more members allowing Rengar and Olaf get to the back line of the enemy team. Meanwhile Syndra nukes a high priority target and Vayne cleans up from the side.
Composition Clash: The Bullets know that Sword has 2 ticking “time bombs” on their team. One being that at some point there will be no one on the Bullets that will be able to stop Rengar’s split pushing and keep Sword from getting objectives. The second time bomb is Pray on Vayne. A late game Vayne is always a terror and always something you have to consider going into the mid/late stages of the game. The Bullets has to avoid all team fight possibilities against Sword’s team composition. Even with a early lead a good Sona initiation will allow Sword to beat them in a team fight. Bullets have to gain control and continuously get picks on Sword. The problem that Sword will run into is having the lack of engage with Sona being the only initiation.
Level 1 Tactics
At level one both of the teams showed really defensive postures as either teams decided to cross the river. What was interesting about the level 1 is that after Insec and Expression saw each other they both ended up recalling and headed for the bot lane. This is where the mind games came in for both teams. Sword wants a 2v1 lane to give Vayne free farm and avoid the high kill potential Leona/Ezreal lane so naturally they sent them top after seeing Insec there.
Insec headed for the bottom lane and hid in a brush trying to set up a quick kill with Leona and teleport back to the top lane without missing the experience. As soon as Insec saw that it was Rengar coming to bottom lane he recalled and started heading for top. Sword did end up getting the 2v1 they wanted because if Bullet would have sent their duo lane top it was be putting them in a disadvantage as Lee Sin would have been zoned from the minions anyways. By the time Lee Sin reached the top lane he was able to soak up all the experience at tower. The reason that this was a low risk play is because Insec opted to take Teleport on Lee Sin even in the worst scenario he can teleport back to the top lane without missing out on experience.
Both Sword and Bullets started with 3 Warding Totems and 2 Sweeping Lenses on both of the junglers and supports. This set up gives you a middle ground between being able to gain vision by placing wards and decreasing the enemy’s vision by clearing them. Due to the fact that you can clear wards at level 1 really adds another layer of depth to where to place your wards. Sword and the Bullets started to place their wards in more creative places to avoid from being cleared by the Sweeping Lens. The Warding Totem has also made the 1v2 lanes just a bit safer. They can place the ward in a spot to scout for incoming jungler and walk away from a potential 3 on 1 dive.
For the most part the lanes played out very passively till around 6 minutes when Insec decided to teleport to the bottom lane to 4 man dive Expession. Expession being a very experience solo laner saw the dive coming and was able to walk away safely. The Bullets knew that they were going to lose the top outer tower due to the fact that Insec came to the bottom lane. So, the Bullets had two options: either trade tower for Dragon or trade tower for tower. They made the smart choice to trade for dragon as you can always take a tower but you can’t always secure a dragon. This allowed the Bullets to take an uncontested dragon at 7 minute mark.
The Bullets know that the only way for them to win this game was make use the mobility that Lee Sin has along with Teleport to make plays around the map and to repeatedly get picks. In order to that Bullets needs superior vision control throughout the mid game. After trading tower for Dragon, Ryu traded in his Warding Totem for a Sweeping Lens on his first back. Having more Sweeping Totems was a step for the Bullets to win the vision war against Sword.
Coming out of the 1v2 lanes Insec was able to come out ahead due to that he was able to farm better under the tower than Expession. Knowing how Expession loves to split push and farm, Insec froze the top lane minion wave right in front of the inner top tower. This forced Expession to either miss out on the experience and gold or dangerously overextend. Expession ended up over extending and giving up first blood to Insec at 9 minutes into the game. This was a brilliant set up by Bullet to set back Rengar’s split push potential even farther behind. Because how ahead Insec was on Expession, he was able to repeatedly roam mid and killing Peng on Syndra and giving kills to his team mates.
Points to Consider
Getting first blood on Expession delayed him from reaching ungankable Rengar split push status
- This led to Insec roaming to gank mid repeatedly and feeding himself and Ryu through Syndra deaths
Ryu trading his Ward Totem for a Sweeping Ward along with 2 Sightstones from Lee Sin and Leona allowing the Bullets to win the vision war and take dragons.
Insec forcing 3 people in the bottom lane allowing the Bullets to take a free Baron.
Sword not having enough tools to engage besides Flash Crescendo.
Bullets were able to hold back Expession’s split push and have better vision control at all points of the game. They forced Expession to group up with the team and discarded the possibility of being split pushed against while sieging towers with Nidalee and Ezreal. Because how much gold Bullets spent to gain vision control, Sword could have still won team fights while behind as long as they could get a good engage. If Syndra was replaced with Orianna or Gragas, Sword would’ve had a much easier time forcing teamfights and winning them. Sword relied too much on the Flash Crescendo initiation which SSong ultimately failed to perform consistently.
KT Insec’s Lee Sin
Runes: 2x Life Steal Quints, 1x Attack Damage Quint, 9x Attack Damage Marks, 9x Armor Seal, 9x Flat Magic Resist
Skill Max Order: RQEW(Point early points into W but maxing E after Q)
Note: Skill Max Order varies game to game. This is the order Insec did for this specific game.
Build order: Doran’s Shield > Doran’s Blade > Boots of Speed > Brutalizer > Last Whisper > Sight Stone >Mercury Thread’s > Black Cleaver
Insec showed incredible plays on his stable champion in game 1 against Najin Black Sword. This Lee Sin build was focused on because able to kill Expession’s Rengar by stacking Armor Penetration to get through his tankyness. With Brutalizer and Last Whisper he was able to kill the tank Rengar and being able to burst down a squishy target. The Sightstone gave Lee Sin more mobility and granted the Bullets more vision control. Even though this Lee Sin pick for Insec was not planned for the Bullets, they were able to utilize it and make plays all over the map.
Najin Black Sword Expession’s Rengar
Runes: 3x Attack Damage Quint, 9x Hybrid Penetration Marks, 9x Armor Seals, 6x Cooldown Reduction Glyphs, 3x Flat Magic Resist Glyphs
Skill Max Order: RWEQ
Note: Skill Max Order varies game to game. This is the order Expession did for this specific game.
Build Order: Doran’s Shield > Ninja Tabi > Sunfire Cape > Spirit Visage
What’s interesting here is the runes that Expession runs on his Rengar. With the Magic Pen from his Hybrid Pen Marks he is able to split push more effectively. The Magic Pen will make his Battle Roar do more damage as well as the Sunfire Cape that he rushes more effective since it is AOE magic damage as well. Along with the masteries and runes, Expession is able to start the game with 10% cooldown reduction. Reason that cooldown reduction is so good on Rengar is that he is a manaless champion and cooldowns are his only restriction on using his abilities. Typically after Sunfire Cape and Spirit Visage Rengar will get a Bonetooth Necklace followed by a damage item like Trinity Force. At that point no one should be able to stop the split push from Rengar and he is able to take down towers in seconds with Savagery and Sheen procs.
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