Strategy Breakdown: The Current State of the Korean Meta

With OGN Champions Winter kicking off recently along with the heavy nerfing to the assassins of mid lane that have been just crushing souls left and right in the Season 3 World Championships, the meta in Korea has vastly changed with two different team compositions and strategies coming back into favor once again: poke & kite and 5v5 teamfight compositions.

Siege & Poke Team Composition:

The concept of a Siege & Poke team composition is to pick champions with long-range spells as well as some disengage with the goal of grouping early to push down towers and force enemy champions off of the towers with the long-range poke. An important key for this composition to succeed is that this comp needs disengage in order to protect the fragile poke champions from the enemy initiation.

Nidalee, Lucian, Ezreal, Gragas, Caitlyn, Rumble, and Jayce have been the staple damage picks of choice for Korean teams that want to run this kind of composition. Gragas and Rumble in particular are mainly used for forcing enemy champions off of towers with their ultimates allowing the rest of the team to quickly take the tower. Sona, Zyra, Lulu, Fiddlesticks, Elise, Nami, and Thresh are disengage champions that can be picked for this strategy.


  • Capitalizes on individual picks and can wear down defenses, forcing enemies to base and easier taking of objectives such as towers, dragon, or Baron.
  • Uses kiting and disengage spells to stop incoming enemy engagement and wear down enemies for a re-engagement to win the fight
  • Exerts heavy lane pressure through fast and efficient wave clear, often forcing teams to send players to other lanes or have an enemy creep wave deal damage to the tower. This is when the siege begins to become potent, with the sieging team often doing everything to shove down the tower.



  • Falls off hard if it doesn’t get rolling pre 15-20 minutes.
  • Poke comps are weak against teams with a strong split pusher, like Shen or Jax.
  • Poke-Siege comps struggle against teams with global presence, be it with a global ultimate or a solo laner running teleport.
  • A hard-engage AOE composition is a perfect mid-late game counter to this strategy if executed properly.
  • Dive-pick off compositions focusing on picking off the squishy enemy champions can be troublesome for poke comps in their quest for objectives.


Samsung Ozone vs Alienware Arena

Highlight Reel:


This game was a textbook example of everything that a team could ever want in an optimum siege and poke composition. Having Lucian and Nidalee is just devastating in it of itself with the insane poke coming from both champions. Lucian can easily force people off of towers by just using The Culling and Nidalee could just chuck spears all day and land one to send the enemy packing. For disengage, Sona’s Crescendo is perfect for stopping the enemy front line in its tracks allowing Ozone to kite around and then re-engage accordingly with Shyvana and Elise.

the rengage

After sieging the tower, Alienware engages onto Ozone, but Ozone was able to kite the hard-engage from Zac, Evelynn, and Renekton to start forcing them back. This led to Mata getting a 5-man Crescendo to stop the entire Alienware in its tracks allowing Looper to catch them in his Shyvana Ultimate which led to Imp start decimating Alienware with The Culling and Dade getting free reign to throw spears.

Throw Spear + Flash means a KILL

Even though normally, a 5v5 team fight composition will cause huge problems for a squishy team composition that Ozone had, but because Ozone got ahead during laning phase and grabbed key objectives such as early towers and dragons allowed them to propel themselves into the lead over Alienware which allowed them to easily make the re-engagement happen and destroy their opponent who was already weakened by the onslaught of spears and lasers.

5v5 Teamfight Composition:

The concept of the 5v5 teamfight composition is to force the opposing team into a 5v5 fight and capitalize upon an advantage, such as an item lead or vision control, in order to pressure an objective. These line ups often have a strong tank to deal consistent AoE damage to the back line, crowd control to lower the damage output of the enemy engagement, ample peel to keep the carries alive long enough to kill enemy tanks, and an AD carry with incredible single target damage and mobility.

Shyvana, Renekton, Orianna, Gragas, Rumble, Riven, Vayne, and Kassadin have been the popular damage source picks of late for Korean teams that want to run a 5v5 Teamfight composition. Annie, Nunu, Lulu, Thresh, Zyra, and Sona are the top picks for providing utility and additional AOE disruption in this team composition.  Rammus has also been brought up a couple of times, but isn’t as popular.

5v5 Teamfight Pros:

  • Heavy sustained damage over a longer period of time (8-10 seconds)
  • Solid late game scaling with a durable tank line, making it difficult to reach the carries.
  • Good initiation and disruption.
  • AOE burst and crowd control.

5v5 Teamfight Cons:

  • Very mobile champions counter this strategy by avoiding the AOE destruction with dashes and blinks.
  • Split pushing can be problematic for 5v5 comps because it could draw parts of the comp away to deal with the split pusher instead of going for teamfights.
  • If the enemy team is not heavily damaged after all of the AOE spells have been used, then the 5v5 comp can potentially be in huge trouble if the enemy counter-engages; causing this comp to struggle against strong/dual tank frontlines.


Najin Black Sword vs Incredible Miracle #2 (Game 1):

Highlight Reel:

In this game, Sword demonstrates the strength of team fight compositions with Shyvana and the Orianna ball delivery system. With all of that AOE disruption from Shyvana, Thresh, and Orianna, PraY can go around killing enemy champions left and right with Vayne. However, there were times when there was not enough damage inflicted upon the IM #2 members and that allowed IM #2 to re-engage Sword after they used all of their AOE ultimates and won some fights back.

Flash Flay Box

In this teamfight, Watch lands a cocoon and Expession hits Renekton and Nunu with his ultimate starting off the fight. After Nagne lands a crucial Orianna ultimate, Cain will Flash right into the middle of 3 members that just got displaced by the Orianna Command: Shockwave and comboed a Flay along with the Box forcing enemy Flashes allowing the rest of Sword to come back and win the team fight.

Final Thoughts:

With these two different team compositions coming back into favor after the assassin meta has been nerfed out of viability in the eyes of most professional Korean teams, picks and bans have become just as more important because choosing a champion like Jayce for example that mainly fulfills the niche of a poke composition can often tip your hand early to your opponent if picked too early. We have yet to see how the Patch 3.14 changes will affect the current meta of Poke & Siege comps vs 5v5 Teamfight comps, but in the coming weeks of OGN Champions Winter, we can definitely expect to see a vastly different games being played with the patch shift and it will be a test of which team can adapt to a very different game and execute their strategy better than their opponents.

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is an OGN and LPL Contributor for Cloth5. I have also written in-depth analysis articles predicting which professional teams from all over the world I think will qualify for the upcoming Season 3 World Championship on Tumblr and Reddit. I am always open for input on my articles and how I can make my future articles even better. Twitter: @HeliosanNA Tumblr: http://heliosan.tumblr.com

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