When I first started playing League of Legends I was thrilled that creeps couldn’t be denied. It was just another thing to worry about in a genre that had plenty of things for a player to be worried about. It also meant that my practice last-hitting in DotA was now going to significantly elevate my gameplay. No one can stop me from farming? Awesome.
I think you can see where this is going. No one can stop your farm, unless of course they kill you. This has become a huge problem in League of Legends, and it’s one thing to which I attribute the rise of the carry/support bottom lane. If staying alive means infinite farm, why not put the most reliable farmers in lane with characters that dramatically increase longevity? As we all know, though, this can be a maddening way to play the game. I just played a game as Corki in which Soraka and I were up against Taric and Caitlyn. It did not go well for us. Not at all. Caitlyn’s range is simply too much for Corki to handle at early levels. Add her traps, Taric’s stun, and the fact that she can take boots at level one because of that crowd control and the lane is just going to go poorly. For a while there we were neck and neck on creeps, but then she started to spam Piltover Peacemaker and I was driven under my tower with no way to stop her.
Seeing her creep ahead I wanted to do something so I started trying whittle her down. Again, I was stymied by stuns, her massive range, and Taric heals. There was nothing I could do. It was either get a gank from another player on bottom or Caitlyn was going to farm her way to victory.
The latter happened. She picked me off a couple times and just streaked out ahead of everyone in the game. The whole time I was thinking, “Damn, I wish I could do something,” but there were no counter-play options available. Yes, there is the possibility of ganking, but with Flash and her net she could almost guarantee an escape, and that’s if another lane or the jungler even has time to gank. Let’s say the jungler gets behind or even, god forbid, you don’t have a jungler. In that case a friendly lane needs to come gank, which can be hugely detrimental if they aren’t packing teleport.
It’s strange that this is the first time I’ve really wished for a deny system, but it just hasn’t been on my radar for so long that I had all but forgotten about it. The great thing about denies is that they’re optional and somewhat difficult to pull off. Back in DotA one, people would aggressively deny in about 10 percent of my games. Granted, those games were the more competitive ones, but it wasn’t all that often. Even with DotA 2 I still don’t see hugely successful deny counts. There have been a couple standouts, but it most cases it’s lower than 20 and almost all of those come from early game. My point is that it probably wouldn’t scare off green players. It would, however, be a nice option for counterplay in the higher tiers of play.
All of that said, I’m sure Riot won’t be implementing a deny system. That’s just not what League is about, which is fine. I still think Riot would do well to consider some more options for counterplay in a strong lane that can be made after champion select.