I’m Ready for Normal Draft Mode

Normal vs. Ranked.

It’s been a while since I’ve played ranked for as long as I did to get my 1520 status in Solo Queue. Long enough that I had forgotten how much I love draft mode and loathe blind pick. With draft mode, I feel confident that I can pick an appropriate champion for any situation. I own every champion. I’ve played every champion for at least a few games. But certain comps just aren’t as good as others, and when I go up against one blind, I remember just how badly I want normal draft.

This week has been a particularly painful reminder because Master Yi is my champion of the week. I really enjoy Master Yi, and I think he has a lot of strengths, but he doesn’t compare to Nocturne, especially when Nocturne is paired up with Orianna, Mordekaiser, Vayne, and Taric. That’s actually a comp I faced today. The ragtag squad my team put together just wasn’t going to cut it, right out of the gate.

Do you think much about normal draft or are you content with blind pick?


Champ of the Week: Teemo trouble

Easter Bunny Teemo.

This is now the sixth part of the Champ of the Week series and I can honestly say I haven’t had this kind of bad luck yet. Every time I’ve picked Teemo this week it has resulted in utter failure. My first serious attempt at counter jungling I ended at 4-10, basically tanking for our team because our real tank was never with us. In other games my teammates have been all over the place, or we haven’t had any CC.

I also had the unique displeasure of laning mid against Warwick. I can’t wait till they nerf that hairy bastard. He was tower diving me at level six and otherwise nuking straight through the 80 magic resistance I had at level 10. It was an infuriating experience.

For right now I’m just trying to keep the faith. I know I’ve had fun with Teemo. I know I’ve done well with Teemo, and not just in that fluke, the-other-team-is-a-wild-pack-of-noobs kind of way. Still, I’m having a hard time seeing those games right now. That’s one of the funny things about this game – it’s so easy to get into a rut with a champion or a comp or a class or anything and just forget to try and dig yourself out. There are champions I haven’t played in ages, probably because my last experience wasn’t so great.

Not Teemo. I won’t let that little Yordle down. If I give up on him, who are we going to send to make mushroom art on the moon?


The supermids aren’t always your best option


First, I’d like to draw your attention to my awesome title for the champions introduced since season one launch who exceed most other champions at taking the solo lane: supermids. The reason I thought it up (I know, I’m so creative) was that I needed a way to talk about Vlad, Kog’Maw, Miss Fortune, etc. without typing that out every time I wanted to talk about the great carries in the game. Enough of that, though. On to the post.

I played two games tonight with a friend with hopes of breaking into the 1600s in ranked solo. I had been playing well all day and things just seemed to be going right. We lost. Both games. Hard. The biggest problem in both cases was our comp. In the first game my buddy was stuck in the mindset of 3s so he banned Singed. No biggie, still 3 bans, but we decided to joke around and ban Eve. That left a few strong toons on the board. Our opponent first picked Warwick so my buddy and I snagged Garen and Miss Fortune. Solid start for the team. Unfortunately, a teammate thought we couldn’t leave Kog’Maw on the board, so he picked him over some CC (Morgana was still available). Our fourth teammate chose Sona and I knew we were in trouble. Our fifth pick: Mordekaiser.

Sure, we had strong toons, but the sum of the parts was virtually nothing. Without crowd control to keep the enemy away from the carries, we got rocked. You can go too far in the other direction, too. For my next game I didn’t ban Amumu because frankly, a lot of people suck with him. The other team first picked Warwick again. I snagged Garen for a buddy and our second player picked Taric. We had said someone should get Amumu, but I was already thinking we were on the verge of being too tanky. With good DPS, though, we should have been fine. Our third player takes Shen and immediately locks him in, even though our fourth had said several times that he was picking Amumu, which he still did, leaving us with 4 tanks, short on damage. I had my friend pick TF in the hopes that we could stun them down. We couldn’t. Our outside lanes were getting worked and it was just a matter of time before our opponents had complete control of the map and we were too short on DPS to burn them down.

Even when the supermids are available, you have to focus on comp over individual toon strength. I asked everyone after the first game if they really thought we had a decent comp. The response was this: “You had Garen and Kog’Maw. Your comp was great.”



Inaugural FG LoL Monday was a great success

Blitzcrank lookin good.Despite the short notice, lack of an advertised time, and general disorganization on my part, last night was a lot of fun. We started with just three people and ramped up to five by the end of the night so we stayed in the regular matchmaking queues.

The first game was myself, zebano, and bojamba in threes. We played Tryndamere, Garen, and Poppy respectively and utterly dominated the game. For the next game, the three of us went into a 5v5 match as Amumu, Ryze, and Nasus. We were getting torn up early game by the heals on Taric and Janna, and our opposing Gragas was getting pretty thick. It didn’t take long, though, to turn things around. Sometime toward level 15, the Amumu/Nasus/Ryze ult combo became way too much for them to handle. We started winning every team fight and eventually just pushed straight to nexus.

For the final game we had a full five and went Galio, Blitzcrank, Twitch, Fiddlesticks, and Garen. MVP for the game went to Zirze with his Blitzcrank grabs. He was all money, all the time that game. Imbri also had his time to shine when he got caught alone as Galio against three opponents. Somehow he stayed up for what felt like a year, got his full ult off, dropping three of them below 50 percent health. By that time our whole team was right behind them for cleanup. The surrender followed shortly after.


People really don’t know how to pick

MM is greatA friend and I wanted to play a couple quick games tonight to try to bump our solo 5v5 ELO beyond the levels of absurdity in which we currently wallow. I really wish this post was about our success.

We started out fine, with an easy win because of some feeding on the part of our opponents. For our next game, though, the feeders were on our side. I had first picked Nidalee for a bit of variety. She’s not a strong first pick, but I am a strong player so I figured I’d be okay. The other team picked Shen and Annie, two very strong picks with high CC, a point I was sure to make to my team in no uncertain terms. We would need CC.

Our next two picks were Yi and Karthus. I was right on the verge of losing my mind, but I just tried to even more emphatically express a need for hard CC. Our opponents chose Ashe and Morgana, which is a sealed fate, but I guess we still had two picks. Our teammate picks Katarina and my friend, seeing the comp, says screw it and picks Nasus. They last pick Janna. You can see the results above.

I really thought there would be a serious ELO discrepancy based on the picks. These guys were obviously clueless, right? Well, right, but that doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to ELO. Despite my position at the top of the ELO list, my teammates were right in line with the enemy and fairly close to me. They just don’t know that zero hard CC versus a mix of the best CC in game is almost guaranteed to lose (barring some SERIOUS problems on the other team).


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