Valderius' Totally Awesome Duo Lanes That Work! (and why they do)
2/28/13: The first batch of S3 lanes is live! Check them out here and keep it bookmarked for more entries. http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=3176055
2/27/13: We're baaaaaaaack! All new duo lanes coming soon, updated for season 3. And perhaps...more?
400 likes in under a day, wow. I'm shocked by the great response this has gotten and I'll try to get some more combos up here soon.
Getting tired of the traditional AD carry/babysitter support duo lane setup? Want to do something different? Afraid that trying a non conventional setup will fail horribly and get you reported for "trolling"?
Yeah, me too.
But that's ok because I did it anyhow and now I'm here to share some of the results. I've put together a short list of totally awesome duo lanes that will not only take people by surprise, but rock their faces off and let you have a ton of fun while playing them. I know...scary thought...having fun while playing LoL.
DISCLAIMER: For the most part, these lanes do not include a hard scaling physical ranged DPS. For that reason, MAKE SURE YOU COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR TEAM when you're picking these lanes during champion select. Unless you want your mid/late game team fights to be severely gimped due to the lack of endgame damage (which you don't), make sure you've got a good DPS carry in one of the other lanes or the jungle (if it's someone like Twitch). If you just lock in these champions without a word, people will assume you're going in different lanes, no one will be happy, and you're going to get yelled at, reported, and all sorts of unhappiness will ensue.
Each of these lanes is set up with one partner taking 100% of the cs and one partner taking 0. Yes, 0cs is lame and anti fun in many ways, but let's face it, it works. Having a 0cs champion has become a part of League of Legends just as much as having a solo mid and a jungler. However, just because you're 0cs doesn't mean you don't get to have fun and are a worthless healbot. If you're the non-farming member of the duo lane, it's your job to keep the two of you safe with good wards and it's your job to buy enough GP/10 items to keep a reasonable income for yourself so you can buy the fancy mid/late game items you and your team need. In that light, GP/10 runes REALLY help, but aren't strictly necessary for these lanes to work. I've listed each lane in the same farming/non-farming order so the second champion mentioned in the title will be the 0cs.
Alright, that's out of the way. Let's get this party started!
Totally Awesome Duo Lane #1
Let's start out nice and simple with a good old fashion kill lane. This duo from Mt. Targon reunites on the fields of justice to bring the pain to anyone unfortunate to be across from them in a lane. The reason I particularly like this setup is the massive flexibility it gives you in your initiations. On top of that, Pantheon's passive shield helps give him the durability he needs to survive as a melee in a ranged-dominated lane.
While our good friend Blitzcrank can certainly set up some brutal kills, his lane partner is a significantly lesser threat. This means the opponents only really have to be concerned with Blitz's position and can, for the most part, ignore the AD carry. When the 2 Rakkor warriors are together, however, either one of them is essentially a ticking time bomb of CC, burst damage, and pain. Getting too close to either Panthon OR Leona will result in the unfortunate support or carry getting stun chained into oblivion and burned down by their collectively absurd burst damage. Good times.
For more awesomeness, learn to use Leona's ult to hold a target in place for Pantheon's Grand Skyfall. Normally absurdly hard to hit anyone with, Leona allows Pantheon to aim his mandrop directly as his enemy's face and, when the poor sap gets the "incoming angry spartan from above" red ring, Leona unleashes a solar flare, stunning them in place and forcing them to watch helplessly as Pantheon comes crashing down on their head for crazy damage and another brutal stun. Follow up with with a Zeneth Blade/Shield of Daybreak and enjoy a kill with style that even Draven would envy.
Totally Awesome Duo Lane #2
When you see these names, the first thing you think of is probably, "trolol double revive". While that certainly is a really cool aspect of the lane, this duo's real power is their incredible ability to zone and harass the enemy carry completely out of lane. Seriously...there is no safety from these two, not even tower hugging can save you.
Yorick is already infamous for his ability to be an immovable object top lane while zoning his poor opponent mercilessly while incessant ghoul spam. On the other hand, Zilean is a very powerful harassing support (even without taking CS) with his powerful double bomb combo and brutal 55% haste or slow on Time Warp. What happens when you put these two in the same lane? You get a Voltron-esque combination of harass damage that will leave even Soraka out of mana and unable to keep her carry sustained.
The important thing to know is this lane will push...hard. Zilean's time bombs cause a great deal of splash damage to enemy creeps and Yorick's ghouls don't give a rip about keeping the lane frozen in a safe place. To combat this, make sure you ward very well as Zilean and make solid use of your haste to get yourself and your undead buddy the heck out of dodge should trouble show up headed down river.
As for actually playing the lane, it ultimately boils down to 2 distinct phases.
If the lane is pushed toward your tower: time to zone. Camp the brush as Zilean (using pink wards to clear enemy vision when possible) and bomb/slow any fool who comes too close. As Yorick, stand between your enemy and your creeps using your Ghouls to constantly shove them out of gold/xp range while you calmly last hit their creeps.
if the lane is pushed toward their tower: fire up the harassment machine. When you've got the other lane on the ropes, jam the creep line all the way under their tower and use it to deny last hits to the enemy carry. This is where the harassment potential of this lane really shines for one simple reason: Zilean can place a bomb on Yorick's ghouls. Think about that one for a second. You see it? Yeah, you've got it now. This is why tower hugging does precisely squat against this duo lane. Yorick's ghouls are already essentially short lived champion-seeking missiles and will gladly carry a bomb right up to their target. This, coupled with the fact that Zilean's bombs automatically detonate when their bearer dies, means the short life span of the ghouls works in your favor as they effectively become a never ending supply suicide bombers with no downside. Send them under the tower, let them get a couple hits in, then BOOM!!!!, Phreak?
"Tons of damage."
Totally Awesome Duo Lane #3
Holy hookshots of death, Batman! Nautilus/Blizcank is pretty much BlitzStar 2.0. You have a ludicrous amount of CC, double displacement, and enough innate tankyness to shrug off whatever futile efforts the other team makes to drive you off. This is probably the most straight forward lane I've detailed thus far. Play the role of bullies, control the brush, zone the enemy carry, and laugh maniacally if someone gets caught by either of you deadly hookshots. It doesn't really matter who makes the initial grab, so long as the other partner is ready to follow up with their own CC/damage chain. Oh, and try not to overlap. Snaring someone with Nautilus' passive doesn't help when they're already popped up from a Blitzcrank Power Fist.
If you're running this lane with a friend and have some sort of VoIP running (Skype, Ventrilo, etc) synchronize your hookshots so that the target has nowhere to run. If they dodge one way, Blitz catches them. If they dodge the other way, Naut snares them with the Dredge Line. I guarantee this will cause rage quits. Finally, don't be afraid to start the part with Nautilus' ultimate. If the enemy is judiciously hiding behind their creeps (which they almost certainly will be) a well timed Depth Charge can give you the window you need to land a Dredge Line/Power Fist/Rocket Grab and bring down the hammer.
As Nautilus will be taking the CS in this lane, it is definitely advisable for him to build some AP in addition to his usual tank items to help deal the damage needed to actually secure kills. Items like Abyssal Secpter, Rod of Ages, and Zonhya's Hourglass are all good picks for a tanky AP Nautilus. Also, at least one of you (probably Nautilus) will want to run Ignite. It's amazing how many kills that will help you secure.
Totally Awesome Duo Lane #4
Ok, full disclosure, this is a bit of a gimmick lane. That doesn't, however, mean it's a weak lane by any means. In fact, this is one duo that really lets the 0cs player shine. A good Shaco player can transform this lane from an annoying oddity to an absolute nightmare for 4/5 of the enemy team.
If you haven't figured it out by now, the gimmick of this lane comes when Urgot hits level 6. Shaco creates a nice little nest of 3-5 Jack in the Box traps, Urgot stands in it, and revs up the Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser (yes, that's really the name of his ult) swapping the victim right into the middle of the boxes-o-pain. Sure, this is a hilarious way to nab a free kill and will probably work 1-3 times in a game (depending on how judicious the other team is about watching the placement of JitB nests) but it's not the core strength of the lane. This lane's sucuess is largely down to the Urgot player's ability to manage a 1v2 lane and the Shaco player's ability to be a deceptive, underhanded, unpredictable, maniacal, *bleep*.
As Shaco, you will be building 0cs AP. That means Kage's Lucky pick into Deathfire Grasp, Will of the Ancients (the spell vamp greatly benefits your Urgot), and whatever other useful AP items you can afford. While you're in the bottom lane, use your Jack in the Box traps to control the lane. Use them to ward your jungle, use them to ward the river, use them to ward dragon, use them to ward the enemy jungle, use them to deny the lane brush to the enemy, use them to prevent an escape (along with your Two-Shiv Poison's slow) when Urgot has locked onto an enemy with his acid grenade. In many ways, your boxes are better wards than the ones that come from the shop. Sure, they only last 1/3 as long, but they don't just detect incoming ganks, they delay them and give Urgot crucial time to haul his spidery butt back to the safety of the tower. Once you get comfortable with keeping your boxes up, you can buy very few green wards and only spend your gold on a couple pink wards to make sure the enemy team is fighting blind and scared.
I mentioned earlier that Urgot will need to be able to manage a 1v2 lane, that's because Shaco, whenever he can, will be out of the lane counter jungling, ganking mid, and assisting your jungler. The mere presence (or even the threat of) of your JitB nests lurking in every bush will keep Urgot nice and safe while he gains the crucial level advantage over the enemy team he needs to be a dominant force in the mid game. A well played Urgot with a level advantage can easilly bully most AD/support lanes and even pick up solo kills with consistent acid grenade hits. Of course, Shaco will need to make his presence known every so often in the bottom lane to keep up in XP and help Urgot secure kills, but his flexibility as a counter jungler and stealth ganker can't be overlooked.
Totally Awesome Duo Lane #5
Yes, I know, this one is pretty much a standard AD carry/support lane. The fact that Nidalee is so often overlooked as a duo lane choice and the girls' amazing kit synergy, however, pushed me to include this one in the list. This is also a good choice if you want to do something a little bit different, but still need a solid AD carry in the duo lane to round out the rest of your team's picks.
If the first thing you thought when you saw this lane was, "wow, that's a lot of traps" you're already on the right path. Caitlyn and Nidalee can do an amazing job of constricting enemy movement both through the brush and through the lane with their stealth-detecting, damaging, and debuffing traps. Not only that, but they can act as a solid early warning system if placed properly in the river/tribush to keep you safe from ganks.
The traps, however, are just part one of this lane's internal synergy. Both these champions have an amazing long ranged poke on their Q which means the opposing lane can expect an absolute barrage of projectiles headed their direction from way beyond the range of any sort of retaliation. Finally, Caitlyn's Head Shot passive works very nicely with the AS buff on Nidalee's Primal Surge. In a DPS dual or when trying to finish off a running target, this buff/heal can very easily be the difference between a successful kill and the one that got away.
So how do you play the lane? You're the ultimate poke lane, so act like it. Your traps will control the brush all day long so get aggressive. Let the other team know that any attempts to harass/CS will be swiftly and unerringly punished by spears/bullets/peacemaker shots delivered with love. You should have no problem winning the CS war with the crazy amount of long ranged damage this lane brings to the table.
Totally Awesome Duo Lane #6
This lane takes the traditional ranged AD/support setup and gives it a nice melee spin. Normally, melee carries like Fiora get totally wrecked by constant damage against ranged DPS. Orianna, however, has the tools this lane needs to turn this inherent weakness into an elegant dance of death (get it? because Fiora and Ori are both kinda dancers...nevermind)
Compared to most ranged AD carries (Graves aside...frigging Graves) Fiora has a bit more natural tankiness thanks to armor/level scaling and base armor advantages. This combined with Ori's armor/mr buff and shield can negate...pretty much any harass damage that would normally be lethal to Fiora. Starting out with cloth armor and 5 HP potions can really solidify this armor advantage and really make up for this lane's poor early game.
Even then, you'll have to play timid for the first 3-4 levels (if your jungle is willing to semi-babysit the lane, that's a huge help) but once you get all your skills, you can do work. As stated before, Ori can negate a lot of incoming damage and, most importantly, the melee carry can bring the ball right up into the other team's face. Post 6 the combination of Ori's slow/haste and drag-back ult will net your carry a kill pretty much every time your ults are ready. Proceed to snowball hard and wreck team fights with a crazy fed Fiora. Even Ezreal and Corki will have some serious trouble escaping a speed boosted and shielded Fiora hell-bent on shish-kabobbing them in the most elegant fashion possible with her wicked AS/MS steroid and punishing double dash.
As for item goals, wriggle's lantern is a must for Fiora. Armor, more HP regen, and the free ward will let her build much more damage into the mid/late game and become REALLY scary in team fights. Orianna, for her part, should be rushing that Aegis of the Legion as it stacks wonderfully with Fiora's passive bonus AD from Riposte and the Armor/MR bonus from Command: Protect.
Totally Awesome Duo Lane #7
How many times has this happened to you? An enemy locked in that dreaded Kassadin, thinking he'll be able to run train all over whatever poor mage you send mid. Your clever teammate, however, knows better and picks up Talon to ruin the Void Walker's day (or maybe week). But wait, your team already has a Riven locked in for top lane and Maokai locked in for the jungle. All that's left to pick is the duo lane and you have no good source of magic damage. They're all going to stack armor and completely counter your team! Curse you Kassadin!
Well friends, that's where this little gem comes in. Most of the time, sending an AP mage to the duo lane is a bad idea. They don't get the level scaling they need to be competitive and the enemy AD carry is happily farming away on their terrifying Infinity edge and Phantom Dancer because, let's face it, mages don't scale as well with items. Well that's where Viegar gives a hearty chuckle and then waits (impatiently) for everyone to realize that he's actually in the room, just short.
Veigar is perfectly happy just farming away with Baleful Strike, steadily gaining AP as he does so and getting really...really...REALLY scary over time. We've all been virtually one shot by a 750 AP Veigar before so we all know the importance of shutting his evil little schemes down early. This time, Soraka is here and she's got other plans. Suddenly Viegar now has infinite mana to spam his Q to his black little heart's content, plenty of HP should he take some hits from the increasingly scared enemy AD carry, an handy targeted silence to aid his AoE stun in setting up kills/escaping ganks, and a stacking MR debuff from Soraka's Starcall. You thought Veigar's combo hurt before, wait until you eat one with less than 10 MR...ouch. So who cares that he's not going solo mid. Your team still gets their AP nuker, Veigar gets plenty of safe, reliable farm, and Kassadin get completely rolled no matter which solo lane he shows up in.
Totally Awesome Duo Lane #8
Wait, Sion/who now? Yes, Karma the oft-maligned and always ignored support has finally found a natural partner (unfortunately his hygiene could be better). Sion is pretty much universally known for his incredibly high damage Q+W burst combo, a disturbingly robust shield, and (when building AD) his ability to never freaking die after he pops on his ult. You know what Karma helps him do better? Everything. That's right, it doesn't matter if Sion build AP or AD or even some wonky hybrid of the two. Karma is a great lane partner for Sion.
Part of the reason Karma is frequently ignored isn't because she's a bad champion (she's not). It's because her play style doesn't fit well with ranged AD dps champions, a support's natural lane-mate. With Sion, however, you have 2 colossal shields, a % based heal (on a champion with potentially infinite HP), bone-shattering AP burst damage, and a nice slow/haste tether to make sure Sion's victims stay nicely within axe-mauling range.
The subtleties of Karma's synergy with Sion are just incredible. If Sion can't effectively detonate his shield because it's getting popped, Karma can 'pre shield' him and make sure that damage sticks. If Sion's taking heavy damage, they can stack their shields, haste the zombie, and heal a big chunk of his life to get him out of dodge. If Sion's going on the offensive (which he frequently will) his stun/shield combo can be added to karma's wave/shield combo for lots of pain. Best of all, while Sion has to sacrifice his shield to do damage, leaving him vulnerable as he retreats from the recovering AD carry (assuming they survived) Karma covers him with a fresh shield that still did some nice damage.
As for AD Sion, sure his ult turns him into an undead demigod of destruction and carnage, but he's SO easy to kite. Not with Karma on the job. A speed boost for Sion and a slow for the target means he can open up a whole crate of enraged zombie whoop-ass. And in case he gets exhausted/stunned/feared/otherwise disabled, the shield/heal means he can shake off those temporary distractions and get right back to doing what he loves to do: murder champions.
Totally Awesome Duo Lane #9
Here's a riddle: what do you get when you get when you pair a tanky initiator/fighter with strong AS scaling with an always-on MS/AS steroid? The answer: A pair of snowbound monsters ready to make a frozen mess out of the enemy lane. Volibear's biggest weakness in lane is his inability to A) deal a solid amount of damage outside of his bite and B) catch up to targets without getting kited to hell and back so he can start his fling/slow combo.
When Voli is wearing Nunu's Blood Boil buff, however, you've got a whole different story. A staggering 65% attack speed increase by level 9 means Voli will be able to approach, if not actually hit, the 2.5 AS cap with only a couple items (preferably AS on hit items like Wit's End). As if that wasn't bad enough, The speed buff from Blood Boil stacks with the speed buff from Rolling Thunder which let's Voli run down anyone he wants, any time he wants. And just in case the victim in question was thinking about running or (even worse) fighting back, Nunu's Ice Blast will freeze that plan in its tracks, quite literally.
So how do you go about abusing the fact that you've got a very fast, very deadly armored bear on your hands? Get aggressive. Get really aggressive. This isn't a lane that waits around biding its time. Despite Voli's natural tankiness and life-saving passive, he lacks native sustain and will thus eventually get chipped down by constant AD carry harassment. The solution is to let that Tristana know her place on the food chain: below you. Charge straight in alongside Nunu (with Blood Boil on, of course), land the fling, apply the double slow, and let them feel the thunder's roar. Slash away with Thunder Claws empowered auto attacks until they're low enough to finish off with a bite from Frenzy. Oh, and if Nunu also happens to have his ult ready, good luck escaping Absolute Zero when you're slowed to a crawl and Volibear tosses your sorry carcass back into the center of it.
Not a snowball's chance in hell...
Totally Awesome Duo Lane #10
Back when Lulu was first released, there was some brief discussion of her viability as an AS based auto attack champion, based largely on her passive. Naturally, comparisons were drawn to Teemo, who also has a semi-viable on hit AS build, and a small debate ensued over who had the better kit for an on hit AP/AS build. Ultimately, the answer turned out to be, "who cares? Neither one does enough up front damage to hold their own in a lane." This has remained true, but where one Yordle falls short (no pun intended) two can thrive.
I'm sure a lot of you are already skeptical about this lane and are yelling unpleasant things at me about Teemo being a lousy AD carry (you can stop yelling, I can't hear you anyhow). That's ok, I actually agree with you. Teemo makes a pretty lame AD carry. His range is short, his scaling is mediocre, and his only auto attack enhancer scales off AP with marginal usefulness at best when building AD carry items. What Teemo does very well is an on-hit brusierish build that focuses on using his high mobility and his Blinding Dart to out-trade any auto attacker. And wouldn't you know it? Lulu's support kit fits that kind of Teemo build perfectly. Thanks to Lulu's ability to 'donate' Pix (and by extension her passive's on-hit damage) to Teemo, you get 2 sets of on-hit magic damage on each of Teemo's auto attacks in addition to the poison damage over time. If Teemo is building specifically to maximize this damage and on-hit utility (Wit's End, Malady, Frozen Mallet, a late game Madred's Bloodrazor) you're in business.
The reason you're able to take a sub-par build and suddenly have it be totally viable is, in fact, entirely down to Lulu. Help, Pix allows Teemo to safely absorb the inevitable attacks from carries that out range him (which is pretty much all of them) while he gets into attack range in addition to adding damage from Pix's fairy bolt thingies. Whimsey serves to amplify Teemo's already impressive move speed, letting him dart freely in and out of combat and adds even more damage by increasing his ability power (stronger blinding darts, toxic shots, and even mushrooms). Finally, Glitterlance, which can be fired from Teemo's position if used in conjunction with Help, Pix, will slow an enemy down to a crawl meaning they have no good options once Teemo engages on them. Can't fight back thanks to Blinding Dart, can't run thanks to an 80% Glitterlance slow. Even her ult is handy. If the jungler swings by, pop a Wild Growth on the brusier as he initiates for a knockup and slow or create a "giant" Teemo (who still probably doesn't even make it to chest height on Alistar) to get your Yordle buddy out of a bind.
Winning the lane with Teemo/Lulu is a matter of victory by attrition. Constantly poking and out trading the enemy with Lulu's shield/Glitterlance, Teemo's blind, and the Pix/Toxic Shot/on-hit Teemo combo for damage will eventually net your a kill or drive the enemy carry out of lane, letting you gain a gold and XP advantage. Keep it up and you'll start to snowball and dominate the lane. Be wary of champions that are less auto-attack reliant, however. Ezreal and Corki will have no problem laying down solid damage even while blinded whereas champions like Ashe have very little room to respond.
This has a lot of thought in it, and this looks really interesting! I like the Nautilus and Blitzcrank lane especially.
10/10, nice work.
Also, remember that Pantheon and Leona are related even from their lore (: Match made in heaven.
Added lane #6: Fiora/Orianna
More coming soon!
I'ma firin mah bump lazor!!
because LoL needs more crazy lanes.
Whoop, Riot-Shen'd...that'll do.
Bumped: well-written, smart and fun.
I tried a seemingly-supportish-counterjungling Shaco a while back, and it works pretty well if you're doing the boxes right. The problem is that you only have that Deceive as an escape, so you'll need to be careful when being aggressive. Post-6, the lane you proposed might as well be a total nightmare indeed :)
I really wanna try that Fiora/Orianna combo, hahah. Sounds really interesting.
EDIT: After several games, I can confirm that Fiora/Ori combo absolutely kicks ass, without a doubt. Seriously. Go try it.
#2 is pretty crazy
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