Frequent bottom laners:
Cassiopeia, Ezreal, Galio, Gragas*, Heimerdinger, Jarvan*, Kayle, Malzahar, Master Yi, Maokai*, Nasus, Nocturne, Riven, Ryze, Singed, Sivir, Skarner, Soraka, Talon, Teemo*, Udyr, Urgot, Yorick, Ziggs.
Infrequent but also viable bottom laners:
Alistar, Ashe, Caitlyn*, Corki, Graves, Janna, Jax, Karma, Karthus*, Kog'Maw, Lulu, Miss Fortune, Mordekaiser, Olaf, Pantheon*, Rumble, Sion, Shen, Shyvana, Vayne, Vladimir, Wukong, Xin Zhao.
Anyone in regular text can go bot or top at the start of the game.
Anyone in bold text goes bot at the start of the game, no questions asked.
Anyone in italics is someone that should stay in bottom lane unless swapping is absolutely necessary.
Anyone with an asterisk has some ability that allows them to scout the bottom jungle, escape into it, or return to lane quickly.
Anyone with an underline is also a good counterpick champion.
Sauron's Quick List of Common Draft Bans
Sometimes bans will be targetted by teams.
Sometimes bans will be skipped around by the first-pick team so they can get an "OP" champ.
Sometimes bans will be trolled by the last-pick team so they can get two "OP" champs.
Draft mode has long been a series of mindgames in tournaments. In regular play, however, there are some common bans (For good reason).
The "Fearsome Five" bans:
His mobility is far too great for his contributions to tanking, damage, and CC. A lot of people don't know how to use him correctly since he's been on permaban status since Dominion was released, but that doesn't change the fact that this guy needs to stay out of draft mode.
After 6, his mobility becomes almost uncounterable. The main reason why Kassadin is almost always banned, however, is that unlike many other mages he scales very well into the late-game, and combined with that mobility simply makes him very difficult to manage. Like Rammus, not many people play Kassadin well in draft due to frequent banning but that is not a good reason to let this guy go free.
Can go either top or bot, his damage combined with the Crystal Scar Aura effect is just SCARY. Experienced Urgots will often go the standard piecemeal crit build to really output damage in close range -- Urgot is basically the ranged carry of ranged carries. He's tanky, he's damaging, he's got good CC, he's got good range, and his debuffs help his teammates a lot as well. He's been extremely OP on Dominion since it was released and an above average champion for TT, but the SR folks only finally caught on a little while ago that he is an incredibly good champion.
A dedicated bot laner, his harass in the early game is almost unmatched. Although he does eventually get countered badly by ranged carries, he can swap to top by that time. His ult used on an allied Vayne is particularly frightening and he is able to hold a capture point by himself for a very long time. Add that to his usual tanky DPS build with Atma's and a skilled Yorick is simply very hard to deal with. I feel Yorick is the weakest of the five bans here, mostly because he actually has counters.
The new kid on the block, Lulu does far too much of... well... everything. Her cooldowns are short, her abilities are functionally and numerically broken, and she can afford to go almost pure tank which lets her fill three roles for her team all at once. It does take some skill to play her though, but zimike has proven she needs to be on permaban status in tournaments. Fun fact: Lulu is currently demolishing all competition in TT as well, and as soon as the SR slowpokes catch on that Lulu is a free win if she gets money, she will dominate that mode as well (see: Urgot).
The "Other Two" bans:
Called Derpwick by many high Elo players due to his ability to stack defense/CDR and just sit on someone spamming Q until they die. Difficult to deal with as building HP against him is counterproductive while building MR just causes him to hound a different target.
Wukong is in here for several reasons: His Q reduction applies before its damage, his E cooldown is too short, his ult is up in every team fight, and exhaust does not stop him from dealing tons of damage. He is simply one of the best tanky DPS champions for top lane.
Lack of counterplay is why Poppy is banned. If your team is planning to have any squishies, the midget needs to go or their kneecaps will go flying right off.
I don't see this ban hardly at all anymore, but since Urgot is usually banned and he's one of the serious counters to Ryze, this is a common pick for bottom lane. Ryze is one of the mages that typically goes bot lane and gets to scale very well into the lategame.
This is a more common ban in lower rated games where people haven't yet learned his routes through the jungle. Because of that he has some notoreity as a pubstomp champion. Shaco is quickly shut down in high Elo games, mostly due to heightened teamwork and accurate guesses on where he Deceived to.
If your team does not want to deal with global ults, these two are the first to go. Their ability to turn fights into 1v2 and stop captures is very strong.
Most other bans are targetted.
Sauron's List of Commonly Misjudged Champions
Unlike SR or TT, all champions are viable in Dominion. The passive gold and XP gain makes sure of that. However, champions that are balanced around farming minions, such as Veigar, will be at a bit of a disadvantage. That isn't to say they will be bad, as teamfights happen all the time, but they won't be used for the reasons they are picked for in SR.
I am not going to go into all the champions here -- in particular I won't go into the champions that I feel have popular opinion in accordance to their performance or build. Straightforward and strong champions like Talon do not need anything said about them. Champions that are misjudged, mislabeled, or misbuilt are the ones I will discuss in this post.
Amumu (tanky AP):
I've seen CarnivaL run this build a lot, and it is actually surprisingly effective. People are so trained to ignore Amumu as much as possible in fights that they often don't realize that, hey, this guy is actually doing damage to me! He is no bot laner even against supposed countering champs like Yorick, but combined with a ranged carry, tanky AP Amumu does an amazing job of damage as well as keeping teammates clean with his CC.
Suggested setups: MPen, Armor, Health, CDR, scaling MR
It is easy to knock this champion because of low stats and E's passive, but truth be told she's actually quite good. Frost Arrows are incredibly useful in Dominion and she fits the role of ranged carry very nicely. She will wreak havoc on melees that don't have their gap closers up, and she gets to build pure DPS/lifesteal because of it. Don't waste your ult on people that you/your teammates can't reach in the duration of the stun, though.
Suggested setups: 21-0-9 / ArPen, Crit damage (!), Health, Armor, CDR, scaling MR.
This champion isn't a common pick for some reason I am unsure of. She can go top or bot, has an excellent get-away ability, and gets to build pure offense. W and E combined make her very hard to get to, and Q can poke as well as push minions. Her R is decent as a finishing move, but I've also seen it used effectively prior to teamfights starting. Unlike Ashe, Caitlyn should consider getting Phage at some point.
Suggested setups: 21-0-9 / ArPen, Health, Armor, CDR, scaling MR.
Humorously, Dr. Mundo was considered dodge material until Jjaja and MMKH started using him in tournaments and streamed matches. Mundo can either go tank+flat MPen or tanky DPS with a slightly heavier emphasis on AS and tank (and dropping life steal from the standard build). What Mundo brings to the table is unique and decidedly early-game strength, and he works well with a CC team.
Dr. Mundo is a very hard champion to play effectively throughout the whole game. I do not have a suggested mastery/rune setup for him at this time.
Mob mentality has decided that Evelynn is the league's greatest dodge material, but this is nothing more than an SR carry-over. When built the standard piecemeal crit way, Evelynn is actually very dangerous. She is definately at a disadvantage due to the map layout and her base stats, but she excels in ganks and teamfights once a true tank has already initiated and drawn fire.
Suggested setups: 21-0-9 / ArPen, Health, Armor, scaling MR.
Fiddlesticks is at a bit of a disadvantage due to many top Dominion picks being heavy on hard CC. He can do pretty well as tanky AP in a standard team, but he is certainly not a capture point defender. He will not be able to 1v1 the likes of Irelia or Poppy. Fiddlesticks is best picked in draft mode, and typically last if the enemy team would not counter him too hard.
Fiddlesticks can also be built as Crittlesticks and abuse his 3 second fear a lot, but that's more of a somewhat viable joke build.
A surprisingly good bottom laner, his big shortcoming is large mana costs and the cooldown on his ult. Galio is able to clear waves of minions and his slow and ult are great teamfight assets for going top lane. His speed buff rarely amounts to anything except damage, but his shield is decent and he gets some free stats which allow him to allocate his item builds a bit better. A very good counterpick to enemy casters in bot lane.
Suggested setups: 9-21-0 / MPen, Health, Armor, MP5.
Another excellent bottom laner, most people underestimate his capability for a large burst of damage. Usually built as tanky AP -- after doing his ultimate he can use his E to keep up with a fleeing enemy and hit them with additional Q's. Ignite is recommended to add to the underestimated drunken burst. He can also E over the top wall of the lane as an escape, but not over the speed shrine wall.
Suggested setups: 21-9-0 / MPen, Health, Armor, CDR, scaling MR
When Jarvan was first released, everyone made the mistake of building him as a tank. Absolutely wrong, but because of that, everyone now underestimates this guy's capacity for burst damage. Jarvan is one of the strongest burst melees in the game and can easily prevent enemies from escaping it. I've been running the piecemeal crit build on him since, like, forever -- all of the components of that build are very effective on him, but he will usually need LW in there somewhere. With the ability to do two Q's to one E once he has enough CDR, Jarvan simply cannot be ignored in team fights (if you chose him to go top).
Jarvan was the champion I broke into competitve Dominion with, and prior to my usage of him in tournaments as a serious burst melee, people did not consider him a good pick. He is now sometimes a targetted ban.
Suggested setups: 21-9-0 / ArPen, Health, CDR, scaling MR
Heimer is an amazing capture point defender when played well, and contrary to popular belief is actually a very strong pick for top lane. His turrets and stun will keep people off his back and off the windmill early in the game, and he can get Rylai's, Zhonya's, and other tank items to become a total nightmare to teams trying to assault the point he's on. Heimer truly excels when he is paired with a teammate that is either damage or tanky damage. Heimer's pick in draft mode can be done early, due to the assumption of many players that he's a pure bot lane champion, which can force a counterpick to him when he will actually not touch bot lane for the entire game.
Suggested setups: 21-9-0 / MPen, Armor, Health, CDR, scaling MR, AP, scaling AP
Another mob mentality from SR has people thinking Karma is bad. She is not bad in Dominion at all. Karma is a solid support and effective as a tanky AP champion. Karma with Garrison is difficult to dislodge from a capture point, but the same goes for all the other support champions as well.
Suggested setups: 9-21-0 / MPen, Health, Armor, scaling MR
This build is becoming more popular lately, probably because it beats the regular Kassadin build in 1v1 blind pick matches. It focuses on end-game performance and sacrifices much of its mid-game prowess. It is particularly effective in teams of squishies who need a tanky AP capable of soaking some of the CC. ZaberZ originally had a ton of success with the build before his ADD kicked in and he jumped to other champions.
Why does it work? It works because of two reasons: the ult can be used for damage, and everyone automatically focuses Kassadin in fights anyways. Tank Kassadin is often misjudged as a burst caster and he has the ability to draw CC away from his teammates -- he can ult away if he's taking too much damage. His core build is Tear, Glacial, Odyn's, and Void Staff -- after upgrading Tear and Glacial, the sixth item is up to you.
Tank Kassadin is a very large threat late-game, but will often have to go back for mana.
Suggested setups: 9-21-0 / MPen, Health, scaling CDR. (The CDR cap is hit with just FH)
I don't think its necessary to go in-depth on her, I just feel the need to emphasize: you NEED to build fairly tanky on her! You WILL get targetted by CC!
I occasionally see someone go AP or hybrid on Kayle. This is wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. It is right if you have a computer that goes back in time 12 months. You do not.
All of Kayle's skills complement the ranged carry build of pure offense. The slow from Q and the low cooldown on R allow you to do this. Just remember you need a good amount of CDR to maintain your E in fights, something that Ionian and Ghostblade usually have covered.
Suggested setups: 21-9-0 / ArPen, Health, Armor, CDR, scaling MR.
This yordle has gotten a lot of flak in high Elo, mostly because of people simply playing him wrong. He is NOT an initiator in this game mode! Kennen is typically built tanky AP but can forgo Zhonya's due to the large areas that team fights take place over. He will need Rylai's, and can be a very difficult champion to chase down or escape from mostly due to his ability to Q into brush. Kennen is most definately a champion for top lane.
I might draw some flak for this myself, but AD Kennen is actually pretty good on this map if he's played cautiously (like any other ranged carry). This is mostly because many of his skills, as well as his autoattack range, suit this type of play and the passive gold gain makes it possible.
This cute little blob is the absolute terror of lategame. If left unattended he will be capable of completely melting anyone in a 1v1. Kog can be built in a number of different ways, but most of his damage will come from his W and in order to make that keep happening you have to be extremely attentive in using your E correctly. That slow, combined with the ability to outrange opponents, can put many enemy champions into a lose-lose situation where they'll be too weak to take you down if they try to get to you, or they'll die if they just try to run. Use the bottlenecks of the maps as much as you can when you E+melt someone.
I can't suggest a setup because he has a ton of different builds that all work.
Leona is a great tank for Dominion. She sticks to someone (Ideally a squishy) and keeps sticking to them, letting her teammates do their job. All of her skills are useful, and she makes great use of Trinity -- a prime example of a champion that can do Trinity and then stack defense. Leona's ult is typically best used when it will stun one champion and slow the other -- don't wait for more to get into range to use it.
She is not horrible when built the tanky DPS route with Trinity and Atma's, but I'd rather be more tanky and to sustain more CC in fights.
Suggested setups: 9-21-0 / MPen, Health, CDR, scaling MR, Movespeed
You don't see too many Luxes (Luci?) in Dominion, but when played correctly can be very effective at giving the enemy team hell. Best played as tanky AP, Lux can easily defend and attack capture points and contribute to team fights. Definately not a duelist no matter her build, however. Kiting is extremely important as Lux. zimike has had much success with Lux in high Elo matches and tournaments.
Suggested setups: MPen, Health, Armor, CDR, scaling AP, Movespeed
A very underrated tank. Does a considerable amount of damage and is a great counter to the prevalence of tanky derps. Even against AD casters Malphite is still very effective. Malphite is primarily built pure tank, but AD and AP do not go wasted on him. An excellent counter to many tankyderps champions like Jax. I HIGHLY recommend Garrison on him.
Suggested setups: 9-21-0 / ArPen, MPen, Health, CDR, scaling MR.
Sometimes when I encounter newer or lower Dominion players the subject of AD Malzahar gets brought up and people are like "...what?" You see, Malzahar has an unlisted 1.0 AD ratio on his voidlings' attacks. So unlisted, in fact, that it isn't in the tooltip and their stats when clicked upon don't even show it. The build originated in high Elo Dominion but I am unsure of exactly who began it; all I know is that Aparkhurst and mollica are big-time frontrunners of it nowadays.
Why does it work? It works because the voidlings only inherit 2 stats: attack damage and armor penetration. This means that is ALL Malzahar has to build for offense. Unlike other AD champs, he can simply ignore life steal and attack speed and crit chance. All he needs to build is Manamune, Brutalizer, Frozen Heart, Last Whisper, and Odyn's Veil.
While simple to build, AD Malzahar is not easy to play effectively.
Suggested setups: 21-9-0 / ArPen, scaling AD, Health, CDR, maybe scaling MR.
Master Yi (AD):
Is not a troll pick. I just want to put that out there. If he plays his cards right, he can carry pretty hard.
Master Yi (AP):
Best described as the opportunist of bottom laners, AP Yi whittles his enemy down mostly by random procs on minions. When his enemy is low enough Yi can sometimes go in for the kill, often with Ignite or Deathfire Grasp to help him do this. The nature of Yi's abilities, ranges, and ratios allow him to build glass cannon and stack as much AP as possible. His ult is typically used as an escape ability unless there are two enemies in lane with him and one is low.
AP Yi is a great counter to Heimerdinger, as well as problematic for "range" opponents like Cassiopeia and Karthus. Anyone without a hard CC/Ignite will be at a disadvantage against a well-played AP Yi.
Suggested setups: 21-0-9 / MPen, AP, scaling AP.
Mordekaiser's nerfs have him a difficult early game, but can get going quickly by focusing on flat MPen. Unlike other tanky APs, Mordekaiser doesn't have that great of ratios, meaning he should be focusing on penetrating defenses as much as possible. Mordekaiser's goal is to assassinate the enemy carry in team fights as early as possible for that OP ghost. If they do not have a ranged carry, then go for a melee over a caster.
Mordekaiser is strong in bot lane, but easily countered. He is best picked last in draft mode once you know what the enemy bot laner will be.
Suggested setups: 9-21-0 / MPen, Armor, CDR, scaling MR, Movespeed, Spellvamp.
Morgana in bottom lane is primarily done to counterpick someone like Ryze, but she can have pretty good success in top lane. Like in any other mode, landing your binding will be a good way to initiate team fights and her W makes disrupting captures very easy. Her spell vamp passive comes into play quite as bit as well, and her ult makes diving her a dangerous thing. Definately a tanky AP champion.
Unlike in SR, though, I'd prefer to have Morgana simply be very tanky when ulting, rather than go for Zhonya's. Partly because speed shrine can make it harder, but also because you need to fight small skirmishes a lot more.
Suggested setups: 21-9-0 / MPen, Health, CDR, scaling MR
Even without farming minions, Nasus is still a good counterpick when the enemy has ranged carries or autoattackers in their lineup. Spirit Fire can clear minions and disrupt captures very well, and going very tanky with defense makes him almost untouchable to melee champions. His ult is very situational in a map like this, but Wither will basically act as both FH's and Randuin's debuffs. This makes him a good candidate for piecemealing armor by building items like Atma's or Thornmail or Glacial (and not spending to upgrade).
Suggested setups: 9-21-0 / ArPen or MPen, Health, CDR, scaling MR
Nautilus can be a tanky AP, a real tank, or a support. He is an initiator and will go to waste if you stack AP on him like he's a mage. Nautilus goes top lane and attempts to start advantageous team fights as much as possible; it is his job to take as many CC effects and to give as many kills to his teammates as possible. He can do a pretty good job of defending a point by himself, but he really shines when he and a teammate are defending a point against two enemies.
Suggested setups: 9-21-0 / MPen, Health, Armor, CDR scaling MR, Movespeed
Nocturne can actually go bottom lane if he needs to and he's surprisingly effective at it. He can be counterpicked, but ultimately Nocturne is a great contributor to team fights and is usually hard to play against. Can be built tankier than most melee champions due to his free stats on ability usages. Whatever his build, though, Ghostblade is easily among the best items on him.
Suggested setups: 21-9-0 / ArPen, scaling AD, Health, Armor, scaling MR
Back when team [TOEWW] was still around we used to fear this build, popularized by Wawix and later used frequently by zimike in the NESLs. Basically, all Sona really needs for damage is Sheen/Trinity, and can be incredibly effective at soaking up enemies' damage when built as an almost-pure tank. Perhaps with some auras thrown in, Sona will usually get targetted first in team fights because she diarrheas out annoying sound effects and also because, hey, she's a support so she must be squishy! This allows her to just kind of slide around the battlefield as her teammates beat up the enemy carries, completely ignored.
Suggested setups: ArPen, MPen, Health, Armor, scaling MR, Movespeed
I just want to put here that Soraka starting in top lane and eventually swapping to bot is a very effective strategy. Other than that, Soraka is Soraka.
Derpwick builds Sorcs/Mercs, SV, and FH. After that should come Mallet, Abyssal, Guise, or onhit items in whatever order is appropriate for the matchup.
Derpwick is very popular in high Elo and all sorts of builds have been tested on him -- this is the one that has come out on top by far. Just sit on people with low MR and Q them repeatedly -- if they have more HP, its more damage done.
Suggested setups: 9-21-0 / MPen, Health, scaling MR.
Not many people realize the glory of Vladimir's E: fewer have tried ranking it first. Vlad's E is crazy damage in the earlygame and combined with the built-in fear of his Q from old times when it was OP, most people simply let Vladimir zone them out. His E will need regen or spell vamp, but Vlad can go bot or top with it ranked early and bypass his normally-weak earlygame problem.
Vladimir has seen the most success in tournaments and high Elo by building the same way as Mordekaiser: tanky with lots of flat MPen. Spell vamp and defense will be a tad more important to Vlad than it is to Morde, and his purpose in team fights is a bit different.
Suggested setups: 9-21-0 / MPen, Armor, CDR, scaling MR, Movespeed, Spellvamp.
That's it for now.
Dear Sauron, how do I get my teammates to cap mid/bot when we lose top instead of throwing themselves on the enemy tower in a 4v4 situation? I try to explain nicely, I'm ignored. I try to bd, I usually get caught after neutralizing it, they kill me 3v1, they then 3man recap it for those delicious Dominion points, then I look top expecting my team to have capped it and they're still farming creeps. What do? How would you keep your cool if you're subsequently labeled as a troll griefer who only bds?
Also, are you me? Some of those responses are exactly what I try to do in those certain situations, and which admittedly make me rage a little when teammates don't do so for me. The 6-step Jarvan example is a bit much for me though, because I tend to just bail and then poke them as they try to recap.
(also a little birdy told me that your queue time goes down dramatically if you queue with lower elo players. Say, someone like a certain person who's losing low elo games like it's going out of style...)
This is probably the best/most informative dominion guide I've read. I'd be lying if I said I didn't learn anything. This should be stickied & added as a link to the guides section of the forums.
I like how you didn't say so and so champ is OP and to just play that and win in blind solo Q *cough*kassadin*cough* and rather talked about strong item choices for different scenarios. I am a little surprised you did not mention P.Blade, phage, atmas (fratmas). Or Brutalizer on AD casters. Hopefully you can add onto that section in the future.
It would be nice to see a section on mobility/map control with sweeper and champions that have map vision, like Maokai's sapplings and J4's flag for example.
Very good post and a lot of valuable information from Sauron, I do hope you make a lot of updates to this.
Yep I always tell my team to do this, stay in jungle even if you have 3 points because people have no idea where you are and its free scouting for your team. Camping in top point behind point fog is useless because if you need to run to your team fighting in the jungle the enemy will see you.
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