Dominion Elo Tiers (and how to beat them!)

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kavi

Senior Member

03-25-2013

Hi, I'm kavi, and I've played Dominion since beta. It's my favourite mode and, while I'm not the best player, I love the unique mechanics and playstyle it offers, and I'm always interested in theorycrafting.

In 2011 and for much of 2012, Elo was visible through utilities like Jabebot and LoLNotes. I played at a huge range of Elo levels at that time, from as low as 1100 and peaking at about 1900. Right now I think I play at around 1700 on my main account. I tend to fool around a lot and experiment, so I have long losing streaks! But because of this, I've taught myself how to get a quick string of wins when I want or need to, and hopefully I can help you do the same.

Now that Elo is no longer retrievable, I also wanted to write up some guidelines on how to diagnose the Elo tier of a Dominion game. So this should tell you broadly what to expect, the kind of champion you might want to pick, and some basic strategies to help you get and stay on the winning side. For simplicity's sake, I've divided this into three tiers; ideally I would divide it more carefully, but I wanted to err on the side of simplicity as opposed to pinpoint accuracy.

Finally, when listing champions I've specifically targeted champions which are particularly good at each Elo tier but not necessarily as potent at others. So, some champions which I think are strong but equally good at every Elo, like Kassadin, Kha'Zix, and Elise, are omitted. The purpose of the champion lists is not to give a "tier list" or a list of who is "overpowered", but rather to list certain champions which have particularly good skills for each Elo tier meta, helping you to pick a strong champion that can take advantage of some of the specific weaknesses of players and teams in each bracket.

Comments and critique are more than welcome and I will reply to them as best I can ^^;


1200-1600

Summoner Spells: Ghost (60%), Ignite (60%), Flash (40%), Revive (20%)

People really love Ghost-Ignite around here. I think it's probably just a simple way of playing Dominion on Summoner's Rift principles - Ghost > Flash because Map Mobility > Repositioning, and Ignite because it's Ignite. Flash is also fairly common. I get the impression that Revive is increasing in popularity here, but it's relatively uncommon. A good rule of thumb in terms of judging how high the average Elo of a particular match is in this range is simply by checking how many Revives there are!

If you want to perform well and move up in this bracket, but don't trust yourself with Revive, I recommend taking Garrison or Exhaust in place of Ignite. Ignite isn't very useful since killing champions is a secondary objective at best, plus you have the Dominion debuff and several items to counter heals. Garrison and Exhaust, on the other hand, have amazing utility in clutch moments.

Respected Champions: Yorick, Rammus, Teemo, Heimerdinger
Surprisingly Strong: Amumu, Singed, Diana, Talon, Malzahar

One thing notable about this tier is that botlane is relatively rarely ganked. Whenever I've played down here I find I can grind out of it very fast simply by playing strong botlane champions. Since I main Heimer, this is fairly easy! But, if you really want to dominate this Elo, you can choose a botlane champion who relies less on pushing, zoning, and sustain, and just pick people who can 1v1 and burst while clearing minions as an afterthought. Diana and Talon are very good for this, and they can easily switch toplane and dominate everyone else when fed. Snowballing is pretty common here and if you get a bunch of early kills you can carry nearly as hard as on Summoner's Rift. For more tactical play, strong AP tanks like Amumu and Singed, as well as Rammus (obviously) can also be game-breaking at this Elo.

Key Mechanics and Strategies: Champion Mechanics, Itemization

Most of what seperates players and teams at this level is in terms of how well they know their champion, and specifically, how to play them on Dominion. Many a skilled player gets stuck down here because they haven't bothered to learn what makes Dominion different from Summoner's Rift, and they build poorly.

A good place to start with is simply familiarizing yourself with the Dominion-specific items and what they do. For AP champions, Blackfire Torch (and hp-shred item similar to Liandry's Torment) and Wooglet's Witchcap (the spiritual successor of Zhonya's Ring) are both excellent options. You also have Hextech Sweeper and Lightbringer, both excellent items not only for vision but also for the stats they offer. Take some time to page through the shop and experiment. Find early game item paths that work and discard ones that don't. Also, if you have time and space, making a couple rune pages specifically for Dominion goes a long way. As a starting point, it's generally good to have arpen and mpen-heavy pages for your carries (you can always buy plenty of ap/ad at game start) and some armour/lvl and mres/lvl seals and glyphs (respectively).

Lastly, I would advise trying to differentiate the way you play your champions on Dominion from on SR, and maybe even the type of champions you play. For example, I'm much more comfortable playing tanks and botlaners on Dominion, and my champion pool reflects that. Conversely, on SR I'm usually playing sustain supports, mages, and ad carries. There are bound to be a few overlaps, but having a set of champions you specifically play on Dominion and knowing from experience how they work on Dominion will help you immensely in succeeding in this range.



1600-2000

Summoner Spells: Revive (90%), Exhaust (60%), Flash (20%), Garrison (20%)

From 1600 upwards it is fairly rare to see a player without Revive, but there might be one or two per game. Whether or not teams manage to use their revives effectively is another story. Exhaust is also very common.

Respected Champions: Zyra, Xin Zhao, Jax, Nidalee
Surprisingly Strong: Malphite, Janna, Jayce, Maokai, Taric, Lulu

Bans are less relevant at this Elo since draft queues are prohibitively long, but it's worth keeping in mind which champions are particularly strong. One thing notable about this Elo in contrast to the one below it is that champions who rely on pushing prowess (like Yorick) will be ganked, and those who rely on stealth (like Talon and, to a lesser extent, Teemo) will find themselves against a team full of Lightbringers and Sweepers. I like Zyra a lot at this Elo since she can almost single-handedly destroy enemy teams which choose their fights badly (see below). Other similar champions who can kite while laying down a lot of CC and/or damage are very effective.

Key Mechanics and Strategies: Positioning, Timing

If you've made it this high you probably have better-than-average hard skills (reflexes etc). I feel that what separates players and teams at this Elo is not so much raw ability as knowledge of the game. Pretty much everyone here knows a thing or two about Dominion and has played several hundred games; many have played over a thousand. Most have itemizations and play patterns that are largely distinct from what they would do for Summoner's Rift. But, there are often big gaps in terms of what people are good at. I think this is why, every so often, you get a really derpy team comp, like all ad carries, or all mages, etc. Some communication in champ select goes a long way at this range, as well as knowing what roles you are good at, and knowing how you can put in that missing piece that takes four random champions and makes it a team.

Once in game, what separates winning teams from losing teams is often not the kill count but positioning and timing. By positioning, I don't mean positioning in teamfights so much as map positioning. Are they aware of enemy death timers? Do they know where enemies might be? Are they watching key objectives or are they chasing down the enemy tank? Most players and teams are savvy enough in terms of itemization and focus that you will hardly ever see one player really "fed", or at 2k points at the end of the game. But, they may make very bad decisions in what objectives they focus on. For this reason, smart map positioning and coordinating attacks carefully goes a long way, rather than randomly starting fights which aren't relevant.



2000+

Summoner Spells: Revive (100%), Exhaust (70%), Garrison (25%), Flash (10%)

The summoner spell spread here is not vastly different from the lower bracket, only that Flash is a bit less common, Garrison is a bit more common, and Revive is universal.

Respected Champions: Wukong, Jax, Lulu, Darius
Surprisingly Strong: Vi, Jarvan, Urgot, Kog'Maw

I feel like this is the Land of the Interrupts And Gap Closers. People are a lot more comfortable initiating here; there's generally a bit less poke and a lot more teamfights compared to the lower brackets. Champions which can ignore kiting and go straight for the meat, without relying on stealth and while staying fairly tanky, are particularly good. With a bit more patience and a lot of right clicking, Kog'Maw and Urgot have similar potential to stick on a target and do lots of damage.

Key Mechanics and Strategies: Global Awareness, Decisive Action

I've only play at this level in team queue and in custom games, but I feel like one big difference at this level compared to the level I play at in solo queue is the level of global awareness. Teams don't wander around, they don't randomly facecheck brushes, they don't split up five ways for no reason. You have to be conscious of the fact that that the fight you pick at random may be a fight you can't win, and result in the loss of one or two points. As such, there are more purposeful teamfights, and less dying. Games can be relatively long, with substantial stalemates; there are fewer dramatic swings but a lot more uncapped points being fought over for several minutes together.

Another thing (which you get at higher level Summoner's Rift games as well, perhaps less obviously) is that you don't find many people wandering around doing nothing, or rethinking their movement path halfway along. People move decisively and with purpose. Of course, this has a lot to do with knowledge of the game, but it also has to do with being confident in your champion and role, and in your own decisions.



Recommended Further Reading:

Sauron's Tier List (updated regularly) - http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2152948
DominateDominion Forums - http://www.dominatedominion.com/forum


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Hamm3rhand

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Senior Member

03-25-2013

A nice breakdown. i might personally move the second bracket starting at 1700 instead of 1600. The only reason i say this is that i have an account that i very rarely play on anymore but it was active when lolmatches was still going on, and so i know its right around 1600. When i play on there, i'll generally see 4-5 revives per match rather than the 90% listed.

Edit: i stand corrected, i looked up the last couple matches that i played on that account that were on lolmatches and there were between 7-9 revives (a lot of 8s though) per match.


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K00P4K

Member

03-25-2013

If i may add to the 1200-1600, I see Akali in that tier mainly snowballing and being able to just rip through competition and 2000 i would vote Kayle. I respect your list just thought i'd mention those champs.


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Froppi

Senior Member

03-25-2013

I apologize, wrong thread...meant to bump Feedski's. My apologies.


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kavi

Senior Member

03-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by K00P4K View Post
If i may add to the 1200-1600, I see Akali in that tier mainly snowballing and being able to just rip through competition and 2000 i would vote Kayle. I respect your list just thought i'd mention those champs.
I think Akali is highly overrated, she is too easily countered with items. She does perform well, but not for good reasons.

I agree Kayle is very very strong, I often wonder why she isn't played more.


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kavi

Senior Member

03-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Froppi View Post
I apologize, wrong thread...meant to bump Feedski's. My apologies.
No need to apologize, I accept random bumps, and by all means bump Feedski


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kavi

Senior Member

03-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamm3rhand View Post
A nice breakdown. i might personally move the second bracket starting at 1700 instead of 1600. The only reason i say this is that i have an account that i very rarely play on anymore but it was active when lolmatches was still going on, and so i know its right around 1600. When i play on there, i'll generally see 4-5 revives per match rather than the 90% listed.

Edit: i stand corrected, i looked up the last couple matches that i played on that account that were on lolmatches and there were between 7-9 revives (a lot of 8s though) per match.
Yeah, I bounced around 1550-1600 a lot this winter while I was trying to figure out a good season 3 build for my Pusher Cait ...still no brainwaves

I feel like 1600 is a good cutoff for "(almost) entirely revive" versus "maybe revive". Obviously, lower in the 1200-1600 bracket I've given, you will hardly see revive at all. I think LoLKing's estimate of 15% of all dominion players using revive is fairly accurate, but the vast majority of dominion players will be at or near the average, which should be around 1250. There's a huge number of lowbie players which wouldn't dream of using revive and you never see, and they won't read this forum


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FatMii

Senior Member

03-26-2013

I have to disagree with this elo breakdown because from my normal games I feel there are two tiers with all revives. First tier is the group where people push lane all day with limited map vision and second group focus bot mid and jungle control. I believe that from 1800-2000 is the first group and 2000+ is the second group. When you get to 2k plus you stop getting morning queue pops under 5 minutes and you repeatedly see the same players. Oh little secret, at 2k plus, the kass spammers are much better than the first group.


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kavi

Senior Member

03-26-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatMii View Post
I have to disagree with this elo breakdown because from my normal games I feel there are two tiers with all revives. First tier is the group where people push lane all day with limited map vision and second group focus bot mid and jungle control. I believe that from 1800-2000 is the first group and 2000+ is the second group. When you get to 2k plus you stop getting morning queue pops under 5 minutes and you repeatedly see the same players. Oh little secret, at 2k plus, the kass spammers are much better than the first group.
Well, you're basically saying what I said, except starting it at 1800 rather than 1600. This is probably valid; I thought about adding a middle tier (1400-1600) but I decided against it because when I started typing it I found I was repeating myself

By the by, I sometimes get very long morning queues and I recognize a lot of the players myself, but I don't think I'm anywhere near 2k ^^


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Koravel

Senior Member

03-26-2013

I have a working theory that the prevalence of hextech sweeper and grez's lantern also indicates what level you are playing at. The more there are, the higher you are.