Power Picking: A Beginner's tutorial.

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Blackhandsaint

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Member

10-06-2011

Hello, all, I'm Blackhandsaint and I thought I would post a brief guide on the art of picking champions in Normal Draft and Ranked modes on Summoner's Rift.

INTRODUCTION TO PICKING:

I'll get straight to the point and address the issue of picking: why put thought into it? Well, first of all, team composition is an important issue. Generally, a well balanced team consists of a Tank, Support, Ranged Carry, Mage, and Luxury character. With a setup like this, your team has its hands on every basic part of this game (magic damage, heals, physical damage, etc). However, team composition isn't specific to draft mode since it can be easily accomplished with a little communication in blind pick. The unique part about draft mode is the snaked picking process.

If you've played draft, then you know how the picking system works: alternating teams ban and pick champions in full view of all players. The fundamental difference in this system from blind pick is that the order in which teams pick their champions leads to a phenomenon known as counter picking. Counter picking is when one team sees a champion and counters it by picking an antithetical champion. For example, team A picks Malzahar, a caster champion with a very powerul channeled ultimate. Team B sees this and counters with Talon, an assassin champion with a silence that can interrupt Malzahar's ultimate. Counter picking like this is important because a good counter can force the opposing team to play in a certain way or reign in certain advantages of certain champions. Going back to the Malzahar-Talon example, picking Talon forces team A to pay more attention to Talon with Stuns, Silences, etc. so that Malzahar can operate at full capacity.

A good way to stop your opponents from counter picking your team into oblivion is to use your first and/or second picks to choose characters that don't have crippling weaknesses. For example, team A has another game with team B, and having learned its lesson from its last match opens with Caitlyn as their first character. Caitlyn has no outstanding weaknesses beyond that which all Ranged Carries possess (low survivability, item dependance, etc.) and on top of that, she has two skills (Yordle Snap Trap and 90 Caliber Net) that help mitigate her lack of survivability.

Well, that's it for now, I hope people who read this find this at least marginally helpful. If any readers would like me to go into more depth, please say so! Furthermore, if you'd like to learn more 1 on 1 with me, I'd be happy to play with you. I have around 2000 or so games under my belt, and sharing my experience would be a pleasure.

Edit 1:
EXPANDED EXAMPLE: 5V5 PICKING

Since this thread has actually gotten a marginal amount of attention, I will proceed to write up an example of a pair of 5 man teams picking and banning. As you all know by now, Team A and Team B have quite a rivalry going on, and in their latest match they're not pulling any punches in champion select.

Team A gets the first ban and chooses a priority ban first, knowing that they have the advantage of a more specialized ban after Team B bans twice. They ban Zilean because of his strong lane presence and ability to fit into many different team compositions.

Team B, knowing it will get first pick, bans two niche characters that they don't want to see rather than strong opening characters. They ban Talon and Kassadin because they don't want to deal with high mobility assassins.

Team A, seeing this, decides to ban Malzahar, as two of his biggest enemies have just been taken out of the game.

-Bans: Zilean, Talon, Kassadin, Malzahar.

Team B's captain curses under his breath because Malzahar was going to be an early pick for his team. Undaunted, he picks a character that he thinks will fit into most teams and not provide any significant weaknesses to be exploited. He picks Vayne, knowing her to be a strong character to deal with all types of characters and relatively resistant to tanky DPS.

-Team B: Vayne (High DPS, Tank Buster)

Team A's captain doesn't have any answers to Vayne's general strength, so she turns her early two picks to her advantage by picking a pair of high powered specialists. She picks Sona and Amumu for their high Crowd Control and dominance in their specialized roles (Support and Tank, respectively). While these two champions do have more obvious weaknesses (Very soft, poor early game jungle, respectively) they are both highly specialized and perform their roles exceptionally.

-Team A: Sona (Support, Stun), Amumu (Tank, jungler)

-Team B: Vayne (High DPS, Tank Buster)

Team B's captain has to think for a moment, as two very dangerous champions have been chosen on the other team. Now is that time when counter picking really takes over his strategy. Thinking Stuns and Snares to be a great threat, he resolves to pick Galio for his ability to shield a teammate and mass taunt. Then, noting Amumu's weaker jungling ability and Sona's Area of Effect stun, he picks Trundle, for his resistance to the already heavy Crowd Control on the other team and strong early jungling power.

-Team A: Sona (Support, Stun), Amumu (Tank, jungler)

-Team B: Vayne (High DPS, Tank Buster), Galio (Tank, Guard), Trundle (Bruiser, CC resistant)

Team A sees a definite need to reign in Vayne, since Team B's current picks are very conducive to protecting her. For their ranged DPS slot, they choose Urgot for his long range and massive Armor/Magic Resistance steroids. In a similar vein, Team A's captain picks Nasus for his strong Attack Speed and Movement Speed slow and high damage scaling over time. These two picks make her team much less vulnerable to Vayne's damage and mobility.

-Team A: Sona (Support, Stun, Auras), Amumu (Tank, Jungler), Urgot (High DPS, Long Range, Tough), Nasus (Tough, Strong Scaling, Powerful Slow)

-Team B: Vayne (High DPS, Tank Buster), Galio (Tank, Guard), Trundle (Bruiser, CC resistant, Jungler)

Team B, now able to see 4 out of 5 of Team A's champions, has a good idea of what direction the team is going in. The team captain notices that both Nasus and Amumu will want to get in range for their Crowd Control as soon as possible and that Sona must stay near her allies to give them aura effects. He then picks Brand, knowing that his area of effect damage and bouncing ultimate will be effective against these champions. He then picks Taric to add a reliable stun to his team and provide an armor aura against Nasus and Urgot. Satisfied with his team composition, Team B's captain awaits the final pick of the game.

-Team A: Sona (Support, Stun, Auras), Amumu (Tank, Jungler), Urgot (High DPS, Long Range, Tough), Nasus (Tough, Strong Scaling, Powerful Slow)

-Team B: Vayne (High DPS, Tank Buster), Galio (Tank, Guard), Trundle (Bruiser, CC resistant, Jungler), Brand (AoE damage, Strong Early Game), Taric (Stun, Aura)

Team A's captain takes a long look at her opponent's team and her own. She sees that she has enough Crowd Control to reign in most of the characters on her opponents' team and needs damage. She also sees that their team is based primarily around protecting and supporting Vayne and decides that another long range threat champion would do very well. She chooses Xereth, deciding that his long range damage and high armor will both threaten Vayne and provide moderate defense against Trundle. She smirks, content with her choices and confident that her team will use them well.

The final picks are:

-Team A: Sona (Support, Stun, Auras), Amumu (Tank, Jungler), Urgot (High DPS, Long Range, Tough), Nasus (Tough, Strong Scaling, Powerful Slow), Xereth (Long Range, Armor Steroid)

-Team B: Vayne (High DPS, Tank Buster), Galio (Tank, Guard), Trundle (Bruiser, CC resistant, Jungler), Brand (AoE damage, Strong Early Game), Taric (Stun, Aura)

I hope this little example proved useful. Once again, feedback is much appreciated and questions are always welcome.


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TildeMerand

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Senior Member

10-07-2011

Simple guide, straight to the point.

I like it, good read. +1

~


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Fijster

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10-07-2011

While I understand the concept of counter picking, I can't always find good ones in practice. It's nice to see some good examples.


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Pyr0technate

Junior Member

10-07-2011

bump for a read that all summoners should be aware of...


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Henslayer

Senior Member

10-07-2011

Short, to the point, and helpful. +1


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Commensal

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Recruiter

10-07-2011

Informative and well written, would love for more depth with some more examples like the talon-malz example. Thank you.


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Blackhandsaint

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10-07-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commensal View Post
Informative and well written, would love for more depth with some more examples like the talon-malz example. Thank you.
I'm more than willing to expand with a full team pick example. I might get on that later today. Thanks for the feedback, guys, I didn't know if anyone would actually read this or not.


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ColossusCrusher

Senior Member

10-07-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhandsaint View Post
I'm more than willing to expand with a full team pick example. I might get on that later today. Thanks for the feedback, guys, I didn't know if anyone would actually read this or not.
This is a strategy subforum. Of course we're here to read about concepts and ideas.

I look forward to your full example. Maybe you can include rationale behind some popular bans too?


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Blackhandsaint

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10-07-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColossusCrusher View Post
This is a strategy subforum. Of course we're here to read about concepts and ideas.

I look forward to your full example. Maybe you can include rationale behind some popular bans too?
I just posted an example of the picking process. It details the picks and reasoning behind them. Hope you enjoy!


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Kuryaka

Senior Member

10-07-2011

Essentially:
GUYS STOP AUTOBANNING GP ANNIE AKALI AMUMU

/sigh.

In lower level draft normals, your role is pretty much to dissuade teammates from banning the "OP" champions, and get picks that are fairly strong overall.


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