FuzzyLuffle's Theory of Dominion

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FuzzyLuffle

Member

03-16-2012

FuzzyLuffle’s Theory of Dominion

Tl;dr:

Overall, there seems to be less understanding of how Dominion differs from Summoner's Rift. Since the style has different rewards, incentives, new mechanics, and it seems few places have collected the data, this is an effort to collect useful general tips and information so that everyone's play can improve.

Know these rules, see the first sentence of ‘why’ in each for a summary.
1) Dominion incentivizes teamwork and assists more
2) Armor and Magic Resist are more important (Also: Flat Penetration is more important)
3) Stealth and Ganking is both more powerful and easier
4) If your standing in a shadow, you cannot be seen on the minimap
5) Champions who win 1v1 fights tend to be more valuable, but almost everyone is viable.
6) Kill Minions and Cap Points for gold, Kill Champions for experience.
7) Each kill makes an enemy champion worth +60 more gold, each death makes you worth 9 less.
8) Mobility is power, denying mobility is also powerful.
9) Equipment priorities are different


Note: to skip towards a rule, just search for the number as such: 1), 2), etc.

Fun/Helpful Smaller Facts about Dominion
Passive Gold Gain is 56 per 10 seconds (confirmed by my testing and agrees with wiki).

Passive Exp gain is 72 per 10 seconds, all exp % boosts are confirmed to improve this (Masteries, Zilean, Quints).

With no other experience or exp boosts, passive aura on dominion will get you to level 18 at 31:45.

Experience till next level does increase, but not at all like Summoners rift.

Minion experience and gold is constant throughout the game (Which is not true on Rift).

Mana Regen in Dominion is like a Chalice of Harmony, with the limit set at 300% instead of 200%. +Mana Regen synergises with the 300% boost.
(ex: +7 per 5 on a Tear of the Goddess, when at 0% mana will grant a total of +21 in addition to 300% champion base regen. The only exception is actually a Chalice of Harmony itself, which does not synergize up to a hypotentical 600%, but instead 400%, so that a Tear grants +28 with both).



I want to know more!



Why am I making this/Why listen to me?
I find Dominion as a game style to well… be fun! But as I watch various players in matches, I notice a lot of what seems like simple errors holding people back. One major advantage Summoners Rift has is that everyone has played it, at a certain point, especially in ranked, many of the basic implications of such things as ‘half the team is afk, check dragon!’, basic warding, and general team type have been fairly well established.

Dominion on the other hand is comparatively new. A lot of this baseline has yet to be established, and I think that this is arguably holding the game mode back. When you look at the lol wiki, much of its information on dominion is paltry, missing, or just plain wrong. Incentives in dominion are drastically different than in Rift, and if some general rules begin to enter the player’s hands, development towards such things as ranked, and general fun I hope will increase.

If Jabebot and the sample of 360k elo scores is at least vaguely accurate (I am not going to pretend it’s truly accurate), I am in the top 2-3% of all Dominion players at 1782 with ~600 PVP matches, and another 200 vs AI. In contrast, I am in the top ~15% or so of ranked Summoners Rift. Why this disparity? This is my second major reason, I think that there is much to be learned, and right now a knowledge disparity has created this level of difference.

For this guide, general points will be listed, and explanations why given to help understand. This allows general players if nothing else a useful list, and those who care more about details such as why an opportunity to look deeper. There will be no ‘tier’ list, because such things are meaningless until we can define what really matters in Dominion properly first. As a general note, all of my observations come from a mix of experience, math, and fevered note-taking during Dominion games to try and find trends on numbers.


1) Dominion incentives reward teamwork and assists more
Why: Almost all of the little incentives in dominion do more to benefit your team as a whole if you work together.

Neutralize a point alone, you get 100 gold. Have an ally nearby, and your team gets 150 gold, have two, and you get 201 total. For each extra person nearby when you kill a small minion, and you get 1 extra total exp. Assists and kills grant the same experience points, and the total gold received is given a bonus before being split compared to a solo kill. If an ally harms a minion, but then goes away, exp is split regardless.
Note even that the mechanics encourage teammates spawning together in ‘waves’. If the system itself is rewarding teamwork in a game style with a lot of 1v1 fights regardless, consider the implications.



2) Armor and Magic Resist are more important (Also: Flat Penetration is more important)

Why: Because much more of your interaction is PvP fights instead of harassment, and most everyone will have you at effective 0 defense otherwise if they know better. Get a Negatron or Chainmail depending on the enemy team

This seems counterintuitive at first, especially because of the free aura in Dominion that makes your defenses in theory less effective per point. Then consider why Riot did that: because defense IS more effective, and there needed to be a soft prevention. It’s also part of why Evelyn is more effective in Dominion with her Ravage, you end up with 0 defenses.
Because the name of the game in Dominion is more about champion v champion fights than harass, your defense matters more than rift. In Summoner’s, the entire concept of sustain is dependent upon the idea that over time, you can recover from an assumed short harassment engagement. In dominion, this is not an option usually; instead, you need to survive in order to act. Because of how penetrations work in LoL having a baseline defense of ~100-120 armor or ~80-100 MR against whatever is the dominant damage, effectively ensures in even a generally bad scenario, you always have at least 40-50 of a defensive stat, which is vastly superior to 0: since each point matters more the less you have.
In an actual worst case scenario if you have these suggested defenses (ex: full armor pen runes, Masteries, Black Cleaver, Last Whisper and/or Brutalizer/Ghostblade) you at least get some satisfaction of how absurdly strong they had to build it, their at least partial loss of upfront damage as a tradeoff, and even then you still will likely have 10-20 effective armor regardless.
As a corollary, if someone is not building defenses, basic Armor/Magic Pen runes, combined with either a Black Cleaver/Haunting Guise (or Sorc) tends to guarantee that someone will be at very low or even negative defenses , making your damage do its full amount. This is vitally important to winning engagements.


3) Stealth and Ganking is both more powerful and easier
Why: Dominion as a map has a lot of ‘visible’ area, but it also has a lot of area that is brush and shadowed. No wards to prevent this. Anti-stealth is less effective.
In addition: Stealth is broken if you travel in the direct middle of the map, and next to an enemy or neutral tower (Towers owned by you are fine)

If you wonder why Shaco is so annoying on Dominion, this is pretty much why. The abundance of brush and shadow means that a Shaco (or other ganker) has lots of areas to stand in wait. The relatively small map and abundance of speed boosts means that effectively about a quarter of the map can be under gank threat at any given time by a strong ganker.
Almost all paths have at least two or three routes where you can be ambushed without the attacker being hypothetically seen, and taking longer, safe routes only add maybe 10 seconds at most of travel time.
Anti-stealth items themselves are not bad, but they rely on proper use, or sometimes outright guesswork. The Extract is usually a bad idea because death is so common, Lightbringer relies on hitting the target, which can be escaped from and tends to be a response to a gank, not a preempter. Same issue occurs with Sweeper, even though the mist active is the strongest attempts to predict a gank, you still have to either predict it, or rely on it after you’re under attack.
Knowing where and when stealth is broken on dominion is useful also. As a general rule, it’s similar to rift, if a tower is neutral or enemy, it will not work near it.


4) If your standing in a shadow, you cannot be seen on the minimap
Why: Look at your minimap during item buying. See where the shadows are? Note that there is a path from your base totally encased in shadow towards the speed shrine.

A minor corollary to #3, but something a lot of people don’t seem to know. You can exit from your base, and if you stay in the ‘shadowed area’, you will not be seen on the mini map. This is
the first step to making the enemy be unable to account for where you are. It also generally applies to hiding in any area for a gank at just about any time.
It also helps you be aware of how abundant shadows are, and that nearly the entire middle of the map is shadowed, which is a strong double edged sword part of the game.


5) Champions who win 1v1 fights tend to be more valuable, but almost all champs are viable
Why: Many fights and point defenses will be you vs 1 or 2 enemies, unless teams are very well co-ordinated (which is fairly rare).

This is a broad rule for champion selection, that doesn’t always apply, but tends to work well. Pure tanks tend to suffer to some degree, because they present opportunities, but can’t deliver the damage needed in the fast based champion fights of Dominion. Though with a well setup team, a proper tank can still do a similar role as on rift of setting up damage.
Almost inevitably though, whether it’s the fact your bot lane, you were going to sneak a backcap while an enemy had the same idea, or just opportunity, fights of a 1v1 nature are almost inevitable. The real repercussions are in who these sorts of roles benefit.
People who heal in combat well, strong duelists, gankers who can fight a 1v1, assassins/tanky DPS/fed carries, all tend to have advantages as a result.
More generally: consider passives that always seemed useless because of teamfights blasting it away in Rift act in this environment. What champions have higher mobility, or can use their skills for mobility in unexpected ways?


6) Kill Minions and Cap Points for gold, Kill Champions for experience.
Why: One minion wave gives 60 exp and 120 gold, full enemy to ally caps grant between 200-402 gold to the team, one champ kill at lvl 3 gives you 220 exp and 100 gold. Experience from minions never changes, champion exp gain goes up as YOU level.

From my observations in game, I have reason to believe that experience gained from champions is about one third to one half of total exp till your next level for a solo kill (basically by killing two people with same K:D and level, where I leveled up after first kill). This is unlike in rift, where an opponent who is lower in level actually grants you less experience in a kill.
Enemy champions only give 100 gold to a single champion kill as their baseline, far lower than in rift (300, 400 for first blood). One wave of three minions easily beats that, and Carries tend to care more about gold than levels.
Capping a point is a decent ‘mini-global’ gold potential if you have multiple team members nearby. Remember gold acquisition for towers does not require you capping the point, only being near it when an ally captures it. So feel free to start recalling if need be, or go instead into the shadowed brush to recall instead (leaving the enemy unable to know for sure if you recalled at all) catch the improved gold for having an ally amount for the total team, and then finish teleporting back to base.
Overall though, for a single player, minions are the easiest and highest gold gain. This is particularly important to consider for who to play solo bot, as carries and some mages benefit more from gold than experience/levels.


7) Each kill makes a champion worth +60 more gold, each continuous death makes them worth 9 less.

Why: Kill enemy champions who just got a kill! Also, because base gold in Rift is 300 and caps at 7 kills at at 500, in Dominion its 100 and caps at 7 kills at 400 (which means more per kill!)

I am still collecting the exact numbers on this, but the general math seems to hold. In pure percentages, after someone gets a kill, they get a big boost in gold worth, up until they get the godlike cap.
Killing someone over and over doesn’t really ‘hurt’ the amount of gold you get, percentage-wise once again, especially compared to Rift. Mostly though that is because the gold given for champion kill’s isn’t very high.
If you need target priority, and gold is a concern, this generally states someone on a killing spree comparatively grants much better gold and should be the target (especially since your exp gain is the same regardless of who you kill).



8) Mobility is power, denying mobility is powerful.

Why: Speed allows you to respond to situations faster, return from base, and sneak/gank/escape more efficiently. Multiple small gap walls are ideal for mobility via 'blinking' movement. Crowd Control is the only way to ensure kills.

Dominion's middle of the map is defined by a massive series of relatively narrow corridors, the speed shrines, and multiple path options. These walls are ideal for blinking movement, because although not as generally 'chase ending' as on rift, they are all over the map and allow for easy escape into the shadows. This prevalence of walls is also part of what gives Poppy and Vayne advantages, due to their 'impact wall' skills.
Boots of Mobility are far more viable here than Summoner's Rift because of the benefits of speed, combined with the ease of generally safe movement (though I tend to prefer Lucidity regardless). Being able to move fast allows you to escape counterattacks to backcapping, allows such stealthy capping, and allows you to return to a fight faster post recall or health shrine grab.
Crowd controls via items or champion skills are very strong, as they are the only real counters to high mobility champions, and help ensure kills. A non-blink champion trapped by constant slow via methods such as Frozen Mallet hits are forced to fight or hope for reinforcements. More than likely, they're just dead. Silences to prevent enemies from using the mobility, stuns to finish people off, etc are all helpful. As a counter, the Quicksilver Sash is also more useful as an item to respond to this if you are trying to evade.



9) Equipment priorities are different

General:
What are the major changes:
Because of the passive gold aura and shorter time, GP/5 tends to be less useful, and Prospectors items tend not to be wise to stack. Because of this, early game item slots are nowhere near as competitive as in Rift. In Dominion as a result, item slots start off as a much more available resource.
Because the time of Dominion is less (and in the case of Bloodthirster/Warmogs, the item is removed), ‘stacking’ items over time, or playing towards a long game becomes less valuable. In addition, death is more common.
Harrass game early-mid has changed over towards a game focused on PvP from the get-go
Mana regen is less important due to the passive benefit.


My General Equipment Theory Implications:

Because item slots are ‘cheaper’ or ‘free-er’ than in Rift, you are given 2 additional slots you don’t tend to usually have otherwise: This leads to the concept of buying an item for general utility or cost efficiency per present utility to become more palatable. As considerations for early game buys and ‘cost efficient item slot’ uses:


Cooldowns/Tenacity
Tenacity is still universally useful as a consideration. However, because of the PvP nature and strong mana regen, getting skills off more often has a higher priority and less cost than in Rift. As such, depending on the character, I often consider Ionian Boots of Lucidity, as it is the cheapest place to get such high cooldown reduction. Cloak and Dagger for AD, and Moonflair Spellblade for AP are both strongly cost effective items that grant tenacity for replacements, and useful stats from their component items.
Cloak and Dagger: +5% attack speed, +2% critical rate, 35 Tenacity (200 gold extra over components)
Moonflair Spellblade: +10 AP, 35 Tenacity (340 gold extra over components)

Kindlegem is second most cost effective cooldown item, offering 10% for 850 gold (or 375 gold over the HP crystal). Turns into many useful items for later, especially Shurelia’s Reverie, which is great for the movement speed boost.

If Attack Speed is more important, Stinger can also work for slightly more cost and lost later game versatility, but similar base efficiency for cooldown reduction.


AD specific changes:
(Note: Good AD items are still good, this focuses on ones that receive disproportionate changes to utility in Dominion)

Executioners Calling:Because many of the stronger duelists rely on healing during a fight, this item becomes extremely helpful. It has cost efficient lifesteal, critical hit, and the active can ruin the healing efforts of a Xin Zhao, Fiddlesticks, Dr. Mundo, or anyone else relying on healing.

Vampiric Scepter: Because healing mid battle is one of the methods to dominate a 1v1 fight, considering one of these as a standalone is not a bad idea. It also helps heal through the generally lower level of harass that does occur in Dominion.

Black Cleaver: Corollary to #2, if you can penetrate someone’s armor down to 0 quickly and efficiently, a fight tends to go much more in your favor. Black cleaver offers a good mix of damage, attack speed, and the strongest flat Armor shred once an enemy is hit 3 times.

Brutalizer: Corollary to #2, extremely low cost and efficient AD item with 10% CDR, Armor Pen, and damage. Combined with runes and Cleaver, anyone without extra armor will almost certainly be in the negatives.

Wit’s End: Also a good choice because of #2, MR rivals a negatron cloak, especially when you’re in combat. High attack speed, sheer magic damage tends to be better than Kitae’s (though at loss of attack damage).

AP specific:
(Note: almost all other AP items are just as useful except Rod of Ages, which is hurt due to time unless you rush a catalyst start. the following are those that tend to be better than usual for Dominion)


Will of the Ancients: The idea of healing mid battle to survive in Dominion is not melee specific (to the point where I would suggest Spell Vamp quintessence’s in some cases). Granting it to everyone around you for cheap? Priceless.


Haunting Guise: Because flat penetration becomes more important, and Cooldowns also tend to be more useful, your boots tend towards Lucidity, and your penetration comes from this. In addition, health provided is useful in an environment where Rod of Ages can be bypassed.

Void Staff: Because Magic Pen is less readily available than Armor Pen, a simple Negatron on each enemy makes this the stronger choice for penetration if you find penetration is an issue.

Ryeli’s Crystal Scepter: Follows in part from #8, and that a Rod of Ages isn't always needed on a mage. Health and slowing the enemy, useful in Rift, just as useful if not more here.

Tear of the Goddess (Includes some AD’s like Urgot)
: Although time is an issue, an appropriately spammy person will tend to fill this regardless. Because of how mana regen works though in dominion, acquiring this gives up to +21 Regen when low on mana, and additional mana gives you more ‘time’ to regen. Once you have this, mana issues tend to be over, even moreso than on Rift.


Defense
(Note: All basic defensive items such as Randuins Omen are still just as good, this focuses on the larger changes)

Frozen Mallet: If you're AD and want to get HP for ‘tanking’ or an Atmas build, the lack of Warmogs makes this the easy choice. Combine with the #8 rule, hit enemy, make them unable to run away.

Quicksilver Sash: Against some enemies such as Mordenkaiser and Malzahar (especially as opponents bottom lane), this is what will save your life with its 60 second cooldown cleanse (and lack of Banshees Viel). In general, if there is any strong crowd control bias in the enemy team (which there will be), this becomes to ‘go to’ item for baseline MR as requested in #2.

Frozen Heart/Glacial Shroud: Massive cooldown reductions, good aid for mana, Frozen heart passively aids your allies against most AD’s.

Aegis of the Legion: Although less cost effective in many ways than I usually advocate, if you are running a coordinated assault in top or mid, this grants you about half of the Armor/MR you need to reach the ~100-120, and aids your allies who may or may not be following #2.


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EinzigerAI

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Senior Member

03-16-2012

+1 Would read again.


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GrignardTS

Senior Member

03-16-2012

Amazing post, great work.

Now if only we had a red sticky this.


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InglouriousCobb

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Senior Member

03-16-2012

Very interesting, great job. Plus 1.

I think the first item under Defense is supposed to be Frozen Mallet instead of Frozen Heart.

STICKY


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GrignardTS

Senior Member

03-16-2012

You should also mention about Brutilizer.

I mean, nearly every AD has a jolly fun time building that.


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InglouriousCobb

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Senior Member

03-16-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrignardTS View Post
You should also mention about Brutilizer.

I mean, nearly every AD has a jolly fun time building that.
It is listed under Black Cleaver/Brutalizer


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FuzzyLuffle

Member

03-16-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by InglouriousCobb View Post
It is listed under Black Cleaver/Brutalizer
This is correct, but I edited the post to make it it's own item. It does have CDR which the Cleaver does not, and the Brutalizer is also fairly cheaper, and so more oriented 'early' than the Cleaver, even if their end goals are very similar.

Also, thank you for the Frozen Heart/Mallet mixup. I know there is going to be some issues because of how long this is, but I plan to keep editing and revising as I learn more, or catch mistakes.


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Jjaja

Senior Member

03-16-2012

i'm so confused...



















why does it say "CENTER" everywhere!!!!!!!


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FuzzyLuffle

Member

03-16-2012

@Jjaja
Sorry about that, must have removed part of the formatting when I was editing. It should be fixed now.


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jokull

Senior Member

03-16-2012

one thing, in your last defense section, you call frozen mallet frozen heart, and mention frozen heart twice. just a typo i thought id point out to clear things up for people that dont know what you mean


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