[Tactics Guide] How to Break a Gank Squad

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Asvarduil

Senior Member

11-04-2009

If you've been in a game where it always seems like no matter WHERE you go you get horribly massacred, it gets annoying. If you've been in a game where each and every one of your teammates gets horribly massacred, you're probably facing a team using a gank squad. Rather that hitting the community in the face with a wall of text, this is a short treatise on how to, within the context of the game, be able to defeat gank squads.

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Gank Squad: A Tentative Definition.

First, we need to identify a Gank Squad.

Generally a gank squad will consist of three to five players who pretty much go wherever a player's portrait appears and kill them as a means of tactical (and psychological) control. Gank Squads can fluctuate in members, for example, Nunu, Morgana, and Gangplank may be in cahoots through the 'mid' game, but depending on tactical circumstances switch out members to exploit a team's shortcomings. Don't be fooled by this!

What truly defines a gank squad is the repeated behavior not for mass-pushing towers and weakening your base, but of controlling the map so that another, smaller group of players or solo player can do the dirty work of pushing towers over.

A note: this is far from a 'dictionary' definition of a gank squad. Other gamers would probably be able to word it more shortly or efficiently. However, we are looking at their tactics, so all of this is salient.

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Gank Squad: A Tactical Breakdown.

As TheHeretic says in the guide 'Playing to be Evil' - understanding comes before exploitation. Why do people play a gank team strategy?

-Synergy of chosen heroes. Take my Morgana/Nunu/Gangplank example. Those three characters have powerful AoE attacks. Nunu's slows, Morgana is a nasty AoE damage over time, and Gangplank's just hits like a truck! This isn't the only gank synergy in existance, but it's an example I've faced before.

-Observed behaviors. Pretty much, the team using the gank strategy has noticed a lot of concentrated, but uncoordinated efforts. Four people can easily defeat one or two under normal circumstances, and if the opposing team has fallen into a habit of doing this, certainly one may understand the allure of gank squads.

-A dominant player. Again misquoting TheHeretic - "The Carry and his *****es." One player has a plan, and the tools to achieve it. The other players are simply providing strength in numbers, and their tools to achieve the same goal. In a PvP game, big numbers do count for something.

So, what do these three simple facts give in terms of pros and cons?

Pros:
-The squad is utilizing skills, spells, and abilities to the optimum.
-The squad is taking full advantage of more individualistic play styles, containing their impact on the squad's own success.
-The squad is coordinated, movements and attacks being efficient, well-placed, and overall at their most effective.

...scary...gank teams have it all, don't they? They should always win!

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Gank Squad: ...But we've ignored the Cons.

The above weaknesses are scary, yes. However, a short list of cons apply, too.

Cons:
-The squad is focusing a large volume of 'optimally used' skills in one small section of the map, relying on mobility to overcome the problem of pinpoint effect range.
-If the squad winds up losing one of its members, it becomes more vulnerable to attacks, as each piece of a gank squad is important and an additional brick in the squad's power. While one member out of four may not matter much, losing two members to a lucky attack in effect halves the squad's efficiency.

...Hmmm. Do you smell where I'm going? Don't tell the Febreeze plant I'm coming.

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Gank Squad: The Undoing.

Gank Squads are reliant on mobility, numbers, and concentration. These strength are a gank squad's prime weaknesses as well.

The best way I've noticed to defeat a gank squad is a tactic I call 'Whack and Frag.' It's exactly as it sounds - engage the gank team in a full team battle, ideally killing multiple members of the gank team. When the survivors retreat, scatter and assist minions for about twenty seconds, while two teammates go and harrass 'the B team' that is central to the success of the gank squad strategy. After this, make sure all teammates mark the gank team's location on the minimap, and report their size. When their gank team coalesces again, repeat the whack and frag process.

Justification:
-Whack: Engaging a gank squad in full-team combat puts you and them on more equal terms. Removing 'bricks' of their team is the sole objective of this phase, as it halts and can break the gank squad.
-Frag: Breaking apart to reassert control is what returns a measure of map control to your team. You deal with the primary threats and make attacks to capitalize on any gains you can make.
-B Team Hazing: You have to haze the B team or B member. He's the guy knocking your towers over and actually achieving the objectives of League of Legends. The gank team is merely his distraction.
-Recoalescence: You may have learned a bigger word [/smile]. However, this is how you ensure that the gank squad dosen't start up again. If the team trying to gank is always going up against a wall of team, you're limiting their options to going around, instead of through, the metaphorical wall (which is your team.) This devolves their team to small-scale combat tactics, which many but not all LoL players know how to handle well.

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Final Note
As I always stress at the end of any of my guides, this is all subject to change. It's not the theory that matters, it's practice. This 'theory' stated has worked for me on both sides in numerous games. I play Taric...my buddies are scoring kills, me and a band of minions are knocking over towers. Conversely, when I notice a gank squad having formed, this is what I suggest (but do not demand) my team do to reverse the tide of the game, and it has worked. Are there counter-counterstrategies? Oh, yes. Will the tactics of gank squads adapt to these weaknesses? Probably yes.

I encourage you to play games, understand the depth of the LoL Metagame, as that's the only proven way to improve your grasp of tactics. There is no shortcut, not even this guide.

Best of fortune to all my fellow players.

Even the ones I don't like.


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Ennyn Messor

Member

11-04-2009

yeah .. but when you go for the gank squad you are doing what they want you to do, so their annoying and fast Master Yi can **** all your towers while the guys on the gank squad make your team 'waste' your time.


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Asvarduil

Senior Member

11-04-2009

Good point. Of course, the alternative is simply do as they do - gank B team yourself.


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Lemt

Senior Member

11-04-2009

Good guide, brief and to the point.

I'll add my two cents:
-DO NOT SOLO. That's where the Gank Squad will shine. However, you CAN bait very effectively. Have a player appear to be going solo, with 3 teammates hiding nearby. When the Gank Squad appears, the bait goes back and lures them in. Since the Gank Squad will be used to being able to kill solo players, they are more than likely to take the bait.
-When pushing, use lightning strikes. That is, DO NOT PUSH FOR MORE THAN 10 SECONDS. You move up to the enemy tower, hit it a few times, then go back and move far away from that tower. Don't do this on the same tower twice in a row, shake up your tactics. This means that by the time the GS arrive, there will be no one there to gank. It's a slow process, but effective.

I said it would be two cents.


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BickDeater

Recruiter

11-04-2009

Cliff Notes:

AoE > Gank

Malphite, Morgana, Nasus, Amumu, Fiddlesticks, Annie etc.


AoE teams beat every single type of team currently in this game. That is why the devs are working to fix the meta game. Just check out the tournament videos on www.lolreplays.com if you want proof.


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Lemt

Senior Member

11-05-2009

Speaking of which, Gangplank+Nunu+Karthus should be fun. With good communication, Nunu can call the Captain and Karthus to use their global ultimates as soon as he uses Absolute Zero. For example, Nunu could type something like "q" (for "quick!"), and that would signal the otehr two that he's got several enemies frozen. Gangplanck Barrages, and they can't run away, Karthus nukes them out.
That can wipe out an enemy team quite quickly...


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Ennyn Messor

Member

11-06-2009

Ok i'm gonna post how to counter that :

1 - never stay on the lane with low life, they will aim for you
2 - if you are solo, try last hiting all the time and pushing just enought so your tower does not take too much damage, that way you will always be protected buy the tower
3 - DO NOT CHASE
4 - stay on your lanes, the gank squad will be running around trying to gank people, so you will easily outlevel them (stay near tower!)
5 - when you see everyone on the gank squad is top, push bottom, when you see they are bottom, push top, try not to push if they are middle.


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Coleman

Senior Member

11-06-2009

I main Nassus, what are these gank squads you speak of? Are they the groups of champions my Soul Fire + Ultimate eats for lunch, crushing their so called advantage one by one and when that 'fortunate' last survivor realizes their mistake tastes the wrath of wither and falls to my might.

I think I rather like gank squads, makes it much easier to gain my better items then if they turret hug and play normally.


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CyberMonkey

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Senior Member

11-07-2009

Nice guide, Asvarduil. I suggest making a tactical guide on how to break a 5 man push next. Keep it up


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Atmosfear

Senior Member

11-07-2009

There is some inherent risk to the strategy of engaging the gank team. If for whatever reason you are on the losing end of that skirmish, you're essentially as screwed as they would be if you were the one who won.


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