Team Guide by Phreak#31
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
This is 80% the original 5 Smite build. However, due to the recent nerfs to Malphite and the awesomeness that is Nasus, this is the new 5 Smite build. We had tweaked the build to include an Exhaust instead of Smite on Soraka, but now that Cleanse is run on every melee carry (the only heroes that pose a threat to this strategy), there isn't much point.
The point of the build is to snowball control of all the important neutral buffs, primarily both team's Golems as well as the Dragon. This is achieved by the jungling Warwick who coordinates with the solo mid Sivir. Using Smite and a fair amount of coordination, the Sivir is allowed to easily farm all of her important items, namely the Madred's Razor, and as much of Stark's Fervor as possible. Continued control of Dragon allows the other team members to quickly piece together their builds as well. Once it is deemed time to push or kill Baron Nashor, Golem is given to Taric with the goal of keeping his ultimate on as long as possible in teamfights.
There are two possible outcomes to the initial teamfight: In one, we get easy control of the Lizard, and we use two smites (Sivir, Warwick) to quickly down it. Lizard is given to Warwick to ease his jungling, and Sivir's Smite comes back up in time to last hit the Golem without having to leave the lane. Should the enemy team attempt to gank us at Lizard, we "Triple Smite" it while ensuring that Sivir gets the last hit as the primary ranged Carry in the ensuing teamfight. Combined with our two Heals and Rallies, we have supreme durability on our heroes with the addition of strong passives and spells that can easily win most level 1 fights.
After taking Lizard and subsequently Dragon (remember that your smite does 560 to Lizard/Golem at level 1, and a similar value to Dragon), remembering to save Smite to prevent creep stealing, Soraka heads towards top lane while Warwick, Nasus, and Taric quickly down the Golem, letting Sivir take the last hit with Q or with Smite, depending on cooldown issues.
Bottom lane of Taric and Nasus does not have significant lane control, though they do have a Stun, Slow, Heal, and a decent AoE should they be pressured. The goal of these Champions is not to farm, however, as they are primarily there to cast their ultimates and remain as support. Soraka at top lane requires a skilled last-hitter, as we need Aegis for the first round of team fights and a fast Innervating Locket is also supremely useful. The Sivir in mid should have little trouble farming with Golem buff and her Q spell, but be sure to have a player who can handle all sorts of solo mid heroes to be safe.
Taric's Promote should be used very judiciously. The aura on the Promote is extremely significant, especially since Aegis has been nerfed somewhat. You should try to avoid most teamfights until the Promote is off of cooldown, but your team still has a backup Rally in case it is needed for various situations.
Most of your team's activity revolves around gaining Taric's and Nasus's ultimates. With 4 Smites (Sivir, Warwick, Nasus, Taric) very close to the Dragon, taking control of it should be fairly easy. Sivir can keep her lane pushed to the tower, Warwick should have fairly strong map vision in general, and Taric's armor aura and Promote plus Nasus's Spirit Fire can be used to pressure a lane to the tower as well. A combination of these factors can allow your team 20 seconds to quickly down the Dragon. The experience and gold boost from Dragon as well as the potential for tower kills with Sivir's Golem Buff should give your team the experience advantage.
Upon Promote's second availability (or first if your lanes go very well), your team should recall to base, purchase all available items (hopefully Aegis on Soraka, Soul Shroud on Taric, and Razors on both Sivir and Warwick as well as relevant boots) and begin the first push. Grab one of the Golem buffs for Taric. The mid tower should fall very quickly to Warwick's W, Promote, Rally, and if needed, Sivir's Ultimate. Your team should be supremely durable with Taric's armor aura and ultimate in addition to Soraka's Aegis and heals, Promote's aura, Rally, Heal, and potentially Sivir's Stark's or Emblem of Valor.
Once you have pushed down the mid tower (and likely taken some enemy champions along with it), you should try to kill Nashor. If neither Nasus nor Sivir needed to use their ultimate, then he will fall very quickly. The key with Nashor is to vary your timing. If your opponents think you will kill Nashor, push a lane instead, as they will likely camp by Purple team's Lizard or Blue team's Golem. If they aren't directly defending a tower, then you will get a free tower kill. If they are defending a tower, you can drop Baron Nashor in under 30 seconds with Sivir's ultimate, Warwick's W, Taric's ultimate, Rally, two Razors, Nasus's ultimate, and 5 Smites. Remember that Nashor has around 30% damage reduction with his magic resist, so be sure to Smite at the appropriate value.
Upon killing Nashor your team should have a significant level and gold advantage over your enemies. Remember that the Nashor buff lasts a significant portion of time, so don't rush your offensive! Continue to control the neutral buffs (Lizard on Sivir, Golem on Taric) and Dragon. Be sure to recall back to base and finish the important items you've been working on. If you don't know quite what to build, consider finishing Mercury Treads, +Health, and most importantly, Elixirs. A team that has the Nashor buff for ~20 Damage/AP in addition to a combination of [20 damage, 300 HP]; [25% attack speed, 20% critical strike]; [10% cooldown reduction, 40 AP] will have a significant advantage combined with the already obscene amount of auras and neutral buffs your team controls.
The reason this strategy works is because everyone on the team is supremely durable, and in the early game where physical carries are not sufficiently strong, the only way to kill people is with large spikes of damage from casters and crowd control spells. However, with a full Defense tree, Health and Magic Resist from Runes, a Soraka, and eventually Mercury Treads, your team will take very little magic damage from your opponents. This is largely the reason why Tryndamere and Jax are strong counters to this build, as they are heavy physical damage dealers independent of items.
The strategy is not so much about quickly killing Nashor (though the experience, gold, and buff advantage helps hasten victories and sometimes salvage defeats), but strong lanes, a strong team synergy built upon auras for damage (Sivir, Warwick, Taric, Aegis, Rally, Promote) and buff control are the biggest contributors to victory. In the first runs of the strategy, we won many games not only without doing Baron, but many times upon having Dragon or Baron stolen from us.