Team Guide by General Shanks
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.
Hello Summoners! This is General Shanks and in a series of guides I will analyze some of the most common team compositions that are consistently used in competitive league of legends. The Goal is to introduce the potential of these team compositions ways to counter it and in general each compositions pros and cons.
I will add a section at the end of similar champions you can replace to make these compositions work as well. Please leave comments on what you guys think of my analysis. I am hoping to be as detailed as possible.
As far as individual champion's ability and normal builds are concerned, this guide will not be of assistance. I will try to maximize a compositions potential with specific items rather than maximizing a champion's potential. For instance a Death Cap would be more costly efficient than Abyssal+ Death fire Grasp combination, but the latter benefits the entire team far more.
Please vote after reading this guide! Constructive Criticism is appreciated.
Double AP composition
One of the most popular and effective compositions is "Double AP" composition. When a team elects to run an Ability Power champion in mid and top they are running a Double AP composition.
The main reason for this composition is actually having more AOE impact on team fights than anything else. Normally an AP top would not be an formidable a tank or 1v1 damage as a melee type champion.
In the composition above you see a Vladimir as the AP top. In my opinion he is the strongest candidate you can have as your AP top. Hemoplague is one of the strongest AOE spells in the game not only does it do a great deal of magic damage it increases the damage dealt on champions effected by this by 12%.
Another great AP top champion is Rumble. Once again his main feature is his great AOE spell, The Equalizer. On top of having an initial magic damage it has a great deal of magic damage and slow over 5 seconds which is extremely potent in team fights.
Why run a double AP composition? The main reason is scaling, while having a melee champion top has its benefits, they mostly can provide utility or single target elimination in team fights which in some cases helps like having a fed Jax or Poppy, but in general running a double AP comp is to help your AD carry eliminates target rather than having a melee champion eliminating threats by himself.
Generally with this team composition you want to have as many mid game fights as possible (given you are not behind), a lvl 9-12 Vladimir is extremely hard to deal with so you want to take advantage of that and mid-game Rumble is one of the most potent if not the most potent Top champion you can have on your team. This composition's primary goal is controlling mid game objectives and creating enough advantage going to late game to win Baron Nashor and push to win the game.
How to beat this composition:
There are no specific line up that can beat this composition mid game so you have to take advantage of its weaknesses early game and late game. For the first 30 min of the game, this composition relies on the success of its top lane so your goal should be to target "the other AP", generally running 1 v 2 or camping top or both does the job.
Note: Running CC heavy jungles like Maokai and Nautilus would be very beneficial in camping a lane on top of them having AOE affects that help further with Double AP's goals.
Note: Bursty AD Carry champions work extremely well with this compositions so try taking Graves or Corki to maximize the AOE impact.
Note: The best possible mid in this composition is Morgana and Ryze but another other AP mid that has access to AOE Zyra could be beneficial.
Triple Support Composition
The credit for this composition goes to Team Dignitas who took everyone by surprise and absolutely dominated for a while.
This composition does what every team should do but with more emphasis: "protect the ad carry at all cost". This line up's goal is to stall team fights through shields, heals and crowd controls long enough for the ad carry to clean up. The strength in this line up in summed up through one ward: Sustain.
Note: Generally with this composition you want to drag fights as long as possible constantly engage and disengage. Soraka or Janna mid are very formidable in this line up since they can do very great deal of aoe damage and healing in this line up.
Note: For you jungle you want to run another "Support Jungle", if you can grab Alistar you should go for it by all means, if not other CC heavy tanky champions would work well with this composisition.
The goal in this line up is to basically outfarm the opposition in the lanning phase and bait 5 v 5 fights (which physiologically most teams would want to take on even though they may not know how to counter this specific line up). Poke heavy/ longer range/ dominant Ad Carries are preferred in this line up Kog'Maw or Tristana would be great in this composition.
How to fight against this composition:
Generally this line up becomes beatable in very late game phase when the difference in gold is not substantial and late game items and abilities can burst through that sustain. Playing against triple support is very tricky the amount of focus is very essential and if you don't burst their ad carry immediately there's a good chance you will lose that team fight.
I specifically like to run a "bursty composition" against Triple support composition, that will be discussed in another series in detail. Notable champions on that composition would be champions that can jump on you and burst your down such as Kassadin.
When to run this composition:
If you have a great ad carry in your team, this composition is designed to boost your ad carry and the goals are very defined. This composition is generally very passive as far as laning engagements are concerned.
If you want to run a tanky top with a lot of CC this composition would absolutely demolish, I really like Malphite specifically since he is super tanky on top of having some great cc that falls in the line of dragging the fights.
How to Pick compositions
The biggest mystery in competitive league of legends is how to pick an effective composition, in this chapter I will use the examples from Team 1 and Team 2 to demonstrate the mindset for team compositions
There are a few things that happen that determines a team's composition
1. Bans: The other team can research and find out a few of your common compositions and what champion/champions make that compositions such a lethal composition and try to ban those champions. For Instance in Double AP composition (which i will discuss later on), Rumble or Vladimir are very popular picks for top, if your team doesn't want to deal with that they can ban these champions so they are effectively banning Double AP Composition. Usually most bans are "respect bans", meaning they will ban champions that 1 or 2 of your best players are great at, for instance noone wants to play against Froggen's Anivia or WestRice's Akali (maybe not anymore ...). Hence you cannot have a mindset that these are the 5 champions we are playing you need to understand what your composition is trying to accomplish so you can replace the banned champions with similar ones that will still help you run the same strategies.
2. Counters: This happens especially in solo lanes, there are champions that absolutely counter another champion. If you are at the same level of skills you do not want to get counter-picked since this will almost always force your jungle to either camp the lane or pray the other team will not capitalize on it. In laning phase if you have a counter to the other team's champion as a jungle you want to pressure the "kill lane" to completely win that lane and start the snow ball effect. Since Counter picking exists you cannot just run the same 5 champions and expect to get the same results, you need to understand if you pick Ahri a great Ryze player could shut you down and you may be so behind that you cannot perform your role within your team compositions
3. safe picks: There are picks that are considered safe and great players learn those champions, most notably Yorick, Karthus,.. that no matter what happens they can still be very effective througout the game hence "safe pick"
4. strategy: what you are trying to accomplish with individual champions and with combining champion abilities for instance if you want to have a diving composition you may want to pick Xin Zhao and use Lulu's Wild Growth to completely dominate team fights in mid game, or like team 1 keep farming till late game or team 2 to be super aggressive and take the game before 30 min mark. Many abilities synergies greatly with each other and that will be another chapter to discuss 2 champion combination and 3 champion combination and so on and so forth (I am hoping to add exactly how much damage you can output with specific items).
5. Player's style: great players learn to adapt, but they also have a preferred way of playing, you need to as a team figure what your strength is, if you have the greatest Kassadin player in the world, do not make him play Morgana he'll die of boredom farming all day long, run a dive composition and just jump on people left and right and let him dominate
6. Back up plan: What if your composition was designed to dominate mid game and you have to go in the late game, do you have a back up? Is there a champion that can save you? do you have a Vayne? Then build around her, build tanky and position yourselves to protect her.
7. Comfort: Just because you know how to play a champion in solo queue, it doesn't mean you can perform with that champion in a specific composition. Make sure you understand your role and stick to it, if your job is to protect your ap carry in mid game, stop chasing after their tank and protect your ap carry, these things are perfected through practice so if you're serious, practice and don't be Allen Iverson 2.0
8. Overpowered Champions: if there's a champion that is considered universally "OP" learn it, Love it, Use it. There must be a reason that champion is considered overpowered if you get a chance try to incorporate that champion in your line up, having a champion that is not balanced always helps to turn those 50/50 fights to your favor.
Other Viable champions:
Double AP composition:
AD Carry: Graves, Corki
Support: Sona, Lulu, Taric
Mid: Morgana, Ryze, Anivia, Gragas
Jungle: Shyvanna, Nunu, Maokai
Top: Vladimir, Rumble
Triple Support Composition:
AD Carry: Kog'Maw, Tristana, Varus, Draven
Support: Taric, Soraka, Janna
Mid: Lulu, Janna, Soraka
Top: Malphite, Yorick, Cho'Gath
Jungle: Alistar, Amumu
Coming up next...
In the previous serious we took a look at "Split Push composition/late game composition" and "aggressive korean meta", in this series we went over "Double AP" and "Triple Support" in the next series we will look at "Bursty single target composition" and "M5's hyper carry composition".
I hope you guys leave me constructive comments, suggestions and requests. in the next series I will also add a champion on champions synergy and we will look at top/jungle compositions a little bit. Part 1 of this series can be found in the following link: