Sunday, February 12, 2012

v8 vs Epik - Game 1 - Curse Invitational

The Curse Invitational started this weekend, giving me a great chance to get a fresh look at some of the NA teams I haven't seen in a while.

Unknown as the vod starts late. The tournament bracket doesn't list bans either but hopefully I can track this down.

v8 picks:

Plenty of damage from Sivir and Ahri, with great additional damage from Shyvana and Udyr. Damage mostly physical. Light on range meaning they need a hard engage. Tanky with Udyr, Shyv, and Leona. Hard cc from 3 champs (counting Ahri's taunt because it's insane) Leona has 3x cc with her ult. Decent amount of splash damage in close quarters but not a ton of large range aoe. All champs scale well into lategame.


Great damage from Corki and Orianna, with solid additional damage from Pirate and Amumu (Amumu's sustained damage is substantial though not everyone realizes it). Decent range with Corki and Ori. Can poke with sustain from Soraka, Pirate steroid, Ori shield. Tankiness from Amumu and Pirate. Hard cc from Mummy and Ori ult, pretty light considering Corki and Soraka don't even have a slow. Good aoe with Amumu, Ori, and Pirate plus Corki's spam. Champs scale well into lategame, not 100% sure on Ori as I haven't seen her in so long.

Top Lane:
I haven't seen a lot of Udyr vs Pirate but Elementz pointed out that Udyr turtle counters a huge amount of Pirate harass so he expected Pirate to have a tough lane. Lane Udyr's tend to max Tiger first so Pirate shouldn't have trouble getting pushed.
Pirate took flash/teleport while Udyr took flash/ignite. This gives a lane advantage to Udyr but a Dragon control advantage to Epik.

Orianna hasn't been played for a long time since she was nerfed, but still has plenty of damage. I believe she'd be a reasonable against Ahri because she has great range and can farm safely. Ahri is very strong right now, she has damage, cc, escapes, and sustain.
Both champs took flash/ignite, very standard.

Leona isn't a very common support but her cc can be devastating, combined with Sivir's damage I can see it working. Corki/Soraka will tend towards farming, Corki has a nice escape and with Soraka's silence plus sustain this lane shouldn't lose.
Leona: exhaust/heal, Sivir: flash/ignite.
Corki: flash/cleanse, Soraka: flash/cv
There is a lot of experimentation with summoners in bot lane right now. Chaox indicated that in EU most ad's take flash/heal so he has shifted to that. The Leona/Sivir lane is extremely aggressive with exhaust and ignite. The ignite on Sivir is nice against Soraka. Corki has very safe summoners and cv on Soraka is helpful for the whole team, including keeping her lane safe.

Shyvana has become very popular with M5's recent success, she clears fast, moves fast, great counter jungler, and doesn't need blue buff. Amumu has become a rare pick, he clears fast, ganks well, duels well (in my opinion, though this may not be shared), but doesn't counter jungle well because he has no spike damage. Both contribute tankiness and damage to a teamfight, Amumu has much better initiation and can devastate squishies.
Shyvana: smite/exhaust. Getting an extra aggressive summoner from your jungler is excellent, it also helps for ganks, especially Shyv who has no utility/cc of her own.
Amumu: smite/flash. Mummy has a lot of aggressive utility with flash (tower diving, initiation).

v8 snowballed very hard in this game, making it challenging to assess the viability of Epik's comp.
Udyr dominated Pirate top, as Elementz predicted, turtle stance > Pirate q. Even after losing his turret Pirate couldn't safely farm because Udyr was 5-0 in teamfights and outfarmed him.

Ahri charm plus Shyv gank earned Ahri the first kill mid, though Ori held up well and farmed evenly.

v8 took Amumu's blue buff and even though they left their own blue open, Mummy didn't take it. After getting a slow start he died early trying to defend blue buff and struggled for the rest of the game. After establishing some control mid, Shyv/Ahri took Mummy's wraiths several times.

v8 got a quick kill against Corki bot, didn't see the fight but Corki still had flash and cleanse up indicating a pretty bad fail.

Mummy built a WoTA (Will of the Ancients) after Philosophers and Heart of Gold. This is a weird build and he didn't tank at all, causing him to melt in every fight. He also added a blasting wand after his first negatron, the game was almost over at this point but an Amumu without any health is no Amumu at all. I've seen Dan Dinh build Amumu this way in solo queue but it won't cut it in competitive, especially when you are the primary tank for the team.
Only other thing to note is that Pirate got beat top which meant he also wasn't tanking very hard, leaving Epik extremely squishy.

Poke comps generally do well against hard commit comps, however in this case the early game advantage allowed v8 to snowball very hard for a quick victory. Udyr definitely managed Pirate in the top lane, and Amumu getting so far behind meant Epik had absolutely no backbone during teamfights. One important part of a successful comp is that everyone needs to perform their role, having a tank on paper won't cut it. It's important when analyzing Epik's comp to note how badly their early game went based on a few bad plays/decisions. Epik had a winnable comp but v8 showed up and executed very well.

The VoD
Props: Elementz gave an excellent team comp overview while shoutcasting which helped me articulate this post. Thanks!

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