[box]ggChronicle’s Steve “holySpork” Baumgartner continues his series on team planning with a focus on Poke compositions. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to get the latest League of Legends eSports updates![/box]
Sometimes, choosing not to fight an enemy is the best course of action in a game of League of Legends. Split push teams attempt to take objectives without openly engaging the enemy team in order to win the game in the most risk-free manner.
Split push teams take heavy advantage of opponents not being ready to defend on all fronts. They rarely team-fight, preferring to kite their opponents while teammates take important objectives. These teams excel against teams that do not have the ability to initiate well, especially under towers.
The worst match-up a split-push team can face are teams that are willing to tower dive them. The ideal situation for this type of team is to have four people defending at a tower while the other member of the team is pushing towers or taking Dragon. Teams that can force the 4v5 under a tower will be able to win against split push teams.
Drafting a Split Push Team:
A split push team is built from two essential components: the first part is one or two champions that excel at split pushing. These champions tend to be very fast at taking towers and able to escape from one-or-two-person ganks. The second part of a split push team are the teammates that will need to stall out the 4v5 under their own tower. These champions tend to have either strong Area of Effect abilities to clear creep waves or CC to discourage the enemy team from diving. Generally, bans for a split push team are strong initiators like Malphite, Alistar and Amumu.
Playing a Split Push Team:
Effective split push play requires very strong communication. Always be looking for opportunities to split the opposing team by forcing multiple objectives simultaneously. Wards are extremely useful in the enemy jungle and river to keep tabs on the enemy team’s movements.
One example tactic this type of team can use is to have one person push bottom lane during the late/mid game. This will generally cause the enemy team to make a move for Baron or move to stop the split push attempt. If enough enemies move to stop the split push, the rest of the team can take an easy baron. In the scenario where enemy team moves toward Baron Nashor, the split push team needs to force an engagement. They don’t need to win this engagement, they merely need to delay or deny the baron. During this standoff, the split push will be able to easily inflict damage on the enemy base.
Another strong tactic for split push teams is to use a few Teleport Summoner spells. Since the idea is to avoid team fights, some players will bring teleport so that they can easily pressure lanes while opponents are grouped up and looking for fights.
Effective Champions (Middle Lane):
Karthus: Karthus is one of the strongest choices for holding out a 4v5 under a turret since he can punish enemies even after dying. His ultimate can also be used to stop opponents from recalling and dealing with a split push from anywhere on the map.
Anivia: Anivia’s ability to easily clear creep waves is almost unmatched. She can sit under a turret and force the enemy team to have no creep support for diving. She also has Crystallize and Flash Frost which allow her to draw out engagements that aren’t in her favor.
Twisted Fate: Twisted Fate is able to push quickly with Wildcard and teleport large distances with Destiny/Gate. He can fulfill either role on a split push team pretty well, making him a strong pick.
Effective Champions (Top Lane):
Malphite: Malphite brings strong CC and durability to a team to deter opponents from openly engaging. The other major benefit to drafting Malphite is denying him from the enemy team.
Teemo: Teemo’s high mobility and Toxic Traps acting as wards make him a great candidate for split pushing since he is very difficult to catch and punish for it.
Nidalee: Nidalee is one of the hardest champions to catch due to her cougar form’s Pounce ability. As a cat she also has two AoE abilities that help her push minions quickly.
Effective Champions (Jungle):
Master Yi: Master Yi kills towers faster than most champions because of his built in steroids. His ultimate can also aid him when escaping from ganks.
Shen: Shen’s ultimate is what makes him able to split push. When picking Shen, it is not necessary to commit to split-push-style gameplay since his ultimate allows him to join team fights from across the map, as a result, he can split push and still keep team fights 5v5.
Shaco: Shaco has great escape abilities to avoid ganks and an ultimate that helps him push towers more quickly.
Effective Champions (Support):
Alistar: Alistar’s strong CC and defense make him a great deterrent for an enemy team preparing to dive a turret. As with other strong dower diving champions, like Malphite, keeping him out of the enemy team can be enough of a reason alone to draft him.
Lulu: Lulu’s Wild Growth ability and multiple CC abilities allow her to deter from tower dives and extend team fights.
Sona: Sona’s high sustain can help keep a team from being poked down and her ultimate rounds out her kit with a very strong counter-initiation.
Effective Champions (Ranged AD):
Sivir: Sivir’s On The Hunt and AoE attacks allow her to push extremely quickly, and her spell shield can help her avoid and mitigate enemy CCs.
Ashe: Ashe can poke well from under tower and can use Enchanted Crystal Arrow to begin fights when some enemies withdraw to stop the split push.
Tristana: Tristana’s range allows her to poke and push very effectively and her mobility with Rocket Jump can help her escape many ganks while split pushing.
- Always communicate as a team. Focus on keeping opponents’ attention split.
- Ward the enemy jungle so that their movements between lanes are easily noticed.
- Even small delays in team fights, over the course of the game, can multiply to become a free turret or inhibitor. Protect your pusher’s position by always being a passive threat.
- Always remember that the game is won by killing the nexus, not the opposing players.
- Waitfor the enemy team to split up and take advantage of poor positioning at every opportunity presented.