Tuesday, October 30, 2012

League of Legends: Twisted Treeline Revamp

Recently Riot did a complete revamp of the 3 player map in League of Legends. It hadn't been touched since it came in during season 1 with the old mastery trees so it really needed some love. They didn't go light on the changes, either. It's the same map in that it has the same name and is still a 3v3 map but pretty much everything else is changed. The jungle has been completely redone. It's consolidated into a much smaller area and the mobs are significantly easier. The boss jungle mob is much harder than the old one. Some items had been flat out removed (in particular, wards are gone) and a bunch of new items were created just for this map. The layout of the lanes has been changed to make it easier to gank unsuspecting people. (Coupled with no wards and a plausible jungle this actually seems like a relevant change.)

Then there's the biggest change to the map and one that may well be the key to winning on the map... There are 2 altars on the map right in the middle of the jungle but split up a bit so one is closer to each team's base. These altars work a little like towers in World of Warcraft... Someone who doesn't control the altar can stand on it for 10 seconds to take control of it. After taking control the altar locks for 90 seconds and can't be stolen back during that time. After the 90 seconds the other team can go stand on it to take it back. The altars have global vision so you can see whenever anyone is standing on one of them. Then if you control one altar your team gets a +4 gold per kill buff. If you manage to control both altars you get the +4 gold per kill buff plus 10% bonus AD and 10% bonus AP. This will tend to make auto-attackers do 10% more damage and casters do more like 6% more damage. (Spells have a base damage component that won't get modified by the buff.)

The altars open up at the 2 minute mark, which is a little after the creeps will have started to fight in lane. It feels like a jungler has enough time to kill one camp and then go to the altar assuming they're left alone. So in a passive game you'll just pick up your altar with 1 person while they do the same thing and get your 4 gold buff. But what happens if one team just bull rushes the other team's altar and ignores the lanes entirely? Assuming they can win the level 1 team fight what option do they have? You should be able to bully them out of their jungle entirely, jamming their jungler, and claim their altar in like 3 seconds. Then because you're in a pack behind the other team's front line you should be able to run in behind a lane and gank them. I watched a replay and I think you should be able to get the altar and disperse to lanes while missing only half the wave. Setting their jungler back, keeping them from having an altar, and possibly getting a kill from the gank make this seem really good.

Alternatively, you could aggressively push the lanes the second they meet, and then charge the enemy altar. This doesn't screw the enemy jungler, and because you're split up it's easier to react to, but if you have strong pushers at level 1 and can win the level 1 team fight this seems like it could be a real blowout...

So the question is, what sort of champion is good in either setup? Stuns and AE effects seem useful. Kayle, for example, can probably push a lane before the altars open up. I wonder if Annie, who can have both a stun and an AE spell, could work? I've been trying jungle Taric out because of his stun and it seemed to work ok in the random games I've played. Especially against Teemo...

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