A Guide to Landing Orianna's Shockwave
Mon 24th Apr 2017 - 2:31pm
Orianna has been viewed as one of the most balanced champions in the game for a very long time. While she is currently one of the best picks right now, the idea of her being balanced comes from the sense that she can snowball her advantages, but also has the tools to hold on with if she falls behind early. While many of these can be attributed to her supportive playstyle with her waveclear and shields, the most prominent part of her kit that allows her to stay relevant is her ultimate, Command: Shockwave. Since the champion is only as good as the individual playing her, it's crucial that you are able to land these Shockwaves if you want to be able to pick up Orianna. Fortunately for you, in this guide we will identify the multiple approaches you can take to landing this ability at different times in the game.
Laning Phase - 1 on 1
Shockwaves in the early game are the easiest to pull off, for the simple reason of not having late-game pressure on you, and only having 1 target to have to aim at instead of 5. While still being mindful of enemy positions and who might be ganking you at any time, getting a brief idea of where your enemy might stand is a great way to line up your ultimate. Since your [Q] and [R] both have travel and cast times respectively, being able to read your opponent and anticipate where they will move can go a very long way. This can be done most effectively by reading how your opponent generally moves when they are farming your minions. For melee champions, it is especially easy. For ranged champs, it is understandably a bit trickier. If you send your [Q] out by the time your opponent has stopped to auto attack, then you are guaranteed to land the Shockwave for the fight unless they Flash. Keep in mind that you probably will not be able to challenge any aggressive pick to a 1v1 early on unless you outplay them accordingly or unless you are already ahead to begin with. Win a trade or two with smart usage of your [Q-W] and [E] before going for an all-in.
A flashier tactic will be to have the ball on top of yourself and then R-Flash, where you Flash towards your enemy during the ultimate's windup so that you can be your own personal ball delivery system. Just recognize the
risks you are taking by winding up your Flash and ult into one combo, as well as the hazards of Flashing forwards in general. Be wary of enemy positions on the map before pressing the trigger!
Lane Phase - Getting Ganked
Getting ganked is a great example of when a defensive Shockwave is required, where your objective is not to get a kill but to stay alive. Usually you will want to [W] back towards your turret and try to save your summoner spells until you really need them. However, depending on which jungler is ganking you and your lane opponent, sometimes you will have to settle for only catching one person in your ultimate. Usually when they are chasing you, they will clump close together without realizing and it sets you up for an easy 2-man.
However, it isn't always this easy. If the jungler has no hard CC and your lane opponent is far enough away, in many situations you can tank up some damage from the jungler while just walking away and [Q-R]ing your lane opponent.
Early game, most junglers will not be able to solo you by the time you get to your tower unless you are too pushed up, especially if you have your summoner spells available. If they decide to tower dive you, ulting whoever is tanking the initial tower shots will greatly increase your chances of picking up a kill or summoner, even if you die in the process. Sometimes you will have to line up a [Q-R] but in most cases, the jungler will be melee and Shockwaving on top of yourself should do the trick and score you some extra time to fight back. Mages that are powerful on the disengage are traditionally hard to dive and Orianna is certainly no exception.
Late Game Teamfights
Late game teamfights are always what will separate a good Orianna from the great ones. What kind of Shockwave you are looking for varies vastly on the context of the game and threat of multiple people flanking you. This, of course, also doesn't even mention the risks of multiple people trying to target you and you may not always have a Zhonya's Hourglass on you depending on how you decided to build. But we can narrow it down to the 3 most common archetypes of Shockwaves you can expect to find yourself having to pull off. The 1st one will be the re-engage, the 2nd will be follow-up, and the 3rd one will be for peeling. The first one, the re-engage, is quite simple. It might be because your team has initiated a fight and is now kiting back a bit, or your team is camped and the enemy is walking towards you. Regardless, the enemy is walking right into your trap. Like when getting ganked by a jungler, teams usually will walk close together in the late game to reduce the risk of getting picked off. This will greatly increase your chances of landing multi-man Shockwaves that your team can capitalize on.
The follow-up engage should be relatively straightforward - capitalizing on the couple of seconds that your frontline has bought for your team after they have initiated. In most cases, a Shockwave following up on a hard engage such as a Malphite, Maokai or Nautilus can guarantee a won teamfight.
If you are not using it to disengage, re-engage, or follow up on an initiation, then chances are you're in a teamfight where you have to either look to hit as many enemy champs as you can or peel for your AD carry. Generally, it's best to kite backwards with your other abilities and just hold on to your ultimate for as long as you need to. The opportunity to ult in this scenario will usually present itself after a while, whether you find an easy way to get 2-3 enemies, or if a tank or bruiser have jumped onto your marksman. Stay safe though- it is a huge win to your enemies if they are able to kill you in a teamfight before you are able to Shockwave. Of course, the [R-Flash] combo is still viable, but remember to have a Zhonya's on you if you're going to do it, especially in the late game!
Hopefully this guide has taught you a thing or two about landing Shockwaves and will serve useful to you in your future Orianna-related endeavors. Unless you are very far behind, a great Shockwave will turn the tide of almost any teamfight and help you secure your victory. Whether you're following up on an initiation, disengaging or pulling off a flashy combo, just remember why you are doing so and the risks involved with each one. As a mage, remember to work smart and not hard, and practice calculating your Shockwaves so you can help carry your team to victory.
Like our content? Support us by getting our merchandise in our shop