Being A One Trick Pony: The Pros and Cons
Mon 10th Jul 2017 - 8:58am
In any game, there's always been room for someone who's a "one trick pony". Mastering one specific playstyle or character, these players excel at what they're good at and really nothing else. But is that always a bad thing? In this article, we'll take a hard look at OTP'ing in League of Legends, and whether it is really worth doing whether you're new to the game or someone who's been playing for ages.
What is a "One Trick Pony"?
First of all, we're going to look deeper into this term, specifically within League of Legends. We've all experienced them in our games, players who lock in champions that you either squint your eyes at, trying to figure out what they're getting at, or they play champions that are in their normal role, but may not be in the meta at the moment.
We're going to take a look at the benefits of becoming a one trick, which there are quite a few, especially in the lower brackets of the ranks. The three sections I'll be breaking this down into is the ability to learn different aspects of the game faster since you've already understood the ins and outs of your champion, being able to edge out someone who probably counters you with superior understanding of the match-up, the "wow!" factor and finally, recognizing what sort of synergy you have with your team early and not having to feel it out throughout the game as it evolves.
A big thing that is commonly overlooked by deciding to put tons of both practice tool and in-game time towards playing one specific champion is that your time and effort can be spend in other ways sooner. What I mean specifically by this is that very common in-game skills that take some time to develop such warding, jungle routes, roaming patterns, etc. These things usually take quite some time to develop when playing a large array of champions. While you're trying to learn the ins and outs of three to six different mid-laners, you may be missing out on when to recognize opportune times to roam bottom to pick up a juicy double kill.
Denying the Counter:
Many times, you end up scratching your head when you see your Zed lose a 1v1 to that Xerath, questioning how an assassin could lose to a control mage. This is something that occurs when you find out that that Xerath has sunk 300 plus games into that champion this season alone. This is another benefit of mastering that one champion is that you get to sometimes (not all the time) deny the counter, especially when someone is playing the counter just to play the counter, not necessarily when they can play the counter confidently.
The shock factor of pulling out something off-meta confidently throws a lot of people off and can cause tilt to set in. A lot of people aren't ready for the Fiddlestick middle or the Sejuani support (well they weren't until pro-play happened). It causes someone to be hesitant or to be cocky, allowing for you to make the outplay.
Being a Better Teammate:
When you've played and figured out the ins-and-outs of your desired champion, you get to identify what other lanes sync up with you well. Are you a Sejuani one-trick? Then your Yasuo top lane is probably going to be your best friend because not only his autos but his Q's as well proc your E passive. Pouring a lot of time and energy into your desired champion lets you already know these strengths and enable them early, letting you snag that advantage quicker.
With anything though, there's always the negative side effects of playing one champion. This is where we break those cons down, mainly coming from two main areas. The first, is when the champion is in a bad spot due to tuning, the meta, etc. The second, is when that champion faces reworks due to it being dated (RIP old Warwick, Sion, Ryze), this can essentially change your love of the champion and how you may play it.
Ever Changing Meta:
League is like a river. It's always fluid and never stays still. This is true with patches and the meta. This means your one particular champion of choice could fall into a poor spot, or the niche build you've discovered becomes a target of a nerf. These are things that you, as a one-trick, need to be prepared for and have contingency plans in place in case this may happen. If you do plan on mastering one champion, having multiple builds and ways to play in place is the best bet, but having a second champion to fall back on that you are interested in should your main take that much of a hit is also something that's recommended.
Nothing Withstands the Test of Time:
Something that League has become quite known for now is reworks. Whether it is changing the general play style of the champion or changing absolutely everything about the champion to its core. Sion, a champion that was very niche and odd before his rework, had only a few particular players giving him attention. Now he is far from a shell of his former self, but that does not take away from people making him their own. Tilterella, someone who has taken the new Sion and played him full attack damage, does incredible things with him. But it also goes both ways, Tobias Fate, someone who is considered a phenomenal Gangplank player and hit Challenger doing so, is now a Diamond player, despite being just as gifted as a player.
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