Drafting for Success - Quick Tips for Solo Queue



Thu 22nd Mar 2018 - 11:25pm

Drafting a good composition is an essential part of any League of Legends game. Some drafts are better than others, some are weaker, some can't act until late game, and others have an easier time early game. What makes a good team comp, though? A lot of things, but it's easier to understand and figure out than one thinks.

Current meta champions can be taken and divided up into classes. Some, like Tristana, fall into the hypercarry role, where they'll start doing more and more damage as time goes on, also known as scaling. Others may fall into a broad playmaking class, like Zac or Sejuani. These champions rely off of parts of their kit as engage to allow their team to pounce and secure a kill, burn an enemy summoner spell, break up fights, or push opponents off of an important objective around the map. Of course, there's more than just those champions that fall into those few classifications, and just playing those champions (in any role) can give you an idea about how they should or probably could be played. The challenge isn't identifying the types of champions, but rather trying to get a decent comp in solo queue. But, as long as someone on your team thinks somewhat like the steps below, the pieces of the puzzle should fall into place.

Zac and Sejuani, examples of playmaking champions.

Ban Phase

Good drafting starts at the ban phase. Rule of thumb is to normally ban off champions that you have a hard time countering or are just really strong in the meta. But due to 5 bans on each team, and not a ton of champs crushing games at one time, 2/3 of those 5 bans could be adjusted to really strong champions (in any role), then the remaining 2/3 bans (depending on how many bans are allocated to strong champs) can target key points, such as scaling tanks or champs that work well into specific comps (like dive comps or CC chains). This is just situational depending on the meta, so none of the bans you choose now are really set in stone for the next patch, or patch after that.

Pick Phase

Now comes the fun. What comp would work best with your team? Champions with a lot of CC, and a strong mid/ADC to even out the edges? Or a dive comp with good engage? These types of ideas you'll need to feel out depending on what champions your teammates want to play. While communication may not be the smoothest in just solo queue, everyone has the basic ideas down: at least one tank, a good AD carry (pretty much everyone is ok at this point), AP/AD midlaner, just the basics. Even a slight change on your end could impact how the comp is played. Equally, a lot of solo queue players don't really care about comp types in lower ELOs, but as you climb, it'll become more and more noticeable.

For example, let's just say you're playing ADC. Top is choosing Maokai, Jungle is going Zac, Mid is going Orianna, and your support is going Taric. There's a lot of engage with the Maokai and Zac, with Orianna able to keep enemies close with her ult, and Taric providing some light CC and peels. Tristana could work in that, allowing you to jump in and out of fights (depending on who's engaging), or Caitlyn, who can use her W traps to her advantage in engage comps.

Omega Squad Tristana splash art from Riot Games.

After that, it's just knowing how to play your champions, which is the challenge of most games. Learning good comps is easy but playing them correctly will always take the most practice. Watching pro League of Legends will help get your mind into a state of comp styles as well, since those teams focus around certain types, and rarely change due to their playstyles. And lastly, just playing the game by itself will help increase your knowledge of champion comps. See what works well and what doesn't, how you'd tweak the changes to the comps, etc. and in no time at all, you'll be mastering champion comps, and drafting yourself into success in your games!

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