Worming Out Of It – A Look at How to Repel a Baron Power Play



Wed 21st Aug 2019 - 6:24pm

Facing down an opposing team with the Baron buff can be a scary thought for any player. We have seen the buff turn games or snowball them completely out of control nearly every week in professional play for many seasons now. This is the reason why Baron steals, and the players that specialize in the art of stealing objectives (such as Fnatic’s first jungler Cyanide), are seen to be so impactful. But we are not here to go over why slaying Baron Nashor is beneficial to those who do so; we are here to look at how to (potentially) recover from your opponents gaining the buff from the big purple worm.

1. Fight Them! Fight Them Now!

OK, this is the most risky method to countering the buff, but it also presents the highest rewards. It is risky because there is still the chance that your opponents will just turn on you like a pack of wolves and rip you apart, but, it is also likely that you can rip them to shreds as Baron still lowers resistances and can output a lot of damage onto those champions whom are squishier.

Therefore, if you can contest a fight right as the opposing team is finishing Baron (or even better as they are doing it), it may be the best course of action as even if you only trade out even. You are still removing the Baron buff from those members of the enemy team that you do manage to kill. This can limit the power of set opponents.

2. Push Out Then Turtle

It is quite common for a whole team to recall back to base together after slaying Nashor in what the professionals call a ‘Reset,’ but the time it takes a team to go back to base (albeit this is reduced by a major chunk in the reduced cast time for recall that the Baron buff provides, 4 seconds off to be exact) and then spread back into the map presents a window of time for the now defending team to set up some countermeasures.

In this window, one of the biggest things is to push out all three minion waves. There are several reasons for this. The first being that you do not need to worry about the opposing team freezing you away from farm as baron buffed minions will always push due to the immense power they get from the aura. The second is that the Baron buff only lasts a finite amount of time (180 seconds) and you can waste some of that time by having your opponents have to waste time killing your pushed out minions and while this may only take them seconds to do so, those seconds may be the difference between a push on just an inhibitor or your nexus.

3. Isolate and Remove

Now, we all know that 99 times out of 100, it is not a good idea to take a 5-versus-5 fight against a Baron buffed team, but 5v1 or 5v2 in your favor is certainly worth taking even if those 1 or 2 have the Baron buff.

As I mentioned prior, it is very common for teams to reset after taking the buff and as mentioned this gives a setup window for the now defending team, a window that allows for the setup and utilization of defensive vision. This vision is what allows for picks which, if converted, can allow a defending team to stall out a game as even a team using the Baron buff may not want to take a fight 4v5.

It should also be noted that even if the defensive vision set up by your doesn’t net you a free kill, it is likely that it will still waste a portion of the Baron buff timer as the offensive team has to clear it out, which takes time and resources, time and resources which are now not being used to push into your base.

4. Waveclear

Now, this method is very compositionally dependent, you really do need to have champions with obscene levels of wave clear for this turtling strategy to work. It is very simple, kill the Baron buffed minions before they reach your structures using a mixture of range and area of effect spells. This, if done right, forces the attacking team to either dive you at great risk to themselves (which your team can punish), wait out the Baron to fight you elsewhere (so you don’t have to fight them with the stats from the buff), or split the map (opening themselves up to being picked off). All of these come with a way to allow you and your team to mount a comeback.

Champions that specialize this usually are AP (with the exception of Sivir) and are mostly/usually seen in the mid lane in the form of champions such as Anivia, Ziggs, Xerath and the current queen of bot lane Sivir. A great example of this was seen in the 2017 Irish Collegiate Championship where we saw UUSU E-Sports stall out against a baron buffed Gazelle Gaming in game 3 using Ziggs to waveclear (supplemented with a Morgana support for the engage denial) until his team could take a fight on even ground in top lane which then led to UUSU taking the nexus.


Well there we have it, four methods for dealing with the Baron buff. Now while they do fit into 2 key types (removal via death or removal via stalling), each are different in their operation. Now whilst coming back from being in solo queue is a great feeling I must remind you that not every game is winnable and sometimes a team can just get too far ahead so these methods won’t always work, but they can give you the setup to maybe turn a game around and that makes them very useful tools for you (and your team) in your pursuit of LP. With that, I once again leave you with the thoughts of GL, HF, and GG.

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