Growing a Pair: 5 OP Bot Lane Duos in LoL
Mon 11th Nov 2019 - 9:54pm
Bot lane is the only place on Summoner's Rift that requires a constant, high-level duality among two players. While this can cause for great synergized gameplay, it can also cause a little strain between ADC and Support. It's time to get real with ourselves and realize that no two players will ever be in complete sync at every moment of every game, regardless of the relationship between these two players. There will be moments of miscommunication and disagreements in this union, which can ultimately lead to a loss.
However, sometimes all it takes is the right combination of champions to enhance the synergy between two players. There are particular pairings of two champions that work so well that it lessens the consequences of a bot lane's mistakes. These pairings have kits that complement each other so well that it gives that bot lane great potential to beat out their opponent.
How To Play It: Starting off with the star-crossed lovers, how can there be a more complementary duo than a duo that was quite literally created with the purpose to pair each other. Starting off in the early game, you're not necessarily going to be the overwhelmingly strongest damage threat. However, the feathers that you gain from Xayah's Q and W abilities allow for a decent amount of poke. Along with this, her E ability keeps enemies in check as anyone foolish enough to back Xayah into a corner should probably look over their shoulders for any returning feathers, which would root said enemy. This is all without even accounting for her ultimate, which makes her untargetable and serves as a great disengage ability. She becomes completely untargetable while throwing out a great number of feathers which are angled so that they can easily root any pressing enemies when retracted. What would be even more foolish would be for an enemy to provoke Xayah with Rakan around.
Rakan is a champion with tons of mobility, and his engages don't typically yield any severe consequences so long as he is able to retreat to the safety of an ally with his E ability. His E ability allows him to fly to an ally champion in its radius and shields that ally. The great thing about his E is that the range is bigger when used on Xayah. This can be used as a more effective gap closer in which he can then use to pounce on enemies with his W knock up ability. However, you're more likely to produce greater results when activating your ultimate ability prior to knocking up the enemies with your W ability.
Rakan's ultimate ability gives him a great amount of movement speed that allows him to catch up to fleeing enemies, and any enemy champion that makes any sort of physical contact with Rakan will be charmed. This allows for a greater success rate as it pertains to engaging fights. It's also important to note that you shouldn't be hesitant to use your W or R to retreat from enemies. Lastly, people find Rakan's Q ability to be his least significant, and while this is true for the most part, it is a great way to sustain and harass in the laning phase. His Q serves as a short ranged projectile, that upon hitting an enemy champion, Rakan gains a ring around him that heals the first ally that makes contact with his ring.
Why It Works: Aside from the fact that the two pose a duo that has great escapability, fighting potential, and disengage, they quite literally were made for each other. Rakan's E and Xayah's W gain significant buffs only if they are on the same team. These two have great kits for tons of different scenarios, whether it's to start a fight or disengage against a gank. There is rarely any risk when it comes to playing these two. They both have the ability to be aggressive as well as disengage on a dime. They were made to have complementary kits, and this allows for tons of flexibility in game.
How To Play It: Caitlyn and Morgana is probably the strongest duo to play as, and the best to snowball off of, if played correctly. Both champions are very long ranged which already creates an annoyance with their incessant poking. Caitlyn has the longest auto attack range among all AD Carry champions prior to level 14. This gives her a huge advantage in the laning phase, as she can easily out-poke any champion. Morgana's Q ability, which roots for a long time, also has an extensively long range.
This duo is typically played by CC chaining the enemy to death. In most cases, Morgana will Q the enemy to engage any exchange. Morgana has a very long Q range as stated before, but it also moves at a pretty high speed, and the hit box is decent. She will then proceed to throw her W ability over the rooted champion, which is a pool that deals decent damage to any enemy caught in it over a short period of time.
Now looking at Caitlyn's role in this duo, it is important for Caitlyn to be on her toes. As soon as Morgana's root lands on an enemy champion, she must quickly be able to place her W ability, which is a trap that roots any enemy champion that steps over it. Morgana's Q root already lasts a large amount of time but having been rooted by a Caitlyn W immediately after is just insult to injury. If an enemy steps on Caitlyn's trap, it activates her passive ability which allows extra damage on her next auto attack.
But as stated before, being caught in this CC chain gives this scary duo a great deal of time to do whatever they please afterwards. Morgana can step up and activate her ultimate ability, which would then root any enemies that happen to be near her. However, the person you really want to look out for when hit by this immense CC chain is Caitlyn. Especially now with the prevalence of all different kinds of Caitlyn combos, there are tons of different and quick ways that Caitlyn can deal a lethal amount of damage to any poor victim caught by her traps. It's not hard to catch out enemies with how broken these two's kits are, and one tiny mistake by the enemy will likely result in complete loss of the lane unless the enemy executes their play perfectly afterwards.
Why It Works: There are tons of different factors as to why this duo works so well together. Let's start with the fact that they essentially have a predetermined advantage before the game even starts, which is that they have great range. Again, this creates for tons of ability to out-poke the enemy bot lane, which can already be enough to win a lane. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The length at which the enemy will be completely vulnerable if hit by their CC chain is almost too broken. Morgana's Q ability will root the enemy champion from 2-3 seconds depending on how many times the Q ability has been upgraded, and on top of this, Caitlyn's W will root the same victim for another 1.5 seconds right after. Just take the time to close your eyes and count to 4. While counting to 4, imagine all the damage that a champion caught in this chain will be taking. Any experienced League of Legends player knows the damage that can be done to any poor player that is rooted for 4 whole seconds. Simply just auto attacking the rooted enemy for 4 seconds can be enough to kill but imagine being victim to a skillful Caitlyn combo. It would make any victim to this CC chain look like a deer in headlights.
However, an understated factor of why this duo works so well is their ability to disengage. This is mostly highlighted by Morgana's E which can be her most important ability depending on the scenario. Her black shield makes it hard for either champion to be caught out by any kind of CC ability. Even besides this, Caitlyn's E ability allows her to fly backwards, which is also a great ability to use as a disengage. For the most part, an enemy probably won't be able to get in range to land a CC ability on either Caitlyn or Morgana anyways without taking a great deal of poke, due to the fact that they both have such long ranges and can deal damage while retreating easily. So if you're going to engage on this duo, take into account the many things that can go wrong. Pray that you don't mess up because you'll be in for a world of hurt if you do.
How To Play It: Like the previous two duos, the key to playing this particular duo is to complement each other's kits. While the other two duos complement each other with their active abilities, Lucian and Braum have very complementary passive abilities. Braum's passive is that he will apply a stack to any enemy that he hits with an auto attack or his Q ability, which is a projectile that slows. If 3 more stacks are applied shortly after to this same target that already has 1 stack applied onto them, this target will be stunned for anywhere between 1.25-1.75 seconds (depending on Braum's level).
Lucian has tons of different abilities and animation cancels to hasten the time between auto attacks, so his damage output is already great. This, added with the effects of Braum's passive, would mean that Lucian can burst a great deal of damage very quickly to an enemy while stunning them. Braum's Q, which applies a stack, slows the enemy champion hit, and Lucian's E ability is an instant gap closer. Any enemy champion victim to Braum's Q will quickly be closed in on by a Lucian that will then use his many auto attacks to quickly stun the enemy. The damage output that will soon follow being stunned with definitely leave a huge dent on an enemy's health bar, if the enemy isn't already dead.
How to do all of this is for Braum to essentially start off any engage. It is preferable for Braum to hit is Q because it applies a stack, while slowing the enemy that is hit by it. This allows Lucian to gap close with his E and then start a barrage of abilities that activate his passive. The amount of auto attacks that will follow will stun the champion as well as dish out tons of quick damage. Braum can easily peel throughout all of this by using his W to jump to Lucian and use his E to tank any incoming abilities. If you have Braum's ult, Braum can also start a fight with that by knocking up the enemy. This allows for Lucian to gap close again, while they are knocked up as well as increases the success rate of Braum hitting his Q ability, and the cycle continues.
Why It Works: The reason that Braum works so well with Lucian is that Lucian's passive allows for him to generate the most amount of auto attacks in the shortest period of time among all AD Carry champions. Why this is relevant is because Braum's passive allows for allies' auto attacks to apply a stack onto a champion as long as he himself has applied one first already, of course. Lucian's passive will allow him to auto attack 2 times rather than 1 time to the next enemy he auto attacks after using any of his abilities. This allows for him to apply Braum's stacks at a very high speed.
Obviously, this duo is great because of their two passives being highly complementary. However, it is important to realize that aside from this already overpowered combination of passives, they are two champions who are great in fights. Lucian has great mobility with his E dashes, that help him adapt in any fight. His positioning and ability to quickly change angles allows him to orchestrate the direction and momentum of a fight. While he is dashing around, Braum can easily peel for him with his giant shield that his E ability activates. Along with this shield, Braum can easily jump to his ally with his W, which will activate the shield from Guardian (Guardian is the unanimous choice of rune for Braum), assuming he dashes to the ally when they are taking damage.
Braum's ult is a great knock up that can quickly engage fights on unsuspecting enemies. To those knocked up by this ability, Lucian can easily follow up with his great gap closing ability. There are tons of different ways that a Lucian can deal damage to an enemy, but this with the added peel and passive of Braum makes Lucian one hundred times more lethal. These two champions have great survivability in any exchange and can switch up on enemies on a dime. This duo is not one that you will want to see chasing you over your shoulder because in most cases, they will catch up to you.
How To Play It: Complementary kits. That seems to be the glaring theme of this guide, and it doesn't stop glaring at us anytime soon. Individually, these champions can easily hold their own, and are very strong. The key to playing this duo is poke. Ashe's W and great auto attack range allows for harass that is incessant. Along with this, her auto attacks and W slow any champions hit by them, so the enemy will be victim to even more harass until she decides to stop chasing.
Then there's the problem of Zyra. She may not have the range that Ashe does, but her plants allow her influence to reach even further than she can alone. The placement of her W ability, or her seeds, is important because they will determine where the enemy must move to or avoid. If Zyra uses an ability on a seed she has planted, the seed will then grow to a plant that will attack nearby enemies. This is a great annoyance to anything that is on the other end of the plant because it dishes out a surprisingly good chunk of damage.
The only way to counter this is to either step on the seed before it is changed into a plant, or to avoid the seed entirely until it disappears on its own. Either way, just by planting the seed the damage has been done. The enemy will likely be zoned off from farming or unable to poke Ashe or Zyra, if the enemy decides to avoid the plant. If the enemy is confident enough to try and step on the seed before Zyra activates it, they will put themselves in a huge amount of risk.
If they fail to destroy the seed, they will probably be rooted by Ashe's ultimate ability or Zyra's E ability and have to deal with an onslaught of damage immediately after. The chances that an enemy is to survive this is slim because even if they survive the time that they are rooted, Ashe's auto attacks and abilities still slow, making it extremely difficult to escape alive.
Sure, Ashe and Zyra have a great CC chain if Ashe lands her Ult and Zyra lands her E root and R knock up. However, the true strength in this duo is the pure damage output. It makes the enemies keep their distance and engaging on the two is intimidating. They both have low mobility, but it is likely that the enemies won't even have enough health to make a proper engage in the first place because of the amount of poke taken from these two prior to any engage. The key to playing this Ashe/Zyra duo is to deal enough damage so that the enemy won't be able to farm or will constantly have to recall to stay alive. This cuts the enemy off from being able to make any decent amount of income, which hinders their ability to scale for later.
Why It Works: The reason why this duo works is because of how intimidating the two are in lane. If you get hit by a single ability, it can be the catalyst of your death in the blink of an eye. The damage output from these two is enormous, and the chances you'll be able to dodge even a third of their abilities is quite slim. Even if you do play safe enough to not be hit by their abilities, that probably means you are a great ways away from the waves. A distance large enough that you'll probably find great difficulty in farming, which is a huge blow to your gold income. In that regard, they have already won.
But let's say that the enemy is feeling confident. They put themselves at huge risk to be hit by a CC ability, and the punishment that this duo can dish out is game changing. One small mistake can be snowballed into the complete demise of the bot lane, which can then be the catalyst of the victims' defeat. Pure damage is the name of the game with these two, and it isn't difficult at all to dish it out.
How To Play It: When playing this duo, the glaring strength of it is safety and sustainability. Being able to patiently farm in lane and waiting to scale is nothing new when it comes to playing Sivir. It is really a matter of efficiently gaining gold and staying out of high-risk scenarios when playing Sivir, and she is quite good at it. Her Q and W abilities are great for wave clearing, and her E ability is a spell shield that helps her sustain mana as well as become invulnerable to abilities that can catch her out.
With that being said, Yuumi is a champion that excels at helping her AD Carry sustain a good position in lane. Her passive gives her host a constant shield. On top of this, her E ability gives her ally that she is attached to bonus speed while healing them. Her Q ability is a projectile that is pretty hard to dodge, so she can add on to the poking that Sivir will keep up in lane. Yuumi also has the ability to jump out of her host and absorb an abilities that can potentially CC or damage her AD Carry. You can use this to help Sivir sustain a good position in lane, while not really being too affected as Yuumi, because you're in the safety of another champion for most of the game.
Yuumi's ult is a large barrage of waves that stun any champion hit by the wave 4 out of 7 times. To utilize this in lane, you have to be in sync with your ADC, which creates opportunities for miscommunication. However, Sivir's ult speeds her up so it becomes a lot easier to control the Yuumi's ult. This is great for chasing people down as well as starting good engages because Sivir's ultimate ability increases the success rate fo Yuumi's ult significantly.
Why It Works: Sivir is by no means a strong early game champion. She is very far on the other side of the spectrum in that regard, so in laning phase she will typically want to keep opponents at bay with her poking in order to farm and scale for when she's strong later. Yuumi is a good support for anyone that scales, but what gives Sivir an extra appeal for Yuumi's is that Sivir can easily fend for herself because of her E spell shield and R speed boosts. Yuumi excels at being attached to champions with high survivability and is also good at keeping opponents a safe distance away with her Q pokes.
This is a very safe lane, and it is almost impossible to get a good engage on them. Unlike the other duos, there is no overwhelming damage or insane CC chain in the laning phase. However, if you want a more slow-paced duo that is likely to make little mistakes and has a small chance to lose, this is your duo. Even if you overstep, theres a spell shield or healing and speed boost to help cover up any mistakes. The things that either champion lacks, the other one makes up for, and it makes for a surprisingly cohesive duo.
Currently, these are the most dominant duos in the bottom lane, and they are all annoying to play against. Each has their own individual strengths so choose according to your own playstyle. However, don't be afraid to try a different duo because each are overpowered in their own respects. Queue up with your partner and climb the ladder!