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Winning From The Back: Forming a Poke Comp

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  • 27/05/2016
On the competitive stage, creating the most effective team composition and adjusting your playstyle according to that strategy is crucial. This is especially true when your team has a poke composition, which demands a very unique playstyle oriented around whittling down your targets from afar but avoiding direct confrontation and teamfights. While this strategy can sometimes fall apart when it is played haphazardly, a coordinated poke team during a LoL boost can be incredibly oppressive.

The Premise

The poke composition team is based around the idea of having a select few champions with long-range, high-damage abilities to weaken your opponents. This will enable your team to secure objectives and siege towers with ease, as your opponents do not have the health to fight you. If you need help, our LoL Elo Boosting experts can help you pick your ideal team with your skillset. A poke team should try to create advantages before taking big objectives like towers or dragons. By creating advantages through poking and crowd controlling enemies from afar, you pressure their weakened carries to either fall back or teamfight. This results in the opposing team having to lose objectives, and forced to fight without an important champion or with a large health disadvantage.

The Foundations and Basics

The three most important traits of a poke team that I have noticed during LoL boosting are the ability to poke their opponents, waveclear efficiently and disengage if necessary. The composition should have a solid balance of these three attributes to ensure a successful draft. There is a large range of very strong poke champions of both AD and AP builds to pick from for every lane. A few strong examples include Varus, Ezreal, Corki, Lux and Xerath, all of which have long-range spells to frequently harass their opponents with without engaging them directly. These champions are often immobile, and are forced to rely on their allies to peel and disengage for them. Watch out for champions high on the LoL Tier List that counter your picks, as they can be hard to deal with. Fast Waveclear is extremely important, as the poke composition will need to siege enemy towers and maintain pressure the entire game by clearing enemy minion waves as fast and effectively as possible. As our LoL Elo Boosting experts say, killing minion waves will make hitting collision poke spells such as Nidalee’s Spear Toss (Her Q) or Jayce’s Shock Blast (His Q) easier, which makes for improved harass potential. A poke composition requires huge disengage spells to subdue up-front initiation from the opposing team. Champions with the ability to kite and peel for their allies including Gragas, Poppy and Janna are popular examples of champions that can deny an engage via crowd control. Gragas’ and Janna’s ult are both great for keeping champions off your squishy carries. Furthermore, area-of-effect mobility spells such as Karma’s Defiance (Her Mantra E, R+E) or the Talisman of Ascension’s Active Ability are ideal for fleeing from impending flanks and engages onto your carries. Lastly, use the LoL Tier List to see who you need to save your disengage spells for.

Since the poke composition struggles in direct teamfights, one of the most important skills I have noticed during a recent LoL Boost is knowing your opponent’s location at all times is key to avoiding these unfavorable fights until you have whittled down your opponents. Thoughtful and abundant use of sight and vision wards will help you avoid their flanks and engages in the fog-of-war. Be sure to make use of Farsight Alteration wards and the Frost Queen’s Claim’s active ability to trace your opponents’ movements, as these items are extremely powerful tools for medium/long-range vision of your enemies.

Countering a Poke Composition

A skillful poke composition can be infuriating to play against. Poke teams capable of keeping broad vision control and disengage spells leave very few windows of opportunity for their opponents to strike them back. To win against this kind of team, you need to be able to initiate as many fights as possible before your team is weakened too much. Hard-engage spells and chain and area-of-effect crowd control are superb against poke compositions when used effectively. Strong melee engages to the back line of the poke team are also extremely successful. Malphite’s Unstoppable Force (His R) or Amumu’s Curse of the Sad Mummy (His R) are both powerful initiation abilities, ideal for locking down multiple targets, and preventing them from attacking back. Furthermore, movement speed buffs like Sivir’s On the Hunt (Her R) are brilliant for closing the gap and starting fights against teams that are trying to avoid confrontation

Thoughtful ward placement can enable allies to flank the poke composition with Teleport, creating favorable engages for your team from surprise attacks that a poke composition may struggle to disengage from. If your team is struggling with this, I would recommend an Elo Boost so you will have teammates that are capable of utilizing their trinkets to the fullest. Adaptive itemization and an Elo Boost will help you prepare for and endure barrages of damage you may face. Defensive items that give you health regeneration and large defensive stats including Locket of the Iron Solari and Spirit Visage are excellent purchases against AP poke. Investing in lifesteal is effective for AD carries and Marksmen looking to recuperate from damage dealt to them. While Banshee’s Veil may be useful against occasional poke, it’s a weaker purchase against champions with lighter, spammable poke abilities such as Kog’Maw’s Living Artillery (His R). During LoL Boosting Sessions, I have noticed that It also can simply be removed by a small ability before the big engage.

Poke Compositions in Action

These professional games are perfect examples of good poke compositions. (EU LCS) Origen vs Copenhagen Wolves, Season 5 (Link) – A slow match where Origen maintains control of the map the entire game through exceptional poke and disengage. (NA LCS)Team Liquid vs Team Dignitas , Season 5 (Link) – A poke composition tried by Team Dignitas featuring Ezreal, one of the strongest poke champions at the time. The game was won by TL through a superior draft, vision denial and strong engages. (LCK) ROX Tigers vs KT Rolster, Game 3, Season 6 (Link) – A beautiful execution of a poke composition, with the Tigers creating leads by utilizing strong poke skills, sieging enemy towers and forcing favorable fights. The poke composition is tricky to pull off, requiring a unique playstyle to win the game. When executed correctly, however, it has the ability to be one of the strongest, most oppressive compositions to face.

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