Who You Should be Banning
In the previous It’s the Climb I went over the role of the Jungler. What followed after that was me finding out how easily tilt can affect someone’s ability to play cohesively. That someone being me. Things aren’t looking too good for our heroine. However, two of my friends broke out of the bowels of ELO Hell and are now Silver. So, something is right in the world I guess. This week, I want to talk about banning. Now, I know this isn’t the LCS. We’re talking about solo queue here. And to be even more specific, we’re talking about low solo queue. As in Bronze to Silver range where most of the player base resides.
One of the things you’ll see in the LCS is what is referred to as a “targeted ban,” where bans are done to restrict a player’s champion pool. You kind of can’t do that in solo queue. You have no clue who you’re playing against. Speaking of which, just because there was a guy in your last queue who played a busted Yorick, please do not go and ban Yorick the next game. You’ll just look like an arse.
A General PSA About Bans
Hello summoner, I would like to talk to you about dangerous trend sweeping our Champion Selects. Maybe you’ve seen this happen. You suggest some bans to your first pick. In fact, everyone does. Then, you see a Jinx ban. You think to yourself, “well that’s okay. Jinx is a hyper carry.” Then, he bans Lucian. “Well, Lucian is a monster ADC.” Two ADC bans are questionable. All the while, you realize your first pick hasn’t said a word. And on the purple side, there is no Jax ban. You plead with your first pick to either ban Jax or pick him. No response. His last and final ban is Vayne. Purple side doesn’t ban Jax. Your first pick auto locks in Ezreal and tells you all how he can carry now. The enemy team locks in Kayle and Jax. Your team loses because, while bot lane did alright, the rest of the lanes suffered at the hands of Jax, Kayle, and Lee Sin.
Maybe the message of this example wasn’t clear, so I’ll say it again. Do not only place bans in your lane. Sure, this will help you not get countered. And this may lead to you be able to dominant lane. But you are not the only person on the team. There are other lanes. Certain champions are a nightmare and even knowing their counters doesn’t mean your team mates can play them or outplay their opponent. Only banning for yourself put a lot of burden on your team mates. Following this trend, do not just ban champions you hate. Not a fan of Teemo, Sion, and Garen. Well, that’s cool. But why ban them? Do those bans help your team mates? The answer is no.
So, Who Do I Ban Then?
Remember that story I told you about where the first pick only banned ADCs? Well, that’s what we call foreshadowing. An ADC ban is a wasted ban. Just say it with me. An ADC ban is a wasted ban.
Why Do We Ban Some of These Champs?
Everyone knows how obnoxious Jax is. Jax, The Grandmaster at Arms is one of the League of Legends’ strongest late game carries. One of the reasons for this is his kit allows for both magic and physical damage, making it hard to build defensively for. Not only that, but Jax is very strong pre level 6 and can easily kill some top laners even at level 1. And at level 6? Well, you may just be dead. One of the strongest parts of Jax’s kit is his E Counter Strike. For up to 2 seconds Jax dodges all basic attacks and takes 25% less damage from area of effect abilities. At the end of the duration, Jax does physical damage and stuns near by enemies. This helps Jax be the scary all in champion he is. Start up Counter Strike, Leap Strike into the enemy team, and stun everyone. Thanks to his passive, Relentless Assault, Jax is also a split push nightmare who can take down turrets in a blink of an eye.
Braum is the newest champion to the League. Braum, the Heart of the Freljord is truest support in design. None of Braum’s abilities do any significant damage and his base AD is pretty abysmal alongside is very slow attack speed. What Braum has going for himself though is his passive Concussive Blows. Basic attack and his Q, Winter’s Bite, apply stacks of Concussive Blows for 4 seconds. Once the first stack has been applied, the basic attacks of any allied champion generate Concussive Blows stacks. Upon reaching 4 stacks, the target is stunned. Multiple enemies can be tagged with Concussive Blows allowing Braum to lock up the enemy team with no problem. Combine that with his tank stats and a kit designed to make him take abuse for his allies, and Braum is one of the best front liners in the game. Braum’s ultimate,Glacial Fissure, can turn the tides of a team fight or be great initiation. Glacial Fissure deals magic damage to all enemies in a line as well as those in an X-radius area around him. Enemy champions hit in the point-blank area are knocked up for 1.5 seconds, while enemies hit in the line are knocked up for 0.25 seconds. For the next 4 seconds a field of ice remains, slowing enemies that enter the area by 60% as long as they are in it and for 1.5 seconds once they are out of it. This ult alone keeps Braum as a top Support ban priority.
Skarner is pretty new to the ban club. Originally, Skarner was all about his ultimate, Impale. Skarner singles out a champion, suppress them, and then drags them to Skarner’s team. Otherwise, he didn’t do a whole lot. In patch 4.10, Skarner’s passive got a rework to work like Braum’s Concussive Blows. Crystallizing Sting is Skarner’s passive. Crystal Slash and Fracture build stacks of Crystal Venom on the target enemy, stacking up to 3 times. Attacking an enemy with 3 stacks consumes them to deal bonus magic damage and stun the target. With this new passive, Skarner is able to just sit in the enemy team and duel people until it’s time to steal a carry and pull them out of the fight. And not even just in team fights, Skarner’s passive also allows him to be a pretty sweet duelist when he gets tanky enough.
Lee Sin, the Blind Monk is probably the most “balanced” champion in the game. And by “balanced,” I mean the most mobile and one of the best duelists in the game. Lee Sin is one of the few champions with a ward jump, allowing to close gaps even without an enemy or ally to target. His abilities Iron Will, Tempest, and Cripple make him the strongest duelist in the jungle. Very few jungles can hand the life steal, slow, and AOE damage that he puts out when using these abilities. Lee Sin’s Q, Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike, is not only a gap closer, but also an execute as it does physical damage and 8% of the target’s missing health. Actually, the Q is one of the strongest parts of Lee’s kit as it allows him to out Smite an enemy Jungler, even if they are a higher level. The solace that can be found in Lee Sin is that he requires a very high skill level to be played well. But if you’re going to try to go a Feral Flare Jungler, Lee Sin is 100% a champion that has to be banned for you to be successful.
At the End of the Day; Use Your Own Judgement
At the end of the day, there is no absolute correct ban. In Bronze and Silver, I completely understand banning champions like Blitzcrank and Master Yi. Dodging skill shots is hard and hyper carries are hard to take down when your team doesn’t coordinate crowd control properly. Just remember to keep the above champion list in mind and check LOLKing.net every once in a while to see who the new monsters of solo queue are. And as always remember: