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Jan 22, 2016

Top 10 Low Counterplay High Consistency Champion Strategies

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The onslaught of Season 6 is upon us, and the ferocity leaves some in shambles with others rising higher than they ever climbed before.

As it happens, the one question I always get a ton of at the start of the Season is of course, the timeless "How do I climb faster?"

If climbing faster is your goal, it simply comes to one word: Consistency


The onslaught of Season 6 is upon us, and the ferocity leaves some in shambles with others rising higher than they ever climbed before.

As it happens, the one question I always get a ton of at the start of the Season is of course, the timeless "How do I climb faster?"

If climbing faster is your goal, it simply comes to one word: Consistency

Playing to Higher Leagues

Consistency boils down to this: 
  1. Can your chosen strategy consistently beat players in your bracket? Additionally,
  2. Can your chosen strategy consistently compete against/beat players in higher brackets?
Some strategies might be harder than others to pull off. A match-up based strategy may eventually lose out against superior players. However, a macro strategy focusing on winning is often much more reliable even against higher ranked players.

Now that this long extended introduction is out of the way, let's check out the Top 10 Low Counterplay, High Consistency Strategies that have cropped up on the rift in the last five seasons!

Split Push Shen

Despite being in line for a rework, split push Shen has always been a time tested strategy that rings true.

As a champion with one of the few truly global presences left in the game, a Shen that's tanky enough to survive 1v1 or 1v2 can easily split push and then use his ultimate or teleport into a teamfight whenever he's needed.

Counterplay: In order to counter this strategy in full effect, enemy teams will need to keep the map clear of wards to prevent Shen from feeling too confident about split pushing. Coordinated hard engage teams may also make it difficult for him to cheese too hard.

Blue Build Ezreal

As an insanely low cooldown AOE poke/slow powerhouse with high survivability via armor from Iceborn Gauntlet, Blue Build Ezreal comes and goes depending on how strong certain items are at that point in the game. During the period when this post is written, Blue Build Ezreal is again one of the strongest marksman champions on the rift at the moment.

Counterplay: Again, coordinated hard engage teams are best suited to prevent your team from being chiseled away. Unfortunately, Ezreal is also a kiting master with this build, and may prove difficult to capture.

Malphite Idiot-proof Initiation

Malphite's ultimate is one of those spells that you can explain to someone who has never played League of Legends before, and he/she can still use it in an insanely effective manner. 
"Press R when your mouse is over the bearded guy throwing axes"
This move is an insanely effective form of initiation and can turn around teamfights and games no matter how behind he is on items and farm.

Coupled with his Ground Slam (E)'s attack speed slow, Malphite is the bane of every marksman's existence.

Counterplay: Yes, Malphite's ultimate is technically dodgeable. However, there's a reason why people are very impressed when someone flashes a Malphite ultimate. It's because it's really hard.

Nidalee's Invisible Spears

There are few things worse than being chunked by a Nidalee Javelin Toss (Q) coming from the fog of war (here's a list of nine more sucky ways to die in league). 

Unfortunately, that's her job and although she's nowhere near as good at it as she used to be, she still packs a massive punch from long range. This combined with his cougar form Pounce (W) makes her extremely slippery.

Counterplay: Somehow, I think that most of you have guessed that the counterplay against long range sustained poke is again, to jump in there and take her out before she throws too many. Again, easier said than done.

Zed Stylish Fade Away 

In a surprise twist of fate, many of you will likely raise an eyebrow at Zed on the list, a champion with insanely high mechanical requirements. However, a fed Zed requires few mechanics to simply ult, dump his combo, and fade out before the enemy can react.

A properly executed Zed ultimate and fadeaway isn't the hardest thing in the world to do, but can be absolutely impossible to fight back as it will destroy even tanky champions late game with no ability to retaliate against him while waiting for death.

Counterplay: Build a Quicksilver Sash as soon as possible. In addition, if your team has a Locket and/or Face of the Mountain, this also helps considerably.

Late Game Karthus

Luckily, Karthus has not been a particular popular champion in a very long time as a result of huge cooldown nerfs on his ultimate and the meta shifting to an early to mid-game.

However, if the game does start getting more drawn out again, Karthus is by far one of the most annoying and impossible to deal with champions late game. He simply walks around with his Defile (E) on until he dies, then continues to zone and eventually smashes everyone with a free global nuke.

Kinda annoying.

Counterplay: Ending the game early and/or using displacement spells to keep Karthus out of the fight is definitely your best strategy. An early Aegis of the Legion will also prevent him from snowballing too hard during teamfights.

Talon Invisible Burst

Where Zed is the safe delayed burst, Talon is the not-as-safe-but-more-effective instant burst assassin. His waveclear via his Rake (W) makes it extremely easy to farm and harass during laning phase. 

Meanwhile, his late game burst damage is so fast and almost impossible to prevent, especially if he has his flash up. The only downside is that he does leave himself in the middle of the enemy pack, and as a non-Zhonya user, this generally ends with his demise.

However, his massive area of effect means that he generally gets at least a one-for-one trade and supplements it with extra damage all over the enemy team.

Counterplay: Good ward coverage, including pink wards can keep Talon from snowballing off mid game roaming. However, late game he still does what he does best. Bye Draven!

Malzahar's Effective Decision Making

Malzahar is one of those super easy champions where no matter what decisions you make, they're always very effective.
  • During a teamfight, even if you use your Malefic Visions (E) on a minion, it will eventually quickly jump over to a champion.
  • His ultimate and Null Zone (W) are just as valuable to use on tanks as on squishy champions, as they'll still die all the same.
  • He never feels pressured to all in 1v1, as any champion who gets too close gets point and click suppressed, and he can out push almost anybody in the game. 
Counterplay: 2v1 him and hit him with plenty of CCs. An early Aegis of the Legion is also very effective against his mid-game damage.

Blitzcrank's God Hand

A champion that needs no introductions, the base essence of his kit allows for near impossible comebacks to happen. By taking out a glass cannon from the enemy team and forcing him to 1v5, teamfights always have the potential to go in Blitzcrank's favor.

Counterplay: Good positioning of tanks in front of glass cannons or having your entire team behind minions at all times is a good way of stopping the God Hand. For some reason he still manages to work quite often though.

Soraka's Sustain

At least once per season, Soraka becomes overpowered. As a champion whose primary nature is to heal, she eventually becomes near unbearable if the current meta revolves around poke-based champions and her numbers are high enough.

She's also fine to play extremely passive, which allows for few chances to be cheesed or outplayed by higher-level players.

Counterplay: All-in. Death is the hardest CC.

Got lower counterplay high consistency champion strategies not mentioned above? Comment below with your favorite!

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