Picks and Bans
For a full list of the best champions on this map, refer to the 'Tier List' section of this guide. This will greatly help you in deciding what are high quality picks and bans. This section is more about picking a good team composition, and the nuances of picking and banning.
Generally, you want to pick champions that have a strong early game, and have good wave clear early. This will allow you to control the map in the early portions of the game, and help you dictate the flow of the game. You also want to pick champions that have synergy together. For example, Jarvan and Annie work really well together. When Jarvan ganks Annie's lane, it's real easy for them to use Annie's stun to make a Jarvan knock-up super easy to land. And in team fights, I've heard Jarvan + Annie's ult called the 'Burn Chamber' before (it locks the enemy in to burn with Tibbers). Another strong combo is Karma and Udyr. The double shield and double speed boost on Udyr makes it really really hard for the enemy to kill him or kite him.
Here are some sample team comps that I've found to be effective:
Early game team 1:
Renekton top, Shyvana jungle, Cassiopeia bottom. Both Renekton and Cassiopeia are really big lane bullies that can almost always come out ahead in early trades. They can also push their lanes hard even at level 1. Shyvana has a fast early clear, and can start ganking and/or invading at level 2. With this comp, you should be able to get some early kills, and control the enemies jungle the entire game. All 3 champs snowball really hard, and are great in team fights. It's a great mixture of tankyness, damage, and CC.
Early game team 2:
Darius top, Udyr jungle, Karma bottom. Again, Darius and Karma are both amazing in lane, and Udyr has a really strong early game. Udyr can clear really fast, and his invading and ganking with Karma support is pretty amazing. Darius is a monster top lane, and since Udyr will be pushed into the enemy jungle most of the time, he doesn't have to worry about being ganked (one of his biggest weaknesses). This team doesn't scale incredibly well into late game, but should get far enough ahead early to close the game out pretty quickly.
Wukong top, Riven jungle, Zyra bottom. This comp is extremely ultimate dependent, and can only team fight when they have all 3 up. But if they do chain their ultimate's properly, it's a stupid amount of AoE damage, and you will almost surely come out on top. It's important with a team like this to focus on farming until 6, and then force well coordinated team-fights.
Jayce top, Nunu jungle, Nidalee bottom. The champions on this team all have really strong poke, and can all escape danger very well. The goal of this comp is to never have to team-fight. This team attempts to poke enemy champions down, and then take objectives off of having an advantage. If the enemy team then tries to fight, you will either win the fight because the enemy champions are low on health, or you can disengage with Jayce gate, Nunu snowball or ult, and Nidalee pounce. Rinse and repeat.
These are just a few examples of team comps that can work. Half the fun is theory crafting your own comps and figuring out what works and what doesn't work. Be creative! Try new and fun things. An interesting comp I've seen before is Pantheon top, Sejuani Jungle, and Wukong Bot. If you time all the ults right (Sej ult into Wu ult into Panth mandropping on the whole CC'd team), its nearly impossible to avoid getting decimated.
Of course, if there is an overpowered champ still available that you can't pass up (Renekton, Cassiopeia), then go ahead and pick that champ and build a comp around them. Thankfully, OP's are OP for a reason, and usually go with most comps because of how strong they are.
When it comes to banning, it's pretty much just best to ban the OP champions that you don't plan on playing. It also depends on if you have first pick or not. If you have first pick, it's best to try to end the banning phase with one OP champion still available. If you have second pick, either leave up 3 OP champs (so you can pick 2 of them after they pick 1), or leave up none. My ban priority list is as follows:
By request, I decided to add a list of some of the popular champions, and who I've found are good counter-picks to those champions. Any suggestions for counters you would like me to add, please leave a comment below. If someone has few to no counters listed, it's not that they can't be beat, it's just that no champion specifically has mechanics that counter them.
WORK IN PROGRESS - Will add more when I have time.
|Champion||Hard Counters||Soft Counters||Notes|
|Singed||None||Jarvan's ult, Frozen Mallet||The map specific nerfs helped a lot. Harrass him down before he can push you out of lane.|
|Darius||Kayle||Tryndamere, Aatrox, Jayce, Singed, Rumble, Yorick||Kayle and Tryndamere's ultimates screw him over, so does Aatrox's passive. Countered by anyone that can kite him, or limit his mobility in team fights. Yorick beats him in lane.|
|Rumble||None||Diana, Riven||I've found that shields counter him in lane, as he tries to chip people down slowly with his flamespitter, and shields can negate a lot of that damage.|
|Kayle||Riven, Post-6 Kassadin||Garen, Malphite, Diana||Spamable gapclosers and silences suck. Garen can get out of her slow, and silence her before she ults.|
|Vi||None||Fizz, Elise, Malphite, Jax||Fizz and Elise can cancel her ult. Malphite attack speed slow hurts.|
|Jayce||None||Lissandra, Burst, CC||A jack of all trades, has no specific counters. Makes him a safe first pick. Burst damage can take him out quickly though.|
|Wukong||None||Lee Sin, Xin, Jayce, Exhaust||Lee sin can reveal, and all 3 can knock Wukong away during his ult. Exhaust lowers the damage from his ult immensely.|
|Renekton||None||Jayce, Ranged Harass||Strong pick with no real counters. Best way to beat him is push him around at lvl 1. Ranged champs with disengage make his laning phase tough.|
|Kha'Zix||None||Tanks, Lissandra||If Kha'Zix snowballs, nothing stops him. Otherwise, he doesn't like tanky champions.|
|Jax||Malphite||Lee Sin, Nunu, Nasus, Rammus||Attack speed slows and early aggression are the best way to beat a Jax.
|Tryndamere||Malphite||Jax, Lee Sin, Nunu, Nasus, Rammus, Evelynn||Attack speed slows the only thing that slows down this beast. Evelynn can kite him really well.|
|Fizz (AD)||None||None||No specific counters. Does relatively well in lane against everybody. Only counter mechanic is champs that can negate his ult... AD Fizz doesn't rely on ult for damage though. :D|
|Garen||None||Jayce, Ranged Harass||Can get kited hard. Does pretty well in lane against most champs, except Elise.|
|Pantheon||Yorick||Darius||Yorick craps on him in lane. Otherwise he wins most match-ups. Darius can handle him if he uses bushes properly|
|Xin Zhao||Malphite, Jax||Lee Sin, Garen, Quinn||Quinn destroys him in lane. Malphite and Jax destroy him the rest of the game.|
|Olaf||None||Jarvan||Can't ult out of being caged in.|
|Diana||None||Tanky Bruisers||After she gets her ult, no one really hard-counter's her. Lane bully's can beat her early.|
|Elise||None||Yorick, Kassadin||Yorick stomps her in lane, and can block her stun with W. Kassadin destroys her post-6.|
|Cassiopeia||None||Syndra, Lissandra||Strongest champion on the map. Syndra can handle her in lane, but not once teamfighting starts.|
|Evelynn||None||Riven, Hard CC||Riven's mobility lets her destroy Eve early. With hard CC she will get bursted down.|
|Zyra||Kassadin||Hard initiation (Diana, Zac, Malphite, Vi, Nocturne)||As with most mages against Kassadin, she beats him pre-6, but gets pooped on post-6. She hates being initiated on.|
|Cho'Gath||None||Ranged champs with high mobility||Super reliant on his rupture. If champions can dodge it, they do well against him.|
|Kassadin||Talon||Tanks||Kassadin is pretty useless if the entire enemy team is tanky. Talon destroys him early.|
|Nidalee||Kassadin, Master Yi||Vi, Nocturne||Kassadin is an insane hard counter. Master Yi can eat her alive, as there is no running away from him.|
|Malphite||None||Rumble, Cho'Gath, Yorick||Rumble beats him in lane really hard, Cho and Yorick out-sustain him in lane.|
|Trundle||None||Malphite, Lee Sin||Attack speed slows hurt, but no one really counters Trundle that hard. Kiting him is the best option.|
|Riven||None||Hard CC, Burst Damage, Lissandra||Riven is mobile and has a spam-able shield. Need CC and burst damage to kill her.|
|Aatrox||Malphite||Morellonomicon, CC||Tryndamere 2.0. Attack speed slows are a necessity. Morrelos for healing debuff.|
|Shyvana||None||Kiting||No CC means she can be kited pretty well. No hard counters though.|
|Lee Sin||None||None||Couldn't think of any real counters. Just out push him early if he is in lane. He falls off late-game.|
|Annie||None||Zyra, Lissandra, Syndra||Ranged skill shots and CC with burst are best against annie. Push her around in lane early.|
|Malphite||None||Ranged Harass||Try to push him around in lane early, and pick a champ that scales better than him. He is underrated in my opinion though.|
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