I'm rather enthusiastic about the impending release of Dominion, as might be apparent. I'd like to venture a little bit of discussion about it for those who are equally enthusiastic, those who have played it and are so far disappointed, and those who have not yet tread in The Crystal Scar.
So first, let's check what qualifications I have to educate on this game mode or any mode in any video game: None whatsoever. A fantastic qualification, then, to discuss a map which has only been released in limited beta sporadically for the last 2 days. The pros can make their responsible and well thought out discussions about the map later (oh, I jest), but for now lets get our theorycraft on.
Your New Objectives in the Crystal Scar
Objective 1- That bar on the top of your screen with the enemy's colour on it needs to tick all the way down to 0.
Objective 308 - Killing an enemy.
Getting kills has never been a top goal in Summoner's Rift, but it is even less important now. Each kill grants you a nifty -2 health to the victim's Nexus. You gain less gold and experience from them as well. Now, this still helps, but people tend not to just lay down and die and they also respawn in something like 20 seconds now. If you don't have another objective you can secure one step after the death of your opponent, you're wasting a monumental amount of time.
The Capture Points
By the way, in case you didn't catch this disclaimer: Theorycrafting!
The Quarry and The Boneyard
The lower capture points for Blue and Purple respectively. Seem to be the easiest point on the map to hold, but also easy pickings for runners as you can't really afford to defend them as often as the other points.
The Refinery and The Drill
The upper capture points for Blue and Purple. Extremely risky to assault and extremely worthwhile to hold. As long as you hold these points you can keep pressure up on The Windmill. I think knowing when to hold the point on the opposite side specifically is going to be one of the most fundamental aspects to winning the map. It leaves you open to assault from the enemy's Nexus platform, but you can also take advantage of this to barricade the enemy inside their platform if you're controlling the flow of the game.
The most difficult capture point for either side to hold and possibly the most important point on the map (but if so, I don't think by very much). Whichever side controls this point throughout the early half of the game will tend to create a massive damage gap in their favor.
In summary, there are very distinct advantages and disadvantages to holding each capture point and the team which understands when and why to defend or take each one has won about 1/3 of the battle. I'm very excited to see what kinds of strategies unfold to capitalize on these advantages.
Coming from Summoner's Rift, we're bound to bring our own preconceptions about what our favourite champions should be doing all game. Most of those are bollocks now. Let's dismantle these roles and reconstruct them in a way which makes sense on The Crystal Scar. I'll propose a couple of new roles now.
- The Runner: I'm sure someone will come up with a more popular title for this role, but "Backdooring" doesn't quite fit the feel of what this champion does. This is your mobility champion and their goal is to run like a maniac throughout the map and quickly pick up any unguarded points whilst the enemy is distracted. Being good at defending central buffs also seems like a good attribute to have.
Examples of champions who may fit this role: Master Yi, Teemo, Singed, Rammus
- The Point Sentinel: People who say tanks are dead on The Crystal Scar are full of great stinking horsefeathers in my opinion. Station this asshole on The Windmill or some other important point after you win it and let him take on 2-3 assaulting champions at a time. If it takes them at least 10 seconds to put him down then he's done his job, and if they waste a significantly longer time than that you're probably winning the game. Champions with the ability to constantly interrupt or do constant AOE are ideal, in my opinion.
Examples of champions who may fit this role: Maokai, Singed, Blitzcrank, Soraka, Orianna
- The Assassin: The "troll" role from Summoner's Rift that feels at home in The Crystal Scar. He's a multipurpose tool to taking down the Runner, protecting the central buffs, and adding some extra force when needed to break sieges. 1v1 ability must be strong. Obviously mobility is a plus, but I separate him from the Runner both because I think there is room for other roles to mesh with both and because I think it's worth emphasizing these objectives.
Example of champions who may fit this role: Shaco, Tryndamere, Akali, Jax
- The Support: Do you think supports stopped being useful? I don't. It may be a bit nebulous, but this role assists with all matters of point defense and assault by weakening your enemy and keeping you alive. Pretty much what it always has done. I suspect may often double as a Point Sentinel.
Example of champions who may fit this role: Janna, Soraka, Shen, Taric
- The Siege Expert: When you need people to die fast, this is who you call. Burst casters work well in this role, though it seems they fall off later in the game and may need to have secondary support to be viable. AD hypercarries tend to pick up this role late game.
Example of champions who may fit this role: Annie, Brand, LeBlanc, Tryndamere, Vayne.
Some secondary roles I would say give a distinct advantage
- Tanky DPS: Because most likely they'll be able to do at least half of the above stated roles by themselves.
- The Pusher: keeps the minion wave moving.
- The Omnipresent: Twisted Fate, Nocturne, Gangplank, Pantheon and friends.
I think it's safe to say that none of these are complete roles in the sense that no one champion is going to only be doing of them at any given time, nor would I guess having more or less strength in any one of these focuses necessarily be a bad thing. These are what I consider to be viable roles to incorporate in various strategies on The Crystal Scar.
Also, Disclaimer: THEORYCRAFTING THEORYCRAFTING THEORYCRAFTING
Now I beg you to discuss and/or insult my intellect with your superior understanding of what's up!