Zac Jungle, Silver 4

posted in: Full Game Coaching | 0

IGN: Aldernade
Apologies for poor audio quality. The notes I took for this lesson are below. If you can’t make out what I’m saying, check out the notes for that timestamp (note that the timestamps refer to in game time, and I refer to more in my notes than actually made it into the video).

General: your early pathing is somewhat inefficient. Some of it is really nitpicky – stutterstepping when you don’t need to, etc. Some of it is getting most of the way to a camp and then changing your mind (5:45). This is mostly a pattern and mechanical thing – my recommendation would be to dig up some high level jungler streams (nightblue3, oddone, etc), turn off the sound and just watch their first couple of clears. Watch their mechanics – are they killing the little mobs first, or not? Why? Where are they standing? What direction are they kiting in? Also watch their pattern and strategy – are they starting red or blue side, and why? Are they doing a full clear, or are they skipping some camps? Why? How does scuttle fit into their pattern?

You could also look for replays of high level games, or use the in-client spectator. Watch a sample of games, take some notes, and start to apply what you learn.

General: be really careful about revealing your position needlessly – the fog of war is one of your biggest weapons. If they enemy team doesn’t know where you are, they have to assume you might be nearby. Walking through midlane (6:50) gives away that advantage for no reason.

4:07 – not sure why you turn back here – seems like you’re tunneling on Eve. Flashing was probably a bit over aggressive; but she made a break for her turret, you should have switched it up and gone after Azir. He’s totally out of position and out of mana. Easy kill. And if Eve tries to respond and help, she dies too. No need for risky fight near her turret.

9:10 – couple of mechanical mistakes here, but mostly, you should have either gone in much sooner with slingshot, or booked it once Luc flashed. Once he flashes, he’s not strong enough to come back in and help you, and you’re left 2v1. You stick around, maybe thinking you can 1v1 Eve. But even if you were stronger 1v1 than Eve (not going to happen this early, in any case) fizz is right there and there’s no way he’s going to just let that happen.

10:55 – you’re not really putting much value on the value of surprise. In this gank, there’s no reason to walk into lane – Azir’s wave is pushing, and he’s naturally moving back and forth in the lane. Wait for him to push up further. If he walks away, oh well – at least you haven’t given up your position. It’s the difference between forcing a fight and waiting for you opponent to make a mistake – always choose the latter.

And in any case, Azir was well within slingshot range when you chose to walk in – if you’d been channeling that in the brush, you could have launched when Yas went in. Azir wouldn’t have had time to respond (or would have had to blow ult or flash defensively, which is also a victory), and your knockup would have given Yas ult. Pretty easy kill. Don’t saunter into lane when you have an ability as powerful as slingshot.

You do end up killing him (11:15), but it takes way more effort than it should have.

11:50 – yeah you’re wasting slingshot a lot lol. This is easily your most powerful basic ability. Using it to kill scuttle is a bad move. If you had it, you could have channeled out of vision of fizz and brand, and probably turned this fight completely around. As it is, you have to walk into the fight, which means you aren’t able to catch them off guard. You do manage to take Fizz down, but only because he decides to be insane.

12:15 why on earth aren’t you diving Brand here. You can likely almost solo him, and with Zyra it’s a sure thing. Eve is on your pink ward up topside, so there’s no help coming.

15:30 – oh man…for a second I thought that you were on to Eve’s shenanigans. She’s been invading your jungle, she’s a strong 1v1 champ, and you JUST SAW here near your blue. Why would you start your blue.

In this situation, you can’t have all of the info – Eve goes invisible. She might be coming, she might not be coming. But ask yourself what would just make her day. Easy – if you were to blow half your ability combo on blue buff while she lurks in the shadows. And ask yourself, what could go wrong here? This is pretty easy, too – Eve could show up. Therefore, you should have a plan of action in case she does. Namely, not using slingshot on the buff, and pinging your team so they know to be watching.

Luckily, this does end up working out – you have enough health that Eve isn’t able to quickly burst you, and your team collapses. Eve gets away though, and she shouldn’t have.

As you climb, things can get even trickier. Instead of looking to kill you, Eve will realize it’s a risky fight and just wait out of vision to smite steal blue. Or, even sneakier, she’ll reveal herself at the last second, baiting you into smiting blue, because she knows dragon is coming up in a second – you get blue, but she backs off and her team has smite advantage.

Always keep a part of your brain focused on what your opponent wants, and what they are likely to do. If Eve is near your blue, and your blue is up, she’s likely to at least come and check it. Don’t fall into the trap of “out of sight, out of mind.”

24:50 – another case of not really asking yourself what could go wrong. You know Eve is nearby, and you have no idea where Brand and Fizz might be. You have to assume they’re nearby. If it’s just Eve, you’re probably ok – but it’s almost certainly not. They have more info on your team’s whereabouts than you do of theirs, plus dragon is somehow still up, so it’s very likely they are staying in the area. Finally, that bot turret is really low – and I’m guessing that’s what’s tempting you. But you have to remember that they are just as aware of it as you are, and are probably more motivated to protect it than you are to take it. So between dragon and a low HP turret, it’s EXTREMELY likely they are nearby or at least are making a beeline for you.

Why not wait until they show up somewhere else? You don’t even need a minion wave to take that turret. Go hide until they think you’ve left, slingshot in and take it. Or just leave – that’s better than walking into lane, knowing that at least one person is there and more are likely coming, and then having to burn your ult and flash to escape (which, likely, gives them dragon for free. Or it should. Except that they’ve failed to secure the free dragon 3 times now so I don’t even know).

18:30 – At this point I think you’re spending too much time farming. You’re already strong enough to be effective in fights, and your team really needs to start establishing a decisive lead. You aren’t just looking for ganks anymore – you’re looking to take turrets. Kills by themselves are really only worth it early game – by this time, you need to view them as a means to an end. Don’t be satisfied with just a kill – look for the opportunities for map pressure that kill opens up. And if a kill won’t result in that opportunity (or deny it for the other team), then it’s not worth doing. Save your resources for a smarter fight.

21:42 – case in point. This is a 3v2 dive under an Azir turret (which does more damage than a normal turret). And it’s barely 3v2, Zyra is a ways behind you. Both brand and Azir put out CRAZY burst, so unless you’re able to delete them before you CC wears off, you’re gonna have a bad time. Plus, you aren’t looking at the map – Poppy is right there, and Eve could be anywhere.

So it’s a really risky fight. And what do you gain if you win it? Not much. Almost nothing, really. You’re almost certain to lose a couple people even if you come out on top, and you’ll be too low to establish any meaningful map pressure. If even one of them survives you won’t be able to do much of anything in all likelihood.

So high risk, low reward = bad idea. And it’s not like you had no choice – there’s zero reason to pick this fight. They’re not threatening anything.

And the final kicker – dragon is up in 30 seconds. Why not spend this time establishing air tight control over the dragon area, and then dominating them if they try to contest? Instead of diving a turret with poor vision of their team, they’ll be wandering through the fog of war into your team.

You should never pick a risky fight right before Dragon comes up (Baron too, later game). If you lose, you give them a free objective, and if you win, you aren’t gaining anything you couldn’t have gained more decisively by baiting them into a fight on your terms.

26:30 – this is an example of not leveraging kills. You’ve just killed Poppy and Fizz, and Azir is being killed elsewhere. Why are you not making a beeline for dragon? It’s somehow still up, and it’s free. Even if you have to wait for Luc and Olaf to actually take it, you can go and prevent the enemy team from taking in while you wait for them (they’ll be able to recall and get their way before the enemy respawns).

Once again they manage to pass up on the free drag though. If they’d taken it when it was available the first time, I think it would be up again by now…

You guys end up getting dragon and winning a fight, but it’s only because they’re playing extremely poorly.

32:20 – Fizz is fast pushing top. His team is stalling for him. And it’s working. You guys are chasing them through the jungle and all over the place. Even if you kill one or two, they win, cuz Fizz is shoving for free. If they won’t fight you, LET THEM RUN. Shove the lane. Don’t chase them, MAKE THEM COME BACK TO YOU. You waste so much time, Fizz gets two free turrets and throws your whole team into disarray. Not only is that not good strategically, it’s the kind of thing that will cause teams to start tilting and fighting.

34:00 – there you go. That’s how it should have gone this whole time.

You d/c and that delays things, but you eventually win. This could have pretty easily gone the other way – the split push was throwing you guys for a loop. You beat a split push by either forcing a 5v4, or by pushing as 5 faster than the split pusher can push, or by having someone who can go deal with the splitter 1v1. With your team comp, the first option is the best, but you have to be decisive. As soon as you see Fizz is splitting, you gotta make something happen NOW, or he’ll start making you pay for it, and you’ll get to a point where you have to just recall and deal with him. If there simply is no opportunity to force a fight, don’t wait for him to take turrets from you, just go deal with him.

Overall, I’d say that’s the biggest issue with your play in this game – a lack of direction and decisiveness. Your early jungle clears and ganks were pretty reactive, and it took until the end of the game for you to start leading the charge with taking objectives after fights. You have to keep the big picture goal in mind at all times – kill the nexus. Kills are a means to that end – if you get a kill and don’t take an objective (outside of the first 10 minutes), it’s pretty close to meaningless. You want to look to create fights that will result in objectives taken – when Dragon comes up, you are setting up vision around it so that you will win that fight and secure that objective. When outer turrets fall, you are establishing vision in their jungle and watching minion waves so you can out maneuver them and win a fight and take their inner turrets. Etc. You do not want to end up in a situation where you’re just wandering about, waiting for a good fight to fall into your hands. Or, worse, taking fights on their terms that you stand a good chance of losing. Don’t be a gambler – be a general. Set up the battlefield, force the enemy to fight on your terms, and reap the rewards.

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