Hi everyone. As a disclaimer I haven’t had the time to play too much ascension but I’ve got all the icons and have read a lot about it, so I think I have a good amount of knowledge about the game mode. With that said I’m very open for constructive criticism and questions.
Tl;dr at bottom, but I suggest reading for explanation.
- The meta for ascension seems to be similar to dominion. You have 4 people that fight as a team and 1 person who roams.
- The difference is, instead of dominion where the 4 go top and 1 goes bot, the 4 contest Xerath and whatever relic most of their team is at, usually bottom.
- An alternative meta would be to nix the roamer for a 5th team fighter and roam as a clustered team, which can win games against a less coordinated team because you will be better at teamfighting since you planned for it. Having a Sona is especially strong with this because of her AoE speed buff and heal.
- In general, burst is very good, because you can secure Xerath easier and because the huge lack of vision means most engagements happen because of a face check. High mobility is also good for a similar reason.
- Manaless and hybrid champions are also particularly strong (for example, Kat and Akali, who are permanently banned) because ascension buff gives AD and AP and there is no backing so being OOM sucks.
- Low mobility squishies such as most ADCs and some mages are typically quite weak. This is because they require good positioning to play well and positioning is difficult to impossible on a small circular map with no vision. The exception is people with long range semi-global ults (like Lux) because they can steal Xerath and stop caps from far away.
- Supports, assassins and fighters on the whole are very strong
- Supports are good because of their insane utility in teamfights, plus heals are OP with no backing. Tanky supports like Braum, Thresh and Leona are especially strong because of the abundance of assassins who can’t kill them.
- Assassins are probably strongest on the whole because of their mobility and burst damage.
- Fighters are good because of their ability to counter assassins because they are too tanky to burst and do decent damage on their own, killing the abundance of squishies.
- With that said, make sure you have enough DPS to take down tanky targets and not just all burst. For this reason, champions such as Yasuo are extremely strong, but you may also consider a high mobility bursty ADC like Corki or Lucian.
- Select in champ select who will be the solo roamer. This person should probably take ghost (map mobility) as well as flash (more mobility) or ignite or exhaust (dueling)
- The solo roamer should either be a good defensive champion that can hold down an area,( such as Heimerdinger or Teemo) or a good duelist. Another option would be having extreme map mobility and outmaneuvering your oponent (Rammus, Hecarim) or a global ult to have surprise presence to turn a 4v4 into a 4v5. (Pantheon, TF, Shen). Shaco is a particularly strong champ because he is stealthy, mobile, a good duelist and has area control.
- The 4 teamfighters can be whatever combo you want, but good things to have are high crowd control, high burst, decent sustained damage, and most importantly, HIGH CHASE/CLEANUP POTENTIAL. This is another reason why Kat and Akali are so strong because resets are broken in a map that gives you more points for kills and allows objectives to be taken immediately after (no waiting for minions to seige a turret, just go cap the relic).
- Also bonus points for healing, which is incredibly strong in a no-back situation, similar to ARAM.
- A good sample comp would be: Shaco(solo roamer), Yasuo, Braum, Katarina, Ezreal. This gives you strong presence on the map between Shaco boxes and Ez ult to steal/stop objectives. Braum is great at being a frontline to protect your squishies and the whole team has good sustained damage (and AoE) that can then be cleaned up by Katarina to get her fed.
- Another thing to consider, though not as important, is to try to pick champions with Mid and Lategame powerspikes (Mid being most important), because of the nature of the game (starting with level 3 and gaining gold quickly), but within the bounds of being mobile and bursty generally. An example would be, I picked Garen expecting to dominate a game and I did very well early, but like 5-10 minutes in I stopped doing damage because Garen isn’t strong in that phase.
- Popular bans include Katarina, Akali, Alistar, Yasuo, Pantheon, Kha’zix, Fizz, Teemo, Heimerdinger, Jax, Poppy and Zed from what I’ve seen.
- For me personally, Akali and Katarina are the only two most bans because theyre sooo strong, with Yasuo and Kha’zix being close contenders.
Let me know if anyone has questions/comments/criticisms or whatever and good luck!
Tl;dr: 4 group 1 roams capping points. Pick a mobile duelist to roam and good teamfighters with high burst and mobility for the other 4 (supports, fighters and assassins are typically best. Mix in some tankiness). Champs should have mid to late game power spikes.
Some other general points by colblitz
- Relic spawn times are 30 seconds – this is slightly longer than the time it takes to run to another relic, take that, and run back.
- Dealing damage to an enemy champion that’s taking a relic is enough to disrupt them – starting to take it yourself doesn’t seem to disrupt them.
- If you see an enemy champion taking a relic you probably won’t get there in time to disrupt them unless you’re already close, so go to one of the other relics instead to take or contest.
- In my experience it’s easier to steal Ascended rather than to start it yourself (unless they’re all dead), but this is just a strategic thing (ie., focus on relics until the enemy starts taking Ascended, then go teamfight with them when they’re low).
- If you steal Ascended with a DOT you get the buff and are resurrected even if you’re dead (Kog’maw, Cassiopeia, Malzahar, etc.)
- Nunu consume and Cho’gath feast take Ascended down to 1hp
- The Ascended gets 2 points per kill instead of 1, so try to feed the kills to the guy who’s ascended
- The Ascended buff is 100 AD, 100 AP, ~500 HP, 15% or 25% CDR, no mana/energy cost, 15% armor pen and mpen, incoming heals are reduced by 50% (exact values may be different, I kept forgetting to check)
My perfect ascension win was with a Pantheon, Wukong, Mundo, Sona, Fiddle comp.
Pantheon is strong overall – his ult provides good mobility and his low cd targeted stun is really good for relic disruption and teamfighting. Wukong is also a good brawler. Mundo is really good at body blocking while allies are taking relics, while also being able to just run in, chuck a cleaver, and run out. Ascended Mundo is also really funny, cleaver spam all day. Travel together with the Sona and be super hard to kill. Fiddle is good for disruption and can also heal himself, and his ult can wreck a team that’s trying to take ascended.
I’ve also played games with Teemo, which was fun. The use of your mushrooms is a bit limited since there are so many ways to approach the three relics – what I found to be a lot more useful was shrooming the health packs.
I haven’t played with either yet, but I think two champs that it’d be funny to be ascended as would be Soraka and Malzahar. Soraka for the infinite heals (especially if it were rework Soraka – no heal cost :O), and Malzahar for the minion army where his own skills scale with the AP and the minions scale with the AD.
Some more information after playing a few games by kiklion
Shields are powerful. Movement increases are as well. For this reason I found Karma to be pretty powerful. If the other team is heavy on assassins you will probably need to build as tanky as possible, but you can still get a good amount of AP. She helps your team kite with the speed up and roots, you maintain vision of targets with the tether, you can do pretty good damage with your Q, shield’s arent effected by the ascension debuff. All in all she is a good ‘safe’ pick I find. Useful if the other team is assassin heavy or fighter heavy. Weakness would be if they had a lot of mages since your kiting is less impactful and their sustained damage outpaces your shielding.
Warwick was also quite good as a tank/fighter. You are going to want to build him tank with 1-3 damage items. Build order depends on if your team needs a tank earlier or more damage but generally you are going to want BotrK, tier 2 boots, Frozen Heart, Spirit Visage. Skill order would be R, Q, E, W. Get the R cooldown as low as possible, it can be a huge game changer in small skirmishes. Q is your big burst damage/healing spell. E gives your entire team extra vision about weakened enemies, this is huge here since you can’t go back to heal. If an assassin lives at 10% hp, they can go to a bush and blow a squishy up without taking a hit. They are still as dangerous as if they were at full hp. But if you give vision on the assassin, your squishy won’t be surprised and can get the kill instead. It also provides excellent movement speed to stay on your targets. W is just kind of lack luster. You will be kited for a good chunk of your time (since mobility is highly valued) and are unlikely to get an extra auto off from higher attack speed. Also there is no baron to try to sneak down or towers to siege. Even though you do have good sustain, you are going to need to grab healing relics to keep your mana up.
Annie has a stun on a very short CD. Properly used it is an AoE stun. She is also a pretty durable mage with her molten shield. Her damage and utility is high enough to be useful against a tanky enemy team yet can survive assassins and CC them allowing the assassin to be blown up. If the other team has a lot of fighters you can rush DFG/AP items and kite them as you do good damage or if they are assassins go tanky/CDR and survive their burst or peel for your team and blow up the assassin.