I’m sure a lot of you have already tried this mode, but yesterday when it was released I couldn’t find much helpful information about it besides descriptions. I just wanted to share my thoughts on it in a somewhat quick, concise manner and hopefully give someone a better idea of strategy/how I believe you can become successful in this mode. Of the last ten Ascension games I have played, I only lost one match, which I think could be a plausible indicator of having a grasp on this thing. I have also already gotten two perfect ascension matches and collected all the rewards the first day it was released. I’m hoping to contribute to the community to give my thoughts on being OP in this mode, feel free to correct me or add some input to this in the comments…
- Basic Kills – 1 point
- Relic Captures – 3 points
- Destroying “The Ascended” – 5 points
- Kills While Ascended – 2 points
So, as you can see, the biggest point boost is from destroying the Ascended. However, I’ve seen only maybe 3 – 6 ascended champions on average per game. That’s really only 15 – 30 points then, in theory (or 7.5% to 15% of the points necessary to win the game in total).
As for the relics, I don’t have exact numbers, but I know they do not have a long cooldown before respawning (maybe 45 – 60 seconds estimated). So assuming your team can capture at least 2 of the 3 relics per cooldown, that’s 6 – 9 points per 45 – 60 seconds (or 3% to 4.5% of the points necessary to win every 45 to 60 seconds). If the game runs for 20 minutes (which is a good baseline average) and we use the 60 second cooldown to be safe, that’s 60% to 90% of the points earned from relics alone!
Basic kills/Ascension kills vary so greatly between matches and skill levels, that it is negligible to calculate point percentages from this confidently.
OP Champs In This Mode
This is going to be the subject of a lot of debate. So, I’m not going to try and say any champion is better than others, but there are certain champions that have skills which make them better suited for this mode. If you are extremely skilled with someone that goes completely against this list and end up doing well with him, that’s fine! But to those looking for champions that are really hard to go wrong with in this mode, these are some top performers (in no particular order):
- God Tier: Yasuo, Fizz, Akali, Katarina, Master Yi, Zedd, Alistar, Rammus, Zyra, Nidalee, Shaco, Kha’Zix, and Jax.
- Honorable Mentions: Lissandra, Irelia, Heimer, Teemo, Amumu, Leona, Zilean, Janna, Vayne, Pantheon, Blitzcrank, and Sona.
The Skills Needed To Ensure A Victory
Looking at these champions, you can see that many of them have similar skills in one way or another, which brings us to the key skills desired to win every time:
- Mobility/Speed (Fast champions like Zilean (with his E), Janna (building W first for the passive speed boost), Sona (with her E), and Nidalee can just run train around the map and collect relics before the enemies have time to think.)
- Damage (While speed is important, you have no way of contesting for Ascension if none of your teammates can put out any damage. You are also prone to getting wrecked at relics if you can’t defend yourself or assist the speedy champions.)
- Crowd Control (Picking a champion with crowd control can make contesting the Ascended easier and really come in handy when battling for relics. This is why Zyra is my go-to champion on this mode — her plants give map awareness and distract the enemies for that split-second needed to capture relics.)
- ADC’s Are Usually A Bad Idea (The only ADC included on this list is Vayne, as she has plenty of options for avoiding death and, when fed, can shred the opponent’s tanks.)
I’m just going to go ahead and bullet these in order to make this guide easier to read:
- Try To Hit Every Aspect Synergistically — Mobility, Damage, CC, no ADC. My teammates and I hit on every previously-mentioned skill necessary for the victory. One of my best games (a 200 – 111 Victory) had the team comp of: Zyra, Master Yi, Lux, Kha’Zix, and Yasuo.
- If You Want To Tank, Use A Damage-Dealer. While I have had my best games without tanks building 100% defense, I have also had some of my best games with tanks that can deal damage and move swiftly — namely, Blitz and Leona (w/ Boots of Mobility).
- RELICS WIN THE GAME. As analyzed in a simple mathematical format above, most of your points will come from relics. You can’t ignore the relics and still win the game. If your team is engaging in combat quite a bit, make it your job to get the relics. While they are busy distracting themselves and maybe 2 of your teammates exchanged deaths with 2 players on the enemy team, you probably just netted 6 points. If it is meaningless fighting, use the time to your advantage. If it is a contest to get Ascension, then absolutely join them, which brings us to the next point…
- Stealing the Ascension Is Better Than Trying For It Yourselves. Just like stealing Baron can be a game-changer, stealing the Ascension will save your team health and let you work in at least one relic beforehand. This can take perfect-timing on your end, but if you are very in-tune with your champion’s abilities, you can do it.
- At Least One Stealth Champ Can Make A BIG Difference. Shaco and Kha’zix can play a big role by preventing relic captures. If you wait in the bushes and pop on them just as the relic is about to be captured, you reset the relic and they can’t recapture for a brief moment of time. I’ve seen plenty of Kha’Zix’s and Shaco’s block about 30+ points in a game doing this.
- Prioritize Your Relics. There are 5 platforms and 3 relic spots. There is one relic that is close to your platform that should be no contest to grab in the beginning. The bottom one is the struggle and should be under your team’s control the entire game. Capturing this relic can set in motion a victory within the first 2 minutes. Keep a mental note of when each relic was grabbed and plan to be heading to one within ten seconds of it spawning. If you time it up, I can guarantee you will be there with no pressure from enemy champions (aside from a stealth opponent who may grasp this strategy beforehand). Plan on having the bottom relic and the relic closest to your side under your control the entire game.
- Ban Choices. Based off of my experience, you can level the playing field by banning three of these six champions: Yasuo, Fizz, Akali, Katarina, Master Yi, and Jax. These champs, if played skillfully, will walk away with your Ascension buff.
- Bring Crowd Control/Mobility, Stealth, and Damage To The Bottom Platform In The Beginning. The stealth and crowd control champions should watch the opposite side of the relic at first grab while the damage champion is capturing the relic. The opponents WILL try to contest that relic, so you should block them out to secure it.
- Protect The Ascended Teammate, But Don’t Bring The Whole Team. You shouldn’t be sacrificing a relic every 45 to 60 seconds just to protect the ascended. Depending on how squishy or skilled the champ is that gets the buff, plan on only devoting 2 or 3 to follow them while your other 1 or 2 team mates continue keeping control of the other relics.
- Kills Are The Least Of Your Worries In This Mode. Of course, that’s not to say you should die every thirty seconds; however, when the situation arises where it is to chase a Teemo with 80 health or let him escape so you can snag a relic, go with the latter. This is 1 point vs 3 points.
- Items Are Built Quickly, Plan Your Item Set Ahead Of Time. Gold per second is drastically higher in this mode than a lot of others, so a champion might have zero MR (from items, strictly-speaking) at 5 minutes but 50+ at 10 minutes. If you are an AP champion, build a Void Staff or Abyssal Scepter first. As for AD champs, plan your armor penetration and reduction wisely.
- Lastly, This Game Mode Is Fun Once You Figure It Out. I’ve been playing this mode non-stop since yesterday — it took me quite some time before I liked it, but once I understood how much strategy is involved in this, I have begun to like it as much as the other game modes (if not a little more). I’ll give a proven Zyra build below that has worked very well for me if anyone who likes her wants to give it a go!
Ascension Zyra Build
- Boots + Prospector’s Ring
- Chalice of Harmony -> Fiendish Codex -> Blasting Wand -> Sorcerer’s Shoes
- Sorcerer’s Shoes (Alacrity) -> Void Staff -> Athene’s Unholy Grail -> Abyssal Scepter -> Wooglet’s Witchcap -> Liandry’s Torment
Of course, a build can vary depending on the enemy team comp; however, this is a pretty solid build 80% of the time.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading this and again, feel free to add below! I’ve had so much fun playing this mode but a lot of my friends are shying away from it for one reason or another. I hope this can help someone get into the groove of it quicker and give them a bit of an edge! Remember, speed and relics win this game, but good strategy and decisions can carry you even against the hardest team.