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AoE stalling might be unbeatable in MW now

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The idea is that you pick some very powerful AoE ultimates and then hug tower until you want to fight. This could be, e.g., when you have BKBs, have ultimates, and so on. Example lineup: Flux, Accursed, MoA, Hellbringer, Behemoth

Against this the enemy team have several options:

- Attempt to farm neutrals. Problem with this is that the neutral camp is now virtually unfarmable without multiple heroes, and it's not like you don't have initiation. If they split up to farm the neutrals, you initiate on them and kill them. There are only two heroes that can kill neutrals early enough to be reasonable: Draconis & Klanx. Draconis is not a very good hero in MW; Klanx takes a long time. Even then the gain from killing the neutrals is not that big. 

- Attempt to initiate into the tower when your ultimates are down. Problem with this is that it's always going to be very dangerous. The example lineup above might be much weaker when they don't have ultimates, but they're not helpless. Furthermore since they are going to be playing very safely (read: some of them will be behind the tower before the creep wave even gets there) it's not easy to initiate. You'll need multiple PKs, which are items that don't help you when they do want to fight. The example lineup above even has Accursed to make initiating into the tower even more dangerous.

- Attempt to push the tower. They have enough AoE to stop this.

- Attempt to lane control. They can nuke the creep wave and ruin this.

- Rely on non-ultimate initiation. This is basically just the hooks, everything else is not good enough, and hooks are often banned.

- Rely on heavy harass. This has historically not worked very well (you need to pick many harass heroes), and these days there are three healers that can almost single-handedly counter such lineups: Rhapody, Pearl and Nymphora. Plus since they are hugging tower and spreading out it's not easy to harass them out.

A final thing is that while it's possible that you will eventually misposition and the enemy team can capitalize, they need to initiate on more than one hero to win a fight because otherwise the AoE counterinitiation will destroy them. That leaves very few viable initiators before PK. Andromeda is single-target. Pharaoh is not likely to catch more than one hero, same with Cthulhuphant. Chronos is the only one that can realistically get more than one hero, but he's got his own problems (his ultimate doesn't last that long at level 6, for example).

Here's a screenshot of a similar lineup in action. Legion is up 5 kills and 3k gold, and if you look only at the "standard" tier list, they have on paper the stronger lineup. But they are actually losing. Legion cannot force a fight when Hellbourne don't want to fight, even though they did pick initiators. Hellbourne is just too spread out to initiate on, and they can stay spread out for 5 minutes if they want to. Hellbourne didn't pick a traditionally-strong lineup, either; they have Solstice & Gunblade and both are average or below average.


I am not sure how much of AoE stall's success is down to Flux. The hero seems absurd right now, and might very well be the strongest hero in the format (at least in semi-organized games and above). It's just not possible to position against his ultimate now that it pulls heroes through cliffs. If he's not the absolute best hero, he's behind only the hooks.

I wonder if international players are seeing the same phenomenon. I have not been 5qing so I don't have firsthand experience with organized games, but it is apparently dominating the top level of Garena MW.

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57 minutes ago, Froschbein said:

Just  ban flux or pick vindi?

Basically this - bans are intended for the player to have some input on what they don't want to play against as the metas shift. Even in a mode that isn't intended to be competitive like Mid Wars, this still holds true.

If you're seeing something that your team seemingly can't counter, then it's up to you & your team to communicate beforehand & coordinate banning a little more that way. Prepare a copy-paste of your ban requests if you want to ahead of time, and do this for your future games.

Edited by ElementUser
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On 8/13/2021 at 1:57 AM, Froschbein said:

Just  ban flux or pick vindi?

These days I'm banning Flux every game. Vindi helps but is not a full-fledged counter because he will also be pulled by Flux, and quite possibly stunned before he can ult (his ultimate also takes longer to cool down than Flux's). You didn't mention Pearl, who also goes some way to helping after PK but is also not a full-fledged counter because heroes in Pearl ultimate can still be stunned even if they don't take much damage.

But all that is kind of missing the point, which is:

I wonder if international players are seeing the same phenomenon. I have not been 5qing so I don't have firsthand experience with organized games, but it is apparently dominating the top level of Garena MW.

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  • 1 month later...

Vindicator ultimate is global though... if you're still getting caught by Flux ult then whoever is playing it is just out of position.
I personaly don't play midwars that much, but it is that simple.
Sadly, just as Flux can be banned so can Vindi. Honestly, just having good teamfights most of the time is enough. Because just as your team gets clumped by Flux ult, so does the enemy team to react. Counter initiation is thankfully a thing.

I mean, just look at Legion's team. There's actually 0 instant initiation. And Pesti who could have some of it with PK, is going Staff instead.
The key to these fights early on is surviving the burst. Astro, Idol in this case. And also the reason I consider Accursed one of the best mw heroes.
Or simply embracing that teamfights won't happen for a while which is why I avoid midwars, since whichever sides wins early on, more often than not it turns into a staring contest until 1 team has pk's since the losing side just plays near/behind tower.

Edited by xTinker
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And to solve this problem there is one unpopular and unloved way by almost no one: 1 second killer. I take Blitz - his combo kills one or two heroes before the battle.
Unfortunately this is a normal balance problem, in 6 or 10 matches there are at least 6 random bans. I think it would be great if the game would automatically ban the most popular heroes on MW if the player didn't choose anything.

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