With so many champions and item builds, the range of possibilities when creating a League of Legends team is pretty staggering. This has led to a variety of strategies that revolve around a few team concepts which are then tweaked to accommodate specific champions and play styles. Last time I focused on the Poke Comp and I received a request in the comments to take a look the Split Push/Disengage strategy.
Split Push/Disengage (SP/D) has a lot in common with the Poke Comp discussed earlier. Both strategies primarily involve protracted “sieges” around turrets or other objectives. While poke teams are focused on wearing down the enemy team with long range damage, to force them away from the objective or take an unfavorable engagement, SP/D focuses on keeping the entire enemy focused on one objective for as long as possible, so that a second objective can be taken while they’re out of position. The mechanics of this center around the split push tactic. This describes a strong wave-clearing champion in the top or bottom lane pushing minion waves and damaging towers while the members of his team (and the enemy) are grouped up doing something else. Like many aspects of team composition such as hard engages, disengages, and long range poke, split pushing can be utilized by any team comp and is commonly showcased in professional play. However, some champions are better at split pushing than others and it is possible to build your team to optimize the strategy.
This idea of building a team around the split push is the driving design goal of the SP/D comp. The first and most obvious need is to have a strong split pushing champion. This champion should be able to clear minion waves quickly, have good escapes, be very difficult to kill 1v1, and if possible have an ability that can reach across the map. While action is occurring elsewhere, this champion will go to the top or bottom lane and start clearing waves of minions. If left unchecked, the champion and the minions he’s pushing with will take towers. If one enemy peels off there is the possibility of keeping the push going by either killing the defender or forcing them away. If more than one enemy peels off to defend, the champion simply employs his escapes while the rest of his team either takes the objective they were pressuring or wins a 4v3 team fight (and then takes the objective).
The less obvious need is for the other four people on the team to be able to keep five very map-aware opponents fixed on one spot for as long as possible, without being trapped into a 4v5 team fight. That's easier said than done, but you can make choices to maximize your chances. This is where the disengage part of the title comes into play. Choosing champions with escapes, slows, and high mobility will give your team the ability to kite an engagement. You will stay on the edge, pressuring but never engaging, moving away or knocking enemies back when they try to engage, and preventing your opponents from retreating. Your team wants to maintain the status quo to buy as much time for the split pusher as possible.
Countering a split push is difficult if done right. The key elements of a counter will be mobility skill/item related such as Teleport and Homeguard Boots, as well as having strong chase and assassination champions to run down and duel your split pushing or collapse on your kiting team.
HOW TO BUILD IT
Technically any champion can split push and any champion can try to kite, but some excel at it. I’ll highlight two strong choices for each team role.
Shen: Shen is a god tier split pusher. While he does not clear waves as rapidly as some other potential choices, he has one singular advantage. Shen’s ultimate allows him to teleport to a friendly champion, regardless of their location. Therefore, despite heavy split pushing, you will always be able to team fight with your full five. On top of that he’s a big walking chunk of health and sustain, making him very difficult to 1v1 in both laning and the mid game. As a result, Shen is a near 100% pick/ban in sub-Gold ranked games.
Zed: Zed is a very versatile champion who can mid lane, top lane, and jungle with equal ease, but I’m putting him top because I consider his counterpart Tryndamere a bit better in that role. Zed’s 1v1 is outstanding, featuring an extremely high damage ult and the ability to teleport to his shadow clone to avoid skill shots. The clone itself is also his main wave clearing tool, effectively doubling the effect of his two AoE damage abilities. Zed builds AD which also gives him excellent damage against towers.