The first community tournament for MXM, The River King’s Cup, has come to an end. The tournament was held for 3 weeks in the NA and EU region, with Team Solomid winning the NA tournament, and Fight Club winning the EU tournament.
Despite it being the first MXM tournament, there were many good games with outstanding players. From those many games, we can determine what the most effective strategies and meta are in the Titan Ruins. What caught the eyes of the viewers at this tournament was that both teams fought intensely for points from the start of the game in order to summon the first Titan.
Once one team successfully summons the first Titan, the opponent team has no choice but to focus on defending their mid lane tower, or else they will lose much of its health. It would be a huge advantage for one team if they manage to destroy the opponent’s mid tower; if not, the rest of the team can tackle other lanes or take control of the jungle objectives while the opponent team stays in the mid lane, trying to defend. In other words, summoning the first Titan is the key to snowballing towards victory.
We will be covering what decisions each team made to summon their first Titan, and how they played in order to snowball the game in this article.
▶ Ban Picks
There was a Master balance patch in the 1.2 update in midst of the tournament. This patch made Tulam and Statesman, two Masters that were considered as must-ban characters, were not banned as much due to the nerfs. On the other hand, Vita continued to be banned with a high rate, along with MBA-07, a Master great for poking, and Ghost Widow, a Master with high CC skills and viability.
Most of the teams seemed to consider initiating skills, sustainability during team fights, and damage for quickly getting jungle objectives as the most important traits after the balance patch. Masters with high sustainability like Ignuma and Kat the Cat, were pulled into the spotlight instead of Tulam, whose Survival Skill and CC skill combos got nerfed.
Vonak received nerfs for his weapon damage and skill power, but many teams continued to pick him for jungling. Vonak is good for jungling in early game based on his outstanding DPS, and can also be used to quietly take out King Tanian or Rozark.
Other than that, Lilu and Bumaro also got picked many times for pushing lanes or taking down enemy towers; they’d be seen pushing either top or bot lane and dealing constant damage to opponent towers by themselves. This would let them take the lead in points as well as force minion waves on the enemy team, forcing them to go back and defend their towers.
▶ Struggle for Jungle Objectives
When the game starts, Masters in the jungle start with taking Guardian while the rest of the team captures the Titan’s Sights.
Later, they would meet up with their team members and take Warden or Keeper on their side of the jungle, or ambush on opponent jungle and steal their objectives. However, these scuffles did not turn into big team fights and ended up merely as skirmishes with not many deaths from either team.
The first team fight took place in front of the Titan Monolith most of the times. Monolith did give many points but it also dropped Titan Shards; in order to summon Titan Incarnates before the other team did, Juggernauts or Skirmishers from each team jumped into to take the shard after the Monolith was killed, which usually initiated a team fight.
The team that managed to get the Shard would make a run for it while the team who failed to get it would go after the opponent team or take other objectives from opponent jungle to make up for the loss.
▶ Using “Titan’s Protection”
It is notable that teams chose to have several tower shields, “Titan’s Protection” in the ban pick draft. As mentioned before, the current meta is all about which team gets 100 points before the other and summons the Titan. The moment when a team is most vulnerable is when the opponent team is pushing a lane with a Fallen Hero after taking control of the Altar.
Once a tower is destroyed by the Fallen Hero, the opponent team will be taking 20 points, which often ends up being just the right amount needed to summon the first Titan. This would surely endanger towers in mid lane as well, which would put strain on jungling once the tower breaks, forcing the team to fall behind.
This is why most of the teams at the tournament took at least 3 to 4 tower shields to prevent such situations. They would usually take one Healing spell for team fights and one ward spell for vision control on King Tanian and Rozark, and the rest would be the tower spells.
This is the reason the plan to push the lane with the first Fallen Hero usually falls apart, unless the opponent team fails to use their tower shield spells at the right moment. In the end, the game would enter the mid phase with both teams summoning a Titan at around the same time, leaving both mid towers mostly undamaged. This clearly shows that the tower shield spells are necessary for moving on to the mid phase without much difficulty.
In conclusion, the current meta could be described as actively taking jungle objectives at the start of the game, capturing Altars to take down enemy towers with the Fallen Hero, and reaching 100 points before the opponent team does.
To do so, Masters with decent sustainability should be picked, team fights for jungle objectives should be actively initiated, and 3~4 tower shields should be used to keep towers from getting destroyed.