Dominion Guide by OmegaNecrid

Version 1.00, Last Updated 2011-10-06

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1.0 Introduction

After playing approx. 150 games of Draft Pick Dominion so far, I decided to try to make an early guide that will help explain how the current metagame of Dominion works, and provide insight into how I think the gametype will play in the future.

1.1 How the Gametype Works

Dominion is played on the Crystal Scar, a map with 5 shrines. These shrines are the Windmill (top), Refinery and Drill (top left and top right, Refinery from here on out will be RF), and the Quarry and Boneyard (bottom left and bottom right).

Every champion on Dominion starts with an aura affecting them that gives experience over time, more gold over time, Armor + Magic penetration, and reduces the effects of healing.

Both teams start with 500 Nexus Health. Whichever team has the least shrines captured starts losing nexus health, how fast this health lowers depends on how many shrines the other team has. Additionally, whenever someone is killed, their team loses 2 Nexus Health.

Once a team hits 200 Nexus Health, they no longer lose 2 nexus health for dying.

Once a team hits 100 Nexus Health, their respawn wave is quicker than normal.

Dominion, unlike Classic, uses a Wave Respawn system like most other Capture & Hold games (Conquest in Battlefield, Team Fortress 2, etc), which means that once someone dies all other people on the same team who die in a nearby time frame will respawn at roughly the same time as the first guy who died, if you die too late they catch a new wave and respawn much later. This allows comebacks to happen more easily, as teams will often respawn together and can mount a more immediate comeback, rather than respawning 1 at a time and having to wait.

Fundamentally, organized Dominion is played in a lane breakdown of 4 top, 1 bottom. 1 of the top champions will pick up RF/Drill then head to Windmill. The most common way to try to win is to hold your sides 3 shrines, and just wait for the other teams tickets to deplete, only going for a 4 cap or a 5 cap if you're sure you can pull it off without getting wiped. However, against certain team compositions you might have to try to backcap a different point on the other side of the map to enable certain points to be captured. There isn't particarly one dominant strategy to winning, because the gametype prevents it in numerous ways (mostly comeback mechanics).

1.2 Unique Buffs & Spells

Instead of Red & Blue buffs like Summoner's Rift, Dominion has little pickups on the map that enable small boosts to your champion.

Health Pickups are strewn about, these restore an amount of scaling Health & Mana (only mana) to your champion. The amount of Health and Mana restored scales over the duration of the match automatically.

Speed Boosts when stepped on give your character a temporary boost of speed for a short time.

Finally, at the center of the map is the Storm Buff which requires some channeling time (interrupted whenever you take damage) to acquire. Having Storm Buff gives you a temporary shield (that recharges after a short amount of time of not being hurt) and a lightning strike which deals additional damage when you attack/cast a spell every few seconds. This buff is huge early on where the lightning strike really adds up and controlling & abusing it is absolutely fundamental to gaining an early lead.

Dominion also comes with 2 new Summoner Spells: Garrison which replaces Fortify and gives an ally shrine faster regen and increased attack speed, and Promote which replaces Teleport and makes a nearby melee minion into a super minion. Both of these are pretty good spells to have around, and whether you will want to pick them or not depends on the team compositions at hand.

1.3 Team Roles

There's 3 real roles in a team, with a few sub-roles occasionally thrown in there.

Solo Bot Solo bot is pretty much the most important, hardest, and thankless role in Dominion. A competent Solo bot champion needs to:

  • Be able to sustain themselves in lane for a long time early on.
  • Be able to push a lane of creeps.
  • Not be easily gankable.
  • Be able to hold Quarry/Bone against multiple people.

Solo bot most closely resembles Solo Mid & Solo Top in Summoner's Rift. It's usually a very slow lane revolving around farming the creeps, bullying your opponent, and controlling the health pack in the middle of bot. As a solo bot, you have literally 2 goals that while seem simple, are so important to the facet of the game that if you mess up you can cost your team the game - seriously.

Goal #1: Don't die. If you die, your shrine gets captured, any good solo bot on a shrine will not be easily taken off of said shrine, forcing your team to divert 1 person from top most likely, which will cause a Domino effect on your other shrines. You don't need to be aggressive. Don't be an idiot.

Goal #2: Farm. As a solo bot, you need to farm and you need to do it decently. Unlike all those cool guys up top, you will not (or shouldn't be) getting tons of kills or capping shrines like crazy, thus your only real form of income is the gold tick and the minions in your lane. If you don't farm the creeps well enough or lose your lane, you will be at a serious gold + item disadvantage compared to the other team, and that is big even in Dominion - with such a disadvantage you can't hold your tower as well against your opposition or multiple champions, which will have the same net effect as failing Goal #1 does.

Fairly recommended that if you're solo bot that you take Promote.

The ultimate problem with this role is that most people in randoms will think you're bad or blame you for losing, mostly because this role (even though it is the most important by far) will almost always have the least points unless the other team is really dumb. The current iteration of the point system does not really reward solo bot as much as it does top characters at all, because solo bot is a holding & farm lane, not a capturing & ganking lane. As such, solo bot is also a lane that can't control the game. If you have a bad solo bot, you will pretty much lose, but if you have a good solo bot, you can still lose easily by incompetent top players, and solo bot can't do anything about this. As a solo bot you have to rely on the other 4 people being good to win, and so this role is unattractive to a lot of people because unlike solo mid in Summoner's Rift (or junglers) which can at least control the game with their level + gold advantage, you have to stay put in Dominion and can't abuse this fact very much.

Examples of good solo bot heroes: Yorick, Heimerdinger, Galio, Maokai, Malzahar, Lane Warwick, Anivia.

Top AD Carry You should have 2 of these, if you only have 1 then they will eat tons of Exhausts. I prefer to have 1 who is able to easily push a lane, and one who is more mobile. The pusher will farm the lane in between Windmill and RF/Drill (and usually pick up middle at the start) while the more mobile one will watch for backcaps on RF/Drill, get Storm buff, and help bot if they're sure top can be held. AD Carries need to basically be AD carries like in Summoner's Rift, nothing too special here.

Examples of good AD Dominion carries: Jax, AD Sion, Nocturne, Tryndamere, Pantheon, Gangplank, Kog'maw.

Top Support You should have 2 of these. This role winds up counting for more heroes than any other role, Support in this case includes AP & AoE damage (especially against invis champions since these guys are perfect for Hextech Sweeper), shrine denial, solo top holders, move speed boosters, CC, backcappers, etc. What you put here really just depends on what you want to run in your team comp, tons of people own at this role.

Examples of good Support AP & AoE damage: Ryze, Brand, Karthus, Morgana. Examples of good shrine deniers: Lux, Kog'maw, Cassiopeia. Examples of good solo top holders: AP Shaco, Maokai, Heimerdinger. Examples of good move speed boosters: Janna, Gangplank, Galio. Examples of good CC: Morgana, Lux, Ryze, Nasus. Examples of good backcappers: Rammus, Evelynn, Janna.

These guys basically just wind up protecting top + RF/Drill, supporting the AD carries to enable kills, and shutting down other people or capturing certain shrines to force people to back off from top etc.

2.0 Champion Dominion Breakdown

  • Akali: Overrated. Really good early game, yes, however she isn't very good late game. She is super easy to counter thanks to a cheaper Oracles, Lightbringer being good for tons of AD carries, and Hextech Sweeper being amazingly effecient and incredible. A good carry regardless.
  • Alistar: A nice character to have up top. Provides 2 things of CC and a heal that can win you the fight. Once he hits 6, he can be a very annoying defender to get off a shrine. Should build him more tanky DPS than Summoner's though imo.
  • Amumu: Amumu isn't bad actually, % based AoE damage owns, easier to land bandages, and his ult can be a game changer if you a big 4v4 fight starts. Underrated imo.
  • Anivia: A solid solo bot, has extreme pushing power at 6 (doesn't have to worry about mana with the 2 health packs either), solid damage, and playing solo bot makes her lack of mobility to get to other points not matter as much.
  • Annie: So-so solo bot, pretty decent up top but you can pick better champions for both IMO.
  • Ashe: A really good zoner, ult is pretty awesome for shrine denial, above average.
  • Blitzcrank: He gets to land easier hooks since people are stationary while capping and there is less creeps blocking his hooks. Fairly tanky built in.
  • Brand: By far one of the best AP Mages for Dominion. % based damage owns, AoE is great for shrine denial and Hextech Sweeper, skillshot easier to land, and his ult will have more opportunities to be pulled off coz of lack of creeps.
  • Caitlyn: So far seems decidely mediocre. Great range for shrine denial, but her carrying is lackluster compared to other options.
  • Cassiopeia: Really really good solo bot, not bad up top, good shrine denial, strong AP caster, great canidate for Hextech Sweeper, etc.
  • Cho'gath: When built as an AP caster, he is very good. His silence and knock up is very good and he can really put out some great early game damage.
  • Corki: Pretty decent AD carry for Dominion.
  • Dr. Mundo: One of the few characters who I would say is outright horrible on Dominion. Mundo relies on two gimmicks to do his AD Carrying: his ult...that gets nerfed by the Crysta Scar buff, and his E which owns laning phase, a phase that doesn't exist in Dominion. Other options can be tankier and do way more damage.
  • Evelynn: Really strong backcapper, great when built AD, easily countered by organization and revealing items.
  • Ezreal: Not bad AD carry actually, has strong shrine denial with his ult.
  • Fiddlesticks: Fear owns, and if you pull off an ult onto top from the bushes, you basically get free kills. Not terrible at all really.
  • Galio: Gets his team to top quicker, strong solo bot, ult can make clutch plays.
  • Gangplank: Gets his team to top quicker, not bad up top, strong shrine denial, solid AD carry, good tanky DPS.
  • Garen: One of the other few characters I would say is outright horrible on Dominion...all the good things about him (his silence, sustain, AoE damage, tanky) other characters can do better or don't matter in Dominion.
  • Gragas: Not bad at all honestly, decent shrine denial and harass.
  • Heimerdinger: Strong solo bot, strong top character, great pusher.
  • Irelia: Strong solo bot, great top character, hard to take down when she gets her farm (which she will in Dominion), ult isn't as good on healing but still rocks.
  • Janna: Underrated. Speeds her whole team up, has strong denial, has an AD Carry buff, can backup safely and easily...
  • Jarven IV: Provides a lot of buffs/debuffs, ult owns, strong shrine denial, good character.
  • Jax: I shouldn't even have to say anything, easily amazing AD Carry, rocks hardcore, wrecks everybody with a few items, weak early game but gets strong fast.
  • Karma: Has a speed boost and some decent damage, but seems underwhelming.
  • Karthus: One of the best AP Mages in Dominion, incredible shrine denial powers, global ult, huge slow that can block the small pathways easily...
  • Kassadin: Kassadin is really good with farm, farm he will always get in Dominion. Really good, especially with spammy characters that tend to be played on Dominion.
  • Katarina: Extremely underwhelming. She's really good with farm, but she's bad in Dominion for the same reason she's bad in SR: her whole gimmick is her ult and it's so easily countered by a proper team comp that it's lol.
  • Kayle: Absurdly strong solo bot against a lot of solo bots, really good up top, has a speed booster, can be built to carry and with her ult up will win any fight.
  • Kennen: Not bad but feels mediocre. Better options out there.
  • Kog'maw: Absurd shrine denial, gets his Razor much quicker thanks to it being cheaper, absurd damage, really really strong.
  • LeBlanc: LeBlanc isn't a poor choice for a burster, but there are better options. Mind that LeBlanc is really good early game, and that early game fades fast on Dominion.
  • Lee Sin: Really strong and amazing, just like Summoner's Rift.
  • Leona: Pretty gimmicky. Doesn't put out a lot of damage but can spam stuns. Way better options out there.
  • Lux: Very high shrine denial on a low cooldown with her ult, high CC, decent damage. Very good.
  • Malphite: Not bad up top at all, not picked much tho.
  • Malzahar: Extremely good solo bot, really good up top as well, his ult owns.
  • Maokai: Underrated, has good shine denial and can enable ganks easily. His ult turns the tide of fights since it can cover an entire shrine.
  • Master Yi: High mobility AD carry with a good self heal. What more needs to be said?
  • Miss Fortune: Not as good as expected, but not a bad ranged AD carry either.
  • Mordekaiser: 3rd character that I would say is pure awful. Bad solo bot against any good one, does poor damage up top. His only saving grace is his ult with all the souped up AD Carries going around, but you could just use a good character instead.
  • Morgana: High damage, good CC, decent shrine denial, spell shield owns. Good.
  • Nasus: Underrated A LOT. Unlike Summoner's Rift you shouldn't be looking at his Q, on the flip side his Wither makes Nasus amazing on Dominion - dominated by tons of AD Carries and you get an Exhaust on a 9s cooldown. Wrecks.
  • Nidalee: Also underrated imo, much easier to land spears since there's less creeps and people are stationary. Not bad at all. Has good mobility in cougar.
  • Nocturne: Amazingly strong AD carry with a built in Banshee's (a blocked item!), high mobility ult, and good scaling. Extremely good.
  • Nunu: Not bad at all, good single target slow, good ult for shrine denial, Blood Boil is amazing with souped up AD Carries...
  • Olaf: Scales really freaking fast on Dominion. Solid AD Carry with amazing skills.
  • Orianna: Very strong shrine denial, slow is annoying coz the AoE is so huge.
  • Pantheon: His 100% crits enables him to wreck up top early on and all game without many DPS items. Ult wrecks.
  • Poppy: Poppy is ridiculous - there's walls everywhere for free stuns, she can make herself invincible even to the spawn lasers, she gets farm really quickly. Poppy can guarantee kills, 100% of the time.
  • Rammus: Rammus guarantees you a Windmill capture pretty much, he counters AD Carries easily, he's super mobile. Amazing....you didn't need me to tell you that.
  • Renekton: Haven't really seen much of him to be honest. Initial impression is underwhelming.
  • Riven: Riven is actually really good in Dominion, albeit not being able to go through walls (of which there is plenty) hurts her a lot. Does solid damage and can be really annoying all game long with the proper build.
  • Rumble: His ult is great and his flamethrower is annoying up top, but also a decent solo bot.
  • Ryze: Underrated. Ryze is one of the few champions who can easily deal with Jax et al when properly built. Strong damage, strong root, gets scaled up quick.
  • Shaco: AP Shaco is one of the best defenders in Dominion. JITB wrecks.
  • Shen: Haven't seen much of him. Ult + taunt would be good but seems mediocre.
  • Singed: Singed is annoying like he always is, but I actually think there are much better picks than him on Dominion.
  • Sion: AD Sion is an amazing AD Carry, because AD Sion excels at winning small player count size skirmishes, which is what Dominion basically is. Very hard to kill, might require a QSS depending on opposite team tho.
  • Sivir: Built in Banshees, range is less of a problem thanks to map layout. Decent, not good or great.
  • Skarner: Not seen much of him, ironic considering the Crystal Scar is his home. No opinion yet.
  • Sona: Speed boost, easy to land stun, decent damage, great support with an organized team. Bad if not organized.
  • Soraka: Built tanky she can shrine deny and hold a point all day long. Pretty underrated imo.
  • Swain: Tanky DPS mage, not bad at all, decent choice for Hextech Sweeper, can hold shrines well enough.
  • Talon: Really good bursty AD character. Gets absurd quickly, good choice.
  • Taric: Not seen much of him, seems like building him somewhat tanky he could hold a point very well just like Soraka.
  • Teemo: Super annoying, AP Teemo will make you cry, AD Teemo will make you melt. High speed character with wards and an anti-AD carry ability. Good.
  • Tristana: Not seen at all...literally. Probably not very good, all things considered.
  • Trundle: Really strong but underrated imo. Good skill set, strong damage.
  • Tryndamere: Trynd is one of those characters like Poppy who has a weakness of needing farm, which they get guaranteed in Dominion. Once you reach late game, Trynd wrecks harddddddd. Can win absurd fights thanks to his ult.
  • Twisted Fate: His ult owns, his constant stuns are good, good damage output, Pantheon in the same role is probably better.
  • Twitch: Twitch is actually pretty good. His long range makes for good shrine denial and he gets farm quick on this map. Not great by any means, but good.
  • Udyr: Not seen much of him from others, his constant stuns and survivability make him super annoying up top, and he can defend RF and Drill easily.
  • Urgot: Pretty good, ulting someone onto your shrine (or AP Shacos JITB...) never gets old.
  • Vayne: AD Carry who does true damage and is hard to chase. She's good.
  • Veigar: Hit or miss. If you have a team that lets you get all the kills to farm your AP he's ridiculous. If you get tons of assists, he's pretty bad.
  • Vladimir: Really good since his weak lane phase no longer matters. Ult is a huge AD Carry steroid and his pool is great shrine denial.
  • Warwick: Solid solo bot against all but the very strongest ones. Solid up top too to boost your AD Carries with his W.
  • Wukong: Very strong, decoy is annoying, does solid damage, scales quickly.
  • Xin Zhao: Extremely strong AD Carry.
  • Yorick: The best solo bot in Dominion, no other character can really take on a Promote Yorick in a 1v1 bot and hope to win, beating him requires sending someone from top to deal with him which causes a huge chain of bad events for the other team. This is a character that no one bans or plays, yet if they did they would free win bot guaranteed if they knew how to play him and wish he was banned.
  • Zilean: Speed boost/speed debuff, revive ult, good harass, he's not bad at all :D.

3.0 Organized Draft Pick Dominion

Short little breakdown on how to captain in Dominion. For those who aren't especially good at it, you have 2 goals as a captain:

  • Deny the other team champions you don't want to deal with/counter your team comp.
  • Get champions that are super good on your team.

Thus, if you wind up being Second Ban, First Pick captain, you shouldn't neccessarily ban [insert S tier champion here] because you could pick him first, instead you should try to pick bans that force the other team to ban people besides [S tier champion you want]. With only 4 bans, it is impossible to remove every good champion, so you effectively want to remove your weaknesses and get tons of strengths, ideally doing that better than the other team.

List of champions worthy of being banned:

  • Yorick (he's not currently banned much, or picked much, but this is by far the best solo bot in Dominion, much much much better than Heimer at it, and neigh unstoppable in a 1v1 in Dominion)
  • Heimerdinger (amazing solo bot, can harass people capping really well, can hold top just fine)
  • Jax (pretty much the best AD Carry in Dominion)
  • Nocturne (gets strong really quickly, has an incredible mobile ganking ult, and his spell shield owns in small skirmishes)
  • Pantheon (his 100% crits owns up top, high mobility ult, high damage output thanks to Crystal Scar buff so he can build tanky)
  • Kog'maw (gets his razor even quicker since Kitae's is cheaper than Madred's, absurd shrine denial, just ridiculous)
  • Gangplank (great carry, gets his team to top quicker with E, ult is amazing)
  • Poppy (AP Poppy gets her items super quick and can guarantee kills on anybody, her ult also lets her run into your spawn and wreck everybody. Also there is literally walls everywhere for her stun.)

4.0 Common Mistakes

  • People not taking advantage of the health kit pickups, especially solo bots.
  • People not taking advantage of the storm buff properly. Leave it to your AD carries, and use it whenever you can take advantage of it.
  • People trying to take storm buff when they're getting capped and wind up costing their team lots of nexus health.
  • People dedicating too much effort to quests. No, throwing your whole team onto a quest point for 20 points most of the time isn't worth it if you lose 2-3 shrines in the process.
  • People trying to do 4 and 5 caps, getting swarmed, dying, then getting come backed on. Seriously, just hold 3 and defend. It's slow, it's probably not as fun, but you win and this WILL be the dominating strat for high ELO ranked play by far. It's safe, and it's smart.
  • Not running 2 AD Carries. If you run just 1 you're going to get chain exhausted and be useless.
  • Trying to go all AP heroes. It just doesn't work. AD scales far too well on Dominion for a number of reasons, the way better AD items in Dominion being part of it...
  • People ignoring or underestimating the minions. A wave is a huge GPM boost and minions capture much faster than anything else. Pushing waves to help capture + farming waves for gold while defending is neccessary if you want to have the highest advantage possible.
  • Not activating Priscilla's Blessing's active....seriously.
  • Dedicating too many people to a single capture.
  • Not buying Lightbringer/Oracles/Hextech Sweeper to deal with Eve/Akali.

5.0 Legal

Copyright 2011 HyperDragon

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

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