League of Legends is played competitively by a large number of players. When it comes to investing time into the ranked grind, no stone is left unturned to ensure victory. Players constantly come up with new strategies that give them an edge on their opponents and allow them to climb with east. One such strategy is the infamous “Funneling” strategy.
Funneling is a strategy where one or more champions pour their gold and exp into a single carry champion and build support and utility items themselves. The carry champion snowballs really hard with early items and wins teamfights with the help of their support.
Funneling has been a very hot topic in the competitive scene of League of Legends for the longest time. Most people who keep track of high elo gameplay or esports might have heard about it one way or the other. Today we will take a look at the history of funneling in League of Legends, and the mechanics involved in it.
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What Is Funneling
Concept Behind Funneling
Funneling is a strategy where resources from multiple lanes are poured into one carry champion in hopes to snowball much faster than the opponent. In usual cases, two players execute the funnel. One player takes all the gold and experience while the other builds supportive items to provide utility.This allows that carry champion to snowball out of control and be a menace in teamfights.
Pros And Cons
- The advantage this strategy has is fairly simple. The funneled champion punishes uncoordinated play by gaining core items early and gaining a lead that they can easily close the game with.
- The disadvantage, however, is that good teamplay can easily shutdown this strategy. Since all resources are funneled into one champion, focusing that champion breaks the backbone of this strategy.
Players that have to play against this strategy show extreme dislike of it. It has been called an abuse of the game’s system. In fact, people who have the funneling duo on their own team also express dislike because the duo abandon team based play and try to ‘1v9’ the game using the funneled champion.
While certain champions perform better than others at dealing with funnel champions, the truth of the matter is that coordinated team play is the only actual counter to funneling. And lack of coordination required to shut down this strategy in SoloQ can be quite frustrating.
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Some Examples Of Funneling
Various combinations of champions have been used in the past for funneling. Some of the most common examples include:
Taric/Master Yi Funnel
This is the most common example of funneling that you could see in your SoloQ games. Master Yi goes in the jungle and acts as the hyper carry in this case. Taric goes to a solo lane(preferably Top Lane) and collects waves for Master Yi.
Upon clearing the jungle, Master Yi walks to the lane and collects giant minion waves for extra gold and experience. In teamfights, Taric uses his W on Master Yi, granting him Armor. When Master Yi uses his Q, Taric also uses his E. This allows them to land a guaranteed stun on the target using Alpha Strike.
This funnel strategy surfaced for a while in 2018. Your hyper carry in this case is a Kai’Sa(Or Lucian/Irelia). They take smite and go to mid lane. The jungler is playing Braum and run around the jungle, taking jungle camps to a low enough HP for the midlaner to collect them.
Mid lane allows the carry to farm safely and also be guarded by ganks from their own jungler. The smite can be used to quickly push a wave or finish off a jungle camp. In teamfights, Kai’Sa/Lucian/Irelia can proc Braum passive fairly easily.
Janna Top With Smite Funnel
This strategy was recently started in SoloQ. The toplaner picks a roaming champion(mostly Janna) with smite. They lane for the first few minutes to unlock their abilities and get gold for boots. They use smite to push the waves quickly and last hit cannons.
Once boots are acquired, the Janna player roams around the map. They follow the jungler and gank different lanes to get free kills using advantageous numbers. Because of lack of resources gained on top lane, the team gains objective bounties which are cashed in with a successful roam top.
Riot Games’ Attempt To Reduce Funneling
Whenever funneling surfaced as a viable strategy, players begged Riot Games to make a change and kill this strategy. While Riot Games has made a lot of changes over the years to minimize funneling, it is an extremely hard job to do.
Funneling is based on the very basic game mechanic of farming minions and jungle camps for gold and experience and snowballing by getting an item advantage. It is hard to completely kill off the strategy without drastically making changes to the way progression works in the game.
Some of the changes made by Riot Games in this regard were:
- The amount of gold received by the Jungler if they kill too many minions was reduced to miniscule amounts. Jungle XP was also nerfed.
- In Patch 8.14, if the Junlger had the most gold on the team, they would receive much less gold from minions until their item enchantment was completed.
- In Patch 10.8, the time for reduced gold was moved to 20 minute mark and gold from minions was reduced if it was 40% or more of your gold from jungle.
- Taric’s E was changed in Patch 11.9 to not channel on allies that are not on the map(Master Yi during Alpha Strike).
- In Patch 12.4, changes were made to Support Items for them to be considered in a better way for objective bounty calculations.
Funneling has always been an extremely disliked strategy by players, and Riot Games has tried their best to limit it in every way possible. However, occasionally a new way to funnel gold surfaces and remains unfixed for a long time. Players are advised to show discipled team play against this strategy to avoid getting punished.
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