League of Legends is a game that has been evolving during the years, but not evolved and changed only by Riot but also by the players in mechanics and playstyles. In all the different kinds of games, from Solo/Duo Q to competitive.
We have seen new tactics all over the years, and the seasons, when we think we have seen everything, there is always something new to watch, learn and, of course, get amazed.
Of course, these tactics and playstyles are ruled by the patches, nerfs, buffs, and new champions added to the game. We have seen many different compositions in competitive, and there is always space to get hyped about a new type.
Now, what has been making echo is Funneling? have you heard the term?
Asians are always the most innovative players all over the world, and they are the ones that show these new paths. This specific case is not the exception. But what is Funneling?
Let’s begin with a bit of history.
To understand what Funneling is, it is essential to understand a straightforward strategy and composition used many seasons ago, called Juggernaut.
Juggernaut’s composition was seen for the very first time during Season 3 when Tai Pei Assassins played with Lulu Top, Nunu Jungle, Janna Mid, Taric Support, and finally Vayne ADC. Juggernaut is about protecting one champion in the game to do 1vs5, support champions, and one hyper-carry mostly play this composition, the idea is to use all the utility skills on the hyper-carry for the hyper-carry to do 1vs5, sounds reckless right?
This composition evolved and got to the highest point during season 7 with Kog’maw as AD carry, melting pretty much everyone.
The whole game is about the hyper-carry, and to make it work as it should, everyone should focus on giving the hyper-carry advantage from the very early game. This kind of composition is a bit dangerous because if you don’t manage to feed your carry, then basically your composition falls apart, since the rest of the champions are just utility, it is hard for them to get back to the game if the main idea goes wrong.
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How is Funneling Compared to Juggernaut?
Funneling is not that different from Juggernaut, Funneling strategy objective is pretty much the same as with the Juggernaut, it is to feed a carry and protect him from doing damage, this is a bit more flexible since playing entirely with supports it does no longer work properly.
Still, the idea is to take one carry to take advantage in early/mid-game to easily reach a power spike and take advantage of this to dominate and win the game. Sounds easy, but it is not, it requires a decent amount of skill and communication, and we will see why soon.
How Did Funneling Become so Popular?
China players started to play a different composition that was new and a bit weird since the beginning, and it took time to know how to play against. The champions used and the ones that made it famous this playstyle were Maser Yi and Taric. And perhaps you might be wondering now how does this work? Well, I will tell you.
The idea of this composition is to “feed” the hyper-carry in the early game so the composition can start to take advantage in mid-game and finish the game before the late game. The way the hyper-carry is fed in this case, Master Yi, is by doing his jungle path as usual but moving to the mid lane at some point to farm the minion waves. Here is where Taric comes to shine.
Taric has to hold the lane as much as possible and, more importantly, to hold the minions so Master Yi can move to get the gold and share the experience with Taric, in this way, Master Yi can get good gold and, of course, a good amount of experience, the downside is that Taric will lose a lot of experience and gold, but if Taric manages to survive against the enemy mid-laner the objective would be half-done.
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But Why is it Crucial to Feed Master Yi?
Well, Master Yi is a champion that can snowball. If you add to the equation that he is getting more experience than the enemy jungler, this can give the advantage to contest objectives like Dragon and Scuttles, remember the more level you are, the stronger your smite is. It is easy to win a smite fight. Then, if Master Yi decides to invade or if there is a fight in the scuttle, Master Yi will have the advantage and even the possibility to get a kill and start the snowball.
People started to play this, but it didn’t succeed that much. The winrate was about 25%, and this is because you need to have very great communication with the one you are going to share the lane, which generally doesn’t happen in Solo Q. On the other hand, Duo Q might be a bit different.
So if Master Yi-Taric doesn’t work, why are you suggesting this playstyle?
Because as I said before, everything in League of Legends evolves. After Taric and Master Yi were used a lot and people knew how to start to play against, new combinations started to shine, and other Hyper-Carries started to appear. In June 2018, Fnatic played a game against FC Schalke 04 in the Week 1 day 2 on the EU LCS Summer Split where Caps, the mid laner went with Kai’sa as Hyper-Carry and as Jungler Nunu was the choice, where the ADC went with Karma and the Support was Morgana.
Quite interesting composition and a clear fusion between the Juggernaut and Funneling. The idea was to follow the Funneling composition and protect themselves if wouldn’t work with a Juggernaut to Shield and protect Kai’sa as much as possible. The top lane pick was Singed, and this worked perfectly, with Singed R, and the Shields from Karma with the Speed boost and the Shield from Morgana this work perfectly for a “pick” composition which basically was to throw to the team with Singed E one of the enemy champions and get melted by the feed Kai’sa.
Let’s just quickly check the overall stats in the mid-game at 21 minutes in the game from that match. First from the Funneling composition as we mentioned, Top/Singed, Mid/Kaisa with smite, Jungle/Nunu, ADC/Karma, Support/Morgana. Top/Renekton, Jungle/Camille, Mid/Twisted Fate, ADC/Varus, Support/Shen in the enemy team. At this point, the score was 1-5 in favor of SO4, Kai’sa made the only kill, and she got killed 3 times while Singed got killed twice, the kills were made by Twisted Fate with 2 Camille with 2 and Renekton with 1.
At this point, you could think this composition didn’t work at all, and Fnatic is screwed because the score doesn’t look good. But Kai’sa has 310 CS (yes, in 21 minutes) and Twisted Fate just 230. Suppose we consider generally speaking that 15 minions are equivalent to 1 kill. In that case, Kai’sa is pretty much fed at this point, and she is 2 levels above Twisted Fate, while Camille is just 1 level above Nunu. The cs difference between Nunu and Camille is 51 minions. And SO4 has taken 4 towers while Fnatic has not even one. The difference in global gold is 8.2k in favor of SO4.
Now let’s compare it with the last stats before the game ended. Spoiler alert, Fnatic “wonnered” (if you are old enough to understand this pun, kind regards to TSM).
The game ended 4 minutes later, the difference in gold were 600 gold in favor of SO4, 6 vs. 5 towers Fnatic’s favor, kills are 6-5 Fnatic favor (Kai’sa from 1-3-0 to 6-3-0).
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Funneling is an interesting tactic especially if you mix it with a certain composition, like the example from Fnatic, if you are just a solo/duo player this playstyle works well in low elo, in High elo it might be more complicated because players have more skills and experience and is easy for them to deal with one fed champion when the team is not as organized as a proper competitive team would be.
But if you find yourself good teammates and you have a duo that knows how this work and your synergy is good with him/her, then this can properly work, you can even look for different options, like Lucian instead of Kai’sa, the important part is that you can play well, do nice damage and escalate or snowball well and that your partner pick works well along with your champion.