Nov 092011

Dominion is a capture and hold game, therefore capturing points is a frequent activity and the only way to win a match. There are many ways to capture a point and it could be said that how you capture depends on the situation.

There are two types of capture methods that distinguish themselves from others: a push and a backdoor. Both carry their own risks and how to diminish those risks is what we’ll go over here. Let’s give a quick look at a backdoor. A backdoor is most successful when the enemy team is occupied and has left a point alone.

It’s important to know where enemies are because a backdoor is always attempted at a point that is close to the enemy’s base. This enables the enemy to quickly defend it and a backdoorer may be ganked by two or more enemies. Such is the case in the image below: Jax is being ganked by Veigar coming from brush and Evelynn coming from her base when attempting a backdoor of their mid point.

League of Legends Jax backdoor and is ganked by Veigar and Evelynn

For instance, you control the Windmill your bottom and mid points. The enemy is pushing with three top and two bottom but is unable to capture because of a good defence by two players at each point. Now is the time to attempt a backdoor to split the enemy team and force them to defend.

A push is a completely different method which is better done with teammates instead of alone. A push consists of killing enemy minions and capturing a tower with their assistance. The Summoner spell Promote is particularly useful thanks to the added power that a super-minion provides.

Using minions has many benefits, one is that they increase the speed at which you capture a point and can even neutrilize it on their own. This allows a safe tower-dive in case enemies are present. Minions also attack enemy champions that use auto-attacks on your team. If a few waves of minions accumulate their cover fire is difficult to ignore, even for a tank.

Let’s go over an example, the image below shows a case where a push is being made by Veigar and Shen on a point defended by Jax. The point has already been neutralized by minions alone and Jax is trying to prevent a full capture by killing them.

League of Legends Jax defends a point from minions while Veigar and Shen retreat

Because of positioning Jax could jump onto Veigar and get an easy kill, Shen is a bit far to assist fast enough. However, this could mean allowing his team’s mid point to be captured. At this moment Veigar and Shen can continue pushing or retreat. The right answer is to retreat; neutralizing the point is enough to disrupt the enemy.

This already gives an advantage in captured points as it delays the enemy’s comeback and costs no deaths at all. Had they stayed they would’ve been killed by the rest of the team that subsequently came to recapture the point.

The safe push worked as a distraction which also allowed the bottom lane to push and capture the enemy bottom point. As the whole enemy team went to recapture their mid point they indeed lost a point even though Veigar and Shen didn’t actively capture. Moreover, the both teams have five members alive so there is no advantage in numbers that can trigger a comeback.

The examples covered are specific and situations in a match can vary greatly. Regardless, they are quite illustrative of the importance of safely capturing points and not over-extending. When you over-extend you risk dying and give the enemy a chance for a capture and for a comeback. Play safe when you have an advantage, risk it all if you have no other option.

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