OUR STREAMERS

They discuss Mobile Legends' meta heroes, tips about game sense and identify common mistakes players make.

Whether it's the start or end of a Mobile Legends season, players will be in a mad scramble to reach the top of the rank ladder. The climb to Mythic is never easy, but we’ve compiled some handy advice for you from two streamers who've been there and done that: Flare Gaming, and Laphel.

Who are they?

Flare Gaming (Facebook/Instagram) is a streamer who plays a variety of games on various platforms, from PC to mobile to consoles. Although he mainly plays MLBB for fun and enjoys experimenting with unconventional builds and picks, he's consistently reached Mythic rank, and is proof that you can enjoy climbing the rank ladder.

Flare Gaming.

Laphel is a streamer and MPL–MY/SG caster. Previously, he was a coach/analyst for Shopee Bosskurr, as well as Team Malaysia’s coach during the 2019 Philippines SEA games. He currently serves as Axis Esports' manager.

Laphel.

 

Flare and Laphel’s top heroes to climb the MLBB rank ladder

Not every hero in MLBB is equal in terms of strengths and weaknesses, with some being more useful than others in climbing.

They both agree that Granger is extremely powerful because he has plenty of early game power - which is usually a Marksman's (MM) weakness. His long-range burst and critical damage creates a lot of pressure, and Granger also transitions well into the late game instead of falling off.

 

 

 

Speaking of Marksmen, there's also Bruno. Like Granger, he has strong burst (although not as high) early on and can fight at mid-range. He has better crowd control (cc) than Granger because he can slow enemies, providing a different utility to early game teamfights.

 

 

 

Kimmy also features in Flare’s list of strong heroes in the current meta.

The bane of many players, Kimmy's passive allows her to attack while moving, which means good players will be incredibly hard to catch while constantly dealing damage. It's also harder to itemise versus her hybrid damage as she can build to focus on magic or physical damage.

 

 

The last Marksman is Wanwan, who comes with high recommendations from Laphel, especially if you’re facing teams with heavy crowd controls, since her 2nd skill provides CC immunity. Wanwan also has high Area of Effect (AoE) damage which is a big contribution in teamfights.

 

 

 

Aside from Marksmen, Flare also rates Gusion, an Assassin, rather highly.

With mobility and burst, Gusion can easily pick off priority targets (like opponent Marksmen). If able to secure the Blue Buff, Gusion becomes an even bigger threat, since it allows him to cast spells more often and reduces his ultimate cooldown, which again reduces skill cooldowns when cast.

 

Khufra can also be a game-changer. His high mobility and CC allows players to set up teamfights. Notably, all his skills have a CC effect: an AoE knock-up stun, an AoE knock-back CC, and an anti-mobility skill which prevents dashes. Mobility is a vital component of some of the game's strongest heroes, disabling that gives you a better chance of neutralising them.

 

 

In a similar vein, Laphel regards Lolita as a strong Tank hero. She’s a good meta counter, making her way into his books thanks to her shield ability which completely negates all projectile damage (including Marksman auto-attacks) for a few seconds. She comes with a well-rounded CC package, boasting a single-target stun and a large AoE stun.

 

 

And then there’s Pharsa.

Based on historical data, she's a rather odd choice, since she hasn't been in the meta for ages, but Laphel’s argument for picking her makes sense: she’s an extremely long-range poke Mage. Enemy Marksmen will have a hard time getting to her before she pokes them to death, or they'll be low enough on hit points (HP) for her team to mop them up.

Tips and tricks for reaching Mythic

Picking strong heroes isn't enough to win games, of course, since you'll need gameplay skills too.

Possess meta and pick/ban knowledge

Learn from the masters.

Awareness of team compositions and the meta plays a big role in climbing the rank ladder. For example, during the pick/ban phase, Flare recommends picking the highly banned heroes whenever possible - that's because they are generally stronger!

These heroes are banned for a reason, which is usually their utility, mobility, or damage, which have the potential to carry games. “The enemy can't kill you if you kill them first, or if you're faster than them," says Flare.

However, he warns that players shouldn't blindly pick a hero just because they’re strong. "Be adaptable to your team’s picks" is his advice.

For top lane or Tank players, prioritise "Arrival"

Flare is a Tank player himself, so it’s pretty good advice. It’s a handy battle spell, especially when the enemy starts split pushing (a common strategy). "Arrival" allows you to teleport to a lane under threat, thus protecting towers.

The spell also enables the top lane player to make early ganking rotations if your team has an active mid lane playmaker. MLBB rewards teams who build early gold and experience leads and "Arrival" complements this kind of strategy.

Check your attitude

"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." Yoda.

This is a point on which both Flare and Laphel agree. MLBB isn’t a 1v1 game, it’s team-based, so it’s vital to stay positive (even in bad matches), be less stubborn, and curb your ego, so you can work well with your team. Good skills without teamwork are pointless if you're busy fighting your own team instead of the enemy.

Spreading a message of positivity, Flare says that “even if your teammate disconnects or feeds, it's okay, there's always the next game.”

Common mistakes players make

Accidentally stealing jungle buffs

This is something many of us have probably done. Please be careful whenever you’re helping teammates. Some buffs are vital for specific heroes (Red for Marksmen, Blue for Mages), so stealing them can be detrimental to your team's chances of winning. IF you do steal the buffs, don’t start arguing, just apologise.

Not paying attention

Pay attention to what?

Well, some important things to keep track of during games include momentum swings, objectives, positioning, spell availability, and the map. In short, you need to constantly be aware of the game’s state, which also affects where you and your team should be, and what you should be doing. For instance, the enemy team just got wiped out, and Lord is open, so you should try and take it.

BUT if you're already in the enemy base, just end the game!

Inflexibility

Be like Luffy.

Inflexibility basically refers to an inability to adapt to the situation at hand. You won’t always have a perfect team comp, players, or  games where everything goes well, so it’s important for you to be flexible. For example, if your team is constantly losing fights, maybe it’d be better to try split-pushing and taking objectives, instead of forcing it and falling further behind.

Sometimes you can't control a game's circumstances, but you can control how you respond to those. Both Laphel and Flare agree that focusing on where you can improve is better than blaming everyone else. That way, you continue to learn, and that elusive Mythic rank need not be just a pipe dream.


So there you have it, some useful advice from Flare Gaming and Laphel on how to ease your grind to Mythic. Hopefully, it’ll be useful for you. At the same time, do remember to have fun while playing. No point stressing yourself out unnecessarily over a game, right?

Silo makes a comeback and last Season's XPAX X-Assins return.

Today, we witnessed the finale of Season 5's Malaysian Qualifiers, with four teams (DarkHorse, Orange Esports, Makan Cendol, and Honey Juana Clan) showcasing their skills and battling to make it into the Regular Season.

However, only two triumphed after tough matches: Orange Esports, and Makan Cendol, and it wasn't easy. With a US$100,000 prize pool at stake, everyone fought with passion and hunger. 

Experience helped because interestingly, both winning teams have veterans in their line-ups, with Silo in Orange, and Artha, SmoothJago, Raisyaa, and Ax of Makan Cendol, all from last season's XPAX X-Assins.

DarkHorse (DARK) 1-2 Orange Esports (OE)

Surviving to the last day of the qualifiers, DarkHorses certainly lived up to their name. They're a new team in the MY/SG professional scene and this was their first introduction to the highest level of competitive play, having previously won various rookie tournaments. On the other hand, Orange is an established esports organisation, although their MLBB team is relatively new too - with the exception of Silo.

Silo was the former captain of Saiyan Reborn during their miraculous run in Season 2, bringing the underdog team from near-elimination to finally lift the trophy, beating EVOS Esports SG 3-1.

Saiyan Reborn defied all odds to win MPL-MY/SG Season 2.

Orange started well against DARK, taking an early lead in Game 1 and pressuring DARK non-stop to crush them in just nine minutes! It's safe to say Orange's Mal played a big role in this, dishing out huge amounts of damage on his Bruno and forcing DARK's players to back off, which gave his team room to take objectives without fear of retaliation.

Game 2 saw a reversal of fortunes, with DARK pulling off an impressive comeback after a long game. They managed to steal Lord, and even Mal's Bruno couldn't keep up with DARK's overall damage.

Moments before Orange Esports destroyed DarkHorses base in Game 3.

Still, Game 3 was where OE made their stand. Reversing the early lead from DARK, they pressed their advantage, not giving DARK any breathing room as Orange systematically disassembled every objective to gain an even bigger lead. After two seasons away from the professional scene, Silo, who left Saiyan Reborn post-Season 2, has finally returned to reclaim his glory.

Makan Cendol (MC) 2-1 Honey Juana Clan (HJC)

The other semi-final match was between Makan Cendol and Honey Juana Clan (HJC). HJC is a new team which lacked experience. Despite them battling tough and nail to get into the Regular Season, it was Makan Cendol, with four out of five players from Season 4's XPAX X-Assins, who used their professional experience to steamroll past HJC. To HJC's credit, they did manage to take one game off MC.

Game 1 started with an even series of back and forth skirmishes between the two teams, although Makan Cendol eventually pulled ahead and snowballed out of control. On the other hand, HJC showed heart and clawed their way to victory in Game 2. They demolished Makan Cendol's towers while hardly losing any of their own. Despite the ex-MPL players' valiant defence while not having any towers, HJC were simply unstoppable, marching their Hayabusa into Makan Cendol's base to set up a third game.

Makan Cendol's final Lord push overwhelmed Honey Juana Clan's defenses.

Unfortunately, the momentum swung back in Makan Cendol's favour in Game 3. HJC found themselves losing too much ground right from the start. Raisyaa's Pharsa was pivotal, acting as an artillery platform to siege HJC while avoiding retaliation himself, which created tremendous pressure on the newbies. HJC started making more and more mistakes, ultimately losing their window to turn the gold and experience deficit around, and were eliminated.

Orange and Makan Cendol join EVOS SG, Todak, Axis Esports, Geek Fam and Team Bosskurr in the Regular Season. The Singapore qualifiers will take place next week with three slots up for grabs.


MPL-MY/SG Season 5 is organised by eGG Network.


Knowing what to do with your hero is as important as selecting him.

Who doesn't want to kill the competition with their favourite heroes? That is the point of the game, after all, isn't it? Well, the pros know best, so here's a chance to get into their heads with this new series, where we partner with professional MLBB players to give you the lowdown on how they play some of their most iconic heroes!

This week, Soul, the current captain of EVOS Esports SG, spills the beans on how to master X.Borg.

About Soul

First up, here’s a bit about Soul’s background.

He’s been in the MY/SG competitive for a while, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to call him a veteran, since he was with EVOS Esports SG during their Season 2 debut.

Ultimately, the team failed to claim the championship in S2, coming in 2nd as consolation, a feat they repeated in Season 3. Now, Soul has taken up the captain’s mantle and is leading his team into the S4 Playoffs, hoping to break the "2nd place curse".

Soul used to play the marksman role, but has transitioned to a tank/fighter player in Season 4. During the Regular Season, he had an especially high win rate (86% from seven games played) on X.Borg, one of the current meta heroes.

About X.Borg

X.Borg is a fighter who deals heavy area of effect (AoE) damage and can sustain well with his passive. Introduced to the game at the beginning of August 2019, a few weeks prior to the start of Season 4, he quickly came to dominate S4’s meta, especially early on where he was the #1 picked hero. Pretty much every team wanted to pick him, and he was hovering at a win rate of more than 50%.

While he fell in terms of pick rate towards the end of the Regular Season, X.Borg remained one of the top 5 picks, and the upcoming Playoffs will likely still see him frequently selected.

During the early game, X.Borg’s primary role is to be a lane bully who out-sustains enemies. As the game progresses, he is tasked to deal heavy damage to the enemy backline in teamfights via diving in and unleashing his ultimate and AoE skills.

Skills

Passive: Firaga Armor

1) Think of his passive as a second HP bar (based on his max HP), which absorbs all the damage you take while it’s active. When the Armour HP drops to 0, it self-destructs, and you can control the joystick to make X.Borg roll in a target direction. Note that he’ll be immune to damage while rolling.

While unarmoured, an energy bar replaces his armour HP, and restoring max energy lets him re-equip the armour with 30% of max HP.

2) Dealing damage with X.Borg causes enemies to gain Temperature stacks. At max stacks, enemies drop Firaga supplies, which restore either energy (while unarmoured) or armor HP (while armoured) when picked up.

Comments: X.Borg’s passive makes him deceptively tanky for a fighter, and he can easily turn a battle around even if his HP is low, just by collecting Firaga supplies and dealing constant damage. When paired with lifesteal/spell vamp emblems and items, this passive shines even more.

Skill 1: Fire Missiles

This is his bread-and-butter damage skill. X.Borg shoots fire in a specific direction and deals physical damage. This does a percentage of your enemies’ HP as true damage if they have max Temperature.

Armourless State: The flames have a longer distance but smaller AoE, and deal less damage.

Comments: This is your main damage skill, so make sure not to miss it. At max Temperature, Fire Missiles also deals true damage, so it’s useful if the enemy team is full of tanks. This skill shines best in long skirmishes.

Skill 2: Fire Stake

X.Borg shoots Fire Stakes in a fan-shaped radius, dealing damage to enemies. Then X.Borg pulls the stakes back, also pulling in any Firaga supplies and enemies in the path of this skill.

Armourless State: X.Borg adjusts the Fire Stake launcher, increasing its range but decreasing its width.

Comments: This is your only non-ultimate crowd control (CC) ability. While it DOES deal damage, please don’t waste your cooldowns by blindly spamming it, since you’ll never know when it might come in handy to restore HP or catch a fleeing enemy.

Ultimate: Last Insanity

This can only be used in the Armored State.

X.Borg charges forward in a designated direction and stops, then spins around while shooting fire in an AoE, dealing heavy damage and slowing enemies. When the skill ends, his armour explodes, dealing physical damage and a percentage of your target's Max HP as true damage. Using the skill also sets him to the armourless state.

You can use the skill again once activated, to self-destruct immediately.

Comments: Last Insanity is X.Borg’s nuke skill, capable of dealing very heavy damage and slowing enemies, but it comes with the heavy drawback of destroying his armour, leaving him vulnerable after his ultimate ends. Make sure to use it well (refer to the Common Mistakes section at the bottom)!

Strengths and weaknesses

Despite being very powerful, X.Borg isn’t unbeatable, and he has clear strengths and weaknesses which can be exploited.

Strengths

1) X.Borg is a lane bully. With his good sustain (if he can pick up Firaga Supplies), X.Borg can easily push enemies out of lane by poking them down and healing if your enemies retaliate.

2) He has true damage on his 1st Skill when Temperature is maxed, allowing him to be useful even against tanks in longer fights.

Weaknesses

1) Burst is one of X.Borg’s major weaknesses, since he excels in skirmishing and wants to avoid all-ins early on.

If his armour is destroyed by a burst of damage, he loses his passive shield, making his abilities are weaker in that state, so he can’t use his ultimate.

2) X.Borg has very little crowd control, and enemies with mobility or displacements (knockbacks, knockups, etc) can easily escape from him.

When should you pick X.Borg?

According to Soul, X.Borg is useful in most situations. Being a very powerful hero right now, you should pick him if you have the chance because he can contribute a lot to your team’s performance. Primarily, he is played as an offlane hero, especially in his main role as a damage-dealing fighter or as a support tank that can still deal good damage while being tanky, thanks to his passive ability.

X.Borg is strong against …

Low mobility heroes.

With his powerful AoE spells, heroes that lack mobility are basically fodder for X.Borg because they are unable to easily escape while he deals them heavy damage. He is especially dangerous for support and mage heroes, with their low HP. His first skill’s true damage means he is also effective against tanks in extended teamfights.

Diggie

Minotaur

Bane

X.Borg can easily punish immobile heroes like Diggie, Minotaur, and Bane if he catches them within his AoE damage radius.

X.Borg is weak against …

Burst damage.

As mentioned, burst heroes (especially a large number of mages and assassins) can easily wreck his HP with their spells, quickly leaving him armourless. Without his armour, X.Borg is vulnerable to further burst damage, and his skills are weakened. In this state, he doesn't have much to offer the team.

Helcurt

Harith

Gusion

Examples of burst heroes that can wreck him are Helcurt, Harith (who has loads of mobility as a bonus) and Gusion.

Marksmen also work well against X.Borg, as they can output more damage in prolonged fights. X.Borg has to depend on his skills to deal most of his damage, which leaves him at a disadvantage if he doesn’t kill the opponent's marksmen with his initial rotation.

Granger

Karrie

Kimmy

Heroes like Granger, Karrie, and Kimmy are very capable of kiting him and outdamaging X.Borg's armour gain.

X.Borg Works Well With …

Crowd control tanks like Grock, Khufra, and Lolita.

X.Borg is already strong on his own, so he isn’t too reliant on team synergies or combos with other heroes to be impactful.

Grock

Khufra

Lolita

However, if you’re still looking to pick a hero who synergises well with him, Soul's recommendation is to pick heroes with crowd control and/or damage blocking abilities. These are to mitigate his two weaknesses of susceptibility to burst and inability to catch mobile enemies.

Most of these tanks also have zoning abilities, so they can trap enemies while X.Borg burns the enemies to death.

Item builds and emblems

Here are some of X.Borg’s core items that provide synergy with his abilities and role. You can refer to examples of Soul’s full builds in the next section.

Items - Core/Essential

Bloodlust Axe

Physical attack, spell vamp, and cooldown reduction on an early-to-midgame item. What more could you want?

Wings of the Apocalypse Queen

Provides lifesteal and damage reduction when X.Borg is low on HP, which synergises well with his passive and helps him stay alive longer.

Blade of Despair

The physical damage and movement speed from this item provide X.Borg with a means of sticking to enemies (which is one of his main weaknesses) and damaging them more easily, and the bonus damage on lower HP enemies is also nice.

Items - Situational

Athena’s Shield

Take this if you’re getting beaten up by mages, as it provides a shield (which stacks on top of your passive shield) to avoid their burst. It provides bonus HP and health regeneration, too.

Brute Force Breastplate

Brute Force Breastplate is useful when fighting physical attack heroes, as it provides armour and HP. The passive, which makes you more durable as you use your skills and basic attacks, is also useful for prolonged skirmishes.

Rose Gold Meteor

Primarily useful for fighting mages since it provides magic resistance. You can still buy it if you need to constantly dive into teamfights because it provides X.Borg with damage and lifesteal, while also giving him a magic shield when his HP is low.

Hunter Strike

As a fighter reliant on skills to deal damage, Hunter Strike is invaluable to X.Borg, providing a burst of speed when you hit enemies with your skills, as well as cooldown reduction and a large degree of physical damage.

Soul's X.Borg Item Build Examples

Build 1 – Used when X.Borg needs more durability, especially when you know battles are going to last longer. There’s no point maximising your damage if you’re not alive to deal it, hence his choice of three tank items.

Build 2 – Use this maximising his damage and burst. This is close to an all-in damage build with only Wings of the Apocalypse Queen considered the true defensive item. Be careful you don't die too early in teamfights. Use this if you have solid tanks in your team.

Build 3 – Use this when X.Borg is the jungler. It's a versatile build which provides a mix of cooldown reduction, durability, and damage. Beast Killer can be swapped out for another defensive or attacking item depending on the late game.

Emblems

Fighter Emblem tree

Bravery – Physical Attack 3/3

Invasion – Physical Penetration 3/3

Festival of Blood - Provides spell vamp when you deal damage to enemies, which helps to sustain you in teamfights.

Soul uses these emblems because they can provide good teamfight sustain and damage early in the game, even before getting Bloodlust Axe. With Bloodlust Axe, your damage and sustain will spike to crazy levels. The focus of these emblems is on damage and out-living enemies. For him, these Fighter stats bonuses provide enough durability and damage to play his role well.

Gameplay

Building good items alone isn’t enough because you’ll need to know how X.Borg works at various stages of the game, too.

1) Early game

You in the earlygame.

You'll probably play in the offlane, so bully your opponent as much as possible to gain an advantage. Aim to push them out of the lane by making trades and out-sustaining them (THIS IS IMPORTANT).

X.Borg has good sustain, so take advantage of that, and use the jungle camps to gain Firaga Supply charges to regen your armour and energy.

2) Mid to late game

Try to look for fights wherever possible and flank the enemy backline using your ultimate’s charge, since it gives you CC immunity while dashing. Once you dive in, unleash all your AoE damage and kill or weaken their carries, which allows your team to follow up and wipe them out.

3) Super Late game

"We did it Patrick, we destroyed the enemy base!"

In this phase, your role is to create space by standing in the middle of teamfights, using your skills to create pressure and zone enemies. This allows you to cover for your mage and carry, so they can avoid your enemies getting too close while they focus on inflicting damage. At this stage of the game, positioning and initiating teamfights is crucial, X.Borg's large AoE abilities make him valuable even in the later stages of the game. Add to this his ability to inflict true damage, and he becomes relevant in all stages of a game.

Common mistakes to avoid

1) Avoid all-in trades early

During the laning phase, X.Borg’s damage isn’t that high yet, so don’t overcommit to fights and lose out. Instead, try to poke and push enemies out of the lane to allow for farm/push and gaining a lead. He is an independent hero and can handle 2v1 situations to free up your other team members to rotate to mid or bottom.

2) Be careful when using your ultimate

Your ultimate will self-destruct X.Borg’s armour when its duration ends, leaving him vulnerable in the Armourless State. If you use your ultimate at a bad time, you might find yourself caught out and weakened - helpless as your enemies kill you.

It's fine if you're John Wick, but you're not, so be careful.

So, if you’re going to charge into the enemy team, make sure your teammates are there to follow up with their own abilities. A good time during teamfights would be after your tank initiates and your enemies are preoccupied. In the worst-case scenario, use your ultimate as a suicide move, if you know you can finish off the enemy with it. There’s no point charging in to just die, right?

So … is X.Borg Good?

Definitely. He’s a very solid hero pick in most situations, especially in terms of sustain and lane bullying, and isn’t hard to learn. But that doesn’t mean you can just pick him up and expect to get Savages left, right and centre - he still has weaknesses. The same applies if you’re against an X.Borg - there is still hope even if you’re having trouble with him.

Regardless, he’s worth buying and trying out, whether you’re a pro or a casual player.

MPL-MY/SG Season 4 Playoffs is happening this weekend at KL Live! Catch Soul in action as the best MLBB teams in Malaysia and Singapore battle for the championship title.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram