MPL-MY/SG: Flameshot is an issue

Posted by Gideon on March 4, 2020

Gideon analyses the battle spell's impact on MPL-MY/SG's week 1 matches.

I’ve said this on-cast, off-cast, and at any free time I’ve had so far. FLAMESHOT is a problem. Although it has contributed to some seriously hilarious moments during MPL- MY/SG Season 5, if unchanged, I think it’s harmful to the overall meta. Before I dive further into this topic, let’s get to know the issue.

THE ISSUE: Flameshot (CD & Stats)

Flameshot's effect and cooldown.

As you can clearly see here. That cooldown is not right and 400 base damage with magic ratios which bump up the effective damage is pushing it too far. If we make a comparison between Flameshot and every other battle spell in the game, you will instantly realise two things.

1. No other spell comes close to the cooldown of Flameshot
2. Nothing deals as much damage as Flameshot, except Execute - specifically at level 1 at 25% health.

These are compelling statistics for a battle spell, but how do professionals use it?

There have been several combinations with Flameshot which created interesting strategies during the first week of MPL-MY/SG Season 5. I want to break down one such strategy as employed by Resurgence against Siren Clan.

Level 1 Cheese

(Look there isn’t a proper name for it so I’m just making them up as I go)

The strategy is simple, look to gain early kills and advantages at level 1 and then proceed to deprive your opponents of experience. Resurgence gave us a class A display of this with their draft.

Game 2's draft between RSG and Siren.

Their draft wasn’t entirely level 1-oriented, but it had that potential and required some luck. They adapted this strategy into their game plan as soon as Siren Azura’s Selena was confirmed to be played as a support. The plan was simple, shut down Selena pre-level 2 and they could have free reign in the early game (levels 1-4).

At level 1 they asserted control over the mid lane to determine if Selena was going to check brushes either with Abyssal Arrow, or just walking in plain sight (which probably won’t happen, but hey one can hope right?). Once the lane showed empty, Resurgence’s plan commenced.

Now I want to highlight that Selena always starts killing Core Guard (red buff), especially when Kagura desperately needs Statued Shocker (blue buff) to stay in the lane without having to recall. RSG proceeded to invade Siren’s bottom jungle fully aware that Selena and potentially Khufra might be there. Not to mention a nearby Granger that can respond. Let’s observe the potential 3v3 and decide whether RSG can realistically contest the red buff.

Siren's heroes in the jungle during RSG's level 1 invasion.

RSG's heroes - take a look at those Flameshots.

At that point in the game, Granger was killing the beetle and Khufra just entered the bottom jungle. Take a moment to digest the situation, because Resurgence does not win a 3v3 fight even with Flameshot. Here’s why: with three Flameshots we can estimate that at a minimum RSG will deal 1400 damage to one hero. However, there is no guarantee that the battle spell will hit, and it won’t be able to kill Selena at level 1, who has a base health of 2401 (this does not consider armor or magic resistance).

What about with hero skill damage? Here’s the maths: Grock (Power of Nature = 350), Pharsa (Energy Impact = 350), Estes (Domain of Moon God = 350). The total is 2450 base damage only (1050 + 1400 from 3 Flameshots).

I could calculate armour and magic resistance to further make this more accurate but just looking at the base damage alone, 49 damage as a surplus are not good odds to secure a kill. Too many things must go right, and all the damage must be applied to Selena or Khufra as Granger is not quite there.

So why did Azura stop killing the buff? To answer that, check out the mini map screenshot.

Frankly Siren had no idea where Sana’s Jawhead is and let’s do some high-level thinking in Siren’s shoes. Jawhead could be helping Ly4’s Wanwan at the top-side Core Guard – and he was – but Siren was unaware. Siren should be expecting a four-men invade because Jawhead picks are known to look for level 1 Ejectors.

RSG successfully prevented Selena (played by Azura) from killing the red buff, shutting down her early game threat.

Even if they were confident in taking a 3v4 fight, the threat of three Flameshots to deal finishing blows meant that Resurgence had a tremendous advantage even at level 1. They took full advantage of it and ended the game in just 7 minutes 27 seconds – the fastest game of the league so far.

This isn’t the most popular strategy used by teams yet. However, considering the many whacky things the battle spell produced from week 1 of the Regular Season, it could become a core component of teams’ strategies. My concern is that the spell is just too powerful. Time will tell if teams will continue to exploit this strategy, or if it will remain a pocket strat used to steamroll unsuspecting opponents.

MPL-MY/SG is organised by eGG Network.

This is a guest post and the views expressed here are the author's own. GideonQ is a caster and analyst for MPL-MY/SG Season 5.


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