USA v. Ukraine

Posted by Bruno "shostakovich" Tomaz 3 years, 48 weeks ago
MYM Prime Nations Grand Finals

After long fights and exciting games, the MYM Prime Nations reached it's Grand Finals. USA surprised everyone by showing a very solid teamplay and enters the final with the advantage of coming from the Winner Bracket. Ukraine, on the other side, came from an hard Loser Bracket and is a serious contender for the championship. The GosuGamers strategy team brings you an analysis of the second game of the Grand Finals.

Download the replay here!

The Pick/Ban analysis
First Ban PhaseFirst Pick Phase
Nerubian Weaver / Phoenix / Shadow Demon / Guardian Wisp / Lone Druid / Lich

Ukraine has the first ban.
Ukraine bans Nerubian Weaver, Shadow Demon and Lone Druid, while USA bans Phoenix, Wisp and Lich. Both teams denying new heroes from the game, and also some known cookie-cutter heroes.

Invoker / OblivionAncient Apparition / ClockwerkFar Seer / Earthshaker
At the first pick phase, we see a gamble here: USA leaves Invoker unbanned for Ukraine to pick, and answers with Pugna and Ancient Apparition. It is true that USA gives Ukraine such a strong and dominant hero, but they get themselves also some good lane dominance, team-fight potential and global threat. Ukraine picks Clockwerk Goblin and Far Seer, bringing team fight control into their team, while USA consolidates their team fight potential with Earthshaker. For now, USA have more options for laning and for planning, as their lineup can fit both turtling and push/semi-push games. Ukraine doesn't have that much laning options as all the three heroes are heavily favored by soloing their lanes. However, Ukraine do have also a lot of team fight control.
Second Ban PhaseSecond Pick Phase
Undying / Vengeful Spirit / Crystal Maiden / Necro'lic
Ukraine bans Undying, as he was used on the last game with success by USA and would amplify their AoE damage in this game, and Crystal Maiden, as they want to prevent an early/mid push from the enemy. By banning these two heroes, Ukraine simplifies the game by denying USA a mid game pushing strategy. On the other side, USA bans Vengeful Spirit and Visage, taking away solid support options from the ukranian squad, forcing them to consider riskier options.

Dark Seer / Morphling / Doom Bringer / Enigma
On the second picking phase, Ukraine has to solve some problems. Firstly, USA has a lot of team fight potential. Secondly, they alredy have three heroes that are favored by a solo lane. That said, Ukraine picks Dark Seer, a hero with jungle potential that brings some more team-fight potential to their ranks. USA then picks Morphling. By being a ranged carry with escape mechanism, he's easier to setup than other carries. Ukraine picks yet another hero that benefits from a solo lane but brings some team fight control, Doom Bringer. Also, Doom can be used to put Morphling under control. USA finishes by picking Enigma, enhancing even more their team-fight capabilities.

Despite having a lot of team fight potential, USA lineup is very threatened by Clockwerk Goblin. USA depends a lot on Enigma and Earthshaker, and having them being hooked is the first step from losing control of the fights. Also, Far Seer 's ultimate and Doom Bringer (with the aid of Dark Seer's Vacuum and Surge) can also deny heroes from being helpful in team-fights. That said, USA plan relies on very precise execution. Also, having control of initiative is very important here. In this situation of team-fight versus team-fight, the one who starts first has advantage. That said, Clockwerk Goblin has some serious job here of controlling the USA squad. It should be noticed that USA lineup is almost identical to the one they used against Russia, with the difference that this one has Morphling instead of Spectre, and therefore they have previous experience with this lineup.

United States United States Ukraine Ukraine
Phoenix Guardian Wisp Lich
Nerubian Weaver Shadow Demon Lone Druid
Vengeful Spirit Necro'lic
Undying Crystal Maiden
Oblivion Ancient Apparition
Clockwerk Far Seer
Morphling Enigma
Dark Seer Doom Bringer
Earthshaker USA.Fear (Mid)
Oblivion USA.BuLba (Mid)
Morphling USA.PowerNet (Bot)
Enigma USA.DeMoN (Top)
Ancient Apparition USA.LUA (Roaming)
Doom Bringer NaVi.Ar7Style (Top)
Dark Seer Ukraine.Ormazd (Jungle)
Clockwerk UKRAINE.HVOST (Bot)
Far Seer NaVi.333 (Roaming)
Invoker UA-_-Dendi (mid)

The lanes
Top Lane Mid Lane Bot lane
On top lane, Enigma will face Doom Bringer and Far Seer. Despite being stronger on solo lanes, Doom Bringer and Far Seer can form a dual lane. With only two heroes on this lane, Enigma can actually solo top without a huge threat of being killed. As Ukraine need tons of XP and need to put pressure on Enigma, Thrall has the option of doing some creep pulling to earn XP and build a creep wave big enough for Ukraine to dive against Enigma.
Mid lane, Pugna will face Invoker. Both heroes have a strong lane control, with a small advantage for Invoker due to this higher damage.
On bot lane, Morphling and Ancient Apparition will fight against Clockwerk Goblin. It should be noticed that Ancient Apparition is an excelent choice for placing against Clockwerk Goblin, as Cold Feet can force him away from the XP he needs to get into the game.

Roaming Jungling
Earthshaker will be roaming between top and mid lane. If necessary, he can help protecting the top tower from being early pushed, and he can put some handicap on Invoker's, aiding Pugna in the task of controlling the lane.
Dark Seer will be on the woods, leaving Ukraine heroes some space at the lanes. He totally fits with Ukraine style of building big creep waves and diving for the enemy thanks to Surge and Vacuum.

The Game
Quick Overview
The USA plan of having Ancient Apparition keeping Clockwerk Goblin from earning XP fails, as USA doesn't mantain a strong control of the creep equilibrium. The neutral pulls executed by Ancient Apparition sends bigs creep waves to Clockwek Goblin, giving him the experience he needs. Meanwhile, Earthshaker misplaced Fissure fails at kicking Invoker out of the lane. After that, Earthshaker goes top to lessen the pressure on the tower. However, he stays too much time here; he could roam more to threat Invoker further. Even around the six minute mark, where the wards goes off and a small window appears to gank an half-HP Invoker, Earthshaker stays unnecessarily on top lane. By not doing that, Enigma doesn't get all the XP he should've and Invoker has a good time on mid lane.

The most important actions
First blood happens around the 8 minute mark, with Ukraine diving to kill Enigma. Despite the outcome is one kill for each side, the clash favors Ukraine, as Pugna leaves his lane to aid top, giving Invoker space for farming. Also, Ancient Apparition returns to the fountain, allowing a hasted Clockwerk Goblin to harass Morphling.
At this stage, Ukraine has a slight advantage on map control, and Morphling needs some space for farming. For this reason, at the mark of ten minutes, USA brings four heroes to the mid lane, starting pushing the tower. That costs Enigma's life, but USA forced Ukraine to defend the tower, bringing heroes to mid lane, thus creating the space Morphling needs farm.

Lucifer dives for Enigma

Ukraine's miscalculation on the 15 minute mark costs them their first tier mid lane. Invoker and Far Seer tries to initiate a clash, only to give opening for Enigma to jump. Both heroes dies and the lane is destroyed. Another clash follows and Ukraine kills three USA heroes. Ukraine quickly tries to benefit from this clash, having Doom Bringer going bottom lane to farm and buying wards, attempting to control the map, a good tactical decision.

A mistake leaves Invoker and Disrupter defenseless against the Sentinel combo

Starting at the 17 minute mark, USA starts to play really safe , as Ukraine has the vision and would spot wards being placed by USA. By doing that, they don't allow Ukraine to capitalize this temporary map control into a favorable game position.

Earthshaker get himself a Force Staff on the 21 minute mark. It's also worth of notice that Clockwerk Goblin went for Aghanim's Scepter.

When the wards are gone, around the 25 minute mark, USA goes into scourge woods with Smoke of Deceit, killing an offguard Doom Bringer. Without vision, Clockwerk Goblin jumps into the chaos hoping to start a combo with the other Ukraine heroes. However, this leaves Enigma free to jump and disable all the Ukraine heroes, almost resulting into a team wipe. It would be wisier to avoid taking this team fight.

From Ukraine point of view: Enigma is nowhere to be found

From now on, USA starts winning almost every clash, consolidating a great advantage. Ukraine is having a hard time finding and denying Enigma's Black Hole, despite their efforts and good tactical decisions. The last nail on Ukraine's coffin is hammered on the 48 minute mark, with the ukranian squad being baited by an illusion. This leaves Doom Bringer defenseless against USA squad, who initiates the fight and wipes out Ukraine squad, winning the game.

Morphling: "Ops... Why hello there! ... Ahn... Please, don't bully me"

Items & Tactics
On the sentinel side, we see interesting decisions to mitigate Clockwerk Goblin threat of hooking key team-fight heroes.
Normally we would expect Earthshaker to get Dagger, but it is not necessary in this game because USA already have Enigma to initiate fights.
Instead, Earthshaker got himself a Force Staff. It's a great tactical decision, as Force Staff helps you not only against Clockwerk Goblin's Power Cogs, but also against Far Seer Kinetic Field and Static Storm.
Not only Earthshaker got a Force Staff, but Pugna too. This, with Guinsoos on Pugna and Ancient Appariton, and BKB on Enigma, gave USA complete control of team fights.

Morphling got BKB, Manta Style and Skadi which despite being a good build in most games, is not advisable in this one, because Doom can simply disallow Morphling to use his items to it's fullest. In this particular scenario, Morphling could go for a Sange & Yasha in the place of Manta Style, as you are not risking anymore of being denied of using items. Linken's Sphere in the place of Black King Bar is another option for Morphling against the threat of being denied of using items, but due to Urn of Shadows and Medallion of Courage, Linken's Sphere can be easily denied. In the end, it's better to deal with this weak point by constantly seeking good positioning, as Black King Bar's magic immunity is a vital thing in any game.

On the scourge side, it's worth of notice that Doom Bringer bought himself a Dagger.
An item that allows Doom Bringer hopes to jump close to Enigma and cancel his Dagger with Scorched Earth/Radiance or even get a good position to cast Doom, a valid tactical decision to deny Enigma the initiate he needs.
Despite Radiance being a great item to have, the game revealed that BKB were really necessary for Doom Bringer to survive the fights. Things could've been a little different if Doom Bringer had more survivability.

Understanding the vital role of Clockwerk Goblin in this game, Ukraine went for Aghanim's Scepter, to use the lower cooldown on the Hook to increase his chances at controlling team-fights. As we see, two tactical decisions to answer USA attempt of dominating the team-fights.
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