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Supportekaiser?! A look back at SKT T1 vs. KT Rolster A

Posted by Michale "DreXxiN" Lalor 1 year, 11 weeks ago

Though rumors were afloat that it was a misclick, the coach in fact called for it! Check out the potential depth behind the pick.


 
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It's not every day you see support Mordekaiser in competitive play. In fact, you've never seen support Mordekaiser in competitive play. How could it be viable after all? He needs AP to do a ton in a teamfight and has no utility or CC to contribute without farm, right? What's the deal and why the pick? Well, we're going to dive right into that.

 

Breaking Down the Game

 


SKT1 #2SKTT1_logo.png vs KTRolsterlogo.pngKT Rolster A
 
With what would normally be fortold to your friends as a troll duo lane actually was capable of causing damage to one of the better teams in Korea before the laning phase even began. Straight away at level one, KT Rolster's Fizz would go top lane only to meet an unwelcome sight where he'd inevitably waste time lane swapping with bottom lane, allowing for an early XP lead by SKT1 #2.
 

mord_vayne_shove.PNG

Even before level 2, Shen is farming on turret; a feat Vayne lanes are not normally capable of.

 

 
With the pressure on, Piglet gets an early advantage he otherwise would not have had granted he was not privileged with a lane shoving partner. At only 7:30 with a late game hypercarry, SKTT1 #2 secured a heavy advantage. Meanwhile, KT Rolster is unable to secure the bottom tower early.
 

1sttowerdown.PNG

The duo of SKT T1 manages a turret long before KT Rolster A.

 

 
Accompanied by some jungle assistance, in traditional Korean fashion the SKT T1 duo would swing to bottom lane to apply the pressure there and snowball the advantage even further. Although they did lose a mid tower, it was enough pressure off the map for them to shove and secure bottom tower as well. Lee Sin stayed bottom with them and they continued their turret onslaught. With minimal bloodshed, SKT T1 pulled a late scaling comp far ahead early.

2ndturretdown.PNG

The duo of SKT T1 manages a turret long before KT Rolster A.

 

Pre-Game Strategy


So we know that Mordekaiser wasn't simply deadweight and that in situations such as this one, he can be useful. But how does he prepare for the game? What kind of starting items work well if one were to try this? Well, let's take a look carefully at PoohManDu.
 
What we can dictate from this is contrary to what one might suggest, there's pretty much no offensive runes or masteries whatsoever. Due to the lack of penetration and CDR, we can therefore assume that Mordekaiser was largely built with defensive masteries and runes, focusing at least 14 points into the defense tree and forgoing magic penetration marks for further armor.
 
To make this work, Armor marks and seals are a must as well as magic resist glyphs with quintessences of choice between a mix of HP, Move, and gold per 5. Though by checking the base stats of Mordekaiser, one could tell at the very least that some runes or points were invested in HP and additional armor. His HP/5 also appears to be quite a bit larger than the base regen from Mordekaiser, so it's likely HP/5 quints may have been used to trade blows more efficiently. His mastery pages were more than likely some variant of this:
 

masteriesMorde.PNG

RunesMorde.PNG

So why this setup?

It's pretty clear that SKT T1 #2 are well aware that Mordekaiser is not an efficient trading champion without items. However, with extra regen and an extremely heavy armor spec combined with the shield granted from using E on minions, Mordekaiser is nearly pointless to harass and allows for a solid, distracting damage soak for your carry (in this case, Vayne) to farm. They were not looking for kills, and instead were looking to push faster than anyone on the map could retaliate to the pressure.

Skills & Build Progression

PoohManDu built astonishingly standard for a support this game only investing to a Kage's way late into the game. However, the only noteworthy thing was a slight focus on faster Cooldown Reduction.

Out of fountain:  First Dragon:  25 minutes:

 And of course, the Philosopher's Stone was finished into Shurelya's and boots into Lucidity Boots as soon as affordable. SKT T1 #2's support did not build any gimmicky AP items, but rather went purely standard with a heavy focus on CDR.

Skill Order: R>E>W>Q with E leveled evenly with W early on and no points in Q until W and E are maxed.
Conclusion with Pros & Cons


Let's set one thing straight, this probably won't be safe to use in solo queue. You'll be bringing your team down unless you are duo queued with a bottom laner and know you can execute a safely warded early tower without getting ganked (notice the ward count on their support player.) While Mordekaiser can probably be replaced with other supports who do his role better and he is certainly not the only shover, what we do know is he's great at what he does do and he will have a clone capable of tanking just by tagging a near-death target with his ultimate.

This definitely has its perks for tower sieging compositions and I would not be surprised to see it re-used again in a professional environment. Taking early turrets with a hyper carry on the team and a jungler who is focused on camping lanes rather than farming is a fantastic idea and Mordekaiser is a champion that does that well.

PROS

  • Effective damage soak
  • Allows waveclear for carries who otherwise would not have a sufficient amount
  • One of very few unconventional supports who use no mana
  • Can still shield allies regardless of no Ability Power
  • Can assist in clearing and tanking jungle camps if shoved with your ADC partner
  • Free pet assuming your team can burst down a target fast enough
  • Benefits very well off the HP/CDR items utilized by supports, even if the Philo Stone mana goes to waste

 

CONS

  • Very niche, not great for a kill lane without sacrificing your only CC (exhaust) for ignite.
  • No utility outside of pet nor crowd control
  • If built to soak, you will not be capable of out trading your opponent in damage
  • Will be worthless if your siege fails
  • Extremely vulnerable to jungle pressure
  • No role to fulfill that others cannot unless you have very weak waveclear a la Vayne or maybe Ashe
  • Tricky in teamfights due to short range
  • Peeling ability is non-existent
  • Will now be perma-banned in Brazil for support potential. Thanks, Obama Korea.

 
As always, we'll be on the lookout for more out-of-the-box choices from all regions and will continue to seek out the conglomerate pool of viable champions that stick out from the norm. Until then, summoners.
 

Mordekaiser_Splash_2.jpg

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