Welcome back to “Playing Outside the Box”! Today we are going to discuss roam Taka, why it’s viable and when to use it.
Roam Taka was first played in VIPL Season 2, when Gankstars Sirius went up against Ardent Alliance (now TSM). As explained in FlashX’s Roam Taka guide (although outdated, still useful for this article http://www.vaingloryfire.com/vainglory/guide/1-14-roam-taka-13667 ), Gankstars and Alliance had been practicing with each other very often, and Gankstars knew that Alliance had been practicing Adagio buff comps. Because of this, when the two teams went up against each other in blind pick, gabevizzle played a roam Taka, expecting a buff comp. Unfortunately, this did not work out for Gankstars and Alliance went on to win the entire VIPL. More recently, however, SuiJeneris of Hammers Kinetic has played quite a bit of roam Taka.
Let’s simulate one game in which roam Taka worked out, and then try to figure out why he can be so powerful in the right situation.
In the current meta, Taka is a very good pick, primarily in jungle. Because of this, Hammers Kinetic banned Alpha, one of the strongest counters to Taka. Reborn then either had to choose to let the devastating Lyra through, or allow Kinetic to have the strong, but more survivable, Taka. Reborn made the obvious choice, expecting Taka to be played as a jungle carry. In response to the expected Taka pick, Reborn drafted Vox and Phinn, predicting that Phinn could help Vox withstand the burst damage of Taka. Kinetic then SAW an opportunity (Saw puns ftw) and picked the high-dps duo of Saw and Skye, with PON on his infamous Saw. Reborn is them left with two options: go with a tanky jungler (Glaive) who could lock down Saw, but risk getting taken down by Skye in the process, or a bursty, but squishy jungler who could hopefully out-range both enemy carries (Kestrel). They opt for Kestrel, hoping to win with range.
Although Taka is innately squishy he provides alot of utility in the mid game. His ultimate, X-retsu, reduces enemy healing by 33%, allowing the DPS of Saw and Skye to wear them down quicker. Also, X-retsu is a very good initiation tool. Taka’s Kaku can be used as an escape tool, or even to help keep him alive in between bursts of damage. It can also be used as a sneaky initiation tool or be used to face-check enemy bushes without risking an unexpected fight. Additionally, Kaiten can keep him alive while dealing quite a bit of burst damage.
Let’s walk through what a fight might look like between this matchup.
Hammers engages with War Treads. SuiJ X-retsu’s Vox providing a bit of burst as well as applying a mortal wound. While Saw and Skye focus down Vox, Phinn tries to keep him alive using Polite Company, Crucible, and Fountain. Due to the reduced healing, however, Vox will most likely die before doing too much. Due to the spaced out fights, CP Vox would not be very effective due to Hammers’ very mobile front line. WP Vox would be outranged by the Skye-Saw combo, making him either focus SuiJ or put himself out of position. Kestrel would also struggle to keep optimum positioning due to the sustain damage of Skye and Saw. Let’s say things go ideally for Reborn: Phinn is able to pull in the enemy carries and keep them at bay long enough for Vox and Kestrel to take them down. Taka, as the last man standing, can escape fairly easily using Kaku and Kaiten, keeping Reborn from getting an Ace. However, if Forced Accord is Crucibled, Hammers has a huge advantage. Also, with a Stormcrown, Taka can deal a fair amount of damage as well.
When to Use Roam Taka:
Against squishy carries who can be bursted down with Taka’s abilities and Stormcrown.
Against slow, high CC roamers *cough*Phinn*cough*
When grouped up team fights aren’t ideal (AOE damage: CP Vox, Celeste, Skaarf)
High attack speed ( Taka excels at applying Atlas)
What to Build:
Roam items: Fountain, Crucible, Atlas, War Treads
How to Play:
Farm up early to get items and levels
Snowball mid game
Take every advantage possible (objectives when Ace is achieved, etc)
Who to Pair With:
Early-Mid game heroes
High DPS or High Burst
What to Avoid:
Don’t engage if your team can’t follow up
Don’t pick fights you can’t win
Don’t play this unless you have good communication with your team
Don’t focus the tank
I hope I have helped you to find new ways to play a seemingly one-position hero. Tell me what off-meta strategies you want to see! Bonus: Check out Team Secret playing Lane Taka in the finals of the Evil 8 Split 2 Week 2: http://Check out this video “Evil Eight – Split 2 Week 2” http://www.twitch.tv/vainglory/v/80997655?sr=a
Good Luck in your Off-Meta endeavours!!!