Nemesis Draft has returned for this weekend’s rotating game mode. In Nemesis, players pick champions for the enemy team. While this seems fairly straight-forward, there is a strategic element in making sure that you don’t give away a secret power pick.
When thinking of champions that would really make your enemies sad to have to play, a lot come to mind. Low-play champions like Galio, Yorick, and Urgot. Champions that newer League players probably thought were Dota 2 heroes.
So you give the enemy team all three of those champions and you get steamrolled. A classic Nemesis mistake.
You see, all 3 of those champions can be very destructive if given enough gold. They aren’t necessarily forgotten because they do low damage or have no utility — they aren't played often because they don’t fit well into team comps.
So who do you pick? Well, the key is to think of champions that scale poorly right now. These are champions that you might have nasty memories of from ranked last season, but got nerfed into the dirt because of their strengths. Go onto websites that display win rates like champion.gg (from Platinum and above solo q), and find champs that have poor winrates in all roles. Look into Champions like Aatrox, Nunu, and Azir.
Going into a match with a planned joke team comp almost never works out. Deciding to not give them a good jungle champion will inevitably mean a 2 v 1 for your own top laner ... and you’d surprised by how much damage an all-support comp can do.
Instead, look for the really awful ways to ruin an opponent’s day. If you refuse to pick some of the low win-rate champions, pick champions with a high skill floor or champions that are just not fun to play, like lane Rammus or full damage Braum. There are mind games to be played and gambles to be made. Picking Azir, even with his low win rate, could be terrible if there is an Azir main on the other team. Then again, there is nothing worse than being handed an Azir when you have no idea how to play him.
Each team also has 3 bans at their disposal when the match begins. If you are in a group of 5, take out the lower win-rate champions or champions that you don’t know how to play. However, if you are in a small group or by yourself, you may want to prevent your team from committing some of the cardinal sins listed above. Champions like Galio and Blitzcrank dominate this mode, so if you can’t trust your team not to hand them over, it may be worth taking them off the table altogether.
Nemesis Draft is a constant learning experience and it can vary from a lot of fun to incredibly frustrating from game to game. The important thing here is to learn as you play. The last time this mode was around, it did not take me long to learn not to give Galio away. Learn from my mistakes from weekends past and try to learn some of your own lessons over the next couple of days. Just remember to hold your gargoyles close to the chest.