My First Penta

Can’t believe I finally got my first penta kill. It was so, so, so very sweet and despite the late hour it’s gonna be hard to get to sleep.

It was my second and last ARAM match of the night, having been invited by a couple of folks from the previous. I rolled Teemo and in truth was a bit nervous. Teemo is a total boss in ARAM and I don’t play him much. Nothin’ worse than playing a strong champion poorly. But I’ve watched him decimate opponents in ARAM enough to know the basic drill – build AP and some attack speed, place ‘shrooms on the health pack spawn sites and in the bush, and max Q as soon as possible.

I knew things were going to go OK when I managed to minimize my deaths overall and got a double kill after being killed early in the game. Come on, how fun is that? But I don’t think most of the opponents were aware of how devastating Teemo can be in ARAM as I was never a real target, except for Fiora near the end. By this time though I was dishing out serious damage and we were pushing hard. We danced around their nexus towers for a good bit but in that final push it happened.

One…then two…then three…then four. The last was tough as the enemy player had just come off the platform and was at full health but somehow it happened and I heard that perfectly pitched phrase “Penta Kill” followed quickly by “Ace” and moments later that was it. What a total blast!

My First Penta Kill to Ace and End the Match

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3.66 vs 5 and a Penta

I’ve finally gotten my oldest to regularly play ARAM matches with me. He’s been playing League far longer than I and was the person who sucked me into playing League in July of last year. He is still my primary conduit of great League tips and info, reminding me as I am waiting to summon what an opponent champion’s moves are as well as instructing me on the best builds for whomever I happen to be playing. A total gold mine of great information.

However, he like myself is rather sensitive to ragers and has generally avoided PvP as a result. He used to play PvP Dominion matches with me on occasion, but typically we queue for bot matches.

As time has passed he has joined me for an ARAM match here and there. He has grown increasingly confident and for the last several days we have queued together in one or two ARAM matches a day.

Early this evening we had a great run. It started with a match where he rolled Maokai and I rolled Ahri and we had a blast, handily winning in about 20 minutes with never a moment of retreat and my oldest racking up far more kills than I did on Ahri (shame on me). The next match was one for the record books…

He rolled Varus and I rolled Morgana so we were both super stoked to play. We also had Zilean, Karthus and Amumu on our team. Sweet team comp! I was a tad bit worried when the player who rolled Karthus asked if anybody wanted him. He is so strong in ARAM…what gives? He likely just doesn’t play Karthus and the gameplay that ensued showed that to be true.

Fairly early in the game, after clearing the enemy team at least once, maybe twice, it was myself, my oldest and Zilean hugging our tower for dear life. Waiting, waiting…hey, where is everybody? We finally realized that Amumu had never left the platform and Karthus, after several suicide deaths and repetitive enemy feeds, was pouting or raging or something and was also at this point not joining us. For about 5 to 8 minutes the three of us managed to hold our tower, taking one or two of them at a time, making small pushes forward but of course never being able to make any solid push with us going 3 on 5.

Despite the huge imbalance in numbers, we were outleveling the other team and making stronger and stronger pushes, beginning to whittle down their first tower. It was exhilarating to watch a full team of 5 dance around just the 3 us, afraid to take us on because we were at this point so much stronger despite our small numbers. In one of the team skirmishes, both Zilean and I finally died and my oldest, playing Varus, swept through them and scored his second penta in two days (yes, I am insanely jealous).

Somewhere in this insanity Karthus decided to join us again. Although he tended to run pell mell into the fray, popping all his abilities and, after dishing out a significant amount of damage, simply dying, it was working for us. I saved my shields for my oldest and Zilean who were playing an amazing game, and we….were….winning! One tower down, then another, and then we were taking down their inhib.

But the numbers were finally catching up, particularly since we were all level 18 with our max builds and the enemy team was catching up in levels. Time was running short for us to finish them off. We made one last valiant push, with us now 4 on 5 (which, over the course of the game, roughly averaged to a 3.66 versus 5), but we failed to ace them. Instead, we were shut down and they quickly finished off our nexus.

To our credit, we held out for 33 minutes and well outscored them on kills and assists. We simply didn’t have the numbers or the luck to pull out the win.

Oft Repeated ARAM Joke

You’ve queued for ARAM and you’re in the lobby, celebrating or bemoaning your random champion selection and someone types “mid.” Now I am easily amused, but it always makes me giggle.

Even better is when it continues. Someone else says “bot” and maybe someone gets a little crazy and says “me and Nunu top.”

You’re in ARAM. And someone calls “mid.” Am I the only one that thinks it hilariously funny?

Longest Match Ever

I continue to play predominantly ARAM matches, not only because they’re a blast but because they tend to wrap up in less than 30 minutes, with most taking 20 to 25 minutes and from time to time those that quickly wrap up in 15 minutes or less.

This morning was my first never-ending ARAM match. Our team was well ahead in kills and had pushed all the way to their inhibitor but we couldn’t finish it off. This allowed the enemy team to level to 18 and a temporary stalemate ensued. While they managed to slowly take down our lane towers, the majority of the action was on their end of the lane. They stubbornly and repeatedly pushed us back, killing one or two of us such that we couldn’t press on without risking a loss due to the entire team stuck resurrecting on the platform. It takes so much patience to be so close and not win, but we kept it together and finally…finally….brought down their nexus.

It was definitely one of my very best matches, accumulating 196K in total damage and racking up a more-than-respectable number of kills and assists. I had so much money that I couldn’t do much with it after a while. I had my full build and then near the end swapped out a couple of primarily offensive items for more defensive items with the thought that staying alive to finish things was far more important than the extra damage I was giving up.

Downside was I inadvertently missed my morning Pilates class. Because ARAM matches are typically so predictable relative to max time, I had started a new match assuming it would be done and I’d leave to drive the short distance to my class. Oops!

Longest ARAM Match to Date - August 11th, 2013

Longest ARAM Match to Date - Lux's Stats

Taking One for the Team

One might not think of a video game as a setting to observe the best of human behavior. In the case of League, there is a great deal of conversation about the less-than-exemplary behavior of certain gamers, conversations that I have actively participated in, for I like many have had to endure the asinine and over-the-top raging of fellow gamers who, by their toxic behavior, suck every last ounce of fun out of the experience and make it all about how angry they are at everyone else.

But there are times when the game does, in my opinion, bring out the best. The picture I will attempt to paint is without a doubt one that you, if you game at all, have experienced more than once. I know that I have. And it always makes me smile – outwardly and inwardly – for it is so simple and yet equally profound. It represents some of the very best of all of us, albeit small in scale and meaning.

You’re in game. The battle suddenly gets heated. Shots and spells explode around you, and you realize you must flee or die. You start to run, barely hanging on with a sliver of a health bar. You run, you dodge, you cut one way then another, you move, dash, flash, whatever you can to try to stay alive, but you see Ashe’s arrow or Sivir’s boomerang or Teemo’s poison dart or whatever manner of your imminent death coming towards you.

In that moment, time slows. You see it coming. You know you are going to die.

But your teammate has been running with you, flinging spells and attacks back at the pursuing enemy, and just before the very last of your health is ripped from you, he or she steps in front of the missive of death, taking the damage for you.  You both live to fight on, and the game continues, the small moment of perfection quickly passing except for a speedily typed “ty.”

It is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Gold Plus

So it took me about 3 weeks to make it, but I finally have all gold plus one plat in ARAM. The question is, what’s next? I’m a goal kinda gal and in truth, though I still love ARAM, I am itching to play Classic again. But I still suck at the meta game…anything after the early lane phase and I am increasingly clueless as to what I should be doing. And I don’t enjoy getting yelled at. But I am a whole helluva lot better at playing all my champs than before I started my ARAM binge, which is a good thing. We’ll see. For now, I am just gonna enjoy arriving at my destination.

Finally all gold plus in ARAM