Welcome to part two of this three part series focusing on comps for players to climb the Teamfight Tactics ladder. This time around, the focus is on the most well known comp in the entire set, Ocean Mage.
Back when set two first got revealed, players immediately made the connection between the Ocean trait and the Mage class. The synergy of gaining mana quickly and using mages to cast multiple abilities in a row is very strong. Even through multiple nerfs, the comp still sees play now.
Ocean Mage is making a resurgence due to the recent nerfs to the infamous Blademaster comp. So now is a great time to learn how to play this comp.
Ocean Mage Items to Look For and Who to Put Them On
The main goal of this composition is to buy enough time for a hyper carry to eliminate everyone with burst damage. Brand is historically the hyper carry of the comp so players should look for optimal Brand items.
The number one most important item for this composition is Seraph’s Embrace. Even though the Ocean trait gives additional mana over time, it’s heavily recommended that players commit to a mana item. When it comes to mana items, Seraph’s is the best choice for two reasons. Seraph’s gives the most starting mana possible since its built with two tears. It also has the ability to refund 20 mana on each ability cast. This refund, added with the Ocean trait giving mana, gives hyper caries the chance to fire abilities rapidly. Seraph’s is so strong that players should consider building two of them on their hyper carry.
Another mana item alternative that one can look for is Spear of Shojin. Just in case one cant find two tears for their Seraph’s, consider making a Shojin instead. Shojin is slightly worse than Seraph’s but a mana generating item is critical for this comp’s success. Consider building Shojin especially if given a BF Sword off of an item drop.
Now onto damage items. There is no better damage item for hyper carry casters than Deathcap. Flat ability power is a fantastic way to make sure the abilities Brand fires actually hurt. A Deathcap and Seraph’s is the perfect one two punch for Brand.
The third slot should also be an offensive item. If a player cant find two Seraph’s, building another ability power item is optimal. This is the best way to make sure Brand’s ability kills the other team efficiently. Doing this makes it so players don’t have to bank on Brand surviving long enough to throw out a lot of abilities. Items like Morellonomicon are good to prevent healing and Jeweled Gauntlet is a good way to amplify Deathcap damage. However, double Seraph’s and Deathcap is the most optimal build on a hyper carry caster like Brand. However, any combination of these items can lead to success.
The other items in the comp should be defensive items for the front line to protect Brand. Locket, Warmogs, Dragon Claw and Guardians Angel are all very good items. Throw these on Wardens like Amumu to keep enemies away from Brand and put the enemy focus on the beefy front line. That way Brand can kill them while they are distracted.
If Spatula is found, consider making a mages cap for a more flexible late game.
Early Game with Ocean Mage
Level three and four is very flexible with Ocean Mage. An ideal level three start includes having two ocean champions and a level two “carry”. Typically, the carry for early game is a champion that can benefit from the Ocean trait and use mana items effectively. Zyra, Taliyah, Neeko and Leblanc are all good early game carries to look out for. The two Ocean units at this point in the game would be a combination of Thresh, Syndra and Vlad.
Qiyana is a best carry early especially on the Ocean and Mountain maps. Mountain map lets Qiyana pair with Taliyah for early mountain buff which is critical to early/mid game success. Ocean Qiyana allows for a more flexible four ocean synergy. Qiyana also provides very good damage burst even with a single item like Shojin. Since Qiyana is also an Assassin, she keeps other back line carries in check with her stun ability which locks down any enemy it hits for a long duration, giving the rest of your team some much needed time to throw out abilities of their own.
Level four, look to complete a synergy if able, or throw in a level two champion. If on level three, a player has Thresh, Taliyah, Syndra, look to throw in a third mage to complete the three Mage synergy or look to throw in a Warden for two Warden Synergy. The idea early is to make sure players are strong as possible to make the transition later smooth.
At level five, it’s optimal to have four Ocean. Thresh and Nautilus make an amazing wall that can hold up through the mid game while providing the two Ocean synergy by themselves. Throw in Syndra and Vladimir and players will receive a significant buff to their mana regeneration. The fifth unit would optimally be a mage like Leblanc or Taliyah to give a perfect two Warden, four Ocean and three Mage synergy. However, it’s more important to have strong individual units at this point in the game instead of forcing synergies. The only synergy that should be thrown in if able is four ocean. If the fifth unit is something like a level two Neeko, that’s perfectly fine.
At stage 3-2, reach level six and roll down a little bit of gold (until a player has around 20-30 gold left) looking for upgrades to the front line of thresh and Naut. The sixth unit should be a strong tier four unit. Annie, Yorick and Malphite (especially if Taliyah is present for Mountain buff) are great additions. If a brand is found, consider swapping the early game carry. Oddly enough, however, a level two early carry still might be better than a level one brand, though putting in brand as the sixth unit isn’t a bad idea either. It’s recommended to stop re-rolling if most of the comp is already level two as its very vital in this comp to get to level eight as fast as possible.
Ocean Mage in the Late Game
After wolves, reach level seven. The optimal comp at this point in the game is four Warden, four Ocean and three Mages. Roll down to about ten gold looking for upgrades and units to fill this out. A front line of Malphite, Thresh, Naut and Amumu is devastating for other comps to deal with and will buy a ton of time for even a level one Brand with good items to destroy other teams. If a fourth warden can’t be found, consider throwing in Annie or Yorick as a pseudo-front line to buy time for Brand.
If Brand cant be found, consider putting in three Summoners in place two of the Wardens and Brand. Summoners benefit greatly from the Ocean Mana regeneration just as much as the Mages do. A team of Yorick, Annie, Thresh, Naut, Syndra and Vlad is pretty strong at this point in the game if all are level two. The seventh unit can be pretty much any Summoner that a player can find that is two star. Making champions two star is the biggest priority here to make sure that the player can econ safely to level eight.
If Nami is found at level seven, one should seriously consider dropping Thresh or Vlad to put her in and maintain the four ocean synergy. This, however, comes at the price of sacrificing the four Warden synergy or the three Mage synergy. Luckily, if going the summoner route, the choice is Vlad since there is no mage synergy to begin with. If Brand is in the comp, Thresh might be the choice to swap. Be cautious, though, as this can make the front line significantly weaker. It’s also viable to not throw in the Nami right away and keep the comp stable until level eight.
At level eight, the ideal goal is to actually drop Brand for a Lux. This makes removing Vlad for Nami a no-brainer and allows for a composition of four Warden, four Ocean and two Mystic along with a Lux on level eight. Lux is far and away the best hyper carry unit in the game and even at one star, is significantly stronger than even a level two Brand depending on which Lux a player finds. In the Summoner version, one can simply just throw in a Lux at level eight and not worry about rearranging the comp.
A Lux with double Seraph’s Embrace and Deathcap is nearly unstoppable. Lux combined with a fantastic front line of Wardens and a back line of powerful mystic champions creates a situation where the support units throw out insane crowd control while Lux dismantles the entire enemy team.
The best Lux to find at this point is Shadow. Even with sub optimal items, a Lux with Shadow buff will confirm reset after reset. In this case, look to throw in a Master Yi. Yi provides a second Mystic to complement Nami and Shadow to allow Lux to 1v9. Ocean Lux is also very good as it gives the legendary six Ocean buff. Inferno Lux pairs with Amumu or Annie very nicely too. Crystal and Steel Lux do less damage but survive way longer. Cloud Lux is also a good way to keep the entire team alive longer. Any Lux that isn’t Electric, Light or Woodland can fit well into this comp and be the ideal win condition.
Brand is no slouch, though. If Lux isn’t found, don’t panic. Brand is a good carry if paired with amazing crowd control from champions like Amumu, Nami and Malphite. Brand Amumu and Annie give the inferno trait which lets Brand do more damage as well if needed. If the decision is to stick with Brand, consider giving offensive items to a champion like Amumu or Nami as a secondary carry.
Mage’s cap comes into play very nicely in this situation as making Nami a mage lets the player drop Vlad on eight and still maintain the mage synergy as well as being able to throw in the mystic synergy to counter the other Ocean Mage players too. If not, consider leveling to nine to throw in Mystic or to have an easier time finding a Lux.
Images Courtesy of Warren Younger and Mobalytics.
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