Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: Pre-Game and Timers

Chapter 2: Gameplay

Chapter 3: Essentials


Introduction

What is the 3v3 Bible?

Hello and welcome to the 3v3 Bible! The goal of this document is to provide players with an extremely in-depth and detailed guide of how to play on the Twisted Treeline.

3v3 is an incredibly fun game mode that a lot of people never really give a chance, and most people who never even play 3s just hate on it or complain that Riot doesn’t care about it and gives it no love. Which is true, Riot doesn’t give 3s the love we feel it deserves. But, if people don’t play 3s, then it is going to stay that way. Even with its minor flaws, it is an incredibly exciting game mode where you can learn a lot that will carry over and help you in 5v5 as well as teaching you how to make more calculated decisions and play as a team.

The main reason for creating this guide is because of the sheer lack of resources for 3v3. For the most part, you just have to blindly play games and learn as you go. The goal of this guide is to give you a concrete resource that will always be available to read and learn from.

One thing to keep in mind before jumping into the Twisted Treeline: This is not The Summoner’s Rift!. Being good on 5v5 DOES NOT mean you will be good on the Twisted Treeline, even teams of all high challenger solo queue players get beat pretty badly by teams that have 3v3 experience despite not being high elo 5v5 players. But that should not discourage you early on because over time you will be able to learn the map, and having strong mechanics will help aid you in your 3v3 gameplay.

With the new release of 3v3 Flex queue, there has been an influx players flocking to the Twisted Treeline to see what it is all about. From our experience, we have seen many new players of all elos coming over from 5s to give 3v3 a try. This whole new player base is opening up many doors for 3v3 that we believe will positively impact it in the years to come.

We hope you enjoy this guide and learn from it, best of luck on the Treeline!

Chapter 1: Pre-Game

3v3 Metas

Jungle Meta

Jungle meta includes either an AD Bruiser or ADC top lane, a tanky crowd-control focused Jungler, and a high dps Mage in bottom lane.

Typical Bruisers consist of Illaoi, Darius, and Jayce

Typical ADC’s consist of Graves, Caitlyn, and Lucian

Typical Junglers consist of Poppy, Tahm Kench, and Maokai.

Typical Mages consist of Brand, Syndra, and Ziggs.

The strength in running jungle meta is having a relatively equal distribution of resources between all three team members. Jungle meta is much easier to play than Support meta for players who are new to 3v3 due to it being much less punishing for making mistakes. There is a wide variety of champions that you can use in jungle meta and be very successful as opposed to support meta where there is a much smaller available pool of champions to choose from.

Support Meta

Support meta includes a hard scaling AD champion, meaning either a Bruiser or ADC running smite, with a tanky crowd-control focused Support and a high dps Mage in the bottom lane.

Typical Bruisers consist of Illaoi, Darius, and Jayce

Typical ADC’s consist of Graves, Caitlyn, and Lucian

Typical Junglers consist of Poppy, Tahm Kench, and Maokai.

Typical Mages consist of Brand, Syndra, and Ziggs.

Note: The top lane carry will be referred to as the “AD” throughout the Bible, keep in mind champions like Mordekaiser and Kayle, despite being primarily AP, are an exception and will be included in this “AD” archetype for the sake of simplicity.

The strength in running support meta is having your carry top receiving all of the resources from the top lane and the jungle, consequently giving very large experience and gold leads while having a relatively resource-starved support. When running support meta, your AD should try to farm up to about a jungle item, boots, and one additional item before trying to force fights because before this point in time, you will be generally equal in power with the enemy team, however you will reach 2-3 items significantly faster making the carry incredibly potent.

Meta Matchups

Jungle Meta vs. Jungle Meta

Jungle vs Jungle is probably the most standard game that can be encountered while played 3v3. Jungle meta is the safest and most popular way to play as it is the most forgiving. When playing against another team playing Jungle meta, the main goal is to punish the enemy jungler and therefore have jungle control. Having control of the entire jungle gives immense pressure for your team and allows for easy rotations between top and bot, easy ganks, and the ability to control the pace of the game by forcing the enemy team to be playing reactively to you.

At the start of the game, setup a 3 point position (similar to a 5 point on summoners rift) and have one person in the bot lane center bush, 1 person in the middle bush (on your side) and one person in your top bush (on your side). This is a standard, safe way to transition into laning phase by protecting you from invades or getting cheesed by face-checking a bush at the beginning of laning phase. The jungler should do a full clear to reach level 3 as soon as possible (normally occurs around 2:25-2:35 for most junglers), this gives roughly 30 seconds where you are free to do one of three things. Gank one of your lanes (or counter gank), pressure the enemy jungle to gain altar control, or recall and buy so you can contest your own altar if the enemy chooses to invade you.

Throughout the early and midgame, the main focus is around the junglers, it is important for your jungler to efficiently clear his own camps but also pressure both lanes and the enemy jungle. Simply power farming is not a beneficial approach and will essentially guarantee both of your lanes lose. This is an effect of the laners being forced to play under turret due to the constant threat of being ganked by the opposing jungler without any pressure/threat from their own. As a result, you will end up losing all of your jungle pressure anyway. It is crucial to communicate with your team to coordinate ganks and rotations. Communication is key in 3s. You will be significantly more successful if your team knows what you are trying to do and when you plan on doing it. Forcing your teammates to predict, assume, or guess what you will do will yield significantly worse results than if everyone takes a second to tell each other their intentions.

While transitioning into late game, more often than not the game will tend to turn into a stalemate where neither team can siege inhibitor turrets and both teams just end up stalling the game out. There are normally two ways to break the stalemate: Either by forcing Vilemaw and using the empowered cannon minions to siege, or by trying to force a fight near the enemy inhibitor. It is not very difficult to hold a game at the inhibitor towers even from very deep deficits. Many team comps will even be able to hold through Vilemaw waves (these games tend to go until around 45 minutes where everyone is level 18 and full build and the result of the game is determined by a single fight). If you are the team trying to defend/hold the game, it is very important to know not to overcommit for anything. Don’t force yourself to clear your own jungle unless you complete assurance you can secure a camp. It is usually better to just sit under inhibitor towers for as long as possible. Most team comps will struggle or be reluctant to dive your inhibitor tower because if they die while doing so, it they will lose much more than they could gain even by succeeding the dive. Patience is key when stalling or sieging late game, trying to force the game to end sooner than necessary is more likely to only cause you to lose.

Jungle Meta vs. Support Meta

When deciding what comp you would like to run against support meta, it is important to stick to what you are comfortable with. Some people say it is easier to beat support meta by running support meta yourself, and others will say that it is easier to beat support meta by running jungle meta. We personally think playing jungle meta into support meta is the easiest way to win, but again, pick what tends to work for YOU.

In Jungle vs Support, it is very important that your jungler and top lane are doing everything they can to be as efficient as possible when it comes to pushing and clearing. Support meta is focused around power farming their top lane AD while starving the support. If your jungler manages to steal any camps or deny the duo lane from farming top at any points of the early game, it makes the rest of the game much easier. The AD in support meta will tend to be significantly ahead in terms of items making fighting him very undesirable, however for most of the early game he will be even with your top laner while your jungler should be ahead of the enemy support, so this is the optimal time to try and force fights against support meta. Waiting for the carry to power farm and outscale you is not a good idea.

The main objective in early game is trying not to fall behind or get out pressured on the map. If the support meta team is shoving your lanes in and stealing your camps, the game quickly becomes an uphill battle as it makes keeping up with the enemy carry a nightmare. There is a very small window to gain a lead on support meta. The first ~8 minutes of the game is generally your best and sometimes only opportunity to shut them down. Otherwise the game becomes a very linear power farming session for every lane and every fight is simply an attempt to insta-kill the enemy carry and if he dies, you win, if not, you lose.

Playing from behind against support meta is very difficult, in most cases unless you invest all of your resources to kill the enemy carry, he will simply starve your jungler and continuously outscale your top laner which is a nightmare to deal with. Having a top laner that can efficiently clear waves and prevent the enemy carry from being able to free farm both top and the jungle makes the game significantly easier. Having a fast clearing jungler is equally as helpful as it leaves no resources for the support comp to invade for and gives you chances to deny jungle from the enemy team.

Games involving Support Meta tend to be incredibly snowbally for either team. The first 8 minutes is usually what decides the outcome of the game. Whichever team can develop the early lead tends to hold that lead throughout the game and transition it into an easy win. Because of this, most games can get turned around by one team forcing an “all or nothing” fight to try and swing the game back into their favor. Jungle vs Support is generally the most difficult matchup, as sieging against their power farmed carry tends to be very challenging without empowered Vilemaw minions. However because they will have a resource-deprived support most fights feel like 3v2s and you simply need to transition towers out of winning fights in order to win the game.

Support Meta vs. Jungle Meta

Support vs Jungle is the most likely matchup to encounter while running support meta, as jungle meta is currently the most popular and traditional way to play 3s. When playing in support vs jungle, it is very important to remember the main goal of support meta is to power farm early, scale, and win during the mid game. Fighting or being overly aggressive early game will more often that not only cause your team to throw and give the enemy team a chance to shut you down and snowball the game. No matter what, your AD will always reach his/her item spike first. Consequently, as long as you wait for that and play to the strengths of your composition, games should be a smooth/landslide victory.

As stated over and over, the early game is incredibly important to your team’s success. When clearing the first jungle camp, the support should tank the first camp for your AD and then run to lane while your AD takes the remaining 2 camps, most teams do wolves > wraiths > golems. After the first full clear, you should duo top and farm until around 3:00 when the altar and wolves will be respawning. You generally have two choices to make here: either invade the enemy jungle and contest their altar and wolves, or take the safe route and secure your own. If your AP is winning lane hard and has the enemy under turret around 3:00 it is normally safe to invade because they will have relic control and having that essentially means the enemy cannot contest a fight. After this, the entire early game revolves around clearing your jungle when it respawns and taking top waves while waiting for the jungle to respawn again.

It is very important to play to your team compositions strengths. It is generally unfavorable to force fights before reaching your 2-3 item spikes on your AD, as you would be significantly stronger and be much better off considering you are almost guaranteed to reach your power spike faster than a team running jungle meta. On average, your AD should have 11/12 cs per minute, but a 10 cs/min is safe to aim for most of the time. HOWEVER, if your carry is unable to farm at this rate, then the support meta loses its power/advantages and I highly suggest you not to do it. While the AD is farming the jungle, the support should stay top and control the wave, this way they spend a portion of the game collecting solo exp and picking up any farm the AD would miss while jungling keeping them from falling too far behind.

One very important thing to remember is how to play from behind as support meta. In most cases, your AD will almost always have a decent exp/gold lead even when playing from behind. This makes it so you should be able to defend sieges relatively well and stall out the game under your inhibitor/nexus towers for quite some time until you can reach full lategame. It is important to remember that starving your support while stalling is a bad idea. Although it may seem like a good idea to funnel all the exp and gold onto your carry, having a level 13 support with 2 items with a level 18 AD with 6 items is probably not worth the trade off.

Vilemaw is your best friend while running support meta, because your AD typically runs smite and will almost always have a considerable level lead. This makes taking and contesting Vilemaw very easy, as well as always pressuring the enemy team while you are missing by forcing them to check vilemaw constantly. In most games, once you get Vilemaw it will typically be the game ender as very few teams can defend against a support meta siege with Vilemaw because they cannot stop a fed AD as well as the cannon minions. Because of this, the support will a lot of times build Banner of Command to enhance the cannon minion even further.

Support Meta vs. Support Meta

Support vs Support is in general the least forgiving matchup to play, this is due to the nature of support meta and the objectives you can control through having lane dominance. By winning lane or having a good trade in top lane early, it gives your team an opportunity to invade the enemy jungle and counter jungle. This deprives very important resources from the enemy AD while significantly increases your own AD’s gold/min. Making a mistake early in support vs support is in most cases a death sentence due to the snowballing nature of support meta, the way to prevent this is simply by power farming and waiting for an opportunity to punish the enemy team for making a mistake and attempt to transition a lead from that.

Efficiency in farming is the most important thing during the early game while playing support vs support. If one AD is averaging 9-10 farm/min and the other AD is averaging 11-12 farm/min the AD with 11-12 farm/min will reach his power spike just enough sooner than the less efficient AD allowing them to pressure their lead and deny the enemy AD from farming entirely while trying to prevent a recall. Being able to power spike first is incredibly important, anything that gives more pressure on the enemy team allows you to contest more and more of their resources and increase your lead by even more. It is important not to sit on too much gold while playing support vs support, but it is also very important to to preemptively recall to buy items. Often times it is actually inefficient to recall and buy as there is almost always something to be farmed, but if you take a bad recall time you can be punished extremely hard often causing you to lose your entire lead or drop all pressure you have gained.

The way to play mid game when against another support comp is very different than how you would play against a team running jungle meta. Both ADs will be very strong and almost all fights are decided by which AD dies first. Because of this it is important to not force all in engages unless you are absolutely sure you can win the fight. This causes most midgame fights to simply come down to poking and small trades until one team feels they can force the fight or simply back off. Getting aced in mid game almost always results in losing an inhibitor (at the very least) which forces the losing team to give up all jungle/altar/vilemaw control and be unable to group effectively until the inhibitor respawns. The winning team will typically farm up and force a vilemaw or dive bottom with the AD clearing super minions top lane. Holding in this situation is incredibly difficult because of the severely under farmed support.

Most games running support vs support never make it to late game, however games that do make it to late game are generally decided by which teams AD has stronger scaling and can out-damage the other AD at 6 items. One fight almost always decides the game as defending against a siege isn't realistic at this point without your AD (they are almost always the main target as they are the main damage threat). Picking the correct fight is very important, it is worth being patient and not force a fight prematurely. It is not worth losing a game over being overly ambitious or greedy.


Champion Select

Pick/Ban Phase

Pick and Ban phase is incredibly important to your success when playing 3v3. More often than not, the outcome of the game can be decided purely by the results of your pick/ban phase. There is no reason to put yourself at a disadvantage from before the game even begins. There is a lot that goes into Pick/Ban phase, it is not a cookie cutter “Ban these 3 champions every game and you are good” a lot of pick/ban is working with the enemy team trying to ban out as many power picks as possible while still managing to get some power picks for yourself.

The champions that you prioritize to ban are completely up to you and what you believe are strong against your composition or if you struggle against certain champions more than others. The priority champions are also dependent on the region you play in. When doing ban phase it is important to order your bans in order of least important to most important, by doing this you increase the chances for the enemy team to ban a champion that you intended to ban giving you an effective free ban. A safe way to run ban phase is to ban one S+ tier champion for each meta and then use your final ban for a generally strong meta that works in most comps. An example of bans like this is banning Brand as he is generally looked at to be a safe ap to pick and strong in nearly every situation. Followed by banning Taric as he is looked at to be the strongest support in support meta currently. Followed by a ban on Graves as he can be flexed for either support meta or jungle meta. This leaves open a large number of power picks for you to choose from and leaves a lot of options while removing a lot of potential “broken” comps.

Once ban phase is all set and done it is important to evaluate what power picks are open and use that information to mold a team composition that maximizes your team's odds of winning. It is worth learning at least a few meta picks for each role in order to be the most flexible for your team. Playing comfort picks is absolutely fine, but at the highest level of 3s there is very little reason to limit yourself to less effective champions and put your team at a disadvantage before the game has even begun. One thing that should influence the way you draft in 3v3 is by recognizing what kind of meta the enemy team will be running within their first or second pick. For example if the enemy team picks a champion like yasuo or graves on their first rotation is normally safe to assume they will be running support meta, allowing you to reactively draft a composition that does well into support meta.

One thing to keep in mind in pick phase is noticing what type of team comp the enemy team is going for, if they have a strong siege comp, you stack waveclear. If they pick poke, you pick all-in. etc. You never really want to have the comp you are going to play predetermined while going into champion select. By adapting your comp based on the nature of your pick/ban phase you will have much easier games overall and won’t need to try nearly as hard and you will win significantly more games overall.

Creating the Ideal Team Composition

When drafting your team comp there are a few core ideas to keep in mind:

YOU ARE NOT ALWAYS THE CARRY, DON’T TRY TO BE A HERO

“I’m the best!” ~ Gunter (Self-Proclaimed “Best” AP 3v3)

One of the main issues we see lower elo teams making is that they don’t try and build a comp around having one/two people playing carry based champions and then having the remaining people playing champions that can enable your carry or carries to do well, rather than having 3 champions that all require a lot of gold to be relevant where you will all be fighting for your item spikes and will end up being much less effective overall.

When drafting your team comp there are a few core ideas to keep in mind.

These are just a few, but you get the idea. You typically do not want to stack your team composition in a way that maximizes just one of those ideas. You want to a comp that prioritizes on one but includes as many as possible. By setting your team up in this fashion your game becomes much more dynamic and it opens up a lot more options to your playstyle as well as opening up more methods for you to win the game rather than being stuck in a “All-in or lose”, “Poke hard before hand or lose”, “Make a catch or lose”. You get the idea.

Personally, when we are drafting a team comp we make sure our team has a more than sufficient amount of waveclear to prevent being shoved in early and to be able to stall until lategame if it comes down to us really doing badly in the early game. In addition to having good waveclear we also like to incorporate enough crowd control to safely make picks off bad rotations by the enemy team. We round the team off by being sure we are more than well equipped to siege towers and apply zoning pressure while sieging so we are able to safely back out after the siege is complete.

Lastly, you want to make sure your team is durable in some respect, you don’t want to be too tanky, but you also don’t want to be too squishy. You need to find a healthy balance round off your team, just enough so your team stays relevant throughout the game rather than falling off hard or not being strong enough until it is already too late.


Timers


Chapter 2: Gameplay

Early Game

AD/Support


Solo Top


Jungle


AP


Mid Game

AD/Support


Solo Top


Jungle


AP


Late Game

AD/Support


Solo Top


Jungle


AP


Chapter 3: Essentials

Developing and Increasing Leads

Leads don’t have to be gold based leads, any type of lead helps immensely when it comes to winning and focusing on getting lots of small leads will be a lot more effective than putting all of your eggs in one basket and going for one big lead.

Now first, what types of leads are there:

Most of the time when gaining one lead, you gain one or two others at the same time. For example by getting jungle pressure you can scare the other team back giving you a net lead in positioning as they will need to play differently not knowing where you are which gives you the ability to steal jungle camps and gain an exp advantage.

You want to make all of your movement with conscience and purpose. If you do not know why you are making actions and do not have a direct goal. You need to take the extra time to think it out beforehand. After enough practice and playing this will become muscle memory and you will have enough background through the current game and previous games you have to make the right decision with just a few moments. Mastering this key skill of developing your decision making and being conscious of the purpose and goals of your decisions will give you a greater understanding of the game and increase your performance overall.

Faking a lead is a strategy that will help you immensely. For most teams even if they have a lead you can see in their play style that they are afraid to throw it and know there is the possibility of getting outplayed and losing their lead. However, if you play like you are ahead, even though you know you are not. It will force a lot of teams to play in a new way and rethink their strategy trying to see how they will lose the fight/game. Just showing the other team you aren’t afraid of them will put them on edge and give you a lead in terms of mindset.

By developing good synergy with your team and having strong communication you should be able to move with your team as a single unit where everyone plays their own role. Applying pressure on the map and controlling how the enemy team has to play, you never want to be reacting to the enemy team. If you are not dictating the pace of the game, you made a mistake at some point and need and need to focus on only getting safe leads in order to catch up.


Playing from Behind

Being able to play from behind is a crucial skill that your team needs to master if they want to move up in the ranks. Even if you are the better team in a game, sometimes you get cheesed or someone lags out in a fight and you need to be able to recover or you just lose the game. Once you master this, you will notice a lot of games you would have previously considered hopeless and lost are now easy victories.

Your draft phase is the first point where you can set yourself up for success. By having champions that don’t necessarily need a lot of resources to be able to clear minion waves or can simply do it very efficiently it will give you a sense of security knowing that if you fall behind you have the ability to turtle until you have equalized. If you have fallen behind, the choices you make impact the game much more than they do when you are ahead. Your goal is to catch up and keep up in exp and gold to the best of your ability while stalling your enemies so they can’t snowball their lead.

Ways you can catch up while behind are clearing your jungle camps whenever they respawn (1:15 respawn timer) and safely farming minion waves. You never want to go for something that you aren’t certain is safe enough to secure, it is better to play slow and secure the win than to try and play quickly and throw it all away. If you feel you have equalized the gold and are fairly confident in your team you can try and pressure the enemies and re-establish a lead for yourself. However if you were at a very large deficit you really just want to wait for the enemies to get impatient. No matter how good they are, they have to put themselves in a dangerous position to try and close the game. This is where you punish them and turn the game around.

Early on if the lead the enemy team has on you isn’t too large you can turn very small advantages into many advantages. For example if you know you are behind and you just caught an enemy, whether you killed them or just forced them to back, you can use this chance to steal jungle camps or even steal an altar before resetting the map and clearing your own jungle. Sieging towers most of the time is not worth it when behind because taking an altar and a jungle camp or two will give you as much gold and more pressure while preventing the enemy lead to snowball because you have taken away resources from them.

The main thing to remember is that EVERY GAME IS WINNABLE! a lot of people will say otherwise, but if you make all the correct moves and drafted properly, even the hardest looking games are winnable. It all depends on how smart you play and knowing the steps you need to take to get back into the game. In most cases, the smarter team will have more success than the team that is more mechanically skilled. Being both smarter and mechanically skilled will often guarantee your team being more successful than a less knowledgeable and less mechanically skilled team.


Sieging

Sieging is an incredibly difficult thing to do in 3s as it is almost purely dictated by the enemy team and whether or not they allow you to siege against them (assuming they are playing very well) A team that has built their team comp properly will a lot of the time be able to defend sieges quite easily even if they are incredibly far behind. The turrets in each team’s base are incredibly strong and trying to force them down while dealing with 2-3 people clearing waves and poking you back is incredibly difficult and frustrating.

There are a few things to note while sieging. When it comes to outer towers most teams will let them go without a fight if you have a lead on them so you want to take advantage of that to get your team some gold income. However most teams will fight very hard to not let inhibitor towers go, in addition, inhibitor towers do a lot of damage and are quite tanky when compared to the tier 1 and tier 2 towers making sieging them incredibly difficult when your team will normally only get about 100-200 damage a wave (sometimes even less) against teams that are very good at playing from behind.

Vilemaw is incredibly helpful when it comes to sieging the enemy base. Cannon minions with the vilemaw buff are incredibly strong and will force the team that is behind to invest a lot of their resources solely into taking down the cannon minion. By applying significant pressure and forcing them off of the cannon minions you force them into choosing taking upwards of 800 damage just from that minion constantly shooting from a distance or playing aggressive and forcing your team away so they can kill it. Some team comps have built in methods for taking down vilemaw buffed cannon minions making sieging even more troublesome, but cannon waves still apply enough pressure to get meaningful damage out on the tower.

Inhibitors are tricky. You only want to take the inhibitors if you know they will either struggle killing super minions or you know you can end the game very soon. If you know they can easily hold against super minions while under the nexus tower don’t bother killing the inhibitor because your super minion waves are now going to kill the enemy waves faster denying your own team of exp while you are funneling extra gold and exp into the team that you had a lead on. Teams will take advantage of this and give up their inhibitors sometimes as a method to equalize and come back into the game.

One thing you need to learn about sieging is that patience is the only way you are going to win. You need to balance applying pressure and just taking it slow. If you try and end the game too quickly you will throw your lead and lose the game. If you know you are very far ahead, a slow siege will be more than enough to win you the game, but being too patient will allow the enemy team to equalize and attempt to make a comeback. You need to be able to recognize an opening and take advantage of it when the situation arises.


Bottlenecking

When you have developed a sizeable lead on the enemy team you can greatly increase your lead by employing a strategy called “bottlenecking”.

Bottlenecking is where once you have taken all of the enemies tier 1 and tier 2 towers you force them into their base by making them want to turtle in order to catch up. However because of your positional advantage you can freeze both your waves around where the tier 2 towers would normally be and use your lead to pressure them to not want to come and farm it while your team farms two whole jungles as well as the minion waves.

By doing this you drastically cut the enemy team’s gold and exp income while increasing your own by a very large amount. This gives you full control of vilemaw and altars. Simply by not giving vision of anyone on your team while you farm jungle, most teams won’t even go for the farm just slightly outside their base because of the fear of getting picked off and losing the game.

While bottlenecking you also want to chip down the enemies inhibitor towers whenever you get the chance to, while leaving the inhibitors up. Once you have developed a large enough lead you want to take vilemaw and siege both top and bot inhibitors. With the lead you have gained you should be able to kill them easily with vilemaw buffed cannon minions and put an all out siege on the nexus turret.

Most teams will have an absolute nightmare trying to defend against a siege like this. Not only are they behind in gold and exp. Trying to take down cannon minions on either side of their nexus turret, sometimes teams can manage 2 cannon minions in each set sieging which means that the enemy team will have next to no chance of defending against 3 fed enemies, 2-4 vilemaw buffed cannon minions as well as the super minions that are soon to be coming into their base.

As long as you have patience and don’t try to pull the trigger too early this strategy will win you the game almost every time. This only becomes necessary against teams with very strong wave clear that would normally be able to survive sieges from teams with large leads. You starve them of resources and then make them try to defend against a seemly unstoppable force. Clearing vilemaw buffed cannon waves are tricky enough when you are even with the enemy team. But when they are on both sides and you are far behind trying to deal with the champions too. It puts a lot of teams on edge where they will make lots of mistakes and just lose the game straight out.


Turtling

Turtling is your saving grace strategy when you are behind. The turrets within your base are all incredibly strong and really easy to defend even when far behind. Having a large amount of built in wave clear is key to successful turtling. The enemy team will not fight you under the towers, that is how they lose. Your two main goals when turtling is to get as much gold and exp as possible as well as preventing the most amount of damage to your towers.

Most teams will try and siege your towers as 3. It is actually the easiest to defend this type of siege because you don’t have to worry about your other lane nearly as much allowing you to invest more resources in defending the siege. The main goal is to clear waves, you do not want to fight the enemy team if you can avoid it, if you can damage them while clearing waves that would be optimal but you want to make sure you don’t take damage because if they see you as a killable target they will force a fight and end the game.

You want to turtle as a last ditch effort if you realise the game is quickly spiraling out of control and the enemy team has increased the tempo too much. Turtling will slow the game down and give you time to stall and catch up. When turtling you do not want to leave your base unless you are 100% certain you will not lose something. Going for your wraiths is the only reason to ever leave base, and you only do this if you can secure it. Altars are not worth the risk and going for golems can get you cheesed.

Patience is your best friend, just like in every other strategy. If you try to speed up the tempo you can lose control and just lose the game from silly mistakes. Controlling the pace of the game is your best option, If you know they can’t siege you with the lead they have they probably won’t be able to siege you at any point unless you make a mistake. Even when you believe you have equalized and can win a fight it is better to keep the game stalled and wait until you are absolutely sure you can win the game off the fight. You can simply allow the enemy team to think you are still weaker and when they try to siege a tower you fight them under your tower and if you manage to kill at least 2 of them it is normally enough to just walk to the enemy base and win the game within the death timer.

Don’t mistake the enemy team easing pressure off of you as a sign that you have caught up and they are afraid of you. Use that as a sign that they are preparing to try and win the game by trying to force you into doing something risky such as checking vilemaw, or regaining your altar, or even trying to fight them. In any case just remember, the game will last as long as you want it to as long as you are willing to take that time, sometimes it is not worth spending an extra 30 minutes for the chance of winning if you aren’t absolutely sure you can win. A 15 minute loss is the same as a 45 minute loss.


Lane Swapping and Rotations

One of the main issues that lower elo teams run into when it comes to lane swapping is that they either don’t swap at all when they really should or they swap too many times (such as when the enemy team counter swaps) Lane swapping is something that you only want to do if it will help you apply more pressure overall and help push your team ahead. Sometimes even if you are in the less favorable lane matchup you want to stay in your lane and not swap until you have an opening to make the swap without losing pressure.

Generally safe times to make a lane swap happen is immediately after a tower falls or you steal an altar, this is because the enemies will be essentially blind until you show yourselves again meaning you can play around their bad rotation and just swing to the other side of the map and take a tower or steal jungle or whatever it may be.

You always want to apply pressure that is on the opposite side of where your opponents are. Forcing them to make bad rotations over and over is the easiest way to make the game spiral out of control in your favor. An example of this is your whole team shows bot and clears a wave, now the enemy team will go bot because they believe you are trying to do a 3 man siege. However you and your team have no rotated top and they are bot and you take a tower. Suddenly they are rotating top and you swing around back to bottom while clearing their jungle, and next thing you know you are up 2 towers and 3 jungle camps without ever coming in contact with the enemy team.

A good way to counter a team that tries to put you on a wild goose chase is by sending one person with strong ranged waveclear to try to alleviate the pressure in one lane while your remaining two counter push a lane. This will cause the enemy team to stop their rotations and have to come and try and stop you. You can have your person who was not with you originally follow them and now you have them in an awkward situation where they are sandwiched by your team and either need to go all-in and potentially throw the game or just back off all together.

In the early portions of the game if there is a fight that you know you will make it to before your laner, always go for it. Having a 3v2 for even as short as just 2-3 seconds can make all the difference and swing the tempo of the game in your favor. If you know your enemy laner will get there before you, you can follow and hope your team survives or you can call to your team to back out and you hard push your wave and hopefully deny a wave of exp/gold from your laner. It is all circumstantial and in most cases you want to go help your team to hopefully prevent something going wrong and your teammates dieing and losing you all map pressure.


Altar Control

Controlling the altars is very important when it comes to staying relevant and having map pressure in 3s. Having 1 altar gives everyone on your team a 10% movement speed buff and controlling 2 Altars gives you a 1% Health+Mana Regen on killing a unit. Something that some people don’t always realise is that having both altars gives the enemy team and effective 10% slow to their movement speed because you have taken away their 10% buff that they normally have for controlling one altar.

If you have control of both altars you want to take advantage of the fact that the enemy team will try and get it back. It takes 8 seconds for them to retake the altar meaning that you have about 6 seconds to setup to stop them and in a lot of cases if you are sneaky enough you can defend the altar and pick up a kill or two. Which in addition will allow you to steal their whole jungle if it has spawned and maybe even take a tier 1 tower if you haven’t taken it already.

Sometimes it is better to just let the enemy take their altar back rather than trying to defend it. Such as if your bot laner is 50% hp and the enemy bot laner is 100% hp it is probably not a good idea to fight for it because not only will their bot get their first and make it a 2v3 if your bot laner comes to help they will mostly just turn onto him and 1 shot him and probably even take your altar too in the process. If you are even not confident in your ability to hold the altar on the enemy side of the map you should probably give it up. It isn't worth dying over.

On the topic of altar gold, each player gains +80g when you or a teammate takes an altar. When you are behind just being able to take an altar here and there really helps catch up to the enemy team. The converse is true as well however, if you have a lead, gaining +80g per person every time can help you snowball your lead when you are also getting ~+300g every time you steal a full set of enemy jungle camps giving you an overall lead of +540g just for having map control.

In the early portions of the game if there is a fight that you know you will make it to before your laner, always go for it. Having a 3v2 for even as short as just 2-3 seconds can make all the difference and swing the tempo of the game in your favor. If you know your enemy laner will get there before you, you can follow and hope your team survives or you can call to your team to back out and you hard push your wave and hopefully deny a wave of exp/gold from your laner. It is all circumstantial and in most cases you want to go help your team to hopefully prevent something going wrong and your teammates dieing and losing you all map pressure.

You do not want to chase a team if they have double altars on you and you are about even with them. They will be able to kite you with the 10% move speed and can heal off waves while kiting with lifesteal / 1% hp/mana / etc. making it only worth chasing if you are absolutely sure you can get something out of it.


Vilemaw (Throw-maw)

Vilemaw can be an incredibly helpful tool when it comes to sieging towers and apply pressure to the enemy team. However going for vilemaw is something that should only be done under two circumstances. You absolutely need to in order to prevent yourself from losing, or it is 100% safe and you need it to win. You take a lot of damage while taking it and if the enemy team steals it and aces you on the back end of it, you will lose. Even if you have an astronomical lead.

In case you aren’t familiar, killing vilemaw grants each living person on your team the “Crest of Crushing Wrath” buff for 180 seconds or until death (whichever comes first) This buff removes unit collision from your champions and gives nearby minions a ghost buff. This ghost buff causes enemy minions to get feared on first contact. The minions also gain buffs as follows:

The main benefit of having the buff is the buff to cannon minions, the +750 range allows the cannon minions to attack well outside of tower range meaning that if your team just defends the cannon minions during sieges they will eventually chip down the tower they need. If you are against a team with a lot of ap based wave clear you can have your jungler/support (whichever you have) choose to build banner of command instead of locket. Banner of command makes the minions immune to magic damage making them incredibly strong (sometimes broken) and forcing the enemies into an incredibly hard position.

The overall best method for using vilemaw is by having a 2-1 split (normally your ap is the 1) forcing the enemy team to have to split up to defend against cannon minions creating a lot of pressure where in most cases you can indefinitely open up the enemy base and make inhibitors a realistic option to help you close out the game.

One thing to remember, if you are losing and the enemy is going to go take vilemaw you have a few choices. If you have the waveclear to survive the vilemaw siege, let it go unless you think you absolutely need to stop it. If you have no way to defend from the vilemaw siege then you need to play smart and try and steal it and kill them for it and flip the game on them. But overall in most cases you only need to survive about 2-3 cannon waves on each side from vile which most teams should be able to deal with making giving up vilemaw not a bad option if you need to turtle. Don’t lose the game over vilemaw, it’s not worth it.


Jungle Pressure

Jungle pressure is absolutely necessary throughout the game if you want to have a fighting chance to win the game. By controlling the jungle and having map pressure overall you control the pace of the game and force the enemy team into a reactive playstyle. Gaining jungle pressure is sometimes as easy as just showing the enemy bot laner you are on their side of the map and making them play more cautious or try and come for you as a result.

You need to be smart about how you apply jungle pressure, pressuring very hard on the enemy team will get you collapsed on and killed a lot of the time so you want to be careful and just keep the enemies guessing and never knowing exactly what is happening. Anytime your own jungle is cleared(mostly) you have the opportunity to pressure the enemy side of the map, whether you are jungle meta or support meta the principle stays the same.

You always want to have your own jungle cleared. Timing the first camp of your rotation is really good as you will be able to time when to go back and re-clear in order to prevent the enemy team to be able to invade you or steal camps after getting a kill or two. Utilizing your trinket is incredibly vital to jungle pressure, you never want to facecheck a bush that you don’t have to and if you have enough vision to set up properly around the enemy jungle it opens your team up to a lot of options, whether that be ganking top or bot because they overextended pushing a wave or you see/know their jungler is on a camp and you want to try and kill him.

Sometimes the most valuable pressure you can have is just the element of surprise. Because twisted treeline doesn’t have wards and your only secondary source of vision are your trinkets and frost queen’s claim you can abuse the fog of war immensely to your advantage. For example let’s say you are playing bottom and you cleared most of a wave and you let the enemy laner see you walking up into the jungle. They are going to make the call that you are ganking top and will try and counter rotate, however you simply just stood out of the vision range and are still bottom and now your laner has rotated up and you have time to punish him by denying a wave and getting free turret damage.

If you have lost control of your jungle, in most cases you should just let the enemies take what they want without much of a fight. You have lost your positional advantage and they would probably win a fight if playing correctly, however if you see an opening to punish them in your jungle you should take advantage of that and try and either kill them or just get them low because that allows you to regain pressure and actually bully them out of their own jungle for the next few minutes.


Communication

Communication is probably the single most important thing when it comes to 3v3. If there is one thing to focus on, this is going to be it. Having good communication could be as easy as pinging when you see the junglers, pinging enemies are missing, pinging that you are on the way, timing things, etc. A team with good communication will do much much better on average than a team full of people playing the game like solo-q.

You need to remember, 3v3 is an incredibly heavily team oriented gamemode, It is not all about who has the best mechanics (they help) but it is more about which team plays better together and are able to capitalize on potential advantages as a team and can execute plays with good synergy. The key to being successful with this is having a dedicated in game leader, everyone assists in conversation and making calls but having a dedicated in game leader to make the calls for fights and rotations and overall general strategies makes your team play cleaner overall and help prevent miscommunications.

Being an in game leader is something that you can only learn and refine by playing the game more. In general you just want to be able to read the situations and the enemy team’s playstyle and make appropriate calls to organize your team in order to win the game. Sometimes even if you believe your in game leader is wrong it is better to just listen to their call instead of having half your team do something and you just walk away and they get double killed and you lose the game. Just explain after the game and hopefully they will improve their calls in the future.

Something that every player on the team should be doing is making calls and pinging what is happening, for example if the enemy jungler pops up bot while ganking your bot laner would call “Jungler is bot” and either you or someone else can ping the jungler. This applies with anything such as a missing ping or an on my way. As long as you are vocal with your team and everyone has enough information everyone will be able to play the map better and you will do better overall. You never want someone to die because you didn’t call out that you saw their top laner running down or their jungler rushing bot/top etc.

Initially you probably won’t be able to read the map as effectively as you would like to which will make communication rough, but it just takes playing the game more and overtime you will refine your shot calling and call outs making your teamplay cleaner overall and it will make beating much better mechanical players so much easier. It is much easier to refine your communication than it is to refine your mechanics and you do both at the same time making you a much better player throughout the process.


Conclusion

On some final notes, just knowing all the information doesn’t make up for playing thegame and getting the feel for it. The more practice you get playing 3s will make you play better and will make the gamemode a lot more fun. Hopefully with this information in the back of your mind, you will improve by a great amount and have much more fun because of that.

Not everything could be included while making this unfortunately, some things thatyou just need to learn overtime such as how all the champions work, general championinteractions, and the things you can do with the champs, even general last hitting. Overtime these things will become like second nature and the game will become a lot moreenjoyable and you can focus more on having fun.

If you would like additional resources you can follow our streams on Twitch [DivineChaosX] [Brizi3v3] to watch challenger level 3s gameplay or ask any questions you have about 3s. There are very few 3v3 streamers who stream regularly, but the ones who do provide high quality content and are generally very informative and enjoyable to watch. A lot of people really enjoy watching high elo gameplay in order to compare that to their own gameplay to improve, so it is always a nice resource to have available to you.

The 3v3 Bible will periodically be updated to account for drastic shifts in the meta, or any changes that have a large direct impact on 3s or how it is played. Updates such as these will be highlighted on The Shadow Isles “3v3 Bible” page when they occur as well as at the top of the Bible itself. Feel free to let us know if you think we missed out on anything for the Bible or you would like any clarification on something regarding 3s or the Bible feel free to reach out to Divine or Gunter.

Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Hopefully this gave you the all the tools necessary to survive out on the Treeline. Best of luck summoners!


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