This post is a summary of my gaming experience, of what I tried, what I did and what I've discussed with others about the gameplay on TT (Twisted Treeline). Take your time to read it if you want to.
What is Twisted Treeline? How does it vary from 5vs5 (SR)?
The Twisted Treeline is a much different concept. It captures steady jungle control, gameplay centered around ganking, sigils and around small teamfights wiht smaller setups. The map is much smaller, the minions spawn less frequently, and the jungle is just huge compared to 5vs5. A pushing initiative wins this map, but there's no place where you cannot get ganked other than your own spawning pool! Let me describe some extra aspects.
They told me Tanky DPS works better in 3vs3, why?
Pertinent question. On 5vs5 you have the usual: Tank + AD + AP + Support + Melee DPS, for example, which focuses on big events, when you have the sword, the shield, and the brain. But in 3vs3, the smaller teams and different map make it more profitable to take mobile, tanky and good jungling champions, this tied to the smaller minion rate will make you jungle dependant to gain an edge and you'll get dominated by Tanky DPS (excelling at 3 aspects), so this is why you should not be taking supports, ranged and/or squishy champions too frequently or too carelessly here. These choices fit the ranked 3vs3 gameplay the most as assassins will be frequently banned thus creating a more safe environment for squishies. You'll have to gank a lot and jungle a lot here.
B-b-but tanky DPS are mainly AD!
Not totally correct. Take, for instance, Rumble and Singed. Both are tanky and Magic Damage based, and the first being an extremely dominant early-gamer, pusher and damage dealer, the second a good tank, with decent CC and some jungle control. Being innately fitting with this map, it's not surprising that they are high tier.
Map Control might be a lot different as well!
Exactly where I want to get with this guide. Most players don't have the ability to distinguish the map shape from 5vs5 and don't plan warding/routes accordingly. I'll add a map with good places for warding 3vs3 and for jumping with certain skills (Lee Sin, Jax, Katarina). As to who buys the wards, everyone should. It's everyone's responsibility to farm and to have an extra eye on their map range. So, solo top gets top jungle wards and bot bottom jungle wards. If you want to carry a game, go solo top, as you can farm better and take control of both jungles at the same time! And if you can, get their jungle. Nobody at low ELO takes hold of their own, precious jungle.
The buffs are different. Please explain!
There are 4 neutral buffs (sigils) in 3vs3:
- Lizard (Red) [Should belong to your dps with little or no slows/chasing]
- Rabid Wolf (Crest of Nature's Fury +20% Attack Speed -10% Cooldowns) [Good all-around buff, however it lasts for a short time, don't do it if you're recalling]
- Ghast (Crest of Flowing Water +30% Movement Speed) [Fast map crossing, good chasing/escaping, short duration too, save it for the good time]
- Ebonmaw The Terror of Zaun (Crest of Crushing Wrath +1% increased damage per lvl) [ Gamechanging, not too long, beware]
All of those buffs are easy to get, the first 3 I'd recommend doing those by lvl 5 and above, when you have an item that makes jungling easier and the abilities you need. The "Dragon" Ebonmaw can be easily soloed by a tanky dps with Wriggle's Lantern, but don't miss a chance of fending off the other team for it. Remember, keep them warded and keep getting them.
And how should I behave in each of the phases?
In early game, try to farm, but don't push away from your laneside's Lizard Acess, as you'll get ganked even from there and therefore missing out on farm. If you do, take the time to jungle/go to base if you have gold, and return to your lane once the enemy minion wave is back. Keep warding key points (Dragon, Lizard) as there are not many more accesses to both team's jungles. Gank opponents who go away from their towers and ahead of the ganking paths to give you more gold and the chance of pushing/stealing their jungle. And, most important, don't walk around in TT doing nothing. Your early game time is valuable as it's short.
I can't see a truly nitid midgame, but I think it's when both teams start fighting for the jungle, for the buffs and for a pushing chance, when everyone is farmed well enough to have teamfights. You may start getting Ebonmaw here, but don't make the enemies see you're doing it.
They say 3vs3 games are short: Not Necessarily. What's really short is the earlygame and that's why many teams tend to lose the edge there and get outpushed, losing the first tower removes your entire buff's control. So they push and defeat you easily. If both teams are cautious enough to not let the enemy get all the jungle (warding, getting jungle, not losing too much material in teamfights), then no teams will push and the game stays there for a long time until a team aces the other one and pushes down the initial towers. Then it's a growing advantage. Again this is why you can't take lategame and squishy champions. They don't jungle nor dominate early game, unlike tanky DPS.
I won't cause too much trouble and finish the guide with this link:
a top American Player's 3vs3 tier list. He even has an in-depth text for each champion as a .doc file.
My personal recommendation is Lee Sin. Mobile, good jungling, good damage all game.
Well I hope this helped you out with playing on this different map and gameplay, and I promise I'll post some maps soon, and I wish you good luck.
EDIT: ADDED A BETTER LINE OF THINKING AS TO AD/AP CARRIES AND SUPPORTS (04-12-2011)