What you can learn from MoBA’s Series : Lesson 5 – Formations

Posted: November 19, 2014 in Strategy, Update Board
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In ancient times, the first armies were individualistic in nature. Men would form lines only to break them up as they charged the battlefields and die mindlessly.

I have seen a lot of MobA games, and so many losses could have been prevented if only each team member would do their role or plan. Some even get lost in-game…


Before we get started though for first time readers, I am Zamboangamer and this blog is dedicated to advocate video games as a learning tool and a self-improvement blog. In particular, this series focuses on the MoBa games and the tricks and secrets to give you the razor’s edge, and win more games.


Lesson 1 covers what you need to know on how the pros think like in the game, with the need for better gameplay and wins.


Lesson 2 covers how to maximize your role as a hero in-game. A team that effectively uses the hero’s role makes better games and more chances of victories.


Lesson 3 covers team communication, a bit of player psychology and how you can rally your team to victory. Encouraging and good communication is the way to raise team morale, win games and make friends. 


Lesson 4 deals with a better way to cope with those pesky defeats which creep up to you and ruins your day. It’s a must read.

And now we move on to the fifth lesson in the series which has taken a lot of research and study to compile and write. It’s also become a personal favorite of mine because since then, I have won more games than usual.

Ever wonder why you are always hit by Mirana’s or Ashe’s skill shot? Or how you could have avoided those AoE (Area-of-Effect) skills? Want to know the perfect way to catch the enemy off guard and make it off alive or with the enemy team wiped out?

This is why this post caters to formations. It is a secret to mastering warfare and why pro-gamers have the best plays that make you spam that replay button.

“When the victorious get their people to go to battle as if they were directing a massive flood of water into a deep canyon, this is a matter of formation.” -Sun Tzu

Formations have decided how armies would win the field. As a general your overview of how the battlefield works will determine victory or defeat. Of all the ancient armies that I have studied (HISTORY FTW!) it’s The Roman Legion that does the it the best. A lot of this generation look up to the Spartans with their recent movie 300. It is a movie that deals with the battle of Thermopylae and how the Spartans courageously fought even though they were outnumbered, while heroic in the eyes of many, military generals and scholars have seen easily seen the weaknesses and this is why the once glorified spartan armies have been conquered by an advanced foe. The Romans.

The Roman Legion was in my opinion the best army in ancient history, it expanded its empire through most of europe, north africa and the middle east. It’s armies were constantly improving and has become the basis for most modern-day armies today.

The key strengths that the Legion has is its disciple, flexibility and innovation. The army consisted of ranks that the Spartans did not have. They used every weapon from sword,spear,bow,siege engine and every man to his designated role. The generals studied their enemies and exploited every weakness they had. It was through the valiant effort of the Legion did the empire extend and lasted long. It’s legacy is even longer. To give you a glimpse of how the legion operates the YouTube clip below will give you a good idea. It was based on the movie Gladiator and a favorite childhood movie of mine.


Are you as pumped up then? Now comes the discussion part, try experimenting these formations with your team and see how it will better help you win.

These formations will cater to every MobA game and can be used in several situations. These are but a few examples and there are more.


wedge formation

This is a typical wedge formation some also call it the arrowhead. It is an ideal formation for pushing the lane. Ideally the tanks are the first to the frontline while other hero roles support it. Take note that this formation has weaknesses on both the sides and can be flanked.

If the enemy sneaks behind the tank must turn his attention behind the formation, never get squeezed between a tower and enemy heroes like the pincer formation (discussed later). When retreating it is best to break up or go together in one general direction, usually to the safest one.

Overall, this is the first of many offensive formations, a good hero selection including items will ensure your victory.

spearhead formation

This picture is the first prototype I made using paint, refer to the lower pictures for an improved diagram on what the roman numerals mean.

The spearhead formation is an offensive formation and can be perfectly used for attacking the enemy lanes. Tanks should be the tip of the spear followed by hitters and support. Either you are close enough to support each other or spare some distance between each hero is up to you, but the main point of this formation is to do as much damage as you can before making a run for it.

The weaknesses of this formation lies with the back area or sides. Enemies can easily exploit these areas and flank you so ward of the areas behind and have the map awareness to look out for them. When the enemy does flank you, turn the “tip of the spear” of the tank to the enemies, guide your team to an ambush spot or make a full retreat back to base.

Overall, Speed is your ally in this formation, make as much damage as you can in the lane and teleport or segway to other lanes. The tip of the spear must never be too far ahead otherwise team members can’t support directly.


Line Foramtion

The Line formation is similar to the arrowhead or spearhead but varies in the distance of the heroes and the direction on where your heroes are going to. This formation is inspired by the phalanx formation used by ancient Greeks to gain an advantage over their enemies.

Similar weaknesses also lie the said formations above, your best course of action when flanked by the enemy is to break off to every direction in hopes of gaining less attention from enemy heroes and teleport back to base or stand and fight. Sometimes sacrificing a hero while the others run back to the fountain is an ideal strategy, just make sure that every teammate understands the word sacrifice.



pincer formation


The Pincer formation is the ideal formation for clashing. It involves luring the enemy either at the lanes or jungles or the river that runes through the map.  Pincer formations are risky though. To enumerate the risks are:

1.Distance between you and your team


3.Enemy status (never try this formation if the enemy is too strong)

4.The hunter is now the hunted (this means that you are trapped)

5.The right skills (heroes need to have the right set of skills)

This formation’s weakness is a gamble. It requires precise planning and timing to pull it off. No wonder the best games are mostly streamed on video sites. These clashes are always fun to see, but in-game its the most mind-numbing, some get even lost due to the multiple spell casting. The tank or the ones in the middle of the clash are the most

Overall, your teamwork is tested with this maneuver, but the good thing here is the escape points indicated to arrows moving away from the clash area, your losses can be minimized simply by having the map awareness to the direction of retreat and attack.



Star Formation

The Star Formation is similar to the Pincer but different in terms of the number of enemies, one or two enemies can easily be outnumbered if you close in and finish them off quickly. It is a sure-clash formation but might also leave you vulnerable. The strength of this formation lies in every teammate contributing a skill to earn that nice bounty.

The weaknesses of the star formation is not every member of your team has equivalent stats, skills or items. It also make you vulnerable on all sides. Your main counter will be to stand and fight as one just like the Avengers in that awesome camera shot where they are circled by the enemy.Publicity photo from the film "The Avengers"

Overall, the Star Formation is good for closing in on weaker enemies but is risky if the tables are turned. Retreating can either be a coördinated smart move or a panicked messy one. Again team coördination is necessary.






tower defense


The Tower Formation

Using the towers in all stages of the game is a good defensive maneuver. The tower contributes the biggest damage early game, supports lane control in the middle game and annoys enemies during the late game (although they give out less damage).

The weaknesses lie in enumerated items below:

1.Tower’s limited attack range

2.Tower is stationary and its hit-points are low

3.Tower is vulnerable at late game stages due to enemy hero level and damage output

4.No allies to defend the tower or backdooring (damn that BD)

5.Allied Team is flanked and dead.

The Tower formation when used properly can pick off enemy heroes and aid you to launch an offensive counterattack, this tactic is known in the MobA game but is rarely acknowledged. Treat the tower as your sixth-man instead of a commodity and the tower’s full potential is unleashed.

Use these formations and discover new ones, Let me know what you think of these, comments, suggestions,likes,support,criticisms and discussions are welcome below. Keep on’ gamin 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s