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3 Variant Predators Guide (Me Preds)
By KP | Dec 1, 2019 | Patch 9.23

Predators form the core of some of the best comps of this patch. The comp has a few variations but generally relies on tanky 3-star Predators that kill the opponent's units quickly with executes, as well as the powerful Poison trait.

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Comp variations

Berzerkers/Glacial and Poison

Crystal and Poison

Sins and Poison

Early game

Choosing when to commit to Predators

You should only try to go for a Predator comp if you find Predator units at the start of the game (stage 1 / 2). An example of a strong Predator start is having a 2-star Kog'Maw coming out of stage 1 and possibly having a few Warwicks / Rek'Sais / Skarners.

As you go through stage 2, scout to make sure that there aren't too many other Predator players. If there are more than 2, you might want to pivot. Scouting is really important in stage 2... you don't want to commit to a Predator comp when you're competing for the same units with 3 or more players.

Should you Hyperroll? Which variant should you go?

Assuming that you've decided to commit to Predators, there are two ways to play your early game. You can either save up gold to hyperroll for Kog'Maw / Warwick / Skarner / Rek'Sai at stage 3-1 (right after Krugs), or you can chooose not to hyperroll and level up to rush for the Poison buff / Olaf / Kha'Zix / Ashe.

If you pick the hyperroll option, don't press the level up button and save up as much gold as possible (without losing to Krugs) and roll at stage 3-1 since you naturally level up at stage 3-2. A lower level increases your chances of finding Kog'Maw. When rolling, don't roll down to 0 gold unless you absolutely have to. Make sure to have at least 10 gold left.

You don't hyperroll if you're low on gold, you don't feel like you're close to a 3-star unit, or there's another Predator player that is ahead of you in getting units. I personally like the non-hyperroll version of Predators as it's more consistent and getting the Poison buff or a 2-star 4-cost unit earlier is strong.

You have another important decision to make in the early game. If you find more Skarners than Rek'Sais, you should consider going for the Crystal comp variant, else you should consider going for the Berzerkers or Sins comp variants.

Example early game comps

Like any other comp, your goal early game is to not take too much damage. You want the strongest comp early to stay healthy. For Predators, you could lean into Druids and Woodlands early (always very strong) or you can have a Predator setup (Kog'Maw, Rek'Sai, Warwick, Skarner) with random units tacked on. In the example below, I added Voli and Orn for electric.

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Mid game

Units to look for in the mid game

In the mid game, you're slowly trying to 3-star your Predators if you haven't already. Don't commit to 3-starring too many units. Try to get Kog'Maw, Warwick, and a 2-cost Predator (Rek'Sai or Skarner) 3-starred.

Add in Nocturne for the Steel buff to increase the tankiness of your frontline (if you're running Rek'Sai), or add in Ashe for the Crystal buff (if you're commiting to the Crystal comp variant).

When you're running Crystal, try to 3-star Skarner and place a few key items on him: Thornmail, Ionic Spark, and a defensive item (e.g. Warmog's or Dragon's Claw). A super tanky Skarner is one of the key units that make Crystal strong.

You should also prepare to add in Poison. Keep Twitches (don't 2-star Twitch if you're not running Crystal) and Mundos and use them when possible. Without a Singed, you're putting in Twitch and Mundo. With Singed, you're dropping Twitch (for the non-Crystal comp variants) or you're dropping Mundo (for the Crystal comp variant).

Singed is an absolutely insane unit. Buy him and drop him in your comp whenever you get the chance.

If you're going for the Sins comp variant, you want to prioritize finding a Qiyana for the mid game. She's super strong and can carry you through the mid game.

Go for these units in the mid game if you're running the Crystal comp variant. Not shown are Predator units, which you should try to 3-star if possible. For Crystal, you really want to 3-star Skarner.
Go for these units in the mid game if you're running the Sins comp variant. Not shown are Predator units, which you should try to 3-star if possible.
Go for these units in the mid game if you're running the Berzerkers comp variant. Not shown are Predator units, which you should try to 3-star if possible.

General playstyle

For Predators, you play the mid game in the "standard" fashion, i.e. you should level up after PvE rounds and roll when you feel weak compared to the lobby.

A perk about Predator comps is that you need relatively uncontested 4-cost units (Olaf or Kha'Zix or Ashe or Twitch). This gives you the option to roll later than everyone else when they've thinned out the champion pool and it's more likely for you to find your 4-cost units. For example, instead of rolling at stage 4-1 or 5-1, roll at stage 4-2 or 5-2.

Late game

When you enter the late game, you need to choose between staying at level 7 and rolling to upgrade your units or leveling 8. Most Predator comp variants round out their synergies at level 7, which is great. Leveling to 8 does increase your chances of finding Singed but don't bet on it; Singed is a rare 5-cost unit and he's also highly contested.

The comp's late game power spike comes when you get a Singed 2. Singed 2 is an absolute monster.

If the lobby is magic damage heavy, consider adding Mystics. You can usually only fit in Mystics at level 9, though in the Berzerker comp variant, you can drop Berzerkers for Mystics at level 8 and in the Crystal comp variant, you can drop Nocturne for Mystics at level 8.

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The Predator comps are not super item dependent. You often make a decision to go for Predators based on the units you get early, not the items you get early.

That said, there are definitely items that are more optimal in the comp.

Offensive items:

  • Luden's Echo: very good for Kog'Maw. Gives him mana to ult more, and the splash damage can trigger the Predator buff to execute units.
  • Statikk Shiv: very good for Kog'Maw. Extra mana and attack speed to ult more and its splash damage triggers the Predator buff like Luden's echo.
  • Ionic Spark: very good on any Predator unit. Damage from this item triggers the Predator buff. Great to put on the tankiest Predator to get the most from this item (e.g. Skarner in the Crystal comp variant).
  • Hush: very good item to counter Mage comps.
  • Morellonomicon: amazing item on Singed or Mundo. Adds a lot of damage and the antiheal is very useful.

Defensive items:

  • Redemption: build it early on a frontline unit to save HP!
  • Guardian's Angel: a good item to play on Singed or Rek'Sai. GA often lets Rek'Sai ult one more time and that ult does a ton of damage with a chance of executing.
  • Iceborn Gauntlet: a good frontline item for the Cloud map.
  • Dragon's Claw: put this on a carry if the lobby is magic damage heavy.
  • Phantom Dancer: put this on a carry if the lobby has strong assassin players.
  • Warmog's: a good frontline item, especially on Skarner in the Crystal comp variant.
  • Thornmail: very good item on Skarner in the Crystal comp variant. Thornmail's damage can trigger the Predator buff.