How to Play Lagoon
With the new Mid-set coming out very soon, a new trait has struck the interest of many players: Lagoon. This marks the third “economy” based trait in the game with Astral and Shimmerscale being already present in Set 7.
From playtest content, many players have already seen how powerful Lagoon can become. It will definitely be nerfed and buffed multiple times until it’s in a good spot, but it will still be fun to play nevertheless.
In this guide, I’ll be going over the basics about Lagoon, how it works, and how to play it effectively.
Here’s a link to the final team comp if you want to take a quick look: Lagoon Level 8 Board
How Lagoon works
Unlike traits that encourage players to lose rounds, like Mercenary or Fortune, Lagoon is an economic trait that is active regardless of your wins/losses.
This makes it a very scary trait that can snowball very well.
Bonus: Lagoon units gain bonus Ability Power and Attack Speed. A Seastone appears on the board that grants loot as Lagoon units cast Abilities over time.
The trait isn’t anything too crazy to understand. Since you are incentivized to cast as much as possible, bonus attack speed makes a lot of sense. The bonus Ability Power also influences players to build more toward AP carries in Lagoon comps rather than AD carries.
With things like mana generation and attack speed, the bonus loot should come pouring in.
A quick note to consider is that economic trait champions are usually bound to be underpowered in a balanced meta. That aside, the other weakness of the Lagoon trait is that they don’t have enough overlapping classes. Here is a rundown of the classes in Lagoon champions.
The only overlap is between Sohm and Taliyah. Sohm won’t contribute until you find copies in the late game. The main weakness of Lagoon is the lack of synergy in the early and mid game. Even still, you can make it work.
Lagoon Early Game
In the early game, the lack of trait synergy will make it tough to build a strong board. At level 4, you will be able to add in unit for a trait, and it’s likely you will pick a frontline with either Bruiser, Guardian, or Dragonmancer. Dragonmancer is likely ideal as Kai’Sa will be your main carry, but the others will suffice.
Bruiser, Guardian, and Dragonmancer activate with only 2 units, where as Mage requires 3 units, so put off Mage for now.
This picture displays a quick rundown of early game champions. Put together 3 Lagoon and a bonus champion for a trait.
- Lagoons (Middle 4): Malphite, Taliyah, Zac, Kai’Sa
- Dragonmancer (Bottom Right): Karma, Sett
- Guardians (Top Left): Nasus/Leona
- Bruisers (Top Right: Skarner/Jax
Mage Kai’Sa Early Game
If you are blessed enough to get a Mage Emblem early on. You can easily fit in 3 Lagoon + 3 Mage by putting a Mage Emblem on Kai’Sa. Mage Emblem Kai’Sa can be a very strong carry and her extra casts also benefit the Lagoon trait.
Lagoon Mid Game
The mid game for most comps is around level 6, and this is where you’ll be able to fit in 6 Lagoon if you can find all 6. Hopefully by now you can get a Mage Emblem, but if you can’t you can still try to make it work.
If you can’t find all 6 Lagoon units, continue using units like Dragonmancers, Guardians, or Bruisers. Mystic or Evoker units work as well alongside Seraphine.
Lagoon Late Game
Once you are able to find Sohm, you are basically ready to hit the end game. This gives you a whopping 3 Lagoon, a Mage, and a powerful Dragon.
However, Sohm requires 2 slots to add in. So what can you do in the meantime. One option is to remove some weaker units like Malphite and Zeri for some more utility at level 7, especially frontline.
On one hand, removing Zeri means you get less Lagoon casts. On the other hand, Rakan adds a lot more frontline and utility to the team, which should result in more casts from all of the other Lagoon units.
Finally, at level 8, you can add in all the Lagoon units (except Nilah), to reach 9 Lagoon. You can replace a unit like Malphite or Zeri for Nilah if you want as well.
Extra Ability Power and Tear items can go on Sohm, and hopefully there is enough damage and frontline to overpower the lobby. The extra gold and items from Lagoon should also provide a lot of value to the team.
Playing Lagoon without Mage Kai’Sa
Another thing to keep in mind is what to do if you can’t find a Mage Emblem. If you don’t have any other Lagoon bonuses with augments, you should likely move down to 6 Lagoon as your level 8 board. This means you can drop some Lagoon units for things like Mages or frontline.
Playing through the game without a Mage Kai’Sa will be harder, but not impossible. Kai’Sa can simply be used as an item holder for Sohm.
Lagoon End Game Board
Even though running 9 Lagoon can be fun, it may not be the best option for your strongest level 9 board. If you make it to level 9 with tons of gold and items, you can definitely start dropping down to 6 or even 3 Lagoon to make the strongest board possible.
In these boards, I will have a Mage Kai’Sa. If you don’t have a Mage Emblem, simply replace Kai’Sa with Taliyah and put better carry items on Sohm.
Here are some ideas at some end game boards:
If Nomsy is an Evoker, bringing Nomsy into the comp solves the issue of having a weak frontline. Nomsy is a solid frontline unit, but the main advantage is the Evoker trait.
Since Seraphine gains mana when allies cast as an Evoker, the team will end up gaining tons of shields through Seraphine. Lulu will also gain tons of mana, give everyone attack speed, leading to more casts, leading to more mana for Evokers.
Note: Mage Nomsy will also work in this role to end up with 5 Mage, but I think Evoker is cooler.
Terra Bard Lagoon
This board is honestly just putting together a bunch of expensive stuff together. Terra will be a monster tank, Bard provides insane utility, and Zoe is one of the best Mages. Nothing much to say here. If you can make it this far with a bunch of gold and items, you’ve probably won.
Lagoon Bonus Augments
All of the Lagoon trait augments like Lagoon Heart, Lagoon Crest, and Lagoon Crown are nice pickups.
Having a Lagoon Heart helps so much with the main weakness of Lagoon comps, the lack of early synergy. Needing 1 less Lagoon unit on the board allows you much more freedom with other units to bring in trait bonuses.
The Emblem for Lagoon is interesting. Ideally, you would want a Mage Emblem, but Lagoon can also be good. It functionally does the same thing as Lagoon heart, but it opens up more carry potential other than Kai’Sa. You can use a different Mage with a low mana pool or just slap it on a frontline unit like Sylas.
Considering Kai’Sa and Sohm both want Blue Buff, having this augment provides a ton of value. You can skip building Blue Buff and focus on damage items instead like Rabadon’s or Archangels.
All in all, Lagoon is a fun new addition to the game, which rewards players with loot for building the team well.
However, unlike traits like Mercenary or Fortune, there is no inherent risk to Lagoon. This makes it very likely that Lagoon will be generally underpowered compared to other comps.
Even still, that shouldn’t stop you from having a good time with a fun new trait. Hopefully Lagoon will be overpowered on PBE so we can have a taste of the fun before it’s eventually nerfed and nerfed.
Overall, Lagoon isn’t that difficult to play compared to things like Fortune and Mercenary, but having a general outline will be nice in figuring out a new cast of units.