3 Tips to Help You Maximize Middle Orb Control

Middle orb control is essential to good play in Battlerite. You can still win rounds even if you give up every single orb, but they will be HUGE uphill battles. Consistent orb control is one of the most effective ways to boost your win rate.

Remember, breaking the orb grants some incredible bonuses: +10 Real HP, +10 Recovery HP, and +25 Energy to everyone on your team. Think about that: everyone on your team gets a free EX to use every time you claim an orb. Don’t underestimate it!

And if you’re the only one alive, you get +25 Real HP, +25 Recovery HP, and +50 Energy, which can be enough to swing the tide of any 1v2 or even 1v3 in your favor.

There’s still a lot yet to be mined when it comes to orb control theory and tactics, and I wouldn’t dare claim that I know everything about it. But I can share some essential tips that you may want to incorporate into your play.

1. Learn Your Breakage Combos

When breaking the orb, you want to do it as fast as you can for two main reasons. First, any time spent breaking the orb is time that isn’t spent attacking an enemy. Second, the longer it takes you to break the orb, the more likely it will be for an enemy to snatch it away from you.

Which is where breakage combos come into play.

Middle orb has 60 HP. Most champions have an ability combo that can quickly deal that much damage. Take advantage of this to quickly claim it and minimize wasted time, but make sure you don’t waste important cooldowns and leave yourself vulnerable. Here are some good ones to know:

  • Ashka: 3 M2s > M1 will deal 63 damage, but it’s easily intercepted. A better option is to use 2 M1s > Flamestrike > M1, which is less likely to get intercepted. If you have the Inferno battlerite, you can Flamestrike > 2 M2s instead.
  • Bakko: Valiant Leap > 2 M1s > M2 deals 64 damage. You can also steal the orb any time it drops below 28 HP with a fully-charged M2, or drops below 22 HP with a Valiant Leap. With the Warlord’s Axe battlerite, you can use 3 M1s > M2 for a perfect 60 damage (55 damage without).
  • Blossom: Boom Bloom > Tag > charged M1 deals a perfect 60 damage, but not recommended because it uses too many cooldowns. You’re better off sniping with a charged M1 or maybe Tag if you can do it safely.
  • Croak: M2 > Frog Leap > 3 M1s > Noxious Lunge deals 62 damage. Use the Noxious Lunge to get yourself into battle or out of danger depending on the situation. Make sure Camouflage is up otherwise you’ll have no outs.
  • Ezmo: With Tome of Destruction, you can break the orb with two rounds of M1 attacks. With Grimoire of Chaos, tag the orb with 1 M1 and let the Grimoire break it. Without energy, you have no reliable breakage combos except to spam M1 and snipe with M2.
  • Freya: With the Positive Charge battlerite, you can use Spring > Charged Strike > 3 M1s to deal 61 damage.
  • Iva: With the Boom! battlerite, you can use 2 M1s > M2 to break the orb. With the Boom! and Stockpile battlerites, you can just use 2 M2s. Without any battlerites, the 2 M1s > M2 combo only deals a shy 58 damage.
  • Jade: 4 M1s > M2 deals 62 damage. With energy, 4 M1s > Snap Shot > 4 M1s deals a perfect 60 damage. With the Desperado battlerite, you can use 4 M1s > Disabling Shot on the orb > 6 M1s for a perfect 60 damage. If the orb has 36 HP or less, and you’re standing next to it, you can opt for the faster 4 M1s > Blast Vault combo instead (or charge a Snipe if you’re safe).
  • Jumong: 2 M1s > M2 deals a perfect 60 damage and is fairly reliable. If you have energy, you can minimize the risk of orb being sniped by using M1 > EX-M2 > M1 instead.
  • Lucie: No useful combos.
  • Oldur: Without energy, you can use 3 M1s > Quicksand > Shifting Sands for a perfect 60 damage. With 50 energy, you can use M1 > EX-M1 > Quicksand > EX-M1 for a perfect 60 damage. With the Sand Storm battlerite and 25 energy, you can Shifting Sands > M1 > Quicksand > EX-M1 for a perfect 60 damage.
  • Pearl: With a charged Volatile Water, you can use M1 > Unstable Bubble > M1 to deal 63 damage. Extremely reliable orb breaker.
  • Pestilus: 3 M1s > M2 will get the orb every time with zero energy needed, making it one of the most reliable (and arguably the best) orb breakage combo in the game.
  • Poloma: No useful combos. In a pinch, you can use 4 M1s > Ghost Wolf. You can also use Pixie > 4 M1s (or Pixie > 3 M1s if you have the Pixie Dust battlerite).
  • Raigon: You can deal 65 damage using 2 M1s > M2 > Dragon Palm > Heavenly Strike. The risk is that you blow your main out and two semi-outs, which also gimps your aggressiveness, so you’ll need a bit of time to reset.
  • Rook: No baseline combos without blowing all of your iframes. With the Crumble battlerite, you can use Boulder Toss > 3 M1s > Smack for a perfect 60 damage. Make sure to knock the orb towards you with Boulder Toss.
  • Ruh Kaan: With a charged M1 and the Grim Edge battlerite, you can Claw of the Wicked > M2 > M1 for 61 damage. With a charged M1 plus the Agony battlerite, you can Claw of the Wicked > M1 > M2 for 62 damage.
  • Shifu: Javelin > 3 M1s > M2 will deal 66 damage. It’s very reliable, but leaves you without any M1 charges once the orb is broken. Use your second Javelin or Fleetfoot if this puts you in a dangerous spot.
  • Sirius: With a charged M1 and the Lethal Slash battlerite, you can 2 M1s > EX-M1 for a perfect 60 damage. Or wait until the orb drops below 46 HP so you can Prismatic Strike > M1.
  • Taya: With the Cross Cut battlerite, M2 > M1 deals 66 damage as long as the M1 hits both times, the M2 hits at its peak, and you don’t hit any other targets with either. Without the battlerite, you can instead Zephyr > M2 > M1.
  • Thorn: With the Whiplash battlerite, you can Evil Clutch > recast Evil Clutch > 3 M1s for 63 damage. Replace the 3 M1s with EX-M1 if you have energy. With the Branch Out battlerite, you can Burrow > 3 M1s for a perfect 60 damage.
  • Varesh: Best to snipe the orb with M2 at 22 HP or less. But with the Devastation battlerite, you can M1 > M2 > M2.

When comboing the orb, it’s always best to save your biggest damage ability for last. This makes it harder for enemies to snipe the orb in between your hits. For example, if Jade uses Snipe then finishes off the orb with M1s, someone could pop it in between the attacks. But if Jade brings it down to 38 HP then casts Snipe, not many champions can steal it quickly enough.

2. Reposition the Orb

The orb always spawns out in the open, making it free game for anyone as soon as it spawns. You could try and take it with a quick combo as mentioned above, but some of those combos require you to get up close — and you do NOT want to put yourself in bad position as long as you can help it.

So instead of going to the orb, bring it over to you. Or more generally, do what you can to move the orb to a spot that the enemies can’t attack. The goal is to minimize the amount of danger you put yourself in when claiming the orb.

  • Ashka: You can Molten Fist the orb to your teammate while you stay where you are and put out pressure on the enemies, but really, Firewall is the best orb controller in the game against ranged enemies.
  • Bakko: Shield Dash to take the orb away from the enemies, buying you enough time to combo it down. You can also Shield Slam to push it away. Use Bulwark to block enemy projectiles.
  • Blossom: You need energy to push away the orb, either using Gust or Tag. But you’re better off saving the energy. You can also use Tree to block enemy snipe attempts.
  • Croak: Nothing. Best you can do is Stun anyone who’s trying to break the orb, then steal it.
  • Ezmo: With one of the longest-range pulls in the game, you snatch away orbs from across the map. Use Arcane Barrier to block enemy projectiles.
  • Freya: Not much in terms of control, except Thunderclap with the pull from the Torrent battlerite.
  • Iva: Tractor Beam to pull, but usually not worth it to burn energy just for this purpose.
  • Jade: No need to reposition since she has an awesome combo, but if necessary, you can use Junk Shot.
  • Jumong: Nothing.
  • Lucie: Clarity Potion to knock it back towards yourself.
  • Oldur: Instead of repositioning the orb, use Chronoflux to block off the orb from enemies. Works like a charm.
  • Pearl: As with Oldur, Pearl can block off the orb using Bubble Barrier. It’s the second best option when you don’t have the energy for her Unstable Barrier combo.
  • Pestilus: Use Queen to block last-hits on the orb or Arachnophobia to fear enemies. Either way, this gives you some time to steal it.
  • Poloma: Unfortunately her Soul Transfer doesn’t work on the orb. All you have is a slight knockback from Spirit Guide.
  • Raigon: Dragon Palm is good for the knockback, and if you have the Dragon Mastery battlerite then you can knock away an enemy before knocking away the orb.
  • Rook: Boulder Toss can be good for repositioning. Smack is also great at keeping it away from enemies and/or passing it to a teammate. Bodyblock with Berserk against enemy projectiles.
  • Ruh Kaan: Claw of the Wicked is one of the best repositioning tools in the game: fast projectile, good range, no energy requirement, and you even get healed for hitting the orb. Consume can block projectiles.
  • Shifu: Harpoon is similar to Ruh Kaan’s Claw, but the projectile is slower and it costs energy. Try to snatch with a fully-charged Impale instead.
  • Sirius: Nothing.
  • Taya: Wind Bomb is good at sucking the orb away, but Taya is best at popping orbs so repositioning is unnecessary.
  • Thorn: Use Evil Clutch to pull the orb toward you. It doesn’t get easier than that.
  • Varesh: Crush is really good, not just for its damage but for its big knockback. Use it as your second-to-last hit so it pushes toward you and you can pop it with one final hit.

3. Use the Timing Markers

As soon as the orb is broken, a countdown begins to the next orb spawn. The nice thing about Battlerite is that it doesn’t force you to remember timestamps — it shows you exactly how long it’ll be before the next spawn on the orb platform:

orb-control-middle-platform-markers

Just keep these two points in mind:

  1. It takes 20 seconds for the orb to respawn.
  2. Each marker on the platform represents 4 seconds.

As soon as the fourth marker lights up, it means you have 8 seconds before the next orb spawns — and that means you need to start getting into position. If you’re holding the middle, push the enemies out a bit so one of you can combo and break. If you’re outside the middle, ramp up the aggression and try to reposition the orb towards you when it spawns.

The higher your league, the more important all of this becomes. It’s easy to overpower a lower-skilled enemy through sheer mechanics, but when you’re facing off against someone of equal skill, orb control is one thing that serious gives you an edge.

How much attention do you actually pay to the middle orb? What are your biggest hangups? Got any other orb control tips worth sharing?

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Zanetski

He is the lead writer at Battlecrank. You can find him on the Battlecrank Discord.

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