The Triangle Method: An Easier Approach to Positioning
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say it again: bad positioning is the reason why newbies die. This is a big problem for newbies because positioning is a skill that tends to develop through experience (i.e. hundreds and thousands of games).
I want to help accelerate that process for you.
But before diving into the meat of this post, I highly recommend that you read up on the concept of defensive cooldowns, then influence range and critical range, and then the fundamentals of movement and dodging. If you’re new to the game, those posts will help more than this one will. Only then will this post push you to the next level.
That being said, welcome to the triangle method.
The Triangle Method in 2v2
In a 2v2 match, you have to start “seeing the quad” — whether you realized it or not, every battlefield has an ever-shifting quadrilateral that’s comprised of all the players. Not sure what I mean? Let me show you.
Start by drawing an imaginary line between you and your teammate, then draw a second imaginary line between your two enemies. Here’s what this might look like in your head:
Now find the enemy that’s closest to you and complete the triangle between you, your teammate, and that enemy:
Go ahead and complete the quadrilateral:
This is a pretty standard formation on the battlefield. Both teams are on their respective sides, everyone is about the same distance from each other, and nobody is in a particularly dangerous spot. This is a fine position to hold if you’re trying to buy some time or if you’re waiting for the enemy to make a mistake.
I’d argue that blue team has a slight positional advantage in the above screenshot. Notice how both of the blue players can reach the closer red enemy, while both of the red players can barely reach the bottom blue player.
Overall neither team is in a bad spot, but it does illustrate the core concept of the triangle method: you want to make a triangle between yourself, your teammate, and one enemy while denying the enemy team the opportunity to make their own triangle with you. Doing this means three things:
- You’re close to your teammate.
- You’re both close to the same enemy.
- The enemies can’t focus fire one of you.
When you’re close to your teammate, not only is healing more accurate, but both of you can attack the same enemy at the same time. Remember the fundamentals of target selection: if you can attack the same person at the same time, you’ll usually inflict permanent damage (by eating into Real HP).
But be careful about getting TOO close to your teammate, which can be very bad for safety. It makes you more likely to body-block each other, which limits your dodging, and it makes both of you more vulnerable to getting caught in the same AOEs (think Sirius’s Lunar Strike, Pearl’s Jaws, and especially Shifu’s Tendon Swing). It also means that if an enemy misses a projectile on your teammate, it could still go on and hit you instead.
Here’s an example of a somewhat dangerous position:
With both of the red players standing so close to one another, I (Ruh Kaan) can just throw my Shadowbolts in their general direction and be guaranteed to hit one of them. As for my partner (Jumong), he can spam his M1s in their general direction and wreak havoc. This is one reason why map chokepoints are so important to control — it forces them into this kind of tight position.
Simple enough so far, right?
Let’s take it one step further. Imagine two imaginary lines like before — one between you and your teammate, and one between the two enemies — except this time the two lines are perpendicular:
This is one of the best positions you could have, but it can be very difficult to manipulate the enemy this way without blowing your outs in the process. (Ignore the walls in the screenshot. Ideally there wouldn’t be any in the way, so just take the image for what it is: an illustration.)
When the lines are perpendicular like they are above, both of you can attack Enemy A (the closer one) but Enemy B (the farther one) can’t reach either of you. In other words, you can create a triangle but they can’t. This is great because you can beat on A with minimal interference from B — and in order for B to do anything, they have to spend precious seconds running over.
But there’s a risk when playing with perpendicular positioning: what happens when your lines cross each other?
You suddenly lose that oh-so-important sense of “sides” on the map. As soon as lines cross, things get chaotic. Nobody has territorial zones anymore, and anyone can potentially attack anyone else — so everyone is in danger. But you can still play this to your advantage!
The above screenshot is a great example of crossing lines the “good” way. Note how the blue line between the blue players is relatively short while the red line between the red players is much longer. As long as they don’t get TOO close, this is better for blue team because they have more concentrated power.
Not only that, but notice how the intersection of lines is shifted off-center toward the right. This means both blue players can create a triangle with the right-side red player and collapse on them to put out a lot of pressure, but the left-side red player is a bit too far and will need to blow an out or spend time walking over.
But again, this is still dangerous for blue team. If both red players coordinate and collapse on the upper blue player, they can potentially turn things around in their favor.
Now let’s look at a big NO-NO that I made:
What happened here is that I wasted all of my outs about 5 seconds before this screenshot was taken, allowing the red team to pinch me in this tight triangle. Both can hit me and I have no escape routes (plus my teammate is petrified so he can’t help me). I didn’t die here, but you can see that I lost a lot of HP even after spamming heals. A big mistake, indeed.
If you get caught with your pants down like this, there isn’t much you can do except blow an out to get away. Knowing what you know about triangles, you can now train yourself to see these situations forming ahead of time and avoid them before they happen.
I’ll leave you with one last example: the jackpot.
Here’s how we ended up like this: red team didn’t play very tightly around the orb, leaving enough room for blue team to squeeze in and separate them. Blue chased Lucie (the lower red player) down through the chokepoint while Jade (the upper red player) tried to Snipe from afar. It didn’t turn out well for red. This is the Royal Flush of positioning in Battlerite.
The Triangle Method in 3v3
I have some but not much experience with 3v3 in Battlerite (the NA queues take forever even with combined queuing) so there’s a lot of positioning-related depth that I’ve yet to plumb. Still, I believe the triangle method has some merit in this mode too.
At the very least, when champions die and the round turns into a 2v2 or smaller, everything written above certainly applies. But during those 3v3 moments, there’s an extra layer of triangles that you can try to exploit.
First, here’s what a neutral position looks like:
Just as in the 2v2 example, both teams are on their respective sides and nobody is in any immediate danger. This specific screenshot wasn’t taken at the start of a round, but this is how the start of a round often looks. Very neutral.
At some point, the poking gets more and more aggressive until the triangles touch — especially when there are melee champions involved, which is often:
It doesn’t stay here very long though. You can tell that things are going to escalate soon…
…and you might end up in a situation like this. Notice how blue’s Rook is trapped in the middle of three red players and his two teammates are so far from the fight that they can’t aid him. You can already see that he’s losing HP, and he’s going to lose a lot more before he gets out of this snafu.
This is the 3v3 version of the jackpot scenario: one enemy trapped in the middle of your team’s triangle. At this point, red team can lay it on thick at 3x intensity — even if they do nothing but M1 spam, that lone blue player is going to get blasted into tomorrow.
But jackpots are rare. You have to make a pretty big error to wind up that deep in a ditch. More frequently, you’ll end up in a situation that looks like this instead:
Three important things to note here. First, the left-most red player is caught in the blue’s triangle, which means a huge risk of being focus-fired. Second, blue’s top-most player is trapped between two red players and is also in danger. Third, red’s right-most player is too far to be a threat (if he was a healer, he could support with heals, but he’s not so he’s out of position).
All told, the two teams are on somewhat equal ground — blue team has the advantage, but it’s slight. Probably around 60/40. If they can manage this advantage throughout the round, they’ll probably win. If they give up the advantage, they’ll probably lose.
But the important thing is that these small positional advantages are everything. They add up over the long run, so look for the triangles. Make the triangles work for you. Turn the triangles against the enemy. The results may surprise you.
Did this help you at all to understand some of the principles of positioning in Battlerite? If something didn’t make sense, please don’t hesitate to ask about it below. And if you have anything else to add, please do!