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AoE team compositions seem to disrupt and deal damage more efficiently than teams comprised of champions that provide single-target disables or damage.

What are the actual advantages of AoE team compositions, and perhaps some drawbacks?

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This was the meta a long time ago. The aura from sunfire caps would stack, and sometimes entire teams would stack them. –  Snuffleupagus Jul 17 '12 at 18:41
    
Hey Sam! Welcome to Arqade! Here at Arqade, we're working to build a resource that is useful not only for solving your problems (or satisfying your curiosity), but also useful for future users, perhaps years down the line. I'm going to edit your question to make the rationale behind it more clear. If you don't like the edits, feel free to rollback to an earlier revision. –  Atav32 Jul 17 '12 at 21:55
    
Also, the question is still very broad and will lead to very broad answers. To avoid soliciting over-generalized answers, could you give an example of an AoE comp that you're particularly interested in? –  Atav32 Jul 17 '12 at 22:05
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4 Answers

I am going to make some assumptions that, both teams are equally high level skilled and make few mistakes.

A high elo team is not going to be stacked up where they are at a disadvantage. Thus reducing some of the AOE abilities.

Non AOE Team Perspective

What if there is a position that makes it favorable to the AOE team? You back up and find a different position.

How can I shutdown the AOE team? Having a tank and off tank may be your answer. They will put pressure on the glass cannons while your DPS is spread out. This will reduce the AOE damage as well.

You may be able to counter an AOE team with, AOE stuns(ammumu, veiger), silences(soraka), disables(lulu,blitz), tanks.

Engage with an AOE stun on the carries and focus them down if at all possible. Use your silences to stop skills from being cast. Use your disables to make the enemy less effective. Your single target DPS should be able to burst down carries when they are stunned.

AOE Team Perspective

If you are an AOE player, such as Vladimir, you probably do not want to ult on one person because that would make it less effective in team fights.

You want them to be stacked up on baron, in bushes, etc.

You do not want to use your ults and AOE abilities on tanks because they aren't your worst threat.

Conclusion

Counter pick to deal with abilities in the late game, but you'll still need a viable team for early game as well.

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Curse of the Sad Mummy is not a stun. –  Jacob Raihle Jul 19 '12 at 10:10
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It's good to have a mix of AoE and single-target abilities. Sure, AoE comps can be super effective, but they have a weaker ability to shut down, burst and kill a particular champion. So you need to have a mix of the two to provide the most effectiveness I think.

Also, AoE comps are best used in organized team play where they can be properly executed. Most abilities if you blow them all at one time, they aren't nearly as effective as using one after the other, i.e. Kennen and Amumu. They're both AoE stuns and using them at the same time would hurt more than do good.

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Often, AOE teams need to be together. Their entire game play focuses on moving as a unit. AOE units are rarely excel at fighting one versus one. If you have a team that is capable of split pushing, using heroes like Shen or Twisted Fate, then the AOE team is forced to back off of engagements or send one of their members to deal with the split push, weakening their comp.

AOE teams also have champion specific counters. Janna, Galio, and Alistar are three good examples of this. They all have the ability to quickly remove champions who are AOE'ing. Cho'Gath is another good example, since he has an AOE silence and a knock up to disable the other team when they attempt to initiate.

TLDR: AOE teams are certainly viable, but they have their counters and are not a sure win.

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I think the question is too general. There are many specific champs and team compositions that could beat some AOE team compositions but not others.

Lately we have seen a real rise in global ultimate compositions with Karthus, Shen, Nocturne, and even Twisted Fate seeing more play at top level. These global comps aren't as much about AOE vs non AOE, but really about getting an early or mid game advantage in one or several lanes. TSM has used this strategy very effectively in recent tournaments such as MLG Anaheim.

So although you can consider Karthus an AOE based AP champ, he can synergize very well with non AOE team comps. And non AOE team comps can beat AOE team comps long before the team-fighting stage begins.

My own view is that the current meta is about focussing first on a strong laning phase with good picks and counter-picks based on lane matchups.

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