First off let me start by saying I am not in the high ELO ranges, but I do have a lot of experience and all-around knowledge of how this game works. I’ve seen many guides made for champions for low and high ELO alike and understand how both are played differently. This guide is focused more on the low end ELO. You can get away with a lot more in the low ELO ranges and having a team with some synergy can get you a long way. NOW ON WITH THE GUIDE.
OK, so after playing many games in ranked solo queue, I have been frustrated time and time again about the lack of general basic knowledge the public seem to have about this wonderful game call League of Legends. But instead of jumping on the forum and raging like a troll, I am(in spirit of the summoner’s code) putting together this guide in hopes of opening everyone’s eyes to the layers underneath layers that this game holds hidden from plain view.
This guide will teach you how to see what type of team you are playing against, what type you are playing with, how to counter the other team, how you should play with your own team, and when your team should go off( or when best to implement your teams strategy). Here’s the basic list of teams out there; you have …
The Balanced team
-The Ganking team
-The Heavy team
-The Healing team
Now when you are playing in a solo queue, you are more than likely going to be in one of those teams listed above. Of course there are other types out there; you have the aoe ult team, the cc team, the pushing team, and countless other ones out there and more to come (Where is the Ninja/Pirate team??? Can’t we all get along???), but I’m covering the basics team strategies out there. First, let me get in to a little about the drafting that happens in the beginning of the match
At the present time the main bans will be Rammus, Shen, Malphite and Amumu. All three are champions that can control a match with powerful lock down and general tankiness. As one of these champions you can walk right up to the enemy team and lock down any number of players for an extended about of time, giving your team the chance to do damage to enemy players without being touched. If you want to use these champions then play your cards right.
If you have first ban, then take your time to find out if you have someone on your team who can play one of the tanks listed above or if they want to play a different tank. If they want to play a different tank, then ban the choices above, if not, then find out what tank they will want to play. After that, Ban A Random. This puts the other team in a position where they can only ban half of the op tanks. If they ban your tank by chance (Shen, Rammus, And Amumu will always be banned first unless they plan on using them) then ban the other tanks as well, cut your losses and choose the most op tank left. If they don’t ban your tank, well, in that case MAKE ANOTHER RANDOM BAN. There should be 2 tanks left, and there is a good chance they want one of those tanks. If Shen and Amumu are left, and you want Shen, then I suggest you ban fiddle, or another champion that will synergize well with Amumu. After that, just hope they don’t pick Shen first…
If you have second ban, then you have to go for one of these champions, same thing, but u have alittle more control. First off, if he ban’s one tank, then u have to ban one, make it where if he bans another tank that there is only one tank left and grab it, someone on your team should know how to use it, they are all pretty simple anyways. Second off, if he doesn’t ban a tank, you have to ban 2, that is the simple rule, if he doesn’t ban a tank, then you each get 1 tank, if he does ban a tank, then you end up on top again. It’s simple math and it will always put you on top or even with them. Always. Now on to the teams.
THE BALANCED TEAM
The Balanced teams normally consist of 1-2 tanks (Rammus, Shen, Malphite, Alistair, and Cho’gath. Any champion with CC and high survivability) 0-1 support champion (Janna, Taric, Sona, Lux, Zilean, Nunu, and Morgana. Any champion that can heal, buff, or protect the team in any number of ways) 1 AP champ (Morgana, Veiger, Ryze, Vladimir. An AP based damaging champ), 1-2 Melee dps (Pantheon, Garen, Mondo. An AD based champion that strikes at melee range) 1-2 Ranged dps (Kog'Maw, Miss Fortune, Kennen, Twisted Fate. An AD based champion that strikes at a distance) and if able 1 Jungler (Warwick, Nunu, Rammus, Shen, Fiddle Sticks. A champion that can jungle at the start of the game with no/minimal help).
This team does well in a number of instances, but excels at team fighting. With the tanks and/or support you can assure that your dps can stay in the fight long enough for your dps to do their job. It can also be tailored to fit any of the other classes, but will undoubtedly be a 'water down' version. The key point of this team is mid game, when your team can group up and over power them with a solidly built team. Weaknesses can be any number of things depending on how you build your team. If you have more melee dps then ranged, then you’ll have problems starting the team fight without taking massive damage, having to rely on champions like Ashe, Annie, or Rammus to start the fight going without losing too much hp from doing so, getting your melee dps into the fight at full hp is key. If you have 2 tanks and one support, then you will be light on the dps and will depend on everyone to do their jobs to make it thru the team fight, dps will have to make sure to focus down the right target, tanks have to make sure that their dps carry is safe and the other dps is locked down or disabled, the support will have to do what it can to keep their team alive.
All this brings me to the main weakness of this setup, TEAMWORK. More than any of the other types of team, you will have to rely on teamwork, because everyone has a job that is critical to another teammate. Simple as that, if the tank can’t keep the enemy off of the carry dps, then the dps can’t down their target, if the support can’t give their team the boost that they are intended to give, then they are dead weight and the team is lacking much needed dps or cc. Everything has to be tight nit, everyone has to know their champion well, everyone has to work together.
HOW TO COUNTER
If you are playing a balanced team too, then play your strengths, if you have a Pantheon or twisted fate, then split the lanes, force them to pick which lane to save and then have them use their ult to start a team fight with the numbers in your favor. If you have a Twitch or Miss Fortune, then play the jungle, try to catch them in a tight group and pound them with your ultimate while they can’t reach you or when they are caught your teams CC. Don’t play their game, play yours.
If you’re a Ganking team, pound them early, break their spirits, have them give up before their team can group up.
If you’re a Heavy team, do what the heavy team does best, walk over them, take their damage, and then mop up. Be careful with teams that have high movement speed, try to catch them in the jungle while sitting in a bush, you want to avoid being kited, and you don’t want to have to chase them across the map.
If you’re a Healing team then Keep Them in The Lane group against group, preferably in the middle lane. Do not start the fight, just sit back and wear them down, get them as low as you can until they make the wrong move and then engage.
THE GANKING TEAM
This team is dependent on one thing and one thing only, take down the other team and keep them down, and do it early. All those champions that you love to hate, Twitch, Shaco, Alkali, Warwick, Singed, Fiddles, they do have their uses, and if your team has two or three of them then it’s time to get sneaky. Ganking is an art form, part if this genre’s greatest moments, nothing is like walking up on an un-expecting Ryze going for his blue buff and killing him before he knows what hit him. All you haters out there need to realize that ganking is part of the game, and as long as it is there will always be champions geared towards it.
Like I stated before, a Ganking team has to get kills and do it relatively early. If you have a Twitch, Alkali and Shaco on your team, you will not have a lot of survivability late game; you have to keep those late game carries from getting their chance.
More so then any other teams you will need to have a jungler. There are three advantages of having a jungler; more experience spread across your team, map control, and (obviously) Ganking.
Seeing how you want to be ahead of the other team, what better way to do that than having more experience? You being 2-3 levels above them makes ganking that much easier, and having the levels come fast mean you can gank earlier.
Map control (or sight rather) is KEY for ganking. You want to keep them in their lanes, too scared to group up or move around. You want to make sure they can’t make up for lost exp by going into their jungle and killing creeps or grabbing buffs, and if they try to, you teach them not too by hitting them with their pants down. You want to know where they are going if they move in the jungle, if u catch them flat footed grabbing a buff, then it’s an easy kill, and I promise if u keep your eyes open it will happen Every Game.
What better way to get a gank going then to have someone without a lane show, and no one to call mia??? Enough said.
As I stated with the jungler, you’re going to want map control, wards are a must. If they have wards then oracles is a must. Keep them blind and Keep them dumb, while you your self can pick when and where to snag a kill or start a team fight. Dragon is an obvious choice for the ward, baron too, along with the buffs, those are the defaults. As the game goes on you might see them favoring one side or another, maybe they pass thru a certain bush in a team fight or two, keep it in mind and ward that spot, they would be less likely to expect a ward in such an area then dragon or baron (both which they would only normally do when its safe anyways) and thus let you catch them off guard.
The greatest weakness for a ganking team is time, if they start to catch up with you or if they are allowed to group up then chances are you’re going to have a hell of time sealing the deal and ending the game. You have to coordinate and make the most of the time you are given to get some kills early and without incident, but due to the nature of ganking champions it should be a breeze in the right hands.
COUNTERING A GANKING TEAM
If you’re a balanced team, the main priority is to make it out of the early stage of the game with minimal damage done to your team. Tower hug, ward your lanes early, if you go into the jungle, travel in a pack. Do whatever you have to too survive till you guys can group up at around level 7-10. Once you group up, stay grouped, and for the love of god don’t over extend. Know what you are dealing with and stick to the lane, they own the jungle and you will have to respect that fact unless you want to give them free kills. Wait till your carry has damage and your tank is nice and fat. Support champs need to focus on grabbing wards. Watch for tall tell signs of a gank, like you don’t see anyone on the map, or if the hairs on the back of your neck stick up, even if u smell something fishy, be careful and back up.
If you’re a Heavy team, you’ll have an easier time with them then the balanced. As long as you didn’t feed early, you should be able to group up and mow them down right after the laneing phase. Having trouble? Then fall back to the balanced team’s plan and play it safe, turtle till you build yourself up and attack when you’re ready.
If you have a ganking team too (Very rare seeing how there is such a slim list to pick from), know your strengths and weakness, Aoe teams should stick to the jungle where the enemy will be stuck taking the damage, such and such. The main point in ganking team vs. ganking team is map control, map control, and map control. If you have the map you have the marbles. BTW if you are lucky enough to get into such a match, Good Luck and Have Fun, it should be a blast.
If you’re a Healer team, then you either have to pick the target for them to gank by leaving one person in the front of you all to bait, or you guess which one they are going to gank. As soon as they attack their target keep them alive, pop everything on them that you can. After they waste their cool downs, either choose fight or flight depending on your shape. Note: depending on theirs and your team’s champions and how the game has been going, it might be easier to start pushing early or late game. Know your strengths, know your weakness.
THE HEAVY TEAM
The heavy team is what most people dread to see on the field. You grab 3-4 of the biggest, baddest, fattest champions in the game (Mundo, Mordekaiser, Garen, Rammus… you get the picture) and shove you foot up their butt. They will hit your team with every ult they got only to see your smiling face walking thru the smoke to return the favor, at least that’s the concept.
The key to this team is too survive thru the fight while disabling their team. Since your team is going to me mostly made up of melee dps, surprise attacks/aoe stuns will do wonders for your team, making sure you get into the action ASAP. Don’t waste your time slowing bringing down their entire team bit by bit, that is never a good idea, instead take advantage of your girth and waltz up to their top dps and kill’em fast. You have to disable their team in the time you have, it might be a little slow compared to most team builds but with focusing the right guy there is little that they can do.
Try to get a range dps and/or a big time healer. This will give you the much needed dps/time to take down their team carry while still having a lot of hp they have to burn thru to come away victor. Only thing is if they see a lot of big mother truckers and one skinny wimp holding a wand, chances are they are going to tag the wimp and then move on, so make sure to keep them in a safe place till they are needed.
A thing to watch out for is tank killers, Kog’Maw and Tryndamere are two examples. They can and will down anyone on the map with little fuss. Don’t let them get out of hand, if they grab stackable items then you have to kill them, if they do get out of hand you better hope you have some CRAZY cc and teamwork, if not, surrender. If you do see a tank killer on the other team, invest into exhaust, it will give you a little extra time.
I also want to take the time to note some key difference between ‘Tank Champions’ and what LoL aptly calls ‘Tough Dps Champions’. To re-illiterate what I said before, a tank is a champion with CC (crowd control= Stuns Snares Taunts Tosses Pulls and Pushes. Slows can be added to this list but is less of a cc then the others on the list) and SURVIVABILITY (survivability = high hp, high armor, high magic resistance, self bubbles, self heals, very high hp regeneration.) Janna has just about the most cc in the game, she can toss people in the air, she can slow them down, she can push them back, but she can’t run into the other team, do any number of her cc spells, and live to tell the tell. Mundo can go where Mundo pleases because his hp regeneration is something on the scale between r3tarded and ridiculous (redonkulous?), but the key point of a tank is to protect their team while locking down the other, making a brief period of safety for the dps to step in and do their thing.
The weakness of a Heavy team is DPS. LoL has done a fine job of balancing the playing field as such. You’re not going to a champion with the hp of Alistair, the armor of Rammus, the magic resistance of Galio, and the dps of Tristana, ever. So like I said before, focus down the one champion giving you the hardest time and then move on to the next, and then the next, till they are all running to heal and you have the towers all to yourself.
HOW TO COUNTER
Balanced teams are going to have to rough it out, do what they do best, control the team fights. Keep them off your dps or you will have no way to take them out before they take you out, then you’re screwed, simple as that.
Ganking team will have the hardest time, because a Heavy team is hard to kill with early ganks and even harder late game. Find the weakest players in the bunch and take them down early as you can, build up you items and levels as fast as you can, and try to catch them off guard.
Healer teams may or may not have an easy time, depending on how well the heavy team does. If the heavy team runs in and attacks different targets, it will be easy to heal thru it and you should go ahead and roll with it. If they know what they are doing and they target together then try to take down their hp at a distance, and start the fight if and when you have the upper hand.
Heavy team vs. Heavy team??? You ever seen two rams butt heads for two hours till the one limps away and the other is wondering why he didn’t do the same and hour ago??? Grab a 6 pack of mountain dew during the load screen, put down some extra padding on your chair, find a nice default position to sit in and mind-meld with the computer, because you’re in for some long long fights... You are going to have to out play them.
THE HEALING TEAM
I have never had as much fun playing any team other team like I have with a Healing team. 3 times people on the other team said they were about to rage quit while me and my friends just smile and laugh. Having a team with 4-5 healers’ means that no amount of CC, no amount of crazy damage, no amount of ganking or hp will stop you in your tracks. They will have straight up out play you to win, not only that, they have to do it quick and they have to do it right from beginning to end or they will just see everyone’s hp go up while they sit at little or no health to speak of. Keep in mind that it is not an easy team to play with, but when done right it is a well of endless power.
The main point of a healing team is to outlast them, much like the heavy team. Clarity and aura items are a must, grouping up is a must, team play is a must. You have to sit in one lane and draw them too you, put their tower in danger and they will come. Once you get them in your lane, pick at them bit by bit till you can safely overrun them. If they charge at full hp then back up, heal thru what they toss at you, and then go back in and pressure them while they are waiting on their ult’s cc.
The one and only weakness of a healing team is the early laneing phase. Expect to get your butt handed to you for the first 15 minutes of the game, at least one of your lanes will. But even if they are smashing your towers and getting a few kills over you, mid to late game there will still be nothing they can do against you. Again, if they out play you then there is really nothing that can be done.
It was also brought to my attention that champions like Kat, GP, MF, and others really put a damper on having a healing team. Also if they team goes straight ignites, Then GL HF. It won’t be impossible to win, but again you have to stay grouped up. More importantly, get them to blow off some of the ignites before you commit, try to get them to spread out their ults, do what you can to make it where you take the least amount of damage before you start a team fight.
HOW TO COUNTER
Balanced teams, again, will have to use strong team play. Don’t rush into their towers. Don’t try to take out their hp bit by bit. Grab a few ignites and/or champions that cut their healing in half with special spell effects (Kat, Gangplank, and Miss Fortune). Get them in a team fight and take out each healer one at a time.
Ganking teams just need to stick with the game plan, hurt them bad early game and end it quick. If they don’t group up then don’t give them the chance. If they go into the jungle, rock them around a bit. Taking out one will leave them weak, if you can take out two then it’s time to push.
Heavy Teams will have a hard time dealing with the healers. Let one or two champions push the other lanes while the others defend against the low dps healers.
Healers vs. Healers would be a painful match, much like the Heavies vs. Heavies. All you can try to do is out match them.
It was also brought to my attention that champions like Kat, GP, MF, and others really put a damper on having a healing team. Also if they team goes straight ignites, Then GL HF.
SO THIS IS THE END
If this guide is well accepted then I plan on putting out a few more when the time comes. I’ll be happy to hear if this helped anyone out. If it is missing something post it and let me know. Good luck and have fun to everyone out there.
I agree with almost anything u say but I'd like to drop some thoughts too, I hope u dont care.
Hypothesis: Solo queue players have no teamplay, they play selfish.
So, if you want to win, you have to exploit it. Forget about picking Amumu if u see a fiddle or anything like that. You have to exploit their selfishnesh buy warping kills as gifts. I sugest to do that in 2 main ways:
1) Buy wards! BUY WARDS! If they see (if not signal) a lonely soul Looking for some friends around the forest, their greed will score your team a Kill and maybe some asists. Great!
2) If you play tank, play Bliz or Signed. If you play another tank you are in risk to initiate and see your team fleeing to the turrets :S especially if your team is loosing. So go for a enemy drag it to your bunch of burdens with swords and let them get fatty.
Side suggestions are, forget about jungling, the chances the dual lane play properly are below zero, they surely fill it with some cocky mid player that get pushed, and draged all around the floor.
If you are playing a dps, rush Wriggle's Lantern, its awesome. It let u steal dragon and enemy buffs while warding, and gives u toons of gold to buy more wards and team aura items.
Thats all I can tell by now, by the way, the Wriggle's Lantern advice has been tested by me as Miss Fortune a lot, dont know how it goes with other champs.
I found the post interesting and useful but I don't understand what this has to do with solo queuing.
Realistically, the team you most often see in solo queue is the unbalanced team of 5 squishy carries. If you are lucky they'll at least be half magic and half physical. This leaves you, the 5th, to either play a tank who will initiate and have no one follow you in or a tank who will wait for their team to make a mistake only to have your softest carry decide he is the best initiator in a 4v5 fight and explode before you can do anything about it.
Alright - A few observations
First - you draw a pretty interesting picture in terms of "extreme" teams, but in practice, teams tend to a dynamic between all these extremes.
Second - the essence of the heavy team was cape-stacking [or at least, that's why you got to see it at lower elos, where most players are] and that's gone now. It can still be made to work, but most people haven't quite figured out how, at least in my experience.
Third - A healer team is gimmick - since it's a gimmick, it's usually hard for the average player to counter, but all it takes is one experienced player to shut you down on champion pick to shut you down completely. He'll say something like - ok, ignites everyone, let's make them suffer, and pick katarina, and ask whoever is left to pick either MF, or Pirate. If your luck is really bad, then It will be a skilled pirate, who'll play as tankplank, running an executioners calling, and he'll proceed to gun/slash everyone one of you once, while katarina halves your entire team healing with one dagger flip. When i see a healer stack team, I pick Katarina, then pop on all chat at game start - "Remember, you brought this upon yourself".
At lower elos, they probably won't be able to pull it off, and you'll come out of it with a win after breaking a cold sweat. At higher elos... Bwyahahahahar. Nuff said.
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