[GUIDE] How losing a turret should impact your play

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Superdadd

Senior Member

02-07-2011

Introduction

This guide was inspired by a recent rash of losses due to the failure of teammates to understand the implications of lost turrets on their play.

In each game, our team would start off well on kills (say 12-4), but be down a turret or two. Due to confidence from the 12-4 score, players would push out too far, into unsafe territory, with poor numbers, and the resulting ganks quickly evened the tables. Due to those ganks, we were unable to defend towers, and lost more and more. As we lost more towers, my teamates still did not modify their play, and pushed lanes out too far, got ganked, and the resulting 5v3's meant we lost even more towers. No matter my warnings, people kept pushing out too far. Eventually the game was lost, and everyone was wondering what happened, when I fully understood it. I ended each of these games with scores like 16/7/10 (with 5 or so deaths coming right at the end of the game).

Even more frustrating, I kept hearing players say things such as "It's not my fault, I was ganked in my own jungle!".... The very fact that they could say something so silly opened my eyes... it's as though they didn't understand how the current state of the game affected regions of safety on the map. This led me to the conclusion that perhaps the average joe does not understand the very real, very quantifiable consequences that tower deaths have on your zone of safety in the game. Thus, this guide was prepared. Most high level ELO players should understand this stuff, but even still, hopefully this guide has a few things for everyone.

Each time a turret is lost, your pathing and pushing distances should be modified accordingly. How many games do you play where someone pushes a lane too far, gets ganked, then you proceed to lose a 4v5 and lose 2-3 additional towers. This could have all been avoided if that person would have modified their play based on what towers are up.

This guide is not the bible. This guide does not advocate turtling. If you have vision, and know where the enemy team is, then you can push beyond where this guide permits. This guide is intented to give you rules of thumb to use when the entire enemy team is MIA.

Purpose

My goal for this guide is to provide exposure to a topic that is not widely discussed, but is arguably the single most important strategic concept to understand in League of Legends. This is so extremely important it cannot be overstated. Towards the end of the game, all it takes is one bad initiation and the game is immediately lost. I have played so many games where we are up 40-20 in kills, 6-3 in towers, then three people wander off to check baron, get facerolled, the ensuing 2v5 has us lose 2 towers and the remaining two people, then the three ressurected players initiate a 3v5 on our inhibitor, and we lose base towers and the game.... all stemming from a poor understanding of map control based on lost towers (i.e. the 3-person baron check).

If you play the same way when you haven’t lost a turret as after you have lost a couple of turrets, then this guide is for you. If you seek greater insight into the nuances that losing turrets has on your map control and team positioning, then this guide is for you. If you already understand these concept, then please feel free to critique and reply to this thread so that I can make it even more comprehensive than it already is.

Before we get started

Before I begin, three basic concepts must be communicated...

CORE CONCEPTS

1) This game is won or lost on map control and map awareness.
2) One should never venture into unsighted territory in a group of less than the maximum number of people alive (and not visible on the minimap) on the other team. And finally, and most importantly,
3) Always assume that all MIA opponents are in the fog of war, or bush that you are going to check.




A quick example:

It’s midgame, you are the top team, they are the bottom team. All towers are up and 2 enemies are visible on the minimap in the top lane. One enemy is dead, thus two are MIA. You should be cautious traveling anywhere in the southern/middle end of the map alone, however, it is relatively safe to travel as a pair. It is unsafe to travel anywhere unseen in the top of the map in a group of fewer than 3 (or even 4!). So in this example, it is relatively safe to check dragon with 2 people, and unsafe to check it solo. It is unsafe to steal their blue buff with 2 (or 3) people, you should bring 3-4 at the very least. It is relatively safe to steal their red buff with at least 2-3 people and completely unsafe with fewer than that.

Always think in terms of Risk vs Reward:

Risk = (Probability)x(Consequence)

In the above example, two people MIA, and 2 people top. Sure you could assume that the bottom laners are hiding, but it's midgame, they could be lane transitioning. You could attempt to quickly steal their blue buff. I'm sure 8 times out of 10 it would be successful. 1 time out of 10 you'll get scared away but make it out alive, and 1 time out of 10 you'll get ganked and die/feed. Was the reward of stealing their blue buff worth the risk?

Similarly, as mentioned in a reply made on page 2 of this thread: If your team is MIA, then you should be fairly free to farm even into unsafe territory, because the enemy team should be assuming that all MIA opponents are nearby and you are bait. However, to assess the viability of this bluff argument, think in terms of risk vs reward. What is the reward? A few more CS from last hits (that would have likely been aquired later when they push down your lane anyways). What is the risk? You dying and your team losing a 4v5 fight and possibly a tower or two. I'd say here the risk is hardly worth the reward. Also don't assume that your opponents will play according to this guide. Infact, this guide exists for the very fact that most players do not play according to this guide. Most players will see that 1 person farming top, assume (for some ungodly reason) that all MIA teamates are doing other things and not possibly baiting, and they'll go attempt to 2v1 gank you, even with your 4 MIA teamates. Risk vs reward. It's just not worth it.

If you want to take risks, do so when you have better information on where the other team is (i.e. map vision). This guide does not abhor risk taking, but it instead recommends doing so when you have better information and your risk is more easily quantifiable. Pushing a lane too far for the small gain of some CS with an entire team MIA is simply loose and reckless play, and it is what loses more games than just about anything else. Especially endgame, a play like this can lose the game IMMEDIATELY.



How losing a tower should impact your play

What consequences does each tower have on your map control? Where is it safe to travel if you have lost a given tower?

Just to reiterate, the statements that follow assume that you have no map vision of the area whatsoever, and that the enemy team is MIA. I.e. you have no information at all, and you are rolling the dice by pushing into the fog of war.

1) Outermost towers are gone.

You have now lost control of the river. It is unsafe to check Baron or Dragon with fewer than X + 1 heroes. I.e. 3 are MIA, you should have at least 4 people as a group together to check. You need the +1, simply because you do not have a tower to run to if you get caught out of position (which is likely).

You have also lost control of the outermost portion of your jungle. It is now somewhat unsafe to get blue buff with the other team all MIA. Once you have lost all your outer towers, and all 5 are MIA, you should assume they are taking your red/blue buffs as a team. Thus you should not travel past your wolves/small golems except in a full group (or +1 of their MIAs). For example, if 2 enemies are visible, 1 is dead, then you are still relatively safe to take blue buff with 2 or 3 people, however it is now unsafe to go alone to take blue buff.

You have also lost control of Baron and Dragon and should not attempt to check there without a full team, and/or vision wards. You must have a team to go ward it, do not simply go ward it yourself. It sucks to have to give dragon to the opposition, but you have lost that option when you lost your first row of towers and they did not.

This is not saying you should just give them dragon/baron every cooldown. It is only saying that you need a full team to even check or ward it. Doing so solo is just asking to lose another tower when you get ganked 2v5.

How far should you push a lane?

You should only push a lane to the start of the river, and no further.

If I want to switch lanes, how should I path?

If you want to switch lanes (say middle to top) you should take a defensive path that goes at least behind your red buff, ideally the lane infront of your castle wall.

2) Second row of towers are gone.

You have now lost complete control of your jungle. YOUR JUNGLE IS NOT SAFE ANYMORE. If the other team is MIA, you certainly are not safe to even go kill wolves or small golems anymore. If you try to take Red/Blue buffs, you should assume you are going to die. If you want to gain access to these buffs again, you MUST ward your own jungle. If you are down two rows of towers and the other team has all their towers, your ONLY option is to tower hug and defend what you have remaining. You must concede Dragon/Baron to them. The only way you can push is if you venture out as a team, but likely if you are in this spot, the other team has outkilled you, and you are not even safe in an open 5v5 battle. Your only option is to ward up, farm up, and hope you out-gold and out-farm the other team, or they commit to a poor battle under a turret.

Again, this SUCKS, but what did you expect? You are down 0-6 on towers, and likely down on kills. Do you think that playing the same way that got you into this situation will help solve the problem? Is that not the definition of insanity?

Give them dragon. Give them Baron. D-up under your towers. Get a full farm going on 3 lanes. Attempt to catch back up in levels from the sheer fact that you are gaining 3 lanes of exp and they are likely traveling as a group. It sucks, but it's your only chance now.

How far should you push a lane?

At this point, you are unsafe to push a lane even to the edge of your jungle. You should always assume the full opposition team is sitting in the middle bush of that lane, thus pushing out to the edge of the jungle would have them coming in behind you. At this point, you are only safe staying within a few feet of a tower. Do NOT go walking through your jungle even as a group of 3. You are just asking to get initiated 3v5 then lose your entire base.

If I want to switch lanes, how should I path?

If you want to switch lanes (say middle to top) you should take a defensive path on the inside of your base wall (outside of wall is somewhat safe, but inside of wall is ideal). At no point should you switch lanes from middle to top by walking through your jungle! You are asking to get jumped… and a 4v5 is all the opposition needs to be able to fight evenly under your turret.


3) Third row of towers (inhibitor towers) are gone.

You have now lost complete control of your jungle, and even the inside of your base (inhibitors). If the enemy initiates a battle on your inhibitor you should likely let it die, or you will lose immediately. If kills are somehow even, you can initiate a 5v5 fight on your inhibitor, but that is it. Do not run 4v5 to save your inhibitor!!! Your inhibitor is not a turret, you will lose the 4v5 then lose the game immediately.

You should not push out past the wall of your base without vision. If you wish to, you must either travel as a group (and again, if outkilled, you are even then not safe), or have entire vision of your jungle to push out farther. You do not have the option of checking baron without a full group of 5, nor even warding it. Likely if you are in this spot, the game will be soon over, as you have lost complete control of your inhibitors.

How far should you push a lane?

You can now only push a lane to your base wall. Venturing out even an inch past your wall gives the enemy a chance to gank you from the outer side (non-visible) side of your wall. If you want to push further, you must first ward the outside of your wall, and even then should not push out much farther than the wall itself.

If I want to switch lanes, how should I path?

You can now only switch lanes by running up by your base turrets, then across over, provided of course that the enemy team is MIA. Assume the enemy team is just on the outside of your base wall, and will gank you if you go as far out as your inhibitor.


Other concepts of note: (from YourRoleModel)

When the first outer tower goes down, what should we do?
If a top or bottom outer tower goes down, and all of the other towers are still up and pretty healthy, the other team is likely to switch at least one of those heros out of the pushed lane to help take another tower.

If a bottom tower falls, for example, the hero best able to jungle a bit and hold a solo lane should stay in that lane, while the other hero goes to support another lane (mid or top). The hero holding the lane solo can duck away to get the golems or red-buff then come back to kill waves as they push closer.

The hero who heads up to help top or mid can jungle Blue-Buff, wolves, and float between mid and top for ganks and support.

If the team has a jungler, the same rules apply. The pushed lane falls back with one hero (even if they originally just had one hero), and the other two lanes are re-enforced more by the jungler.

If the enemy team tries to push a second tower in a lane while the outer ones are still up, then, this is a great gank opportunity as they are extended far into your territory without vision or easy support.

When another team's outer tower goes down, what to do?

Don't keep pushing two heros far into their territory. Just keep one hero on that lane (ideally a gold-dependent carry) for the free farm and to defend the tower. If the enemy team pushes it hard, try to hold 1v2 and call for help if needed.

If they do push 2-1 and their outer tower is down, this is a great opportunity to push mid 2-1 or get a gank 3-2 in the bottom lane, then snowball the advantage.


When another team's row of towers go down, what to do?

When an entire row of towers go down for the other team, you should do everything that this guide protects against, should your opponents play remain unmodified. That means you should roll as a 5 man gank squad through their outer jungle and through river to gank reckless bush face-checkers. You should ward their outer jungle to be able to set up ganks on the other team where they have no vision or ease of support.

For example, when playing the top team, if the opposition loses the middle and bottom river towers, I will always ward the wraiths, red and small golems if possible. Then I will try and get my team to travel in a 5-man gank squadron in their outer jungle (or 3 man squads, with 1 man defending middle and top lane). I can't count how many times in each game you can get hap-hazardly wandering heroes that think it is still safe to travel just along the jungle/river dragon area only get the ambushed by 3 of us in the "T" bush waiting for them.


If the other team loses the first two rows of towers

You should make sure to kill dragon on respawn, ward their red and blue buffs, and gank them inccessently in their jungle. You should position your entire team in their middle-bush so that if they dare push out to the river, you can jump in the lane behind them, and they have no recourse but to continue the teamfight that you optimally intiated.

When their two rows of towers are down, you should almost never be back behind your river. You should always be roaming as a 5-man gank-squad through their jungle, warding it as you go, and initiating teamfights on those 3 silly players that decided to facecheck their jungle, because, hey, their jungle should be safe, right?

Use their lack of knowledge against them... of how losing towers affect their map control.






Applying these concepts…. Some examples:

These examples assume that the entire other team is MIA and should be assumed to be just at the edge of the fog of war, waiting for someone to push out too far to gank them. Obviously if some of the other team is visible, you can modify your numbers 1 for 1 (i.e. 3 are visible, then you can push out as a group of 2, so far as those other 3 cannot reach you in time if you need to run to your closest turret).

1) It’s lategame, and you are down 6 towers to their zero, however kills are an even 20-20, due to them initiating poor fights to kill said towers. The game is certainly in their favor, but not as much as it may seem. If you do not push out too far, then you can likely still turn this game around. However, if you do not understand the concepts in this guide, you can lose the game immediately. You can check dragon and baron only as a team. You can get red/blue buff only as a team. You can ward your jungle only as a team. Running into jungle even as 3 people is asking to lose the game immediately. You should not push any lanes past the middle of your jungle (the middle gank-bush in each lane).

2) It’s midgame and you’ve lost the first row of towers, however kills are 10-10 even.
You should no longer check dragon or baron alone. You should wait until at least 3-4 of them are visible, then go ward it. You can’t push lanes out past the edge of your jungle, unless as a full team, or unless you have vision of their team.

If kills were more like 8-15, then you shouldn’t even go out as a full team until you see where they are. Instead you should focus on warding river bushes, dragon and baron, and gaining map vision, splitting up and maximizing team exp and gold, and defending what towers you have left. Recoup this early game disadvantage by out farming the other team and playing very defensively under your remaining towers.

3) It is engame and you have lost every tower up to your inhibitors, while enemy has most of their towers. Your only chance to win this game is to defend your towers as a team, to ward your innermost jungle as a team, then outermost jungle as a team, and only then push out. Try and initiate a teamfight by hiding in a bush in your fully-visible jungle, and/or force them to initiate a fight under your tower. You should not worry about baron or dragon, as the other team has complete control over them. You can only check them as a full team, and even so it is risky to do so unless all lanes are somehow pushed out past river. i.e. you cannot risk checking baron and having all 5 show up at your bottom tower and take 2 towers and an inhib.

4) It is lategame and a 5v5 teamfight just ended in 4 losses for each team. You have no vision of the 5th player. You are relatively safe to push lanes, check dragon, check baron until the opposition respawns. However, once they do, any area of the map that is accessible to newly respawned players (based on the time since they respawned) are no longer safe. You can visualize this as a wave of insecurity that sweeps slowly from their base to your closest tower, and moves at the movespeed of a hero. I.e. 10 seconds after full team respawn, it is still safe to check dragon, but 20 seconds after respawn it is no longer safe to check dragon again without a full team.


How to ward effectively when you have lost towers

http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...d.php?t=237514

There is no point re-writing what is covered already in a great guide.... warding can make up for lost turrets in terms of map awareness and controlling your jungle.


Summary

Anytime a tower dies, you *must* modify your play. Each tower has a very specific impact on what regions of the non-visible map are safe. If you do not find yourself modifying your play based on what towers are up, you should start doing so.

I hope this guide helps even a single person I will play with in the future. Please ensure you modify your play, your pathing, and your positioning/warding based on how many turrets you have lost. Do not take the same paths with 2 towers down as you would with all towers up. It is unsafe to do so, will likely get you killed, and will allow the opposition to initiate a 5v4 fight on a remaining turret to clear it out also.

Hopefully some of the completely reckless behaviour I have seen in recent games will be weeded out as people better understand the implications that losing towers have on the strategic (positioning/pathing) aspects of this game.


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FaerellG

Senior Member

02-07-2011

Very good tips, and pretty well written.
We definitely need more strategy guides like this. Most players screw up on these terms and then blame it on the choice of champion.


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YourRoleModel

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Senior Member

02-07-2011

Good stuff.

I read the whole thing. I felt like I understand these basic concepts but, it's good to see them all placed in writing. I'm L30 with about 190-175 W/L, and, I still see these mistakes made in high level games.

If I may, let me suggest a few edits and see what you think of these?

When the first outer tower goes down, what should we do?
If a top or bottom outer tower goes down, and all of the other towers are still up and pretty healthy, the other team is likely to switch at least one of those heros out of the pushed lane to help take another tower.

If a bottom tower falls, for example, the hero best able to jungle a bit and hold a solo lane should stay in that lane, while the other hero goes to support another lane (mid or top). The hero holding the lane solo can duck away to get the golems or red-buff then come back to kill waves as they push closer.

The hero who heads up to help top or mid can jungle Blue-Buff, wolves, and float between mid and top for ganks and support.

If the team has a jungler, the same rules apply. The pushed lane falls back with one hero (even if they originally just had one hero), and the other two lanes are re-enforced more by the jungler.

If the enemy team tries to push a second tower in a lane while the outer ones are still up, then, this is a great gank opportunity as they are extended far into your territory without vision or easy support.

When another team's outer tower goes down, what to do?
Don't keep pushing two heros far into their territory. Just keep one hero on that lane for pushing a bit and jungling to keep your outer tower alive. If the enemy team pushes it hard, try to hold 1-2 and call for help if needed.

If they do push 2-1 and their outer tower is down, this is a great opportunity to push mid 2-1 or get a gank 3-2 in the bottom lane, then snowball the advantage.


---

Let me know if you think these assymetrical tower loss tips are helpful. Feel free to re-word.


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Lawrry

Member

02-07-2011

usually after the mid tower goes down the losing team should pay more attention to the map.
say if you see 3 enemies hit a lane to try to get another front row turret down, then push harder on the empty lane and deal some damage to their tower.

make sure you keep track of where enemies are. if you see the enemies dissapear in the next lane, that probably means they are trying to gank/defend their turret. usually it takes about 3-6 seconds to change lanes. so deal some damage and run back.by this time, your minions should be pushing up in that lane giving you more map awareness.

at this point ill change lanes pushing another lane while keeping track of where the enemies are and how far they are pushing up.

if your teammates are causing ruckus in a lane and enemies seem like they are going for them, ping them, tell your teammates about it and push the lane the enemies dissappeared from.

Be careful because they might still be lurking in the bushes.

Another trick is having someone who can clears minons fast, babysit a turret while one the rest of the team pushes a lane to get that turret down or deal some damage and than back out and repeat.

if the babysitter sees his team getting into a big fight, watch and see how the battle is going immediately, and quickly ask yourself if you'll make it in time, and even if you do, can you win the fight? or can you save someone? or should you try to push the lane your in and get their turret down? or should you move up to that lane to babysit that turret?

this is what i usually do in the beginning to mid game phase.

Smart lane changing and map awareness can help alot of games specially solo queue because you cant rely too much on your teammates.


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FaerellG

Senior Member

02-07-2011

I think you should reference the Warding guide
http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...d.php?t=237514

Warding can make up for lost turrets in terms of map awareness and controlling your jungle.


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Recline187

Member

02-07-2011

I haven't been on the LoL scene for too long, but my basics are very strong from DoTA/HoN and this guide is very, very refreshing! I've always played with a close knit group of friends and these guidelines that you give here are second habit to me and my friends.

The problem is, none of them like LoL so I'm always solo and I quite frequently come across players who go by on pride alone when playing. They don't realize these basics and seriously affects the entire team. I completely agree with OP's post and I really do hope some of the newer members or even the veteran players can read this and add it on to their experience.

Hopefully, there will be more and more games that are much more competitive and evenly balanced! The best fight is a close fight in my opinion.


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KalastRaven

Senior Member

02-07-2011

Why always assume the worst case scenario? You will miss a lot of opportunities if you always assume the enemy is waiting to 5v1 you. I think that playing super defensively and safely in a losing game means that you WILL NOT make a comeback.

It's worth considering that they are going to try and kill you, but tower-hugging in a losing game, conceding them dragon and baron I'm pretty sure you might as well just hit surrender at that point and save time. You need to take some chances if you want to win.


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Superdadd

Senior Member

02-07-2011

I advocate conceding dragon and baron when you have lost 3 rows of towers. This game is basically already over. The only way you can win this game is to farm up and hope they screw up. There is no point on you checking baron, maybe even getting him, then having them showing up in your base and dropping your base towers. Nice. Baron.

This guide advocates defensive play, but not turtling. In most situations, I say that you can go out, but only as a team. Or you can go out but only when you have vision.That's not being too defensive, that's just not being stupid. I'm pretty sure in high level games it's almost always a mistake to travel too far with less than 5 people. Even a single 4v5 can effectively end a game.

Think about what happens when you are down maybe 1 tower, and 3 reckless people go out and get 3v5'd. Bam, now you just lost AT LEAST 1 more tower.

The impact that the lost tower has on the entire rest of your game is IMMEASURABLE. It means you have to ward more of the map to retain the same level of vision. It means less of the map is safe. It means more of the opposition map is safe. it means that it is more likely that you will get ganked in the future.

It is just SO important.

If you disagree, then we'll just have to disagree. I personally do not feel you need to take any chances to win. I feel that strategic superiority dictates 99% of all victories. I feel that the team that takes chances by facechecking jungles and bushes even 3 strong is just asking to lose. For all of those times that you get a 3v1 gank, there are two or three times as many where you think you have a 3v1 gank, but it turns out that it's a 3v4 or 3v5 rolling plus subsequently losing at least a tower.


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KalastRaven

Senior Member

02-07-2011

Think about this for a second. Say I'm solo farming top. I've got a jungler and someone else on my side of the map is shopping. For all the enemy team knows, when they come to gank me, they will be ambushed by 3 players. So they have to bring 4, right? I don't have to worry about a gank unless the whole enemy team is off the radar. Even though I DON"T have the backup...I'm farming unsafely, but they don't know that.

I mean, this works both ways...I can "overextend" and what's the difference between "overextending" and baiting a trap? They don't look any different to the other team. In fact, last game I was playing, I was pushing them against their turret, they came to gank me, and the guy hiding in my bush killed them. Who made a poor play there? Was it them? Yes...but only because of the poor outcome.
It was equally likely I was overconfident and out of place, right? Because you can't be afraid to punish players who look like opportune targets.

If they are taking the chance to kill me with only 2 players, that's the kind of chances I would suggest are worth taking. Quick, in and out, maybe it pays off, maybe you die.

I don't want to say your guide isn't well written, informative, and thoughtful. It made a strong case for methodical play, and I just want to say that risk-taking is often rewarded. What's probably the best thing to do is be unpredictable. Sometimes you bluff backup, sometimes you HAVE backup.


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FaerellG

Senior Member

02-07-2011

I think what Kalast and Superdadd are both missing in the argument is player psychology.

The optimal strategy/tactic will not always be implemented by your team or by the opponent's team. This is limited by lack of knowledge of the strategic situation (map awareness), and is limited by player personalities and willingness to take risks.