HowDoIShot's guide to Bot lane positioning

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HowDoIShot

Senior Member

05-07-2014

I miss playing ADC. I stopped because too often I'd get a support who would position like an idiot and we'd lose the lane. There are players who are mechanically very good, who make good in-game choices, who do not understand bot lane positioning.

Let me show you.

EDIT: Please keep this bumped. The more people that read this, the better your experience bot lane will be. Well, assuming it's your lane partners that read it, not your opponents. Anyway, do your part to keep it bumped plz.

This is good positioning.

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This is taken from spectating a high elo game. If you draw lines between the ADCs and supports, you can see they're parallel to both the creep line and each other. Parallel lines mean no one is out of position there.

I'll talk more about good positioning in a bit, but let me show you bad positioning and why it kills you. Here, we'll see a matchup between Vayne/Nami and Draven/Leona. Draven and Leona should win this lane handily, as they're bullies, while Vayne and Nami are more passive. Watch them use poor positioning to squander their early game advantage, and ultimately lose the lane to Vayne/Nami.

This is their default positioning throughout lane phase:

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As you can see, Leona is positioning aggressively, close to the creep line. Draven, however, is much farther back. It seems he's more interested in farming than fighting. Nami and Vayne, however, are clearly supporting each other.

Draven's pushing the wave, too, meaning it'll get close to the turret and give Vayne and Nami some much-needed safety. Soon the position is even more dramatic.

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What is Leona trying to do here? She's nowhere near Draven, and Vayne's clearly in turret range, meaning Leona can't throw out any meaningful aggression. She doesn't need to -- look how far Vayne is from the creep wave. Leona can easily fall back to the lower green circle and still zone Vayne from the creeps. More, from that spot, her engages will be better because Draven can quickly follow up. Where Leona is now, she could easily take free damage. Unfortunately for Vayne, Nami's positioned herself completely out of lane, allowing Leona to stay where she is. If Nami moves to the upper green circle, she's in position to make Leona pay for her poor positioning, and a bubble/condemn could throw out a nice chunk of free damage before Draven could respond.

What does this look like when Leona tries to engage?
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You can see, Draven is in no position to follow up. This is early in the matchup, when they're both still at level 2, so nothing really happens here. Vayne takes some damage, but Nami easily heals her up. Leona heals more slowly, but nothing comes of it.

Watch what happens when Leona does the same thing later, though.
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What are you DOING, Leona? Draven's positioned far too passively for this to work, and the wave's too pushed. Now you're taking turret aggro and Draven's not going to be there in time.

This happens when both sides have gone back to buy, and ultimates are available, so the result is less pretty.

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Draven quickly goes for Nami, as she's lower health, but once the Supports are dead, Draven's too close to the wall, and a condemn will quickly guarantee Vayne the double kill.

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What did they do wrong? To be clear -- Leona was landing her stuns well, and both Draven and Leona outdamage their counterparts. They especially had the advantage pre-6, where Vayne didn't have access to her ultimate to win an all in.

Three things went wrong:

1) Draven was trying to rack up adoration stacks by attacking and catching axes as much as possible. This pushed the wave towards Purple tower, allowing Vayne to farm with relative safety within easy reach of her turret.
2) Leona positioned far too aggressively, at a questionable distance from Draven even before moving forward with her Zenith Blade. She engaged five times in lane and nothing came of it, because Draven couldn't get there.
3) Draven positioned far too passively. He was unable to follow up any of Leona's dives. There were a couple that could easily have led to a kill, despite the turret and Leona's poor positioning, had Draven arrived 1 second sooner.

If any of these three things didn't happen, Draven and Leona would stomp the lane. Instead, they squandered their early advantage and fed Vayne.

Good positioning is based on decisions, and nice, parallel lines. Look at this Draven's positioning in a high elo game:

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Isn't that pretty? Both supports are positioning to back up their ADC. Draven is positioned aggressively, near the front of the creep line, so Zyra is, too. Sivir is farther back, so Morgana is, as well (she's slightly forward, but in the brush, so she can get away with it). Watch a high elo game, you'll often be able to draw these same parallel lines. When this position breaks down, that's when you'll most often see kills.

The basic advice is, ADCs need to position based on whether they want to trade damage. This Draven is positioned farther up because he knows he'll win a trade with Sivir (assuming he dodges her Q). Sivir is positioned farther back because she don't want none of what Draven is offering. The supports need to position to back their ADC up. Position too far back, and you have no impact on the lane. Position too far forward, and you'll take free damage.


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Qris Johnson

Junior Member

05-07-2014

This is one of the best threads ever to grace GD.


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Hrud

Senior Member

05-07-2014

Cool thread, upvote and bump.


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Drukyul

Senior Member

05-07-2014

So if you're in a combo that should be playing aggressively, and your ADC is playing far too passively, what's your advice -- to sit back just as passively as they are? Sometimes you have to get out there a bit to signal to them that they need to start hitting something other than creeps.


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Vix Axiom

Senior Member

05-07-2014

Nice. This is officially bookmarked.


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Provokyo

Member

05-07-2014

Teach me more, senpai.


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HowDoIShot

Senior Member

05-07-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drukyul View Post
So if you're in a combo that should be playing aggressively, and your ADC is playing far too passively, what's your advice -- to sit back just as passively as they are? Sometimes you have to get out there a bit to signal to them that they need to start hitting something other than creeps.
You should probably say something in chat. The example I'm showing is drastic, yes, but you can see the lane is completely lost when both players just do their own thing.

If Leona stays farther back, though, she can still zone Vayne away. Even if Draven has no interest in kills, Leona can still (ideally) force Vayne to miss caster minions, and that advantage will add up. Keep in mind, every time Leona engaged, Draven was on his way over. The problem is he never got there in time. If he had, he could have at least done enough damage to force Vayne back.


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Shohsav

Senior Member

05-07-2014

Also, since i love supporting. I wish my adc's would recognize what yo just said. I love when their support will be up ahead in the bush and I am thinking cmon ADC let's get a kill and he doesn't follow up in the bush when their support is alone.


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41noob

Senior Member

05-07-2014

i approve of this


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Worgenflorgen

Senior Member

05-07-2014

you're one of the most informative posters on GD. i read your post to Xelnath about playing ADC and now this is just great. ty for posting this .


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