[Ranked Guide] A General Approach to dealing with ELO Hell

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Siky

Senior Member

05-09-2012

Goal
The target of this guide is to approach the root of losses in "ELO Hell" as well as to dispel the existence of "ELO Hell" as an actual excuse for losing. Specifically, we want to look at why we lose and what we can do to minimize the chances of this happening in general.

Personal Opinion There is no ELO Hell, it's all a general consensus state of mind that is completely toxic to the lower ELO bracket. If I could label ELO Hell with just 1 word, it would be Denial, as I feel that is the sole reason ELO Hell even exists, the inability for people to accept that they can be wrong or bad and thus they cannot improve because they don't see any way to personally get better. The only way to get better is by accepting one's faults and mistakes and figuring out ways to fix it, but you can't get to one without the other.


What is ELO Hell?

First of all, ELO Hell has no single definition, which is why I feel it doesn't exist. It's a state of mind and many people have their own opinions of what it is and where it ranges. The only agreement on what ELO Hell actually is specifically is a range of ELO where bad players exist to troll and simply drag down good players.

For the sake of this guide, we will simply not acknowledge ELO Hell at all and focus on the toxic side of what we encounter in the lower ELO brackets, basically below 1500-1600 range.

The first step to getting out of ELO Hell is to stop blaming it or factors you can't control. Focus purely on what you can control and what you can do to contribute to winning.


Solo Ranked Mentality
Personally, I believe that Solo Ranked should only be played by players who qualify every point on this list:
- Can play every role decently and is willing to play any role at that moment.
- Wants to and is focused on winning at that moment.
- Is willing to communicate with the team in one form or another (pings, typing, public voip).

It's not a lot to ask, even silent players can ping and help the team without typing or talking. If you want to derp or play a certain champion, go play normal. You are not guaranteed anything in Ranked with Draft and if you have the mentality of wanting to play a certain champion, most likely you won't play as well due to pure unhappiness of not getting what you want and it's better to deprive everyone else of pleasure of your misery than to cause misery to others due to it.

Of course, I'm sure nobody will listen to me or agree with me here, thus this is where part of the stereotype of Hell comes from. You must basically accept that you will be finding casual derpy players here who don't care about winning when they're losing and don't play well with others because they simply do not want to communicate (or they forget and so starts the antagonization that leads to most of the losses in lower brackets).

To succeed in Solo Ranked at lower brackets, you must both play for the team and be selfish for your own life. What this means is, you must ward for yourself regardless of lane and you must pay attention to how vulnerable you are all the time because you can't expect anybody else to do it for you.

So hence the only real rule you should keep close to your heart is that:

The game is not over until your Nexus explodes or your entire team gives up. If you do not give up, you can still win. Doesn't matter if it's 1% or 99%, in this game, there's no such thing as a guaranteed victory or a guaranteed loss. You can be far behind and the enemy team can do 1 stupid thing and you can still win.

example: "DURR, Minions killing Nexus, we all try to jump on fountain to kill the enemy for fun!" -- everyone dies, they kill enough minions to counter-push and win. 'LULZ, gg noobs".

Lots of stupid stuff like this happens and I can bet everything I own that with the amount of players in this game, it happens every day just because we have an extremely immature and inexperienced player base, so the least we can do is eliminate this small thing from Ranked.


If the Meta were a Bible, than beware of Atheists and I/Agnostics
No, this isn't a section on religious beliefs, but you can contrive many comparisons between the relationship of people to both the Meta and the Christian/Catholic Bible. The Meta exists for a reason and it's the most optimal understanding of team composition for most ranges of play.

The best thing to do in terms of the Meta is to take account of it, understand it and use it to your advantage whenever possible. Top teams do this in 2 ways, one is to abuse it to their advantage and the other is to pick at the weaknesses of it with specific team comps engineered at breaking it.

For us humble solo ranked players, going against the Meta can be difficult, but doing so also doesn't mean it's the end of the world. Once champions are locked in, you must make due with what you've got and any fighting or arguments made about the decision become moot so don't waste energy getting upset over it until the game is over. Simply do you best to make it work until your Nexus goes boom.

This is where the first bit of negative attitude often derails the game into a loss, before the game can even start, people are angry or upset and do badly from the start because they can't see the comp working during team fights which snowballs out of control.

I can already hear the "BUT?!" screaming from my words there, filled with excuses and opinions, but the truth is that lower ELO (especially at lower ELO brackets) your team comp barely matters. You win fights due to positioning and playing to the strengths of your team. Players make loads of mistakes even when they're winning and people often lose due to emotional debuffs from other players or themselves and poor awareness of unfamiliar situations.


Pre-Minion Spawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breakdown
- Make a decision: Invading or Defending
(a) Invading: Everyone must go, 1 person must lead. Ping targets and call for retreats.
(b) Defending: At least 4 people must defend in the right location, closest brush to river usually is the best and gives the most warning (beware of Blitzcranks).
(b1) If 4 and 5 people invade, retreat immediately including jungler, change plans.
(b2) If 5, decide to fight or retreat, pick one and follow through regardless of outcome.
(b3) If fighting and retreating at the same time, if you have ranged abilities, even if you're out of the fight, throw them in there, especially if a team mate is caught regardless of if you think it will help or not. Do something, even pointless things to try and ward off an enemy's advance.
There are a few options for players, but the 2 most common are defending jungler starting locations and invasions.

I have seen many games end right here due to poor invasions or poor defense. Let's make it clear, if things go badly THE GAME IS STILL NOT OVER. So what if you give first blood here, so what if your whole team gets wiped out and blue or red gets stolen right off the bat? Well, maybe it matters if you have a jungler that needs blue... but that's something junglers must gain experience from to deal with rather than simply giving up right there and then.

You make the decision as a team to do either and whether or not you succeed as a team, you must continue to play from there as first blood doesn't mean anything at lower brackets. People generally run unoptimal builds, don't know every match-up, don't play perfectly and don't have a 100% win rate when their team gets first blood.


Laning Phase
Wards are the most important thing in this game because they offer visual confirmable information. The Laning Phase is where most of the problems really start. Die 3 times? Rage Quit. Someone nags you about how bad you're playing? Feed 5 times. Jungler camping you and you don't know what to do except cry for your team Jungler to save you? Throw the game by expunging your own life 10 more times.

You might not be able to control who you fight, but you can control how you fight and it's important to know what to generally do regardless of lane, even if there are specifics for each lane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wards
In my opinion, everyone except the Ranged AD Carry should ward. Meta typical Ranged AD Carries kill everything late game, from squishies to tanks. Your team should want them to get there as soon as possible because they basically win late game for you. You protect that 1 champion and they kill everything. To accomplish this, wards must be the taken care of by everyone else as it doesn't matter as much if anybody else slows down their build for safety.

Wards should change how you play. Your safety is determined by ward placements around the map, not just by you. If you are on Blue team and playing Mid, a ward at enemy wraith camp and one at Top river brush makes it so you can hug the top side of your lane and never be afraid of ganks unless the enemy jungler can jump baron wall with either flash/abilities. Similarly, if Bot is warded and you have warded the brush opposite to enemy Golem Buff, you should be completely safe from jungle ganks as long as you pay attention to the map.

Unless there is a strong coordinated strike on you from say a mid with a hard CC and Shen / Pantheon / Twisted Fate / Nocturne / Shaco, you really should not die to just the mid unless you do something stupid like derp around with health lower than their maximum instant burst.
Well that should basically be DUH information. Utilizing it is the hard part so let's focus on each of the Meta roles and this can be utilized in the same way even if you disregard the Meta and play some weird comp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOP
Top is basically the 1v1 lane. Often times, match-up experience is all that matters since properly play makes ganking this lane difficult and dying usually occurs due to over-something (over-aggressiveness/extending/confidence). Your job top is simply to farm items and get as strong as you can while avoiding death as much as possible.

Without a ward top, you have a variety of things you can still safely do:

(a) Wave is going past mid point.
Blue Team Push the lane hard to the enemy tower, back off and either go back for a ward and items or grab your jungler's wolf camp if it doesn't affect them.
Purple Team Push the lane hard and blue pill or go do double golems if it doesn't affect your Jungler.

When you get back, the lane should normalize, you really don't want to be in a lane without a ward and be standing past the mid point for longer than you have to be so pushing gets you the full benefit of the lane and lets you go do something else that's relatively safer.

With a ward top, you open up a lot of your options:

(a) Wave is going past mid point, Jungler is absent on your mini-map.

Blue & Purple Team You can stand in the enemy's top brush and still be pretty safe if you stay far enough from the enemy's flash + CC range. The moment you see an enemy Gank about to occur on you, you can most likely escape, pretty much guaranteed if you have Flash/Ghost available. Once you're past the mid point, you should basically become paranoid and always be checking the mini-map for any gank that occurs, if you don't like that, push your lane and stay on your side.

(b) Wave is going past mid point and Jungler and Mid is confirmed in a lane, somewhere else extremely far away from you or dead. Also your champion must be good at clearing entire creep waves quickly.
Blue 2 things you can do here depending on your lane opponent. If they are at half your health, feel free to walk past their tower and farm behind them. They won't give-up CS to go fight you and if they do, just walk right back and go to safety. This only works if what the scenario I stated is confirmed. Once it changes from true to false, you must stop and return to a safe position. Another thing you can do which is safer is to go and kill the big Golem in the enemy's double golem camp which is a bit safer.

Purple Same as Blue side, walk past and farm or run down and kill 2 of the 3 wolves in the enemy jungle's camp and return to lane.

Goal
(1) Clearing the next creep wave behind the enemy's tower keeps pressure on the tower itself because the enemy either has to choose to push you away, sacrificing CS to do so or continue to last hit on the tower. You can't really CS while your minions are pushed against their tower so instead you trade a few minions for lane control and attack your enemy's mind by making them feel like you can do whatever you want in lane and they can't stop you.
(2) Counter-Jungling does very little to the enemy, but it does give you an edge in both map control and attacks your enemies mentally. They feel unsafe in their own jungle when you can simply walk in there and do whatever you want. This can lead to Baron control as well as Blue/Red Buff control later on if you continue to ward and secure your position.

(c) You are getting camped and you can't last hit.
Blue & Purple If you have no AOE abilities and the enemy basically can kill you if you try to last hit, you need to call your jungler to help push the enemy back until you can normalize. If the enemy jungler is camping and you can't CS, your jungler must camp your lane and help you get back into a position where you can do something.

The easiest way to stop this from happening is to simply ward the river brush and the top side of mid's river so that the enemy Jungler can't simply go around. With the ward there, you can kind of go in and out and waste the enemy Jungler's time. Basically by denying yourself, you deny the enemy Jungler. The reason this works is because without the ward, the pressure always stays there, the Jungler is still doing stuff, but comes back from time to time to keep up the pressure. The ward(s) destroys camping by making the trade more fair. If you're not getting CS, someone else that normally should be CSing should also not be getting any CS or experience.

(d) You are not getting camped, but you are constantly pushed up to your tower and you're having trouble last hitting.
Blue & Purple All you can really do is last hit best as possible and start clearing waves as fast as possible, when possible. The enemy is trying to deny you CS by forcing you to last hit under tower. They can also possibly be trying to destroy your tower with the pressure so the only thing you can do is get good at last hitting under tower or keep it so that it's pushed between your tower and mid so that you can call for ganks.

Realize that even if you call for ganks, you might not get it so be prepared to give up a few last hits and continue to let your team know that you are having problems top and that either you need help or everyone needs to get ready to team fight early.

When all else fails, ask the Jungler to come to your lane and push the wave back to mid or possibly just push down the enemy tower. This forces the enemy jungler to come and fight. Your goal isn't to get kills now, it's regain lane control by killing their tower.

The mistake that happens is that most people don't want to do this, they call for ganks and if the river is properly warded from mid to top, you aren't ever getting a successful gank, you are only wasting the Jungler's time, experience and possible gold accumulation. Trying to kill the enemy that's winning a lane can also lead to getting them further ahead if they are stronger than both of you, you don't want to give them a double kill to further hurt yourselves.

(e) Top is lost, you have no control.
Blue Enemy Wraiths, Top Tri-Brush and Blue Golem must be warded to be safe to farm as long as enemy can't just straight up kill you by chasing you down the lane. Your goal now is to stop the enemy from killing your second top tower. Your team must either trade Dragon Control for Top Tower or vice versa. This is the importance of both Top and Bot Towers.

Purple Your Wraiths and Top Tri-Brush should be warded to main safety. Same as Blue, you must choose either Tower Control or Dragon Control because you're at the disadvantage if the enemy wants to contest either.

This all assumes that you don't give up more than 1 kill to that lane and that you aren't 50+ CS behind the enemy in that lane. By then, there's not much you can do except try to farm as much as you can and push your team to start team fighting. The moment you know you've lost control of your lane and the tower goes down, you must rally up your team to start team fighting so that the enemy doesn't get away with simply farming to God Status.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MID
The shortest lane, but also the most dangerous. Most champions that go mid don't have escapes or easy hard CC and are extremely fragile making it a prime target for ganks to occur. This lane requires you to learn match-ups and be good with your champion choice. As this is a general guide, I will basically boil it down to it's simplest terms for players who actually need the help.

(a) No wards, basically level 1-4 for 99% of the games mid.
Blue & Purple You want to keep the minion waves as close to the middle at all times as possible. Last hit with your auto-attack as much as possible and use spells to last hit as much as possible.

Pushing at this time is non-beneficial, even if you can clear waves fast because you can't do anything else after you clear a wave at this point except put yourself in danger and deny your Jungler any opportunity to gank.

(b) You went back early (before 6).
Blue & Purple Some champions are naturally good pushers, like Morgana or Cassiopeia, so with a ward, you can pretty much push your lane and steal enemy Wraiths. Warding the enemy wraiths let you know when they're up. If the enemy Jungler is somewhere else you can immediately start cycling Wraith farming into your CS count. Without the ward, it's unadvised to start counter-jungling just because you're forced to walk into unsafe territory constantly and there is a possibility of you getting punished for it.

Jungler warding the opposite brush to the enemy Golem Buff camp would be ideal so that mobile enemy junglers don't just race across your lane and cut you off from retreating if you start aggressively counter-jungling them. Top, Mid and the Jungler can easily dispatch you if you are using this strategy without paying attention to where everyone is.

(c) Level 4+, didn't go back.
Blue If you have a ganking Jungler, you can also take your own wraith camp to be safe, but a lot of Junglers dislike this. Ask before you do so or pay attention to positioning. If your Jungler is ganking Top, you can kill wraiths and by the time they get back to doing it, it's free for you.

Purple Like-wise, if they are ganking Bot, Wraiths should be do-able if you can clear the camp fast enough.

(d) You are getting pushed to death and the match-up is just terrible. The enemy is an AP and pokes extremely hard.
Blue & Purple Be prepared to give up CS and just soak up as much experience as possible. There are some aggressive AP Champs like Ryze and Cassiopeia that hit hard and often and last hitting can be a pain. At that point, you must start building items to counter them because wards won't help you in this position.

VS Magic Damage champions, you must start building MR. Abyssal Scepter, Chalice of Harmony, Mercury Treads even. If you are losing to an AP Champ, you must change your build to survive or you will keep dying or losing your lane. The right items will allow you to start back up your farm game again.

VS Physical Damage champions, you must build for it as well. Sometimes you will get AD champions mid that completely counter most AP Champions. Hourglass and the less satisfying Ninja Tabis might become a must so that you can do something in your lane without flat out dying. Stop trying to buy AP items outside of a Hextech Revolver and start buying HP or Armor.

If all else fails, before your tower drops to half, ask for a lane switch with top if the match-up isn't even worse than it already is. If your tower is below half, doesn't matter if you switch lanes anymore, the lane is going to die because you called for it too late. Prepare for mid game and team fights.

Mid Lane Goals Mid Tower is extremely important. Losing it means you lose all control of both jungles, Dragon/Baron and the enemy mid champion is going to start ganking other lanes and there's nothing you can do about it. This tower usually falls last and you should do whatever you can to keep it that way.

Also be extremely aware of your opposing mid laner. If they go up or down the river, warn your team and follow them. They aren't sipping margaritas in the river, they're about to gank somebody. Calling MIA only works if your team mates back off and if they don't, you want to be there or you want to annoy them until they leave. Otherwise, the enemy can be sneaky and walk behind their tower so you don't know if they are going back to fountain or ganking. MIA call there is still greatly appreciated. Vice Versa, if you win the mid war and tower drops, starting ganking other lanes and controlling objectives while farming whenever possible.

The general rule should be: If the enemy in my lane is absent, I should make sure my team mates know and don't continue to overextend. Many times people call MIA during a skirmish that's happening and you just can't read it in time because you're focused on either killing or not dying. A simple retreat ping will grab that player's attention and if it doesn't, keep V pinging them after a second if they don't. You can't do more than that if they continue to play unsafe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOT RANGED AD
Your job is simple and you should follow this list of rules from highest to lowest priority:
1 - Don't Die.
2 - Last Hit without pushing unless you have a reason to push (Dragon or Dragon Ward + Mid's Bot River Ward making it safe for you to simply push and keep pressure).
3 - Get as many kills as possible.

There are lots of small details you must learn to be good at this role, but in general, very easy. A lot of players who fail here generally fail due to greed. They reverse the order of what's most important or they simply are CSing without any plan whatsoever. They're just shooting creeps and pretending they know what they're doing until they get ganked and then they blame their Jungler and/or Support.

The only thing else you really need to know is:

Blue
You get Double Golems advantage. No reason not to abuse and the enemy can try to counter, but it's difficult. Start by covering tri-brush and the river entrance below mid lane.

To do Double Golems, have the support start Double Golems, focus on the large one first and have her walk slowly to the left making sure before they go out of range, the AD hits it so that it targets him instead of resetting. Then have the AD walk right and do the same, let the Support hit it before it unleashes which is close to the lane brush. After that, support can tank the camp until done with minimal damage taken and enough time to get to lane for the first CS.

If the Golems reset or the enemy threatens, go immediately to lane.

Purple You can kind of stop this by confirming the enemy is going to start blue (or assuming) and just show up near the Double Golems when they start. Any damage the enemy takes will most likely stop them from continuing.

Advantage of Double Golem Basically all the advantage is, is experience. The gold doesn't matter. Depending on who is the AD and who the Support is, it might be more important for one or the other to get to level 2 first. For example, Alistar hitting level 2 first can basically lead to a free kill bot if the enemy isn't careful. After level 2 the advantage is minimal and most players don't understand this advantage so nothing really ever comes of it, but when you start abusing this, you will realize how stupid of a tactic it can be when your opponent doesn't understand it.

Support taking CS There are cases where actually giving your support some CS helps you. Losing 5-7 CS to your Support actually doesn't hurt you as much as you might think. A good reason to do this is if your lane is difficult and either you need more wards or your support is killing their mana pool just to protect you. Giving them a few CS gets them their Philosopher Stone quicker and allows them to blue pill and come back with a gp10 item that also regens mana and health so they can better support you in lane. The Support should not take more than this however and there are cases where this isn't needed, but it is a valid strategy for troublesome lanes, especially ones with Blitzcrank support that's giving you trouble, forcing you to get more wards than you normally need to stay safe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOT SUPPORT
Support has a huge variety of strategy, but in general, your job is to amplify your Ranged AD's abilities while keeping them and if possible your entire team safe throughout the game. People often think that Support only babysit their Ranged AD, but that's not really true. As a Support, you often have tons of stuff you can do if you want to.

(a) Faerie Charm, Wards and a few bottles of potions
This is your standard starting items for Support for good reason. Whether you choose to have 2 Green Wards + 1 Pink Ward or 3 Green Wards and whatever is leftover into potions is really up to you.

I often see a lot of people who play Support go otherwise and they aren't doing anything special. There are a few variations that work, but all of them should include at least 2 wards, otherwise you basically open yourself up to getting camped and repeatedly ganked by the enemy jungler. All they need to do is hit TAB and see that your bottom lane does not have any wards.

(b) Ward Positioning and Timing
It is your job to ping and call out wards for your jungler so that if they do want to gank they don't waste time and effort for no reason. With timestamp turned on, it also marks how long wards will be lasting and allows good junglers to time their ganks right when the ward dies and a new one must be placed. Usually these times are perfect for jumping on the AD or punishing the Support for carelessly moving into a vulnerable position. If Flash is down, there's a good chance you will score a kill at that moment.

Otherwise, how to ward and where to ward are very important. There are quite a few places to ward and they are different depending on side.

Blue
(Tri-Brush) Defensive Ward, when you're pushed, this is a good ward to have and control especially with a mobile ganking Jungler. Pink Ward is perfect here in that situation so that the opponent can't pressure you too hard without a chance of being punished.
(Blue Side Lane Brush) Only Ward here if the enemy support is a threat. Otherwise even if you're pushed it doesn't matter. Useful against Kill Lanes as it makes it harder for them to get into position.
(Dragon) There is pretty much no reason to ward the River Brush unless Top has Teleport and you're pushing dangerously hard and want to remain past the mid point. This gives you much more time to defend against ganks and in combination with a Ward covering the river below Mid, you are fully protected from surprise Jungler ganks minus the occasional sneaky Shaco if he isn't banned.

Having a ward at Tri-Brush and Dragon basically is the safest and easiest setup for a Support to do, but it's very costly to double ward a lane constantly so it's better to coordinate where and when you ward.

Purple
(Tri-Brush) 'Offensive' Defensive Ward, when pushing a lane, this is the safest ward to have. In combination with an enemy Wraith camp Ward, you are extremely safe.
(River Corner) Basically the corner between Tri-Brush and River Brush offers you the best ward placement so that you can see the moment anything pops out of Tri-Brush and gives you the most warning time for a gank. Can be countered by Tri-Brush or River Brush Pink from the enemy.
(Purple Side Lane Brush) Defense Ward if the support is a threat. Useful against Kill Lanes as it makes it harder for them to get into position.


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Siky

Senior Member

05-09-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by JUNGLER
The most complicated role since it varies from Jungler to Jungler.

The best general advice for what a Jungler is supposed to do and what to expect from a Jungler is:

- Ganks lanes when the opportunity arises
- Holds lanes when someone dies or needs to go back
- Camp lanes for champions that can snowball with kills (some champs, kills don't make much of a difference, they're nice, but don't matter)

There are some AFK Jungle champions, but all Junglers should be capable of pressuring lanes to help their team mates.

The most common complaint many non-Junglers have is that they don't get ganks from their Jungler which is why they lose their lane. Most of the time, this is false, but in some cases they are true.

If all lanes are failing, there is nothing your Jungler can do. Simple as that. The problem when this occurs is due to the fault of the players in those lanes because they have been playing unsafely. If all lanes fail, there's a good chance the game is already over and unfortunately unless your enemies are complete idiots, there are no strategies to come back from that position. Ignoring that situation however, there are many situations that arise that can be dealt with in an intelligent way regardless of what Jungler you use.

(a) Enemy Jungler is bouncing between 2 lanes or camping one constantly making it difficult for that lane to function
Usually a Jungler bouncing between 2 lanes constantly making it seem like they are ganking constantly, but what they really are doing is applying pressure to both lanes and sometimes they capitalize on mistakes due to that pressure. It's your duty as your team's Jungler to recognize this and stop it, either by fighting with the Jungler to force them to stop or by following them from lane to lane and wasting their time by negating the pressure.

Yes, it does waste your time as well, but it's more preferable than having your lanes fail and losing because you'd rather be fine than to help 2 or 3 other people be fine in your stead. The enemy is already risking themselves to do this and really the only way to counter it is to risk yourself as well.

(b) Lanes are always pushed when you're nearby and always losing when you're on the opposite side of the map
This is often the case when you play at lower ELO and it's painful, usually due to your team mates not knowing how to play their lanes properly. It is also often the reason why they complain about you not ganking because they fail to realize that whenever you're close to them, they aren't allowing for any good gank opportunities.

The best thing to do is also the most annoying thing to do, which is if you are capable of ganking, ask the lane closest to you if they need help. This affirms to them that you want to gank, but it also removes any issue when they start complaining about ganks since you are consistently offering it. It also helps competent players to setup their lane for you quickly so you don't waste too much time. Usually asking a neutral set lane is useful and ignoring lanes that are too far pushed is the easiest way to go at it, but if you pay attention and a lane is constantly going back and forth, asking doesn't hurt, it's only annoying to do all the time, especially when you have to type it.

(c) Lanes are failing, but haven't failed yet and someone from across the map needs help
All you can do in this case is to acknowledge their call for help, but tell them they have to wait while you try to help these other lanes. Most likely you will get a negative comment deflecting that lane's loss so that they can blame their Jungler for their failures. It happens. Try to at least gank every lane once before 6 though, even if you're helping a certain lane repeatedly because you feel like they are in the most trouble.

The only exception I would make to this is if a lane is getting camped and another lane fails and asks for help. The only response I would give in that situation is to play safe and don't be too greedy for CS, last hit as best as possible and survive because you have to help a lane that's being camped.

(d) Counter-Jungling
At lower levels, everyone tries to counter-jungle with everything. Most do it incorrectly. There are some annoying ways to counter-jungle, by basically leaving the most worthless parts of a camp untouched and taking the rest to screw up the enemy's Jungle.

The other is to steal buffs which take a bit more finese and skill to do. It involves actually paying attention to the enemy team in order to successfully do so and you can't always do it. That's the most important fact about counter-jungling. You must know when to do it and when not to, not just force yourself to counter-jungle to the extreme no matter what.

Enemy Jungler spotted ganking Top, you are Bot, they are missing their side's buff and your side's buff is up and nobody else has the buff either. Perfect.

Not only do you get to counter-jungle unnoticed, the enemy can't even contest you even if they do. Their Jungler is not there, they are outnumbered. Mid and Bot comes? Well you have a Mid and Bot too.

The mistake here is doing it when you don't know where the enemy Jungler is. This leads to the Jungler basically feeding a bunch of people a kill and assists because they probably don't have an escape and they were caught trying to be clever without actually taking any precautions.

Mid-Late Game Goals and Team Fighting
People kind of get lost at certain points in the game, even though eventually stuff happens because someone pings and people go "OH, okay let's do that!". It's more like corralling sheep than it is strategic plays most of the time.

Many players haven't been taught what triggers are or when it's safe to do something. To define it for everyone though, the general idea is that you have a few objectives in this game outside of pushing down towers and ultimately destroying the nexus that you can do to gain an advantage towards that ultimate goal.

(a) Top Tower falls!
I've seen an equal amount of failures derived from this action, both negatively and positively. What should happen when Top falls is the side that still has their tower should be pushing their lane as hard as possible and then either helping to take Dragon or ganking Mid and helping push that tower down.

They do not go bot unless the whole team is down there and most likely if the whole team is there, it should still be safe for 4 people to defend 1 tower while you push top all the way to the second tower. There is no reason at all to go bottom unless Dragon is there or is about to spawn.

(b) Bot Tower falls!
You don't lose Dragon control per se, but it gets expensive to maintain it's control since you no longer are able to CS normally and you need more wards than normal as the support and you shouldn't be CSing anyways unless you are magically in a position to get CS without denying any of your team mates.

Blue Dragon and Wraith Wards are super important and really that's just 2 wards to maintain the same position, however the enemy can be as aggressive as they want since there's no fall back and this forces your Jungler into a predictable position (aka bot all the time because if they aren't, you lose Dragon, your Bot lane turn into feeds and there's a good chance of losing the second Bot tower). This in turns puts more pressure on the other lanes since they lose Jungler support.

Purple You need to ward Enemy Wraiths and Tri-Brush just to be safe, but both need to be constantly warded.

Now that doesn't sound too bad, but the fact is if the enemy gets an Oracle, you can't do anything about it. You will simply lose gold and control and fall further behind. So what do you do? Bot needs to continue to farm and Support needs to find something else to do at this point. Defensive Ward their side of the jungle to let the Carry farm at least a little and gather the team up to try and control Dragon.

(c) Mid Tower falls!
If this tower falls first, I would basically say GG. You lose Dragon Control immediately and your enemy just gained another "Jungler" to gank lanes with. They'll pop back to mid to farm while they bounce from Top to Bot destroying everyone else and because you're already behind, you'll fall further behind or try to farm mid still while everyone else dies or gets denied and pushed.

Jungle also becomes at risk and if Mid Tower drops, your team needs to start warding their buffs because there is no longer a safe way for Mid to help against counter-jungling outside of spending gold on wards.

(d) When to do Dragon?
After level 6, if an enemy dies Mid or Bot, Jungler is nearby, everyone is alive and has more than half health Mid+Bot+Jungler can immediately Dragon. Unless Mid/Jungler is incredibly fed, this should be a free Dragon if you do it right away and an enemy trying to contest is only going to get killed. Big exception to this is Shen Top or Top Teleport and they haven't used it yet, in which case you either must be able to stop Shen from coming in or don't do Dragon until at least 2 enemies die.

After that you know exactly when Dragon is up and setting up is as simple as warding the enemy entrances to river and having your team in place to quickly do it. Otherwise if it's too even and both sides are contesting, don't force Dragon. Leave it until you have the advantage.

(e) Face Check Rule
Ever walk through the jungle and get splatted by a surprise 5 man brush orgy? It happens, often, at low ELO. It may sound annoying, but the general rule is that before you get within Blitzcrank grab range of a brush you must glance at your minimap and count the enemy dots because what's missing is potentially how many champions could be about to DEMACIA! you in the face.

The idea is that wards open up your ability to walk freely in certain places without worry of this happening. Without wards however, you must be extremely paranoid walking into brush when any enemy is MIA including the Jungler which should be constantly MIA. To eliminate stupid deaths like this, if more than 3 champs are MIA, take scenic route and spend 5 more seconds walking around. It could save your life (and probably any embarrassment incurred).

(f) Oracles
If the enemy has an Oracles, ward for safety only and learn how to deal with a single champion wandering by themselves throughout the map trying to kill wards by themselves. Dealing with an early Oracles is much easier than dealing with a late one, as champions are much easier to kill early on.

The theory is that as wards get eliminated by a champion with Oracles, they will be moving throughout the map in order to eliminate more to re-coup the cost. Often times, you can tell if they are moving with their team or by themselves which makes them more vulnerable and essentially gankable. If wards are starting to disappear, the Jungler should go to Wards nearby immediately and in co-operation with the closest lanes, kill the person with Oracles.

Most of the time, Oracles goes unpunished outside of the Oracle holder doing something stupid or team fighting and dying. They basically are allowed to freely destroy all wards and then either not followed up which makes the enemy annoyed, but doesn't hurt too much. The other follow-up is to place offensive wards in the enemy Jungle after eliminating wards with the Oracle making it so if they try to go ward again, they will get caught and killed, snowballing the advantage further.

(g) Chase Grace
You always get games where people chase the enemy all over the map because they're greedy for that one kill. It's a ridiculous mentality that often costs you for doing. I've had teams chase me around trying to kill me when they could simply go destroy my Nexus and win, but instead they allow me to buy enough time for my team mates to spawn making it impossible to win then.

The best mentality is you should only chase if killing that opponent wins you the game instantly. Otherwise after 3 seconds of not being able to catch an enemy that's running towards their base, you should give up. If they are running around your jungle trying to survive, only chase if you can account for the enemy team and they aren't about blow up your tower or something.

There are many, many bad situations that can arise from simply chasing an enemy including even being baited into a trap for being too greedy.

(h) Baron
You don't always have to get Baron whenever it's up. There are 3 situations involving Baron that should be accounted for.

1 - Your team just won a team fight, your team is above half health and everyone is alive (amount of people needed changes the later the game goes) and the enemy team only has 1 person up. Unless that person has amazing AOE Burst, Baron is free if done immediately.

2 - A major DPS enemy appears Bot and your entire team is ready to do Baron and you can kill Baron fast enough that lone enemy can't arrive in time. Baron again is free outside of the chance your enemy will suicide to get the steal. You cannot do this if the enemy that's Bot has teleport or will arrive even right before you can finish because Baron is like having an extra memeber on their team, they will attack you and win just because of that.

3 - You are winning, multiple inhibitors are down and Super Minions are pushing or about to push past the second towers. The enemy cannot stop you from doing Baron. If they do, Super Minions will kill their Nexus Towers.

(i) The be all of Team Fighting
Mid Game, protect your AP Carry. Late Game, protect your AD Carry. Simple.

The team's job if they aren't those 2 roles is to simple protect, not chase a 10 HP enemy all over the map away from the fight. The worst part of losing a team fight is losing due to Tanks, Bruisers and even Supports being greedy for kills and leaving a fight to secure it. The job of those champs during a team fight is to simply make sure the Carries are safe and any kills that they pick up are bonus.

Team fighting really isn't difficult as long as people actually embrace their roles and don't go kill happy and ignore their team just to boost their ego. That 1 kill means absolutely nothing if the entire team ends up dying because you with the CC left to kill the 10HP Support while the rest of their team is blowing up yours.

There are lot of things you can do before a fight and during escapes, but the actual team fight itself is usually extremely simple, if not a bit chaotic.

(j) "He was dead anyways, so I left with my full health bar and my ranged skill shots"
Could be a rule... or could just be a really annoying peeve I have. I really hate when a team mate basically abandons a team mate as they die slowly when they can safely throw something out to maybe dissuade the enemy from continuing.

It's true, sometimes a team is just dead. If you are full melee and cannot safely help, just leave. Don't jump in to die! However if you're playing a champion like Lee Sin, even if the team mate looks like they're dead, you have a Sonic Wave with like 1000 range. Safe enough to hit someone with it and just maybe scare them from continuing.

Just the chance is worth it enough to try especially when there's no risk on your side.

Basically, the enemy can't make mistakes if you don't ever give the enemy any choices to make.

What if the enemy team is below 25% but there's only 2 of you, but you know you and your team mate can't beat them. A poke in that scenario might be enough to make them back off, saving your team mate instead of nothing at all which guarantees they are dead. Why limit yourself to situations though? Just do it every time when you can. Zero risk opportunity to make the enemy screw up something is amazing odds and should be abused whenever possible.


Team Comp Strengths & Weaknesses
It's sad to say, but a lot of players simply do not have the patience to intelligently play League of Legends without someone yelling at them to do the right thing and even then they still will disagree leading to a chance they will probably just ignore all further information. What I mean by this is most people aren't even aware of the majority strengths and weaknesses of their team comp, as weird as it might be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Story Time
For example, lets say you have a team made up of:
- Nidalee
- Morgana
- Lee Sin
- Urgot
- Janna

Not the strongest team comp, kind of on the squishy side, but amazing poke. However I've played on this very team and have had almost everyone on it want to run in and fight toe to toe with a bruiser heavy aoe team, with a Kennen thrown in for good measure. Basically a press R and run at you team comp. Why? Some of these champs do great up close in certain scenarios, Lee Sin is basically kind of useless if he can't go in. The worst offense for the team wasn't even team comp however, it was that a team comp with superior poking ability and inferior engage felt too bored to embrace their team comp. Even in a situation where our poke team was winning, 2 inhibitors down (mid + bot), 1 tower left and inhibitor left, Nexus towers still up, Super Minions pushing, but the enemy team could crush us in a straight up run at each other fight.

Our team could basically drag the game out, poke at them while they're defending, wait for creep waves and slowly poke down that tower until they retreated to defend from Super Minions or to heal so we can get the inhibitor and seal the game or try to engage us and have Lee Sin and Janna deflect their attack. No.

We had all of our second inhibitor towers up and we lost that game for one simple reason. 3 out of 5 members of my team felt like that strategy was too BORING! So instead Lee Sin takes the opportunity to Q someone who was poked pretty low, jumps in and kills them with a kick while the inhibitor tower was only half way causing a chain reaction where both Nidalee and Morgana decide to tower dive the rest of their 3/4th health team where Morgana hasn't built an Hourglass and nobody except the team's Lee Sin or Urgot has any armor.

So instead of taking the slow, but easy win, we lose because we fought a stupid fight because my team was too bored to wait for a few creep waves to destroy a tower and push to victory with Super Minions.
So, what's the point of this tale? Obviously it's that the most important thing about winning isn't always having the most fun. If you think it's just fun to just press buttons regardless of consequence, personally I feel like you don't belong in Ranked in the first place.

Recognizing and acknowledging your team strengths and weaknesses vs the enemy team is incredibly important, especially with random people on your team who you don't know. It's incredibly important to have knowledge no matter how logical it should seem, be stated and acted upon in an environment where you care about the results.

If you are playing on a team where you might not like the choices made, at least stick to what the team itself should theoretically be good at to increase your odds of winning, no matter how weird or lackluster the team comp seems. This makes winning possible at lower skill levels where having a weird unproven team comp isn't as punishing.

Final thought on the topic: Below Platinum ELO Bracket, the game is (almost) NEVER decided at the Champion Select screen! 99.9% of the reason people lose with a "bad team comp" is due to bad play.


Duo Queuing
A lot of people are doing this wrong and the misconception really does hurt the Solo Ranked arena. Duo Queuing is supposed to increase your odds of winning by removing a 20% chance of having an unskilled player on your team.

However, it's not as simple as that. Duo Queuing with roles that can help each other increases that chance ever further by also boosting morale due to already good teamwork and synergy between part of the team. It makes easier to lead others when you are doing well and it also gives them confidence to follow you.

Top/Jungle or Mid/Jungle Duo can be strong, makes it so that you can control what happens Top and Mid.

Bot Duo allows for you to better control a lane. You can do things that are much more difficult to coordinate when 2 random Bot players team up.

To increase your chances of winning, you must exploit your advantage. Simply Duoing with no real plan outside of pretending both players are competent will basically give you the same odds of winning as if you just went completely solo. Create a plan, get good at it and use it to raise your ELO. If you and your partner aren't working well together (or working together at all outside of team fights), Duoing makes zero sense for you.


Blame Yourself, Carry Harder
This doesn't mean play hyper carries every game. Learn from your mistakes, disregard bad plays from other people and focus on what you could have done to change the game around.

The most common problems people avoid solving are quelling arguments or stopping people from putting down other players. Everyone gets upset at someone else's stupidity sometimes, some more than others. The problem is they can't look at themselves when they do something stupid. What it means to carry is to regulate the emotions of your entire team to get them into a mental state that can win.

Someone gives first blood, baby them a bit, tell them it's OK and to focus on not giving up anymore kills.

People are fighting over whatever, tell them to stop because typing can't win the game for your team.

If someone is putting you down, put them on ignore for 5 minutes or for the rest of the match. Seriously, the more someone puts you down, the worst you play and it doesn't benefit anybody. If they want to keep trash talking you, let them do it on mute, your job is to get back into the game and recover from your mistakes, not listen to someone cite every little thing you did. You were there, you know what happened, just don't let it happen again.

Communicate. If you need help, deny yourself CS and ask for it. Don't make the mistake of clamming up and staying silent until the damage is done and you start yelling at your Junglers and everyone else for not helping you if you couldn't be persistent enough to ask for help when you could not handle the situation.

Most of all, stop blaming other people. Focus on yourself. If nobody blamed anybody else except themselves and focused on how they should play instead of focusing on how bad everyone else played, games would be much more enjoyable for EVERYONE. Everyone should just focus on what they can do to help the team win and that would make games both closer and easier to win instead of either being complete stomps or frustrating.


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FaerellG

Senior Member

05-09-2012

Wow, I think you've consolidated all of the advice I've ever seen about "Elo Hell"...both the advice I've given and the advice I've seen.

I am a proud member of the "Elo Hell is a state of mind" club.


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Kirielis

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Senior Member

05-10-2012

I learnt new things from this thread.

=)


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BriskTV

Senior Member

09-03-2012

This is a very helpful guide, could you provide some link's to stream's/ videos to help support your explanations of each role.


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Sereg Anfaug

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Senior Member

09-03-2012

I didn't completely finish reading(yes, I'll go back to it as soon as I'm done posting, and I may have a few edits based on what else I read), but I did want to address some of your basic assumptions that there is no elo hell(this is from the perspective of a ~750 ELO player - maybe hell doesn't exist at 1000-1500 elo, but it's fair to say it's different down here).

First, this:
- Can play every role decently and is willing to play any role at that moment.
- Wants to and is focused on winning at that moment.
- Is willing to communicate with the team in one form or another (pings, typing, public voip).

- Definitely not. I see *alot* of redundant lane calls, and alot of trolling when someone doesn't get the lane they want. ("I called it first" "too bad I'm first pick, I'm going mid" "well, I'm still picking Ahri, whether you go mid or not" *instalock Brand* * instalock Ahri* and we end up with two AP carry champions - this doesn't happen every game, but it's not at all uncommon). Again, this may not be the case in higher ELO brackets that some would consider hell, but where I am, it does happen.

- Wants to win? Yes. Is focused on it and going about it the best way possible?(and I don't necessarily mean playing well, I mean blaming teammates instead of playing) Not necessarily. I don't know what it's like above 1400 ELO, and I was only there when I got carried up my first few ranked matches after level 30, but once I dropped back down to where I belong, I can tell you there's alot of rage and alot of blaming down here. Even those not inclined to do so will often respond in kind when it's directed at them first.

- Not necessarily not willing, but sometimes lack the knowledge to do so. In my ELO bracket, there are genuinely bad players who do not grasp alot of the concepts of the game, so communication can't be relied on. Again, this isn't everybody, but it does happen.

You also addressed players with a pre-disposition to play a certain champion regardless of their lane opponent, or even their lane. I agree with you that this should only be done in unranked matches, but unfortunately at my ELO, "I'm teemo" is also not too terribly uncommon. It's not everybody, but it does happen.

And as far as departures from the Meta - not everyone down here is even aware there is one. I've been guilty of it when I first started ranked, fresh off level 30, and while I've since learned alot and play mostly with the meta now, people at my elo don't. Some don't know about it, some don't care about it because they think they're going to do really well with a certain champion in a certain lane because it happened once before or they saw someone else do it, but the fact is, there really is no reliable meta down here.

My point with all of this is that it's entirely possible to find yourself on teams who don't understand what it takes to win. Ultimately, it should balance out, that is, you should find yourself on the team capable of winning as often as on the team that's not, but the fact is, alot of it is up to chance here. Then again, that seems like it should be the case at any elo... there's always that possibility of the guy who got carried up(yep, me, at the very start of my ranked career) who will throw the game for an otherwise competent team who would otherwise have won(yep, also me... sorry =X I'm sure I threw alot of teams on my way from 1400 to 750, just by being inexperienced/bad).

And while those people do get weeded out at higher elos, they're going to give the good players a bad time while they're there. Down here, that's all we have - players who throw games by lack of experience and skill. There's the very rare player who's been dragged all the way down by teams like that, and sometimes he'll get with a decent team and carry them, and sometimes he'll get with a terrible team, or an afker, and drop down even farther.

And that's really where the idea of elo hell comes from - the fact that, no matter how capable you are, your random teammates can throw the game for you. That's why, despite playing several hundred unranked games, buying a score of new champions, and actually making my rune pages look like something decent(kind of, they still need alot of work) since leaving ranked play, I'm not ready to go back.

I know without a doubt that I'm better then I was, and better then my ELO bracket... but that doesn't mean I'll be able to make it out.

Edit: I've finished reading now. It's a good guide - unfortunately, the people who need it most will never see it. Some of it's basic common sense, and some of it is high level(or at least, high level from the perspective of someone at my ELO) tactics, and neither of these are prevalent down where I am. I'll certainly take away and apply as much as I can from it, but I can't influence my teammates beyond a certain point. Sometimes they listen when you tell them that typing won't win the game, but much more often, they don't care and keep blaming whoever they're blaming - especially if that person is me, but even when it's not. Negative attitude is something I can control in myself, but beyond that, it can't really be helped.


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Geonde

Senior Member

09-13-2012

Great guide, this should help out quite a few new players.