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Request for general advice

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Sereg Anfaug

Senior Member

08-25-2012

I've been playing for a few months now. I have a fairly good grasp of overall gameplay - map awareness, warding, global objectives, and build strategy. However, my actual ingame play is weak.

My biggest issue seems to be farming - I generally do well as a support or a jungler, so long as my lanes aren't losing and I'm not being counterjungled too well, but in the other lanes I have difficulty.

My strongest farming is with an AD carry - it seems like the ranged autoattacks and stronger damage give me enough to farm effectively without too much trouble. However, I still often miss a reasonable percentage of my last hits, and in some games I get zoned out, harassed, or pushed back to my tower, and can't farm at all.

With mid I'm a bit less effective, although I don't have as much trouble with harassment. However, due to the weaker autoattacks, I often find myself spamming abilities to get last hits, which drains my mana(most of the mids I have are mana users) faster then otherwise necessary.

Top is by far my worst lane - I find it very difficult to get last hits, and I almost always get harassed away from my farm. When I try to harass back, it's ineffective and often puts me in a disadvantageous position.

I also find that, late game, I very rarely have an impressive score. I go positive when my team wins, but almost never do I have a very large KDAR, and often I have far more assists then kills, even when playing AP or AD carries - I notice that other players, whether on my team or the other team, often have very strong scores and can seemingly carry the game, but I'm almost never at that point, even when I'm doing well.

If anyone can offer some advice on what I'm doing wrong, what I might be able to try, or in general how I can be more effective in lane, I'd appreciate it. Obviously responses from experienced, high elo players will be preferred, but anyone who has an idea what I can improve is welcome to post.

Thanks for reading.


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FaerellG

Senior Member

08-26-2012

How are you gauging your last hits?

Some people stare at the HP numbers and reference their attack damage number in their head and attack at the moment it drops within kill range.
Some people just sort of judge by the width of the HP bar on the minion and they sort of know how much of the bar their auto attack will take off.

Try one or the other and learn it well and practice it.

With regards to harassment, the common trick is "harass them while they're last hitting". When anyone go for a last hit, they stop to auto attack. In that split second, you should be harassing them because they can't harass you back (if they do, they'll miss out on the last hit).

You also want to keep in mind when your champion is strongest. For example, I play Sivir a lot. Her harass potential is in her boomerang blade primarily and being able to land that double hit. I level it on levels, 1, 3, 5, 7. This means that on those odd numbered levels, my BB will hit harder than my opponent might suspect, so I'll play more aggressive on those levels knowing that I have a damage advantage if they try to fight me.

You have to compare this to when your opponent is stronger as well. If your opponent is someone that also someone that loads a particular nuke ability first, then they'll also be strong on those levels. You need to learn champions and how they're typically leveled and compare the damage potential.

Items are also important. Dorans blade vs boots and pots? A Dorans will win a prolonged engagement due to higher AD, higher raw HP, and some life steal. But Boots+pots will win a sustain and passive poke situation.

You can also set up your pre-game for this as well:
Runes/Masteries and picks/counterpicks.

If you're Bot, you can expect AD damage, so stacking Armor runes is good knowing your opponent likely has armor runes too, you should pack armor penetration. Ideally both players will have this, so it evens out...but if you don't have this you're likely to lose trades.
Like-wise, mid typically packs Magic Resist runes.
Top is more difficult as both AP and AD champions go up there.
Junglers universally pack Armor because the jungle monsters are all physical.

Picks and Counter picks are also important.
Top lane is most apparent. Champions like Nasus and Poppy have weaker early games and need farm to be good later on. So a strong harasser can beat them down and chase them out of lane. So you don't want to pick either of those two if your opponent has a strong harasser in top lane...or they haven't picked yet.

Similarly, a strong sustain champion will be able to shrug off the harass and keep on farming, so a harasser tends to lose out on their advantage.

Don't counter pick yourself and try not to let your opponent counter pick you.


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Lord Puppy Fury

Senior Member

08-26-2012

In regards to assist, there are some games that, even as the ADC, the game gods decide I'm fated to assist that game. Even if I do the lion's share of the damage, I cannot get the last hit on an enemy to save my life. As long as the enemy is dead, it doesn't really matter. What's frustrating is when someone walks over to do nothing but last hit an almost dead enemy, but they generally have unimpressive genitalia and need a huge kill number to feel better about themselves. So shrug and move on.


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Sereg Anfaug

Senior Member

08-26-2012

Thanks for the responses.

Faerell, I suppose I would fall into the second category - I'm kinda looking at the width of the HP bar and trying to hit when it's low enough. Of course, I'm also usually clicking around the map to keep moving so I don't present an easy target, and so I don't autoattack when I don't mean to, and that clicking often throws off my timing. I also have a bit of difficulty when multiple minions are low simultaneously - I have a hard time prioritizing them, and often miss both(or all) of them.

As far as boots/pots versus dorans - I'm always boots/pots, simply for the added movement speed and the sustain. I will generally pick up a doran's when I back, so I scale better, but I don't like starting with one. I expect I'd need to be alot better to make one work for me.

I do know many champion abilities, including my own, so I'll try to keep those in mind while I'm playing, and use them to guage when I have an advantage like you said - thanks. What I don't know very well is counterpicking. I have only the most basic(and, probably, incorrect) notions of which champions are strong against which - probably because at my level of play, a weak player who counterpicks someone based on some list he's seen online may still lose lane, often rather badly, so counterpicks don't always identify themselves as strongly as they would at higher levels of play.

That said, they would be helpful to know, because I imagine that counterpicking will provide some advantage regardless of player skill, and every little bit helps.

As far as Runes go, I'm still pretty far behind on those. I have two basic pages for AD and AP, neither of which is especially profound - they're sort of thrown together runes I picked up while I was still learning the game. They do make sense, but they're not focused like a good rune page should be.

Then I also have a jungle page, which is focused, but of course doesn't provide much in laning.

Beyond that, I haven't been able to spare the IP for a new rune page, or for better organized runes, so I don't have too many options from Runes. I do have more Mastery pages, but those aren't quite as versatile as runes, and I generally find those more useful to boost the way my champion plays rather then to counter the way my opponent plays.

As far as top lane, I own both Nasus and Poppy - I do occasionally use Nasus, simply because I find his passive lifesteal lets me sustain longer then I can with most other tops I own, and between his abilities I can usually prevent myself being harassed too strongly - however, my play with him still falls far short of what I'd like it to be. And I don't even use Poppy top anymore - I just have far too much trouble farming, and no way to sustain or really harass back effectively. I think Vlad might work for me - ranged autoattacks, health restoration to sustain, and a good evasion ability, but the cost is somewhat prohibitive at the moment.

And of course there are issues of counterpicking to worry about with him as well - I know I can't rely on a single champion for a lane, too. Just a thought.

Thanks again for the advice - I'll try to refine my playing with what you've told me, and hopefully it will help.

Lord, I know it doesn't matter too much whether I'm the one with the kills or the assists, so long as we win - I just wonder if there's something I'm missing that the people with the very impressive scores have.


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FaerellG

Senior Member

08-26-2012

Quote:
Sereg Anfaug:
I'm also usually clicking around the map to keep moving so I don't present an easy target, and so I don't autoattack when I don't mean to, and that clicking often throws off my timing.

That sounds like a problem with APM and precision. I don't have any good advice for you except: practice.

There's a work-around measure that you can do with lower APM. Click further, so you don't have to click as much, but stay in attack range of the minon or try to time your movement such that you move within attack range of the minion as it gets low. This way you click less and can focus more on precision.

It doesn't make up entirely for having low APM, but it might help your last hitting.
Quote:
Sereg Anfaug:
I also have a bit of difficulty when multiple minions are low simultaneously - I have a hard time prioritizing them, and often miss both(or all) of them.

Ok, this is a bit easier to answer. You have 2 options.

1. Use skills. Skills don't care about your auto attack timer, so you auto attack 1 and blast the other with a skill. If your skill is an AoE skill, you'll probably push your lane though, so this could be risky. Skills also tend to do more damage. So you can use a skill to last hit while they're at a higher hp, then when that's done, the other one will be in range of an auto attack.

2. Foresight. If you see 2 minions that look like they're going to get to last hit timing at the same time, you can preemptively do some damage to one of them to get them to reach that last hit range at different times. This requires you being good at estimating how fast their HP goes down. Simple example:
2 minions at full and you see that they're getting hit by the same number/type of minions each. You know that they're going to get to last hit range at the same time. Auto attack 1 of them down so one is lower and will get to last hit range earlier.

This also pushes the lane, but pushes it far less than an AoE skill.

Quote:
Sereg Anfaug:
As far as boots/pots versus dorans - I'm always boots/pots, simply for the added movement speed and the sustain. I will generally pick up a doran's when I back, so I scale better, but I don't like starting with one. I expect I'd need to be alot better to make one work for me.

I don't think you need to be better. You just need to understand matchups and pre-game decisions. Another way to think of this:
Your Runes and Masteries combined account for enough stats to be worth at least 2 starting items (maybe more, stuff like CDR is hard to itemize for).

So a popular example I like to use for this is Akali because her starting set up is the most finicky because she wants to hit that AD and AP threshold to activate both halves of her Passive.

If you can hit 20 AP and 10 AD using only masteries and runes, your opening items are flexible. You can do whatever you want.

However, you can decide that certain masteries/runes are more important than the AD/AP ones, so you fall behind on those stats. Say you want Spell Pen in your masteries/runes, perfectly reasonable as penetration is hard to itemize for. You're still able to hit 10 AD though, but you have trouble with the AP. So now your starting buy is locked into buying Amp Tome and pots.

You can shuffle this around as you will. The benefits end up being pretty balanced most of the time. So, back to the Boots vs Dorans opener discussion. What are you packing in your runes?

I pack MS quints so I don't always need to start boots, but it also means I'm weaker on trades, so I make up for it with Doran's Blade (10 ad, 100 hp, 3% lifesteal).
I could pack 3 AD quints, that would give me 14 AD, but I miss out on 100 hp and life steal then. But boots would give me more MS than MS quints and potions provide better sustain than life steal.

It's a trade off. That's really the decision I'm making when I think about Doran's Blade vs Boots. It's tied into my Rune/Mastery decisions.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, but those are the factors involved in the decision you're making.

If you want to get even more complicated, someone like Sivir gets a MS boost when she hits an opponent. So that means chasing is easier. I don't need boots if I manage to land a basic attack. Or champs like Ezreal could rely on his Arcane shift for movement and be less concerned about move speed.

Lots of factors and playstyle to consider.


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Sereg Anfaug

Senior Member

08-26-2012

Part of the decision to go boots/pots instead of doran's is because I'm not entirely comfortable being without a method of healing. It even makes me nervous playing a non-healer support when my adc goes doran's. I just don't like the inability to sustain in lane, I guess. And yes, I know doran's gives lifesteal, but 3% isn't really very much - I often have a hard time lifesteal sustaining even after I pick up a vampiric sceptre(which is a pretty common item in my adc builds). Part of it, I think, is not wanting to push the lane - you don't restore much if you're only last hitting, and if you choose to target the champions instead of minions, you risk taking more damage then you're healing.

As far as my runes go - like I said, they're kinda confused, and they need alot of work, and I only have three pages to work with, and not many runes that aren't in those pages.

I have 9 MR per level glyphs, which feature in my AD page and jungle page, and some in my AP page because I haven't got all the AP glyphs I want yet, 9 flat armor seals which are in the AD and jungle page, 8 flat mana regen seals on the AP page(need one more - I think the last AP seal is a gold per ten), 9 magic pen marks on my AP page, 9 flat AD marks on jungle, 3 Lifesteal quints on the jungle page and one each on the other two(don't have multiples of anything else yet), one movespeed quint on AP and AD, one AP per level quint on AP, one crit damage quint on AD, and then a cluster**** of assorted crit damage, attack speed, armor pen, destruction, and ad per level marks on the AD page.

So - alot of work to do to fix what I do have. More rune pages and more runes to specialize are a long way away, so while I'm getting benefits from my rune pages, I don't actually have much versatility from them yet.


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Sereg Anfaug

Senior Member

08-27-2012

Bump. Got alot of good advice so far, still curious what others might have to say.


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Sereg Anfaug

Senior Member

08-30-2012

Bump.


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Lethadind

Senior Member

08-30-2012

FaerellG covered a lot of what people can tell you, as he usually does.

As far as Pre-game and first items go, this would be my advice:

As an adc, many people get AD runes so they make up for the Doran's, then go Boots+pots. FaerellG sort of covered this, but he left it open. I would say for what you struggle with, go with AD runes. As an ADC you usually aren't focused on killing champions until mid-game, until then you are simply CSing the hell out of those minions. You do this best with increased attack damage. When you have a sustain champ like soraka and taric as your support, I would honestly go Doran's. They can keep your health up, you shouldn't need the movespeed to be honest because you aren't chasing early game, and so it helps you even further for last hitting (+24 damage to your hits is substantial, especially at levels 1-4). Plus your poke and harass will be far more effective. However if you have a kill lane like volibear, blitzcrank, etc. it's best to go with boots+pots because you WILL be chasing, and taking damage while you do it, if only from the minions.

For a jungler, armor pen and Attack speed do more than flat attack damage or lifesteal.

As far as your trouble with getting kills. As an ADC you can try letting people know at the beginning of the game that once teamfights start, letting you get the kills goes further for the team. Don't tell them this after it's already late-game and you have a KDR of 1/2/27.

Also, if it's between you and a champ that deserves or needs the kill less than you, wait to use a nuke until they are almost dead, then use it. Don't do this to ks, but when both of you have engaged at basically the same time and have equal share to the kill, but you need it more, take it however you can. ESPECIALLY if you know that the fool is going to die, you don't need to plug out all of your abilities at once, you can wait to do so when he's low, essentially bursting his last 10% of health down to ensure you get the kill. This is harder to do with the ADC, especially if you're already behind, though.

My advice with getting the kills as the ADC is, again, to work on your CS. By twenty minutes into the game, approximately 220 minions have spawned in your lane, aim for a CS of 150-200 by twenty minutes. Practice in a custom game by yourself, then practice in a custom game against a bot, then practice in an AI game, then in blind pick, then in draft mode. Working your way up like this (this is in terms of skill of your opponents, from no opponent to stupid opponents to fairly stupid opponents, to only slightly stupid opponents in draft ), it helps you focus on what's important first (gauging the health bar correctly), then working on the other minor things that get in the way (harass, counter-harass, lane getting pushed, jungle interference, death, etc.). Play 5ish games of each to 20 minutes (or to completion when in games with other players) focusing only on getting as high of a CS as possible (i.e. DO NOT TRY TO GET KILLS until the laning phase is over) should be enough straight up practice to make it automatic.

Good luck bro. I hope you aren't too lazy to do this, because it's good advice. Ha.


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Sereg Anfaug

Senior Member

08-31-2012

Thanks for the post. Just played a game with Urgot, having just bought him, and CS'ed way worse then I do with other carries - my overall score ended up being quite good, but my last hitting was quite awful. Now, part of that could very well be just an off game as far as last hitting, but it's very likely that the decreased emphasis on damage and especially attack speed made the difference - which means that I'm using those stats as kind of a crutch to make up for an inability to evaluate and make last hits by judging the health bar and timing my own movements.

So... just practice, then? Hopefully that will be the key to improvement in this area. I'll certainly give it a try. Thanks again for the posts.

By the way - as far as the Player vs. AI games go, that can be kind of a ****show since you're often competing with your lane partner for CS =P while I do practice new champions there before I bring them to PvP, I think I'll skip that phase of the CS training, unless you think I ought to do it for some reason(like predicting how much damage a minion is about to take before I time my attack on it, for example).


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