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[Solo Q Secrets #006] Breathe In (The Soul-Crushing Defeat)

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NOTE 1: I don't have ELO to back me up. My rank sucks, but I still have wisdom to share, and I do play with many high-ELO friends. I've written a book about League, and I run my own business as a life-coach.

I share what I've learned here aimed to help others. I offer people Fresh, Creative Ideas they may not have heard. I offer a chance to EXPERIMENT and potentially IMPROVE your game EXPERIENCE.

I know you can appreciate the time it took to write, and I trust you'll be gentle and kind.

But, hey... if you gotta hate, or take sides, or pick fights -- best of luck to ya, I'm sure it'll
take you far in life

NOTE 2: Like my other Solo Q “Secrets”, these are just my own experiences, and conclusions I’ve discovered. I’m a human being, I’m sharing things I feel will help others. They are SUGGESTED EXPERIMENTS.


[Solo Q Secrets #007] Clash Of The Titans’ … Personalities

The Story:
So I love playing support.

I feel it’s the most underrated role.

Riot doesn’t track # of wards placed, they don’t show off how many times you saved a teammate, or how many last hits you helped your AD Carry get, but that’s okay.

I still love playing support.
  • I love it because it’s a bit less intense and I can be more aware of the map.
  • I love it because I get to bait hard.
  • I love it because it’s the ultimate in teamwork, and AD Carry without a decent support is usually in for a very rough time.

So I pick Nunu, and I usually play him without taking consume until like level 11. It’s pure buffs and debuffs for my ADC until then.

Having me in your lane lets you have a permanent phantom dancer from level 1 onward, making it super-easy for you to farm.

I also zone the enemies pretty hard, and keep the lanes extremely well warded.

The only thing Nunu doesn’t do is sustain or prevent damage (save from his iceball debuff.)

So there I am, playing a super-smart, super-helpful support for a Caitlyn.

Ah, but this Caitlyn is either a very foolish player, inexperienced at the game, lane matchup, or playing with a quality Nunu


They have a very different playstyle than myself, and we have not had time to adapt to each other, ‘cause we’re two strangers thrown into the game.

The same thing can often happen with solo top & jungler.

So we’re in lane and I’m constantly buffing her, I’m talking permanent chain buff.

Most AD Carries feel like superman when I do this.

If they’re wise and able to adjust, they’ll still play safe and realize that although they’re faster and more DPS, a single CC and heavy burst will own them, and we have no sustain.

This Caitlyn does NOT do that though.

She charges in head first into Graves’ burst, then she gets poked by Sona, and now she’s burned her pots, and is down to minimal HP.

And now the blame starts.

“Nunu! WTF, help!”

I don’t know what “WTF, help!” means. Does he want me to buff more? Zone more? Ward more?

Because I’m already doing that better than most.

Does he want me to die with him?


That’s exactly it!

I didn’t realize it at the time, but my friend really opened my eyes to the power of 'playstyle.'

He was telling me that someone he can get along with in LOL, he had a lot of trouble playing with in DOTA.

The reason?

They had totally different playstyles in DOTA.

So this Caitlyn I was playing with doesn’t really know why he’s pissed.

He doesn’t know how to express himself.

He just knows he hates dying and missing out on kills and he needs someone to blame.

From what I can tell…

The truth is, he’s pissed because I don’t go hyper-aggressive, suicidal, lets-trade-for-kills style.

The truth is, we have different play styles, and neither of us are handling it well.

My preferred playstyle is to play smart and safe, especially for the early levels, where champs are delicate, money is low, and escapes have long cooldowns.

This means:
  • I recognize that League Of Legends is a snowball game, and staying alive is more important than chasing kills.
  • I rarely ever cross the river
  • I pull my lane
  • I play safe
  • I use the power of my lane’s turret
  • I ward heavily
  • I focus on an early gold advantage
  • I maintain high map awareness instead of getting tunnel vision on my lane or enemies.
  • I take kills when the enemy makes a mistake and over-extends into my territory.

So there you have it, that’s the way I like to play. It works for me, it’s really really intelligent and…

…it’s not for everyone.

Some people hate playing that way and they’re basically the opposite of me.

This means:
  • They prioritize first blood
  • They feel it’s important to immediately and impactfully dominate their lane.
  • Kills are generally all important, and they’d gladly die for one, (sometimes even if it’s a support for a carry trade :P)
  • They don’t care about investing in anything except kill-power.
  • They usually feel the game will be won not by towers, but by demoralizing the enemy through kills.
  • They spend most of their time vulnerable to ganks extended deep into enemy territory in unwarded lanes.
  • They get many kills but give up a high number of deaths as well.

I’m not saying one style is better than the other.

I’m saying that I understand both styles exist, but most solo q peeps are blind to it.

And I’m saying that this knowledge can help you solo q a LOT better, because it opens up some solutions:

Only play when you can find 1 friend to duo queue with who understands your play style.

This is pretty self-explanatory – if you’re gonna play bot lane, make sure you have a support or ADC friend who’s style doesn’t play against you. If you play safe and smart, focusing on tiny steps, improvements, and advantages for the early game, play with someone who co-operates.

If you play crazy, wild, and feel kills win the game and you love trading for them, play with someone who gets that.

Same goes if you’re mid or solo top.

If you’re the type to push, push, push the lane, and you harass hard for kills - get a jungler who understands and can tower dive with you.

If you play real safe, farming like a boss and pulling the lane, get a jungler who has sustain or mobility or CC to help relieve pressure on you.

Try and take more ‘solo’ roles like mid or top lane, where you don’t have to rely too much on others.

Even though there’s still co-operation and teamwork involved with mid/top, at least when you’re When you’re in those lanes, it’s you vs. the enemy.

Whether you live or die doesn’t matter too much about the direct co-operation of others, and your main threats come from ganks. Simply play how you want, keep your map awareness very high, and you can take your own playstyle without clashing with a lane-mate.

Communicate your playstyle clearly and early.

Personally, my favorite solution is to ADAPT your playstyle, but if you’re gonna stick to your playstyle and not budge for any reason, at least communicate it quickly and clearly to the rest.

It’s common courtesy and it saves tons of trouble.

I’m talking in pre-game chat if possible. Say it right away:

COPY and PASTE your playstyle into your text buffer and paste it in pre-game chat.

“I call ADC and I play very aggressive so I need a support who gets that.”


“I play support and I play it safe and smart, so don’t expect me to dive with you lvls 1-6.”

Sometimes people dodge when I do this, but that is good, because those are people I would’ve had a nightmare lane with.

They won’t understand simple communication and they’re not interested in letting me play my way, or working around another human being… at all.

After a dodge or two I get someone who says: “Cool, I’ll be Vayne” or something, and we have a co-operative game/lane.

Better that than raging, feeding, and losing ELO hard, eh?

Adapt your playstyle to the playstyle of others.

This is my favorite, ‘cause it leaves you with the most power.

Plus you can practice and get really good at it, and hopefully have an easier time playing with everyone.

For example, I told you I play really secure, making tiny moves and farm that eventually add up to a huge advantage over the course of the game, while giving up few deaths. This is similar to most pro solo q’ers’ streams I’ve watched.


If I’m laning with someone and I see them camp the lane bush, extend past the river, rush around soaking up damage as they try to harass and kill while they ignore CS…

…it’s very obvious where their priorities are.

They have an aggressive playstyle, and they care most about kills.

If I play my normal way, I’ll help him farm and outlevel the enemy, but he doesn’t care. He just wastes my buffs and chunks down his own HP, zoning himself hard.

He’s not aware or experienced enough to change, and he doesn’t understand the solo q psychology, but I do.

He inflicts a LOT of damage on BOTH of our enemies, but manages to close neither kill.

Instead he just wastes his spells, summoners, HP and dies.

Why? Because I have no heal to help him, and I do barely any damage.

It’s basically his aggressive ass vs. two (possibly skilled) opponents.

I’ll do my best to tank or help him escape back to tower when he’s way past the river, but he won’t make it and I’ll likely die as well.


‘Cause our playstyles clash.

We’re playing against each other. He can’t do what he loves to do, and his rushing forward makes my style almost useless.

And it sucks.

But I get this, and I can adapt.

So instead of my normal gold item of (Heart Of Gold), I’ll switch it up for some DPS like Kage’s Lucky Pick or Avarice Blade –

So I’m still getting my gold, but now I can really deliver a punch to cement the kill.
Instead of the enemy getting away and us both dying, he deals tons of DPS, I secure the kill and it’s 1 for 1, or if I deal enough DPS, we get a nice 1 for 2.

And since I know I’ll be taking heavy dmg from following him in, I grab an early point or 2 in consume so I can live through the awkward early fights.
See how I adjusted my items and skills and attitude so that our lane doesn’t feed all game?

Better than my ADC dying, me living, and him raging as he continues feeding the enemy with his aggressive diving but never closing.

It’s a simple choice right? Play against your lanemate’s style and end up feeding all game, or work with him and keep the deaths even, or maybe even come out ahead.

Educate them to the benefits of your playstyle using firm lessons. This is a super-advanced technique that I won't go into here, and it takes serious confidence & bad@$$ness.)



LOL has a huge player base of millions.

The people you get matched with have different playstyles.

This causes a problem in solo queue, but you can solve it.

So I’ve offered 4 solutions that have helped me, all based on the fact that human beings have different playstyles, and you’re gonna be gaming with them.

Also on the knowledge that a very small percentage of who you solo queue with is going to get this stuff.

Get out there, pay more attention to the playstyles of yourself and others, and see if you can use that to have a better game.

Thanks so much for reading, and I’d love to hear results if you try it!


Like this? Read more of the series:
[Solo Q Secrets #001] Surrendering Wins Games (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2773231)
[Solo Q Secrets #002] Boring S*** Gets You Kills (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2776580)
[Solo Q Secrets #003] The Skills Of Strangers (Or... Not) (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2786337)
[Solo Q Secrets #004] ELOs Like Money - Use It Wisely (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2789566)
[Solo Q Secrets #005] P-P-P-P-P-Pokerface. (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2797814)

Think this series should be seen by more people?

Reply and BUMP IT or...


Thanks so much, guys!

Keep ryzin'!

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Senior Member


Can a mod pls delete this? it was an accidental post!