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Lane questions from a noob

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Gwylym

Junior Member

02-12-2013

So, I've been playing about 2 weeks and I'm up to level 9 and I usually end up with pretty good stats. But, I don't understand a lot about team strategy. So here are some of my questions I might add more to this later:

Why does it really matter what lane you're in? Furthermore why do people prefer either top or bottom? They all have the same number of towers and same spawn rate of minions. The only difference I see is how long it takes to return from base.

I like to play mage with a lot of burst damage and when I play Annie in random pvp people often have me go middle by myself. Why is it that people think Annie is a good choice for solo mid?


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Z The Slayer

Senior Member

02-13-2013

Actually, that's a very good question. Mostly, it depends on a sort of "Meta" (style of gaming that revolves on an outside source to determine your playstyle) that revolves around the dragon and the AD carry.

Dragon is a very important objective for early game, so applying pressure to the closest (bottom) lane will better guarantee your team getting the additional gold, but you still need other people in the other lanes. Considering the jungle creeps, buffs, and ganking presence is also important, so assume you need one person to jungle as well. This leaves you with two people in one lane, and one person in each other lane and in the jungle.

The ADC is usually the person with the most difficult early game, but the strongest late game. As a result, a "support" is usually thrown in with the ADC, usually someone that does not need gold to be effective (thus why most supports have good crowd control, buffs, or safe harassment), allowing the ADC to gather as much gold as possible, while still maintaining pressure in the Dragon's range.

Top is much harder to gank than the other lanes, and is (usually) much less mana dependent, meaning that even a partial gank won't be extremely debilitating to either their health, mana, or even cooldowns sometimes. This means that top is a much riskier gank, so whoever goes top has to be able to hold their own for the longest amount of time, especially since the jungler will want to be where the majority of players are (bottom half), as well as Dragon. The Jungler has to have some decent damage to clear the jungle fast enough to make it efficient, so the top-laner usually is a tanky champion (to help tank damage in team fights) with a balance of damage and survivability. We call this type of champion the "Bruiser" (Garen, Vi, Darius, etc).

Mid is a risky place, with two weak points. This seems like a bad spot, but remember that AP's usually have very powerful spells, allowing them to burst down an opponent to quickly turn a 2v1 gank into a 1v1 situation. They also often have stuns (Annie), crowd control (Lux), or agility (Ahri), all to keep them out of harm's way on a dime. This, plus their range, means that they don't have to get up close like top-lane bruisers do, and are usually at risk only when playing too aggressively.

Annie is considered a good AP mid because she has a massive stun that allows her to be extremely unpredictable in lane to unexperienced players. That, combined with her massive burst and free farming potential really makes her a solid choice for laning. I personally think Veigar has a much higher damage potential and is less random as far as CC goes (Annie can get caught off-guard), but he has a more difficult lane, less mana sustain, and is squishier in combat.


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Z The Slayer

Senior Member

02-13-2013

Also, remember that people pick their champions based on their lane. So when someone says "mid", they want to play a caster champion. "Top" is bruiser or anti-bruiser (like Nidalee or Teemo), and "Bot" is support and ADC. Part of it is also clarification. Teemo going top or bot plays the same, but can be confusing to your team as to who's going where. Nidalee can go in all three lanes. I've seen a Lee Sin go all three or jungle.

But for the most part, it has less to do with team coordination as much as a childish "dibs" system. Most people yell at you for picking a caster in a non-mid lane, but only having one AP per game isn't much fun a lot of the time. That's a major downer on the "Meta"; can't hardly ever play what you actually want on normals.


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iDpark

Senior Member

02-13-2013

Oh jeez.

Ok. 2 bot always, because you want more of your team near dragon, because it's really important. (190*5 gold for your team) It's about 2 kills worth.
ADC/ support, because its the safest and most reliable way to get to lategame. Other compositions bot can work, and may work better early, but without early kills, they end up underfed.

Solo AP caster mid, they can typically have better farm, and roam to either side lane after 6.

Solo top/jungler for better exp, gold
Actually the second easiest lane to gank, because its the longest lane.


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Hirumonogatari

Senior Member

02-13-2013

another reason the AP goes mid is because they scale well with levels. they want to rank up their skills as quickly as possible to utilize their damage.


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Doctor Bumble

Senior Member

02-13-2013

Quote:
CSZHUNG:
another reason the AP goes mid is because they scale well with levels. they want to rank up their skills as quickly as possible to utilize their damage.


(For people who don't know, as I didn't for much of my early LoL career, experience is divided between nearby champions so solo laners level up faster than duo laners.)


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vortical42

Senior Member

02-13-2013

Z_the_slayer said it best, although I would have to disagree about top lane being the hardest to gank. Mid is much more difficult to gank sucessfully for two reasons. The lane is shorter, so the window of opportuinity to get a kill before your target escapes is much smaller. It is also much easier for the enemy team to counter-gank you if they had good ward coverage.

The thing to remember about all the advice you see here regarding the 'meta' is that it comes from trying to emulate professional players who are attempting to optimize every last detail of their preformance. Understanding the reasons why they do certain things is good, but some of the strategies they use require a level of practise and teamwork that is way beyond your current capabilities. At your level of play, it's far better to have everyone playing a champion they are comfortable with than forcing people to play a particular lane/role just because 'the meta says so'.


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Z The Slayer

Senior Member

02-13-2013

Vi mid=F*** YO META.


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Tang Bohu

Recruiter

02-13-2013

Okay, basically Z is right, but I will just say things as far as I understand/see them. Maybe I will give some (good)extra input.

Top Lane: For the most part, it is basically an island because you are far from important objectives, and your lane is stretched out farther than mid. This means, for the most part, you will be alone up there. The next fact is for when you aren't alone; it is by far the easiest lane to gank.. (Will explain why as I go on.) Due to this, a Top Laner needs one very important Skill: Survivability. This something that every top laner has to have our it won't work. That is why they are generally bruisers. They are generally champs you don't fight fairly against. You gang up on them.

Top Laner Notes: Some Top laners are better than others, these are the ones that provide more than just the Survivability.
Ex:
Akali, she has shroud, high mobility, sustain with passive, and she can assassinate the enemy carries rather quickly/chase down straggles(plus huge snowballing ability)

Jax, snowballs extremely hard, can even beat a ADC late game given the right circumstances, amazing duelist, and can provide a decent contribution to teamfights.

Yorick: Lane Monster with great sustain, and can assist as a meat shield, minor cc, and extra DPS Utility with a good ADC.

Nasus: He is an example of a (bad) Solo-top. His early game is garbage, his dueling is sub par at best(imo), he requires a lot of farm time that can easily be used against him, teamfight contributions are meh, and games usually end before he becomes a monster. (If the game drags out a crazy amount of time, like Veigar and Sion, He becomes a walking death machine.)

Jungler: Junglers have 4 varying traits(generally), which are, sustain, dueling abilities, fast clear times, and ganking skills(good CC) This varies between different jungler styles, but they each jungler is there for differing reasons and will have at least some of those traits. A bonus to them is being effective with few items(similar to support but not quite as extreme) due to lower gold stream.

Jungler Notes: Better junglers will be ones that are able to transition/adapt to different enemy team comps.

Ex:
Lee Sin: He is an absolute monster on all levels for the first thirty minutes of the game, which is likely how long the game will last.

Hecarim: He has good mobility, decent CC, and he snowballs hard. Not only does he snowball very well, but he naturally becomes stronger as the game goes. The reason why he does better than other "late game" junglers, is the longer it goes, the more he is able to force the game to continue simply by being strong.

Thresh(Bad): Seems cool, his ganks could be awesome, but his clears are slow, and stays slow. Also, he can't really duel for ****.

Mid Lane: Casters are needed for their huge Mid Game strength. While mostly High Burst, they also share a key trait. They tend to have no good escapes. Yes, they can have something, but it is generally unreliable. The reason mid is much more appealing is because the lane is shorter, an they can level up faster.

Ex Mids:

Karthus: He has no escapes aside from maybe his wall, is slow, easily killed if close, but also can farm from a distance easily and grows into an absolute monster in teamfights.

Malzahar: Destroys people in lane, flat out. He farms like a boss. He can also... Farm like a boss without being in lane. He can melt Tanks, Melt carries, Melt Bruisers, Melt Blue Buff. He is really really good at killing people. Unfortunately, he has no escapes and is vulnerable if outnumbered and/or has nobody to keep him from being focused in team fights. (Basically what an APC tends to be).

(IMO a Bad Example)Katarina: She has survivability, Burst, spammable abilities, a free spammable flash-esque ability, and can be somewhat tanky. She is also an assassin that can/tends to go top, and if mid, can easily be shut down. (My point is that she tends to do better Top lane in my opinion).

Annie: She is mostly point-and-click, has no escapes given that she likely won't have stun up when a gank happens, and can cycle up a stun to set up ganks. She is also High Burst.

Bottom Lane:

ADC: ADC's Scale well with items, and "got madd deeps mannn". They generally need to be ranged because they tend to go more one the side of a "glass cannon" build. They are weak early, but Late game are generally the deciding factor of the game.

Ex:

Ezreal: He has a free flash(that does damage too), good poking abilities, and all around good skills as an ADC, not to mention his Global AoE Ult.

Graves: Everything you want in an ADC. He has good burst due to impressive AD scaling on abilities and good base. He has a dash, and some survivability/dueling due to True Grit and Smokescreen.

Ashe: Her passive makes her naturally crit more often than other champs. So, if she has the two staple items, Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer, she will basically crit constantly dropping people left and right. In addition to this, her kit gives great utility to her team with a toggle slow, AoE slow, a Clairvoyance, and the best, if not only, initiator of any ADC.(Her ult is one of the best initatiors period.)

Jayce and Nidalee: They can't afford to build like an adc due to short range and half their skills forcing them to melee range. (Same reason why ADCs aren't in this meta.)

Supports: Supports need removed entirely because they are useless.....jk.. (-__-)

Supports are champs that require little-to-no farm to be useful. They basically exist to win the lane for their ADC. This is done by doing one or more of the following: zoning, protecting, feeding them kills, warding, helping farm under turret, harass, not stealing farm when the ADC is around.

That is it, and a pretty much any champion CAN be support. This doesn't make them good supports though.

Support Notes: Better supports tend to have less Damage Heavy abilities, so them buying items to scale these and leveling to max them wouldn't matter all too much.

Ex:

Alistar: A heal, Naturally Tanky, Good CC for defense and offense. He is one of my favorite supports.

Leona: Naturally tanky(moreso than Alistar), lots of CC, passive that naturally helps allies kill-steal from her to get fed.

Fiddlesticks: A fear, a stun, natural sustain with drain. Can take dragon solo even as a support. Still does great Base damage on his signature ability(Cawcawcaw).

Lulu/Taric: All around abilities. They has Shields, heals, and abilities that boost ally DPS.

(Bad)Nasus: He seems to fit since a lot of tanks do well as support. His kit can help with dueling as well. Unfortunately he is easy to demolish early game and without farming(his Q) and building items he pretty much sucks all game(including when he should be peaking if you make it late game).

(Bad)Yorick: He is awesome, for about 5 levels. He needs farm to continue being strong. Aside from his ult, he will pretty much die instantly and provide nothing but extra damage from a likely underfed ADC.

TL;DR: Meta did it.

EDIT: Any comments, critiques, feedback, and/or questions are welcome.


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Gwylym

Junior Member

02-13-2013

Wow, this was actually really useful I think.


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