Why Am I Here: A Guide to Roles and Lanes
Season Four Updated
This guide is intended for new players who are unsure of certain aspects of the game. In this guide, I plan to shed a little light on the meta, the individual lanes, champion roles, game phases, and item builds. If you want to scroll down, youíll find a Table of Contents to help navigate the guide.
As of November 23, 2013, the entire guide had an overhaul to include the Season Four changes. If you read the Season Three version, I recommend reading the Season Four version to find the additions and changes. As of this moment, S4 Preseason has just started so the changes and additions Iím making are based purely on Riot posts, knowledgeable inferences, and some playtesting.
The guide is too long to fit in one post, so you will see the guide continued on the following post.
LAST EDIT: 11-23-2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. What Does ďMetaĒ Mean?
2. What is the Current Meta?
3. What are the Different Roles?
4. Why is my Champion Supposed to go to a Certain Lane?
5. What are the Game Phases? (Early, Mid, Late Game)
6. How Do Items Affect Me?
7. Why Is This Meta Effective?
8. What Do Some of these Terms Mean?
WHAT DOES ďMETAĒ MEAN?
When you queue up for a game, whether itís for PvP or bots, you may hear someone mention the meta. The meta says this, the meta says that, stop breaking the metaÖ When I first started back in April 2012 , I had no idea what they were talking about and ignored it for longer than I should have.
For all the new players out there curious, the meta is a layout chosen by the players and most commonly played due to its effectiveness at winning games. Much later in the guide, I will explain why the meta is effective, but for now, just know that I speak many truths.
You may be wondering who chooses the meta. I know that I said that the players choose the meta, but let me explain what I really mean. It usually starts in the highest levels of competitive gameplay where very knowledgeable and experienced players try a strategy or team composition that works very well. Itís used again and again until it is proven to be an effective strategy/team composition for winning games. It then trickles down through all levels until everyone is playing. Thus, a meta is born.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT META?
Right now, this is the standard team composition and layout:
Marksman (Ranged AD Carry)
Mage, Assassin (AP Carry)
Solo Top Lane:
One of the following: Tank, Fighter, Off-Tank, or some variation
The Jungler goes here, and those champions are generally Assassins, Tanks, or Fighters
Before I go any further, I want to explain something very key about the meta you see above you. This is only one out of many ways to play the game. You can break the meta and do something completely different. In fact, over time the meta even changes. What you see here is not set in stone. HOWEVER, it is the most used and is proven to be effective.
At higher levels, you may see two damage characters going bot. You may see the Marksman going top or mid. You may see double jungle. You may see all kinds of things. The introduction of team builder encourages trying new things and actually encourages teams working together to break the meta.
But for now, just now that two in bot, one in top and mid, and then one roaming the jungle is the current meta.
WHAT ARE THE ROLES?
In the previous section, I named off things such as Ranged AD Carry, Marksman, Support, Assassin Jungler, Tank, Bruiser, Off-Tank, and Fighter. Here, I will explain what the function of each role is and how/why they work. I will not explain why they go a certain lane here, as thatís a later section.
A support is someone who makes their teammates stronger, primarily by substantiating the Marksman. The best supports are those who have a lot of crowd control effects like stuns, slows, snares, knock ups, silences, and things such as that. They also have abilities that help or buff their allies like shields, heals, movement speed boosts, and stat buffs. Sometimes a tanky character will go support, meaning that theyíre also going to provide a good initiation factor for the character, though weíll get into tanks further down.
With the introduction of Season Fours, supports got a major overhaul to help their gameplay, but it also changed a few things. Because of the new AP scaling, it is now very common to see Mages such as Fiddle, Annie, Zyra, and LeBlanc go into the support role. Some argue that this is a good thing, but some argue it's a bad thing. But for you as a new player, we're going to stick with the role of a traditional support and expand and explain what that entails. With those changes in mind, letís go over what the supportís duties are.
-Protect Your Carry
If your laning partner, the Ranged AD Carry/Marksman, is doing his job correctly, then he should have some kills under his belt. Often, if he is killed, the other team will get extra gold because he was on a killing spree. You do NOT want that to happen. Do all that you can to keep him alive, and if it comes down to it, sacrifice yourself so that he can get away and live. You do not want the enemy team to get the gold bounty on his head.
-Set Up Kills
At the beginning of the game, a support is key for early kills in your lane. A good support is someone who will try to poke the enemies while the Marksman farms minions, and when the opportunity is right, they will pin the enemy Marksman down so your laning partner can secure the kill. Leona is an example of a support who is great at pinning them down. She can set up kills by zhooming to the enemy and stunning them in place while your ally finishes them off.
-Ward Key Spots
Every player has a ward limit. You can only place three green wards and one pink ward at any given time. A green ward, or sight ward, is invisible to the enemy and lasts for a small amount of time. It gives your entire team vision of the area it was placed. A pink ward, or vision ward, is a permanent ward that grants vision, but is also visible to enemies who walk by it, giving them the opportunity to kill the ward. With all of this in mind, you have to be smart about where you ward because map awareness and map control is very important. By placing wards in key spots, you will be protecting your own lane from possible ganks, alerting your teammates of the enemyís position, and adding protection to the objectives across the map. All players have one free trinket in their inventory, so other lanes should be helping you ward, but supports tend to do the most.
-Donít Get Greedy
You are a support, not the star of the show. If you have a KDA score of 12/1/2, something may be off on your playstyle. For the most part, you are supposed to help your carry get the kill, not take the kill for yourself. The Marksman is key for winning mid to late game, and if youíve taken the kills, youíre depriving them of the gold they need to buy items. Without items, the Marksman is useless. The same goes for minions. The Marksman basically needs to gorge themselves and suck up all the gold they can to become a beast. As a support, you are supposed to help them, not starve them. Supports have items that allow them to passively gain gold, so there should be no reason for you to be taking the income from your ally. Keep in mind though, there are times where itís okay to farm and get kills. If the enemy is getting away and you know your partner has exhausted all their resources, itís okay to finish the enemy off. Itís better that your team get the gold than the guy to get away. Itís also okay to farm if your partner is at base or elsewhere. Otherwise, donít get greedy.
Support Champions: Lulu, Janna, Sona, Soraka, Taric, Thresh, Blitzcrank, Zilean, Zyra, Nami, Leona, Fiddlesticks, Nunu, Annie
A Marksman, also called an AD Carry, is a person who deals damage via ranged auto attacks, utilizes life steal for surviving, builds attack speed, and sometimes critical strike chance. They also use abilities that are generally enhanced by building attack damage items. A lot of them are good at poking and harassing from a safe distance. Not only that, but many Marksman (though not all) have steroid abilities that boost their attacks in some way. In the game, your job is to last hit as many minions as possible so you can get the gold to buy items. Last hitting is CRUCIAL for the AD Carry because this type of champ is dependent on gold in order to buy necessary items. As a Marksman levels, they do not get very strong naturally. They get overwhelmingly strong through buying items. So when it comes down to chasing that Ashe back to her tower just to do a few ticks of damage, or staying behind to past hit the minion wave, stay back. Only chase if you know you can secure the kill. Another thing you need to do as a Marksman, is stay alive. During the late game phase, you will be crucial for taking towers and inhibitors. Your attack speed and damage are vital for pushing objectives like that quickly and safely.
Marksmen: Caitlyn, Jinx, Ashe, Sivir, Tristana, Miss Fortune, Quinn, Vayne, KogíMaw, Twitch, Graves, Draven, Varus, Vorki, and Ezreal
This is a weird section because Iím putting an lane here instead of a specific role. Let me explain why. You remember the Marksman I talked about? They do damage based on their auto attacks? Mid Laners do most of their damage via their abilities. In the Mid Lane, youíll see AP Casters, Mages, or Assassins. For the most part, these champions can deal high amounts of damage in a short time, called bursts. Many mages use all of their abilities in this big burst to do the most damage, and as a result, are left vulnerable due to cooldowns. A Marksman can use his abilities and still do damage via autoattacks. Mid Laners have a weak auto attack, so they must use their abilities wisely.
In the past, mid laners were almost always ranged. However, there has been an increase in seeing melee mid laners to the point that melee and ranged are equally played now. There are differences between the two and itís important to know the benefit of one over the other.
The Ranged AP champion tends to be extremely squishy and easily killed. On the flipside, they usually have shorter cooldowns and do more damage. The Melee AP tends to have a little more health and defence, but they have longer cooldowns (usually) and have less burst potential.
And then you have the AssassinsÖ. Oh, the assassinsÖ. Itís possible for this character to go mid, top, or jungle, but you see a lot of them in mid lane. They champions have A LOT of mobility and their spells are usually single target.
Ranged AP: Ahri, Ryze, Fiddlesticks, Anivia, Elise, Heimer, Heimer, Karthus, Annie, Syndra, LeBlanc, Cassiopeia, Syndra, Veigar, Morgana, Ziggs, Nidalee, Malzahar, Orianna, Swain, Xerath, Brand, Lux, Lissandra,
Assassins: LeBlanc, Akali, Diana, Evelynn, Zed, Katarina, Nidalee, Talon, Kassadin
Melee AP: Fizz, Diana, Zed, Evelynn, Katarina, Talon, Akali, Gragas, Yasuo,
A tank is a champ that usually has high health and high defense. This allows them to safely initiate in teamfights so the damage dealers can follow up. A tank absorbs the damage, blocks skill shots, and distracts the enemy. They are able to take a serious beating and dive towers, while still being able to be home in time for supper (theoretically). As previously mentioned a tank can also act as a support in certain situations. But for the most part, a tank will go top or into the jungle.
True Tanks: Shen, Malphite, Voliebear, Jarvan IV
These three terms are sometimes used interchangeably, and while LolWiki has a definite definition, but most of the people you play with have never read the definition. So letís just lump them together and talk about them. For simplicityís sake, weíll call them Fighters since thatís the tag used in the client.
A fighter is a champion that has some attributes of a tank (ability to soak damage, initiate, used some CC), but lacks in one or more areas. (This is the definition used for OffTank in the lolwiki).
A bruiser is a hybrid champion between tanking and DPS that combines the survivability of a tank and the damage of a DPS (damage per second) or a caster. (This also came from Lolwiki.)
As you can see, the difference in terms is unclear and minimal. So letís use my own words. These champions will either go into the jungle or into the top lane. In Season Two and Season Three, champions who went top lane tended to build attack damage, health, and armor. They were equal parts pain and equal parts defense. They were almost always melee. Towards the end of Season Three and into the beginning of this current Season Four, these champions could be AP or AD, ranged, or melee, tall or short, male or female. You get the pictureÖ
Off Tank: Riven, Singed, Nasus
Bruiser/Fighter: Darius, Garen, Rumble, Irelia, Jarvan IV, Fiora, Olaf, Diana, Poppy, Tryndamere, Gangplank, Wukong, Renekton, Jax, Jayce, Kayle
A jungler has the trickest role to define, as far as what champions do best here. It is a varied role, because many champions are able to do this. But for the most part, the typical jungler is one who can survive fighting the jungle camps, usually with enough health left over to gank one of the lanes. Because of this, typical junglers usually have a higher health pool, some sort of build in sustain like life steal or spell vamp, and specifically use the Smite summoner spell. Another characteristic of a good jungler is that the champion has a high gank potential, meaning that when they pop out of a bush, they have some damaging crowd control effects that allows them to pick off targets.
As I mentioned before, many types of characters can fill this role and there's no one single definition. Some supports are able to jungle, and few AP Mids are able to jungle. Most often, though, you'll see bruisers and tanks jungling just because of their higher health. It's rare for an AD Carry to go into the role, though. Regardless, the jungle role is, sometimes, more about the summoner than the champion. This particular role requires an extensive knowledge of the game, including the ins and outs of enemy champions, what time dragon and baron spawn and respawn, as well as knowing where to place the proper wards. While the support wards, the jungler often needs to as well to protect his jungle camps.
Typical Junglers: Amumu, Xin Zhao, Udyr, Skarner, Vi, Warwick, Rengar, Sejuani
THE GUIDE IS CONTINUED IN THE FOLLOWING POST.
WHY DOES MY CHAMPION GO TO THIS LANE?
The reason the Ranged AD Carry and Support go here is because of dragon. This lane is the closest to dragon and they are the most equipped to protect dragon should the enemy jungler try to take it The support usually puts wards there, as is the supports job (among other things). During the laning phase, the duo lane is best equipped for protecting it because the Ranged AD Carry can essentially come in and snipe dragon for themselves and go back to lane. There needs to be a support with the AD Carry because the ADC has a weak early game, and is also squishy. Supports ensure kills and protection.
Also, in bot lane, it's good to have a support and an AD Carry because you have to share experience points in bot lane, so you level a little slower than everyone else. There are items you can buy and masteries you can select to offset the experience difference, so both players can keep up with the other team. But if you have two damage dealers at bot instead of one damage dealer and a support, then you must also split the gold, meaning that you'll be behind in levels AND your build. Supports have items that boost their gold income, while it is not beneficial for many other players to buy it.
Because mid is the shortest of the lanes, the minions reach mid first and the champion needs to be strong enough to control the lane and get all of the minions. Because the minions get to this lane before any of the others, the pacing of this lane is usually a lot faster. Thereís generally more gold flow and mid laners are usually at a higher level. Not only that, but the distance between the turrets is also the shortest. Due to all of these factors, a good mid lane champion is one who is able to effectively clear out minion waves, usually with some sort of AoE, and can quickly retreat to their own turret in case of ganks. As I mentioned in a previous section, they deal large amounts of damage, which is another reason that mid is paced so much quicker. There is more damage being dished out at one time and there will probably be more kills here in the early game. Either here or bot.
If you are going to mid lane, you also need to have good map awareness and map control. The jungler does a lot of ganking, but the mid laner usually does it too. Because of the fast pace, they are able to dish out a lot of damage and the usually end up pushing minions to the enemy tower. It's not always wise to go attack tower because you are susceptible to ganks from both sides. So instead, once the tower is pushed, a mid laner will roam. Depending on the situation, they will go top or bot. By the time they reach the destination, their abilities will be off cooldown. They can go in, gank with combos and hopefully get a kill. By the time they go back to mid, the minion waves are usually back in the middle and their cooldowns are usually off as well.
Beefier champions go top because they are having to hold this lane by themselves. Yes, Mid is all alone too, but they are more likely to get ganks from their jungler due to their convenient location. If you're going top, you need to be able to survive and trade blows with your opponent because you are going to be there for a while. This lane is also the closest to baron and the tanks are the ones who are able to best fend off enemy teams trying to kill it until allies can arrive to steal baron.
WHAT ARE THE GAME PHASES?
(Early Game, Mid Game, Late Game)
Someone has requested that I talk about the game phases and laning phases in this guide and I think that is a wonderful idea because the title of this guide is "Roles AND Lanes," after all. So first of all, yes, there are three different phases to the matches. They are: Early Game, Mid Game, and Late Game. Let's go chronologically and talk about these individual phases.
(And Last Hitting)
This one is rather straight forward. When the game begins, you are in this early game phase. When the match begins, you're going to have cheap and basic items and probably a few health potions. You're going to have limited abilities, and therefore, limited capability for doing your deadly combos on enemies. Most everyone is weak and piddly in this phase. Although, you may hear people say that, "Such and such champion has a strong mid game but falls off late game." This means that they are effective at taking out targets in the early part of the game, but once team fights break out, they have less to contribute. You'll see why and what I mean when I explain the other phases.
This is also known as the Laning Phase. With the exception of the jungler, everyone stays in their own lane. During this section, last hitting is a huge priority. You don't have the power to farm an entire creep wave at once, so in order to get gold, you need to focus on last hitting. A big thing in the lower levels is to focus on killing champions throughout the entire game, ignoring the creeps. When you do this, you're not only losing experience when you wander too far from your minions, but you're also trading gold for doing maybe 100-200 chunks of damage and not getting a kill for it. In the early game, unless you are absolutely sure that you can get a kill, don't focus champions. Focus on last hitting. That's not to say ignore champions altogether, of course. Poke them, do a little bit of damage to keep them backed up, but never lose creep score or else you'll fall behind for the next phase.
You may be wondering when early game, or the laning phase, ends. A good rule of thumb is when the first towers start to go down. This isn't a hard and fast rule because you'll have some games where everything is topsy turvy and you have 4 men ganking bot for some reason. But for the most part, early game lasts until the first tower falls. After that, it's all mid game.
(And Buffs & Items)
During mid game, you're going to be seeing a lot of ganks. I don't mean from the jungler. I mean, players start to rove the map, going to different lanks, trying to gank, and often protecting or targeting key towers. In fact, you may even wander the map yourself! At the end of the laning phase, you're not restricted to staying in your lane and your lane only. (Not that you were really chained to it in the first place. lol) But anyway, during this phase, many towers will fall. They may be yours and they may be the other team. But in this phase, strategy really kicks in. Do I go help protect top tower, or do I farm these minions? Do I gank mid because the enemy is overextended, or do I push this lane? These are questions that you start to ask yourself.
Last hitting is less of a struggle because you have all of your abilities now. Depending on which champ you are playing, you probably have a nice AoE ability to take out minions. Or maybe you have built attack speed that allows you to clear it quickly. Or maybe you are starting to get crazy fed on enemy champs who got a little too close you during laning phase. Whatever it may be, minions are easier to last hit and you don't have to focus the minions AS much anymore.
As I mentioned, you may have built attack speed items by this point. That's another key point to the mid game. (I don't mean attack speed specifically). I mean that you've earned enough gold to purchase better and more efficient items. You don't have a full build at this point. Not by any means. But you AT LEAST should have upgraded boots and maybe one or two fully built items, depending on how things are going for you.
Another thing about mid game is that other champions start to go into the jungle. The jungler should have enough kills and gold that he's able to give up some of his jungle creeps and other champions are able to take buffs for themselves if the jungler will allow. During this time, you might see enemies in your jungler trying to take your buffs, so ward placement is KEY during this phase. If you have a support, it's a good idea for them to not only ward the river, but also the buffs. During this phase, Dragon is a very important objective and teams will try to take it out often.
Mid Game's end isn't that easy to pinpoint, because it's different for every game. But I like to say mid game ends when there are very few towers left. Define few how you'd like, but for me, mid game ends when one side or the other has lost three or more turrets. Four is a good number I think.
(Full Builds and Team Fights)
Late game signifies the part of the game in which strategy is the only thing to save you. During the late game phase, most of people will have a full build and they are at their full power. They are at level 18, or very close to it, and they are probably at the top of their game. Everyone is moving around the map and team fights are breaking out everywhere. Everyone wants Baron Nashor for themselves, some people have double buffs, and inhibitor and inhibitor turrets may or may not be down.
Champions with CC (crowd control) effects are like Gods because they can, sometimes, control the tide of a team fight. Champions with AoE abilities are able to mop the floor with the other teams. Champions good at taking out single targets are less helpful for doing massive damage, and are instead, relegated to taking out the high priority targets.
Because everyone is so powerful now, teamwork, communication, and strategy is the only way to win. Maybe your team is doing badly as a whole. Maybe you have more deaths than champion kills, but your Master Yi teammate has 20 kills. That Yi cannot win the game himself. He can't defend top and bot at the same time. At this point, you need to talk to each other, coordinate, keep calm, and predict the enemy movement.
How Do Items Affect Me?
Do you remember in the ďWhat is the Meta?Ē section, when I talked about breaking the meta? Item builds are one of the ways you can do that. You see, in THEORY, any champion can be any role. Sure, you can buy attack damage items for Ahri, send her bottom lane, and call her the Marksman. You canÖ But you shouldnít.
You see, certain champions benefit from certain types of items. Most of the time, you will buy either attack damage (AD) or ability power (AP). If you go into a game and hover your mouse of the ability icons, youíll see a description of the ability as well as some numbers. If itís a green color, then that means that ability is enhanced by Ability Power. If you see an orange color, it means that ability is enhanced by Attack Damage. This is SOMETIMES an easy way to tell what kind of champion they are. There are other types as well. If the color is yellow, buying armor will enhance the ability. If it is blue, buying mana will enhance the ability. So on so forthÖ
Now, I want to go ahead and point out that when I list champions for certain roles, they appear in several different lists. Annie can be support or Mid. So can Fiddle and Zyra. This boils down to item builds. With Season Four upon us, Riot introduced AP scaling on supports, meaning that building AP on a champion like Lulu will increase her slow the more AP you have. It will also increase her damage. Because of this, more supports will be buying AP items and more Mages will be going into the support role. Those who play as support can also buy items to increase their gold income to compensate for lack of CS. You can also buy tank items on champions who arenít normally tanks. Take Diana for example. Build AP and she can be an assassin/fighter. Build health and defense and she becomes a tank.
What Iím trying to say is that item builds are just as important as the champion and lane you play. If thereís anything you want to take away from this, let it be what Iím about to tell you. Ask yourself WHY youíre buying the item youíre buying. Donít get it because itís a recommended item. Ask yourself, ďWhat does this item do and will it benefit me?Ē Do you need more health or more defense against that Olaf? Do you need more ability power or more cool down reduction when faced against a fed Syndra? What about mana regeneration or attack speed when youíre wanting to quickly take out that Corki? Build according to the situation. Recommended items are nice as a general guide, but they donít cater to your specific situation.
Keep in mind that you can build wrong, like I mentioned before with the Ahri example. She does not benefit from AD, so sometimes you have to make informed decisions about your builds.
WHY IS THIS META EFFECTIVE?
This was a question posed in the comments section that I wanted to add on here for anyone that wanted to read it. This meta is so effective because of what I mentioned about Baron and Dragon. The ranged duo lane with crowd control is able to protect and take dragon for themselves while the tanks near baron are able to fend off the enemy team until help arrives.
Also, in bot lane, it's good to have a support and an AD Carry because you have to share experience points in bot lane, so you level a little slower than everyone else. If you have two damage dealers at bot, then you must also split the gold, meaning that you'll be behind in levels AND your build. So a support DOES NOT take any minions so that the AD carry gets all the gold. The only exception is when your carry is dead, at base, or too far away to get the minons. In this case, a support can farm up so that the gold is not lost to the four corners of the earth. Once the carry is back in lane, then you should step back again.
A jungler roams lanes because it's incredibly helpful when your team members are getting outplayed or are at base. They help give buffs to the AP Carry or the AD Carry. Whichever needs it. They also gank lanes to make it safer to push lanes.
Not only that, but a summoner in the comment section pointed out that the meta works so well because of how gold distributed to the players. Top lane and mid lane champions scale well with gold and with levels, meaning that in some cases, they are item dependent, but naturally get better skills with levels. The jungler levels strongly and needs less gold. The AD carry doesn't scale AS well through leveling, which is partially why the need the support to protect them, and they need the gold to get better items.
So, in short, the meta if effective because the roles are suited to the objectives, like baron, dragon, and buffs. There are some teams who change the meta, and sometimes it works. In those instances, it's usually a premade team who knows what they're doing and have discussed strategies. In solo queue, the meta is easiest and most effective because it is what everyone knows and easy to build teamwork around instead of trying something new and random. Because you are playing with random people on your team, it is often easiest to go with a known strategy.
WHAT DO ALL OF THESE TERMS MEAN?
I may have used a term that you're not familiar with during this post, and if so, I apologize for not explaining it further. You may also be unfamiliar with many terms in general. To remedy this, I have linked a really great list of all of the LoL terminology that you see used in regular play. The link is below.
Here's another awesome link.
Thanks for the following people for helping to add new information!
- Clandestine L
- Mynx The Origin
No problem guys. Glad that I could give you some good info.
EDIT: I noticed there downvote here and I just want to ask that if you're going to downvote, at least let me know why. I'm more than willing to have a discussion about the content here and would love to make additions and changes in order to help out new players. So please, if you're going to downvote, please let me know why so I can make this guide upvote worthy instead.
Nice guide! Though I have a few things to say which is minor.
Yes a bruiser is able to survive a beating and deal lots of damage, but they don't do both of their roles as well as a tank/assassin. They are in the middle and can be built as a tank or assassin depending on the items you chose.
Some tanks are able to support such as Maokai and Alistar (Lee Sin can support as well though he's a bruiser, but that's a whole other topic.)
Singed and Cho'Gath aren't really tanks as they're more like bruisers since they can deal a fair amount of damage. Shen and Malphite fit the role better.
Just wanted to point that out to you! This is a very informative guide! +1
This meta is so effective because of what I mentioned about Baron and Dragon. The ranged duo lane with crowd control is able to protect and take dragon for themselves while the tanks near baron are able to fend off the enemy team until help arrives.
Also, in bot lane, it's good to have a support and an AD Carry because you have to share experience points in bot lane, so you level a little slower than everyone else. If you have two damage dealers at bot, then you must also split the gold, meaning that you'll be behind in levels AND your build. So a support DOES NOT take any minions so that the AD carry gets all the gold.
A jungler roams lanes because it's incredibly helpful when your team members are getting outplayed or are at base. They help give buffs to the AP Carry or the AD Carry. Whichever needs it.
So, in short, the meta if effective because the roles are suited to the objectives, like baron, dragon, and buffs. There are some teams who change the meta, and sometimes it works. In those instances, it's usually a premade team who knows what they're doing and have discussed strategies. In solo queue, the meta is easiest and most effective because it is what everyone knows and easy to build teamwork around instead of trying something new and random.
personal thoughts, mostly some lists of 450/1350 champs in those roles, you put a lot of expensive champion examples in a new player forum
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