LoLU Lesson 5: Dealing with Smurfs

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MikeLemmer

Member

04-30-2012

Previous LoLU Lessons:
Lesson 1: Attitude
Lesson 2: Minions and the 1v0 Custom
Lesson 3: Champion Roles & Lanes
Lesson 4: The Things Novices Do

Ah, smurfs: the bane of LoL novices. Experts playing against novices to feast on their tears, relying on the lack of coordination to rip people apart 1-by-1. They are scary, they are menacing, but they aren't unstoppable. It might take some work & prep, but it's better than just letting him run rampant, isn't it? Come on, it's time to make some Level 30s cry.

Isn't this info only useful for novices?
No. The same tactics detailed here can also be used to shutdown good champs before they get completely fed, a vital tactic in any game (especially for junglers, whose main purpose is turning losing lanes into winning lanes).

Step 1. Identify their smurfs.
The key here is to identify their smurfs before they're steamrolling you. Here's some early warning signs:
1. One or both of your team's champions in a lane have to recall only a few minutes after the game starts while their rivals are full on HP... they're either aggressively stupid or up against a smurf.
2. He gets first blood... and then another kill.
3. He has 20+ CS at the 5 min mark. (Double alert if he also has a kill or two.) Here's a quick rule of thumb for how well someone's earning gold:
CS + 10xKills + 5xAssists. The higher the number, the more fed they are.
If any enemy champions fit these warning signs, mark them for retribution.

Step 2. Identify your smurfs.
Your smurfs are more likely to know about coordination, ganking lanes, and generally curbstomping fools. Ask for their help and watch them gleefully help dogpile an enemy smurf. Remember, the best counter to a smurf is another smurf.

Use the same signs as step 1 to identify your smurfs.

Step 3. Don't fight fair.
"If this was a fair fight, you'd lose!"
"Hardly any incentive to fight fair, now, is there?"

Gang up on him. Send 3 champs after him. Blow every stun, slow, and exhaust you have on him and rip him to shreds. Rinse and repeat. Keep him on his toes & terrified to push his lane. (Once you succeed once or twice, merely leaving your lane will cause him to back off.)

What about our lanes?
Don't worry so much. Unless they're at your tower's doorstop, they won't get too much CS/damage before you return (unless they're also smurfs). Push them to their tower and head off while they're busy cleaning up the mess. Better yet, kill 1 or 2 of them, push to their tower, and gank (kill a champion in another lane) the smurf while they're busy running back.

What if he kills all of us?
Hoo boy, you might be screwed already there. Back off and wait for him to play risky, like pushing a lane on low health or advancing far past safe territory. (Pro tip: Many smurfs don't get wards; they'd rather buy more gear than worry about novice ganks. Exploit their map blindness with glee.)

Step 4. Don't travel alone.
Smurfs love dining on lone novices.

Step 5. Don't let him farm.
During the midgame, you might see the smurf pushing either the top or bot lane, wiping out each wave without any opposition and pushing forward. This is obscenely dangerous. He is amassing gold & XP at an alarming rate while you're off covering other lanes. Send 2-3 people down to slaughter him when he pushes forward too far. (Once again, your biggest advantage against smurfs is exploting their reckless stupidity due to overconfidence.)

Step 6. Counter him.
Most champs either favor Attack Damage or Ability Power. Figure out which one the smurf leans towards and either buy some Armor or Magic Resistance to counter him.

Step 7. Focus him.
Even in team fights, dogpile on him. Unless he has overfed to the point he's healing 100-200 HP a hit, enough concentrated force will take him down. If he's alone, go hunting for him. Surprise him with a 3-on-1 gank party. (Remember: don't fight fair!)

So, these tips will help us win against smurfs every time?
Eh, probably not. They are smurfs with about 10x the LoL experience you have, and they rely on a lot of coordination and teamwork that's usually lacking in novice games. However, going through these steps also builds up your skills at identify high-threat targets and shutting them down early. They will also, once in a blue moon, let you completely shut down a smurf, destroying his ego & leaving him a demotivated husk of a man. Have fun!


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bobmuffinman

Senior Member

04-30-2012

Mike I can't +1 these lessons enough, they are both funny and educational and the best part is accurate. I would definitely recommend these to anyone, even Phreak and he can jungle with them for tons of damage or something.

Anyway keep up the good work, it's always good to read these and I always look forward to the next one


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WhackedMaki

Member

05-01-2012

IMO the most important tip you can give: Don't venture into PvP too early. Wait until around level 10. Most of the smurfs will have gone away by that point, leaving you with other people your level.


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MikeLemmer

Member

05-01-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhackedMaki View Post
IMO the most important tip you can give: Don't venture into PvP too early. Wait until around level 10. Most of the smurfs will have gone away by that point, leaving you with other people your level.
Actually, from my experience it feels like things start evening out around Lvl 5. I remember hearing a theory that most smurfs quit playing at Lvl 5 because that's when they get the referral bonus for introducing a "new player" to LoL. Checking into it, it looks like you get bonuses for your "friends" reaching Lvl 5 and Lvl 10.

Hmm, perhaps things feel better at Lvl 5 not because that's when all the smurfs leave, but because that's when the horrendously bad players leave/improve. Or maybe I've just won enough games on my smurf to graduate to the "you're a novice, surrrrre" tier.


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MikeLemmer

Member

05-01-2012

Also, speaking of countering: just watched a game where the enemy's team AP champs had 4x as many kills as anyone else (16v4), yet no one was buying Magic Resistance. I know the temptation is to build as much offense as possible, but when a single champion type is doing that much damage to you, wouldn't you like to survive long enough to kill them?

(P.S. Loving the new Observation feature so far. Plan to see some comments/research on it later.)


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Hungrydude

Member

05-18-2012

im at level 15 and I still see smurfs, and hell no im not going to play bot games to level up. Those are boring as hell lol


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SkysDive

Junior Member

05-20-2012

This bares repeating: If the enemy has a smurf, hopefully you'll have one as well. It sort of makes it easier for new players. The onus isn't on you to "stop" him. You can and probably should focus on dying less (i.e. play like a giant *****, stack health, mr, defense regardless of your champion's role etc) and your smurf will naturally win out as he gets fed more. But of course, that assumes you have a smurf on your side.

I just came from a game like this. The enemy smurf as Master Yi was wrecking my team while I wrecked his (though I never reached lvl 30 even back when I played more often and he was a 1300 elo apparently). My team just did a better job of buckling down and helped me push lanes after I cleaned up his teammates while he spent way too much time going after easy kills instead of pushing back. Though the big thing was probably cause I was mid and he was on a sidelane. He got way, way more kills early on (like 4 to my 1 at around lvl 6), but he didn't try to hard to stop me from getting fed or preventing me from building a huge level and farm advantage.

Also a note about summoners, when in doubt, I'd recommend running Heal+Exhaust (with points in their masteries), which you can do from the beginning. Practice running and using this combination before Flash becomes available. It will win you lanes and games. This is the strongest defensive combo you can run. Other summoners are good, but they require a bit more finesse and subtle understanding of the game to use effectively and offer far less immediate benefit. And probably most importantly, they make tower dives which smurfs LOVE to do so, so much more dangerous for the enemy.


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mambawarrior

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Member

05-29-2012

"Step 7. Focus Him"

This only works if the smurf is building damage. I've seen a smurfing super fed Tank alistar who could take almost anything and survive.