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[Guide] The Ultimate Theory of LoL : risk management, map control, and facepalms.

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(There are summaries at each end of every sections. If you don't want to read it all, just look at it.)

Abstract :

Hello everyone! Maggeus’ here, a fellow fan of League of Legends. Well, fan, player, it’s just the same. And I happen to be a fan of theoretical theories and things like that. Don’t think I only do that in my huge spare times (and I just hope “huge” will only be for a short period of time)… Hmm, you’re here to read a guide, or maybe just to fool around, and surely just to freakin fool around, but here it is.

Introduction :

What I propose is to create a sort of Ultimate theory that could rejoin all of the little things in LoL that would permit you to play better and ultimately to win. Seems impossible? Indeed, it is. Maybe. Perhaps. Dammit, I’m losing confidence while writing it…
If you’re following science and all, you know surely about “String Theory”. LoL is a little like that (and I just hope our own world isn’t like that…), since every thing you do has an important consequence on everyone playing the same game too. What I will do is to cut into three parts my unique theory, which will be able to answer every **** question about the game. You will be changed. Forever.

Why the heck would I do three parts? I personally think a LoL game falls into three parts. First, there’s what I’d call the “Metagame” (I agree, it can be a horrible word in the wrong hands. Believe me…), which is commonly (and overused) in many strategic games. It describes what the players do before a game, OUTSIDE the game itself, the character they choose, the combination they choose, what they want to do with their character (= playstyle), etc…
The second part will be about the war of “information” and “communication”. This is about knowing what the enemies are going to do, and what you will do about it, how you will communicate it, etc…
And finally, the most important part in my opinion, the theory of “risk”. This is what makes people lose a game 50 to 70 % of the time. This falls under the moment when you want to /facewall after shouting outside of your room like a Sinistar (google it if you’re not geek enough, at your risks).

Maybe you’ll ask yourself “What the f*** he didn’t integrate the skills of the players in his ****ed guide, this is bull**** and madness! I want a guide about CM, Kayle or Twitch!”. Wait a second right now. Skills fall into each categories, and I won’t talk about how you’ll be better at playing this or this character. Many people made awesome guides for you. Use them. It’s not my job. Heck well, I even want one! :/

Let’s not do a wall of text nobody will read, and right-o to the theory… That will universally reveal to everyone what LoL is, and will change your very soul, making it into a pretzel. [Insert dramatic music or a lil’ imperial march]

Part one : “Behind the scene of LoL… No, not Riot office, we watched it too much already. Or gimme 10000 friends right now to watch it closer” or “The infamous non-ending cycle of nerfing”.

This is the part I hate the most : discussing about metagame. But oh well, a theory without “meta”… It’s like… Well, you understand.
Let’s discuss about the light. Wait, don’t leave... COME BACK HERE DAMMIT!

Just… Just wait second!
I like to compare light to what metagame is. If you know some physics (or chemistry), light is a wave-particle duality. Strategic games got the same property. Particles are the players, and the wave, which the metagame is, is formed by the players. They communicate between us via forums, in-game, etc… Their primary objective is to optimize the game. Like the stock-market, they regulate what people will choose. For example, you want a strong carry. You’ll ask your friends, look on the forum, see what’s OP, and you’ll finish playing Twitch in every f***ing game. That’s right; we play Twitch because it’s your own fault.

“Hey, but some people are playing Evelynn! What’s wrong with them? They want to lose so badly?”
Simply saying, some people want to lose games. Hopefully for you, they are less than 2% of the population. They are the losers that will stay behind the other particles, err, the players! You’re not concerned with them. Or maybe if you want to say at the end of a game “HAH, EVE PWND YA, YOU [insert any insanity here]”, just do it.
It’s their choice, heh. But do not listen to their lies, those are the guys who are telling you WoW is a strategic game, and the PvP there is the best ever. Avoid them like the plague. Or like Twitch. Since he’s a rat. Plague. Rat…

Imagine you’re solo queuing. Yeah, I know what you’re feeling right now. Another lose in your account. Well, people are taking their preferred characters : teemo, yi, shaco, twitch, etc… Of course, no tank. No one wants to play tanks. They are like 20% of the players. 1/5. Seems bad, heh. But now, you’re not in the game, and you can pretty much change everything.
The main problem in LoL is that masteries and runes do a LOT on the game. It pretty much gives you like 1200 (?) gold that you can use before, to optimize your character. In this “virtual” gold you get, everything count : summoner spells / runes / masteries. Choosing a team spell that you normally don’t pick can save your ass. Twice.

Still, in a solo queue, you have to predetermine if you don’t care and go with it even if you don’t have any tank, or if you want to balance your team and lose that advantage. If you choose the later, tell yourself : “I’ve lost 600 gold”. That’s harsh, but it’s a lot better than telling you “haha, I’m in a dominant position, I’m cocky !”. Better safe than sorry.

And hell, never, never forget that : Kayle is not a freakin tank ! >_<

Well, I’ve said almost nothing new here. Thing is : you want to know what sort of play you want, mentally preparing for it, and how to optimize it considered you lost an advantage or not. That’s it.
Now, to the fun parts, since this **** one is finally out of the window.

For those who don’t want to spend all their life trying to read my “chef d’oeuvre”…


_ Metagame is like duality in light, we play the game, Riot hear us, we make the game.
_ Corollary : it’s your fault we play twitch. Not Riot. Well, maybe Riot.
_ Corollary of corollary : forums should be banned to protect us and Riot from common insanity of humanity itself.
_ How you prepare the game, heroes, etc… should determine how you’ll play. But being able to adapt every situation transforms a noob into a gamer.
_ Corollary : choose between balancing and losing an advantage, or go like you wanted first.
_ Corollary of corollary : master two different types of characters, or you’ll regret it.

NB : I’ve never played Twitch.
NB² : It’s true.

Part two : “SHACO MIA ! SHACO MIA ! SHACO MIA ! – Annie has been killed – Told ya, you [insert insanities here]” , or “The embodiment of failed text communication”.

The theory of information... If you follow a lot the information on TV or the Internet, or heck even on the radio before you go to work, you know information is a key to our society. In the cold war, information was the beginning and the end. It is all you’ll ever need. But still, you need to communicate by any mean, like Morse code. Hopefully, you don’t have to know how to type “Shaco mia !” in Morse code here. But that would be fun.

In League of Legends, information is a key to success. You’ve got information about the items they have, how much gold they have, etc… But the most important one : where they are.
Map control makes you obtain an incredible advantage over a team that can’t control map as good as you can.
You want to have a total control other your game, and this game’s laws give you all you’d ever want.

Clairvoyance is a must have in every game. Having the utility tree, you can spam it easily. And I serves much : you can verify if someone is jungling a golem, or the dragon, or hell baron himself, you can help your team see who is in a brush in order to permit them to attack those, you can reveal a portion of map during a team fight if you think the last one, let’s say yi, will come out from the rear to destroy your casters, etc…

But if you use a lot Clairvoyance, you’ll quickly see its limits. The cooldown is longer than you’d want it to be. And that’s why two in a team is totally viable, and I’d consider it for pro-gaming. But I’m not doing a guide for those types of players.

Some characters are particularly good at dealing with map control, and having one, or maybe two, on your team is a invaluable asset.
I’m thinking of Shaco, Nidalee, Teemo and Twisted Fate, in this order from worse to best.
Shaco can spam his boxes, but they don’t last long. DPS Shaco likes to use them to map control. On the contrary, AP Shaco prefers to use them to bait them in and destroy their enemies. I’d say Shaco is nice, but there’s better.
Nidalee, with her traps, lets you obtain some information on the position of enemy heroes that could turn the tide in your favour. The main downside is that they can see your traps.
Teemo and his mushrooms... Everyone should know about his invisible mushrooms. **** mushrooms. I hate mushrooms. Not if they are fried, but you can’t fry them here! >_<
When someone take it, you KNOW where he is, and it is invaluable information you got there.
And finally, Twisted Fate… His ultimate, Destiny, let you see and slow everyone on the map for some second. This is a “I win” button we all love. Unless you’re fighting one.

Hopefully, you’ve got another way to deal with map control. Everyone can do it, and every team should really do it. I’d say it’s even a must. USE THOSE **** WARDS ! Use them ! If a game finish without the use of wards in your team, I’d dare to say it’s a failed game. You didn’t try to use the best map control. You’re a failure, all of your team is a failure, and you should burn in hell at least 10 times while doing 100000 push-ups !
“But… But… But ! We’ve got clairvoyance, and we rolled them so easily !”
And, what ? You could have rolled them more easily ! That’s not an arguable point ! I’m right ! I’m rubber, you’re glue !
“But… We’ve got a TF ! And… And… He got Clairvoyance ! *cries*”
Shut up. Wards should be overused. You don’t use them enough. Practice with them ! Use them ! Win with them ! Roll with them ! Wards are your friends. Wards should be placed all over the map. Wards win games. End of the line.

Having a control of the map isn’t only about having information on where they are, and all. You need to use this information. There are two ways : you can use it, or you can communicate to your team.
Telling that someone is MIA (Missing in Action for the neophytes) isn’t just for show. You let your allies know someone is MIA.

If you’re fighting alone in a lane, and someone says mia, check your map (something you should do every 15 seconds…). If your guts are telling you “I’m going to die”, it’s not for nothing. You must survive, even if you’d lose some gold. Letting someone have a kill on you plus 2, 3 or 4 assists is the worst thing you do in the game. You let everyone feed on you with those assists. It’s just wrong… Being killed by a lone wolf isn’t that bad, but being killed by a five man gank is the worst thing ever.

“But, they let their lines being pushed !”
They will kill one or two of your towers, someone will go defend with a teleport, they will use a fortify, etc… And they’ll have one kill and 4 assist. That means the most optimized kill you’d ever want in all of your gaming life. And you will never want that against you.
Some doctors say all lives are equal. But in LoL, all deaths are not equal. Another law of LoL. Remember it, it’ll be on the test.
What test ? HAHAHA. You’ll see. The test is a lie. The test is a lie. The…

In order to escape this fate, every character gets at least two choices. The first is the blue pill. If you’re quick enough, use it early. Many players underestimate this type of retreat, due to the fast you’ll lose some time returning to your base, even if you’re full life or something.

If you think they don’t have a boot of mobility or disablers, or they are too close, try to reach your tower on foot. Using a ghost here can save your ass. Yeah, indeed, it’s simple enough.
Many characters have some escape mechanism, they aren’t here for show.

Last but not least, placement is important. You need to know if you’re playing a burst damage dealer, or a continuous damage dealer. If you’re a burst, you’re the type to hit and run. If you’re a continuous type, you’ll need to be able to attack more than anyone else. The more you hit, the more you’ll be able to enjoy the numbers on your screen.

An important thing to note is to never stay for a long time in the mazes near the lanes. You’ve got like 80% chances that a guy will go on another side, behind trees, unreachable for you, and by the time you get there, a team gank will destroy him. In a solo queuing, this happens too much, so even if they got AoE, stay close. It’s better to be regrouped anyway, since if they want to come AoE you first, you can still beat the **** out of the first one who comes. Physical DPS will do the rest.
But if you want to bait them, go ahead. A five men bait is always awesome actually, since people who are running can’t react faster than 5 people who are waiting together. Until nano-machines become affordable. Or if they got a clairvoyance. Or a ward. Or…


_ Information makes you win.
_ Corollary : map control makes you win
_ Implicit message : buy wards, right now.
_ All deaths aren’t equal.
_ Corollary : optimize your assists, but do not let them optimize their assists.
_ The “Entry” button on your keyboard isn’t just for show.
_ Corollary : communicate politely.
_ Corollary of corollary : if you’re a trash talker, you’ll be a loser forever. You really want that ?
_ Be extremely cautious when you and your team aren’t in a lane, and don’t have a good map control character. This is the best place for being baited.
_ Corollary : Bait them instead.

Part three : “Hey, do you think I can handle those three by myself only ?” or “The Theory of Risk and Truth about Noobiness behind Match Marking”.

Here we are. What I think is the most important part of LoL. For like 70% of the time, you or your allies lose a game because you took a risk that you had like 80% chances to miss, and you died without doing much for your allies, and taking a kill + 4 assists.

There’s a huge difference between courage and risk. Courage is running off to your enemies, hoping for a miracle that will happen 10% of the time.
Evaluating the risk lets you enter in a “mind game” state, where you use every percent of your capabilities with what the game gives you to overcome any difficulty.

How would you evaluate risk ? That is a tricky one. In fact, it should be the only question you should ask yourself during the course of the game : “Should I go ? Should I take the risk to gank now even if two guys are MIA ?”
Risks fluctuate every second. All actions change it : yours, your allies, your enemies.

And so… Evaluation of risks come with experience, but experience can be acquired faster than you think. How do you think some people play less than you, but are clearly better than you ? Those guys are simply clever. They know. How should you do it too ? I’ll help you on this one.

A game like LoL is primary about numbers and status that can affect those numbers. You’re gonna tell me : “But how should I do it ? I’m not a mathematician, hell I always got bad marks in it”. You don’t need to have a Ph.D in maths to understand this one. You know what to look for.

Let’s say : two guys are mia (tabulation is your friend), you’re alone on a tower, being pushed by a Sion. One of your teammates is going to help you by hiding near, and trying to gank him.
If the guys are mia for more than 10 seconds, they were on a near lane and you don’t know where they are, tells your ally to be extremely careful. You’ve got, like, 50% of chance they’ll roll right on you, and Sion is a heavy character. If he doesn’t want to listen, just don’t try to initiate the gank, he’ll go back or help you defend.

Maybe it would have been better to gank him. Or maybe you would have taken one or 2 deaths with 4 assists. Or maybe they had a TF, and you would be obliterated by a gold card.

Some risks are better not be risked. You’ll have many occasions to reduce the risk, by using map control or status capacities. Just, when you want to do something, be freakin sure of it. If you tried it anyway, and it fails, and you told yourself “I shouldn’t have done it”, you’re still lacking in risk evaluating. But sometimes, and you’ll know when, it’s worth a try, even if it doesn’t work. Miracles happen, count that in.

You will want to know, when you want to try a kill :

_ How many are MIA ?
_ Who is MIA ? (Considering you know the game well, you want to know which hero isn’t visible)
_ Did you verify since when, and from where ? (The most difficult one)
_ What are his items ? (Careful, this one can change if he came back to the base)
_ What are MY items ?
_ Did I verify if he got like, a huge dodge change or a massive armor ?
_ Did I remember correctly his summoner’s spells, and how should I react to them ?
_ Considering all that, can I take him on ?
_ Will I be able to flee if all else fail ?

This list is indeed huge. You won’t be able to ask yourself all of that as fast as you should, but some will come naturally with experience. That is instinct. A player than can act on instinct, but still able to reason logically, is an optimized player. He knows all about the game, he reacts fast and has a good memory. You’d want to reach a state like that, even if you don’t want to be pro or whatever. You’ll enjoy the game much more in this state… Like an intense Chess match.

If you’re doing good, the moral of your allies will be upped, and they will do their best to help you. I’ve seen many people losing their moral because they were ganged three times in a row. They start to lose confidence, and they are evacuating their frustrations with the help of the “Enter” key. Or Shift + Enter. If you’re one of those, calm down, drink a coke during your death time, sing a pirate song, and re-enter the game calmly.

Never give up. Miracles happen. Always.
I remember having a game where all was totally lost, our towers were all destroyed, and they got cocky, making huge mistakes, taking 2 aces and lost the game, just because they went one by one on us, something they never did during the entire game. They began to tell us : “Won’t you die already ?”. Nah. Never give up a game. Even if you lose, you’ll tell yourself at the end : “I did all I could”. Tons better than saying “Pfff, my allies were ****”.
Even if it were true.


_ Evaluating risk makes you have less /facewall, /facekeyboard and /facepalm.
_ Corollary : you’ll enjoy the game much more.
_ Risk is just a mathematical thing. It always fluctuates, you just have to ride on it, go with the flow, but “taking” a risk is as hard as evaluating it.
_ Ask yourself simple questions about the flow of the game.
_ Corollary : instinct and experience will answer some, memory and logic will do the rest.
_ Corollary of Corollary : evaluating risk perfectly and fast is the most difficult thing in LoL.
_ Cheer your allies up.
_ Corollary : do not give up, or your allies’ moral will drop down.

Final Part : “What Riot never told us, for the sake of our future”, or “the ultimate string… Err, no, theory of LoL”.

And now, I will reveal before you the truth behind LoL.

The equation to win is :

If W > 200, you win.

W = ( 1/R ) + C + M*2.

R = Risk.
R = 1 / ((logic of the player * experience of the player + number of allies near you * 10 – number of enemies not visible * 20 ) * moral of the team).
Logic of the player = [0 to 1]
Experience of the player = [1 to 100]
Moral of the team = [0 to 1]
If R < 0.01, then R = 0.01.

C = Map control.
C = Number of wards * 10 + number of people with clairvoyance * 10 + number of characters with map control * 10.
Number of wards = [1 to 5]. I think 5 is a limit. Too much wards kill wards.
Number of people with clairvoyance = [1 to 3]. Don’t take more than 3, it’s a waste after that.
Number of characters with map control = 1 or 2. More is a waste.

M = Metagame.
M = Number of overused OP characters * 20.

( I hope you’ll understand this equation is a joke, buuuut I pretty much sums it up. And yeah, OP characters are still freakin OP. That’s why we got a M*2.)

For the ones who reach the end of this wall of pain, I thank you. You deserve to buy yourself a cookie. For the others, stay in your own ignorance, for all I care ! :-]
I did this just for fun, and I just hope you liked it. Even if you didn't learn anything or else. And excuse me for my approximate English sometimes, I'm not an English native.

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Pay attention to the map, read team chat, call MIA's

Good post imo

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Senior Member



Pay attention to the map, read team chat, call MIA's

Good post imo

Just started playing LoL, nobody does any of that at my entry level ELO.
I'm usually talking to myself.

I'd probably add, "don't go off by yourself after laning phase" to that tl:dr list.

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Senior Member


There are certain kind of people who won't understand that this is a team game, and they just like having 25/22/0, and just want to have kills and without assisting others.
By doing so, they just want to be a loser forever.

If they won't understand that, they'll just stay in low ELO anyway.

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The Dizzle



Nice post. Some actual nice tidbits throughout it. And yea, you need a job. Too much time on your hands to come up with that equation.

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Senior Member


I came up with this equation in, what, 10 minutes ?
It could have been worse. REAL worse. Maybe I'll do the greatest LoL equation of all time.

(Algorithms were a huge part of my studies. Don't be concerned with my insane sanity anyway. XD)

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Love the insight and formula, and your English is fine.

If you ever get to The Greatest LoL Equation of All Time, I'd suggest adding a Stupidity Factor to your equation. I can't say how many times I've gone into solo queue to find some lone assassin who believes himself to be an invincible god of war and rush into a 1v5 with guns / swords / blowdarts / teddybears blazing...of course, only to die and then proceed to blame the rest of the team for not assisting him. (Good times.)

Enjoyed your guide, and now enjoying a cookie. =D

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I've played quite a few games as Sivir recently in an attempt to diversify my nuke-heavy playstyle, and I admit I'm not a very good Sivir player, but when the enemy overextends I find we can push their towers so fast it is unreal and my team has no idea it is coming. They look at my 3kills 7deaths 10assists and see nothing, whereas I look at 250 damage, huge attack speed and good lane control. I find morale, like you said, will make a big difference. If they know we *can* win then we *will* win, assuming they make a mistake and overextend. Farm and level difference won't make a 5v3 any different, and if their remaining 2 players think they can take us like in the teamfights then we Will. Rock. Them.


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Senior Member


Thank you for your answers.

And yeah, moral is more important than it first seems. Sometimes, when all seems lost, if people haven't lost their will to fight, they can still win.
That's why you should give up, I'd say, only if you've got like 1/3 K/D after 30 minutes. It's almost impossible to win after that, like a limit.

Only based on my experience anyway.