Beginner's Guide: Basics to Top Solo Lane

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malphismia

Senior Member

05-06-2011

Beginner's Guide: Basics to Top Solo Lane (1v2 lane)

Not an expert guide at all,
just a beginner’s guide to all the fundamentals. A 1v2 lane is one of the hardest roles to manage as a beginner player, which is why it's important to learn it so others don't fail this role.

Priorities as a Top Solo:
#1 priority: Don’t lose tower.
#2 priority: Farm and XP.
#3 priority: Don’t take damage.

The first priority is DON’T lose the tower. You’ll lose map control over almost a quadrant of the map. Your next tower (zone of safety) is all the way to the 2nd outer tower, so you can't farm safely and are in danger of a gank at any point extended.

Second priority is to Farm and gain accelerated XP. You’re either a carry, or a champion that needs level 6 as fast as possible (Nidalee,Kassadin). Laning phase is all about farming, never about champion kills (2 minion waves is equal to 1 champion kill).

Third priority is to not take damage. This is important, because it stops you from doing priority #1 and #2. Don't trade one last-hit minion kill for a spell hit from the enemy. It’s almost always never worth it. Think of it this way: if you're forced to blue pill, think of all the last-hits you're missing then.

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Beginning of Game

What are the best items to buy:
Cloth Armor + 5 hp pots (especially against ranged AD)
Mana Crystal + 2 hp pots (rushing catalyst, which lets you lane forever)
Doran's Shield/Regrowth Pendant + hp pot (More passive lane)

Ok, so minions have spawned.DONT EVER FACECHECK BRUSH. If they are MIA, they are either waiting for you in the bush, or they are waiting at their tower too. So show yourself momentarily to the creeps, then back off until you know their location.

Now that you know who you're facing, take a quick look at their summoner spells and items (press TAB button). This is one of the first basics you must learn in LoL.
If they have flash, exhaust, ignite, you have to play more defensively. There's been too many times that my teammate dies early, and then says "Oh sh*t, I didn't know they had ignite". Knowing a champion's 2 summoner spells is just as important as knowing what their 4 basic spells do.

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Early Laning Phase

Don't AUTOATTACK constantly. One of the first things you must learn in LoL is to last-hit. Auto-attacking constantly pushes your lane. Pushing your lane leaves you overextended. Overextending leaves you open to ganks from jungler or mid. If they try to kill you, you have to run the whole distance to your tower. You won't make it.

You must understand that killing the enemy creep wave as fast as you can (Singed, talking to you), does not make the next creep wave come any faster. The rate at which you kill the enemy creeps and the enemy kills your creeps, decides how far the lane is pushed/pulled and who has more lane control for zoning. If you push your minion creep too far, you can easily get zoned 1v2.

If you're under your tower, there is a strict method to last hitting.
Melee minions: 2 tower hits, then one autoattack
Ranged minions: 1 autoattack, 1 tower hit, 1 autoattack
Cannon minions: No precise method. Make sure you last hit this one (most important for gold)

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Mid Laning Phase

At level 3, you should begin to have a level advantage over them. Keep track of your creep score (CS) and make sure you're around the same CS as your mid.

By level 4, you should have done some damage to your enemies. This is because at this level, your jungler should have lizard buff and start ganking. OR the enemy jungler just got lizard buff and having half-health will prevent them/hesitate from 1v3 diving you.

When you need to recall, spam all your skills and push the lane as far as possible (safely). This makes sure that they don't take your tower because lane is pushed. It also makes sure you don't lose as much CS (minion kills). Try to come back before the creep wave reaches your tower without you in range, that is lost gold/XP.

Once you come back, you should have a level advantage and item advantage. You should start being more aggressive, and try to coordinate a kill with jungler or mid. Buy a ward, especially if enemy jungler has been aggressively ganking other lanes.

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Who Can 1v2 Solo Lane

Essentially, anyone can 1v2 top solo with good map awareness and lane control. Some are better than others. Here are some champion traits that are most advantageous (in order of importance):

1. AoE spells (ability to clear waves fast if they are pushing hard)
2. Range (ability to last hit or harass safely)
3. Regeneration (Survive in lane for long periods, remedied by pots/items)
4. Escape mechanism (Avoid ganks, remedied by flash/ghost/exhaust)
5. Teleport mechanism (Remedied with teleport, which is the best 1v2 laner spell bc. it's a free bluepill, and you can teleport to dragon ward if a fight breaks out, making it a 5v4 fight won + dragon).

Gragas is one of the best examples of a good Top Solo champion.
His barrel roll can clear minion waves AND harass at the same time, at safe range.
He has mana regeneration and health regeneration from skill/passive.
He has an escape mechanism.
He prevents ganks with ultimate.

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Q&A Section

Q: What do I do if my lane is pushed?


A: If your creep wave pushes past your tower range (which is unavoidable, your tower will push your lane), stay in top bush. When you last-hit, don't last hit from bush (or you'll be visible). Move out of bush quickly, autoattack last-hit, then move back in bush. Using the bush to your advantage prevents them from using target-click spells on you. If they try to zone you out of bush, punish them each time with a spell+autoattack when they are running in. This will make them hesitate doing it again. If they harass you when you come out of bush, then just stand in bush and soak up experience, and wait for the lane to passively push.

Q: What do I do if they are pushing my tower hard?

A: Don't attack the champs, attack the creep wave. The faster you clear the creeps, the faster they go away. Try to call a gank from jungler/mid, because the enemy is far overextended.


If you think I'm missing anything in this guide, feel free to leave a comment/suggestion. I'll make additions. Hope you learned something.


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atsmith893

Senior Member

05-06-2011

I like this guide quite a bit. Excellent job with this as it's very useful to new players and even good reminders for others.

I would suggest adding the suggestion to buy wards unless your champion has a built in 'ward' ability. Even when you are doing very well at keeping your lane pulled you can still be vulnerable to ganks/tower diving and a ward can allow you to see this coming.


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Etherimp

Senior Member

05-06-2011

Been done before, but a good guide nonetheless.

One thing is, when you come back at higher level from blue pilling, you say "You can be more aggressive"; but wouldn't it be more prudent to let them push the tower, call for a gank from your jungler, THEN be more aggressive?

Also, a more comprehensive list of where each champion shines the most would be good.

Most Tanks should be in a 2v2 lane with a squishy, Carrys with good lane control in mid (Kassadin, Anivia, Lux, Ashe, Caitlyn, etc), Supports and Carrys who can avoid blue pilling often (Karma, Janna, Galio, Mordekaiser, for example) are best suited for 1v2 lane, and obviously; junglers/gankers/assassins (Warwick, Nocturn, Udyr, etc) shine in the jungle.

Obviously, a lot of characters could play 1v2, or mid, or even a 2v2 lane. A lot of Support characters, for example, (Janna comes to mind) can pretty much play anywhere and be a benefit to their team. Support characters benefit from 1v2 because they can effectively hold the lane and get XP and keep people off a tower without needing to worry about last hitting *AS MUCH* because they are not carrys..where as characters like Mordekaiser can hold a lane all day and get a huge gold/XP advantage to carry into late game where their feeding will pay off.


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malphismia

Senior Member

05-06-2011

Thanks for the feedback. I think the things you guys asked to add were in the last sentence of the laning phase part xD I swear I didn't edit that in, lol it's exactly what you guys asked for.

Quote:
Once you come back, you should have a level advantage and item advantage. You should start being more aggressive, and try to coordinate a kill with jungler or mid. Buy a ward, especially if enemy jungler has been aggressively ganking other lanes.
By the way, I was thinking of adding a list of who can 1v2 lane, but I thought it would be too long. It just depends on how good you are with the champion. Personally, I do 1v2 lanes with Twisted Fate and Pantheon sometimes because of their teleport ultimates, but they're nothing like the usual Mordekaiser solo top.


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DA

Senior Member

05-06-2011

Couple things I would also touch on for flavor:

-If you are a melee champ and find you are easily zoned, learn your lesson. Your champ is not built for it. Sometimes you just need to not be stubborn. Many many melee champs are not setup well for decent to strong 1v2. If you see it at the loading screen as possible, let your teammates know you may need to swap. Confirm it when you see your matchup and switch with someone better suited.

You waiting to swap until after you almost lose your tower or you die, hurts your team badly. It also makes it much harder to swap as your counterpart will not have the level adv. they need.

Past that, the only comment I have is in terms of CS score you need to have a numbers vs. time gauge of where you need to be. Don't compare to mid, you have no idea if they suck.


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TheUntzBus33

Junior Member

05-06-2011

I think a list of who the best at 2v1 and who should NOT 2v1 would be a decent idea. There are few that just can't hack it and will lose their turret in 10 minutes.

BAD
*Gangplank: does not have enough push to maintain his turret AND farm. Would have to use his ult to clear minions rather than assisting other places on the map
*Soraka: Cannot push/harass hard enough and should be tied to someone early game for support purposes. Also incredibly squishy to burst dmg(which a 2v1 or 3v1 scenario certainly has)
*Sona: Same issues as Soraka.
*Kassadin - I honestly dislike Kassadin in a 2v1 position. I'm sure it's been done, but he is VERY weak early game. His early game pushing ability is pretty lame, he requires a decent amount of farm to be successful endgame (which can be taken away from him 2v1) and without his ult he is very easy to take down. Against a more aggressive 2v1 comp (sion/taric or blitz/anything) he will struggle and probably fail.

I personally dislike teleport based champs in a 2v1 lane because if you have to leave your lane to help others (Shen, TF, Panth) your lane is then vulnerable to opposing team pushing your turret. Do so at your own peril.

Good
*Mordekaiser - Can clear minion waves easily, harass well, and has high damage mitigation to counter their harass. Can be difficult to escape ganks though.
*Irelia - Great farming ability, health restoration, and harass. Not easy to gank either.
*Gragas - stated by OP
*Nasus - One of the best 1v1 champs in the game also excels at 2v1. Spirit fire can wipe out minion waves, passive health restore on auto attacks, can use wither defensively, and ability to farm his Q stacks at will. Can also use Ult to become beefier in a pinch if need be.
*Renekton - Great mobility, can wipe out minion waves/harass, health restoration on his Q, a stun, and an ult that makes him beefier. Farmed Renektons are also slightly scary....
*Xin Zhao - (Not the greateat but definitely competant) health restoration on auto attacks, decent mobility, scary when farmed. NO ONE will dive you unless you've played like an idiot and let them get you under 25% hp.

Lots of champions can be good at it, but those are the best IMO. Maybe I left some out?? Discuss


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DA

Senior Member

05-06-2011

Anyone who has strong AOE cr@p to farm with or strong lifesteal will be ok in a 1v2 in general.
Not a bad list to start from though.


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iamjstar

Junior Member

05-06-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatadorRED View Post
Q: What do I do if they are pushing my tower hard?

A: Don't attack the champs, attack the creep wave. The faster you clear the creeps, the faster they go away. Try to call a gank from jungler/mid, because the enemy is far overextended.
Not sure I entirely agree with that. I find, if you have enough burst/CC and possibly AoE at the tower, you'd rather focus the heroes. Personally, sending both heroes back low on hp, furthering my XP advantage even further and free farming for a bit is a lot more useful than simply pushing the creeps back only to be pushed into the tower again. If they're that aggressive, you're just going to be at a major disadvantage. I play Nocturne as a 1v2 (when I'm not jungling) and I find the Duskbringer + Fear combo at the tower works wonders. The Duskbringer brings down the creep wave and the few seconds of fear will actually let the tower clear all the creeps and maybe get a few hits on the enemy champions.

Personally, thats just my style and I know I'm all round aggressive. Not to mention Nocturne is fairly sustainable in lane and the damage he might take from aggression will just heal off. This might not be the thing for beginners though, as you need to gauge the risks as you're always at a disadvantage in damage output.


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tumultuoustempus

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Senior Member

05-06-2011

OP: very very nicely done. This is an excellent guide and I wish everyone would read and absorb it.

Quote:
Lots of champions can be good at it, but those are the best IMO. Maybe I left some out?? Discuss
I think one of the very best 1v2 champions is Heimerdinger. Very solid ability to hold a lane and harrass capability via rockets. I tend to drop my second turret in the gank bush as a perma-ward, as I feel one is enough to hold the lane.


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malphismia

Senior Member

05-07-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjstar View Post
Not sure I entirely agree with that. I find, if you have enough burst/CC and possibly AoE at the tower, you'd rather focus the heroes.
Yeah, there's definitely grey areas. Like you should be autoattacking if the 2 enemy champs are autoattacking and hitting your tower down when lane is pushed. 'Not autoattacking' is not a strict rule.

But remember, even if you hurt one of the champs, they can recall and regain health. Your turret can't. And while one is recalling, one of them is taking solo XP, so it's not a bad trade off for them, whereas your momentary damage on them (if it doesn't translate into a kill) and their damage on the turret favors them.