[Guide] The Art of LoL by Zekent

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Zékent

Senior Member

05-26-2011

***I posted this guide in General Discussion: http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...d.php?t=784111***
Read it there and drop a comment to bump it up!

-Zekent


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Zékent

Senior Member

05-26-2011

The Art of League of Legends by Zekent

Table of Contents

Introduction
I. Goals

Part One: The Core Skill Set
II. Champion/Item Knowledge
III. Item Awareness
IV. Creep Score
V. Basic Map Awareness

Part Two: How to Improve
VI. Attitude/Mindset
VII. Practice Mechanics
VIII. Game Sense
IX. Watching Other Players

Part Three: The Advanced Skill Set
X. The Mind Game
a. Juking
i. Loss of Vision
ii. Bush Juking
iii. Escape Skills
b. Baiting
i. Bush Baiting
ii. Flash Baiting
iii. Ward Baiting
iv. Turret Dive Baiting
c. Lane Control
i. Scaring Your Opponent
ii. Creating Opportunities
a. Passive Play
b. Aggressive Play
XI. Farming Past the Laning Phase
XII. Map Control
a. Warding
i. Counter Warding
b. Champion Presence
c. Turrets
XIII. Positioning

Part Four: Champion Roles
XIV. Traditional Roles
a. Ranged AD Carry
b. AP Carry
c. Support
d. Tank
e. Jungler
XV. Sub Roles
a. Off-Tank
b. Bruiser
c. Anti-Carry
d. Pusher
e. Roamer
f. Assassin

Part Five: Stats
XVI. Defensive Stats
a. Health
b. Armor/Magic Resistance
c. Health Regeneration
d. Dodge
e. Life Steal/Spell Vamp
i. Life Steal
ii. Spell Vamp
f. Tenacity
XVII. Offensive Stats
a. Attack Damage/Ability Power
i. Attack Damage
ii. Ability Power
b. Armor/Magic Penetration
i. Armor/Magic Resistance Reduction
c. Attack Speed
d. Critical Strike
i. Critical Chance
ii. Increased Critical Damage
XVIII. Other Stats
a. Cooldown Reduction
b. Mana
c. Mana Regeneration
d. Movement Speed

Part Six: The Pre-Game
XIX. Choosing Summoner Spells
a. Exhaust
b. Ghost
c. Heal
d. Revive
e. Smite
f. Teleport
g. Cleanse
h. Fortify
i. Clarity
j. Ignite
k. Rally
l. Clairvoyance
m. Flash
XX. Choosing Masteries
a. 21/x/x
b. x/21/x
c. x/x/21
d. 9/x/x
e. x/9/x
f. x/x/9
g. 12-15/x/x
h. x/16/x
i. x/x/15-16
XXI. Teammate Interaction
a. Greetings
b. Champion Select
c. Pre Minion Spawn Plan

Change Log



Introduction

Greetings Summoners.

This is an article that aims to explain and teach players how to improve and refine their skills in League of Legends. Due to the vast disparity of skill in the League of Legends community, some points may not be understood by inexperienced players simply from lack of in-game play time or knowledge.

The approach that I will take to assist in player improvement may work outside the context of League of Legends and into other MOBA-style games. But, the examples within this guide will all be taken from within the context of League of Legends.

This is not a guide that is intended to teach how to play any specific champion, but rather a complete overview of how to play League of Legends as a whole, so if you are looking for a guide on how to play a particular champion, this guide is not for you.

Also, for the most part, each section in this guide is meant to be standalone, so if you do not want to read it in its entirety, feel free to skip around.

I. Goals

So, first of all, what is your goal? The best way to achieve your goal is to first define what you are trying to do, and then figure out a means to achieve that goal. So, I ask you again, what is your goal? For example: Are you trying to improve your win/loss ratio? Are you trying to raise your ELO? If either of the preceding is your goal, then there are ways to achieve that without much personal improvement- you could simply run champions that require little effort to obtain a high win/loss ratio in your respective ELO range. Example: Teleport/Revive Karthus with -% Death Timer runes and masteries prior to the adjustment of his death timer (aka: Zombie Karthus).

Doing this may quickly improve your displayed ELO up to a certain level, but you will eventually encounter players who can deal with such champions and even punish you early on for trying to do it. If that is your goal, you are free to do it, and you could most likely obtain a fairly respectable win/loss ratio by doing so.

On the flipside, if your goal is to improve your overall mindset and mechanics, you shouldnt waste your time with such strategies. At best, exclusively playing one or two champions will teach you just that- how to play one or two champions. You may become extremely skilled at these champions, but would become inept at playing at any other champion within your newly obtained ELO range for one simple reason- you may play Champion A at skill level X(newly obtained ELO), but you play every other champion at skill level Y(old ELO.) I have personally seen players in the 1800+ ELO range become completely useless if their main champion gets banned or picked. So, before you do anything, decide on your goal- then make plans on how to achieve that goal.

Part one of this guide will be focusing on your core skill set- champion/item knowledge, item awareness, creep score, and basic map awareness. All these skills are essentials to becoming a well-rounded and consistent player. So if that is not your aim, or if you already possess these skills, then you can skip past that section.

Part One: The Core Skill Set

Many players wonder why it is that they arent as good as higher ELO players, but few know what to attribute the difference in skill to. This section of the guide is designed to help you understand the key differences between a good player and a great player.

II. Champion/Item Knowledge

So youre sitting in a lane at 60% HP as Vladimir against a LeBlanc and youre both about to hit level six. You both level and you decide that since youve built up a fair amount of gold, youre going to go blue pill and buy some items. All of a sudden, she flashes up to you and blasts you with her Sigil of Silence and Mimic combo and youre suddenly at only 15% HP. You go into panic mode and try to use your Sanguine Pool to get away, but its not working! She easily polishes you off with Distortion.

This is a very basic example of a lack in champion knowledge. Had you known better, you will know that LeBlanc can silence you. Fortunately, this is the easiest deficiency to remedy. All you need to do is to read up on what each item and champion can do. In fact, there are various League of Legends fan sites which provide very detailed information on all the champions and items.

Having just basic knowledge of each item and champion can make a large difference in the outcome of a game. You may realize that a Banshees Veil can save you from a Karthus Requiem, or that Executioners Calling can help counter Dr. Mundo. If you know what each champion and item can do, you will discover that certain itemizations prove to be extremely effective against certain champions.

III. Item Awareness

So youre sitting in a lane at 40% HP as Ashe against a 20% HP Poppy. You decide that if you can pull off an Enchanted Crystal Arrow, you can kill her before she makes a move. So, you take aim and Enchanted Crystal Arrow her successfully. You run up to her to shoot her. All of a sudden, she flashes up to you and smacks you into a wall with her Heroic Charge and her Devastating Blow finishes you off. What just happened?! She was stunned! How was that even possible? Oh that Quicksilver Sash in her inventory might have done the trick.

You should constantly be checking what items enemy champions have- especially if youre in a lane against them. Example: Oh, that Ashe just got back to lane after buying? Wow, she just bought an Infinity Edge- guess Id better watch out! The Tab button makes checking up on items quite simple- though it sometimes doesnt update if you have not recently seen the champion.

Two of the most important items to watch out for are: Quicksilver Sash and Elixirs. Basically, these two items can easily turn the tide of a gank or fight. The instantaneous de-buff purge from Quicksilver Sash and the HP boost from a Red Elixir can be the difference between you scoring a kill on an enemy champion or having them turn around and beat you down.

Some other often overlooked items are vision and sight wards. If there is a hero with stealth on your team, (Example: Eve/Twitch) be sure to tell them if you see anyone on the enemy team purchase a vision ward. Also, if you constantly check items on enemy champions, you can see approximately where they place their wards. Example: You see an enemy Ashe has a ward and she walk into the left bush in middle lane. When she returns to middle lane, she no longer has the ward, meaning that you can assume she probably put the ward somewhere on the left- effectively cutting off one path that your teams roamer/jungler can gank from.

IV. Creep Score

Its ten minutes into the game and you are playing in the middle lane as Corki against an Ashe- both of you starting with boots and three health potions. You feel that youre doing an excellent job- youve been harassing throughout the entire game and youve made her burn through the three health potions and finally managed to force her to teleport back to base- knowing full well that she is probably going to pick up some items. So, you push your lane to his turret and decide to teleport back to pick up some items of your own- fully confident that you can once again force her out of lane when you return. You decide to spend all your gold to get yourself a Tear of the Goddess (995 gold) and return to lane only to find Ashe sporting Three Dorans Blades (1425 gold) a ward (75 gold) and three more health potions (105 gold). Whats going on?! You quickly hit Tab and see that Ashe has somehow managed to get 30 more creep kills than you and is now completely dominating you in lane.

This is a classic example of a difference in last hitting skill. Due to the nature of League of Legends, it is incredibly hard to actually kill someone early in the game when its a one on one situation- meaning that youre generally better off getting as many creep kills as possible. Think of it this way- a kill on a champion is worth about fifteen or so creep kills; so would you rather spend your effort on trying to kill the enemy champion, or concentrating your efforts on consistently getting as much gold as possible. In 99% of all situations, sitting back and last hitting would provide you with far more gold than taking potshots at the enemy champion.

As you move up in skill level, the importance of last hitting becomes more noticeable- if youre in a solo lane and youre behind by twenty or so creep kills, you are effectively losing your lane unless you have somehow managed to kill the enemy champion or successfully ganked another lane. You may think, Oh well, its only twenty of so creep kills, but what you dont immediately notice is what those creep kills allow for. Similar to the example at the beginning of this section, being behind in creep score will only lead to a larger and larger gap due to the difference in purchasing abilities- basically the first blue pill by each champion will compound the effects of a large gap in creep score.

So, how do you remedy this? Practice- theres no way around it. Each champion has a different attack animation- ranging from great (Example: Caitlyn/Corki) to absolutely terrible (Example: Soraka/Zilean.) The only way to consistently obtain creep kills is to play that champion. Or simply practice with a hero with a terrible attack animation- if you can last hit consistently with Zilean or Soraka, you can probably last hit with any champion.

As the game progresses, you still want to keep your creep score up and I will elaborate on how to do that in Part Three.

V. Basic Map Awareness

You are playing Jungle Amumu and its just past three minutes into the game. Youre just finishing up that first Lizard buff when suddenly a Gold Card flies out of the bush and stuns you. Twisted Fates Pick a Card is quickly followed by Jannas Howling Gale and ChoGaths Rupture. Try as you might, you had no chance to escape, and now the enemy Twisted Fate has taken your Lizard buff leaving you with nothing. How did they know you were there? There are basically three options- one: they have a ward there, two: they are running clairvoyance, or three: experience (someone might simply know the jungle timings for Amumu.)

How do you get around this? For one, if you are watching your mini map you would have seen the enemy champions leaving their lanes, or at least disappearing off your mini map. If they dont reappear within five seconds, you should assume they are actively trying to kill you, and you have one of two choices- run or call in support from your teammates.

Such an example also applies to lanes. Are you overextended? If yes, do you see all the enemy champions on your mini map- yes: youre fine, no: run. You should always assume that if you cant see the enemy, they are just out of your vision waiting to kill you.

This brings up another important point- warding. For a meager 75 gold, you can obtain an extended range of vision on your mini map, effectively allowing you and your teammates more time to react to incoming ganks. Remember, a ward is not only for scouting a gank that is coming to you, but also for providing vision of the enemy champion leaving your lane.

Also, having one ward in one of the side bushes in the middle lane effective provides protection from both sides of the river. If you have complete vision of one side of the river, you can stay near the warded half of the river- providing yourself ample time to escape from an enemy champion that pops out of the opposite bush.

Having good map awareness directly leads to map control. If you can accurately assess where each enemy champion is at any given time, you will know exactly when to push a lane and when to back off- but I will go into map control in Part Three.

Part Two: How to Improve

The following sections are dedicated to teaching you how to improve your game play through a variety of skills and traits. If you feel that you do not need to improve any more on the any of the following topics, you are free to skip any of the sections.

VI. Attitude/Mindset

Not many people really think about their in game attitude, but it is a very important factor in games. The basic mindset you want is very simple- you play a game intending to completely crush the enemy team through any means necessary. But, actually gaining this mindset is a whole different matter- after all, what does it mean to have a winning mindset? Even if youre losing at the moment, if you continue playing intending to win, you will still have a chance- a key enemy champion may get caught out of position or your team may manage to snipe a Baron kill; basically, its not over until the game actually ends.

Dealing with the mindset of your allies can also turn the tides of victory in your favor. If someone scores a kill, type out a gesture of acknowledgement- even a, Good job (champion X) will suffice. If someone gets caught out of position, tell them not to worry too much about it- something along the lines of, Its alright, well get them next time can work wonders in keeping morale up. Basically, keep up a positive attitude and dont ever berate your teammates; it only invites disaster- after all, high morale generally leads to better play.

Never assume you are always right. Even the best players make mistakes, and it is far more valuable to recognize your mistakes and correct them than to insist on your point of view. In fact, insisting that you are always correct can have fairly negative effects on your own improvement- you will never be able to see the other side of an argument. In short, be open-minded, and accept all opinions.

I feel as if there isnt really much need to elaborate on this topic since there isnt much that I can actually teach you. I can only provide you with the knowledge of what a good mindset is and let you explore it on your own.

VII. Practice Mechanics

Have you ever felt that you know what to do, but you cant do it? Well, this is where practice comes into play.

Playing against human opponents is a more valuable experience than playing against AIs, but this only applies to game sense and map awareness. Playing in either a single player custom game or against AIs is still valuable because doing so can help you develop solid mechanics. This is mainly directed at last hitting, but can also apply to trying out new champions and jungling.

Example One: Are you having difficulty deciding on a jungle route for Udyr? Try out various paths in a custom game and determine which path has the most efficient clear time.

Example Two: Having difficulty last hitting with Ashe? Go play her a bit in custom games until you can hit at least five minions out of every wave. Simply being able to consistently obtain creep kills will dramatically increase your chances of victory.

After you feel that you are ready to put your new found skills to the test, go play against some human players. The practice that you put into any given champion will automatically be applied to your normal game play. Example: In regards to creep score, you will more smoothly be able to swap between last hitting and harassing, practice simply removes or at least dampens one extra layer of difficulty from the game.

VIII. Game Sense

I personally define game sense as the ability to know when to be where doing what. For example, you are Master Yi pushing bottom lane, and there is a 4v5 team fight brewing next to your outermost top turret, so, you must make the split second decision between your three options- one: take out dragon, providing your team with a nice boost in gold, two: continue pushing and knock out one or two turrets, or three: run up to the top lane to assist your teammates. In such a situation, option two would generally be your best choice. Tell your team to stall your enemies for as long as possible while you push down as many turrets as possible.

So, why were options one and three not as optimal? Option one may seem like a good choice, but the difference between the 190 gold from dragon and the 150 gold from a turret does not warrant you spending your time taking out dragon- killing a turret, and potentially dealing heavy damage to a second turret far outweighs what dragon can provide. The map control advantage from taking out a turret is far more important than the 40 gold earned from dragon. On the other hand, option three seems somewhat more viable- after all, you dont want your team to engage in a 4v5 fight. But, unless there is a massive farm or level gap between your two teams, your teammates should be able to delay the other team long enough for you to take out multiple turrets and maybe an inhibitor- especially if a team fight breaks out.

There is no exact method to improving this facet of your game play, but what I find to be the most beneficial is to simply make calls in the games that you play. Simply put- be the leader of your team. Sure, you may be wrong a lot, but as you accumulate experience making calls, you will find that you make fewer and fewer bad calls. Also, if you are not the leader of your team, you can analyze the leaders calls- basically asking yourself, Why would we do that? Doing this will help you in two ways- remember bad calls (your own and other players,) if youre put in the same situation again, make a different choice and vice versa.

IX. Watching Other Players

Ah, streams and replays. Though it may be fun watching a player climb out of the so called ELO Hell, there is virtually no value in watching it. It is rarely a learning experience to watch someone at or below your own skill level. If you want to improve, the only players that you should watch are the ones that are either at the top of the ladder, or at least noticeably better than you.

Some streamers tend to comment on their play- this is one of the best ways to improve. If you can understand why a player chooses a specific action, you can more readily apply those actions to your own game play. On the other hand, if a player makes a mistake, understanding the reasons behind making the mistake can help prevent you from making similar mistakes. You can just as easily learn from failure as you can from success.

You may notice that most of the top players can maintain an impressive creep score even while trading blows with the enemy champion. Or that they will go to Baron or dragon immediately if they see even one enemy champion in bottom/top lane. Or you may just notice the small details that go into winning a team fight- well timed flashes and effective kiting among other things. Though you may not be able to pull off such feats at the moment; watching other players provides you with the knowledge of what you need to improve on and the basic framework of how to achieve such improvement.

Alternatively, you can download LoL Replay (a user made program) and watch your own game play. This will allow you to point out your own mistakes and see how you could have acted differently. Also, being able to completely analyze a team fight can help to drastically improve your own efficiency in a fight. Being able to analyze your own game play is one of the best ways to improve yourself.

Part Three: The Advanced Skill Set

Alright, you have managed to work your basic skill set up to a level where you feel that any more improvement would be marginal at best. Now youre ready to move on to some more advanced topics. In this part, I will cover a few more complex topics, namely- the mind game, counters, farming, and map control.

X. The Mind Game

The mind game- probably the most complex topic I will address in this guide. So, what exactly is the mind game? It can be defined as this- How to outplay your opponent. As simple as that may sound, there is a score of factors that go into effectively outplaying your opponent. So, in this section, I will focus on just a few facets of the mind game- juking, baiting, and lane control.

a. Juking

There are many ways to juke an enemy champion- loss of vision, bushes, and escape skills. Loss of vision juking is the most common; simply forcing your enemies to guess where you are. Bush juking requires you to constantly force your opponent to lose targeting on you. And finally, escape skills such as Shadow Walk or Flash can be used to get into, or escape from various situations.

i. Loss of Vision

Effectively utilizing loss of vision may seem easy enough- if the champion chasing you cant see you, they cant catch you right? Well, its rarely as simple as that- lets say you managed to pick off someone deep in the enemy jungle and now there are multiple champions coming for you, and from multiple directions at that. What do you do then? I see many players just continue running in a straight line, making their path completely predictable- almost assuring themselves a death.

Following the previous example, lets say you have ended up just South of the opposing teams secondary top turret, meaning that you are in the Northeast of their jungle, and you have enemy champions converging on you from your East and West, youre low on HP, so at the moment you have three options- going West (towards your top lane and into one enemy champion), East (towards the enemy teams base and into an enemy champion), and South (towards your middle lane). So which do you take? Logic dictates that you go South; so you do it- putting you out of the enemy teams vision range and taking yourself just between the Wraith camp and the Lizard camp. Suddenly, you see the enemy champion in middle lane react, heading North towards you. You realize that you cant go North or South, seeing as your HP is low enough that either champion would be able to easily three shot you. So now what? You can either run West (towards your top lane), or East (towards the enemy base).

If you decided to run West, you have given the enemy team a chance to cut you off- the enemy team already knows that you have nowhere to run, so they can cut you off whenever you put yourself in a position that offers no escape. Going West will almost ascertain your death. On the other hand, going East opens many more options to you. You can run into the bush next to the Wraith camp and start teleporting out- if youre lucky, youll get out before the enemy team figures out where you went, and at worst, you will see the enemy champions coming, allowing you to either suicide into the turret (providing the enemy team no gold or experience), or attempt to keep juking them (buying your team time to pick off a turret, dragon, or even Baron).

ii. Bush Juking

This is similar to loss of vision, but on a much smaller scale. Being able to effectively juke an enemy for a sustained amount of time can mean the difference between getting a killed and being killed. Buying that extra half second of cooldown time may net you the kill in an otherwise hopeless situation.

The concept of bush juking is simple- you just need to force your enemies to lose targeting on you; making them unable to attack or cast single target spells on you, or causing them to have a higher chance of missing area of effect spells due to the lack of vision. But, actually pulling off a successful bush juke is not as simple as it sounds. To pull off a successful juke you need to consider what the enemy champion can do- how dangerous his auto attacks are, whether or not his spells are on cooldown, and whether or not he has a ward in his inventory.

The first thing to consider is how dangerous the enemy champions auto attacks are. For this example, lets say that your Flash is on cooldown for another eight seconds and you are trying to buy enough time to use it to jump over a wall. If you are at a reasonable amount of HP, say two hundred, you shouldnt be too concerned about that Soraka chasing you around. But, at the same amount of HP, a Master Yi chasing you around would be a lot more threatening. In the former situation, simply bee-lining it to your base will probably be enough to save yourself. But, in the latter, youre almost guaranteed to be caught and killed- this is where bush juking really comes in to play. A champion such as Master Yi needs to be able to click on you to actually deal damage, and if youre constantly ducking in and out of the bush, he cant easily target you- potentially buying you enough time to escape with Flash.

Enemy cooldowns are also important to keep in mind- hiding in a bush wont exactly save you if the enemy champion has an area of effect spell ready that can target the entire bush. But, if you saw that the enemy Veigar already used his Event Horizon (a skill with a fairly long cooldown), juking him to prevent him from casting his Baleful Strike could potentially save you from some heavy damage.

Finally, you should be checking if the enemy champion has a ward in his inventory- if yes, bush juking potentially worthless; as a ward in the bush you enter renders the bush useless to your juking needs. Even so, your opponents may still forget to place the ward as they are chasing you, so attempting to juke them may still prove fruitful.

iii. Escape Skills

Skills such as Flash, Valkyrie, and Shadow Walk can all be used to pull your champion out of danger. But, what is the best way to use these skills? For flash-type skills, being able to leap over walls is the most valuable tool they provide. Skills that provide stealth prevent your opponents from seeing and targeting you.

Flash-type skills allow you to escape from various situations that would otherwise mean certain death. If someone is chasing you, one of the best ways to use these skills is to run into a bush and wait for the enemy champion to follow you. As soon as they enter the bush, you can Flash back in the direction you came from- this catches most people off guard because they expect you to continue running in one direction; not backtrack. Jumping over a wall also provides you the option of putting Loss of Vision to use because even if your enemies use flash to follow you over the wall, there will be a brief moment where they will be unsure of the direction you take.

Stealth-type skills basically provide you with an infinitely large bush to work with. Even if your opponents possess an Oracle, stealth still provides an extremely large safe-zone for you- as opposed to an infinitely large bush, there will be a small clear spot around the champion with an Oracle. If youre playing a stealth champion and are at a low amount of HP, most players will still try to cast area of effect spells to pick up a kill on you. These blind shots are easily evaded by doing one of two things after casting stealth- one: stand still or two: backtrack. The reason that these options are effective is that they are unexpected, especially because your opponents can see you moving in one direction just before you finish stealthing.


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Zékent

Senior Member

05-26-2011

b. Baiting

The principle behind baiting is to trick your opponent into overextending- you make them think that they can kill you, causing them to follow you into a trap. The most effective bait requires your opponent to be absolutely certain that they can kill you. Baiting is much less effective if your opponent is at low HP or if you are at high HP.

i. Bush Baiting

Bush baiting is the most common form of baiting- you trick an enemy champion into chasing you into a bush full of your teammates. The best way to accomplish this is to be at a fairly low amount of HP and “miss click” a few times, causing your champion to “accidentally” pause for a few moments allowing your enemy to catch up to you. This will effectively trick your opponent into thinking that you have made a mistake and that they can punish you for it, but you are actually drawing them closer and closer to their death.

ii. Flash Baiting

This technique works far less often, as people are more wary of using their summoner spells to jump over walls to chase than chasing someone into a bush. But, the concept behind it is the exact same as bush baiting- you trick your pursuer into flashing over a wall and into a swarm of your teammates.

iii. Ward Baiting

Do you see an enemy champion with an Oracle? Do you know that they are about to pass by a certain point on the map? If yes, than it becomes possible to ward bait that champion. Ward baiting is exactly what it sounds like- you drop a ward in plain sight, and jump on the enemy champion when he comes out to break the ward.

iv. Turret Dive Baiting

Do you look extra squishy? Maybe you have a Soraka or Shen on your team. As long as you are communicating effectively, your enemies may attempt to kill you while under turret fire. This works especially well against champions who can stun you from a range (ex: Sion). You want him to stun you, leaving you at a very low amount of HP and then try to finish you off. A well timed ultimate from Soraka or Shen can quickly turn the fight into your favor, adding your damage to the turrets’. You can also achieve this through the use of the Exhaust spell- a 70% reduction in attack damage along with a 35% reduction in spell damage can really catch a player off guard.

There are many more ways to effective bait your opponents and these are just a few examples of how to effectively take advantage of your opponents’ aggression.

c. Lane Control

This part will deal with how to win a lane through a variety of tactics- scaring your opponent and creating opportunities for yourself through passive or aggressive play.

i. Scaring Your Opponent

This section is dedicated to early game control and lane dominance- basically, how to scare your opponents into playing extremely passively; thereby missing creep kills and experience. The pace of a lane is generally determined not by what you can do, but what your enemies think you can do.

There are many ways to effectively establish fear in your opponent’s mind- especially if you have a roamer or jungler on your team. Example: If you are playing a roamer or jungler, you can let the enemy champion see you enter a bush in his lane. You may be wondering, “How do I get a kill if they already know I’m there?” Well, that’s the trick to it- you enter a bush and immediately teleport out. If it is a solo lane you were “ganking,” they can’t exactly face check the bush just to see if you’re still there- they may end up having to sit back near their turret and get no farm and experience until you reappear on the map. On the other hand, your teammate can easily pick up creep kills with no pressure being applied to them. This works best against champions that have weak escapes, but if an enemy champion’s summoner spells are down, this will still prove to be extremely effective.

Another example: It’s five minutes into the game and you are playing as Tristana against a highly aggressive Caitlyn- admittedly not a great matchup for you due to the difference in range. Luckily for you, your team has a roaming Alistar who has already tried to gank Caitlyn once. Even though the gank was unsuccessful, you can still employ the effects of it to your advantage- Caitlyn will probably have in mind that Alistar is running around the map. So, you notice that every time you run forward, Caitlyn backs off because she’s afraid Alistar is hiding in the bush waiting to assist you in killing her. Basically, her thought process will be something like, “Oh no, was harassing Tristana all game, and all of a sudden she wants to attack me head on, there must be some reason for it, I bet Alistar is going to gank me again.” Using this small tool, you can easily push Caitlyn away from what should be easily acquired creep kills- drastically reducing her creep score. This reduction in her income can lead you having a fair advantage after the first blue pill- you can potentially have more or better items than her; allowing you to easily push her out of the lane without assistance from your allies.

Of course, these are not the only examples of the mind game in lane control, but should rather provide a foundation on how to impress your will onto your opponents. After all, dominant lane control is rarely established from the moment the game starts- but is built up from the constant exchanges between the champions in a lane. If your opponent is thoroughly convinced that you can kill him at any given point in time, you have effectively “won” your lane- denying the enemy champion valuable experience and gold.

ii. Creating Opportunities

The way you should think is this- the more decisions your opponent has to make, the more likely it is that he will make a mistake. So, by putting pressure on your opponent (either through personal aggression, or through making him feel the need to be aggressive), you are constantly opening up the possibility that he will make a mistake- leading to an even larger lead. So, the two ways to create opportunities are as follows- one: passive play, and two: aggressive play. Ideally, you will be able to incorporate both of these styles into your game play.

a. Passive Play

A common misconception in winning a lane is that you need kill the enemy champion- this is not the case. To effectively win a lane, all you have to do is out farm your opponent by a fair margin- generally a 20+ creep gap can be considered a “won” lane depending on the champion matchup. Passive play requires you to focus on obtaining as many creep kills as possible; creating a large gap between your and your opponent’s creep score- your goal is not to actively try to kill your opponent, but rather to cause your opponent to hand his life to you on a silver platter.

If your opponent notices that they are being significantly out farmed; they may begin to play more aggressively to prevent you from increasing the gap. Such aggressive play from your opponent may allow you to catch him overextending or out of position. The easiest way to punish someone playing overly aggressive is to either- continue playing passively and building up even more creep kills, or to simply attack them with minion support. Many players underestimate the amount of damage that minions can deal- therefore opening up the opportunity to dish out heavy damage to the opposing champion, or at the least dealing more damage to them than they can do to you.

b. Aggressive Play

Sometimes a level advantage in the lane is significantly more valuable to your cause than a simple gap in creep score. Aggressive play requires you to constantly harass the enemy champion while keeping damage taken to a minimum- there’s not really much point in an even exchange of damage. Your goal in regards to aggressive play is to zone your opponent away from experience, basically to build up a level advantage- the difference between a level five and a level six champion is huge.

To effectively play an aggressive lane, you must first know how well your champion matches up against your opponent’s champion. For example, you shouldn’t really be playing too aggressively as Kassadin against Caitlyn. But, if you feel as if you have a champion matchup, playing aggressively may be the key to controlling your lane. Aggressive play is most effective when you can build up early momentum against your opponent- dealing heavy damage to them within the first two or three levels can leave a significant mental impact on your opponent. If you can scare your opponent within the first few levels, they may be wary of engaging you later on- even if they have an advantage. This means that if you see the enemy champion running up to get a creep kill, you can also run up to scare him back leading to missed creep kills. Of course, this does not work against every player, so if you notice that your opponent is still fighting back, you may want to switch back to a passive play style as an aggressive play style may leave you more vulnerable to ganks and counter aggression.

XI. Farming Past the Laning Phase

As the game progresses, many players find that their farm begins to slow down- this should not be the case. So, there are two things you have to keep in mind to maintain efficient farm- one: where your teammates are located, and two: is your jungle cleared.

The largest issue that I tend to find is that teammates tend to fight each other for farm. This is not only inefficient, but actually detrimental to your team- having too many champions in one lane will dramatically reduce a team’s map control. If you see one of your teammates heading to a lane, you probably should not be following them there unless your team is trying to push down a turret or gank someone. But, if your ultimate goal is simply to farm, than fighting your ally for creep kills is just about the worst decision you can make. Instead of competing against your own team, you should be looking for an open lane to farm- increasing your team’s map coverage while allowing you to kill creeps at your leisure.

Also, many people tend to underestimate the amount of gold the jungle can provide- a quick run through just the basic creep camps can net you about 200 gold, which is by no means a small amount. So, if you ever see that your jungle still has creeps left in it, clearing it may be the best farming option available to you at the moment- it is safe and seeing you disappear off the map puts pressure on your opponents’ lanes, because from their point of view, you could potentially be travelling between lanes to set up a gank.

XII. Map Control

Map control is easily defined- it is basically zoning the opposing team out of portions of the map while constantly contesting for more control. Your ultimate goal is to have your opponents so pushed back that they are unwilling to leave their base. But, how exactly do you gain and maintain map control? There are three main ways to do this- effective warding, champion presence, and taking down turrets.

a. Warding

Warding is one of the most important aspects of League of Legends; yet probably the most often overlooked. Effective wards (ones that prevent ganks and/or provide vision of when enemy champions leave lanes) are instrumental in the success of a team. Such wards provide more freedom to lanes, while potentially wasting the time of your opponents.

If a lane has all possible entry/exit routes covered by wards, it is easy to see when and where a gank is coming from- therefore allowing you to react to one long before it actually reaches you. This allows you to play more aggressively in a lane because, assuming all else is equal, there will be no external factors from the other team affecting your actions. Also, keep in mind that an unsuccessful gank is a huge waste of time, and seeing one more champion in a lane allows other lanes to fight with more freedom.

Furthermore, as the game progresses, this concept still applies, but on a much larger scale- there will be more entry/exit routes to cover as you push deeper into the opposing half of the map. So, what do you do? Ideally you want to “box in” your opponents with wards. This is extremely effective because of the fear of “face checking” bushes (aka: running into a bush without prior vision). So, your goal would be to make every single bush a danger zone for opposing champions. And, even if someone on the opposing team is foolish enough to face check a bush, your team will be prepared to punish him for it. In short, allowing your opponents only the ability to push out through the lanes can greatly limit their ability to control the game for multiple reasons- one: you will know where every single champion is at any given time, two: they will lose control of their jungle, allowing your team to pick up extra gold and buffs, and three: they lose control of Baron and Dragon, both of which can dramatically increase a lead.

i. Counter Warding

This is one of the greatest tools to achieve solid map control- removing a portion of your opponents’ map vision opens the door to various opportunities. First of all, if you used a vision ward to counter ward and the opposing team wants to regain vision of a particular area, they will have to first remove your ward or wait it out. The first option allows for ward baiting and also requires an opponent to possess an oracle or to buy a vision ward of their own- effectively evening out the gold disparity from your original vision ward.

If they opt not to re-ward the area that you counter warded, your team is awarded a new gank path. Your roamer/jungler can more easily gank a lane which has no vision. If your team is not ganking, even the threat of a gank can potentially scare an enemy champion into passivity by aggressive play (see The Mind Game: Lane Control: Aggressive Play).

b. Champion Presence

An often overlooked portion of the game, champion presence actually plays a large part in map control. Champion presence can be defined by how prominent a particular champion is in the opposing team’s minds- a champion that is hardly noticed will have low champion presence and vice versa.

Oftentimes, you will find that enemy champions tend to focus on particular champions more than others (usually targeting the more farmed/fed champions on your team). As long as the targeted champion can be seen on the map by your opponents, every other champion on your team will have an increased level of “safety” due to the “must shut down champion X” mindset that many players have. In this scenario, champion X (with his high champion presence) provides the rest of his team (lower champion presence) a veil of safety, and thus allowing them more freedom to pursue map control. If there is ever a champion that is getting out of control on the other team, keep in mind, allowing one champion to become strong is far less dangerous than letting the rest of his team gain farm and map control just to slow him down- meaning that you are better off shutting down the rest of his team.

Another example can be taken from team fights and backdoor champions. When a team fight is about to start or already underway, few people will notice that Master Yi charging through a lane taking out turrets and inhibitors- people are too focused on what is happening right in front of them. So in this case, the champion presence of the other four players on Master Yi’s team (high presence) effectively “hides” him from the other team.

So, what exactly does champion presence have to do with map control? It’s actually a very subtle effect- enemy champions are slightly more likely to gravitate towards areas of “high presence”, providing areas of “low presence” more freedom to do whatever it is they want.

c. Turrets

Players often say that the key to victory is to take out turrets. This is true, but what many players don’t realize is why taking down turrets is essential to victory. The map control that turrets provide is an invaluable resource to a team- meaning that, with each turret lost, a significant portion of map control is lost.

Turrets provide a fair amount of sight range, cutting into potential paths that enemy champions can pass through without being seen. So, if an enemy champion wants to gank you or one of your teammates, they will have to take a more roundabout route if the direct path puts them within a turret’s sight range. This means that your team requires fewer wards to cover the same amount of space- leading to more gold reserved for other purposes.

Also, turrets provide “safety zones” for champions (especially early-mid game)- that is, if an enemy wants to engage your team with a turret around, they will have to think twice or at least have an extra champion around to provide them support. This means that having a turret around will provide you with a relatively secure path of retreat in case things go sour.

Effectively utilizing the map control by a turret may take some practice, and knowing when to let go of one to pursue a different objective requires a keen sense of the flow of the game. The best way to think of a turret is this- an allied champion that doesn’t move, but can still dish out a lot of damage. But, sometimes you have to let your teammates die for the good of the team, and other times, saving them is the best course of action.

XIII. Positioning

Positioning is one of the most important aspects of the game. In short, it is where you want to be in the middle of a team fight- of course, this varies depending on what champion/role you are fulfilling for your team. Good positioning ensures that you are pulling out as much potential out of your champion as possible. In fact, positioning is usually the key deciding factor in an even team fight. If you find that a champion on the opposing team is overstepping their bounds, than you can easily punish them for the mistake.

Positioning is a skill that is built through experience in playing- as you play a particular role more and more, you will unconsciously improve your positioning in fights. The positioning of each champion role is not the same, so having knowledge of the various champion roles will allow you to better judge where good positioning is in a fight.

Part Four: Champion Roles

The following sections are dedicated to explaining the jobs of each champion role. In addition, I will elaborate a bit on the skills that you need to effectively play each role.

XIV. Traditional Roles

These are the roles that are most generally considered as “needed” in a team composition. Even though this is not the case, it is still very beneficial to be fairly proficient at playing at least one or two champions in each of these roles so that you can fulfill any deficiencies in your team composition.

a. Ranged AD Carry

Champions such as Ashe or Miss Fortune fall into this category. Basically, their job is to stay back and dish out sustained damage, or to score hits on turrets when a team is pushing. If you are playing one of these champions, you should never be in the middle of a fight, but rather you should stay back and deal damage to anyone that comes close to you- and remember, if your team has a dedicated support champion, they are basically your best friend in the game.

To effectively play one of these champions, you require excellent farming skills, along with superb positioning. An AD carry with no farm is about as threatening as a Soraka- that is to say, not at all. So, in most games, you should be spending a lot of time just killing creeps and only ganking if there is an extremely high chance of you getting a kill- each champion kill is only worth about 20 creep kills, and time spent ganking another lane could potentially be better used to increase your creep score.

Positioning is undoubtedly the most important skill required of a strong ranged AD carry- a dead carry won’t do much to influence the game, and such champions are among the easiest to kill when focused. So, correctly positioning yourself in a team fight is absolutely vital to dealing as much damage as possible. You should always be around the outer edge of a team fight, and should generally not be chasing a wounded champion through the middle of a fight, they could potentially be baiting you, and even if they aren’t, putting yourself in the middle of every other champion on the opposing team is a fairly bad idea. In short, you should always be hitting the closest enemy champion, and not trying to dive in to hit other champions.

Tip: Farm. Farm some more. Farm a little bit more. I think you’re ready. Actually… keep farming.

b. AP Carry

An AP carry such as Anivia or Annie has a similar play style to ranged AD carries; with the main difference being that the burst potential on an AP carry is generally much higher. They have the exact same job as a ranged AD carry- that is, stay safe, and deal as much damage as possible in a fight. For the most part, AP carries have decent spells to farm with, so attaining a high creep score is not as difficult as on a ranged AD carry. And, as with ranged AD carries, staying on the outer edges of a team fight and near your team’s support champion is essential for an AP carry.

That being said, an AP carry does rely heavily on a high creep score- so be prepared to sit back and farm. But, due to the higher early game power of AP carries, attempting to pick up champion kills may be more beneficial to your farm than simply sitting back and farming. In short, do not underestimate to power of a full round of nukes against an enemy champion- for the most part, even a level six AP carry can dish out some fairly heavy damage as long as you have magic penetration runes and sorcerer’s boots. Other than this aspect, the play style of an AP carry is almost identical to that of a ranged AD carry.

Tip: Magic Penetration will sometimes make you do more damage than flat out AP. Be prepared to decide which is preferable based on the enemy team’s itemization.

c. Support

Support champions such as Soraka or Janna are generally considered essential in a team composition- but not for the reason most people think. The reason that you want a support champion is this- there is generally one champion on each team that will not be able to pick up significant farm, but you still want that champion to be effective come late game. This is where support champions come into play- they are champions that function perfectly well on very few items and almost no farm at all. Support champions generally make up the lack of farm through the use of gold per 10 items- providing them with a steady flow of income that can eventually be used to buy wards and more costly items.

As a support champion, you need to have excellent map awareness- especially if you are running Clairvoyance as one of your summoner spells. Being able to land a good Clairvoyance can provide your teammates with very useful information regard the enemy team’s movements. Early on in the game, being able to basically “follow” the enemy team’s jungle champion (through the use of Clairvoyance) will allow your lanes to know exactly when a gank is coming.

Knowing how to efficiently place wards around the map can save you a lot of gold- allowing you to build up stronger items. Well placed wards will allow your teammates to know when they can safely push a lane or play aggressively and potentially waste the time of enemy champions trying to gank a lane. Being able to see most of the enemy champion on the map will allow your team to decide on the best course of action to take. For example, if you see three enemy champions in bottom lane and the last two are heading down towards bottom lane through their jungle, your team can choose to either: defend the turret, kill baron, or push the other two lanes. Depending on the situation, such a situation can potentially lead to a great advantage to your team.

In regards to team fights, as a support champion you are usually very squishy- meaning that if anyone on the other team is allowed to attack you, you will almost certainly die. So, much like a carry champion, you must stay fairly far back in a fight, only running in to throw out your spell. For the most part, you should be next to your team’s carry champions to help ward off any enemy champions that are allowed to get close to them.

Tip: Oracle is your friend, winning a battle of map control is much easier when you can walk around destroying the other team’s wards.

d. Tank

In contrast to most other roles, tank champions, such as Cho`Gath or Malphite, make it their business to get up close and personal with the enemy team. When you are playing a tank, you need to be able to take a very heavy beating- if you can’t, you may as well be playing a different champion. A tank’s job is to be threatening enough that enemies will want to target you, but tank enough to survive at least the initial burst on you. Basically, you have to itemize in such a way that you can do some damage while still being able to soak up damage for your team.

Though it is not always the case, in most team compositions it will be up to you to initiate a fight through the use of your spell set. Most if not all tank champions have at least one or two spells which can force a fight to break out. So, knowing when and where to initiate a fight is of the utmost importance- so keep an eye on your team so you know where they are and how soon they can make it to you. For example: If your team has a large amount of area of effect spells, choosing a narrow space to fight in would be ideal, whereas fighting in the open can lead to your teammates’ spells to have significantly less effect.

One of the most important skills a tank player requires is the ability to quickly discern where the most damage output comes from on the opposing team and itemize against it. Example: If you notice that the enemy Ashe is knocking chunks out of your team’s HP bars, it may be time to get a Frozen Heart or Thornmail. Or, if that Anivia has 600 AP it’s probably time to buy a Banshee’s Veil or Force of Nature. Obviously these are extreme examples, but knowing what to build at every point in the game will vastly improve your ability to tank.

Tip: If you happen to be playing a tank with an area of effect crowd control spell such as Amumu’s Curse of the Sad Mummy, there is no need to immediately use it in a fight- in fact, using it at the last moment may prove to be more beneficial to your team that blowing it the moment you enter a fight. It is often the case that simply having you in their midst will cause enemy champions to retreat- allowing your teammates to take free potshots at them. Also, if you happen to be tank enough, you can literally chase the enemy carry out of a fight while your team cleans up.

e. Jungle

While not exactly a traditional role, a jungle champion is vital to the success of a team. Not limited to any particular champions, a jungle’s job is to exert pressure on every single lane in the game. Some champions such as Warwick or Nunu undoubtedly make far better jungles than Sion or Soraka for two reasons: Sustainability and Speed.

Sustainability is simply the ability to constantly stay at high amounts of HP throughout the jungling process, thus reducing the risk of being counter jungled while allowing you to immediately gank at any point in time. On the other hand, speed is exactly as it sounds- how fast you can clear the jungle, that is, to kill all the creep camps. Being able to quickly clear the camps allows you to be that much more dangerous early game- that isn’t to say that you should only gank after you clear the jungle, but that the level advantage definitely helps.

The most important skill for a jungler is to know exactly when a gank can be successful- with success defined as getting a kill, forcing the enemy champion to blue pill, or forcing them to use their summoner spells. The ideal situation is that a lane is pushed up against your tower so that you have plenty of space to work with, but that is rarely the case. So, in other situations, you need to be able to judge when it is possible to achieve one of your ganking objectives and when it is better to do something else.

A common mistake that beginning jungle players make is to be ganking the entire time after they get Elder Lizard buff. While this does help your teammates in lane, it also puts you significantly behind every other player in the game- in farm and in experience. Though ganking is important to a jungler, being able to keep up in levels will allow you to be a constant threat throughout the game.

Tip: Most jungle champions are only viable as gankers after they attain the Elder Lizard buff- so the earlier you can get it, the better. But, you must make sure to kill the Elder Lizard right before you start ganking so that you do not waste any time on the buff.


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Zékent

Senior Member

05-26-2011

XV. Sub Roles

These are roles that are not considered part of the traditional team composition, but are still completely viable and in no way should they be discounted compared to those in the traditional set. For the most part, sub roles are just secondary roles that many champions with traditional roles can fill if the need arises. You should understand the concept behind each of these roles, and how you should play them.

a. Off-Tank

Off-tanks such as Singed or Dr. Mundo play a very similar role to traditional tanks. The main difference between the two roles is that the damage output on off-tanks tends to be lower, and they have much weaker initiation abilities. So, what good is an off tank then?

An off-tank’s role in a team fight is simply to bother every single champion on the other team. For example: Singed can run amok in an enemy team throwing people around to get them out of position and dealing a little bit of damage to them in the process. Off-tanks are generally not high priority targets, so you will find that you can actually output a fair amount of damage before the enemy team decides to start killing you- which they will do eventually.

Most off-tanks are extremely hard to catch and prove to be excellent distractions- even more so than traditional tanks. For example: A Nunu solo pushing bottom can lure one or two enemy champions to bottom lane; allowing his team to push other lanes or take Baron. For the most part, their skill set makes them naturally hard to chase down; buying valuable time for your team.

Game sense is a valuable skill for any off-tank player- it allows you to know when and how far you can push to lure out your opponents, and knowing how to waste as much of your opponents’ time without getting yourself killed is extremely important.

Tip: High movement speed is very important on an off-tank. Get your opponents to chase you around for minutes on end without being able to actually catch you.

b. Bruiser

More commonly known as tanky DPS champions, bruiser’s such as Renekton or Irelia are extremely powerful in most team compositions. Having a naturally high HP per level modifier; these champions tend to do a decent amount of damage while being extremely hard to kill.

Though many bruisers also make excellent initiators, they are better off entering a fight after their team’s tank champion. For the most part, these champions tend to be in the middle of team fights, knocking out supports and carry champions with ease while ignoring the tanks. In fact, it is fairly common for a bruiser to occupy two or more champions in a fight- allowing his team to have an easy time with the remaining champions.

One of the major strengths of bruisers is their extremely strong early-game. An aggressive bruiser can completely dominate a solo lane through the use of their high base damages and large HP pools. For example: Renekton can easily chase an Ashe out of the lane due to the bonus armor from Cloth Armor and the extra HP from a few health potions.

The most important skill for a bruiser is the ability to pick your fights. Even though bruisers tend to win most fights if you are just trading blow for blow; if you blindly charge at every champion you see, you may rack up some unnecessary deaths. You must be wary of champions that can effectively kite you to death without you being able to lay a finger on them.

Tip: Cloth Armor along with five health potions can lead to early lane domination. Trinity Force allows bruisers to deal heavy damage without sacrificing too much defensively. In fact, Trinity Force along with Force of Nature is a staple item combo on most bruisers.

c. Anti-Carry

Anti-carries such as Poppy or Nocturne make it their business to make the opposing team’s carries have a hard time fulfilling their duties. These champions have ways of getting to and distracting, if not killing, whoever they please. What makes these champions so effective at fulfilling their duties is that there is no way for an opponent’s teammates to stop them from getting to whomever it is that they target.

In a team fight, these champions have one overarching goal- to kill the opposing team’s main damage dealer, or at least chase them out of the fight. For example: Poppy can use Diplomatic Immunity on a non-threatening champion (usually a support or tank champion), and basically charge up to the enemy team’s carry with little to no harassment.

The most important skill that an anti-carry player requires is timing. Knowing exactly when you can catch the opposing team’s carry off-guard will allow you be extremely successful in pulling off kills and surviving. Generally, jumping on the enemy carry the moment a fight breaks out will prove to be the most effective timing window for two reasons- one: the enemy team will be less focused on you, and two: this will be when the enemy carry is most overextended. The lack of focus on you will allow you to rack up a kill, and then retreat before anyone notices that you entered the fray. In addition, if the enemy carry is farther extended, it will be more difficult for them to escape from you and your teammates.

Tip: Movement speed is your friend- Shurelia’s Reverie or Yomu’s Ghostblade will allow you to catch whomever you want.

d. Pusher

Champions such as Master Yi and Malzahar fall under the sub-role of pusher. That is to say- they can quickly and safely advance a lane to take out turrets or inhibitors. Left unchecked, a strong pushing champion can easily knock down two or more turrets in the time it takes an entire team to get push past a four champion defense and take out one turret.

Ideal pushers tend to excel at killing champions in a one on one situation- meaning that if the enemy team wants to stop your push, they will have to pull more than one champion away from other areas of the map just to stop you. Pusher champions naturally have high farm since they are constantly clearing creep waves- this will allow you to be more farmed than the majority of champions in the game. This means that in some cases, the enemy team will have to pull more than two champions to stop you- if this happens, you know you’re doing a good job. Having three champions chasing you around will allow your team to up a Baron kill or push down other lanes with ease.

Map awareness is undoubtedly the most important skill for a pusher. Being able to quickly retreat will allow your pushing to be that much more effective. In fact, there is usually no need to retreat too far back- simply hiding in a bush until your enemies leave will allow you to more quickly return to the lane to continue pushing.

Game sense is also extremely important. Sometimes, it will be more beneficial to have your team defend a turret four against five so that you can quickly knock down a number of turrets. Other times, being a part of a team fight will produce a better outcome for your team. It will be up to you to judge both options and choose the one that you think will best support your team.

Tip: Keep wards up around the lane you’re pushing. Being able to spot the inevitable gank early will allow you to retreat before the enemy team reaches you.

e. Roamer

Roamers such as Alistar or Taric excel at giving their teammates very early lane domination. The goal of a roamer champion is to either kill enemy solos or to force them to burn summoner spells- which can lead to future kills. Of course, having a roamer will prove to be disadvantageous to the usual duo lane- leaving one champion to fend off two opposing champions. But, if your ganks in the other two lanes are successful, one disadvantaged lane is a small price to pay.

When you decide to play a roamer, you should first consider your team composition. If your team does not consist of three champions that can effectively solo a lane, then choosing to play a roamer is probably not the best choice. In addition, you must know how useful your teammates will be in assisting you in your gank- an allied champion who possesses a stun or a slow will be far more helpful than one lacking in either.

A common mistake that roamers make is to continue roaming past the point of effectiveness. That is to say, there is a point in the game where you should realize that you need to start picking up experience and gold to continue being useful. So, if you find that your ganks are no longer having an effect, or that you are taking excessive damage in your gank attempts, it is probably time to pack up and head back to a lane to catch up in farm and experience.

As a roamer, your timing on ganks must be impeccable- as soon as you see an enemy champion slightly out of position or overextended, you should be ready to take advantage of it and rush out to drop a stun or slow. In addition, you need to be wary of wards- if you are spotted, your gank may become ineffective.

Tip: Boots tend to be your first item, the extra speed will make your first ganks that much more effective.

f. Assassin

The bane of squishy champions, assassins such as LeBlanc or Akali excel at bursting a champion down within a matter moments. These champions tend to take solo lanes so that they can obtain an early gold and experience advantage which will allow them to effectively gank the other lanes early on in the game.

In a team fight, the goal of an assassin is to… Well, the goal of an assassin is to make sure a five on five team fight never breaks out. You should always be attempting to pick someone off with your heavy burst damage- it is fairly common for a strong assassin to kill a squishy champion in less than a second, allowing their team no time to react.

As an assassin, being able to itemize to maximize your damage is essential- deciding correctly between armor/magic penetration and AD/AP can mean the difference between a kill and an enemy champion running away with almost no HP. So, make sure you take note of your spells’ ratios and the amount of defense your opponents have built.

Tip: Hiding in a bush can work wonders. Quickly disintegrating someone running by a bush can easily turn a game into your team’s favor.

Part Five: Stats

The following sections will focus on the various stats that can be found in League of Legends. Be flexible, build against an opposing team- don’t just stick to one build. Warning: Be prepared for a flood of numbers. Also, this section will be quite dry, so feel free to skip it if you feel that you already understand all the stats.

XVI. Defensive Stats

Having trouble staying alive? Consider buying items which improve your defense stats- damage is important, but even if you have 400 AD or 900 AP, getting instantly killed by anyone means that you will have no chance to put your damage to use.

a. Health

Health flat out increases your effective HP pool- nothing really fancy about it. Increasing your HP pool simply lets you take more hits before you die. I don’t think there’s much else to explain.

Tip: Watch out for items and champions that do % based damage- building up too much health can leave you vulnerable to such attacks.

b . Armor/Magic Resistance.

The damage reduction from both armor and magic resistance is calculated the same way: % Damage Reduction = (Armor or Magic Resistance) / (100 + (Armor or Magic Resistance)). You may notice that this equation creates diminishing returns as you increase your armor. So, you must keep in mind that excessively stacking up either armor or magic resistance will sometimes prove to be less beneficial than flat out buying health and vice versa.

Example: You have 1000 health, 200 armor and 50 magic resistance. Your effective health against physical attacks will be: 1000 * ((100 + 200) / 100) = 3000. Your effective health against magical attacks will be: 1000 * ((100 + 50 / 100) = 1500. As you can see, having a fair amount of armor and magic resistance can greatly increase the amount of damage you can take before dying.

Tip: Keep in mind that some abilities do true damage, bypassing all armor and magic resistance. So, sometimes buying health will keep you alive longer than just armor or magic resistance. Banshee’s Veil completely negates the next damaging spell that hits your champion, so choosing to build one can potentially save you from large bursts of damage- making it an excellent choice against Assassins.

c. Health Regeneration

An often overlooked stat, health regeneration can prove to be the difference between life and death in a fight. It is fairly common for team fights in League of Legends to take the better part of twenty or so seconds, and having a significant amount of health regeneration can allow you to rejoin a fight if you were hit hard early on in the fight. Health regeneration scales linearly, so there is no need to worry about diminishing returns- but do watch out for Ignite or Executioner’s Calling.

Tip: Health Regeneration tends to be extremely powerful early on in the game- being able to stay in a lane while under pressure can allow you to outlast your opponent.

d. Dodge

Dodge gives you a chance to completely evade a physical attack- meaning that you will take no damage from it at all. While dodge is an excellent stat, many players tend to shy away from it due to its random nature. But, since it is up to chance; you can occasionally pull out some very clutch plays.

The dodge modifier is calculated multiplicatively; so with each additional source of dodge has a diminished effect- which makes stacking dodge a bit less attractive. Also keep in mind that various physical spell effects will still hit regardless of dodge.

Example: You are playing Nidalee in the Aspect of the Cougar form (10%) with a full set of dodge runes (11.25%). You have 4 points in the Evasion mastery (2%), and you are sporting a pair of Ninja Tabis (12%). So, your total dodge would be calculated as such: 1 * (1 - .1) * (1 - .1125) * (1 - .02) * (1 - .12) = ~.69. This means that you will dodge approximately 31% of all physical attacks against you.

Tip: Feeling lucky?

e. Life Steal/Spell Vamp

Similar to armor and magic resistance; life steal and spell vamp are two sides of the same coin. Basically, these two stats allow for your attacks or spells to replenish your HP pool- allowing for sustainability in lane and in team fights. Do keep in mind that neither of these stats work against structures- so, attacking a turret won’t grant you any HP.

Tip: Some spells, such as Poppy’s Devastating Blow, can trigger both life steal and spell vamp.

i. Life Steal

Life steal does trigger on spells which trigger on-hit effects such as Parrrley- meaning that various champion spells can potentially help you regain your HP. The amount of HP you regain from life steal is calculated after you deal damage to an enemy- meaning it does factor in the amount of armor an enemy possesses.

Example: You have a Doran’s Blade (3%) and an Emblem of Valor (17%). Your attack damage is 200, and you are firing shots at an enemy champion who has 100 armor. The amount of HP you would regain per shot would calculated as such: 200 * (100 / 100 + 100) * (.03 + .17) = 20.

Tip: An AD carry possessing a large amount of life steal can catch enemies off guard when at low HP. If you can do enough damage, you can easily regain some 200+ HP a shot; making a seemingly easy kill a tough target to overcome.

ii. Spell Vamp

Spell vamp is triggered by any spell or effect that does magical or true damage- this includes items such as Hextech Gunblade and Deathfire Grasp; along with the summoner spell Smite. Spell vamp is calculated the same way as life steal, but, spell vamp is cut to a third of its original value when applied to area of effect spells- with the spell vamp being calculated on each separate target.

Example: You have a Will of the Ancients (25%) in your inventory and you are playing Karthus with Defile activated- dishing out 200 magical damage per second. There are only two enemies within the effect of Defile, one with 50 magic resistance and the other with 100 magic resistance. The total amount of HP gained per second through defile would be calculated as such: ((200 * (1 - (50 / (50 + 100))) + 200 * (1 - (100 / (100 + 100)))) * 0.25) / 3 = ~11.1 from the first target and ~8.3 from the second- totaling about ~19.4 HP regained per second.

Tip: Even with the reduction in effect on area of effect spells, spell vamp still proves to be extremely effective on champions with large area of effect skills due to the sheer number of targets hit.

f. Tenacity

One of the most powerful defensive stats in the game- tenacity reduces the duration, not effect, of all crowd control effects placed on you. This means that if you have 25 tenacity, a 30% slow lasting for 4 seconds will still slow you by 30%. But, the duration of the slow will have decreased to 3 seconds instead of 4.

But, keep in mind, tenacity items do not stack, instead the highest tenacity value will override the tenacity from other items. So, if you buy Mercury’s Treads, the tenacity from Moonflair Spellblade will have no effect. But, champion abilities, such as Dr. Mundo’s Burning Agony, which reduce the duration of slows and stuns placed upon him will stack multiplicatively with tenacity.

Example: You are playing Singed with an activated and maxed Insanity Potion (30% crowd control reduction). In your inventory, you have Mercury’s Treads along with Eleisa’s Miracle. Your total crowd control reduction will be calculated as such: 1 - (1 - .35) * (1 - .30) = .545, this means that all crowd control effects placed on you will be reduced by 54.5%. In this scenario, the .35 is the reduction from Mercury’s Treads, the .30 from Insanity Potion, and the Eleisa’s Miracle takes no effect.

Tip: Buying tenacity granting items against teams with heavy crowd control can be a lifesaver.

XVII. Offensive Stats

Obviously building straight defense won’t get you anywhere, so let’s look at offensive stats now. After all, seeing those big numbers fly out of your opponents is always heartwarming.

a. Attack Damage/Ability Power

As the main ways of increasing your damage, attack damage and ability power undoubtedly play a large role in how hard you can hit. The general rule of thumb is basically this- the bigger the number, the better. Do keep in mind that getting Armor Penetration or Magic Penetration can trump getting Attack Damage or Ability Power in damage output.

i. Attack Damage

The Ranged AD Carry’s typical stat of choice- attack damage can make or break a champion. Attack damage is the main stat behind dealing damage per second- most; if not all champions who rely on attack damage will be constantly attacking something in a fight. Attack damage scales additively, so each additional point you get will directly be added to your attack damage.

Many spells take in to account a champion’s attack damage- but, not all of them are calculated the same way. For instance: the total damage of Garen’s Decisive Strike is a set amount added to 1.5 * (Your total attack damage); while the damage of his Judgment is a set amount added to 1.2 * (Your bonus attack damage). So, what is the difference? Total attack damage is the sum of your champion’s base attack damage added to any masteries, runes, and items you may have. On the other hand, bonus attack damage is only what your masteries, runes, and items provide.

Tip: Stacking up pure attack damage may seem like a good idea, but do remember to get some life steal, or you will kill yourself shooting anyone with a Thorn Mail.

ii. Ability Power

As the only way to increase the raw damage of magical spells; ability power is an essential for virtually every caster. Every single magical spell in League of Legends scales off of ability power to some extent- with each spell having a different Some champions have spells with better ratios than others, so keep that in mind when you are deciding between ability power, cooldown reduction, and magic penetration.

Tip: Rabadon’s Deathcap is basically a core item on every AP based champion. The 30% increase in ability power is not to be underestimated.

b. Armor/Magic Penetration

Exactly as it sounds, armor penetration and magic penetration allow your champion to bypass the corresponding defensive stat. This means that, if you have enough penetration, you can technically deal true damage to your enemies. When calculating penetration, flat penetration takes precedence over percentage based penetration. Also, take note that you penetration can only drop an enemy’s armor or magic resistance to 0.

Example: You have Brutalizer (15) and Last Whisper (40%). The enemy champion has 95 armor. So, factoring in reductions, the enemy would effectively have: (95 - 15) * (1 - .4) = 48 armor. This effectively increases your damage by about 32%.

Tip: Later on in the game, when the opposing team has a fair amount of armor or magic resistance, building either Last Whisper or Void Staff can greatly improve your damage.

i. Armor/Magic Resistance Reduction

There are also ways to reduce an enemy champion’s armor and magic resistance. As opposed to simple penetration, such reductions also apply to your teammates, allowing for your entire team to deal more damage. As opposed to penetration, percentage based reduction applies before flat reduction. On top of that, armor and magic resistance reduction can actually put an opponent in to negative values of armor or magic resistance. If you do manage to pull someone into negative values, they will take additional damage equal to the amount of damage reduced if you took the absolute value of their negative armor or magic resistance. Do keep in mind that reductions come before penetration, and penetration ceases to work past 0.

Example: As Evelynn, you manage to hit an enemy with a level five Ravage, reducing 26 armor. On top of that, you have Yomuu’s Ghostblade (20). The enemy champion had 15 armor to start with, so they end up with: 15 - 26 = -11 with the 20 armor penetration from Yomuu’s Ghostblade taking on no effect. This translates to a ~10% increase in physical damage on the target.

Tip: Dropping an enemy into negative defensive values will allow you to do far more damage than they will expect- usually leading to an easy kill.

c. Attack Speed

Every physical damage based champion wants a healthy amount of attack speed. Sure, it’s great to hit like a truck, but if you’re only managing to pull off one attack a second, you probably won’t be dropping your enemies too quickly. Do keep in mind, some champions, such as Kog`Maw or Vayne, can build straight up attack speed and devastate the opposing teams due to the synergy of their spells and attack speed- so, make sure you understand your champions strengths and weaknesses before choosing your build.

Calculating attack speed is fairly simple since it follows a fairly linear equation- Attack Speed = (Base Attack Speed) * ((1 + Bonus Attack Speed From Runes/Items/Masteries/Spells) + (Attack Speed Increase Per Level) * (Current Level – 1)). This means that each additional percentage increase in attack speed will have the same effect as the last. Also note that attack speed does have a hard cap of 2500, which is equal to 2.5 attacks per second, and any additional attack speed you obtain after that point becomes a null stat.

Example: You are playing Master Yi who has a base attack speed of .679 and a 2.8% increase in attack speed per level. You have 30% additional attack speed from your runes and items, and are currently level 12. So, your attack speed would be: .679 * ((1 + .30) + .028 * (12 - 1)) = ~1.09 attack speed. This means that your champion will attack ~1.09 times a second, or once every ~.92 seconds. For comparison, turrets attack about 1.09 times a second.

Tip: Getting too much attack speed on a ranged carry might prove to be a bad idea- it’s rare that you will be able to stand still and shoot people in a fight, and it’s quite difficult to maintain a high number of shots while kiting your opponents.

d. Critical Strike

On a critical strike, your champion will do double the normal amount of damage (modified by masteries, items and runes). Basically the offensive version of dodge- critical strike leaves much to chance. So, unless you have a fairly high amount of critical chance (40% or more), it is difficult to rely on a critical strike due to its wildly random nature. That being said, there are two ways to improve your champion’s critical strike.

Tip: Pulling out a lucky critical strike on your opponent in the beginning of the game can easily turn a lane to your favor.

i. Critical Chance

The first way, critical chance, is just that- it will raise your chance to get a critical strike by some percentage. This is usually the preferred method of increasing your critical since it is more reliable. Critical chance scales additively, with each additional bonus simply adding on to your previous amount. And of course, there is a cap of 100% critical strike- not that any more would do you any good.

Example: You are playing Tryndamere (+10%) have a full page of Malice runes (+20%) and a Phantom Dancer (+30%). Since the base amount of critical strike is 0% for most champions, your total critical chance would be: 10% + 20% + 30% = 60%. This means that on average, six out of every ten attacks will be a critical strike. Do keep in mind that this is an average, and unless you have 100% critical chance, it is impossible to predict a critical strike.

Tip: Critical strikes really come into play when you have an extremely high critical chance (75% or more), through the use of critical strikes, you can dramatically increase your champion’s damage output.

ii. Increased Critical Damage

The other option is to increase your critical damage. As of now, this can only be achieved in three ways- Furor runes, Infinity Edge, and the Lethality mastery. Like critical chance, this stat scales additively- with your base critical damage at 200%.

Example: You have three points in Lethality (+10%) and Infinity Edge (+50%). This would result in your total critical damage being: 200% + 10% + 50% = 260%. Which would mean that instead of doing 100% extra damage on critical strikes, you are now doing 160% more.

Tip: Though Furor runes may seem good, they only become effective come late game, so unless you plan on achieving high critical strike fairly early on, it is generally better to run a different rune set.

XVIII. Other Stats

While not exactly falling under either defensive or offensive stats, these other stats are still extremely valuable to any champion.

a. Cooldown Reduction

Being able to throw your champion’s spells more often is never a bad thing. Being especially effective on champions with long cooldowns (most champions with area of effect ultimates), a fair amount of cooldown reduction can easily drop the cooldowns of an ultimate by 30 to 40 seconds. In addition, cooldown reduction is a fairly easy stat to build up- with most items giving 10-20%.

Cooldown reduction stacks additively, so having 6% from runes and 25% from items will give you a total of 31% cooldown reduction. Do remember that cooldown reduction is capped at 40%, so make sure you plan accordingly in your item builds to not have any unnecessary amounts of it. In addition, cooldown reductions are unique among the same item- this means that building two Morello’s Evil Tomes (+20% cooldown reduction) will not give you the full 40%, but only 20%.

Example: You are playing Malphite, whose ultimate, Unstoppable Force, has a cooldown of 100 seconds. You have a Frozen Heart (+20%) and a Randuin’s Omen (+5%) in your inventory. So, in the end, Unstoppable Force’s cooldown will be: 100 * (1 - .20 - .05) = 75 seconds.

Tip: If your champion relies heavily on burst damage, you need to decide between building up heavier damage and being able to do less more often. If you can one shot someone, then heavier damage is generally the better choice, but if not, cooldown reduction will be more helpful.

b. Mana/Energy

Having all the cooldown reduction in the world won’t do you much good if you have no mana/energy to cast your spells. Having a high mana pool is extremely effective on champions with on/off spells such as Karthus’ Defile- being able to leave such a spell on can devastate the opposing team. Do keep in mind that some champions do not rely on mana/energy, but instead can cast spells whenever their spells are off cooldown.

Tip: Having enough mana to throw out about two to three rounds of spells will generally be plenty in a team fight. Be sure to keep an eye on your mana bar- if you don’t have enough mana to cast your spells, warn your team and ask them not to engage in a fight until you have enough.

c. Mana Regeneration

Having a fair amount of mana regeneration will allow you to constantly throw out spells. While having a huge mana pool is great, if you find yourself constantly running out of mana, you should consider investing in some sort of mana regeneration items. In addition, having mana regeneration allows champions with low mana cost spells to have, literally, unhindered spell casting. Being able to cast your spells on a whim is great throughout the game- from early game harass to end game poking wars, never running out of mana can dramatically increase your sustainability throughout the game.

Tip: Extremely powerful on champions with heals- mana regeneration allows them to stay in lane or push almost indefinitely.


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Zékent

Senior Member

05-26-2011

d. Movement Speed

Being able to outrun the opposing champions is an often underestimated ability. If you are faster than them- one: they can never catch you, and two: you can always catch them. There are ways to chase down a faster opponent, but these methods require you to have a bit of a head start on them. So, in short, having a large amount of movement speed can almost always put you in an advantageous position.

The calculation for movement speed is fairly simple: (Base Movement Speed + Boots) * (Percentage Movement Speed Bonuses). But, there are two soft caps when stacking movement speed. The first is at one that is applied is when you hit 490 movement speed- already a respectable amount, any additional movement speed past this amount is subject to a 50% reduction. The second is at 415 movement speed and is applied after the first one takes effect- any movement speed past this amount is reduced by 20%.

Example: You are Master Yi (330 base movement speed) and you have Berserker’s Greaves (+70) in your inventory. Also, you have Highlander (+40%) activated. This would bring your movement speed to: (330 + 70) * 1.4 = 560. But with the reductions, your effective movement speed would be: 560 – ((560 – 490) * .5) = 525; 525 – ((525 – 415) * .2) = 503. This effectively reduces your expected movement speed by 57.

Tip: The more the better- you can never run too fast.

Part Six: The Pre-Game

Before the game even starts, there are some important things you can do to improve your chances of winning- so to maximize your chances, be sure to set yourself up for success.

XIX. Choosing Summoner Spells

Picking the right summoner spells can be the difference between victory and defeat in a game. Know what they do, when to use them, and how to deal with them.

a. Exhaust

Exhaust: Slows an enemy’s movement speed by 40% and reduces basic attack damage by 70% and ability/item damage by 35% for 3 seconds- 210 second cooldown; 550 range.

While most people tend to use Exhaust for its slow effects; Exhausting an enemy champion will also dramatically decrease that champion’s damage output- regardless of the champion’s reliance on auto attacks or spells. This makes Exhaust viable throughout the entire course of a game due to its use against both AD and AP carries. In addition, the three second slow is usually more than enough to escape from or catch up to an enemy champion- making Exhaust a fairly viable chase/escape spell.

While it is very common to pick up Exhaust on champions that fulfill the tank role; picking it up on any carry type champion also has great benefits. For one, if you find yourself being constantly dived by an assassin during fights; you can simply Exhaust them to either get away from them or to nullify a large portion of their damage. Also, if it comes down to it, having Exhaust will almost guarantee a win in a one on one carry fight simply because your enemy does almost no damage to you.

In short: Good for chasing or running. Pick Exhaust on tanks and carries. Use Exhaust on opposing carries or assassins.

Cripple: Adds an additional armor/magic resistance reduction of 10, and increases the duration by 0.5 seconds.

If you pick up Exhaust, you might as well pick up Cripple- it is a one point wonder which greatly improves the effect of Exhaust. Do keep in mind that it does provide armor/magic resistance reduction, not penetration, so you can use it to drop someone’s defense in the negative values making it extremely effective in ganks.

b. Ghost

Ghost: You ignore unit collision and move 27% faster for 10 seconds- 210 second cooldown.

One of the two escape spells- Ghost simply grants you a massive movement speed boost. While it may not seem like it, Ghost is actually a fairly decent counter to Flash; as any champion running Ghost can easily chase down someone who does not Flash over a wall. As an escape spell, activating Ghost will allow you to outrun virtually any champion who is not willing to burn a summoner spell to catch you.

In short: Good for chasing or running. Pick Ghost on almost any champion.

Haste: Increases the movement speed by 6% and the duration by 1.5 seconds.

Haste is another one point wonder- the extra duration and movement speed are always welcome. There is almost no reason to pass up this mastery.

c. Heal

Heal: Heals you for 140 + (champion level * 20) and all nearby allies for half of that amount- 270 second cooldown; area of effect of 600.

While it may seem like an excellent summoner spell; Heal tends to have very little use past the first few minutes of the game. Though Heal actually grants a decent amount of HP back to allies, the champions which will run Heal generally are not in the middle a fight- meaning that it is actually fairly difficult to actually cast on your teammates. The most common use of Heal is to bait your opponents into overextending- which is a fairly effective tactic.

In short: Good for baiting. Pick Heal on support champions- Clairvoyance will be better 99% o the time.

Mender’s Faith: Reduces the cooldown by 30 seconds.

Once again, no reason not to pick this up- the only champions you will ever use Heal on can afford to drop a point into Mender’s Faith.

d. Revive

Revive: Immediately brings you back to life at the fountain and increases your movement speed by a 225% which diminishes over 12 seconds- 540 second cooldown.

A vastly underestimated summoner spell- Revive is the strongest summoner spell in the game come late game. Effectively granting you two lives- running Revive on a carry can effectively win very even games where even one won team fight can end the game. Champions that possess global ultimates are extremely effective with Revive- if they are killed in a fight, as long as they did sufficient damage to their opponent; they can easily drop back down to finish the job.

In short: Pick Revive on champions with global ultimates. Or, run it alongside Teleport with any carry champion.

Preservation: Reduces the cooldown by 30 seconds and grants you 400 additional HP for 120 seconds on use.

This is an incredibly powerful mastery- if you run Revive you will get this 100% of the time. The additional HP allows for some fairly interesting tactics- namely getting killed by a turret right before minions spawn and starting the game with a bonus 400 HP; effectively allowing you to out harass anyone.

e. Smite

Smite: Deals 420 + (champion level * 25) true damage to an enemy minion, pet, neutral monster- 75 second cooldown; 800 range.

A requirement for every jungle champion- Smite grants security and speed to a jungler. Simply looking at its effects, Smite does not seem like a particularly great spell. But, if you take into account the importance of neutral creeps in League of Legends, you will quickly understand why Smite is a worthy investment. Picking up Smite and being able to secure your neutral buffs, dragon, and especially Baron is incredibly important- making Smite a much stronger choice than any other spell in the game.

In short: Good for securing important neutral kills. Pick Smite on every single jungler.

Plentiful Bounty: Reduces the cooldown by 5 seconds and grants 5 gold on use.

Not really necessary- but nice to have. Plentiful Bounty is usually worth dropping a point into, but if your mastery setup doesn’t allow it, don’t worry too much.

f. Teleport

Teleport: After channeling for 4 seconds, your champion is teleported to the targeted allied turret or minion; in addition, minions are granted invulnerability if teleport is casted on them- 240 seconds cooldown; global range.

While a fairly good choice on many champions- Teleport really excels on and against backdoor champions and gankers. Being able to pop out onto a ward can easily catch many players off guard as they won’t expect you to appear out of what seems like thin air. In addition, Teleport affords your team additional map control, as you will be able to easily join a fight as long as there is something nearby for you to Teleport to. Do keep in mind that in a full on team fight, Teleport offers very little utility.

In short: Good for map control. Pick Teleport if you feel that there is a need for it.

Spatial Accuracy: Reduces the cooldown by 5 seconds and reduces the channeling time by .5 seconds.

A bit underwhelming, but if you’re going up the Utility tree, you might as well get it. The .5 second reduction in channeling time could make for an epic escape.

g. Cleanse

Cleanse: Removes all stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, sleeps, silences, blinds, and immobilizes and reduces the duration of any additional ones by 50% for the next 3 seconds- 150 second cooldown.

Although very situational- Cleanse makes for a decent escape spell. In addition to its utility in team fights; the main attraction of Cleanse is that it is especially strong against early ganks- as you can immediately escape the first stun or slow applied to you; meaning that the second one will not have a chance to land. As a carry, you should not be putting yourself in a position to be hit by too much crowd control- meaning that while still useful; it is rare that Cleanse will prove to be much use in a team fight.

In short: Pick Cleanse on carries if you think it is needed.

Willpower: Reduces the cooldown by 20 seconds.

Completely unnecessary, the only champions you will pick up Cleanse on will not be putting many points in the Defensive tree.

h. Fortify

Fortify: Grants invulnerability to all allied turrets and causes them to attack 100% faster for 7 seconds; in addition, you deal 9 extra damage to minions while Fortify is off cooldown- 300 second cooldown.

While the 9 extra damage to minions is negligible at best- Fortify does still have its uses; albeit very rarely. Most often chosen against backdoor champions; Fortify can easily prevent a turret from being taken while granting time for your team to defend it. Do take note that anything a Fortified turret hits will grant you a hit on the target- meaning that you can actually get a champion kill or assist while being across the map.

In short: Pick Fortify against backdoor champions.

Reinforce: Allied turrets do 50% splash damage on use.

If you’re going to pick up Fortify, you might as well try to get Reinforce- it will help deter turret diving and will help stop large creep wave pushes.

i. Clarity

Clarity: Restores your mana equal to 160 + (champion level * 30) and all nearby allies for half that amount- 180 second cooldown; area of effect of 600.

Other than granting you and your lane partner some lane staying power; Clarity offers very little utility past the laning phase. While Clarity can help to bait someone when they think you have low mana; it is much riskier than using Heal because you do not actually regain any HP. In a solo lane, Clarity is completely outclassed by Teleport, which offers utility throughout the game.

In short: You shouldn’t need to pick Clarity on any champion.

Insight: Doubles the amount of mana restored to allies.

This does enhance the utility of Clarity, so if you do plan on picking up Clarity; make sure to grab Insight too- your teammates will thank you for it.

j. Ignite

Ignite: Deals 50 initial damage plus (champion level * 20) true damage over time; in addition, the target’s health regeneration and any healing effects received are reduced by half- 180 second cooldown; 600 range.

Ignite is the spell of choice on most assassins, anti-carries and many AP carries. Take note that Ignite does do true damage- meaning that it will do the full listed amount every time- this is extremely important in securing champion kills. In addition to the sizable amount of damage it deals, the healing reduction offered by Ignite can counter champions that rely heavily on high regeneration such as Dr. Mundo. Also, watch out for enemy champions with Ignite- they will do more damage than you expect.

In short: Pick Ignite on any champion with heavy burst potential or to counter specific champions.

Burning Embers: Grants you 10 ability power while on cooldown.

Burning Embers is unnecessary and difficult to get for most champions that run Ignite. While the 10 AP is nice, it is usually a negligible amount.

k. Rally

Rally: Summons a ward with 200 + (champion level * 25) HP for 15 seconds. The ward has an aura which increases allied attack damage by 10-35 depending on champion level- 270 second cooldown; 850 aura range.

To be completely honest- I want Rally to be good. But, while Rally seems good in theory; it doesn’t seem too viable in practice- though it can be used defensively at a turret. Picking up Rally requires you to drop another valuable summoner spell, and it simply does not offer enough to justify picking it.

In short: Good for defending a turret. Pick Rally on… I have no idea…

Improved Rally: Rally will grant an additional 20-70 AP. The duration of Rally is increased by 5 seconds.

This is actually an excellent mastery… if you get Rally.

l. Clairvoyance

Clairvoyance: Reveals an area of the map for 6 seconds- 55 second cooldown; global range.

A spell that is almost a requirement on any team- Clairvoyance brings too much to the playing field to pass up. Early on in the game, Clairvoyance can be used to check your opponents’ items, track an enemy jungler, and deter ganks. As the game progresses, Clairvoyance’s utility does not drop off in the slightest- it allows your team to ward without risks, check dragon or Baron, and to save teammates from face checking bushes.

In short: There is no shortage to the uses of Clairvoyance. Pick Clairvoyance on support champions.

Mystical Vision: Reduces the cooldown by 5 seconds and increases the duration by 4 seconds.

Get it- any champion that is picking up Clairvoyance will almost definitely be putting 21 points into the Utility tree. The extra duration and cooldown reduction is extremely beneficial.

m. Flash

Flash: Teleports your champion to the targeted location- 255 second cooldown; 425 range.

The second escape spell- Flash instantly blinks your champion towards your cursor location. Though it is most commonly used as a defensive mechanism to escape over walls; Flash can also be employed as an offensive initiation spell. Allowing you to instantly cover a distance will often catch opponents off guard- often allowing for some easy champion kills.

In short: Excellent for escaping over walls and initiating on enemies. Pick Flash on almost any champion.

Blink of an Eye: Reduces the cooldown by 15 seconds.

Unnecessary, but if you’re going up the Utility tree it’s worth a point.

XX. Choosing Masteries

Other than just paying attention to your summoner spells; matching your masteries to your champion is a vital component to your in game success. Since all the masteries are all fairly straightforward; this section will just go into the standard setups that are often used. The format will be points in offensive/defensive/utility.

a. 21/x/x

A very common choice for many ranged AD carries. Granting you additional attack speed, armor penetration, and damage, 21 points into the offensive tree can boost your damage output by a fairly significant amount. Take note that some ranged AD carries can deal a large amount of magic damage- meaning that picking up Archaic Knowledge can be extremely beneficial.

b. x/21/x

Though not a very popular mastery choice, 21 points in the defensive tree tends to be reserved for tanky champions. Between Tenacity reducing 4% of all incoming damage, the extra health from Veteran’s Scars, and some extra dodge, regeneration, and damage reduction; 21 points in the defensive tree can significantly boost your champion’s survivability. While Nimbleness may seem very attractive; without a set of dodge runes it is usually a better choice to pick up Strength of Spirit.

c. x/x/21

Being the most common mastery setup- running 21 points in the utility tree grants you increased experience, cooldown reduction, and movement speed. If you intend to pick up neutral buffs, Utility Mastery can dramatically increase the amount of time you possess the buff. In addition, Presence of the Master is an incredibly powerful mastery- reducing your summoner spells’ cooldowns by 15%. Also, unless you have a very specific build for it; Perseverence is almost completely useless- providing virtually no regeneration.

d. 9/x/x

Very common on AP based champions, being able to pick up 15% magic penetration for just 9 mastery points is a worthy investment. There isn’t really another reason to drop only 9 points into the offensive tree.

e. x/9/x

A standard choice on many champions- 9 points in the defensive tree grants you additional magic resistance and armor. In addition, you can choose to pick up either extra dodge and Nimbleness or Strength of Spirit.

f. x/x/9

Another common choice on a multitude of champions, but especially on jungle champions- 9 points into utility allows you to pick up one point in Utility Mastery along with a 5% boost in experience from Awareness (a requirement for junglers).

g. 12-15/x/x

Some players pick up 12-15 points in the offensive tree so that they can pick up the extra armor penetration from Sunder and/or attack damage from Brutality. This is most commonly seen on ranged AD champions, though any attack damage based champion can benefit from this.

h. x/16/x

A setup for players who tend to play enjoy a boost in HP and defensive stats early in the game- opting for 16 points in the defensive tree grants you some armor and magic resistance from Hardiness and Resistance respectively. Also, it allows you to invest 4 points in Veteran’s Scars, granting 60 bonus HP along- which can be the difference between life and death early on in the game.

i. x/x/15-16

Common on champions who need a small boost in movement speed- dropping 15 points into the utility tree can give you a nice 3% boost in movement speed which is about 10 movement speed on most champions. If you happen to be running Flash, you can choose to drop another point into the utility tree or to move one point over from Quickness.

XXI. Teammate Interaction

Not everything in the pre-game is about yourself- you should also try to build up team cohesion. Though it may not always be successful; attempting to communicate with your teammates can only help.

a. Greetings

You should always start things off with something like “Hello” or “Hi guys.” Since the worst case scenario is that no one responds; you don’t really have much to lose by trying. At best, you’ll start up a conversation with your team which can lead to better team cohesion.

b. Champion Select

If your teammates are talking to you; it becomes possible to decide on some sort of team composition. There is no need for it to be very complicated; your team can decide on something as simple as- “Let’s pick a balanced team,” or “All support go go!” Being able to decide on what to do as a group will lead to less potential conflict later on in the game.

c. Pre Minion Spawn Plan

Alright, now that you’ve all decided on your champions and such, you can decide on what to do for the first two minutes of the game. Will you go gank the other team’s jungler? Camp a side lane bush and wait for someone to face check it? The possibilities are endless! So don’t waste your time in the champion select screen sitting back and saying nothing- be proactive and make some plans.


.......Work in Progress........


If you found this article useful/interesting, please share it with your friends. I want to pass on this info to as many people as possible! Thank you. =D

And PLEASE post a comment if you read this, I want to keep this guide bumped up as much as possible since I feel that it is useful information to everyone.

-Zekent


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Zékent

Senior Member

05-26-2011

Change Log

05-10-11
Introduction
I. Goals
Part One: The Core Skill Set
II. Champion/Item Knowledge
III. Item Awareness
IV. Creep Score
V. Basic Map Awareness

05-11-11
Part Two: How to Improve
VI. Attitude/Mindset
VII. Practice Mechanics
VIII. Game Sense
IX. Watching Other Players
Part Three: The Advanced Skill Set
X. The Mind Game
a. Juking
i. Loss of Vision

05-12-11
ii. Bush Juking
iii. Escape Skills
b. Baiting
i. Bush Baiting
ii. Flash Baiting
iii. Ward Baiting
iv. Turret Dive Baiting
c. Lane Control

05-16-11
ii. Creating Opportunities
a. Passive Play
b. Aggressive Play

05-17-11
XI. Farming Past the Laning Phase
XII. Map Control
a. Warding
i. Counter Warding

05-18-11
b. Champion Presence
c. Turrets

05-21-11
XIII. Positioning
Part Four: Champion Roles
XIV. Traditional Roles
a. Ranged AD Carry

05-23-11
b. AP Carry
c. Support

05-24-11
d. Tank
e. Jungler
XV. Sub Roles

05-26-11
a. Off-Tank
b. Bruiser
c. Anti-Carry
d. Pusher

05-28-11
e. Roamer
f. Assassin

05-30-11
Part Five: Stats
XVI. Defensive Stats
a. Health
b. Armor/Magic Resistance

05-31-11
c. Health Regeneration
d. Dodge
e. Life Steal/Spell Vamp
i. Life Steal
ii. Spell Vamp
f. Tenacity

06-02-11
XVII. Offensive Stats
a. Attack Damage/Ability Power
i. Attack Damage
ii. Ability Power
b. Armor/Magic Penetration
i. Armor/Magic Resistance Reduction

06-03-11
c. Attack Speed
d. Critical Strike
i. Critical Chance
ii. Increased Critical Damage

06-05-11
XVIII. Other Stats
a. Cooldown Reduction
b. Mana/Energy

06-06-11
c. Mana Regeneration
d. Movement Speed

06-07-11
XIX. Choosing Summoner Spells
a. Exhaust
b. Ghost
c. Heal
d. Revive
e. Smite

06-08-11
f. Teleport
g. Cleanse

06-09-11
h. Fortify
i. Clarity
j. Ignite

06-11-11
k. Rally
l. Clairvoyance
m. Flash

06-20-11
XX. Choosing Masteries
a. 21/x/x
b. x/21/x
c. x/x/21

06-21-11
d. 9/x/x
e. x/9/x
f. x/x/9

06-22-11
g. 12-15/x/x
h. x/16/x
i. x/x/15-16

06-23-11
XXI. Teammate Interaction
a. Greetings
b. Champion Select
c. Pre Minion Spawn Plan

-Zekent


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Zékent

Senior Member

05-26-2011

Reserved


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Zékent

Senior Member

05-26-2011

Reserved


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Senior Member

05-26-2011

Reserved


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Zékent

Senior Member

05-26-2011

End of Reserved Posts <-- If I ever make it to this post... I've written way too much... Seriously...

-Zekent


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