This is a rules overview and strategy guide to the custom game mode known as All Mid (or ARAM/ADAM). The basic premise is that all 5 champions on each team go to the middle lane and duke it out. The other 2 sidelanes are ignored entirely.
NOTE: My actual Strategies are past the intro and rules if you wanna scroll there.
The reasons I like All-Mid are:
a) Very action packed. Lots of chances to use skillshots and practice micro.
b) No need for map awareness. No worrying about where the champs are.
c) No ganking or unfair fights.
d) Less IDIOCY because most baddies have poor map awareness and get caught overextended. This mode eliminates much of it, or at least punishes them often enough that they get a clue.
e) More relaxing than a typical game to me. Probably because of b,c,and d above.
f) Totally new metagame with different tiers of champions.
g) Tends to be more balanced games since the game mode has some built in power-balancing mechanisms built in. The really unbalanced teams tend to get Queuedropped anyways.
RULES: (with explanations following in **)
a) All players must stay in the middle lane. No jungle, no bushes whatsoever. This also means NO INTERACTION with non-mid. I.e. no shooting creeps in the jungle, or Ezrial True Shotting to take out clumps of creeps top or bottom, etc.
** We want action, not people running off to farm the jungle or cheeze-pushing top/bottom.
b) You may ONLY BUY initial items and buy WHEN YOU DIE.
**This seems odd at first, but it is basically a way to balance power and self-correct. A player that is doing poorly has more chances to improve himself through items. The player that is owning is stuck with lots of gold that they cannot use. When they die, they give a lot of gold to the other team. Without this rule, a game would become 1-sided VERY quickly since you can't gank or outmanuever the enemy team.
c) You may NOT return to base. NO teleport, no B key, no champ abilities that teleport to base, top, or bottom, or other clever workarounds.
**Otherwise champs would keep running back to heal and harassment would be less useful and somewhat meaningless. Would become a boring stalemate.
d) No Snowball Items which are Sword of Occult, Soulstealer and the Health one. WARMOGS, TEAR OF GODDESS, ETC ARE OK.
** Pretty much the whole team will get an assist for every kill, making snowball items too easy to build up. It also allows champs to become MUCH stronger over time without buying which violates the spirit of the limited-buying rule. The other pseudo-snowball items aren't nearly as powerful and their charges build up at the normal rate pretty much.
e) No Guardian Angel.
** Since most kills are 'snipes' and they die under a tower or a ways off from the enemy, Guardian Angel allows for an escape about 75% of the time which is MUCH more often than in a typical game where they just corpse-camp you for a few seconds. Then the rez-ee can hide out for 5 minutes and play it safe. Hence, GA just makes it too hard to kill someone.
f) No Fortify, Revive, or Teleport summoner spells
** It is often difficult to damage an enemy tower in a balanced game, which is basically the objective of the game. Tower Pushes are fairly rare and Fortify slows the game down too much...especially if there are 5 Fortifies. Teleport is practically worthless except for cheating by going top/bottom, so it's out. Revive...I have no idea. I guess to punish a Wipe stronger.
g) No Jungling. This means no attacking jungle creeps (wraiths) from mid. An extension of rule (a).
** Both sides would otherwise do it which distracts from the main battle. Team composition could provide a big advantage here too.
h) Normal Suiciding is ok. Some ARAM/ADAM games prohibit it. This is the process of tower diving or whatever to attempt to get killed so you can go buy. Ideally you avoid anyone hitting you for 10 seconds so you are "Executed", which gives the enemy no money or advantage to your death. You can then buy.
** This is considered ok because 10 seconds assist time is a long time. It adds another strategic element to the game... if you wipe a team you get rewarded by a chance to shop..or you can push harder. It is somewhat of a gamble because a player that is doing well will try to suicide and if they get dinked or misjudge, they just gave up 1300 gold to the enemy team!
i) Cheeze Suiciding is banned. This is someone like Twisted Fate or Pantheon teleporting somewhere (even in mid) where they get immediately killed by towers, so they can buy. This is always banned.
j) This gets kind of nebulous: You can defend your top and bottom inhibitors when the tower falls. You cannot attack enemy top/bottom towers or inhibitors. Some say you can return to base once your 2 nexus towers are down. By that point it rarely matters.
k) OPTIONAL - NO Elixirs. Ive seen this occasionally.
** No idea why this is bad. I don't believe they make enough of an impact to be worth the gold, but maybe there is an edge case I am unaware of.
l) OPTIONAL - Suiciding Banned. As per (h), except NOT allowed. I haven't seen this simply because it is hard to enforce or judge. Were they just careless? Did they towerdive and get killed after their tank died? Who knows.
STRATEGY SECTION BEGINS NOW:
* Remember that you will typically have a lot more mana than you are used to. One champ may take a mana regen aura and you have up to 5 Clarities being used periodically!
* Champions will level MUCH more slowly than normal since there are 5 of them all in one lane.
-- This means champs with strong early games will stay strong a lot longer and are unlikely to significantly drop off in power endgame like they normally would.
-- It also means you must carefully pick your skills since you are stuck with your choices for a long time and will probably NEVER hit level 18 and max everything.
-- The slow leveling also means that even champs with several worthless skills can STILL be quite powerful by maxing their 1 or 2 good skills.
* Since buying is infrequent, most champs will have low armor and especially magic resistance.
* Melee champs have a hard time and will not be very useful at first... especially if they lack a long range harassment skill. This changes over time though.
* Healing is really important since you cannot return to base.
SUMMONER SPELL SELECTION:
* Heal is considered one of the best spells available. It will almost always heal all 5 teammates and counters a ton of damage. Since leveling is much slower in ARAM, Heal remains strong for much longer than a typical game. Since you cannot return to base, healing is more important.
* Clarity is second best for most champs. Not only does it allow your champion to spam their abilities more, but also assists your entire team. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND taking the mastery for it if you take it. Non-mana users and non spammers (like Xin) will want to take something else.
* Flash is strong but generally less valuable in this format. Certain exceptions apply for those that either use it offensively such as Alistar, or perhaps for manaless champions. Normally, you get ganked by 2 dudes and you flash to safety and go back to heal. Here, you get CCed by FIVE dudes beating on you are probably die before CC wears off. Even if you DO survive, you can't heal. So you are stuck tower hugging for the next 5 minutes anyways. Heal will generally be better.
* Smite is usable by melee champions to help gain gold. If they take 9-0-21 (a common mastery), they can use smite every other creep wave to gain about 25 gold on average. You can't tank without some items and meleeing creeps is usually painful.This is typically taken by manaless champions as well.
* Ignite/Exhaust is occasionally used by more aggresive players to help ensure the death of a baddie that is caught overextended. The anti-healing property of ignite is particularly useful in this format. It is nice if your team lacks CC... overkill otherwise.
Other spells are considered suboptimal. Ghost is useless. Clairivoyance isn't needed. Rally is ok in theory but is easily killed by longrange attacks/skillshots.
This is mostly champ-dependent but I want to point out a few things.
* Strength of Spirit provides much-needed health regeneration and is perfect for 9 points in Defense along with the 6 MR, 6 armor masteries or 4armor+Heal mastery.
* Those that take significant Utility will definitely want to take Meditate for mana regen as well as the Clarity mastery which gives full value to your 4 allies.
* There is more reason than normal to take 0-9-21 instead of 9-0-21 since magic resistance is less common due to buying restrictions and due to the goodness of 6 MR, strength of spirit, and heal mastery. That will often be better than the 3% CDR and 15% Magic Pen.
Added for completeness sake. I pretty much use the same runeset as normal. However depending on what you happen to own and how much you want to optimize for 1 mode...
* Flat runes are better than normal due to much slower leveling. I wouldn't run out and buy a bunch of them if you have scaling already but if you need new ones, consider this.
* Health regen and mana regen runes are better than normal.
* Movespeed runes are worse than normal.
* Magic resist runes are better than normal. However they compete with CDR runes which are also valuable for most champs.
* Armor runes are less valuable than normal. Dodge just plain blows.. at least armor works against physical damage spells but dodge doesn't. Getting physically hit by an autoattack is relatively rare. Consider magic regen yellows instead.
* Attack speed is pretty weak. Use armor penetration instead.
The most valuable attributes in All Mid are as follows:
a) Long Range - This usually means skillshots. Having a strong long range attack allows you to deal damage from a safe distance. This is much more valuable than normal since you will never get ganked by a melee, and melee guys who charge in get focus fired quickly.
b) Healing - All champs will take harassment damage and cannot return to base. Therefore, healing is very important. This can be self-heal such as Mundos passive and Ult, or spot healing like Soroka. AoE healing like Alistar is quite valuable too of course. Shields can also make a significant difference and work as preventative healing.
c) Crowd Control - Champs are always moving and dodging the many skillshots that are traded. However, a champ that gets immobilized is an easy target and will attract a great deal of concentrated firepower. Therefore, a stun or immobilize is extremely strong in this format for getting kills and preventing escape.
d) Tanking ability - Even in this format, tanking can be important. A weak-looking Amumu can actually be quite powerful as he will Bandage and quickly eat the entire enemy team's onslaught. He uses his Ult to immobilize and his team sweeps in to pick off the enemy. Without a tough tank, approaches like this would be suicidal.
e) Area of Effect - Since the field is fairly small, AoE effects can be quite strong, especially if they have long range.
LIST OF BEST CHAMPIONS:
This is my take on several of the best champs and WHY. For champs not on the list, you can figure out where they lie based on descriptions of the rest. This is mostly for drafting purposes, but it is also worth a read to help get a feel for the game mode.
***** Blitzcrank - His grab/Knockup is ridiculously strong and pretty much guarantees a kill if successful. It stays strong for the entire game and he also provides a tank. First ban in every draft and a huge contributor in ARAM.
**** Soroka - Her 1 target heal is decent but she also has the ability to constantly refill her own mana which makes her a large threat. The +16 magic resist has a big impact on her team and results in about 10% less damage taken from most skillshots. Her Ult is a super-powered Summoner Heal spell on fairly short cooldown. She can also silence enemies which really hozes some moves such as Alistar's Flash/Knockback. With a good team that properly takes healing items and dodges adequately, she can negate all enemy harassment.
*** Nidalee - Her spear is extremely powerful and is much much more likely to actually hit something in this format. It has a 0.6 AP ratio only but with a potential 250% multipler that usually gets applied. Since she has a heal and incredible range, she is hard to kill and can focus solely on AP and mana regen. Her 1 target heal is extremely strong once she gets some AP rolling. Ignore trap and cougar form till level 11.
*** Sona - Pretty good healing. Starts out weak and has bad AP ratio, but with a fixed 65 mana cost and fast cooldown, it can be spammed quickly and becomes quite efficient at higher ranks. The 20 armor/MR applied to all allies is pretty strong. Her offense is decent too with auto-hit capability. Ignore your speedup skill entirely.
*** Ashe - Volley has extremely long range and is hard to dodge and becomes pretty spammable at higher ranks, especially since she has a lot of bonus mana that she normally would not have. It also scales with AD which is good synergy with her autoattack. Her Ult arrow is perfect when a teammate stuns or immobilizes a target for chain-CC that is very hard to escape.
*** Caitlyn - Extremely high range, spammable skillshot. She also has the netgun to either slow a retreating baddie or escape herself. Ult is almost always blocked but does deal decent damage. High autoattack range.
*** Janna - Her main strength is her tornado which is one of the best harassments in the game. Fully charged, does a ton of damage plus the slight CC element. Her Ult can also prevent a tower push or overrun or save an ally. It also provides massive healing to the entire team. The slowing spell adds some CC to take out runners. Shield is periodically useful to save a snared ally and both work fine with 1 point in them.
*** Lux - Extreme range skillshots. A long range immobilize that even penetrates 1 creep is very powerful. The entire team can take advantage of the immobilize and focus fire the victim. She doesnt need as much health and healing as most and can focus solely on AP. Has a bit of CC thru her AoE slow/nuke.
** Taric - Long range targeted stun with 2 sec duration is very powerful CC. Great punishment for those that overextend. His healing is also an important factor. Shatter and Ult are pretty useless though, but he does provide tankiness.
** Zilean - The 8% XP passive is noticable in this format. His very long range TARGETEDbomb deals solid damage and many times will either blow up on the enemies team or force that member to run off somewhere and possibly miss XP. He can speed up the melee guy or slow their overextended guy with 1 point as well as utilize extra mana for the Double-Bomb via rewind. His Ult is even more powerful than usual as he can anticipate a weakened immobilized/stunned guy getting killed and save him with the Ult, or a tank that engages and towerdives.
** Galio - One of my favorites. He has two very long range AoE skillshots and is a great harasser especially with all the free mana he typically gets from allies. He has the unique ability to pick up a Chalice and several Negatron Cloaks and gain AP for offense AND become very difficult to damage with most long range abilities. This allows him to operate as a tank midgame and later. Ignore Shield, and I even ignore my Ult till 11.
** Master Yi - Alpha strike is unusually strong in this format. Yi should ALWAYS go AP, focusing on AP and a bit of health and CDR. If the enemy has no stuns/immobilize he can absolutely dominate due to his high AP ratio, Alpha damage, and crazy range. His Meditate is awesome healing and ensures he is at full health for every alpha strike. His Ult lets him shrug off slows, but stuns/immobilize will almost always result in his death. Also, Alpha is kind of buggy and sometimes puts him WAYYY back right in the middle of the enemy for no reason. Obviously you max Alpha Strike, boost Meditate and ignore Wu Style. I recommend last-picking Yi if they have limited CC and preferably no targeted stuns.
** Dr Mundo - Has high built-in health regen and toughness, along with his healing-ult. Cleaver is very strong with high range and percent based damage. He can focus entirely on health and toughness and still put out strong cleaver damage. His other abilities are fairly useless though.
** Maokai - His ability to throw saplings absolutely rocks. Not only does he deal decent on-hit damage but they chase down enemies and blow up on them for even more. The extended early game lets him capitalize on this for a long long time. His blink/root thing makes him good at snaring or re-CCing an enemy that gets too close. His Ult is good for tower assault since he can drop it in their tower area and blow it up if baddies engage.
** Kog Maw - The puke carpet does high damage and has a big AoE at long range. His Ult is very good for harassment and if the game drags on, he develops a very strong autoattack at 750 range. When he dies he has a good chance of dealing signficant damage to the enemy team by blowing up on them. I've seen awful suicidal kogs STILL get a good kill/death ratio by killstealing through blowing up on the enemy.
** Urgot - Very big AoE cloud thingee, followed by semi-targeted spamming of a weakened foe. He can kill opponents with 1/3rd health with his lock-on abilities that would normally escape from just about anyone else. His strong early game is extended due to slower leveling rates.
** Heimer - He is a huge pain because of his auto-targeting 1000 range attack. This gives him huge harassment potential. The turrets are handy for pushing or tower defending, and his unique ability to HEAL A TOWER and all champs around him is notable. I ignore his grenade.
** Cassiopia - Extremely long range harassment with AoE. Capable of delivering high burst damage thru fangs too. Ult provides AoE stun.
** Karma - All healing is good and her AoE heal is strong. Haven't seen her played often but she was effective.
* Anivia - Highly thought of though I wasn't overly impressed. Very long range, high damage projectile but it is hard to follow up with the usual ice lance and the stun isn't usually helpful due to its randomness. However, her Ult is very good for tower pushing since she can drop it and retreat, keeping defenders away from their own tower. She is also even harder to kill than usual due to Egg effect. Wall is occasionally useful to block an escape vs an overextended baddie.
* Alistar - A strong tank with significant CC. Many times will take Flash and blink into an enemy champ, Knock up and Push them back into his team for an easy kill. He can also Headbutt 1 champ and Knockup the rest. His high health makes him tanky without needing items which is valuable in this format.
* Gragas - Tanky with ability to self-heal and boost his mana. Long range barrel spam and has the ability to get kills with his Ult. Done correctly he can toss an enemy into his team's clutches similar to Blitz or Alistar.
* Maltazar - Long range AoE Silence is very solid. The huge AoE null sphere is good offensively for tower pushing. His usual bread and butter of Visions DOT isn't very good though. Ult is strong for killing an over-extender, though he usually wants to be in his minion cloud when he does it due to likely incoming skillshots when he is immobile.
* Sivir - With fewer minions than normal to reduce the damage, sivir's boomerang is very strong and deals tons of damage. Her ability to absorb enemy skillshots and gain mana is quite nice. She benefits from an extended levelup time as boomerang is good for a long long time. Her other abilities are pretty useless though.
* Ezrial - Spammable long range. However, he does relatively weak damage compared to the top tier guys and gals. Hard to kill with his built-in escape and has pretty high longrange burst when leveled.
* Brand - Lots of tasty longrange AoE. That's about it though.
* Cho Gath - Rupture is surprisingly hard to dodge since everyone is focusing on incoming projectiles, not at their feet. Hits hard, has knockup/slow and greatly benefits from extra allied mana. His AoE Silence is quite useful too even though it is short range. Ult isn't very useful except to give him massive health boosts making him a great tank.
* Amumu - No real harassment ability but midgame his Bandage+Ult lets him stop the entire enemy team while he absorbs all the punishment. A limited trick but a powerful one.
* Xin/Irelia - One of the more useful melees due to their high burst damage and Charge. When a baddie is immobilized or slowed, they can charge in and deal very high damage and re-CC them. They make great tanks too as the game progresses as all their damage is burst basically. They don't continue to beat on enemies for extended time periods.
* Ryze - Benefits from a cheap build and efficient spells. Long range immobilize that is targeted is pretty awesome. Works great with strength of spirit and tons of mana. However, he has no longrange skillshots and no ult which is limiting.
DRAFTING STRATEGIES: (ADAM mode only of course)
* Don't forget to take at least 1 tanky champion. A tankless team is prone to getting overrun at their tower and getting wiped. Having a tank initiate is pretty important just like in the normal game.
* Get at least 1 healer. It is rare that ALL the healers are banned. Usually Blitz gets it first, followed by Taric|Sona|Nid|Soroka. There will be 1 left (plus alistar/karma)
* You need at least 1 hard CC, either stun or immobilize. Otherwise you will not be able to respond when baddies push into your territory. Stun/Immobilize = massive focused firepower with easy to hit skillshots.
* There is no need to mix AD and AP, ranged and melee like in the normal game. I've never yet seen a "wow, we have an AP healer, AP tank, and 2 AP casters... we need AD!". It is much harder to counter an enemy team in this mode due to limited buying.
DEALING WITH BAD CHAMPIONS: (ARAM)
Sometimes you will get a bad champ...it is random after all. However, all is not lost. My very first ARAM I got Tryndamere! He is like the worst pick ever. Melee only, no ranged harass at all, not tanky particularly, and no burst damage. But I did ok, got first blood, and proceeded to "tank" and use my excellent healing capability to soak a lot of damage. I had fun with him.
* Consider alternate builds and strategies. Tryndamere as a tank sounds awful, but worked out pretty well. I had warmogs, Aegis, etc along with a Bilgewater Cutlass and could spin into the baddies and slow with cutlass/shout and get a hit or two. Traditional Trynd would be useless, CCed to death before he could ever engage. Traditional Yi is garbage but AP Yi is very strong. I'd rather have AP gankplank than AD for much stronger heals, Ult, and sheen-boosted parley. A Warwick will want to focus on his Nuke. Jax won't build to continually beat on an enemy but will max out burst damage with Pounce/Whack and take survivability to retreat back.
If you understand All Mid, then you will be able to come up with unconventional builds that work, even for lousy champs.
* Go Tanky. Kind of like the above. Any truly bad champion is almost always melee and can benefit from just tanking up and absorbing damage. Glass cannon definitely does not work in All Mid.
* Consider auras. Even the most worthless AP champion is helpful with some of Aegis, Will of the Ancients, Soul Shroud, Frozen Heart and Abyssal Scepter.
* Max out any ranged harassment you have. If you get Olaf, normally you might take 1 point in Axe for the slow and boost True Strike. Forget that. Max the Axe!
* Consider making an ARAM-ONLY SUMMONER if you really like the mode. All the junk champions that you have acquired will just slow you down. Remember that you can always get one of the 10 freebies, so you don't just buy 4 overpowered ones and expect to always win. But by removing the garbage champs and buying the top tier ones, you can increase your chances greatly of playing a decent champ. I have not done this but have considered it. Fortunately I only have a few bottomfeeder champs for ARAM as it turns out and several really good ones. The other bad thing is that the top tier champs tend to be the most expensive!
* In kind of the reverse of the above comment, next time you are gonna buy a champ, consider if it will hoze your ARAM. Trynd is a great AD carry in normal, but he sure stinks in ARAM... I rejoice when I see Soroka or Kog or Galio in ARAM, but I sure loathe getting Garen or Trynd or Trist. At least the first 2 can tank...Tristana just blows.
For the most part, items are champ-specific. However, I do have a few notes to share:
a) You really really NEED health regen to start with! Most champs should start with a Regrowth Pendant, which can be upgraded to a Philo Stone for mana users, or a Force of Nature or Warmogs for non-mana users or for those who don't get killed for a while. Dorans Shield is ok, but you usually don't get bursted to death from full. Instead you get whittled down to a killable level first. Hence, the extra health isn't as important.
Even if you need mana regen and normally take Sapphire or Mekis... you STILL need health regen! Don't overburden the healer because you think you are special and take Doran's Ring "for more damage".
b) Someone on the team should take Mana Manipulator, which gives 7 MP5 to the entire team. This is usually a healer who can heal themselves as needed, but can be any long range champ. Obviously this champ has to be a lot more careful about taking damage, especially if no healer exists.
c) Tenacity is important. Most teams will have several crowd control abilities. You will probably want Merc Treads or at least a tenacity item if you must take other ones. Note that Philo stones can now upgrade to a Tenacity item, plus grant a whopping 20 MP5.
d) Health Regen items remain useful a lot longer than usual. Force of Nature and Warmogs both apply a good deal of health regen and are more valuable than otherwise expected.
e) You will mostly take Magical Damage. As such, magic resistance is more important than normal and armor is less important.
f) You need mana regen items, especially as you gain levels. As you start leveling, your stuff costs more. While clarity continues to scale nicely and your base values increase, heavy spammers may find themselves needing more.
g) Aura items are a bit stronger than normal. If you need defense, get an Aegis instead of a Banshees. You still get health and 40MR and give your whole team a nice amount of MR and armor too. The mana manipulator player will want Soul Shroud to boost their health and give even more Mana regen, plus 10% Cooldown reduction! An Abyssal Scepter is a great upgrade for an AP champ that wants magic resist. Even higher MR, plus the hoze-their-MR aura. Will of the Ancients is tasty if you have 2 other significant AP casters. Spell Vamp in a limited healing enviornment is solid. Starks Fervor STILL SUCKS though. AS is just about useless as is armor pierce and lifesteal.
h) Less gold is available than normal per unit time due to less creeps. Therefore gold generating items are useful as they generate 30 gold per minute. If you die early, upgrade that regen pendant to a philo stone and get a heart of gold while you are there maybe. Do NOT OVERDO IT THOUGH. 5 Philo Stones represents 4000 gold of items and gives you a lot of mana regen that you can't even use, plus a ton of health regen that won't keep you from getting bursted down from 100% to dead. You have to make sure the gold gen items are actually USEFUL. The whole point of gold is to get items to improve your champ, not just to collect more gold.
GENERAL PLAY STRATEGIES:
* For emphasis... DON'T be the guy that won't take Heal/Clarity and goes Ghost/Flash. It is more forgivable but still bad to forget to change your summoner spells.
* For emphasis... BUY THE REGROWTH PENDANT. Making the healer waste all their mana on you cuz you wanted a Dorans Ring for damage will cause problems. Healers are very inefficient early on and struggle to mitigate the damage from 5 enemy harassers, even with 5 Summoner Heals (in theory), Summoner Clarities, and proper regen items.
* Never run out of mana. Always save just enough for your "burst". If I am playing Galio, I will save 200 mana for my Smite/Gust combo. Instead of randomly using it just to deal some damage to 1 dude, I save it for a Combo if our Lux lands an Immobilize for example. Or if the enemy Yi alphas us. Or Xin charges one of us. Be ready to deliver focused fire high burst. You will get Clarities periodically so don't be stingy with your mana, but just consider what you need for your burst and keep it in reserve.
* Use your HEAL at the right time. Do NOT use it for general repair when the "heal icon" is up...your value will be halved. Wait for it to expire. Don't save it forever and ever... use it if you have several beat-up members. Make sure to run into the center of the group so everyone benefits. Be careful when using Heal in battle too. Sometimes you will see a team pop 3 heals in under a second. You basically waste one due to diminishing returns. After a battle, you might want to call "using Heal now.." to ensure others don't heal at the same time.
* Use Clarity correctly too. Make sure everyone benefits due to your good positioning.
* If you are melee, do NOT charge in on their side. While it is a bit boring, your job is to dodge skillshots and be ready to take advantage of the situation. Lux gets an Immobilize? Charge! Beat em up and run back.
* Focus Creeps if you are ranged and not otherwise engaged. You want someone on YOUR team to get the creep kills...NOT your creeps and not your tower. Lasthitting wont' really work very well, but attack the creeps and get your bid in. HOWEVER, don't use your spells on them in general. Unless your allies are just ignoring the creeps and letting them go to waste, save the mana for harassment instead.
* Watch for the OVERRUN. Sometimes you will see a fight where 2 players die on one side with the 3 left being at moderate health, and all the enemies survive but at 1 or 2 bars. Who did better? Turns out this is a prime overrun condition. When the 2 rez, they will have a team of very high health vs a team who is very low. The tank can engage and the "loser" will overrun the enemy team, slaughtering 4 or 5 of them, then take the tower then suicide into the next one and go buy. This is a HUGE victory for the losing team. Keep this play in mind whether you are subject to overrun or have the possibiliity to overrun your enemy.
* Throw skillshots at an angle. This is particularly true if they have excellent range like Jaana. Angled shots are harder to avoid.
* Throw skillshots when not moving. If you see Galio moving towards you, its likely they clicked Smite, clicked on you (out of range) and are moving into range. It is easy to see this and avoid it. If you scooch in and get Smite ready... then they move into YOUR range to attack you, it is lots easier to give em the ole 1-2 combo and land it.
* Don't stop moving, except to bait. Moving targets are harder to hit. If they move towards you, move to 1 side. Most wont cancel their attack and miss. Sometimes I stop moving though and sit there, like Im typing. I see baddies move in then move right as they cast, making them waste their attacks.
* Be ready to focus-fire stunned or immobilized enemies. Though this is kind of obvious, be aware when you have someone like Morgana or Lux or Gragas. Make a mental note of approximately when their immobilize skill will be up so you can be ready. This is particularly important for melee champs.
* If you are ranged, don't forget to poke at their tower. Teams naturally push when their creeps move in and retreat when enemy creeps move back towards them. If your team can quickly kill their creeps and keep pushing you want to sneak in an autoattack periodically. It adds up and towers do not heal.
I hope this guide has been helpful. Happy All-Mid Playing!
Nice guide, been thinking to write something similar. I too enjoy ARAM (not so much ADAM, I like the randomness), and this mode has got me to enjoy the game once again when I had gotten bored/annoyed with the normal games.
Still reading the guide, and may edit this to add more, but wanted to comment on some of the sections you've written.
Enjoyment: Another reason I enjoy the game, is (again) the randomness in ARAM. I have many champions (bought the packs), and several of them I've never really played much. Being forced to play them has given me new champs I never thought i'd enjoy playing, and also made me aware of skill use and how to counter champions a bit better.
Another more important reason for enjoying the AM games is like you said, no chance for being ganked which can make normal games un-fun. Also with this is there is a 90% chance that you'll be in all the team fights, which is the most fun, so it's win-win!
Rules: I: cheeze suiciding, I've never really seen banned. All TF's I've played with do this, some people complain but no one really has banned it. Going along with this rule is the times people 'disconnect' and reconnect, but they're usually told not to buy.
Rule J: defending inhibitors and/or towers, is usually up to the host, never really seen this be a majority one way or the other.
Summoner Spells: I agree completely, never really thought to take Smite, will have to try that.
Masteries: I usually go with 0/21/9 for added defense, since you can't ever B, it 'seems' really helpful to me. I get the heal buff, and get the XP and Clarity buff in utility.
Champion thoughts/best champions. List seems good, i disagree on some points, but it is often how the player plays really. I find YI to be one of the most annoying. Karthus could be on there, his ult in AM where you can't go back at low health is really annoying. Singed also with his fling can be as effective as Blitz, I'd add him. I haven't played ARAM since Rumble came out, but I imagine with his ult he'd be pretty high up there also, His really long range and they'd not have much room to escape it.
I like the Strategy list, can't really think of more right now.
Was tryin to keep this post shortish, oh well. Just some general thoughts here. It seems as though, burst is best in AM games, and burst usually means AP. Unless you have to build tanky, it's usually better to go AP even if that normally wouldn't work in normal games. AP YI is devastating. A Jax focusing on AP rather then sustained DPS can burst with leapstrike and empower. The way fights are in this burst just seems better.
I don't think any champ is really bad in ARAM. A lot of people dodge if they get trynd. I never dodge, and have never played trynd outside of ARAM, And I've done pretty well with him in some games. ARAM is definitely a team game so i feel this is more important. However, many random games are decided at the champion select screen due to bad luck (but not all, I've won with seriously disadvantaged teams)
Lastly, I'm going to guess maybe English isn't your language? (Sorry if it is) Just wanted to correct some champ names you got wrong. Blitzreig -> Blitzcrank, Jaana -> Janna, Morello -> Maokai, Maltazar -> Malzahar, Blaze -> Brand. and Leviathan is the health snowball item
I guess that remembering exact names isn't my forte, lol. Those were pretty bad though...lol at Morello. I always call him Blaze for some reason and it stuck. Cmon, surely my grammar isn't THAT bad relative to this forum though? ;-)
Thanks for the thoughts. I agree with most of them. I agree that Yi is very good and I rated him as 2 stars. He would get rated higher, but CC really shuts him down.
If he eats a Taric Stun everytime he Alphas, then immediately eats a bunch of skillshots then he will die a lot.
Ive played YI both ways... a few times with no enemy CC where I totally dominated. And also once vs Alistar and Taric. Yeah, unless I was extremely careful (and even in spite of it), I would get Stunned, then knocked up and butted back into their team. Even my Ult wouldn't let me escape.
Singed can be solid as you mention, but his lack of range can be a problem. Combined with some Immobilizers like Lux, Morgana, etc, he can be quite powerful.
I agree that any champ is playable...some moreso than others. But like I said under the Bad Champs section, you can usually just Tank up with any melee and still contribute.
My problem with max Defense mastery is that it just doesn't help all that much against spell damage. The armor, MR and str of spirit are great. But after that?
Reduction of creep damage or physical damage? Practically useless.
More health? Decent, but not a huge factor since people usually get whittled down instead of insta-gibbed.
AS boost? Useless. AP boost is so-so at best.
So only the 21st point is really useful, but you sacrifice so much to get there.
Hah, well, I thought maybe it was translated different in a different language game, I don't know. They were close enough, I shouldn't've said nothin
I'll have to try different Masteries some day, you make a lot of good points there on the less usefulness of going full defensive.
I play singed a lot so thats why i mention him. Better at grabing enemies with him in aram then with blitz believe it or not. It seems that melee only champions are the biggest unplayable ones, and like you say, tank up is the best option really. Though, ones that have some sort of range ability (unlike trynd/udyr/etc...) can still harass decently. Olaf for instance, his axe throw is great in aram, I've actually done best with him and I've only played him in aram (though starting to in normal games now).
Gotta look at masteries again, make an aram only mastery page,...just wish we could name our pages, but at least we finally got em!
You can name mastery pages just like you can Rune pages. In the page, just click on the name (on the lefthand side) and rename till your heart is content. :-)
The list of decent champs wasn't really supposed to be exhaustive, and was mostly for the ADAM folks that do drafting. In ARAM, it doesn't really matter who is the best/worst except for those tayloring their account to do better in ARAM.
Starks useless...lol? The hp regen is huge for anti-poke(esp if your team has no healer and has to rely on Heal), and team-wide faster tower killing is not useless. I think it's one of 4 aura items every team should have. Those being Starks, Will of the Ancients, Soul Shroud, and Aegis. (Yes i even think it's good on all mage teams because it usually means fewer pushes need to happen to win. Not to mention the life steal is that much more hp gain.)
- Only rarely have I seen anyone even mention suiciding except to say it's ok. Everyone seems to be mostly ok with Panth/TF suicide-ports, or Eve/Twitch stealthing past the team to die.
-I've never actually heard of a ban on Elixirs. Seems kind of dumb. Though I have sometimes bought multiple of the same elixir since you can't go back to shop (blue, when I had a hat).
I think you greatly underrate aura items. I agree with whoever said you should always get them on your team. Aegis is a must, as is MM, and Stark's and WOTA. Ideally Soul Shroud as well, but most champions who want CDR will get some anyway (and it's not so hard to cap out). Other team-benefit items are still great and fall into this category -- Abyssal, Black Cleaver (though some teams really won't benefit much), etc.
15% magic pen is still great on many champs, especially since AP is more common and a lot of early game damage is poking. And because of those things, buying MR is more common (so the 15% is more helpful than most games). I don't really disagree with the OP, but the way it's stated seems to imply that the 15% magic pen is rarely useful, when I find that's not true at all. Anyone with strong magic poke should still want it (Nidalee, Fiddlesticks, etc.)
Regrowth Pendant is fine on some champions, but I think it's pretty overrated here -- it's not like all or even most champions necessarily need it.
If you have a strong healer on your team, it's worth at least considering other items.
Most importantly, mana regeneration is a major concern for some champions, who either can't harass or easily use all their mana, even at early levels. Even with 3-5 clarities and MM, these guys should probably get some mana regen. Remember you can't go back to fill up your mana pool!
This is usually an important item, assuming you have 4-5 mana users on your team. But I find there's often one player who suggests the wrong champion to buy it. Often the best person to get this is someone who doesn't use much mana. It's really not ideal for mana hungry champs like Brand or Zilean to carry this, because that means they can't benefit from it while having another mana item in their inventory. A melee DPS like Xin or Panth, who doesn't have great demands on their starting items, might be a better choice. This lets Brand (or whoever) buy a Meki Pendant and get much more mana regen, because they still benefit from the MM.
Team Orientation in ARAM
This is much more complicated but important stuff. Some teams practically give up when they see the matchup, for whatever reason -- the other team has better poke, or your team is mostly melee, or the other team has the only good healer. (Some of this is reinforced by what I personally consider wildly off ratings of some champions. =)
There are ways to mitigate any of those things. Sure, one team might still have an advantage, but it's important to figure out your team's role, and your role within your team. This isn't stuff most LoL players think about all the time, but it matters more in ARAM than anywhere else, since you don't get to pick your champs.
If you have a heavily melee team, including champs like Trynd, Jax, Xin, Renekton, etc., while the other team either has mostly range, good poke, or just good healing, you must play as the agressive spike team. Spike in this case means targeting one champion and piling on him all at once, delivering all your damage in one big spike.
This almost utterly negates the usefulness of enemy healing (assuming your team can still regen slowly), and usually works out better for your team due to the composition -- ranged harassers usually don't like it when the enemy gets up close and personal, and tend to have less health and less resists.
Other times, you might have better harass, and be the pressure/harass team. You just grind the enemy down better than he can grind you down, safely from a distance.
Sometimes you'll have much better healing and the other team lacks it. This might still be any kind of team, and you might still need to melee into people's faces if that's your team composition, but there's less pressure to actually get a kill.(and therefore you can potentially pull out and survive after trying a spike, rather than really committing to a kill).
In any team you may also need to be the initiator. Figure out if that's you, and if you need to, build appropriately. Pantheon is most often physical DPS in normal games, but may be called to full tank duty in ARAMs. Don't start off with that BF Sword, start BV instead!
Additionally, sometimes you have to keep in mind that your team may start winning when you get ultimates. You might have a champion who is weak or moderate before level 6, but a monster afterwards. I've had games as Amumu where I couldn't do much early (only bandage toss myself to death), and we lost our inhibitor before we got to level 6, without taking any enemy towers. But we fought on, got level 6, and once I managed to ult a few enemies we managed to clean up and come back to win.
So if your entire team is having a weak early game, even losing towers before level 6, that doesn't automatically mean you are doomed or even the weaker team -- just the weaker team in the early game.
Sometimes your team just needs enough money for items, even if it's less money than the enemy has gotten. This is most likely against all AP teams. Stacking magic resist against these teams can often win the game single handedly, even if your team has relatively little damage output.
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