Decision Making Regarding TowersSat 2nd Jun 2012 - 7:56pm Category: League of Legends
I Win If I Knock the Big Laser Down, Right?
It seems a lot of inexperienced players think that knocking down the tower in their lane means they won it; in reality, there are good reasons to leave a tower up, especially if you're winning lane. That being said, knocking down a tower is situational, and requires some information on what knocking down a tower does to the lane and the map as a whole. Having your own tower knocked down can sometimes be to your advantage if you play it right as well. Some things to take into account before deciding what to do with a tower are:
- Can you afford to let this person farm? (Think Nasus, which would be a "no" as letting him farm his Q in relative safety will make his end-game hellish to deal with, even if you shut him down early.)
- Are you winning or losing lane, and by how much?
- Are there opportunities out of your lane for you to take advantage of?
- Which lane are you in?
- What point is the game at? Early, mid, late?
I'll go on to explain the significance of these questions, and hopefully give some players better decision making skills in regard to towers.
This is probably the most complex lane in terms of what to do with towers. If you knock down an opponent's tower fairly early what's going to happen is if they're smart they're going to freeze lane (Stop the minions at a certain point in the lane) closer to their 2nd tower, which will allow them to farm without worrying about the enemy jungler and be deeper within their own team's side of the map. This will essentially force the person who knocked down the tower to roam the map for gold, unless they have a particularly slippery champion. The person who knocked their lane's tower down would need to go deep into enemy territory to continue in that lane, opening them up to be easily ganked, but champions like Nidalee, Lee Sin, and Teemo can choose to keep pushing due to their kits.
If you do decide to knock down your enemy's tower you should be looking around the map to make plays. Your eyes should be on either getting bot quick and forcing dragon when your lane is still top and unable to contest, or looking for some easy kills. Killing mid and pushing down tower is another good option, as mid tower is generally always best to take out, which I'll explain a bit later. Try and make sure that you don't knock down the enemy tower just to be stuck doing nothing as there are no opportunities present on the map for you to take advantage of. This is a great option if you're feeling strong and want to snowball the game, or you're losing lane and want to make plays to close that gap.
If you're winning lane enough to be shutting down your opponent (Denying them CS and/or Exp), you might want to keep the enemy tower up. Their tower is helping you because everytime you push a wave of minions up to it without them there (Or if they CS poorly at tower) that's minions the tower is getting instead of them. If you push your opponent out of lane, and aren't worried about ganks, you can farm past their tower - picking up the next wave of enemy minions allowing your minions to push to tower uninhibited while you still farm. Don't attack the tower if you don't want to knock it down anytime soon. If you're unsure of whether to knock it down or not you can always take some chunks of HP off and let the minions whittle it down to knock it down quick if need be.
Now, if your tower gets knocked down, do not despair! If you were losing lane hard, this could even be a good thing. First off, if you're behind you can now freeze lane near your 2nd tower and farm in relative safety. This is a good option for the then and now, but say you went even in lane or won it, you'd want to push out lane to prevent backdooring on your 2nd tower and be a presence in the other lanes. Chances are your lane is going to be roaming about, so you can even things out by leaving lane as well if you feel your team needs you. Once your tower is knocked down it becomes a moot point for the enemy tower to remain up, and simply becomes a 150 global gold objective for your team, so take it when you can. If you see the entire enemy team bot contesting dragon and you know you can't get there in time, for instance, you'll want to try and trade dragon for their top tower. Dragon is superior as it's more gold and not a static objective such as towers, but it'll even out the gold gap by a bit in the short term.
Mid lane is the simplest in terms of tower decisions. Keep yours up, take the enemy's down. If you decide to roam or contest something, try and push out so minions don't hit your tower. Don't feel obligated to hit the enemy tower unless you've killed them and feel safe doing so as you don't want to have to burn summoners for a few tower hits. Also, when going back to base, if there's a chance minions could hit your tower try and call the jungler in to cover your lane.
There's a couple of reasons why mid tower is a bit more cut and dry than the other lanes. First, the middle lane is the straightest and shortest path to your nexus and the enemy nexus, making it an ideal place to group and push. Having towers down makes this route shorter and minions will push to the 2nd towers allowing for easier pushing. Second, it removes a lot of crucial vision from the map. Without that mid tower there if the enemy has one the minions will rarely be in the middle, but will push towards your tower, and this creates a vision gap in the middle in between dragon and baron. This is also a popular spot for teams to group up to push objectives. You'll sometimes see professional support players drop a ward right in the middle of this lane to compensate for the loss of vision.
In terms of complexity this would be in between the other two lanes. Like top lane, if you're dominating your lane you'll likely want to keep tower up in order to better deny your opponent and freely farm. If your own tower gets knocked down freeze by your 2nd tower and farm up to be that late-game carry your team needs.
For supports, you'll want to keep Dragon warded as well as some of your closest jungle because losing that tower will make ganks more effective bottom if pushed and gives better dragon control to the opposing team that knocked your tower down. You're farther from dragon and have less vision, and therefore your reaction time is going to be a bit slower.
When deciding to take your opponent's tower you'll get the advantage with dragon just as they would for knocking down your tower, but farming will be more difficult as you'll be more open to ganks. If your other lanes are pressuring hard and the enemy jungler is busy, though, you can often keep on pushing and make a difficult decision for the enemy jungler on which lane to help. You're also more likely to survive having a competent support to protect you and ward for you.
When lane phase is ending and your team is grouping up to push objectives taking towers is always good thing as it provides a 150 global gold bonus for your team and keeps lanes pushed out. Taking objectives, gaining map control, and snowballing the game is what your aims should be once things get to mid-game; by end-game things should be in control and down to teamfighting where your team will hopefully have the gold advantage.
Just remember to think before you knock those towers down guys!