Mid Lane KnowledgeSat 30th Jun 2012 - 10:07pm Category: League of Legends
It's one of the most important aspects of the game, so you might as well be good at it! AP characters offer summoners the opportunity to farm easily. The common champions have specific skills that help kill creeps. Mids are made to farm! From Annie's Q to Vladimir's E, it's easy to catch up on lost gold (or get ahead). In normal games and lower ELO, a good creep score could give you the advantage you need in a fight. CS (creep score) eventually adds up. If you are in an even lane and get ahead of your opponent by 50 minions, you have the ability to snowball out of control via items and do an obscene amount of damage. Gold from minions can get you back into a game or even ahead. The lesson you should take from this: FARM EARLY AND FARM OFTEN.
2. Character Knowledge
Number two is pretty self explanatory. Obtain knowledge about your character. This includes but is not limited to: going in to last hit, harassing the enemy, a proper item build, runes, masteries, skill order, which order to use the skills, and when to use them.
Example: Annie -
Early game last hitting is primarily done with her Q. She refunds mana when she kills a minion with Q (knowledge about your character!) Harassment is fairly simple: when you have a stun throw out your Q and W, or trade if possible. Item builds paired with runes and masteries can be googled. I advise you check them out! Leveling up the right skills is key to any champion. Annie's skill order is R > Q > W > E while taking an early point in E at level 4 to help build stun if needed.
If you level the wrong skills then you're gonna have a bad time. The most important and complex aspects are the spell order and when to use them. I chose Annie for this specific reason. Common players flash to use Tibbers to stun an enemy to follow up with Q then W. The main problem with this is you do less damage. Unless you burst them down in 3 spells, the enemy gets away and you're left with cooldowns.
To maximixe damage, land a Q to stun. Start with Q, follow up with W and R. Why does this do more damage? Because when you're done casting the ultimate, the cooldown from Q will be back up! You are getting an extra spell! That extra spell could be the difference to make the kill. The when piece is all situational. You can use your Q to catch a stray enemy for your team to pounce on, W to stun a bunch of stacked enemies, your E to build the stun, or R to nuke a ton of people at once.
3. Knowing The Match Up
When you are able to choose your matchup, then you should give yourself every chance to win the lane. Any day I see a Karthus picked, I immediately choose someone with extreme burst. Knowing the enemy is almost as valuable as knowing yourself. When you can predict damage output and trade outcomes, the power is yours to kill or to be killed. Since it is fun when you counter the opponent, what happens when your opponent counters you? It is not fun at all.
In a recent ranked game, I picked Veigar early and the enemy picked Ryze. I was bullied in early levels by his Q, W, Q, and was beginning to lose my lane. The best thing to do is to ask your jungler for help. They have the ability to be anywhere on the map to help teammates. After my jungler put pressure on the enemy, I was able to kill him, farm up, and roam. The team is your best asset when getting countered, so do not be afraid to ask for help.
4. Basic Ganks
There is no secret to ganking successfully every time, however, two very important details are positioning and crowd control. The three main positions are the enemy, the friendly jungler, and your own. The most important is the enemy's. At the basic level, their position is either at your tower, or at their own. It is easier to gank the enemy at your tower rather than theirs. Slows, snares, hop ups, stuns, and suppressions also impact the amount of damage. They all buy time to throw out more spells once the cooldowns refresh. Two characters with crowd control to interrupt the enemy from fleeing are more likely to secure a kill than those without.
Knowledge is power. This comes in the form of vision. Knowing the enemy position allows you to prepare for the incoming play. React properly and within time to escape! When your team lacks vision, learn to recognize aggression. Most players will rapidly change their playstyle like they have an ally nearby. The most common tell is the opponent walking in front of minions to throw out skills that trap you. Avoiding is a game of recognition, so keep your eyes open for suspicious activity!
5. Item builds: Tanky vs. Glass Cannon
Items dictate the damage a champion does, so it is necessary to spend your money correctly. Builds are more than just damage you do, but the damage you can take as well. The current meta leans toward a tanky team composition, but squishy mids are still viable.
Tanky characters like Swain need a build that allows them to tank shots while doing massive amounts of damage. The most common item Swain builds is a Rod of Ages. An early Rod allows time to gain stacks in order to become an even better tanky item. Most players also add on to tankiness by obtaining a Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Zhonya's Hourglass.
Although it is important to take damage, it's worth remembering to dish it out. Rabadon's Deathcap and Void Staff both offer high damage output with no defensive boosts. The goal of the glass cannon is to kill quickly. Hopefully after you have done your combo, the enemy will be dead and not attacking you.
The team compositions dictate which build is suited for the game. When the enemy team focuses and demolishes you first, you should go tanky. If you are not getting focused and can do all the damage you want, build glass cannon. Each game is different, so constantly be thinking how you should build to win the game.
Out of team fights, positioning is pretty much not getting caught without your team. When the entire opposing team is out of vision, it is not wise to facecheck bushes first. More often than not, you'll get killed forcing your team to retreat, giving up a free baron or dragon. Team fights are insanely more complex.
A basic summary is that you should be in a position so that you can use your spell effectively while at the same time avoiding the enemy. This boils down to single champions. Morgana has to be in close range of opponents to use her ultimate correctly. Gragas lives in the back throwing barrels all day like Donkey Kong. Ahri dashes around the fight with her ultimate hurling skillshots. It just depends. All of this knowledge comes from playing the champion. Learn where you should be, and use that to your advantage.
Running around and killing the other lanes is extremely fun! Since you're in the middle of the battlefield, you are able to have presence in either lane or be at any of the objectives. Just dominated an opponent and they had to return to base? Go top and help your team out! The enemy jungler just died and have 3 teammates at dragon? Go kill dragon! Being mobile helps your team. An early 3 man gank top lane could help your teammate win the lane. Roaming is encouraged, but be sure to do it correctly.
Basic tips to roam:
1. Make sure your lane is pushed. Do not lose experience or gold because you were too busy attempting to get a kill. You will not be 100% successful and should have your priorities in your lane.
2. See if the enemy is in a gankable position. When they are pushed to the tower and your team does not have the ability to dive easily, it is not smart to attempt the kill.
3. Do not give up easy objectives (Dragon, Baron, towers). Foes that see you out of position can claim an objective easily.
4. Make the enemy guess where you are. Minions that see you walk into the brush towards a lane make it stupidly obvious where you will be. Keep your enemies guessing!
5. Let your team know you are on the way. A simple “otw bot” or ping will help your team know in advance.
The location of creeps is almost as important as yours! Pushing is a simple concept that can help at all times in the game. Early game relies on the tempo. When not fearful of getting ganked, push up to the tower to make your opponent work for his/her last hits. At early levels, most champions have a hard time last hitting when pushed to their tower. Early level Ryze is one of the best examples. His autottack is delayed with little damage and he can not use too many skills early because he will run out of mana. Mid game centers around objectives.
When your team prepares for dragon, push the lane to force the enemy to that location. If they bite, then you know exactly where they are and when they will arrive. If not, they miss out of gold and experience. Late game pushing is my favorite. I love to push bottom lane all the way up. Much like mid game, it forces teams to stay in that lane. You can't just let minions run into your base for too long. Eventually, one person will have to stay to stop their base from being destroyed. While the enemy is busy, sneak baron, or put pressure on another area. They will be too busy thwarting the creep invasion to stop your next advances!
9. Map Awareness
The mini-map has the potential to be your best friend. If you pay attention to it, then you will have knowledge where everyone is. This includes both teams. When a jungler comes to gank mid and you are not paying attention, time is wasted. You also have the ability to see when you are about to get ganked.
Wards at the enemy wraith camp can save your life! The heads up you receive from paying attention to the map will give you enough time to properly respond to the incoming gank. The same goes for all of the enemies. Knowing where the enemy is late game greatly helps when taking objectives. 2 bot lane? Sneak baron or steal a tower! Looking at the mini map is a simple trick that can prevent a death, secure a kill, or lead the team to objectives.
10. Helping Junglers
There are times where your jungle requires help, and as the middle lane, you have the ability to be anywhere on the map quickly. As a middle lane player, you should always leash. Leashing is attacking a jungle enemy at a range and running away. This forces the aggro onto you, preventing damage on your teammate. After you have hit it, run to lane to drop aggro and your jungler will pick it up. The alternative is a superman leash. The superman is an advanced maneuver where the you walk back and forth maintaining aggro so your jungler takes no damage.
This provides more health for camps and early ganks. Another time to be in your jungle is getting the blue buff. After the golems respawn, the jungler will ping the camp to give you blue buff. This allows for rapid mana regeneration and lower cooldowns so you can spam skills. The final major reason when your jungler needs help is when the enemy is nearby. Sometimes and enemy will invade your team's jungle and if you respond quickly and properly, it can result in an easy kill.