Choosing Champions Series: AD CarriesWed 4th Jul 2012 - 6:41pm Category: League of Legends
AD carry is often viewed as a more glamorous role in League, and is therefore commonly sought after. Because carries have so much damage potential, many players feel that the style they invite can have a faster and more drastic impact on the course of a lane, teamfight, and entire game. If you even opened this article, you have probably played a few carries in your day, and I'm sure you have those few favorites along with lane matchups you hate seeing in champion select or loading screen. This guide will help you gain some insight into how to pick your carry based upon the composition of your team and the enemy's.
Picking a Champion: The process of selecting a carry varies greatly depending on the game mode.
In custom games and normal blind picks, the most important factor to consider is team synergy, as you won’t know what champions your opponents have picked. If your laning partner has hard crowd control abilities, try choosing a carry that operates well in a Kill Lane, such as Graves.
If you have a support that you know tends to play more passively, or has more passive abilities and sustain, such as Sona or Soraka, then try to pick a champion that you will use to focus more heavily on farming. This is a great example of where you can play to your own strengths; know which champions you can play well aggressively, and which you’re best at last hitting minions with.
Outside of your lane, be sure to factor in the rest of your team composition as well. Most carries function well with a strong tank or bruiser line to stand behind, but this is of course even more beneficial to specific champions like Kog’Maw. Because Kog’Maw has a high damage output in exchange for no innate escape and fairly slow positioning, he can offer incredible amounts of long-range AD if he has enough protection from the enemy team. Try to think out how your teammates will scale into late game, and how they will compliment your champion pick.
In normal draft mode or ranked games, you can see what champions your enemy selects and, depending on the pick order, you may be able to try to counter-pick your carry against their team’s composition. This is just one reason that it is imperative to know how to play multiple champions well before starting either game mode.
Much like with the Kog’Maw example above, you must try to rationalize how champions will scale into late game, both on your team and on the enemy. For example, if you see a high harass bottom lane on the enemy, you may wish to choose a sustain lane to allow yourself enough time in lane to farm. Decide before hand how aggressively you want to run your lane and adjust it throughout the match. This could influence your runes, masteries, and early game build, so it's important to try to plan ahead.
Beyond the entire lane composition, select a champion with true damage for tankier teams, or a faster champion with escapes if they have a lot of crowd control. Although many factors play into whether your team will win or lose, team composition will affect the game from minute one onward, and can greatly sway your odds. Try to get familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of your favorite carries, and learn what type of team they perform the best against, and which sort of team composition can shut them down.
Many, many guides and lists for counter-picking exist, and these can be a great start to your understanding of how counters work. Just remember that, much like copying an item build from a professional player, looking up or memorizing counters formulated by others will never help you as much as actually understanding why certain champions are more effective against others. So the next time you hear that one champion counters another from a friend or on a pro stream, don’t just accept it - ask them why.
Remember to learn from both the good and bad matchups you encounter and apply them to future games, but don’t adhere too strictly to counter-picks. Just because one champion may outperform another in certain situations, jungler presence, overall team composition, and player skill will all factor into your lane’s success or demise. There’s a reason I haven’t included many counter-pick examples: try to take these few tips to heart, and use them as a base upon which to expand your own game knowledge!