League of Legends: 7 Playstyle Changes You Should MakeSun 8th Jul 2012 - 6:23pm Category: League of Legends
7 quick tips that are guaranteed to improve your play in League of Legends
1. Don't fight just because you have Baron
One mistake many players make is being hasty or greedy with Baron. While the Baron buff does indeed provide massive health regeneration and bonus AD and AP, it is not an excuse for making an unnecessary engagement of the enemy team where enemy terrain, abilities, or turrets may turn the fight against you even if you have the temporary lead.
Remember that Baron Nashor does provide your team with global EXP and 400 gold per player. It may be smarter in some cases (as we see with pro games all the time) to slowly push out the advantage as opposed to attempting to making a big play to end the game and having it backfire on you. Baron Nashor promotes neutrality by the enemy, as they will rarely engage with you if you have the buff. Take this opportunity to ward and steal enemy buffs and jungle camps, push down turrets, and take other objectives such as Dragon.
2. Turrets: When to Defend and When to Let them Go
Turrets are a huge part of League. They provide support during team fights, clear waves of creeps, and their presence very likely indicates the grasp of your map awareness. While turrets are valuable tools, however, it is important to recognize the differing levels of importance of each tower.
Outer turrets, the third tier which is out the furthest when spawned, are honestly not that important. During the early game, these turrets ward off tower dives and may be useful. Far too often, however, players will purposely stay at turret even at dangerously low levels of health to defend these turrets. It is crucial to understand that while turrets are important, they are not as important as your life in most situations. If you were to die because of defending an outer turret, you give your opponents the opportunity to take a quick objective or even go for baron. Additionally, a champion death provides a base of 300 gold to the killer as well as assist gold. This money is ultimately more influential as it provides more momentum to allow an enemy champion to snowball.
This is not to be confused, however, with the inner turrets that protect the confines of your base. It must be noted that towers do not respawn. Therefore, the inhibitor and nexus turrets (referring to the turrets protecting the former and latter) must be defended with a closer eye. Should the enemy be able to push down your Nexus turrets because you were negligent in your defense, for example, you will be hard pressed to find an opportunity to leave your base with the huge influx of Super Minions. This means that you essentially lose all map control to your enemies and they can slowly build up an advantage until they land a decisive strike to end the game.
3. Understanding your role thoroughly
While any given MOBA is a team game, it is always wiser to have an extra few pouches of gold on your AD carry or mage. In this case, it is important to understand your role in the game both during late game and early on. Here's a review of what you need to consider as your choose your champion and role.
Jungler: You are responsible for having a knowledge of buff timers, warding objectives, clearing your jungle in a timely manner, and providing support during a team fight. Rarely are junglers the ones who make the largest difference in a team fight although they bring a lot of utility to the table. It is important to recognize the necessity of protecting your own carries and to not go streamlining off to chase after a low health enemy. Additionally, because junglers often provide the largest amount of CC on their teams (i.e Nautilus), you must understand when it is up to you to make an engagement on the enemy team and start a team fight.
Support: Providing assistance for all members of the team, actively warding, using actives on items such as Shurelia's Reverie and Randuin's Omen. It is also not only wise but game changing to put your own life on the line should it benefit the carries of your team. This means putting yourself in the line of fire in order to tank a snipe from Caitlyn. It also means that you should attempt to prevent yourself from "securing kills" in lane. If you receive a gank from a jungler and a kill seems imminent, try to let your AD have it. This unselfish act provides them with additional gold and experience that they can use to decisively win a lane.
AD Carry: Building attack damage and staying towards the REAR of your team. It is your duty to actively assess and maintain proper positioning and deal the greatest damage possible. This means avoiding focus fire on bruisers or tanks and attempting to damage the squishier carries who provide burst damage in a chaotic team fight. HOWEVER, it is also crucial to understand that should you be focused yourself, to attack whoever is closest to you to maximize damage output. You are the main source of damage output late game, so it is important that you always put up a fight, even if you must die.
Picture not available because the AD carry stayed ahead of his team and died instantly
AP Carry: Providing crowd control and burst damage, initiating team fights, using actives such as Zhonya's Hourglass, providing shields, heals, and buffs to allies. The AP Carry has one of the most versatile roles during any team fight as they can be medics, initiators, or bursters. It is important not to waste your skills on single enemies and to maximize damage by focusing AoE damage (Such as Morgana's Soul Shackles) in the middle of a group of enemies. Be cautious and wary of using your ultimate and damaging abilities, and be selfless in providing support to allies (Using Morgana's spell shield on allies, using Orianna's ball to shield initiating bruisers or junglers)
Bruiser/Top: Generally, top laners are the first to die in a team fight. Because most top laners are categorized as bruisers - tankier champions made for initating and charging headfirst into a team fight - a majority of the enemy damage can be focused onto you. Therefore, it is important to recognize that you must endure the brunt of the damage and lead the charge.
It is required that you be able to distinguish between times of aggression and passivity and to accomodate these needs. Additionally, it is your job to seek out the squishier champions of the enemy team as it is often hard for them to fight you alone. This means that a well positioned top lane can force the enemy carries out of fight and reduce the damage output that your team must take.
One complaint you won't be making if you know your role!
4. Taking Enemy Buffs
Minor buffs are a huge asset to players during League. Blue buff can help mages like Morgana or Anivia keep up their skills constantly to push out waves, and red buffs on AD carries such as Graves or Caitlyn can slow an out of place enemy and bring them to their demise. The importance of these buffs on crucial players is being vastly underrated, and it is more important than ever to coordinate timing and buff timers with your jungler and other lanes to prevent mages that need blue buff (such as Anivia) from getting it by setting traps or contesting it with a team fight.
- Blue and Red buff respawn in 5 minutes from the time all creeps are killed. If a small lizard is left up, the buff will never respawn.
- Dragon respawns in 6 minutes from the time of its death
- Baron Nashor respawns in 7 minutes from the time of its death - the buff it provides lasts 4 minutes.
Because buffs are so important, remember to post timers. Calculate the time of the buff's death so you can be prepared to either contest an enemy buff or take yours immediately to prevent being countered yourself. Here's an example of some proper communication.
"TasteMyUMP: Our blue 15:08, Anivia's blue respawns 13:55"
By letting your team know when your buffs respawn, they can make efforts to stay in the area and help you take your buff quickly, or group up with you to fight for an enemy buff. Remember to ward in these areas as you can also potentially walk near the enemy who has just used all of his or her spells to take the buff, and may be helpless. This can help you pick up a quick kill.
5. Don't Face Check!
Another small detail that players often ignore is facechecking, or, the act of entering a brush without knowledge of the contents inside. As players become more experienced, expect to encounter more and more coordinated opponents who will start to set up traps in bushes around baron, dragon, and buffs in order to snipe a few members of your team. Because so many champions in League are equipped with skillshots that provide vision or produce some sound effect when coming in contact with an enemy, it would be foolish not to use these skills that can potentially save you or an ally's life.
Skill's such as Anivia's Crystallize, Karthus's Wall of Pain, or even Ezreal's Mystic Shot or Twisted Fate's Wild Cards can all alert your team or reveal enough vision to discern the positioning of enemies. Use these skills wisely before you walk into an unsecured bush.
6. Being judicious with Ward Placement
Wards. Providers of map vision and bulwarks against ganks. While wards are undoubtedly one of the most important items to have and utilize in a game, far too many players ward improperly, if such a thing can occur. Before we talk about smart ward placement, however, I'd like to remind everyone that:
It is EVERYONE's role to buy wards. It does not matter if you're the AP carry, the jungler, or the AD Carry. You can spare the 75 gold that will provide you with key map vision in an area for 3 minutes. It's quite an intelligent investment to make
Now let's talk about smart ward placement. Due to the high mobility, global ultimates, and powerful junglers that are now available to league, it is more important than ever to get map vision to see a gank in formulation. This means that players need to stop warding in brushes such as the ones by bottom river, and in surrounding areas to provide vision for when the jungler is about to enter the brush, not when he or she is already in it and preparing to pounce.
Let's take bot lane for example. If you spawn on the blue side, having 2 wards; one at dragon, and one in tri-bush, allows for almost complete vision of bot lane, except for one path - through the bushes themselves. A popular ganking strategy lately, push ganks involves pushing a lane hard to the enemy turret and allowing the jungler to sneak through the bushes without being seen. This way, when the lane resets, an unsuspecting AD may walk into what seems like a harmless bush only to meet an ambush.
Additionally, it also must be understood that a player does not need to be in the immediate vicinity of a bush or location to ward it. A good player will avoid warding near the desired position of their ward, as these locations may be frequently patrolled by an enemy jungler. The picture below demonstrates how in many locations on Summoners Rift, you may stand on one side of the wall and click over to ward a bush or location without placing yourself in direct danger. Note that even though it does not seem the ward has enough range to be placed properly, it will still be used properly.
A demonstration of where to click and where the ward ends up
With the prevalence of lane ganking, it has become more important than ever to buy wards more frequently, and to place them in the actual bushes themselves in order to prevent lane ganks. Taking it a step further, you can opt to put the ward slightly out of tower vision range but beyond the bush in order to give yourself another extra second to identify when the enemy jungler is going to enter. For high mobility junglers like Sejuani or ones with great snare distance, such as Amumu, it may be necessary to ward even outside these bushes as the extra second can save your life.
7. Avoiding unnecessary usage of Summoner Spells
Summoner spells are an interesting mix to League. Unique to League of Legends, summoner spells are valuable tools that can make or break a lane, gank, and game. It is important to use summoner spells wisely, as the misuse of a spell can result in an unnecessary death or an escaped kill. Some general tips include:
- Avoid using summoner spells if you face inevitable death. Being at a quarter health against champions with blinks such as Ahri or massive damage such as Darius should tell you that wasting a ghost or flash is unwise. If you're going to die, leave your summoner spells so that you can utilize it in a method of revenge later.
Avoid burning summoners unnecessarily in these situations!
- Avoid using summoner spells offensively unless you are absolutely certain you are in range or have the potential to deal a killing blow. Many times an inaccurate judgment of your ability to hit skillshots or do enough damage to an enemy results in the usage of a summoner spell that ultimately leads to know reward. Remember that hitting a skill shot is mostly skill, but also a bit of luck, and therefore, it may be unwise to use such an asset such as a summoner spell in order to take an unnecessary and risky kill. Using a flash or ghost greedily can even result in your death if you are unaware of the positioning of your enemies.
Thanks for reading this guide! I guarantee any player that they will see improvement with their play if they can practice and master these fundamentals. Good luck in League, summoners!