Wednesday, July 9, 2014

9 Things You Want To Remember When Playing by Armand

Guide By: Armand

Hey guys, my name is Armand and I've been playing League of Legends for a couple of years now. In S2 I decided that climbing the ELO ladder would be what I wanted to do with the intention of maybe playing on a team. I didn't manage that, however I did manage to rank up to D1 S3 and curretly play casually sitting at D3.
So, In league of legends, I've narrowed down what I believe are the 9 different attributes you learn when playing League of legends, and the better you apply these 9 different attributes, the better a player you will be.

1) Map-awareness - This is by far one of the hardest things to learn and drill into your head when playing League of legends. All the action is center screen because that's where you're looking at the map is 2nd to that. While playing a lot of people will tunnel vision and not pay any mind to whats going on else where, whether it be other lanes, in the jungle, or wherever they have vision in general.
Map awareness starts with being able to train yourself to look at the map. There's a lot of different "triggers" people use. Personally I try to look at the map anytime Im 100% out of range of my enemy and have no creeps to last hit. I look at the map and use my peripherals to look at creeps and my enemy laner. If you can find a good way to remind yourself to look at the map, you've taken the first step in learning map awareness.
The second step will be understanding travel times. Champions in league of legends have different base movement speeds, different abilities that increase movement speed, or have bought items that increase movement speed. To understand map awareness, you need to understand movement speed. Learning each champions movement speed is a bit annoying, instead just try to keep in mind what rank boots they have and what type of champion they are. Movement speed is important to understand when it comes down to roaming. Roaming is ridiculously important in league and if you can time in your head how long it will take to get from point A to point B for yourself, as well as your enemies, you'll be counter ganked a lot less often.
The third step is understanding proper ward placements. Ward placements are relative to what position you're playing until late game, and there's a lot to mention for different positions in the game, so I recommend looking up a video showing them if you don't know where a lot of them are. Often times I also see people having great warding skills, but poor map vision, this is why I ranked looking at the map higher than warding. Because if you have wards but don't notice them you're playing blind anyway. Once you have the ability to look at the map and ward, you're golden on map awareness.

2) Pressure - Pressure is your ability to force the enemy team to do something they don't want to (in it's most basic form). The more often you can force a creep wave into the enemy tower, or force towers down, the more pressure you will be able to apply.
Quick EX: If I'm mid lane and I'm playing well enough to take my enemy mid laners tower. They're forced to stand either where the dead tower is, or further back because I'm stronger and they have no defense, because of this I can roam easier and quicker, applying more pressure to the map.
Pressuring comes in a few different forms. Split pushing, Jungle, Lane pressure, scaling pressure, and team composition pressure.
  • Split pushing = Applying pressure to a lane by yourself in order to force 1 member that you CAN kill or more members causing your team to have numbers advantage. This is especially strong with high AS/AD champions that have dueling potential. Jax, Zed, Yasuo, Shaco to name a few. Also note that all of these champions have high movement speed and good escapes that can go over walls (yasuo's is a bit weak in the wall jumping dept).
  • Jungle = Jungle pressure is generally related to how strong the junglers are near the early game. If the junglers are gank oriented such as Lee Sin, Elise, Shaco, and J4 who have good gap closing potential and strong damage, they're regarded to as having strong jungle pressure. This is because the lanes of the opposing team need to always be playing scared if they have no vision due to their high kill potential.
  • Lane pressure = Similar to jungle pressure, except to have Lane pressure you will most likely be rocking a champion that has a great laning presence. Champions like Renekton, Riven, Caitlyn, LeBlanc, Pantheon, etc are all good at applying a lot of pressure to their lanes. This is because of their either high kill potential or ability to control which way the lane is shoving and applying tower damage. Some lane pressure shifts from being weaker to stronger at level 6. Champions like Ahri, Zed, Syndra, Yasuo, and others who have high kill potential with their ultimates and apply high lane pressure after level 6.
  • Scaling pressure = If you have a strong early game team then you should be trying to take slightly more risk. If you have a late game team you'll be doing your best to take advantages where you can, but avoiding taking unnecessary risk because of your guaranteed scaling. A lot of players miss the fact that regardless of how good you're K/D is, if you're a strong early game / weak late game team vs weak early game / strong late game team, you're chances of winning are significantly lower the longer it takes you to close out a game. Teams will get complacent going for "YOLO 1v5 kills" and stall the game for the enemy team long enough to lose. You want to avoid this at all cost if you're in ranked.
  • Team composition pressure = Team comp pressure is different each game but there's generally 2 with some addons. There's "Don't team fight" or "Do team fight". Teams that want to avoid fighting generally have those nifty split pushers I discussed earlier. Want to divide and conquer while teams that do want to team fight are those with high synergy such as a Yasuo with a group of reliable knock ups from champions such as lulu, shyvanna, Tristana as robertxLee has shown, and others. If you get caught team fighting with a "Dont team fight" comp, you're going to have a bad time if you're even or ahead but not stomping.
3) Mechanics - Mechanics, simply put is how good you are at controlling your character. Mechanics are great for being able to outplay your opponents but contrary to popular belief, is a skill that's dwindled since S4 changed how the game is more team oriented. However it's still important to have good mechanics. This involves how good you are at last hitting, calculating how strong your champion is vs. others, and your ability to dodge skill shots / stay away from bad shit. With strong mechanics you can apply other attributes together making you a monster.
  • Ex: If you are good enough to kill lane opponents 1v1, you can then take the tower, or roam creating map pressure. With map pressure you can apply your lead to other lanes.
Learning how to avoid skill shots comes with practice. There's 2 ways to dodge them.
  • Prediction = This is less reliable and will only work to a certain tier of play. This is when you understand cooldowns of your enemy and can "Predict" where they will aim and move accordingly. The higher you climb, the less often this will work in your favor however.
  • Reaction = This one is MUCH more difficult to master, and if you're below Diamond 1(I play D3 atm and I still mainly use prediction, put away the butthurt), probably won't need to bother learning. Reaction is also much more dependent on how good your ping is. Borderline where reacting becomes not an option is after 100+ ping. Reaction is when you don't queue your character to avoid danger, till you get a visible notice that something is coming towards you through skill animation or projectiles.
  • Prediction + *Reaction* = You will become a god.
Last hitting comes with practice as well. Different champions have different attack speeds, damage variables, and auto-attack animations as well as whether or not they have abilities that are able to assist in last hitting without gimping their lane. Last hitting is important because its how you gain the majority of your gold in game which helps you purchase big items. No matter how good someone is, items will always give you a significant advantage.
Dueling as part of mechanics is something that is different depending on each champion. Dueling is when you 1v1. With stronger mechanics and the proper champions, sometimes you can 1v2 or 1v3. Getting to know the champions you play will assist you and reaching their full potential. Go into a normal game, go ham, learn your limits. (This is not a message to feed, although that may occur. So try playing with friends to avoid the flaming frenzy).

4) Positioning - Positioning is exactly how it sounds and differs depending on what role you're playing. Positioning is where your character is in relation to your team as well as the enemies. Positioning will always change, not only on who you're playing, but who your team, and the enemy team are playing as well. Understanding the range of your champion is the first step in understanding positioning. It's generally in your best interest to stay at your max range. Positioning is an important attribute because it will mean the difference between life in death throughout the games you're playing.
As you become a more advanced player you can slowly squeeze the few extra pixels, or learn when you can bypass a champion entirely depending on circumstances.

5) Understanding Roles - This one is by far the hardest for most players to comprehend, and it's because of one flaw. They all want to be the hero. In league of legends there's positions to fill and generally speaking through those positions, roles are taken. Positions and roles correlated being...
  • Top lane - Something to soak damage, be tanky, CC the enemy to kill them or to peel them off your own team members. Can also be more damage oriented if your jungler / support are pretty tanky champions. Of course if you pick first, try to communicate which type of role you'd prefer to play.
  • Jungler - To provide pressure to lanes depending on different circumstances, whether they need help, or to push an advantage. Later on being semi-dps, semi-tanky, or mainly peel
  • Mid lane - To provide lots of burst to enemy priority targets. Most of the time Ability power, but sometimes AD assassins like Zed or Yasuo.
  • ADC - To do lots of consistent damage throughout a team fight. Taking little risk to ensure high attack time, you want to be hitting the closest target from your max range. Yes, its your job to kill the tanks so if they start building armor, please still get LW.
  • Support - To assist your team in warding more than others, being a facetank, and overall lifting your allies above yourself for them to excel and win the game.
Being able to have a balanced team in terms of roles to fill, and then coordinating together as best you can is essential to climbing your ranked ladder. If you're playing a champion thats tanky and you're building full damage, try to play champions that benefit more from that play style.

6) Countering and Getting Counter picked - This is something that pops up a lot in Solo Q from your team mates. "GG countered" is "I got countered, I feed now" is one of the easiest excuses to drop in order to take blame away from yourself, but its not acceptable to feed because of being counter picked in lane. Getting countered or counter picking someone is a good tool to keep in your back pocket, but it's not written in stone guaranteed to let the person with the advantage snowball and win the game 1v9. Some good rules to follow when counter picking the enemy are...
  • 1 - Is it good for team coordination? Will it be as strong in team fights later?
  • 2 - Do I PLAY this champion? If not, please don't pick it.
  • 3 - If the enemy jungler steps in my way, do I still have a kit strong enough to gain back an advantage vs this champion?
Some good rules for when you get counter picked to remember are
  • 1 - Look up the enemy, do they play that champion? If they're uncomfortable and you are comfortable, try to push them around. Often times they will fall flat on their face.
  • 2 - Don't feed, don't feed, don't feed. As long as you aren't feeding and can manage to cs about 70% as well as the enemy laner, with stronger overall game knowledge you can pull ahead later.
  • 3 - Is my team doing well? If Yes, don't feed, don't feed, don't feed. Let your team carry you by you helping to not give them another wall to climb over.
All in all, counter picking isn't anywhere near how strong it used to be when someone could 1v9 a game. Now a days Riot has slowed down the snowball effect to the point where even if you do play bad and 0/3, its still not 100% over if you have a decent team comp.

7) Runes and masteries - Runes and masteries give stats to your current champion. It's extremely important that you setup the best pages possible for your champions. It's unfortunate to say but a lot of you won't be able to afford 20 pages, all champs, and runes until Riot fixes the IP grind. (Although im sure they make plenty off boost + selling champions so it's unlikely, sorry).
Try to carry these 2 pages - AD reds / Armor Yellows / MR blues / AD reds - Magic pen reds / HP yellows / AP blues / AP quints
Having those sets for each color rune will cover most champions enough to play at a decent level. However having champion specific pages can increase your ranked tier by a few divisions.

8) Items - Items are probably the most important thing you can do which requires NO SKILL. Knowing what to buy is crucial to reaching your max potential with a champion. With experience you can learn which items are good when, but if you have no idea, go to and search a guide. You will enjoy your time playing much more when you're playing efficiently
custom itemization comes with experience with a certain champion and shouldn't be tried if you're a novice. There's a lot situational build paths but for the most part it's pretty static on champions themselves.

9) Attitude Management - This is over all how you emotionally react to League of Legends. A majority of players, including my old self, will react negatively to poor players that are out of our control. This is something you need to well, simply put, get the FUCK over. Stop caring about other peoples skill, yes, it matters that game, but after that chances are you won't play with them again. Make the BEST of your time by avoiding typing or communicating as best you can and trying to encourage your allies. You will have a better time playing, will play better, and will help other players have a better experience as well.

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