Age’s League of Legends Basics Guide: Part 5 – The Marksman (Season 3)
A guide on how to deal tons of damage as a Marksman in lane and in team fights.
Hey all, this is my Marksman guide! This role used to be called ADC for Attack Damage Carry but Riot found that the term “Marksman” better defines this role. So before we get started, I’ll state some reasons why learning how to play a Marksman is a good thing to learn.
- You have to learn every role – It doesn’t matter how good you are in one role, you need to learn how to play fairly decently in every lane. You don’t have to be amazing at every role, your team in most cases should help make up for that.
- You will eventually have to play the Marksman role – It’s not often that you’ll be forced to play Marksman but you’ll have to play it sooner or later. Better to learn it soon and be fairly decent then be crap because you’ve never tried it.
- Massive boost for refining mechanics – I have to say this is insanely beneficial to you. Last hitting, kiting, learning when ganks might be coming, learning how to position, learning how to follow up fight engagements, learning how to go back to base. All of these are vital for a Marksman because for the first 10 – 20 minutes, you’ll have to apply all of these mechanics to survive and farm.
Again, just a small disclaimer, I’m not a pro marksman, but I do have a ton of experience in all the positions. These are just some general guidelines that new players need.
Popular Marksman Oriented Items
Here are some standard Marksman items that’d you’d want to consider. From left to right, these items are:
- Berserker’s Greaves – Advanced tier boots that give an additional percentage of your attack speed. Usually, this is the standard boots for Marksman.
- Mercurial Scimitar – An item that gives the champion magic resist, attack damage. On use, the champion will instantly remove all current debuffs. Melee champions get an additional movement speed for a very short duration. Very useful versus CC heavy teams.
- Phantom Dancer – An item that gives the champion additional percentage attack speed, crit chance and movement speed. It also allows the champion to ignore unit collision (eg can run through minions).
- Statikk Shiv – An item that gives the champion additional percentage attack speed, crit chance and movement speed. It also allows the champion to gather charges and at max charges, a lighting bolt passes through nearby enemies near the next shot target. The charges are used up when the lighting shot happens. Very useful for safe range poke.
- Blade of the Ruined King – Gives the champion attack damage and percentage lifesteal and attack speed. In addition, attacks deal a small percentage of the target’s current health. When used on an enemy champion it lifesteals a percentage their max health and steals a percentage of their movement speed for a short duration.
- The Black Cleaver – Gives the champion health, attack damage, armor penetration and cooldown reduction. On physical damage it reduces the target’s armor by a small percentage. This effect can stack up to a cap.
- The Bloodthirster – Gives the champion attack damage and percentage lifesteal. Additional attack damage and lifesteal can be gain upon kills. The additional stacked are halved upon death.
- Last Whisper – Gives the champion attack damage and percentage armor penetration
- Infinity Edge – Gives the champion attack damage and percentage critical chance and critical damage
- Guardian Angel – Gives the champion armor and magic resist. Upon death, the champion revives after a few seconds and a percentage of the champion’s health is restored. This item is great for Marksmen that are getting dived at and killed a lot.
Summoner Skills that I generally use are Flash and Barrier to stay safe. Sometimes I’ll use Ignite instead of barrier if I’m a close range Marksman like Vayne. I’ll use Cleanse if the enemy team has a lot of CC. Exhaust and Heal aren’t bad options to swap out for Barrier either but if your support runs one of these, I’d run Barrier or Ignite.
Runes And Masteries
So here are my runes and masteries that I generally use for carrying as a Marksman. Feel free to use this as a base in order to make your own Marksman setup that you feel comfortable with. The masteries are 21/5/4 focusing on damage in the offensive tree some health and summoner bonuses in the defense tree and more summoner bonuses and mana regen in the utility tree. For my masteries I use Flat Armor Seals to mitigate the lane damage. Scaling Magic Resist Glyphs to mitigate damage later in the game. Attack Damage Marks and an Attack Damage Quintessences for auto-attacking harass and early game damage.
In the early stages of the game it is the Marksman has one main job: farm. Marksmens are the ones who need to get a lot of farm to get the really good damage items to deal most of the damage. Simple right? I talked about last hitting in the very first part of this guide and you’ll have to apply this to farm rather well. Of course there are times where you get zoned by the enemy support or get pushed to the tower. In those cases you’ll need to find a way to gain some ground by harassing the enemy laners. You’ll also need to learn how to farm under the tower. You might be stuck there for a while till someone can go to assist you and your Support.
As a Marksman, you are a high priority target for the enemy team. To kill that is. The enemy jungler usually spends a good amount of time skulking around the bottom lane (which is the standard lane Marksmen and Supports are in) to gank you in order for their Marksman to farm and to go buy items which will give them an advantage in lane. Sometimes wards aren’t enough to stop ganks. Heck, maybe the enemy lane you’re fighting might try to dive you. So you should be ready to kite. Kiting is avoiding skill shots, AoEs and the like. Kiting is as easy as simply side stepping and attacking repeatedly to avoid that one skill shot that could have turned into a horrible problem. This is especially vital for Marksmen because they are squishy (Squishy means that you deal a lot of damage but have low health pools and low armor and magic resist). Some Marksmen have skills that allow them to kite even better. For example, Ezreal’s Arcane Shift which allows him to jump to a nearby position. Kiting should also be used in team fights. With kiting, the enemy team also wastes their skills while you and your team are doing actual damage.
I think you generally know what to do here so I won’t go into much details. Remember this though. In team fights, the Marksman’s role is to stay in the back of the team and deal damage to the best enemy targets the Marksman can hit. This is because Marksman are generally squishy characters. If the enemy team gets whittled down, the Marksman can advance a bit more. If the enemy starts to flee, the Marksman can move to the front and start chasing them down. Keep in mind that you should be kiting when necessary and be wary if an enemy has a chance to burst you down.
So those are the general guidelines on how to play as a Marksman. There are variations to Marksman builds and some that are completely different like the blue Ezreal build (you can look that up). Also, if you see your team is at a standstill for engaging the other team, just be patient, you don’t start fights. Your job is to deal tons of damage to the enemy when the fight starts. If you start the fights start them from a safe range because if you move up to the front, you will get jumped on and then your team’s damage is greatly reduced because you’re not there. As always, feel free to comment below or hit me up on twitter if you have anything to say about the guide. Have fun on the Fields of Justice!