Age’s League of Legends Season 5 Basics Guide: Part 6 – The Solo Mid
A guide on how to avoid or to take down opponents that dare try to oppose you: The Solo Mid!
This is my basics to Solo Mid guide for you all and it’s a slightly long one due to the champion variation used for mid lane. Here’s what the solo mid helps you learn:
- Learn how to push, farm and harass – Unlike bottom lane, you do not have a support. You’ll be focusing on farming early. However, you’ll have to include dealing with harass, harassing the enemy laner and learning when to go for a kill in the laning phase without dying given the enemy laner’s champion crowd control, skill cooldowns, damage, summoner spells, if you’ll have to dive enemy tower if you are going to dive and if the enemy jungler is around. I find mid lane is more about variables to consider then mechanics (although you’ll need those to play well in lane).
Again, just a small disclaimer, I’m not a pro mid player, but I do have a ton of experience in all the positions. These are just some general guidelines that new players need.
Popular Solo Mid Oriented Items
I usually pick ten items for this section but there are some extra items that I found quite useful. Here are some standard Solo Mid items that you’d want to consider. Standard boots for Ability Power mid laners are Sorcerer Boots. Note that these items are for solo mid champions that are Ability Power based. For Attack Power based champions you can take a look at some of the suggested items from my Marksman guide. From left to right, these items are:
- Morellonomicon – This item is great for ability power, cooldown and mana regen. It also provides a healing debuff on enemies when you use spells on them
- Rod of Ages – This item is provides health, mana, and ability power over time. Great for tanky or close range ability power based champions
- Void Staff – An item that gives the champion ability power and percentage magic penetration. Usually you build this if the enemy team has a considerable amount of magic resist.
- Hextech Revolver – Good for champions that can utilize spell vamp like Vladimir or Akali
- Liandry’s Torment – An item that has great magic penetration and does extra damage over time for a short duration on an enemy champion that you cast a spell on.
- Luden’s Echo – An item that gives you ability power, movement speed and a small AoE damage proc on 100 charges. Basically it’s an AP Static Shiv
- Rylai’s Crystal Scepter – An item that gives you ability power, health and slows an enemy champion that you cast a spell on for a short duration.
- Deathfire’s Grasp – Great for additional burst. It amplifies magic damage an enemy target takes when used.
- Abyssal Scepter – Gives the champion ability power and magic resistance. It has an aura that reduces the magic resist of enemy champions.
- Zhonya’s Hourglass – Great for delaying, avoiding burst damage, or mitigating over time damage. When used, the champion becomes immobile but invulnerable for a few seconds.
- Archangel’s Staff – Great for mana hungry champions. At max stacks it transforms into Seraph’s Embrace that, when activated, grants a shield to you based on your current mana.
- Rabadon’s Deathcap – A standard ability power item that gives you additional ability power based on your base ability power.
- Lich Bane – Gives the champion ability power, mana and movement speed. When the champion uses an ability, the next basic attack does additional magic damage based on the champion’s ability power.
Summoner Skills that I generally use are Flash and Ignite to stay safe and to secure kills respectably. Sometimes I’ll use Exhaust, Cleanse or Heal if it fits the lane situation or the team composition.
Runes And Masteries
So there are a few setups I have for mid lane. Mostly because you can play a caster with magic damage or an assassin which is attack damage or a hybrid of both magic and attack damage. Feel free to use these as a base in order to make your own Solo Mid setups that you feel comfortable with.
1) The Caster Route
Masteries are 21/9/0 focusing on AP damage in the offensive tree and some health, armor and magic resist in the defense tree. Swap the points in defense to utility of you have a hard time managing your mana. Runes focus on defense (x4 Armor Seals, x5 HP Seals, x9 MR Glyphs) and AP damage (x9 Magic Pen Marks, x3 Ability Power Quints).
2) The Physical Damage (Assassin) Route
Masteries are 21/9/0 focusing on damage in the offensive tree some health, armor and magic resist in the defense tree (possibly add more points into magic resist if you are going against range). For my runes do the same type of thing as a caster but AD style. There’s defense (x5 Armor Seals, x4 HP Seals, x9 MR Glyphs) and AD damage (x9 Armor Pen Marks, x3 Attack Damage Quints)
3) The Hybrid Route
Masteries are 21/9/0 similar to the Physical damage route but more on the Ability Power side. Runes are made for defense (x9 Armor Seals, x 9 MR Glyphs, x1 Armor Quint) and hybrid damage (x9 Hybrid Pen Marks, x2 Attack Speed Quins). Feel free to swap some marks or the Attack Speed Quints for Attack Damage ones if you have trouble last hitting.
In the early stages of the game, the Solo Mid does a few things, 1) farm, 2) harass whenever in your favor, 3) take out the enemy laner whenever possible and 4) roam whenever possible. Poking aka harassing the enemy solo mid laner does 2 things. One, it forces them to play passively if they’re hurt. They don’t want to miss out on last hitting minions which means you don’t have to worry as much to trade damage and focus more on farming and two, it will force the person to go back to base if they’re low enough. If they don’t go back to base, all you need to do is burst the laner down or get some help from your jungler for a free kill and get the minion farm that remains in lane. If the enemy laner does choose to go back to base, then you can easily free farm the minion wave. In both cases you can go back to base with a decent amount of gold to buy items and have more of an edge over your enemy in lane.
Of course if you clearly have an advantage over your enemy laner, you can feel free to use that. At the same time, do not get baited. Mid lane is the safest lane because it has the widest area for the laning phase. This is generally why you place casters in this lane, because casters inherently don’t have escapes as part of their kit. This being said, you can poke and stay relatively safe in you lane provided you stay on your side of the river. Once you’ve cross to the enemy’s side of the river and you don’t know where the enemy jungler is or if someone in the other lanes are missing, you essentially taking a risk at that point. Be sure to place a ward in one of the side bushes or in their jungle entrances. The image to the side shows some decent places to ward depending on what side of the map you’re on. To be completely safe, use 2 wards for each side of the river.
Roaming is usually done when your opponent is out of lane, you’ve pushed to the enemy turret, or you’ve taken mid tower. Generally, you roam bottom lane if you think you and your bot lane can get a kill so that you can force the enemy bot lane out and then you can possibly go for the Dragon. If you can’t get Dragon, you at least help your bot lane snowball a bit more. You can also roam top if your top laner is having a hard time.
This is really simple. As a Caster or an Assassin, you want to lay out your skills quickly so that you can either get a kill or force the enemy to retreat. This is done before the enemy can react whether it be from a global assist (Shen Ultimate) or the enemy jungler coming in to help. To figure the best way to burst is to know the champion you’re on in order to achieve the max amount of damage. So you may want to do a bit of practice on some champions you’d like to play in mid lane or at the very least check your damage of your skills (highlight over them), compare it to the enemy laner’s health and see if it’s possible to get a kill. Keep in might you have to factor for resistances and summoner skills. Also, you should also try to prioritize getting at least one strong ability power item if you’re on a caster or a strong sustain item if you’re on an assassin.
Well the title says it all but I’ll go into a bit of details. You’ll want to burst an opponent down but from complete surprise or from the fog of war. For example, you can be retreating from a one vs one but turn around when your cooldowns are done to burst down your opponent to kill them (if you think you can that is). Usually the assassins have a gap closer they can use. Whenever possible you should use that gap closer on the most dangerous and squishiest champions. Those would usually be the enemy Marksman, Solo Mid and Support. In that order, that would be the most ideal but generally the more dangerous out of the 3 you should go for first. If the enemy Solo Top isn’t tanky, you can consider that enemy as an additional option to consider.
So those are the general guidelines on how to play as a Solo Mid. There are variations to builds due to different types of casters and assassins. Your job is to deal damage to the enemy in team fights and clean up fights. On assassins, your job is to burst out high priority targets and to clean up. Some solo mid laners have good initiations for team fights so you’ll have to position well with your team in order to get a good team fight started. As always, feel free to comment below if you have anything to say about the guide. Have fun on the Fields of Justice!