Blog Archives

Age’s League of Legends Guide To Season 5

lol-pantheon-smite

Here is your Season 5 guide to League of Legends!

Hello summoners! Chances that if you’re here is because that you want to learn or brush up on some League of Legends. Season 5 has a lot of new things including the new Summoner’s Rift and jungle items. I covered all the basics for you. This page links to every part of the guide that I’ve released over the past weeks so feel free to check out whatever topic you’d like! Good luck on the Fields of Justice!

Age’s League of Legends Season 5 Basics Guide: Part 8 – The Jungler

jungler-volibear-smite-gank-tax

A guide on how to clear camps, secure buffs, gank, counter jungle & support the lanes!

Jungling is an interesting role where you can help the flow of the game depending on well you get jungle objectives as well as helping lanes get ahead. Now, you’re probably wondering “Why should I learn how to jungle?”. Well I’ll break it down for you:

  • Learn how to time objectives – The blue buffs, red buffs, and Dragon are all objectives you want to keep an eye on in the early game with towers and Baron as the objectives for mid to late game.
  • Learn how to gank – Even as a laner, it’s helpful to know how to close the gap if you roam to another lane.

Note that I am not a pro jungler, just giving some general guidelines that new players need. Now, let’s get into it!

Popular Jungler Oriented Items

jungler-items-s5

These items are chosen based on the standard off tank jungler champions. For Ability Power or Attack Damage recommended items for more carry oriented junglers, you can check my Solo Mid and Marksman guides respectably for ideas. Here are some standard Jungler items that’d you’d want to consider. From left to right, these items are:

  • Ranger’s Trailblazer – A great jungle item for sustaining in the jungle.
  • Skirmisher’s Sabre – A great jungle item for dueling; typically the enemy jungler.
  • Stalker’s Blade – A great item for ganking in terms of slowing an enemy champion.
  • Enchantments (Left to right, top to bottom) – an enchantment is a gem you can apply to any of the jungle items mentioned above. Can only apply one. Here are the options: Cinderhulk (green): good tank stats and passive AoE burn, Devourer (purple): good stats for Attack speed AP champions, Runeglaive (blue): good stats for any AP champions, especially on-hit AP Champions, Warrior (red): good stats for AD champions.
  • Sightstone – Provides health and wards. Very useful for getting vision while jungling.
  • Locket of the Iron Solari – Great for providing AoE Maigic Resist and a small active AoE shield.
  • Frozen Heart – Great for cooldown, armor and reducing the effectiveness of ADCs
  • Spirit Visage – Provides health, magic resist, cooldown reduction, health regen and increases healing from all sources.
  • Randuin’s Omen – Provides health, armor and an AoE slow
  • Banshee’s Veil – Provide health, magic resist and a bubble that block a skill
  • Abyssal Scepter – An item great for magic resist, AP and reducing nearby enemies’ Magic Resist

Summoner Skills

Summoner Skills are pretty much are Flash and Smite to stay safe and secure buffs respectably. Sometimes I’ll use Ghost instead of Flash depending on the matchup. Also, the jungler should always, and I mean ALWAYS have Smite. It is essentially your job to secure buffs especially Dragon and Baron. You don’t want to be the one your team gets pissed at when they lost Baron because you didn’t bring Smite.

Runes And Masteries

Ok there are quite a few setups for jungling depending on the champion. Here’s a few setups I usually use. Feel free to use those as a base in order to make your own Jungler setups that you feel comfortable with. Masteries come into 3 different parts which I’ll cover in a bit. Note that all 3 masteries I put points in the defense tree to mitigate damage while taking damage from monsters in the jungle camps.

For my runes it could vary depending on the champion but I pretty much go with damage plus attack speed (x9 Damage Marks, x1 Damage Quint, x2 Attack Speed Quints) and defense (x4 Flat Armor Seals, x5 Scaling Armor Seals, x9 Scaling Magic Resists Glyphs). An alternative rune page I have is for hybrid junglers which has defense (x9 Armor Seals, x 9 MR Glyphs, x1 Armor Quint) and hybrid damage (x9 Hybrid Pen Marks, x2 Attack Speed Quins). Lifesteal is another option you can go for.

solo-top-runes-s5

s5-mid-runes-hybrid

The first of the masteries is the Tank Masteries which are 9/21/0 focusing on defense with a bit of damage for clearing. Pretty much a diver/tank for the team.

jungler-masteries-tank-s5

Second set is the Magic Masteries which are 13/17/0  focusing on magic damage and defense. Carry oriented but a bit tanky for jungle clearing and ganking early.

jungler-masteries-ap-s5

Third set is the Attack Damage Masteries which are 21/9/0 focusing on tons of damage and some defense. More carry oriented and depends on damage for fast clearing.

jungler-masteries-ad-s5

Early Game

I covered the jungle camps themselves in my S5 Summoner’s Rift post. In the beginning, you’ll usually want to start out with Hunter’s Machete and health potions. In the early stages of the game, the jungler farms the camps and you should learn how to time the buff camps to know when they’re back up. Here are the times you’ll need throughout the game:

  1. Blue Sentinel (Blue Buff) – 1st spawns at 1:55, respawns every 5 minutes after death
  2. Red Brambleback (Red Buff) – 1st spawns at 1:55, respawns every 5 minutes after death
  3. Dragon – 1st spawns at 2:30, respawns every 6 minutes after death
  4. Baron Nashor – 1st spawns at 20:00, respawns every 7 minutes after death

Using buff timers can help give you an edge in preparing to steal enemy buffs or sneaking a Dragon.

For clearing camps, usually (if there’s no Level 1 invasions), you’ll want to start around Gromp and Ancient Golem for a good supply of mana and level 2. If starting at Gromp, smite Gromp from the poison when struck bonus. From there, work your way to Elder Lizard and clearn another camp if possible. This should give you a sufficient amount of time to get both your buffs without the enemy jungler trying to counter gank you early to steal one of yours. If they try to, you’ll be around in time for a chance to stop them. Clear other camps as they come up. You should be earliest around level 3-4 to gank. If you’re on a manaless champion, starting at Elder Lizard or Krugs could be a better option because you’re not mana dependent. Smite Krugs for the stun on 5th attack bouns.

If a level one invasion occurs, the positioning of the enemy team in accordance to your positioning and if anyone has died will tell you how to start your clear path. For example, If you saw them around your blue around the 1:55 mark, invade and steal their blue with an ally then go back into your jungle and secure your red buff.

Donating Buffs

When your jungle buffs (aka red and blue buffs) are back up the 2nd time around, you can consider donating them. Which means you give another champion one of your jungle buffs. Don’t donate a buff to laners that aren’t doing well because then the buff will transfer onto the enemy laner and then it’ll just get worse for that lane.

Usually blue buff is donated the 2nd time around to the mid laner (if they need it) and red buff to the Marksman when they can find time to get it. Of course if you’re on a really mana dependent jungle champion or behind in level, you might need your buffs till you build a good mana regen item or you’ve caught up.

Smite

Around the 8 – 13 minute gap is usually a good time for Dragon, be sure to have your Smite skill ready. Usually you’d want to gank bot or make sure bot lane is pushed to make sure the bot lane doesn’t interfere with you getting dragon (if it’s standard lanes). It is also why most junglers tend to camp bottom lane in the early phase of the game; to protect the dragon.

Baron is a good time around mid or late game when you’ve done one of the following:

  • Aced the enemy team
  • Taken down a high priority champions (carries or enemy jungler) so that the enemy team can’t engage you while you take Baron or make a steal attempt
  • If the enemy team is stuck in the base and you have no objectives to take

Try to visually analyse the DPS that’s going down on the Dragon / Baron by viewing the health drop. Also check the damage your Smite does (Smite’s damage increases per level). When the Dragon/Baron gets to or less than that health immediately smite to secure the Dragon/Baron. Getting it just right takes practice and you could accidentally pre-smite and miss so you could practice smiting Dragon/Baron in bot matches.

This next bit is very important for junglers to know. Your Smite summoner skill is mainly used to secure jungle objectives; mainly blue buff, red buff, dragon, and Baron. Smite Razorbeak for Oracle in order to spot wards. For laning phase it’s fine to use Smite for ganks if you have Skirmishing Sabre or Stalker’s Blade. In the mid to late game you do not want to use your smite if your next move in a few minutes is to go get Dragon or Baron. You should be working with your team on protecting objectives for the most part in the mid to late game. Despite the better cooldown on Smite, not having smite up gives the other team a chance to steal Dragon or Baron away from you. Enemy junglers may try to invade your jungle as well to steal your red or blue buffs. Try to have smite to last hit to secure your buffs. Of course, early jungle clears you can smite the big monster of the camp in order to speed up your clear.

Gank

At some point in the laning phase you should gank some lanes. However there are good times and bad times to gank.

Good times to gank:

  • When the enemy lane is pushed up to your tower
  • When you have a good amount of health/mana
  • When the enemy lane is near or on you side of the river with no wards

Bad times to gank are the opposite of the above:

  • When your laner is pushed to the tower
  • When your low on health/mana
  • When your lane is pushed up to the enemy tower with wards (consider sticking around said lane if they do not have wards)

When you can’t find good times to gank, you should farm your jungle. If all your lanes are pushed up and warded for safety, you can counter jungle. Counter jungling is when you go into the enemy jungle and steal camps from them in order to slow down the enemy jungler from farming.  Note that you’ll have to be careful not to get noticed or have vision on the enemy jungler to counter jungle successfully.

At some point, you may consider diving an enemy champion to get a kill. Like in my Solo Top guide, you’ll want to think about the following:

  • Do I have enough health?
  • Do I have enough mana (if you’re on a mana based jungler)?
  • Do I have my skills off cooldown?
  • Does the enemy lane have CC on cooldown?
  • Do I have an out?
  • Where is the enemy team at the moment?
  • Do I have a minions wave when I’m diving?
  • How many turret shots can I take?
  • Can anyone follow me up?
  • If no one can follow me up, can I get he kill by myself?

Essentially you want to dive and get out alive. If there’s a chance of you or your laner dying, don’t do it unless the rewards you get in return are worth it. When the jungler dies, it relieves a lot of pressure for the enemy laners because they know you, the jungler, the one who comes out of nowhere to ruin their day, is dead. So they have free reign on your lane for a little while which could lead to one of your towers dying. You can practice jungling and ganking in bot matches to help you get use to it.

There’s also counter ganking. This is when you think you know where or when the enemy jungler is going to gank and you gank in response. This takes getting use to.

Tax

Alright so taxing is basically collecting a fee for ganking a lane succesfully. This fee is collected by taking a few minions. Note that you should tax a lane if you gank and:

  • The enemy laner(s) flashes to get away
  • The enemy laner(s) die
  • If necessary, cover a lane so that the turret doesn’t kill the minions (might as well get gold if laner isn’t there right?)

Gank & Invasion Routes

I guessing you might need a bit of help with jungling and invading paths so… here’s a picture!

summoners-rift-gank-paths

I’d make it so I can just capture mostly the river because that’s all you really need… but… I’m lazy.

Anyways! The blue arrows signify lane ganks, purple arrows are “from behind” ganks. Red arrows signify river ganks. Yellow arrows are the invasion routes. Note that the ganks arrows are gank routes. They’re meant for ganks, not for supporting the lane if it gets pushed to tower for example.

These gank routes are meant to have the element of surprise (unless the area is warded) and a way to close the gap so that you can CC and or damage the enemy laner. So it should result into the enemy laner at the very minimum taking damage, decent gank if their summoner skills (like Flash) were used to escape. Of course if you kill them it’s great. If they used summoner skills in either case it means that they’re vulnerable for another gank a bit later that will probably result in a kill. Note that Flash has a cooldown of 5 minutes so you may want to consider ganking that lane again in the next 3-4 minutes.

Now about the invasion routes. Basically you invade and retreat from and to the river. Place at least one ward in a likely place an enemy would pass by. Be quick if you’re stealing blue/red buff and you don’t know where the jungler is. Again, invading when all your lanes are doing moderately well, can steal buffs or some camp minions quickly, or if you can 2v1 with an ally in the jungle.

Buddy System

You’ll probably see this every now and then in your solo queue games but you’ll see this if you watch the League Championship Series. There has been a bit of an evolution to the level 1 – 3 phase. If the bot lane are on opposite sides of the map, it’s best to have the top laner jungle with you so that they can get experience to stay relevant in the game. At some point, you’ll have to get your bot lane to match against the enemy bot lane so that the game has standard lanes again.

“Help, I need a gank!”

If you play as a jungler, from time to time, you see this. Hell, you might get called out in chat for not ganking right away. Just ignore the hate and try to gank as best as you can and when you can. Note that if the lane pushes out too far without warding vs the enemy jungler and you’re not around to support, they’re at fault. They’re taking a risk. So it’s not your fault in anyway.

So those are the general guidelines on how to play as a Jungler. Essentially you can be a tanky jungler or a carry jungler. Keeping buff safe and securing objective are your main goals. Of course, if an enemy lane is getting out of had, you gotta go show em who’s boss. As always, feel free to comment below if you have anything to say about the guide. Have fun on the Fields of Justice!

Age’s League of Legends Season 5 Basics Guide: Part 7 – The Solo Top

solo-top-push-dive-tank

The guide for the Solo Top! Learn how to tank and engage the enemy team in fights!

Time to learn the top lane! If you’ve been reading my guides, you’ll probably guess that you’ll see the “Why should I learn to solo top?”. Here’s why:

  • Learn how to push, farm and harass – Unlike bottom lane, you do not have a support. Top lane isn’t as mechanically intense since you’ll be focusing on farming. However, like mid lane, 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 crowd control, cooldowns, damage, and if you’ll have to dive enemy tower if diving. All while paying attention to if the enemy jungler is around; this is vital because the top lane stretches in an arc so if you cross the river, you’re essentially committing to what you crossed the river for. So top lane, like mid lane, is more about variables to consider then mechanics (although you’ll need those to play well in lane) and a sixth sense (and ward coverage) of the enemy jungler when crossing the river.

Note that I am not a pro top laner, just giving some general guidelines that new players need.

Popular Solo Top Oriented Items

solo-top-items-season5

These items are chosen based on the standard tank / bruiser champions that go in top lane. For Ability Power or Attack Damage Champions you can check my Solo Mid and Marksman guides respectably for item ideas. Here are some standard Solo Top items that you’d want to consider. From left to right, these items are:

  • Skirmishing Sabre – This item used with Smite is primarily for winning 1v1s in the top lane. Secondary use is to steal enemy jungle camps and to secure objectives. Primarily used on champions like Hecarim and Shyvana.
  • Thornmail – An item that helps versus Attack damage champions and returns some of the basic attack damage done to you.
  • Warmog’s Armor – A good item for increased health and great health regen.
  • Righteous Glory – A good item for sustain in the laning phase and for the active speed up for engages
  • Sunfire Cape – An item that helps with surrounding yourself with magic damage which is great for in-your-face champions.
  • Banshee’s Veil – Provides magic resist and it’s spell shield blocks an ability which could be a stun or a snare that could start an unwanted fight.
  • Trinity Force –  Gives the champion… tons of damage. In seriousness it’s great for top lane carries.
  • Randuin’s Omen – Provides armor and health and a great active AoE slow.
  • Spirit Visage – Great for increasing the potency from all sources of healing.
  • Frozen Heart – Many helpful for dealing with attack speed champions but also provide good armor and cooldown.
  • Guardian Angel – Greta item that gives magic resist and armor plus revive on death.

Summoner Skills

Summoner Skills that I generally use are Flash and Teleport to stay safe and for surprise ganks or to join team fights respectively. Sometimes I’ll use Exhaust or Ignite if it fits the lane situation or the team composition. Sometimes Ghost is good option. Smite if you’re using Skirmishing Sabre.

Runes And Masteries

The generic top lane is usually a tanky bruiser type. If you want to go for a more damage oriented route, again, check out my Solo Mid guide which has stuff for both magic and attack damage types of champions. Feel free to use those as a base in order to make your own Solo Top setups that you feel comfortable with.

If you take a carry to the top lane, you want to focus more in the offense tree so 21/9/0 is the ticket. Masteries 9/21/0 focus on damage in the offensive tree and massive defense the defense tree. Runes are for damage (x9 Damage Marks, x1 Damage Quint, x2 Attack Speed Quints) and defense (x4 Flat Armor Seals, x5 Scaling Armor Seals, x9 Scaling Magic Resists Glyphs). Some other options for tank stats is that you can swap some of the armor seals for flat health or scaling heath seals and the Attack damage Quint for a flat Health quint.

solo-top-runes-s5

s5-ad-mid-masteries

solo-top-masteries-ap-tank-s5

Push

In the early stages of the game, the Solo Top is like an island. It’s just you and the enemy laner where the junglers come to visit every now and then. Like the solo mid, solo top trys to 1) farm, 2) harass whenever in your favor and 3) take out the enemy laner whenever possible. The greatest advantage a solo top can get is by farming in the middle of the lane. When you have accumulated enough money, you’ll want to clear out the enemy minions wave as soon as possible in order to have the minion wave push out the enemy tower. This way, the enemy laner is forced to farm underneath their tower while you can go back to base to buy items and return to lane and the minion waves should be essentially balanced to the center of the lane or may more towards your side of the lane if the enemy laner keeps pushing.

Of course take out the enemy laner if possible. At the same time, do not get baited. You can get easily killed if you go too far out into the lane. Once you’ve cross to the enemy’s side of the river, you don’t have your jungler to support you 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 at least a ward in the river and if possible your side of the lane brush. To be completely safe, use 2 wards. One for the enemy jungler’s likely entrance to gank you and one for the river or lane brush.

Dive

At some point in the game you’ll dive an enemy champion in lane or in team fights to get the jump on them and kill them or to set up a gank. Your the one usually diving because you’re tanky (if you go the tanky bruiser route) or you have gap closers or stun lock ups. You want to think about the following:

  • Do I have enough health?
  • Do I have enough mana?
  • Do I have my skills off cooldown?
  • Do I have an out?
  • Where is the enemy team at the moment?
  • Do I have a minions wave when I’m diving?
  • How many turret shots can I take?
  • Can anyone follow me up?

Essentially you can’t dive a champion if you’re low on health and mana or are missing vital skills needed to dive successfully. You’ll also may need an exit strategy if the dive fails and you’ll also need to make sure that the enemy team isn’t nearby if it’s a gank to ruin the dive and get a kill off of you. If diving a turret, making sure you can survive the hits from the turret. Having a minion wave taking the turret hits while you dive will increase the odds of a kill since the turret will only focus on you when you actually land a hit on the enemy champion. Having your jungler or mid laner come help out during the laning phase also increases the chances of a kill. Diving an enemy team should be done when you take advantage of a mistake they made or if you’re engaging by surprise.

Tank

In team fights, if you’re tanky you are the front line. You may have your jungler or support (if they’re tanky) helping you out. You’re the one who soaks up damage while dishing out damage to the front line while you’re team deals damage to the front and back as much as possible. The goal of this is to make the enemy team waste their good skills on you so that they’re on cooldown while your team uses their skills on high priority targets. When the enemy team thins out a bit or if you get the chance, you can go for the high priority targets to take out provided your teammates will be ok versus the enemy front line. You might die given you’re in front but if you’re protecting your teammates will dishing out damage or just being an annoyance, then your team will usually come out on top. What I like to do is initiate on the team then immediately try to jump onto a carry and hammer away at them. This forces the whole enemy team’s attention and focus fire on me while my team does damage.

So those are the general guidelines on how to play as a Solo Top. Essentially you are the vanguard. If the enemy team finds you’re scary to get past by, you’re doing your job. As always, feel free to comment below if you have anything to say about the guide. Have fun on the Fields of Justice!

Age’s League of Legends Season 5 Basics Guide: Part 6 – The Solo Mid

the_solo_mid_s3

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:

  1. 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

mid-items-s5-2

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

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).

s5-mid-runes-casters5-mid-masteries-caster

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)

s5-mid-runes-ad s5-mid-masteries-ad

s5-ad-mid-runess5-ad-mid-masteries

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.

s5-mid-runes-hybrids5-mid-masteries-hybrid

Roam

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.

summoners-rift-mid-wards

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.

Burst

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.

Dominate

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!

Age’s League of Legends Season 5 Basics Guide: Part 5 – The Marksman

the_marksman_s3

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. I’m old school LoL so I might say AD Carry or ADC instead of Marksman. So before we get started, I’ll state some reasons why learning how to play a Marksman is a good thing to learn.

  1. Massive boost for refining micro & macro 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

ad-items-s5

Here are some standard Marksman items that’d you’d want to consider. From left to right, these items are:

  • Berserker’s Greaves – This is the standard boots for Marksman. It offers attack speed which is needed for most Marksmen. You usually will never want another type of boots unless you play something like Ezreal or Urgot.
  • Mercurial Scimitar – Very useful versus CC heavy teams this item provides damage and an active cleanse. You usually want Quicksilver Sash (needed to make Mercurial), if the enemy team has a lot of CC, and hold onto this item and build Mercurial as your last item.
  • Phantom Dancer – Great for attack speed, crit chance and movement speed. A personal favorite since this item helps to ignore unit collision.
  • Statikk Shiv – Good for a bit more movement speed but mainly for attack speed and crit chance. Also offers ranged poke so it’s great for short ranged Marksmen
  • Blade of the Ruined King – This is usually a pick up for Marksmen that are mid range or need that initial attack speed and damage. The active heal, attack speed buff and enemy slow really can help in some situations.
  • Trinity Force – An all around item that grants a bit of everything which is good on hybrid Marksmen.
  • The Bloodthirster –  A decent pick for damage and lifesteal. Also provides a shield
  • Last Whisper – Great for doing actual damage versus tanky champions with a lot of armor
  • Infinity Edge – Great item for Marksmen for a boost in damage and crit chance
  • Guardian Angel – You usually do not want to get a defense item because it takes away from your damage. But I find this is one of the best defense item for a Marksmen. A bit of armor and magic resist also revives you if you get bursted down in teamfights
  • Runaan’s Hurricane – This item bring raw attack speed with bonus damage on physical attacks. This item is great for AD Carries with on-hit effects built into their kit like Kalista and Varus

Summoner Skills

Summoner Skills that I generally use are Flash and Heal to stay safe. Sometimes I’ll use Ignite for more killing potential. I’ll use Cleanse if the enemy team has a lot of CC.

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 21/9/0 focusing on just damage in the offensive tree some health and resistances in the defense tree. Runes I focus on damage (x8 AD Marks, x1 Crit Chance Mark, x1 AD Quints, x2 Life Steal Quint) and defense (x9 Armor Seals, x9 MR Glyphs). This setup helps for easier last hitting and surviving harass in the early game.

S5-Runes-Marksman S5-Masteries-Marksman

Farm

In the early stages of the game it is the Marksman has one main job: farm. Marksmen 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. Also, the rule of thumb you can follow for buying your first items when you back is buy items for Infinity Edge, Bloodthirster or Blade of the Ruined King. For standard Marksmen builds you want to build one of these items first, preferably Infinity Edge for the damage. Vampiric Scepter should help with life steal till you build into a stronger life steal item.

Kite

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 even if the jungler gets spotted by a ward. 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. Attack-moving like this is called orb walking. This is especially vital for Marksmen because they are squishy (Squishy means that you easy to damage and burst down). 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.

Dominate

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 you can go for priority targets (enemy mid laner or enemy Marksman) then go for it. 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 (not sure if it’s still viable, you can look that up) and Urgot. Also, if you see your team is at a standstill for engaging the other team, just be patient, you don’t have to 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 around. As always, feel free to comment below if you have anything to say about the guide. Have fun on the Fields of Justice!