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Age’s League of Legends Season 5 Basics Guide: Part 4 – The Support

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A detailed basics guide on how to support your AD Carry in lane and your team in fights!

Hey all. Welcome to the support guide. This guide is to help you get started out with learning how to support. Now, you’re probably wondering “Why should I learn to support?”. Well I’ll break it down for you:

  1. You will eventually have to play Support – In Draft pick, it doesn’t matter if you call a role. It doesn’t matter if you’re god-like as a middle laner. If you’re last pick, you should play the role that’s needed to complete the team. 70 to 80% of the time that role is usually Support.
  2. You’ll learn how to appreciate Support players – Supports in game are the most under-appreciated players solo queue. This is mostly because they don’t get the kills and give all the minion farm to the AD Carry. However, they provide the assistance to get those kills or to engage / disengage team fights. Once you’ve played Support for a fair bit you’ll come to learn how invaluable they are for teams.

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

Popular Support Oriented Items

support_items-S4

I figure I’d start with listing some support items. Ideal boots to get are Boots of Mobility or Ionian Boots of Lucidity. From left to right, the items shown above are:

  • Sightstone & Ruby Sightstone – This is a standard item for supports. This item is used to reduce the gold sync in buying wards because it provides wards and refills when you go back to base. IMPORTANT: Only upgrade to Ruby Sightstone when you’re at max items.
  • Ancient Coin – There are 3 good passive gold gold generating items that supports can choose from. This is one of them, it also supplies mana regen. It final upgrade allows your champion and other allies around you a temporary movement speed buff which is great for engagements or disengagements.
  • Relic Shield – Another passive gold generating item. It provides health and last hits on minions when you have a charge will transfer the money you gained to the nearest ally champion. Ideally you want to last hit the melee and cannon minions because they supply more gold. It’s final upgrade has an active that allows you to shield an ally champion. A great item fro melee supports.
  • Spellthief’s Edge – A passive gold generating item which also grants gold when you hit a champion or structure (basic attack or skill). Not really used a lot on Supports but if you’re really behind, it’s worth considering. This item is great for ranged supports that harass a lot like Karma. It’s final upgrade allows you to slow and damage an enemy champion.
  • Aegis of the Legion & Locket of the Iron Solari – Useful for giving nearby ally champions magic resist and health regeneration. Locket is the upgrade of Aegs and it’s active allows you to shield nearby ally champions.
  • Mikael’s Crucible – Another item supports generally take. It gives you mana regen and magic resist and it’s active heals and removes all CC on an ally champion.
  • Morellonomicon – Sometimes you have to deal with teams that can heal a lot. This item is great for magic damage supports if you want to reduce the potency of healing enemies can do. It also gives you ability power, mana regeneration and cooldown.
  • Twin Shadows – Gives you ability power and magic resist. If you activate it, it sends 2 ghosts out for a short duration that searches for the nearest 2 champions to latch onto. If a champion is found, that champion is slowed for a short duration.

Summoner Skills

Summoner Skills that I generally use are Flash to stay safe and either Exhaust to slow an enemy or Ignite for damage if needed.

Runes And Masteries

So here are my runes and masteries that I generally use for supporting. Feel free to use this as a base in order to make your own support setup that you feel comfortable with.

My first rune page focus on defenses (x9 Armor Marks, x4 Armor Seals, x5 MR Glyphs), health (x5 HP Seals) and damage (x4 AP Glyphs, x3 AP Quints). Usually I use it for an AP ranged Support. My second rune page focus on defenses (x9 Armor Marks, x2 Armor Seals, x9 MR Glyphs, x2 Armor Quints) & health (x5 HP Seals, x2 HP per Level Seals, x1 HP Quint) and I use this page usually when I’m a melee support.

S5-Runes-Support2S5-Runes-Support1

There are two types of support masteries I generally use. The first is a 0/9/21 which focuses on gold generation and utility. I usually use this on utility ranged supports. The second is a more tanky spec (0/16/14). If you want, you can build more into the offense tree for damage if you have a caster support like Annie. If you go more damage, you might want to consider using more damage oriented runes as well (swap the quintessences out,  possibly the glyphs too).

S5-Masteries-Support1 S5-Masteries-Support2

Protect

In the early stages of the game it is the Support’s job to protect the AD Carry they’re laning with and the Dragon. It is also your job in lane is to harass the enemy lane if they get close, let the AD Carry get all the minion farm and the kills if possible. This is done by:

  • Warding brushes, gankable areas and Dragon
  • Engaging fights with / for your AD Carry
  • Protecting / Buffing / Healing your AD Carry

In later stages of the game, your priority should be protecting Baron and getting vision in the enemy jungle by using wards. Also ward Dragon if you can. You should ward the enemy jungle if your team has taken down most of their towers in order to invade safely. You should ward your jungle if the enemy team is roaming around in your jungle. Throughout the game, it’s kinda sucks to say but you are sacrificial if a fight goes south. This is mostly because, in the general case, the other roles should be getting the kills and therefore are worth more money than you. If things get bad in a fight, you should do everything you can to make sure your teammates get away and sacrifice yourself if necessary to do so.

Warding

One of the Support’s main job is to ward the lane, objectives and other strategic locations. Note that it is not the Support’s job to ward other people’s lanes during the laning phase. Also, I always find this imperative to say all the time: the Support is NOT the only one who has to ward throughout the game.

Here’s an extra picture for Support lane wards that I think you’ll find useful. Check out my Summoner’s Rift guide for ward placement on the entire map.

Let’s break down this image a bit. First off, no, you don’t have to ward EVERY indicated area. You only get to place three wards at a time. Essentially those are the general spots where wards are placed. You can ward some of the areas indicated to keep you and your lane partner safe from ganks.

There are wards that you want down at pretty much at all times. For example. If you are on the blue team and your pushed up to the enemy tower all the time, then you would want a ward in your tri-bush (the X in the brush under the dragon pit) and the river so that the enemy jungler will not gank you from behind.  This goes for the red team as well. The tri-brush for red team would be the brush to the left of the red turret. It’s less likely you’ll get ganked from there but if you’re shoved to your turret all the time, the enemy jungler might swing by that tri bush for a dive gank. You would also want a ward in the river in order to prevent ganks from that angle and to see if the enemy is trying to get the Dragon. This will allow your team mates to react accordingly.

There are wards that you’ll need for an advantage in lane. For example, if the enemy team is using the lane brushes to keep you at bay so you AD Carry can’t farm, you could place a ward in the lane brush in order to prevent any hostile action from the enemy laners. If not, then it’s not imperative to place a ward in that brush.

Some of these warding areas you would want to use a Vision Ward on your side of the map in order to stop invisible ganks or initiations from champions like Twitch or Evelynn. You generally use these wards on your side of the jungle on in river brushes in order to either clear out the enemy wards in the area or to see invisible units that want to gank you like Evelynn. For example, you would always want to clear out wards near Dragon or clear out lane brush wards if they were preventing your lane from engaging. Speaking of Vision Wards, try to always have one vision ward in your inventory. For laning phase,  try to place them in areas you can defend like the brush on your side of the lane or the tri-brush.

Outside laning phase, you’ll want to ward where your team will go towards next (objective-wise). Try not to ward past the river alone if you’re not sure where the enemy team is; you can slowly move your vision deeper into their jungle if need be. Also, always ward at max range.

For trinkets, usually everyone starts with the Warding Trinket (yellow one) but Supports should switch to a Sweeper Trinket once they have a Sightstone. You also don’t have to buy any more sight (green) wards since you have Sightstone for a free set of wards. When you run out, just go back to base for an auto refill on your Sightstone. Sometimes you’ll see some supports start with a Sweeper trinket.

Harass

Harassing your enemies in lane can lead to a great advantage. If you are a ranged support, you don’t need to use offensive spells every time, you can also auto attack once or twice and walk back. Keep repeating this if you don’t get punished at all. Slowly whittling away at an AD Carry or Support will force them to eventually go back to base or risk getting killed.

What I like to do is let my ADC sit back and farm while I zone out the enemy AD Carry and support and harass them with auto attacks as best as I can. This prevents the AD Carry from farming. You should watch your positioning when you do this because if you go too far up, the duo bot lane will try to hurt you and then you’ll be the one forced out of lane. If you’re new to harassing as a Support, try some easier ranged supports to harrass with like Janna, Thresh, Sona or Morgana.

Dominate

In team fights, the Support can change the flow of a team fight or even the game. This is usually something like a Sona ultimate or a Thresh hook that lands well. Learning how to engage in lane and in team fights as a Support will really improve your gameplay as a whole. Also, in team fights, you are likely to get low on health. This is when you start kiting. You move around in a way that baits the enemy team to try to kill you but allows your team mates to dish out damage on the enemy team.

So those are the general guidelines on how to Support. There are variations of supporting so by all means you can use them if you find you’re good at it. Also, if you see your Support doing a good job, let them know. They get little credit most of the time and I feel they should get some credit when they’re doing well. 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 3 – Summoner’s Rift

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Learn a bit more about the Summoner’s Rift so you can apply strategies for your games!

Knowing a bit about the maps is helpful for positioning and tactics for games. I will however focus on Summoner’s Rift as it is the only one used so far for League of Legends competitive play (where the pro scene is concerned). If there’s a request to review another map, I’ll take the time to make it as part of the extras of this overall guide.

For this map guide, I’ll be highlighting the lanes, ward placement and buffs in the jungle. Note that Summoner’s Rift is a mirrored map from the top right corner to the bottom left with the river as the dividing line. Each section will have an image highlighting the important stuff on Summoner’s Rift with a detailed explanation following and they’re all color-coded so let’s dive right in.

The Lanes

summoner's rift -lanes

As in most MOBAs, Summoner’s Rift has 3 lanes: Top, Bottom (Bot) and Middle (Mid) lanes. The meta game as it currently stands is the Caster (AP Carry) or Assassin in mid lane, Marksman (Attack Damage Carry) and Support in bot lane, a Fighter or Bruiser in top lane and a Bruiser or Tank as the jungler. Sometimes you’ll see odd champions in lanes that work in order to counter play the enemy such as the Marksman and Support in Top lane versus the single enemy top laner. The following parts for this guide in the coming weeks cover these roles but right now let’s first look at the inanimate objects in the lanes and base that make up the map.

Nexus (Red)

The main objective of the game to destroy. A team wins a match when the enemy Nexus is destroyed. Each team’s Nexus is located deep in base.

Inhibitors (Yellow)

The mini-Nexuses in the base. There is one for each respectable lane in each base. When destroyed, the enemy Nexus will spawn super minions in the lane where the inhibitor is destroyed. These super minions stop spawning when the inhibitor respawns. Inhibitors are the only objective objects in the game that respawn after time.

The Turrets (Orange)

The objects that protect the lane and other important objects. Each turret gives 125 gold to each team member and an 150 gold split among involved players when an outer turret is destroyed, 100 gold split for inner turret. There are technically 4 types of turrets:

  1. Outer and Inner Turrets – These turrets are structures that help defend a laner while they are farming. These are the two furthest turrets from each team’s base (outer being the farthest)
  2. Inhibitor Turrets – Turrets that defend the inhibitors
  3. Nexus Turrets – The last line of turret defense, these turrets defend the Nexus and have more health than the other turrets
  4. Fountain Turrets – Not really recognized much but it is the turret located at the Summoner’s platform in the base (where players load into the match). These are super turrets because they are indestructible and attack any enemies that walk onto a team’s platform. These turrets literally melt an enemy’s health if within range for 1 to 5 seconds.

Base Gates (Blue)

They’re not in this picture but I placed where they’re located. These gates allow teams to enter and exit their base easily as an alternative route from the lane exits. A team cannot walk pass another team base gate.

The Buffs and Camps

summoner's rift - camps

Here I’ll be highlighting all the buffs and camps on Summoner’s Rift. Usually the jungler is the one farming the camps and protecting the buffs in the early game. All camps gives the killer of a monster some gold, experience and a bit of health which scales up during a match. In Season 5, most of the camps are different but have similar names and each smaller camp provides a buff when you smite the camp’s larger creature. Here is a list of all the buffs and camps on Summoner’s Rift:

small-camps

Wolves (White)

The Wolf camp (leftmost image above) consists of 3 murk wolves, 2 small ones and one large one. Smiting the larger one will spawn a nature spirit that grants vision for 95 seconds at the 4 way intersection near the blue buff. This spirit chases any enemy champions it sees until the champion leaves the area.

Raptors (Orange)

The Crimson Raptor camp (middle left image above) consists of a Raptor and 3 razorbeaks. Smiting the Raptor grants a buff that grants you true sight (aka allows you to see invisible things) for 10 seconds when you are near an enemy ward.

Krugs (Black)

The Krug camp (middle right image above) consists of 2 krugs, one small one and one large one. Smiting the larger one grants you a stun on every 5th basic auto attack.

Gromp Camp (Grey)

The Gromp Camp (rightmost image above) consist of one large Gromp. Smiting it grants you a poison shroud that poisons any one that attacks you for magic damage over 3 seconds.

buff-camps

Blue Sentinel (Blue Buff)

The Blue Sentinel Camp (left image above) consists of the large Sentinel and two smaller sentinels. Killing the larger one grants you the Crest of the Ancient Golem aka blue buff or blue. This buff gives the user cooldown reduction and mana regen over time. This buff lasts 2 minutes but lasts 2 minutes and 24 seconds with the Runic Affinity mastery. The Ancient Golem respawns every 5 minutes upon death of all the monsters in the camp.

Red Brambleback (Red Buff)

The Red Brambleback Camp (middle image above) consists of the large Brambleback and two smaller bramblebacks. Killing the larger one grants you the Blessing of the Lizard Elder aka red buff or red. This buff gives the user the ability to slow & does damage over time that resets with each basic attack on an enemy champion. This buff lasts 2 minutes but lasts 2 minutes and 24 seconds with the Runic Affinity mastery. The Elder Lizard Camp respawns every 5 minutes upon death of all the monsters in the camp.

Rift Scuttlers (Green)

Not on the map but there are 2 Rift Scuttlers (right image above)  is a green crab that traverse the river. One crab traverses the river from top lane to mid lane. The other crab traverses the river from mid lane to bot lane. When killed, the scuttler crab acts as a ward and a speed shrine in front of the major monster objectives (bottom river crab = Dragon, top river crab = Baron).

major-objectives

Dragon (Yellow)

The Dragon (left image above) is a monster in the bottom half of the river that attacks the closet champion when attacked gives the player who kills it 25 gold and a team wide buff that depend on the number of times your team has killed the Dragon:

  • 1st Dragon kill: +6% attack damage and ability power
  • 2nd Dragon kill: +15% damage to towers and buildings
  • 3rd Dragon kill: +5% movement speed
  • 4th Dragon kill: +15% damage to minions and monsters
  • 5th+ Dragon kill(s): Aspect of the Dragon buff which doubles all bonuses listed previously and attacks burn for 150 true damage over 5 seconds. Lasts for 3 minutes or until death.

Dragon first spawns at 2:30 and respawns every 6 minutes upon death.

Baron Nashor (Purple)

Baron Nashor (right image above) aka Baron is a monster in the top half of the river that gives the player that killed it 25 extra gold. The player’s team gets 300 gold each and the buff Hand of Baron to each team member alive when Baron dies for 3 minutes. This buff gives the user additional attack damage, magic damage, faster recall and an aura that promotes minions into stronger ones. Baron first spawns at 20 minutes respawns every 7 minutes upon death.

Ideal Ward Placement

summoner's rift - wards

As I’ve said in the first post of this guide: Wards Wins Games. I know it may be weird at first to know where to ward so the image above shows some ideal areas to ward starting out. I went a little nuts with the image above on where to place wards. You don’t have to learn all these spots in one go but it shows that wards do win games. Basically wards in brushes and river are ideal.

The goal of wards is to see where the enemy is in order to make an informed decision of what to do next. You’ll figure out all these areas of warding as you play more matches. Do note that wards in a brush gives vision of the area including things in the brush (of course invisible units don’t count unless you use a Vision Ward). This also give you a general idea of where to use your sweeper trinket or pink wards in order to clear wards. Another thing to note is that Vision wards are visible to the enemy but have 5 hit points. You have time to catch or scare away an enemy champion if they try to kill your ward.

  • Invasion Wards (Orange) – These wards prevent level one invasions, jungle invasions and ganks from your side of the jungle. At the very least, vision of those invasions so lanes can know where people are in order to have good information to take action.
  • Laning Wards (Black) – These wards are ones you can place in brushes while you’re laning to prevent surprise attacks.
  • River/Defense Wards (Red) – These wards ensures safe lane phases from ganks and invasions. If each lane and the jungler wards to the river top to bottom in order see most of it, you will have decent coverage of the river which is ideal.
  • Post Turret Wards (Blue) – When your tower goes down, you lose vision of that area so you can replace it with a ward. This is mostly done in middle lane as it is the easiest lane to push and is the fastest connection to major objectives.
  • Ninja Wards (Purple) – These wards are what I like to call ninja wards because these are brushes that are least walked in early game so they’re ideal for Vision Wards. If never spotted, this will help you see where an enemy jungler is for a long period of the game.
  • Buff Wards (Green) – These wards ensure the safety and vision of the red and blue buffs in case of invasions.
  • Dragon / Baron Wards (White) – These wards give vision of the Baron and Dragon in order to protect these monsters from going down by the enemy team. Usually a Vision Ward, which reveals invisible units are used here in order to clear out any enemy wards.
  • Dive / Skill Shot Wards (Yellow)  – When your team is sieging a base it’s quite useful to ward on the other side of the base in order to throw some skill shots off to wear down the enemy team or prep for a dive.

At the start of each game, each player can get one of three free trinkets to choose from:

  • Warding Totem (Yellow Trinket) : Free ward for short duration, can upgrade to have a free sight ward or a vision ward
  • Sweeping Lens (Red Trinket): Area true sight (to see invisible units; including wards) and disables invisible traps and wards, can upgrade to include having the ability to see invisible units for a duration
  • Scrying Orb (Blue Trinket): Short distance area reveal, can upgrade to increase the orb casting range

That concludes the guide on Summoner’s Rift. Hope it was helpful!

Age’s League of Legends Season 5 Basics Guide: Part 2 – How To Deal With Toxicity

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Feel The Need To Rage At a Teammate? Or Maybe Getting Raged At? Here’s Some Tips On Dealing With Toxicity Directed Your Way And On How To Avoid Being A Toxic Player.

Hello summoners! This section covers the toxic behavior that occurs in League of Legends (and pretty much any MOBA). For those who don’t know, toxic players are people that are seemingly angry-all-the-time players that really want to win and will lash out over the smallest mistakes even if they’re the ones doing badly. These people usually get found and their accounts banned if their toxic behavior ensues.

There are times when you will have a bad day and do poorly in lane. There are times where you miss an opportunity to attack with a teammate or accidentally take a buff.  There’s a bunch of stuff that could happen and someone will call you out on it sooner or later. That someone just might get upset and it’ll be the end of it. Other times they’ll keep complaining and hating on you. This is one situation you can land in. Thankfully, if you’re starting out playing LoL now it’s less likely to occur thanks to steps Riot has been taking to reduce toxic behavior.

Another situation is if someone else is doing badly on you’re team. If you have patience, you can probably let it go and try the best you can for the game, even offer advice and help that person out. However, if you’re the type that gets upset easily over this, you might be tempted to lash out. You may not see or feel the need to rage if you’ve just started playing LoL (assuming you’re coming from a non-MOBA background) because usually everyone is learning… well… basically everything.

Essentially I’ll be giving you some tips on possible actions you can take when these two main situations arise. Learning how to react to these situations is one of the best thing to do to deal with rage or with avoiding to become a toxic player.

Section 1

Section 2

Section 1: Tips on How To Not Be Toxic

Rage Out Loud

This is quite a simple thing to do. Providing you’re not streaming or playing with people via voice chat or something like that. Just say out loud what you’re thinking. When rage starts flying in chat, everyone else on your team gets the feeling the team won’t do well. If you are streaming or doing voice chat, say what the person did wrong in your opinion and in a calm and decent manner to your streamers or to your teammate. The chat room (if streaming) or the teammate might give you a decent reason for what they did or how they’re doing in lane. This might prompt some empathy.

Take A Break

Goes pretty much for any game causing you to get upset really (Dark Souls anyone?). If you find yourself getting upset because you lost 5 games in a row, I think it’s time for a break. Go relax, watch a movie. I heard there’s this thing called the outdoors? Maybe give that a shot. Come back later when you feel better. Maybe even the next day if that’s what it takes. This helps eliminate if not reduce the stress and the frustration you feel.

Help Them Out / Give Advice & Encouragement

You can suggest stuff to your teammate or maybe even work around the person playing poorly in order to help the person out.  For example, give a lane for the person to farm in or kill enemy champions in small packs or gank their lane if you’re doing well. This helps motivate the player to do better and encourages the person that they can still get back into the game and be an asset. You’d be surprised where a little encouragement can go.

Section 2: Tips on How to Deal With Incoming Rage

Explain Your Problem

If you see that the person raging at you because you’re doing poorly in lane, you can them your situation in the game. For example, if your opponent in lane totally outplayed you, you can say there’s really nothing you can do but try to farm at tower and ask for ganks. If the they can’t understand the situation you’re in, you’re trying your best,  and they aren’t willing to help, then that’s them not being a team player.

Be Silent

Don’t say anything, don’t read anything the person says in chat and focus on map pings. This will keep your focus on the game. If you find you can’t help yourself from reading chat, then maybe the next point will do the trick for you.

Mute Them!

While I was leveling and had people raging at me or other teammates for no reason, I sometimes forgot I had this feature. If you press and hold the Tab key and go the the right of each player, you’ll see some radio buttons (the circle thingy) there. If you check one off, you will not be able to see any text that player puts into chat any more and they will be added to your ignore list. Unchecking the radio button does the opposite. Very useful if you don’t want to deal with any rage and just play the game out. You can still see pings on the mini map so you can still receive useful information from them.

That concludes Part 2 of this guide. It was just a few tips but I hope you found this part a bit helpful, if not, a bit insightful. Hopefully this helps you find your own way to deal with toxicity. Have a good time on the Fields of Justice!

Age’s League of Legends Season 5 Basics Guide: Part 1 – How To Play 101

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Starting League of Legends For The First Time? Are You A League of Legends Player That Wants To Fine-Tune Your Game Basics? You’ve Come To The Right Place! 

This is the 1st of 8 parts to my League of Legends Basics Guide for Season 5! I wanted to highlight the mechanics of the game people should learn, the lane roles, and the behaviour aspect one should take when playing League of Legends. This guide might help you out in other MOBAs like SMITE, DotA2 and Heroes of the Storm. So without further ado, let’s get started! For your convenience and for easier navigation, here’s a quick link list to all the topics in this post:

Do The Tutorial

Ok, now before getting all excited and jumping into a match, if you’re new to the MOBA genre, do the tutorial. Yes, I’m seriously telling you to do the tutorial. It covers the MOBA basics and you’ll need it in order to understand how MOBAs work. Fortunately, you have to do a few Coop-AI games before you can play versus other real players.

Learn Champions and their Skills

If you’ve never played LoL before, I don’t expect you to know all the champions but you can read the skills of the ones available to you or as they popup in champ select. A basic understanding of what a champion’s skills are helps in picking a champion you think will fit a play style you enjoy and to play against other champions.

As you play more and more, try out new champions (when they come on rotation, and so on) to eventually learn them all or at least about them all. It looks overwhelming but it’s possible. I find ARAMs are a great place to try out champions. You can learn the counters to other champions and even find new champions you like by doing this. By level 20 I’d say you should be very comfortable playing at least 5 to 8 champions.

Configure Runes & Masteries

These are in your Summoner Profile. At low levels you really won’t see much of a difference but you’ll see the eventual use for these as you go along. Runes and masteries basically help with your early game to have a better laning phase as well as augment your stats throughout the game. You can customize your rune and mastery pages to suit the champions or roles you play.

Learn To Last Hit

I learnt this way too late but learn how to last hit minions. Last hitting is when you wait till a minion is at low health so that your next basic attack will kill it. If you’re playing Support or Jungler you don’t do this as much due to letting your AD Carry farm the minions or farming jungle minions (respectably). I still miss a few minions every now and then. This is a very vital part of gameplay to learn in order to achieve 2 main things:

  1. Gold Income – The more you last hit, the more gold you get. which mean the more items you can get faster which can help you eventually win your lane and do well in your match.
  2. Doesn’t Push The Lane – This is important so that the minion wave doesn’t push to the enemy tower. This will make attacking the enemy in lane harder since they’re at their tower and leaves you more open to ganks. You can also lose out on minion farm which means less gold income. You should only push a lane when you plan to go back to base. This is so that the enemy laner doesn’t push to your tower when you’re not there. Also, when you return to your lane, the minion waves essentially reset back to a point where you can farm minions safely again.

Learning to last hit while trying to harass or fend off the enemy in the lane will help you out so much for your future laning phases.

Learn Map Awareness

And learn it soon. Map awareness is essentially looking at your mini map every few seconds to know where players are. Yes, people should ping or say something in chat if an enemy is missing in their lane. However, you should not solely rely on that. Some people could be thinking that they went back to base or taking a jungle buff. They could be lagging behind and are concentrating on farming. It’s up to you to look at your mini map every few seconds to see how things are going and where people might possibly be. For example, if you see the enemy in middle lane isn’t there, you’re pushed up to the enemy tower in bottom lane, and you have no wards covering you; you probably want to back off.

Learn to Unlock Your Camera

One of the things you should learn early is to lock / unlock your camera as needed. This helps you view other parts of the map when necessary and especially helps you in lane if you’re on red side. Not to say it isn’t useful for blue side but because of the locked positioning of the camera, it’s harder to look down a lane if you’re on red side. Go into a custom match and mess around with the settings that seem most comfortable to you. I personally have my lock / unlock camera button configured to my space bar.

Do Not Face Check Brushes

This means if you don’t know where everyone is and you want to go into a lane bush nearby to check, don’t. Stop and assess how safe it is. If the enemy is in there, they have the element of surprise and are ready to take you down to get first blood. This tactic is used quite a bit at low level in the top and bottom lanes.  Instead, you can stay a nice distance away from the brush and last hit minions until you see them (don’t push out too far though). If you have a ward, you can use that or a ranged skill you can shoot in the brush to check it. This does two things:

  1. Ensures you are safe to enter the brush
  2. Makes any enemies in the brush second guess themselves

Note that if you check a part of the brush with a range ability and it doesn’t hit, it doesn’t mean that they’re not in the brush; the skill could miss the person. The most sure-fire way is with a ward. Usually your side of the jungle is safe early game unless there is a level one invade or the enemy jungler is in there. Lane brushes are safe as long and you have an idea of where the enemy is. If you know an enemy is in a brush, you can fake having a ward in there by going into the brush in numbers. That would scare off any cautious player. Eventually, as you play more, you’ll be able to assess for yourself how safe a brush is to just walk in it without any worries of dying.

Never Cross The River Alone

This is related to the point above. If you don’t know or have an idea of where the enemy is, don’t cross the river (to the enemy side) alone. At least don’t do it without a ward. The exception to this is if your backing up your jungler to invade the enemy jungle or if you’re a jungler trying to counter jungle (aka steal the enemy jungle camps).

Follow Up Jungler Movements & Ganks

As you should be keeping an eye on your mini map, you should keep an eye on your jungler. Your jungler might ping for an incoming gank or not and just go in. If the jungler waits at a nearby brush, they’re probably waiting for an opening. You might have to create that opening by zoning the enemy into an ideal spot to start the gank. You should also aid your jungler if they get spotted out and if you’re nearby. Also note that if a lane is doing well, they might come to support you in your lane so look out for those moments as well. Don’t follow up ganks if you can’t get anything out of the attempt or might die trying to get a successful gank. For example, you are at 200 health and out of mana while the enemy is at full health and full mana. Use a retreat ping to signal you don’t want a gank or to signal you can’t follow up a gank. The person coming to gank for you will have to make a choice: to go somewhere else or try to gank by themself.

Wards Wins Games

Too many times have I seen games lost because of poor ward coverage; usually during laning phase or mid game. Before you blame the support, no. Stop right there. Everyone can get a free warding trinket and can buy at least 1 ward for themselves during laning phase. If bot lane does poorly, you can help getting map vision with buying 1 or 2 more wards. Don’t get too carried away with buying wards though as it might take away from building the items you need to fight. The only one who is exempt in most cases for buying wards is the Attack Damage ranged carry because their items cost a lot. There are also free trinkets that assist with clearing enemy wards.

Know When To Head Back To Base

There are times when you get really low but you don’t want your tower to take damage. If you don’t have health potions on you to regain health, then it’s probably a good time to head back to base. Your tower may take damage but think about it. If you’re opponent is at full health and mana and has the capability to dive you, it’ll more likely happen if you’re at 100 hp. Go back, buy stuff, head back to lane as quickly as you can. It’s better to lose a tower and farm again then to die and lose a tower. The times where you want to stick around is when you want to bait an enemy in so that a teammate can fight them or in team fights where it’s worth dying for.

If You Know You’re Gonna Die, Die Like A Boss

If you’re going to die and you know you can’t do anything about it but have a chance to take someone with you or do damage so that another teammate can pick up the kill, then do it! If the enemy is low from killing you, it will most likely force them to head back to base and the threat of that enemy engaging in another lane is gone. If you get a person low and someone else picks up the kill you both get gold from it so it’s worth it.

Engage Team Fights Well

Team fights are what games generally come down to. If your team fights better then the other one, then it’s most likely that you’ll win. Team fights usually start with someone engaging (be it the enemy or you), by an enemy getting caught out or someone on your team starting the fight. If a team engages, it’s usually because an opening is seen to start a fight. Depending on what you’re playing, it’s up to you to fulfill your role. If you’re tanky, protect your squishy teammates by being inbetween them and the enemy. If you are ranged damage, stay behind your tanky teammates and dish out damage. If you know you’re powerful enough to go up closer, by all means do so. If you’re an assassin, dip in and out of the fight doing burst damage. I think you get the point. How to engage a team isn’t really set in stone. For example, your caster might be the one you need to engage team fights.

KS = Kill SECURED and Nothing Else

You’ll see this early-mid level to 30 where you take out a person and they call KS as in “kill steal”. The only, and I mean ONLY valid kill steal is if the person got the enemy down to really low health and can easily get the kill and then you swoop in and take the kill. Otherwise ignore these remarks and keep playing. I remember a game where a person kept calling KS on me every time, even if I was 1v1 and they came afterwards to the fight. I ignored the person and kept playing normally. If you don’t ignore it, it leads to hesitations in fights. If you’re worried about “kill stealing” you’re going to try to not kill the enemy and that could lead to the enemy getting away or even worse, killing you, your teammate, or both! Again, don’t worry too much about it and just go for it to secure kills.

Watch a Stream

I learned a ton about the game just by watching LoL streamers. You’d be surprised on what you could learn. Check out Twitch’s LoL streams and you might find one you enjoy and can learn from.

Some Acronyms and Terms

Don’t have to learn them all at once, you’ll eventually learn them as you play. I listed the ones most heard:

  • ADC – Attack Damage Carry
  • AP – Ability Power
  • ARAM – All Random All Mid
  • Baron – Baron Nashor (buff + global gold)
  • Blue – Ancient Golem (buff)
  • CC – Crowd Control (things that reduce of removes movement)
  • Creeps – aka Minions
  • CS – Creep Score
  • Drag/Drake – Dragon (global gold)
  • Gank – Ambush someone by surprise
  • KS – Kill SECURED (If you see Kill Steal, ignore)
  • MIA / SS – Missing in Action
  • Red – Elder Lizard (buff)

Learn the Basics of ALL The Roles

I’ve seen people level to 30 just playing a specific role or 2. You should learn the basics of all the roles in order to understand the mechanics they provide. I will cover each of the roles in Parts 4 through 8 of this guide, so don’t fret if you don’t know where to get started. You don’t need to be a master at every role; just enough to do a decent job.

Stow The Blame Game

More in depth in Part 2 but don’t bash someone if they’re not doing well. This distracts the person and not only lowers their morale, but the team’s morale. It can also lead to a text war between the both of you and you’re both just wasting time and giving the enemy team a free win. If you have nothing good or constructive to say, just don’t say anything at all.

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

Not to be taken literally but let me explain. In the most general cases, if some people do badly in lane, people are inclined to surrender. I say hold up till mid game. Team fights and objectives usually determines how the rest of the game will go. If you’re losing all your team fights and not getting any objectives, then maybe a surrender is the best solution. If you see you can win team fights and take objectives as a team then you have a chance to come back. I personally like to play games out but if everyone on my team wants to call it a day, I won’t deny the surrender vote.

And those are the basics you need to know to play League of Legends well starting out. I’ll add more topics to this post if any pop up. In Part 2, I’ll be covering how to deal with toxicity in League of Legends matches.

It was long but thanks for the read! If you felt I missed something let me know in the comments!

Age’s League of Legends Season 4 Basics Guide: Part 8 – The Jungler

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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

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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:

  • Hunter’s Machete – The standard start item for junglers, helps with more damage on jungle monsters.
  • Spirit of the Ancient Golem – An item built from machete which provides health, health and mana regen, cooldown and tenacity.
  • Spirit of the Elder Lizard – An item built from machete which provides attack damage, health and mana regen, cooldown, and burn damage over a short period with basic attacks and spells.
  • Spirit of the Spectral Wraith – An item built from machete which provides ability power, mana regen, cooldown, and spell vamp.
  • Wriggle’s Lantern – An item built from machete which provides attack damage, life steal, and the ability to place a regular ward that will go on cooldown for 3 minutes. It evolves into Feral Flare after 30 stacks from monster kills, champion kills and assists which provides more to the base stats of Wriggles.
  • Mercury Threads – Great for magic resist and tenacity.
  • Ruby Sightstone – Provides health and wards. Very useful for getting vision in the enemy jungle.
  • Spirit Visage – Provides health, magic resist, cooldown reduction, health regen and increases the rate of self healing, health regen, lifesteal and spell vamp.
  • Liandry’s Torment – An AP item that provides ability power, health, magic penetration and does extra damage over time for a short duration on an enemy champion that you cast a spell on.

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 armor, magic resist and attack damage. An alternative rune page I have is for hybrid junglers which has attack speed and armor and magic penetration. Lifesteal is another option you can go for.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Early Game

In the beginning, you’ll usually want to start out with Hunter’s Machete and 5 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. Ancient Golem (Blue Buff) – 1st spawns at 1:55, respawns every 5 minutes after death
  2. Elder Lizer (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 – 1st spawns at 15:00, 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 at Ancient Golem for a good supply of mana and work your way to a camp then proceed to Elder Lizard. 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 could be a better option because you’re not mana dependent.

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 get 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 mark is usually a good time for Dragon, be sure to have your Smite skill ready. Usually you’d want to gank bot 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 so that the enemy team can’t engage you while you take Baron
  • 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 clicking on it and checking the health. 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.

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.

Secure

This is important for junglers to know. Your Smite summoner skill is used to secure jungle objectives; mainly blue buff, red buff, dragon, and Baron. In the mid to late game you do not want to use your smite if your next move 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 & Invasion Routes

I guessing you might need a bit of help with jungling and invading paths so… here’s a picture (Season 3 version until new SR map comes in)!

gank-routes

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 the route jungling on the blue team can take, purple arrows are for routes the jungler on the purple team can take. Red arrows signify routes either team’s jungler can take. Note that these 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 (ex 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 4 minutes.

The yellow arrows are 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 rarely see this 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!