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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)!

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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!

Age’s League of Legends Season 4 Basics Guide: Part 7 – The Solo Top

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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 champion crowd control, skill cooldowns, damage, summoner spells, 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

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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:

  • Blade of The Ruined King – This is usually a pick up for Solo Top for the 1v1 potential or split pushing. The active heal, attack speed buff and enemy slow really can help in some situations.
  • Thornmail – An item that helps versus Attack damage champions and returns some of the basic attack damage done to you.
  • Ravenous Hydra – A good Attack damage item that helps with wave clearing with it’s AoE active and passive.
  • The Black Cleaver – A good item to help shred armor and also provides health and cooldown reduction.
  • 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.

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.

Masteries are 9/21/0 focusing on a bit of damage in the offensive tree and massive defense the defense tree. If you take a carry to the top lane, you may want to focus more in the offense tree. Runes are usually standard damage marks and quins, armor seals and magic resist glyphs. Sometimes I opt to swap the AD marks for some armor pen or swap the AD quins for more armor.

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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 if you clearly have an advantage over your enemy laner, you can feel free to take them out. 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 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 becuase 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 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, 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 scary to get past by, your 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 4 Basics Guide: Part 6 – The Solo Mid

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A guide on how to avoid or to burst out 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. Mid lane isn’t as mechanically intense since you’ll be focusing on farming. 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. So 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

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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. 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:

  • Doran’s Ring – This item is a decent starting item that helps with mana sustain and a bit of ability power.
  • Sheen – This item is mainly useful on some champions that have decent basic attacks. When you use an ability, it adds on more damage on your next basic attack based on your total attack damage. It builds into Lich Bane (see below)
  • Seeker’s Armguard – An item that gives the champion armor and ability power. It builds into Zhonya’s Hourglass (see below)
  • Hextech Revolver – Good for champions that can utilize spell vamp.
  • 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.
  • 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, Heal or Teleport if it fits the lane situation or the team composition. Sometimes Ghost is good option for champions like Ryze.

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 damage in the offensive tree and some health, armor and magic resist in the defense tree. Runes focus on usual defensive runes and magic penetration and ability power.

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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 (add more points into magic resist if you are going against a caster). For my runes do the same type of thing as a caster but AD style.

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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 hybrid damage focusing more on the Ability Power side as well: Hybrid Pen Marks, Armor Seals, MR Glyphs, Ability Power Quins. Feel free to swap the marks for Attack Damage ones if you have trouble last hitting.

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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 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.

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 skills. 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 above 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. You can buy one while your jungler can buy the second ward.

Roaming is usually done when your opponent is out of lane 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 research 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 4 Basics Guide: Part 5 – The Marksman

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A guide on how to deal tons of damage as a Marksman in lane and in team fights.

Hey all, this is my Marksman guide! This role used to be called ADC for Attack Damage Carry but Riot found that the term “Marksman” better defines this role. So before we get started, I’ll state some reasons why learning how to play a Marksman is a good thing to learn.

  1. Massive boost for refining mechanics – I have to say this is insanely beneficial to you. Last hitting, kiting, learning when ganks might be coming, learning how to position, learning how to follow up fight engagements, learning how to go back to base. All of these are vital for a Marksman because for the first 10 – 20 minutes, you’ll have to apply all of these mechanics to survive and farm.

Again, just a small disclaimer, I’m not a pro marksman, but I do have a ton of experience in all the positions. These are just some general guidelines that new players need.

Popular Marksman Oriented Items

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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.
  • Mercurial Scimitar – Very useful versus CC heavy teams this item provides damage and an active cleanse
  • 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 since Bloodthirster rework. 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 – I find this is the best defense item for a Marksmen. A bit of armor and magic resist also revives you if you get bursted down in teamfights

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 and defense. This setup helps for easier last hitting and surviving harass in the early game.

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Farm

In the early stages of the game it is the Marksman has one main job: farm. Marksmens are the ones who need to get a lot of farm to get the really good damage items to deal most of the damage. Simple right? I talked about last hitting in the very first part of this guide and you’ll have to apply this to farm rather well. Of course there are times where you get zoned by the enemy support or get pushed to the tower. In those cases you’ll need to find a way to gain some ground by harassing the enemy laners. You’ll also need to learn how to farm under the tower. You might be stuck there for a while till someone can go to assist you and your Support.

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. So you should be ready to kite. Kiting is avoiding skill shots, AoEs and the like. Kiting is as easy as simply side stepping and attacking repeatedly to avoid that one skill shot that could have turned into a horrible problem. This is especially vital for Marksmen because they are squishy (Squishy means that you 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 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 since it was used in Season 3, you can look that up). Also, if you see your team is at a standstill for engaging the other team, just be patient, you don’t 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!

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

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An simple guide on how to support your Marksman 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, 70 to 80% of the time you will probably have to play Support.
  2. You’ll learn how to appreciate Support players – Supports in game are the most under-appreciated players in a team. This is mostly because they don’t get the kills and give all the minion farm to the AD Carry / Marksman. 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

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I figure I’d start with listing some support items. From left to right, these items 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Heal to help a dying ally, 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 runes focus on defenses, health and damage. Gold per five runes aren’t needed as much due to Season 4 changes to Support gold income. There are two types of support masteries I 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 (0/15/15). If you want, you can build more into Defense for tankier stats or in 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).

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Protect

In the early stages of the game it is the Support’s job to protect the AD Carry / Marksman 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 / Marksman 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 / Marksman
  • Protecting / Buffing / Healing your AD Carry / Marksman

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. 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.

Ward

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.

Support Lane Wards

Support Lane Wards (Click for Full Image)

Let’s break down this image a bit. First off, no, you don’t have to ward EVERY indicated area. 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) so that the enemy jungler will not gank you from behind.  This goes for the purple team as well (the tri-brush for purple team would be the brush to the left of the purple turret). 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 / Marksman can’t farm, you could place a ward in the lane brush in order to prevent any hostile action from the enemy laners.

Some of these 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.

For trinkets, usually everyone starts with the Warding Trinket (yellow one) but Supports should switch to a Sweeper Trinket once they have a Sightstone. Sometimes you’ll see some supports start with a Sweeper trinket.

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. In team fights your likely to get low. 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 kite in a way that baits the enemy team to try to kill you but allows your team mates to dish out damage.

So those are the general guidelines on how to Support. You can have variations of supporting so by all means you can use that if you find you’re good at it. Also, if you see your Support doing a good job, tell them. 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!