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Thoughts On League Of Legends Season 4 Summer LCS Week 8

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Week 8 things cool off and teams are showing some odd behavior. Let’s go over what went down.

Europe Week 8

For EU LCS, first want to cover Alliance and SK Gaming. Both teams came out strong in the split but now it seems that they’re falling off as each team lost both their games. Alliance’s Wicked said they’re ready for Week 9 so let’s see what they’ve got left. SK Gaming I’m a bit worried about because they usually have a poor laning phase but make up for it in the late game. Now with their late game shot, they really need to shape up in all periods of a game. ROCCAT, Fnatic and the Copenhagen Wolves have all stepped up their game and each went 2-0 in the week. Gambit Gaming has some inner turmoil so I sadly see them getting relegated at this rate. Darrien and Diamond got benched for this week but Diamond is coming back or the rest of the split.

North America Week 8

In the NA LCS everyone was wondering if Curse had what it took to make it to Worlds thanks to their 3-1 performance last week. The answer is…. we don’t know. Despite their hard schedule last week, Curse fell flat and went 0-2 against Evil Geniuses and compLexity (that 80 mins game was intense!), the two weakest teams in the NA LCS. Not good. I’m not sure if that last week was a fluke or not. We’ll have to see if they can play better this week but against Dignitas and Cloud 9 I’m not sure. Speaking of, Dignitas is another team that fell flat going 0-2 as well. I really think teams are figuring out how to play against Dignitas in addition to adapting to the patches faster. Cloud 9 went 1-1 losing to Team Solo Mid which is rare but giving C9’s current condition, it’s not too surprising. Counter Logic Gaming and LMQ are the teams that went 2-0 and are tied for 1st at the moment. I’m glad that CLG got back into focus as their Super week didn’t seem all there to me. For Evil Geniuses, sadly it looks like relegation for them despite their 1-1 in the week.

Interesting Picks

Millienium’s Jree used Blitzcrank this week and it pulled out a win for them… no pun intended. Gragas and Yorick have seen some play in the top lane to some success. Fnatic’s Rekkles actually pulled out his Vayne which he did super well with (9/1/8).

Predictions For Week 9

I expect good performances by ROCCAT, if they keep up morale, and Fnatic in the EU LCS. The Wolves I’m not so sure, I’m thinking 1-1 at best since they face Fnatic and SK Gaming. We’ll see if Alliance and SK Gaming whipped themselves back into shape this week. In NA, I expect TSM, CLG and LMQ to do well. DIG and C9 right now are a hit and miss at the moment. This week will be Curse’s chance to show that Super Week wasn’t a fluke for them. compLexity I’m interested in watching because they’re usually the wildcard. After week 9, I’ll make a prediction for top 3 teams for Worlds.

Thoughts On League Of Legends Season 4 Summer LCS Week 7

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Week 7 is super week and featured some interesting surprises and upsets. Let’s break it down a bit.

Europe Week 7

For EU LCS, I want to first cover ROCCAT. They went 3-1 in Super Week losing to Fnatic. I think it’s exactly what they needed to pick up again so we’ll see if the confidence transitions into next week. Copenhagen Wolves made an upset taking a game off of Alliance and quite handily as well! Fnatic looked really good in the Super Week, especially the support YellowStar. Gambit seems to be off losing all of their games. It seems they lost their synergy. SK Gaming looked a bit off this week getting utterly dumpstered by Alliance.

North America Week 7

This week in the NA LCS was definitely about Curse. They went 3-1 against top teams losing to only TSM. Xpecial did exceptionally well looking like his All Star self on Thresh. compLexity played the “blue shell” role beating Dignitas. Actually, complexity did really well in the week. Mistakes were made but they played well overall. Team Solo Mid is looking better going 3-1. Dignitas can’t shake the last day losses and went 2-2. Counter Logic Gaming looked a bit less stronger this week going 2-2 as well. Evil Geniuses sadly did not pick up any wins and I guess we can assume it means they’re getting relegated unless they get an amazing comeback. Cloud 9 is still not in the greatest of shapes and with 4.11 patch coming in, it’ll be even harder.

Interesting Picks

ROCCAT’s Overpow used Xerath and was able to have a better game on it. Fnatic’s Rekkles used Vayne vs Gambit. Despite the range on the current ADCs, Rekkles was able to do well. Twisted Fate is getting a lot more play now. C9’s Balls used Mundo and was super tanky early so he was able to peel for the rest of his team for a win.

Predictions For Week 8

I’m interested to see how ROCCAT, Curse and compLexity do this week. Considering their successes (or near successes) I want to see if they have what it takes to make play offs. SK and C9 I’ll be watching for improvement as they haven’t been looking as well as they have been. So who will be top 3 by next week in each region? Especially with NA having 4 ties for first? Can’t wait to find out!

Thoughts On League Of Legends Season 4 Summer LCS Week 6

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Week 6 has a change of pace in Europe and NA proves to be a place where anyone can win.

Europe Week 6

In EU LCS everyone went one and one except for Alliance who went 2-0 and ROCCAT who sadly went 0-2. It seems ROCCAT’s main issue is confidence at the moment. Rather, the problem is that they lack it. I’m a little worried that they won’t have enough in order to try to not get relegated. SK Gaming is another team I’m a bit worried about. They seem to be a bit out of sorts lately. Hopefully it doesn’t transition badly into Super Week.

North America Week 6

This week in the NA LCS every team won and lose a game each! Again! And on blue side to boot! The strangeness of this is just amazing. I really don’t have much to say other than every team is finding their stride. I would be a bit worried about Evil Geniuses and Curse at the moment. Really surprised compLexity took a game off of Cloud 9 though. I’ll definetly be looking towards Super Week where I think we’ll all get a view of how these teams are really doing.

Interesting Picks

Korea made Kog Maw popular again and this champ has appeared in the EU and NA LCS with decent success. Tristana and Skarner also made an appearance due to the changes in the 4.10 patch. They both had some success here and there. Sona was used by Bubbadub vs C9 and did well. Ryze made an appearance. Support Karthus made an appearance as well.

Predictions For Week 7

No real predictions but more observations as to tell me how each team is doing. Hopefully, we’ll see some upsets. I’m guessing out of all the teams in NA and EU, Alliance has the best chance to go 4-0. We shall see what happens!

Thoughts On League Of Legends Season 4 Summer LCS Week 5

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Week 5 we see a swap as NA LCS performs first and EU LCS on the weekend! Of course that doesn’t mean there are games to talk about so let’s hop into it!

Europe Week 5

EU LCS was in London for this week. Gambit Gaming had 4 subs play this week due to VISA issues so not much was expected from Gambit this week. However, they did put up good matches against Fnatic and ROCCAT. ROCCAT did well this week vs Millenium as well. Fnatic recently picked up Araneae (Millenium’s ex jungler) as a coach/analyst. It didn’t stop Millienium from beating Fnatic though. If they keep it up, I think Millienium has a really good chance to go to worlds. Alliance dominate this week beating SK Gaming and Copenhagen Wolves. SUPA HOT CREW got a new support, ,was against SK and the Wolves. They were able to get a game off the Wolves.

North America Week 5

This week in the NA LCS every team won and lose a game each! TSM seem to be coming back to it’s potential as they did well in both their games this week coming close to winning against Dignitas. Bjergsen looked a bit off this week though so I hope he can get use to shot calling while making the plays. Speaking of Dignitas, they seem to gain confidence in their first game and lose the other one. They gotta work on it or something, I have no idea what’s up with that. Cloud 9 is another team picking it up againts the split progresses but they’re not quite there just yet. CLG have been looking as the most consistent team so far in my opinion, even after losing to Curse. Also, Curse have been looked really good this week considering they fought C9 and CLG. Evil Geniuses and compLexity still need work but maybe they can be a threat because quite honestly, these teams are the biggest wildcards taking wins off the top teams when least expected.

Interesting Picks

Champs that made it in this week quite a bit were Jarvan the 4th, and Jinx. Jarvan is a great champion but it seems that bruisers in the jungler aren’t as effective right now. I found that the Jinx pick was an especially interesting frequency. I guess with the addition of Braum players starting picking her up again.

Predictions For Week 6

For Europe, I’ve be watching Millenium and ROCCAT as they both have matches against SK and Alliance. Let’s see how they fair. For North America, TSM faces CLG and LMQ so those will be games to look forward to. Dignitas faces LMQ and CLG the next day so we’ll see if that win first day lose the next day trend continues. And that’s Week 5! See ya  for Week 6!

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!