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League of Legends: Lane phase

Lane phase

As stated before, the current meta-game for AD Carries and Support is to hit the bottom lane and play it as a team. Out of all the lanes, bottom is probably the lane that sees the least action at the early to middle phases of the game, and will most likely stay as a two-on-two skirmish between the two sides, with occasional backtracking due to Jungler or mid-lane interference. During the early phases of the game, the only times that both of you move out of your lane is when your team decides to contest for dragon, or when your team foresees a clash at the bottom half area of the map.

 

The AD Carry’s guide to awesomeness:

 

Phase one: early game

Basic tactic one: the art of last-hitting

Last-hitting is timing your attacks so that when your attack connects with the target, you land the killing blow. Last-hitting is important because, if mastered, it enables you to itemize much faster than an enemy who has not mastered the art of last-hitting.

I cannot stress the importance of learning this skill. Not only is it a technique used by the AD Carry, but it is an essential skill that is required by every single player who aspires to improve themselves in League of Legends. It also increases your gold acquiring capabilities by tenfold.

If you desire to practice AD Carries last-hitting, Caitlyn is a good choice. She has the furthest opening range, and her attack animations are clear and fast. Next on the list of champion types would be the melee champions. Xin Zhao makes a good practice dummy, as his auto-attacks are also clear and fast. For targeted spell last-hitting, Annie is a good choice. Her Q spell, Disintegrate, refunds the full mana cost when it lands the killing blow.

Basic tactic two: support coordination

Although farming is high up in your priority list, coordinating pokes, aggressive or defensive plays are also important. If you Support spots out an opportunity and goes in for the assault, more often than not, you will have to drop whatever you are doing and focus on the enemy your Support has targeted to ensure that your side is able to dish out the maximum damage possible.

What this achieves, if successfully executed, is that you are able to put immense pressure on your enemies in the lane. In the best case scenario, you walk away with a kill. However, most of the time, it is to deter the enemy from farming minion kills, as he knows that if he goes in for the last hit, he’s going to lose a few bar of hit points with it.

Likewise, if your Support gets attacked, going in for the counter-offense is also extremely important. We call that a ‘trade’. When both teams are trading damage with each other, the side which takes less damage also gains lane superiority. Although, you are relatively safe from enemy fire when your Support gets focused, but do be mindful, some tactics involve aiming the Support, making him burn his defensive cooldowns on himself, then swapping over to the now vulnerable AD Carry and vice versa.

Advance tactic one: lane minion control

Although minions are mindless idiots who walk a fixed path and charge stupidly to their own deaths (while kindly providing us with a reliable meat-shield from tower damage when you siege them), your hero’s actions can greatly influence the movement of the minions within the lane.

Ideally, to minimize pushing the lane too far out, which makes your lane susceptible to Ganks from the enemy, players prefer to farm the creeps on a ‘one hit, one kill’ basis, meaning, the only time you attack the minion is the final hit that will end its life. Below are some scenarios that might occur in the bottom lane, and the location you want the minion collision to be at.

If you are playing against a very aggressive enemy composition, you want to keep the enemy minions more towards your side of the map. The ideal location for this situation is just a short distance away from your tower and just slightly out of its attack range, so you do not lose minions to the tower. The benefits of doing this is that it makes it harder for the enemy Jungler to Gank you while farming, it also deters the aggressive opponents from jumping on to you or your support, because both of you are so near the proximity of your tower.

When the enemy AD returns to his base or is dead, a good choice of action would be to clear the enemy minion wave as fast as possible, so your minion wave is pushed into the range of the enemy turret. The benefits of doing this is that, for the duration that the enemy AD Carry is not in lane, he loses out on the minions that are killed by the tower, and this further increases the gold gap between you and the enemy AD Carry.

Advance tactic two: global objective, operation Dragon control

AD Carries usually have the highest consistent damage, and the situation that requires the most consistent damage is the securing of global objectives, like Dragon and Baron Nashor. For this section, I will be focusing more on Dragon, as this is the Early-Game section of the guide. Each Dragon kill provides a team-wide bonus of 190 gold, per player, and 25 extra gold for the killer. That is a whopping 975 gold for a well-coordinated Dragon kill that can be taken down in less than 10 seconds.

Being dwellers of the bottom lane, the lane nearest to Dragon, being present at Dragon attempts are extremely important. As an AD Carry, you usually deal the most damage to the Dragon, and if a team clash does happen, it also means opportunities to attain champion kills, which will further increase your champion’s farm.

Knowing the best opportunity to take Dragon is an acquired skill. Some common situations to take Dragon includes:

Outnumbering the enemy – Multiple enemy Ganks on your top-laner, which means that the enemies there will not be able to arrive in time to contest for Dragon
- Successfully killing off the enemy champions at bottom-lane or mid-lane
- Scoring an Ace, and ensure to capitalize on this if your team leaves the fight with too little health to attempt Baron Nashor.

Superior map intelligence – Knowing that the enemy lacks wards around the area, providing you with the opportunity to stealth-kill Dragon
- Knowing when Dragon spawns, and gaining area control a few seconds before it becomes active.

 

Phase two: mid game

This is the phase of the game where you start to become a threat to your enemies, as you probably will have an end-game item or most of the components of an end-game item by this time.

 

Vital tactic 1: stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive

To your enemies, you are the best-looking person on your team, the apple of their eyes and they all want to hit on you. And by hit on you, I mean, they literally want to smash you with whatever means possible, with whatever they have at their disposal, from bare-hands to weapons to magicl over 9000 kilometre-long swords falling from the skies. Because everyone wants you dead so badly, it is your job to make it as hard as possible for them to kill you, because the longer you stay alive, the more time you and your team will have to be able to pick your enemies off.

An advice: one of the world’s best AD Carry, Kang “Cpt Jack” Hyung-woo from team Azubu Blaze, stated that you have to deal as much damage as possible while you try to live. “To be a good AD Carry, you have to be able to survive, regardless of the situation, and be the last player that keeps on dealing damage. However, if you aren’t dealing damage because you are trying to live, you wouldn’t be a good AD player.”

One tactic that will give you an advantage in this field is to stay out of enemy vision before the team-fight breaks out, and enter when you notice the enemy has blown some of their major spells on your teammates. You lose some damage-time, but you gain the advantage of coming in when the risk of getting focused is lowered.

 

Vital tactic 1.1: positioning, positioning, positioning

What is positioning? Good positioning is having your champion at a location that allows you to deal as much damage, while taking as little damage, if not no damage at all. I cannot stress the importance of learning this skill. Many games are lost in high level games due to bad positioning of the players from the team that lost. Unlike other MOBA, the loss of 1 player in the team, especially the Carries, can spell defeat for the game.

In team-fights, many people have this misconception that an AD Carry’s job is to take out the enemy Carries as quickly as possible, while putting themselves at risk. This is incorrect, as more often than not, you will not be able to reach the enemy Carries unless they come into your face, or the enemy front-liners are dead. And emphasizing on the advice from Cpt Jack: never put yourself in a compromising position, but instead, rain as much devastation as possible on whomever you can target at that given point in time, or what you feel to be the most threatening target within your champion’s attack range.

Timing movements between your attacks is also extremely beneficial to keeping yourself alive and preventing dying enemies from escaping. The name of this next skill an AD Carry has to learn is called “Kiting”; it means to keep as much of a distance as you can from melee enemies, while raining auto-attacks on their team. A moving target is always harder to hit than a stationary target, thus, constant repositioning in team-fight will make it harder for the enemies to focus you down.

Phase three: late game

Who’s your daddy? You are your own daddy. At this phase of the game, you should be the highest threat to your enemies, as you possess the strongest consistent damage out of all your team-mates, and have successfully racked up 2 to 3 end-game items. An analogy for you in the late game phase is: you are a ninja plushie, equipped with a Gatling gun and moving swiftly and avoiding enemy fire, while rapidly filling them with arrows or lead.

 

Vital tactic: identical to phase two

Your job in phase three is pretty much identical to that in phase two, except that, at this point of the game, you getting caught out of position can instantly spell defeat for your team. Also, your enemies will love to sink their weapons into you more than ever at this phase of the game, as you will probably have the lowest life and highest damage in your entire team.

 

Survival tactic 1: mind your own business

Team-fights at this phase of the game are usually messy, and it is extremely hard to keep track of everything that is going on. Thus, you might want to reduce the things you choose to focus on in these big team-fights, to things you need to focus most in these fights. As an AD Carry, keeping an eye on your champion should be number one on your list.

I understand some of the issues faced by newer AD Carries, as personally, before I transitioned to play this role, my primary roles were either Jungle or Top and, usually, members of these two lanes are thicker and in the face of the enemies to keep them off your team. As such, you have to watch the enemy’s position, as well as your team’s, and that will cause you to focus less on your own champion. So when I first transitioned to the AD Carry role, there were countless times where I lost sight of my champion, and when I finally caught sight of him again, he was already kissing the floor like a romantic scene from Twilight.

As an AD Carry, you have to be extremely self-centred and stay alive, regardless of the situation. Newer AD Carries, like me in the past, tend to focus too much on the enemy you are targeting, and lose sight of your champion. (Players call this “Tunnel Vision”) But as an AD Carry, if you happily keep firing while stupidly waltzing into your enemy lines, you will get destroyed instantly, which will spell disaster for your team, as the enemy now possesses more damage output and will always — always — keep an eye on your champion.

 

Survival tactic 2: survival items

Possessing a survival item is paramount to succeeding in the late game when the opponents will try their best to lock you down. I would recommend Guardian Angel or Banshee’s Veil. As a summoner, you should be able to decide on what survival items are best suited to maximize your chances of staying alive.

Guardian Angel is ideal for most situations, but I would say that it is for situations when the enemy champions have high, long ranged burst damage and low sustain damage. This grants a second wind while the enemies still have all their spells on cooldown.

Banshee’s Veil is less commonly used in the tournament scene, but it is good for situations where the opponent has an AP Carry, which possesses high, focused target burst. A good example of this type of champion is Leblanc, and the extra magic resist and spell shield will be able to block off a good chunk of her burst damage, keeping you alive.

Quicksilver Sash is not an item that I will recommend for newer players, as newer players in the heat of battle tend to forget that they have this item. But I would say, under the hands of a skilled player, this survival item definitely has the highest utility compared to the rest, and it is so much cheaper compared to the other 2 choices, as well. What this item does is remove all enemy debuffs that are affecting your champion. At the end of this article, I will recommend some professional AD Carry players for you guys to check out, and you can see how these skilled players abuse, so disgustingly well, the utility of this item.

One tactic that will give you an advantage in this field is to stay out of enemy vision before the team-fight breaks out, and enter when you notice the enemy has blown some of their major spells on your teammates. You lose some damage-time, but you gain the advantage of coming in when the risk of getting focused is lowered.

Vital tactic 1.1: positioning, positioning, positioning

What is positioning? Good positioning is having your champion at a location that allows you to deal as much damage, while taking as little damage, if not no damage at all. I cannot stress the importance of learning this skill. Many games are lost in high level games due to bad positioning of the players from the team that lost. Unlike other MOBA, the loss of 1 player in the team, especially the Carries, can spell defeat for the game.

In team-fights, many people have this misconception that an AD Carry’s job is to take out the enemy Carries as quickly as possible, while putting themselves at risk. This is incorrect, as more often than not, you will not be able to reach the enemy Carries unless they come into your face, or the enemy front-liners are dead. And emphasizing on the advice from Cpt Jack: never put yourself in a compromising position, but instead, rain as much devastation as possible on whomever you can target at that given point in time, or what you feel to be the most threatening target within your champion’s attack range.

Timing movements between your attacks is also extremely beneficial to keeping yourself alive and preventing dying enemies from escaping. The name of this next skill an AD Carry has to learn is called “Kiting”; it means to keep as much of a distance as you can from melee enemies, while raining auto-attacks on their team. A moving target is always harder to hit than a stationary target, thus, constant repositioning in team-fight will make it harder for the enemies to focus you down.