Hey guys! Back from the past, I decided to bump this guide back up, see if it can help anyone else. I figure with the S3 changes and whatnot there's a few sections that will have outdated info (mostly talk about "Elo," since that's hidden now), but the majority (95%) is still incredibly relevant and useful.
Be warned though, this thing is massive! Uh. There's still more I want to add to it too. I've got a list of topics up so if you are here for a specific reason feel free to scroll to it.
And honestly if you are reading this for the first time (or returning and remembering) and you find it useful, please upvote and bump, keep it alive. I'd like to help as many people as possible, and when people see +84 they're much more likely to pay attention to the info.
And without further ado, here it is:
List of Topics (the actual titles are a lot more entertaining, but for search purposes, I've posted cut-and-dry titles here):
2. The Point of the Game
3. Zombie Mode (BRAIIINSSSSS!!!)
4. Stupid Theories
5. Supports, and Why They Can Carry (Nope You're Wrong, They Can)
6. Communication in Queue
7. The Importance of Auto-Attacking
8. The Difference Between Knowledge and Action
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9. Understanding Your Role - What Is It You're Supposed to Do!?
10. The Difference Between "Doing Well" and "Carrying"
11. The Psychological Snowball Effect
12. More On Carrying
13. Stop Dying!
14. Productive Teamfights
14b. Why Some Champions Can't Carry
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17. Map Awareness
18. More on Map Awareness (NEW!! Post-S3 Update!)
19. Why You Won!
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Elo Heaven Community Information
When I picked up this game again after a long hiatus, I was parking at an Elo of 500 (hence the reason I quit). It's taken me awhile to throw that number out, because it's embarrassing. Before making this guide I shot all the way up to 874 Elo (This was RIGHT when they introduced Diamond, and made the changes to how the Elo bracket was displayed, so I saw that number every time I logged in). I then had, after typing this and posting it, a string of either really bad luck or a horrible "non-carry" attitude, or both, and dropped all the way to...I think the lowest I got was 687. This upset me because I thought I had gained considerable skill to carry. I took a little week or so break from ranked, improved my skills a little, took my own advice, and I'm currently sitting (after a 14/1 win streak) at 906 Elo.
Not a horribly impressive Elo, I understand, but it's over 200 Elo above where I was a week or two ago, and it's 400 Elo above where I started. The **** in this guide is true. I realize I'm the one who wrote it so I have a slighted opinion, but it's still true. Stop. Blaming. Others. It is possible to carry 14 wins - especially if you duo with someone you trust.
I'm also part of a community that helps out lower Elo players. I've learned a lot from players that are as high as 2200 Elo - and let me tell you that after experiencing a custom game where I had to LANE against one of these guys, they earned that Elo fair and square, and if you think you are on par with them you're dead wrong. If you want to be a part of this community ask me about it, and I can give you details. There's honestly nothing that will help you more than a massive slice of Humble Pie. Getting dominated is the best way to understand that you really do have a lot to learn, so if that sounds interesting let me know and I will hook you up. I'm a recruiter for the community so I have special powers and stuff. Also I have a shiny name on the website. Go me.
So, as we established, I am in low ELO, and there are a few things that I've noticed that will help you immensely. This is sort of going to be a list of things that cause your game to go south, and then tips and "Did You Think of This?" type stuff as well.
The Plan is to keep adding to it as I experience and remember more things. Other input is appreciated (but don't be offended if I don't put it in). This guide is not intended to have obvious things in it, it's intended to have things that perhaps you've never thought of before.
Also, keep checking back because I am slowly updating it with more information. If you find this information valuable, please give me a +1. The more a post is upvoted, the more people pay attention to it and consider it "good advice." I think it's good advice, and I want the word to get out. If you feel the same a contribution of one upvote (it's free!!) would help immensely in this regard.
Comments and encouragement are always appreciated as well guys! Thanks and enjoy reading!
I'm going to begin with something that many others have said and yet I feel it should be reiterated:
How's your mood? Imagine if instead of reading this you were just getting into a ranked queue. How do you feel? If you have that "pit in your stomach" feel, then chances are you are going to play like you have a pit in your stomach. What I mean is you are going to play passively, and this can allow someone who is in a better mood than you to bully you. If you are pissed off because of flamers and trolls, then you are going to play like you are pissed off. I have a friend that does this constantly. He's incredible at League of Legends with just about any champion on any lane, except for when things don't quite go as planned. Especially when he feels robbed of a kill because they got away with like no health. He gets really mad and then continues to feed and feed because he plays too aggressive. There's a reason humans don't hunt lions with their hands - they're a lot stronger than we are. Grabbing the smarter kill instead of the gamble kill is a lot easier to do when you are in a relaxed mood. League of Legends is not a relaxing game, don't use it to de-stress, it will only make your life worse if you do.
2. THE POINT OF THE GAME
Another point to bring up that is often said: You win the game by destroying the Nexus. You do this by destroying towers. That's it. Everything is secondary to these two fundamental parts of the game. You can't win the game solely by having 300+ cs. You can't do it alone. Complaining also won't win your game. Shift + Enter will not help you in any way, in fact it won't even help your mood. Consider going into your settings and not allowing yourself to see /all chat.
More on the whole "destroying towers" thing. Stop chasing champions around in the base or through the jungle when your team is pushing, please. Let them escape. By running away they are saying "Here, have my tower," you are in turn responding "**** YOU *****! COMERE!" Meanwhile it takes three pushes to do what one push should have done just fine.
There are situations where chasing is an error, yes. There are also situations where letting someone escape is an error. If you are capable of closing gaps or outrunning a lone enemy at low health, DO IT. Especially if they were on a killing spree or have an oracle or have a buff, and it won't take you too long or too far into an unwarded area of the map to do so.
Another example of where you want to ensure a kill is a fight where you've nearly aced the other team, except for their jungle or someone else capable of dealing a large burst to monsters. Normally, this would be a good time to go for a baron... but why risk the steal? I've done it myself as a jungler... the opposing team kills all of my teammates, then stops chasing me to go baron. I come back in and smite steal it. Sure, I die, but the buff transfers to any of my teammates that have respawned, and we get 1500 gold. Why would you allow that threat to remain? Finish it off. If you don't have time for baron after the chase, you can still take a turret or an inhibitor, and not risk losing a major objective.
I don't think many people realize the advantage you get when you destroy a tower. I read up on a guide once and it was enlightening. Destroying a tower opens up a section of the enemy's jungle to you. Before, it was their territory, a "go in at your own risk" sort of thing. After the tower is destroyed all of a sudden it's a lot safer to enter it.
I hear a lot of people saying to wait to destroy a tower because it unbalances farming opportunity. I say they're full of ****. You still have just as much opportunity because their jungle has just been opened to you. They're at just as much risk as you when they're farming. Say you destroy bot lane's purple tower. Their Ashe is now farming behind (for her) where her tower used to be, she thinks she's safe, well, Lee Sin (on your team) decides to be smart and goes through the tri-bush at their blue. Guess what? Ashe died. Opposite scenario, say their tower is again destroyed but YOU are now farming ahead of (for you) where Ashe's tower used to be. You were smart and warded the river and see them coming around to cut you off. Guess what you do? You go through that same blue tri-bush and hit "b," laughing at them futilely trying to make it to you. Obviously this doesn't work out all the time, but you get my point. Destroying towers is what advances the match. Towers take priority over everything except perhaps Baron and Dragon (Because teamfights at Baron and Dragon not only net you gold, but give you opportunities to...you guessed it...push more towers).
A Disclaimer on this that has been brought to my attention:
2. Pushing down a tower too early.
At higher levels of play (starting around 1300) it is actually possible to destroy a lane too early. I used to think the same way you did, but then after lots of games of testing it out and trial/error, I started to realize that you can destroy a tower too early.
Additionally, what this allows is for the opposing AD to "freeze" the lane back by their inner tower so that you've lost a lane to farm from.
SivHD does a good job explaining the advantage this gives to the lane. FYI, it works on both top and bot.
The other issue is that a tower down means roaming because there's a longer distance between towers for the minions to travel. That means more time to leave lane and gank before your tower is threatened. Some champions don't have good gank potential until later on in the game, so if you destroy a tower before you have good gank potential, then you've got some champions being put in ineffective positions.
As an AD carry, you need AD to contribute damage (burst or sustained, but burst preferably) to a gank. If you pushed down the tower before you can farm up your first big ticket item or some medley of good offense, then you'll be sitting around not doing much for awhile.
So, yes, it is possible to shove down the turret too early. It USUALLY doesn't apply, but sometimes it does.
The moral of the story, however, is to stop chasing people away from their towers and start focusing towers (and inhibitors). Kills. Are. Not. Important.
I want to talk about Zombie Mode. Some call it auto-pilot. It's basically when you've stopped thinking and you're just letting your fingers fly around the keyboard and mouse.
This is a bad thing. It happens most frequently when you're tired, upset, or hungry. You can fix the hungry thing quite easily. Sleep will have to wait until tomorrow, and if you're upset you should simply not play the game until you've calmed down. You make so many mistakes in Zombie Mode. You'll do things like engage a 1v1 without realizing how fed they are (sound familiar?), you'll forget that you are the support and you haven't warded for the past 5 minutes (sound familiar?), you'll be so focused on cs'ing your lane that you won't notice the jungler coming up through your warded bush (sound familiar?). Fix this root problem, and a lot of the surface problems fix themselves.
You can recognize how prone you will be to Zombie Mode by your attitude and thought process while starting up a new queue. Are you excited, anticipating playing another ranked challenge? Or, are you simply hitting "Play Again" without any thought process whatsoever other than the desire to keep playing the game? I promise when you are feeling good and excited about playing another game it will go better.
4. STUPID THEORIES
I need to make something very clear before I go on, because much of the rest of my points will defer back to this single-most important point. That's right, this is it, the Big One. The God of All Points, if you will.
People are full of ****, but they like to act like they're not full of ****. Especially if someone else (who is also full of ****) agrees with them.
There are a lot of random theories and whatnot circling this forum that everyone is accepting as fact, when in fact there is no way to prove that they are even remotely correct. They are a cancer, and they are destroying the fun that this game can be. A lot of very popular, very false information circulates the forum and everyone simply accepts it. One of these notions is both sides of the ELO Hell argument. I'm not here to discuss it, so I'm not going to get into at all other than to say that there are way too many factors to consider about the existence of "ELO Hell" to say whether or not it exists.
Ok, actually, I want to provide my own theory about ELO Hell. I don't really think it's there, however I do agree that low-ELO play is far less enjoyable than higher-ELO play. What I think is that many people are really as skilled as they think they are, but when you think of that in a mass-effect sort of mindset, then everyone is as skilled as they think they are, and they are all playing against each other. They also don't realize that the people above their ELO are actually even more skilled than they themselves are. To say that people in the 900-1300 ELO Range are unskilled is dumb. Try grabbing a smurf account and playing your first few blind pick games. THOSE people are unskilled. It's a joke, because they're just beginning. There's a drastic difference between those players and the players I play with every day. As in drastic. That's all I'm going to say.
5. SUPPORT LIKE A FKING BOSS, YO
Okay. I want to address all those that are saying support is worthless, or that you can't raise your ELO by playing support.
I hate you people.
I hate you because you're full of ****.
Let me repeat that. You. Are. Full. Of. ****. That's right. I said it. You are a cancer that is infecting the entire 0-1300 ELO bracket. No one wants to play support because everyone thinks that support has the least impact on the game, due to the rampant discussions and guides about making it out of ELO Hell and **** that is all over this forum talking about how worthless of a role support is.
You know where that idea stemmed from? The fact that support gets little gold and never gets kills or cs. We LOVE comparing ourselves to others, and the fact that you can't really see or compare your skill at the end of the game as a support other than by assists means they got mentally pooped on.
Almost every single guide I've seen that the actual author got out of "ELO Hell" has mained support. I'm serious. There's even a guide where the guy mained support and then said you can't get out of ELO Hell by supporting ("except I did"). The **** did that logic come from dude?
Support has a massive influence on the game. Why? I'll tell you why:
- It's the support's job to ward. Wards win games right? How did the support somehow get removed from that equation?
- It's the support's job to keep a watchful eye on things right? If they do their job correctly their team should basically know where the enemy team's jungler is at all times. Knowledge is power right? How did the support get removed from that equation?
- It's the support's job to poke the carry and either set up kills for his carry or sustain his carry through the laning phase right? Well according to our friends that are full of ****, the AD Carry has the strongest late-game influence in the game, and yet the person responsible for getting him fed and keeping him alive gets **** on again. How did the support get removed from that equation?
- You ever had your support disconnect and you had to 2v1 on a bot lane? How fun was it? What was the cs differential at the end of the laning phase? Don't ever tell me support has the smallest influence on the game again.
What I don't understand is why people don't want to support, when their role is the easiest to fulfill! (at least at lower Elo) He's required to heal or poke (or both), ward, and keep an eye on the map. That's it! But no one wants to do it, so people that should be doing it aren't. Half the time people feel they are "stuck" with support, and generally have a bad mood about the game. How sad.
This single bit of false knowledge is probably the #1 contributer to the ELO Hell mindset, I would say. Bad moods and unskilled players playing where they shouldn't. People trolling because they don't want the support role ("I called top so I guess we're gonna have two top, huh?"). Last picks hopelessly try to call a role so they don't get stuck with support. Honestly last pick should be ecstatic, because he'll have the best chance of countering the other team's picks, support should be one of the first roles picked, because you can't really counter a support. If support was instead glorified (like it honestly should be, it's a ****ing important role), then those that are good at it would play it much more often, and even though, from a mass-effect point of view, win/loss would remain the same, games would be drastically more enjoyable. Honestly when I'm feeling sort of lazy I pick support all the time because of how easy it is to succeed at the role.
You want to know the reason I think so many people that main support got out of low ELO? They WANT the role, and they GET the role every time. They're excited to play every game because they got the role they wanted, therefore they play their role at 100%. Pretty philosophical, huh?
6. DON'T JUST CALL YOUR DAMN ROLE IN QUEUE
Team composition is SOOOOOOOOoooooOOOOOOoooOOOOOOOOOooooOOOOOOOO!!!!!! !!!!!! important. The way to win a game from the queue screen is like this:
1st pick: Hey guys I'm gonna take top. Malphite.
2nd pick: Sweet, hey I'll support Alistar if he's not banned. Otherwise I can Taric or Soraka. Whatever we need.
3rd pick: Alright guys, Well I'm best at jungle and mid, I can do either really. Jungle I'd do Lee or Cho. Mid I'd probably grab Kennen.
4th pick: Go Kennen, we need the cc. I can ADC. Ezreal or Vayne, depending on their picks.
5th pick: Actually I'm not that good with jungle, care if I mid (3rd pick)? I'm really good with Malzahar.
3rd: Go for it dude. I'll grab Cho, we need the health and CC, especially if we don't get Alistar.
Then make sure you have everything needed - health, CC, damage output (preferably an assassin), and hopefully some sort of utility as well. Make any necessary changes.
If teams did this (or even half the team) they'd win every time. You can't beat organization, but everyone's too god-damned lazy to be bothered with it, and so stuck on the "role they want" that instead the convo goes like this:
1: Taking ADC.
3: Jungle then.
2: Dude I'm not supporting, I'm taking mid, sorry.
5: **** you dude, go troll somewhere else
2: I pick before you dude, deal with it. You want to call roles go to blind pick normals.
5: I'm not gonna support, guess we'll have two in mid.
4: ****ing ELO Hell.
And so on...
The point of calling roles should be to inform others below you what will be available once you're done picking. You should know every goddamn role before going ranked. "I can't support/mid/jungle/whatever" is totally unnacceptable. LEARN to do that role, for like a freaking week or more, then come the hell back.
7. DEERRRRRRRP, I LIKE TO MOVE AROUND!
While sinking into the furthest reaches of low ELO (and I mean the furthest reaches), I gained great skill at mid lane and jungle. Fizz was my main and even though I've basically stopped playing him except on occasion, he's still my most played champion by far. I learned Lee Sin and Amumu jungle as well. Whenever I got stuck with ADC I did horribly. I didn't understand why. I was last hitting well, getting fed early often, grabbing the right builds (I made sure of this), etc. etc. But by end game I'd always have a reasonable amount of assists and a ridiculous amount of deaths. My Miss Fortune stats (who I haven't played since learning what I'm going to talk about) are like 3/6/5 on average, with 136 average creep score. She's still my third highest CS average champ (all three top CS Champs for me are, by the way, AD Carries).
Then I realized something as I was getting destroyed during a game one time. It was incredibly funny, because it turned the entire game around, I think I ended up getting a triple kill (I was completely starved beforehand), and we ended up winning. The intuition was this:
All that time spent in mid-lane with Fizz had taught me valuable assassin lessons, and I am to this day a terrifying assassin with Fizz. However, an AD Carry is not an assassin, nor should they be played like one in the slightest! As an AP Assassin I would spend time on the outskirts of the fight, moving around to avoid randomly thrown skillshots, either waiting for cooldowns to end or for an opportunity to dive a carry. This is how they are played. I realized that this habit followed me when I was playing AD Carry, and I was walking around constantly in a fight, still using abilities and whatnot, but missing valuable auto-attack time - I'm sure my damage dropped by a considerable amount, as much as half of the potential that the AD Carry has. Once I realized this my AD Carry games skyrocketed.
What I did to fix this problem was I bought Ezreal, fell in love with the guy, and have used him as my go-to carry ever since. The fact that you are constantly spamming spells with him keeps the assassin feel I had, but every time I cast a spell it reminds me that I need to focus on auto-attacking. My average stats now with Ez are 8/5/9 with 160 CS. He's my top CS, and my second highest KDA champ. I'm not throwing these stats out to impress you at all, by the way. Those stats are laughable compared to other people I've seen and I realize that, I'm just showing you the incredible difference between my Ez and MF stats. Also, I'm 2 wins, 7 losses with Miss Fortune, and I'm 20 wins, 15 losses with Ezreal.
Never underestimate the effect of auto-attacks during a teamfight, and I'm not talking about just the AD Carry here. Even the odd attack thrown by a Soraka here and there can sometimes be a clinch factor in a teamfight - often times people escape with very little health, or *barely* kill someone before dying themselves.
Also, auto-attacks in lane are what separate a consistently won lane from a randomly won or lost lane (at least at my ELO). Especially if you're ranged and can avoid minion harass altogether. If you have the opportunity to throw out a random attack against your lane opponent, DO SO, especially if they are slightly overextended, (in the creep wave, not the lane) meaning if they attack back they'll receive the worse end of the minion aggro. Obviously if you know you're going to roflstomp a champion, then poking them here-and-there won't do much. But if they're reasonably intelligent, and the lane matchup isn't ridiculously in your favor, you need every advantage you can get, and all that poking adds up quickly.
8. NAW DUDE, I'M REALLY GOOD! LET ME TELL YOU WHY I'M GOOD
Knowledge and Action. The difference between the two is vast. They are both harmonious with one another and yet poisonous to one another. Essentially you can DO something without realizing why you're doing it or that you are even doing it at all, and you can also KNOW something and not do it at all. KNOWING helps you realize what you need to CHANGE in order to ACT, but it can also get in the way.
How do I mean? Let me tell you.
There was this kid awhile back, FaerellG probably knows who I'm talking about because we both had to deal with this kid. Any and every forum topic about ELO Hell that popped up you could be sure this kid would post something in it.
Every 30,000 word essay (I kid you not, most of his posts were longer than all other posts on the page combined) consisted of this format:
"Ya I do everything but you can't carry yourself out of ELO Hell, you should see the idiots I have to deal with.
*I* know that pushing the lane early is dumb, but does my support listen? Nope. He pushe's (he puts an apostrophe for ever word ending in 's') and feed's.
*I* know that grabbing [random item] on [random champion] is ineffective, and yet I get blamed.
*I* went in for a gank on mid lane as the jungler and my mid-lane didn't assist me, so instead of getting first blood with an assist, their mid got first blood and I got flamed the entire match.
step-by-painful-step of his 40 minute game example as to why he's teh pwnage and everyone else sucks, and there's no way he can get out to where he belongs
THAT'S why you can't carry out of ELO Hell."
This is the second cancer plaguing this forum. Knowledge without action. Remember always this wisdom:
"Knowledge without action is foolishness, and profiteth a man nothing." - Me, or maybe not me, it just came to me, perhaps it's in Proverbs, idk, who really cares?
If you know it's important to ward, you'll find it very easy to throw insults at the support for not warding. And yet, where are your wards brah? Also, on the flipside of this (just so we can go full-circle, I don't want to start another form of the blame game where the support feels justified for not warding), as the support, you know it's important to ward, so somehow it's not really your fault because you knew it, you just didn't do it. This is where the blame game starts. Someone knows something should be happening, doesn't want to take responsibility for it, and starts throwing blame around. The game starts going south because everyone's in a bad mood, and you lose. At the end you feel justified, and throw out statements like "report my [random champion] please," and have thoughts like "Man, stupid ****ing Taric never dropped a single ward, I hate ELO Hell."
Stop. Doing. This. It is crippling you. You are giving yourself a MASSIVE handicap, because you are "protecting" yourself from being at fault in some way. By not accepting your part of the blame, you cannot improve. You will never improve, and you will be like my friend The Example Above, always blaming and never improving.