League Basic Player Guide

League of legends is a game that requires a lot of information to be consumed in order to get into the game. Trying to consume all information at once can feel overbearingly difficult and makes it hard to improve at the game. So, how you play out the game and practise it will greatly affect how fast you will learn the fundamentals of the game.

It will be important that you try to keep it simple for yourself, do not complicate things in game. When you are looking to improve keep your champion pool short, going into to each game with the same champion will ease you the pain of having to learn a new champion each game. Instead you may keep your full attention at learning the actual game League of Legends and its fundamentals as stated later in this document. What I recommend is having a single main champion that you can gain great experience with. As the cases where the champion you main gets picked or banned, or if you get auto filled or an off role, have two to three champions to fall back upon.

Try to keep the champions you pick as simple as possible; it ensures that you focus on the essential parts of the game more. As a coach what I see keeping players in the lower parts of the rating spectrum and hinders them from improving is high mechanical flashy champions. These champions might be fun to play and that is why they are so popular; they have all these playmaking tools. What is gating players in low rating while playing these champions are exactly that. Playmaking tools, outplaying tools are made to make plays and outplay enemies. As a new playing or as a player below platinum mostly it is not necessary to make flashy outplays. The games are mostly won of the team with the best fundamentals of the game. Champions like Lee sin, Zed, Leblanc, Yasou, Vayne, Thresh and Riven have such a mechanical nuance to their kits. The problem is not only them being hard to play, for an example: When you take a skirmish with these high mechanical champions and lose the skirmish. It is so easy to fall back to thinking: “I misplayed that Lee sin W or I did my Riven combo wrong”, distracting from reflecting if the skirmish was right to be taken to begin with. I promise you, if you keep your champions simple you will improve faster and once you have hit the higher parts of the rating spectrum. You will learn how to play these high mechanical champions more properly because you get practise against better players!

Examples of simple champions I recommend of each role is listed below:

  • Top
    • Garen, Darius, Jax, Tryndamare, Kled and Annie
  • Mid
    • Annie, Vladimir, Kassadin, Diana, Talon and Corki
  • Jungle
    • Karthus, Zac, Xin Zhao, Warwick, Dr Mundo and Amumu
  • Ad carry
    • Miss Fortune, Ashe, Tristana and Jinx
  • Support
    • Blitzcrank, Leona, Brand, Annie and Janna

Fundamentals of League of Legends

When starting out playing league of legends it will important to recognize what is the fundamentals of the game and practise them accordingly. Practising fundamental skills of the game is essential to your improvement and should be applied by all different skill levels of League players.

Mechanics

We may start with the maybe not the most obvious fundamental but the most important one which is applied to all roles in every meta. That how comfortable you are at moving your champion, the concept most players call “mechanics” is usually referred to how you move your champion. This concept is applied and practised in every league of legends game, but to some players it is not blatantly obvious how crucial it is.

In league of legends you should always be moving your champion in an unpredictable manner. If you are predictable it is easy for the opponent to read what your next move is. The concept of how to move unpredictable in the game is applied the easiest to click back and forth a lot. By moving your champion back and forth on the spot instead of standing still and walking in circles will make the opponent have a hard time to read you. In lane when applying this concept, it improves your ability to bait the enemy to come forward into you, making a mistake that is easily punishable. Clicking consistently back and forth also keeps your mechanics intact, it makes it easier to react to your opponent moving forward or throwing out skillshots.

Minion-wave Management

Practising how to manage minion waves is a skill every player should know; it is not only about knowing how to execute a minion it also increases your knowledge about how the minion-waves work. Understanding how minion-waves work is one of the most important skills for every role. Minion-waves is one of the few consistent factors of every single game of League of Legends.

Mid and top are solo managing their waves meanwhile both the adc and the support is cooperating in order to deny last hits and experience from their opponents. Knowing the timings when you have to either freeze, slow push or fast push the wave will contribute greatly to winning your lane. General situations where one of these three wave management techniques are applied:

  1. If you managed to force your opponent to back to base, and you are in need of a reset, the wave should always be pushed out to deny your opponent last hits. Also, after a successful gank it is crucial to push the lane as fast as possible.
  2. Imagine you are playing a champion which does not want to take extended fights against your opponent instead you want to poke the enemy as much as possible. In order to do this as safely as possible you may let the opponent push the wave so, you can look to “lock/freeze” the wave outside your turret.

Freezing is also effective if you are just coming off a reset and you forced the opponent back while the wave is shoving towards you. Doing this will deny a lot of experience from your opponent and it will automatically put the enemy into an extended spot in the lane once he arrives back.  It will always be more effective to freeze instead of pushing in this case, because you do not have to reset, and the opponent gets put into an awkward spot.

  • Slow pushing is an effective way to get off a good base or to dive your opponent. You want to apply this concept if you are ahead and look to punish your opponent under the turret with your jungler. In this case, slow pushing will give you a huge minion wave to work with. In a lane when you look to get a great back timing, stacking a slow pushing wave will be beneficial because it causes the large wave hitting the enemy turret to cluster the enemy minions there. Meaning a slow push will naturally be created in the opposite direction after you crashed a large wave, use this to your advantage to get a good back timing where you won´t lose any last hits.

It is apparent that top, mid and ad carries benefit greatly from learning the dynamics of the minion waves, but unfortunately it is often neglected by many supports and junglers. It is crucial for all players to understand the predictable behaviour of minion waves. Tracking the “lane states”, where the minion wave is situated in each lane as well as where it will push towards. Junglers can predict the path of the minion wave to decide a route that will efficiently get them to a ganking position when a wave is closing onto your turret causing the enemy laner to overextend. Support also benefit greatly from analysing lane states especially when ganking off resets as support!

As a coach I recommend my clients to take their time to practise wave management in costume games, it is effective to combine it together with last hitting and mechanical practise routine.

  1. Go into a practice tool game and go ahead and add a bot, so you make the minions of both teams equally strong. Minions strength scale with the average level of the team.
  2. Buy your normal lane item and go to the top lane, (the bot will always go to the bot lane).
  3. Practise consistently moving your champion, last hit minions as you are always auto attack moving.
  4. While doing this, keep practising how to fast push, slow push and freeze a wave. What I recommend is practise this for 10 minutes, track how much creep score you get, and the next time you try this practise routine you try to beat that record.

Damage-control

The last fundamental of the game mostly comes with experience of playing the game, but it is also possible to learn the damage your champion does quicker by practising in the practise tool. Make sure to learn how much damage your champion deals on different item points and levels in the game. Practising this will make you more comfortable going for all-ins to kill your enemy.

On this topic it is also crucial that when you make sure to play aggressively in game. If you are wondering if you can kill someone, do it. You will learn at an accelerated phase if you keep trying new plays. Never doubt yourself in game, a bad play will always be better than no play at all. With the same logic you should try to plan out what your win-condition is in every game, how you personally believe you should play it out in order to win. This is crucial due to the fact that you need to start off with an idea in order to improve it. For an example: going into a game with a bad plan is much better than having no plan at all!

Know your role

Know the role your champion has in the team composition; you do not have to be the soul carry in each game. Some games you will benefit greatly from playing a more supportive role, if you then instead try to be a carry where you consume resources, you might damage your team. In the start of each game try to set up a theory of how you should play out the game. As discussed earlier, do not worry if you do not know the perfect way to play it out, the importance is in setting a plan for yourself not how good the plan is. Try to play the game out after the plan you have set for yourself.

As games play out fluently, you might think you were set out to carry but instead got behind due to unfortunate events in the early game. Instead of dwelling on that, try now to analyse if you can take a more supportive role towards the team fights, can you peel for your carries?

Jungleling

In order to jungle great you have to have good fundamentals and you should primarily focus on learning that. The jungle itself changes every year, the strength of different camps, the experience and gold gained. Because of that the jungle roles job changes as well as what the most effective route is. One of the few things that always stays true in the jungle is that an effective route does not waste time wandering in circles. Make sure that your route always leads to a lane that you plan to gank, look at the lane states, analyse them; when is the enemy minion wave coming past the middle point of the lane, causing the enemy to overextend? Set up a plan how you are going to route to have a fluent path into the next game. Do not waste time wandering back and forth, be decisive. Paths should have a linear behaviour that makes sure that time is not wasted walking.