While playing League of Legends with a friend who is relatively new to the game, I recently found myself trying to help him with the basics of the game. Where to ward, the importance of farm and last hitting, when to play passive and when to dive deep were all subjects that came up and I realized that this is (for the most part) general knowledge to players who are level 30. He then asked me a question that I wasn’t expecting: How do you carry a game?
Now, I know that this is a common question among lower elo level 30s. Everyone wants to know who the best champ is to play and how they can get themselves out of the highly debated self-fulfilling prophesy that is “Elo Hell.” It’s a natural response, every player wants to improve with as little effort possible. It’s human nature. But there is something rather simple that I would like to share about League of Legends strategy, and that is how to snowball an advantage.
So, your Jarvan jungler came to your lane early and you got a kill at level 2, that is a great start, but how do you strap on your back pack and prepare to carry your team with it? I have learned there are several things to consider when looking at making a game on Summoner’s Rift a blowout.
Pushing the Lane: Immediately after the kill, if you aren’t too low (gotta be careful of a late counter gank from the opposing mid/jungler) and if you have good wave clear, use your AOE abilities to push the lane as quickly as possible to your opponent’s turret. This way you are denying your enemy valuable experience and gold.
If on the other hand, your wave clear is poor, try to quickly equal out the lane and recall.
So now you have a gold advantage, and possibly an XP advantage, take control of the lane.
Spend Your Gold: An all too common mistake I see with players is that a gold advantage is taken early, but not used. If you have a 400 gold lead on your opponent a Long Sword, Amplifying Tome, or Doran’s Blade/Shield/Ring will put you ahead, keeping it in your pocket will do nothing for you. If you killed your enemy when it was Doran’s Blade vs Doran’s Blade, you might not be lucky enough to make the 1v1 record 2-0. However, if you go back and double your inventory’s damage items and your opposing laner only comes back with pots, you’ve got a good chance to force another fight.
Make Fights Happen: If you ever have eyes on the rest of your opposing team (mind the jungler), don’t be afraid to fight and trade damage. Remember, you already have the lead, but if you do not actively extend that lead you might lose it over time from missing CS or untimely recalls.
Allow your opponent to push the lane towards you. You can then freeze the lane and zone your enemy insuring your lead will continue to grow. If you do get the chance to engage, take it, but use the bushes to brush off the minion agro. Minions can nullify the advantage you’ve built and add a significant amount of damage to the fight.
Roams Are Risky: You’re now a kill ahead and up 20 CS, you are winning the lane, no question about it. Your mid-lane is struggling though, do you roam mid and try to get the kill? This is a judgment call. Personally, I would say no in most cases.
Sure, getting a kill for your mid-lane and allowing them to catch up does benefit the team, but if you roam and do not pick up a kill your mid-lane will still be behind, and you’ve given time for your opposing lane champ to catch up and shrink the lead you’ve built.
The truth of League cannot be denied, if nearly any champ in the game gets fed, their team is more likely to win. Stay in your lane, continue building your lead, and make your mark on the game after laning ends.