General Guide by Auster Delaurant
Not Updated For Current Season
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This is an advanced breakdown of the roles and responsibilities of each team member during each of the game's phases. For the purposes of this guide I am assuming a standard team comp using the current meta: Solo Top, Caster Mid, Carry/Support Bot, Jungler. This guide is written in a concise manner and is intended to be informative rather than instructional.
There are four main game phases which split up into 8:
- Champion Select
- Loading Screen
4) Late Game
- Late Game
- Long Game
Champion Select, or before hand, is where you figure out team composition and determine each player's role and responsibility within the team.
By the end of the Loading Screen you should have analyzed the enemy team comp for important things like:
- Physical/Magic ratios
- focus targets
- disrupt targets
- enemy summoner spells
- who to watch out for
The Positioning phase can be used to set up jungle ganks or defenses, determine laning roles, scout out the enemy and preward the jungle.
Laning is split up into two phases: Early Laning or 'Lane-Lock' phase and Late Laning or 'Gank' phase.
Lane Lock occurs between the levels 1-3. During these levels every champion should remain in their respective lanes except to defend the jungler in the case of an early invade.
Responsibilities (in order of importance)
- Defend the Jungler if invaded
- Ward your assigned jungle entrance (at higher ELOs/ranked teams)
- farm minions
- harass/kill enemy champions
The Gank Phase lasts for the rest of the laning phase. During the Gank Phase every lane has their own responsibilities as follows:
- Defend Mid
- Defend top jungle
- Gank other lanes
- Defend both jungles
- Defend/Take Dragon
- Defend/Gank either other lane
- Defend bottom jungle
- Defend/Take Dragon
- Gank Lanes
- Defend Ganked Lanes
- Defend/Take Dragon
- Invade Enemy Jungle
- Clear Jungle Camps
Note that the bottom lane is exempt from ganking but must have control over dragon. Top should only gank when success is clear as leaving his lane is easily punishable. Middle should gank whenver possible as lane clearing and backup defending is easy while the opponent middle's tower destroying potential is usually limited.
Warding during the laning phase is a team effort. The four jungle exits/entrances should be warded as often as possible. Everyone but the carry (bot) should be assigned a jungle entrance and is responsible for ensuring it is protected. Top is responsible for the top entrance, bottom for the bottom and Mid/Jungle decide who will ward the dragon entrance and the baron entrance.
Middle Game starts when either the first turret goes down on either side or when level 9 is achieved (sometimes 8 or 10, depending). The first turret usually doesn't go down before level 6 is reached so the earliest you will usually see a lane enter the middle game is level 6. Note that different lanes can reach the Middle Game at different rates. If one lane 'fails' they should weigh whether they should move into the middle game or remain in lane.
The Middle Game is characterized by teamfights and roaming packs of 3-5 champions. The lane structure generally falls away and roles get shifted. Nobody should wander through uncontrolled territory alone and even in groups caution should be taken. The following number rules should be observed for various activities:
Push Tower 3-5 (+1 from enemy team)
Defend Tower 3-5 (equal to enemy team)
Take/Def Dragon 4-5 (equal or greater to enemy team)
Take/Def Baron 5 (full team effort)
Invade Enemy Jungle 2-4 (only when safe; generally keep 1+ in lane to divert attention
Clear Waves 1-2 (only clear and allow to push, then return to the team)
Clear Jungle 1 (jungle creeps should be easy enough for anyone but support to kill alone)
When clearing waves priority at this point should go to the Carry, who is underleveled due to sharing his lane, and the middle champion. Support should not ever clear a wave alone as (1) support's clearing power is very low and (2) support doesn't need the farm. It should be safe for a single person to farm, assuming adequate ward coverage, and to remain in lane for a few moments.
Warding in the Middle Game is still a team effort and the assigned spots should generally be respected but the Support champion should be picking up the slack whenever possible so as to allow their teammates to save their gold.
The Late Game can start when either the inner middle turret goes down on either side, Level 13 is hit or Baron is taken by either team. The earliest a team can usually push down the middle turret or take baron is level 9 so the earliest you will generally see the late game start is level 9. The entire game moves into the Late Game simultaneously and if one team starts playing the Late Game while the other is stuck in the Middle Game (or worse yet the Laning Phase) then the Late Game Team will certainly win.
The Late Game is characterized by rigid team structure and positioning and a burst of team clashes. Gameplay will alternate between pushes/teamfights and spreading farming. No champion should ever be out alone at this point. The following number rules should be observed for various activities:
Push/Defend Tower 5
Take Dragon 2-5
Defend Dragon 5
Take/Def Baron 5
Clear Waves 1
Clear Jungle 1
Harass Tower 3-5
During pushes or objective captures the whole team must be together. If one person is off farming when a teamfight occurs then the whole game could be lost. Thus it is important not to initiate until the whole team is both together and properly positioned.
Between teamfights the team should scatter to clear waves and jungle camps or go home and buy - quickly. No champion should linger anywhere unless the whole team is present; this means go to a lane, clear the wave, then come back to the team... don't push with the wave and dont sit there and farm.
Backdooring, where a strong solo champion attacks a turret on his own, should only occur while both teams are engaged in a harass. While harassing the rest of the team can also quickly clear waves or jungle camps if possible.
The Long Game starts when champions hit levels 17-18 and start finishing their builds. Not every game reaches the Long phase. The Long Game is characterized by an equalization of teams regardless of which team was winning previously. In the Long Game one teamfight can decide the game as turrets won't put up much resistance and thus pushing through to kill the enemy nexus should be very quick.
Warding in the late game should be done almost exclusively by the Support Champion with supplemental wards by Wriggles Lanterns' or other champions being occasional and appreciated but not expected.