Team Guide by Jampa
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Pick a team compensating role!
Dear reader, before I start, I would like to thank you for reading this [sarcasm]short and clear[/sarcasm] guide. There may be some abbreviations you won't understand, they can be found here: LoL Terminology!
Sometimes, during champion selection, a game can already be predicted to be either won or lost. Unless, of course, the skill level between the people playing/trying their champion is too high. In normal games this is a much more loose fact compared to ranked games, where you have draft mode.
EU and US have a different perspective of what an ideal teambuild is, but I'd say a strong solo laner at top, be it either a tank or a burster (make sure you have your escapability ready), a carry at mid if a burster is at top or a burster at mid if a tank is at top (preferably one that counters the enemy), a jungler with enough survivability so he won't get killed by 1 skill when he's doing red or blue, a supporter with CV at bottom making sure the carry or the tank in his/her lane gets enough gold.
Always try to counter-pick the enemy team, don't pick a if the enemy has a for example.
Now about the guide: I'm trying to make sense in why you should buy/build particular runes, masteries and items for various kinds of champions and giving out examples along with that, to try and make it as clear as possible. Please take your time before voting, as this is not a guide about how you MUST build a champion (role), but just giving you the information on why you should do something or not. I'd highly appreciate comments, positive or negative, so we can debate. I am sorry for slow responses. Now for the guide...
Go for primary runes!
Before I go in-depth, I'd like to notice that if I pick p/lvl runes over flat runes, it means that the p/lvl runes already have the same amount as the flat runes around lvl5-7. Around these levels you'll have your ult AND the game will be more gank-orientated than the levels below that. Which makes it a very important phase of the game.
Since the recent buffs and nerfs of runes I've been experimenting for a long time and with many runes. So far I must say:
Melee carry: Greater Mark of Desolation or , Greater Seal of Vitality or , or , Greater Quintessence of Desolation or
Because: most melee carries have 2+ skills that do physical damage, these skills are the most important for your damage output, having much ArP is therefore great on you, because crit and AS don't do anything for these skills. There are some champions that might want much attack speed though, on-hit stacking champions like Warwick for example. Health/lvl for survivability if you don't put points in Nimbleness , and dodge if you do. CDR so you will only need to get 1 or 2 items to get max CDR which makes you use your lethal skills more often or MR if you need more survivability.
Ranged carry: or Greater Mark of Desolation, or Greater Seal of Vitality, , , , Greater Quintessence of Desolation or
Because: most ranged carries have only 1 physicial damage skill, so ArP isn't that much of a big deal early game. They mostly have some skill that slows your enemy or speeds up your auto attacks, which works nicely with AS. You want to be throwing in damage while running and chasing (attack speed counts for on hit stackers too, again, Captain Teemo on duty!). Still, ArP will make you win the long run, so it's a good choice if you're going to build early AS. Mana regen/lvl for carries that spam skill(s) like Ashe and health/lvl for champions that don't. MR is, again, the best way to lower the dmg on early-game nukes. On quitessence you can think about getting AD or MS, AD works nicely with crit and MS is just preference.
Burst caster: , Greater Seal of Vitality or , , or
Because: you want to be able to take down people early-game: preventing carries from getting too strong or maybe even tanks. The magic pen mark is stronger than the AP mark, since the magic pen mark is a primary mark and the AP mark is a teriary mark. Those 9 magic pen marks give a big advantage early game, since champions have a very small base MR. Now for seals get health/lvl if you aren't mana hungry or have a mana recharging passive/skill ( Annie, Swain...), If that's not the case get mana regen/lvl. AP/lvl are primary runes and the magic pen ones are not, that's why you'll want this. AP quints because you normally don't need more magic pen, since of the small base MR of champions. If the enemy builds much MR you can still get a Void Staff. There are champions with very small AP scaling on their skills, which might want you to get magic pen quints tho'.
Support caster: , or ,Greater Seal of Vitality or , or , , , or
Because: supporters are there to try and get the carry in their lane stronger, get vision over the map, heal and/or shield etc. Not to do much damage and get much money. So you want to have some survivability so you won't feed, some AP so your heal and/or shield will be stronger and mana (regen) and CDR so you can spam skills (because you won't have as much AP as the bursters). Armor and/or MR marks for a support with little survivability and damaging skills ( Soraka) and magic pen marks if you play a support that has good survivability and damaging skills ( Sona). Health/lvl seals if you build mana regen early, mana regen seals if you build AP early. CDR glyphs if the support has much buffs/debuffs ( Time Warp) and AP/lvl glyphs if the support has much AP scaling skills ( Eye Of The Storm). Pretty much the same story with quintessences, if the support has much AP scaling skills get AP quints, if not then get HP quints. Then there's 2 other quintessence I won't use, but some people do, more CDR if you build Mercury's Treads instead of Ionian Boots of Lucidity and more MS out of preference again.
(No example builds at the top, but telling anyways:)
Tankers: or , Greater Seal of Vitality or , ,
Because: you want as much survivability as possible! Take armor if it benefits your champion ( Rammus!) and MR if if you are going to build the (better) armor items. Health/lvl if you are not putting a point into Nimbless, if you do pick dodge. MR glyphs are the best. Health quints have been nerfed, but are still a big buff to your early-game.
Roamers: Greater Mark of Desolation or , , , or
Because: a little bit of extra damage on you won't hurt, ArP and magic pen are the best way to do that. Some extra mana regen so you can use your skills quickly after 1 gank again. Some extra CDR because you won't have much much CDR from items in a while. And either more MS for faster roaming or more gold/lvl for faster...gold.
I still have to test the buffed and (not interested in the Seal and Glyphs versions since I try to avoid going for secondary/tertiary runes). I used to have a full AD page when it wasn't buffed yet, but threw all of it in the combiner because ArP was so much better back then... haven't tried energy runes either.
You have to adjust the runes that benifit for your champion his/her passive/skills and the items you are going to build on him/her!
21/90, 21/0/9, 0/9/21, 9/0/21, 1/21/8 or 9/21/0?
For melee carries: 21/9/0 making sure you have
, I like this because a melee champion will be focused by minions easily which gives you a pretty high chance getting atleast one dodge thus giving you 10% more movement speed to either chase or run faster. Exceptions? If I play a champion like
I would build 11/0/19 or 15/0/15 because they don't benefit from crits or attack speed, but mostly do from CDR, ArP, AD and MS.
For ranged carries: 21/0/9 with Awareness and Utility Master because you need to level fast and have the red buff as much as you can. Exceptions? 0/9/21 with Strength of Spirit for champions that use a lot of mana and build Manamune and/or Sheen, like . Or 21/9/0 with Nimbleness for champions that have a higher dodge chance, like .
For burst casters: 9/0/21 (10/0/20 if I pick / instead of / on champions like ), this is a pretty standard caster mastery build. You want Archaic Knowledge . If your caster has no mana you just put points in anything that doesn't give mana (regen), because the utility tree is just that awesome!
For support casters: 0/9/21 (9/0/21 for supporters that are able to run away more easily than others, like because of her movement speed buff skill). 9 in defense because of Stength of Spirit, support casters have a pretty big mana pool thus the health regen is quite noticable and will make you stay in the lane longer.
(No example builds at the top, but telling anyways:)
For tanks I usually go 1/21/8 (or 9/21/0 if you want Archaic Knowledge ), 1 point in offense if you take the mastery point into and 8 points in utility for the mastery point into and Awareness , tanks don't need to do high damage they need to be able to save people.
For roamers I usually go 0/9/21 (on junglers my mastery build varies too much to be able to give you an example), making sure I have enough regen and escapibility to be able to roam constantely.
Take your time to understand the champion his/her role, passive, skills and adjust your runes, masteries and items on that!
Which item should I get now, now I know all of this?
For this section I'll be explaining why'd you get a particular type of item on a particular type of champion, this goes hand in hand with runes and masteries too.
But before I go into details, I'd like to tell about percentage/flat armor/magic resistance reduction and penetration. You can just stack a lot of input for reduction and penetration without thinking about it, but there's a big chance you'll be waisting a lot of money because the output is calculated in a special order (which has been changed during the times of League of Legends). The output will be calculated in this order:
Flat Armor/Magic Reduction (Examples: AD: The Black Cleaver | AP: Abyssal Scepter)
Flat Armor/Magic Penetration (Examples: AD: Greater Mark of Desolation, The Brutalizer | AP: Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, Haunting Guise)
Percentage Armor/Magic Penetration (Examples: AD: Last Whisper | AP: Void Staff)
As you can see there are runes, items and champions' passives/skills that can penetrate and reduce, just keep in mind the order. It's a waste of gold to build a lot of flat penetration with runes and items, if you are going to buy a percentage penetration item afterwards. So think about your runes, masteries and champion abilities before you build your items!
So now that you know about penetration and reduction it's time to check out what exactly our champion does with his/her skills, so we can build items that benifit them.
Let's say, for example, we're going to play . Pantheon is a champion that relies on his Spear Shot and Heartseeker Strike for damage output, both of these skills are based on physical damage. This means these skills get stronger from AD but also armor reduction/penetration (lifesteal procs with physical damage based skills). So you could get Greater Mark of Desolation for armor penetration, and maybe even the 6 points of armor penetration in the offense mastery tree. You will have quite a lot of flat armor pen in early game then. So we want to build AD afterwards, and maybe even some more flat armor pen so we can get people into 0 armor (penetration can't go negative! Only reduction can! But keep in mind the order: reduction comes before penetration, so it's pretty much imposible to get people negative).
The story of Pantheon is pretty much the same for a AP user, I will use here for an example (since his AP scaling is pretty bad, but has Dread). Fiddlestick's skills are magical based damage, all of them, so you will need AP and magic resistance reduction/penetration to higher the damage on these skills (spell vamp procs with magical damage based skills). So you could get Greater Mark of Magic Penetration to get more magic penetration, together with the reduction you already have from Fiddle's passive, keep that in mind because penetration does not go below 0, so building more than the enemy champion has is useless. If you want you can get Archaic Knowledge too, which gives 15% penetration, this will be a tiny amount if you have a lot of reduction/flat penetration already tho'. If you prefer to have much AP early-game and stick with Archaic Knowledge + a late-game Void Staff = 55% penetration, that's a good idea too.
Since the base magic resistance on most champions is low, magic resistance reduction/penetration is not as strong as armor reduction/penetration early game. So you could say: if the game is gonna be short go for flat pen/reduc, if the game is gonna be long go for percentage pen/reduc.
Apart from doing maths for having good damage for the most optimal price, you will need survivability too. Not only tanks build it! Supporters and carries usually need some too, since they're being focused in teamfights first (normally). What to get is partially based on your enemies. For example: a lot of burst? Mercury's Treads, Banshee's Veil... A lot of AD? Ninja Tabi, Thornmail... (I wouldn't recommend Ninja Tabi if you have no Greater Seal of Evasion and/or Nimbleness ).
So before you build your items, think of what kind of runes and masteries do you have on you. Keep in mind the reduction/penetration order. And know your champion's passive and skills. Physical based damage skills = AD, ArP, Lifesteal. Magical based damage skills = AP, MrP, Spell Vamp. And for a little heads up, lifesteal is more important than spell vamp on most champions, because lifesteal procs with auto attacks and you use those a lot more often than skills. (Spell vamp is great on a champion like tho'.)
How about my skills? Which one should I max first?
Knowing what skill to prioritize above an other is not that hard. In low-elo matches you can basically just follow a random guide, but in higher elo matches you will need to base it on how the games goes.
A disabling skill (stun, snare, silence etc.) is mostly leveled first, for an easier firstblood. But if you wait with leveling up your skill, you might notice there won't be any lvl1 (team)fight and you might as well level your nuke/burst skill. If you are going to support your lanepartner, you will need to maximize your support skill first (heal, shield etc.). Your ultimate is mostly the same story for every match, get it on lvl6, 11 and 16 (with some exceptions like and , who have no ultimate).
Then most champions have an escape/juke skill which you level up at lvl2 or 4. You will start maximizing it after you maxed the other 2 skills. Examples: 1 point on Hawkshot at lvl2 so she can reveal a part of the area so she won't get ganked by with a red buff. Or 1 point on Crystallize at lvl2, so she can push away that annoying Shaco and prevent him from stacking slow effects on you.
So what skill to max first is based on your playstyle and the enemies' playstyle (plus your runes, mastery and item build, yet again). Just make sure, if you go for maxing a nuke or any other damaging skill first, to have yourself some escapibility ready when you get ganked (be it summoner spells or a disable)!
And what about summoner spells?
Another short section, or is it?
Melee Carry/Off-tank: if you are going to build pretty much full damage you probably need Ghost and Flash, unless you have some kind of skill that 'flashes' ([Arcane Shift], [Riftwalk]...) you forward already, then you might want to switch Ghost or Flash with Exhaust or Ignite.
If you are going to be an off-tank, you might want to take Ghost with Exhaust/ Ignite. The reason you leave Flash out of this, is because of Flash is a great skill, but has a long cooldown, even longer if you don't have 21 points in utility, which is the case if you play a melee carry (normally).
Range Carry/Burst Caster: you are vunerable to ganks, you are squishy or just scared of giving bonus gold away (because you are such a good player and always get godlike streaks), you probably want Ghost and Flash. This goes for quite a lot of carries. It gives you the escapibility you lack, and it takes away the fact you need to build a lot of survivability, because if you escape the AoE ****fest during teamfights you can try and focus the squishy enemies and/or low health enemies. You need to be to take people down, not initiate team fights.
I tend to take the point in Flash away and put it in Exhaust or Ignite if my champion has a flash-ish skill already. Champions like , , and for quick examples.
Support caster: you need Clairvoyance. End of deal. Stop getting Clarity, n00b. Other than that, Ghost or Flash for escapibility. If you are a really fast champion like or you should get Flash, if you are a really slow champion like you should get Ghost.
Tank: this is really champion-based imo. I mostly roll with Ghost and Exhaust: you can easily chase squishies, save allies/yourself or just trying to lower the output damage of an enemy carry. There are tanks that should prefer Ignite over Exhaust though, like . Because of his ulitmate Children of the Grave doing dmg/s, adding Ignite on that is a lot of damage together and ensures you a kill pretty easily.
Jungler: not much to say. Get Smite, even if you don't need it. It's a great skill to steal enemy buffs, dragon and nashor too. If you get the mastery point on it it also gives 5 bonus gold. Nothing wrong with that. Then the next summoner spell, which depends on your champion. Fast champion? Get Flash. Slow champion? Get Ghost. Can you be invisible? Exhaust or Ignite.
Roamer: so on this one I don't really have an opinion. This is too much based on playstyle. On I would get Ghost and Flash, on I probably get Ghost and Exhaust/ Ignite...
Keep in mind these are just suggestions, you can always try and be exotic. So for you people feeling special, I'll take some time to give my opinion about the summoner spells I left out:
Heal is a pretty good skill on low level games and high level early-game. It can be used to save you (and allies) or by turning the tide in a fight. Sadly it has a very long cooldown and the heal is barely noticable late-game. Enough reason to not call it a good lvl30 summoner skill.
Revive is actually a secret favorite of mine. A lot of people think it's the worst summoner skill (together with the rally of nowadays, I guess), but it can actually be a great summoner skill on champions with a global like , and (and it used to be really strong on jungle , but that's pretty much history). This is because you can surprise enemies by instantely coming back into a teamfight. It also gives you a movement speed buff for a short time and if you have a mastery point in it you will get 400 extra health, which is quite a lot. But, yet again, it has an enermous cooldown and normally you don't want to die. So mostly a bad idea.
Teleport is a good skill, but the long cooldown makes it a bad pick compared to others. It can be very strategical if you are a good ward-tele'r (?) or just a kill-hungry tho'.
Cleanse used to be a really strong skill, with a short cooldown (yes you hear me, SHORT cooldown), but ever since it got nerfed preventing you from cleansing out of ults it's not as interesting anymore. It can still be a good skill in lower level/elo play, I guess. But if good players see a with Cleanse, for example, they'll just make sure they keep any disabling ult when he charges in.
Fortify is a skill I never really liked. The duration of protecting your turret is too short for anyone to care about, and yes, this summoner spell has a long cooldown too. Only thing interesting about it is when it is ready to cast you deal 9 extra damage to minions, making it easier to farm for you. But if you are a good last-hitter (and mostly you can't push mindlessly with junglers/roamers ganking around) you don't really want it.
Clarity is a low-level summoner spell. Experienced players make sure they have enough mana for escaping/chasing etc. And if you want to spam you can build into the utility masteries and get Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration.
Rally is a summoner spell I used once. Back in the ol' days when it was a tad better. I used it for taking down the Lizard on lvl1 with . Lol. Oh sorry, my opinion, it's a useless summoner spell nowadays.
So I've gave suggestions AND opinions now. Yet, you are STILL free to do whatever you want. Maybe you will be the next #1 Heal/ Rally . You should always try and base summoner spells on your playstyle too!
Thanks for your time.
Congratulations for finish reading my wall of text, please feel free to correct any wrong information or incorrect sentences. Any positive AND negative feedback is appreciated. Just trying to make the huge casual community of LoL a bit more competitive, if not strategic.
I am not trying to prove anything by the way, before anyone tries to troll about that. I'd just like if more people will try and get more educated about LoL and spread the information.
Also, I'm sure I am not the only one that made a guide that's a bit like this. I never really spend time reading about this game, so I'm sorry if I stole anyone's idea! I was terrible at the start of LoL, just like I was in DotA. But being on it from the very beginning - and still playing - I have learnt a lot and I just felt the need to try and help other players. Since most of the people that I know (irl) playing/played LoL, are really bad.
Love you all,
P.S. I will slowly update this guide once in a while, adding images and screenshots, making this guide a bit more noob-friendly, easier to read trough etc.