General Guide by Kazega
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Introduction: A talk about the Metagame
Hey all. Kazega here with a guide to help you create something wonderful in League of Legends: Your very own Metagame!. Now some of you might be wondering "What is a Metagame, and why do I need my own?" The simple answer to this question is a Metagame is the way the game is played. This is why Rammus and Singed are common Champions in Dominion and why Warwick is a jungler. But by developing your own Metagame, you play the game in your own way. Why is this important? What Works for me, may not work for you. Plus it makes you more unpredictable. Take how I like how I play Katarina for example. I play her as a Solo Mid, and I run her as a ganking champion. This is alright. Everyone has a different Metagame and it's very important for everyone to find their own.
The Different Build Archetypes
An Archetype, as defined by Webster's Dictionary, is a general pattern or model in which things are copied or based upon. In League of Legends an Archetype refers to an Item, Mastery, and/or rune build. This is important to know because know the difference between a Support Morgana and a mage Morgana all comes down to how you build her, and if you try to run a Mage Morgana with a Support build, you probably aren't doing it right. There are several item archetypes for the most part they can be summed up into three different Categories:
- Item Centric: This archetype relies on one or two items with excellent in game synergy. The most notable example is "Atmog's" which relies on Atma's Impaler and Warmog's Armor. Most Champions that rely on Item-Centric builds have very low Cooldown abilities to take advantage of Tear of the Goddess, or are great farmers to take advantage of the previously mentioned "Atmog's"
- Champion Centric: This archetype relies on the champions unique traits and abilities to work. Most builds are linked to this archetype, however the vast majority fall into the last archetype. Champions that rely on these types of builds are tanks like Amumu and Rammus and support champions like Sona and Janna who rely on unique item compositions to work well.
- Stat Centric: The most common Archetype. These builds focus on one or two stats and runs them almost exclusively. Most of these are heavy AP builds for Mages and Attack speed and AD for Melee and Ranged carries
The Pre-Game Set Up
This Chapter goes over the Pregame set ups: namely Runes, Masteries and Champion selection. A lot of this is pretty easy: the hardest part being acquiring the IP you would need for Runes. At the same time a lot of thought has to go into this part of finding your own Meta game.
Decide what you want to do
A novel first step. But it is an easy one to make. Just decide on what you want to do. Broad goals are preferable to specific goals. They will allow for some wiggle room to adjust your build. In the end, this is just saying saying "I want to _____"
- Tank as a Melee DPS
- run the Best Support Mage build
- Be an Epic Ranged Carry
- None of the above (write your own answer below)
Pick your Champion
This is more than just clicking Xin Zhao or Miss Fortune and going. you have to pick a champion that will fit the answer you picked. Sometimes its pretty easy, especially if you you answered "I want to be THE MOST ANNOYING TEEMO EVAH!!1!" So obviously you want to run a Teemo Build. Great skip over to the next step
Other times it isn't so clear cut. "I want to be a Solid Ranged Carry" is a broad goal to fulfill. So what do you do? Well, if you know a little about all the champions then you grab a handful of the ones that you know will let you fill in your goal. If you don't know which champion will fit what you want then look around. There are people all over the place that will give a good idea to which champions to pick out. Don't be afraid to ask around for help, that is what this site and the many others like this sight are for.
Learn your Champion
A very easy step. This can be accomplished by running up a quick Custom game by yourself, or with a friend. Open up the shop and see the recommended items. See if you can figure out why some of the Items that are recommended are at the top of the Shop Window as opposed to other "Better" items.
Now play your Champion against an AI or a friend. Get a feel for how your champion farms lanes and does combat. Take notes on the ability use, farming ability, and combat against another Champion. Does (s)he scale AP, AD, or both? Where is this Champion strong and weak? All these are good questions and there are so many more good questions to ask as well. Once you have a few (pages of) notes it's time to plan a build.
This is the part where it gets confusing. To have a successful build you have to put out a lot of thought into what you want to accomplish and work on accomplishing that goal. This is the part where the notes you took earlier come in handy because now you can start your build. Runes and Masteries is a logical place to start since you don't have to be in game to get them set up.
Set up your Runes
There is a Reason you played your Champion before setting anything up. You should have gotten a feel for how the champ plays without any augments. So now we are going to use Runes and Masteries to cover a few weaknesses and augment some of your strong areas. For example, if you have low mana sustainability due to a spammable ability, try investing in greater seal of replenishment. You can augment the strength of your ranged carry by equipping Greater Mark of Attack Speed to increase your damage output.
Once you have decided on what runes you want to use, do some research on your runes and strive for a "Primary Rune" set. Primary Runes are the best of the marks, glyphs and seals that share their name. Look at Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Mark of Armor; obviously the Seal is better by far and should be considered over its mark counterpart. For More information on Runes Check out Searz's Epic Rune Guide, to get a better feal of what Runes are worth it and what runes you should just skip
Set up Your Masteries
Masteries should be set up to augment your strengths more than cover up your weaknesses. Although it is unrealistic to put all 30 mastery points into one tree, so you can use a few to cover a weakness or two from another tree. For example: if you are going to run an offensive build then you should put most of your points in the offensive Mastery tree. but if are running a squishy champion your remaining points can be put into the Defensive tree.
Most masteries are set up at or around a 20-10 split, but other splits like 21-9, 19-11, or even 22-8 splits can be depending on your goals. Experiment with the masteries. While there is no "right" or "wrong" way to spec them, some masteries just aren't worth it, and what looks good on paper, might not look good in practice.
Planning Your Items.
This is the hard part of making a build. How, what, and when to build items can be very difficult and most times it is very circumstantial. The only real way to get everything rolling in the right direction is a "trial and error" type method. Make a plan, try it out, take notes and revise your plan for next time.
Well not literally. look at the items that are available to you. Look at what can help you out, and be as broad as humanly possible. Let's say you want to be a solid Ranged carry; you will need Attack speed and Attack power so list everything you see that does those things. Just put everything on the table, even the obscene and somewhat ridiculous. As long as it helps your goal in some way then take a look at it.
Now we start filtering out some items. Look at items that buff traits that you don't need. As a Range Carry you might not need Malady and a Melee DPS may not have good synergy with Manamune. Don't always just throw an item out for an arbitrary reason. If you try and find that it might work, roll with it: putting Sheen on Katarina or Nashor's Tooth on Miss Fortune? Give it a try. Once you narrow down the items you have on the table It's time to move on.
Put Everything in Order
This is an important part of building a champion. you should focus on Items that will give you a better mid or late game, or give you a direct benefit in your early game. This is why smart some smart Mages will work towards Rod of Ages: It's first component: catalyst the protector is fairly cheap and easy to build, as well as grants an early game advantage by healing and restoring mana at each level up. Most importantly: Rod of Ages gets stronger the longer you have it, so it makes sense to rush into the item
Test your Build
This is what it comes down to. Testing the build. There are a lot of things to consider:
- How is the timing? Is the order right?
- Will rushing an item Help me or hurt me?
- Are the Runes and Masteries working out?
- Why did what worked out last time didn't work out this time?
There are several different factors that go into what makes a build work and what makes a build fail. A good rule to follow is you want your items to be most effective the moment you build them. So if you Rush an Item Like Infinty Edge, ignoring total cost of everything that it builds from you get a good bonus from it: a 250% Critical hit instead of a standard 200%. But it only gives you a +25% Crit chance. Ingoring Runes and Masteries that is only one in four hits. But building it later on, after you have other crit chance items that chance goes up and makes Infinty Edge more effective from the moment you bought it.
Now let's look at this in a financial way: Two Caitlyn's are laning against each other. They have the same runes, masteries and openings. Over time they grab the same amount of last hits on minions. The first Caitlyn spends her money buying Infinity Edge. The Second Caitlyn builds: Avarice Blade, Zeal, Executioner’s calling, and a Dagger. Common sense says the second Caitlyn will do better because she builds cheaper items and ultimately has more benefits. She can easily star working on her own Infinity edge while keeping the opposite Caitlyn out matched and out farmed.
Items to Rush
Most items you can rush are fairly cheap, most of them costing around 1200G and offer you an early game advantage. Sheen, executioner’s calling, The Brutalizer, and catalyst the protector are all notable examples. The cheapest items to rush are the Goldtick items, which offer an additional 5 Gold per 10 Seconds: Heart of Gold, kage's lucky pick, Avarice Blade, and philosopher's stone, and have a better payoff by earning you extra gold.
NOTE: Sample Build Chapter is being rewritten. This mostly because of the Fizz Patch. But I feel I could write it better so I am. It will be back and even better so please be patient.
Well I hope you got something from this. I know this is a short guide, but I have a lot of good advice in here. Hopefully next time you will take a look at how you build some of your Champions and decide it needs to be different in some way. Don't forget to Up-vote and +Rep if you found this guide useful in anyway. Like my other guides I'll keep this updated and keep making the guide better. I know I have a lot of work to do to bring this guide to the potential I want to be at so make sure to comment and question.
Don't just use Champion Synergy but Item Synergy as well when planning your builds
Pave your own way, it's not the destination that is important, it is the journey.[*]Being "Normal" is Overrated
[*]HAVE FUN. YOU ARE PLAYING A GAME FOR GOD'S SAKE
Check out My Other Guides
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Shyvana: Dominion Dragon Fire l My Youtube Channel
Version 1.00 - Oct 08 2011
Version 1.01 - Oct 15 2011
-Proof read and fixed spelling and grammar errors
-expanded on the Metagame concept
-added some info on Mastery selection
-fixed the Sample builds section
Version 1.02 - Oct 29 2011
-Expanded on a few concepts over time
-Added my Signature banner
-Linked to Searz's Rune Guide
-Made a couple notes in preperation for the Fizz Patch
-updated the Masteries Section
-took out the sample build chapter for a rewrite
-Rewrote a few areas for better presentation
-Corrected spelling and grammar mistakes