General Guide by Billdozer
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Failsafe Top Singed
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello fellow summoners! I am writing this guide on account of my success in escaping the dreaded "elo hell". This process is not easy, not pretty, not enjoyable, but oh so worth it. Ranked League of Legends play is like none other, with some of the most cooperative teammates, to, as you know, the most wretched and inconsiderate people in the game. With the toss of a coin you get put with any combination of the two. And you must answer for yourself; which type are you? In a team based game such as League where the coordination of 5 players who know nothing of eachother is required, being the cooperative one makes things amplitudes easier. Will you call your favorite position and auto-lock it? Will you demand a spot and be stubborn about it? A major part of any summoner's success in League of Legends resides in their ability to work with others. As a veteran of the game (1500+ games played, 800+ win) I can confidently say that I would rather have a mediocre player who communicates and can acknowledge mistakes over a highly skilled arrogant player. Cooperation and communication are the two enormous parts of this game, and knowing your strengths will help you get out of "elo hell". My mistake in League was that I was a confident Mid player with decent experience in the other roles. I would always ask nicely in the lobby "Hey guys, Im best mid but ill play whatever we need". Rather than calling mid, people actually were able to appreciate my willingness to go wherever that I almost always got my spot in mid (and won ;) ). Something this simple as opposed to entering the lobby "MID OR FEED" will get your teammates in a cooperative mindset before the game even starts. An additional note, score means nothing. Whether you went 1/5/15 as mid and won the game doesn't mean you did awful, you won the game, be happy. Any amount of contribution is better as a win than having the ego boost of going 5/0 in a ranked game. Also, these 5 champions are what worked for me. Everyone has a different playstyle and likings. You may not agree with me or my methods, but for me, they work. I know there are counters and bans and other/better choices. These are just my set champions for each role. Play what you are most comfortable and best with. The following chapters have Role analysis as well as a broken down Champion analysis for those roles. Just my two cents on ranked. But what do I know amirite.
Mechanics that will help you win
Every player is different. Let me start with that. But personally, I honestly think that it is absolutely necessary to have your screen unlocked and use smartcasting. As far as the UI goes, scale down your chat box to a comfortable, readable level that is not taking up half your #$%#$$# screen! Scale down your skill bar, and hide the extra side bars. Trust me, the screen space you gain and vision you gain to spot that gank out of the corner will save your life a number of times. As far as smartcasting and unlocked screens, it will definitely take patience and a lot of practice. I do not recommend switching to both of these at the same time. I strongly advice using smart range indicators until you become familiar with your champions of choice. I just think having smartcasting is so much better for split second decisions and on-the-whim casts. As late game progresses and the action becomes faster, aiming your skills needs to be a second nature and not a point and aim with the blue indicator. Adjusting to these will not be fun, but will make you a much better player (IMO).
So if you read all of that, congratulations, you have my upmost respect for your patience and open mindedness. As far as champion select goes, I find the easiest way to get out of Elo Hell is to find ONE or (maybe) two champions for each role that you know inside and out. Builds for every situation, rune pages for every enemy, masteries for all setups, etc. When i realized i could get out of Elo Hell, I deleted all my masteries and runes and made 5 pages for each. One for each role, for that specific champion. I mastered these champions, going strictly those champions in each spot until i could confidently win lane and hopefully help my team best i can. That is the one thing that i feel is most important, the ability to have variety in your roles and confidently play anything at any time. This will definitely take time! Do not expect to "master" your champion after winning lane a few games in a row. Yeah yeah, champions have 4 skills to learn and know the cooldowns of blah blah, save it. Every champion has a unique play style and build that works best in different situations, and until you have seen every possibility, it is not possible to say you have mastered it. Professional Dignitas player and announcer Scarra has said himself, mastering a single champion will take anywhere from 150-300 games. As far as these champions, it is relatively easy to go positive in your games (more kills than deaths) and help your team win. Playing defensively is one thing that many players do not grasp. Aggression has its time and place, but more often than not, the passive farm lanes carry through late game and (with coordination) can overcome early aggression teams. These 5 champions are considered "safe" picks for sure, and getting familiar with them and utilizing their kits in ranked would definitely be beneficial to your team- and your elo.
The Top Lane (General)
Top is the most intriguing of lanes. Typically a lane of tanks or bruisers, few kills are intended to happen in the top lane. A competition of farm and gank pressure combine to make top lane what TPA Stanley has labeled it as an "island". Isolating the top lane from the rest of play allows the jungler to focus on the snowball lanes, being mid and bot. Being able to hold your own against the enemy top and out-farm and out-harass will guarantee your advance to mid/late game. While most games may only make it to ~35 minutes or so, many a ranked game has turned the tides as all the champions reach full build. All it takes is a baron steal or lucky team fight late game to turn everything around. A well farmed and well played top laner will be straight in the middle of the contributions to late game power.
The Top Lane (Singed)
Singed is a pretty basic champion. Let's face it. He puts on his poison and runs around. Yes, the laughing stock of many players in the community, singed is not overly challenging to play. However, his lane phase is particularly bad against many of the more popular picks such as Darius, Vlad, Irelia, Malphite, etc. Singed is meant to be played in a very passive and farm-focused manner. Your only damage is your poison and flip, which is relatively easy to avoid. Singed gets beat up pretty good in lane from early to mid game, but once he gets his Rod of Ages, Singed becomes pretty mean. This is where Singed becomes the fool-proof carry. His ultimate is easily the strongest defensive mechanic in the game. What else can a player ask for other than bonus armor, magic resist, move speed, health regeneration and mana regeneration? As Singed gets into late-mid/late game, towers mean nothing anymore. Diving is easy, picking off squishies is easy with fling. Singed is just "that guy" as a champion. He gets so unbelievably bulky from building resistances and health that with his ultimate he will literally just run around doing what he wants to the enemy team. A good Singed can easily turn the game around with prime flips and massive aoe. The key part of singed is to just bear through the early game. Even taking a few deaths early, not letting the enemy top snowball but even going down 0/2 is not enough to shut out late game Singed potential. With even a little attention from the allied jungler, a Singed lane will easily become the meanest in the game.
The Jungle (General)
The jungle is arguably one of the hardest roles to fully master in League. Constant pings for ganks, demands for presence and requests for buffs, the life of the jungler is not easy. But fear not, for Lee Sin is known as the God of the Jungle. (addressed next chapter). The jungle role as a whole is not as easy as farming the neutral camps and giving buffs to your mid. So many different mindsets can be had in the jungle. To invade the enemy or not to invade? To gank mid or bottom? The jungler is the eyes across the entire map. Pings are your friends, guys, really. Junglers are supposed to be aware of every lane and every summoner spell. Has mid used flash recently? If yes, free gank --> free kill without the escape up. Was the enemy jungler spotted by a ward near bot? Better go top and take his upper jungle to shut him out. Thinking proactively and adapting quickly are needed by any potential jungler. Buying wards, having awareness, and just being there for your teammates is the most essential part.
The Jungle (Lee Sin)
Lee Sin is arguably the best jungler in the game. Now in season 3 with the jungle changes he has seen a fluctuation of popularity but i find it is still relatively easy to have success with him. Lee's clear speed, mobility, tankiness, and overall team utilty combine to form the ultimate jungler. Building bulky with a damage-oriented item focus will bring the right amount of survivability into late game, as well as the damage needed to shut down the enemy carry. Start off with E and have mid help you down wraiths. From there have mid and top/bottom help you get red. Smite at around 490 health, and move on. Make sure to take your first blue, as you need the experience and CDR to get through early jungle creeps. One of Lee's major strengths is his ability to build in a variety of directions. Top lane not very tanky? Build AtMogs! Enemy carry getting too fed? Build randuins and gank more! Team struggling overall? Build a Runic Bulwark for your support! And as always buy wards. Dragon and Baron should be your number one priorities (duh) but always have one ready to escape with your ward jump. Lee is both a very simple and very complex champion. Learn his passive in the jungle, and bring it to the teamfights. Yes, you want to get all your skills out, but trust me, being patient and honestly counting the 2 auto's between skills actually increases your damage output....significantly.
The Mid Lane! (General)
As a main Mid player, this section will be difficult to condense into an easily readable guide. There is so much to the gameplay behind mid, just like any other lane. Above all however, I would say awareness is your number 1 requirement. This is solo queue (or duo). You are not in skype, you are not premade, not everyone pings and not everyone may even speak english! (or your respective language). Do not expect MIA's to be called all the time. You need to be aware of every lane much like the jungler does. Between your farming and harassing you need to be fully aware of each lane, as the two side bushes provide easy ganks from any lane. Mid is a very easily snowballing lane. Two kills early turns into increased map pressure and buff steals, jungle pressure, etc. A fed mid early is very scary. Your main role in mid is to farm. Let that be known. A 6/0 leblanc that roams and gets kills will not be as scary as the 3/3 karthus with 300 farm, pushing his item build into late game and focusing on his team fight potential. Get your farm, get your tower, get your kills, keep your eyes open and your calls fast.
The Mid Lane (Morgana)
Deducing the safest mid pick was a tough decision. Many champions thrive in mid, with a variety of playstyles and mechanics. To me, Morgana is the safest pick out there. You are the disrupter in the team. A potential 5 man stun as well as binding out one of the enemies is some of the most cc-based mids in the game. Your shield is arguably the best as well, blocking any sort of crowd control on the target, as well as winning you your lane against magic damage. Throw your shield on the tank as they go in, and watch taric try to stun that. I cannot tell you how many laughs (and kills!) have been had from timing the shield as skarner tries to ult. Mastering the shield may well be the hardest part of morg, but using it to its fullest is definitely a game changer. As Morgana, you are in the front of the fight. Your short range ulti should be cast on as many enemies as possible, and try to land the second part on the important kill targets (ADC, mid). Late game, your bind lasts longer than you think. Dropping your pool under a bounded target will rupture their MR and stack damage enough to push them away. The most useful play a Morgana can make is coordinating with another AOE ulti-oriented teammate. Amumu, Malphite, Galio, Sona, and Nunu are all strong picks when playing with Morgana. Landing the ulti is absolutely devastating as a set 2 second stun across all enemies as well a a good 1/4 of their health from the tick. Playing morgana properly will be rewarding, and very much so entertaining. You counter most mids with your shield and you farm like a monster. You get bulky with RoA and dangerous with void staff and deathcap. You are the ultimate mage on Morgana. Master your shield and your teammates will love you.
The AD Carry
Your job is as follows: to carry. It is in the title of the role. Solo Queue for ADC is very difficult in my opinion unless you and your support are duo'ing. Most of the time, you will lane with a support that does not have the same mindset as you. You do not have any form of mid-combat communication, or initiation signals, or anything. You rely on eachother's actions to win lane, and need to adapt to your lane partner's play style. Your main focus, much like the other lanes, is to farm. As the game goes on however, your positioning becomes increasingly important. Making yourself untouchable to the enemy while poking away at their important targets will net you the kills and safety you need to survive. Do NOT be greedy and dive in for a kill or overstay an unwarded lane for that extra 3 minions. You can and most likely will be ganked. Always be aware of your support's wards and dont be afraid to request wards. It's your lane too. As the carry you need to know and be comfortable of who may be coming down to gank.
The AD Carry (Ezreal)
Choosing the best carry was a relatively easy choice. The current build on Ezreal is amazingly strong, with insane poke and sustained teamfight damage. The new addition of Iceborne Gauntlet brings an innately tanky aspect as well as that all-important sheen proc on your Q. Ezreal overall is amazingly strong in the carry role, escaping from nearly any gank with his E, and having such mobility carries into late game. As mentioned in the late game, your positioning becomes increasingly important. On ezreal this is easy, you are the most slippery of the carries, with an unpredictable E shift and flash, that pesky olaf charging at you will have a hard time finding you in team fights.
Alas, the Support (General)
The support role is quite unique in playstyle now with the addition of the season 3 items. It is weird to say, but now with so many more "on use" items, the support is almost like a standard healer in a game such as WoW, heavily involved in the tides of the fight rather than throwing in all your cooldowns and peacing out. Items such as Mikael's Crucible make the support role so much better to play, giving a decision to the support as to when to use their items as well as who to use them on. The versatility and wider item build now make the support role entirely new.
The Support! (Lulu)
Lulu is a very useful pick in virtually any lane. She brings not only the insane poke if you choose to max her Q, but also the inasne shield potential from E. Lulu has a lot of mechanics that require attention, namely harassing with E and Q. If you E an enemy or Ally, your Pix faerie goes to that target. Your Q shoots from both Lulu and Pix, therefore wherever Pix is, he(she?) will shoot in that direction as well, essentially E'ing an enemy as they run will guarantee the Q to land if you aim in the direction they are running. Using Lulu's W during a trade in bot is insanely effective, shutting out either the support or carry from CC'ing or damaging your carry. See taric running at your carry with his stun ready? Polymorph. Q poke. Rinse and repeat, and soon taric will no longer try to front on your carry. Warding is something every support must do. Gold on Lulu should not be a problem with the pickpocket mastery and G/10 runes. On every base trip you should get at least one ward, make that a personal rule for yourself. Her ult is also game changing, late game with some AP giving over 400 health to any target you wish. Use it to knock up all 5 enemies, use it to live a karthus ult, use it to save your carry, or engage on your bruiser. Lulu's utility is insane and invaluable to any team fight. Picking her for your carry with proper execution will result in an easy lane and snowball into late game.