General Guide by MallyxLloyd
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
You've been playing League Of Legends for a while now, And you've finally reached level 30.
You can go play ranked Now (hooray!) But what makes ranked so diffrent from normal games? what about the playstyle? the setup? What champions should I ban? What is counter-Picking,...
All shall be explained.
The first four chapters will be information about ranked. All the other chapters will help you become a better ranked player in general.
DO NOTE; this isn't a champion guide. Dispite the fact that I have 10 cheat sheets, I won't explain how to play these champions...Mobafire has plenty of guides that do that for me
Who am I?
I'm just an average LoL fan, who's been playing LoL for over a year now. I've played a fair share of games. I've carried games, failed horribly, learned, watched, Tried,...
Now I notice some people seem to forget certain aspects of the game, and I'm hoping that people will realise this by reading this guide.
What makes ranked diffrent from normal games?
In normal games, Winning or losing isn't all that a disaster. If you win, you gain extra IP to buy more champions, your total games won ticks one up and you gain some ELO
If you lose, you get a small amount of IP, you lose some ELO and your total games lost ticks one up, but who looks at that old thing anyway?
The only real diffrence between ranked and normal games, is that in ranked, you ELO is visable.
BUT WHAT IS ELO???
Elo is simply just another number, but one with a big value; your ELO will tell you apart from the noobs and the pro's. Atleast, it's often seen this way which isn't always correct.
FACTS ABOUT ELO
*when playing ranked games, you will be matched up with and against people that have an ELO close to your own.
*In order for your ELO to become visable to everyone, you need to have played atleast 10 games in a certain queue type.
*You start with 1200 ELO
*ELO decays when inactive from ranked for 4 weeks. When inactive from the game itself, ELO will decay after 3 weeks, if however your ELO is lower then 1400, it won't decay.
ELO hell...What is that?
Like I said before, You play ranked against people with a similar ELO as your own. This means if you have a low ELO, you'll be teamed up with players that also have a low ELO.
The only way to get to low ELO is by losing games. You can only lose games by playing badly, having a sudden internet failure or ofcrouse the most common used excuse : A team full of trolls.
Now, there are players that don't believe in an ELO hell. There are players who do believe in it. Personally I believe in an ELO hell and I think most of the community thinks so too. There are some vague charts out on the net showing where exactly ELO hell is located. But I don't believe you can simply say that there's a border between ELO hell and ELO heaven.
The champion select screen! what to do now?
The ranked champion select screen is very diffrent from the normal game champion select screen.
Lets go over this step by step :
STEP 1 : BANNING CHAMPIONS
Each team leader can ban a total of 3 champions, this means that 6 champions cannot be played by anyone for this one game. The leader has time to discuss with his team, what champions he should ban.
NOTE : Not all champions can be banned; Only champions that are owned by the enemy team can be banned. This logical, because you might end up banning champions that your team owns and the enemy team doesen't.
STEP 2 : CHOOSE YOUR CHAMPION
This seems fairly simple, you just pick a champion and voila! But the truth is sadly enough, diffrent.
First of all, the person with the highest ELO can pick his champion first. Then, the 2 people with the highest ELO of the OPPOSING TEAM get the pick their champions simultaneously, and so on and on until everyone has a champion selected!
NOTE : You can see the champions that your enemy picks. But they can see yours too. This is because a champion can only appear once in each game(Unlike in normal games, where the opposing team may have a champion that is also in your team).
STEP 3 : RUNES, MASTERIES, SUMMONER SPELLS AND SKINS
After everyone has selected their champion, you get some time to pick your rune page, make last minute changes to your masteries, and carefully choose your summoner spells.
NOTE : You can do all this, Straight after you have selected your champion. The extra time is for the player with the last pick so he can still make adjustments to his Runes and masteries.
STEP 4 : CHAMPION SWITCH(optional)
For those of you who have already played ranked, you might have noticed that in this step. a blue arrow appears next to one(or more) of your allies their champion. This means that that allies has the champion you selected, and you have the champion he selected. If you click on the blue arrow, a request will be send to your ally to switch champions. Now why is this a very handy option?
Imagine, Lee sin didn't get banned. You have alot of experience as Lee sin but are last pick of your team...So there's a chance that someone of the enemy team will have picked Lee before you. You can ask your team captain to pick lee sin for you..providing that you can pick a champion that he can play. This isn't often done in a solo queue game, seeing as there isn't that much time to discuss the matter. But this will be often done in Duo Queue
And there we go! off the play the game atlast!
What you must know BEFORE you play ranked
Before you start playing ranked, you'll need a solid understanding of what champions can do. There are currently around 90 champions in the game and if you face one that you don't know. He'll have a big advantage over you.
My suggestion is, watch champion spotlights, Play champions when they are free, LEARN what they can do, watch how other players use them.
It might be handy to know some numbers, to have an idea of how much damage certain skills do, or their cooldown times. And not to forget, How people build their champion!
In general, THE MORE YOU KNOW ABOUT A CHAMPION, THE BIGGER YOUR ADVANTAGE
You should also know what Champions are currently rated "OP", meaning overpowered, this includes champions that are unreasonably strong. You must understand, that the community has a bad habit of calling champions OP very fast! You must make a diffrence between champions that are easy to play, and champions that are truely OP.
Here's a list of champions that are currently rated OP by the community, do note that some champs aren't actaully OP... And that I made this list only by looking at what champion are often banned in ranked games.(check the updates chapter to see if I keep it up to date)
VERY strong jungler, easy and quick ganks, awesome get aways,...
Not truely OP in my opinion, but alot of people find his riftwalk OP because it's a spammable flash
When she hits level 6, she is way to mobile. Can utilize her ulti to escape almost everything and deal a ton of damage in the process.
Dispite that he is counterable, he can give you a hard time in top lane. Most people seem to have problem with his Armor Ignoring-high damage-Cooldown refreshing on kill ulti.
spell vamp passive, long range and long during immobilze. Annoying all spell blocking shield.
build in health pot with his Q, Ult can save almost any of his allies from very sticky situations.
Maplhite Counters the current meta by building alot of health and armor, on top of that his Ground Slam scales with his armor.
this guy will simply CC you untill you die of old age.
DO NOTE: This list might be incomplete, I'm doing my best to keep up with both low and high ELO which is hard as I can't be in both at the same time...If you see missing OP champions, send a private message with the champion name, and why that champion is OP.
The setup is a less frequently mentioned word. It basicly comes down to, what type of champions should you have in your team and what lane should they pick.
The current meta is :
TOP LANE = Off tank
MID LANE = AP carry
BOT LANE = Ranged AD Carry + Support
This setup is used because like this. Top and Mid lane are getting the full amount of Experience and gold. Bot lane has to share the experience but do note, the support should NEVER kill creeps when they're ranged AD Carry is nearby! All the money must go to your AD carry!
The jungler, is there to help you in either a sticky situation, or when you just can't seem to kill your enemies.
NOTE : the junglers job is alot more then this, See the chapter"links"to find a guide on jungling!
KNOW YOUR PLACE IN THE TEAM
Diffrent champions have diffrent jobs in the team. A support champion should ALMOST never take champion or creep kills. While the carries shouldn't be wasting there money on(to much) wards!
The support shouldn't be killing jungle creeps while the jungler is laning.
The only way to truely learn your job is to first know your champion!
Lets swiftly take a look.
CARRIES : they are the most straight forward. They need to get as much gold as possible. The more gold they can get, the faster they can start carrying. Give them all the kills, make sure they don't buy more then 2 wards.
JUNGLER : The jungler has to help the lanes by ganking, place wards to avoid enemy ganks. AND keep an eye out on dragon. Dragon gives your team 190 gold. If your team can't have it, neither can the other team!
SUPPORT : Your support teams up with your AD carry, and like I said, carries get all the money they can get. The supports job is to buy alot of wards, heal their carry, and harass enemy champions if possible.
OFF-TANK(solo top) : When you play as off tank, you have to realise your gonna be stuck in solo top for atleast 20 minutes. While others can start ganking, you have to stay in your lane. This also means that if your failing your lane early game...your gonna fail for a long while, so counter picking is VERY IMPORTANT. You should also buy a couple of wards to make sure your safe.
What you must HAVE before you play ranked
This will sound weird to most people, But you'll need runes, champions and knowledge before you play a ranked game!
Now I've already spoken of the knowledge in the last chapter.
Now, lets say there are 98 champions in game... 6 of the get banned so only 92 left. 9 of them are being played by someone else, so only 83 left
That's 15 champions that won't be accesable, each game. There's a big chance they'll ban the champion you wanted to play with. because of this, you should have atleast 2 champions of each role for the current setup + a couple of champions you just love to play with
So you'll need : 2 supports(like sona and Alistar)
2 Ranged AD carries : (Vayne and Ashe)
2 Ap carries : (Brand and Morgana)
2 junglers : (Shaco and Lee Sin)
2 off tanks : (Riven and Cho'gath)
you'll also need to know how to play them. Make sure you've played them before in normal games. never ever try out a champion in ranked.
Like this, you'll have 10 champions at your disposal + your lovely champs. For low ELO, I suggest you try to make sure that your champions are tier 1/2 champs and nothing under. I know lower tier champions can be very strong, but low elo'ers tend to think otherwise.
Runes will give you an edge in game. So it's important to have the right ones. And to have enough rune pages. I currently have 4 rune pages and I feel like I need atleast one more. Ofcourse all this will cost you alot of IP, but it will pay itself off.
I got everything! Now what?
Now you know everything you need to know, you have everything you need to have...Lets get down to some ranked!
Here I'll explain the thought progress you should ALWAYS have when your picking your champion :
You should never start a ranked game and tell yourself :"HAHA I'MA PLAY ASHE AND PWN ALL OF EM."
If you already know what champion your gonna play, then your doing it wrong.
There is only one player that sorta gets to really, choose his champion. The very first pick! Now it's not a smart idea to pick a mid or top lane as first pick, as you are basicly asking the enemies to counterpick you. Instead, try picking a champion that can be active in multipul lanes. Like Kennen, who can go top,Mid or AD bot(<--don't recommend that). It'll leave your enemies guessing to what champ they should pick to counterpick Kennen because they just don't know what lane he'll be in
WHAT THE HELL IS COUNTER-PICKING
Easily said, there are 98 champion in game. Obviously some champions are better then others. This is where Counter picking comes in!
Again, you'll need the champion knowledge. Now imagine your enemy champion picks...Ezreal!
Now Ezreal relies on hitting his skill shots, and has a built in flash skill to get away.
Be smart, pick a champion that can top this! Akali for example. Akali can use her twilight shroud skill to become invisable, making it hard for Ezreal to hit her. Once akali hits level 6, she can use her ulti as gap closer. Ezreal basicly can't do anything(Unless hope someone comes to help him) This gives Akali a great advantage to win his lane. And ofcource, come one step closer to winning the game.
This is easily one of the thing most people seem to forget..Counter picking can change games!!!
In order to correctly counter pick, you'll also have to know what champion is in what lane. This has to become a habit that you learn in normal games. When seeing the loading screen, try to make make up what enemy champions picks what lane. This will make counter picking in ranked more accurate.
We've all been there. We are playing a game, minding our own buisness. But there's this one enemy challenging you to 1vs1 him. Never ever do this.
League of Legends is a team game.. there is no 1vs1 game mode. And there is no 'i' in team.
Anyway, my point I'm making here is you're in a team, so play like a team. If you are playing Ashe in bot lane, and you can save your support by using your frost shot just once, then why wouldn't you?
BASICS IN HELPING YOUR TEAM
Yes, there are some basics that should've been picked up from normal games. Here is some basic stuff :
1: Leashing for your jungler
I've been practicing some junglers in normal games, and I noticed that I always had to ask for a leash on Blue buff. Even after asking, I didn't always get the leash. Or even a clairvoiyance to see if I'm safe. so we can conclude : MID/TOP LEASH BLUE FOR JUNGLER WHILE BOT KEEPS AN EYE ON THE OTHER JUNGLE PART. Ofcourse, the bot keeping an eye out, only applies untill the creeps start fighting, we don't want them to lose to much CS.
2: Make small sacrifices.
With this I mean an Alistar using his heatbut to save one of his allies, but in return will become the focus of the enemies. Now the sacrifice he makes is that he loses health in this process. This is where the Alistar has to determin : Do I save my ally by headbutting the enemy? If the alistar isn't able to save his ally, then the awnser is simple..don't headbut. However if you can save your ally without dying in the process, then you have to headbut.
BUT if by headbutting you save your ally, but die yourself in the process? Should you make the headbut?
This is a tricky one, it involves quick thinking..Like, will they get the most money out of killing my ally or me? Is my ally doing bad, is it worth saving him?(like if he's on a killing spree/very unskilled/Trolling),... When I'm in doubt, I always attempt to save my ally. Why? because it's a teammember.
3:Counter-picking is good, but so is Synergy
Picking champions that work well together. Like Teemo and cassio..Cass her E works on Teemo's poison too so they'll make a good synergy. In order to get a good synergy, you will most likely not get to play the champion you want. But I already covered that part.
4:Call MIA's..SS..and retreat pings
when you are in lane, and you are having a pretty big harassing contest with your enemy, you will probebly forget to check lanes to look for MIA's. So you rely on your ally champions to report MIA's...Really, if an ally dies because you didn't call MIA then it probebly is your fault and in most cases, you'll just be mad at your ally because he died. Basicly, blaming your ally because you didn't call MIA. If possible also use a retreat ping because it's hard to not notice those.
If you called MIA a while ago, and that champion is still nowhere to be found, call it again. Think of your team, it's not because you are alone in lane that you shouldn't help your team!!!
This probebly happens almost every solo queue ranked/normal game you play.. Someone brings someone else down because of a smallish mistake they made. Constantly flaming him over this. Now, no matter how big the mistake was or howmany the guy actaully made. Flaming him isn't going to get you anywhere.
Now I'll be honest in this, I too flame. However I flame out loud instead of spam typing it. Why? because they can't hear/read it or even know I'm flaming them. When I see someone buying a completely wrong item(like a morgana with a bloodthirster<--True story) I just type it once saying that she shouldn't have bought that without any swearing or all caps rage.
Flaming your allies will only frustrate them. Making them preform worse and thus, make even more mistakes. Allies might also get distracted by the flamer spamming the chat box. so flaming will only result in making everything worse.
he got it all right!
If you would leave, or queuedodge, a ranked game, the punishement is somewhat similar to leaving from a normal game :
-Leaving a game after it has started still results in a recorded leave, and queue dodging still results in a time penalty before using matchmaking again. However, leaving a ranked game or queue dodging will also result in a drop in Elo rating, the amount equivalent to the amount you would have lost by losing the match. This is in addition to the 10 points decay for queue dodging.
However, If a game doesn't end (for example for server issues, or because every player left the match), no penalties are given out.
This will take time to learn everything. But once you learn it I can asure you, you'll have more chance to win ranked games.
I know that the guide is dull at the moment, no pictures or nothing, just plain text.
I'll be getting some pics going in a while.
If you find mistakes in the guide, let me know, Question? just ask!
-04.01 --> Spelling check, changed Vayne items, changed example in"I got everything! Now what?" chapter, removed the full line in every chapter
-07.01 --> Moved the "Who does what" chapter to the "what you must know BEFORE you play ranked" chapter, Added "Penalties" chapter
-16.01 --> Added a list of "community rated OP champions" in the "What you must know before you play ranked" chapter
-19.01 --> corrected more spelling errors(God my English sucks) Added a step 4 to "The champion select screen! what to do now?" chapter
-04.02 --> removed Shaco, added Ziggs to Op list. Corrected more typos
-15.02 --> added teamplay chapter
-22.02 --> added Shen to OP list, removed Ziggs from OP list
-05.03 --> added Rammus to OP list.
-06.03 --> Minor change to the introduction
-30.03 --> Minor change to"The champion select screen! what to do now?" chapter. Added Shaco to OP list
-02.04 --> removed Graves from OP list.
-05.05 --> removed Karthus, Maokai to OP list and added Ahri
-15.05 --> removed skarner, added Warwick
-30.05 --> added a video, added Darius to the OP list, changed some text in the"I got everything" chapter, updated the "what you must HAVE" chapter
-26.07 --> removed Warwick, Rammus and Shaco, added Malphite