To begin with a little bit about myself like most people here I as originally a DOTA player (for quite a few years) and then a hardcore HoN player until my friends dragged me to LoL because they refused to change to HoN. Started LoL in 2011 and took me just over 2 months to hit 30. Ive started playing ranked games and my elo is progressing nicely, Im writing this guide because I see lots of bad players who think they are good and Ive decided to write a guide on tips on how to drag yourself out of really low elos. If your doing well you can probably ignore this guide but if your under 1300 this might hit some ugly home truths and maybe just maybe make you a better player.
How do you pick the right champion? Most people think 4 laners 1 jungler with a tank and a mix of AP and AD carries is the way to go. Generally in higher elos yes that is the case but in the lower elos 1300 and below having a jungler rarely makes a difference and any advantage of having a jungler is easily ofset if (a) that jungler sucks and (b) you have a feeder or two on your team - which unfortunatly is probably going to be very often hence elo hell. Generally you should focus on your best champion (the champion you win the most with NOT enjoy playing the most). There is NO point in being a tank because noone on your team wanted to tank if your gonna feed and lose it for your team anyway. If you can play a decent tank go ahead fill that role but if you've never purchased a tank and your playing a guessing game with "this weeks" your better off either leaving during team selection (and saving yourself time) or picking someone you can play - at low elo you can get away with this!
*Do not play champions you are not familiar with, practice on normal mode - that's what it is for! Ive seen too many people try a 'new' hero on ranked it is sickening
*Try mastering and purchasing a AP/AD/tank/jungler on normal before playing ranked games. That way you can be useful to your team by picking champs that either balance your team or counter theirs.
If your not playing with a complete rune page then your playing at a disadvantage. Combined with lame team mates the problem is compounded. Having runes early could mean who gets first blood or if that early gank at blue pay off etc... If your rune page is half arsed - play more normal and games get your rune page up to scratch. A cheap but complete rune page will cost you about 12600-15600IP maybe more depending on what your after.
Tips: Good runes for beginners which work on most champs are;
* Flat armour seals - dirt cheap works well with all champs especially junglers
* Cool down reduction glyphs - All champs could use a bit of CDR
* Magic resist glyphs - these work with just about all champs. Pick either CDR or MRES both are good picks. I'd personally go for mres for lower elo games.
* Either marks of insight or devastation. If you prefer AD champs get devastation if you like casters get insight. Get these last!
* The best all round quint is Fortitude (flat hp) a bonus 78hp at lvl1 which is ALOT. Means its alot harder to get FB off you, and for the first 6-7 lvls it will take the other team an extra 1-2 auto attack to kill you which often means an early death or two. These quints can also be used on any champ.
Figure it out for yourself - read guides do your homework etc
Tips: Getting 21 points into offence rarely pays off. You 'nearly' always have to have at least 9 points into utility - usually 21 for caster type champions.
Summoner spells depend on the champion and the matchups.
Ignite: awesome for guaranteeing a kill also a strong counter to Vladimir, Soraka, Sona, Nidalee and any other champion that can heal.
Flash: This is the most important and often used skill in the game. You can use it to escape, initiate, position etc This is the swiss army knife of summoner spells.
Clairvoiance: All teams should have one. This is important in high and low elo games. In the case of low elo games you need it because odds are your allies wont ward.
Smite: You will totally fail at jungling without this. Can also be used for counter jungling. If your not jungling dont get this.
Ghost: Good for running and positioning and a MUST have for some champs ie Karthas and Singed
Heal: Useful but not great and is easily countered by ignite, MF and GangPlank.
Fortify: Handy for keeping your towers alive - best taken with the mastery.
Cleanse: If your up against a cc heavy team or you are playing a squishy carry this can save your bacon more often than not. Very underused spell.
Exhaust: Good for champions without any cc however there are better spells.
Clarity: Dont waste a spell slot for this. Press B and get your boots while your at the shops.
Rally: Probably the best out of the bad spells. Situational I havent tried using since I was still a green hardcore feeder. Use at your own risk.
Revive: If you think you need this and your a big fan of this spell I strongly recommend cutting your nuts off with a rusty knife and removing yourself from the gene pool. Okay that was a bit too extreme but you get the message right?
The game has started so what now?
Finally the game has begun - so what the hell do you do now? Low elo games USUALLY are decided by two things.
(1) Which team fails or feeds worst early on allowing the game to snow ball out of hand and hand it to the other team without them making much of an effort.
(2) The other scenario that often happens is both teams suck just as much and you end up in a longer game where both teams hit lvl18 and have mostly completed item builds. In this scenario it usually comes down to one big decisive team fight that wins or loses it for you (usually when someone fails to turn to the party because he is trying to get the dragon which provides no xp at lvl18 and gold which is next to useless when you have all the items you really need).
So how do you overcome these nearly impossible to overcome problems? Here Im going to focus mainly on the first scenario which kind of links in with the second.
For the first scenarion there really isnt much you can do about your allies so you just need to wreck the other team so badly that it kind of evens it up, to do this you need to know the BASICS to get AHEAD!
Early game: Last hitting in particular is the MOST important CORE skills in this game and games like it (DOTA & HoN). Last hitting maximises your gold income/efficiency and gives you Lane control. Ill get into lane control later but having a good cs means you go into the mid game at worst on par with the opposition or at best destroying them and setting your team up for an easy win.
Higher CS = More gold than them = Better items than them = killing them more often = More gold and exp for you and less for them = Killing them more often over and over again.
The advantage of last hitting is it does not require ANY mana. So things like clarity or mpregen runes are not really needed. For tips on last hitting youtube hotshotgg or bigfatjiji on youtube and watch one of their games. They are both top 10 pro gamers and have tons of vids showcasing how to last hit creeps for maximum gold in minimum time.
*With melee creeps the tower takes exactly 3 hits to kill them. So let the tower hit them twice as this will reduce their hp to a sliver making it a easy last hit.
*With ranged creeps it takes the tower 2 hits to kill them. At low levels you hit the creeps once before the tower hits them this reduces their hp to red and you can finish them off with a last hit.
Lane control is all about controlling where the creep waves are. Early on ideally you want them to be closer to your tower than theirs. There are two reasons for this, firstly it means you are closer to your tower and there is noway they can get to you unless they tower dive or you do something stupid. The second reason is if the other teams champions are closer to your tower it means they are further away from theirs which means its a longer distance for them to run home - making ganks alot more effective. If you can last hit and convince your ally to do the same (cant help you if they dont/wont speak english) then generally you will have lane control. If they are pushing hard eg mordekaiser is in your lane then a few auto attacks may be needed to prevent them from actually banging down your tower. The idea is to have them at your tower without them actually hitting it. Another aspect of lane control is zoning this is ALOT harder to do but can either set up your win and screw their game over. It basically involves pushing them outside exp and gold range while you continue to last hit creeps giving you a safe gold and exp advantage. Its easy to do when you have a 2v1 champion advantage ie they got a leaver or a jungler and you dont. If its the later it is imperative you ward your river at 3 or 4 and keep warding it because they will be spamming chat that they need help. After the laning phase you should be doing one of 4 things at ALL times:
(1) Farming - minions or neutrals
(2) Killing the opposition in a safe manner - ie gank them when they are out numbered or under levelled. Fair fights are NEVER fair its like gambling it's bad.
(3) Warding - because your team sucks and wont do it
(4) Pushing lanes - be sure you can see where everyone on the other team is before you push too far or you become another dumb *** feeder. Also side pushing doesnt work unless you can solo 1v1 one of their champs.
* Youtube lol zoning there is a good video of it up there somewhere.
Wards: Your allies wont do it so you have to. If your going to be cheap at lvl11 ward dragon continuously and at 16 ward baron. If your team gets an ace because of it then it pays itself off 10 times over.
Anyway I hope all of this is nothing new to the majority of you. Playing ranked 5v5 tells me otherwise. My last bit advice to players that think they are top **** scores like 12-8-10 or 9-7-5 etc ARE NOT GOOD scores. If you can barely break even in a low elo game it means your sucking pretty bad. At the momment my kdr on my mains is over 3:1 which means I kill 3 champs for every death I take. A good score is roughly 2.5 to one or better at 1300 or less. In a normal 35 minute game if you died more than 5 times than you died too much. Dying means you over extend, have poor map awareness or ****py fighting skills and you need to work on it. A good way to score how your going is having a game score.
For me I should have a cs of 6 or more every minute of game time. Minions count as 1 Champion kills count as 15 a death counts as -25. Why 25 because dying gives them an advantage not you and if your on a killing spree or better (which you should be doing) then your death gives bonus gold away even if you do trade kills. So a 30 minute game you should be aiming at a score of about 180 or better. Thats all from me so GOOD LUCK!