Not Updated For Current Season
Introduction: Who I am, and what I do.
I'm Cavain, and this is my attempt to help people in my lowly elo. I have a fair grasp on the strategy of this game. But due to full time school and full time work my free time is fairly limited for games. And like everyone else in this game I get frustrated when I play and someone on my team just isn't having their best game, or doesn't know what their role is. I can't fix the bad games aspect, we all have them. But I can tell you what the roles are and generaly what is expected of them. This is not a guide to how to play, it is not a how to build all the roles ( I will touch on the basics), and it is not 100% correct based on all champions, patches and "meta" changes.
The builds are just thrown together very quickly, I'll be fine tuning them as I go along.
This is not designed to be an individual guide for every character, there are always execeptions to every rule. This is a broad overview
Updates and Changes
This will remain a work in progress as my free time permits. I do plan on giving examples of all the roles.
5/11/12 Finished the basic item builds, now they need polishing.
5/31/12 Changed brusiers into two seperate catigories.
6/1/12 Adding examples of roles
In short you do damage.
Your job early game is to farm, and get the gear you need to kill your oppontent. There are two different types of carries, AP, or ability power, and AD, or attack damage. And they fill two very different rolls. But more on that later.
This roll is a little harder to define. Generaly you build more tanky then the carries, But if left unchecked in a fight you can and will kill people.
There are two basic ways to build a brusiers.
Offensive Brusier / Counter Carry
An offensive brusiers job is to be tanky enough to live through the initial damage of a teamfight, and get to the enemy carries.
When you get to them one of three things will happen, First you'll kill them. Second they'll run away effectively making thier damage output zero (almost as good as dead), this is also called zoning. Third their team will attempt to peel you off and kill you (leaving your carries alone to do damage). All of these are a good thing... yes even dieing, that means your carries have more time to do damage to thier carries. It should be noted that you can go in too early and die with little to nothing accomplished... but thats not something I'll be talking about.
I have two very good examples that exemplify this style of brusier.
The first is Olaf, and here is why he excels at this. His kit(ablities) make him very hard to kite and later in the game(team fights) very hard to kill. If he lands an Undertow (ax throw) your carry will be slowed. He can hit his ultimate Ragnarok making him immune to crowd controll for six seconds (Unkiteable). And lastly his two damage abilties make him A)harder to kill with the life steal, while upping his damage based on his health. And B) Reckless Swing does true damage, knowing that carries don't generaly stack health thier team will have to save them or olaf will need to be killed very quickly to stop him.
The second example I think fits this roll very well is Shyvana. Her kit is very different from olaf. She has no built in healing. But she brings a fairly powerful AOE(and ups her move speed while active) and her ultimate makes her very tough to kill while alowing her to jump over the tanks(and improves all of her ablities) to get right on to the carries. In a team fight she ignores the tanks alltogether, becomes more tanky, damages not only the carries, but everyone trying to peel her off as well.
Deffensive Brusier / Off tank
You can be the tank but you truely excell at crowd controll and moderate damage.
Your job is the exact opposite of above. When the other teams brusiers come in for your carries, you are in effect a meat shield. You do some damage, but your job is to make sure your carries can do as much damage as possible. Using your stuns, taunts, or slows you are attempting to peel the enemy carries and brusiers on to you so your carries can kill them.
The prime example of this would probably be Shen. With his ablity to taunt, shield, and give his team a way to heal themselves. And his ultimate Stand United allows you to save your carries from death by giving them a very powerful shield. And in general you only need one damage item and the rest can be very tank oriented.
In my humble oppinion one of the two rolls that get little to no credit when things are going well, and are blamed first when things go poorly(the other is support).
The job is this, don't die. You should be a fairly tough nut to crack early, and this should only get worse for the other team as the game goes on. Generaly you'll need to play a little safe in lane, and get your kills and assists when your team ganks for you.
In team fights tanks generaly are the initiatior, because they can live through the burst damage. Most of them have an ability that allows them to either get to the enemy team and disrupt them, or have a crowd controll ability that forces someone to attack you (a taunt). After the fight begins your job is to peel the enemies off your carries, whether that means taunting a bruiser so your carries stay alive or attacking/disrupting the enemy carries so they can't kill your team. Your goal at this point is disruption, don't allow the enemy team to do what they want to do.
Malphite is a supurb example here. His Ultimate has fairly long range and an AOE knock up. He has an attack speed slow, a movement speed slow, and attacks with AOE auto attacks. And I would argue one of the best tank based passive ablilities in the game. He gets 10% of his total health as a shield that reset after a set amount of time of not being attacked.
And an equaly good example would be Rammus, Power ball gives you significant move speed and a stun on colision. A built in thornmail (a percentage of damage taken is given to the attacker). A three second taunt (second longest CC in the game, only thing better is Fiddlesticks's fear). And his ultimate is just a bonus, an AOE.
Attack Damage Carry
This is arugably the easiest role to define. Your job as an AD carry is Damage pure and simple. You accomplish this with auto attacks.
First and foremost, you are VERY item dependent. You need to first learn how to farm creeps effectively (last hitting). This allows you to buy the items you need to do enough damage to kill your opponent.
Second you are generaly in the bottom lane with a support, who idealy lets you last hit all the minnons (more about that later). This means you don't need alot if any sustain in lane, life steal, do to the fact you have consistant help. Although it does make your life easier.
Third is just a more indepth look into two. You have help, try and be on the same page with your support when you go for an aggressive move in the laning phase, in team fights you will need to be aware of your postioning to maximize your damage going out, and minimize your damage coming in.
Mid game, you should be a force to be reconded with. You do high sustainable damage. BUT your are a glass cannon, you can't take much of a hit either. Postioning is key to staying alive. Use your team mates as meat shields while you do the damage.
Late game, you are the damage dealer end of story. Your auto attacks are your main damage source, your abilities are just there to compliment them. You don't have burst or mana issues that some of your team mates will be dealing with, and your sustain should be incredibly high do to life steal so long as your auto attacking. You are the only one on the team that has the damage out put to kill a full tank build. (without a whole lot of help) This does not mean they are your first target... they're not.
Possibly the most under apprecated roll. When you play it well you are in the backround(or foreground in some cases) making your team look good, providing map contoll, objective controll, and in the laning phase helping your AD carry.
Your runes and masteries generaly should reflect the fact you are in bot lane and NOT last hitting. Your carry is far more dependent on items then you are, and because of this you should be letting him farm the minnions to maximize his/her gold income. Gold per ten items help you keep up with the rest of your team and allow the purchasing of wards for the map contoll you will need to help win the game.
You can break these down into three subtypes, Agressive, Passive, and Utility. This is not to say that all supports fall into just one of these catagories there is alot of room for over lap.
Utility, ALL! supports bring you utility. This is basicly a sliding scale. I would have to go into individual supports to clarify this.
Agressive supports favor aggresson, DUH. Most of them bring a form of cc and in general go for kills vs. a farm lane. Some carries benifit this style more then others be sure your team mates know the plan before you go diving head long into a fight expecting help.
Passive supports favor sustain. These supports generaly have a heal built into there kit. Allowing their carry to stay in lane longer and because of this get more farm and more levels.
You are also a damage dealer like the AD carry. That is where the similarity ends. You use your ablilities to kill people.
Your auto attacks do very little, but your burst damage is second to none. When your combo is a up you can do massive damage in a very short amount of time. On the flip side of that, when your ablitities are on cool down run away, because your damage potential is severely reduced.
Generaly you are going to be in the mid lane. You scale the best from levels, yes gear helps improve your damage, but early game you get alot of damage just based on gaining levels.
You will also need to be farming as much as the ad carry in the bottem lane. So your gear should be as good as anyone's in the game. But by not sharing a lane you will be higher level and should do more damage early.
Mid game, you should have high burst potential. Aim for the people that don't have magic resist (MR) you can take well over half their health, if not kill them out right.
Late game, you're the assasin. You go in use your combo on the squishiest person in range, and get out. Wait for your cooldowns to comeback up, and do it all over again. You can't kill tanks by yourself, thats the AD's job after thier carries are dead or running away.
Now the line blurs between AP and AD. Solo top can be either. What makes a solo top, a solo top, is that they can go with out help for a longer periods of time. This mean sustain and a fair amount of damage. Generaly these are brusiers or ranged sustain champions. IT should be said that alot of these will have a built in sustain or life steal.
Your goal here is to farm, first, then get kills when the oportunity arises. You have a lot of flexablity in this lane.
You can push the minnions to the opponents tower and go counter jungle, this denies them farm, and allows you to slow there jungler down. This favors the brusiers that moonlight as junglers.
Or you can play this as purely a farm lane allowing you to get a good creep score (cs), and gaining levels like you were in the mid lane. This tends to favor the sustain or ranged charactors up here.
Mid game, look to gank mid or counter jungle. In team fights look at the brusier section.
Late game, you'll fit into the brusier roll, or a mix between brusier and carry. This is dependent on who your playing.
And finaly the jungler, the easiest to play, and hardest to master. You farm neutral minnon camps in the jungle. Last hitting isn't an issue as your the only one doing the damage. Your job beyond that is, map controll and ganking, giving your teammates an advantage in their lanes so you can win the game.
Learning who, when, and where to gank is what makes jungling possibly the hardest learning curve in this game. Because this is all judgement based. The basics are this, is a lane pushed in your favor for ganking, can you kill them before they get back to the realitive safty of their tower, and letting your teammates know you're coming.
Along the lines of map controll, You should be warding! this is not just a supports job you need to ward as well. Also the neutral buffs, while early game they are unquestionably yours.
Mid and late game give them to the people they benifit the most. Blue buff should go to your AP carry, this allows him to use his abilities more often AND not run out of mana (This is a huge help to them). As soon as you don't need the xp or the buff yourself, give it away. Red buff is a little bit more trivial, but is still is quite good. A built in on hit slow and some true damage per hit. Use this for yourself early and mid game as it makes ganking more effective. Late game it should probably go to AD making him that much better in a team fight.