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General Guide by glizdka

Current metagame - why is it misunderstood so much?

By glizdka | Updated on May 10, 2012
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Hecarim
  • LoL Champion: Vladimir
  • LoL Champion: Leona
  • LoL Champion: Graves
  • LoL Champion: Nocturne


LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


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Jungle Role
Ranked #15 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
Get More Stats


After few tests I realised that I was wrong at some points.
Changed idea a little bit, but concept stays nearly the same.
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Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm about to present article about one of most discussive topics.
The topic that is niche-idea against commonly known, followed by nearly everyone, meta-game.

This is strongly connected with many topics taken by "the great guides makers" such as Duff.

You've probably read some of several general guides I've made so far. If no, feel free to check them.
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Prepare for fight!

Yes I'm ready to get disliked by blind meta-followers. I will probably be.
I don't care as long as at least some of readers can get their attitude towards metagame changed.
I know that beating the giant is troublesome. And there are more meta-followers than any others.
But I will at least try.

If you feel you won't learn anything, stop reading by that moment,
because starting from now you will learn how to win in LoL from the very basics.
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Basics of the metagame.

Metagame relies on optymizing farm amount.

This is why strong lategame champions go on bot-lane with strong earlygame champions.
Lategame champ. = weak early and need farm.
Earlygame champ. = good support for lategamer and useful even without farm.
Bot-lane because of better dragon-control.

This is why strong midgame champion goes on mid-lane. So he can get level and gold fast and high.
Mid-lane because he can gank any other lane and help others in case they need it.

This is why tanky champions go top-lane. Because they can survive on such a gankable lane.
Even against 2 in case enemy team doesn't have a jungler (practically it doesn't appear)

Jungle is for good early-game champions that can gank well.
They don't need much farm, and current, post-nerf jungle doesn't provide such.

Then, earlygame is carried by jungler, he ganks lanes during lane-farm-phase.

Midgame is carried by AP mid champion, that starts ganks with jungler,
and during small teamfights he can burst-down 1 enemy turning, say, 3v3 into 3v2 in seconds.

Lategame is carried by ranged AD champion, that has strongest sustainable damage in team.

Support, not farm dependant champion, can buy all wards and utility items,
and helps ranged AD carry stay on duo-lane.

Tank has no damage but isn't focused because of survivability,
so his only purpose is to deliver utility (like support), but he can't be taken down so fast.
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How metagame is misunderstood?

Mostly in jungle, where they put:
farm-dependant champion and/or not able to clear camps fast and/or not able to gank well.

Toplane where is put weak solo-lane champion, that can't farm and needs help a lot.

Midlane where is put a champion that can easily escape a gank (midgame is safiest lane of all).

Botlane where they put as a support champions that needs some amount of farm (like Nidalee).

Building AD/AP/Jungle carries all the way offensive without any defensive items.

Building Tanks all the way deffensive without any offence.
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General downsides of metagame

First of all game is carried by ONE champion, that does it best on certain point of game.

Earlygame it's a jungler.
Midgame it's AP carry.
Lategame it's ranged AD carry.

Others' job is to support/protect them.

If you are able to take them down, you are able to win teamfights.
This is because all the damage is concentrated in ONE champion.
And that "carries" are usualy squishy, and built fully offensive.
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Counter the metagame!

Wriggle's Lantern is very good item, provides a lot of things for its cost.
Despite very high cost efficency for stats, it also gives you a free, constant ward.
3 x Wriggle's Lantern in team destroys jungler's efficency entirely. 2 decreases it a lot.

Botlane is usually slow, boring farm lane, where lategame ranged DPS would be dead without his support.
How about preparing strong kill botlane? How about Riven and Leona on bot? Or Alistar and Jarvan IV?
Gapclosers, a lot of cc, very strong damage dealing, total destruction.
If you manage to destroy their botlane, they will loose their precious AD carry.
Without farm he needs, he will be totally useless in midgame, and very weak lategame.

Teamfights are even easier to win against metagame. Take gapclosers champion/s, add CC.
Split damage equally to very durable team. Who will they focus?
Focus is like damage divided by survivability. That's why durable low damage champions ain't focused.
That's why squishy glasscannons die first.
What if everyone has almost the same durability and damage?
How will their precious carry manage 5 strong duelists, everyone capable of winning 1v1 with him.
The answer is: the won't, and without a carry metagame looses.
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Ballance between attack and damage

There is popular thing, that damage dealers should build damage only and tanks should buy only survivability.

Now let me show you certain thing.

If you have, say 50 AD and buy 50 more, you got 2 times more damage, but if you have 400 and, for the same gold, you buy 50 more, you got 450, just 12,5% more... not nuch difference right?
Same thing goes for health

But other people say "if you are ranged damage dealer you don't have to be afraid of damage taken, because you are safe in your range"...
that's just stupid, ofcourse you are in less danager than melees but, how about CC? How about long range nukes ( Xerath) and how about, finally, offtanks with gaps closers ( Shyvana), or even worse, with gapslocers AND cc AND high burst ( Jarvan IV)? If they manage to take you in 1vs1 fight, you are totally ****ed.

Next thing is positioning, if you are in danger you have to move to position yourself out of danger, if you move you don't attack, if you don't attack your damage output decreases. Look at all those tanks that don't care about focus (bah, they aren't even focused) - they just go in and steamroll anyone they want without any portion of fear.

Last thing: being toughter allows you to not care about tower diving nor focus (at least, not that much) so you are literally unstoppable
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1 vs 1 winner = carry

If you win in 1 vs 1 situation against any other enemy you can call yourself a carry, carry is someone that can literally **** up everyone in enemy team - it's not (like common myth says) someone that deals huge damage. If you are squishy glasscannon you are NOT a carry, you are just damage dealer, extra supportive damage that can be easily shut down by those duelists that are actual carries. If you can't win 1vs1 fights you can't call yourself carry

How to win 1 vs 1 fight? Let's give little simulation, for easy counting i give reality where each 1 damage per second costs same as 10 survivability

now look at 2 theoretical contestors:

20 DPS and 100 HP vs 10 DPS 200 HP

Red contestor went all the way for damage while Yellow contestor went all the way for defense. Both kill each other in same period on time. Along the game time they get farmed and buy more...

50 DPS and 100 HP vs 10 DPS 500 HP

Damn... draw again... but at this point Red contestor realises he should buy some health while Yellow still goes for defense...

50 DPS and 200 HP vs 10 DPS 600 HP

Whoa... Red contestor won! Because he started thinking and finally increased his survivability to be better in 1vs1 situation and easily killed Yellow contestor, foolish enough to keep on his route to 1 aspect of fighter (defense in his case)

So as you can see, ballance between attack and damage (mentioned in previous chapter) is key to the victory
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The best duelists in this game (and best carries) are champions that have enough damage to kill targets while beefy enough to ignore focus and win 1 vs 1 situations. The best way to do so is being tanky with a little offensive edge, that's because building defense is more cost efficent than building offense (in general)

More about offtanks can be found in this, very good, Duff's guide to offtanks
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Theoretical setup against metagame.

Everything is up to You, and your team. Be creative, think differently,
here I give You just a simple example how to use the concept.


Hecarim is strong on solo-top weak in jungle, build him tanky with a little offensive edge


Vladimir is strong mid-lane. He's naturally very tanky and has high damage output


2 gapclosers, both tanky (for damage), strong cc, very good damage, botlane destroyed


Very good jugnle speed and sustain, superior ganks

How do you see a teamfight? Leona initiates with ultimate, locking down their precious carry,
In the meantime Nocturne and Hecarim can jump through entire screen range, providing CC.
Riven and Vladimir can close up to the focused target.

Who will they focus? Everyone is tank,
everyone can't be taken down fast enough to save their carry,
not even "range" saves carry from them, because of gapclosers.
Everyone is strong duelist, and their "carry" can't win with anyone of 5 mofos on his head.
He literally dies in seconds. Without carry they have no damage.
And moreover, everyone is capable of killing others with ease.
Gapclosers, durability, CC. No escape.
You can towerdive without ANY problem.
Nothing can save them.
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Why using ranged DPS then?

He won't be a "carry", although people in comments helped me realise that it's not about damage output.
More about utility.
Like planes on the battlefield.

It's just part of tactic, when you can poke, kite, add some fancy stuff.

But vital reason to use them is that they can take down runners,
and eliminate dangerous targets fast.

Also they are capable of taking down enemys' offtanks and tanks.
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I'm not an extpert at playing champions I mentioned, this is just an idea.
Think over it, think about building like that, if You need more help, read other guides below:

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Why is this concept good?

Meta wins agains 90% of concepts,
but currently meta is nearly every-match, so currently it's not concept winning,
just better realisation of current meta-game concept.

This concept wins against current meta.
Current meta is 95% of games. This concept wins 95% of games then.
Simple right?
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Hope I gave you some food for thoughts.
Feel free to ask, I'll do my best at trying to answer your questions.

Please, don't forget to vote.

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