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How to win ARAM games

Last updated on December 8, 2012
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Meet the ARAM supports



Cheat Sheet
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Homocidal Sona

Sona Build

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q

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Ever since I first heard about proving grounds I have been in love with this game mode, for a number of reasons:
- I play a lot of champions and I don't like to keep practicing any single one of them, so I am not the greatest farmer, especially with non-aa champs.
- I like late game more than early game.
- I like team fights more than farming/ganking/strategy.
- I hate jungling, and I hate being poor and can't afford anything.
- I hate farming for like 20 minutes only to have every other lane fail and loose.
Don't get me wrong the classic mode is still great with decent friends to play with, but not so much as solo que for me. Also because I'm not a very skilled solo player I can't hard carry teams.
Here I will talk about the elements that help you win games in the Proving Grounds. Obviously your skill with your given champion still matters, there is more of an emphasis on tactical (as opposed to strategic in classic) team work, team composition, and luck.

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The two types of teams

I would say there are two different types of teams, both capable of winning games. The poke team, and the brawler team, a mix of the two, I don't think is a very effective composition in ARAM.
A poke team:

A brawler team:

The strategy for the poke team is to snowball from an early game advantage by constant poking before the other team could get tanky. This means start by poking into those side brushes, pushing the other team back under their tower and just keep picking up kills with those long range skills. If you could not snowball all the way to victory, the trick for late game is kiting. keep backing up, make sure to pick up all the heals on your way and they should have been worn down for a fight when you have retreated to your base. Bait them to dive and ace.

The brawler team however, focuses on late game advantage, this means build some GP5, hug towers and most importantly, go all or nothing in fights. Start by a fast purchase and head straight into the opposition's side brush and camp for first blood. If you can get an early advantage then great. If you can't then back off to tower hugging. Just focus on dodging pokes and wait for late game.

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Summoner Spells

Because of very different rules, I would argue that you should take very different summoner spells for the Proving Grounds.
Flash: I would say Flash is probably the worst spell you can get for ARAM, and here is why:

  • There are no walls to jump over.
  • long cool down in a short game means you can't use it that many times.
  • kills are worth less in ARAM because there are more kills overall, and constant income. So securing kills or escaping with this skill is less valuable.
The only time this skill would be use full I think would be with certain ultimates for initiating fights, like Crescendo or Cyclone or Idol of Durand.

Ignite: Again, kills are less valuable in ARAM so kill securing long-cool down skills like ignite are just not that useful.

Exhaust: Same thing as the previous two.

For ARAM, I recommend Heal and Barrier. Heal because you can often heal your entire team with this skill, rather than maybe one or two others like in Summoner's Rift. Barrier because it has a very low cool down and is ideal for surviving through more fights before you have to suicide to buy.

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Meet the Pokers

Poking champions are very strong in ARAM for lower skill levels and early game. The champions are roughly arranged in strength. Note I won't cover every poky champion because many of them work pretty much the same as in classic and I will only mention the ones what are different.

Strength: very strong
Jayce not only has a very good poke, has good utility with Acceleration Gate, and can transform into melee when enemies get too close.
Since Jayce's Acceleration Gate is always placed perpendicular to him, like Anivia's wall. You get an early warning that his Shock Blast is comming and from where.

Strength: very strong
Like Jayce, Maokai not only has a good poke, but can fight close up and tank damage.
Mao's sap is not avoidable by some champions without minions. But regardless of whether you can avoid it, don't run towards team mates and have it damage multiple champions.

Strength: very strong
Nidalee's spear can be ineffective against more skilled players. But she also has a decent heal and a trap that reduces defenses which most people don't realize. stepping onto one of these traps and get into a fight puts you in a significant disadvantage.
Nid's spear is obviously blocked by minions, also try to block them for your team mates if you're a tank.

Strength: strong
The problem with Yi is he cannot do much other than poke and cleanup. Poking with Yi in ARAM is also more difficult than in classic mid because there are more people hiding in brushes and you can easily get initiated on once you finish your Alpha Strike.

Strength: strong
Sivir's Boomerang Blade will do massive damage if it hits one targets on both ways. She also has a spell shield to prevent any counter poke or initiation, as well as replenish mana for more pokes. However her Q is kind of slow so they are easy do dodge.
You can bait sivir's shield by walking towards her as if you'll use a skill. She will quickly run out of mana if she fails to shield.

Strength: strong
Leblanc's Q>R combo is devastating to squinshies and can potentially straight out kill someone before they can react. But lb has no sustain what so ever, and doesn't bring much to team fights.

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Meet the Tanks

Strength: very strong
I would say Leona is probably one of the strongest tanks. This is because she has 3 hard CC skills, some damage, dash, and a long steroid.
Leona is easy to kite with someone with a dash, like Ezreal. She will usually use all 3 of her skills to initiate. and if she doesn't have her ulti up, that's when you use your channeled ultimates.

Strength: very strong
Shen is very strong for his taunt being easier to hit multiple targets in the crowded Proving Grounds. He also has a short CD shield which he could use against pokes, as well as a small heal from his Q.

Strength: very strong
Galio combines strong poke, shield, heal, and a sick ultimate. Only problem is his ulti cooldown is a little too long for ARAM. you often find yourself having to fight without your ulti.
Spread out, and if someone does get caught by his ultimate. You might as well just leave him to die. Because when he respwans the other team will be at a disadvantage without Galio's ultimate.

Strength: strong
The problem with rammus is he has no dash or ranged attacks. Making him vulnerable to kiting/kiting into turret range. He also has no heals and lacks powerful CCs.

Strength: strong
Jarvan has a good low-CD knock up initiation, can lock up priority targets with his ultimate, buffs team mates. The only thing he lacks is some sustain.

Strength: strong
Sejuani has no ranged skills, no heals, and no steroid. But she has a dash and late game dominance. She also has a large boar which believe it or not, is effective at blocking enemy clicks. Her initiation is very strong with an AOE stun, and massive slow on the entire team. She can also build considerable damage just by stacking health items.

Strength: strong
Amumu also has no steroid ability nor heals. But he has a massive stun and some damage.

Strength: average
Singed is weak also because he lacks ranged skills, making him very weak early on. He does get better later but he is still not good at protecting team mates.

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Other good champs

Teemo's mushroom is much stronger in ARAM because people usually don't buy oracles, it's more crowded more chaotic, and they really want those health pick-ups.

Zilean's bomb is stronger is ARAM because he gets the money to build death caps. He can also "heal" himself or someone else back to full with his ultimate, a very powerful skill.

Sona and Soraka also get to build deathcaps in ARAM. They are strong also because their auroras, and soraka's Q are much more utilized than in classic. combined with heals, they are top tier champions to have.

these are the on-hit build champions. With the S3 update they can all get an extra 15% ap on auto attacks. For Lulu I think this is definitely the way to go, Lulu has like 100 magic damage from Pixie at lv.18. She also has a big slow, hard cc, and burst heal.
Kayle has been build on-hit for a long time, things haven't changed that much. Just remember to go AD if everyone else on your team are AP.

On-hit MF is stronger than S2 I think, she should be built with more focus on AP rather than AS because she has an AS steroid and has ap damage abilities.
She is still stronger AD. I recommend Trinity Force because it super charges her Q. This means it is easier to kill steal (which is good because you are ADC), poke, and burst.

A good trick for Ashe in ARAM is to utilize her useless passive. You can sit in a brush and not attack minions, and then crit when Blitzcrank pulls someone, follow with Volley and it's pretty much a guaranteed kill. Her slow is also very effective against melee enemies like Singed

Anivia is good because like Zilean, she can also "heal" back to full with her passive once in a while. Her wall is also very effective in the narrow map. She is most fun when all 9 other players are melee. just throw down ultimate and watch them brawl to the death.

Victor is actually pretty strong because of his [gravity field], [chaos storm], and [death ray]. Put them all on top of the enemy team, and you have a very dead team in deed. They are slowed, burned by about 100% ap, silenced, damaged more from dot, and stuned.

Poppy is actually not that bad in ARAM. She can be pretty good against AD teams because she gets free armor.

Karma is better in ARAM because it is easy to find team mates at low health, making her health based heal more effective. She also has decent damage while shielding team mates as well as a slow/boost for chasing.

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Bad champions

To my experience, I found these champions to be inferior to others and negatively impacts your chances of winning.

Unless the enemy has no way of interrupting your ultimate, I don't find him very useful other than a AS steroid. His q has low range, and he has no other damage skill other than ultimate.

Syndra has low range, no sustain, and people are just generally bad with her anyway.

I think AP Sion is not very good in ARAM, because his damage, which is his shield could be attacked. Usually you will be facing all 5 enemy members and they'll just attack your shield so you end up doing no further damage but has put yourself in a vulnerable position.

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Starting items

Caster/ap fighter:
Boots of Speed, Chalice of Harmony, Health Potion
ADC/ad fighter:
Boots of Speed, Doran's Bladex2, Health Potion
AD caster/ harass skill focused:
The Brutalizer, Health Potion, Mana Potion
Garen/Mundo/%based regen:
Boots of Speed, Giant's Belt

General rule her is you should get at least 3 or 4 health potions unless you have two heal skills on your team, or you have a high sustain champion. Chalice is almost always preferred over tears because it gives you basically endless mana while tear does not. Unless you really need high mana like Blitzcrank or AP Kog'Maw.


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