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League of Legends Build Guide Author lyncisAt

Lvl. 30 - what now???

lyncisAt Last updated on April 21, 2013
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Fine team setup


Bad team setup

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Hello summoners!

Welcome in the world of League of Legends. First of all, I just want to give you some basic informations about me and this guide. I play League of Legends as my most favourit RTS game for a while now. As summoner I play every role available in Lol, but in competitive game play (ranked), I play the role of the jungler or sometimes as a support.

I choose Soraka, and I play her as a jungler! - Phreak

If you bother about rating my Guide, please leave a comment for me. I want this guide to be an useful tool to everyone and so let me know why to up or down vote my guide. Are you ready? So let's start!

Oh! One important thing more... I use (@ name) to refer to an other part of my guide. Sometimes there may happen an overlapping of content - but that's why I use references. You also can choose to just read some of the chapters, since they are self-contained. Also i want to point out important statements from my guide. They will look like the line below. Enjoy!

"Trust me on that, I'm an useful hint!"

Update: Season 3

I've set a deadline for myself when to finish this guide. Yes, it's the officially start of Season 3 for League of Legends! Well, in the very last days of Season 3, Morello from Riot announced many game changing updates for many mechanics in game (items, masteries, summoner spells, jungle). Since those major updates may change gameplay quite drastic, it may take some time after release to adapt my guide too. Please keep that in mind! Thank you!

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What is this guide for?

You just hit lvl. 30? Or you half way at lvl. 24? Then feel free to come closer and take a look! I decided to create this guide for all the people out there with lvl. 30, who still need to learn the basics of LOL. And believe me - there are lots of them! I've seen summoners with 300, 500 or even 800+ wins, playing LOL for ages, and still they run around without a clue how to play LOL as a team. Maybe they know how to play their champions, but those guys really miss out some of the basics! And that's the difference, whether you win or lose more games.

And I guess that's the biggest issue, why people stuck in elo hell! Yes... I'm sorry... but it's up to you, if you fall down to 750 elo and can or cannot get back to 1200+ (@ Ranked games). If my guide can help you on your way, I am happy! :)

So basically this guide is for new summoners or for those who want to learn to play as a team, where everyone is aware about the basics of League of Legends and about team play. You may find many useful facts & hints here as well, even if you played LOL for quite a while now. But when you already got an elo from round about 1400+, you probably won't need this guide anymore. But hey, every day somewhere in Summoner's Rift some of those guys prove me wrong.

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Runes & Masteries


Well, since this is a general guide, I won't give you much specific recommendations, what runes or masteries are good for which champion. But there are still some helpful facts, it's always good, to keep in mind. If you are interested in a very good, in-depth rune guide, I really recommend Searz's rune guide!

First of all - if you are below lvl. 20, don't bother about tier 1 or 2 runes. You gonna hit lvl. 20 (tier 3 runes are available now) pretty soon, and those other runes are just way to expensive for the benefit they give. When you are ready for the good tier 3 runes, but you already got some runes before, just use the Rune Combiner. But don't spend IP on runes to gamble with that tool - you never know what runes you will receive.

"Just buy tier 3 runes!"

Since there are tones of runes available to purchase, it's good to have an overview of all the runes you can get. Buying runes is all about "how much benefit do I get for one empty rune slot". In the picture below you can see strong, average and weak runes. You don't want to spent IP on 9 weak Greater Glyph of Attack Damage (+2.52 AD) when you can get 9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage (+8.55 AD).

Open overview picture

Personally, I use 10 different rune pages at the moment. You can buy an additional rune page (up to 20) for 6300 IP (or 590 RP). I know, that's a lot - but it's worth it! You also can get a "7 Rune Page Bundle" for 2600 RP at the shop. I just spent real money on LOL stuff once in my life. And for that RP, I bought such a bundle, since it's really helpful.

But it's up to you, how many rune pages you want to build. It depends on how many different champs you play. A 100 % support player can use the 2 starter rune pages. But for AD carry, tank, jungler, AP carry, top melee you need a whole bunch of different rune setups to be more effective. I'll talk about that a bit later (@ Setups for different positions).

"Buy additional rune pages for more variable setups!"


Same story here! Thanks to Riot, you can have up to 10 mastery pages, and that for free! But you probably already knew that. And as far as I can tell you - use them! Don't just build specific setups for your main champions. Especially when you play a lot of different champions try to build general mastery pages. You can try to get one for AD carry or an other one for a critical damage based champions and a 3rd one for you support build and so on. I think you got the idea.

Try to combine your rune pages with your mastery pages to get the most out of it for a specific champion/team setup. And know them! You always can change your mastery pages in the champion selection screen to adjust them. I'm pretty sure, that's the reason why you just can save up to 10 pages. Get used to NOT log in you chosen champion and change the masteries, before you start - but be quick!

"Adjust your masteries in the champion selection screen!"

Specific setups for specific champions

Of course you can max out the potency of a champion with an unique runens & mastery setup. There are a couple of champions with abilities you want to use as effective as you can. I'll give you an example and for that we are going to take a closer look at Akali - The Fist of Shadow! Her passive Twin Disciplines gives her bonus magic damage, the more AP she builds and free spell vamp the more AD she builds. To activate these passive effects you need at least 20 AP and 10 bonus AD (additional to her basic attack damage). Well, for example you just could buy a Doran's Blade to activate the bonus spell vamp. But as a good Akali player you usually want to start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion. So you need to use specific runes & masteries to activate both effects of Twin Disciplines at lvl. 1. In case you are curious how to get both of these effects, click the spoiler box to see a possible setup.

good akali setup

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Team (+VoIP) VS Solo

League of Legends is a game, so be honest - every game is way more fun to play with friends or people you used to play with. In not-ranked game play you can try new champions or new builds alone, or in a team of 2-5 people. I really encourage you to find a couple of people to play with together, since you learn to communicate and set up strategies. Further you can talk about your games, why you won or lost them. That really should improve game play significantly.

A big advantage for the team is a VoIP Client for obvious reason. It's easier to set up good ganks, information in game can be passed way faster to you team and all over all it's way more fun to talk with people while plying! And a good mood - even more if you about to lose a game - is one of the most important things to come back and win at Summoner's Rift! Especially when you play draft pick or ranked games. If you don't familiar to VoIP software check out one of the following links. (No, I don't get money, when you klick on the logos!)


But now let's start talking about to actually play the game!

"Try out VoIP software, if you are not used to it!"

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The champion selection screen

Oh well - this is the place, where unexperienced people (or trolls) start losing the game. I absolutely mean it the way I wrote it. In the champion selection screen you can start losing you game. People can make really dumb decisions, but with a little bit of communication, you can set up a pretty nice team as well. That includes champions, summoner spells, runes & masteries. And you can mess up with all of them. The next sections shall help you to avoid a couple of (unintentional) mistakes, we gonna talk about now.

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Champion Selection (team setup)

Here I talk about blind pick game play, since summoners play this mode most of the time, when they start playing to gain gameplay experiance (like till you got your round about first 150 wins, but that's just a number with very little meaning to be honest). Since you don't know what champions you are going to face at the Field of Justices, you can't counter-pick of course. I will talk about that in a later chapter (@ Draft pick). All you can do, is to set up an all-rounder team. At the moment there has established a meta in League of Legends, which was played first at the European server, before the player at the North American servers adopted it.

  • TOP LANE = Bruiser
  • MID LANE = AP Caster
  • BOT LANE = AD Carry + Support
  • JUNGLE = Jungler
  • BASE = Nexus + 3 Inhibitors + 5 Towers (Yeah, that's the current meta!)
You want to have 2-3 people dealing heavy damage. The main damage sources should be the caster at mid lane (magic damage like Ryze, Cassiopeia, Veigar) and the carry from bot lane (attack damage like Graves, Corki, Varus). A support player (like Sona, Taric, Janna) at bot lane helps the AD carry to get farm, kills and make sure, that the lane survives. For the AD carry it is crucial to have a good support! NOT just an other lane partner - a real support! I'll talk about that in a bit.

When you have enough damage on your team, you need at least one champion, that can tank a load of damage (e.g. Frozen Heart for Armor, Force of Nature for MR, Warmog's Armor for Health etc.). Of course you can build every champion pretty tanky with the right items, but there are some champions, which fit better (like Amumu, Rammus, Shen) in that role than others for some reasons (@ Team fights). Since the carries on the team can't afford to build too many tanky items (instead of damage items), it's the top lane, the jungler or sometimes the support, who builds more armor/magic resistance then other champions on the team. On the other hand, the carries need to survive as long as possible to deal damage. Situational, they may need to get one or two of these tanky items as well (@ Getting sustain).

Last, but not least, the team needs a jungler. YES, you do! Every time! Don't let anyone tell you a jungler is a disatvantage. If played correctly, it's not a big deal, that your toplane has to play against 2 champions. Basically nearly every champion can do the jungler position, but many of them are not really good at it. As a jungler you start out clearing the jungle to keep up in XP with your lanes. You roam the map, gank lanes, and fight the other jungler. So you want to jungle with a champion that
So choose a champion, that combines some of these things - then you should do fine in your team. Talking about CC... Your team needs CC to execute good ganks, chase down low-health champions and most important for team fights. A team with very poor CC gonna have a hard time to win team fights (@ Team fights). It's best to have CC in every lane - that's an important fact, to set up a good team. You may have recognized the two teams i put into this guide at the top. Now we are going to take a closer look to these two setups!

"For good balancing you want AD damage, AP damage, a jungler, a support, tankyness & CC on your team!"

Good Team Setup

Since there never is a "perfect" team set up, team 1 isn't the best set up at all - but you got everything you need on your team. Ashe is a strong late-game AD carry (with Enchanted Crystal Arrow - one of the best initiating CC ultimates) and Alistar is a strong support, that can heal with Triumphant Roar and got tones of CC ( Pulverize Headbutt). So this is a strong setup, where Ashe can farm early game, what's most important for her, without getting bullied around too much, if Alistar is played correctly. In mid lane, Annie is a good burst damage caster with nice CC as well, because of her passive ( Pyromania). Top lanes is set up with Olaf, who is a strong DPS dealer and very nice true damage ( Reckless Swing) and a slow ( Undertow). The 5th champion on the team is Skarner. At the moment he is definitely one of the strongest champions to jungle with. First of all he got very high basic stats, he has a permanent slow on Crystal Slash and a hard CC ability ( Impale), which is good to suppress and reposition enemy champions. Further, Skarner can clear his jungle very fast with AOE damage on Crystal Slash, he can shield him self against neutral monsters in the jungle with Crystalline Exoskeleton and he can heal himself with Fracture. So he got everything a strong jungler needs to be successful.

As I mentioned earlier, every lane got CC. So ganks from the jungler are way more effective for obvious reasons. Since there is enough CC on the team, with a good initiation, team fights can be won easier. Usually you want to build Skarner tanky and Olaf can be build as off-tank too (at least tons of Health, since HP synergizes well with his abilities). So the team has two champions, who should try to take the aggression of the other team and tank their damage at the beginning of a team fight. As long as the main damage dealer ( Annie & Ashe) can positioning themselves well then, they survive to deal the damage to kill the other team one by one. But I'm going to talk about team fights in a later section again (@ Team fights).

Bad Team Setup

When you face team 2 in the loading screen, you know, there is something wrong in their setup. First of all they chose a strange champion combination. The summoner spells can tell you that as well (@ Choice of Summoner Spells). Either these are some troll picks or they are going to have some big problems at late game, when team one 1 can play off their game correctly.

We can't really know, who is going to fight in mid lane. They can run either an AP Ezreal or an AP Master Yi. Both champions are not nearly as strong as their AD analog if they are not fed, what should not happen, since they kind of counter picked them self (and their summoner spells are not going to help them much as well). However they decide to setup their mid lane, their Caitlyn has to share her lane with an other carry. And such a set up causes all kind of troubles, the other team can take advantage of. As a carry you want to farm creeps (@ Farming) as much as u can. A carry (+ support) can get way more farm, than two carries in one lane. Of course they can decide to run one of the carries as support - but usually a real support champion has more usage in late game to the team as a support Master Yi or support Ezreal.

Probably team 2 is going to run a solo top Amumu. This is quite a weak top lane, since he doesn't deal much damage till mid/end game, especially when you build tank items on him. And heavy AP Amumu can't take that much advantage of his initiator spells, since the other team can kill that little crying guy way to fast. You see, all he can do at top lane is cry you a river, when you play smart!

The last position on their team is Pantheon. This Spartan can be abused as a jungler, but there he is mediocre in best case. If you decide to run that guy in the jungle, you need to count on you early game, because Pantheon scales pretty bad in late game, especially when he can't get early kills. Now let's talk about why, he is not a good jungler. Well, yes - he can gank. Actually his ganks are not the worst. With Aegis of Zeonia he got a gap closer and a stun, that's indeed nice. But Pantheon got no build in sustain (natural Lifesteal, shields) while he is clearing the jungle pretty slow.

So Pantheon jungle can work, but if the enemy jungler Skarner decides to counter jungle (@ Jungling) that poor guy, his early game is kind of ****ed up and he is going to have a hard time in late game. Team 2 should have sent Amumu in the jungle and Pantheon in top lane.

So let's summon up the bad decision of team 2:
  • No AP carry or just a bad scaling one, when not fed
  • No support - instead of that, they run two carrys, who miss out some farm. That means weak late game if not fed (believe me - if played correctly, they won't survive laning phase without getting killed a few times)
  • A weak jungler and a passive top lane. Switch them, actually would give team 2 a nice top lane and a fine jungler with great mid/late game potential.
So yes - team 2 started losing their game in the champion selection screen. Don't feed Master Yi - the Master of "I kill your base on my own, while you are out for dinner", don't even let them get into late game, where Amumu can rape your whole team with one good Curse of the Sad Mummy. Make them surrender at 20:00!

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Setups for different positions

This is, where I'm going to talk about start setups for the top lane, the jungler, the mid lane, the bot lane. This is no in-depth guide for certain champions, so please be aware, that I give general advises for lane setups. Click on the Position to jump to the section you desire. Please keep in mind: I really try to give advise as a guideline for DO's & DONT's for new or inexperienced/lower elo summoners.

@ Support000000@ AD Carry000000@ AP carry000000@ Jungler000000@ Solo top000000

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The support setup

Let's start with the bot lane. Again - you want a real support. Sometimes people decide to run their supports as an AP casters/support/something. Most of the time you can tell that from the Doran's Ring they start with. You see that often on Janna or Lux for example. They got some strong spells and therefor they go for AP. That's not a good decision for a reason, I already mentioned earlier, when we talked about the bot lane setup of team 2 (@ Team 2 bot lane). When you go AP, you probably prioritize Spells with AP scaling - then you need to farm.


"Use a dedicated support champion to lane together with your AD carry!"

But as a support you are not supposed to farm - to make use of spells, which need AP to be more effective, you need a lot money. But without farm you don't get money! It's that simple. If you really start with a Doran's Ring, you miss out money for items, you can build into Gold per 10 items. These items give you gold over time, what you need, because you don't farm. Additional to that, you should get some wards for you lane, especially when the other team runs a jungler. Why and how to wards, I'm discussing in an other chapter (@ Warding). So a standard choice of items for a wide range of supports is a combination of these items:
000000Sight Ward000000 000000 000000

The Faerie Charm is a good start item for mana depending supports, because it builds into Philosopher's Stone. More useful Gold per 10 items for supports are the Heart of Gold or Kage's Lucky Pick. Usually you want one or two of these items on your support build. They give you passive money, and some other benefits. In late game you can build these items in useful support items as well (e.g. Philosopher's stone in Shurelya's Reverie or Heart of Gold in Randuin's Omen).

"Get Gold per 10 items - you need them!"

I strongley recommend to spend 3 x 2048 IP on Greater Quintessence of Gold for additional gold income. For even more passive gold, put mastery points into Greed (+ 2 Gold every 10 sec.) and Wealth (+ 40 start gold). Both you can find in the utility tree. For the maths for gold items/runes/masteries on a support in comparison to a support without that stuff, check the spoiler box.

Gold Items/Runes/Masteries over time

Other useful masteries for a support champion are Awareness & Sage for increased XP gaining. Other masteries and runes are situational, but usually you go for armor/magic resistance/mana (regeneration).

"Supports should make use of a very specific runes/masteries setup!"

Summoner spells are situational too, and you need to talk to your lane partner to set them up. So the following Summoner spells you see on support most often:

Not much to say about it. But you want one of these spells on nearly every (support) champion. You need an escape ability, when you get ganked at bot lane or the other team just initiates to get a kill. A Sona without Flash or Ghost is high priority and easy to kill. That lack of an escape ability can easily be the reason for a fed 0/4/0 Tristana after just 10 minutes.

"Every champion needs a disengage ability/escape summoner's spell!"

CV ( Clairvoyance) is a typically support spell. You won't see it on other positions, because no one else on the team can (should) afford to run this spell. It's a great Summoners spell with good utility over the whole game. But you have to decide, whether you want a spell good for map awareness or do you want a spell, that helps you to make your lane more successful. Take CV when you feel fine in your lane, and most of the team is connected over VoiP (@ VoiP). So you can pass information fast enough to your team, when you use CV. An other reason, why you could go for CV is the enemy jungler. Of course you can't know in blind pick. But when you play a draft pick mode, take CV, when you face a dangerous early lvl. 2 ganker like Lee Sin or Shaco. Then you want to use CV about the 1:10 or 1:20 minute mark to know where they start. Use CV again after cool down to make sure, or even see the route, the enemy jungler is going fore. But be aware - sometimes experienced jungles will try to juke you by feeding you wrong information, when you catch them with CV.

"CV can help you against dangerous lvl. 2 gankers!"


Don't forget to use CV at the very beginning at around about 00:10-00:15, to catch the other team's champions in their base. If you can get vision on them, you also see the start items they bought. How much sustain do they have ( Health Potion)? Are they faster ( Boots of Speed)? Does the jungler play very safe ( Cloth Armor + Health Potion), not so safe ( Vampiric Scepter) or even aggressive ( Boots of Speed)? Sometime you see people just wait in their base, buying nothing, but just to avoid that CV effect. Sure, you don't know what start items they got - but just stand in your base for 30 seconds can be bad as well (@ The first two minutes)!
You can think about this spell as a support, to heal yourself at least 100 HP (scaling with yourchampion's level) and every near allied champions (50% reduced healing effect). This summoner spell got nerved significantly in the Spectator Mode-Patch (v1.0.0.139). Because of the reduced healing effect to allied champions, you should probably let the AD carry go with Heal and take an other useful spell.
This is a very useful and strong summoner spell in every phase of the game and often underestimated by new League of Legends player. It can be used offensive (40% slow effect) to CC and secure a kill, but you also can use it in a more defensive way to escape or shut down the attack damage output (by 70%) or AP/item damage (by 35%). Exhaust can turn around a team fight by shutting down the enemy AD carry for 2.5 seconds. One or two Exhaust spells on the team is never wrong.
You won't see that spell too often on a support, but I guess is can be helpful, when you lane with a mana hungry AD carry like Corki or you AD carry is spamming abilities like crazy. For example Kog'Maw with Living Artillery or Caitlyn with Piltover Peacemaker can run themselves out of mana pretty fast as well as supports like Sona or Nidalee. I just recommend you and your carry to stop spamming abilities. Try to manage your mana pool - then you don't need to wast a summoner spell slot with Clarity.
@ Support000000@ AD Carry000000@ AP carry000000@ Jungler000000@ Solo top000000

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The AD carry setup

Every team needs one or more carries. AD Carries are pretty straight forward - you buy damage items, you avoid to die and you kill everything. But win or lose a lane can come with the start setup of the carry. In 99% you will see people start with


Personally, I prefer to start the lane with 3 Health Potion and Boots of Speed. In low elo games you will see people start with Doran's Blade more often. The reason is quite obvious: it gives you +10 damage and they want to kill the other champions in bot lane. I just say don't! The laning phase is all about farming gold and XP! You want to get as many creeps as you can and you want to stay in the lane as long as u can. Just think about it: 3 Health Potion give you additional 450 HP. That's like a 2nd life in early game. Sure - it's easier to last-hit minions. But that should not be the reason why you choose a Doran's Blade as start item. With Boots of Speed it's easier to positioning you self while farming. It's easier to dodge skill shots and if your lane should get ganked earlier, you may be able to save your flash, just because you have enough movement speed.

So when do I start with a Doran's Blade? Well, not very often! I run this item on an AD carry just in case I lane together with a support player, that I know and that is suitable for Doran's Blade start. Most of the time, Boots of Speed and Health Potion give you more benefit for early game. If you really want to go with a Doran's Blade I strongly recommend you have a support, that has a strong shielding ability or a good heal. That could be a Alistar with Triumphant Roar or Janna with Eye Of The Storm. There are some champions with a strong heal as well, but if you force them to use all their mana for healing you up, they can't be as effective as they could. Don't go without Health Potion and think it's the job of Taric or Sona to heal you non stop - it's not! They need their mana to support you with their aggressive spells too!

An other argument I hear from time to time about Doran's Blade is the extra 80 HP and 3% life steal for sustain. Well, that's nonsense! In the laning phase you deal way too less damage that you could heal up with 3% life steal. Don't get me wrong - that little dagger is a great item, when you stack 2 or even 3 of them at the right time. But it shouldn't be the start item.

"A Doran's Blade is not a good starting item in most cases!"

The masteries and runes are situational for a ranged AD carry - but usually you see them running 21/9/0 on the mastery tree. For runes you should run 9 Greater Seal of Armor (+ 12,69 armor) and MR on the glyphs ( Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist). For other runes think about your champion and the itemization you are planing to go for. If you go for extreme high critical strike damage (short crit) output ( Infinity Edge + Phantom Dancer), don't forget to put a point into Lethality (+ 10% critical strike chance) and crit damage runes ( Greater Mark of Critical Damage, Greater Quintessence of Critical Damage). Ashe with her passive Focus or Draven with his passive Wicked Blades are working great with crit damage set up.

For life steal damage (means you go for Wriggle's Latern or The Bloodthirster) put 3 points into Vampirism (+ 3% life steal) and go for more armor penetration with 9 Greater Mark of desolation (+ 14,94 % armor penetration). But you also can run quints and marks for attack damage ( Greater Mark of Attack Damage) or attack speed ( Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed). It's up to you, what you prefer. Just check out all the good mobafire guides for your preferred AD carry and think about, how you are going to play him to make a decision about the balance of attack damage, attack speed, crit damage, life steal. Maybe you should set up 2 or even more different AD carry rune pages.

Now let's take about the summoner spells for an AD carry. As I said earlier in the support setup section (@ Support setup) you really should set up your summoner spells together with your support.
It's never wrong to run heal on the AD carry to survive. It's a small heal, but it can save your ***. It's useful in team fights, because allied champions get half of the healing effect as well. One more thing your can do is to bait someone under the tower when you are low. When they dive you, use heal and you may be able to survive and even get a kill. Especially in early game the turrets hurt a lot and 2 shots can be enough to finish of diving fools.
An aggressive spell, you can use to finish of a very low health enemy because of the true damage, that Ignite deals over a couple of seconds. Definitely a strong spell on an AD carry, when the support can make sure, you don't need a defensive spell like Heal. An additional effect is that healing & regeneration is reduced by 50%. You can use it against Dr. Mundo, when he uses his ultimate Sadism.

"Use Ignite to counter healing effects!"

You could go for Exhaust, when your support is going for Clairvoyance + Flash. Not much to say about it. Use it offensive to slow and get a kill or win a damage trade - the attack damage reduction (- 70%) and the movement speed reduction (- 40%) is huge. These effects can be used defensively as well to get away and reduce the damage output of your opponent.

Choose one! No, I'm serious - you need one out of these two spells as an escape mechanism. There are just a few AD carries, who who have strong building escape abilities like Ezreal with Arcane Shift or Tristana with Rocket Jump. But there is absolutely nothing wrong to go as Corki with Flash and Valkyrie, you will use both - I promise! All over all I really prefer Flash over Ghost on AD carries. When you need to get away, it's necessary to repositioning your self - like now! I heard people saying they don't use Flash, because it's hard to use and therefor Ghost is more useful. Well... learn to use Flash. It's the most powerful summoner spell in the game and that's why it is the last spell you can unlock (summoner lvl. 12). Use it to escape over walls, be able to get one last attack to finish off people or dodge dangerous skill shots. But again - choose whatever you want - but never lane without an escape spell. Never! If you see a Caitlyn without Flash or Ghost ("I'm Caitlyn, I can jump away with my 90 Caliber Net!"), punish her hard by ganking her all day long. ( Warwick just says "Jump now, dead *****!")
This is an other very useful defense spell you don't see that often - but it can be game changing. Basically it has the same effect as Quicksilver Sash. Use it and you instantly get rid of any disables and summoner spells. That means any form of slows, stuns and effects. Only suppressions like from Malzahar with Nether Grasp or Warwick with Infinite Duress can not be removed. Further after casting Cleanse new incoming spells within 3 seconds are reduced in duration by 65%. So let's pretend you face a Ashe with Leona support in bot lane - then you are really happy with Cleanse.
@ Support000000@ AD Carry000000@ AP carry000000@ Jungler000000@ Solo top000000

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The AP carry setup

Well, the setup for the AP carry is the most complex one, since there are manny different things to think about how to set up your lane. Usually you are going to see the these items on AP carrys:

000000 000000 000000 000000 000000 000000

Well, first of all I recommend you to be sure about your first core item and how fast you need it. Ryze for example scales with Mana. The more mana you build, the more damage you deal. The scaling is not as high as it used to be before his major rework within the Spectator Mode-Patch (v1.0.0.139) and a couple of patches earlier - but still noticeable. Therefor it's common to start with a Sapphire Crystal to build it in a Tear of the Goddess as soon as possible. With the Darius-Patch (v1.0.0.140) Riot implemented the item Athene's Unholy Grail, witch builds out of Chalice of Harmony. This is a very use full item for mana hungry spell casters like Lux or Galio. The only problem before Athene's Unholy Grail was, that you could not build Chalice of Harmony into anything. Since now you can, this item has become a strong choice for spell casters in mid as well. If you think about to build it, then you can start with a Meki Pendant and some Health Potion or Mana Potion.

Similar to Doran's Blade for AD champions you can buy a Doran's Ring for AP champions. However, I do not recommend you to start mid lane with this item for the same reasons I mentioned in the AD Carry section (@ Start with Doran's Blade). Personally I start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion with most of the AP carries for more mobility, easier last hitting and of course more sustain. With Boots of Speed it's harder to gank you in mid lane and when you need to recall early, you can get back to lane faster. Again, it's important to know your champion and his abilities to choose the best start item.

For your masteries the most common setup is 21/0/9 or 9/0/21 if there is no champion specific setup. You always want 9 points into Mental Force (+ 4 AP), Sorcery (+ 4% cool down reduction) & Arcane Knowledge (+ 10% magic penetration) to max out the effectiveness of your abities. At the utility tree put 3 points into Expanded Mind (+ 12 Mana per lvl), 3 points into Meditation (+ 3 Mana regeneration per 5 seconds) and a point into Runic Affinity (+ 20% duration on buffs). As AP carry your Jungler will probably give you the blue buff, when ever it is up - but don't take the 1st blue buff, when the jungler needs it. With Runic Affinity you get a huge duration benefit from buffs.

The rest of the mastery points can be used for more damage in the offensive tree or for more utility. Your decision should include your champion and your runes as well. For an experience boost, put 4 points into Awareness (+ 5% Exp) & 1 point into Sage (+ 40 Exp per kill or assist). For champions with spell vamp items or inbuilt spell vamp (like Ryze with Desperate Power) you can maximize the healing effect with 3 points into Transmutation (+ 3% spell vamp). If you go for cool down reduction think about 3 points into Intelligence (+ 6% cool down reduction). Be aware, that the cap for cool down reduction is 40%. Blue buff gives you 20%, so you are going to nearly reach the cap with one more item like Fiendish Codex. Try to reach the cap with items and give blue buff then someone on the team, who benefits from increased mana regeneration and cool down reduction.

Basicly there are two ways to set up your runes for an AP caster. Either you go aggressive for AP or you go defensive for MR. Befor the Hecarim-Patch (v1.0.0.138) it was a viable strategy to get tons of MR as start set up. Escpecially in high elo games people used to play this to outsustain the oponent. With the Hecarim-Patch most of the flat MR runes (like Greater Glyph of Magic Resist) got nerfed and some of the magic penetration runes (like Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration) as well as the Glyphs for AP ( Greater Glyph of Ability Power) got buffed. How to set up you champion depends on the AP carry you play in mid. Do you have a great range and can place skill shots more easy? Does your champion scales great with AP in late game? Then you probably should use additional AP/magic penetration runes. Otherwise higher MR can help you as well to survive a difficult caster lane with dangerous poke damage. Magic Penetration is most effective on the marks like ( Greater Mark of Magic Penetration), best AP runes are Glyphs & Quintessences (like Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power). Last runes I want to mention are the Seals. If you need faster mana regeneration, go for Greater Seal of Replenishment. A couple of AP casters have inbuilt abilities to get back mana (like Veigar with Equilibrium or Karthus with Defile) - don't waste seal slots on mana regeneration then.

So let's take a look at the summoner spell for AP carries.

The vast majority of people go with Flash - haven't seen Ghost at AP carries in mid very often. First of all - of course you need an escape mechanism like every champion. There are casters, who got inbuilt mechanisms (like Katarina with Shunpo or Ahri with Spirit Rush). But they can't help you, when you haven't put a point into it. With lvl. 6, Kassadin gets his ultimate Riftwalk. This works like Flash, but till lvl. 6 you got no escape mechanism. That can be enough to die a couple of times, when the other team ganks you a lot.
This is the most common summoner spell for AP casters. The true damage can finish of the other caster, when you got him to very low health. Since you alone in mid, it's just you and the other AP carry (when you avoide ganks with good ward coverage). Use it to get the edge and win trades in your lane.
You are a carry - you need to avoid dying. Heal can be used as the more defensive way, if you don't want to go with Ignite. The healing effect is ok, and it can be underestimated, when people dive you under the turret. Heal + stun under the turret + Flash can save your live and maybe you even get a kill out of it.
Restores at least 190 mana. This can be an useful spell, when your spells take tons of your mana (like AP Kog'Maw with Living Artillery & Void Ooze). Not much to say about it - just once again: try to manage your mana pool as effective as you can and don't spam skill shots for harassment. You can try to constantly harass and restore your mana then, to bully the other AP carry out of the lane. But farming & avoiding to overextend should be prioritized higher.
From time to time, you see people running Teleport on their AP carries in mid. Usually this spell is seen more in top lane - but it is useful in mid lane as well. The idea behind mid lane Teleport is to out-sustain your opponent and get down the mid tower more easy. The way from tower to tower is very short at mid lane. Leaving the lane, when the other caster stays in lane, is like an invitation to take down your tower. What you want to do, is to use Teleport to secure the tower, when you got forced back to base. The same idea works in the way to have advantage over the other AP carry. After trading damage, usually people go back, when they are low life - because pushing a tower then is pretty unsafe. With Teleport you can go heal yourself, teleport back to your lane and use the time to attack the tower, as long as you are alone. Try to time this, when your minions push against the tower to get free tower hits (@ Pushing). But Teleport of course is also useful to help out some where else on the map for example.

This is definitely a strong spell, but probably not that useful for the laning phase in mid. Can be used defensively to get away - but AP carries usually deal burst damage over range in very short time. So Exhaust just reduces the magic damage by 35%. Go for this spell, if you don't need any other summoner spells.
@ Support000000@ AD Carry000000@ AP carry000000@ Jungler000000@ Solo top000000

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The jungler setup


"Always run a real jungler - in every game!"

As I mentioned in a previous chapter (@ Champion selection), your start item depends on your champion you choose. This is a general guide and there is no perfect, specific start item for every champion. It depends on your play style and your lanes as well. Since almost every champion can take Smite and run through the jungle calling himself a jungler, the jungle in Summoner's Rift has seen all sort of crazy setups you can think off (why not jungle- Annie or jungle- Ashe). Here I just list up the most common start items for jungles:
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I know - there are a few more items you can start with (like Doran's Blade, Long Sword, Ruby Crystal, etc.). For some jungles you need a specific start item ( Fiddlesticks usually starts with an AP item like Amplifying Tome or Doran's Ring). Here I just want to talk in general, why jungler go for these common items. For more specific guides I strongly recommend the start-item-sectiony from two very well written and informative guides by Xenasis (Jungling 101 - What You Need To Know!) and Hahano (Jungling 202: Beyond The Basics). The basic idea behind the start items for a jungler is to make him more viable for jungling - means to compensate something. That can be sustain, gankability or damage output.

With Cloth Armor plus up to 5 Health Potion you get by far the most sustain you can get with your start money. This is the "safe" way to jungle, since you won't get very low in your own jungle. Without, many jungles (like Rammus or Olaf) could not clear their jungle without getting dangerously low. Also it's not that easy for the enemy jungler to kill you in your own jungle and in case you get to much damage somehow you carry up to 750 extra health with you. A couple of jungles can run Vampiric Scepter without getting low clearing the jungle. It can be a nice start item, since it directly builds into Wriggle's Lantern (also Cloth Armor does) and you have not "wasted" money on Health Potion. Anyway, Vampiric Scepter is just a good item for a jungler, when you heal up more life than you lose in process. Trundle for example has great sustain with his passive Decompose and increased attack damage ( Rabid Bite) works fine with the life steal of Vampiric Scepter. Should you see someone jungling without much sustain (like Pantheon; slow in clearing camps, no shielding, etc.) running Vampiric Scepter, think about counter jungling, since it could be an easy kill for you (@ Jungling).

"Your start item should compensate missing jungler stats like sustain, gankability or damage!"

The masteries for jungler are very situational. Some very mana depending champions (like Amumu or Skarner) can start with a Regrowth Pendant and one Health Potion to rush Philosopher's Stone. Regrowth Pendant gives you a little bit of sustain, because of the nice health regeneration boost. Once you build Philosopher's Stone, you do not depend on blue buff that much any more. Further you get additional gold income, which is always good for jungler. Other start items for gold-per-10 items are Ruby Crystal into Heart of Gold, Brawler's Gloves into Avarice Blade or Amplifying Tome into Kage's Lucky Pick.

Last, but not least, a very common start for jungler, is to go for Boots of Speed and three Health Potion. This start items give you nice sustain and a big speed advantage. Jungler go for this setup, when they want to play very aggressive. You see this on dangerous lvl. 2 gankers, or strong counter jungler (like Lee Sin or Dr. Mundo). Also on champions, which need to be in close range to get off their CC while ganking (like Skarner or Udyr), this is a strong start setup. In higher elo game play, the jungler start with Boots of Speed almost every time. If jungler plan to counter jungle early they really need Boots of Speed to get into the jungle fast and also get out fast. An example could be a jungler starting at blue, getting help (@ The first two minutes) and then going straith for the enemy's red buff.

Next let's talk about the runes and masteries for a jungler. There is a wide range of good jungler, and so there is also a wide range of setups to go for. But in general you want to be sure: Do you deal magic damage (e.g. Maokai) or attack damage (e.g. Shaco)? Are you more of an offensive (e.g Nocturne) or defensive (e.g. Leona) jungler? Are you pretty mana depending (like Olaf) or not? Since most of the time, you can solve your mana problems with the right items (like Philosopher's Stone), I personally run 9/21/0 or 21/9/0 on most of my jungler. But of course you can set up special runes & masteries for a specific jungler as well. There are jungler guides for almost any champion in the League - so check it out, if you feel like you need a special setup.

But you are still a jungler, whatever champion you will choose. You always want to run Smite with no exception. So there are not many reasons to no put 1 point into Summoner's Resolve (+ 10 gold with every Smite use). If you need more sustain in the jungle early, then put 2 points into Tough Skin (- 2 damage from the minions and monsters) and 1 point into Bladed Armor (+ 6 passive damage when hit by minions or monsters). Movement speed for jungles is always a good thing, so 3 points into Initiator (+ 3% movement speed when above 70% health) or 4 points into Swiftness can be helpful as well. As a jungler you have to clear jungle camps, while you take the full the damage from them (full agro). Further you probably take more damage from ganks, because from the lack of laning XP, you are under leveled. That's why you usually want armor & magic resistance runes (like Greater Seal of Armor & Greater Glyph of Magic Resist). For more movement speed I really recommend to spend 3 x 2048 IP on Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - 4.5% additional movement speed on some jungler is realy huge.

"There are very useful jungler-specific masteries! Check them out and use them!"

So now let's have a look on the viable summoner spells for jungler.

I'm not going to lose any more words about a "I'm Shaco - I use Deceive and so I don't need Flash"-discusion. That argument is true of course, and it's up to you, what you do! On most jungler, you probably go for Flash. It will save your life and it's one of the best gap closer in the game to make ganking more effective. Also it's pretty cool, to steal a Baron buff, when you Flash into Baron area and Smite steal Baron from the other team - risky, but pretty amazing, if you successful. Ghost can be useful some jungler like Singed or Xin Zhao. With these guys it's always about chasing and running away!
This is what makes you a real jungler. There is no jungling without Smite. Never ever! Without Smite you are just a champion killing camps in the jungle (what are you doing in the jungle?! get the **** out of here and go laining!). In low elo games or low summoner levels you see sometimes people talking about why smite is bad (spoiler box below). Don't listen to them. Smite makes you way faster in the jungle, you can take your first blue/red buff fast and you lose not that much health from these strong jungle monsters. You can secure stuff by killing buff monsters, dragons and baron with Smite. Just point over Smite in your UI to see the amount of true damage you deal with it to make sure you don't blow off Smite too early. And of course there is no effective counter juggling without Smite. Sneak in and steal buffs, if they don't pay enough attention (@ Counter jungling).

"Run Smite, when you are going to jungle - without any exception!"

stupid arguments against smite

As I mentioned earlier (@ Jungler selection), there are a couple of viable champions, who just lack a little bit of good CC (like Shyvana or Master Yi). Therefor it can make sense to take Exhaust with you, to make your ganks more successful and more scarry. It's risky, but helpful, when your lanes also miss out some CC. You need to care even more about good positioning - you can't use Flash to get away, when you do some mistakes. Also you need to know where the other jungler is (to avioide counter ganking) and you need to pay more attention to missing lanes. Good luck with that!
@ Support000000@ AD Carry000000@ AP carry000000@ Jungler000000@ Solo top000000

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The top lane setup

Last, but not least - the solo top lane. Most of the time you will face one other solo top laner. Sometimes - especially in low elo - people don't run a jungler. That's not such a big deal, if you play this lane correctley. It's hard to give general advise for the solo top lane, since you can play almost so many different champions there with success. Winning and losing this lane is more a matter of counter picking and jungler ganks. But still, it's most important to set up a good working team. So usually in top we find someone bruiser-like (e.g. Garen or Irelia) or a tank (like Cho'Gath or Singed), to get a balanced team. Here some of the most common start items:

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Again, you can play all sort of champions (e.g. Vladimir) in the top lane - there are other good start items too, but these are the most common. Since you want to farm as much as you can and wait for a good gank, Boots of Speed & 3 Health Potion give you sustain, it's easier to farm and when your jungler comes for a gank, it's easier to get off more damage or even go for the kill. Also it's easier to escape ganks from the enemy team. Cloth Armor is a strong item, when you face a dangerous AD champion (like Riven). You get tons of sustain, some nice armor and on some solo top champions a good early game 1item can be Wriggle's Lantern, which builds from Cloth Armor. Same idea (Armor + nice sustain) behind Doran's Shield - this can be a strong choice, but keep in mind, that it doesn't build into anything. If you survive a gank or get first blood - it was definitely worth the money I guess. Also the Doran's Blade is a very strong item on a couple of solo top champions like Renekton. This item can definitely give you the edge to get first blood in your top lane. Of course Boots of Speed & 3 Health Potion give you more sustain against harassment and more mobility to farm or get out of a gank. I recommend Doran's Blade as a start item just on champions, who got any kind of escape ability or CC. All over all, you should go with Boots of Speed as first item. There is nothing wrong get Doran's Blade as a second item or even stack two of them on many of the AD solo top champions.

The masteries and runes should not be discussed here too much - there are so many different champions you can choose for solo top. So I can't talk too much about the setup for solo top in general. Very common for solo top are defensive runes, like extra armor (e.g. Greater Quintessence of Armor, Greater Seal of Armor), MR (like Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist) or some extra HP (e.g. Greater Quintessence of Health). For you masteries take what ever your champion needs. If you go with Teleport, don't forget to put 1 point into Summoner's Insight (faster teleporting). Talking about the summoner spells is way more important - so let's do that now in detail.

Same old story, I know. Go for what ever you like best - there are some good solo top champions who generally go with Ghost more often (like Singed), so just check out a good guide here on Mobafire for your favorite champion, if you are not sure. As solo top, you want to gank mid from time to time, so Flash or Ghost are very useful for ganks - but also when the team jungler is trying to gank in your lane, these spells are defenetly handy to go for a kill.
A strong summoner spell you see on top very often. The way to a side lane is longer than mid, so you can get back to your lane fast. Losing a tower after 5 minutes because the enemy jungler ganked sucsessfully, is not useful. Talking about useful - at least one Teleport is always a strong choice. In mid or late game champions with Teleport can split-push very effective (@ Split Pushing)
0000OR0000 0000OR0000

Sometimes one of these spells can make sense for a solo top player as well, if they don't choose Teleport. Just in case you want to get a advantage in lane, choose one of these in combination with Flash or Ghost. Although you hardly see Heal on solo top players, Exhaust can help you, to go for kills with the slow effect (- 40%) and the dramatically reduced auto attack damage output (- 70%) of your opponent. For an other aggressive choice, Ignite may be the right choice. Use it to shut down the healing effect of some champions like Warwick (against Infinite Duress), Vladimir or Dr. Mundo (while he uses his ultimate Sadism) or use it to finish them off under their tower, when they are particulary low .

Maybe you have heard from the so called "Sil Sol" setup ( Ignite & Heal). Of course, this is like a killer set up on a 1vs1 fight - but you give up late game usage on both of your summoner spells then and you miss out an escape spell. Give it a try, if you really should feel like "must... go... Sil Sol...". But keep in mind, Sil Sol is in the top 100 ranks of the US elo ladder at the moment (Sept '12). He might be better than you.

@ Support000000@ AD Carry000000@ AP carry000000@ Jungler000000@ Solo top000000

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The first two minutes

The loading screen is gone and the game has started! Buy as fast as possible to get out of your base. As mentioned in the support setup section (@ CV), Clairvoyance should be used at round about 0:10 - 0:15, to catch the other team right in their base. If you buy faster, you are out of vision. And here is a useful hint: You can buy outside of the fountain! Just have a look in the spoiler box for prove.

Advanced Buying Technique

After buying there are a couple of things to do till 2:00. I'm not going to talk about advanced invading strategies, since this demands good team play and knowledge about the enemy champions. You always see people runing to their lane, hiding in the side bush and waiting for the enemy. First of all, facechecking a bush can end pretty bad for you, if the enemy champions had the same idea and just were faster. Use the time to help your team in other ways.

The most important task propably is to secure the jungler. A couple of jungler, like Amumu, Fiddlesticks or Hecarim, usually start at blue buff, because the need the higher mana regeneration. Other junglers, like Dr. Mundo or Lee Sin, usually start at red buff. Help your jungler and cover the dangerous spots at the river, to make sure you see enemy champions early enough, in case they try to invade (see map below). The more strong lvl. 1 CC (like Exhaust or Rocket Grab from Blitzcrank) the enemy team got, the more dangerous they are, if they invade.

cover points

The buff camps spawn at 1:55. Spending a couple of seconds before and after that, can give your jungler a huge advantage. Team communication is important here, but usually the jungler should know, how other people can help here most effective. A good jungler will start with a small camp (Woolve's camp or Wraith's Camp) at 1:40 to be faster, get more XP and more gold. Whoever is near to the camp should help the jungler with a couple of auto attacks. So the jungler takes less damage and he has enough time to run to the buff camp.

"Help your jungler - cover and give him a pull!"

In general always the mid lanes (not top lane!) should pull or even leash without reseting the camp (tips for that in the spoiler box). That means someone else, than the jungler hits the blue buff Golem or the red buff Lizard first to take the aggression. These couple of seconds are going to make sure, the jungler is not taking much damage to get the first buff.

Pulling & Leashing

In the mean while bot lane can go for the double golems in bot lane - ask your jungler. But usually the camp is up again, when the jungler arrives at double golems in most jungle routes. Do them, they give your AD almost half of lvl. 2. Support and AD carry can share the aggression, to avoid taking any damage. In the spoiler box below, you can see the technique used for that.

double golems campe

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Before we go into the laning phase, I want to talk about the Sight Ward, the Vision Ward and the Oracle's Elixir. This section will cover the most important information about this topic. For an in-depth warding guide, I recommend Panglot's warding guide.

Sight Ward win the game! - old Demacian wisedom

Warding the map and paying attention to the map makes the life at Summoner's Rift so much easier - especially, if the other team does not! Every lane must cover it self by buying wards. Usually the AD carry is the only champion, who is freed of this duty in early game, because there is a support in his lane. But of course it's not wrong to get a ward, if it is necessary. All the other positions (support, mid, top) should prioritize wards over the next items, when they recall to the base. The Jungler also should get wards to ward the jungle for counter jungling purpose (@ Jungling). It's not the job of the jungler or the support to ward for mid or top lanes!

It's nice to get The Brutalizer for your Garen particularly fast, but it's not that helpful for your team, if you instantly die at the next Rammus gank, just because you totaly refused to "wast" money on a Sight Ward. Again: Buying a Sight Ward for you lane is not one of these "You can, if you want"-issues! Warding is crucial for winning the game! In the spoiler box below, you can see an overview map of Summoner's Rift with the most important ward positions. This map does not cover all viable ward positions of course!

Warding Map

So let's talk briefly about the different sort of marked spots for Sight Ward on the map.
  • It's most important to avoid dying from ganks. So ward the river and your lanes when ever possible (blue spots). Im going to repeat myself, but the first 15-20 minutes should be more about farming creeps - not about killing your opponent. Since a experienced Summoner can find different ways to gank your lane, one ward cannot cover your whole lane - but it's better, than not a single ward. I'm going to talk about warding & how to counter ganking in the next chapter (@ Laning phase).
  • Jungler, mid lane and bot lane have to make sure, that your team has vision on the dragon. 2 or 3 free dragons for the other team means a huge lead in global gold for them. Avoid that by warding it with a sight ward or a Vision Ward (pink spots) whenever it's possible. How to deal with dragon and baron will be discussed in a later chapter (@ Dragon & Baron).
  • In mid and late game most of the towers are gone and that means less map control. Moving there without the team can end pretty bad. The team can gain more control by warding in the jungle(entrances) (red spots & green spots).
  • Further the green spots are important bushes to control you or the enemy buffs. Usually a jungler is going to ward such bushes (green spots) to secure himself or steal buffs. More about counter jungling in a later chapter (@ Counter jungling).
  • The last kind of ward spots I want to mention are useful, when your team lost all the outer towers (black spots). Since it's important to stay alive and regain some map control, these spots can help a lot to see the enemy's movement in your jungle next to your base. Leaving your base without vision in your jungle is very dangerous with no outer towers. These wards help you a little bit at least with this jungle control problem.
Buying one single Sight ward is not hurting, since it's just 75 gold. This is equal to 3 minions. Get one, whenever you recall to your base. A Vision Ward sells for 125 gold. It's revealing all stealth units passing it's range. This not just includes stealth champions (e.g. Shaco with Deceive or Evelynn with her passive Shadow Walk) - it also includes other Sight Ward and Vision Ward. Use them to kill other wards on the river (blue spots & pink spots). When you kill an other ward, you get 25 gold. So then a Vision Ward costs you just 100 gold effectively. The Oracle's Elixir sells for 400 gold and works just like a mobile Vision Ward on the champion's vision range. This is a high-risk-high-reward item, since you lose it, when you die. Usually it's the support or the jungler, who is buying an Oracle's Elixir, since they roam the map the most. As a support you can buy a Oracle's Elixir, when your lane is fed (extra gold from assists) and you have control over the lanes. This will snowball your team even further. In late game a tanky champion is also a viable choice, since he is more likly to survive that a squishy support. This also makes the tank a target with higher priority - exactly what you want! Kill all the wards on the river with your Oracle's Elixir. This will grant you a huge advantage in map control! Use it and keep warding!

"Try to buy a single Sight WardSight Ward, whenevery you are back in your shop!"

Oh - one last question to answer about that topic! There is a mastery called Scout for additional view range on your Sight Ward & Vision Wards. Believe me - it's not worth, to spend a point in it! But feel free to check out my spoiler box for a detailed picture compare.


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The laning phase

If played correctly, your jungler shouldn't be dead after the first two minutes and the laning phase has begun. Usually the term laning phase covers the whole early game. The play style of an solo top laner or an AD carry may be different to the play style from the AP carry. But still they all should do the same early on - farming, farming, farming. That may sound boring, but that's the most important task for everybody, except the support player.

But I have to admit, that you won't see a farming-only lane that often. Most people, especially on lower elo, play this game to rule - killing other champions and win the game on their own. That's not a big deal ... just be the better player and you are going to win your lane - so why people in high elo just sit back, farm and wait for an opportunity to make plays as a team, before they go for a kill on their own? Because those players are good enough to simply just not die in a 1 vs 1 that easy. It's more effective to farm creeps for gold and wait for the right opportunity.


"Prioritize farming over trading harassment!"

As an AD/AP carry your job is to become an unstoppable force in mid and especially late game. You can win your lane with two strategies. Either you avoid dying and you over farm the other carry - then you can get the better items faster to win the lane. Or you just play better then the other team and kill them. I'm going to talk about the first, more effective and less random way.

First of all you have to avoid dying. Feeding kill for kill for kill to other champions is going to become a huge issue in mid/late game. At bottom lane you got a support down there, and it's the support's job to make sure, nobody down here is dying. This is why you always want to start with some Sight Ward as a support - maybe even a Vision Ward to kill the the wards of the enemy support. In mid and top lane it's your own job to keep staying save. Here you see the important spots again for lane warding:

"Ward out the river, when ever possible to make your farming more save!"

So why do I keep saying farming is more important than getting early kills? An AD carry with 150 cs (creep slain) can build a more powerful and dangerous build, even if he died a couple of times. An AD carry with 3 kills but just 50 creeps in the same time, is not going to be that dangerous. Same for AP carry and solo top! Keep in mind: one kill is worth round about 15-20 cs in early game. Rather die and keep up farming, than get some early kills and miss out tons of farm.

To have a good laning phase, you need to have control over your lane. This includes warding, your position and also the position of the creeps. Also there are two parameters, when it comes about positioning while farming.
  1. How save can I farm?
  2. How easy can I farm?
These parameters are oppositional to each other. This means: When you get pushed right under your tower, you are in a pretty safe position. But it becomes way harder to last hit there, because your tower also attacks the creeps. If you push your own creep away from your tower, you can last hit easier, since your own tower is not in range to attack minions. The further you push, the more unsafe your position becomes.

"Try to freeze the minion waves in the mid of the lane - for save & easy farming!"

At this moment your laning behavior can decide, who is winning the lane match up. The most save way to win the lane, is to freeze the lane in front of your tower. Just last hit the minions, and let the enemy's wave meet your wave between tower range and the middle of your lane. Your jungler should be able to gank easily, especially when the enemy champion starts pushing even more.

Try to harass the opponents a little bit down, before your jungler makes an attempt to gank your lane. The lower your can get your enemy, the faster he dies at a gank. But keep in mind: the lower you are (low in HP or also low in mana), the harder & and more risky ganks become. A good jungler will not gank your lane when you are down to 20% Health and no mana. Trading a kill for a death usually is not worth the jungler's time.

"Don't expect ganks or ask your jungler for them, when you push your lane against the enemy tower or you'r completely low in health or mana non stop!"

While farming, try to keep paying attention to the map as well. Yes, that is very important. It's common to tell other lanes, when your lane opponent has left the lane or teleported back. Usually people on the european servers use the "ss" (for "champion is missing"), on the north american servers people tend to use "mia" more often (for "missing in action"). Use it whenever they leave the lane. It should help!

Well, especially people in random teams tend to blaming other people for dying to ganks - because someone forgot to tell "mia". In most cases, that's total ********! Ok, maybe someone did not use "ss", but usually people just don't have enough map awareness at such situations, play risky, pushing like there is no tomorrow, and then they get killed by ease. Don't let them flame you for their bad plays. They would have died any way most likely. Use the "mia" and you are fine.

When I play with friends, most of the time we use teamspeak. There it is way easier to pass information to other lanes quickly. I tell, when people leaving lanes, when people recalling to base, when I see a jungler heading a direction or when I see mid leaving to probably get blue. If my team mates in other lanes are pushing and my lane is missing, I don't just type "ss" - I tell them "Hey guys, watch out in bot lane! Morgana just has left the lane!!! Care!" or "Watch out mid, don't push so hard! I have no idea, where their Vayne & Alistar are at the moment!"

"Tell your team, when people leaving the lane!"

From time to time, you are forced to recall back to base or maybe you just want to spend some gold on new items. When is the best time to do that? Basically, whenever you don't lose much EXP, last hits or health of towers. Push the lane, before you go back! This is very important! You want your lane pushed, when you go back! So your tower is not killing enemy minions. Whenever your wave is pushed to the enemy tower, they start attacking the tower instate of enemy minions. This is good for you, since your minions die to the tower (no gold & EXP for the enemy team, if they have left), but the enemy minions stay unharmed & ready for you to kill, when you come back to lane! So again - pushing the minion wave means denying gold & EXP to to enemy team!

A jungler should hold your lane, when you are gone and he's somewhere nearby, last hitting there or even pushing the minion wave to the enemy tower! It's sad, but often enough people started flaming on me for "stealing their farm" (What farm?!? You're are NOT even here, dude!). And also they suck anyway at farming - so just ignore them. So keep in mind: push your minion wave when you are alone in lane or when you need to recall to base!

"You want your lane pushed into the enemy tower, when you leave your lane!"

Now I want to talk about the lanes in specific - what should you do - what can you do - what you must not do. So let's start:

Bot lane

This is a very important lane to be played controlled - because Dragon is near by. A 0/7 bot lane in laning phase usually means free dragons for the other team. So don't give the lane away that fast. As I mentioned before: try to last hit, freeze the lane in a save-to-farm spot near your tower and wait for ganks (from jungler or mid) to get easy kills. There is no more safe way to snowball your lane and become a strong & dangerous AD carry.

To farm in peace, ward out your lane. I did mention that before, did I? The best spots for this is the bush on the river or in front of dragon, if you play on blue team's side. The purple team's bot lane should ward the tri bush in first place - this is the most common ganking rout for a blue team jungler at bottom lane. Warding is important to avoid ganks - but since a good jungler always will find routs to gank your lane (river gank, side bush gank, lane gank, flash gank, counter gank, etc. ... more about that in the jungling section @ Jungling), it's unavoidable to die to good ganks. Just don't make it too easy.

Of course there are some lane combinations, which can get kills on their own without any problems, if the CC and the damage is enough. Nothings wrong with that. Examples could be Graves & Taric, Ashe & Leona or Corki & Blitzcrank. The idea is pretty easy: Use the CC, use Exhaust and kill them - over and over again. In the spoiler box below I want to talk about how to deal with such "killer lanes"!

Killer Lanes

Especially killer lanes like to go for early kills - nothing wrong with that. Every AD carry benefits from kills of course. But a couple of AD carrys, like Tristana or Kog'Maw don't really have that great early game burst damage like a Graves does. Concentrate on farming with them even more!

"Help your bot lane, when they face a "killer lane" - They need ganks!"

Usually you should just go for a kill, when there is an advantage on your side. This can be a gank (3 vs 2), or early on just a lvl up on them. Care for bot lanes, which did the double golem camp on blue side at 1:30. They will hit lvl 2 earlier (4 Abilities vs 2 Abilities). Also a significant lvl jump is lvl 6. Getting your both's ultimates before your enemy bot lane duo, means you have a huge advantage. Try to make plays in this short time frame. If you have your summoner spells up (like Exhaust + Ignite) and you know their spells are down, this also can give you the edge in a fight. Also keep checking the items of your enemy AD carry, especially after kills, deaths or recalls. A Vayne with Berserker's Greaves, B.F. Sword & Zeal can easily trade with an Ashe, which just got Berserker's Greaves, 2 Doran's Blade & a Vampiric Scepter for obvious reason.

On blue side the AD carry can keep farming the double golem camp, if the jungler is not near by. This can be especially useful when you are losing your lane. Leave the lane and do the camp, while the enemy minions not pushed against your tower.

Taking down the tower means tons of gold for your team. As long there is a tower, the minion waves will get stopped by the tower. This means some kind of map control for both teams, since people will stick to their tower. If you are winning your lane very hard, think about leaving the tower alone, to be able to keep farming and killing. Once the tower is down, you need to keep control. This is a major mistake you can see from unexperienced summoner very often. As soon as a tower falls in botlane, things have changed. On the one hand, that means a losing lane can let the minion waves come to the 2nd tower, to farm there in peace. Good idea so far - because when the bot lane is pushed so far against the 2nd tower, the enemy AD carry can start roaming with it's support. That's not good of course, especially when they are strong. You need to keep pressuring such lanes to make sure, they don't leave the lane. Same idea goes for the other side. When you took down a tower, keep pushing the lane to their next tower, to make sure, they don't start roaming. Also you can start roaming when the lane is pushed so far, which is good for yourself of course.

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Mid game phase

Taking down the tower means tons of gold for your team. As long there is a tower, the minion waves will get stopped by the tower. This means some kind of map control for both teams, since people will stick to their tower. If you are winning your lane very hard, think about leaving the tower alone, to be able to keep farming and killing. Once the tower is down, you need to keep control. This is a major mistake you can see from unexperienced summoner very often. As soon as a tower falls in any lane, things have changed. On the one hand, that means a losing lane can let the minion waves come to the 2nd tower, to farm there in peace. Good idea so far - but also problematic, because when the a lane is pushed so far against the 2nd tower, the enemy champion can start roaming. That's not good of course, especially when they are strong. You need to keep pressuring such lanes to make sure, they don't leave their lane. Same idea goes for the other side. So when you take down a tower, keep pushing the lane to their next tower, to make sure, they don't start roaming. Also you can start roaming, when the lane is pushed so far, which is good for yourself of course. But take care, since you expose yourself, the further you push. The Sight Ward together with the mini map are your best friends.

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Armor & Magic resistance

You might think a chapter with such a title is just informative for tank champions - well ... it's not! Many people think about armor & magic resistance like "I'm the carry - I just need damage items and it is the damn job of the team to secure my life!" Sorry, but that's not completely true. But let's talk about the facts first. In LOL, there is a certain relation between the damage you receive, and the resistance (armor or magic resistance) you got:

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Dragon & Baron Nashor

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Team fights

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Draft pick

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Ranked games

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