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League of Legends Build Guide Author pablowa

What you should know before you start playing rankeds

pablowa Last updated on February 25, 2014
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This guide recently got finished and needs some polishing.

Especially Spelling/Grammer needs to be doble-checked so pls don't bother mentioning it in the comments, a spell check will be done within the next 2 days anyways.

Any comments regarding the content and/or what i could change are highly appreciated. This is my first guide and i could need a little help :)

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This guide is directed to those of you, who just started playing ranked and want to make sure that they ahve enough knowledge of the game to do so.

Keep in mind that this guide trys to explain (very briefly) how a Team works and does not touch on the different strenghts and weaknesses of certain Champions. Any Chmapion used is just an example and is either chosen cause he represents the idea of the explanation very well or because he is well known - not because he is stronger than other Champions.
If you want to know which Champions are currently strong, wither search for a good tier list (check the last update) or have a look at pick/bann rates at higher ELO.

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Hello friends.

Recently I had to some placement matches and noticed again the lack of knowledge some players had when talking about team strategies, Counterpicks, Champion Builds, etc.

So here is my guide including everything you definitly need to know before you start playing rankeds.

Keep in Mind that knowledge of the game alone will not grant you a lot. To perform well you also need fast thinking and reactions, experience and good mechanics.

If you are already an experienced player and/or have played a lot of ranked before its unlikely that you will hear a lot of new things here. If you still want to keep reading, keep in mind that this guide is meant to explain just the basics to make sure everybody has a certain level of knowledge to work with in rankeds.

So, lets jump into the guide, startting with the current meta, what it means, how it works and what do you need to do whan you don't want to play according to he meta.

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Current Meta

League of Legends is a very compley games and there are millions of tactics. Nevertheless when you play or spectate games there always seem to be similar teams with similar team compositions. The reason to this is that you only have a very limited time between meeting your new teammembers and actually starting into the game.
As you don't have enough time to elaborate a whole new way of playing this way most players agree on playing a tactic that everbody knows and seems to work pretty well. This helps the team overall, as everybody knows which role he has and what he is supposed to do.

But what is if you don't want to play according to the meta? Let's say you want to play Annie Xin Zhao Bot and get a lot of kills? Well, i'll say it very clear: People don't like anti-mate stuff in rankeds. The reason behind this is that they seem to be a higher risk and most people don't want to play risky iin their rankeds. Especially in their promotion Series people tend to get very stressed and something like that won't help that. If you nevertheless want to do it, please tell your team directly what exactly you are going to do and the general idea behind your plan. I still wouldn't recommend it though.
Let's leave that behind and have a look at the most used Form of playing right now.
The current meta has:
Toplaner: Tanky/Bruiser
Jungler: Tanky/Bruiser
(mostly AP) Carry Midlane, can be divided into: Asessins or hight DPS AP Carrys
AD-Carry Botlane
Support Botlane, can be divided into Tanky (most common) and Squishy
Keep in Mind that the Champions mentionned are just examples and there are obviously many others that are just as viable. You basicly can play any Champion you want aslong as you have the mechanics and know the Role you will have to play. So let's talk about the different Roles which exist.

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Different Roles

In a Teamfights there are alot of tasks that heave to be done to win it. To make it easier mosts Task have a special Role that is supposed to do them. But first let's look at the things that have to be done.

First of all we need somebody to Initiate the Teamfight or if the enemy already started the fight we need somebody to Counter-Initiate. This means that we need somebody to move into the enemy Team and CC (Crowd Control: Stuns/Slows/etc.) them. A good example of this is Jarvan. A good Jarvan Initiation will knock everybody up and then close them into his ult. This gives your Team the opportunity to position themselves and start doing there tasks. Initiation is the Key to a good Teamfight as it allows your Teammates to do their jobs. Things to Consider: You will take damage in this progress so be sure to build some defensive items.

So now that we initiated we have to keep 2 things in mind: Kill their Carrys and defend our Carrys. There are diffent ways to to that. The most obvious way to kill one of their Carrys is to have an Assasinon your Team. His objective is to jump to the Backline, kill the enemy Carry and (hopefully) jump out again. Assasins like all have a way of going in and a way of getting out when they finished their Job. Things to consider: The enemy will be waiting for you to do this, so be patient and wait for a good opportunity. Don't Jump in till they used most of their Cooldowns on your Initiator or somebody else or you will die immediatly.

Another way of getting to the Backline and the Carrys are Bruisers like . They will jump to the backline and start damaging the Carrys. Their Job is to disrupt them, annoy them and generally to make their life hard. They should also try to soak up dmg and cooldowns by bodyblocking for their carrys.
Things to consider: Buying the right items is very important for this role, so make sure you adapt your build according to the enemy linup and what they are building

Hopefully by now the enemy have used their CC and spells on our tanks. Now it's time for our Carrys to come in and deal immensive amounts of damage.
Most ADC will just autoattack, use some spells and try to kite the enemy. Some will be heavily Spelldependant Ezzreal .
Things to consider: Be patient! If you go in before the enemy uses their spells you will get deleted. Wait till key spells have been used before going in. If you die early the Teamfight will probably be lost. Remember that it's not your job to focus the carrys, but to deal damage to whatever is near you. Don't go in for the Carrys, cause you will probably die immediatly. Instead stay back and safe and attack whatever gets close enough.

AP-Carrys like Vel Koz should patienly wait till key spells are used (just like the ADCs) and then use their full rotation of Spells.
Things to consider: Make sure you move back to the backline after using your spells and wait for your cooldowns to come back. Your Autoattacks aren't worth the risk of beeing too close.

And last but not Least: The Support. Each Support can do different things in a Teamfight. Some can initiate Blitzcranck but most of them will try to stand close to their Carry and protect them from the enemy bruisers and Assasins. Try to help your adc kite and make sure to be in the way if they are trying to get to them.
Things to consider: Although your life is less important and it is okay to die to save your Teammates sometimes its better to go back.

A well organised Team is very hard to beat, so make sure you do your Job in Teamfights :)

Now do you know what you have to do, lets have a look at what Champion you should pick to fulfill that Role.

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Different Champions

There are around 120 different Champions you have to choose from. I would recommend you to do the following:

1.Choose your prefered Lane/Role (Top/Mid/Jungle/Adc/Support) and choose 2-3 Champions. Make sure you have a Champion for each Role (for example you will need to be able to play Tanks Toplaners and Toplaners that are more damaged focused)

2.Choose your second favourite Lane/Role and choose 2 Champions

3.Learn one Champion for each other Lane/Role

In Rankeds you won't get to play what you want everytime so make sure you are able to play every role if needed. Usually you want to pick safe champions for the roles you don't play as often. Safe Champions should have an easy way to farm, an escape and should generally not a lot of experience and practise to use them.

So let's jump into the stage of the game wher you ahve to decide what to play: The Pick and Bann Phase.

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Pick and Bann Phase

The Pick and Bann Phase is usually a bit chaotic. Make sure you don't write to much unneccesary information, as it will only slow down the progress. Idealy you want to write something like: "Hello friends, I prefer Top/Mid (or whatever you want to play". You can also add a little information on what you would like to be banned if you are not firstpick.

Next: Listen to your Teammates. This part seems to be very hard, but do your best. Hopefully they will have mentionned what roles they want to play. During Banns everybody should have stated their prefered lanes and its time to see if every place has been filled. If not either take that role yourself or ask friendly if someone can do it.

Pick order before call order. In the end the Pick order is what matters, so if firstpick locked in your role, dont get mad at them, but look at what you can do.

Remember that you can see what the enemy already picked, so you may want to counter them. You also have the choice to pick for other Teammembers and swap after everybody has picked, but make sure that he has the champion you want to play.

A very important part of Picks and Banns is Team synergy. If your Team already has picked some champs or you know what they are going to pick, you may want to consider to pick Champions that work well with them.
You are a main Jungler who prefers to play Vi and Fiddlesticks.

CASE A: Your Toplaner Picks Yasuo. You should probably choose to play Vi here, as your Ults synergize very well and you can focus a single enemy together.
CASE B: Your Midlaner picks Kha'Zix and your Toplaner picks an AD Tank. Your Team is lacking AP damage, so you should change over to Fiddlesticks.

Appart from Champion Synergy you ahve to keep an eye on your overall Team tactic. So let's see which Team compositions are commonly used and what is their tactic.

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Team Composition

Some Champions are very good at poking, others excell at kiting or bursting targets down. Usually you want to ahve champions that have similar strengths.

Poke your enemy and get objectives when they recall to heal

General Idea: Get them low from afar and only fight if they are already very low or are missing a Teammember cause he had to go back.
This strategy needs a lot of vision, so make sure you buy wards.
You need something to disengage if the enemy team wants to fight you.
- if you get ahead its hard to counter
- Good objective control

- if you get behind, it's hard to comeback
- you depend on hitting skillshots

Counter: Heavy Engage Teams or Champions


Get your Carry fed and then defend him

General Idea: This strategy is hard to pull off and needs a lot of player synergy. Nevertheless if someone picked a hypercarry like Vayne feel free to try this. Get her fed and then defend her at all cost.
-If you manage to keep him alive you will win the teamfight

-You hardly depend on your Carry
-If he gets caught you can just defend

Counter: Anything that can focus your Carry ( Vi Zed Yasuo)


Get in their face and fight them

You want to get close to them and just fight them. Works great with speed buffs so Talisman of the Ascension is usually a must-buy.
-doesn't need a lot of Team synergy

-if you fall behind you can't fight them

Counter: heavy disengage Teams or Champions like Lulu


Have one Champion splitpushing and the other spressuring another lane

Shen excells at this tactic as he can splitpush and still come to an Teamfight while giving a potent shield. The splitpusher needs to have some form of waveclear and be strong in 1 vs 1. The rest of the Team needs to be able to disengage.
-hard to counter
-very effective way of getting objectives

-if you get engaged on you are in a 4 vs 5

Counter: heavy engage


Make sure you know what you would have to do in each of these Compositions.

Now that everybody has picked their Champion let's start into the game.

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Early Game

Usually by now you know what you are laning against, so make your choice of what you need to buy and get to lane.
If your Team is not planning on invading you should guard jungle entrances to make sure the enemy team doesn't invade and you may want to help your jungler.

As soon as you get to lane you have to concentrate on the following:

1. Last hitting Getting lasthits will be your number one income source so make sure you know how to lasthits with your champion. If possible try to deny the enemy as much CS (= Creep Score) as possible.

2. Trading When you trade with the enemy laner you need to be sure you know how much damage he will deal and how much damage you are able to deal. Only go in if you are sure you will win this trade or if you have a higher health or mana regain source. Keep an eye on minions as they will deal damage too.

3. Lane Movement/Freezing Between lasthits you have the possibility to attack minions or not. If you decide to do you will push the lane towards his tower, making it harder for him to lasthit but putting you in a higher danger of getting ganked. Don't push if you dont have wards or vision of the enemy Jungler. Ideally you want to freeze the lane closer to your tower but far enough so the tower doesnt attack the minions. If the enemy Laner pushes hard you may need to counter push a bit to keep the lane where it is.

4. Ganks Ganks have a high impact on early laning, so make sure you can't easily get ganked (use Wards or your Greater Totem) and make sure you are prepared if your jungler wants to come and gank you.


If you get ahead in lane try to deny the enemy CS or you may even be able to kill him/force him to go back. Make sure you have vision if you push.

If you fall behind try to farm safely and wait for your jungler to help you. Remember that your Jungler has other stuff to do to, so a friendly "Loosing Top, help pls" should be enough to get a gank.

Remember that getting lasthits is crucial for getting the Items you need to get to the next Phase of the Game: The Midgame

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Mid Game

By now you should have your first item completed and the second one on the way. It's time to go for teamobjectives such as dragon and to get the outer towers down. Make sure you don't go alone in enemy territory and try to have someone near who could help you. Again, Vision is key.

Try to catch the enemy when he is alone and have small skirmishes if you think you will get out ahead. If an enemy laner is getting fed try to help the lane by pushing your lane and roaming.

Take your time and have a look at what the enemy team is building (press Tab to see it). You may want to adapt your build according to it. Here are some great counter items:

Attackspeed reliant enemys
Grab'n Kill Danger
Heavy Poke (Health Reagen in General)

Hopefully by now you have a gold or kill lead, but if not don't worry, it's all about the Teamfights in the next Phase: The Endgame.

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End Game

This is one of the most crucial parts of the game. Any mistake can mean baron or an Inhibitor for the enemy Team, so make sure you don't get caught. Try to stay close to your Teammates, especially if you don't have Vision of the enemy Team.

Finish your Item Build and don't forgot to Upgrade your Trinket, if oyu ahve some spare gold left. Make sure you have adapted your Build according to the threaths and weaknesses of the enemy Team.

Dependant on your Team strategy it is probably time to group and go for objectives. It's important to have Vision of Baron , Dragon and the enemy Team. If you get into a teamfight make sure you know what your job is and try to do it as best as you can.

If you are behind try to play safe and get to the point where you are at least equal. If you are ahed it's time to end the game.

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How to end a Game

There are many ways to end a game, but if you are ever stuck in a game unsure about what to do next, here are the most common ways of finishing a game.

Teamfight and Ace them to push for the win - If you are ahead this is the most straight forward way to win. Make sure you are strong enough to do this.
Get Baron and then Fight - The safer way if you are ahead. With baron you are more likely to win the following Teamfight
Push and get objectives. Once you got all Inhibs go for the fight. - A very slow but safe way to win. Works great with push strategys but soometimes has trouble getting to the Inhibitor turrets.

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How to loose Rankeds

Loosing Rankeds is surprisingly easy. Just follow this Tutorial Step by Step and you can be sure you will achieve your goal of loosing a ranked game.

Step 1: You have a horrible mood? You feel angry, annoyed and stressed? You are on a loosing streak and feel frustrated? What a perfect time to start playing ranked

Step 2: Go into Champion select, and say stuff like:"MID OR FEED". This will schow your Team that you know what you are talking about. Complain about banns and picks, cause you don't need to see them play first to flame them.

Step 3: Ignore your Teammates and instalock a champion. The reason you are loosing is probably cause the champs youa re used to are bad, so go ahead and pick a Champion you have never played before. Flame your team again and you are ready for the game

Step 4: Call "invade!!!" and rush into the enemy jungle. Doesn't matter if your Teammates follow you or not. If you die its their fault for not listening to you.

Step 5: Go to lane and immediatly go all in on the opponent. They won't expect it, so what could go wrong? Blame your jungler you died and tell him you will report him. This way he will try harder to please you. Works 100% of time

Step 6: Ignore the little map at the bottom of your screen. All you need to see is yourself. Obviously the best part of the game. If you get ganked, don't make the mistake of buying wards, it will let you look weak. Instead flame the enemy Jungler for Camping and your own one for not Camping you.

Step 7: If you are loosing lane, still buy only aggressive items and always fight your enemy laner. This will show him you are not afraid of him.

Step 8: Make risky plays. And i don't mean small risks. I mean towerdiving at lvl 1, going in 1 vs 5 as Support, REAL risky plays. Everybody will admire you for your braveness.

Step 9: Spamm the surrender Buttton as soon as possible. Make sure to tell everybody you plan on surrenderiing when the enemy gets first blood. It's lost anyways, why try?

Step 10: Also Known As: THE MASTERRULE Everybody who plays worse than you is a Noob, everybody who plays better has no life and just had luck. Also make sure to tell them.

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Change Log

24/02/2014 Guide published
25/02/2014 Disclaimer Chapter added and small changes to the Current meta chapter - thanks to Vynertje for a long reply to our guide


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