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Archive for February, 2012

Dear Blog Reader,

I know it’s been quite a while since my last blogpost. I also haven’t exactly come up with much to write about in terms of Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift. Instead, I have decided to discuss some of my recent musings from playing League of Legends. In this blogpost, I will be covering:

  • Runepage Design
  • Importance of Creep Score (CS)/Last Hitting
  • Understanding Your Role
  • What Winning Your Lane Means for your Jungler
  • Other Neat Tips and Tricks

Of course, this is a disclaimer to warn readers that this blogpost, as well as most theoretical discussions, assume a relatively equal skill level among all the players of the game. A lot of games outside of high-tier or professional-level brackets, especially among lower-skill level bracket games, depend a lot more heavily on skill level difference, rather than champion selection and team composition.

Runepage Design

Lately, I’ve been heavily tweaking around with my runepages. Currently, I’m a rather diversified player, playing champions that span AD Carry, Support, Solo Top, and AP Carry (although my focus is AD Carry). In general, there are some runes that are good ALL AROUND, and should almost always be considered first when designing one’s runepages.

Quintessences

Flat AD
Flat AP
Gold per Second
Flat Health
Flat Health Regen
Movement Speed
Attack Speed

Marks

Flat AD
Magic Penetration
Attack Speed
Armor Penetration
Flat Armor

Seals

Flat Armor
Health per Level
Flat Mana Regen
Mana Regen per Level
Gold per Second

Glyphs

Flat Magic Resist
Magic Resist per Level
AP per Level
Flat AP
CDR per Level
Flat CDR

These are the top-tier runes available to cover virtually any role. Any other runes are most likely not as effective. The only exception to these runes would be extremely specialized rune pages, such as the “Full Magic Resist rune page” (yielding a total of +42.3 MR).

These are my rune pages as of currently, which can serve as an example of properly designing a rune page with appropriate goals.

http://www.lolking.net/summoner/na/21358808#runes

Importance & Pitfall of Creep Score (CS)

The most obvious importance of Creep Score, or CS, is that you receive bonus gold upon getting the killing blow on a minion/monster. That gold bonus adds up significantly over time. If your opponent is out-CSing you, you can painfully feel that effect when you both return to the lane and see that he/she has more powerful items than you do. That directly ties into the fact that not only is the person with more CS stronger, they also can use that strength to zone you out of your lane gold and exp. In many cases, early aggression and strong grasp of gameplay mechanics can let you dominate your lane. This may lead your opponent to start making hazardous play to try to keep up with you, which will leave them at lower health, poorer position, etc., becoming vulnerable targets to ganks.

However, despite the benefits of making sure you get a good CS count, don’t go overboard. Focusing on purely last-hitting can also cost you your lane. Take a rather early-game strong ranged AD champion, like Caitlyn. Caitlyn’s potential is significant because of her range advantage over most ranged AD champions. However, if you do nothing but aim for CS, your opponent ranged AD will realize this and farm on par with you. When this happens and the time approaches late-game, your opponent ranged AD will become stronger than you.

Understanding Your Role

Solo Top, AP Carry (Solo Mid), AD Carry, Support, Jungler… These aren’t just fancy “game terms” that make you sound like a pro. Each role has a number of important responsibilities and playstyles that are required. As of the current metagame, the most frequent line-ups involve a Attack Damage-based solo top, AP Carry solo mid, a jungler, and a ranged AD carry bot lane with a zero-CS support. (Note that a lot of low-to-mid-tier North America games, as well as a relatively large bracket of Europe West games, usually utilize an Ability Power-based solo top – a duo AP carry lineup. This lineup can be strong, but falls short of the AD solo top lineups more often than not.)

Because of my lack of standard champion experience with the roles of AP Carry and Jungler, I will only cover Solo Top, Support, and AD Carry (my dedicated role).

Solo Top

Solo Top is a very volatile and difficult lane. It is probably the most difficult lane and, in my personal opinion, the second most difficult role, only second to the role of the jungler. This lane often snowballs ridiculously hard. A minor advantage leads to out-CSing and out-iteming your opponent, which is usually enough to continuously dominate the lane.

As discussed by Wickd, one of the strongest solo top Irelia players, solo top requires the player to play extremely aggressive, almost to the point where you practically ignore the danger of a possible jungler gank.

Some examples of the strongest solo top champions of the current metagame include Nidalee, Riven, Tryndamere, Shyvana, Gangplank, Irelia, etc.

Support

Support is a rather difficult role to understand, but has a whole variety of styles to execute properly, depending on which champion you select.

Standard sustain supports, such as Sona, Soraka, Taric, and Alistar, are pretty straight forward. Sona offers much early-game poke/harass, decent healing/armor/MR buff, and mid-game and late-game utility through her AoE stun, speed buff, and versatile passive Power Chord. Soraka is a passive heal/armor/MR buffer who requires a couple levels to kick into gear (level 5+ for her level 3 Astral Blessing). Taric is a heal/armor buffer with an easy-to-use stun. Alistar has less healing power, but much more killing potential with his multiple CCs, a powerful, quick stun combo, as well as tankability through his ultimate.

Non-sustain supports, such as Janna, Leona, and Blitzcrank, are not quite as straightforward, but still offer much to their lanes. Janna has an effective shield, quite a bit of CC, a strong but long cooldown heal, and an often-overlooked speed buff passive. Leona and Blitzcrank, with their extensive CC combos, both transform their lanes into kill-lanes, lanes that are dedicated for outright destroying their opposition for being slightly out of position.

As of currently, Sona is arguably the number one support pick due to how much she provides to her lane and team throughout early game, mid game, and late game.

AD Carry

The AD Carry role is very simple to understand. Harass appropriately, zone your opponents when possible, and outfarm your opponent. This constitutes the key characteristics to winning your bottom lane.

Like with various support champions, each AD carry champion varies in strengths, weaknesses, and laning strategy. It is best for a teammate to select a support that best complements your AD carry champion.

  • Champions like Ashe and Vayne are primarily late-game focused, so selecting a particularly late-game type support would synergize very well, such as Soraka. (In addition, Vayne offers situational killing power with her skillset, so Alistar would be a great lane partner for her.)
  • Champions like Caitlyn have great range, so Janna’s shield (which increases Attack Damage) and CC offers much to bottom lane, though Taric is another great support for Caitlyn with his heal and stun.
  • Champions with fantastic early-game, such as Sivir, Miss Fortune, and Urgot, benefit the most from supports that provide a lot to the early game, including Sona, Taric, and Alistar.

It is interesting to note once more that Sona works well with any of these ranged AD carries, making her a virtually omnipotent support pick.

What Winning Your Lane Means for Your Jungler

Winning your lane means your opponent(s) in your lane are kept down, either behind in HP, behind in farm, or both. What does this mean?

  • The obvious gain is that low HP opponents become more susceptible to being successfully ganked, and similarly, less farmed opponents have weaker items.
  • If your lane is too pushed out, the enemy jungler may most likely consider your lane for a gank. Because of the lower HP or lower farm your opponent(s) are at, this lets you have a much higher chance for your jungler to pull off a successful counter-gank.
  • If the enemy jungler is too fearful of your lane, that usually means a free turret.
  • Winning mid lane and/or bot lane yields a direct advantage in dragon control.
  • Winning top lane means the enemy jungler needs to spend more resources top lane. With a smart top lane player, they can survive/stall the enemy jungler’s gank attempt. This indirectly leads to an advantage in dragon control.
  • If a majority of lanes are winning, this allows for the jungler to gank or put more resources into counter-jungling.

Furthermore, with how the metagame is currently quite snowball-like, winning lanes generally leads to winning the game.

Other Neat Tips and Tricks

  • The number one, easiest way to improve is to thoroughly practice your gameplay mechanics. Everything from as simple as mouse control to making your last hitting consistent and smoothly using smart-cast. You will see results through personal improvement, and it is the easiest aspect of LoL to work on.
  • Elixir of Fortitude (more commonly known as “red elixir” or “red pot”) grants “140–235 health, based on champion level and 10 attack damage for 4 minutes”. The bonus Health granted is instantly added to both your current HP and your Max HP, which definitely can help you survive a very close-call skirmish. Furthermore, the bonus Health granted is not considered a “health regeneration or healing effect”, so it is not reduced by Ignite.
  • Health Potions CAN save you through Damage over Time abilities such as Ignite or Mordekaiser’s ultimate Children of the Grave. Keep in mind that Ignite reduces any form of healing by 50%. Also, do keep note that you cannot activate items, including Health Potions, when you are silenced.
  • Carrying wards is obviously useful in helping your team gain vision over key locations on the map, enabling multiple gank opportunities. Furthermore, certain champions can use skills on wards, such as Katarina’s Shunpo, Jax’s Leap Strike, Lee Sin’s Safeguard, etc., which would allow you to close gaps needed for a clutch kill, or enable you to escape from delicate situations.

Well, that about sums up  for this blogpost! Best of luck on the Fields of Justice!

 


Amazing League of Legends Resources:

League of Legends Guides – http://www.solomid.net/guides.php

League of Legends own3d.tv Livestreams – http://www.own3d.tv/game/League+of+Legends

Comprehensive Laning Guide! According to your Jungler – by Rowen Lemmings – http://www.solomid.net/guides.php?g=4959

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