Something that players can sometimes over simplify is the laning phase. A lot of focus is put on League as being a team oriented game but your personal mechanics are very important as well. So what makes the difference between the good and the great? How come you’re getting beat in lane so much?
I want to point some basic things can give you an edge in game and in lane. They’re honestly not the hardest concepts and are quite easy to understand. However, sometimes we overlook such simple things and it’s always good to be reminded.
Tip 1: Mana Management
**Does not apply for resource-less champions.
Some ways that champions are balanced are through their mana costs. I’ve seen people think some champions are OP due to low early game cooldowns but then don’t consider the mana cost. Mana costs (or any other resource cost) reflects how often you can use a spell. Keep a look out for how much your own spells cost and keep a look out for the mana bar of your opponent. Sometimes people will act as if they have the upper hand in lane but don’t actually have the mana to trade back with you. If you see your opponent over staying in lane when they don’t have mana to trade back, you have a free opening to harass and potentially kill. In general, you should always have enough mana for 1 full spell rotation (using each ability once) in case you need to escape/go all in.
Tip 2: Cooldown Management
Every champion has cooldowns and many of them. There’s of course your 4 champions spells to keep track of, but there’s also 2 summoner spells and a possibility of item cooldowns. Learning cooldowns for champions comes with practice. You don’t have to know the exact cooldown of every spell, however, if you keep in mind the important spells of your opponent, binds/stuns/snares/ults/etc, you might find yourself in an advantageous situation even if you’re slightly behind.
Tip 3: Keeping track of wards
Keeping track of wards does something different in each lane. In bottom and top lane keeping track of lane bush wards let’s you know which bushes you can duck in and out of to un-aggro minions or break vision. River bush wards in every lane let’s you tell your jungler how they can better set up ganks or if you’re getting ganked.
Tip 4: Keep glancing at the map
Make sure you’re not tunnel visioning in lane. Be aware of who’s MIA, where the jungler was last seen and what your team is doing. If your team is trying to prepare for dragon it is something you should be aware of and acting on.
Tip 5: Keep mind of your position in lane
Don’t play far up in the lane if you don’t have the ward coverage or map awareness to do so. It can be easy to forget that going for that one last cs can put you out of position and cause your death. If you’re playing in bot mind the position of your adc/support, if he/she is playing back either tell them to play more aggressive or play passive with him/her. You shouldn’t be past the halfway point in any lane unless you know the opposing team’s position, you’re sure you’re far ahead or you know you can escape any incoming harm.
Tip 6: Don’t get too greedy
Trust me, I know you want that last cs. I know you want that 100 gold, that kill because the opponent is so low under tower or to chase that singed halfway back to his base because he’s just so low! Everyone gets greedy sometimes but try your best not to. Give the opponent the benefit of the doubt. If they’re staying in lane under tower when they’re low they might be baiting you or have some trick up their sleeve. If you’re going to dive someone think everything through. Don’t do things recklessly.
Tip 7: Don’t underestimate
This somewhat goes along with not getting greedy. It’s good to go into lane with confidence, but don’t go in just thinking everyone is trash. Just because someone has a lower ranking than you doesn’t mean they’re worse than you. Some people are a lower rank than they deserve. Treat your opponent as if they’re smart and you’ll find yourself playing smarter too.
Tip 8: Don’t get too upset, stay positive
People have bad games, bad lanes or sometimes just make a bad decision. Giving one kill isn’t the end of the world. If you stay positive when you’re behind you’re much more likely to make a comeback. If you get upset and start to give up after a little mess up (what they call going on tilt) it’s only going to make you play worse.
Tip 9: Play with your team, not against your team
As much as you may think you are, you’re not the star of your team. It’s not your junglers job to camp your lane because you lost. People make decisions for a reason, whether a good or bad one. Respect the fact that people on your team have minds of their own. You may have the better decision but if your team doesn’t want to follow your plan then you have a way less chance of trying to 1v5 than 5v5. I know it’s disappointing when your team throws, or doesn’t group, or makes a bad decision, but give advice not hate.
Tip 10: Have fun…. but make sure you’re not ruining anyone’s game
The point of this game is to enjoy yourself. If you’re not having fun then something is wrong. Don’t play something because your team tells you to. Also don’t be afraid to try something new, just keep in mind if it doesn’t work ( but please don’t try something brand new in a ranked game). Keeping yourself happy is always good but also mind your teammates. Just like you wouldn’t want someone to ruin your game, don’t ruin anyone else’s. If you really want to try something out of the box in lane consider using team builder.