As the ADC you have one big job in a team fight: to be consistently dealing damage. To be dealing damage you of course have to be alive. This makes your number one priority, of course, keeping yourself alive.
You should never as an ADC be:
- In the front line
- Trying to initiate the fight
The ADCs favorite spot is in the back line where you can safely deal damage. Of course the consequence of this is that as most ADCs you can not safely hit the enemy back line, assuming they too are positioning correctly. Unlike most mages, you are still useful for tearing up the front line. While your first priority shouldn’t be the front line it is more important that you stay alive and continue dealing damage than it is for you to take out the enemy ADC right away. Let your team attempt to open a path to the enemy carries for you. If you find a safe opening take advantage of it. Part of becoming very good at this game to learn to capitalize off the enemy’s mistakes.
In order for you to stay safe as an ADC your team should be helping you by peeling. Peeling is the act of essentially being a body guard. Your allies do their best to keep enemies off of you whether it be with damage, CC or both. While your team should be assisting you keep in mind that you should also be watching yourself. If you are out of position on your own that is not your team’s fault. It is also your team’s decision on whether they feel that you are worth protecting or not. In other words, if you are 0/7 but the enemy carry is 7/0 you are not really worth protecting because you will be compartively dealing no damage. In that situation your team will be better in the long run either protecting someone else who’s fed on the team or just trying to eliminate the enemy carry first.
Besides standing in the back and firing auto attacks there isn’t much more to team fighting as an ADC. Remember simply not to be out of position, stay with your team and don’t die. It is not your decision in the end to initiate a team fight, so don’t try.
Building your ADC:
The most common ADC path is:
1. Infinity Edge + Phantom Dancer
Infinity Edge (IE) and Phantom Dancer (PD) make a deadly combination. Since most meta ADCs right now build towards the late game, it’s fitting that this is the most common build path. The high damage and bonus crit damage from the IE as well as the extra crit chance, attack speed and movement speed from the PD make this a well rounded build.
The other ADC items:
Last Whisper – Essentially the AD version of a void staff. It goes with the same philosophy as the void staff too. This item will be essential at some point in your build once the enemies start building armor. This is generally bought as a 3rd item.
Trinity Force – On some ADCs that deal mixed damage (Corki/Ezreal), this item can be prioritized over IE – generally having IE as the second item then.
Blade of the Ruined King – If you’re going against a very tanky, high health team, or are a 1v1 type ADC (ex. Vayne), BotRK can be a good item. Generally, most people will take Blood Thirster as a life steal item over BotRK because it can be hard to get in range to use the active on this item. However, its passive deals extra damage based on enemy health, so it can be very useful against a high health team.
Statikk Shiv is somewhat of a lower cost PD substitute. Generally, Staikk Shiv is recommended for ADCs that have a more burst-style play. ADCs that apply on hit effects with an ability can benefit from this item too. It’s not quite as good as it’s counter-part – PD – in terms of stats, but if you’re playing towards the mid game you may consider this over PD.
Blood Thirster is considered somewhat of a defensive item on ADCs. It gives a ton of life steal and AD and even grants you a shield upon life stealing over your max health. Not generally recommended as a first item, because it doesn’t have much synergy with any second AD items.
Youmuu’s Ghostblade follows somewhat the same concept as Stattik Shiv. It doesn’t work well in the late game, but gives a ton of damage spike in the mid game.
Mercurial Scimitar – This item is really only worth it if you feel as though there’s CC you really have to get out of. If you’re constantly getting caught out by the enemy team’s CC then get this item as it gives you an active cleanse that removes a CC.
Zephyr – I would generally only recommend getting this item as a replacement for your boots after you have 6 items. It can give you a slight edge to win against the opposing ADC. You have to be careful though as your movement speed won’t be as high.
Essence Reaver – This item is pretty rarely seen used for a few reasons:
- Most ADCs shouldn’t be relying on spells. You should be focusing more on your auto attacks especially come late game, thus making the CDR stat unnecessary
- Given that you shouldn’t be focusing on spells too much, the mana passive is also somewhat of a useless stat
- For only 300 gold more, you get 10% more lifesteal plus a shield passive from Blood Thirster
This item may have it’s niche moments, but generally the other ADC items just overshadow it at the moment.
Building defensive on your ADC:
As it gets to late game you might want to consider getting a defensive item. The pro is that your chance to live through the battle increases, however, the damage you are dealing is decreased compared to if you bought another offensive item. The two most common defensive AD items are:
1. Banshee’s Veil’s passive gives a spell shield that blocks 1 spell. This item is good if you need to stop the enemy from engaging on you just by hitting a 1 time skill shot. So if not getting hit by that 1 Morgana binding, Orianna Ultimate, or Xerath stun, will save your life this item is for you.
2. Guardian Angel gives armor and MR as well as a passive that grants you a second life, restoring you with 30% of your hp and mp after 4 seconds upon death. If you’re taking a large amount of damage from different sources and you keep just almost getting that kill then you should consider this item. Be careful that your gold doesn’t go to waste though. If you’re going to get killed repeatedly twice in a row anyways there’s little point to having this item as the cooldown on it’s passive is 5 minutes.