Tag Archives: Carry

League of Legends and the Curse of the 90 LP!

Good Morning Readers!

Welcome back! I know I’ve been bad about posting bi-weekly, but willpower is finite (I’m looking at you, Rich). And that’s a conversation for another day. Regardless, I’m still grinding the ladder in Ranked League of Legends, even though I haven’t been streaming as much. While all of my friends have left me in the dust and reached high Silver, I am still stuck in Bronze 1. I did get to actually experience what promos felt like!… after I dropped to Bronze 2 for two whole games, and quickly reattained my Rank of Bronze 1.  (Thank God!)

I’ve been doing a solid job getting 3-4 games in each night after work and around dinner at the sacrifice of going to the gym (RIP, Pecs like Braum).  Last night I hit 90 LP, for the third time, after I won my first match of the night. Like clock work, I proceeded to lose the next 5 in a row, and drop back to nearly 0 LP. Now, while this is soul-crushingly frustrating, I am trying really hard to JUST focus on my goal. That is to get better. Regardless of rank, regardless of stats and KDAs, win-rates; I just want to get better.

The last LoL article I wrote covered a wide variety of high-level ideas I know I need to improve upon.  I still need to keep these things in mind, but in addition, I try to keep a note pad of “post-match thoughts.” Writing these things down while they are fresh in my head allows me to go back over a game and see where things went wrong, or what I did right. It also allows me to notice trends or patterns in my play, one of which is glaring.

1.) I am getting REKT in my secondary role 

This is a brutal truth, but I f***ing SUCK at top lane. I think need to give it up. I think back to Season 2 when I was playing a lot, and I would play Top and Mid. I *feel* like I would do well, I was decent. Dueling felt like something I was good at. Since then, Top lane has changed so drastically, and I do not have the champion knowledge, or flat out practice time put in, to be good at it. Top lane is just so much harder than I remember it being.

The role of top champs has changed as well. Quite often, I’d want to play a carry like Riven or Fiora, but our Jungler would be Ekko or Xin, and our Support would be Sona or Soraka, and we’d have no tank. So I try to go Darius, who is much more of a bruiser or juggernaut, and then I’m against a Malphite or Volibear, who have much higher ability to tank or sustain. It’s not required, but in Solo Queue it’s not uncommon for the top to need to be a tank or you are just at a severe disadvantage. So then you suffer from the issue of NOT being able to carry as a tank.

Secondly, Even when I was playing the “carry” type champs top, I’d find I’d have no lane presence. I am CONSTANTLY being bullied out of lane and unable to stop my lane opponent from farming. I would do my best to keep up in CS, often going toe-to-toe, but unless the Jungler camps top, I struggle to pull ahead or even maintain parity. This leads to a situation where I am constantly under turret, and the opponent is just free farming.

This could be for several reasons. One, I am getting counter picked, and my champion is just at a disadvantage. Two, the Jungler isn’t doing a good enough job facilitating kills while I am under turret all game. Or Three, I really am just bad at the role. Now, I suspect there is some combination of the three. It’s highly unlikely I am being counter picked EVERY GAME. Its equally likely the bronze janglers are just bad. Many games I’ve asked for help over and over and been ignored. Now there’s and argument I SHOULD be able to hold my lane, and I believe that’s true, but when someone is drowning, it IS a team game, and you’ll lose if you don’t use teamwork to help the floundering player. But most likely, it’s just number 3. My lack of knowledge combined with all of the above means I’m going to have a bad time. So what can I do to fix this?

Well, I can go back to Normals, and keep practicing Top. I can reevaluate the champions I play and find ones that CAN carry and are tanky, (like Voli or maybe a Wukong or Shen). Fiora is a bit tanky, but difficult to play. All of this involves me stopping the grind, and going back to practice in Normals again. This may be a necessary evil.

…but then I look at my stats and I get this glimmer of hope:

Darius : 5-2
Riven: 6-8
Gnar: 2-4
Fiora: 0-1

Clearly this is a small sample size, BUT 13-15 isn’t horrible. The problem is those stats alone don’t even begin to tell the whole story. I am carried most of those games or helped until I can stabilize in the mid game and start helping the team. I don’t generally carry like I hoped to. So I think I have to stay the course and give up on Top. I am able to recognize my lack of skill in dueling,  and quite often just bullied out of lane.

The other option is pick a new role, which leaves me with Mid and Jungle. There is zero chance I support because there’s just no way I can do it, I’m really bad at it and I don’t have the patience to do it. I used to play a lot of mid, and I learned how to jungle a LONG time ago. After many talks with many people, these tend to be the two roles that people feel are best for carrying. Junglers can dictate the pace of the game, and many mid champions are very snowball-y with the ability to roam. Both roles I’d have to completely relearn which… forces me BACK into Normals. Soooo…

2.) Who do I play mid?

I used to have a TON of Ahri games under my belt. I’d love to go back to playing Mid. I bought Yasuo in preparation to begin learning him.  I’d learn Zed too but he’s basically perma-banned every game. Fizz is an option, good for snowballing and ganking. I used to love the high risk, high reward champs that came along with mid. They all have very high mobility, the ability to escape ganks and can be very powerful.

Now you may be thinking, “well if you suck at dueling, why go back to Mid, Noob?” My thought process is most of the mid champs are ranged, and involve a lot of poking. Even Yasuo and Fizz play almost like ranged champions. Yas has the whirlwind, and Fizz can dash in and out like it ain’t no thang. Removing the melee aspect of Top lane with Poke just removes so much pressure. Being able to poke, poke, poke, then commit to a fight you KNOW you can win is almost like ADC. The mid champs have the ability to poke while farming, and then execute the opponent.

As much as I like the IDEA of Jungling, I am not sure how good I’d be at it. It’s been a very long time and the jungle has changed multiple times since then. It makes a  certain mindset to be a good Jungler. I’d love to learn Elise, Ekko, Xin, or Lee Sin, but who knows if I could? Only way to know is to try I guess. So when I do play normals, maybe I should force Jungle and see how it goes.

It’d be great if I could just ADC every game. I know my champions, I know the opposing champions and I’m solid at the role. Sadly, that just isn’t one of the options, and even then…

3.) I am having trouble carrying as an ADC.

Many games, with my support, we will win lane, I’ll be consistently up 10-15 CS in lane, we often get a kill or two, or AT WORST we don’t feed, and hold lane. Generally, we can push the tower, avoid ganks, and play well. Unfortunately, most games, my other teammates will feed their lanes, or the Jungler will die while ganking. We do a killer job keeping the opponenet ADC in check, then 20 minutes later, i’ll be like 1/0/3 or 2/1/2, etc and their ADC is magically 10/3/5. Like, wtf happened?

Bot is not a lane where you can really roam, especially playing some ADCs that require huge amounts of farm (I’m looking at you Kog). Mid is the only lane you can really gank. They will see us coming a mile away, and if the roaming doesn’t result in a kill, you could essentially put yourself 10-12 CS down, negating any lead you may have had. So often times, I am focused on farming, harassing the opponents, maintaining vision and Dragon control, and watching the rest of my team fall apart. I have to hope my team can just survive the laning phase, so we can get to team fighting where I really shine as a teammate. Lots of times the game is lost long before the laning phase is even over, even if Bot lane has given up zero deaths.  This falls under “things I cannot control” but my point becomes that it seems more difficult to carry when you aren’t able to roam or affect the game until after the laning phase. It’s harder to carry as an ADC. If someone out there disagrees, please tell me. I love to have conversations about this stuff.

Regardless, I know there are still things I need to work on as ADC. My farming can always improve, my positioning is mediocre, and I die too often:

Kog’ Maw:             9-8 | K: 5.5  | D: 3.5  | A: 6.2   | CS: 172.4
Miss Fortune:  17-18 | K: 6.1  | D: 4.9  | A: 8.1   | CS: 187.1
Lucian:                   3-6 | K: 5.3  | D: 5.3 | A: 8.8    | CS: 210.9
Jinx:                         1-3 | K: 3.0  | D: 3.8  | A: 6.8  | CS: 177.8
Trist:                       0-1 | K: 6.0  | D: 5.0  | A: 3.0   | CS: 231

I die way too much. Again, these are small sample sizes, but Jinx and Kog are close to where I want to be in KDA. For farming, Kog is the worst which should NOT be the case. He’s so item dependent, that I really need to do a better job farming. For one reason or another, my farming is just better on Lucian, Jinx, and the one Trist game I played. I think I need to play more Jinx, even thought they were both losses. She’s among my three most played champs, but she just happen to get nerfed right when I started playing Ranked. Even with the recent Kog changes, he still feels like Kog’ Maw, Void Horror Sprinkler from Hell. The problem is I don’t always have the team to back him up. Working on my positioning will help, but I still need a strong front line.

I think the bottom line is I still just need to get more ranked games under my belt, one way or another. I worry changing my secondary role will severely set me back, but if I don’t start making a change now and ACTUALLY CARRYING games, I’m never going to climb. It’s a rock and hard place. The ultimate goal is still just “get gud.” I need to stay focused on that goal no matter what happens. The ranks and stats and climbing will come along with it. Until then, I may just need to go back to Normals and really start finding a second role I can master, because I don’t think Top is for me.

Thanks for reading, I hope this insight into my frustrating Bronze career is helpful. Learn from my mistakes, and get out of ELO Hell. If I help just ONE person not want to punch their monitor, then I’m doing God’s work.

Tomorrow, me and my teammate Matt are going to GP DC to play in side events, check out the scene and the artists. I may play, or I may report on Matt’s play. Regardless We might have some sweet Modern or EVEN LEGACY 8-man tournaments to report on, even if it’s not me playing. Stay tuned.

You can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. Stay strong and DON’T TILT!!

-Andy

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What I’ve Learned Playing League of Legends

Good Morning, Everyone!

So the Season 6 Ladder is in full swing for League of Legends. Boy, I knew it would be difficult, but I didn’t know it would be THIS difficult. I finished my placement matches in Bronze 1. I figured this would be the case, since I ended last season at Silver 3, and everyone was starting this season about 1 tier down. I have been playing ADC and Top as my preferred lanes. I actually think I’ve been playing well, and I zoomed up to 90 LP very quickly. Unfortunately, I ended up crashing just as fast. Since then, I haven’t really put much time into Ranked. The only option right now is “Dynamic Queue” which mean I could end up in games with 2-4 man pre-mades, and against 2-4 man pre-mades, and get crushed over and over. They are supposed to be implementing a “Solo Queue” which would alleviate the 3-4 man groups. Also as time goes on, I am expecting all the people rushing the Ladder to have reached their goals, and not be stuck in Bronze and Silver. For example, in one of my Bronze games, I was matched against a Silver ADC who was Platinum the previous Season. He absolutely massacred me, it was quite the sight, as he was clearly not a Silver player. I don’t want to catch these people on their way up game after game. So I took a break from ranked.

My ultimate goal is to get better. I want to be a better ADC. Now consequently, I also have to learn another role for ranked, and Top hasn’t been great to me. For climbing the Ladder, I am probably much better off playing Mid or Jungle, but that would require me to completely relearn those roles. It’s not beyond doable, but I’d need to do it in Normals. We also have a ton of Junglers on our “team”, so that would relegate me to mid. Which I don’t hate at all, but the time investment is something to consider.

But as far as ADC goes, I know what I need to do to get better and I know what I should work on. It’s really just putting in the time now. So lets take a look at my game plan so to speak:

Step 1: Stop Caring About Your Rank

This is seriously the most important thing, in my opinion. There is almost nothing I can control in each game. I cannot control who my teammates are, I cannot control who my opponents are, I cannot control what champions are picked or banned, and I cannot control the plays any other player makes, be they good or bad plays. This is going to lead to a lot of losses (and some wins) that I had almost nothing to do with. Due to this, stressing out about these losses will only make me play worse. I can only control what I do. So what does this mean for me? Well I have to learn to let go and not tilt when my opponents are throwing. If I am playing well, I need to be proud of my performance, and be sure to keep that good play rolling into the next game. If I play consistently well enough every game, over the course of enough games I will start to win more often than I lose.

Caring about your rank will only stress you out. You are going to lose games and LP. There is nothing you can do about it. So just play to the best of your ability each game and be proud of your play.

Step Two: Recognize Where YOU Messed Up

The first step is not to make it sound like I am flawless; I am far from it. The key is to avoid always placing blame on your teammates for a loss. You were on that team as well. I guarantee you there is always something you can do BETTER. It may not change the result of the game, but being able to recognize where you made mistakes is key to fixing them and ultimate turning losses into wins. Streaming has helped with this because all of my games are recorded. I can go back and view my mistakes. For me it’s little things like improving my CS, my positioning, mechanics, and my decision making.

1.) For ADCs, “CS-ing” is the most important thing you can be good at. (CS stands for Creep Score, and its what you get for last hitting minions) Farming gets you money and allows you to buy the big items that win you the game. The better you are at farming, the faster you can get those items and become stronger than your opponent. Each kill is worth roughly 12-15 CS, so if you’re head by 45 CS, you essentially have three kills over your lane opponent. THAT’S HUGE! Practice your farm skills, know how much damage your champion deals so you don’t time it incorrectly. Practice farming under turret so when the enemy is pushing, you miss as few CS as possible.

When you are at the 5:45 minute mark, the total possible CS is 50. Make note of what yours is each game. They say you should be hitting 46/50 consistently. 92% is hard to do, especially when the enemies are trying to kill you. This is still a good goal to strive for, the better your farm, the better off you’ll be. Don’t be afraid to take some jungle creeps on your way back to lane, the Frog and Golems give like 100 gold, and if you hit them up each time you come back to lane, that adds up quickly. (Just be sure not to take too much damage from them)

2.) For positioning; don’t get caught! Nothing feels worse than an easily avoidable death because you over extended and didn’t have flash or an escape route. Don’t get too close to the team fights. You can’t make plays if you die because you thought Lucian was a good front line champion. Let your tanks and support peel for you and kill anyone that gets in your way. You won’t always be able to get to their squishies and carries. In these cases you have to kill what you can, even if that means their tanks, who are currently up front. You are no good dead, and you don’t want to die while trying to run through their front line because “I HAVE TO KILL TEH CARRIEZ!! DUH!”

3.) With mechanics we’re talking champion control. Kiting is a very important skill to learn. Normally, when you are JUST auto attacking from max range, you fire your attack, then you need to catch up, then you fire again if/when you get in range. Kiting allows you to stay in range of the enemy and fire off more autos since you don’t need to waste time catching up; you’re just staying in range the whole time.

You do this by moving between each auto, even going so far as to stop your attack early while still dealing damage to the enemy champion. You can find examples and guide of this tactic on YouTube.

This works even better if your attacks apply a slow (like Red Buff). If you’re good enough at kiting, opposing enemy melees may never be able to close enough distance to attack you back, and you can kill them without getting a scratch.

4.) Trading in lane. This is an amalgamation of everything above. You need to get as much farm as possible while preventing your opponent from doing the same. You can attack them to force them to back off from the minion wave and render them unable to last hit. This is called harassing. You have to pick and chose the right moments to harass so you are dealing more damage than you are taking. If you go to harass and end up losing more life than you took, you are now in an unfavorable position and can be forced to back off or be killed. This would be a lost trade.

I like to think of it like this: When playing Lucian, I have to use mana to cast my spells. It’s limited, so when I cast a spell I have to think what I’m getting out of it. If I Q, and I kill 3 minions and then the Passive double shot kills another, that’s about 100 gold for 45 mana. Not bad. If I use an ability and miss all the CS, I wasted mana which is not efficient. You’re essentially trading mana for the chance to make something happen. So if I use mana to dash at the enemy, auto them, Q and then auto to burst them down, they may Flash or Heal, or give me a kill. All three of those outcomes will put me ahead. I trade my mana for their summoner spells which will make them less likely to get away in the future during a gank.

Any trade you come out ahead is a good one. So pick your timing, positioning, and openings carefully so the enemy doesn’t have a chance to turn it around, and cause you to blow your Flash or Heal.

5.) Finally, decision making. You just got done a big team fight, 4 of the enemy champs are dead, do you push towers, kill dragon or kill baron? Well that’s a great question and there is never going to be one right answer. The key is learning which objectives are most important at what parts of the game. Towers give team gold, Dragon doesn’t. Dragon and Baron give important buffs, Towers do not. You need to recognize and improve upon your decision making skills so you aren’t wasting time doing nothing while the enemy waits to re-spawn. Every second you wait is a second closer your opponents are to defending. You don’t want to rush Baron when you have enough time to actually push the nexus and just win. Too many games are thrown away by Baron-ing at the wrong time.

So how do you improve upon these things? When going into a game, I try to repeat them to myself. Be in the mind set to remember all of these little details until they become second nature. For CS, if my lane opponents have too much sustain to harass, I will focus solely on CS and make sure to never miss one. As I am walking to or from lane, I check the jungle quick, and see where my Jungler is, make sure I am not stealing his CS before I kill a jungle mob or two.

As ADC, I am constantly warding the river and trying to keep my eye on Dragon for control of the map. If Dragon is down, I make sure to help my Jungler call out when it will be up by watching the timer. I practice my kiting every chance I get so it becomes second nature. When a team fight is going to erupt I try to put myself in a position where I will be able to deal a lot of damage without getting instantly deleted.

As far as decision making goes, I need to work on that the most. When we play 4 or 5 mans, I let someone else do the shot calling, because I am much better at following directions than giving them. I know it’s something I am not great at, so I let someone who is strong do it. In solo-queue this is different because you are playing with 4 other randoms, so you need to do the best you can. The better you are at recognizing bad calls, will help you avoid terrible situations and warn the group. Just remember you cannot make your teammates do anything, you can only tell them what you think the team should do. Don’t get hung up on it and just make the best decisions you can for you and the team.

Step Three: Emotion and Playing From Behind

This falls under “not tilting,” but I have seen too many people literally give up and rage quit when the score is 0-3, the other team winning. This is obviously an extreme scenario, but even if the score is 12-20, people seem to get easily discouraged and quit when a game is still very much in reach. We all get emotional because of course we care about the game. We wouldn’t play Ranked if we didn’t care and didn’t want to win.

Also, everyone has bad games. If this is you, and you have died 3 times in a row, you have to learn to play from behind aka “learn to get carried”. This involves playing extra safe, getting as much CS as you can, even if that means missing a bunch to avoid dying. You are not going to carry every game. Sometimes you can’t play to win, and you have to play to NOT LOSE. Let someone else carry the team to victory. You do this by not getting in the way and don’t make it more difficult for someone else to carry. It’s hard to be humble and not get frustrated in these situations, but the more relaxed and safe you can play, the better.

As I play more and more, I am continuing to learn these things and cements them in my brain. I want it to become second nature. The less I have to think about the correct plays the more consistently I can execute them. Once this is the case, it just becomes finding the 2-4 champions you want to play and play them to death. Then put in the time and play as many ranked games as possible. As I said early in the article, I am most likely waiting for Solo Queue to be released before I jump back into ranked, but I am using this time to learn some of the top tier ADC and really work on my basics. When Solo Queue finally is released, I’ll be ready to climb.

And always remember the League of Legends Serenity Prayer:

“League of Legends Gods, grant me the serenity to accept my teammates that I cannot change, the courage to kite the opponents I can, and the wisdom to know how to carry. In Infinity Edge’s name we pray, Amen.”

Thanks for reading and, as always, you can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. Thanks, everyone!

-Andy