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Glory of the Climb – Developing Your Killer Instinct!

January 8th, 2013

Killer Instincts

 

Greetings Summoners, today’s article is going to be the importance of aggression in Season 3! Because I consider aggression to be an advanced tactic I am going to briefly go over a few prerequisite conditions I recommend you have under your belt before you try and secure that ever-rewarding First Blood.

First - “Main” a specific Champion: It does not matter which Champion as long as it’s your favorite, you have A TON of experience on them and always have fun playing them! I used to think in soloqueue it was important to have a diverse champion pool so I could play any lane decently well and I am here to tell you: that’s wrong if you want to carry your team. When you get into a ranked lobby just ask nicely for the lane you want, I always say “Mid plz :),” followed by “I understand I am 4th/last pick and will fill if someone above me wants mid.” This resulted in me getting Fizz for about 16 games in a row. If you’re lower priority pick and someone else calls the lane just let them have it and hope they are as determined as you are to carry; remember it’s good to build a friendly and cooperative rapport with your team right from the start to reduce inner-team turmoil. Also if you lose the game don’t blame it on you not being able to carry; losses happen and LoL has proven time and time again that it’s a game of perfect storms, sometimes shit storms. The worst thing you can do if you lose is queue for another game and then try to force your new team into giving you your desired lane by saying “mid or afk,” or “I am playing Karthus regardless of what lane.” Just be patient and play what roles you are given until you eventually get to carry with your favorite Champ.

fizz3

Second – Learn Combat:I recommend you read my Dominion article and play Dominion on your Main Champion for about 10 games to really learn the ins and outs of their combat. For example, do you know what is it like to fight an AP champion 1 on 1, an AD champion, are you good at all-ins, are they good at all-ins, can you chase reliably well, do you do more burst or sustained damage, how much does your power go up at levels 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, and 18, do you always max the same spell first or does your kit offer variety, what items spike your power and are considered your “core,” is it smart to build against your lane or always build your core, are you front line, are you back line, are you a carry, are you an assassin, are you support, do you offer utility to your team, are you the quarterback or are you the receiver, can you roam efficiently, when is it best to buy level 1 boots, level 2 boots, boot enchant and which one, can you initiate a fight or should you sit back and wait, what should your positioning be like in team fights, etc. There’s probably a slew of other things you should know but you get the idea. It’s a long list and it makes a difference in your success of killing someone.

FB

Third – Stick to your Guns: Make a plan, stick to it and never doubt yourself. After playing a handful of games I realized that Fizz is an incredible duelist in the early levels. He has great melee harass with his Seastone Trident DoT, he has 2 gap closers, he can negate an enemy spell with his Playful/Trickster, he has a slow, he can effectively go 9 defensive masteries, his passive reduces auto attack damage (minions and champions) and allows him to ignore unit collision (his passive also increases damage reduction at level 4 making this a potent “all-in” level). With all this combat knowledge (again see my Second point) I started to develop plans around early all-ins around level 3 and 4 to snowball my lane. I created rune pages with all “flat” runes instead of “per level” runes to maximize my early stats, and even tailored my masteries for early game instead of late game. Using this plan got me a free kill in lane about 60% of the time, the other 40% we would trade deaths, or I would force them to go back to heal. The games where I killed them and lived though the lane would forever be in my control because I know once Fizz gets Sheen his damage spikes dramatically and with the increased mana you always have enough to devote to harassing and escaping if the jungler comes (which he fucking will… every god damn time lol). Just know that your lane will receive a lot of jungler attention if your aggression is successful.

masteries

So Why be Aggressive in Season 3?

The Jungler won’t help early on: Referencing one of my previous articles, one of the most drastic changes in Season 3 is the new jungle. Junglers take much more damage now and there is a greater risk than before trying to gank a lane after getting blue and red buff because they are typically at ~50% hp. Because of this risk Junglers will gank less early which means you have a solid 4-5 minutes undisturbed in lane with your opponent that you need to capitalize on, but remember you are also less likely to receive help from your own jungler. Also most starting builds yield an early ward which makes it even harder for the jungler to get to lanes undetected. What this means for you is that you now have to become more self-sufficient when it comes to winning your lane. In Season 2 you could play passively for a while and just wait for your jungler to come and get you a kill, snowballing your lane. Now that the Jungler spends more time clearing and puts more emphasis on farming camps, you have to rely on 1 v 1 skill to win.

jungle

Winning Lane Early Sets You Up to Carry: If you capitalize early and come out ahead because of your aggression you can control your lane and then begin to control other lanes. When you kill your lane opponent you typically get 300-600 more gold than them (depending on First Blood and how many waves you get to free farm), you get 1-2 levels on them and you can push against them with impunity. When you push people to towers (which forces them to sit and farm or else they lose much needed exp/gold following you) you have roughly ~25 seconds to invade their jungle, gank other lanes, or pressure global objectives like Dragon and Baron which over-time will make their team weaker than your team. Also as I mentioned above you will draw jungle attention to your lane which allows the rest of your team to play aggressive also!

The Element of Surprise: People are still not used to aggression (especially calculated aggression). A lot of players are still stuck in the ways of Season 2 which makes them perfect prey for your killer instincts! They passively farm and spend a lot of time typing trash to the jungler about his lack of early presence. They are that much less likely to expect you to go all-in so early, pressuring them to make unexpected decisions and mistakes. If you read my first article and you are also using a rarely played champion, like Wukong or Fiora, people are that much less likely to react correctly (ask yourself do you even know Fiora’s passive, Q, W, E, and R? Exactly!). Once you kill someone unexpectedly you also have a chance to put them on tilt mentally. Watching your champion die before your eyes, as you have no idea how to react, is infuriating! The psychological part of the game then starts to sink in and you can almost completely destroy someone’s ability to play and make rational thoughts if you make their head spin fast enough 😉

I recommend all summoners that want to be successful in Season 3 to develop your killer instinct and constantly apply pressure to your lane. Make you opponent afraid of you and use that fear to carry your team. Til next time may your ELO rise as you experience the Glory of the Climb 🙂

Love, Dcgreen

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