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top lane

Today we are going to be talking about the Top Lane which is, in my opinion, is one of the lanes that got the most warped by Season 3′s stats re-evaluations. As you should know by now I feel that the re-evaluation of HP has changed the game for the worse. Early in Season 3 I preached about how many old champions would now be viable in all lanes, but ever since the evolution of the Giant’s Belt meta this is simply not the case. In Top lane you deal smaller amounts of damage over long periods of time due to auto attacks, ad skills, and shields/high hp regen. Because of this, buying straight HP absolutely wrecks buying anything that increases damage. Before we look at the champions that I list as Top 5 lets take a look at some champions who we used to see all the time in Season 2 and some champs we hoped would become viable in Season 3.

 Riven: A major Season 2 contender now forced to live in the shadows. Someone who wants to dump all their money into AD items simply gets outclassed by a bruiser that can spend that first 1000g on a Giant’s Belt. She does a have crazy good early game and very high snowball potential but risking an all-in vs lanes that commonly start with two wards and nine pots is not as easy as it used to be.

 Wukong: I put a lot of money on Wukong being a force to be reckoned with in Season 3, with the introduction of Flask getting rid of a lot of his early lane problems. Again though Wukong fits more into the role of AD caster/assassin and can simply not contend with someone who can buy a Giant’s Belt on their first back. He can function well in the mid lane.

 Darius: A common pick/ban in Season 2, the axe man has stepped out of the spotlight in Season 3. Don’t let the PBE nerfs fool you, this is mainly to alleviate the complaints of the community that don’t know how to combat his ultimate. I don’t believe there is one recording of a pro player ever complaining that Darius is op. While Darius actually doesn’t mind stacking HP, he can easily buy a Giant’s Belt first buy, his ultimate actually gets weaker from OTHER people stacking HP. Also, he really wants to build some early damage and not being able to makes him a bit weaker overall. In Season 2 when resistances were king his true damage was a strong counter, but Riot has stated time and time again the best counter to true damage is flat HP; enter Giant’s Belt.

 Jayce: Like Riven he hinges on buying items like Blood Thirster early. We sometimes see Jayce mid because he functions better as a carry rather than a bruiser and is allowed to thrive in a lane where both parties want to stack damage and not HP.

 Attack Damage Nidalee: Nidalee benefits in no way from stacking HP. Typical top lane Nidalees used to get Trinity Force and poke, kite, and split push top lane. Now with equally scary champions lurking in top like Renekton, Shen, and Elise she has found her way to mid lane where she benefits her team more by stacking AP.

 Irelia: Queen of the nerf bat has actually not been touched in Season 3 but her presence has dropped off completely. She can stack HP like any other bruiser but her kit really thrived on being able to build a mix of HP/AS/DMG and Resistances, the hallmarks of bruisers in Season 2.

  AP Champs: except Rumble, Elise, Akali, and the occasional Katarina have all but disappeared as well. When was the last time you saw Vlad top? Some other top laners who used to be first pick/ban worthy in Season 2 and have now become more niche picks are Yorick, Jax, Lee Sin, and Cho’Gath.

 The Best Top Laners and Why.

 

Pro’s constantly say that the reason Bruisers go top is because they are the only Champions that can; top lane has such an unforgiving dynamic compared to the other lanes. It’s so far away from anything that no one gives it any attention, which means the Champs that reside there have to be tough and self-sufficient. It’s also the easiest lane to gank, which means champs need to be able to handle the pressure of constantly being monitored by the opposing jungler. Today these champs are defined by how they best maximize stacking Giant’s Belt items like Warmogs/Randuins/Sunfire Cape, and then being giant damage dealing piles of HP. Their job is to be a brick wall that punches back at anyone hitting it. They function similar to junglers, but play more of a backseat role when it comes to initiating and cc, and take the front seat when it comes to dealing the damage.

Please note that I will not include any champions on this list who I included in my jungle list. It is true that Jarvan IV or Xin Zhao are more than capable of going toe to toe with any of these champs in the top lane. However, I believe they are better suited in the jungle as they function equally well while building items like Madred’s and Locket of the Iron Solari. Bruisers want to be able to afford two Giant’s Belt items and therefore it is better to stick them in the top lane which has a steady cash flow.

Also this list is more heavily biased towards success in Soloqueue and not necessarily meant to coincide with the frequency of picks being made in the LCS. My goal is to try and provide you with advice you can use to gain LP.

#5.  Malphite

Malphite rounds out my list because in soloqueue he is picked or banned 90% of the time. I don’t think he packs as much of a punch in Season 3 compared to Season 2; he was mainly utilized because of how devastating the combined AoE damage of his ult and E were while providing an AS debuff for the enemy ADC. He was also innately tanky which allowed him to build damage items like Abyssal Scepter and Sorc Shoes. With HP stacking his ult has lost a lot of its UMPH, however, its disruption aspect is still very relevant and can be used to turn the tide of skirmishes and team fights and he still has his AS debuff. He also has a very safe laning phase with his passive shield and the ability to speed himself up and slow down his pursuers.

#4.  Olaf

Olaf got beaten badly with the nerf bat recently, but like any Viking worth his salt he is still standing. While his laning phase was neutered the most, his team fight presence is still incredibly scary. He feels right at home in the stacking HP meta as he scales off HP and does not need damage thanks to the Armor Pen from his ult and True Damage of Reckless Swing. His presence has all but disappeared in the pro scene but I still think he is an incredibly strong pick in soloqueue and I would make the argument that a late game Olaf is the strongest champion in the game.

#3.  Renekton

Renekton has seen the biggest resurgence of all the Season 2 Champs for top lane. He has a gap closer which shreds armor, a heal that does AoE damage, a wicked stun, and his ultimate gives him damage and, yep you guessed it, lots and lots of HP- oh and he’s manaless. If Renekton can farm 1000g in lane without losing lane too hard, he becomes incredibly difficult to deal with. With his level one ult and a Giant’s Belt he gets 680 HP… WITH A HEAL! That’s menacing. Good luck fighting that. Once again Renekton shows us that the dark side always prevails in terms of power. I’m looking at you Nasus, you sandy bitch! Renekton is also a huge monkey wrench in team fights because he actually does a TON of damage over a prolonged engagement. This leaves your team with the tough choice of killing the 3k HP crocodile that is destroying your face, or killing the guys behind him who are destroying your other face.

#2.  Shen

Ok get ready for another TF-esque rant! Shen is another Champion that I harbor nothing but hatred for. I feel like he is such a poorly designed ninja! Who the fuck was like “Ninja Champion! Wait for it…. He’s a tank!” That makes no sense what so ever. Ninjas aren’t tanky, that’s Samurai… Shen is also the loudest fucking ninja in the history of the world, louder than Chris Farley in Beverly Hills Ninja. His sword makes so much racket when he Ki-Strikes, he makes noise when he dashes, when he casts a shield, and even when he is coming to save an ally. None of his skills really make sense for a ninja either, and I also hate how he has to repeatedly draw his swords. A ninja is always prepared, have that shit drawn and ready. Ok, so he throws his swords… give him shuriken? He has a shield? Ok that kinda makes sense assuming he’s a master of inner-chi or something. He dashes forward and it taunts people… wait, what? Oh, and he can teleport across the map… that’s actually pretty fucking awesome, except it’s a defensive move that he uses to save his allies. Bitch, ninjas don’t look out for anyone, not even other ninjas! Good Job Riot! A white guy definitely designed him *cough* Guinsoo *cough* At least they got it right with Zed.

Ok, so what makes Shen good? Well lets start with his scaling off HP. Now that that’s out of the way, he also has global presence, like TRUE GLOBAL presence, meaning he can go from Nexus to Nexus if he has to. His ultimate can save lives and turn fights which has crazy snowball potential at all levels of the game, pro included. He does physical and magical damage which makes him a bitch to fight in lane; although this was a bigger problem in Season 2 because he was hard to itemize resistances against. He has a heal and a shield. He’s a lane bully in all senses of the word, but he can bully all the other lanes also. Did I forget to mention he’s probably the worst designed ninja champion ever? Ok, just making sure.

#1.  Elise

Strictly speaking soloqueue here, this bitch is fucking broken. I have never won a game against an Elise or lost a game playing with one. She is the new “purple team must ban this or we’re fucked” champ. No one knows how to counter her. She does damage based on HP%’s which means stacking HP doesn’t really work against her. She is ranged and melee, has a stun, a gap closer, and a crazy escape that makes Fizz look like a flounder. She can also readily stack HP because she gets free defensive stats AND MOVESPEED from her Spiderform. She’s ridiculous. It’s actually crazy how underpowered people thought she was when released, then Riot buffed her ever so slightly and now she rapes people’s nightmares. She’s really strong and I wish I didn’t sound so uneducated about her and what to do against her, but I don’t really play top lane and, like I said, I have never beaten a team with an Elise.

Honorable Mentions

These champions function well in the top lane but are less of soloqueue stompers than the five listed above and better suited in the hands of pro players who know how to get them through their delicate laning phases and into late game. The only champion that I think deserves a “pro spot” on my list is Singed who I think would replace Elise as the #1 spot, leaving the rest of the list unchanged. The champs are listed in alphabetical order.

Akali

Cho’Gath

Darius

Jax

Lee Sin

Rengar

Rumble

Singed

Yorick

This list was actually pretty difficult for me to come up with because I know very little about top lane. I believe though from my observations that this is fairly accurate. It is definitely my most subjective list and because of that I will make no effort to defend it in the comments like I have on some of my others.

Love, Dcgreen

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Previous “Glory of the Climb” Articles:

Making Sense of Season 3

Dominion: Helping You To Win More Lanes and Games

Developing Your Killer Instincts: Why to be Aggressive in Season 3

Working With Your Team to Win

Countering Health with DFG

Reviewing the New “League System”

Why Losing is Just as Important as Winning

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 Junglers

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 AP Mids

ezrealshitIf you had a penny for every Ezreal you saw, you’d be making your own games.

 

Farming, Harassing & Laning: Ezreal is like pop music- by now you know all of it by heart, even if you hate it. This guide will be aimed at improving your already healthy knowledge of the champion. At level two Ezreal has the potential to overpower almost all other AD carries. Most of his damage output comes from Mystic Shots, after basic attacks during exchanges. Ezreal’s Q is one of the hardest zoning skills in the game. Forcing the enemy into a defensive position with it is huge as this gives you an early gold and XP advantage which you can quickly snowball from. There is more subtlety here- the closer you get to the enemy minion back line, the easier it is for you to land consistent Mystic Shots. Whatever you do early on, as long as you don’t spam Essence Flux, you probably won’t mess up.

The potential for laning dominance only gets better as you hit level six, which is again a moment of the game you should exploit. 350 damage on a level one ultimate is massive, if clear aim is provided. Remember that not even Phreak can stop a channeling Trueshot Barrage, so if you see a stun coming, fire away! Hard CC is nothing to a good Ezreal player as he can Arcane Shift away while the animation is being cast. This works for Blitzcrank’s grab, Taric’s Dazzle, Leona’s Zenith Blade, etc.

 

pulsefire

 

In an ideal scenario you want an aggressive support by your side as those make Ezreal’s early DPS really shine. The list is your standard Leona, Blitzcrank and Taric. Champions that counter him aren’t as straight-forward, however. For one thing Ezreal can outplay most of his counters and his worst enemies are often very squishy. Sona and Lulu can chip away at his miserable HP pool, while Janna and Nunu can both escape and chase him very efficiently (Janna can even block his harass!), but, again, it large boils down to player skill. In the AD department we have long-ranged pokers, such as Ashe, Caitlyn and Varus, as well champions who can melt his face off, such as Corki and Graves, although those can be beaten by Ezreal just as hard.

 

ezrealcounteredby

 

ezrealcounters

 

I see a lot of Ezreal players pick Ignite without a second thought. Assess the enemy team first- you might need a Cleanse if the enemy team is really stun-heavy, or even an Exhaust if they lack a mage entirely! Many people frown upon such choices, but Ignite should really be picked only if you have a really strong combo, like Ezreal/Leona or Ezreal/Blitzcrank.

 

Midgame gameplay & Item Choices: Ezreal is very versatile in the item department. You can rush a Trinity Force, do a standard Infinity Edge -> Phantom Dancer, use an Iceborn Gauntlet or a Statikk Shiv, both of which will be proc’d by Mystic Shot. A very cool build is a Bloodthirster, followed by a Sheen and Attack Speed/Armor Penetration. You don’t actually need the whole Trinity Force to be a major threat, as the combination of these two items skyrockets your Mystic Shot into Darius levels of awesomeness.

 

ezrealitems

An important note: do not rush Iceborn Gauntlet! You are your team’s carry, damage is number one priority!

 

Ezreal’s damage output starts high and this gives him a very important edge in the midgame. Trueshot Barrage, even without items, is an incredible teamfight ultimate, with the added benefit of securing dragon. Mystic Shot does decent damage from afar and has a low cooldown. A mix of magical and physical damage plus a godlike escape means you’ll be strong farily early on, something most carries can’t boast with.

Carry potential & Teamfight tips: As mentioned, Ezreal shines in the early and midgame. He still does respectable DPS in the late game, but he is no hard carry. Make sure you press your advantage so you don’t fall behind. You can poke and secure objectives very early on, so do so! Never be passive, unless you lack map control or you’re getting beaten in lane. If this is the core emphasis of your gameplay, you’ll do wonders with Ezreal. That being said, don’t be greedy with Arcane Shift. It has a medium cooldown and puts you in danger if used offensively. Always save it until the last moment, because it’s your only escape and you lack CC.

Ezreal’s greatest weakness is his inability to properly deal with beefy targets. You should always force the enemy bruisers to fight when they’re still relatively squishy. The longer the game goes, the more pressing this issue becomes. Ezreal is more of a team-player with heavy nukes. He doesn’t fare well when raw damage is needed at the 50th minute mark.

The hardest counters to our Prodigal Explorer are those who can follow him after he uses Arcane Shift and dispatch of him quickly. Any champion with a low- cooldown dash or one that goes through walls is a good example. For allies Ezreal most benefits from either strong initiation CC or reliable peel abilities, such as Janna’s Zephyr and Howling Gale. Auras and steroids are always welcome.

Ezreal is mostly straight-forward: his skillshots are fast and his passive is very easy to maintain. I consider him a solid pick for new players, although there is a slight learning curve regarding landing Mystic Shots consistently. If you want a safe, reliable champion for solo or duo queue, then Ezreal is an outstanding choice. In competitive play he might not be the amazing carry you’re looking for.

 

ezrealallies

 

ezrealcountered

 

Tips:

    • Use Essence Flux on allies taking Dragon, Baron or towers.
    • Mystic Shot’s particles are like a comet when you purchase Pulsefire Ezreal – the actual hit- box doesn’t change, but it’s a mind game that works well against your enemy.
    • Arcane Shift is a slightly bigger Flash- you don’t have to literally be hugging walls to make the jump.
    • Trueshot Barrage is a great farming tool on a low cooldown- use it from across the map to clear lanes which are being pushed!
    • Both the damage and AS buff from Essence Flux will trigger Rising Spell Force.

 

FAQ Section:

 

Q: Who are you?

I’m an avid player from EU West who’s been in the League since Season 1. My highest Elo is 1927 but I mostly play premade matches. In all teams that I’ve joined for various tournaments I’ve taken the role of an AD carry. I’ve played every champion in this category extensively, although special credit must go out to Vayne who is my personal favourite.

Q: Who is this guide for?

Mostly players who have decided to delve deeper into the role of AD carry.

Q: What can I find in it?

An overview of each AD Carry, its strengths and weaknesses, both in lane and in teamfights, as well as tips for synergizing with certain support champions. There are short lists of counters and allies, as well as more detailed explanations as to why that is the case.

Q: Should I completely agree with all your choices for counterpicks and good allies?

Of course not! I’ve based my opinion around general advice. Of course, players can always pull off something amazing that I haven’t mentioned, but this guide is aimed at providing the most solid and safe choices.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the third episode of my mini-series! In my next article I’ll be covering Fiora (yes, Fiora!)

 

Good luck on the Fields of Justice!

ap mids

In my introductory article to the Stale Meta I briefly addressed why the cheap cost, and immediate effects, of stacking health are determining why certain champions are more viable than others right now; even causing a lot of Season 2 favorites, like Shyvana, to completely disappear from the competitive scene. I want to take the time to address the fact that I will not be covering the AD Mid variants as I think there are too few and they are too obvious (Kha’Zix, Zed, Talon, Pantheon, Lee Sin). The idea behind picking an AD middle vs an AP middle are also much more straight forward as you are just looking for more AD damage and armor shred to synergize/compliment your top lane Bruiser. It is also important to note that with the increase in Jarvan IV and Taric picks there has been a decrease in AD mid picks because of teams abilities to stack armor without any gold investments, so there’s that.

The Best AP Mids and Why.

Ok so in my last article regarding Junglers I applied a specific “curve” that I believe potential junglers needed to fit in order for me to consider them viable. This meant all the junglers were very similar to each other because they had a specific “early pressure/initiator/tank” role that they HAD to fill. AP mids do not suffer from these linear traits and are instead picked because of how their unique skill set will compliment their team mates best; this, however, becomes less apparent the further down the list and more apparent the higher we go up the list. Things that an AP champion can provide to a team in order to be considered for mid lane are: Poke, Armor/MR Shred, Burst AND Sustained Damage, Shields/Buffs, Stuns/Slows, Displacement, and Global Presence.

#5.  Nidalee

Rounding out my Top 5 is Nidalee, and for the record she NARROWLY surpassed Lux, who would be my official #6. When I compared Nidalee and Lux to make this decision it came down to the fact they have very similar kits but Nidalee can do more sustained damage in a prolonged fight. Lux has notoriously long cooldowns and all her abilities are skill shots, so if you miss with her you have a reasonably long reload time before you can try again to deal damage, she also has high mana costs which means you can’t poke as long with her without blue. Her shield gives no sustain in a siege unlike Nid’s heal, and while her E does provide vision it can not be placed as strategically as Nidalee’s without significantly reducing her damage output. Nidalee can poke for days with her spears as they are reasonably costed, have a low cd, and probably hit for just as much as Lux’s ult at max range. Her heal is good for prolonged sieges and fights, and if there is no one to heal she can always give it to her ADC to increase his/her attack speed. The versatility of her ult is what gives her the edge over Lux though in that she can use it to keep putting out damage when her human form’s spells are on cooldown, where someone like Lux has to sit and wait; it also gives her some of the best escapability in the game combined with her passive making her very safe. Ok I think that is enough reasons.

As you can see Nidalee provides a little bit of everything that I listed above. She can poke, she has sustain in cougar and burst with spears, she provides vision and shreds Armor/MR with her traps, and one of her biggest boons is her heal that scales incredibly well with AP as well as doubling as an AS steroid. She is a very well rounded champ right now and a great pick for #5 AP mid.

#4.  Ryze

Ryze is definitely the most generic champion on this list but if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Ryze benefits mostly from being one of, if not THE highest sustain damage mages out there. He fits the meta very well right now because he can build primarily tanky stats and still deal formidable damage, and it’s AoE dmage to boot, thanks to his ultimate! His Rune Prison provides his team with great catching potential, his Spell Flux shreds MR, and he can 1v1 most champions, and win, at many stages of the game. Against ADC’s and opposing AP mids his combo is considered burst and against the tankier Junglers and Bruisers he has enough consistent damage output to not warrant standing next to him for very long unless you plan on killing him. He definitely provides less utility than Nidalee (or Lux) but I think his solidarity as an AP powerhouse and the fact he’s less composition dependent puts him firmly above her at #4.

#3.  Orianna

Orianna is the epitome of the #3 spot on my list. She has great burst and sustained damage with high AP ratios and low cooldowns on all her spells. Her range is long enough to be considered poke. She has a shield that scales incredibly well with AP and provides the wearer free Armor/MR. Her W slows the enemy team and speeds up her own, and her Shockwave is the premium displacement spell right now and can be wombo-comboed well with many of the tanky gap closing Junglers. She is an extremely solid pick right now and even bolsters a strong/formidable laning phase compared to other AP champs.

#2.  Kayle

Kayle is the sleeper newcomer to the AP scene. Her high points are the ability to shred Armor/MR of the opposing team in an AoE, slowing champions while amplifying her own damage against them, providing her team with a heal and speed burst, and of course, the Coup De Grace, three seconds of invulnerability to an ally at 1200 range! Her ability to do burst damage with her spells, and sustained damage with her autoattacks and a Liandry’s Torment make her a force to be reckoned with, whatever Champion you are. If Kayle’s team has just one fed Champion on it she doesn’t even have to achieve an average item build because of how strong her ultimate can be in conjunction with an allied carry. Kayle is definitely first pick or ban worthy right now and her game changing ultimate is reason enough for that!

#1  Twisted Fate

I am going to be honest, I absolutely hate Twisted Fate and it sickens me he sits at #1. I think he is a stupidly designed champion. On the surface he has little depth and underneath it all he is one of those “is he an ADC or AP champ abortions” that has been in the game so long they really can’t do anything about what he has evolved into. Back in beta he would constantly fluctuate between nerfs and buffs from AD to AP. Finally the pro scene has deemed him an AP champ because of how game breaking his ultimate is while running AP. You can use Gate to teleport and stun somebody, doing significant burst damage, and ensuring a successful kill most of the time; compare this to an AD TF showing up and the stun and wildcards doing no damage and his follow up damage has to come from all autoattacks and you can see why he is run as an AP, plus putting him in mid lane allows him to Gate to either Top or Bot.

Anyways, TF provides the least “utility” to a team in terms of his kit only really having a stun/slow, BUT the global presence + Champion vision that his ultimate provides are enough to keep him in the #1 spot for a long time to come because of how influential it can be in snowballing other lanes/the game. He also has incredible poke (1450 range!), wave clear, a decent passive that actually does provide some significant extra gold to your team over the course of a game, and he can do some crazy baits with Gate + Zhonya’s Hourglass as popularized by WE Misaya, and also used by Curse NyJacky in yesterdays LCS game against GGU. It’s unfortunate the brokenness of his ultimate is a relic of bad beta design and so it unlikely another champion will ever be released with an ultimate to rival his for the number 1 spot. However, if the meta ever shifts back to the days of farming for 30 minutes before pushing a lane as five you can expect to see Karthus occupy this spot because of Requiem (fucking global ultimates!)

Honorable Mentions

These AP champions provide good utility and damage to their team but are just a tier below the top 5 in terms of how game changing they can be just by being on a team. They are listed in no specific order.

Anivia

Cho’Gath

Diana

Evelyn

Karthus

Kassadin

Lux

Syndra

Zyra

This list was a bit more influenced by the competitive scene than by the soloqueue scene, but I don’t think it would be much different, and I think by adhering to this list you would still be likely to gain LP.

Love, Dcgreen

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Previous “Glory of the Climb” Articles:

Making Sense of Season 3

Dominion: Helping You To Win More Lanes and Games

Developing Your Killer Instincts: Why to be Aggressive in Season 3

Working With Your Team to Win

Countering Health with DFG

Reviewing the New “League System”

Why Losing is Just as Important as Winning

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 Junglers

junglers

With Season 3 actively live for about three weeks and LCS starting its third week tomorrow, the meta has finally settled and the dominant strategies have emerged. There is still a little room for champion innovation as far as viability goes (i.e. Volibear being used by Gambit and Giants in EU LCS) but most top tier champions and item builds have been established. If you are behind the times the current trends revolve around champions that can build primarily tanky while still doing good amounts of damage, shredding Armor/MR, and thriving in prolonged engagements. If your champion can not do these things then it better be packing some major utility for your team otherwise they really have no place on the fields of justice. I will be discussing what is the primary culprit in this shift towards HP is, as well as giving my opinion on which junglers are the best to play right now to gain LP and climb divisions.

thumb      VS        _41775748_knife-pile-london

 

What Caused Such a Major Shift in How the Game is being Played?

The biggest contributor to the shift in meta has been the re-evaluation of stats by Riot. Health and Damage are cheaper while Resistances and Attack Speed are more expensive. What this has done is make it so that the early game gets completely dominated by health stacking. Giant’s Belt is a premium at 1000g giving the wearer 380 HP. If we compare that to the premium AD and AP items (BF Sword and Rod) they give 45 AD for 1550 and 80 AP for 1600. While BF sword is 100g cheaper its power is masked over ten fold by the cheaper Giant’s Belt, same with Needlessly Large Rod. It takes nine attacks before armor to chip away all the extra health that Giant’s Belt provides compared to your BF Sword. It’s even worst for AP characters who don’t even receive the full 80 AP on a majority of their spells, plus factoring in cooldowns and it could be a while before your extra 80 AP negates that extra HP. Plus the purchaser of the Giant’s belt also has 550-600 more gold to spend on whatever they want. Now these numbers are not infallible truths as I am not factoring in things like your base auto attack damage or scaling AP from runes, etc but I am just trying to show comparatively what the items provide to the user at face value. The other contributor to HP being out of control right now is that Attack Speed is no longer the premium stat it was in Season 2. I don’t play AD carry a lot but I was forced to play it a few days ago in ranked and even when fed, with BT/IE, PD, LW at 30 minutes I felt incredibly weak shooting at the opposing Shen and Hecarim. We did eventually win but I felt like such a small contribution of damage as I watched every auto attack tickle that massive HP bar when I felt I should be blowing them away! Things are not as they used to be.

Anyways, the main point is HP is out of control which in turn is making bruisers out of control, which in turn is making playing non-bruisers futile, which is making the meta very stale already for only being three weeks in. I would definitely advise against playing any kind of assassin or damage dealing character (excluding ADC’s) that can not provide some kind of significant utility to your team. Let your bruiser/jungler take care of tanking, killing, and winning the game, while you take a back seat and grab some pom-poms to cheer them on.

The Best Junglers and Why.

To keep this section clean I am going to list what I think are the top 5 junglers right now and list some close honorable mentions. The traits that I am looking for that help me decide power level are based on junglers who fit a very precise curve of being able to provide early game pressure, do good early damage while being tanky, and scale well into late game transitioning into an unkillable tank/initiator/frontline/cc machine.

#5:  Vi

Vi is incredibly new to the League scene and I think that it took Riot fixing all her bugs for people to discover how powerful she really is. Now that she is fully functional I see her banned or picked in almost every game I play. She has a very long range gap closer with her Q, shreds armor, has high base damage, has suppression, scales well, and she gets a free shield that scales well with the stats she wants to prioritize. She has great pressure early game with her ability to fly long distances over walls, does good damage because of her base values, becomes incredibly threatening once she gets six, and she scales well as a tank into the late game providing her team with initiation, armor shred, and cc. She does everything at an above average level and fits my jungler curve very nicely. The reason she is 5th on my list is that she is really only scaled well to prioritizing one enemy at a time where the other junglers outshine her.

#4:  Amumu

Next is Amumu who is no stranger to the League or the jungle. A high priority pick in all three seasons, his use seems to get more refined the more time passes. Despite being very susceptible to early counter jungle pressure, Amumu is a tough champion to ignore even when he is at a disadvantage. His Q give him a gap closer and stun in one, while also lowering the targets MR with his passive, this gives him the ability to pressure lanes early. Once he hits six he doesn’t even need to hit you with his Q to stun you anymore, just use it to close the gap and set up a gank. He scales incredibly well building only tanky while providing great damage with his Despair’s % damage. In team fights he shreds MR with his passive, provides a giant AoE Stun, and meanwhile is able to stun someone every few seconds with his Q which has a base damage of 320 at rank 5! Ya I bet you didn’t know that. Amumu is everything you want in your jungle tank. He gets the edge over Vi because his ultimate is more game changing than hers because it can effectively be used on all five enemies. Its also as big as the Baron pit which makes contesting an enemy Baron with Amumu a walk in the park.

#3:  Hecarim

Of all the junglers to start picking up major speed, Hecarim is leading the charge. A fan favorite of Season 2, he is now starting to make his way into the spotlight of season 3. Hecarim has great jungle clear doing it both fast and healthy. While he doesn’t have the greatest gap closer on my list he does have a unique one in his Devastating Charge; couple this with Ghost and its almost like having a 1000 yard Flash with how fast Hecarim can appear on the scene and mess up your day. His Q scales well with levels which lets him build pretty tanky and if he ever gets really ahead he can start prioritizing damage and really make heads roll. Once he gets his ultimate the angles at which he can gank from go up astronomically and it provides AoE-CC to boot! His real power lies in his W which allows him to be a late game brick wall that never dies. Hecarim again fits the curve perfectly being able to provide pressure and great early game damage while prioritizing all his items to transition him into that 4k hp monster that will never die come late game; all while ripping your team to shreds with a spear/scythe/javelin thing. His ultimate is a little less devastating than Amumu’s because it has a smaller chance of actually hitting five people, but its how incredibly hard it becomes to kill Hecarim late game that really gives him the edge. If you have Hecarim in your front line you basically always have a front line which is why he gets my #3.

#2:  Jarvan IV

Jarvan is a scary jungler right now. If you ever hear that “DEMACIA!” and you don’t have flash you are dead. It’s that simple. Jarvan fits the curve almost flawlessly providing tons of pressure as early as level two with his gap closer that knocks you up, shreds your armor, and increases his and his allies attack speed. If he comes back at level six he will have a shield and brings a giant ring of death that he can also use to close the gap a second time! He doesn’t need to build damage because he gets free armor shred, attack speed, and % damage from his kit, which allows him to prioritize into HP allowing him to fight up to five people in his Cataclysm for as long as his team needs him to while they rip them to shreds. Oh yea his shield also slows. Jarvan is in a very privileged spot right now, as he should be he is a god damn prince, and is definitely a top tier pick for jungler, and a scary one at that.

#1:  Xin Zhao

Xin Zhao gets my #1 spot because he fits my jungle curve perfectly as well as taking almost no skill to play. He does most things Jarvan does but with such increased simplicity it may actually make you face palm after you pick J4 and Leave Xin open. His Charge gap closes and shreds armor, no skill shot involved. He has a knock up that is based off his auto attacks, and increases their damage, which is what you are already doing anyawys, and he has an attack speed steroid which also heals him and has no cd (the heal proc) unlike Jarvan’s shield. His ultimate also has dual functionality in the fact that it can be used as a hard engage or hard disengage tool. Catch their adc trailing behind, just charge to him and separate him from his team. Did they catch you trailing behind? Target their support and knock the rest of them away as you make your escape. Crescent Sweep also provides Xin with free Armor and MR which means that Xin can deviate in prioritizing health into damage more freely than the other junglers. But in recap he provides great pressure early game with a gap closer and cc as early as level two. Has a team wide displacement ult with free defensive stats tacked on. He can build tanky and perfectly transition into the late game tank/initiator/cc machine you need him to be. He is the real deal.

Honorable Mentions:

These are the junglers that don’t make my Top 5 but I think are definitely worth mentioning as viable in the confines of the current meta, filling the Jungler/Tank/Bruiser role. They are listed in no specific order.

Cho’Gath

Elise (although she’s better top)

Lee Sin

Malphite

Maokai

Nocturne

Olaf (better top)

Rammus

Shen (better top)

Volibear

 

For those of you who don’t jungle stay tuned to News of Legends as I will be releasing a Top 5 for the other roles (Top, Mid, ADC, Support) in the future. Until then good luck and may this help you rise!

Love, Dcgreen

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Previous “Glory of the Climb” Articles:

Making Sense of Season 3

Dominion: Helping You To Win More Lanes and Games

Developing Your Killer Instincts: Why to be Aggressive in Season 3

Working With Your Team to Win

Countering Health with DFG

Reviewing the New “League System”

Why Losing is Just as Important as Winning

 

 

 

Welcome to Tribunal Cases of the Weak.  Every week you’ll get the best/weirdest/worst Tribunal cases.  As always, purple text is the accused, green text is the teammates, and red is the opponents. The title of each case is a link to the full Tribunal case, but don’t click through unless you’re ready for NSFW language.  Unsure of what the Tribunal is or how it works? Read Riot’s FAQ.

 

Case #5: The Dark Child

Playing Annie as a support is certainly unorthodox, but with team approval, anything can work.  It can be hard though, to tell if someone is just being unorthodox, or if they are trolling.  It’s always reassuring, though, when the player seems smart and mature:

annie2

Not the most encouraging sign.  Here is Annie’s score:

annie1

Not the best score, looks like she’s trolling.  What does this Annie have to say for herself?

annie3

Isn’t that supposed to calm people down?  In this case, it seemed to lead to a lot of raging, intentional feeding and attempts to solo Baron.

PunishWarning

 

 

Case #4: The Soon to Be Exiled

You know the slash commands, like /joke or /dance.  This player had some commands of his own:

riven1

Obviously he’s trolling.  If you read through the game, you’ll find verbal abuse along with a healthy dose of feeding.  But there was more:

riven2

Yes, that’s a real channel; streaming the trolling of new players.  The only thing worse than this guy may be his viewers.

PunishWarning

 

 

Case #3: The True Terror of the Void

This is a strange case.  Most trolls either believe they are innocent and are righteous in their defense, or they maliciously harass opposing players.  This troll trolls himself:

cho1

This player is not only asking for a report, he’s providing the necessary behavior.  He fed and he went afk.  If that wasn’t enough:

cho2

And it worked, he got reported.  And then the Tribunal gave him what he must have really wanted:

PunishTime Ban

 

 

Case #2: The Defeatist

This player created a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The moment he started losing, he thought there was no way to win:

teemo2

And with his behavior, he ensured it:

teemo1

Needless to say, his teammates didn’t appreciate his fatalism.

PunishTime Ban

 

Case #1: Worst Troll of the Week

This player didn’t get the lane he wanted.  This is what he had to say:

shen2

Believing that most low level players are “meta sheeps” certainly doesn’t help him get an unorthodox role.  The reports detail his behavior:

shen1

And what is his explanation for it?

shen3

Ah, yes.  The old “I’m banned on my main” excuse.  This is one type of player that the Tribunal quickly bans:

PunishTime Ban

 

 

PERMABAN OF THE WEEK (NSFW)

This player consistently crosses the line between joke and harassment.  In fact, he may not know where the line is at all:

KAYLE1

That’s some adult material.  And in another game is this fun gem:

lux2

And more:

lux3

Well, this troll got what he had coming.  After a series of Warnings and Time Bans, he ended up with:

Punishpermaban

 

That’s all for this week!  We’ll be back next week with another round of Tribunal Cases of the Weak.

Have a case you think should be included?  Send your submissions to tribunalcasesoftheweak@gmail.com.  Be sure to include the case number and region, your summoner name, and explain what makes it interesting.

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Hey guys! Welcome to another League of Psychology post! Thanks for reading! I hope you really enjoy this one, it was fun to put together.

For this LoP we’re going to be taking a look at relaxation. Specifically, what it is, why it’s important, and some ways that we can make it happen in League of Legends.

Definition

Now there are thousands of general definitions of relaxation. We’re going to define relaxation as an emotional state in which we are at minimal or low tension.

In other words things such as anger, anxiety, and fear are not present.

Relaxation can also be defined as a form of mild ecstasy.

Relaxation Techniques

 

These techniques are defined as any method, procedure or activity that helps us to relax or to reach calm state of mind.

Here is a list of techniques that we can use on our own:

  1. Deep breathing
  2. Exercise, IE. Walking
  3. Certain types of music
  4. Humor
  5. Visualization
  6. Meditation

One thing that I know I use to relax in LoL is humor, specifically having fun in normal games with a bunch of my friends. In this situation, nothing should really matter. If the people you play with take normal games too seriously however, this environment can be just as worse as any ranked game.

In those videos that I mentioned, these negative emotions like anger, and anxiety effect the way we play the game and they can win or lose us the game.

If you have any questions about how you can specifically use some of these techniques don’t be afraid to ask! I try to read all the comments on my posts if I can.

Whatsthepoint

Relaxation is the reduction of anxiety, stress, and anger. Two of those things I covered in previous videos. Relaxation plays a huge part managing these emotions. Without this ability to relax we lose control over these emotions and then we allow them to dominate the way we play the game and our experiences with it.

 If you find yourself getting overly upset at the game, or have times where anxiety ends up taking over and controlling your game play, then relaxation is something that you definitely need to work on. It’s a crucial element of League of Legends.

If you’re able to use relaxation correctly you will see a huge improvement in both your ability to control certain emotions, and your overall game experience.

Make the attempt to take deep breaths, or have a good laugh. You know what they always say “Laughter is the greatest medicine.”

Basically what I’m trying to say is, JUST HAVE FUN PLAYING THE GAME. Enjoy it.

 

Links for relaxation techniques for your reference

Read my previous articles:
Reinforcement
Passive vs. Aggressive

 

draven banner final

 After a healthy delay I present to you the next guide in my AD Carry Series!

 

Draven is a high-skill, high-reward carry whose plethora of steroids and direct damage abilities make him a constant threat. His kit destroys most other carries in the early game. Draven’s only limit is how well you play him.

 

dravenboosh

Farming, Harassing & Laning: Draven has a signature mechanic in lane and that is his axe-throwing and catching. He rewards actively moving and this is especially true during the laning phase. Spinning Axe, coupled with his passive, deals insane damage in the early game, easily overpowering most champions. Because a caught Q will not cost any mana to fire again, you have the opportunity to last-hit effortlessly. Exercise caution as this can easily push your lane as it effectively increases your last-hitting damage by 50%.

Blood Rush is a very straight-forward steroid; the only difference being that the cooldown refreshes if you catch a Spinning Axe. Use when kiting, chasing or escaping. Don’t spam it for no reason or you’ll quickly find yourself out of mana. If you want to run away with W, but feel that you are still safe from harm, consider firing your Q first. Draven can capitalize on mistakes very well. He can turn a potentially bad situation into kills, due to the monstrous damage of continuous Spinning Axes. Blood Rush is one of the best kiting mechanisms in the game, if you’re proficient with the champion.

Orb-walking, or moving while attacking, is a little more complex. Obviously you want to catch your Q to refresh Blood Rush, but don’t lag behind too much if an axe happens to land too close or even to the side. This is where Draven’s third abilitiy, Stand Aside, comes into play. As a chasing skill, it’s best used if your Blood Rush is on cooldown, as it has a casting animation. Failing your combo does not mean that the enemy will live as E is a deceptively long skillshot. As the axes rotate they slightly increase the hitbox of the skill.

Kill combos are extremely strong with Draven, putting champions such as Taric, Leona and Blitzcrank on his buddy list. Generally, any support who can play aggressively and provide crowd control is a desirable choice here. You can zone enemies easily with Draven, but don’t let this be an obsessive goal. Really, the only thing hampering his carry potential is the player’s skill level. He scales very well with items so play passively if aggression is just not working out for you.

Draven can be shut down by champions who can fully commit to a fight. Strong, constant CC in particular destroys any possible kiting attempts. He is also weak against picks that can punish him for trying to catch his axes. A well- played Caitlyn, Varus or Ezreal can put a serious damper on Draven’s laning phase.

 

dravencounterslane

iscounteredbydraven

 

Early and midgame: Draven scales incredibly well with both Critical Strike and Attack Damage. An early Bloodthirster is staple on champions who are consistently in the thick of things. An Infinity Edge will provide redonkulous damage if done by around the fifteen minute mark. Statikk Shiv is an interesting choice, seeing as Draven tends to move a lot. My recommendation is to leave Avarice Blade stacking gold for you for several minutes, perhaps finishing a BF Sword or a couple of Doran’s Blades before completing the item. Early attack speed items mean weaker Spinning Axes and Whirling Death, so try to delay them slightly, but do not ignore them after the twenty minute mark.  A build you’ll never go wrong with is a BF Sword -> Zeal -> Bloodthirster – greatly efficient on carries with solid AD scaling on abilities.

When playing Draven you need to understand that even though his mechanics differ, his role on the team is that of a carry. Always be aware of enemy gap-closers and dangerous spells when trying to catch axes. Also, never lose out on potential auto-attacks in order to chase axes that have landed too far away. With a fully max’d Q you can afford to miss out on a few. As with all global ultimates, Whirling Death is a wonderful finisher. That being said, if you have a clear opening on the enemy team, feel free to use it during the initiation. After getting rid of all the fancy stuff, you have your standard gameplay- keep assassins and bruisers away with Stand Aside and do everything possible to stay alive, using Blood Rush judiciously when left without Spinning Axes.

 

dravenitems

 

Carry potential: Draven is a unique gem for those who want to master a certain champion. His weaknesses are the lack of a decent escape and having relatively short range. He has very few hard counters if played well. His Spinning Axe transitions from a monstrous poking tool to a decent auto attack steroid, while Blood Rush and Stand Aside are both stellar carry skills. Having a global ultimate means you can always try to finish off low-health enemies, giving you solid team presence early on. He carries extremely hard with a competent team who can protect him and does well even without insane levels of farm.

 

Bestalliesdraven

dravencounters

 

 Useful tips:

    • Spinning Axe will not reset your auto attack timer, meaning you can charge it pre-emptively. It also won’t trigger Spell Shields, meaning you can demolish those pesky Sivirs with ease.

 

    •  Your passive is not wasted if you stack it twice before the 4 seconds are over, as it will just add more bleeding time to your opponent.

 

    •  Stand Aside and Whirling Death have wind-up animations, meaning you can auto-attack and then use them to limit idle time and increase your overall DPS.

 

    •  As the movement speed from Blood Rush fades during the spell’s duration, it should be used first in order to escape, giving you breathing space when the going gets rough. If you get ganked very early on, hit W first and only after the first few seconds use E as it takes time to fire. Sometimes, as a result, the enemy chasing you will not be in range to cast his most valuable skill, forcing him to either use Flash or give up the pursuit.

 

    • Stand Aside will interrupt Leona’s Zenith Blade, allowing you to disrupt her combo.

 

    • Draven’s ultimate is best used during hard CC or when your enemies cannot afford to juke. Much like Ezreal’s ultimate, it can be fired while stunned. Whirling Death also requires that you, your target and the axes themselves stand in one line. The further you are from your target, the harder it is to reposition yourself should the ability fail.

 

FAQ Section:

 

Q: Who are you?

I’m an avid player from EU West who’s been in the League since Season 1. My highest Elo is 1927 but I mostly play premade matches. In all teams that I’ve joined for various tournaments I’ve taken the role of an AD carry. I’ve played every champion in this category extensively, although special credit must go out to Vayne who is my personal favourite.

Q: Who is this guide for?

Mostly players who have decided to delve deeper into the role of AD carry.

Q: What can I find in it?

An overview of each AD Carry, its strengths and weaknesses, both in lane and in teamfights, as well as tips for synergizing with certain support champions. There are short lists of counters and allies, as well as more detailed explanations as to why that is the case.

Q: Should I completely agree with all your choices for counterpicks and good allies?

Of course not! I’ve based my opinion around general advice. Of course, players can always pull off something amazing that I haven’t mentioned, but this guide is aimed at providing the most solid and safe choices.

 

Why thank you. Next article will be all about Ezreal!

 

Good luck on the Fields of Justice!

Losing

Hello Summoners, let’s talk about losing. I find that game losses are something that are often brushed under the rug and never talked about, or just used as tinder for the ever-burning “you won’t believe my teammates from last game” rants. However, they do play a significant role in improving your skill. Statistically, you probably lose just as many games as you win, or close to it, so why ignore almost 50% of your prospective data just because at the end of the game it said Defeat? The game is a team game and so it is easy to relegate blame to the other four people you are playing with, but sometimes you need to look closely at yourself and identify that you are the weakest link in the chain. Story Time!

Dcgreen vs. D Patoy

Recently I got paired against Dignitas Patoy in mid lane. I was playing Syndra and he was playing Orianna. First I want to say that even though Patoy mains support on Dignitas he is still a paid professional player and so his skill should not be underestimated. It is clear that he understands the game at a core level better than me, or most players, and also safe to say that his skills mechanically are also better than mine. Anyways, so we are laning and I am getting kinda bullied around, cuz I don’t really know how to lane vs Orianna, and Patoy goes for a level 2 all in on me. I picked my stun at level 2 so I hit him with my sphere, managed to land the stun, hit him with ignite and the tables had turned and I was beating him. I got him so low and I chased him into his tower, we had both also burned flash. I got super greedy, and cocky cuz I wanted to kill a pro player, took two tower hits and gave him first blood as he escaped with 69 hp. The game snowballed out of control from here, I remember ending the game 2/12/2. My team-mates were flaming me a lot, I got a ton of “he mains support” and “you’re losing to Patoy!” and one guy accused me of being on tilt even though it was my second game of the day, my first one being a win. All that aside because I played the match up poorly I allowed the game to snowball by losing control of midlane. Now that’s a great story but what did I learn?

You Learn More From Losing Than From Winning

Well I remember the event very vividly. Patoy came at me with his ball and auto attacks and then shielded himself. I landed my combo and ignited him and he flashed and ran. I flashed after him and he got another shield as he kept running to the tower. I got close enough to get another auto attack and he got another shield. HOW MANY FUCKING SHIELDS DOES THIS DUDE HAVE?! I screamed as I died to his tower. After pressing Tab I realized he took Barrier and not Ignite. Now this is a really simple mistake to make and one that should have been avoided, had I been a better and more consistent player. It took two tower shots to kill me meaning I was still in lane with 200+ hp and an inventory full of potions, I could have settled with defending his all in, burning all his summoners, and forcing him to go back and heal as I sustained in lane and continued to farm. Instead, I neglected to fully analyze my opponent, I got greedy and cocky, and I SINGLE-HANDEDLY caused my team to lose the game. It was even someone’s placement match on my team, I felt like an asshole. But loses happen and its important that when we make mistakes we learn from them. Now every time I go into lane against my opponents I double check lots of things. Do I want to get Flask + Pot + ward or Flask + three pots, better check if they have a early pressure jungler. What kind of summoner spell does my opponent have; if its Barrier and not Ignite I should play to try and bait the Barrier before committing fully to kill him. If its Ignite I need to be cautious but also be aware that I can snowball an early trade advantage if he is not careful. These are the kind of things you want to improve upon.

Honing Your New Found Skills

Yes losing to Patoy was a slightly traumatic experience. I felt completely useless all game, I was berated by my team-mates, my Syndra stats went to crap, and I cried, but shit happens when you play this game. The best thing you can do is take these memories and turn them into a skill set that prevents things like that from ever happening again. Learn to analyze your opponents, learn that forcing someone out of lane can be just as powerful as killing them, learn to identify yourself as your team’s weakest player and how to recover from that situation, and most importantly learn how to ignore your team-mates because they will never say anything positive to help you. Whoever said “That which does not kill you, makes you stronger” is a fucking idiot, because if something doesn’t kill you it’s not a defeat. Also, if I break both your legs and it doesn’t kill you, you probably aren’t stronger after the fact. My point is that in order to grow your skill and grow as a player you need to take solace in your defeats and learn from your mistakes. No one in this game has a 100% win rate so stop being upset when you lose and instead use it as motivation to go from 50/50, to 51/49, to 52/48 etc. Improvement takes time. Stop raging and enjoy the ride.

Love, Dcgreen

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Previous “Glory of the Climb” Articles:

Making Sense of Season 3

Dominion: Helping You To Win More Lanes and Games

Developing Your Killer Instincts: Why to be Aggressive in Season 3

Working With Your Team to Win

Countering Health with DFG

Reviewing the New “League System”

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Want to snag a sweetheart? Give your crush  one of these cards!

 

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