Archive

Posts Tagged ‘AD’

adc

In the last article I talked about how Giant’s Belt has changed the landscape of top lane, strengthening Champions that can make use of buying it on their first back and putting champs that want to focus on offence at a disadvantage. Bot lane is in a much more fragile spot; Giant’s Belt is warping the landscape by making AD Carries pretty much useless until they can get 3-4 major items. Let me explain, as there are a few factors that play into this phenomenon.

1. The most obvious one is that attack speed was nerfed across the board while health was buffed.

2. Bloodthirster has become a more common first item for ADC’s because of how good it is in lane and when you have to farm an extra ten minutes per game to get to four items, you need to be able to go toe-to-toe with the other ADC who is also farming. This has lead to a decrease in rushing Infinity Edge, which gives more consistent damage due to higher base AD + Crit.

3. Last Whisper does not pack as much of a punch as it used to because of the lack of armor stacking.

4. Positioning yourself to do the small amount of damage you do is harder because of the amount of common Bruisers with gap closers and cc (Vi, Amumu, Hecarim, Jarvan, Xin Zhao, Malphite, Renekton, Shen, Elise, etc).

5. Blade of the Ruined King does not provide as much damage as BT if you rush it unless your target has 2500-3000 hp.

6. The last factor is that while AS was nerfed on items, AS reductions were not nerfed on items or spells.

ADC’s are definitely between a rock and a hard place right now and a lot of pro players have spoken up about this being a problem; some even saying ADC’s may get phased out because Bruisers are just that good. Could adding two more Bruisers to the team, instead of the ADC and Support, really be a net benefit to team composition? Only time will tell…

The Best ADC’s, for now, and Why.

Right now I feel that Range and an Escape are the biggest factors for soloqueue success, so I will use that to determine my rankings. Remember, this list is constructed for the ease of the soloqueue community and is not intended to mirror the competitive scene.

#5. Kog’Maw and Vayne

Why are the two Champions that have built-in HP% damage at the bottom of the list in the stacking HP meta? Well I am sure it is no surprise that Kog and Vayne have the weakest laning phases of all the other ADC’s. They are champions that are high risk/high reward, which is something you can’t always count on in soloqueue. If you don’t get counter-picked by the opposing ADC or Support, get camped and ganked all day by the jungler, and manage to get a decent CS. If all this comes to pass, then these champions are absolute wrecking balls to the brick-wall Bruisers running all over the place- but that’s counting on a lot of things to go your way. Throw in the fact that Kog has no escape and Vayne has Tumble, which really isn’t an escape either, your mechanical skills need to be through the roof for you to pilot these champions to a win. While they have a lot of adversity I feel they outshine the other ranged champs without escapes like Ashe and Varus.

#4.  Graves and  Twitch

Ok, why do you keep listing two Champions at once? Well I feel that ADC’s are all virtually the same right now. They don’t have a lot of niche versatility. They do damage at range and hopefully have an escape for repositioning. Graves and Twitch share the same tier because I think they are the most ability-aggressive ADC’s at the moment. Pairing them with a Taric or Leona should yield good results. Graves has a true escape and provides utility with Smoke Screen, while Twitch has stealth, true damage, a slow, and long range. I feel like it’s splitting hairs trying to decide which is better than the other, so I stick them in the same place; especially since they both fall short of the next 3.

#3.  Ezreal

Ezreal is just all around a solid ADC. He has good range and poke with his Q. He can buff his team’s AS with his W. He has the best true escape because it goes over walls instead of through them, which gives it less fail potential; his ultimate is global and just overall a solid skill. There is nothing wrong with this champion. I have heard Doublelift say time and time again that Ezreal has no weaknesses and that he is solid through and through. I am a firm believer of this. He’s a safe pick and a good one at that.

#2.  Miss Fortune

Miss Fortune is still living off the royalties from the League of Cleavers. She is in a unique spot because her ult lets her bypass the Attack Speed hindrance that all the other ADC’s suffer from in the early game. Bullet Time does incredible AoE damage to the entire enemy team from a massive range, all in two seconds, allowing MF to see immediate results from her item purchases. This gives her a unique/excellent early game and allows her to transition into a traditional ADC later on. The range on Bullet Time combined with the MS from her passive also allows her to position well and remain relatively safe till a fight is over. She also pairs well with any support with a cc (Sona, Leona, Zyra, Lux, Nami, Taric) and can almost always get a kill at level six in lane.

#1.  Caitlyn

My reasoning behind Caitlyn being #1 is simply because her range is 650. She is incredibly hard to catch as an opposing Bruiser or Jungler. If you can play Caitlyn well and make it to 30 minutes, you will carry your team. She has 100 range over all the other carries (which is a huge deal) and she has a true escape, a snare, and can even contribute to a fight from great distances with Ace in the Hole when she has been chased away. Her kit is a bit under par compared to others, not sporting any kind of AS steroid, magic damage, or debuffs, but she is literally impossible to get to and if she is running Cleanse (which she will be) you can just go into the kitchen and start sticking forks up your ass because that is literally the only recourse you will have as she shoots you with a net and proceeds to kite you into oblivion. Even since Nunu got nerfed, she’s still an obnoxious bitch and I think she shines the most out of all the ADC’s lategame, which is the only point in the game they shine right now. Pick her, win your lane, farm it out, and carry hard.

Honorable Mentions

My Top “5” list has 7 Champs on it but we can squeeze a few more. These champs all do really cool and unique things but at the end of the day their kits kind of detract from what an ADC does and wants to do. Having four cool skills is awesome but when you do 99% of your damage with an auto attack, it’s kind of hindrance to your design. These champs are listed in a specific order.

#6.  Draven – Pair him with an aggro support and you can snowball soloqueue.

#7.  Tristana – Late Game her range can rival Cait’s, she just has a much more fragile early game + mid-game slump.

#8.  Ashe – 600 range + global stun. Her ult can out-right win games, but again she has a weak laning phase.

#9.  Corki – True escape makes him better than Varus.

#10.  Varus

#11.  Sivir

 

Love, Dcgreen

Facebook

Twitter

LoLKing Profile

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

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 Top Laners

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!

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!

corkibanner

 

Welcome to another edition of my advanced strategy series! This time we’ll be looking at Corki. If you haven’t checked out my previous guides, here is my latest one, where I covered Caitlyn.

 

Corki, the Daring Bombardier

 

Corki is an amazing carry, while he has lost some of his Season 2 fame, he is still a very strong pick. He brings tons of upfront burst damage to the table, as well as an amazing escape tool and plenty of poke. This moustache-wearing pilot is the jack of all trades, master of none among ranged carries.

Corki_OriginalSkin

 

Farming, Harassing & Laning: Corki can be an enormous threat in lane. While he gains most of his damage at level six, prior to that he is still capable of lethal bursts. His medium auto-attack range is somewhat alleviated by Phosphorus Bomb, which is almost impossible to dodge and does a decent amount of magic damage. This means he can retaliate against champions that out-range him, such as Ashe, Caitlyn or Varus.

Corki is versatile in lane, meaning he can be played offensively, defensively, or anything in between. He is extremely mana-hungry early on, so going all-in is preferable to sitting back. The best supports for him are your standard aggressive options like Leona, Taric and Blitzcrank. Of the three mentioned, Leona stands out as a top pick. Reasons? Gatling Gun’s damage ticks are so rapid that you’ll be able to proc every Sunlight burst. Sona, Nami and Janna are also excellent, as they can help Corki play more passively, while stile offering an offensive punch when needed. Follow the general rule when choosing a support- burst beats sustain, sustain beats poke.

Phosphorus Bomb will reveal hidden units, and since brush control is such an integral part of a successful bottom lane, it means Corki can easily assume zone control.

The most important tip for anyone laning with Corki is don’t waste Valkyrie! You can easily get baited into horrible situations and a lack of any crowd control means you’re very likely to be punished heavily for it. Corki is very mana-hungry, meaning you have to judge when using spells is appopriate. An example: you’re laning with a Leona and she engages the enemy Caitlyn, who manages to Flash out before being stunned. Is this a good situation to commit with Valkyrie and Gatling Gun? No! Huge mana loss that will set you way back.

Corki has insane burst, massive AoE and mediocre poke before level six. Put this together and you get a carry that is very potent in lane.

 

Corki_DragonwingSkinMidgame gameplay & Item Choices Corki has one of the strongest midgames of all AD carries. He can easily poke down teams trying to contest dragon, decimate bruisers who don’t have a lot of armor due to Gatling Gun, and chase down survivors, snowballing his team into an early victory. His kit benefits mostly off raw AD, meaning items such as the Bloodthirster, Infinity Edge and Last Whisper can be extremely effective. There’s an interesting branch in itemization when around 4k+ gold and that is a Trinity Force vs Bloodthirster Sheen. The former provides utility through increased movement speed and a slow, while the latter gives Corki excellent sustain, harder poke and insane burst. Assess the game situation correctly and build appropriately, as both builds have their flaws and strengths.

 

corkiitems

 

We’ve already discussed support picks, now we’ll look at the team as a whole. Corki shines when he’s able to harass from afar, which means champions like Nidalee and Jayce are excellent partners. Hard crowd control helps our brave ROFLcopter-piloting Yordle keep enemies pinned under his Gatling Gun. Thus, anyone with a consistent stun or significant slow is a perfect match.

Corki is pretty straight-forward in his abilities, the only exception being Missile Barrage. It can be used as a:

  1. Cheap poking tool.
  2. Extra sustained damage by using it after auto attacks.
  3. Scary burst once you’ve prepared a Big One and are ready to commit to a kill.

A useful trick is to place your cursor immediately next to the champion you’re chasing when Gatling Gun is active. Doing so keeps Corki’s model straight, allowing the armor reduction to keep stacking. As your team’s primary damage output it’s your job to make sure you survive and have ample gold to spare on further items. Never be greedy with Valkyrie as it can end the game for your team if used incorrectly. Always make sure you save it until the last possible second, as its cooldown is massive! Its best used as an escape over a wall from assassins or bruisers or as a chasing mechanism after a teamfight.

 

Carry potential: Corki excels at all stages of the game and doesn’t drop off as hard as other carries with a strong early presence. He is an amazing carry with a steep learning curve that newer players should keep in mind. Corki brings both burst and sustained damage to the table. This allows him to absolutely demolish weaker champions, even when they’re fed. If going against a tanky team, he may not be the best choice however, even with Gatling Gun’s amazing armor shred. Reason being he simply has no attack speed steroid, making him feel underwhelming in an extended fight.

Corki isn’t so heavily reliant on his team, making him a good solo pick. With that said, he does have a solid place in organized teams who do well to protect him. He is versatile in the item department and is one of few ADs who can utilize Trinity Force to its full effect, as he tends to have low attack speed and relies on Sheen procs. Because Corki hits slower, stutter stepping (the act of moving between attacks) is huge on him. Practice microing as an AD and you’ll do wonders!

Despite his obvious versatility and strengths, Corki is neither a hard carry nor a good kiter due to Valkyrie’s massive cooldown and his lack of any hard CC spell. He has no trouble tackling assassins who can’t stick (Zed, Kha’Zix, Katarina, Nocturne, Pantheon, Renekton and Talon) but will be hard pressed surviving the likes of Irelia, Xin Zhao, Akali, Kassadin, Lee Sin, Diana and Evelynn. Corki despises harder carries than him who have done well and kept up with him on gold. An example would be Vayne, with her unmatched single-target damage output, Tristana, with her ungodly range and Kog’Maw for having both.

 

corkibestallies corkihardcounters

 

 

 

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 Draven!

 

Good luck on the Fields of Justice!

caitlynbanner

 

Welcome to my second AD guide, part of a mini-series that will cover all ranged carries! If you’ve missed the first, feel free to check it out as well!

 

Caitlyn, the Piltover Peacemaker

 

Caitlyn is the goddess of early laning. She is a blast to play and can help her team even at level one with her Yordle Snap Traps providing crucial map control. Although she loses some of her incredible damage output in the late game, she remains a constant threat with her Headshot passive stacking with critical hit items.

 

Caitlyn_OriginalSkinFarming, Harassing & Laning Being aggressive is the name of the game for Caitlyn. She is a champion that encourages pushing strategies and incredibly bold plays, because her kit works both offensively and defensively in lane. As such, she most often assumes the role of a bully early on, trying to deny the other carry as much farm as possible and preventing them from catching up.

 

doublelift redbuff

Taking an early red buff is HUGE on Caitlyn!

 

Any support that can poke in lane and can buff is Caitlyn’s best friend. Champions like Taric, Leona and Blitzcrank are still great partners, but don’t highlight her one core strength- harassing! Early game poking is a must! Duck in and out of brushes for a couple of auto attacks. Push the lane hard if you have sufficient map control and poke under tower. Constant aggression keeps Caitlyn safe as she doesn’t fare well in all-in scenarios. Pushing denies the enemy carry farm and keeps heavy crowd control supports from engaging.

Get into the habit of setting up a zone of control. You want to place Yordle Snap Traps where they matter. First priority is securing your brush. Next you should watch how far the enemy carry must be to last hit and focus on trapping in a line. This makes their safe zone narrower and helps you land easy Piltover Peacemakers. A straight trap line should be used when being aggressive. If laning against a competent Leona, Blitzcrank or any other punishing support however, you want a triangle set-up for your traps- two in the brush you want to keep safe and one where the enemy carry needs to be to last hit.

Never use 90 Caliber Net during stun animations! Sometimes the net will fire without result as Caitlyn can be stopped from jumping backwards. Ideally you want to use your escape before crowd control even reaches you. Remember, Yordle Snap Trap takes time to set up and can only hit one target. You have one net to survive in most cases, so utilizing the strong slow provided is heavily recommended.

 

level 1 traps

An example of level 1 lane control – traps are circled in red.

 

 Midgame gameplay & Item Choices Both Piltover Peacemaker and Ace in the Hole scale incredibly well (130% AD and 200% AD respectively). Additionally, Headshot also scales with Caitlyn’s damage, making early heavy AD items, such as the Bloodthirster and Infinity Edge, extremely efficient on her. The standard midgame carry build needs no armor penetration, is cheaper and does more reliable damage in teamfights. With a heavy AD carry focus, however, Caitlyn can do some redonkulous burst damage with her abilities and Headshot procs. Keep in mind this needs a bigger commitment to farming and is best utilized with Marks and Quintessences of Desolation (Armor Penetration).

 

 weapons2weapons1OR

 

 

 

Gameplay is pretty straight-forward: stay behind and survive at all costs. An important note is to always put traps around the objectives your team is fighting for – if they’re doing dragon, place some around the brush areas and entry points. If you’re pushing a tower, prevent the enemy team from engaging by making a line of traps in front of them. Since Caitlyn is very limited at choosing her targets, you should make an effort to kite anyone who goes for you and let your team focus the important targets. Caitlyn is excellent at cleaning up due to her ultimate. If you win a teamfight, you can easily catch someone fleeing with an E -> Q -> R combo. 

Ace in the Hole’s damage becomes significant at level 11, so even if the two teams aren’t fighting, it’s sometimes worth it to fire it just for the extra harass. Speaking of decisions, you can opt to level either 90 Caliber Net or Yordle Snap Traps after Piltover Peacemaker, depending on how the game is going. Maxing W makes securing areas much faster, while higher ranks of E mean you can use your escape more often in teamfights; perfect against bruisers and assassins who can stick with ease.

 

Carry potential & Choice of Support If you want a solid ranged carry who can also hold her own versus most lane matchups, look no further. Caitlyn is right at home when placed in a poke comp revolving around wearing the enemy down in both health and global gold. Keep in mind that you are trading late game damage for the ability to snowball with laning dominance. As such, your aim when picking Caitlyn should be focused on taking the enemy out early. With her ability to secure kills and objectives, her carry potential peaks at midgame.

Caitlyn_ArcticWarfareSkin
Caitlyn requires a thoughtful approach when supports are concerned. They have to supplement her ability to deny most champions without leaving her exposed to full aggression. If the enemy has gone for a burst combo then having an Alistar or Janna on your team can really make a difference. If this is not the case, Sona and Nunu are Cait’s best friends, with their respective poke and damage increase mechanics.

Caitlyn can’t keep relentless assassins from catching up to her. Champions like Irelia, Olaf, Xin Zhao, Riven, Jax, etc., can put a damper on the range dominance she reigns over most enemies. That being said, she is great against less mobile enemies and is especially good at destroying slow-moving mages, especially with a red buff. Examples of champions she can take on with proper micro management would be Ryze, Syndra, Karthus, Morgana and Rumble. Crowd control in particular is Caitlyn’s worst enemy, as 90 Caliber Net is very difficult to use when enemies are already next to you.

 

caitbestallies

 

caitlynhardcounters

 

 

 

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 second episode of my mini-series! In my next article I’ll be covering Corki!

Good luck on the Fields of Justice!

introbanner

Welcome to my newly-created Pro Series, featuring advanced strategies and overviews of each of your favourite AD Carries! This guide assumes you’re familiar with the basics of playing the Ranged Carry role. If not, I recommend heading over to Hersir‘s guide, which examines more introductory topics. The series will cover all AD carries over the coming weeks. Let’s begin!

Introduction: What has changed in the League since Season 1? We’ve witnessed certain meta compositions rise and fall, as one is quickly trumped by the other. But while the mighty bruisers were demolishing their AoE opposition, only to find themselves unable to tackle the toughest late game heroes, the fragile ranged carry kept farming the bottom lane with its trusty support and made it to be a dominant role in Season 3.

In this series we’ll focus on each AD carry, comparing its strengths and weaknesses. We’ll discuss the hero’s ability to push, CS, harass, farm under tower, survive both in lane and in teamfights and carry at all stages of the game. Let’s start with our beloved, iconic carry – Ashe!

 

Ashenobackground

Ashe, the Frost Archer

The iconic hero of League of Legends makes her way into Season 3. Regardless of previous nerfs, Ashe still has a strong place in competitive play.

CS - Our charming ranger from the North has a very clear attack animation that both new players and seasoned veterans will greatly appreciate. Still, her base damage is pretty low at 49; an amount high range or high HP ranged carries all share. Unfortunately, she has no method of boosting her early damage so practice is a must. Hawkshot‘s passive lets Ashe get a solid gold advantage over the enemy, provided she keeps up with farm.

Ashe_QueenSkinHarass and lane controlAshe has a top – tier range of 600. Couple that with her low-cost Volley and you’ve got yourself a competent poker in lane. Her Hawkshot provides excellent map awareness and is good at controlling the brush area. After level 6 Ashe becomes very dangerous as her signature ability, Enchanted Crystal Arrow, allows for easy gank opportunities and turning the tide of a 2v2 battle. She is excellent against champions who need to commit to do their work such as Graves, Tristana, Miss Fortune and Vayne, but struggles against powerful pokers such as Caitlyn, Ezreal and Varus.

 

Farm under tower Ashe has trouble last-hitting minions who are being barraged by the tower. Her Volley will get in the way of looting those gold-bearing midgets more often than not. As such, champions who can push the lane (Corki, Caitlyn and Graves most notably) can hamper Ashe’s ability to last hit properly.

Surviving – Part of the reason why Ashe stepped down from her throne of top-tier pick back in Season 2 (that and Pulsefire Ezreal). Although armed with reliable crowd control skills, she has no way of dodging skillshots or quickly retreating. Ashe players generally rely on Hawkshot to provide them with superior map awareness and Volley for when things get messy. She is heavily dependant on her team backing her up early so she can reach her amazing late game well-farmed.

Carry potential – Ashe is a spectacular champion in an extended match as her Ultimate provides one of the best teamfight initiations. That, coupled with her ability to kite her enemies relentlessly puts Ashe among the hardest carries. She is very item-reliant and is generally not considered a threat in the early and mid stages.

When should I pick Ashe? - I would rate Ashe as one of the toughest carries to truly master. She needs a competent support who understands her strengths and weaknesses as well as a team willing to play a bit on the defensive side early. She truly shines in CC-heavy teams that can pin her enemies down after a successful Enchanted Crystal Arrow, or peel dangerous assassins from her. As such, she does well when fighting alongside champions such as Shen, Amumu, Orianna, Ryze, Ahri, Janna, Sona, Lulu, Alistar, etc.

Ashe hates being paired with aggressive supports as she simply lacks the damage to complement their engages.  As such, champions like Leona, Blitzcrank and Taric don’t go well together with our frosty markswoman. Ashe excels at keeping champions without dashes off her tail. This means she counters Mundo, Udyr, Darius, Morderkaiser, Shyvana, Chogath, Skarner, Yorick and more. However, be wary of hard gap-closers that are tough to keep out of range. Champions like Xin Zhao, Pantheon, Riven, Malphite, Lee Sin, Diana, Ahri and Evelynn all fit that list. Ashe’s greatest counters are Irelia and Olaf. If the enemy picks one of them it’s highly advisable you skip Ashe as a potential pick unless you’re absolutely certain that your team can deny them gold and experience.

hardcountersashe bestalliesashe

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. Even though I don’t recommend a Taric/Ashe lane combo doesn’t mean a good duo can’t do wonders with it. The lists I’ve provided give information about easy counters and allies, those that don’t require as much team effort to be effective.

I hope you enjoyed the first episode of my mini-series! In my next article I’ll be covering Caitlyn!

 

Good luck on the Fields of Justice!

 

banner items theorycraft

If there’s one thing better than watching Teemo die, it’s experimenting with alternate builds. And Riot have certainly outdone themselves this season to provide players with meaningful choices in the item department. Let’s look at why some have already garnered huge popularity, particularly Liandry’s Torment, Iceborn Gauntlet and Statikk Shiv!

Liandry’s Torment – An amazing upgrade to the otherwise underwhelming Haunting Guise: this mask triggers a burning effect after a spell hits, dealing % of current health as DoT damage over 3 seconds which doubles if the enemy’s movement is impaired. Champions with spammable spells and/or slows or stuns will find themselves purchasing this item a lot. An example of this would be Rumble, whose Equalizer and Harpoon Shot abilities both apply a massive percentage slow and is able to quickly refresh the effect with Flamespitter. Syndra and Vladimir can both deliver Liandry’s Anguish to multiple foes with their Dark Sphere and Tides of Blood spells respectively. Other champions who will appreciate some sustained damage versus both squishy and beefy targets and can maintain the burning passive indefinitely include Cassiopeia, Brand, Ziggs, Orianna, Singed and Zyra. Of course, Evelynn and Katarina are also great candidates for Liandry’s Torment, if they could avoid being constantly banned.

Liandry's Torment

Rumble mid is perfect! (for custom matches)

A mistake a lot of players make is to rush this item early on. Haunting Guise is a solid early and midgame pickup on its own. More importantly, spending 1415 extra gold on diminishing returns is not a sacrifice you should make. In order for Liandry’s Torment to be gold-efficient, the damage coming from the burn effect must be worth approximately 860 (849), which is the price of a Blasting Wand. So how much damage are you trading for rushing this item instead of investing in a Blasting Wand? We’ll use Rumble as a lab rat while we conduct our research.

Rumble’s damage combo (without Danger Zone) + Blasting Wand: Flamespitter + Electro-Harpoon x2 + Equalizer + 1 second Equalizer DoT = 122 bonus damage
The same combo with Danger Zone = 145.5 bonus damage

Whoa, that’s a lot of damage you’re missing out on. At levels 10-11 a simple Blasting Wand boosts Rumble’s DPS by around 12-15%. Now let’s examine the same situation with Liandry’s Torment as our core item. We’ll use a 3 second exposure to spell damage as our benchmark, adding 3 from the passive to a total of 6 seconds. We don’t take Magic Resist into consideration as it’s a percentile damage reduction, meaning all numbers would be reduced by an equal fraction. Keep in mind that as health is reduced, so are further DoT ticks from this item.

Level 10 Ranged Hero, 1200 HP: Liandry’s Torment total damage output without CC applied: 119 damage over 6 seconds.
With CC applied: 217.75 damage over 6 seconds.

Note that this is an extremely situational calculation of the damage output of Liandry’s Torment. The only thing considered is that every tick reduces the next in damage. Realistically, you won’t get 6 seconds of free reign over the enemy’s squishy champion when he’s at full HP, nor will you be able to lock him down for so long in CC. Naturally as enemies’ HP pools increase so will Liandry’s damage, which gives it excellent lategame scaling. A Blasting Wand opens the path to many core items for AP Carries; Rabadon’s Deathcap, Void Staff, Abyssal Scepter and Rylai’s, all of which will out-damage Liandry’s Torment in the midgame. However, there is an extremely uncommon pick that benefits from an early Liandry’s Torment. All I can say is she rides a boar and wears a bikini during winter.

 

Iceborn

Step aside, Trinity Force! Tons of damage < tons of utility.

Ezreal’s Gauntlet (will be renamed in the upcoming patch) – this item provides solid HP and armor bonuses, while giving certain champions easy access to additional CC. Champions who benefit greatly from the chilly punch packed by the Iceborn Gauntlet include Leona, Cho’Gath, Hecarim, Nidalee and Skarner. Of course, this item has become a must-have on Ezreal as its synergy with on-hit abilities such as Mystic Shot is simply amazing. Riot are taking action and will reduce the slow field’s strength, duration and AoE for ranged champions in the upcoming patch.

Not much can be estimated about this item as its uses generally revolve around the extra slow it provides. I look forward to seeing Gauntlet Diana after her revival, as she would greatly benefit from the tankiness, AP and slow field provided.

 

Statikk Shiv – one of the more unique additions to the store in that it forces Carries to become more active in order to take full advantage of its magic burst damage. Carries such as Varus, Ezreal and Caitlyn can commonly be seen going for a Statikk Shiv early on. The way it works is each 100 units of game distance travelled will add 5 charges, while auto attacks provide 10. At 100 the next auto attack or on-hit ability will unleash chain lightning that hits up to 4 targets for 100 magic damage. This can crit, leading to the bolt dealing potentially 800 damage in a teamfight or when farming the lane.

Statikk Shiv

Ezreal’s Q can proc even this! Is he Jesus?

 

If we consider that auto attacks gather roughly 12 charges every second (1.25 AS is the benchmark I used) and moving, 20, Statikk Shiv can be made to fire roughly once every 5 seconds. Battles, however, involve a lot less moving and a lot more shooting so we’ll say it takes about 7.5 seconds to gain 100 charges. In a 1 on 1 scenario this will boost the AD carry’s DPS by 13.3 magic damage, which after a 42 Magic Resist reduction equals 9.9. In a teamfight we’ll assume you’re hitting 3 squishy targets and a bruiser. When MR reduction is taken into account, this item can deliver a decent boost of 33.2 damage per second without critical hits, and 66.4 with five Phantom Dancers ^.^ Generally though you’ll experience around a 50 damage increase in a teamfight where minions aren’t tagged. Statikk Shiv provides champions with other benefits, such as a 6% movement speed increase, which amounts to 19.5 for most ranged carries, outperforming Tailwind (Janna‘s passive) and Movement Speed Quintessences by a small margin. The 20% critical hit chance and 40% attack speed alone are excellent for the 2500 gold price tag and have obvious synergy with Statikk Shiv’s passive.

An obvious advantage this item has over other common pickups such as the Bloodthirster, Zeal and Infinity Edge is that it’s built from an Avarice Blade, which rewards extra gold on every last hit as well as some passive gold generation. With that mentioned however, won’t it be worth it to upgrade to Statikk Shiv after a core item’s been purchased in order to maximize the use of Avarice Blade’s passive? Honestly, it’s up to player preference. Statikk Shiv goes a long way towards having good lane control but removes the bonus gold awarded from waiting. If you’re more of a passive AD carry, it’s best to stick to Avarice Blade until teamfights start to break out.