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Champion Mastery Guide

March 16th, 2015

 

– CURRENTLY ONLY AVAILABLE ON PBE –


We’re kicking off the rollout of Champion Mastery with a PBE stint from 3/11. If all goes well, a couple of weeks later we’ll then launch a beta in a single region, focusing on Summoner’s Rift normal queues to make sure the feature’s stable for expanded use. We’ll read through your feedback and keep you updated with our progress, too, so keep an eye out for future posts after the service goes live!

 

CHAMPION MASTERY

REWARDS


 

CHAMPION MASTERY

 

WHAT IS CHAMPION MASTERY?

The mastery system is designed to recognize a player’s respective investment in a champion and uses skill-based progression to measure advancement. When a player wins a game, they’ll earn CP (champion points) toward mastery levels for that champion, and get rewards along the way. The amount of CP earned is heavily weighted by team performance.

 

UNLOCKING CHAMPION MASTERY

Your summoner level must be at least 5 in order to unlock Champion Mastery.

All champions start at Mastery Level 1, 0 CP (Champion Points). As you play and accrue CP, you’ll achieve new ranks and unlock rewards associated with that rank. On your profile, you will see your:

  • Top 3 Champions
  • Mastery Score (the sum of all levels for your unlocked champions)
  • Champions Closest to Mastery

At launch, Champion Masteries will only be supported in normal games on Summoner’s Rift.

 

CHAMPION POINTS (CP)

Champion Points are earned for winning a game with a particular champion. Earning CP will allow you to gain Mastery Levels in that champion and earn rewards as you progress. Points are based on your team’s performance as well as your own contribution. You can see how much CP you earn at the end of each game.

NOTE: Your previous games will NOT count towards your CP.

Keep in mind that you’ll earn slightly more CP if you team up with other players in a premade before your game. The larger your premade team is, the higher the additional bonus will be. 🙂

Premade Size Premade Bonus
Party of one No bonus
Party of two 10% of CP earned
Party of three 20% of CP earned
Party of four 30% of CP earned
Party of five 50% of CP earned

 

For example, if you team up with two other players (for a total of 3 players in your premade) and earn 25 CP at the end of your game, you will receive an additional 20% of your 25 CP — 5 CP. This will give you a total of 30 CP earned.’

 

GRADES

At the end of your game, you can hover over your Champion Mastery points bar to see the grade our new system gives you. These grades are awarded based on your performance in the role with the champion you’re playing and where you’re playing them.

The possible grades you can achieve are:

S+, S, S-, A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-

 

ELIGIBLE GAME MODES

At launch, only Summoner’s Rift normal queues will be eligible. Once we’re sure the feature is stable, we’ll look at expanding to other maps and modes. Please share your feedback so we can work together to improve this feature.

 


REWARDS

 

REWARDS LEVELS

Depending on the rank, the player will receive different rewards for their mastered champion:

Level Reward
1
2
3
4 Mastery Badge Emote, Loading Screen Border, Announcement Banner
5 Mastery Badge Emote, Loading Screen Border, Announcement Banner

This is just the beginning! As the system matures, we’ll unlock extra tiers and rewards as we build on the program.


MASTERY BADGE EMOTE

Required Mastery Level: 4 or higher

This is a way to display your achievement with a champion in game. Just like existing emotes (laugh, dance, etc), it is bound to a key. The binding will be listed next to emotes in the key binding menu:

You can also use a slash-command to use the emote. Hit enter to bring up the command prompt then type “/masterybadge.”


LOADING SCREEN BORDER

Required Mastery Level: 4 or higher

If you have unlocked this reward, you will see a banner next to your champion’s splash during the loading screen. This will display of your mastery rank will only be visible to players on your team.



ANNOUNCEMENT BANNER

Required Mastery Level: 4 or higher

A banner will appear under the multikill announcement in game if:

  • You or a player on your team killed an opponent
  • Whoever performed the kill is playing a champion above rank 4

Original Post by Nancymon


Roses & Fortune Banner

 After a healthy delay, I present to you the next chapter in my series, this time featuring Miss Fortune!

 

Miss Fortune, The Bounty Hunter

 

Border Final 1Border FinalIntro, Laning & Matchups:

Miss Fortune has ungodly level one stats, which you can further capitalize on with flat AD, Armor and Magic Resist runes. Her kit gives her both harass and sustained damage, providing a great head start in the lane. Her one weakness is the absolute lack of escape mechanisms, which we’ll discuss in further sections.

Double Up and Impure Shots are the defining elements in Miss Fortune’s early game. Because of these, you want to be forcing trades with the enemy carry at every opportunity, making them lose health and farm while they fight you back in futility. The gun-toting Bounty Hunter is at her strongest when auto-attacking the same target, meaning she favors hard engages over poking. Bullet Time further emphasizes on her need to be up in people’s faces, meaning your support should aim towards that as well. Any champion with strong early CC abilities fits the bill here – Leona, Blitzcrank and Taric being the most notable ones. For an aggressive duo you want to have Impure Shots max’d first and only use it when the stuns have landed, as the cooldown is quite unforgiving.

Having said that, Miss Fortune doesn’t lean towards one defined playstyle in lane. On the contrary, she can do decently by whittling her enemy down with Double Ups. It’s just a bit more situational and it gimps her otherwise amazing magic DPS. If you prefer safer plays, then champions like Lulu, Sona, Janna and Nami are all strong partners. In this scenario consider maxing Double Up over Impure Shots, as you likely won’t be getting some dueling action for at least a few levels.

Miss Fortune is a passive or aggressive laner who can go to toe-to-toe with most enemy carries and trade efficiently. She excels against champions who can’t run away easily, such as Sona, Nami and Soraka, but suffers from a lack of movement abilities and mediocre range, meaning she’s an easy target for pokers such as Caitlyn, Varus and Ashe. Disregarding the support factor, she can beat Ezreal and Graves handily and can quickly zone out late-game carries such as Kog’Maw, Vayne and Tristana.

 

Counters Final

 

Skill breakdown & Weaknesses: 

Double_UpA few notes and tips regarding Miss Fortune’s skillset, starting with Double Up. Although the tooltip states that it hits enemies behind the target, the actual bounce degree is really wide, meaning a straight line is not necessary for impact. The bullet can travel 500 game units, so you can essentially double your auto-attack range! Double Up adds some decent DPS if used between auto-attacks, but it truly shines when the bonus damage from the bounce is applied.

 

StrutWithout utilizing Strut, Miss Fortune is incredibly susceptible to kill combos. Against certain match-ups like Sona, Leona, Blitzcrank and others it becomes invaluable to keep your passive going, as the bonus movement speed makes it very easy to dodge skillshots and keep a safe distance. Caster minions in particular can quickly switch aggro if you’re close or have targeted an enemy champion, so keep that in mind. Popping in and out of sight is a good way to lose any creep attention you may have attracted.

 

Make_It_RainMake it Rain is ideal for checking brushes should your support be out of wards. The actual radius it reveals is roughly half of the spell’s AoE. It’s also a decent slow for you to follow up with Bullet Time or just a few auto-attacks. The spell itself is quite the mana-hog and has a long cooldown, so be wary of when you use it.

 

Bullet_TimeMiss Fortune’s ultimate is only deadly when channelled on a CC-ed enemy. The longer the distance, the wider the cone, so by staying a bit back you’re actually limiting your enemy’s escape options. If you think you won’t get the chance to get a killing blow or your lane lacks any aggressive spells, feel free to demolish an innocent creep wave or two with it.

 

Champions who rely on landing skill-shots will have a hard time against a competent Miss Fortune. Carries who need to be aggressive, such as Corki or Graves, may find themselves hard-pressed finding an opportunity to strike. The bane of her existence are targeted heavy-CC abilities, such as Alistar’s W-Q combo or Taric’s Dazzle. While most ranged carries have the luxury of being able to escape such situations, Miss Fortune has only her innate tankiness to save her in such times.

 

countered by tab

 

Be very cautious of pushing with no map awareness! Most jungle ganks can make short work of the Bounty Huntress, so you need to constantly be on the look-out for missing enemies. Always carry Cleanse if the enemy has heavy CC! It is by far the most efficient Summoner Spell to take on Miss Fortune, due to her lack of mobility.

Builds & Gameplay:

Miss Fortune benefits from quite a number of offensive items. Aside from your standard Infinity Edge, Bloodthirster, Berserker Greaves, Last Whisper and Phantom Dancer, there are certain less popular choices that are especially strong on her:

 

Blade_of_the_Ruined_King

Blade of the Ruined King:

Greatly synergizes with Impure Shots, perfect for shredding tankier foes. The active component is excellent on Miss Fortune, as it helps her a great deal when kiting.

 

The_Black_CleaverBlack Cleaver

Bullet Time? More like Bullet Storm! Each wave from Miss Fortune’s ultimate (eight total) applies one stack of armor reduction to anyone it hits! That’s -25% armor for the enemy team! Don’t forget that it also works wonders with Impure Shots.

 

Zephyr

Zephyr

 A niche pick for when you really need to keep a distance but don’t necessarily want to sacrifice damage output.

 

Runaan's_HurricaneRunaan’s Hurricane

Don’t be tempted by this item stacking with Impure Shots- at best its used for quicker farming, as Miss Fortune’s magic DPS doesn’t scale at all.

 

Offence isn’t everything and Miss Fortune certainly benefits from a lot of defensive items. Common picks would be Guardian Angel, Frozen Mallet and Mercury Treads. Some of the more unorthodox choices would be:

 

Banshee's_Veil

Banshee’s Veil

Absolutely a must when facing champions with targeted nukes or disables. Make sure you keep that veil up for fights by standing behind teammates!

 

Mercurial_Scimitar Mercurial Scimitar

An instant Cleanse 3.1! Helps shrug off those pesky initiators and line up for a Bullet Time.

 

 

Warmog's_ArmorWarmog’s Armor

If you’re confident the enemy lacks hard hitters, consider this an option. It definitely synergizes with Miss Fortune’s somewhat immobile nature.

 

Here’s an interesting experiment for early laning:

 

Bilgewater_Cutlass

Bilgewater Cutlass

The lifesteal and active slow component by themselves make this a worthy purchase and it also builds into Blade of the Ruined King!

 

Miss Fortune is quite mobile when out of fights, meaning she can be more involved in early-to-midgame skirmishes. Although farming is always top priority, do check the map for ganking opportunities whenever you can. Strut allows Miss Fortune to roam extremely efficiently when the lane is pushed and the enemy is playing defensively. If you have an equally mobile support, such as Janna or Blitzcrank, you can catch the middle laner completely unprepared. A roaming bottom lane can quickly force Dragon or take a mid tower, thus snowballing your team with an early gold advantage.

Like all ranged carries, Miss Fortune is incredibly squishy, with the added lack of an escape making her even more reliant on positioning. She has a leg up on most right-clickers in the midgame as her ultimate helps her stay further behind while still dishing out respectable damage. Whenever the situation permits, lay down a Make it Rain before Bullet Time; the slow will keep them pinned down in the AoE. At this point Double Up is largely ignored, as it actually gimps your overall DPS.

 

Late game & Carry potential

 

“Team fights are where truly good players shine, because there are far too many numbers to crunch.” This is especially true for Miss Fortune, who is heavily reliant on her team to do well in big fights. Since she lacks any real means of escaping, it’s always recommended to stay as far behind as possible and let tankier teammates get spanked. She doesn’t have access to blinks or dashes, so assassins spell doom without proper positioning. Communication is key- even in solo queue you should make an effort to convince your team to protect you, make you breakfast, pay your bills… well, you get the idea, helpful players are a blessing for Miss Fortune.

The one defining moment of her carry style is landing a good Bullet Time. It’s one of the hardest-hitting AoE spells in the game, albeit with a long channel time. It can be game-changing when used in tandem with hard team CC spells, such as Amumu’s Curse of the Sad Mummy, Alistar’s Pulverize, Galio’s Idol of Durand, etc.

 

curseofthesadbulletime

Curse of the Sad Bullet Time

Miss Fortune is all about positioning. Her ultimate provides insane damage throughout the game, meaning she won’t fall off at any point if proper farm is kept. However, she’s considered a somewhat non-standard pick due to her lack of escape abilities and heavy reliance on the team. With proper communication and strategy she is a force to be reckoned with. I recommend her to people who can play to their strengths and understand the importance of protecting their carry. For solo queue, she’s a dangerous pick, but if you have a friend willing to support you, Miss Fortune can snowball into a beastly carry.

 

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.

 

 

ADvanced Strategy Series:

Ashe #1

Caitlyn #2

Corki #3

Draven #4

Ezreal #5

Fiora (Bonus)

Additional Sources:

LoLWiki, for the icons

 

Hope you’ve been enjoying the series thus far! I’ve broken from the alphabetical order to write on more current and exciting themes. (like Miss Fortune!) In my next guide I’ll be covering Kog’Maw!

Good luck on the Fields of Justice!

 

 

Beginner AP Carries

March 14th, 2013

ryze banner

In my (hopefully) long-awaited return to writing for News of Legends, after a rather busy month at home, I want to talk about the AP champions out there and who you should be learning if you’re picking this role up for the first time in your LoL career. In my previous article I talked about the three support champions you should learn if you’re new to the role; today I’m going to be talking about AP champions. I’ve avoided using the phrase “mid lane” champions because currently the meta-game isn’t the most stable, and the classic AP Carry mid isn’t necessarily what people will be using in every game. We’ve seen champions like Talon, Lee Sin and Kha’Zix all being very effective in the mid lane, but none of those fit the description of an AP Carry. For those who know the world of AP Carries, this isn’t the article for you. However, for someone who is nearing thirty or perhaps just wants to learn AP Carries for the first ever time, this is the article for you. We will not be breaking ground with any new game-changing strategies; I will simply offer a push in the right direction for your first steps towards playing an AP Carry. Learning the following champions will give you a solid base from which to jump-start your League of Legends experience playing AP champions.

If you already know the role of AP Mid and wish to learn the top five champions for the position (not necessarily the easiest 5) then check out DCGreen’s guide to the top 5 AP Mid champions.

Ryze

RyzeRyze is by far one of the best AP champions you can possibly start to play with. He’s by no means the most powerful champion out there but he has a great kit that allows for mistakes, which is essential in learning any new role. What sets Ryze apart from most AP champions is that his abilities scale with mana, meaning that the more mana you have, the more powerful you become. This means than in the early game you can kill two birds with one stone, as stacking mana means you’re less mana-dependant and you’re more powerful. Two of the most standard early-game items for Ryze are Tear of the Goddess and Catalyst the Protector, which will give you a solid amount of mana, health, and through Catalyst’s passive, good health/mana regen when you level up. This is very important as the less you have to worry about mana and health, the more you can focus on killing minions and your enemies. Items like Glacial Shroud which you build into Frozen Heart add to this tankiness even further. Ryze’s abilities must not be forgotten, as they are also why he is such a good champion for those learning. A simple single high-priority spell, Overload, coupled with some nice CC in the form of Rune Prison, means that you have the ability to freeze and burst down champions or use that CC to escape if things get a little hairy. The bonuses gained from his ultimate, Desperate Power, coupled with the AoE from Spell Flux means Ryze has frankly ridiculous levels of sustain. If you’re playing Ryze properly you should never have to worry about your health or mana. Ryze isn’t the most exciting champion, but he is the first you should learn if you’re getting into AP Carries.

Once you have learnt Ryze you will have an easier time learning: Annie
For a more in depth guide on Ryze, check out Nukemumg’s Guide to Ryze

Akali

Akali is one of my favourite AP champions, simply because if the enemy doesn’t know how to counter her, it’s pretty much game over. AkaliSquareGet a few kills on Akali and once you’re level six the game is now heavily in your favour. Akali has ridiculous levels of burst, sustain, and team fight utility. She is certainly a step up in difficulty from Ryze, but because of her potential to single handedly turn the tides of the game, if played properly, I feel she is a must-play champion for the beginner to AP carries. I’ve chosen her over champions like LeBlanc and Veigar who are also known for their burst because Akali will give you much more use in the long run, as within the current meta she is still highly relevant. Akali has a flat 6% spell vamp (+1% per 6AD) so from level one she has a good base level of akali pros and conssustain. Once you throw in the fact that the Hextech Gunblade is the first item you complete, Akali will have 26% spell vamp + 17% life steal (Flat 10% from Hextech + ~7% from the 45 attack damage from Hextech stacked with her passive). Also remember you only get â…“ of the spell vamp for AoE attacks. At this point you should have little-to-no issue with sustain in the laning phase or in team fights. The thing that makes Akali frankly overpowered is her Burst. With a triple-stacked Shadow Dance and full energy plus a Hextech Gunblade, you should have absolutely no issue bursting down any champion that isn’t stacking pure health or magic resist, and even in the early game you will still be able to do this unless they rush a Warmog’s. Akali has great team fight capabilities with her Twilight Shround, making her invisible when not attacking in her circle. Two things happen at this point; you either get a free reset and chance to regenerate some energy, collect your thoughts and strike where it’s most effective, or the enemy is forced to waste money on pink wards or an Oracle’s to see you.

With huge levels of sustain, even larger burst, the ability to snowball and carry extremely hard and still being relevant in ranked play, Akali is a must for anyone wanting to learn AP champions. For a more in depth guide, check out PhoenixKami’s build

Once you have learnt Akali you will have an easier time learning the following champions: Katarina, LeBlanc, Orianna.

Karthus

KarthusSquareKarthus is a great champion. Although he’s not seen too much at top level play anymore, he’s a fantastic AP character who you should learn early on. Karthus’ strength lies in three key things: the ability to farm, his passive, and his global ultimate. Starting with his ability to farm- his Q (Lay Waste) is fantastic for last hitting minions, and although you should theoretically be able to do it with your auto-attack, Karthus enables the player to farm a little easier than most other champions. Karthus’ passive allows him to remain active for seven seconds after dying. Although you can’t move, you can still activate your abilities, helping you to secure kills or even continue farming. This works fantastically in team fights where you die with Defile active, as you’ll continue to deal huge amounts of AoE damage. The biggest reason to play Karthus however is Requiem, his R ability. Requiem is a global ultimate, meaning it will hit every enemy on the map regardless of where they are, even if you can’t see them. Requiem is great for picking off enemies after team fights, helping other lanes if they need someone finishing off after an engagement, or even as a pre-emptive strike before you engage a team fight. It can even be cast once you’ve died. Karthus offers a great deal to anyone learning the role, and will help you master farming as well as paying attention to other lanes, to make full use of Requiem. Karthus is a relatively simple yet still effective champion, which allows the player to practice a variety of different key skills in their pursuit of perfection.

For a full guide on Karthus, check out this guide by Reginald

Once you have learnt Karthus you will have an easier time learning the following champions: Anivia, Morgana (skillshots!)

Others

This list is by no means definitive, and there are of course other champions who are suited to players wishing to learn the role of AP Carry. Other champions that may be as effective include Annie, Veigar and Lux. As previously mentioned, this post is not a guide on the most effective champions, but merely a nudge in the right direction for someone wishing to learn the basics of the AP Carry.

 

Until my next piece (which hopefully won’t be another month =D) I wish those of you just starting out in ranked, or gearing up for it as you level, the best of luck and enjoyment in your endeavours.

 

Hersir.

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).

 

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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!

 

Synergising your Support

January 9th, 2013

Sona

Picking a support champion that synergises with your ADC is one of the most important things you can do in team select.

A great team isn’t just a composition of five competent players controlling their five best champions; a great team is one that selects champions that work together, champions that synergise out in Summoners Rift through abilities that can work in harmony to provide results greater than the sum of their individual parts. This week’s article, my first for News of Legends, is about why the champion you pick to Support with is incredibly important for the outcome of your game. This piece is part of my new series of articles aimed at the relative beginner to ranked play, for those hoping to climb up the ELO ladder and maximise their League potential. When Xpecial is choosing his champion he isn’t going to simply pick the one he’s most competent with, but the one that works best to counter the enemy team and the one that works best with the rest of his team.

Why is synergy important?

Have you ever been in the situation where your team lacks the right initiation? Or perhaps once you’ve initiated you lack crowd control? Or maybe you simply don’t have enough sustain in fights? Or even that you’ve got no one peeling and your Carries are getting burst down leaving you to die in a horrible mess each team fight. This is caused by poor team synergy. In soloqueue it’s perfectly understandable that you can’t be responsible for your whole team and even if you’re first pick it puts you on the back foot for trying to synergise, as you don’t know what your team is going to pick or who you’re playing against. At this point discussing team composition in champion select is your best bet, along with choosing a champion you’re most competent with. However, in premade 5s or being last pick in soloqueue you are more than able to pick a champion to synergise and avoid the awful situations where your team just doesn’t gel because you’re missing one key component.

Synergy is the concept of using two or more Champions abilities to provide an added bonus in combat, a key example being Leona’s Zenith Blade and Corki’s Valkyrie. Both Champions can go from nowhere to the midst of the battle in less than a second. Using Leona’s Zenith Blade then Shield of Daybreak (E -> Q, or Q -> E if you’re confident you can land the E so not to put Q on cooldown without hitting anything) to dash in and stun the enemy ADC or Support allowing Corki to Valkyrie in and clean up for kills works incredibly well in bottom lane. The same is true for Leona and Tristana. Every ADC and every support will have a champion that they synergise best with and that will give you the best chances of success. Finding this bottom lane combination is one key in a series to unlocking the door to dominating your bottom lane.

Leona Zenith Blade

So how do I synergise with my team?

Finding a support that synergises with your ADC and your team is something that after time you will come to know. You will come to know what support best counters the enemy kill lane, or which support you need to pick to help your team in the late game the most, but in the meantime there are several utilities available to anyone learning the support role. While it is not possible for me to cover every single Support and ADC I can hopefully point readers in the right direction for learning how to do this.

On the very basic level this page developed by Reddit user Nebu based on information provided by another Reddit user Spellsy allows a Support player to input allied ADC, as well as enemy ADC and Support which returns the optimal Support you should play, as well as providing some reasoning behind it. This is a great little web app for those learning the basics of Support Synergy however some champions like Teemo, often seen in the ADC role at lower elo brackets, are not featured, as well as uncommon but not unseen support champions like Zilean and Fiddlesticks. It is also very important to remember to take anything with a pinch of salt until you learn from experience.

ChampionSelect is also an incredibly useful tool to get the basics of counter picking and team synergy, listing full counters for ADCs as well as the Supports they work best with.

Graves champselect

Who Graves gets countered by, counters, and works well with, according to Championselect.net

To get a more detailed view on what Supports work best with certain ADCs we need to look at the professional levels, and what TSM bottom lane partners Xpecial and Chaox are doing. In this video by Xpecial he explains in detail during the loading screen why one would pick Janna to counter the very aggressive support of Leona on the opposite team. Janna is chosen due to her ability to use Howling Gale (Q, commonly known as Tornado) to knock back Leona after the engage effectively resetting the fight. While Leona and hopefully the enemy ADC are knocked up and unable to attack, his Ashe ADC will have 0.8-1.1 seconds (dependant on level) to free attack the enemy if all abilities are timed correctly. Xpecial provides a great example of why team synergy is important. It is also worth noting that Janna’s other abilities work well to counter Leona. Her Eye of the Storm (E) allows her to protect the ADC when Leona uses Zenith Blade as well as using Zephyr to slow the enemy ADC lowering the amount of time it has to attack your team. All of these factors would have been taken into consideration during champion select, and is something that any player aspiring to climb ELO must also think about.

To gain a clearer understanding of why Xpecial chose Janna to counter Leona and to better understand why who you pick is important, we can look at what the situation would have been like with a Support who does not synergise well in that team composition, most notably, Sona. If we take the team composition and situation as exactly the same but replace Janna with Sona, and have Leona use Zenith Blade on to either the ADC Ashe or Support Sona the situation is completely different. In that situation Sona’s only truly effective form of defense would have been to use her Ultimate ability Crescendo, which with a cooldown of 140/120/100 seconds compared to Zenith Blade’s 13/12/11/10/9 cooldown puts her on the back foot for a large chunk of the game. This would allow Leona to re-engage the fight very quickly, stun locking either the ADC or Support allowing Vayne to Tumble and Condemn one champion very easily, most likely securing a kill. Sona would have very little in the form of defense against Leona’s stun, as her Song of Celerity or Aria of Perseverance with a stacked Passive wouldn’t be enough to help her escape or heal through the damage respectively. In a situation with Leona and Vayne fighting a Sona and Ashe, the odds are ever in the favour of Leona and Vayne, for the reasons explained above.

Learning what support to pick to synergise best with your team, or even what champion to pick if you don’t play support is something all players need to learn. It will come with time and it will come with practice. It will also be hard, as you may have to reevaluate how to tackle champion select, and you may often have to move away from the champions you are most comfortable with and move towards ones that are better for your team. In the long run however, you will become a far better player and your team will thank you for it.