Zahariel’s Ravings: Solo Queue Rant, Part 2



And we’re back with the second part of my Solo Queue Article series.                                                                                                                                              

Let’s start with a statement: In League of Legends, the victor is the one that did fewer mistakes.    
                                                                                                   

In the first part, we talked about mechanical skill. Most people argued that there are more aspects in winning the game, which is true. The other half of the in-game part is Strategy.
Strategy has MANY layers. Let’s talk about builds. Starting before the game even begins, with the champ select. The majority believes that you should -when able – counterpick the opponent with a hero that beats him in lane. As proper as that seems, the main problem of this action is how versed with that hero you are as well as knowledge of the match-up. There is absolutely no reason picking a hero with a small advantage if you cannot properly play him. In DotA exists something called “Hard Counter”. That means that no matter what, even if I play poorly and you play great I can still beat you. In League of Legends almost every single counter is a “Soft Counter”, which is translated as: My hero has an advantage over yours but is still dependant on other facts such as skill, ganks, builds etc. You should, in every single occasion, pick a champion that you know best, instead of a soft counter. For a counter to be effective you need experience with the hero. You should rather play your Main, even if the opponent is considered a counter, because you will have theability to outplay him, should you know the match up properly. Professionals believe that you need at least 50 to 100 games with a single hero to claim mastery over him. Last, but not least, most soft counters can be nullified with proper rune mastery and item choices. (Like using HP Regen Quints vs Yorick or starting 9 pot with a melee hero vs Nidalee). Verdict: Play a hero you are most comfortable with. With great comfort come few mistakes, Peter.                                                                                                                              

Still on pre-game stuff, lets take a look at Runes and Masteries. I firmly believe that one of the best investments you can make in League of Legends is buying a rune page bundle for RP (Sometime soon after this article is posted there will be a sale btw). It’s important to invest some IP in runes. You don’t need to have every single one but some of them really make a difference. Worst case scenario: Get a couple basic sets (Another article will cover that) to at least not be at a disadvantage. Take a moment to think before selecting a rune or mastery page. Consider the weaknesses your hero has versus that specific opponent. Is he playing an offensive AD bruiser? This mean’s he’ll rune for ArPen. Maybe you should use that Armor Quintessence page. Or, your opponent is playing a high harass hero. Maybe lifesteal or health regen quints will serve you better? There is huge depth on this section and it will be covered in a feature article. As for masteries, most players have many stored pages, usually named after a hero, and mindlessly choose them when they get the corresponding hero.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

WRONG!
Don’t store ANY page. Take sometime to get familiarized with the masteries. Determine in which situation is every single one most usefull and fill your page after you ‘ve seen your opponent. If you are Zed vs Pantheon, maybe you should go 14/16/0 instead of 21/9/0 to survive his burst and get him with your better sustained damage? Sometimes proper choices can win the lane for you before the game even starts. Same story with summoner spells. Barrier vs bursters mid? Cleanse versus hard CC?                                                                            

Aaaand, time for in-game stuff.As you are welcomed into Summoner’s Rift, you are called to decide on what items you should start with. Even though the answer is sometimes obvious there should be a line of thought behind that decision. You should, to start with, have an idea of how your lane is going to work out. I’m gonna use a chapter from Magic: The Gathering here: Who is the agressor? Will you play offensively or defensively. Will you trade and how? Will you push or try to freeze? Will you focus on farming on try to get a kill? After you have decided on that, plan your build. Not 6 items. Work with 4 (including boots). What is the buy order? THEN you can buy your starting item.Example: You are playing Renekton against Irelia with the opposing jungler being Xin Zhao. Irelia is weak on the first few levels so we will try to bully her and shove her under the turret. Thus we need a ward. 400 Gold left. The choices are either boots, cloth armor or full pots. Boots won’t give us enough potions or trading power and our ward will keep us safe. Irelia will rush a blade of the Ruined King and our Q can sustain us, while she doesn’t have high harass power. Thus we will start with Cloth Armor and 3 pots, aiming to get ninja tabi which will also help against Xin’s ganks.                                                                                                                   

Build wise: You see pros and guides suggesting specific item builds. The key word there is “Suggest”. Take a look at your opponents. Check their items and react. The game is about action and reaction. Sunfire is a fine item but maybe you should consider Randuins since they got Vayne Xin and Irelia? Visage isn’t considered an amazing item but you got a Soraka in team and you just got a BotRK. Maybe you should? The item order is also of high importance. They got double ap but you are way ahead. A negation cloak should suffice till you get your damage item. In every single situation there are many item choices. Before you buy something think which one will give you the most benefits in that specific one.Verdict: Don’t stick in standard builds. Every game is different. Maybe your build should be too?                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

To be continued

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