- 1 Chapter 9. Other principles and secrets to dominating the Mid lane
- 1.1 Lane Harassment
- 1.2 Zoning your opponent
- 1.3 Tips on how to get more skillshots
- 1.4 Advice on dodging more skillshots
- 1.5 Basing at the appropriate times as a Mid laner
- 1.6 Timing Summoner spells, wards and ability cooldowns during the laning phase
- 1.7 Improving your decision making
- 1.8 How to accurately predict when you are about to get ganked
- 1.9 Smart mana management
- 1.10 A small trick that can make a huge difference when duelling early in the game
Chapter 9. Other principles and secrets to dominating the Mid lane
The topic of lane harassment really kind of relates to the one about trading in lane, which we looked at in great depth, but at the same time it’s not the same.
Let me explain the difference.
There are 3 types of lane harassment that you can do to your opponent.
The first is the so called random harass. This harass is when you throw off spells at random points.
It is the least effective form of harassment you can do, because it’s mostly random and is generally considered a waste of resources, i.e. mana/cooldowns/energy.
The second type of harassment is the so called Predicting Harass. This is when you are reading your opponent’s movements and shooting spells at the prediction of where they should go.
This method’s efficiency is greatly enhanced by knowing the range and the speed of the ability you are about to use.
The third and most effective type of harassment is the so called Guaranteed Harass.
Even though it is not 100% guaranteed it will always hit, it will hit most of the time and using it effectively will win you the lane very easily, when you combine it with proper trading.
You achieve that by using your spells and auto attacks at the same time your opponent is either walking forward to get a last hit, or they are already in the midst of getting a last hit.
During this time, you know for sure that their champion will not be moving and using your abilities at that specific time will nearly guarantee you success.
That’s really all there is to it as far as successfully harassing your opponent in lane.
Zoning your opponent
After you’ve successfully managed to freeze the lane on your opponent, let me explain how to further take advantage of that minion manipulation technique by zoning your opponent.
The idea behind zoning is that you not only deny gold from your opponent after you have successfully frozen the lane in the spot you want, but you also zone them away from the experience range of your dying minions.
This is the perfect scenario.
This way you make sure that you end up building a level advantage over them, without even having to kill them, which might set you up for your nearest powerspike.
So how do you zone your opponent?
Well, every time they go near the wave to attempt to unfreeze it or just last hit, step up aggressively and make sure you punish them for doing so by outtrading them.
Usually, after you win 2 or 3 trades the enemy starts to respect your lane presence and starts playing really far back. At this point he has two choices to pick from.
The first is to keep losing the trades in an attempt to get last hits or to try and unfreeze the wave for himself, which might create an opportunity for you to go for the kill.
The second option he has is to sit far back and miss out on everything until his Jungler comes to help.
Whichever the case may be, you are the one who benefits here, so make sure you apply this technique as often as you can in your games. It really tends to tilt your opponents.
Tips on how to get more skillshots
In League of Legends, being able to consistently hit your skillshots is considered to be a distinctive trait of a good player. They are some of the most rewarding tools you can have in this game.
If you can consistently land your combos, you will be able to carry a lot of your games with ease.
Although it is obvious that you will not be able to hit every skillshot all the time, how do you make sure you have the highest chances of hitting as many skillshots as you can?
The best advice I can give you is to aim your skillshots at the times when your opponent is the least likely to juke them, because he would expect them the least.
This includes the situation when your opponent is just about to land a last hit, or as he is just going in for harass.
Map terrain choke points are some great spots for you to fire your skillshots at targets, as typically it’s harder to dodge when being in a tight choke hold on the map.
Another tip I can give you is to always try and predict your opponent’s movement.
Stop and think for a second.
What is the most likely move command your opponent will make as his next repositioning move? Once you have your assumption, be sure to fire your skillshot at that direction.
As you advance through the tiers in Ranked, you will notice that there is a big difference between the way players in low elo move while they lane, compared to the ones in low elo.
Low elo players tend to sit in one place while they attack or harass and their upcoming movements are typically easily predictable. They tend to be very easy targets.
High elo players are on the opposite – they are mobile and constantly reposition themselves while attacking, harassing, etc. and they are much harder to predict.
So the best thing to do there is to try and recognize reoccurring patters in their movements, and then firing the skillshots at the perceived trajectory of those patterns.
Advice on dodging more skillshots
Just like your chances of winning the game are greatly affected by your ability to land more skillshots, the same indisputable truth goes for dodging them.
The more skillshots you are able to dodge, the less damage you will take as a result of it and the more damage you will be able to do, especially during teamfight, because you will be alive for longer.
So how to effectively dodge skillshots?
The mechanic is also known as “juking” and is best learned through continued practice and gaining actual experience in high- pressure scenarios.
To understand how to dodge skillshots, we are going to divide them into 3 main types – linear (Lux’s Q), conic (Cho’gath’s W) and AOE projectiles (Galio’s Q).
Each of these types of projectiles have the same principle in common – in order for you to be able to juke them, you have to have a good understanding of the philosophies behind landing them.
How much time does it take for the projectile to fire? How long is the skillshot’s range, what are their cooldowns? These are all things you have to consider when trying to dodge them.
But much like with landing skillshots, when trying to dodge them you have to put yourself in the shoes of your opponent and try and imagine what his intentions are when he is aiming for his skillshots.
Pay attention to his movement patterns and any clues that he might give away before making his move. This is just one of the skills that come along with playing the game consistently.
Basing at the appropriate times as a Mid laner
How do you know if it is the appropriate time to go back to base? How can you know if you are doing the right thing by recalling at a particular time?
I see players mess this up all the time.
Here are the answers.
The first situation when you need to go back to base, is when you have just gotten a kill in lane, but you have no vision of the enemy Jungler and you are too low in health and/or mana to group with your team for an objective.
In this case you are much better off backing up to heal and buy, as opposed to taking the unnecessary risk of getting 1-shot for being too greedy.
If, however, you have worked on your map awareness and you can clearly see that the enemy Jungler is currently elsewhere on the map, pushing the wave all the way into the Tower and then recalling is the best decision.
Why? Because you will deny your lane opponent a full wave worth of gold and experience, since it will all get killed by his Turret by the time he gets back to lane.
The second situation when you need to get back to base is when you have just enough money to hit a big powerspike by purchasing a specific item.
In this case, push the wave while using all of your mana if necessary, and then get back to your tower and recall safely.
Then, you will be much stronger once you go back to lane after the purchase, since you have hit a powerspike.
The third situation is if you need to defend an inhibitor or a turret that is currently being sieged, and you have no way of taking theirs faster by yourself.
Don’t ever fall into the trap of continuing to splitpush if you know full well that most likely, you are not going to get the turret/inhibitor you are aiming for fast enough.
Just go back and help your team defend, don’t put them in a 4vs5 situation for no good reason.
The fourth situation is right before a BIG objective is about to be contested and you are either not at full health or you have a lot of gold to spend.
Don’t get greedy to push another wave. You are much better off just going back early and getting prepared for the fight. The objective is always of higher priority.
One last thing I should note on the topic of recalling, is that provided you have the space in your item inventory, you should always get 1 pink ward after each time you back.
It can come very handy especially when establishing vision control before contesting an objective.
Timing Summoner spells, wards and ability cooldowns during the laning phase
Timing things is always a good idea if your goal is to snowball the game in your favor as efficiently as possible while minimizing the chance of losing.
It is not only true for the laning phase, but also after laning is over.
So what are the things you want to time and how does this give you advantage?
You want to time enemy wards, dragon/baron respawn times, buffs, enemy Summoner spells and key enemy abilities not only during laning phase, but afterwards too.
Mind you, by key abilities, I mean their ultimate and any escape tool that they might have.
Why is this important? Well, think about it. During laning phase, your goal is to take every opportunity you can to deny your opponent gold and experience.
Timing all of these things will give you and your team a lot of information you can work with.
Knowing whether and when their Summoner spells or abilities are available helps you plan ahead on your actions, and it can help your Jungler do a better job at ganking.
Knowing when that sight ward they put in the tri-brush expires gives you information about their vision control, which you can then communicate to your jungler to organize a kill opportunity, or to your teammates as a whole right before contesting an objective.
Knowing the next Dragon/Baron respawn timers helps you with conquering that objective, because it gives you everything you need to know to prepare for it in advance.
All you need to do to time Summoners is press the Tab button and then hover your mouse cursor over the Summoner spell that relates to your opponent and you will see the specific cooldown he has.
It really is as simple as that.
Improving your decision making
Decision making is one of those terms that you see thrown around just about everywhere – on forums, videos, streams, guides, etc. Everyone talks about how valuable it is.
But what does decision making really mean and why should it be so important to you?
You see, League of Legends is a strategy game. It is not one of those fighting games where all you do is press buttons, even though it does include fighting.
Quite a lot of it actually.
But there are multiple minor decisions that are made on a subconscious level all the time. Whether you realize it or not, you are making hundreds of big and small decisions every single game.
Just think about it.
What should I buy? Am I strong enough to all-in my opponent? Should I gank for this lane? Should I put my ward in that spot? Should I just sell my boots for a Guardian Angel?
And a lot of those decisions are very important, but not all of them are obvious at first.
Should you give up or contest an objective? Should you leave your teammate to die if he runs into the whole enemy team right before Baron spawns? Should you keep pushing Top lane or recall back to save your Mid inhibitor?
Due to the dynamics of the game, decisions are made all the time and each of them has its own impact on your ability to do well in game and impact the final income.
So what you do matters, and the way you do it matters, too.
The better, more accurate, faster decisions you make, the more likely you are to win the game.
It is very important that you match a well-developed mechanical ability with sharp decision making if you want to reach your potential as a League of Legends player.
So what can you do to significantly improve your decision making?
Acquiring smart, top-level decision making cannot be achieved overnight. It does not happen with the push of a button. It’s a gradual process.
And there is only one thing you can do to facilitate that process – learn as much as you can about the game.
The more knowledgable you are, the more informed decisions you can make and the more positive impact you are going to have on the outcome of each game. As a result, the more valuable you are to your team.
There really is no other way around it, gentlemen.
And the best way to learn what you need to know about League of Legends is to study from the best resources available, which I truly believe are my books.
Stay busy and keep reading.
I have the bestselling books on Amazon on different topics related to League of Legends, and each of my books focuses on teaching you everything you need to know about the subject it was written for.
Apply the principles and techniques I teach in my books and your decision making will eventually get as good as it can be.
How to accurately predict when you are about to get ganked
How can you tell if you are about to get ganked?
The obvious answer to this question would be to just maintain vision control, right? Then you will see what happens and you will be protected, right?
Of course, you should do your best to maintain as much vision control as you can. But this is not always realistic, since it is not practical to get back to base every few minutes to replenish your expired wards.
So you need to develop your senses and start being aware of your in-game surroundings. It is not surprizing that this is where map awareness comes into play, yet again.
We have already touched on proper warding and how to establish vision control, so I will give you more advice on how to tell when there is a danger of you getting ganked.
A good advice used to be, to stay aware of the timers for Jungle camps so you can predict ganks.
In other words, “every game you should expect to be ganked at 3:00 or 3:30 because that’s when Junglers finish their jungle camps and look for ganks”.
Well, as the dynamics of the game have changed and evolved over the last season, it is extremely hard to accurately predict what the enemy Jungler’s path is going to be like anymore.
Why? Because a lot of options are now viable. He might prefer to do a full clear, kill only the small camps or something else.
By the way, if you want to know all you need to know about Jungling in Season 7, you should check out my book “League of Legends Jungle Mastery”. It’s the best guide out there.
So, always pay attention for allies calling that an enemy is mia (missing in action) in their respective lane.
It does not necessarily mean that you should assume that if someone is not present in their lane, then they must be ganking you. They might be recalling or going for a Jungle camp.
What it means is that you should pay a little bit more attention to your current positioning. Are you too pushed out at the moment?
If so, the missing enemy laner might have noticed that, so you should expect that there is a possibility they might be heading towards you.
Stop overextending and take a more defensive positioning until you are 100% certain that the danger is over.
Another piece of advice I can give you is to pay attention to your opponent’s actions. Are they playing up on you all of a sudden for no apparent reason?
That’s a tale tale sign that they are trying to facilitate and set up their Jungler’s gank.
Or maybe, all of a sudden they start playing too passively for no reason. Then, there is the possibility they are baiting you to overextend and get caught.
Get into the habit of looking for those clues and pay strict attention to your opponent’s actions.
Smart mana management
I feel like this topic is self-explanatory, but it is good to go over it anyways.
Always make sure you are aware of how much mana you are expending and how much mana you need for your full combo.
Don’t ever allow yourself to run completely out of mana with the only exception being when you are just about to recall.
Otherwise, conserve at least some of your mana so you never run so low that you get OOM (out of mana) during an all-in.
It is extremely frustrating to plan an all-in only to realize far too late, that you will now lose it because you do not have the mana to cast all of your spells.
A small trick that can make a huge difference when duelling early in the game
This trick is very simple, a lot of players know about it, but only a few actually do it.
If you pop a health potion while duelling, the regen you get from it can help you win that duel, especially in the early levels of the game.
There are 2 situations when you will want to pop a potion.
The first is the obvious one, when you get too low in health in lane or in the Jungle and you need to heal back up.
The second one is during an all-in. People often underestimate or are simply unaware of how significant the amount of health you regenerate through one health potion is, during the early levels.
Those 100hp regenerated can mean the difference between you staying alive or getting killed. So, always pop a potion when dueling.
If you happen to have the corruption potion item, then it becomes even more important to get a tick of it going while you are dueling, because not only are you healing up, but you also do damage over time which is quite significant in the first few levels.