Chapter 1Chapter 2 – Chapter 3 – Chapter 4
Chapter 5 – Chapter 6 – Chapter 7

Chapter 8. All you need to know about trading in lane – VERY IMPORTANT

The 5-step formula to winning every trade

Trading effectively is a huge part of the laning phase and is a big factor in getting you to accumulate a lead.

Before going in for a trade you need to pay attention to 2 factors.

The first is the status of the lane, and the second is the status of the player’s resources.

By player’s resources, I mean champion ability cooldowns, remaining mana, health, energy and cooldown on Summoner spells.

So, what goes into the status of the lane? Think about these points before going in for a trade – what is the enemy minions’ health, is the lane pushing towards me or away from me, could their Jungler potentially gank me?

Ideally, you want to trade with your opponent, as soon as he uses a skill on the minion wave to last hit, or misses a skill shot on you. That way you know for sure that they will have reduced their means of dealing damage back to you.

Your goal is to do as much damage as you can, while taking the least amount of damage possible.

Do that successfully several times during the laning phase and you will always win your lane, as long as you can continuously replicate winning trades.

To break it down into the most simple steps before I give you an example, here are the 5 main components of going through a trade successfully… every single time!

1st Component – Position yourself at the sweet spot before preparing to trade. That’s the point of safety, right outside of the enemy’s zone of influence. Ideally, you would want to be inside yours and outside of his zone of influence at the same time, if possible.

2nd Component – Unleash your damage as quickly as possible. Note, speed is what’s most important here. Burst your cooldowns all at once, coupled with an auto attack reset if suitable, while leaving your enemy no chance to retaliate back.

3rd Component – Avoid the enemy damage. You can do that by using a blink skill or a dash (Renekton’s E for example), if your champion has one available.

4th Component – Get back to the sweet spot from step 1. The point at which you are right outside of the enemy’s zone of influence, but ideally, within yours.

5th Component – Stay at your sweet spot until you get your cooldowns back up.

Rinse and repeat.

This right here is a formula that you will see Challenger level players use all the time.

It’s because it works every time. It’s not about godly mechanics or what not. It’s all about performing those simple steps as often as possible, while avoiding as much minion aggro as you can.

The next time you watch your favorite Challenger level streamer in the laning phase, carefully observe what happens when they go for a trade and they win it.

If you pay close attention you will see that they are executing exactly those 5 steps, in the same order.

If they lose a trade, it’s because they failed to follow the formula, or because they enemy stuck to the formula much better.

The thing is, trading is different when facing short-ranged melee champions, medium-ranged champions and long-ranged champions.

And you have to do things differently depending on what category of champions you are facing and their zone of influence.

In the next several pages of this chapter, I will illustrate some example scenarios with practical applications that will help show you how to apply the 5-step formula for trading optimally against champions with different zones of influence.

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Trading with short-ranged champions

Those are champions with smaller zone of influence.

Although this book is about the Mid lane, due to illustration purposes, let’s say that I am playing as Renekton vs Nasus.

Here is how I would approach this lane matchup when going in for a trade:

1st Component: Position yourself at the sweet spot before preparing to trade. That’s the point of safety, right outside of the enemy’s zone of influence. Ideally, you would want to be inside yours and outside of his zone of influence at the same time, if possible.

I would build up my rage and maintain it high throughout the lane at all times when possible. I would stay right outside Nasus’ Q, W and E range.

I know for sure he needs to get extremely close so he can farm his Q, but his W and E are a little bit further out.

At the same time, I will stay close enough so that I will be able to dash in through the minion wave and get to Nasus.

2nd Component – Unleash your damage as quickly as possible. Note, speed is what’s most important here. Burst your cooldowns all at once, coupled with an auto attack reset if suitable while leaving your enemy no chance to retaliate back.

I would walk up to him and I would auto attack and then immediately reset the animation with my enraged (W).

At this point he will be stunned, so I will use my first (E) to deal damage to him, immediately followed up with a (Q) and another auto attack.

3rd Component – Avoid the enemy damage. You can do that by using a blink skill or a dash (Renekton’s E for example), if your champion has one available.

As soon as I am done dishing out my damage, I would immediately dash away with the second charge of my (E).

4th Component – Get back to the sweet spot from step 1. The point at which you are right outside of the enemy’s zone of influence, but ideally, within yours.

I would get back to the point where I originated the trade from, which is right outside of his zone of influence.

5th Component – Stay at your sweet spot until you get your cooldowns back up.

I would stay there until I get my cooldowns back up and would go in for a trade as soon as Nasus either uses an ability to last hit a minion, or I feel like I am ready to win another trade.

And since it’s Nasus, that will be pretty much be as often as he uses his Q.

Trading with medium-ranged champions

Those are champions with medium zone of influence.

Let’s say that this time I am playing as Renekton vs Gankplank.

Here is how I would approach this lane matchup when going for a trade:

1st Component: Position yourself at the sweet spot before preparing to trade. That’s the point of safety, right outside of the enemy’s zone of influence. Ideally, you would want to be inside yours and outside of his zone of influence at the same time, if possible.

I would build up my rage and maintain it high throughout the lane at all times when possible.

I would stay right outside Gankplank’s barrel and Q range. Obviously, since his ultimate is global, you can never be safe from it completely, but that’s beside the point.

At the same time, I will stay close enough so that I will be able to dash in twice through the minion wave and get to Gankplank.

2nd Component – Unleash your damage as quickly as possible. Note, speed is what’s most important here. Burst your cooldowns all at once, coupled with an auto attack reset if suitable, while leaving your enemy no chance to retaliate back.

I would walk up to him and dash at him with the first charge of my (E). I would auto attack and immediately reset the animation with my enraged (W).

At this point he will be stunned, so I will immediately follow up with a (Q) and another auto attack.

3rd Component – Avoid the enemy damage. You can do that through a blink skill or a dash (Renekton’s E for example), if your Champion has one available.

As soon as I am done dishing out my damage, I would immediately dash away with my second charge of my (E).

4th Component – Get back to the sweet spot from step 1. The point at which you are right outside of the enemy’s zone of influence, but ideally, within yours.

I would get back to the point where I originated the trade from, which is right outside of his zone of influence.

5th Component – Stay at your sweet spot until you get your cooldowns back up.

I would stay there until I get my cooldowns back up and I would go in for a trade as soon as Gankplank either uses an ability to last hit a minion, or I feel like I am in a position to win another trade.

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Trading with long-ranged champions

Those are champions with a smaller zone of influence.

Let’s say that this time I am playing as Renekton vs Teemo. Here is how I would approach this lane matchup when going for a trade:

1st Component: Position yourself at the sweet spot before preparing to trade. That’s the point of safety, right outside of the enemy’s zone of influence. Ideally, you would want to be inside yours and outside of his zone of influence at the same time, if possible.

I would build up my rage and maintain it high throughout the lane at all times when possible.

I would stay right outside Teemo’s Q and auto attack range.

Since he naturally has a little bit more movement speed I will increase that distance by a little bit more than normal.

At the same time, I will stay close enough so that I will be able to first walk up, and then dash in through the minion wave and get to Teemo.

2nd Component – Unleash your damage as quickly as possible. Note, speed is what’s most important here. Burst your cooldowns all at once, coupled with an auto attack reset if possible while leaving your enemy no chance to retaliate back.

If I were to dash twice to him, I would fail on the 3rd Component of the Trading formula, which will probably end up in me taking too much damage and actually losing the trade.

So instead, I would walk up to him risking to get auto attacked once in the process, and dash at him with my first charge of my (E).

I would auto attack and then immediately reset the animation with my enraged (W).

At this point he will be stunned, so I will immediately follow up with a (Q) and another auto attack.

3rd Component – Avoid the enemy damage. You can do that by using a blink skill or a dash (Renekton’s E for example), if your champion has one available.

As soon as I am done dishing out my damage, I would immediately dash away to the farthest enemy creep away from Teemo with my second charge of my (E).

4th Component – Get back to the sweet spot from step 1. The point at which you are right outside of the enemy’s zone of influence, but ideally, within yours.

I would get back to the point where I originated the trade from, which is right outside of his zone of influence.

5th Component – Stay at your sweet spot until you get your cooldowns back up.

I would stay there until I get my cooldowns back up and I would go in for a trade as soon as Teemo either uses an ability to last hit a minion, or I feel like I am ready to win another trade.

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Learning to predict your opponent’s moves

In order to massively improve at the game, it is very critical that you develop the sense of predicting your opponent’s moves.

Sometimes, things may be very obvious and the enemy might give away his intentions through his actions.

If you see your opponent walking up to you for no reason whatsoever, this usually is an indication that his jungler is nearby and he is trying to set up the gank for him.

This is especially true (and obvious) in the cases when he is behind and has spent all laning phase playing back.

Him going forward should be an immediate red light for you, and in this case you should retreat back to a safe distance which is still close enough to make sure his jungler wastes his time waiting for a kill opportunity that will never happen.

Don’t just go back to your turret, because then his jungler will get the clue that you sensed something is fishy, and he will immediately move on elsewhere on the map.

Your goal is to waste as much of his time as possible, as this reduces the impact he has on the game.

In other cases however, you may not be able to predict your opponent’s moves judging only by their actions.

The best thing to do really, and this is a huge part of laning at a very high level, is to try and put your mind into your opponent’s shoes at all times during the laning phase.

Try to imagine what is going through his head, why is he doing the things he is doing, what he is thinking about at the moment and what his goals and intentions could be.

This is really the key to predicting their next move.

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