League of Legends (LoL): a Beginner’s In-Depth Guide

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Video games are becoming an integral part of society. The days of video games being mocked and ridiculed are over, for they now showcase some of the greatest technological achievements of our time. Not only that, but they’re quickly becoming a globally recognized sport.

League of Legends is the biggest and most popular ESport of all time. With dozens of world tournaments and millions of dollars in prizes, it should come as no surprise that people want in on the action. But that’s easier to say than to actually do. How on Earth are you supposed to start and excel in a game that’s so incredibly massive? Fortunately for all the beginners out there, we’ve put together a guide that tells you everything you need to know about League of Legends. If this guide doesn’t help you figure out what’s going on with League of Legends (also known as LoL), nothing will.

League of Legends: What is it?

League of Legends is a MOBA, or, in other words, a multiplayer online battle arena. Some even classify it as an MMOBA, which stands for “massively multiplayer online battle arena”. The game entails two teams made up of five players each standing off against one another in an area (or map) called Summoner’s Rift. The goal is to destroy the opposing team’s base. But before you do, you need to destroy all the towers protecting said base. To accomplish this goal, each player has their own champion and their own set of skills and abilities. For beginner players, a game lasts about 20 minutes. However, when the pros get at it, games can last for over an hour.

Champions: What are they?

League of Legends is home to approximately 140 champions, each one with their own special skills and abilities. New champions are being added all the time, and are continuously being altered and corrected by the makers of LoL to ensure their in-game impartiality. This champion system ensures that there is no “pay to win” system, in which people pay actual money to succeed in the game. Rather, players are only able to dish out cash for cosmetic items. True success comes from how well you control and utilize these champions, and how good you are at making your champion work with other champions. At the beginning of every game, each player is able to choose their respective champion. Typically, team members try to choose champions that work together well. (We’ll expand on this later.)

How do you win a game of LoL?

Winning a match is very simple on paper, but very difficult in reality. All you have to do is destroy the opposing team’s base. In order to do this, you first have to destroy turrets, towers, endless waves of minions, and the opposing players themselves. It gets really tricky because you have to protect your own base and turrets as well!

To put all of this into perspective, you can’t simply run to the enemy’s base and destroy it. There are obstacles that you need to overcome first, for without doing so, the task of destroying a base is virtually impossible. You’ll be killed by enemy players and all of their defense that you have yet to defeat! Worry not, for this unfortunate mistake is not the end of the world. You can respawn!

At the beginning of the game, you’ll start at number one and move your way up as you collect XP from a variety of sources. This XP collection strengthens your abilities and defenses and enables you to start taking down the enemy team’s defenses. Each player has their own unique role. These roles often coincide with the champion they chose, and are usually orchestrated at the beginning of the game. It’s important to note that LoL does not automatically choose these roles for you. They require communication and teamwork to be organized well. Lacking these defined roles is sure to cost you and your team a win.

Throughout the match, both teams will conquer obstacles and grow strong enough to start pushing towards the base. This is when one team will topple the other and win. The game essentially begins with a slow build-up and moves to a strong and exciting end.

Summoner’s Rift: What is it?

Summoner’s Rift is the main League of Legends map. This is where professional players practise and where ESport tournaments occur. Players who are trying to travel upwards through rankings can be found here. This map is the competitive centrepiece of League of Legends. There are a few other maps that come and go, but they’re mainly casual and are devoid of professional players.

This article focuses solely on Summoner’s Rift.

Summoner’s Rift: Nexus, turrets, minions, lanes

Summoner’s Rift is home to two competing teams, the red team and the blue team. (In competitive matches, these would be actual names, but for the purposes of this article we’ll be using red and blue.) The blue team is nestled away in the bottom left corner, while the red team is hidden away in the top right corner. Each base is home to what’s called a nexus. Your team’s nexus is what you have to protect. Your enemy’s nexus is what you need to destroy. Doing so will win you the game.

All throughout the match, your nexus (and your enemy’s nexus) will spawn vast arrays of minions that travel down several lanes in Summoner’s Rift. These lanes are called bot lane, mid lane, and top lane. Each lane has various turrets that fire on enemy players, as well as enemy minions. You will also find two turrets protecting each nexus. In order to destroy the opposing team’s nexus, you must first destroy all the turrets in at least one lane, and then destroy both turrets protecting the nexus.

Summoner’s Rift: Inhibitors

Inhibitors are in a base behind the two turrets that protect a nexus. If you destroy your enemy’s inhibitors, your minions from then on will be super-charged. They’ll be a lot stronger, faster, and harder to kill. Most recognize them as “super minions”. Keep in mind that destroying an inhibitor is only temporary. Unlike turrets, they will respawn. The boosted minions are often strong enough to help you conquer the opposing team’s base.

Summoner’s Rift: The fountain and shop

On Summoner’s Rift, you will spawn on what’s called the fountain. This fountain is your safe zone. Your health will continually respawn, and enemy players will lose health if they traverse onto it. Keep in mind that you will be affected by ranged attacks! It is in this fountain that you can access the in-game shop. At any point during the game, you can return to your fountain by simply recalling it. Note, however, that recalling takes a few seconds, and you are not immune to damage while doing so.

Income and items: How do they work?

Items are an essential part of League of Legends. They allow players to create builds that amplify their champion’s abilities. Items have a variety of effects. These include strength, speed, stamina, durability, and reliability. Some items work best on specific champions, whereas others work for all and are more generic. Some work to counter other items and even champion abilities. So how does one collect these items?

It’s actually quite simple. All you have to do is recall to your fountain, open the shop, and buy them with coins! Coins are given to you every time you destroy a structure (like a turret or inhibitor) or kill minions or enemy players.

LoL champions: The basics

Without champions, there would be no League of Legends. Champions are the centrepiece of the game and are the most important part of the game to many players. Typically, the map itself stays the same throughout tournaments and seasons; the introduction and use of new champions are what change the experience. Because the map is already so dynamic, simply choosing different champions alters your playing style and experience entirely.

Each champion has their own abilities and difficulty level. Each of them has their own cosmetic changes and intricacies. You can figure out what each champion is all about by checking out their stats and scaling. (We’ll check this out later on.)

Abilities and attacks

Every champion has a basic attack (also known as an auto-attack). All you have to do is click on an enemy and your champion will use their basic move to attack them until they or the enemy dies. This can either be a ranged or melee attack. Alongside a basic attack are several abilities that are unique to each champion. These abilities are activated by pressing Q, W, E, and/or R. Players can also employ skills based on items by using the number pad (1-7). Last but certainly not least, players can activate a couple of summoner spells using D and/or F. More information about these abilities will appear later on.

A champion’s stats

League of Legends champions are all unique. What makes them this way is their stats. Some champions are hard to kill (and so are known as “tanks”). Others are easy to kill, but do a lot of damage. (In other words, these champions are assassins.) Some are in the middle. Some are really fast. You can figure all of this out by analyzing each champion’s stats. Let’s take a look at some of the basics.

A champion’s stats: Health

A champion’s health is indicated by a green bar. Typically, those with the most health do the least amount of damage, and those with the least amount of health do the most damage.

A champion’s stats: Resources

Your champion requires some sort of energy source in order to cast an ability. This energy can come in the form of regular energy, mana, or even fury. Most champions use mana, but there are a select few (like Kennen and Akali) that use energy. Mana is displayed in a blue bar that looks strikingly similar to your champion’s health bar. (Both mana and health regenerate over time.) Energy is displayed in a yellow bar.

Similar to mana and health, energy regenerates as well. It just takes a lot less time to do so. Most champions that use energy to charge their abilities are able to get energy back by using their auto or basic attacks. The drawback that energy users face is that you can’t buy more energy in the fountain shop, unlike mana, which you can buy more of. Interestingly, some champions even use health to power their attacks.

A champion’s stats: Attack damage

Attack damage, or AD for short, refers to the amount of physical damage your champion’s basic attacks will do. Anything that refers to AD will be displayed in orange text. Each champion has different attack damage. Attack damage can also be increased using items from the fountain shop.

A champion’s stats: Ability power

Ability power, or AP, refers to the amount of damage your champion’s abilities will do. This factor can be manipulated by items in the same way that AD is.

A champion’s stats: Armour

A champion’s armour refers to how much damage mitigation will occur. The more armour you have, the better off you are in terms of defence. However, more armour means less attack damage and ability power. Remember, there are trade-offs!

A champion’s stats: Magic resist

Magic resistance is the amount of armour you have against ability power.

A champion’s stats: Attack speed

Attack speed refers to how fast your character’s auto or basic attack will occur. For example, if your champion has a bow and arrow, attack speed will determine how fast they can fire long-range attacks. If your champion has a sword or ax, attack speed determines how fast they can swing and strike their blade in a melee fashion. Definitely a good place to start, alongside attack damage.

A champion’s stats: Cooldown reduction

All of your champion’s abilities will have cooldowns. These cooldowns depict how long between uses each ability maintains. For example, if you have a long-range attack as one of your abilities, and you use it, you’ll have a countdown. This is your cooldown. There are items that give you more CDR, which essentially lowers your cooldown.

A champion’s stats: Movement speed

Movement speed refers to how fast you can move in the game. Typically, assassins have the greatest movement speed, as they’re light and quick. There are items that increase and reduce movement speed, such as armoured, heavy items. Overall, a general rule of thumb is that the more health they have, the less movement speed they have.

Levelling up your champion

In every game you play, you will journey from Level 1 to Level 18. You will increase in level as you collect XP from various camps, minion kills, and more. It’s important to note that when attempting to get experience from a jungle camp, the only player who will receive experience is the one who actually makes the kill (in other words, whoever makes the final blow). The only time your entire team will gain experience is when turrets and inhibitors are destroyed. Regardless of where you are on a map, if one of the previously mentioned items is destroyed, you will get experience.
You can also get experience when a teammate kills someone while you’re in close proximity to them. You will not get the experience from the kill, but you’ll get a small reward. For perspective, if you’re within approximately three times the length of the average auto-attack, you will get experience.

Levelling up your champion will give them a boost. For example, your champion will have more health and defence at Level 10 than they would at Level 1. This goes for most champion stats (as covered above). Levelling up goes hand in hand with item selection and ability boosting, as levelling up gives you lots of options.

Ability boosting refers to skill points. You obtain skill points every time your champion levels up, and you can use them to power up your abilities.

Abilities

Heal

  • This ability heals a part of your health instantly. The higher the level you are, the more health it will heal. You will also receive a one percent speed boost. This particular ability has a cooldown of 240 seconds (four minutes).
  • This ability will also heal whoever is closest to you. If there are multiple people near you, you will be able to choose who you want to heal.
  • The healing ability is used a lot by support roles, as the support can heal both themselves and the champion they are aiding.

Ghost

  • This ability gives you great movement speed. It also lets you walk through minions, other players (champions), and monsters. It has a cooldown of 180 seconds. It will last 10 seconds.
  • This ability is great for champions who want either to chase down other champions with relative ease or to escape situations. Very popular among assassins.
  • Most people pair Ghost with Flash (more information to come).

Barrier

  • This ability gives you a shield that reduces and/or mitigates the burst damage sent your way. The shield’s durability depends on your champion level.
  • The barrier is popular among mid laners, supports, and ADCs (attack damage carriers).
  • This ability has a cooldown of 180 seconds.

Exhaust

  • This ability has a cooldown of 210 seconds.
  • It can be used on another champion, and reduces their damage output by 40 percent and lasts for about three seconds.
  • This is a great option for slowing down enemies you are chasing, as well as a decent crowd-control option.

Flash

  • This ability has a cooldown of 300 seconds.
  • It is essentially a teleportation spell, and is the most popular ability in the entire game. It lets you teleport a short distance, regardless of what’s happening to you. It is great for both offensive and defensive situations.
  • Many people use Flash to engage enemies. It’s perfect for those with lots of damage and low health, as they can enter and escape really easily.

Smite

  • This ability has a cooldown of 210 seconds.
  • Smite allows you to send a bolt at any minion, pet, or monster from the opposing team. The bolt is high in burst damage.
  • Junglers will have this ability equipped at all times; without it, they’d be unable to play their role at all.
  • This ability is great at clearing jungle camps at the start of games. Do note however that the cooldown only lets you do it once every few minutes. This means you have to choose which minion camps to use it on. We recommend not using it on camps where multiple champions are aiding you, as that would be somewhat of a waste.

Cleanse

  • This ability has a cooldown of 210 seconds.
  • In League of Legends, there are many ways in which you can be disabled or handicapped. Cleanse effectively removes these handicaps, and is therefore labelled by most as a get-out-of-jail-free card.
  • Cleanse will also ensure that you cannot be struck by any crowd-control effects coming your way.

Ignite

  • This ability has a cooldown of 180 seconds.
  • It inflicts burns all over your victim. Other champions will be burned for approximately five seconds. During these seconds, your victim’s healing will be reduced significantly.
  • This ability is great for finishing up a kill, because you don’t necessarily have to be landing blows. All you have to do is wait for the fire to kill.
  • To clarify, Ignite counters Heal as long as Ignite was cast first.

Runes

Summoner spells (all listed above) are not the only way to manipulate your champion’s play style. Each champion can also be altered using what are called runes. These runes are the perfect way to either boost their current strengths or ensure their weaknesses don’t become their downfall. League of Legends has five rune trees. There are other specialty trees, but here we’ll be focusing on the main five. These are Precision, Domination, Sorcery, Resolve, and Inspiration.

Precision

Precision is the ultimate rune for those with ranged auto attacks. It will enable you to attack one target consistently, therefore increasing your overall auto-attack damage.

Domination

Domination is used a lot by assassins because of its incredible burst kill enhancements. Domination makes it a lot easier to instantly kill an enemy, and since that is essentially the goal of most assassins, you’ll see it being used by them all the time. A perfect example is the Predator rune, which boosts your movement speed significantly and allows you to finish off whatever you’re chasing.

Sorcery

This rune is popular with mages because it increases overall utility. It gets used often by champions like Lux and Karma. A perfect example of this type of rune is Summon Aery, which increases the punch of spells and enables the shielding of an ally.

Resolve

This tree is beloved by most supports. Those on the beefier end, like Nautilus and Leona, especially love it. Not only does resolve increase your defensive stats tenfold, but it also provides extra armor and even some magic resistance without sacrificing other invaluable stats.

Inspiration

Inspiration is the wild card among the runes. It’s loved by those who want to change things up with every battle and attack. Inspiration is one of the most commonly used runes, as it can be used on virtually all champions. Unsealed Spellbook, an Inspiration tree rune, enables you to switch your summoner spells at will and adapt to any situation.

Customizing your rune page

When you have reached Summoner Level 10, you’ll gain the ability to customize your rune page in any way you want. You have the option to either create a rune page when selecting your champion or beforehand outside of the League of Legends client. Regardless of how you set up your rune page, it will not change until you change or delete it.

The three main components of a rune page are as follows: Primary Tree, Secondary Tree, and Shards. Keep in mind that you can only choose one rune for every row.

Primary Tree

  • The most powerful part of a rune tree is the primary tree. This is where you can keystone runes, which in simple terms are the best of the best. You can choose four keystone runes, so be sure to choose the ones that best suit your champion.

Secondary Tree

  • The secondary has far fewer options than the primary tree and is regarded as simply complementary runes. These runes are meant to benefit your primary runes and increase their effectiveness overall.

Shards

  • Shards are not necessarily a part of the rune trees themselves; they’re more a completely separate part. Shards are yet another way to customize your champion’s playing experience. They enable you to increase various stats for your champion. Attack speed and raw damage are typically the most popular. Keep in mind that shards are not nearly as powerful as runes or summoner spells, but they do help enable your strengths.

The Five League of Legends roles

League of Legends has five roles. These are: Top, Mid, Jungle, ADC, and Support. Each player is assigned one of these roles at the beginning of a match and is expected to carry through with that role until the match is over. Generally, champions work best in specific roles, although certain players like to cross lines and effectively use a champion in an unfamiliar role with relative success.

When you start a League of Legends game, you’ll be prompted to choose a primary role. This primary role simply means you would like that role over all others. You will then be instructed to choose a secondary role, which is what you will most likely get should your initial choice not pan out. It’s more of a backup choice than an actual mainstream choice. Many players choose to select the Fill option. Fill essentially means you don’t mind playing whatever role the other players don’t want. For example, if all roles are called except for support, the person who chose Fill would likely play support.

For beginners, it is definitely best to play each role at least a few times before settling into one. This allows you to discover your strengths and weaknesses, as well as what type of champion works for you best. For example, you may like the idea of the Jungle role, but dislike the champions that typically hold that role. As these are typically assassins or glass cannons, people who usually rely on high HP and high defense will dislike this role. There have been a few interesting scenarios where support champions have excelled in Jungle, but that’s relatively rare (and hilarious when it works).

If you’re unsure as to why it’s great to choose the main role, check out what we’ve put together below. It’s a guide to the benefits of choosing a main, and also describes what role actually is in relative depth.

Choosing your main role

Although the urge to jump between champions is super strong for a lot of players, they tend to choose just one, mainly because it comes with a lot of benefits. Some people actually choose multiple mains so they can play multiple roles should their favourite be taken.

Benefits of choosing a main:

  • Using one champion for most of your games lessens the learning curve. That’s because you have a lot fewer variables to learn and work with. You won’t have to worry about the intricacies of every single role, you’ll just have to think about one.
  • Choosing a main is the ultimate way to excel and become an expert with a certain champion. This enables you to learn far quicker than trying to master multiple champions. To put this in perspective, imagine you’re trying to learn all about physics while also learning kung-fu and Spanish. It would be a lot easier to just learn Spanish, rather than do all three at the same time!
  • Time and time again, studies have shown that those who choose the main win a lot more often than those who don’t main one particular champion.

The Top role: Are you a lone wolf?

The Top role is perfect for the lone wolf. Top means you’re going to have to hold another role all by yourself. You won’t have to worry about your teammates interfering and messing up your groove, but you also won’t have any immediate backup. Typically, the Jungle role will help you out every once in awhile, but other than that, it’s all on you. If the champion holding down the Top role falls behind, the team as a whole will crumble.

Top play styles

Tanks

  • Tanks are the beefiest of the champions and typically have a lot of defense and HP. Tanks are typically pretty good at holding top lane because they’re bulky and can throw their weight around. Typically they last a lot longer before needing to retreat and can outbox other classes fairly well. Good champions for Top roles that are deemed Tanks are Maokai, Malphite, and Ornn.

Duelists

  • Duelists excel in the top role because they’re simply the best champions for 1v1 combat. They aren’t necessarily strongest in coordinated team attacks, but in single combat scenarios, they dominate. They outlast and outbox their opponent until they’re forced to retreat or call for backup. Good champions for Top roles that are deemed duelists are Fiora, Jax, and Riven.

Ranged

  • Ranged champions are great for people who don’t like getting up close and personal with their enemies (in other words people who don’t like melee attacks). Ranged champions are especially great against those who rely on melee attacks because it becomes very difficult for them to get close to you. Beware though, for if they do come near you, you’re typically done for. Ranged champions tend to become glass cannons based upon how they’re built. Good champions for this playstyle are Jayce, Quinn, Kennen, and Teemo.

What to Expect

  • When holding down the Top role, you’re likely to face numerous ambushes and fights where you’re vastly outnumbered. Don’t always expect your teammates to be readily available to assist you as they may be busy pushing their lane.
  • You are definitely going to need to manage the waves of minions that come through your lane in order to effectively keep your turrets standing.

The Jungle Role – The Adventurer

The Jungling role is often one of the most dynamic, as you’re constantly all over the map. You are responsible for aiding your teammates when they’re in need of assistance, as well as controlling the actual jungle from the other Jungler. Your primary goal however is to clear your jungle and steal from the enemy’s Jungle! You’ll also be able to ambush enemy champions and plan coordinate attacks with the layers.

Types of Jungle Playstyles

Initiators

  • This particular type of Jungler is best at jumping into battle and starting a lane push. This playstyle excels at this because the champions within it are able to jump into battle from far distances. Excellent champions for this role include Amumu, Sejuani, and Zac.

Snowballers

  • This particular playstyle involves a lot of movement and attacks. Snowballers will gank and wreak havoc upon enemy players. Since you’re constantly going to be invading lanes and stealing objects, this is definitely a risky and difficult playstyle. However, it can be very rewarding when done right. If you’re interested in this playstyle, check out Kha Zix, Lee Sin, and Rengar.

Farmers

  • Farmers are the average Jungler. They typically stay in the Jungle during the early rounds and gather as much experience as they can. These farmers may be somewhat weak through the earlier levels, but as they gain resources and strength, they become powerful beyond belief. Most say that they’re absolute monsters. We recommend using Kindred, Master Yi, and Shyvana if you’re interested in this role.

What to Expect

  • A definite pro of being a Jungler is not having to worry about getting last hits. You’ll typically be taking out jungle camps and champions by yourself.
  • Although you don’t need to last hit with your auto attacks, you will one hundred percent need to do so when using Smite. Otherwise, the spell becomes useless.
  • The jungle is perhaps the most complex and confusing role there is. The dynamics are constantly changing, and you have to be multiple places at once. Not to mention you’re responsible for an entire Jungle.

Mid Lane

The Mid Laner needs to excel in a large variety of disciplines. Not only are you responsible for arguably the most important lane on Summoner’s Rift, but you’re expected to lead your team in large coordinated attacks. If you fall short your entire team shall suffer the same fate. If you can 1v1 incredibly well, while also embracing team battles when they occur, this is the role for you.

Types of Mid Lane Playstyles

Assassins

  • Because assassins are hard to track and have blisteringly high attack damage, you’re likely to blow past your opponent and dominate your lane. Typically when an assassin succeeds they’re able to push their own lane and others simultaneously. Perfect champions for this playstyle are Fizz, Katarina, and LeBlanc.

Control Mages

  • Control mages are perfect for large team fights but are also pretty good at dueling. By using the massive area of effect (AoE) spells they are able to effectively shut down their lane and dominate the opposing mid-layer. These champions control the space around them in a way that no other champion can. Perfect champions for this playstyle are Anivia, Orianna, and Viktor.

Roamers

  • These particular champions are good at dueling and holding they’re lane, but they’re also fantastic for pushing multiple lanes at once. Since they have abilities that enable them to travel all over the map in seconds, they become incredibly hard to conquer. Only the most skilled tend to use this playstyle for one mistake could lead to the fall of multiple lanes (which will definitely not make your teammates happy). Examples of champions that excel in this playstyle are Aurelion Sol, Taliyah, and Twisted Fate.

What to Expect

  • Your job is to control the middle lane. Should your lane fall, the match is lost. Without the middle lane, your team is unlikely to engage in any particular coordinated attacks and lets your opponents advance to your base in no time at all.
  • Although you still get to enjoy the benefits of dueling and 1v1ing, you will still need to help out in large scale team skirmishes and aid your Jungler in earlier rounds of the match.
  • Mid lane is the most common role out of the five. Make sure you excel in at least one other area and have your secondary role ready to go.

ADC – The Gunmen! The FirePower! Here Comes The Cavalry!

The ADC role is essentially farming under the protection role. Since you’re protected by the team’s support role, you have the ability to farm experience with relative ease. This role is one of the most important because if done right, you’ll do more damage than all others. Typically the ADC is a ranged glass cannon type of role. This means you’ll do a lot of damage from a distance, but if someone were to get past your support and get their hands on you, you’re done for!

Types of ADC Playstyles

Hyper-Carries

  • Hyper-carries are the strongest of the ADC playstyles, however, their earlier rounds will be incredibly boring and bleak. All you’ll be responsible for early on is farming, as you can’t do much else. However, when you farm enough experience, you’ll be able to take on the entire enemy team. Do keep in mind that the enemy team will likely try to shut you down early so as to keep you from reaching god-like abilities. Perfect champions for this playstyle are Kog’maw, Twitch, and Jinx.

Lane Bullies

  • Lane bullies will not do as much damage as hyper-carries but are way better at snowballing their way through a match. Lane bullying is the ultimate playstyle for those who want to end the match quickly and effectively. Perfect champions for this playstyle are Lucian, Draven, and Kalista.

Engage/Utility

  • This particular playstyle is similar to lane bullying as they can snowball through the game fairly quickly through quick engagements. Perfect champions for this playstyle include Ashe, Sivir, and Varus.

What to Expect

  • When playing the ADC role, you’ll have to follow your support’s lead in the early rounds. They will protect you and set up attacks and ambushes.
  • Depending on your playstyle, ADC can be super passive and boring. However, this is all worth it for later on in the game you’ll be nearly unstoppable.
  • You need to be incredibly patient when playing this role. The first half you’ll be underpowered and relatively weak, but later on, you’ll become godlike (if done right anyway).

Support – The Foundational Member

The player responsible for the support role is often someone who excels through teamwork and is excellent at protecting their teammates. As you are usually paired up with your ADC, you’re going to need to excel in engagements and ambush tactics. Without you, your ADC will fall, and your team will lose their cavalry. You are incredibly important in team fights as you can absorb a lot of heavy attacks and clear the way for your team.

Support Role Playstyles

Enchanters

  • Enchanters are not all that powerful offensively but are overwhelmingly awesome defense wise. Not only can they shield both the ADC and themselves from damage, but they can heal any damage that does come their way. Not only that, but they can also actually buff themselves and their teammates. Perfect champions for this playstyle include Lulu, Nami, and Soraka.

Tanks

  • These champions are the ultimate protectors. They don’t protect their teammates through intricate spells and clever buffs, but rather, through sheer brawn. But don’t be fooled, in order for this playstyle to succeed, they need to be the brains as well. At least for the beginning of matches anyway. Tanks are often the ones who engage in early skirmishes. Perfect champions for this playstyle are Braum, Leona, and Tahm Kench.

Mages

  • Although they lack the HP of tanks and the healing capabilities of enchanters, they protect their ADC through dolling out massive amounts of damage in early rounds. As rounds go on they tend to beef up and become great engagers. Perfect champions for this playstyle include Vel Koz, Brand, and Zyra.

What to Expect

  • When playing the support role, you’re never going to get the glory. You won’t have your name shouted from the rooftops for destroying their entire team by yourself, but fear not. You will be the glue that your team relies on. You are the foundational champion. If you were not there, the team would fall in the same way that a house would crumble without a foundation. You harbored your ADC and enabled a lowly champion to grow into a chaotic monster that wreaks havoc upon the other team. Be proud of your role, for you mothered any and all success that comes from a match.
  • Expect to have significantly less gold than other champions. This is simply because you’re not grinding as much as the others.
  • You are expected to be the eyes of the team. Ping the map whenever you can, and ward always!

Disclaimer – Each and every role and playstyle we described above is always changing. Don’t expect this information to stay relevant permanently. We know this is confusing, but over time you’ll get the hang of the games rapidly changing dynamics.
Team Comps!

Since you’ll be working as a team to conquer Summoner’s Rift, you’re definitely going to need to choose champions that work well together. For example, you wouldn’t want an ADC champion and a support champion to not work well together. That would be disastrous considering they spend the majority of the first half together. By synergizing abilities, you enhance your ability to make plays, conquer objectives, and help one another out.

A prominent example of an effective team comp is five champions who are all great at controlling the area around them. AoE damage and abilities are super awesome when used together, and enable entire lanes to be pushed in a matter of seconds. How can an enemy possibly get to you or your teammates when you control the entire area around them?
Typically the average team comp will have what’s known as a win condition. A win condition simply refers to what your team comp is trying to accomplish. Maybe you’re trying to take objectives quicker. Maybe you want to mass kill your enemy team? The possibilities are wide and vast, and the team comps are as well.

THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF EACH TEAM COMP

AoE (Area of Effect) Comp

  • This particular team composition is great for massive 5v5 battles because abilities are typically used in sync. By controlling an entire area, your team is sure to come out victorious.
  • Do keep in mind that AoE team comps are typically weakest when splitting apart, so you’ll definitely need to be careful in the earlier moments of a match.
  • Perfect champions for this comp include Amumu, Orianna, and Karthus

Engage Comp

  • This particular team composition enables your team to snowball through the game. You’ll be able to fight from all angles and at all distances.
  • This particular composition will turn fatal should you not coordinate properly for each of your abilities will maintain massive cooldown times. This is essentially a make it or break it type of composition.
  • Perfect champions for this comp include Leona, Malphite, and Kled.

Split Comp

  • This particular team composition enables your team to control large portions of the entire map through sheer movement speed. This often forces your opposing team to fall back upon themselves.
  • Unfortunately, this particular team comp is relatively weak in large team fights.
  • Perfect champions include Fiora, Shaco, and Twisted Fate.

Skirmish Comp

  • This particular team composition is perfect for guerilla combat and warfare.
  • The skirmish team composition is typically only used by experienced teams for this type of warfare is incredibly hard to pull off (although it’s super effective when it is actually pulled off right).
  • Perfect champions include Nidalee, Fizz, and Yasuo.

Poke Comp

  • This particular team composition is perfect for pushing your enemies into defense mode.
  • The majority of your team will become glass canons through the game, so do not get caught in enemy ambushes.
  • This particular composition is similar to skirmish in the sense that it is usually only done by experienced teams (very difficult to pull off).
  • Perfect champions include Varus, Vel Koz, and Jayce.

Pick Comp

  • This particular team composition is excellent at tearing apart enemy teams when they make mistakes. Learning from mistakes will not help your enemies this time! Every time they fail to coordinate properly or mess up a play, your team will decimate their objects and every player that attempts to stand back up.
  • This particular team composition is relatively weak against teams that rarely make mistakes and coordinate very well.
  • Perfect champions include Blitzcrank, Vi, and Ashe.

Kite Comp

  • This particular team composition is great for staying mobile and reducing engagement opportunities for the other team.
  • Should you lack proper coordination, this team composition will fall.
  • Perfect champions include Exreal, Janna, Caitlyn.

Disclaimer – Perfect team comps are hard to come by when you play without a properly established team. Communication is very important, for, without it, these compositions become meaningless.

Fog of War

When playing a match on Summoner’s Rift, you will not be able to see everything that is happening. This is because something called Fog of War will take over your map. Everything you can’t see on your map will be covered in a dark area (hence the name Fog of War). This fog hides opponents attempting to ambush you, monsters, and pets set on the warpath by their owners. Players must be careful when venturing through it for you don’t know what’s around each and every corner. This is what makes the Jungler’s job so difficult. They need to control this Jungle, despite it being covered in darkness.

Wards

Wards allow players to increase vision throughout the Jungle. When a player, monster, or pet passes by it, you’ll become aware of their movement. Wards are generally used by both the Jungler and Support roles (other roles have successfully used them as well). Do keep in mind that when placing these wards, they do not stay there permanently. They expire after a certain amount of time and can be destroyed by the opposing team.

Jungle Plants

Jungle plants can be found all over Summoner’s Rift. You’ll notice that they’re very interactive and actually aid in coordination during team fights. Don’t be afraid to use them!

Jungle Camps

Jungle camps are home to monsters and large minions. They vary in size and type. Some are easy to take out (and only take on champions to clear), whereas others take several champions (in early rounds at least). Jungle camps are the primary source of experience for Junglers throughout the majority of the match. If you’re holding a lane, try not to clear Jungle camps because the Jungler may not like that you’re taking their experience. The same goes for Jungler’s killing lane minions.

The Blast Cone

The Blast Cone is a red plant that is found among Summoner’s Rift’s Jungle. If a champion were to walk within its radius, they’d be flung a certain distance. If you were to auto-attack this plant, you’d essentially jump like you were on a trampoline and land a certain distance away. In the game, this distance is already chosen and presents itself as a red circle. The blast cone is perfect for players who don’t have a teleport or jump ability themselves.

Scryer’s Bloom

Scryer’s Bloom lets you see certain parts of the map that would be otherwise covered in the Fog of War. This is only temporary and does not show you the whole map. Scryer’s Bloom is very effective at rooting out the enemy Jungler, as well as unveiling assassins that may be hiding under in the Fog of War.

Honeyfruit

Honey fruit is not a tool like the last two plants, but rather, they are there to heal you and boost your mana. They spawn alongside the river and can be utilized by auto-attacking them and then walking through their fruits. Honey fruit is great because it lets you stay in your lane a while longer before needing to recall back to base.

Scuttle Crab

When visiting each of the rivers, you’ll notice a crab looking monster. This particular monster is neutral and tends to just walk back and forth along the riverside. If you were to kill this monster, you’d gain temporary sight into the openings of both the Dragon pit and the Baron pit. This monster won’t fight back so it’ll be easy to kill. However, since everyone wants to kill it, everyone will be all over them! Your Jungler is sure to go after this one right away!

Elemental Dragons

There are four elemental dragons that spawn on Summoner’s Rift. Every one of these dragons spawns in the dragon pit near bot lane. Each dragon will provide your team with a different buff. To clarify, every person on the team who kills the dragon will receive a powerful buff.

The Types of Dragons

Cloud Drake

  • This particular dragon is white
  • Grants you improved movement speed out of battle

Infernal Drake

  • This particular dragon is red
  • Grants you more attack damage and enhanced ability power

Mountain Drake

  • This particular dragon is brown
  • Grants you more damage towards turrets and other objectives

Ocean Drake

  • This particular dragon is blue
  • Grants you enhanced mana regeneration and boosts your health when out of battle

Each dragon type spawns randomly, and your team can kill multiple dragons to stack buffs.

Elder Dragon

The Elder Dragon spawns closer to the end of a game. Slaying this Elder Dragon will enhance all the buffs you currently have by 50%. If you kill the Elder Dragon twice, your buffs will be enhanced by 100%.

Rift Herald

Rift Herald is a monster that spawns in the Baron pit. Slaying this monster will provide your team with something called the Eye of the Herald. This item, when used, will call upon Rift Herald to fight for you. It will take down objectives and kill players. Essentially the monster will fight alongside you until it dies. This item can only be used once.

Baron Nashor

Baron Nashor is the strongest monster in all of Summoner’s Rift. One champion taking on Baron Nashor is sure to lead in failure (unless the game has gone on for an incredibly long time). We recommend only attacking this monster as a team. Typically going for Baron Nashor is regarded as something you do near the end of a game.

Upon killing the Baron Nashor, every team member on your team that is still alive will receive a buff. This means that if any team member died during the battle, they will not receive the buff. The buff your team will receive is called the Hand of Baron. It provides you with massive increases in attack damage and ability power. It also causes all of the minions around you to become enhanced and incredibly powerful. This buff is great for making the final push towards the enemy team’s nexus.

How To Get Better

If you’re a beginner and you’re having trouble succeeding, we have a few tips for you. Find them listed below.

  • If you are particularly struggling with a specific champion, feel free to switch to another. Not all champions are for everyone. Maybe try switching to one that has melee attacks rather than ranged attacks. Maybe you want to try an assassin rather than a tank!
  • If you are particularly struggling with a specific role, change it up! Not all roles are for everyone. If you have trouble with support but like having a partner in the early game, try ADC!
  • If you are having trouble coordinating team comps because you’re playing by yourself, try putting together a team! There are plenty of others out there who are looking for the same thing.
  • Remember, practice makes perfect! Don’t give up after a few failures! Learn from them! Change up your playstyles, and keep pushing forward! Remember, everyone has bad games, but everyone also has good games. Persistence is power!

Final Thoughts

For more information on League of Legends, feel free to contact us or read through our other articles on LoL! We hope this article helped you figure out what LoL is all about! Thanks for reading, and good luck in your future battles among Summoner’s Rift!

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