How to Succeed in the League, pt 2

Posted: June 5, 2011 by xenocidebrm in General, Guides
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Last week, we covered cost-efficiency as relates to your first item purchase.  This week, we’ll be taking a look at mid-game strategy.  Assuming your laning phase went reasonably well, the mid-game is a time to establish battlefield control, which will allow you to get further ahead in gold.  There are four different areas to consider when trying to take control of the map.

First in importance for your mid-game is control of your jungle.  The reasons you want control of your jungle are safety and buffs.  Safety comes from having a place to escape and trap enemies, and the buffs are important for winning fights.  But how can you know if you actually are in control?  Taking a look at the map, we can see that there are only a few entrances into the jungle; two from the river, three from side lanes, and two from mid lane (and one from the back).  This is one of the reasons that we try to push down towers.  Towers kill creeps, but creeps give us sight.  Keeping a lane “pushed” (having your creeps take up >50% of the lane) means that we can always see the entrances that are in that lane.  This is why middle lane is so important, as it controls entrances to both sides of the jungle.

Second in importance is the dragon.  The dragon is an important asset because he gives 190 gold to each member of the team that killed him, wherever they are, dead or alive.  It’s roughly equivalent to two champion kills, and will respawn every six minutes.  Killing the dragon is a risk, since there are very limited escape options and he will usually weaken one member of the team at least.  That said, it’s very important to keep an eye on him and kill him whenever possible.  Like our next area, Baron Nashor, the dragon is a good thing to take on when the enemy is far away and busy defending.

The third thing to make sure you’re aware of is Baron Nashor.  Like dragon, Baron is a powerful neutral monster which rewards the team with global gold and experience.  Unlike dragon, he gives a global buff which increases damage done by around 14%.  This buff is not transferable upon death, luckily, but makes for a powerful asset which should not be wasted.  Baron represents a much tougher enemy than dragon, and should only be attempted with complete map control.  The way to complete your control of Summoner’s Rift is to have sight into the last of our areas, the enemy jungle.

The enemy jungle is controlled the same way as your own – through its entrances and exits.  By pushing lanes, you can ensure that the enemy is afraid to enter their own jungle.  Even though you will almost never have sight of every entrance into the enemy jungle, if you control the ones from the lanes and river, you can keep the enemy out due to sheer fear.  Sure, they could enter through the back, but since they can’t see you,  they can’t safely move about for fear of walking into an ambush.  By the same token, if the enemy is in your jungle, it might be time to group up and try to push lanes to regain sight.  At the point where you have the enemy’s jungle controlled, you’re entering the end-game.

If you are ever unsure of what to do next, think about these priorities.  Always make sure that wherever you are, you can see the area around you.  If you’ve pushed a lane and you’re in the enemy’s half of the map, but you don’t control their jungle, you’re in danger.

“Do I have map control?”  “How can I safely increase it?”  “What resources can I take advantage of?”

Those are the questions you should be asking yourself every few minutes.  Now get out there and win!  Also, stay tuned next weekend for part three, and be sure to check out the stream most evenings around 8-12 pm EST.

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