Randomsauce: So you’ve randomed a mage.

Posted: June 16, 2011 by thewoebringer in General, Guides

Here again this week(a little late) where we peel back another layer and get a little more specific. First up mages. The heroes that fall into this category are: Anivia, Annie, Brand, Cassiopeia, Fiddlesticks, Heimerdinger, Karthus, Kassadin,  Kennen, Le Blanc, Lux, Malzahar, Orianna, Rumble, Ryze, Swain and Veigar. Now as you may have noticed not all mages are carries, and more importantly not all ap carries are mages. So we’ve got this mage, whats our first step towards making it a sucess.

Look at your passive

Many mages have passives designed specifically to work in tandem with how you want to play them. Reading the passive gives you a basic understanding of what that is. For example annie’s passive is every 5 spellcasts her next offensive spell is a stun. This shows you’re going to want to be aggressive in building stacks and burst out on someone when their stunned. Cassiopeia’s is after casting a spell, any subsequent spellcasts will cost 10% less for 5 seconds. Stacking up to 5 times. This leads you to be more spammy with her spells. Karthus’s allows him to continue casting for free after death for 7 seconds. The exceptions to the list are usually survivability passives like those on Anivia and Le Blanc.

Grab Survivability First

Being alive is always better than the alternative and starting with survivability is always good. This applies to both items and abilities. If you have a spell that has some form of cc, I would generally recommend grabbing a level of it very early in order to keep yourself alive long enough to hit your heroes stride. Barring that, I would get an ability that can either farm or harass. For items, I am a huge fan of two faerie charms and three potions start. Generally I’m not hurting for the early AP and the faerie charms let me be a little more reckless with my spells. In addition the charms build into philosopher stones which are always awesome. Gold, hp regen, and mana regen make it so you stay in lane forever.

Pokes First, Burst Later

Quite often with a mage hero you want to bide your time earlier. You are so very squishy, and your spells are still a little weak. Biding your time lets you gain some exp and if you can get some harass off without taking too much damage then do it. At level 4 or 5 you want to go into serious harass mode. You want to continually poke a hero (or both heroes) down to less than 50% hp. I like to try and get them around 30%. This is going to be your critical moment. A 30% hero is ripe for getting bursted on, and you want to try and get that kill. Set yourself up so that you’re relatively sure of your success. Try and lead with your cc and unload everything you’ve got. If all goes well, congratulations, you are now a murderer with more gold in your pocket. As you get stronger the range in which your burst will be able to drop someone will get bigger and bigger, so continually check your potential burst output (a rough estimate of how much all your spells do together) versus their hp. Don’t forget to factor in some extra for their innate resistances/items. Now obviously the game is more fluid than a strict do this do that type of plan can get you, so if you see the opportunity to finish off someone early then do it. I like to think of the mage as a character that harasses until the enemy is in burst range. Level 1 burst range is only about 60 hp but that continues to grow as the levels go on.

Item Builds

Now you’re going to want to build some awesome items right? Of course. Every mage will have a deathcap in their build. It is too good to not have it and I generally buy it after my first or second AP granting item. Rod of ages is great for beefing up a squishy as well as rylai’s but if your going to get a rylai’s make sure you have 2 or more spells that will apply the frost effect. Archangel’s is great if your playing a spammy character. In general however, if you’re playing solidly but your build is slightly sub optimal it won’t be a huge issue so feel free to play around with the items you buy. Finally I like to have at least one defensive item to round out a build, it will help fantastically as the first few points of either magic resist or armor add way more damage reduction than the last few.

I’m Behind. What do I do?

So you died a few time and that sucks. What’s worse now you’re in a rut and it feels like you can’t do anything. Getting out of this situation is difficult but not impossible. First, find a friend. Someone on your team must be doing better than you, try to set up something with that person. Second, switch to support mode. Use your utility spells to help some other people. Lay down your damage too, but cc is going to be more helpful right now. If you get a few assists with this person/team you might be able to get back on the right track. Finally don’t try and chase down a kill for more than 5 seconds unless you have lots of backup. You don’t want to get caught chasing someone acros the map ony to have them whip around and kill you with help from their team.

Well, happy hunting and I’ll see you next week. Maybe we’ll do support heroes eh?

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