Aka, as I Like to Call It ‘Welcome to the Pain Train.’An In-depth Look in League of Legends Mid-Lane and Jungle
It’s been a while but as I’ve said before, this is something you always keep coming back to. After a break, I’ve been thinking about what I saw in the rest of the jobs. I’ve reviewed and looked over, coming to just one point: they hurt. If they are doing their job as they should, these roles cause such havoc throughout the match. I know many would disagree and says supports don’t hurt because they don’t build big damage. It’s not the damage they do, it is what happens when they do the job right. Everything in League revolves in building and playing right, or to the best of your abilities. The heaviest damage dealers are those in bottom and middle lane; both champions are picked for the amount of burst damage they can do. Bottom is traditionally an Attack Damage (AD) and ranged champion while the middle lane is an Ability Power (AP) and can be both melee or ranged, relying on their spells than auto attacks. While both the jungle and top lane offer a large amount of damage, these two roles tend to offer the heaviest if built up right and are not shut down.
The middle traditionally is an AP champion though in some team compositions an AD champion is not unheard of in the current META, both ranged and bruiser. It is all about poke damage, damage from a distance, and burst damage, laying down a combo and dealing heavy damage or outright killing the enemy. There are many types of mid champions that have early burst, passive laning phases or high mobility. It depends all on the type of player, the enemy team composition and your own team composition. If your team is heading for a mobility team, where both top and mid are highly moving champions and are more than able to ambush (gank) other lanes to secure kills, make sure you are able to offer that with what you pick. Middle lane offers most of the team’s early game-play through ganking lanes with mobile champions or help securing early dragons. Remember, dragon give both global gold and experience.
Counter-picking can be very heavy in middle lane because is shortest lane which means it gains experience and gold through minion kills much faster than the other lane. Being counter-picked can lead to a hard game but do not panic and do your best to avoid getting ganked and set up ganks with your jungler. Sometimes playing a defensive or passive lane will allow you to build up your burst and help your team gaining objectives and winning team fights; just do not give up if you’ve been counter-picked. I’ve been on many receiving ends of being counter-picked, even to the point of losing my lane or dominating it. When you’ve been counter-picked, the lane can go one of two ways: lose the lane in farm, gold and kills or dominate against the counter-pick. I know it sounds strange to say, ‘dominate against a counter’ and many players think it’s the end of the world but it really isn’t. A champion can counter another through many ways such as for example disengages or initiations, or even sheer burst damage. Kits can only go so far and it’s all up to the players and what their own skills will let them do.
I’ve played more than my share of being counter picked in all the lanes but the worse for myself is being countered in middle lane. I don’t find much pressure on top being counter because it’s not always about bursting down the enemy as it is in mid. I’ve played a lot of Diana mid-lane games being both countered and doing the countering; it never mattered if I was countered or not. While being countered, I focus on farming out my lane and being safe by warding around me for ganks. If the enemy player want to try to burst myself down or roam, I try to take what advantages I can and if they roam, I try to push down the middle turret as fast as I can. Middle turret is a very important turret in any game; it can allow for a team to push down through the quickest route into the base. I’ve played against a Mordekaiser, the reason of it counter Diana is because his shield is better than hers as well as his item choices. He tends to heal through doing damage whereas Diana does not. Being on the losing lane against him, I hold my lane and turret as long as I could while farming as much as possible. Doing this rewarded myself later in the game by being able to secure a triple kill and allow for our top laner to invade and start to destroy the enemy base.
While being on the other side of countering someone else, I try to take full advantage of both my skills and knowledge. I played Diana against a Master Yi player and was highly rewarded with my play as was my team. Diana is a great champion to go against him; she is not easy to burst down with her being a bruiser assassin. Master Yi does high burst damage early game but with Diana’s shield, you can negate a lot of the damage. Once I hit level 6, I am more than able to dive him under his turret and kill him which allowed me to build early and carry my team into a surrender just after twenty minutes. When you are countering someone, make sure you are more than comfortable in your skills and who you are up against. Go into a fight with knowledge of the enemy jungler and your own if they are willing to help in a kill. Knowledge of what the other champion will help you more than you know. If you know cool-downs as well damage output, you can force a counter-pick to be a skill battle and dominate.
Even in other positions, knowing cool-downs and burst damage can help on when you initiate a fight in your team’s favour. Reporting when summoner spells, crowd control and escape skills are on cool down will help your jungler come and ambush (gank) your lane or another teammate as well as securing a dragon or baron. Your jungler is a vital part of the team; they keep the enemy guessing on where a player is at all times as well as help a lane win harder or help them when they are losing. A main job of a jungler is gank a lane to kill an enemy champion or push them out of lane, to help secure and protect the buffs within the jungle while help securing baron and dragon. They want to apply pressure in lanes to allow for their team to have an advantage. By using the term gank or ambush, it is as exactly as one would think. They wait in the fog of war, hidden unless seen by a ward to warn of them, and dive into a lane using crowd control effects or tanking the damage while their team mate kills the enemy champion.
There is not a lot of counter-picking here as mid, top or bot lanes because you aren’t going to always duel the enemy jungler. It’s not in your job description to always hunt down the other jungler. While getting shut downs on a killing spree of the enemy jungler or counter ganking is possible, you want to assist you team. Picking a champion that will fight and help the team succeed is what you need to do. Whether being a tank or a bruiser or even offering a high amount of crowd control; you want to assist and help or secure what cannot be secure from your teammates. Controlling objectives on the map is a good thing to help and will allow for your team to make plays.
There are many ways to play junglers and which champions fit your play style as well as how your team plays. The team of players I play with has a never ending pile of junglers; almost all of them play the jungle role and all play differently. Even if they play the same champion, how they use the champion and how they are affect the game are all differently. Our current jungler is a bit heavy on being an initiator and is all about disrupting and getting everyone out of position. He plays champions that are able to dive turrets and into full 5 against 5 man fights; he wants to be able to do damage to push others off his own team and back out. In comparison to our back up jungler who is also our top laner, he prefers heavy crowd control teams and junglers; he likes to shut down the movements and abilities of the enemy. He likes to wait for the enemy to be out of position and doesn’t force fights, waiting for the perfect moment to kill the carries.
Both are very different and so are a lot of others even our veteran jungler, who has taken up being a support, takes both of these ways using them as well as applying more to the position. He is a play maker jungler. He calls the shots in a fight as well as what is going to happen, whether we’re taking a dragon, turret or lying siege to the base. His champion pool is diverse and open to many types of junglers from assassins to tanks to brusiers; his play style is affected by the composition of the team and the play styles of his teammates. From a patience game to an aggressive initiation, he will do everything for his team. His ability to read and make plays has been taking into account when he plays support and giving that leadership for multiple roles. He is like some junglers being able to take different ways and meld them to the situation and team. Not all junglers are encompassed to these types and I couldn’t even begin to compare and try to categorize styles.
The last two roles in the 5v5 games is that of the support and AD carry which is a world of their own. Being the only lane with two people sharing, they must work together and meld two play styles together or harmonize. This is a part of the game I plan to talk about in the next article and both roles are where I started to play and where I am today. This week has been an exciting week for those who play the AD carry role because the new champion on the BETA is an AD carry, Lucian, the Purifier. As the numbers for damage and output are being tested, I can’t wait to share everything about this carry. I’m looking forward to doing extensive testing with him this weekend and accepting an AD carry with no crowd control or escape, a true high risk challenge.
Good luck and have fun. Cheers.