League Of Legends
What is “League of Legends”? Well first off let me start by asking, have you ever had one of your friends make ask you “Hey bro, you play LoL right?”. No this does mean they are asking if you play laugh out loud, it means they are asking if you have played League of Legends. LoL is a real-time strategy action video game developed and published by Riot Games for PC.
Players are formed into 2 even teams of Champions, 3v3 or 5v5. As of June 6, 2012 there are 99 different champions from which to choose. Each player begins at opposing sides of a map in an area called the Spawning Pool, near what is called a Nexus. A match is won when either team’s nexus is destroyed. To destroy a Nexus, each team must work through a series of Turrets placed along a path to each base referred to as a Lane. Along the way, each player gains levels from killing the opposing team’s champions and Minions (NPCs that constantly spawn and attack the other team) and defeating neutral monsters. Completing objectives rewards players with gold which is used to purchase items.
In the early game, players stay in one of three lanes – this time is often known aslaning, though some champions are designed to jungle instead. The idea is to farm minions, which mindlessly walk from your opponent’s base towards yours down the lane. When minions die near you, you gain experience. Even better, if you get the last hit on a minion, you gain money which can be spent on gear. Unlike laners, junglers farm by running through the jungle in between lanes, killing the neutral creeps located there. They have to be much more durable than laners, since they must essentially tank these creeps from level 1. Farming well in the early game can give you a big advantage later on. In the picture below, you can see the 2 main maps for a 5v5 or a 3v3.
Game Modes and Champion Level vs Summoner Level
The game can currently be played in five different modes: Tutorial, Custom, Co-Op vs. AI, Normal and Ranked. Custom mode allows players to manually create custom game sessions that other players can find on a game list and join. Co-op vs. AI is a mode where players are matched either alone or as part of a group against a team of bots. Now you may be asking yourself, what is the difference the Champion and Summoner levels you mentioned in the sub title. Well, the champion level is the level that you have in a game mode which is maxed at level 18. By killing minions, other champions and enemy turrets, you gain xp that helps you progress your level throughout the game. Now, with the summoner level, this is your career in whole, from the very first game you played to the one you just finished. The maximum level for your summoner is level 30 and in order to gain xp for your summoner you must play different game modes and earn experience from them which furthers your abilities through runes and masteries. Below is an example of the masteries and a Quintessence rune.
Different Types of Playable Characters
League of Legends has a few distinct champion types; these are Tanks, Damage Dealers per Second (melee or ranged), Mages, Support and Hybrids. Each group has their own unique characteristics and strengths. This part of the beginner’s guide will shed some light on the champions of the League of Legends and to give you a basic look at what they can do.
Tank champions are the heroes who try to take all the damage in the team fights, they usually have Area of affect stuns to help disable enemy champions setting up their team mates to do damage to the enemy. Tanks will also generally have high health regeneration and high armor/ magic resistance values. These are the stats that reduce incoming damage, helping to “tank”. Their base health towers in comparison over other heroes, but in doing this they sacrifice damage output and also struggle with mana regeneration.
Several keys to remember with tanks and non tanks trying to make themselves tanks via items is that one of the most defining aspects of the tank, is the ability to initiate team fights. Initiating is the act of throwing a group of enemies in disarray and confusion, often forcing the enemy to start damaging the initiating tank. This lets the much more frail, yet much more dangerous mages and physical dps champions engage freely for a certain amount of time, dealing enough damage to kill the enemies. These abilities are general powerful area of affect disables. Examples are Alistar’s pulverize ability, Amumu’s Curse of the Sad Mummy, and Malphites Unstoppable Force. Solid beginner tanks are Alistar, Amumu, and Cho`Gath.
Recommended Tank items: Aegis of the Legion, Force of Nature, Frozen Heart, Warmog’s Armor, Sunfire Cape, Randuin’s Omen, Thornmail, and Guardian Angel
Physical Damage Dealers per Second (AD Carry, Attack Damage, DPS)
A Physical Damage per Second (DPS) champion is there for killing, simple as that. Melee or Ranged, they deal a high amount of physical damage in such a short amount of time that they are both excellent gankers, as well as great turret killers. They usually have good escape abilities and can escape ganks fast afterward too, so if one of these gets fed, then they can effectively “carry” their team to victory. They usually orient their builds around a mix of life steal, attack speed, attack damage and critical strike. The physical carry will often be best countered by mages because DPS champions are generally soft targets and are susceptible to the “burst” damage mages bring.
We can break the DPS into two wide categories: Ranged and Melee heroes.
Ranged heroes are usually the backbone of any team composition, as they can deal huge amounts of damage from a safe place (behind the team), and also can attack turrets from afar. The downside is that most of them are built as semi-glass cannons (with one or two defensive items), rendering them hopeless against focused attacks. That is why people use Flash/Ghost/Cleanse as their Summoner Spells to help their escape mechanism.
Recommended Ranged DPS items: Infinity Edge, Bloodthirster, Phantom Dancer, Madred’s Bloodrazor, Last Whisper, The Black Cleaver, Trinity Force and Banshee’s Veil
Melee DPS, on the other hand, are usually built as Bruisers. Trading blows with other bruisers, focusing the Ranged DPS or Mages, and they usually want to be in the fray. There are some of them, like Master Yi or Shaco, who rely on the enemy team distraction with your own Tanks and Mages to appear where is unexpected and deal huge amounts of damage, these are usually built as Glass cannons to avoid losing the huge damage output.
Recommended Melee DPS items: Madred’s Bloodrazor, Trinity Force, Frozen Mallet, Bloodthirster, Youmuu’s Ghostblade, Randuin’s Omen, Wriggle’s Lantern and Wit’s End
Physical Champions are generally referred to as “Carrys”. This is due to their ability, and task, of doing the most damage to the enemy team than the rest of their team. While casters can effectively kill enemy champions, they struggle to topple turrets and the only way to win is to drop turrets, and finally a Nexus. Physical Champions are a must to simply push turrets though they are also very good at dropping enemy heroes as well. The play-style of physical champions varies greatly, but easy champions to pick up are Ashe, Tristana, and Sivir. More challenging picks are Warwick, Twitch, and Tryndamere.
Mages are powerful champions with magical damage abilities through the roof that are capable of causing instant death should anyone foolish enough get in range of them. They are quite frail targets and have the lowest armor/magic resist values in the game. They require considerable protection by a tank to keep them safe, as long as they’re kept safe they can cause unimaginable pain to an enemy champion. A well-protected mage can be key to victory in the ever-important team fights.
Mages bring a few unique things to a team. The first is unparalleled burst power. Physical champions rely on auto attacks and harassment to bring enemies down, whereas casters have the power to combo all their powers onto one target and effectively kill them in the short burst. They also are gifted with powerful area of affect spells that can do substantial damage to multiple targets. This helps weaken a whole enemy team allowing for your team to pick apart the weakened opponents. Casters are generally a challenge to play with Anivia, Karthus, Kassadin, Heimerdinger and Veigar having considerable learning curves, but good champions to learn with are Annie, Ryze and Fiddlesticks.
Recommended Mage items: Sorcerer’s Shoes, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Abyssal Sceptor, Archagel’s Staff, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Void Staff and Banshee’s Veil
Support heroes have abilities that give direct or indirect bonuses to their allies. Types of support bonuses are temporary boosts to selected champions such as attack speed boosts and the most conspicuous type of support, healing. Supports help the team by providing heals or boosts when needed, or by slowing/stunning an enemy champion. Most have very little aggressive power themselves, but make up for it by boosting their allies to unrivaled power. They are also blessed with considerable survivability that coincides with their support role well.
Supports generally take more finesse than other classes, and can general go un-thanked due to their benefits being inconspicuous at times. Regardless, they all are an extreme benefit to their team, and Taric and Soraka are both solid chooses for learning the ropes.
Recommended Support items: Aegis of the Legion, Soul Shroud, Shurelya’s Reverie, Will of the Ancient’s, Philosopher’s Stone, Zeke’s Herald, Rabadons Deathcap and Banshee’s Veil
All champions can be built into different roles, though generally there is a definite superior choice of ways to build. Tristana should always be built with physical damage and Shen should be built to tank, but hybrids can be built in an entirely different way each game and still fulfill different roles with equal success. They are some of the most lethal heroes in the game for example Blitzcrank has the body and the stats of a tank, however, due to several offensive abilities he can be effectively built to do damage over being a tank while being effective in both roles.
Hybrids also share the item builds with the other type of champions, depending on how you want to approach the game and answering the enemy composition. Teemo, Galio, Ezreal, Twisted Fate, Poppy, Jax, almost all of them can be built either AP or AD, Nidalee has a very strong long range skillshot and a heal, rendering her also a support champion. Galio and Mordekaiser usually are built tanky, but they are also mages with unique skills. There are no easy hybrids as they require a little bit of knowledge, last hitting and team fighting experience, but Teemo or Mordekaiser can be a good way to start.
Possible Hybrid items: Trinity Force, Lich Bane, Guinsoo’s Rageblade, Hextech Gunblade, Atma’s Impaler, Hexdrinker, Madred’s Bloodrazor and Wit’s End
In a team game like League of Legends, the most effective team compositions comprise of different types of heroes. Stacking a team with only one type of hero never ends well, if say you pick four mages and one tank, the enemy team can merely stack magic resist items, which essentially makes all damage output pitiful. The same thing is true of an all physical team, all the enemy need to do is buy some armor and your whole team loses half it’s combat effectiveness, thus, mixing a team is far superior. One Tank, two DPS, one Mage and a support or a hybrid champion is an example of solid team composition. A few examples of good team compositions are as follows – Amumu, Ryze, Ashe, Xin Zhao and Sona.
An example of a good mix of classes and abilities, there is a respectable amount of crowd control is provided (Ashe’s slows and Stun arrow, Ryze’s Snare, Xin Zhao knockup, Sona’s ultimate, Amumu’s Bandage toss), good Area of Affect for team fights is brought to the table via Amumu and Sona (Xin Zhao also increases survivability with his utimate), powerful physical presence for toppling turrets through Ashe, and an overall well rounded support for movement speed/healing/damage with Sona. Amumu’s iniciation can be comboed with Sona’s ultimate, Ashe’s ultimate and Xin Zhao’s charge, to keep away enemies from Ashe who will be deling full damage from behind. This allows for very aggressive play, even near turrets.
Shen, Warwick, Corki, Taric and Annie
This is a very mobile team composition with a fair amount of Crowd Control (Taric’s stun, Warwick supression, Annie AoE stun with Tibbers, Shen’s taun). The physical damage will be dealt mainly by Corki (enhanced with Taric’s Ultimate), usually after the first wave of stuns is delivered, picking targets everywhere and punishing people out of position. Annie and somewhat Warwick will be dealing massive magic damage. Shen will provide a very powerful shield for Corki / Annie if he/she’s getting focused, plus Taric healing. This is a very powerful combination when you focus fire the enemy carry/damage dealer.
So in summary, the best team compositions are mixed ones, which can deal a lot of different types of damage and with a Tank to take the enemy teams damage and initiate. Stacked teams don’t win games, period. This is only some of the wild world of League Of Legends, in the future I will most likely make some other posts on specific characters or game modes but this is it for now, thanks for reading. 🙂