How To Improve Your Game Play
This is the beginning of a educational series about how to lane properly and how to improve your decision making and movements around the map. We will start on a few concepts on how to lane.
How To Freeze
What is freezing a lane?
Freezing a lane is a technique that will allow you to farm safely in lane while denying cs to the enemy. The enemy creeps push towards you but you don't let them get to the tower. The objective is to keep the enemy waves there so your enemy has to overextend to farm and get experience.
Why should I freeze my lane?
Freezing makes you be in an advantageous position. You can zone your enemy pretty hard denying minions and experience to him, at the same time you can farm safe and sound because you are playing close to your tower so the enemy jungler won't gank you (unless they tower dive you). Also you force the enemy to overextend, facilitating ganks for your jungler. It has almost no disadvantages. One of them is that, freezing, you let the enemy roam so you should be able to depush fast the lane and force your enemy to come back.
How to do it?
The first thing you have to do is get to lane early, before your minions start fighting the enemy minions. Then you aggro 3 melee minions so they group together, then you drag them to the first melee minion in your wave. That will create a little 1v3 when your melee minion will die faster and it will slowly push towards you because the enemy minions have been attacking for a longer time than your minions. That's how you start the freezing in the first wave.
To freeze at any time the enemy must have more minions than you, then you should start killing one minion every time one of your minions die. One of your range minions die? You kill one of the enemy. Same with melees and cannons. This way you will keep the waves frozen in that exact same position. There is another way to keep a lane frozen: Keep 3 enemy range minions alive, so your waves will fight against 6 range minions and 3 melees. If your minions die before the next wave arrives then tank the 3 caster minions for a while until the next wave is there (You need sustain for that). Remember to last hit the minions at the lowest health possible so you don't impact the wave that much.
If you are stronger than your enemy then, after your lane is frozen, place yourself between his minions and him, or your minions and his minions. This way you will deny farm completely.
When freezing a lane you should avoid harassing your enemy, that will break the freeze because the enemy minions will stop attacking yours.
What to do when the enemy is freezing the lane
If you find yourself against a frozen lane what you should do is push hard to the tower so your minions will die and you will break the freeze.
Use AoE spells or range spells to push fast and reset the wave. If you are melee and you don't have any range or AoE spells then you should roam or do a jungle camp, try to have impact on other lanes, never stay doing anything because you will fall behind.
How To Trade
Trading is a really important part of the laning phase. Through trades you can take an enormous advantage. For example you can force your enemy go back to base because he's too low or when your jungler ganks the enemy you can kill him because he wasn't full health.
Obviously trading isn't the same for every champion. You need to know your kit and which skills will be useful to trade with your enemy.
Your objective is to deal damage without taking that much damage, this way you win the trade. How to do this? Well, it depends on the champion as I said before but there are some general tips that will help you a lot.
Before the game starts think about how are you going to trade with him and how is he going to trade with you. Imagine how the lane will be and how can you avoid to be traded back. For example using your dash, or dodging skillshots.
Cooldowns: Keep track of the enemy cooldowns. If your enemy used a skill to farm minions or last hit a minion that he was going to miss, you should abuse that and try to trade him so he won't be able to deal a big amount of damage because he just used that skill. We can think about Blitzcrank. If he misses the grab then you know he can't grab you in a little window of time, so there you should play aggressive and try to trade with them or kill them. Also the same is applied to you, so try to play more safely if you just used an important skill. To keep track of the enemy cooldowns is a really useful tool, even for junglers. If I want to gank Zed he will probably shadow away, but if I'm pacient and I wait until he uses it to farm or poke, then I can gank him succesfully. The same is applied for Summoner's Spells. Keep an eye on the timer for his flash or TP, so you can abuse that. Also don't forget to tell your jungler if your enemy doesn't have flash! Here some useful cooldowns (without masteries):
Mana: This is really important and many people don't want to notice. If your enemy doesn't have mana he can't cast any spell. Logical, no? Then abuse it. Try to kill him and at least you will get his flash.
Minions: Minions are also useful for trading! Keep an eye on your own low health minions. You know your enemy wants to kill it so you should profit of that.If you are playing ADC, for example, autoattack him whenever he tries to last hit (don't miss your own minions) so he has to decide between trading back or getting the minion. In melee is a little bit different. What you should do is stand behind your low minions and use your skills whenever he tries to farm. A clear example is Renekton, who is a lane bully and every time you try to farm he deals tons of damage to you because he's just standing where the minions are.
How To Comeback From A Losing Lane
The first thing you have to do is admit that you are behind and hope the other lanes are winning, because if not then there is little you can do to comeback.
Besides that, the most important thing you can do is to roam. If you can't kill your enemy in lane, kill other enemies. Even though you are behind in your lane you can stay relevant if you can have some impact in other lanes. Try to snowball other lanes while you keep being in the game. If you are playing toplane, for example, you should build tanky instead of full damage because you don't need that much gold and this way you can still be useful. The best champions to roam are champions with some kind of cc or mobility such as Irelia, Ahri or LeBlanc.
Also you can splitpush carefully so, while you farm, you can create a window for your team to take advantages because someone will need to depush the big minion wave you created in toplane.
Don't forget to take some camps in the jungle. If there are enemy camps then better!
- Written by Losties
- Edited by Williaf