How to Get Gold Before Season 4

With Worlds fast approaching, and Season Three coming to a close, I’m sure a lot of people in Bronze and Silver are trying their hardest to achieve the gold league milestone so highly sought after. You get a prestigious gold border for season 4 as well as Victorious Elise skin.

Most players will blame their team if they will not achieve gold in solo queue. This mentality is counterproductive and explained in a video by UberGiantsBro on why you’re stuck in silver. So if you accept the fact that “it’s all up to you” then the next question is “how do I do it?”

The easiest way to explain how to single handily carry a solo queue match is through the concept of resource. When I refer to resource I refer to a culmination of CS and kills of all players on each side. So for five players on a team, your resource is spread across five players. The ideal distribution of resource can be seen below. As you can see, each of your allies should be equal with the enemy but you should aim to equal two enemies (not including your lane opponent).

Ideal distribution of resource in solo queue

The problem in bronze and silver solo queue, is that resource advantage seldom matters. This is because unskilled players who are fed do not push their advantage. It can also be assumed that your team mates will lose skirmishes vs opponents of equal resource. It is for these reasons that it is up to you to attract a majority of the enemies resource, and waste it.

To do this there first needs to be a large deficit in your lane opponent’s resource compared to yours. This means zoning them from CS and killing them. Early-game, the most dynamic resource is the jungler. Junglers can single-handily create a resource imbalance. The opposing jungler can counter-gank which then creates a neutral balance in resource.

To carry a solo queue match you need the enemy jungler to gank your lane and your allied jungler to do anything EXCEPT gank your lane. This is vastly different to most people’s mindset of crying for a gank. It allows for two things to happen:

  1. A resource advantage for your team mates. When the enemy jungler ganks you, he is not ganking your allies. They have a higher chance of not dying and your allied jungler can counter jungle, take dragon, or gank another lane.
  2. This gives you an opportunity to either trade a kill or waste the enemy jungler’s time. Great players can even get a double kill.

The next step is to help your team mates further. This can be done by taking an early tower, roaming to another lane, taking an objective. The most important thing at this point is to never stop the pressure. Go back to your lane and push hard. The resource deficit between you and your lane opponent will mean their jungle HAS to come to you – and if you’re lucky (not unlucky!) so will another laner. It is also usually beneficial to type over team chat: “push when I push”. From here one of two things happen:

  1. They will send more resource to stop your pushing.
  2. They will send more resource to gank your allies.

In the first situation, you again need to trade or waste their time. For the second situation, kill your lane opponent and push as hard as you can.

The fundamental principle of this style of carry is you do not rely heavily on your allies. Your contribution to the team is fairly subtle through reducing the enemies’ available resource and acquiring global gold.

The biggest factor that the game will hang on is YOU. Your map awareness, mechanics, and decision making determine your win or loss. All concepts are explained in detail here at Summoner School.

For an example of the concepts discussed in this article please watch this Silver match I played earlier:

Below is the resultant resource distribution. As you can see, if they wanted to match my resource they would need to allocate at least three players to me. If I had gone equal in lane to Cho’Gath, we would of lost.

Example resource distribution

Another thing to note from this example is that it is not enough to hold a large amount of resource. Almost as equally important is pressure. A majority of that game I put pressure on their team by pushing towers, they chose to fight the rest of my team and ultimately paid for it.

This style of play alone will not guarantee you a gold ranking, but coupled with solid mechanics and decision making, there is no stopping you. Go get your rewards.

Goodluck,

Daniel ‘Kingpin’ King

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The Best Solo Queue Cheese In LoL

Solo Queue Cheese

There are plenty of good Cheese tactics out there – sly tricks that catch people off guard or nab easy kills – that players like to use gain elo, but what are the best ones? Keep reading as I try to avoid making cheese related puns…. and as I give you my top 8 solo queue cheeses.

1. The ‘Blue Buff Bum Rush’.

Commonly known in low elo as the ‘we have Blitzcrank, let’s invade’ tactic, this cheese works surprisingly often in solo queue. Normally it depends on how fast your team gets out of the blocks to decide if you actually want to sprint to their blue or not. All you do is tell your team to buy fast in champion select (“Cause we’re invading yo”) and then make a beeline for their blue (if everyone bought fast). You can go through the mid lane but I would recommend crossing the river and getting your support to explorer ward that middle river bush on your way past (to make sure no sneaky hobbits spot you). Then run straight to the blue and ward it and back out if you don’t catch anyone.

This strat could be dangerous, especially against an aware support but it more often than not does good than bad in solo queue. And hey if it back fires, have a quick laugh about it with your team and move on to the next cheese tactic.

2. The ‘Level 2 All-In’.

Great for top, bot lane and those mids that are reliant on snowballing early (like Pantheon) this tactic requires you to push a tiny bit (not too much or the enemy may just back off completely) so that you can hit level 2 first and use your level, skill, health and damage advantage to ‘all-in’ your opponent(s). Red pots are a great start for this strat because of the extra AD and Health they give you depending on what champion you’re playing. The key to executing this cheese comes with how you push the lane. You don’t want to push too hard else they may just let you push all the way up to the tower and not lose anything because none of your creeps will have died yet. You want to push just fast enough so that you hit level 2 one or two creeps ahead of them but not so fast that you scare them off.

***BONUS CHEESE (Flat Out Early Pushing).

Most LoL players generally suck at last hitting under their tower (especially in lower elos) so one thing you can do to reduce how much cs (and therefor gold) they acquire is to push them under their tower hard early game. The reason early game (level 1-5) is the best time to do this is because players generally start getting more abilities or items that help them last hit under the tower easily after their first buy or simply when they level up. You want to start being careful around level 5 or 6 because that’s when the enemy Jungler may be looking to gank you with his ultimate. In general, hard pushing someone against their turret allows you to harass them easier (because they have to be stationary at some point to get cs) or put damage onto the turret. ps. make sure you have wards for this or tell all your lanes to push aggressively (this may be hard to pull off as a team in solo queue).

3. The ‘Recall Bait’.

This one is a bit tricky. There is also two different types of recall baits which I’ll explain now. The first isn’t as good but it can work sometimes. Simply recall to town in sight of your opponent to bait them in closer for a kill (preferably with your Jungler nearby, out of line of sight). It’s similar to this classic ‘fake dc’ by Dyrus. The second one, well I think the best way to explain it is for you to watch this recall bait. Basically, you stand right near a bush but not in it as if you were supposed to go into the bush to recall and start your recall, but right before you recall, cancel it and run inside the bush. This can trick them into thinking you actually recalled when you recalled didn’t, lulling them in to a false sense of security. Then you kill them.

4. The ‘Red Buff To Red Buff’ Invade.

This tactic requires two things, well three things actually;

  1. An aggressive Jungler or someone who is strong at level 2 eg. Lee Sin, Nocturne, Shaco.
  2. An enemy Jungler that usually starts blue or alternatively early vision to see if  they are indeed starting blue.
  3. Balls. Not even kidding. If you mess this up you may put yourself behind because of the fact you wasted so much time going to his buff instead of just taking your second buff with smite and snowball the game in the wrong way!

***An extra note about Shaco here. You can actually perform the same trick except at level 3. To do this you need to follow the double buff strat, explained by FoxDropLoL.

An aggressive summoner spell (exhaust or ignite) is also a possibility here, although it’s not a necessity. Flash can help you escape if the mid lane happens to collapse on your position fast. What you do is you get a smiteless on your Red then run straight to their red (the sneaky bush way, not the wraith way). Here you make a decision. Either try to kill them while they are taking agro from red buff  (because nearly all Junglers go straight from smiteless blue to red) or smite steal the red (very risky) to get the extra exp and then go on them. If you perform it correctly you can continue to put heavy pressure on the enemy Jungler, taking their wraiths and/or mini-golems.

You should have the advantage in any duel due to the fact that you have a red buff and a stronger level 2 (hopefully) while they just have a blue buff. The risk is, of course, that because you are in enemy territory the enemy mid laner is likely to get there before yours, not to mention they may have warded the entrance to their red. This may not matter though if you coordinate it with your team. Make sure you tell your team what your plan is and to either push aggressively early (so their lane enemy can’t come to help or at least they lose more if they do) or ping like mad if a lane goes MIA.

5. The ‘Proxy’.

Uhh. Just the word makes me cringe. How many crazy ‘Chemical Men’ have you seen farming behind turrets? If you’ve played against one before, you’ll know how annoying it can be. If not, I’m sure you’ll experience the joy of it one day. Yes, it can be a tad risky sometimes but on certain champions and against certain matchups (like Shen because of his low amount of dueling potential and wave clear) this can be a great tactic you can use to pressure the enemy team.

The delicious cheesy benefits of proxying? The main benefit is that you force the enemy’s attention upon yourself, relieving pressure elsewhere on the map. Unfortunately they did nerf this tactic a little bit a few patches ago with the changes to death streak gold and experience values. Now enemies get a little more reward for repeatedly killing you instead of the squat-all they got for killing a 0-6 -0 Tryndamere. It just means you have to be a bit more careful when proxying so that you don’t get snowballed on rather than helping your team.

The other benefit of course is that you get to keep your lane opponent at their turret – especially useful against champs like Shen who have very slow pushing power (especially early on) or a teleport. If they teleport away to help their team, you’ll be making sure to deny as many creeps (and therefor gold and exp) as possible as your creeps run straight to the enemy turret to die.

So when is the best time to proxy? As Singed, anytime is a good time to proxy. But more generally, you might be able to proxy if you get an advantage on your lane opponent through a couple early kills and/or they have a hard time pushing waves out like mentioned before. Here is an example of proxying with singed if you need to see an example.

Champs that you generally see proxying are those with quick wave clear or lots of sustain. Good examples are Tryndamere, Singed, Renekton, Zac or almost any other champ that gets ahead. Try it in a normal game before trying it in ranked! Oh and hey, it’s even possible in other lanes! Check out the start of this funny video of Chauster and Doublelift doing a bit of proxying as they duo bot lane in Bronze.

6. The ‘Support Carry’.

Supporting can be real boring sometimes for those of us that don’t enjoy support that much. Why not try something different? People are so used to playing against the standard Flash/Exhaust/Ignite supports with support masteries and runes that any variant may catch someone off guard. Try running barrier or heal on your support and try running different runes rather than gp5 stuff. For example if you’re playing Zyra you can either go full AP and surprise people with your burst or you can go full AD and abuse the enemy lane opponents early with your long auto attack. Or you can play AD Janna and auto their ADC twice with the shield on yourself. It hurts and can win you the lane early and give safe farm to your ADC for a few minutes.

Generally people run exhaust on support for a reason – it’s great for later team fights when you have to exhaust someone diving your ADC. But if you can get away with it, a random (surprise) barrier might just be all you need to win a 2v2 duel. aAnd they always forget about it! Running hybrid pen marks on supports like Sona/Zyra/Lulu has been fairly common for a while due to the massive mixed harass they can put out but why not take it one step further?

I once ran AD runes, masteries and summoners as Blitzcrank while my duo partner started off as support Graves. This wasn’t intentional (we forgot to trade haha) but it ended up working because I baited the enemy jungler into diving me at level 3 while I had barrier. They also all-in’d Graves at level 1-2 which allowed me to dps their ADC. Big mistake but next level stuff on my end ;-). Again, this might be worth trying in a normal game before you jump into a ranked with it. I do not advocate the useage of support mastery and runed Graves under any circumstances.

7. The ‘Ward Bait’.

Ahh the old ward bait. Put a ward down where the enemy support sees it or is likely to see it (say, on top of a pink ward) but have allies nearby when they come to clear it – like a bug attracted to the light – so that you can zap them. This cheese works at all elos and never gets old. Be careful for counter ward baits – while very rare, smarter foes may read the situation and bring their own backup! Here is an example of a simple ward bait for you to watch.

8. The ‘Garen’.

Possibly the oldest trick in the book. Stand in a bush and wait for an enemy to facecheck it. Simple yet effective, players have been using this strategy since before the ADC/Support bot lane meta became popular. Just check out Doublelift’s famous facecheck (I’m sure we’ve all done this at some point haha). If you don’t have to give a leash, there are two great places where this usually works.

For top lane, wait in the tri bush if you’re on the blue side or if you’re on purple side wait in that little brush near the river entrance to the lane. If the enemy is leashing blue they may run up through the river to save time. Perfect if you have a strong level 1 character so that you can chunk them right away.

For bot lane, either wait in the tri bush or in the enemies lane bush if you’re on purple side or in the river entrance lane bush or the enemies lane bush if you’re on blue side. Same again, wait for them to leash their buff and walk to lane and give them the old ‘Garen treatment’ (see picture below).

Where to wait if you have a better level 1.

Where to wait if you have a better level 1.

Well, that’s my list of the best solo queue cheese tactics, I hope you found it useful and that you can use them to grate your way to victory on Summoners Rift.  If you have your own ‘cheesy’ tactics that you would like to tell me about, I would love to hear them! Tweet me @UberGiantsBro or comment on this post. Also check out Summoner School, the only complete League of Legends guide with everything you need to get better at LoL. Until next time, all the best in solo queue.

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The Secret To Improving Fast At LoL

If I had to choose one piece of advice to turn an average or below average LoL player to become a platinum or diamond level player, what would it be? Maybe warding more is the answer? Maybe I could tell them that they need to just focus on one role and get really good at that? Maybe being a real ‘team player’ is the ‘secret’ to improving fast at LoL?

All these things are great, but what I have to share with you right now is even more powerful than being cooperative or warding more. This ‘secret’, as it were, could be one of the biggest determining factors between you being stuck in ‘elo hell’ or ‘league hell’ and you achieving your League of Legends goal. This piece of advice turned me from a bronze scrub in season 1 to a diamond level player in season 2.

The secret is owning your mistakes and using Immediate Reflection to improve.

Seems simple on the surface right? But yet it’s not always simple. People in general and gamers especially (LoL players especially!) don’t want to see their imperfections. They don’t want to see that they aren’t the perfect League of Legends player. It’s everyone else’s fault, not mine. I am the best.

introspection

Introspection reflection inspection

Do you think pro players got to where they are now by thinking they are the best? No. They got there by constantly critiquing their own play and using their mistakes to improve.

Bad LoL players are blind to their own mistakes, good players know they made a mistake but they focus more on others mistakes while great LoL players reflect on every play and see what they did well and what they could have done better.

This skill is called Immediate Reflection, Summoner School students would be familiar with this already. I would estimate about 80% of LoL players are in the ‘Unconscious Incompetence’ (see picture below and right) phase of this skill – they are just oblivious to their own mistakes.

fourstagesofcompetence

Noel Burch’s ‘Four Stages of Skill Competence’

Let’s take a look at your average LoL game with a specific (but all too common) scenario. Mid just roamed bot and got a double kill on an overextended bot lane. Immediately the ADC starts cussing his support for not warding the river and his mid lane for not calling MIA. Now, it’s quite possible that both the support and mid misplayed in their own right, but this ADC (who is actually fairly skilled at the game) fails to see his own mistake in poor map awareness. This ADC just missed a good opportunity to improve his game.

Now let’s take a look at the same scenario, but with an ADC who makes use of Immediate Reflection;

Mid just roamed bot and double-killed an overextended bot lane. The ADC thinks to himself, “Oh wow, our river ward just ran out and I didn’t notice. I was too zoned in on my own lane that I didn’t notice this, and that their mid laner went MIA too… I will have to keep a closer eye on the minimap and how long those wards have left.”

The ADC in the first scenario could not see past the mistakes of his teammates and so did not learn anything. The difference in the second scenario is that this ADC looked first to his own play to see what he did wrong and accepted his own mistake, then reflected on what we he could have done/should do next time.

But it gets better. The real beauty of Immediate Reflection is that you can use it all the time. In other words, even though League of Legends is a team game, you can always look at what you yourself did right/wrong in each scenario and what you could do better next time.

Although Saintvicous had had a few drinks, he made a good point about admitting your own mistakes. The video that I linked there also serves as an interesting case study for blame, although it goes on and on a bit. Take it with a grain of salt!

The part that I had difficulty with in season 1 (and even into season 2) was owning my mistakes. I sort of knew when I had made a mistake but I was always too consumed with other player’s mistakes to realise that I needed to admit that I could improve – it was always someone else’s fault more than my own. Once I learned to look at my own mistakes and admit them before anything else, it was like the elo dam was released. By the end of season 2 I had reached 2300 elo.

Once I learned to look at my own mistakes and admit them before anything else, it was like the elo dam was released.

The funny thing about Immediate Reflection is that you use it all the time in real life without realising it, everyone does. But why is it that when it comes to League of Legends, everyone is just so bad at it? Why is everyone so reluctant to look at their own mistakes before dishing out the blame to others?

I believe it’s to do with what I said earlier in that most LoL players would rather look at how ‘bad’ the players around them are than focus on their own play and use Immediate Reflection to get better.If you really are better than the players that you are matched with then you will ryze through the leagues eventually. Stop using other player’s mistakes as an excuse and learn to own up to your mistakes.

So how do you own your mistakes and how do you effectively use Immediate Reflection? It’s really not that hard. Like most skills, it just takes practice.

When something bad happens in your game, focus on the role that you had in it and what you did wrong. Don’t do what the majority of LoL players would do and blame others – this gets you nowhere. From here, admit that it was you that made the mistake, not anyone else. Ownership is important because it shows yourself that you have control over what happened. Once you admit it, you can think about what you could have done better or what you can do better for next time.

So now you know how to own up to your mistakes and use Immediate Reflection to improve, start using it! This skill is invaluable for your LoL goal, and I guarantee you that if you focus on improving this skill, you will improve fast at LoL. For more skills like this one, check out the ultimate League of Legends guide where you can find all the skills and tips you need to carry yourself out of ‘League hell’.

Thank you for reading, follow me on twitter @UberGiantsBro and all the best in solo queue!

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