How to Climb Before the End of Season 9
With Season 9 officially ending on November 19th, we hope that most of you have hit your ranked goal by now. For those of you that have been procrastinating or have just a bit more to get there, it’s time to really optimize approach to climbing in order to reach your objectives.
To help you out, we have our resident Challenger Coach Moriarty, who has coached hundreds of students of different skill levels over the years and has hit Challenger in 4 different roles to give you his recommended Challenger tips. BTW! If you’d like to get a free profile review or want to ask our Challenger Coach a question, he streams every week, Wed-Friday at 1PM PST at the Mobalytics Twitch channel.
1. Focus your champion pool and stick to it
The end of your season is when you should be trimming the fat off of your champion pool and really honing in your breadwinners. If you have any champs hovering around 50% or below, save playing them for the off-season and cut them from your climbing roster.
This isn’t the time for trying to learn and experiment with new champions for ranked unless you’ve been really struggling with your main champs due to recent nerfs or an unshakeable slump.
When you’re at champ select, make sure that you go in with a plan for your pick and bans. The TLDR is that you generally want no more than 3 champions for your main role:
1. Your best champ that you’re comfortable blind picking with.
2. A back up champion in case your 1st choice is banned or taken.
3. A champion that counters the counters to your main (if you aren’t comfortable playing that matchup).
By staying disciplined, you’ll find more consistency due to your overall proficiency and comfort over players who aren’t following these guidelines.
2. Warm-up before your session
Warming up before a ranked session can help you sharpen up your mechanical execution and activate your muscle memory. This is something that’s done even at the pro level – when we interviewed CoreJJ recently, he revealed that he warms up by doing W-E-Q-W-E-Q Ezreal combos in the Practice Tool before a game or scrim session.
Similarly, we recommend playing a normal draft or flex mode game to get into the flow. If you don’t have time, just going into the Practice Tool to CS, practice skillshots, and other mechanical maneuvers like Flash combos or flashing over walls.
Preventing even one mechanical mistake can be the difference between a win or loss, so it’s definitely worth the short time investment to maximize your effectiveness.
3. Use game sets to structure your climb
Moriarty recommends breaking your play sessions into sets of three or five games depending on how much time you have.
The way it works is that you play your set of games and evaluate your performance. If you won the majority of your matches, play another set.
If you didn’t do that well and lost most of your matches for that set, take a break. This could be something like going to the gym or walking your dog. The main point is that you want to distance yourself from that set and mentally reset before you start playing again.
This technique prevents tilt by protecting yourself from the “need to end on a win” or “just one more game” traps that players can fall into. It’s also healthier in general to pace yourself and take breaks during long sessions.
4. Play at optimal times
Playing at the right time of day is key to performing at your best and even increasing the likelihood that your teammates play well.
Moriarty stresses that you want to avoid playing between 3AM and 9AM. This is mostly because losing sleep and playing tired may set back your climbing abilities for that session but also partly because there will be people who are playing long sessions and all-nighters trying to grind at the end of the season.
We’ve all seen how badly streamers are playing during the long hours of a 24-hour session due to a lack of sleep and focus. This is to a lesser extent of course, but you do take a certain risk playing at these hours.
Overall, it’s up to you to understand your optimal conditions as it can be different for different people and different schedules. If you check out your Mobalytics Summoner Profile, you can how you tend to perform on different days of the week. Using this info, you can plan your sessions to give you the best shot of replicating that winning environment.
We know that sometimes, you simply won’t be able to help it and have to play whenever you have the chance, especially if you’re getting closer to the season’s final end date. In general, you want to play when you’re at your most focused and will have the least amount of distractions.
5. Temper your risk/reward in game
Towards the end of the season, you should be playing for consistency and within your practiced comfort zone. This means avoiding going for plays or all-ins that you normally don’t do on a regular basis.
Try to limit your high risk, high reward plays and don’t screw around at the end of a game when you have a lead. Sometimes players get in the habit of playing with their food when they can just end it and get the win.
Although it’s a small chance, death timers can be long and if your team wipes, anything can happen. Prioritize LP over BM!
6. Be selfish with your life
This tip is something that mostly applies to support players but can occasionally happen for other roles…be selfish with your own life!
Don’t get in the habit of “sacrificing yourself” for your allies. In most cases, it isn’t worth it and you may have been able to survive but you had already made up your mind that you were going to die for what you thought was a worthy cause.
The only time you should do this is if your ally is extremely fed and has a big shutdown bounty, otherwise, prioritize yourself.
Moriarty recommends that you should aim for 3-4 deaths per game. A good rule of thumb here is to keep an eye on your Survivability and Stat Contribution (under Fighting) scores. Survivability indicates when and how you tend to die while Stat Contribution refers to core performance metrics in fights such as damage output and damage absorbed.
Ideally, you want your Deaths to be low and your Stat Contribution to be high. Here are some tips if you find yourself lacking in one of these areas:
- If you have high Deaths and high Stat Contribution, it means you’re doing well in fights but could increase your snowball potential by surviving.
- Remember that every second spent dead means you’re missing experience and gold.
- If you have low Deaths and low Stat contribution, it means that you’re surviving but not really doing anything for your team (often called a KDA player).
- Look to be a bit more aggressive and find that balance where you can maximize your impact while staying alive.
- If you have high Deaths and low Stat Contribution, it likely means that you’re getting picked before a fight begins or you’re overextending and dying at the very beginning of a fight. It might also mean that you’re joining fights too late and just dying at the end after the rest of your team was wiped.
- In this case, be more aware of your positioning and the minimap. Focus on being on the right place at the right time and when you’re there, make sure that the rest of your team is there to follow up or that you’re there when they’re going in.
7. Understand when and how to be carried
Everyone wants to carry and be the reason why their team wins the game. However, it’s important to recognize that a win where you carry is worth just as much LP as one where you were carried.
In games where you fall behind early or lose lane, don’t give up immediately and look to FF. Just because you’re doing badly doesn’t mean the rest of your team is. Understand that it’s still possible to win and look to cut your losses by playing around the win conditions of your strongest allies.
This means building for utility, investing more in vision control, and giving up farm that you normally would have taken. If you want to know whether you play well from behind or lack the clutch factor, check out your Comeback score under the Consistency Skill.
This is something that relates more to your mental outlook than anything else. Remember that due to the nature of matchmaking, you’re bound to run into players that are just better than you sometimes. Even the pros will lose laning phase in certain matchups and against certain players, so don’t take it too personally.
Stay optimistic and keep asking yourself what you can be doing to help your team win. Don’t give up until a Nexus is destroyed!
Thanks for reading and good luck in your climb! We know you can do it. As always, you can reach out to Moriarty and the rest of our team on Discord if you have any questions or feel free to leave a comment below.