Many Deaths are Preventable
The leading preventable causes of death in America are heart disease and smoking. In League of Legends, this is not the case and instead, it is your own mistakes that are costing you to throw away your life. Did you know that single-kills are by far the most common in terms of distribution? If you focus on preventing your own solo early game deaths, you could be potentially making a big impact for the rest of the match.Working to improve on the following often-overlooked aspects will allow you to not only die less, but they will allow you to become a better player. In this Mobalytics guide by Picklepants, we will be giving you tips and tricks for surviving the early game lane phase.
Know your lane matchups
Once you hit level 30, you should roughly know what every popular champion does, what their abilities do and how their kit works. As you learn this information, you should be thinking of ways to counter and beat the enemy. In League of Legends there are three types of matchups (lanes) – a winning lane, an even lane and a losing lane.
If you’re in a winning match up, then you should try to abuse the enemies and come out ahead in lane. An even lane is normally a matchup where both champions can win by pure mechanics or manipulation. In my opinion, an even lane is by far the most difficult to play because you can either come out ahead or lose the lane if you miss play. Finally, if you’re in a losing lane, you need to do your best to prevent yourself from dying and falling behind.
Beating the enemy may not be easy on every champion due to power levels, champion dynamics and other in-game factors. How you adapt to the situation will allow you to come out ahead.
What to do in a bad matchup
If you’re in a bad matchup and feel like you’re struggling to win against the enemy, there are some things that you can do to help yourself out to prevent you from falling behind and being non-existent in lane and in game.
Do not give up the lane just because you were counter-picked
You still need to try your best to do something and still be relevant in the laning phase. One way of being relevant is by trading and poking the enemy.
Trading in a hard matchup is slightly different compared to a good matchup as you do not want to continue trading and fighting when you are able to. Instead, you should try to trade with the enemy when they are unable to trade
Usually, if you’re in a good matchup, you can go in for a trade whenever you feel like it such as having a level advantage. However in a hard matchup, you do not do that. Instead, you fight when the enemy is unable to deal damage to you or come out ahead during trades. If you see that the enemy wastes an ability on a minion (for example to last hit it), then you may be able to go for a trade during the time the enemies ability is down.
In an ideal situation, you will be able to trade when it favors you. But, in some cases, you will not be able to initiate the trade when you want and instead, you need to trade with the enemy, when they are unable to trade with you. This will help prevent you from dying as you should not fall low on health nor should you be in a position where the enemy can kill you with ease.
Sacrifice CS, not experience
If you’re at a range disadvantage where you are a melee champion and the enemy is ranged, you may have to sacrifice CS in order to survive and stay in lane. This is because the enemy will auto attack you and poke you down if you try to take some of the minions. The enemy may also go for trades when you’re coming forward to take the minions as you will be far up without the
ability to escape.
Instead of trying to greed for all the minions, only take the minions that are safe to get like the melee minions or cannon minions. It’s “okay” to take a little bit of harassment when you go for a cannon minion as it’s worth the gold and experience. However, you should not get completely poked down to a point where you have to Recall.
Make sure to always be in XP range so you do not fall behind in levels. The XP range is quite large (1600 range), but to make sure you get it, stay around the minions but behind them where the enemy cannot engage upon you.
Manipulate the wave
We will discuss this topic more in detail later in this guide, but you need to manipulate the wave for you to still be able to farm and survive the laning phase. If you do not manipulate the wave in your favor, then you will be missing out on gold, XP, and will be more of a target for the enemy Jungler. You will also be forced made to farm from either at a distance where you waste mana trying to CS or you are being made to overextend.
BONUS TIP: You should adapt your early game in every scenario and start the most appropriate set of items. If you’re in a ranged matchup in the Top lane as a melee champion, you may need to start Doran’s Shield instead of Doran’s Blade. As a Support, if you’re unable to poke or trade effectively in the Bottom lane, you should take Ancient Coin rather than Spellthief’s. As an ADC, if you’re against a double poke lane you could take Doran’s Shield for more survivability.
Properly manage the waves
Wave management is incredibly important and you want to always have the wave in a favorable position. Every champion is unique and every champion wants the wave to be in a different place! For example, when playing Maokai versus Camille, you may want the wave closer to your tower rather than pushed against the enemy. This is because she can collapse on you with her E and her Ultimate. Maokai is quite slow and immobile too- so you would be opening yourself up to ganks. If you understand how wave management works you can make the laning phase go in your favor.
As League of legends is a very situational game, you should adapt your playstyle to fit it. Every game is different, so take what we say in this section with a pinch of salt and learn to adapt what we say in this guide to your game.
If you’re in a winning matchup, you may decide to push the wave and play aggressively in order to try and “win” the lane. This is good as you will be able to get the tower and help your team out. But there are some things that you need to keep an eye on to prevent yourself from losing your advantage and losing lane.
Vision and map awareness
Vision is often overlooked in lower ELO because why buy an item when it doesn’t deal damage? Anyway, you need to have good vision around your lane to help you and your team know where the enemy Jungler is. Picking up Control Wards and placing your trinket is important as it reveals a Jungler’s path, give knowledge of anybody roaming to your lane, and much more.
If you are pushing without vision, you will be unable to see if anybody is coming to your lane to help the enemy and this can result in your death. If you get killed, you may lose all your advantages in lane and the enemy may be able to abuse you and kill you again. They also may allow the enemy to snowball their advantage to other lanes.
If you do get killed, you need to avoid making the same mistakes and ward. If you choose to continue pushing, you need to ward otherwise the enemy will be able to rinse and repeat and kill you over and over again. If you do not wish to push, and instead freeze, this would allow you to play much safer and give you some defense against the enemy.
Do not greed
Just because you’re in a good matchup, that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically win lane. You need to play aggressive when possible, but not too aggressively that you overextend. Instead, you want to play aggressive when it’s in your favor, when you can get away with it and when you’re able to. Respect goes a long way in League and when fighting, you need to respect the enemies damage output.
If you are in a sour matchup and feel like you’re unable to do anything- that’s okay! How you manage the waves and play around the minions will allow you to “win” the lane by not dying and instead, scaling and getting what farm you can.
In a hard or losing matchup, you want to have the wave closer to your tower than to the enemy’s tower. This will give you some security and survivability as you will not be overextending and putting yourself under added pressure. This means, if you want to stop overextending and putting yourself in a position where the enemy can kill or trade with you, you need to freeze the wave.
Freezing is a good way to deny the enemy’s ability to:
- Get kills
- Snowball a lead
- Put you behind
Freezing is very beneficial and if you want to freeze, you should stick to freezing. If you start to freeze, and then decide that you want to push- you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage where the enemy can freeze and deny you instead, which will put you in danger. So, if you’re in a tough matchup, avoid pushing the wave too far up the lane where the enemy may be able to deny you or fight you.
We touched upon what you can do with waves and what you could do in a winning or losing situation, but we didn’t really talk about how. In this video by Blitz Esports, they go into depth about how to control waves to your advantage.
And of course, use Mobalytics
If you’re reading this then you’ve probably tried or are thinking about trying Mobalytics. You may be thinking “how can Mobalytics prevent my deaths?” If you use our Overwolf app or the Web application, you can check out the Pre-game analysis for every single game that you play. This area provides you with some neat little tips that can help you in the laning phase and the game itself.
If you take onboard the information that we provide and use it in your favor, then you will be able to look for certain things that the enemy may do that you can take advantage of. This includes knowing when to fight them, what are their cooldowns and when they are strong/weak. If you know when they are strong, you can play safe and not get killed. If you know that the enemy is relatively weak at certain aspects of the game, then you can take advantage and fight them.
Scores such as those in your Toughness Skill (seen below), are a great way to keep track of your overall survivability.
There are a plethora of other ways that you can prevent deaths in League of Legends. A lot of it is about game knowledge and experience, so if you’re new to the game- don’t worry if you’re dying a lot! When playing League, try to not autopilot as you will see yourself dying frequently, and use everything we wrote in this guide to help you in getting those numbers down.
Thanks for reading! We hope you picked up some new tips and tricks to help you survive your early game. As always, you can find Picklepants in our Discord if you have any questions, and feel free to leave us a comment or suggestion below.