Beginner’s Guide to League of Legends for New and Returning Champions

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League of Legends, published by gaming giants Riot Games, has been popular since its release in 2009. The complex system of a MOBA game required summoners to spend years mastering the intricacies of the game and that doesn’t include the patches every few weeks. From selecting a champion to building an item path, every move requires deep consideration for summoners.

In LoL, champions in teams of five compete in an attempt to reach each other’s bond and catch a few kills along the way.

From smaller concepts of runes and items to bigger ideas such as playstyle or team synergies. Every player should start with a basic understanding of the game in order to improve their knowledge and achieve those winnings.

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Champion types and roles

Champions are categorized by the following traits, each unique to that champion. For example, an ADC is a high damage dealer who also dies quickly and sits in the back of the fight. Think of champions like Jhin or Caitlyn. However, an ADC can also be an AP (ability-based) champion or an APC, so champions such as Veigar or Ziggs are fine here.

Classes

Controller, Fighter, Mage, Sniper, Killer, Specialist, Tank

lanes Top, Jungle, Mid, Bot, Support
Additional Features Roamer, Melee, Ranged, Mana, Manaless, Fury, Energy, Heat, Flow
Styles of play Poke, Aggressive, Defensive, Engage, Disengage, Passive

Laning and Duos

Each lane in the game is made up of a champion…until you get to the bottom lane. Focusing on the laning phase, bot lane provides a lot of information to work with.

The robot track consists of an ADC and a support. This usually takes the form of a high damage (AD) dealer and champion (AP) that can provide buffs through shields, healing, engage and disengage.

Bottom lane duos that are powerful together are two engagers such as Maokai and Tristana or an auto-attack champion such as Jinx with someone who focuses heavily on immobilize abilities such as Nami.

Abilities

Abilities are the things that make a champion tick. Their abilities are the moves that are done to remove their damage, heal themselves, apply CC, and more.

A champion has four different abilities with a passive and two summoner spells that can be cast. The first four abilities can be anything from a slow to a heal to a damage dealer or even a portal.

The fifth ability is a bit special in how it works. Usually, this ability is of rarer use whereas the first four can be used permanently. This fifth ability is called a champion’s ultimate. The effects of each ultimate are generally more powerful and have stronger effects than the first four. Because of this, the cooldown is longer than any other ability.

runes

Runes are stat buffs that help a champion integrate their items. For example, equipping the water walking rune would be useful for a jungler, as it provides increased movement speed while in the river, a perfect opportunity for ganking.

The runes are configured with a main category such as precision in which four distinct runes can be selected. The secondary category allows you to select a category and two runes again. An example of rune picking would be Kayle in top lane picking something like this

Items

The game objects are adapted to the different classes indicated above. Each item will give the champion additional effects, buffs, or active abilities that will aid in offensive or defensive maneuvers.

Each item has different costs depending on how strong that item is in-game. Stronger items such as the Infinite Edge will get you by 3,600 gold coins whereas a basic starting item such as Spectral Sickle is only 400 gold coins.

Fear not though, champions don’t have to save more than 3k just for one article. There are smaller items that can be purchased to improve stats and fit into the final item. For example, the previously mentioned Spectral Sickle can be imported into Harrowing Crescent, which is a full item.

Goals

Objective control is subjectively one of the hardest parts of management when playing any lane, but especially in the jungle role.

Junglers move between lanes and ganks (flank attack) to help laners gain an advantage over their opponent. But they also keep an eye on their farm between lanes and larger objectives such as the multitude of dragons or Baron Nashor.

There are five types of dragons available in the game and each gives different buffs.

  • Cloud dragon – Provides CDR (cooldown reduction) to player abilities
  • Infernal Dragon – Provides an AD or AP boost
  • Mountain Dragon – Provides a shield with armor and magic resistance
  • Ocean Dragon – Provides health restoration and heals when damage is done
  • Hextech Dragon – Provides haste ability with bonus attack speed
  • Elder Dragon – Gives the enemy team a cap on their health, when they drop below the cap the champion is executed.

Objectives also come in the form of towers that must be destroyed to reach the team bond, this is usually done during the laning phase.

This is just the basic knowledge needed to begin your journey through the Rift. Playing regularly and developing your own sense of style is important to leveling up.

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