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Here's a rather deep question for those of you who play a lot of ranked. Without teleport, I have no real way of reaching my team short of physically going there from top lane. My question is this:

I have no real way of pushing my opponent out of lane or pushing hard enough so as to pressure his tower. When should I simply leave lane and help my team get Dragon at the risk of losing my top tower, assuming that my presence is needed?

Clarification Edit: I'm talking about the tier 1 tower during the laning phase.

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Come on guys. Any more answers? This question is a bit more open-ended than usual. I want to hear your opinions! –  Blizzgrarg Mar 25 '12 at 18:59
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This is NOT a forum for opinions =) but yes, you can ask for more answers. –  Michel Mar 28 '12 at 18:11

5 Answers 5

I suppose if you had already taken one or two of the enemy towers, or your tower was weak to the point of dying in one or two minion waves regardless, or if the enemy had already taken several dragons ahead of your team; it would then be imperative that your team claim a dragon to close the gap and that your lane is already advanced to the point that the first initial turret is not essential. True, turrets do win games, but there's more that needs to be done. Once your first turret falls, you have more time to attack other areas of importance and helping your team win teamfights is always important.

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Purely speaking of dragon vs tower. The dragon is a better option.

  • The dragon gives more gold. (750 vs 975).
  • What you lose from the tower will be won back once you killed the enemy tower.
  • The enemy team wont be killing the dragon over the next 6 minutes, you will not have to defend that dragon.
  • You don't need to defend that tower either.

That said, dragon is not the top lane responsibility.

It's strongly situational. If you can save both, just save the tower first and then do dragon. If the enemy or minions are killing bot or mid tower, it's easy to defend it. You probably already have 3 people at the dragon, and now you simply gank bot or mid before you go back to dragon. Or dispatch 1 and do the dragon with just 2 people.

If we're speaking of the first 3 towers, those will fall eventually anyway, and are not worth that much post laning phase. If we're talking inhibitor towers or base tower, you MUST defend those before doing dragon.

At the very least, make sure you keep the dragon warded and keep the enemy team away from it. That is a good job for the jungler and the support. If i had to choose between killing a enemy tower, or preventing my enemy from killing the dragon, i would certainly save the dragon.

Getting dragon and keeping tower is of course the best option. The responsibility for killing the dragon lies at the bot laners early game. They should push or win there lane, and then kill dragon. If any jungler is around, the route around level 6 or 7 should be either gank bot->dragon or just call bot->dragon. If it's not possible to do the dragon at this point because of enemy aggression (and map control), keep the dragon warded and prevent the enemy team from taking it instead.

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The first and foremost question you should be answering is; Is your enemy top-laner in your lane? If he is still in your lane and not making any moves to recall or going bot himself then there is absolutely no reason that you should be going to dragon to help. Since if the enemy top-laner is still in your lane then at max your team is fighting at least a 4v4 at dragon, if its not a 4v4 in your favor then your team shouldn't have been actively team-fighting over it. If it is a 4v4 at Dragon then you need to do some thinking.

Note: All these are thought assuming its an even 4v4 at dragon.

State of the lane - How farmed are you? If you are already winning your lane by a huge margin it should be worthy for you to go bot and help with Dragon in order to force a 5v4, taking out some of their really farm reliant champions in the process makes it even more worth it. Vice-versa if you're really underfarmed then you shouldn't be going to help an even fight bot since your contribution will be minimal and losing the top tower may nudge the advantage in their favor. Another question you should be seeing is where your creep wave is, if your creep wave is in such a position that you can freeze the lane closer to your tower and zone/make him lose exp, you're better off staying, vice-versa if he can freeze close to his tower then you're better off going and helping dragon and try to pick up a kill. Although you can still push the lane more into his tower.

Nature of the Dragon Fight First thing you should be asking yourself/team-mates, is whether this dragon really necessary? The trade off between a dragon and tower in terms of gold is only 225 gold(+minions), which is not a lot. You need to keep that in mind. So why are you contesting this dragon? Is your team really behind? In which case it maybe be worth you going bot if you can hope to pick some kills of it. Or are you really ahead? In which case its definitely worth it for you to go ahead and secure it and pick some kills of a contest. Of course the kill component is really dependent on your enemy, their positioning plus the state of them, for eg its worth it if the enemy team is positioned badly and you can pick them off if you overwhelm them numerically.

Enemy Top-laner The most important part, does the enemy top-laner have teleport himself? If he does and its not on Cooldown then you shouldn't be even thinking, go bottom and help your team since the enemy top can teleport in and turn the fight in their favor.

Remember: Dragon is not certain, it can be stolen

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If you were getting beaten in lane, then you want the laning phase to end quickly. In that case, falling behind a tower, actually helps and gives you time to free farm to catch back up. One of the best examples of this is Nasus, who loses the laning phase to 75% of solo top champs. Giving up the tower is a way to make it dangerous for their top to challenge you as they become more susceptible to ganks, unless they are nidalee, udyr who can speed through Nasus wither. But this really allows him to free farm his Q, so definitely getting dragon is better. If you are winning your lane however, and you cannot just take their top tower whenever you want, you do not want to lose your tower. This allows them to roam freely and invade your jungle, and ultimately control when the laning phase ends.

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In your case it is better for you to leave and help if you have already have taken their tower. Because eventually they will get your tower anyways. Another time you should go and help is when you are totally dominating lane. This is because you can really turn the tides of a potential contested or stolen dragon. Also, if you dont have their tower, it wont be hard for you to take it.

If top lane is equal I dont leave unless my other lanes are losing hard. This is because if a fight does break out my team has an edge even though other lanes are losing.(assuming enemy top lane is pushing your tower)

In a perfect game, if you are top you should try to work your dragon attempt around your top play. Most tops grab flash and teleport this makes dragon attempts exceptionally easy sometimes depending if the other top player goes flash teleport as well. As a top player, before your team wants to dragon you should push the enemy turret super hard. At this time you can either go back and run bot then teleport top, or teleport bot then shop then run back top. If done right you can keep your own tower and everyone on your team gets 150 gold. Plus their top most likely wont come down, therefore if a team fight occurs 5v4 normally wins.

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