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Especially as an AD Carry in bottom lane. It's really difficult to understand how/why/when to do it.

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It really depends on the matchup.


  • Long Range means ADs like Caitlyn or Ashe
  • Short Range means burst ADs like Graves, Corki or early-game Tristana

As a rule of thumb for lanes that are not kill lanes:

  • Long Range vs Short Range AD You want to auto attack him whenever he tries to last hit one of your caster minions and is in a range where you can hit him but he can't hit back. You can be a little more aggressive if you have a skill/passive that does more damage - like Caitlyns Headshot or Ashes Volley - but just move into his range, get the shot off and go back again.
    Don't go for direct engagements as most short range ADs have better burst than the long range ADs. Go for the long term, it's better to hit him 5 times over 30s without taking damage instead of going in, hitting him 10 times in 10 seconds and you both being at half health.

  • Short Range vs Long Range Whenever the opponent used a burst skill, for example to clear minions, go in and do as much burst damage as possible. Once your burst is over, get out and continue to CS. If the opponent doesn't use his skills for CS - which means he actually knows what he is doing - coordinate the bursts with your support, for example with Jannas shield, Alistars combo, Sorakas Silence, etc. You need to have a hit and run mindset.

  • Long Range vs Long Range Whenever the opponent tries to last hit, shoot him. He can either get the last hit or shoot back, which means it's basically a lose-lose situation for him. Try to get an eye for those situations so you can see them as often as possible while not falling for them yourself.

  • Short Range vs Short Range Try to get a feeling for the opponents cooldowns. Once the opponent used one of his skills, go for the trade since for a short duration you will be able to do more damage than he can do. Go out before his skills come out of cooldown.

Other factors to consider:

  • Always have an eye for the opponents items and level.
    • If you hit level 6 before him you can often go for a very powerful burst, for example with Ashes Arrow or Graves Ultimate.
    • If you just came back from base and already have your berzerker greaves and 1+ dorans blades while he decided to stay and is still on boots, go for a straight up fight.
    • If you just finished a core item, for example B.F. Sword, Infinity Edge, Zeal, etc. and he doesn't have it, go for a direct trade, you can often finish him or at least force him out of lane.
    • If you are behind in items or levels, don't take any shots, don't try to trade, just get as much CS as possible.
  • Don't forget to factor in the support.
    • If your support has weak sustain while the opponents support has good sustain, for example Nunu vs Soraka, don't go for auto-attack trades. Always combine your burst damage with your support so you can get as much damage off as possible before the opponents sustain kicks in.
    • On the other hand if the opponent has a weak sustain support like nunu, play aggressive, force them back with auto-attack trades while avoiding their bursts. Go for the long term, the damage they take is basically permanent while yours is temporary so you can take a lot more damage in the long term.

There are still a hundred more factors to consider for every duo lane matchup but this should give a good rule of thumb.

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Thanks for this super clear explanation :) – Tracy Fu Apr 8 '13 at 21:21

Depends which AD carry you're paying. always try to stay in a position where you can effectively hit your opponent but you yourself remain shielded from skillshots by your minions or supports. always keep an eye on which skills your enemy has off of cooldown, if he has a major CC skill up and ready you should try not to overextend unless you have your escape route figured out. my advice and what i always do is play aggressive but always have your way out in the back of your head incase things do go wrong. that's about all i can say. hope it helped. on a side note, while getting creep score, try to sneek in a few auto attacks towards the enemy when he gets in range. but never overextend to do so. great initiation is everything.

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Simple and short answer: Pay attention to your creeps health. Most Ad's have a burst spell. Graves q. Sivir q. Ashe w. Ez q. They walk in to hit a creep, you auto + burst spell and walk out. Repeat.

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There is no simple/easy answer, each time you play a game of LoL, the circumstances are different. Your AD. Your support. Your jungler. Their AD. Their support. Their jungler.

I've mained AD for several months now, and I'd say the biggest part of it is finding your feel. Which champion best meshes with your playstyle, and which supports best compliment that playstyle. For example, I prefer Graves. Because of his passive he is much more tanky than other ADs and can trade quite well (especially when you tack on the extra damage from AD reds and quints), in addition to his crazy burst. The way I play Graves and the way the champion works is more suited for a kill lane and keeping the opponent off of their farm. As a result, the hardest lane opponent for me to deal with is a similarly tanky opponent paired with someone that can heal or buff them so they can ignore my harass and outfarm, such as Soraka or Sona.

I'd also recommend finding a friend to lane with on bot. Being in a Skype call with someone you're comfortable laning with is one hell of a lot better than getting paired with a randie (duh). Finding a groove with a support will allow you to be more aggressive (if you can trust the support to watch your back when you overextend), engage at the correct time, and make the game more fun in general.

In conclusion, just try different champions with different mindsets and make a conscious effort to seek out a dedicated support player that you connect well with.

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