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I have been trying out assassin mid's for a few days (since I want to play Yasuo without sucking too bad) and I'm wondering how much practice I should get under me before I try my hand at a normal? I have, as far as I can tell, a very low ELO since I have been skidish about playing normals anyways.

Since I don't want to let my team down by playing a champion cold in a normal game with people, how good should I be or what should I make sure I work on before I take a mid champ to Normals to practice with? (Something like Fizz, Kat, or Yasuo)

  • Just wanted to note, that I appreciate people like you, who don't even want to go to normals without being able to play a champion decently. There are enough people who play a champ 1 or 2 times and then go straight to ranked with it...*sigh* – Toby Dec 19 '13 at 9:37
  • @Toby I've always found normals to be practice for ranked, although if I do anything to crazy I use my smurf. Janna mid OP – Paralytic Dec 19 '13 at 15:53
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Use bot games to learn about a champion and how to play them efficiently, such as learning combos, trying out different builds, practicing mechanics and last-hitting (since all champs have different auto attacks to get used to) and also learning skillshot speeds/delays. Once you have the basics of the champion you are learning down, then move on to PvP games.

The problem with bots is they have set builds and don't play anything like a normal person would, which makes them very predictable. You can also easily shut them down just by hurting them enough to leave lane and they will soon be incredibly under-leveled and easier to kill.

Losing in a normals has no drawbacks compared to ranked games so use this mode to further improve your abilities. You only get better with practice anyways. Even if your first few games don't go well you should at least be learning how others are keeping you down. After any kill or death ask yourself how you were able to set the kill up, or what you could have done to prevent your death.

This is all coming from personal experience. When Yasuo first came out I played quite a few bot games as him. After a couple Penta kills and some 20+ - 2 games I thought I was ready for normals but quickly saw I was wrong. While a full damage build worked well against bots, I failed miserably trying that against other players which just goes to show that nothing helps learning a champion like playing against other people in PvP.

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  • I think you should use Bot-games to learn the basic abilities / mechanics from a champion. The "versus" itself (how do I play vs a human, how do I counter certain champs, how do I react to certain tactics) you can only learn by normals. – Toby Dec 19 '13 at 9:52
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I tend to spend more time looking at builds/strategy guides and a few gameplay videos by the pros that stream, then playing bots. I get a build tweaked to look like something usable then make a custom game with all bots and just play around with abilities and mechanics.

Typically I'll start out getting a legendary streak with the champ to get a nice build going. Then I typically just stress test the champion after a few items;

  • See how he handles waves of minions
  • If you have a mobility champ like Fizz, Riven, etc. see what walls I can jump, check every wall
  • See if I can solo Dragon at what level (typically before 6) with what items like shaco, nasus, fiddle.
  • Practicing my combos over and over and over.
  • Honestly I could go on for a while, I spend a couple hours in customs with a champ till I'm comfortable.

In reality there is no way you'll ever learn more then you will playing against other players, and not even then, itll take a 100 or so games atleast against players for you to be able to say you have a champion mastered. Being the impatient person I am I usually just jump from a few normals into a ranked game as it is usually the only way for me to know if i'm good with the champ or not. Ranked is the next step up, as you will theoretically play against people your own skill level.

If you are what seems like a new player i'd say take your time, as you are trying to learn a champion that argueably has the highst skill cap of any champion in the game. Not to mention he requires a team that synergizes with him really well or your gonna have a tough time ulting. Just give normals a try you will never be able to make everyone happy, as you will soon find out you will go from being praised as a pro in one game to being reported unskilled in the next. Its just a part of League and there is no way to avoid it. It does help to be really familiar, and to know how to adapt to situations. For example I went gragas mid with smite and jungle runes by accident (trying to swap but didn't) and used that to my advantage to get dragon everytime it spawned as well as playing mid defensively to win the game by a landslide.

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  • Adapting to situations is definitely a big thing to learn, even if it's simple as buying MR/armor boots depending on lane opponent or who's getting fed on the other side. There should never be one set build that will work in every game which is why Riot changed the set-up of the recommended items page in the store in the first place. – VanBuzzKill Dec 19 '13 at 16:58
  • @katustrawfic exactly its pretty crazy how a simple item can be the difference between beign good with a champion and being bad in a matchup – Paralytic Dec 19 '13 at 17:00
  • I actually have been playing for a few years. I just don't like to get into normals because I find that I get beaten too hard by actual players, since most are really high level players. This also has more to do with me not believing that ELO is a thing, since I get a lot of players that have won many more games then I have... – CrystalBlue Dec 19 '13 at 17:02
  • @CrystalBlue well just to elaborate for you, starting out against players in league of legends I remember being the most frustrating experience in my gaming life. I sucked, nothing I did worked, and eventually i just didnt wanna play anymore. after a while I figured it out got better and now im working my way through ranked gold. ELO aka MMR has nothing to do with number of wins. And everything to do with how good you are. starting out you will have the defualt MMR and eventually work your way up or down. – Paralytic Dec 19 '13 at 17:46
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Usually after only a game or two I'd say it's time to play normals. Most champions don't benefit from repeated play against weak, predictable opponents. There are sometimes reasons to practice longer against bots with champions who use non-mana skills because it takes a bit of time to get used to how they work.

So, go play :)

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Like the others have said, there's no fixed time on Bot games before normals.

What I like to do, and I can recommend (and I'm rather new to the game, 2 months and lvl 20) is:

Pick the champion you like, hit mobafire.com and search for builds for that champion. Take a look at a few (make sure they're fresh for current season) and choose the one that fits your playstyle (Read the guide, at least a quick read, don't just copy items). Do 2 or 3 Bot games, see if you are getting it right. For instance, if you're playing Statikk Shiv Yasuo you should have it by no later than lvl 10. If not, you're missing too much CS. Same goes for all champs. Check out your main item and look at some YouTube videos. At what lvl are the "pros" (actual pro or high elo) getting that item?, and you?.

At least for me that's a good indication of how good or bad I'm doing on CS.

And the last advice I can give is...download LoL Replay and use it. when you go to a normal game and you get facerolled...go to the replay. What happened?, why you didn't see that gank, why you couldn't do enough damage to finish off that champ, etc. Same when you snowball hard. What you did right and make sure to remember it.

I only have 40sh victories, I'm no pro. But this has helped me get a lot better with the champs I use (Yasuo is on that list, but I'm still not good enough with him to carry a game, and most of the time I need to be :P)

Hope this helps.

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