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Hey so I'm have just recently reached level 30 in league, and to my ignorance I thought this meant that I'd be good enough to attempt ranked. Boy was I wrong, I went from being placed in bronze II to dropping to bronze V. (Although a lot of this may be due to my aggravation when playing my ranked matches after midnight.)

Needless to say I'm a little angry and confused. There are a lot of things that I didn't take into consideration when I started playing ranked.

  1. I thought that I knew that character I owned well enough to carry the team, and if I got stuck without one of my mains, I could always be carried.

  2. I got myself in the mindset that there is no one way to build a champion and you should never start the game by building the same item every time.

  3. Getting CS didn't matter, it's not like missing minion gold determined how well you do in lane.

  4. You don't need a focused set of runes to be able to play well.

All of these assumptions are WRONG. So wrong and I suffered for it. But no matter what I do I can't seem to get enough practice in to be able to play all of my characters well enough to carry a game. I look up guides to building champions, what masteries to pick the whole shebang. But none of that matters if I can't practice it.

  • Are their any suggestions that someone can offer me on how to practice for ranked? Where should I practice last hitting my CS? Where should I practice ganking? Etc.

  • Is there a pattern to how to clear the jungle?

  • What is the best way to determine what to character to pick while playing ranked?

  • Is there an easy to make correlation between what type of class can generally beat another? (IE would a tank win in a fight against most mages?)

  • Is there any way to practice patience for in game? (Sometimes I find myself too far out with no vision and the like, are there any suggestions on how to get the team to buy and place wards more often? Where to stand if you can't see into a bush? Etc.)

  • I removed the LoL-CHEW tag, since all I could find about that is that it was some april fools thing, and this has nothing to do with that. I also removed your PS as that is all about opinion/developer intent, and these are generally (some specific exceptions) off topic. – Arperum Apr 23 '14 at 7:24
  • It's a broad question but It's a very good one and it's also answerable. Give me some time and I will try to form an Answer that covers this topic – Jutschge Apr 23 '14 at 8:02
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    Actually 2 isn't wrong. While you will usually want to start with the same items in most games, it can differ depending on your opponent, your lane partner (if you have one) and your role (if your champ can play different roles). And the further the game progresses, the less likely you are to want the exact same items. There is no game like another, and item choices should always reflect the state of the current game. – scenia Apr 23 '14 at 13:28
  • The biggest misconception you seem to have is that being good with a champion is all that it takes to carry a game. Carrying is more about giving the other players in the team breathing room to become strong enough to win team fights and contest objectives. No carry can win the game alone. At this ELO tactical and strategical know-how will probably bring you more than having 200 CS at 30 minutes. – API-Beast Apr 23 '14 at 13:30
  • I know it's not wrong to just play ranked and improve there but in solo que if you don't know what you are doing you are just dragging the team down. I find myself 'on tilt' before the game even starts for most games in bronze tier. Anyone else feel like the requirements are a little lax to start playing ranked? I don't know. Maybe I'm just bitter that I wasn't as prepared as I thought. (P.S. Sorry about the lol-chew tag didn't know what to tag this with so I just tagged it with what I could find.) – user75008 Apr 23 '14 at 15:03
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The biggest mistake that almost all the players make is playing ranked as soon as they get level 30. You just cannot expect to get above Silver if you start playing immediately after you hit the level cap since you usually have around 200-300 total games and you basically just scratched the surface of LoL.

League is just as difficult as DotA when it comes to higher level competitive play. While league is a lot faster to learn you will usually have difficulties getting to the higher ranks (Gold/Platinum/Diamond) without the needed experience.

Of course if you want to get to this rating, you will have to practice as you've already mentioned. There are a few ways to train different things but some things just come with talent or time.

Trainable things are of course mechanical skills such as lasthitting, Dodging and Positioning. Some things that aren't easy or basically Impossible to train are Individual Champion knowledge and General Game Knowledge (That doesn't mean you won't learn them but you will just learn them slowly over time with experience).

Individual Champion Knowledge
Now when I'm talking about Individual champion knowledge I'm not only talking about the skills of a champion but rather his playstyle. It's basically reading the mind of the enemy and using his thoughts and playstyle against him. This is a thing that will come slowly over time and the only thing to train it is playing the champion yourself and analysing enemies who train the champion. (I often train this with a "Champion-Marathon" Which is playing every champion from A-Z and I only move forward when I won a game).

The champion-countering part also falls under the category of Individual champion knowledge. I highly recommend not using websites like lolcounter or champion select, since they are mostly outdated and written by players without experience. The most reliable source is always personal experience and you can also look at statistics. Just keep in mind that you shouldn't play a champion that counters the enemy if you can't play him.

General Game Knowledge
This is also a thing that takes its time. Things like knowing when to do Nashor, when to counterjungle, where to ward etc. are extremely hard to learn. You need to know the flow of the game and the importance of certain objects. Start off with enabling timestamps and writing down dragon/baron timers to keep an overview about objectives and buffs.

Last Hitting
This question was already asked on this site but I guess It's currently hard to find. I would recommend to search for a question first before asking it. This is the Question with the answer.

Now as a Final word I'd like to mention that League is a game where you cannot just "Train" certain things. While there are some things that are trainable most aspects of the game are not. The difference between High an Low Elo are not mechanical skills but Experience and Psychological knowledge. I wrote a seperate guide on how to Improve on these things if you want to check it out. The only thing I can recommend if you want a higher rating is: Don't play rankeds too early. Start with rankeds after 500-1000 wins. Of course if you are extremely talented you can start earlier but you should know how good you are if you want to get better.

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    Wait, 500-1000 wins? That is eons of playing LoL. continues playing in Silver with 150 wins – API-Beast Apr 23 '14 at 13:49
  • @Mr.Beast Yes sure you may reach silver with 150 wins but it won't be easy for most people to reach gold or platinum before they have at least 500 wins. That also is the reason why most people are silver – Jutschge Apr 23 '14 at 13:50
  • That's quite the interesting stat. – API-Beast Apr 23 '14 at 14:11
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    But playing ranked gives you that required experience for games. As you get better your rank will naturally rise. What is wrong with starting out low and working your way up? You don't need to immediately be a high rank. The reason most people are silver is because that's how the system was designed. In order for someone to rise up, someone else has to be pushed down, which sort of balances the system to silver. – dphil Apr 23 '14 at 14:15
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    There's a difference though: starting low but skilled, and starting low but without the meta and concepts in mind. – Fabián Apr 23 '14 at 20:52
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Honestly, the best way to practice is just to play ranked. You learn the game the best way while everyone is generally being more serious in there. You don't NEED those extra things like perfect rune pages. You can get those through playing more and doing ranked will give that to you.

If you want to practice something simple like CSing, it's perfectly fine to play a handful of games with or without bots trying to get perfect CS scores. The main issue I have with this is that it is simply just not realistic. You will have a lane opponent to deal with and also potentially an enemy jungler. While it is fine to get the mechanical timing down, you still need to practice against and actual opponent.

There is nothing wrong with starting the same items every game, but you can definitely start different items according to your lane matchup. If I am say a Poppy top vs a Jax, I'll always run a Doran's shield because ALL of his attacks require autos to damage me. If I am vs a Mundo instead, I'll run a Doran's blade so I can use it to sustain myself and deal more damage if he autos to CS. Or if I am vs a Riven, I might start Cloth armor and 5 potions so that I don't die to her burst and also have good sustain. If the enemy is a Yorick, I'll instead start Flask and 3 health potions since I know i'll be taking a lot of ability abuse. It is a good idea to find out WHEN it is smart to buy different items. There is no single set of items you want to build no matter what.

In order to rise ranks, you don't need to carry the game. You simply have to do your role good. Let's say you are a top lane tank. The enemy gets an early first blood on you. Well, from here you might want to begin playing safer. If the enemy doesn't get ahead too far, your team isn't going to need to suddenly deal with a late game fed Renekton soloing their team. If you are slightly behind, your team can still easily win the game for you. If you get WAY behind because you feel like you need to make risky plays to carry. He might just win the game for his team (which essentially means you lost the game for yours). You need to determine when you can intelligently try to kill an enemy. If you are pretty sure you can kill an enemy if you initiate a lane fight, do you also know where the enemy jungle is at? You don't want to engage simply to be caught by the enemy jungler waiting nearby.

Also, you need to be familiar with every role. Doesn't mean you have to play them all extremely well, but if you get stuck in a position (because it will happen) you need to be able to at least be able to fill that role. Don't do what a lot of people do and throw a fit because you feel like you need to carry and get stuck as support and then pick Nidalee building damage instead of gold and support items. (BTW, I honestly feel support is one of the better positions to carry from.) Rising ELO is simply about being able to play the role you are assigned better than your opponent. If you consistently do this along with not feeding when you get behind, you will rise in ranks.

TL;DR; Someone telling you not to ranked until you have played a massive number of games is pretty silly. Use ranked to learn, it's honestly the best way to. Don't pay attention to what your rank is and just play with an open mind to learn from what mistakes you have. As long as you fill the role you are assigned and don't try to force carrying you will rise ranks.

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For playing ranked you should be comfortable playing all roles and have at least 2 champions for each role.

You will not always get your favourite position (top or adc e.g.)

Last hitting can be practised in bot games. Most importantly, do not auto attack minions, wait until they have 100 or less hit points left and finish them off. Do not push your lane by actively wearing them down.

Play defensibly, in bronze the enemies will sooner or later make mistakes resulting in an easy kill. If not, keep farming

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Can't comment, so I will add some suggestions here.

When you start playing ranked, most of all if you lost a lot of games and dropped down the tier, you will try continuosly to play and try to climb. If you have this kind of pressure, I can tell you will perform so bad you will keep on losing games after games. You can follow those simple rules:

  • First of all, League of Legends is a game and you must have fun when you are playing.
  • Remember, you will rise the ELO system winning more than losing. It seems kinda obvious, but you can climb even with a 55% win rate ( 11 W and 9 L in a 20 games series)
  • Especially at the start, you will find a lot of toxic people you don't know how to handle. Just ignore them and play your game. You will lose more if you try to answer them or try to verbal-harrass them. So it comes:
  • Be gentle with your team. Try to communicate. If your lane opponent flashed or tped just share this info with your mates. You can prepare a good gank or secure an objective with this kind of knowledge.
  • Try to secure objectives not randomly but when the oportunity comes. Suppose your team killed the jungler or get double kill bot lane. This is the perfect time to do dragon, i.e.
  • Force ganks or harrass when enemy' skills are on cooldown. For instance you can gank an "Ahri" if she has just tried to land her charm or a Jax used his counter strike or his leap.
  • I don't want to add more but: Baron is a noob-magnet. You will lose a lot of games trying to secure it with your team half theirs lives, enemy team incoming, ace and gg. It is better to secure a tower or steal a buff instead of throw the game at baron.

Remember this timers:

  1. 5 minutes blue/red buff --> Most of the cases, one buff is secured by jungler at 2.10 and 2.50 so, you can contest them at 7:10 and 7:50 if you know when he started.
  2. 6 minutes Dragon --> Contest it if your mid is fair stronger or enemy jungler or bot lane has recalled or is dead.
  3. 7 minutes Baron --> Do it if you got a clean ace or just you decimate enemy team or enemy team has no vision in the pit and you can kill so fast.

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