I recently had a game in gold V where I came really hard ahead over my opponent but failed to punish him and keep him down.
I reviewed the game and noticed several occacions where I could and should have backed.
Some examples: (Matchup me: Lucian (mid), opponent mid Kassadin and camping / feeding Lee Sin)

  • Killed an enemy, was low live and overstayed to the point where he could come back and kill me
  • Pushed him in using my ultimate and stayed to damage Lee that came to answer the push. When I got back, Kassadin pushed me in and could have roamed
  • Killed mid and jungler in upper river and finished the low live top laner, got top outermost turrent and killed the upcoming wave afterwards where I should have backed to help mid
  • Killed Krugs and went to chicken and then had to join a fight low on mana (should have backed after Krugs.)

It seems small to me, but in order to win the game, this might have been very important considering my teammates being 1/5/7 Trist, 6/14/6 Teemo, 1/12/7 Sona and 6/16/10 Rek'Sai.

How can I tell the proper time to back and rotate, without giving my opponent free time and allow them to get back into the game?

  • 3
    To close voters: This question is not too broad or too opinion-based. This is an example of a Good Subjective question, because it discusses strategy within a narrow focus and people can supply evidence for one strategy being superior over another. If we allow a question like "What is the right time to gank?", then we need to do the same for a question like this one.
    – Mage Xy
    Aug 17, 2018 at 14:23
  • I completely agree with Mage. This question is outlined and detailed correctly and is a highly valuable question for this game. It includes the game, details about the game and is very answerable.
    – FoxMcCloud
    Aug 17, 2018 at 15:03
  • As a general rule of thumb, if you've just gotten a kill on your lane opponent you probably have a gold advantage but only if you spend that gold. Shove lane to their tower so they lose that gold/experience then recall and spend your gold to stay ahead in the lane. However if you take too long to shove the wave they will come back to lane when you are gone and do the same to you. Your free time is only about as long as their death timer. Aug 17, 2018 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


The overall way to punish your opponent is to deny gold and experience whenever possible. Keep that in mind always.

In your case, killing your opponent now leaves you with a couple of options.

  1. Push the lane in, deny your opponent creeps and experience because the tower will kill the minions while they aren't in lane.
  2. Roam and look for a gank from mid lane. In your case, Lucian isn't the best ganker, so denying your opponent and keep him low on resources is probably best in most scenarios.
  3. Recall, heal and buy to get stronger for next wave. You can also combine 1 and 3 if you are fast enough.

As for what happens after a fight in river, it's completely okay to push in a top wave and take outer tower while giving up damage to mid tower. Your team is up in resources from the fight and even in objective control. It's a misconception that losing a tower is always bad. You can't be everywhere on the map, take what you can when you can, and always try to be up in gold/exp. You succeeded in this case.

This is very champion based, as mana is important to some champs and not as important to others. It's also based on whom you are playing against.

If you can not contribute to map objectives or fights, back immediately. Most of the time, if you hesitate or see that your team is committing, it's a better idea to fight along with them, as you give your team more of an advantage fighting as a team.

Your opponent will have free time to catch back up in league! You can't deny an opponent the entire game without taking yourself out of the game for your team.

Push your lane in to protect your tower and buy yourself some time. Recalling and buying items immediately makes you stronger. Half of an outer tower's HP is always worth spending thousands of gold to make you stronger. Your opponent is also spending time NOT recalling and buying items and they will need to recall also.

In your scenario, mid Lucian is a split pushing, tower taking machine. Dominate your mid lane, make the opponents respond to your presence. This helps your other lanes by negating jungle pressure and allowing them to make more bold plays to catch up themselves.

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