Summoners, behold, a new series of articles. As many players know, there are a lot of resources out there for getting better at League of Legends. You can look up builds on sites like Mobafire, watch pro streams, or check out informational sites to see who’s currently the most played, most victorious champion.
But one of the things that most players fail to recognize is that a lot of the information that will help them improve, and what is most relevant to them, is presented to them at the end of each and every game. The post-game overview screen, as well as the additional information you can get to with the other tabs, is vital to learning where you might have gone wrong, or where you did something incredibly smart – even if you didn’t realize it during the game.
In order to promote this amongst LoL players and to promote my own growth, I’m starting a new series of articles – the Fourth Quarter Replay. Each article in this series will contain four games I feel I learned something from, no matter how minor it may have been. You should take something away from every game you play, no matter how well/poorly you or your team did. Now, let’s take a look at the first game.
Okay, first off – you’re gonna see a fair amount of Dominion games and alt accounts (currently trying to level up a smurf or two). Dominion isn’t as balanced as Summoner’s Rift, but it’s pretty good for testing out builds and champions, much quicker than you would be able to by playing normal games. Plus, the gold- and experience-per-second boosts make it so that a bad start or a bad team don’t affect you quite as harshly as they would under normal circumstances.
Now, as for the actual game – what I learned here is that Volibear is overpowered.
No, but in all seriousness, this game actually gave me a new appreciation for tanks. Typically in Dominion I try to build heavy DPS, and nuke fighters down. Honestly, with the additional penetration given by the Crystal Scar’s passive aura, it works a lot of the time. This game, however, Jax, Gangplank, and Wukong all roamed the map, almost never alone. These three had enough health, damage, and backup to take me down, usually not before I got at least one kill but still before I could wreak my full havoc.
By the way, just a note – having six abilities (technically, with Gunblade and DFG) is semi-hard to manage if you aren’t used to it.
Volibear was an entirely different story.
Voli built enough health that his passive triggered and could regen him long enough to finish and win almost any fight. Even though his build was 0 AD/0 AP, he had enough health and armor (and the damage from his Sunfire) to completely devastate his enemies. Anyone who hasn’t played Volibear, his W scales with his bonus health, which means that eventually it can do some pretty impressive damage.
Eventually, it got to the point that I was following Volibear around, letting him engage, and sweeping in to help him finish them off once they were distracted. We won a couple 3v2s that way, with plenty of health to spare.
No matter what, never underestimate a tank – even if they deal a third your damage, they probably have five times your health, and if they pop off one or two abilities the entire game can shift.
This one was actually a Summoner’s Rift game, and it taught me how EVIL Skarner can be. He’s been nerfed, and admittedly I haven’t played him a lot, but it seems to me even what little nerfs he received in the Shadow Isles patch aren’t enough to really even out the field.
Like my Eve build, I decided to have fun with active ability items, and it made Skarner a force to be reckoned with. The enemy team had Cho’Gath, Darius, Vayne, Veigar, and Olaf. Literally every one of their champions had a slow or a stun – and they still couldn’t escape.
Skarner’s shield gives him enough movement speed that tier two boots are enough to catch almost any champion. Stack that on top of a Shurelya’s Reverie and you can catch anyone, in short bursts. With Skarner’s Q giving him a fairly significant slow, and a Randuin’s Omen and Frozen Heart debuffing anyone who chooses to stand and fight, Skarner can be tough to escape from, but even harder to actually kill.
Once again we had a good Volibear, but that was about it – everyone else on the team went negative. Yet we claimed victory in the end, because of one factor – every single team fight, they would focus me or Volibear, and the second that they did I simply ran over to their Veigar or Vayne and grabbed them with my ultimate, pulling them into the middle of my team.
The few times I couldn’t, I just fought, and we usually had enough damage to make them run – even though the other team was ahead in kills, they were afraid to commit. If the other team is afraid, give them reason to be. The best part of it all, is that if you get your enemies down to half health with Skarner, all you have to do is grab one of the stragglers with your ultimate and (usually) at least one or two of the other team will come back to try to save them. I certainly made mistakes in this game, and if the other team had had a few more higher-level players than they did, they probably would’ve pushed their kill advantages hard enough to keep us on the defensive.
In the end, we got a few good fights at the end of the game and forced their hand. The biggest thing that I’ve learned from this game is that aggression can pay off, if done correctly – target their carries, like you should always be doing, and make sure that your team can back you up. If it weren’t for Ziggs, Ashe, and Volibear doing so much damage (even though Ashe and Ziggs didn’t get many kills), the other team almost certainly would’ve been able to overpower me together.
Also, be very wary of composition when selecting – the enemy team had so much physical damage in their composition that by the time Randuin’s was activated and the Frozen Heart’s armor was factored in, damage was not much of a concern, except perhaps from Darius.
This was a very short game, and one that isn’t typically what I want to show on the Fourth Quarter Replay series, but I will say this – this game taught me something very important about playing Master Yi. Go Dunkmaster, or go home.
Typically, what upgrade should Viktor get? You might be thinking the answer is to his E; at least, that seems to be the majority of players I see. Wrong. The correct answer is Q, because Viktor is a kiting machine. The Hex Core’s upgrade to Power Transfer gives you a huge movement speed boost. If you add this on to the massive slow/stun that your W can give, and the fact that your E doesn’t require you to stop and cast it, Viktor becomes the expert at running away.
Multiple times through the game I kited Malphite around, and even though he had Frozen Mallet and Randuin’s giving him plenty of health, I was able to take all of it down very quickly. All I had to do was Power Transfer him, run away with my enhanced movement speed, use Death Ray if it was on cooldown, and every time he used his Q to slow me down he might get off one attack. Or, my W would come up, and I could simply throw it down and autoattack him once or twice instead of the other way around.
Once again, the enemy team wasn’t exactly top-notch (Nashor’s Tooth on Malphite, and Sanguine Blade for Viktor?), but generally one can still look back at their games and recognize what they did, and what they built, that made them so successful. That’s the fastest way you can improve in League of Legends.