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Saturday, 18 May 2013

How do I become a better AD carry?

"What AD carry should I play to carry out of bronze?"

This is one of the, if not the most misguided questions asked about the role. Its a really myopic question that really isn't worth asking one way or another. The question proposes that the ability to carry a game comes from the champion and not you(your game knowledge), the summoner. I'm probably going to sound condescending in this blog post quite a bit but as you know, everyone was once in this position. You have to ask yourself what you want out of the question. Do you really just want to carry out of bronze and get stuck in silver? You'll just be asking this question for a new tier, if you ever get there. Do you want to become a Challenger tier player? Do you really believe an answer to that question will get you to that tier? The question you want to ask is "How do I become a better AD carry?" because the answer to this question will get you to whatever tier you want.

I'm not trying to say champions are irrelevant when it comes to winning a match up or that learning a the FOTM AD won't get you some LP. I'm just pointing out how minuscule that amount of LP is compared to what you could be getting if you focused your attention elsewhere. Before you start focusing on the unknown and unpredictable aspects of the game you should have a strong pillar to hold you up if you fall. A pillar based upon game knowledge dealing with static elements of gameplay within league. If you haven't clued into what I'm saying, I'm talking about the basics of the game. Last hitting, harassing... all that good stuff you've heard a hundred times over. Oh, this is going to be one of those blogs that tells you everything you "know" already? Well I'm not sure how well you know it, but I'll break it down for you bit by bit starting with the two main concepts in this game;
  • [1]Opportunity
  • [2]Pressure

[1]Opportunity

You ever go on a stream and watch a Diamond Division game or higher and wonder why it looks like their playing a completely different game? Going on the basis that the two main concepts of the game are opportunity and pressure, you are playing a different game. An opportunity is exactly what it sounds like: a chance to invade, harass, cs, kill, put pressure and just generally making the game easier for you. If there was a program that could run replays and then highlight all the opportunities in the game you'd see a metric ton more in a bronze game compared to a diamond game. The program would light up like a Christmas tree if it processed a bronze game. Imagine if you had that program and were able to run it in game, it would be so easy to carry the game because it would be basically telling you the best steps to take to win the game.

Well guess what, this "program" runs in the minds of high elo players all the time. Not only that, but their program is more advanced as they are able to rank which opportunities are greater than another. They can tell when its better to cs or harass(in cases where they can only do one in the span of say, a second), take a tower or go for an objective like dragon. When they go on a smurf and climb the ladder, every game they play seems easy because they have this program running in their mind(If you had it wouldn't the game be much easier?). To get better at league, you'll want to acquire this program.

[2]Pressure

This game is similar to games like Samurai Warriors or Dynasty Warriors in a strange way. They are games of pressure, and in those games there is a little bar in the bottom or top corner with the color of your team beside the color of the enemy team. The colors push, or pressure one another until one dominates the other and that struggle accurately represents what goes on overall in the battlefields of the games. That bar could easily apply to league of legends: every time your team take an opportunity you pressure the opponent, which pushes your bar forward while theirs recede and vice versa. Obviously the bar would fluctuate pretty frequently in the beginning, taking its big first dive when a turret gets taken or first blood is given up. You should get the general idea though, pressure decides the way the game goes and pressure is made by seizing opportunities.
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Now that you have some basic knowledge of how the game flows, you should be ready to apply this knowledge to your AD carry role. It should be apparent that the champion you play has little to do with getting you out of bronze than you first thought. Don't get this wrong though, the AD carry you play now becomes more important when you have this knowledge. Each champion has their own set of opportunities that you can utilize to your advantage. For example going in Level 1 with pantheon vs a mid if the enemy gets too close, as soon as they get in range for your stun and an opportunity raises and you jump on their face and get some decent damage off. New opportunities arise when you're playing Ezreal as an AD carry because you have Q to harass with. When Fizz hits level 2, you better back up because he sees an opportunity to go in and all in you he will.

So, how do these things apply to the AD carry role?
  • [3]Laning Phase
  • [4]Team Fighting

[3]Laning Phase

Here is where your knowledge of your character can really make you shine. You may not have noticed, but its your knowledge of your character and your enemy that let you know whether or not there is an opportunity. You want to harass while not getting harassed back. You want to CS while making it difficult for the enemy to CS. This is a LOT harder than it actually seems, everyone does it to a degree but people in higher tiers do it better. It simply takes a lot of practice to learn how to harass well while getting a reasonable amount of CS, you just have to be constantly pressing your limits in lane. HARASS HARASS HARASS(protip: you know you're harassing enough when the enemy ADC says "get off my dick bro") unless you know FOR A FACT it will be a bad trade for you. Example? The enemy is at their tower, the wave is at my tower. I shouldn't go harass them at their tower because I'll get hit by the their tower and miss CS. It may be a dumb thing to say, but knowing these things however obvious make you aware of things like the creep wave dictating whether you can harass or not.

I won't be able to tell you all the instances where its good for you to harass and I won't even try. Its something you have to learn on your own, playing games while harassing as much as you can will eventually make you better at it. You'll harass when its a good time to sometimes, and you'll continue at it and get better. You'll harass at times when its bad(doesn't matter if its due to match-up, if the jungler is there, or creeps, a bad time to harass is a bad time to harass) to do so, you'll learn not to do it and get better. Soon you'll be putting you in your enemies shoes, thoughts like "They could harass me so easily right now, why aren't they? I'm just going to farm it up for free." will come up more and more frequently and before you know it you'll be in Gold wondering why it was so hard to climb out of bronze.


[4]Teamfights

At this point in the game, your team and you are sizing up the enemy team and are about to fight. Because of your role, there are a few things you are unable to do. You cannot capitalize on the poor positioning of their tank (say he is in the back) and initiate the fight because thats not what you do unless you're Ashe. You have to sit behind your team and wait for them to initate. Its also good practice to use your tank to pressure the enemy assassin, ap carry, bruiser, etc. Say I'm Graves and the enemy Lux wants to throw a binding on me and 100 to 0 me. If I stay behind my team's Jarvan, I'm creating an imaginary line Lux can't cross if she wants to get to me which is effectively Jarvan's initiation range. Practice using your teammates in this way is a great way to hone your positioning to be as effective as possible.


Anyways, thats all I wanted to touch on. I think that pretty much sums it up when it comes to the AD carry role. If people like this post I'll make some more about more roles, but I'm only a gold player myself. I can't really make posts about what's what when it comes to high elo decision making, you'll have to look at high elo players for that. I can only tell you how to get better, or at least how I got better. A tip worth mentioning is that watching stream generally don't make you a better player. They're better for learning the ins and outs of champions. The reason I say this is you're more likely to learn a trick with a champion then an opportunity you can seize in your games because said opportunities rarely show up in high elo games(unless you are high elo trying to better your play), you'd do much better watching vods of say WildTurtle's smurf account when he was just climbing up, you'd learn a lot more than watching his stream now.
5 VG Land: How do I become a better AD carry? "What AD carry should I play to carry out of bronze?" This is one of the, if not the most misguided questions asked about the ro...

1 comment:

  1. Definitely Caitlyn and Tristana. Their range is superrr long so I LOVE it. The build depends on how you are doing in the game. For example, farming great, getting kills, etc. Get like bloodthirster and infinity edge. However, if you're doing really bad, you have to build differently. So it all just depends, but when i play cait and trist, for the fun of it, I build like multiple Bloodthirsters and stack them at the same time, then i buy one or two phantom dancers. (This is my lifesteal troll kind of build xD) Then when anyone wants to 1v1 you, go ahead. Your attk speed is twice as fast as theirs and you're basically invincible from the lifesteal xD Sooooo much fun.

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