A little about me. I am casual LOL player. I play on the NA server and I have been playing for probably 8 years. I main ADC and Jungle secondary, but I feel confident I can play all lanes at a Gold 1 level other than Top Lane. My first season I was Silver. My 2nd season I was Gold. Then every other Season I was plat. I have a lot of champion knowledge and have pretty good mechanics and fundamentals. I had this LOL dream of climbing to Diamond and tried the past 2 seasons and failed (although I did reach Plat 1 before mega tilting right back down to plat 4 and quitting). I started using websites like skill-capped like 3 years ago and will say that I have learned SO much from it. But enough about me, I want to talk to you guys about how to climb to plat every season.
If you don't know, being plat is like top 8% of players. That is pretty good. Although higher elo players will criticize that plat is nothing, being top 8% of players is pretty good. I am a firm believer that you will always land the elo you deserve. You can't always blame your team, or blame matchmaking; if you are gold, you will be gold. If you are silver, you will be silver. And if you're plat you will be plat. Every season the game will evolve and the meta will change, but there are some very important fundamentals that will never change, and if you can master these fundamentals, you can hit plat every season with ease. What are these fundamentals? Let's get started.
- Champion pool and champion knowledge in the 2 roles you main.
Rule# 1 – You should always main 2 roles (and I highly suggest jungle being one of them). I'm not gonna spend time here because everyone says this. But basically, have 3-4 champions that you play and ONLY those 4. The more you know your limits with a champion, the easier it is to carry.
Rule #2 – Learn the matchups. You have to know every matchup in the meta. For example for bot lane, Tristana is an excellent counter to Ezreal. I know that if Ezreal misses q, or e's in, or tries to trade with me, I can always all-in him (given it's an isolated trade or I W so far that supp can't help Ezreal trade with me). At the same token, when playing against Varus a Jinx, I have to know that I will never win Auto for Auto. So knowing that trading with Varus (isolated) is not worth it. It is important to have this kind of knowledge in your role so you know what things you can get away with and exploit mispositions. I personally believe that if you master this, you are automatically Gold (although don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this is an exclusive skill and that all Gold players are Gold because they have mastered this. I am saying that if you master your matchups and your 4 champions, you can easily hit Gold).
Rule #3 Learn your champions fighting win condition. There are 4 categories: burst trades, extended trades, poke trades, all-ins*.* It is important to know which one your champion excels at AND which one your opponent excels at. Here is an example: Irelia vs Fizz (mid lane). Irelia runs conqueror and her passive stacks causing her to do more damage. As a result, the longer the trade, the more-likely she will win. She wants to look and bait extended trades so she can stack her passive and kill. Fizz on the other hand will usually take electrocute and is very vulnerable when his e is down (which is also where his damage comes from). Fizz likes to q w e and walk away, so he wins burst trades. So Irelia wants to try to extend fights with Fizz if he is on cooldown while fizz wants to avoid extending his trade after he has used his combo. So let's just say fizz q w e's irelia and Irelia survives the burst but Fizz does not back off. Now Irelia can just keep on autoing fizz, land a stun, q to him passive fully stacked and automatically wins. You've seen it in many games. Fizz needs to back off because his fighting win condition is short burst trades before 6. Now here's the twister. At level 6, fizz gets his ultimate. Now fizz is an all-in champion. It is important to know where your champion falls in these categories. How access to ultimate changes your win condition. Similarly, Malphite before 6 is a poke champion. After 6 he is an all-in. Find out your win condition and ONLY play to that. Don't get baited and tempted to just keep on autoing and using abilities if that's not your champions win condition (like the Fizz example).
- Learn how to punish, not trade. What does this even mean? Well so many times I see low elo players say this, "Kai'sa is strong right now. She has a 53% win rate. I can just pick her and just carry games by popping off in lane and constantly fight." Well that is how you will lose elo. Trading is important and that is a broader topic, but punishing is the most important thing.
Punish #1 To make it simple, if you are a laner, use your abilities on the enemy champion when they are last hitting (especially the melee minions). When they last hit, they are standing still, you have a free window to use a skill and auto attack.
Punish #2: If you see a laner use their abilities on wave to CS, that means they cannot trade with you. (Side note: NEVER use your abilities on the wave unless you are resetting, trading, or are disciplined enough to not fight with your abilities on cooldown). Now you can disregard Punish 1. Here's an example that would honestly feel VERY SCARY in low elo. You're Ahri and you're up against Zed. You're both level 3 and now you're scared because you think Zed can just kill you whenever he feels like it. But all of a sudden, he w q e's the wave and starts walking up to the wave to collect last hits. You should be hard-zoning him. He no longer has any abilities to trade with you. This the the opportunity for you to walk up, try to land charm and then follow with q w and a bunch of autos before backing off. Knowing these windows is important (refer back to Number 1, learn your matchups). This is just 1 of many examples. Even in high plat elo, players make the craziest mistakes, knowing when to punish these mistakes can be the difference between winning and losing games.
Punish #3: Punish roams by crashing or freezing the wave. Let's go back to Zed vs Ahri. Zed is now 6 and he decides that he is going to roam bot to try to get a kill. You're a squishy mage against an all-in assassin. DO NOT FOLLOW HIM. If he decides it is not gankable and you are following him and he turns back around and sees you, you are dead (or you burn ult and/or flash which leads to you dying 1 minute later). Instead, spam ping the river so your lane knows he is roaming and then shove that wave into the tower (or setup a freeze which I will talk about soon). The point is, punish him by denying him cs – which denies him gold and experience. Now if he gets a kill bot there's not much you can do, you pinged. But you didn't feed him, you have a cs and experience advantage on him, and he can't just walk back mid and collect a free wave. You will be surprised by how much this ads up. Now let's say you're also an assassin, do you follow Zed now? It depends on the lane state. I am a firm believe that you ALWAYS fix your wave before roaming. The average gold value of a minion wave is about 125 gold. That is GUARANTEED GOLD. A roam or follow bot could be disastrous, too coin-flip with too much that can go wrong. If it goes bad and your wave was pushing away from you then you lose so much. So, as a general rule, I will always shove the wave into the tower before roaming or following a roam so that I punish the roam and the wave is pushing back to me when I get back (whether I die or not).
- Never group unless for dragon or baron/rift.
Rule #1: This one might be VERY controversial and many might disagree with this and I'll explain further in number 4 but I STAND by this. Think of it like this. Let's say you are Bronze, Silver or Gold. When you group, you are trusting low elo players to make the right plays in teamfights. Challenger players will tell you: it's a coin-flip. (now there are ways to group and teamfight where you don't die but I'll explain that later). In solo queue, you never make 50% plays, you ALWAYS make 100% plays. Here's an example: You are playing Vayne and you got fed in lane (5/0). Top lane has a fed Sett (3/0). Baron isn't even up and your team decides they are gonna group and fight in the river. Sure you have alistar and maokai on your team and you are trusting that they will peel for you so Sett can't kill you and get a 500 gold shutdown. Well I'll tell you what will happen, Maokai and Alistar are going to try to catch someone out, put their abilities on cooldown, and all of a sudden Sett is TPing with Stridebreaker and goes right on you. Alistar and Maokai are on cooldown, so you die. My question to you would be, what are you fighting for? Was it worth it? Were you securing baron, Dragon or Rift. And the most important question is, WHAT DID YOU GIVE UP by committing to that teamfight? There is a double-stacked wave down bot that you could have collected (250g) that crashed into your tower and is now wasted gold. This is not your teams fault, it is yours because you trusted a low elo player to make all the right plays by peeling for you. They are stuck in the elo they are stuck in for a reason. Don't do it.
Rule #2: Your jungler is dead because he got caught as dragon spawned. The enemy team has 5 member so it's a 4v5 and your jungler, who is dead, is spam pinging help on dragon. IGNORE IT. You don't have smite. That is one of the quickest way to lose a game EARLY. They want you to contest it. They can smite it and then turn on you and ACE your team. But what if my team goes? Spam ping them off of it and walk away to find something to farm. If your team dies they die. But if you all die, that's dragon, plus inhib which can lead to them either pushing for nexus or taking baron all because you listened to your dead jungler's ping.
Rule #3: Take favored fights. The point of not grouping is to make sure that you control the battlefield. Get in a lane, make sure you pink your flanks and sides and make the enemy make a decision to either group or answer your push. That is the best way to snowball leads. Go back to the Vayne example in Rule #1. Your team is fighting by Baron pitt while it's not even up. Okay that means bot lane has free waves for you to pick up. Go bot farm the wave, push the tower. The enemy will have to make decision, do I commit to this teamfight, or do I lose my base? Someone will eventually get anxiety and answer you. Now you are in a 1v1, your flank warded and you're a fed Vayne (1v1 hypercarry machine). You pick up the kill and the turret. That is a guaranteed 1k gold. Always make the 100% play, not the coinflip.
- Wave Management: I am of the belief that if you master wave-management, you are instantly plat. In lower elos wave management is probably THE MOST PUNISHING way to win lane and win game. Even as a jungler – knowing which way the lane is pushing, whether or not it will freeze, bounce or reset, can influence you to make 100% gank plays. Okay, so what is wave management? Honestly it's way too much to put here. I strongly recommend you study it on sites like skill-capped or on Youtube. But here are basic terms and their definition:
Freezing a wave: This means that the wave is on your side of the lane (so if I'm bot lane and I'm blue side, the wave is on the bottom half of the lane but hasn't hit the turret). All you have to do is make sure that the enemy wave has 3-4 lane minions than you do and simply last hit. The enemy minion wave is bigger than yours so it will continue to kill your wave and it will stay on your side (because your wave will get to the lane first to reinforce the dying wave). You can maintain a freeze with good mechanics for a long time. I once went into a gold 4 game and this ezreal foolishly and mindlessly pushed the wave into my turret and I walked in front of the wave, let it auto me till my wave came and then froze it right in front of my turret. Now if Ezreal wants to CS he has to walk all the way up to my tower to collect cs. If you're ahead your support can zone him off the wave. In my low Gold games, I will sometimes be 100 cs up on my opponent just by freezing.
Slow-Pushing: A frozen wave will eventually turn into a slow-push. What happens is the enemy wave will be stuck in front of your tower. As a result your wave will get to lane first and start pushing against the enemy wave earlier. It will eventually over-power the enemy wave and start pushing away from you. All you have to do is last hit and let the wave grow, and grow and then crash it into the turret. This can be useful for resetting (backing and spending your gold), setting up a dive, landing poke under a tower, or landing a hook under tower. There are so many benefits I can't explain them all here.
Bouncing a wave: Arguably the best time to back is when you bounce the wave (like after a slow-push). This means that you shoved a wave into the turret and it was big enough to where the enemy minion wave came and started attacking the minions at the enemy tower. Because the wave is stuck there, it will begin to push to you. That means you can literally just back, buy come to lane to a huge minion wave that you can easily farm. (It's important that you do not fight here, as that wave is worth more than a kill in terms of gold and experience). You can then bounce the wave back and slow-push it back to the enemy tower. It's a game of waves my friends.
Resetting a wave: This is simple. This just means you shoved the wave into the tower and the wave died before enemy minions got there. The 2 waves will just meet in the middle of the lane. Learning when to use these strategies and why is important. That is why I say that if you master this, you are instantly plat because there are high plat players that don't understand wave-management. If they did, they'd be diamond.
- Learn to play from behind. I bet a lot of you don't even know this but a couple years ago riot implemented a minion buff. Basically for every tower that is down, the opposite minion wave becomes 5% stronger. What does this mean? Okay you're losing lane. It's 10 minutes and you were dove, jungler rifted your turret bot and first turret is gone. Games over right? WRONG. In low elo, people don't' know what to do after that. They will make incorrect macro plays. But what this means is that now the enemy wave in bot lane is 5% stronger than your wave. Basically that means that the enemy wave will infinitely push to you. You can let it push to you and freeze it in front of your tier 2 turret and afk farm, build it into a slow push, crash it and bounce it, reset and repeat the process and literally farm yourself back into the game. Sometimes when I have an inting support and I'm going against a Caitlyn Xerath lane, I will just let them take my turret and ping my support away from the tower so I can have free farm. Now when this happens, don't get baited into walking up to their turret to collect cs. It will push to you FOR FREE. Just be patient, catch the wave at your turret and ward all possible gank spots. Your enemy laners will mindlessly roam not making a big enough impact on the map, and 5 minutes later, you're a higher level than them and have more cs. It's low elo, almost all games are winnable with fundamentals.
Also let me take a quick moment to talk about losing inhib before 20 minutes. Taking Inhib before 20 minutes is SOOOOOOOO BAD that not even pro players and challenger players will ever take inhib before 20 minutes. Think about it. Inhib goes down at 16 minutes. Okay now there's super minions in that lane that will infinitely push into enemy base. Enemy is safe and can freely collect that cs while that laner loses an entire lane of farm for 5 long game minutes. On top of that, there's no baron. Can't end the game. Losing 1 dragon isn't that bad. SO keep that in mind when enemy is taking your inhib before 20 (let them) or you have the chance to take their inhib before 20 (DON'T!). Take the turret, but leave the inhib. If enemy is pushing inhib before 20, don't recall to stop it. Let it happen and continue pushing your lane and cross-map. It's free farm for 5 minutes. It's an easy throw if you are a scaling team and have like a kassadin or jinx on your team.
- This post is getting long so I'm gonna just do this last one (I will add more upon request).
Solo-Queue Mindset – This is (in my opinion) THE MOST IMPORTANT out of all 6 of these. I'm going to break it down.
Rule #1: BE SELFISH. It is YOUR responsibility to carry. You cannot carry if you are dead before an important teamfight. That is why I say always make 100% plays, not coin-flip plays. It is low elo, people will always fight. Make sure you are alive to punish these low-elo players for taking bad fights. If you are the most fed person in the game, then it is doubly important that you DO NOT DIE. Be selfish. Even if you are a bruiser, let your team face-check river. Then when the enemy cheesed your teammate and uses all their ults, cc and abilities on that teammate, you can go in and pop-off. This is how high elo smurfs carry low elo games. Use their strategies.
Rule# 2: Cross-map, don't tilt. Cross-mapping is a term in League that basically states that if the enemy is making a play on one side of the map you make a play on the other side. For example: The bot lane just roamed top and dove your top laner with the jungler. There are 4 people top. DON'T RECALL. What are you going to do if you recall? It's 1v4? The turret dies no matter what. Instead, push bot hard, and I mean hard. In low elo, the enemy team will for some reason start recalling to stop you from taking turret. Then you can look for a 1v1 or a 1v2 and outplay and make a huge play. Same things apply. Enemy team is on rift, okay take dragon. Enemy team is 4 manning top, okay trade turrets bot. Junglers! Enemy jungler is taking your bot side. Okay take their topside. Always crossmap. Don't tilt or let your teammates tilt you by saying "What are you doing? There's 4 top and you're splitting bot." You're making the right play by pressuring bot 90% of the time.
Rule # 3: Make sure all of your in-game decisions revolve around Gold Per Minute (unless it is a game-ending decision like baron or elder). What does this mean? Simple, have your mind on your money and money on your mind. Your goal should be to get as much cs as you can so you can afford items to power-spike and carry. How do you do that? Well first, ALWAYS be watching waves in every lane to see where you can get farm. I think I will explain this with 3 scenarios:
Scenario 1: You just took bot tower and you recall. As you're recalling you need to decide what you should do next. Now in higher elo, bot and top or bot and mid will switch lanes so bot can pressure and take another turret. But in low elo, no one does that. So what should you do? Where should you go? The answer is very simple and will always be this simple, go to the empty lane. Mid is staying mid for some reason, and top won't switch. NEVER SHARE FARM. Just go right back bot-lane, ward river and jungle so you can't get collapsed on and continue shoving waves into tier 2 turret and pressuring bot. It's about Gold Per minute, always be csing. Now if your mid laner just died and you're recalling after taking turret bot, run mid. Take the wave and honestly stay there UNLESS your mid laner comes back to your lane. If that happens, leave mid and go right back to bot.
Scenario 2: For some reason you're team is grouping around Dragon pit posturing to fight. It's a coinflip (all teamfights are really). They are pinging for you to join them. But because you're all about the money, you look on your minimap and see a HUGE wave stacked up and its pushing to your tower. What do you do? Again simple: get that wave. It's your responsibility to carry. Here's what you need to ask yourself: am I guaranteed a kill in this teamfight? Am I fed enough to carry it? And even if I am can I get 1 shot? Can my team play it correctly? Too many variables. Even if you get 1 kill, that's 300 gold. But you might not even. But that big juicy wave is worth 350g. It's guaranteed gold. Plus if you shove it out and crash it into the turret using a slow-push it is really worth over 500 gold, and then it will slow-push back to you which will lead the the entire process repeating itself. Get the wave, even if your team pings you. Mute them get the wave, buy your item carry the game. And again DON'T DIE. It's your responsibility to carry yourself out of elo-hell.
Scenario 3: Now this one I think is going to be controversial. The entire enemy team is fed. You are the only one that isn't inting and are farmed up. Your jungler is literally running it. You have no front line. They do. You have no cc. They do. Your entire team is weak and only you are strong, as compared to the enemy, they are all fed. They are threatening baron. Your team decides they are going to contest baron because they feel like they will lose the game if they lose baron. At the same time, because enemy team is so far ahead, you have waves pushing to you in every lane (the minion buff rule). What do you do? Again keep your mind on your money. Ping your team to giver baron. Yes I said it, give baron. Here's what will happen if you don't. You're team will walk towards baron and try to contest it. Enemy team will have everything warded because they are really far ahead. As a result, you will walk in blind. More than likely your entire team will die. Now the game is 100% over. They push down mid and game ends. They get baron anyways right? OR You ping your team off of it. And you all collect the waves. Enemy gets baron. Guess what, game isn't over. Now use the previous rules to make a comeback. Be farmed up. Fight on your terms. Find advantages. Let your team face-check, etc. Your goal is to have as much farm and money as you can to make an impact in your games and carry. So again the mindset is simple, follow the money trail. Always focus on gold. In fact, in the mid to late game, I take all jungle camps from my jungler if I don't have waves to farm. Let them flame you, but like I said, if you want to climb, you have to carry.
Alright guys, I know this post was long, but if you sat down and read it and it's helped you then it was worth my time. You might wonder why I'm not diamond yet huh? Simple… MY TEAMS ARE TRASH!!!!!!! 😂😂😂😭. Totally kidding. But there are aspects of my game that I am still trying to improve, but hopefully I'll get there before I quit in the next few years. Good luck on your climb and let me know if you want any other tips.
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