Basics: Explaining Lane Roles

Basics: Explaining Lane Roles

Conquest teammate Action Hank (or as I like to refer to him, Action Gank) created a nice internal memo list for players within the team who are just starting to get into League of Legends and gave me permission to use parts of it for the post. These are meant as guidelines as to what the intended purpose of these champions are and how they are best used. Naturally, some champions are flexible and can be used in different lanes or roles.

AD Carry

The AD carry’s job is to farm as much gold as possible in the early game. The goal is to get every last hit, every one. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see some excellent AD carries approach 100 CS (creep score) just past the 10 minute mark. This farm will allow the carry to do the insane (but necessary damage) needed to carry the team to victory. They are incredibly item dependant and they need that gold. They should have a support bottom who doesn’t detract from the farm and can keep them alive/assist them. These players can fit well into any lane. They’re ideally used in the middle alone or preferably in the bottom lane with a support champion.

See also Bottom Lane: Support and AD Duo.

Examples: Ashe, Caitlyn, Corki, Twisted Fate, Master Yi

Support

The support helps out their team, rather than just killing the enemy team (though if they can, that works too). Crowd control and extra health are the main ways this is accomplished. Extra health could be heals or shields, they’re practically the same thing. If paired with a carry, the support should be taking as little farm as possible and really focus on protecting the carry. Their items tend to consist of gold /5 items. Beyond that they want items that assist their team. The support should also be the largest or second largest contributor of wards. Keeping their lane warded is a priority so the jungler and carries don’t spend as much gold on wards. Few tanks don’t fall into this category in my opinion. It is imperative that the support player take Clairvoyance as a summoner skill.

Examples: Janna, Sona, Soraka, Taric

AP Carry

AP carry’s have strong early game. They usually scale well up until very late game, where they tend to drop off. Ideally, the AP carry is in the middle soloing the lane. Their damage output is very strong and so is their ability to clear out creeps and control the immediate area. AP players also have a fair level of item dependence but they often bring a little utility in the form of crowd control or other methods.

Examples: Annie, Orianna, Karthas, Vladimir, Brand

Melee Bruisers

Characters that are durable and scale well starting mid game. They follow any team fight initiations and hang around the fight to finish things up if the carries have to fall back from being focused. During engagements, they can pounce on anyone targeting your team’s carry. Or if they’re not being threatened, they can dive into the thick of things and finish off any weak champions.

Examples: Tryndamere, Alistar, Jax, Mordekaiser (es numero uno)

Jungler

The jungler frees up one lane to get more xp/gold. But more importantly, the jungler is there to assist the team in ways a lane player isn’t able to. He is hidden most of the game so his ganks are unexpected. The jungler also keeps up map awareness by contributing with wards, controlling red/blue buffs and dragon. Because both teams often run a jungler, the jungler should also counter-jungle. Denying the opposing jungler xp forces them to fall behind on gold and experience. There is enough experience in the jungle to hit level 4 on a full clear (assuming 4/4 Awareness mastery). Even disrupting one camp is enough to throw off the opposing jungle. At the very start of a match, it’s possible (and recommended) for the middle player to assist the jungler by leashing (or attacking their creeps and then running away causing the creeps to chase you instead of attacking the jungling player). If you can help the start of the jungle without leeching experience, ganks can happen earlier and you’re less likely to get counter jungled. It isn’t the job of the jungler to carry as they help the carry’s with their job.

Examples: Amumu, Warwick, Nocturne, Master Yi, Udyr

Lanes and the priorities

Now we’ll explain more about the three main lanes in Summoner’s Rift, their importance and how best to assign players.

Mid Lane

Middle lane will be the highest level, so champs with skills that can disable champions, explode champions, or have extreme range will fit here. The middle lane is the hardest lane to gank because it has two outs and the shortest distance between towers, making Flash and blinks incredibly powerful. Because middle lane will be the highest level, they can assist with ganking the two outer lanes when the openings are there (such as forcing the team’s champion back or taking down the middle tower).

If you’re unsure of who to place in the middle lane, a good rule of thumb is to think about the different ultimate’s in the entire team’s arsenal. Of the five, which would would you like to see maximized first? Naturally there are some exceptions, but if you’re just starting out or working your way through normal games and no one has any idea of who to place where, that generally suffices.

Bottom Lane

The side lanes have many places to hide which improves ganking potential especially with all of the different bushes. The bottom lane is right next to dragon, which is why it usually has 2 champs. After a good gank or a tower, this allows the team to kill dragon and secure 190 gold for each player. Pushing the tower early on bottom is not really that important. In the current meta, the bottom lane has the AD carry, who should take farming as priority early game. Pushing the lane too far also prevents the jungler from ganking well, wasting the power of a jungler. Focus on last hits so the lanes can stay about even, but if you can harass, that can deny the enemy the farming.

Top Lane

The top lane has a baron instead of dragon, which can be taken as early as level 11 (except that rarely happens). In competitive play, the top will be a 1v1 so it’s kind of easy to avoid getting ganked w/out a jungler. Just be aware of the jungler as much as possible. The top lanes biggest job is to farm as well. The 1v1 should farm longer and harder than the other lanes imo. If the 1v1 can hop into mid/late game with a good item set if can really make a difference. When middle starts wandering around mid game, the 1v1 may end up gaining the level and gold advantage. Since you’re going to be in lane a long time and want to miss out on as little far as possible, any kind of sustainability is really nice here. This includes things like self heals or a way to leech life. Having the Teleport spell is an asset because if gets you back to your lane after you buy your first set of items and you can teleport to a ward and assist with a gank.

That should effectively summarize the basics of champion roles and lane placements. We’ll go in-depth with more of these at a later time.

About Matticus

Matticus is just some League of Legends player. Primary classes are AD carries. Ability to farm like a champion. When not playing League of Legends, he can be found wolfing down fried chicken or playing World of Warcraft. GM of Conquest Gaming, contributor to WoW Insider and Community Manager of Enjin.