LoL Improving in SoloQ Guide by fr4gi
my IGN is Lao Shan Lung on Euw, i’ve been in Diamond elo since Season 4 (Plat 1 for most of Season 3) and have peaked rank 2000 in high Diamond 2 in Season 4. I’m always trying to improve myself, and looking back to the start i figured there’s a lot of things i could’ve done a lot better, which would have saved me time & brought me forward faster, so i figured it share some of my personal tricks & tips for improving in soloq.
I’m gonna split my advise in two Main areas as will be Mindset and Gameplay.
1. First and most important
DON’T play to win, play to improve. With that i mean, stop checking your lp constantly, stop thinking “i need to win this game because of promos” and stop getting annoyed over losing a game. Instead start focusing what you did wrong, where you can improve & what made you lose. Also focus on what your enemy, if beating you, did to beat you. Sometimes it’s not just “i did that wrong” but “he did that right”, that will help you on, as you might face people that are superior to you, from which you can learn strategies and manoeuvres that you might not be familiar with. In addition, playing for improving will make you be capable of actually getting something out of you being stomped / u playing 4v5. Even though that’s match ups that you will lose with a very high chance, you still get to play, to fail and to UNDERSTAND that you fail. Every minute you play is full of mistakes and unused opportunities, always keep that in mind.
2. Breaks and Streaks.
I have made my personal rule, that if i lose 3 games in a row, i will take a break. Sometimes, on bad days, i will do it after 2 games, sometimes on very good mooded days after more than 3. But always try to stop yourself when you notice your tilting/losing focus/losing motivation. “Losing streaks” are not just a weird occurrence, but an actual thing that you can, at least in some extend, stop yourself. On the other side, i have my personal rule, that if i have a winning streak of 3/4 or more, i will not stop until i either lose or definitely have to leave for other reasons. I would never stop playing soloq while in a winning streak for no reason, as you will notice that you get “juiced up” and play way better in these streaks. Take advantage of that.
3. Compliment People
I guess i don’t have to tell you guys that toxicity is destructive considering your gameplay. But what a lot of people don’t realise, is that the opposite is very beneficial for your games. Compliment people when they make nice moves, just a casual gj for a toplane, even if he just got the other laners flash. If people feel appreciated they are more likely to play more confidentially and thus successfully.
Pick 1 or 2 champions for each role (preferably 2, considering stuff might get banned) of preferably similar or at least comparable play styles(assassin / cc-utility / tank / Bruiser,Offtank, to name some) and practice them. Try to stick to these until you are reaaalllyyy safe on them. I feel that a lot of people play a lot of champions to an average level, but often the big diversity of champions leads to them focusing more on issues considering mechanics or powerspikes instead of more general questions like objective control, team powerspikes & map control. Also, try to find a main lane and stick to it whenever your team allows you to, eventually you will find yourself most successful when you focus on one thing as much as you can. I can’t tell you a specific lane being capable of carrying the most, as this differs from play style to play style. For me personally it always has been solo lanes with assassin-based champions, as i’m a very aggressive 1on1 player, for a friend of mine it was jungle because he tends to be able to adapt to his teammates very well in terms of ganking etc.. Just play what you feel most comfortable on.
2. Break the Meta
Let’s face it: Rarely played champions have the advantage of people not being used to them. Yes, they might not match perfectly into the meta, yes, their kits might be outdated or not as favourable as the ones of others, but they have their advantages. I picked up poppy at the beginning of the season (never played her before more than 2 or 3 times). And am still on smth around a 65% win chance in around 60 games. I’m not a good poppy player, but the simple fact that nobody in toplane is capable of evaluating her damage brought me a lot of first bloods. Same goes for Lee-Sin top. Most People are gonna be like “just gotta get to mid/late and he will out scale”. Well yea, true that, but then again you out damage basically anyone, can cheese first blood on lvl 2 quite easy and then snowball out of control. What im saying is try stuff out. Don’t listen to people telling you “thats not working” until you’re sure it actually doesn’t. Surprise people and you will be rewarded for it. For more cheese picks PM me.
Okay, i guess this isn’t too much of a surprise but seriously, if a silver 5 / bronze player asked me how to get out of this elo the easiest, i’d tell him go in custom or botgames and just practice his last hitting until he’s at least capable of getting 90% of the minions (including under tower last hitting). If you are capable of doing that, you might just stop doing any trading and stuff and farm up, because as i have seen until high gold elo people are most likely not farming more than 80% of the minions. Simply that will get you out of lower elo, IF YOU ACTUALLY PRACTICE IT.
There is one basic rule considering fast calls in game. It is better, to make a bad call together, than a good call alone. Thus meaning, if at least 3 people of your team are following a specific call, and shall it be a desperation nashor, do it. If you don’t, you’re basically leaving the majority of your team to nearly no chance of surviving, while you surviving alone will also most likely not result in anything. It’s called a team game for a reason, stick together.
** Cheese Picks **
I will not go into detail for every single pick here, as that would just take too much time, but ill try to give you a general overview over some unusual champions or builds that i have successfully used on smurfs, as well as on my main. Keep in mind, there is not gonna be a “play this and you definitely win without practice” pick in here.
Elise: Best effective vs Melees. Elise can control the lane nicely due to her spider and her spider form w as pushing tools. She can stack nice dmg with her human form q and then pressure you away with the spider form q. She is (if you land e) pretty safe from ganks and can even pressure under tower. Suggested Build ways are either, if you’re vs a lot of hard ad, Frozen Heart, Liandrys, Rylais and then situational or if you are vs a more balanced team you might aswell get RoA first and then just adapt to the situation, for example : RoA, Liandrys, Rylais, Rabadons, Randuins, GA. Keep in mind, ALWAYS get Liandrys, it just works too well with ur % skills to not use it.
Lee-Sin: I know, i mentioned him in the guide already, but i want to give you a short “tutorial” on how to cheese easy fb with lee. It will take some practice but once u get it, it will work most of the time. Start Long Sword 3 Pots. Go to lane, hit one minion twice and always try to hit a minion when your opponent is hitting one so you stay 2 hits ahead, thus meaning your lane will push & you will get lvl 2 first (if you do it right). Try, when your enemy last hits, using e to damage him without him getting in range to deal dmg you. If he deals dmg, use ur pots. When you see you hit lvl 2 with the next minion (thats about 2 or 3 minions of the second wave i think), get closer to the enemy, try hitting him and forcing him to get out of the security of his minion wave. If you managed to get him low enough before and he opens up for a q, you can q him, then flash e-> auto hit -> ignite him and q again and you will get FB.
Full Ap-Rumble: So for some reason this seems to get more popular due to lcs i think, but for me this was a big thing when i discovered it. Keep in mind, this is a very situational build that can go very wrong or very good. It’s basically just trying to figure out if you will be able to win lane and then going full ap so u can either get horribly fed from your lane or deal the necessary dmg in team fights in mid game. Well, you can imagine, if it turns out you’ve got a late game team and you running around with 400 ap at 30 minutes and everyone is still farming, you will be in a lot of trouble. But if you actually win lane and get fed and are capable of landing ur stuff in team fights, the dmg you deal will be insane, seriously. Build order: Hourglass (the 1200gold item for it first), Sorceress Boots, Rabadons, Liandrys, Void Staff, Ludens Echo.
Karma: This is one of the picks i never understood not going popular. Karma has a craaazyyyy kit with pretty sufficient scalings. You’ve got an aoe slow, a bind, a shield and really low cool downs on all these. In addition, you can outplay 1v1 really hard by using ur bind as a heal (nobody expects you to gain huge amounts of hp randomly). She also has a pretty safe laning phase due to the fact that you can lasthit a lot of the minions with ur q from behind and from a specific level one you can just clear the whole wave with a couple q’s. In team fights she brings both, utility and dmg and can snare down specific assassin targets to safe the team. Well, yea, she might not bring an instant kill on a carry like zed does and she might not be able stun multiple people and deal huge aoe to them like viktor does, but the mixture of utility, damage and cc she brings and the fact that she is NOT only directed towards one area is what makes her very playable in my opinion. She’s hard to lane vs really long range casters though, as the minion wave blocks ur spells. Suggested Build : Morellonomicon (situational even twice), Sorceress Boots, Rylais, Rabadons, Lyandris, Void Staff. Sometimes might experiment with a RoA or Ludens Echo here, thats up to you.
AP Nasus: Before hand, this is not the easiest thing to play and its strongest moments are in late game. The idea of this is to max your e, while asides still stacking ur q, until you get to the point where 1. your e shreds the enemys armor & deals a ton of engage dmg, 2. your ult heals you for a pretty big amount and 3. your q, combined with lichbane and the stacks that you have gathered while in laning phase, will deal an insane amount. I recently had a game where i played AP Nasus and literally only needed 3 q’s for the nexus, without being “that” fed or having “that much” stacks (300ish). Even though the late game of this is pretty nice, your laning phase will be shit vs most of the meta midlaners. You gotta start Potions & Flask and just try to last hit a lot with e. At lvl 6 you might try to cheese a 1v1 kill depending on what your enemy plays, because you’ve got a nice powerspike there. Suggested build is Flask Potions into Tear, then Hourglass, Rabadons, Void Staff & Lichbane. Sorceress Boots whenever you find them useful. Lucidity Boots are an option here due to the fact that you are very CD dependent in last hitting in mid game and in fighting in late game. Obviously you want to evolve the tear as soon as you have it fully stacked, also.
Quinn: This has been played every now and then by the mainstream, but mostly toplane and not as well as it could be. Quinn brings some nice things to the table. She has a very strong 1v1 laning phase, she scales into late game and she also has the strong potential to just roam top / bot or invade jungle as soon as she hits 6 without really losing anything. You want to play her fairly aggressive, trying to get lvl 2 first, and always trying to hit the passive on the enemy. Theres a couple tricks about her, but you will get to master these relatively fast. Fun Fact: her is a knock up, it can stop Panth ult from starting, cancel a tp and stop Lee-Sin while flying. Suggested Build: Armor Pen Armor Pen Armor Pen. Start either Dorans, 1 Potion or Flask 3 Potions (if you’re vs long range ap’s that you feel cannot trade with and that will else ways poke you out of lane). Get Brutalizer asap, then get Cutlass, Finish Brutalizer to Yhumoos, get Botrk, get LW, get Stattik and make the last item dependent on what ur team brings (sometimes i get randuins / warmorgs, if my team is not too tanky). For Boots get Bersercers. Keep in mind, if your team goes squishy / assassin toplane AND squishy / assassin jungle, you should not pick that. A lot of loses in lower elo are due to the simple fact that a team brings up 5 squishies, that MIGHT deal a lot of dmg but just get picked up instantly. For some deep insight into quinn and really nice tricks (helped me understand some of her mechanics swell) check out this guy :https://www.youtube.com/user/xWhatTheMoosex?spfreload=10
Since jungle gets changed so much (why riot, WHY), a lot of my old and approved jungle picks are not working anymore. But aye whatever, here we go.
Udyr: I’ve been playing Udyr for quite a while now, i like the diversity he brings. You can play him in really many levelling ways (phoenix, tiger, bear second, turtle second) and you can play him as an afk farm / split push orientated champion, aswell as an early/midgame ganking thread that groups up. Besides that his jungle clear is acceptably effective and, if played right, his 1on1 power in mid / late game exceeds most other champions. Plus he is fast. Like really fast. Racecar fast. Suggested Clear & Build: Start tiger at gromp / golems (wherever your botlane is) and clear red & blue afterwards. Get e on lvl 2. If you start golems, stack the smite stun buff and ur bear stance, to maximise the stun time. Get the Trailblazer jungle item with the Devourer upgrade and always try to get some stacks in between ganks, objectives or before backing. Alternatively, Stalker Blade and Skirmisher also work, picking these depends on how you play (if you wanna focus most on farming obviously Trailblazer is best). Start Machete 2 Pots, finish jungle item, get Triforce, get Frozen Heart, from here on situational. I like to get Frozen Mallet & Zephyr to maximise your speed. Also you get the +3 Boots, w/e these are called, cba looking that up.
Poppy: Hell yea. She’s got nice ganks if u land e nice, can just towerdive from lvl 6 on and can solo dragon on lvl 2 without going below 50% hp. Theres not much general stuff to say about poppy as you really have to play her, but what is really important here, is not getting stuck on unsuccessfully trying to gank. Sometimes it just doesn’t work and you have to farm in jungle. You can get behind with her really fast as her clear is pretty slow, so decide what you wanna do and stick with it. If, though, u manage to get into mid/lategame your team will have another really strong carry in the jungler position that always can solo the enemy adc/apc without being bothered in team fights. Suggested Build order: Trailblazer with warrior upgrade, triforce, Righteous Glory (damn that item is nice on poppy), Sorceress Boots, Void Staff and Warmogs. Skill order Q -> e -> w. Bonus: How to solo dragon on lvl 2. Run 9/21/0 masteries and get HpRegen Quintessences in your runes. Buy Red trinket, Hunter Machete & 2 pots & Run down to blue and take q, kill it with smite and ur team helping, don’t use potions. Instantly Tp back and buy Rejunavation Bead and a few more potions (should have 4 on the whole). Get to drake, sweep it and start fighting it. Don’t use potions until you drop at around 50% health, then keep using them constantly. This is where your passive triggers and due to the increased health regen, you will not lose anymore halt.
AP Xin: Just recently tried this out, so i cannot give you a deep insight into that. I remember it being strong from season 3 / 4 due to the fact you get healed by auto hitting (solo tower np). It’s pretty fun to play, im not sure on how viable it is though. Max w first!! Also playable on toplane. Suggested builds are Stalkers Blade with Magus or Devourer upgrade, Nashors Tooth, Spirit Visage, Rylais, Attk Speed Boots & a situational item (WoA, Rabadons, Randuins, Botrk).
This is my worst lane, so please have mercy to the fact that i only have one pick.
AD Orianna: She brings a lot of cc, a shield and a passive that gives u some nice bonus dmg asides. Her w is the shit for kiting and her ult can save her if she’s being engaged on. Even though she doesn’t have any skills scaling on ad, her kit is so nice for her safety that i consider her pretty viable. You might wanna get a triforce on her due to the amount of skills you have, asides that just go the usual Tri->IE->Stattik/PD->LW->Defensive Item. I’ve tried maramune on her, it works, but i feel like she doesn’t want to have to wait that long to be able to stuff. With Maramune u effectively set your powerspike back in time, but you want to be able to use ur lvl 6 cc powerspike.
Xerath: Huge Range, constant poke and a second APC in lategame. Xerath a lot of really nice features to botlane, but on the other hand, you cannot forget how easily he is killed. If you manage to stay safe, you will out damage your opponents pretty fast and can take over lane control or even get a kill. But if that mad life thresh on the other team hooks you, your gonna be in biiiig trouble most of the time. To shorten it up: It’s a pretty viable pick, but YOU GOTTA KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING! If not, you’re gonna be the feeding bitch that everyone blames the loss on >.<. Suggested build: Ap supp item (can’t think of the name), sighstone, morellos, rabadons, Void staff. Sorceress Boots, obviously.
Lee-Sin: Ok this is very situation, but i have found that vs champions with hooks (thresh, bc) lee-sin will be very effective. You’re basically going full tank and maxing w first. When someone throws a hook to ur adc, u just safeguard to them and take it, giving your adc a nice shield and saving him from getting hooked. Also, from lvl 6 on, you can insec people and bring a lot of nice cc to the table for later team fights. Suggested Builds: Long Sword, 3 Pots -> Sighstone -> Giants Belt -> Hydra -> Randuins -> Mercury Treads -> WArmogs -> LW.
Full AP Nunu: Ok now, down at the bottom of this guide, you find the real cheese. This is the one tactic that will make your opponents call you a noob for playing such an op champ. Yea we’re still talking about nunu, crazy right? The basic idea here is, get full ap masteries & runes, get dorans & 2 pots, run ignite flash and just keep spitting dem snowballs at the enemy adc. As long as theres no sivir / morg on ur lane, the enemy adc will take huge dmg from the ice balls and you will gain control of the lane or cheese fb with e->ignite really fast. Always try hitting minions to get ur passive up when possible, so you don’t lose too much mana. One tip: Hit the caster minions when there is still siege minions in the lane, thus making it easier for ur adc to last hit, because your not screwing up the minions that are in danger of dieing soon. Thats generally very important when playing support, a lot of people tend to just attack the siege minions to help you push, thus screwing up ur cs. Back to Nunu-> As soon as ur 6, turn around any gank into a triple kill by ulting in the bush and then win easily. Ok i might be overexaggurating, but this is really fun to play AND deals a lot of damage. Against various champions you can also play this top / mid. Most importantly you don’t wanna face someone with a lot of cc or sustain, as cc will break your ult, which is ur main dmg and sustain will make you useless. Suggested build order: Dorans, 2 Pots -> Rabadons -> Ludens Echo -> Hourglass -> Voidstaff -> Rylais. Soceress Boots, as usual.
Alrighty, this is about it for the cheese picks i find very fun to play / viable. I hope you guys got some ideas now & will find something you find to play. Keep in mind, as said before, there is no “play this and win” pick in this. That shit doesn’t exist. But if you practice one of these a lot, you will most likely get a positive winscore on it. You always have the advantage of surprise, i mean seriously, who expects Nunu Iceballs to deal dmg nowadays ?!?
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