A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters: Day One
A Comprehensible Manual for League of Legends Starters
by Oskar Thomas “The no-no Java” von Seckendorff
I figured that a good way to go back in time is to make a new account. Back to level 1. I’m evidently assuming that you know how to get your way around the bureaucracy of account names. And by the way, when you choose an account name, I would strongly advise to choose a half decent summoner name. Players tend to look down on players with childish or disrespectful titles. If you aren’t into inventing witty names, then just look around your desk and do something along the lines of the following:
The [item on your desk] Man
If this feels not epic enough, then you might go for:
Professor [item on your desk]
That will hardly end up being an insult. If that doesn’t fit your tastes, however, then use your common sense and that’s the end of it.
After this, you are offered a tutorial game session. Don’t. Just, don’t. I’ll take over. Make a match, a Co-op vs. AI and choose Intro. Here’s what’s going to happen:
- You’ll be on queue from some seconds.
- A message will pop-up to confirm that you’re not AFK.
- The champion select window will appear.
Here’s the deal: each players picks a champion. At first sight, they seem to be the same, except for the colors, their sex, and names. You pick one and you play the match with the champion. After the match is over, you aren’t bound to play with this champion again. Every match is a new start. A new dawn. I’ll give you the rough outline of the characters now. Usually this is the un-friendliest part of starting out. Spelling it out for you:
- Ashe: is a marksman i.e. she shoots arrows i.e. she is a ranged champion. Without getting into much detail, she, along with some other champs, is responsible for dealing tons of damage to the opponents. (bot lane)
- Garen: is a fighter. Let’s say that he likes to be almost always in the front line. I’m not a big fan of him, but he’s a good option if you want to try close combat. (top lane)
- Jinx: is part of the group to which Ashe belongs. She’s an attack-from-behind. (bot lane)
- Kha’Zix: is not a he or a she. It’s an it. Like a massive bug. It classifies as an assassin, which means that he deals tons of damage in small bursts. It in particular covers a role called jungler. For the time being, he’s just a close contact champ that deals burst damage. (jungle)
- Lissandra: is a mage. She deals ranged damage, but not with the same purpose of Ashe or Jinx; her purpose is to do burst damage along with utility damage. For example, she can root an enemy. (mid lane)
- Lux: is so cute. If she were a real person, then I’d definitely go for her. Preferences aside, she’s a mage too. Her role is to deal burst damage as well as to provide some utility. She can shield allies and root as well as slow opponents. (mid lane/support)
- Ryze: is a well-rounded champion. If you play him, then you really want to extend the match, from your individual point-of-view, since the longer the game lasts, the more powerful he becomes. He is a mage, but with an interesting kind of burst, since his burst is more like a continuous burst. (mid lane/top lane)
- Shyvana: is a fighter. She used to be played as a jungler, but she’s now played as a top champion. Her style an aggressive, yet paced, play. At level 6 she gets the ability to turn into a dragon with enhanced abilities and increased resistances. (top lane)
- Varus: is part of Ashe’s and Jinx’s family. Not my type. If you want to try him out, then do, but keep in mind that he’s hard to use. (bot lane)
- Wukong: is a king monkey. To be honest, I haven’t played with him. I know he’s a good choice if you can get a hold on his play style. His role is of a fighter, but can go very tanky, so he is relatively versatile. (top lane/jungle)
Who’s best for you? Your call.
After you’re thrown into the Summoner’s Rift, you find that you’re in some kind of terrace. That’s your base. Basically the point of the game is to defend your base and take over the opponents’ base. Let’s look at the simplified map.
- base: it has 5 turrets and 3 inhibitors. The objective of the game is to destroy the enemy nexus.
- mid lane: it is usually played solo, and by a mage. Mid requires champions that can react to situations effectively.
- top lane: this lane is played solo. The champs here are almost always champs that deal damage through contact
- bot lane: played duo. The characters used here are called the ADC and the support. ADC for bottom lane is always played by a ranged champion. The support champion doesn’t have a fixed description. We’ll describe the roles later.
As you might have noticed, the distribution for roles is somewhat arbitrary. In my opinion this is a very interesting phenomenon, since it is the result of millions of matches that create what we call the meta. The meta is what dictates the unofficial rules of the game. Players usually adopt the meta until level 5 or so, when normal games jump into the scene. Eventually everyone is forced into the system. If you feel like playing freely since day one, go ahead. Just be advised that if you don’t stick to the current meta, your teammates will reject you.
So, what are the famous roles that I’ve been mentioning? Here they are:
- The ADC: this is the abbreviation for “attack damage carry/carrier”. This champions have default stats and abilities that enhance their damage output. Their physical damage output. The ADCs by excellence are the ranged-bottom-lane champions.
- The APC: which is the abbreviation for “ability power carry/carrier”. These champions usually play mid lane. Their role is to amass AP (ability power). If a team gets good combination of AD (attack damage) and magic damage (from AP), the mixed damage puts the enemy team in a difficult position.
- The support: sadly the most underrated role in the game. Supports have at least two missions in a match: keeping the ADC alive and providing utility to the team. Depending on the support, the percentage of importance of the missions vary. However, supports are not meant to do damage. That’s why they support.
- The tank: is the champion responsible for absorbing the damage output of the other team. The usual way to build a tank is to get armor or magic resistance, depending on the early game conditions, and then get some extra health. Tanks aren’t really meant to do that much damage. They, once again, just drink up the enemy damage.
- The jungler: apparently a mysterious role for newcomers. The jungler is the person responsible for roaming. Junglers need champions with abilities that allow them to quickly engage enemies and to kill in a couple of seconds. Junglers don’t lane. They kill the NPC distributed through the jungle section of the map. The point of having this player? Two actually. This meta maximizes (apparently) the gold output of the map. This means that the jungle may be seen as an exotic lane. Secondly, a jungle players excel at ambushing, called ganking by the community. Doing ganks increases the chance of getting kills as well as of destroying towers.
This is a very rough description of the roles, especially for the jungle roles. However I think this is enough to get an idea of the current meta. As you get more acquainted with the game, you’ll begin to get a hold of the smaller details of the meta. I hope I cover as much as possible, while keeping this a starter guide, evidently.
“But what about the mechanics?” That’s actually a good question. Basically right click on terrain to move to that point. Right click over an enemy/enemy building to auto-attack. Before playing a new champion, read the description of its abilities (Q, W, E, R) and learn what each one does. The rest is up to practice.
This might be enough to make you able to survive your first day on League of Legends. In the next section I’ll go deeper into item builds, the roles themselves, and some overall advice for PvP matches.