League Ultimate Ranked Guide For Beginners
In this guide we will explain basics of ranked games in LoL, if you just hit 30 level or stucked at bronze, silver or gold league, this guide should help you.
BASICS OF LoL RANKED GAMES
The main difference between ranked and normal games is that players in ranked games are much more motivated to win. Another important point is that players are split by leagues depending on their performance. These factors changes game significantly and brings the game to a new level. Most of the players, in their attempts to win, trying to be more disciplined and purposeful. In most ranked games, team members follow default roles (solo top lane, solo mid lane, attack damage carry + support on bottom lane and a jungler role) and trying to setup inner cooperation in order to get objectives.
Another difference is possibility for each team to ban 3 champions. Usually people ban default champions according to the current meta. Why it’s not always a good option you can read in our lol metagaming guide.
There are several important game elements on which ranked newcomers (colloquially noobs ^_^) need to focus. In this article we will explain them in details.
CREEP SLAIN OR MINION SLAIN
Despite that lane mobs in LoL named minions, “creep slain (CS)” is entrenched term which came from DOTA to LoL.
First of all, you have to know that minion slain potentially provide more gold than kills, thus this is your main source of gold income.
The only way to improve your minion slain performance is a practice since this is pretty “mechanical skill”. However you shouldn’t make yourself easy target for opponent when you are trying reach minion and you have to balance creep slain with lane changes. We will speak about this later.
MAXIMUM CREEP SLAIN AT 20 MINUTE IS:
A minion wave spawns every 30 seconds since 1:30. Thus at the 20 minute there would be 18.5*2=37 minion waves, however 2 of waves won’t come to the lane in time, that’s why we would count amount of minions waves as 35. Every three waves there is siege creep, totally 11 cannon minions. Now let’s count: 35 (minion waves) * 6 (amount of minions per wave) + 11 (amount of siege minions) = 211 minions at the 20 minute.
If you don’t leave your lane and last hit each minion your overall CS would be 211 at the 20th minute. Obviously, this is really far from the reality. But 150 minions on your account by 20 minute is very real number, this can be increased up to 180 – 200 if you don’t have to roam to help your team and your enemy allows you to creep slain without major obstacles.
BEST RUNE PAGES FOR BEGINNERS IN LOL RANKEDS
When you finally reached 30 level (actually you can buy third tier runes at 20 level) it’s the time to buy runes. There are two basic common sets we recommend you to collect first (for the champions with prevailing physical damage aka AD and for the champions with prevailing magical damage aka AP). Right rune page is important if you really want to improve your ranked position without elo boosters.
BASIC RUNE SET FOR RANKED: AD CHAMPIONS
This rune page is not default and instead of the two attack damage quintessences there are armor and magic resistance quints. We added these runes to improve your basic survivability in order to decrease the cost of your ingame mistakes and make you feel more secure. There are no armor penetration runes because attack damage runes will help you in the creep slain process. You may replace AD marks with armor pen marks on some champions later, when you feel yourself more confident in creep slain process.
- 9 Greater Seals of Armor: +9 flat armor
- 9 Greater Glyphs of Magic Resist: +12 flat magic resistance
- 9 Greater Marks of Attack Damage: +8.5 flat attack damage
- Greater Quintessence of Armor: +4.26 flat armor
- Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist: +4 flat magic resistance
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: +2,25 flat attack damage
- TOTALLY: 13 ARMOR, 16 MAGIC RESISTANCE, 11 ATTACK DAMAGE
- IP COST: 8610
BASIC RUNE SET FOR RANKED: AP CHAMPIONS
This is a default low cost rune page for AP champions. In the feature you can create one more rune page where you replace armor runes on flat HP runes. Such rune page would be better against AP champions, but we recommend you to collect runes in the following list since they are more universal:
- 9 Greater Seals of Armor: +9 flat armor
- 9 Greater Glyphs of Magic Resist: +12 flat magic resistance
- 9 Greater Marks of Magic Penetration: +7.8 Magic Pen
- 3 Greater Quintessences of Ability Power: +15 Ability Power
- TOTALLY: 9 ARMOR, 12 MAGIC RESISTANCE, 15 ABILITY POWER ATTACK DAMAGE
- IP COST: 10410
IP COST FOR BOTH RUNE PAGES: 12900
Since flat armor runes survived nerf in the past and now provide only 9 armor instead of 13, you may use armor per level runes instead. Thus you receive 9 armor on level 6 and further you would only get extra armor stats. In this case, to compensate lack of armor at an early stage of the game you may start with Cloth Armor and 5 health potions.
BEST MASTERIES FOR NEW PLAYERS IN RANKED GAMES
In this part of LoL beginners guide we recommend you mastery sets you can use for the most popular roles in the game.
MASTERIES FOR BEGINNERS: AD TOP LANE
A bonus of 15% tenacity is the strong benefit for bruisers since they should go in first during team fights, gathering enemy crowd control on themselves. This mastery set significantly increases your survivability and provides a base damage which you get from offense mastery tree for the rest of 9 points.
MASTERIES FOR BEGINNERS: AP MID LANE
This is the modified rune page for AP mid laners which the OGN players use. It combines the damage and lane sustain. You receive bonus health points and mana each time you kill a minion, additional regeneration of mana and HP plus extra gain from the potions. You may take the Runic Affinity instead of the Culinary Master, but in the current meta junglers often take the most of blue buffs for themselves.
MASTERIES FOR BEGINNERS: JUNGLER
With the 21 points in the offense tree you will clean jungle fast which is very important for this role. For the rest of the points you gain survivability including protection against jungle monsters.
MASTERIES FOR BEGINNERS: ATTACK DAMAGE CARRY (ADc)
As ADc you must deal all possible damage but to do that you have to be alive. That’s why you see here pretty standart 21/9/0 set.
MASTERIES FOR BEGINNERS: SUPPORT
The only mastery set without 21 points in one of the trees. This is a nice combination of utility and tankyness. This is the standart mastery set on OGN for the tanky supports with crowd control ( Thresh, Leona, Braum, Blitzcrank). It also can be used for the squishy ranged supports like Sona or Janna.
SUMMONER’S SPELLS FOR RANKED GAMES
There are 11 available summoner spells on Summoner’s Rift. Traditionally, one slot is going for the utility summoner spell while second one is going for an escape type of the summoner spells.
- Heal: Is a very popular summoner spell, mostly used on ADc’s because heals up to 2 champions wherewith provides survivability including the movement speed boost which this role really needs. Can be also used on mid lane champions with the long range abilities like Ziggs because they often is not in the range to use Ignite.
- Clarity: Restores mana. This spell is considered to be useless because only provides the lane sustain and doesn’t help in the actual fight.
- Ghost: The significant movement speed boost for 10 seconds. Can be used on the champions who need time to deal damage and are tankier enough to survive long enough under the the enemy focus, e.g. Olaf, Singed or Nasus.
- Exhaust: Reduces the damage output of the target, must have on the most supports to protect their carries. Also can be used on the mid or top lane against the champions with high burst like Zed or Fiora.
- Barrier: Provides the 115-455 shield based on the champion level. Meanwhile the Heal effect equals 90-345 for two champions including the movement speed boost. That’s why in the most cases you have to choose the Heal over Barrier. However you may take Barrier on the squishy mid lane champs against bursters who have Ignite, (e.g. Le Blanc or Zed).
- Cleanse: Removes all crowd control from you. Cleanse is the light version of the Quicksilver Sash effect since it doesn’t remove non-control debuffs like the Zed‘s mark. You can see this spell very rare in the game. It can be taken for the carry champions against the team full of crowd control.
- Teleport: The most popular choice in the current meta for a top laners to compensate apartness of this lane from the Dragon’s pit. However we don’t recommend you to use it in the solo queue, at least until you hit the Platinum league it’s better to choose Ignite because it provides the huge advantage in the one versus one fight.
- Flash: Just the most popular summoner spell thus in the most games you can see that everyone have it. Flash is a very universal, so can be used for an escape, engage or to make a short teleport forward in order to finish an enemy champion. Must have.
- Clairvoyance: Reveals a small area of the map. Does almost the same that the blue trinket does. Wasting summoner’s spell slot for a trinket effect is not very wise.
- Ignite: An additional damage from this summoner’s spell may tip the scales in the battle in your favor. Should be your choice on the mid or top lane.
- Smite: You can’t even buy jungle items without this summoner’s spell thus as jungler you should take it by default.
COMBINATIONS OF SUMMONERS SPELL YOU SHOULD USE:
/ IGNITE & FLASH: Use it on the most top lane and mid lane champions. You also may use the Teleport on the top lane to follow the current meta. This choice is worth on the champions with the little kill potential and big utility in the team fights e.g. Malphite. However as mentioned before Ignite is too big advantage to miss it, especially in the solo queue where the teamplay level is low and choosing Teleport often is just not worth it.
/ HEAL & FLASH: On the AD carry, AP champions with a long range spells ( Xerath, Ziggs etc).
/ EXHAUST & FLASH: On the suppports. Also can be taken situationally against the champions with high burst.
/ SMITE & FLASH: On the junglers.
As mentioned before you can take Ghost instead of Flash on the specific champions.
SUMMONER’S RIFT: JUNGLE AND OBJECTIVES
About jungle monster timers, buff effects, turret mechanics, experience and gold gain of each object on Summoner’s Rift you can read in the another our guide here.
BEGINNERS MISTAKES IN LEAGUE
RECEIVING FREE DAMAGE
The biggest mistake of the low ELO players is that they put themselves in the position when opponent can deal damage to them for free. You have to avoid performing any actions when you do not know for sure what you are going to do. This can be the senseless poke when you risk your life to deal a little damage or the attempt to slain a minion which is not worth a significant amount of your HP. It’s better miss some gold from creep slain than put yourself in the vulnerable position.
Understanding of the limits of own power comes with the experience. However you have to learn how to avoid senseless dives and chases. If you feel doubt about your next risky move it’s better to abstain. Also it’s better to wait until your understanding of the game will be good enough to perform borderline moves.
Also remember that low HP of your enemy, first of all, is only the possibility and if you chase someone too long you should be ready that it would end bad for you. You must learn to catch the trend: if you see that the enemy movement speed is higher than yours then you should stop your chase for a kill (if you have no abilities ready to reduce the distance).
KEEP BUILDING DAMAGE WHEN LOSING
This mistake can be seen even at the diamond ELO and it concerns primarily top laners and junglers. Often people have their own scripted item builds, they saw somewhere, that’s why they are not even trying adjust to the current game. If you continue to build a damage when you already lost your lane (or behind in the jungle) – you will lose it even harder. Meanwhile buying defensive items would allow you to survive to build a damage items in feature. You just can’t deal a damage if you are dying in the seconds no matter how great your damage items are.
Recently i had a match up Darius against Hecarim. I have i killed him early and started to dominate the lane. Even then i went for the Sunfire Cape as the first item to make myself almost invulnerable against him at an early stage. He was rushing the Trinity Force no matter what. As result he was so squishy that my base damage was enough to safely dive him and win a several 1 versus 2 fights when the enemy Udyr was coming to my lane to gank me. I was able to burst down the Hecarim which left me alone with the Udyr almost on full HP. After some time i have destroyed both top lane turrets and had almost 3 items already. Meanwhile Hecarim didn’t finish the Trinity Force yet which he couldn’t use anyway because was dying too fast. Later in the game he build the Sunfire Cape right after the Trinity Force. Morale of this story is that he could build the Sunfire Cape first to survive during the 2 versus 1 fights on his lane and to not be a target for my dives. Thus he would have the same build Sunfire Cape and Trinity Force earlier with less amount of the deaths and destroyed turrets. Also i dealt a triple of his damage while my build was a full tank build with the only one damage item which was the Blade of the Ruined King while the aim of his item build was a damage. This is not the single story and it happens very often even on the diamond league during our elo boosting orders! You have to analyze the game and adjust to it!
THE LOW MAP AWARENESS
The sooner you teach yourself to follow the events on the map the sooner you will notice that your ingame performance improved. A short glance on the minimap can bring you a kill or save your life.
THE WRONG FOCUS
Often the ranked newcomers understand the right focus during team fights as follows: “Focus only the carries and avoid tanks”. It’s not always right, especially for ADc champions who often not able to focus anyone but the tanks because if they try to switch their focus to a squishy target they would have to move through the enemy team and this leads to death. In this case, you have to assist your carries to deal as much DPS as possible. On the diamond ELO there are many team fights which outcome depends on what team’s front lane falls first. You can also watch a pro leagues like LCS and see that players there don’t desperately chase the enemy carries.
Of course, if there is an enemy squishy carry in out of position then you can focus him freely.
Pings are the unique tool to communicate as fast as possible with your team. Use them constantly to tell your team that you need an assistance or they should fall back because your lane opponent is missing.
FORGETING TO USE ACTIVE ABILITIES OF ITEMS
The only way to start use your items is a practice but you have to focus your attention on that. Remember: some items like Zhonya’s Hourglass can change outcome of a team fight.
This is not only the mistake of new players. You have to understand when you have to recall because else you can pay for overstaying with your life. If your lane opponent recalled or died while your HP don’t allow you to face him again when he comes back then it’s time to recall. This is a simple rule which can improve your ingame performance significantly.
This is also not only the beginners mistake but it will be useful if you understand that flame always makes your chances to win less. If someone starts to insulting you – just use mute option without any bad words back. This way you avoid situation when team instead of focusing on the game spends time on chat.
BEST CHAMPIONS FOR RANKED GAMES FOR BEGINNERS
We represent a good champions for the new players who just start their ranked journey (our version of the best LoL champions for the advanced players), the champions in this list meet the following criteria:
- Their mechanics are simple, thus you won’t need to spend a lot of time to master these champions thus you are less likely to find yourself in a situation where you have to make difficult decisions.
- They are easy at farming thus important minion slain process won’t cause great difficulties.
- They still have a great win potential (aka winrate).
RANKED CHAMPIONS FOR BEGINNERS: THE TOP LANE
The top lane is the most vulnerable lane. The top lane is the solo lane thus there is no support with wards and crowd control to help you. Meanwhile this lane is the long as the bottom lane thus is very vulnerable for ganks. Moreover the top lane is isolated and without Teleport events on the map often would happen without you. Despite that, we recommend you to take Ignite since this will increase your chances to win the lane significantly. Leave Teleport as a choice for a higher leagues or specific champions. Because most times there are two melee champions confront each other, this lane has the most “contact” between opposite players and therefore is loved by so many players. Also it makes the lane sustain important factor on this lane.
Cho’Gath has the best lane sustain in the game due to his passive ability Carnivore and this is just perfect for the beginners. Just avoid all-in fights at an early phase of the game. To use your advantage properly you have to constantly make the small “lane changes” with opponent and out sustain him with an each minion wave. Cho’Gath has one of the biggest base amount of health points in the game which can be increased further by his ultimate Feast. Therefore you have to build armor or magic resistance which would increase your effective health (link to our armor and magic resistance guide, will be opened in a new tab). Start with the Glacial Shroud to build the Frozen Heart in the feature against the champions with physical damage. Against the champions with magical damage the choice is not so unequivocal. The Banshee’s Veil provides the best defensive attributes, the Wit’s End has a good synergy with Vorpal Strikes while the Abyssal Scepter provides an useful aura and gives you ability power (AP) which affects each of your ability. Another advantage of Cho is a large amount of the Crowd Control (CC). He has the Feral Scream ability which is the longest AoE silence (2.5 seconds at level 5) in the LoL and the Rupture ability which is a long range knock up followed by 60% slow. Feast is often the final word in the one versus one fight. There are two ways to level up Cho’Gath:
- The most popular among players is the way when you max Feral Scream (W). In this case, you can play with a tanky build and add some ability power from the Abyssal Scepter or the Zhonya’s Hourglass. We don’t recommend you to buy the Rod of Ages as the first item like many players do. Cho’Gath has huge amount of HP, thus to use this advantage it’s better to build armor or magic resistance depending on your opponent’s source of the damage.
- Second way to play Cho’Gath is when you use attack speed runes and max the Vorpal Strikes first. This method is not as popular as previous but is very effective. The Vorpal Strikes on 5th rank deal 80 (+30% AP) damage per basic attack which is a lot. It allows you to push the lane really fast (meanwhile gain HP and mana due to Carnivore), poke your enemy through minions and win the lane fights due high DPS and crowd control. Wit’s End is the best choice against mages, but there is no item in LoL which provide armor and attack speed. Therefore we recommend you to build the Frozen Heart first and buy the Wit’s End later, when the lane phase ends. Continue your build with defensive items because your team don’t need you as damage dealer in the team fights while what they would like to see tankyness and crowd control. The attack speed runes and Wit’s End are enough to win the lane and deal decent damage during team fights.
The crocodile has the most simple and straightforward mechanics in the game and that’s why he is so good for the beginners. He is the LoL bully. As Renekton you should constantly put a pressure on your enemy but you have to avoid unnecessary all-in fights in order to get an advantage from the sustain which Cull the Meek provides. Your main target is to maximize profit of the non-mana champion mechanic and short cooldowns on abilities. Default lane trick as Renekton is using the Slice (E) as gap closer then stun enemy with the Ruthless Predator (W), cast the Cull the Meek (Q) and use the Dice (second E cast) to get away, leaving enemy without a chance to hit back or make opponent to follow you and fight among your minions. Against the most champions we recommend to max the Cull the Meek first. It provides the lane sustain and can be used to poke your enemy when he comes close enough to make a killing blow to a minion. There are three main ways to play Renekton depends on what kind of opponent he confront:
- Against the melee AD champions (the most part of the top lane champions): a base damage of Renekton is great, thus you need to buy tanky items to survive the attempts of your enemies to kill you in a short period of time (6 seconds of the Irelia’s Hiten Style or the Fiora’s ultimate Blade Waltz), this way you would win the most of duels. Sunfire Cape as first item would be an ideal choice in the most cases. Your build can be continued with the Ravenous Hydra if you feel that you have enough tankyness to survive your lane opponent’s onslaught. Randuin’s Omen if you need more survivability against the physical damage. Buy the Spirit Visage if the lane phase ends soon and an enemy team have decent AP damage, also it can be useful against champions with a hybrid damage like Jax. Anyway these 4 items are classic pack for Renekton and you can buy them every game with a sequence which depends on the game situation.
- Against the champions who can outsustain, outscale Renekton later or aren’t able to kill him, e.g. Aatrox, Cho’Gath, Nasus, Rumble, Shen, Vladimir. Thus you have to secure your superiority while Renekton is stronger and start to build the Ravenous Hydra as the first item. Against this type of champions you should constantly seek for a fight, put a pressure to leave foes without possibility to sustain for free.
- Against the ranged mages like Lissandra, Elise, Ryze you have to rush Spirit Visage in order to survive their constant harras and wait for a jungler gank or the moment when you can kill them in the all-in attack (usually this moment occurs after 6 level).
Yorick mechanics are very spamy and annoys his lane opponent, which is nice. This is another simple champion with a good sustain, however we don’t recommend you to max the Omen of Famine since this would lead to lack of the damage in the actual fight. The Omen of War should be your choice against melee champions and you can mix the Omen of War and Omen of Pestilence against ranged champions. The main weakness of Yorick is that he is is highly dependent on mana, therefore he must have the Tear of the Godess. Without this item you just won’t be able to spam ghouls which is really important to get an advantage on the lane. Don’t rush for the Manamune right after Tear of the Godess, it’s better to buy a tanky item first, which one exactly depends on type of damage your opponent has.
- Against the champions with prevailing physical damage: since Yorick experiencing a constant lack of mana at an early stage, Glacial Shroud would be a best choice (don’t forget about 10% cooldown reduction you will get and boost of Manamune effect in feature). Later you can upgrade it to Frozen Heart or Iceborn Gauntlet, depending on what you need more a tankyness or damage. If you doubt – choose the Frozen Heart. You can also consider to buy the Randuin’s Omen later in the game because it provides the most survivability among armor items and has HP stats. When you feel that you are tanky enough then upgrade Tear of the Godess to the Manamune which should have decent amount of stacks already.
- Against champions with prevailing magical damage: when you get the Tear of the Godess start to build the Spirit Visage through Spectre’s Cowl. You will get your cooldown reduction, great survivability against AP champions and increased heal from the Omen of Famine. You can consider to add the Banshee’s Veil if enemy team has lots of magical damage. Get the Manamune when you become tanky enough. The Frozen Heart will be a nice choice when game comes to a team fight.
RANKED CHAMPIONS FOR BEGINNERS: THE AP MID LANE
The middle lane is the shortest lane in the game therefore is the hardest for ganking. However there are many entrances to this lane and most of mid lane champions are squishy and have high damage thus it is very easy to die or kill there. In this list we collected champions with simple but strong abilities master which will not be difficult.
Probably, the most simple mid lane champion in the game, however is very effective. Since AP champions have no AD runes, beginners who play on mid lane may have problems in the minion slain process. But you can forget about it when you play Annie. Disintegrate ability refunds mana on a minion kill, moreover it shortens cooldown from 4 to 2 seconds if you have killed a minion. With such mechanic even the players who just begin their ranked journey able to slain almost every minion on the lane. The benefits do not end there. She has one of the highest burst damage (our guide about burst damage and DPS, link will be opened in a new tab) in the game and the nice engage mechanic which is an AoE stun: Summon: Tibbers with the charged Pyromania. But she has own weaknesses:
- The Molten Shield is a great ability against the mid lane melee AD champions like Talon, Yasuo or Zed. However it’s almost useless against most mid lane champions who are ranged and their damage is magic. Since you have max it last you will get only 10 armor and magic resistance from Molten Shield until level 13. However this ability costs only 20 mana so you can use it to boost the movement speed of Tibbers or cast it to get one stack of the Pyromania.
- All her spells are short ranged. Thus in order to deal damage she has to take risks. Often to reach her target and make the perfect engage she needs Flash. However her vulnerability may and must be compensated by the Zhonya’s Hourglass which is the true game breaker item. If you use the Zhonya’s Hourglass in the right moment during a team fight then the game can be turned to your side.
We discussed her advantages and weaknesses, now let’s consider how you should play Annie against different type of enemies.
- Against the AP champions: we recommend you to farm as much as possible minions using the Disintegrate until you hit the level 6 and then you should be ready to land your combo with Flash and Ignite. The Luden’s Echo would be the best choice as the first time since it provides movement speed which Annie really needs and the unique passive of this item will be a nice addition to the burst damage Annie already has. If you feel that a lane phase is going tough for you then you should buy the Abyssal Scepter first (this is very actual item against the melee AP champions like Katarina or Fizz). The Chalice of Harmony which is the default first item for many mages won’t be a good pick for Annie since she doesn’t experience lack of mana due to Disintegrate mechanic. Despite that Zhonya’s Hourglass provides armor which won’t be useful against AP champions, it’s better to have it when team fight phase starts.
- Against AD champions: Annie is performing great against the most melee champions, that’s why she can be even played at the top lane, however she would be vulnerable for ganks there. The Seeker’s Armguard should be your choice against AD champions. You can even start with Cloth Armor and 5 health potions against champions with poke like Zed. Later when you upgrade Seeker’s Armguard in Zhonya’s Hourglass you will be able to negate their efforts to burst you (it’s especially effective against Zed’s ultimate).
Malzahar has a great damage, crowd control abilities and huge lane pushing potential which makes him a great champion for the beginners. Each of his basic abilites is useful for the lane pushing. The middle lane is the most safest lane for the push process, especially when you are able to do that that from a solid range. Malazahar combo is very deadly but you need time to land it ( Nether Grasp duration is 2.5 seconds). However duration of the combo doesn’t play a big role in the one versus one fight. Max the Malefic Visions first since it restores mana on a minion kill and endlessly jumps from the target to target, this way you also can poke your enemy. This mechanic allows you to push the lane at a very cheap mana cost if you kill a minion each 4 seconds while Malefic Visions is on.
Core items for Malazahar are: Rod of Ages, Liandry’s Torment, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, Void Staff. Also we recommend you may replace something in this list by Zhonya’s Hourglass since it can be a huge a help for you to survive during team fights. However with this build you have bonus 1330 health which is unusual for mages and can be enough to not be an easy target.
Playstyle of the Malzahar is pretty the same against most of the champions. You have to be care against ganks since Malza has no escape abilities and his crowd control barely helps him to escape. You should wait for the possibility to land your full combo to the enemy by catching opponent out of position.
Casting Ignite during Nether Grasp won’t interrupt it if range for Ignite cast is enough.
Morgana is one of the most safest champions in LoL due to Black Shield which negates any crowd control, the Soul Shackles ultimate which can be used very well in defensive way and the longest duration of root control in the game – Dark Binding (3 seconds on 5th rank). Combination of the spell vamp you gain from Soul Siphon and area damage from the Torment Soil allows you to stay on the lane very long, constantly pushing the lane, thus winning in creep slain. To compensate a mana spendings and increase your lane sustain you may buy the Chalice of Harmony against AP champions. Because Morgana has to go in to cast the Soul Shackles properly, the Zhonya’s Hourglass is the core item for her. It’s hard to make a solo kill of a champion who has full HP until you get some AP from your first items. Therefore you have to poke your enemy with the Dark Binding and Torment Soil combo before you can go all-in with your ultimate.
Playstyle is the same against most of the champions despite their type of damage. Farm as much minions as possible and try to catch your enemy with the Dark Binding when they are out of position. Morgana time comes when team fight phase begins: she can protect tanks or carries from the incoming crowd control, engage fights and use her AoE ultimate to induce chaos in the ranks of the opposing team. Consider buying the Chalice of Harmony or Seeker’s Armguard as first item depending on who you are up against. You can start with Crystaline Flask to increase your lane sustain if an enemy champion has a lot of poke.
Morgana has the unique mechanic which negates CC, great engage and very useful ultimate for a team fight. If you are just starting to play ranked games and don’t know what champion to pick for the mid lane then consider to pick Morgana, she is really very friendly to the beginners.
RANKED CHAMPIONS FOR BEGINNERS: JUNGLERS
As jungler you participate in the events among whole map since the very beginning. However you shouldn’t forget to farm jungle monsters to not fall behind in the experience. Thus in this list you will see champions whose farming abilities are great while they don’t demand miracles of micro control to gank successfully.
This little guy has top 10 winrate in LoL for years (right now he is top2 with 55,48%, lolking champ statistics, will be opened in a new tab) despite several nerfs he survived. There are several reasons for that:
- The Curse of the Sad Mummy is the best ultimate for a solo queue. It’s hard to setup proper team play with random people therefore teams rarely manage to split in the time.
- Amumu able to engage with his Bandage Toss at a very long range (1100).
- The Despair and Tantrum provide one of the fastest rates of the jungle farm in the game.
- Great base stats and passive ability from the Tantrum lead to a high survivability.
As Amumu you may need a practice to increase accuracy of the Bandage Toss, the rest is easy. We recommend you to keep your jungle clean in order to hit level 6 as fast as possible. The bottom lane is the most attractive lane for a gank for Amumu (due to the Bandage Toss range and that you can hit several champions with The Curse of the Sad Mummy).
There are two popular builds for Amumu:
- The pure tanky build: Sunfire Cape, Randuin’s Omen, Banshee’s Veil, Abyssal Scepter, Frozen Heart.
- The tanky AP build: Sunfire Cape, Liandry’s Torment, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, Abyssal Scepter, Zhonya’s Hourglass.
Start to play with the pure tanky build and when you will be confident enough you can try the AP item build.
Nocturne has a nice jungle sustain due to Umbra Blades and kills monsters pretty fast. There is only one ability which helps Nocturne survive, but this ability is nice. The Shroud of the Darkness ability which can block a spell is almost the same as Banshee’s Veil effect but you have to use it manually. The Paranoia just was created for ganks, a long range ultimate which hard to expect can turn back a fights in the side of your team.
It’s better to build him tanky with one or two damage items and use the attack speed runes because they synergizes well with Umbra Blades and Duskbringer. The Stalker’s Bride effect is great since it helps you to reach target in order to cast the Unspeakable Horror. Upgrade it to the Cinderhulk effect ( Sunfire Cape variation for junglers). You may consider to buy the Statikk Shiv after your jungle item is done. It’s not popular item for Nocturne, but is very effective because it boosts the jungle farm, provides movement speed which is important for ganks plus you get additional attack speed which improves Nocturne’s performance hard.
ITEM BUILD FOR NOCTURNE: Stalker’s Bride – Cinderhulk, Statikk Shiv, Randuin’s Omen, Banshee’s Veil, Blade of the Ruined King (only if you feel that you already tanking well), situational defense item.
This classic jungler is one of the oldest champions in the LoL. Warwick is the best jungler for ranked newcomers. He can farm jungle monsters endlessly due to Eternal Thirst and Hungering Strike, his ultimate Infinite Duress has a long range stun effect which is awesome during ganks. Warwick’s end game is also very strong due to high survivability and decent damage. However he has his own weakness: he cleans jungle slowly and before level 6 can’t properly gank. This can be compensated by Ranger’s Traibalaizer since AoE Smite effect is what Warwick really needs. Upgrade it with Devourer since Warwick rely on his attack speed badly and it will boost damage of his ultimate.
Core items for Warwick are: Sunfire Cape, Blade of the Ruined King (only if you feel that you already tanking well), Spirit Visage, Frozen Heart, Banshee’s Veil.
RANKED CHAMPIONS FOR BEGINNERS: THE ATTACK DAMAGE CARRIES (ADc)
The attack damage carry role is one the hardest since you have to build yoursefl as glass cannon to provide the huge damage during team fights. However there is support whose role is to compensate the lack of ADc’s survivability. In this part of our guide we consider two the most simple ADc’s for the beginners. They fit following requirements:
- They have strong abilities and don’t rely mostly on their auto-attacks like Caitlyn, Tristana or Draven since such playstyle requires a decent micro control
- They are easy at farming
- They have a great escape tools which will help you to survive
Corki probably the best choice for the new players: long range of the Valkyrie (800) is exactly what you need when you have to escape or chase an enemy. Fast auto-attack animation and Hextech Shrapnel Shells passive ability which adds damage to the basic attacks making Corki a champion which is really easy at creep slain. The Gatling Gun is damaging everyone in front of you, leaving you possibility to auto-attack, thus all you need to do is to turn it on in the right time. The Missile Barrage is a long range poke tool which have a great synergy with the Trinity Force which should be your first item. Common practice is building the Sorcerer’s Shoes because Corki has lots of magic damage from his abilities. Max the Phosphorus Bomb first, it’s a long range ability with magic damage which can be used as lane poke, moreover it scales from Attack Damage which is very nice for AD carry. After the Trinity Force and Sorcerer’s Shoes you need to buy the following items:
- Infinity Edge: If you have enough gold to buy the B.F. Sword after your first recall then go for the Infinity Edge first.
- Blade of the Ruined King: If you don’t have enough gold for the B.F. Sword then start to build the Blade of the Ruined King. It’s better to have both of these items. Order is determined by the amount of your gold at moment of the first recall.
- Banshee’s Veil: Best defensive item for ADc’s in most cases.
- Bloodthirster or Last Whisper: Corki has a lot of magical damage thus if an enemy team still doesn’t have a lot of armor, you may choose Bloodthirster over Last Whisper.
Graves is the most tanky ADc due to the True Gift and has the most burst damage among other attack damage carries. Combination of the Buckshot and Collateral Damage with a pair of auto-attacks with attack speed buff from Quickdraw, can easily lead to a kill of a squishy enemy. The farming process is easy for Graves because he can slain bunch of minions at once with the Buckshot. The unique mechanic of the Smoke Screen which reduces vision is very strong mechanic against other ranged champions and often will help you to win duels. We recommend you to buy the following items:
- Infinity Edge: Your core item which increases your boost and stacks with attack speed bonus from Quickdraw
- Phantom Dancer: Great synergy with with Infinity Edge
- Last Whisper: At this stage most tanks have significant amount of armor thus must have
- Banshee’s Veil: Same logic as with Corki. Best defensive item for ADc’s in most cases.
Often people recommend Ashe as a champion for the novices but this is completely wrong. Despite that she has very clean and easily understandable mechanics she is a very hard champion who rely mostly on auto-attacks, has no escape abilities and is focused on the late game.
RANKED CHAMPIONS FOR BEGINNERS: SUPPORTS
Support is often consider as the least important role, but this is not true. You may check champion winrate statistic (link will be opened in a new tab) and you will see that there are many supports who have winrate significantly higher than 50%. This means that game actually can be carried even by a support, however it’s harder since you don’t have usual gold income. Often supports affect out come of the lane phase more than attack damage carries. This happens because supports engage fights on the bottom lane and some of them have more damage than ADc’s until they buy proper items.
One of the oldest champions in LoL and one of the most popular supports since that. Her ultimate Moonsoon is the best disengage ability in the game which counter mechanics of many champions who rush forward, e.g. Vi or Jarvan. Howling Gale is also one of the best CC among basic abilities in the game because the possibility to knock up several enemies in a row is really something. There is another great ability which you should max first is the Eye of the Storm. Except a nice shield it provides, it also boosts attack damage of the target and this AD boost among with a shield scales with AP. You have to cast it mainly on ADc.
We are monitoring the champion winrates regularly and never noticed that her winrate hit point below 50%. This means that just by picking her you affect game outcome in positive way. This doesn’t mean that this champion will easily bring you win, you have to perform at decent level and this would pay off.
- Talisman of Ascension should be your choice as support item since Janna doesn’t poke enemy champions and mostly assists his ADc.
- Mejai’s Soulstealer can be a really great choice since Janna dies rarely and her abilities scales with AP very well, this choice is good especially since Mejai’s Soulstealer buff (now you get 5 stacks since the purchase).
- Locket of the Iron Solari is good for her because she is usually among her allies, thus this item provides her and her team with additional survivability.
Another great support with defensive mechanics but she also able to deal decent damage with poke. That’s why sometimes you can see her in AP carry role. A slow, mass knock up, boost of movement speed and the unique “hex” mechanic which almost equals stun (for 2.25 sec at 5th rank) are really impressive set of of abilities. Another good news is that only one of her abilities is skill shot which is nice for the beginners. Her shield works similar as Janna‘s Eye of the Storm but transfers Lulu’s passive ability to an ally. Lulu is a great champion to defend and assist your carry.
You have to max the Glitterance because this ability has the best scale with level among other Lulu abilities (260 damage at 5th rank). Hold close to your ADc to keep him alive as long as possible. However often it’s better to cast the Wild Growth on bruiser who rush forward during team fight. Item build:
- Frost Queen’s Claim: Lulu poke a lot thus this item is the best choice for her among other support items.
- Mikael’s Crucible: Another way to protect your carry is to remove crowd control from him. This item can be that little thing what win a team fight for you if you use in the right time. Additionally, provides mana regeneration and cooldown reduction (CDR is one of the most important stats for a support).
- Locket of the Iron Solari: Same logic as with Janna.
- Liandry’s Torment: As the only AP damage item this item performs best. Moreover due to lots of crowd control Lulu has, often Liandry’s Torment would provide it’s double effect.
The most simple support without any skill shots with two classic abilities: ranged stun and heal. Taric is very survivable because of bonus armor from the Shatter, huge heal when it casted on himself and high base stats. Taric is very tanky and can receive a lot of damage before he will die, this can compensate different ingame mistakes. On the lane you target should be is the enemy ADc: stun him with the Dazzle and decrease his armor with the Shatter to improve damage of your carry to him. Taric’s ultimate the Radiance is simple ability which deal damage and buffs you and nearby allies. It is difficult to come up with something extraordinary – just cast it when fight begins.
- Face of the Mountain: This item increases your tankyness and allows you to shield an ally, among with Imbue can be the reason why you carry survive.
- Righteous Glory: Is Talisman of Ascension analogue with better effect which allows you to speed up your team to engage a team fight or catch someone with the Dazzle. Also gains 650 HP which is nice.
- Spirit Visage: Boosts heal from Imbue and makes your very tough against magic damage
- Locket of the Iron Solari: You can buy it instead of Spirit Visage or among with it if enemy team has a lots of magic damage.
- Iceborn Gauntlet: CDR, armor, additional CC and damage, this item has a good synergy with Taric mechanics.
Wow, titanic work <3
very detailed guide, pretty long though but still can be a big help for noobs :D
Awesome job, lot’s of info couldn’t read it all by my first attempt to :D
Was very useful for me, thank you. Nice way to start playing rankeds!
Took runes and masteries from this guide when i started to play rankeds. Also stoped to buy damage item if i’m losing on most champs (except riven etc). I back to this beginners guide time from time so i guess – thanks! >_<
Could you please update the Masteries pages for 5.12+? Especially the Support’s one?
Hey, well masteries didn’t survive significant changes, thus builds almost the same :P
Well, seems like for beginners you choose mostly safe champions with easy mechanics and i think that it was a right choice, however as beginner you shouldn’t play only these champs, slowly moving in the side of more advanced champions like Yasuo, Katarina, Lissandra, Riven etc. This doesn’t mean that those champions are better but they are harder to play and have great potential due to their mechanics.
Nice job btw, i’m advanced league player but i liked to read this guide, it systemizes lot’s of info about LoL.
Janna for Low elo? never. Everone playes her wrong in my elo (s1). And if now beginners play Janna, the will fail even more. Leona and Nautilius are best Low elo supports. Heavy cc + tanky. Very easy to play too.
jungle. no shoes?. … amumu no smite item?
Please update 2016
Would like to see the same guide for 2016, but this one was still very useful for me. I guess it takes a lot of time to write something like this, probably far from one day, so would appreciate version for season 6 :)
Best guide i ever read. Thanks!
It can be seen that the monstrous work was done to create such a detailed guide, but I would like you to highlight a Training Tool, which will help all the newcomers. I’m really glad that LOL takes care of new players and that for them a separate mode was created that allows studying the mechanics of the game and its rules. Riot just has done everything they can to help them. Ofc Beginner’s Guides about League like this one are necessary things, but what all this knowledge means without the practice?
But I sincerely wonder why people just ignore him and go to matchmaking. Do not they realize that this way they can spoil the game to other players? Oh, only if people were allowed to play in MM with at least 10 hours in practice tool. Dreams Dreams…
Really interesting guide that will be useful for EVERYONE. Even if you play lol for ages you still can find new thing if you will be attentive enough!
Very nice guide, but outdated. However, some aspects are still actual and can be used. Was useful for me, especially the part, when you advice stop buying damage when you are already behind.