Your top priority in lane is to get more CS then your opponent. You should last hit every creep while trying to prevent your opponent from doing so. To achieve this, you need to harass, avoid harass, don't die to a gank and stay in lane longer then your opponent.
1. How to harass.
First you need to figure out if there is any point in harassing at all. For example, if you are bot lane Tristana with Janna as your support and you are facing Caitlyn and Alistar, then there is absolutley NO point in harassing at all. Every time you harass, you will get harassed back because Caitlyn just has that range. You get low, she gets low but after about 1 minute, that Alistar will have roared her back to full health while you won't be. So if you KNOW first hand that your opponent has much better sustain then you do.. just don't try to harass at all.
But if you are in the situation of having equal or better sustain, you should try to harass whenever possible. Now ONLY harass when there is no creep low enough to last hit. Remember that last hitting creeps still is the priority number 1. So when there is no creep to last hit for a couple of seconds, look for an opportunity to harass. Try to monitor the health of your own creep wave. Whenever one of your creeps is near death, the opponent will go for the last hit and that is the perfect time to harass them.
- Figure out if you can outsustain harassing trade offs and harass accordingly
- Monitor not only enemy creeps for last hits but also your own creeps health
- Harass whenever your opponent goes for a last hit
You know that nasty brand that nukes the shit out of you every time you get close to the creeps to score some CS? Yeah, I hate him too..
And those Gragas barrels, so damn annoying. And look that Annie trolling around in your ranged creeps with her stun up.
I bet you know these situations were the nuke damage of your lane opponent seems just so overwhelming that you feel you can't do a thing. But you can, if you are smart. Very strong harassers are typically that kind of champions that have any form of hard cc with a nuke or something they can spam from a safe distance. To counter those damn sons of... you just have to harass them at the right moment. Brand just missed his pillar of flame or used his spell combo to farm a creep wave? Great, now you have about 3-4 seconds to get into his face, shove one up his candy ass and retreat back behind your creeps before his spells are ready again. Or even IF he hit you with his spells you STILL have those couple seconds to get back at him before he can try it again. Every champion that relies on his spells to deal damage has these couple seconds of lowered pants were you can put your boot up his ass when he just used all he got.
3. How to safely farm.
DON'T PUSH your lane. Don't auto attack and don't spam spells on the creeps. The nearer you are to your own tower, the safer you are. If your opponent has very strong harass and tries to deny you farm, try to last hit with long range abilities. You can also try to use the bush as cover in between last hits. Also if the opponent harass is superiour, STAY BACK. Only go near the creeps if one creep is about to die and needs to be last hitted. How often do I see a Singed run around in a creep wave to spread some poison just to eat 5 auto attacks from Teemo in the process.
4. How to safely deny farm.
You can deny your opponent some farm if you constantly push your creeps into his tower. This works really well against champions that can't last hit very well at their tower. If you play a champion that can push very fast, then you can do this. For example, if you play morgana you can often farm a whole creep wave with just one spell in 2-3 seconds very early on. Just lay down that black puddle, get all the cs, then back off and hide in bush, wait for the next wave and watch your opponent struggle at his tower to get all the cs. If you do that you HAVE to ward your lane properly, because you gonna be overextended a lot. If you do that you also have a lot of free time because creep waves die too quick and you have to wait for the next one. You can then use this spare time to either go to shop real quick, take some of the enemy jungle or help another lane or grab yourself a buff from your jungle or place an important ward and and and and. Use the spare time you have in between creep waves.
5. To push or not to push.
Safe rule: NEVER push your lane unless you must go back to shop.
But here are some example scenarios:
- You are dominating your lane and you KNOW the enemy jungler won't gank you anytime soon? PUSH
- You are running out of mana and/or sustain and need to go b to regen and shop very soon? PUSH real quick then go b. Also ask your jungler for cover.
- You are behind and desperatly need to farm? DON'T push, last hit, stay near your turret.
- You just killed your lane opponents and their jungler isn't there to defend? PUSH hard.
- For ANY reason your lane is not occupied by your oppents, you have it warded and feel very safe? PUSH hard.
- You notice your jungler is nearby? DON'T push, ping for your jungler, try to harass and safe up some mana for the upcoming gank.
6. My oppent just left his lane. What do I do?
Here are the options you have if you just killed your opponent:
- Push the lane hard. The more creeps you push into his tower, the more gold and XP he will lose and the bigger your advantage grows. If you do that, make sure you do it quick and go shopping afterwards, because when your oppenent arrives back in lane he will have new items and WILL have the advantage over you if you don't go shopping as well, even if you did just kill him. Also make sure you don't get ganked while you push his lane in his absence.
- Help another lane. For example, if your mid is having trouble and you are top lane, try to gank mid. But don't get killed in the process. You don't NEED to kill the enemy mid lane. Don't overdo it and get killed. Even if you only damage the enemy mid-laner a bit or make him blow his summoners or his ulti on you, thats FINE. Because after your mid gank you most likely go b to shop and regen and then go back to your lane.
- Grab a buff from your jungle or go counter-jungle. If you need red or blue from your jungle and its up, grab it (with permission of your jungler of course). If you notice that the enemy jungler comes to defend the lane you just killed, go into his jungle and steal it.
- Help with dragon. If the opponents in your lane just died, you can force dragon if your team is near. The opposing team shouldn't be able to stop you from doing it because they lack a person or two.
- DON'T sit in lane and do lazy last-hitting until your opponent is back. Do ANYTHING from the options described above.
You didn't kill your opponent but he is still mia?
Make sure to let your team know. IMMEDIATLY take a look at your nearest lane. You are top lane and your opponent just went mia? Take a look at mid lane. Is your midlaner low on health? Ping him to b and move your ass down there as quick as you can, because the guy from your top-lane is most likely on his way to dive him. If you fail to notice those mias in YOUR lane you really deserve the flame storm coming for you in chat afterwards.
If you are pretty confidend that your lane opponent is mia because he had to go shop or regen, then just do something from the stuff described earlier.