BUILD GUIDE: Laning Mechanics and Improving Gameplay by perfectrecord

by perfectrecord (last updated over a year ago)

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Hey guys, this guide was created to maximize your farming potential by increasing your consistency during the laning phase. When you forget basic components in the game, it leads to negative gameplay. Hopefully this guide will provide some insight on how to improve your overall gameplay.

You may use the knowledge in the guide to improve competitive gameplay; perhaps transition your mediocre play style into something more rewarding. Apply these concepts into ranked games and you can rise in elo np.

Feel free to skip through the guide to look at important information.

Please note that the tips and quick tips in this guide are designed to provide a short description of what you should be utilizing to increase gameplay performance.

Lecture about stuffz

Range and General Zone

Every champion has their own unique range, please refer to http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Range for more information.

You can close distances and gaps by moving towards objects or targets; understand that your champion is restricted by a certain range value. Since champions have different ranges, you must perfect the timing of your distance.

Projectile Animation

With the addition of range, champions can perform different forms of animations involving basic auto attacks. Since each delay between auto attacks are unique towards every champion in the game, it can make the big difference between killing a target or letting them slip away.

To improve your skill/performance, you have to understand the theory of cancel animation.

What is cancel animation?

After landing a basic attack on a target, you can shorten the delay of the projectile animation by moving. It can be used for chasing and quickly pushing your lane without losing momentum or tempo.

A good idea when to use CA is during team fights, it's important to know your range, as it will allow you to kite efficiently without losing distance. Always create distance away from your opponent as a ranged champion (ADC). You may want to deal damage while moving back: this may setup an opportunity for you to bait opponent(s) towards your team. At other times, its useful for stalling time esp if you're waiting for the cooldown to go off for one or more of your spells when you need to use it.

In a dangerous situation when a jungler or a bruiser attempts to jump on the AD carry, a natural response from average players would be to either stand in one location and continue attacking, or running away until your safe before heading back into the team fight. I cannot reiterate this more than enough, but using cancel animation will allow you to create a small distance or gap from your opponent while allowing you to retreat at the same time. Continue kiting backwards to keep your distance and you will do two things:

1) Deal dmg
2) Create Distance and Gap
3) You will survive longer and the result of dealing damage will allow you to life steal. The longer you survive to deal dmg, the more you contribute to a team fight.

Further Explanation of CA: When on the run, your auto attacks will briefly hesitate or stop to fulfill the animation of the projectile. By using cancel animation, you can briefly shorten your delay slightly. Doing so will allow you throw down more basic attacks without losing distance between you and your target.

*Tip #1: Attack animations can be improved by increasing attack speed.

Transition your time procedures between basic attacks. This can greatly improve your efficiency when farming because it allows you to push the lane faster and also improve accuracy without the need for auto attacking. In other words (IOW): Use CA for farming!

*Tip #2: Normal auto attacking is the incorrect way to farm, there are times where auto attacks will end up dealing too much or too little damage causing you to lose farm unintentionally. Remember to use cancel animation and pacing to improve mechanics.

TLDR: Always use cancel animation to create gaps and distances from your opponent to efficiently deal damage while on the move (Whether kiting backwards or kiting forward). Also use CA to farm better.

The MAIN IDEA of CA is to improve POSITIONING. This is the core and true fundamental principle and goal of CA.

Last Hitting

Last hitting (LH) is a farming method that requires timing and effectiveness in use. In order to improve LH, you must understand your range and general zone. When last hitting, stay behind your minions and keep your distance.

Learn to properly pace and expand your horizon by increasing the zone around you. Be wary of the map and learn to ward important areas to prevent miserable ganks that will not go in your favor.

I know this is a common advice but you should follow it to heart. Always achieve maximum farm potential, every cs that you get counts because the amount of farm contributes to your build. Try to perfect last hitting, make it a goal. The hardest thing to do in this game is to achieve perfect cs. It requires focus and seriousness.

When professionals play this game, you might observe that they curse everytime they miss a cs. Perhaps you might think they're too hard on themselves or they have high expectations. But for every cs that you miss, you miss out on farm.

Here's the goal in farming within a lane. You don't have to reach for ridiculous high cs ratio's, the main important thing is to OUTFARM your opponent. If you outcs your opponent or you have a high gold advantage, you can pressure your opponent and make it harder for the enemies to win the game.

Last hit and farm early game; get as much farm as possible; buy major items and either carry the team, or be the team player

Chaox, a primary example of astonishing farming skills combined with the last hitting power of the s-key. Observe how he freezes the lane and notice when he starts pushing the lane. These observations will make you a good farmer.

It is possible to win your lane without really fighting. As long as you manage to outfarm your opponent, even if he has more kills or no kills at all. The rest depends on your ability to maintain your status or advantage. Unless he's fed of course.

Pacing + Farming

Pacing is so important when you farm your lane, you increase the gap between you and your opponents and you can potentially dodge skill-shots. Pacing is an acquired achievement to re-position your champion during the laning phase to keep yourself from danger. It can also set up opportunities for you initiate unto opponents.

Learning how to pace will become easier once you've learnt how to apply it with last hitting. Always apply pacing with last hitting for efficient lane control. The pacing control should be consistent throughout and you should always re-position BASED ON the current situation during the lane.

I always like to say that everything in the game is situational, and I still stick to that saying. Everything you do in the game is based on what happens in the game. Adaptation is the key to survival. Charles Darwin taught us the true meaning of evolution. Play to the best of your ability if you want to win.

If you keep practicing, your hands will adapt and your finger movements will have instincts of its own. My suggestion is to practice in a custom game by yourself and see how much cs you can achieve while applying important pacing techniques. It's a tough challenge for even professionals, but if you can achieve 200 cs by 20 minutes then you're VIP solid.

On average you should be hitting over 130 cs by the 20 minute mark. If you hit about 150 cs, that's really good play on your part, but if you achieve over 180 cs, then you're superb. Some mid champions like katarina, lux, or anivia can do this because they naturally push the lane and can obtain a lot of farm.

Reaching that goal requires perfection.
Qualifications: You have to be Korean.

*Quick Tip: Learn how to farm with the s key. Double tap s after you last hit a minion to stop your champion from doing anything. Rinse and repeat. It can be really useful when nobody's around and you can safely farm.

*Tip #1: To push a lane without losing as much farm or experience as much as possible, make you understand how to cancel animation. Using CA, you can consistently push, add in some pacing and time your last hit's perfectly and you can become more proficient when it comes to farming/pushing.

*Tip #2: Sometimes you can tank a minion wave away from the turret to prevent the tower from stealing last hits. ONLY do this if you think you're in a safe position to do so. If the wave drops your health down really low and you get ganked... You're fucked.

Team Fight's

Besides learning, you should always apply CA during a team fight to dodge skillshot's and to increase gap/space control.

Using cancel animation during a team fight allows you to output damage while repositioning. The number 1 thing to do in a team fight is to output enough damage to win the fight. But that require's solid positioning. Keep in mind that everyone in a team fight has different roles.

Since the area of the map is controlled by the team with the stronger warded map, it's very important to dominate as much space as possible because it will allow for greater map control.

Tank's should try to initiate a team fight when they can and they should stay in the front of the line to soak up damage. DO NOT venture out too far as the tank's job is to stay close by the team to protect the ADC. While the opposing team is focused on the tank, this should allow the carries and the bruisers to focus important targets.

Carries should never enter the center of team fight because their job is to output damage from a distance (OUT OF HARM'S WAY). Remember, the job of the tank is to be spongebob; to soak up everything.

Carries should deal damage to whomever is closest to them. Obviously, the top priority is to focus opponents who deal a lot of damage or whomever has a lot of threat potential BUT only whenever given the situation to do so. Creating these situations require good positioning. Bruiser's or other champions are designed to shutdown enemies; they should be using their cc or damage to focus carries on the opposing teams. Killing them is a top priority but not to the extent that everybody should go suicide mode by going in one by one just to kill one person. Team fight's require timing and positioning. Be patient and do what you can, but don't be greedy and overdo something you can't.

If you're already in a good position to begin with, stay there. However, during team fight's you should be always be on the move to improve the chances of winning. Repositioning allows carries to deal consistent dmg to the opposing team. Sometimes there should be at least one person who protects either the ad carry or the ap carry whenever they're in trouble. Support should try to dish out cc if he/she has one and also try to heal important members of the team.

Generally if you're support, it's a good idea to heal spongebob (the tank) so that he may continue tanking. The ad and ap carry should be fighting from a distance but the support should aid them whenever they need help. Turret's can be important factors to winning team fights and at other times the turret will be of no use.

As the tank, you're the team player so you need to build whatever is needed. Soaking damage is your priority so maximize your effective health. If you don't know what that is, please refer to: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Health (Scroll down to effective health).

So when you're building, choose your items wisely. Don't just try to stack warmogs or thornmails or just magic resistance soley. Building a good tank requires good effective health which is a balance of health, armor, and magic resistance.

Cost effective items are useful for early game and they may include aegis and iron of the solari. If you're building warmog's, make sure to combine it with other items to make your survivability as effective as possible.

*Tip: Choose your team fight's carefully. Don't fight the opposing team if they're stronger than yours. Sometimes even with good positioning, it won't help much because they're too strong. Especially when they have baron; try to avoid them, unless you know that your team is still stronger then them or simply because you guys can create an oppurtunity. Do not be fucking rambo, don't suicide because you think your Chuck Norris.

During a losing situation, all you can do is defend and farm; wait for a striking opportunity when they make a mistake; take advantage of their mistake and turn the tides; eventually, your team will have the better chance. Always group when a major team fight is about to occur. 4v5 will end up costing the game; to sum it all up, never throw the game and do what you can during a team fight. Basically, do your job and create miracles.

Freezing the Lane

Pushing the lane allows for higher gank potential therefore warding is necessary. But sometimes when there are no wards, freezing the lane can prevent the lane from pushing and also provide space for you to farm. It's important to outfarm your opponent so that he/she will be underfarmed and/or outlvled.

What does freezing the lane mean?
By keeping both minion waves stabilized at a certain location, both waves do not push and it becomes stalemate.

In order to freeze the lane, both waves should be at the same ratio. If one wave is larger than the other, then that wave will end up pushing the smaller wave. When both waves reach at an equilibrium, the wave is centralized at one location for a period of time until certain factors affect either wave to push towards one direction.

These factors are caused by damage. Any form of damage dealt to the wave will affect its the pushing capability. Factors include auto attacking the wave, lasthit cancel animation, or even using spells in any form to the deal dmg to the wave can most definitely change the pushing power.

When minions are dealt damage, their health drops and they die quicker. When minions die, there are less fighters to push. When there are less fighters to push, it leads to being pushed. And when the wave is being pushed, it leaves vulnerability if no one controls the wave.

Freezing the wave is simple, just maintain the same ratio of minions on both sides. If enemies decide to push and you don't want it too push, you have to push back. It's like a tug of war.

But sometimes, you want them to push so that you can farm closer to your turret. Your more safer to ganks with the turret zone protecting you and its possible to freeze the wave near your turret preventing them from farming if they cannot reach it.

This tactic is especially strong for top lane; in dire situations when you do not have a ward in your inv, then you can farm safely.

However, pushing the wave can provide benefits as well. By pushing the wave, you can cause your opponent(s) to lose farm as the turret can steal lh's. At other times you might want to reset the lane if the wave is pushed out too far.

*Tip #1: Whether you push the wave or freeze the wave depends on the situation of the game. But out of any good advice that I can give you, remember this. When mid game comes near, more team fights will occur. When it nears that time, you should be trying to build your core asap so that your team can team fight. During the late early game, you should be pushing your lane so that you can destroy the turret especially if your team is winning.

Pushing the lane to destroy the turret allows your team to roam and steal objectives as well as team fight. Usually around 20 minutes, mid game occurs but it depends on every game. Sometimes mid game will come sooner than expected, sometimes it will drag out.

But always remember to push your waves after early game. After early game, the laning phase is over and people start to group up. If you're jungler, you should be around lvl 14 or higher and you should also join team fights.

*Tip #2: Keep in mind that freezing requires solid control of the lane so adapt to the situation. A good tactic is to freeze the lane and then poke/harass your opponents everytime they reach to lh a minion. Punish them for trying to farm, make them feel pain when they try to reach for candy. Eventually, they might be scared of you and they'll stay as far away as possible. At that point, continue to outzone them and just freeze the lane.

If the wave if frozen and it does not move, then the wave will not come to them. But here's a MAJOR RULE: No matter what, the wave will always push eventually. It will only freeze for the duration of the time that it can hold out for. When the wave begins to push again, you can either reset the wave or farm normally.

*Tip #3: Aside from outzoning and freezing the lane, always make sure to look at your wave to see which minion's health is going low. If you know that it is, there's a likely chance that your opponent will try to lh it if he/she is close enough. Predicting such an important event requires you to observe carefully. During that time, you can make good plays by harassing them with aa's (auto attack's) or ss (skill shot's). YOU MUST achieve this type of observation in order to become a better player. It's 100% must.

Cautious Important Tips

If you're playing in TOP lane, never outpush your lane when it isn't warded. The risk potential is too high and you can possibly get ganked. Generally it's easier to push the wave and less dangerous if you're ranged because you have a gap but try to be cautious of your surrounding.

When you are winning the lane, you need to take advantage of that and expand beyond. Pushing the lane allows you to make sure your opponents lose farm sometimes but not necessarily. If they have enough damage and skill, they can comfortably farm under turret without losing much farm. Remember that when you do decide to push, you should be outzoning them even under turret pressure to punish them for last hitting. Often times, if they're losing too much health, you can force them to waste a health pot or two.

IF YOU DECIDE TO PUSH THE WAVE TO RESET THE LANE, do not auto attack/calh (cancel animation last hit) if the wave is under their turret. This ensures that the wave can bounce back, sometimes you don't want to poke or harass your opponents either so that you can let them end up pushing the wave to your favor. After the wave is controlled near a location where you want it to be, you can begin freezing it again after the reset.

If you continuously pressure the lane, they will lose a lot of farm overtime. A penny earned is a penny saved, but a penny's worth is only as much as it costs.

Don't outpush your lane unless it's "WARDED" CAPSCAPSCAPSCAPS. If you're low and there's a threat that you may die due to a dive especially if you're top lane, PLEASE I beg of you. Back the fuck out. You might lose farm, but it's okay because the amount of farm that you're giving to your opponents when you die is nothing compared to the farm that you will lose for backing.

Quick Tip #1: If a turret is under attack and you have no choice to b, then back. Even if the turret is down, you can always push your wave and eventually destroy their turret when time is given. Don't be anxious and don't try to do something you cannot do.

Quick Tip #2: Mid lane is the shortest lane so it pushes back and forth quite easily since the turrets are closer to each other. This allows for easy reset if you know how to properly lane. Keep that in mind because it will definitely provide good knowledge for laning. Make sure you ward one of the brushes closest to your side so that you can safely farm near that location. If enemy comes from the other side, you're further away so it allows for quick escape. If the enemy enters your brush, you will not be ganked immediately unless you're overextended or they are nocturne. They need to sometimes properly position and gank you once you're in range. Under turret... Boy, hard luck for them, unless you can be easily doved.

If you decide to outpush the lane, make sure you stay from a disance so you can prevent ganks, unless you're melee ranged ofc (diff story). Constant movement back and forth shows that you're a cautious player.

Quick Tip #3: If the jungler decides to gank, play smartly and waste his time. When he wastes his time, he wastes gold and experience as well. How do you make them waste time? Use wards to enlighten potential ganking routes. If they come, try to make it look as if you don't know they're there but don't play too safe. Make yourself look vulnerable by dipping in and out but enough so that you're actually more safer then they think you are. If you do it properly, even if you waste 10 seconds of their time, that's enough to keep you ahead of the game.

Quick Tip#4: In a situation where you might potentially die, you can suicide in multiple situations by running into turret as long as you prevent the enemy from dealing damage to you. If the turret kills you before the opposing enemy reaches to you, then you die and nobody gets the kill. This also works near baron...

Game on brotha!

Warding + Outzoning Skilzzzzzz

Warding prevents the opening of gank potential so always buy a ward for your lane. You can never go wrong with the investment of wards, it prevents ganks and it informs you of enemy initiation. Special areas such as baron or dragons are extremely important warding spots because they are game changing.

Better to play safe then die trying; trust me, wards are beneficial. The cost of 75 gold for the price of your life is worth the buy. If you're vsing stealth such as twitch or shaco, then buy purple wards.

I feel that Shurelia did such a good job at explaining the importance of zoning, she deserves a mention. Saves me some time from explaining too ;)

The Differences of all Three Lanes

Top Lane
  • Long Lane
  • When you die, it takes longer to get back to top lane
  • Control of the top lane is harder than mid or bot. It's dangerous to overextend and to outpush the lane because it long to reset it. Gank potential is the high, often targeted lane
  • Solo lane
  • Close to baron
  • Anti-Carry/Tank/SemiTank/AD Bruiser (Generally AD melee is top, sometimes ap such as kennen)

Mid Lane
  • Shortest Lane
  • When you die, it's quicker to get back mid lane
  • Lane is shorter, wave phases are the most active in this lane compared to any other lane. Wave push occurs most frequently. Easiest lane to control in terms of pushing and freezing. The lane naturally pushes back quickly.
  • Solo Lane; the only person who can mess this lane up is yourself, you have no one to blame if you lose the lane but yourself. So play smart.
  • The risk of gank is high due to the opposing side brushes. The short lane compensates for it.
  • Even though I'd rank top lane to be hardest in terms of lane control, mid lane carries center control, therefore it is the most important lane. The road in the center intersects to two important pathways: One to dragon, the other to baron. Important!!!

Bottom Lane
  • Long Lane
  • When you die, it takes longer to get back to bot lane.
  • The benefit's of having two people in one lane. Support can withhold the lane and keep the lane steady. Good control comes with good benefits.
  • Control of bottom lane is a little easier compared to top; pushing the lane is quicker with the help of support if necessary but generally support shouldn't be touching the wave. AD carry should completely control the lane.
  • Gank potential is lower compared to top as long as support wards. Support should usually have spare wards for vision whenever there isn't enough.
  • AD Bot + Support

Warding Locations


Top lane, try not to outpush it unless you intend too. If you're melee, you're not a ranged attacker, so do not be arrogant. They have a larger zone advantage if they are closer to their turret. Push the wave if you're planning to either reset the lane or to take down their turret.

When to push your lane:
1. By pushing the lane, you can do an early back, it prevents the wave from pushing to your wave too early. If you do it properly, by the time you come back, the wave should be approaching your turret. It will cause enemy opponent to lose some farm but also allows you not to lose out on too much farm. Ofc... the wave can easily push to your turret if your opponent plans to push it.
2. Push the wave when opponent goes back so that he or she will lose out on a lot of farm when they come back; turret steals all their gold advantage mwahahahahah!
3. To reset the wave
4. When mid game is near and you want to kill turret.

Q: So when is it a good time to destroy turret you ask?
A: Very good question, the general idea is to take down the turret once mid game has approached. Usually this is based on personal judgement. Mid game is usually when team fights start to occur more often; much likely after when dragon spawns.

Mid game may come too early or too late; either way, make use of the time. Mid game is usually from 20-23 minutes into the game on average. Doesn't always go this way, just sometimes.

Use the brushes as a cloak advantage. You can also use your own body to kinda ward if you're playing as support to keep yourself from using a ward to control the brush. Use a ward only if its necessary, don't waste money...

Remember in any lane: You can always punish someone when they attempt to last hit a minion. Do not overly use your spells too often because it will go against you. Being overly aggressive and wasting spells when opponents can easily dodge is a BIG waste. Learn to conserve mana and if you have blue buff, make good use of it.

Concluding Remarks

Thank you for reading this guide, I sorta rushed a lot of the stuff explained in this guide so please bare with me. I'm always critical to feedback and support but if you dislike this guide for some reason, maybe you could take some time to comment.

I'm not really a grammar nazi so if you see a small minor mistake, leave a comment. If I notice it, I'll gladly change it.

These are really basic concepts, I didn't feel like going really really deep into other things so if you liked the guide please rate it if you like.

The most important part is applying certain laning concepts while you last hit so you can maximize farming potential.

A lot of the information in this guide is very valuable and important to many players, for those of you who have learnt something, it makes me very happy. I took a lot of time to type out this content and I hope that the information that I've provided was very useful. Please use this as a great tool to help improve gameplay and mechanics. I appreciate feedback and support because I enjoy reading them. I'm afraid I was a little too serious throughout the whole entire guide and I realize I didn't implement a lot of jokes here and there. So if you were expecting laughs while you were reading this guide, go screw yourself. JK In all seriousness, much love. xD BYE!



March 27, 2014 - 05:23 PM #1

OK, so I am bronze 5 (card board 5) and no I am not like some other bronze players that blame other for me being in bronze. I know i am bad and i am seeking to get better and i found the guide helpful. maybe one day i will be like wildturtle.

February 11, 2014 - 12:09 AM #2


February 13, 2013 - 08:19 AM #3

Really liked the guide. Fairly basic stuff for the most part, but always good to hear again. Wish this had been up when I started playing and life would have been so much smoother. Few things though:

First, to get it out of the way, the "Team Fight's" heading doesn't need the apostrophe. Wouldn't have mentioned it, but you asked for it in the conclusion.

Second, you have a big section on "Pacing" and why it's good without going into a lot of detail on what exactly it is. Not sure I know what you're talking about there, although it does sound like a handy skill.

All said and done though, love the guide. Has all sorts of sweet information. Thumbs up for sure!

October 9, 2012 - 02:07 AM #4

This is all very basic stuff, but it was meant to be, and its still valuable information, so thumbs up :D

September 3, 2012 - 11:31 PM #5

Please add some pictures/videos to break the long wall of text.

August 29, 2012 - 02:04 AM #6

This guide was revised to be up to date and be on par with the modern standards of the current meta. Please feel free to comment :) I also understand that the guide is long but idc, I feel that the abundance of information is much better then some slabby guide placed together. Your eyes will probably hurt when you finish reading everything. But it's probably worth my 10 cents to write it because I enjoyed reading it. I hope you do too. I'm open to feedback :D

March 20, 2012 - 08:15 AM #7

@countrefresh the best thing I've found to do is go for last hits when the enemy is distracted with his own farm so he can't hit you back unless he loses cs. Then, You play very passively until you get a good chance to jump on him and then you fight it out until you force him to back off.

Normally this works because characters like tryndamere or skarner who can't zone well are much stronger in a straight up fight, due to having better base stats or stronger DPS skills, etc.

February 29, 2012 - 10:37 PM #8

This is a really nice guide. Keep up the good work. I learnt quite an amount from this. Thanks.

February 19, 2012 - 08:11 PM #9

The bot lane section says "When you die, it takes longer to get back to top lane" so replace top w/ bot.

Nice guide, wish more people played this way. I need to work on my freezing for sure.

February 18, 2012 - 11:33 AM #10

Useful stuff in this guide, already knew some of it, but not all. You could also add that if your minions are all dead but the enemy lane is near your turret, tank them until your wave comes.

Great work, +1

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