BUILD GUIDE: Proving Grounds: The ARAM Guide by Vox1st

by Vox1st (last updated over a year ago)

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The goals of this guide are:
  • Explain What ARAM is
  • Explain what the Poving Grounds is
  • Help to teach you how to play ARAM on Proving Grounds
  • Explain the ARAM Meta(it is complex and random)
  • Help players to cope with playing
  • Help players to do their best to ultimately win the game.

What is "ARAM"

ARAM stands for "All Random All Mid". This game was a game of merit, where players would play random games on Summoner's Rift and only play in the middle lane. It became insanely popular and when Dominion came out, it adapted to dominion as "ARAB" which is "All Random All Bottom" where players would only go into the bottom lane. Players had to adhere to certain rules like no backing, buying or healing under normal circumstances.

Eventually so many people played it and loved it, that we began asking for it to be made its own game type, and we asked for the one lane tutorial map, "The Proving Grounds" to be adapted for the game type. Well we got what we asked for, and with it, no more cheaters(although people still dodge if they don't like what champion they get)!

Where is it played?
Some people still prefer to play on Summoner's rift, however this makes for slower games where cheating CAN and WILL occur. You can also play it on The Proving Grounds, and this map is what this guide focuses on.

The Proving Grounds and Rules

Welcome to
The Proving Grounds


On The Proving Grounds we get the best of ARAB and ARAM and on top of that cheating isn't possible unless you hack the game... Don't hack the game.

  • The Proving Grounds starts you off with 1375 gold to spend. This is a lot of gold. Like other maps you don't start gaining passive gold until minions spawn.

  • Beware! Once you go beyond your base(past the inhibitor tower) you will be unable to use the shop again until you die.

Blue barrier preventing you from using the shop


  • Minions Spawn at 1 minute

  • There are two health relics on each side of the map for each team located in front of each tower.

  • There is a persistent global aura that effects all players, this aura is also seen on the Crystal scar, giving experience, increased gold gain, increased mana regeneration and reduction on healing effects.

  • The spawning platform has a laser turret, however it will not give you health and mana back like on summoner's rift.

  • There are two bushes on the left side of the map

  • [http://i.imgur.com/sKPMA.png]This is Barrier, a summoner spell that grants you a temporary shield. It is only usable on The Proving Grounds at the moment. Consider using this spell, it is very viable and used almost as much as flash is on SR! Its so new the TSM site doesn't even have it in stock for their guides(no offense)!


Like any map, there are certain things you do and are expected to do to help your team and yourself. However in this game, some of them may not make any sense at first, but I will be able to help you understand why we do these things.

Items are generally not used the same as on other maps. You are building in a way that benefits from the way you should play to win.


  • Buy health potions early game if you can
IF you have enough gold, but plenty of health potions. Since you cannot heal up at the summoning platform, it is vital to get health potions. If you buy tons of health items like giants belt, these become less effective. Once it is late game, stop buying these because they will generally be a waste of gold unless you build someone glass cannon.

  • Buy lifesteal/spellvamp/health regen
If you are an Attack damage champion, buy and items it builds into, especially for AD carries like . Once mid/late game comes along, you can heal up by auto attacking which means you don't need to spend gold and an inventory slot on potions. AP carries should try to buy . If you are a manaless mage, this is a core item. For Tanks, you will want to get what health regen you can get. are all solid choices in this regard. Also is a very very valuable item here. DO NOT overlook it.

This item gets its own section. Why? Because it is awesome that is why! This game is about sustain, and philosopher's stone is the best one there is for this game. YOu can buy it from the start of the game, and you get regeneration on your HP and Mana, plus it gives you gold over time. This isn't just for supports on ARAM. It is for everyone. It is especially good if you end up getting an item dependent melee range champion who can't do much early game. This won't be part of any starting build suggestions because it is a suggestion for all of them, and I don't want to repeat myself. THIS ITEM ROCKS!


On this map mages should start one of a few ways. These are some standard options, however it depends on your ally champions and the enemy champions what you want to pick.

  • andor
Since you can't shop again, and there is global mana regeneration buff, spam spells to charge up this item early so that later on you can have a strong . Buy boots for mobility in fights or potions if you think you need them to play safe.

This is a MUST starting build for manaless mages like and . However you can get it on other champions for early game sustain. This start is aggressive, giving you AP for more damage to poke and push lanes and fight, while also healing you. It is amazing too because it gets you quickly into .

This is a very passive starting item, however starting with it is very gold efficient and can allow you to be more aggressive than others if you force them to burn all their health potions. The great thing is that once you upgrade it to you still get the amazing passive. This is usually core for melee range mages, but not all take advantage of it like sadly.

This starting build is really really strong for the early/mid game. You get beefy a little, some good AP, mana regen in your mage has high mana cost spells, you get boots and hppotions for sustain. This starting build is the safest and most well rounded.

AD Carries

Again, like with doran's rings this is a safe build, however it is much much stronger because the %6 life steal gives you some sustain for attacking as well. I'd say most people should start this way. It is just too good.

  • and or
This build is for safe sustain. Good for champions who apply on hit effects like . Unlike other builds this lacks damage, but you can be sure you won't get super low on hp. Don't take this if you feel like the enemy can just catch you and burst damage you to death from max or near max hp.

This start is somewhat risky, however it can really pay off. If you have spells that scale with attack damage, this will give you much needed damage on those spells as well as auto attack damage. With this build you have to not take much damage, but you can deal tons of it yourself and push the lane back a lot and just whittle down the enemy and force them to use their potions and hopefully you can get kills. If you can't get kills and you lose lots of HP however you are SOL and will have to either die to buy sustain(once you have the gold) or wait for allies to heal you if they can.


Why this? Well tanks need the HP, and often times also need the mana. Since they are melee range they will take damage and the passive is very effective on them. SOme tanks like and build this into . However most other tanks will want to hold onto this until they are higher level and get a . This item will give you plenty of health and mana allowing you to get in there and be a tank.

I have to be specific on this philo start. If you are a tank, chances are you won't be getting tons of kills. This build gives you a head start on a .

This build is for when the enemy has a bunch of CC, but especially against mage teams. YOu start with good Magic resist and high mobility, and that many potions allows you to keep going for kills, initiations and fights in general.

End Notes:
  • As time goes on and I see and try more starting builds I will update this section.
  • These are just build suggestions that do well most of the time on most champions. Some champions have strange starts that are better for them. I leave it up to the reader to find out those fringe situations. Sorry!


Oh no! I used "meta". Well the game has changed and this is a metagame of LoL within ARAM for Proving Grounds. It is a goofy one because it changes each game somewhat. I guess you could say it is a metameta...That is your queue to laugh.

Although some things are never going to be the same, here are the basics.

  • The game will be short. Although the surrender time is 20 minutes, you will find yourself winning or losing sooner than that a lot of the time. The game is fast, it lasts 15-25 minutes on average. I say this because you shouldn't hold onto your forever. If you feel the game is going bad for your team, or it is about even, upgrade it now for an upper hand! Don't hold onto items for a long time. If you need room now, sell that NOW. etc. etc. so on and so forth.

  • Mages are the best. Keep this in mind. Mages are in a really good spot with this game for a few reasons.
  • Global mana regeneration aura allows them to spam more and be on par with AD champions who auto attack
  • spells are long range. Longer range than most auto attacks. Thus they can whittle away at enemies better than AD champions
  • mages also pack utility or combo really well. This normally wouldn't be so important, but because you start at level 3, any mage can pull off a full combo at the start of the game
  • all of the above let mages get early kills and snowball

However, like the normal game, if the game goes on for long enough, AD champions will shine even more, but without enough gold, holding off for 30 minutes may not be enough.

  • AOE is OP! Anyone with good AOE will wreck. If you are thinking Lux right now, yes, lux is really strong. AOE is good because everyone is forced into the same lane, and it is easier to hit someone with an AOE spell. It also is good because you are most likely going to have a better time pushing the lane.

I feel like I don't have to explain why blitzcrank is part of this game, but I will for fun. He is OP. Any team with blitzcrank is automatically going to do better. On other maps, you have a lot of room, and at most, there are 2 people hiding behind 1 wave of minions. Here, you have 5 champions in one narrow lane they can't leave, hiding behind one wave of minions. Grabs are much easier and thus blitzcrank is strong. He is the best ARAM champion hands down...[insert rocket grab pun here]

  • Get executed!
Yup that is right. DIE! Die only when you are sure you can get killed by minions or a tower. This is a must because you can't shop for items! This will give you free HP, mana, and you can buy items all without feeding a kill to the enemy. If you ace the enemy team, wait a while and get yourself killed. Be careful though, the respawn timers are really low on the Proving Grounds. One auto attack from an enemy is enough to ruin all your efforts. If you feel unsafe going for an execution DON'T! I too often see people who are unsure, they go in and out, taking damage, or they wait too long to start, and an enemy comes out to lane again, and now they have to back off with a sliver of health.

  • Push the lane
Auto attack minions as often as you can, use spells on them, KILL THEM. No need to worry about ganks from another lane, and 5 people farming 1 lane is pointless. Just push the lane to the tower and kill it as fast as you can. This is how it is and it is the best tactic for winning.

  • Relic blocking
If you have pushed the lane to the enemy side, try to always grab the relics on their side as soon as they come up. You do this, not to regenerate your health(although it is a bonus if you need health) but to stop the enemy from making any kind of comeback. IF your whole team is full HP take it regardless.

  • Bush Rush
There are only 2 bushes on the map, on either side of the map right near the center. Both teams most of the time want to buy items quickly and grab control of the enemy bush. Beware, however, the enemy will check the bush with spells if they don't get out as fast as you. However sometimes you can get out there and a foolish summoner will lead their champion right into your entire team for an easy first blood. If the enemy has , don't even try to bush rush. They will just grab one of your team and get the first blood no matter what, so just safely wait on the right side of the map hugging your tower until minions spawn.

  • Supports don't support
Never ever play supports as supports. They have just as much gold as anyone else and have the same chance to to get kills early on. Most supports are played as AP mages, however is usually played as a tank or tanky dps. I will go over more champions specifics later, but as a role, supports don't build like supports. This doesn't mean you shouldn't buy any support items, it just means you should build to contribute more to the team since you have a more even gold income.

  • 4-5 melee champion teams are bad
Getting 4 or 5 melee champions on your team sucks unless the enemy is the same way. You can't do any early game farming, pushing or harass while they will be able to. Foolish players will try to rush in, frustrated they can't do anything and get killed. The best you can do here is just wait until the enemy gets near your tower and do what you can to fight them under the tower. However if your team is coordinated you can often stun lock them and grab a kill or harass, but this is hard to do and is often mana intensive.

Champion Details

Although it varies from team to team, some champions are better played in unusual ways from what we normally see in SR.

Q_Q mummy used to be a great choice as an AP CC bursty mage. However riot saw how that caused issues, so his AP ratios are less strong. So at this point his tank build outshines his AP build in ARAM unless you really have a ton of CC and tankiness already, you could get away with AP.

Cho gath is a really good tank. Normally he builds AP tanky similar to singed. However sometimes you may want to build him with a lot more AP and with some extra cooldown reduction. Landing rupture is vital to winning with him, and having it do damage is worth it.

Eve still sucks on this map. She can't sneak up on people most of the time unless you have taken down a tower. She needs to build beefier than normal to live through team fights. Once late game comes though she should be okay if you near full build.

Ezreal is STRONG. He ults at any point and he can push the lane, and also end up hitting the enemy most of the time. Just so strong. He can go AP or AD, both are fine here, AP scales his ultimate much better. Hybrid might be viable(or even the best), but I have yet to get him and try it out yet. If your team has good pushing power go AP for better damage against the enemy champions. Go AD if your team has no pushing power or if no one else is AD.

Get 5 tiamats and boots I'm not kidding...
This is a choice you can take. tiamat damage stacks on her ultimate and since everyone is clustered up, her ultimate can pull off some aces that will infuriate the enemy. However if you don't feel like being a tiamat jerk, play her normally.

He is the meta breaker. I only want to mention him because foolish people tend to stack Magic resist on him even if the enemy has no AP champions. Don't do that. Treat him like a tank. If you are winning, you should consider getting at least 1 AP item. Otherwise be as tanky as you can like normal. Get Athene's unholy grail on him. It gives him tons of AP and the passive is a must so he can spam spells.

HE IS NOT A TANK. Build some attack damage or something. Tank garen is about as useful as AP riven except he steals kills.

Build her like a glass cannon mage.

Building her hybrid here is easier than on SR, and it does really well, you get the pros of being a mage and the pros of being an AD carry. However, when in doubt, play her AD carry.

Build him AP with and . If your team has no AD and/or too much AP, then you should go AD carry. His ultimate as AP is really strong so AP is normally the best.

Build her as an on hit champion, as AD lulu or as AP lulu. She is very flexible. She is godlike with a teemo on your team. Just take note that she is like other supports, build her like a mage and you are pretty safe.

Build him like a tank, but you can actually build him as a tanky DPS or as a tanky mage. If you build him tanky mage, you can do good poke with his seismic shard, and his ultimate is out of this world with AP. Tanky DPS malphite is good at doing his part in a team fight if you need that edge with some more AD. However if your team lacks CC and tankiness just build full on tank.

AP master Yi is iconic to ARAM. This is where he shines. He has stupidly overpowered sustain with his heal. He can alpha strike for tons of damage into fights to start them, and meditate while he gets hit, and often times still comes out of it with more HP. Go AD yi if you have a team full of AP champions that have no other build options for a balanced team.

HE IS NOT A TANK. He is an AP mage, build him like one.

Nasus is really hard to play, he can't farm his Q so he isn't as strong. Some people build him as a tanky mage, however you are safe building him like you normally would too.

AP nidalee is strong under a few conditions.
  • You are good at landing her spear
  • your team can push lane really well, clearing creeps so you can spear better
  • You think the game won't go to a point where the enemy AD can own you or the tanks can easily eat spears.
  • Your team lacks AP champions and has at least 1 ad carry

Nid is dependent on her team a lot. I hate seeing people play AP nid against a tanky team or with a team that can't clear out minions. Buiser nid is a good choice more often than you would think.

Nocturne is not very good here. Like eve he relies on showing up to exploit overextended, weak and alone enemies. On this map he has very very few chances to use his ultimate. Most of the time the enemy is all within vision of each other anyhow. Its usually only good to clean up team fights or to get into them if you just respawned. In strange situations where an enemy is near your tower while your team is on the enemy side, you can use it to catch people trying to get executed.

Go AP unless your team is all squishbags and do this(empire nunu style):

Rammus is like the worst ARAM champion early game, but devestating with the right items. SInce this game is all about AP, don't be afraid to get 2 or more . Early game you need to sit back and play it safe. even though he is a tank, early-mid game you want to let someone else initiate then come in and use your spells to disrupt the team. Level up the Defensive shell or taunt first.

Don't go AP shaco. End of story.

Singed can go more AP than tanky here mid game if you are doing well enough to warrant it.

AD sion is better. I bet you thought I was going to say "Go AP unless you have enough AP already". Nope its quite the opposite. AP sion is shut down too easily here, 5 people burst him and he loses his shield and thus all his good AP damage. Even if your team is all AD, AP sion is still pretty weak for a choice unless the enemy can't stun or slow you AP isn't a smart choice.

She does good getting AP items, but she should still pick up all the aura items. and are AP items but still provide an aura. Her heals become very powerful as AP.

Go AP. Sometimes tanky AP soraka is good if the enemy can kill you really fast or CC you hard. Soraka is kind of squishy.

Build him tanky %90 of the time. If your team is already too tanky, take him as a top lane style tanky dps, or if you really must for whatever reason, AP taric...I don't suggest it though.

Teemo can pretty much do whatever he wants.
  • AP teemo can shroom the relic points. If your team gets them yay, if the enemy team gets it, they lose more health than they gain when they hit the mushroom. AP teemo hurts early/mid, and mid/late his shrooms stop enemy pushes dead in their tracks.
  • AD carry teemo is strong as heck. early game you can auto attack once on people to apply the poison for good damage and later on you can just chase or escape anything for easy kills. He is super mobile. Start with boots on him if you can.
  • on hit teemo. Is powerful with lulu. It isn't the safest build, but in some cases it cane be powerful.
  • Tankmo yeah this is funny and if you have no one else to tank, do it. Core item on tankmo is

Because of the reduced healing passive on the map vlad may seem like a crummy champion to get. However he is actually extremely powerful. His core items should be and. If you have another person going AP, beg them to also get a WIll of the Ancients to increase your healing and AP further. Because of how sustain is superior on this map, Vlad is king.

Don't build him as a pure tank
Don't build magewick

Build him AP! He will probably still need a lot of mana regen to be spammy. I suggest the doran ring or tear of the goddess start.


ARAM is a great game. It is there for you to just have fun without worrying about strict meta guidelines that limit the champion you should play. It is a fun game, but that doesn't mean it isn't a place to troll or be a jerk. Too often I see "its only ARAM" for an excuse as to why someone trolls, feeds, or quits. ARAM has been and still is gaining popularity, and soon we may get matchmaking for it if the vocal community keeps asking for it.

I hope this guide is useful to help you get started in ARAM. I will try to add more things that I missed if people point things out that I forgot. If you have any suggestions to improve this guide, please leave them and I will consider them. This is my second guide and I hope you enjoy the help I provided.


November 29, 2012 - 07:16 AM #1

You missed out on one of the best starting combo's

Chalice of Harmony and a Regrowth Pendant.

Also the core items for your team

Frozen Heart, Aegis of the Legion, and Will of the Ancients.

Someone on your team should always go RADC even if its Soraka or LeBlanc

And no mention of masteries. If your a burst AP or RADC go normal 21/9/0. If your not a 9/21/0 with the penetration in offense. Resists, health, regen, C/D, and Juggernaut works for most anyone.

September 26, 2012 - 01:41 AM #2

Going to have to say no on this bro.

Sorry but 1) I don't see a point in having a guide on something ment to fuck around with. and 2) This guide is a lot of opinion and not a lot of hard facts. I may approve this guide if you can add a lot more tested facts.

July 27, 2012 - 04:45 PM #3

I have seen 0 AP shacos provide anything to the team. If you show me proof that it works, I will gladly change that. Yes 5 tiamts on fiora. Its a viable build on her in ARAM. Its an option you can pick to choose. Maybe I should mention that bit. XD I have a few more pictures to add into the guide as well. So look out for those. I forgot to get them in.

July 27, 2012 - 08:10 AM #4

dont go ap shaco... ARE YOU CRAZY ? he is op in proving grounds

tiamat stacks ??0_0

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