By. Pancho Villa
Greetings, and welcome to the first installment of the beginner’s guide of the now famous League of Legends. The game is free to play, has hundreds of thousands of players, and is a very team oriented game. It’s also a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG for short, with a unique type of play style which I will summarize in this guide.
There are four maps in total, each with special monsters, and unique “buffs”. There's the traditional five versus five mode, where you’ll find the most players, and a three versus three mode, where items are a tad different. In this installment we’re only going to cover the five versus five in summoners rift. The map consists of two fountains on opposite ends, alongside the inhibitors and turrets that protect your base. Once you leave the base there are three principle lanes: the Top Lane, which is where bruisers tend to dominate and get really tanky; the Mid Lane, where our ability power (AP for short) champions hang out; and lastly our famous Bot Lane, where the duo team of Marksmen and Support try and get farmed to become the main damage dealers. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the Jungler, whose job is to slay buffs in the two main camps that are Blue Buff, or better known as the Ancient Golem, and the Red Buff, or the Elder Lizard.
Now don’t fret, because the aforementioned monsters won’t attack unless they are attacked, and they won’t go roaming around. There are more monsters in the jungle but those two are key for the Jungler and the Mid Laner. The Jungler’s job is to get buffs, or to give his buffs to the respective players and attack each lane to get a kill. The best way to counter a Jungler and his “ganks” are the vision wards, and good timing. Each monster has a specific timer, which continuously respawns. There are two more monsters that are very important in the game, the Dragon and Baron Nashor. The dragon gives a good money boost to the entire team that slays it, but it’s the Baron Nashor that’s the game changer. Once destroyed, the Baron gives a steroid to everyone that allows losing games to win, a winning game to destroy, or a place where plays can be made to upset the whole game.
Next, let’s talk about the individual lanes. The bot lane, for one, is one of the hardest lanes to master. As mentioned earlier, the lane has two players that try to work in sync to kill the enemy. The important job of a Marksman is to last hit a minion. On the other hand, the job of the Support is to ward and make the initiation of an attack. To help these guys out, there are support items to get money, since the Support doesn’t get money by killing minions. Most Supports don’t really buy damage items, but they get items that help the team out! Moving along, the Mid Laner’s job is similar to the Marksmen. Both need to farm and get kills, but the one difference is that the Mid Laner should roam around the map rather than stay in one place. One could say that they become like a Jungler. Last but not least is the Top Laner. Their task is to become the biggest nuisance they can be in team fights. They’ll take plenty of damage, but they’ll be beefy so they won’t go down easily.
Keep in mind that those minions I mentioned earlier come in four different categories. There’s the melee minion, who has some armor and hits with attack damage; the caster minion, which has less armor and attack with AP; the siege minion, who is much bigger and hits harder than its brothers; and the super minion, only accessible when an inhibitor is destroyed. Minions have hit points (HP), and no matter how much you attack them, if you don’t try to last hit them and actually achieve that last hit, then you won’t get any money from the kill. No money means you can’t get items, and while it’s easy to think you’d get more money by simply killing the enemy, it turns out to be the opposite, since twenty minions are the same as a single kill. Getting in a last hit, then, is critical.
It might seem complicated at first, but with all this in mind, the best way of winning can actually be pretty simple, with a little planning and practice. Start by picking at least two roles that you are awesome at. Then, choose at least two champions in those categories and get really good at using them, since prepping beforehand is very useful. Finally, be sure to have good communication with your teammates, and with a little bit of foresight, you’ll get a sure win! Lanes, builds, items, and play styles will be explained in the next installment of League of Legends: Builds and Gameplay. Hope you enjoyed!