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Predicting The Juke: How To Never Miss A Skill Shot

Kata

Kata

Mon 1st May 2017 - 1:32pm

A large portion of champions depend on hitting skill shots to be relevant throughout the course of a game or to have kill pressure. Here's a few of the champions that really need to hit their skill shots to be useful: Ahri, Amumu, Anivia, Ashe, Bard, Blitzcrank, Brand, Braum, Caitlyn, and Corki. And that's just A-C. The point is hitting skill shots is an incredibly important mechanical skill in League of Legends. Without being able to hit skill shots, most players are playing their champions at 40% of their actual potential. But, with a few tips and tricks, you'll soon be hitting more of the skill shots you shoot than missing them. 

Disclaimer: The majority of this guide will be going over how to predict how the enemy player will dodge, or how to corral them in the direction you want them to go to hit the skill shot. There is no formula for sheer mechanical skill. If you can't hit a stationary target while your champ is moving, then just practice more games until you improve your mechanics. If you want a quick baptism by fire in skill shots, just play Ezreal for 20 games straight. I guarantee you'll get better at hitting skill shots. 

Second disclaimer: What I'm about to explain, doesn't always apply in lower elos. In Bronze and Silver, a lot of players tend to run in straight lines. That being said, players tend to not dodge skill shots. Just imagine you're playing old school duck hunt and lead your skill shot. 

Predicting the Juke

A lot of players in solo queue all tend to dodge the same way. This is especially true if you're roaming or ganking perpendicular to the lane. Generally, when a player sees you roaming into their lane to gank, their natural instinct is to move back towards their tower. Here is an example in a VOD of Aphromoo in solo queue ganking mid lane. 


Just wait for it guys...Aphromoo is a talented man

When you gank like this, it only gives your opponent the option to move backwards towards turret. Consequently, this only gives them the option of juking backwards to dodge a skill shot. We can do some pretty sick stuff with this information, like making it look like our enemy is walking into our skill shot. To recap, here is the scenario in still life. 

Lux can't walk down, or else she'll run into the enemy mid laner. She has no idea where the enemy jungler is so running to her right means running the risk of walking into a jungler gank. The safest and most logical place for her to walk is in a straight line back to her tower. Lux knows that Aphromoo knows her only route is up towards tower, so naturally that would be where he aims his hook. Therefore, Lux will try to juke backwards since it's the only other direction she can move in. And since Aphromoo knows this, he can effectively predict where Lux will try to sidestep. Let's watch.


Tell me that wasn't a sick prediction.

And just like that, Lux walks into Aphromoo's hook. Knowing how champions will be forced to path in certain situations will greatly help you increase the number of skill shots you hit. Try this trick out in your next solo queue game. 

Coralling The Enemy

In the example given above, the angle at which we approach the enemy only gives them one option to move in. But, there will be times when we need to hit our skill shots and the enemy can move in a number of different directions. In these types of cases, especially if you're playing someone with a dash or gap closer, you can use your positioning to take away a number of their movement possibilities. This will apply more for the laning phase or if you're doing the good ol' run it down the lane gank. 

If you're laning, or running at your opponent in a straight line down the lane, if you were to shoot a skill shot at the enemy, they have the choice of side stepping left, or side stepping right. If you're good, after a few skill shots, you can generally figure out what direction a player likes to side step in. Being able to determine how an opponent jukes is incredibly important. But, there are ways to take away the guesswork and to force someone to move where you want them to move. 

 
Right or Left???

When you walk forward aggressively, unless you're too weak to be doing so, your opponent will walk backwards to try to create distance away from you and your skillshots. But, if you move aggressively on a diagonal line, you force your opponent to mirror your movement, and walk in the opposite direction you move in to create the same distance. This is even more effective if you have a dash or a gap closer to make them suddenly have to move in the opposite direction. Here's an example of moving to one side of the lane, to get your opponent to move in the opposite direction with Leblanc. 


Bingo

Note how moving/dashing to the left of the lane, causes the enemy laner to move to the right, meaning we can better predict where they're going to juke. This trick can be applied in any scenario where you're chasing someone in and they have room to escape on both sides of them. 

Hitting your skill shots is a critical and fundamental skill to playing good League of Legends. It can be incredibly frustrating to give up free kills or lose fights because of missing important skill shots. By knowing how an enemy will dodge/react to a skill shot based on your own positioning can help you immensely when trying to hit skill shots. Making your opponents move where you want and into your skill shots will also help guarantee that you never miss. Try these tricks out on the rift, and start landing more skill shots than you are missing!

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