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Safety and Why It's Important

LowAttendance

LowAttendance

Mon 13th Mar 2017 - 1:58pm

Now in every Elo you play in, I’m sure you have run into either an ally or an enemy who is having a rough time in lane. We all know the classic Yasuo top going 0/14 who complains that he is getting babysat. Now we all know he either hasn’t been playing safe or that he's just getting camped. Here are some tips to not be that guy in Solo Queue.

Warding

Yeah, I know. You’ve probably heard this one quite a bit, but warding is extremely effective and is necessary for playing a lane safely. Using Control Wards not only helps you lane safely but it also shows your Junger that your lane opponent has a blind spot for them to abuse. But the most obvious reason to ward is to make sure you can see incoming ganks. Now early game, you can use Trinket Wards to get most of that vision but you’ll 100% need to dip your hand into your wallet and invest 75 Gold on a Control Ward. Make it a habit to buy these every time you back and have at least one in your inventory.

Doing this naturally will cause you to show gradual improvement in your laning phase. Having a Control Ward at your disposal will be useful for things such as making sure you can do the Rift Herald sneakily or just clearing a Bush for your Jungler to be able to gank.


Respecting your Opponent

Here you can see they underestimate Nunu's potential to turn a gank around.

Being cautious is key to laning. You both must respect each other's damage. For example, yesterday I had a Nunu top on my team against a Darius. My team thought Nunu would lose for sure, but Darius didn’t respect his damage and ended up trading level 1 causing Nunu to get first blood and he then snowballed the rest of the game. Sometimes it's better to play carefully instead of going for a kill. Maybe you should think to yourself 'It's better to farm for now, take small trades, get vision and wait for the Jungler to assist me.' If the enemy is overly aggressive, let some farm go and wait for the Jungler. Sometimes this is the only thing you can do, but it’s better to play safe and lose a bit of XP instead of going 0/3 and having a Quinn run around the map snowballing the rest of her team.

Summoner Spells/Masteries

Now this one will take some getting used to. Top laners will usually take Flash and Teleport, but others will sometimes opt for Ignite over Teleport. You must be aware of that when laning against them, as you are at a disadvantage. This means the enemy will be playing very aggressively, making you try and trade them so they can Ignite you and walk away with the free easy kill. I recommend checking everybody's Summoners as you first enter the game as it will give you the opportunity to think about how you should play a certain lane.

Now checking Summoner Spells is important but checking Masteries is just as important, as different people have different preferences on what Mastery is better on certain Champions. For example, you may be against a Karthus Mid, where you would expect them to take Deathfire Touch. However if you don't check what mastery they were running, you're liable to die to a random Thunderlord's proc. This may come off as a very basic thing to most players but even the best players forget to check things such as this.

Map Awareness

This is most likely one of the hardest thing to do. Not only does this take time to learn, but it also takes restraint on your part. The best way to explain this is with some examples. Say you are laning against someone and the next trade you’ll take is a guaranteed kill. You think it’ll be simple. However, you didn’t look at the map and the opponent’s Mid Laner is missing and the Jungler is also not on the map. You then go for that "guaranteed kill" and get ganked by both the enemy Mid and Jungler resulting in your death and the low enemy living.

Now imagine if you looked at the map and saw that their Mid wasn’t on the map. Sure your ally Mid may have not pinged that the enemy was missing, but you are also partially to blame. If you had seen they were missing and played it safe, you may have lived and kept your tower from not falling.

Make looking at your map a habit on any role you play, I would say at this point in time the role that needs to do this the most is the Marksman, as they have a lot of enemies looking to sneakily kill them. For example, maybe you see a juicy wave bot with two cannon minions and you feel that you need it. But the enemy Rengar knows that wave is looking plump and waits for you to get greedy for the one extra wave and boom you're one-shot while your team four-man groups Mid and you aren’t there to help team fight.

Conclusion

Playing safe isn’t just for the early game. It's for the whole game and it has many benefits. Sure, you miss out on two cannon minions but at least you didn’t die and were able to team fight with your allies and come out on top. It takes skill to play safe and not play mindlessly.

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