A Comprehensive Guide to 1v1 in League of Legends



Sat 5th Jan 2019 - 1:03pm

1v1 is not a game mode often discussed, usually only coming to light every year when All Stars rolls around. Since it is not often discussed and practiced, many are not confident accepting the challenge from an agitated lane opponent after a crushing victory. This guide aims to educate those who are looking to get an edge in a 1v1.


There are different variations of a 1v1 as Riot has yet to add an official game mode, leaving players to create their own 1v1 variations using the custom game tool. Some take place on the Howling Abyss and others on Summoner’s Rift. The closest to an official rule set that we have, and the one most often seen in tournaments, is as follows:

  • A 1v1 takes place on Summoner’s Rift but the players may not leave the middle lane. If they do so they are disqualified.
  • A 1v1 may be blind pick where players use an external tool to ban champions or it can be draft pick where the bans are in client.
  • To win a 1v1, a player must do one of the following:
    • First blood their opponent.
    • Reach 100 CS.
    • Destroy the enemy’s first tower.


A 1v1 will not often last long enough for the player to earn enough gold to buy substantial items. This is why it is very important to invest your gold wisely in cheap items that have good stat value.


AD Champions

- Start with Doran’s Blade (450g) and one health potion (50g).

- Buying health potions or a refillable potion (150g) can be a good idea if you are looking to sustain in lane and draw out a 1v1.

- Buying further Doran’s Blades is almost always a good idea as they are efficient.

- If you lack gold or want to trade a slight bit of tankiness for more AD, Longswords (350g) are not a bad idea and give slightly more burst. Longswords also build in to stronger items, so in that regard they have a slight advantage over Doran’s Blades.

- Berserker’s Greaves (1100g) give significant attack speed if you can cobble together the necessary gold. Attack speed helps with trading and farming.

- If tankiness is required, then Cloth Armors (300g) or Null Magic Mantles (450g) are cheap buys that give quick stats to help you deal with your opponent’s damage output.


AP Champions

- Start with a Doran’s Ring (400g) and two health potions (50g).

- As with AD champions, health potions and a refillable potion can be a good idea.

- Buying more Doran’s Rings if you get quick recalls in is a good idea as it is a very gold efficient item.

- Amplifying Tomes (435g) give slightly more AP at the cost of less health and no passive. They also build into stronger items so sometimes it is a better option than a Doran’s Ring.

- Sorcerer’s Shoes (1100g) is a very good item for 1v1s as it gives flat magic penetration. People don’t often buy defensive items in 1v1’s so flat magic penetration will eat into an opponent’s base magic penetration, which increases your damage output significantly.

- As with AD champions, Null Magic Mantles and Cloth Armors are the way to go for defensive buys.


“Standard” Rune Pages:

AP Champions

- Arcane Comet: The standard keystone for AP champions looking to burst their opponents. It provides supplemental damage

- Summon Aery: Aery is more consistent damage but Comet deals more if it hits, which is likely.

- Nullifying Orb: Nullifying Orb is an obvious choice to negate magic damage if you’re against an AP champion. As it is often blind pick you may not know your opponent's choice, but most AD champions deal some form of magic damage as well making it a solid choice regardless.

- Absolute Focus: Pretty much the only option on this tree as Celerity and Transcendence have very limited use in a 1v1. Extra AP damage when above 70% health simply adds extra damage.

- Scorch: Waterwalking is completely useless as you can’t go in to river and Gathering Storm is way too slow for the fast paced action of a 1v1, so Scorch is the only option, adding a little bit of damage to your burst.

- Time Warp Tonic: A vital rune for 1v1s, the extra sustain ensures that you can stay in lane and compete for wave control and farm. Although other inspiration keystones can be useful, they are not worth taking over Time Warp Tonic.

- Biscuit Delivery: Just as above, Biscuit Delivery allows you to stay in lane even if you get the bad side of trades and get chunked out. In combination with Time Warp Tonic, this rune is very potent.

- Offense: +10 Adaptive Force. Self-explanatory, it’s worth taking the extra damage.

- Flex: +10 Adaptive Force, same as above.

- Defence: +5 Armor. It should be obvious what to pick if you know the matchup. If not, perhaps the scaling health is a better option.


 AD Burst Champions

- Electrocute: Combo burst champions will nearly always want Electrocute in a 1v1. The alternatives are much less useful in a 1v1.

- Taste of Blood: The lifesteal will help you in sustaining during drawn out trades.

- Ghost Poro: This is the only rune that has any usefulness in this tree, even if it is miniscule. It can be useful if a 1v1 takes place on the Howling Abyss. Zombie Ward and Eyeball Collection don’t have any use in a 1v1.

- Ravenous Hunter: You won’t be able to stack any of these runes but Ravenous Hunter has the most useful stats without the additional bounty hunter stacks, which makes it the best choice.

- Legend - Alacrity: The 3% Attack Speed is quite useful for champions that need to weave in auto attacks for trading and all-ins.

- Coup De Grace: Dealing 7% more damage to enemies below 40% health helps secure that burst that will earn you the victory.

 AD Sustain Champions

This rune page is geared towards a farming victory, with this setup you will be able to stay in lane indefinitely, it makes it very difficult for the opponent to force you back.

- Grasp of the Undying: Grasp can be used to trade and sustain in lane in order to stay healthy.

- Font of Life: This is useful for champions that employ this strategy that have some forms of CC, such as Caitlyn. This rune provides extra sustain while trading.

- Second Wind: Second Wind is ideal for this strategy as it provides reliable sustain. Conditioning is too slow, and Bone Plating doesn’t provide permanent health.

- Revitalize: The best rune for staying healthy when combined with summoner Heal.

- Biscuit Delivery: See above.

- Time Warp Tonic: See above.

- Offense: +9% Attack Speed. Helps with farming and quick trades.

- Flex: +10 Adaptive Force. Adds extra damage for both farming and trading.

- Defense: +5 Armor. This section can be adjusted if you know the matchup, if not then it’s just a prediction of what you may play against.


Cheesy Phase Rush Tahm Kench

A prominent cheese strategy that can be run in a 1v1 is playing Tahm Kench and going for first blood. This can be done by running Flash/Ghost, eating your opponent which procs Phase Rush and using your summoner spells and speed to spit your opponent under your tower.

- Phase Rush: This is vital as you need the movement speed to execute this cheese.

- Transcendence: Normally very slow but is actually better than Absolute Focus, the damage of which will be irrelevant if this strategy goes to plan.

Other Rune Strategies: If playing an AD Carry, using some form of Press the Attack combination is the most effective. If playing Yasuo or a similar champion, then Conqueror is the most effective.


Effective 1v1 Champions

Comfort will always be the most important factor in a 1v1, as experience on your champion will give you the best chance of winning. However, some champions are generally stronger than others in a 1v1 due to have appropriate skill sets. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few examples.

  • AD Burst Champions: Zed, Talon, Yasuo, Irelia, Aatrox
  • AD Carries: Lucian, Caitlyn (Grasp), Vayne
  • AP Mages: Orianna, Annie, Cassiopeia, Xerath, Vel’Koz, Neeko
  • Supports: Tahm Kench, Pyke


 General Tips

- You want to enter a 1v1 with a win condition in mind, be it first blood, farming or first tower, whichever suits your champion pick.

- If significantly ahead on CS, it is often not worth aggressively trading as it can bring you low enough for your opponent to all-in which will be their only chance to win.

- Since the recent tower buffs on Summoner’s Rift, taking first tower is significantly harder and as a result it is not even worth going for anymore.

- Wave control is very important as it can be used to deny your opponent CS by stacking a wave and shoving it to tower.

- If the wave is in your favour and you are ahead on CS, backing before your opponent will allow you to maintain pressure as they will have to match your back to keep even in items.

I hope you find the information in this guide useful and use it to style on those who dare challenge you to a 1v1.

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