League of Legends: An In-Depth Guide on Splitpushing
Tue 7th May 2019 - 9:29pm
League has historically always been a game of five-versus-five teamfights. The most memorable moments of your League career are most likely from teamfights. However, for those who want to spice up their League of Legends experience, splitpushing can be the perfect way to increase your map awareness while diversifying your skills. Splitpushing is built on the idea of wave management, a topic that I will briefly touch upon. Before splitpushing, it is vital that you practice wave management in your regular games. Once you have a gained a reasonable grasp on wave management, splitpushing will be far easier to execute upon and an even better way to secure the Victory screen.
What is Splitpushing?
Splitpushing is a form of play in which one player, generally the toplaner who has the Teleport summoner spell, will push either the top or bottom wave, taking towers and earning gold for their team in the process. Splitpushing is one of the most difficult skills in League of Legends because of the necessary knowledge you require and the need for proper communication among teammates. As mentioned beforehand, splitpushing is built upon the principle of wave management.
While wave management deserves a guide of its own, I will go over the basics. If you have more minions on your side than on the enemy side, your wave will push. This follows in the opposite manner. In order to modify the speed in which your wave pushes, you will want to kill specific minions. Killing the backline ranged minions will cause the wave to slowly grow larger and eventually crash into a tower with a large number of minions. Killing the frontline melee minions will cause the wave to move quickly, but with far less minions. For splitpushing, you should practice slow pushing the wave. Before a splitpush, it is necessary to slow push a wave so that you will be ready to immediately apply damage to a tower.
Why Should I Splitpush?
Splitpushing can singlehandedly win the game for your team because of its high-risk/high-reward nature. As a splitpusher, your team will be fighting for objectives with a man disadvantage depending on if an enemy player decides to answer your splitpush. However, while your team engages in a teamfight, you can take down multiple towers, even inhibitors if you play the situation properly. Also, if you develop a good mechanical foundation on your champion, you can also remove the enemy player who may try to answer you. This nets your team a man advantage, and hopefully a teamfight win.
When Should I Splitpush?
There is no single formula for when splitpushing is the most optimal form of play. However, here are a few tips as to when splitpushing will be best for your chance at victory.
If your team is engaging an objective
When your team is engaging on an objective, such as Baron or an Elemental Drake, the enemy team is forced to decide between answering your splitpush or contesting the objective. If the enemy team decides to come for you, your team is nearly guaranteed the objective. If the enemy team decides to contest the objective, you can take down towers, gain a gold advantage, and pressure a potential end to the game.
If your team can stall effectively with poke
If your team is comprised of poke based champions such as Xerath, Zoe, Lux, Jayce, etc., you can stall out the clock and force the enemy team to either make a hasty engage or answer your splitpush. In both scenarios, your team gains an advantage and steps closer to victory.
If your team is losing extremely hard
“Losing extremely hard” is subject to your interpretation, but in general it should be quite easy to judge whether or not your team is behind beyond repair. In this case, splitpushing may be the last ditch effort to balance the game if you are the only player that has an advantage. In this case, it is very rare that the enemy team to disengage to answer your splitpush. If you can coordinate a stall with your team, you can cause severe damage to the enemy base, and create an opening to end the game.
Who Can Splitpush?
About 90% of the time, splitpushers are toplaners with Teleport, and there is a reason why. The toplane champion pool is comprised of many splitpush champions such as, but not limited to, Fiora, Tryndamere, Darius, Riven, Gnar, and Jax. Also, Teleport is necessary so that you can enter a teamfight in the scenario that you can make a decent impact.
Who Should I Play?
As a beginner, you want to focus on the macro game rather than the mechanics required to pilot the champion you wish to choose. While champions like Fiora and Riven can have a higher ceiling to splitpushing, it is recommended that you test splitpushing with an easier champion like Jax or Tryndamere. Jax has the perfect components to make a good splitpusher with his high attack speed from passive and 1v2 capabilities. Tryndamere has extremely high AD mixed with a high critical strike chance which is deadly towards unprotected towers.
What to Build?
While every splitpushing champion may have their own build path, it is common among most splitpushers that they have a Sheen item to increase damage to towers. If you wish to play Jax as recommended, I recommend starting with Triforce and then following that up with a Sterak’s Gage to increase AD and Health. The combination of these two will be enough to take down towers at a fast rate. For Tryndamere, a mixture of critical strike chance, attack damage, and attack speed is plenty to delete enemy attack damage carries and melt towers. Generally, Ravenous Hydra and Statik Shiv will be plenty to start you off.
Warding and Communication
With the above tips, you are off to a great start to splitpushing. In lower elos, these tips will generate success quite quickly. However, once you start to reach higher ranks, you need to change your habits. A common mistake among lower elo players is to use wards randomly without purpose. You should be timing wards with objectives and placing them in strategic locations to maximize their worth. Control wards are a necessary tool to splitpushing and should be placed in the enemy jungle to warn you of impending danger. Without proper warding, you will notice that your splitpushes generally end in the enemy team ganking you.
A hallmark of poor splitpushing is the lack of prior communication with your team. A large majority of failed splitpushes directly result from your team ignoring the advantage that you are creating. Before executing upon the splitpush, you must inform your teammates of what they should do. Generally, this involves you directing your teammates to attack an objective whether it be Baron, Elemental Drake, or a tower. With your team pressuring an objective, you are generally free from ganks, but warding (as mentioned before) is necessary. And if you are strong enough, you can solo kill the enemy contesting you and apply massive damage to towers. In this case, you have doubled your team’s gains with little-to-no resources exhausted. Eventually, this will win you the game from raw gold and buff advantage.
Splitpushing is arguably the most difficult to execute upon strategy in League of Legends, but with proper practice, experience, and time your rank will steadily rise as you improve your macro play.
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