10 Tips to Climb the Ranked LoL Ladder
Tue 10th Sep 2019 - 10:23pm
We've all been there: Elo hell. Try as you might, you just can't seem to win games and win get that sweet LP. You may find yourself thinking things like this when you finish up champ select, unsure of how you're gonna make it out of this game alive. Well fear no more! I've compiled a list of some of the best things you can do in and out of your League games to maximize your LP gains and help you to get better at the game overall. Without further ado, here at my Top 10 Tips for climbing the ranked LoL ladder!
1) Only Play 1-3 Champions
If your goal is solely to gain LP, maybe for that Victorious skin or just to brag to your friends, one tricking a champion and having 1-2 solid backups is the way to go. This may sound like an odd tip, as One Trick Ponies (OTPs) often get a bad rap within the high elo community. Why would you want to become someone high elo people don't like? Well, the only reason pros and other high elo players don't like OTPs is because there are so many in Diamond and above. And why do you think that is? It's because becoming an OTP is one of the easiest ways to climb! There are so many OTPs in higher elo because of how efficient it is to one trick a champion and gain LP, it's crazy!
But something just as important, if not more so than getting really good at a single champion, is having a backup just in case your main gets banned. It happens more often than you think and sure, you can dodge a game and take a 3 LP hit, but if your One Trick champion is popular (like Yasuo) you're going to want to have a backup.
Focusing on only a few champs if you want to climb quickly is important, because the more you play a single champion, the better you will become at getting leads in lane, transitioning them into the late game, and carrying your team. One of the hardest parts of playing a lot of different champions is knowing their limits, and being an OTP takes that worry out of the equation. Not having to worry about what your champion can and cannot do allows you to focus on other things, such as roaming, taking objectives, and playing the macro game. These skills are often all you need to start climbing, so being able to focus solely on them allows you to efficiently gain LP quickly.
2) Focus on Improving, not just on LP
This may seem a bit contradictory to the tip above, but if you really want to become a good overall league player you shouldn't worry about a single game or getting LP, just focus on getting better. This may seem like a bit of an obvious tip; like of course you want to get better, who doesn't? But to really start to get better at the game, ignore LP altogether. Your thoughts at the end of the game shouldn't be "how much LP did I lose?," "If my team was better we would've won," or "The other team didn't deserve to win." Rather, your thoughts should be more like "How did I play that game?," "How can I play that lane better?," "What did I do right?," and "How can I learn from this game?"
Don't let your teammates, or your loss of LP, dissuade you from playing more and refining important skills you need to know to climb ranked. I've recently developed some Ranked Anxiety™, and I'm so scared of losing my LP that I don't want to play ranked at all. Don't be like me! Developing skills through playing the game and taking advantage of some tips listed below is more important than any amount of LP may be.
Don't sweat the small stuff, and LP is some pretty small stuff.
3) If You're Tilted, Take a Break
We all get tilted, it happens, and it's natural. What's not natural is spam clicking that 'Play Again' button because "they didn't deserve to win" or "they got camped for" or "my team is awful and I need to prove I'm a good player." Slow down, take your hands off your keyboard, take a deep breath, and walk away. Once you do, a lot of the frustrations you're feeling will dissipate and you'll realize that it's not worth getting worked up over something so small. If you don't, or you convince yourself you just need that one win to stop playing, I guarantee you you'll match history will look a lot like this:
Why did I play Illaoi support and what the hell is that build? Why did I first time Vel'Koz in ranked? Why am I playing jungle? Because my judgment, and my ability to play the game, was severely hindered because I was tilted. If I had taken my own advice, and simply took a break, a lot of that red would've turned green and I might just be in Diamond 3. Learn from me and take a breather.
4) Be Greedy with Resources
With the exception of support players, whenever you play League, you need to make sure you look out for number one. This means taking as much farm as you can, as many camps as you can, and as many resources your team can give you. In SoloQ, you only have one factor you can truly control: Yourself. So that means you should make yourself as strong as possible, because you know you can carry, but you can't be so sure about your teammates. Your teammates can be a gamble sometimes, so your best bet is on yourself.
Now there are some clear caveats to this rule.
1) Don't take farm from a teammate that is about to complete an item. Allowing them to just finish that one item can significantly turn the tides of a teamfight in the near future and might just net you a win.
2) Don't take jungle camps in the early game, wait until mid and late game. Don't take your jungler's first red buff, just don't do it. It will tilt them more than it will help you, and you'll be guaranteed 0 ganks if you do this.
3) If you're a tank or a support player, let the carries have some of the farm. Your champions are naturally more gold efficient: you do more with less. So let the Caitlyn get a third item faster, or a Master Yi get his Guardian Angel.
All in all, you can only really count on yourself to do well with resources (barring any caveats), so make sure you get as many of those resources as possible to maximize your carrying ability. Your teammates, and your LP, will thank you.
You've seen it all before: you're just sitting in mid lane, minding your own business, farming up, when suddenly a level 2 Alistar appears behind you and headbutts you straight into turret. You try to flash out, but it's too late, he Pulverizes you, and you die. Your team flames you but it's not your fault, how could you have expected a support to roam mid at 3 minutes in? Nobody does that!
Which is exactly why you should.
Roaming is one of the most powerful tactics you can use to get ahead in your League games. Getting kills, pressure, and later objectives through roaming puts you ahead in a way that you could never have been had you stayed in your lane and farmed. A little missed farm is almost always a worthwhile price for a successful roam, which usually nets a kill, tower plates, or neutral objectives. There are times and places where roaming is optimal, but when in doubt, push your lane into the enemy tower and walk towards mid. This either nets you a successful kill and tower damage, or at least gives you the opportunity to get some vision in the enemy jungle, which in turn makes your lane safer and keeps you ahead.
Lane/minion manipulation is important when it comes to roams, and often is the difference maker between a worthwhile roam and a non-worthwhile one. You should plan on roaming roughly a minute (2 minion waves) before doing so, as this gives you time to set up the waves to minimize gold loss from minions. You should look to set up a small Slow Push, which sees multiple waves of minions in the lane at one time "crashing" into the enemy tower. This forces the enemy laner to stay in lane and grab that farm (usually worth around 150 gold) while you are free to leave lane and help elsewhere. A crashing wave is typically set up by killing only the ranged minions in the first wave, which keep your melee minions alive longer and buy time for the next wave to come. Once reinforcements arrive you will clear all the creeps and the enemy has to deal with 1.5-2 waves of minions on their tower. This gives you time to roam mid, or bot, or into the enemy jungle, and to gain advantages and allow your team to get into the midgame far ahead of where you would've been had you stayed in lane.
6) Mute People Who Complain
Muting your teammates, as odd as it may sound, can do wonders for your in-game focus and mental. Talking to your teammates can be useful, sure: they can help track summoner spell cooldowns, talk about upcoming plays and gank opportunities, but more often than not it leads to arguments and can bring your team morale down. Arguments are common within League games, that is just an unfortunate fact of life. But if you just '/mute all' when people start complaining then you can be blissfully unaware of them, and it'll improve your gameplay immensely.
Typing in League of Legends can be hugely detrimental to your in-game play. Typing to teammates, or enemies, takes your focus off of the game itself and onto whatever else your team may be arguing about, hindering your play. You don't even have to be arguing or flaming, just the act of typing, even if it is when you are simply walking back to lane, can worsen your play. I cannot count all the times I've seen somebody get chunked out, caught out, or died because they were sitting still typing to their teammates. It has won and lost me more games than I care to admit. Don't be one of those people, winning the game is immensely more important than what your teammates have to say, so mute them straightaway and avoid the headache.
7) Dodge When Things Get Bad
Although I do not endorse dodging often, this is a tip I hear nearly every pro player and high elo streamer say. Sometimes, when it becomes clear that you'd be going into game already disadvantaged and things are looking very bad, it is better to dodge, take the 3 LP loss, and try again.
If you really have to dodge, I would still advise "giving the queue a break" after every dodge. If you don't give the queue a break, you're more likely to get into the lobby with the same 9 people, which can lead to picks from the previous champ select getting banned, tilting your team right off the bat. The longer you wait, the lower chance you have of getting the same people, and the more likely you are to get fresh faces and avoid complications.
8) Use Practice Tool
Something else you can do before you get into game is take advantage of one of the most useful tools at your disposal: Practice Tool. It's the perfect place to go to practice flashes, champion combos (this is especially useful if you plan on being an OTP), farming minions, tricky warding spots, and get a feel for how different champions work. Below are the two most notoriously difficult warding spots, I highly recommend practicing them.
Here'd where to ward on top side:
And here is bot side:
This tip is pretty straightforward, use all the tools at your disposal, and you're guaranteed to succeed.
9) Review VODs
A staple method for improving your gameplay, and something every single pro player will tell you is useful, is VOD reviewing. VODs had been the single most requested feature in League of Legends for the 7 years prior to its release, and for good reason! Being able to go back over the game in real time allows you the opportunity to see mistakes you made and look for missed opportunities throughout the game that you may not have seen while playing.
Pro teams do this all the time, they take a chunk out of their day that they could have used to play SoloQ, scrim other teams, or have as free time, to sit down as a team and look back over a recent game. They talk through the entire game, identifying reasons they did what they did, theorizing opportunities they could have taken, and learning from their mistakes. It's an integral part of pro play and should be an integral part of your own personal play if you plan on climbing this season.
10) Play with a Duo
A lot of what I've suggested has been centered around playing SoloQ, but the #1 best way to climb the ranked system is to find a duo partner. There's a reason the ladder is restricted only to SoloQ play in Challenger, because having a duo partner gives your team a huge advantage going into game. Right off the bat, you know what type of player you are getting, and you have less of a chance of playing with xXbootyslayrXx with a 36% winrate in Iron II. You don't have to find a Challenger player or even somebody higher ranked than you to play with, the most important thing about your duo is that they're consistent. Duoing also helps because, if you use Discord or Skype or League Voice, you can talk to each other in real time, with no need for typing. This allows you to set up plays efficiently and ahead of time and give each other advice throughout the game. You're also less likely to get mad at each other as you might with a random teammate, which is always nice. I, personally, have climbed through the entirety of Platinum with a Duo friend in only a few weeks. Neither of us would've been able to climb that quickly on our own, but together it was easy.
Climbing the Ranked ladder in League is no easy feat, but if you put some of these tips into practice, along with enough time and commitment, you'll shoot up the ranks in no time. I hope to see you all out there on the Rift very soon, putting some of these tips into practice. Good luck out there!
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