How to Survive Autofill in LoL
Mon 23rd Dec 2019 - 12:45pm
Ever since autofilling was introduced into League a few years ago, it's become one of the biggest terrors of queuing up for solo queue. Clicking that accept button, only to see you've been assigned jungle or support when you've been an ADC main since Season 2 is one of the most frustrating things in League. It feels worse when your teammates flame you for suboptimal play despite the fact that you know you're not exactly comfortable playing the role you got stuck with. But, if you use these few strategies listed below, you can lead your team to those sweet, sweet victories, even if you're off-roled.
Learn the Easy, Safe Champions
Simple champions with simple mechanics are some of the least utilized tools for people who get autofilled. Don't feel pressured to play Zed mid, Qiyana jungle, or Riven top, even if they're strong at the moment. Stick to simple champions that have a low skill floor who you can get the hang of after a game or two, like these:
Ornn has been an extremely strong, safe top lane pick for a long time now and, with a tank meta right around the corner in Season 10, he will only become stronger and stronger with time, despite his relatively simple kit: a medium range skillshot, an AoE cone that makes you unstoppable, a dash, an AoE CC ultimate, and a passive that lets you stay in lane longer. Not only does his innate tankiness and base damage keep you from falling too far behind in lane, being able to buy items without backing through his passive ensures that you stay strong throughout laning phase and won't fall behind in XP, CS, or turret plates no matter the matchup. Ornn also fills a supportive role within the team by lengthening CC durations with Brittle applied by his W and R, and by upgrading your teammates' items for free later in the game. He's a simple champ with a lot of utility for a top laner and can be utilized effectively by any autofilled player.
Undoubtably one of the simplest junglers this game has to offer, Amumu's kit offers a fast clear times, strong ganks, and incredible teamfight CC once you hit your level 6 powerspike. His W and E allow Amumu to quickly clear Raptors and Krugs (provided you have enough mana), and his long range skillshot with Q can provide you much needed hard CC to set up for ganks and pick off enemies, especially in combination with the AoE CC his R provides. His ultimate, Curse of the Sad Mummy, is also one of the best teamfighting abilities in the game, sending out a powerful AoE CC zone that lowers enemies' magic resist, and can make any autofilled jungler the carry of the fight. Now he may not always be the strongest jungler in the game, but his safety and mid and late game power make him a great pick for nearly any situation.
Although she may not always be in meta, Lissandra's kit is as straightforward as it is strong, with a lot of damage, tankiness, and CC throughout all points of the game. With a slow and an AoE snare on her Q and W, combined with the easy escapibility her E provides, you should be able to successfully dodge enemy ganks and follow up on ganks of your own. This, in addition to her potent point and click CC ultimate, allows her to flourish in mid game skirmishes around Dragon and Herald, especially if a fed member of the enemy team needs to be locked down and jumped on. She's a good pick that can fill a need in any composition and is a savior for any player who finds themselves somehow autofilled mid lane.
A late game teamfighting ADC with a relatively safe laning phase and strong item breakpoints, Sivir is an ADC any autofilled player should look to pick up. Her lane phase mostly consists of autoing the wave with her W and spamming Q as much as possible to clear all the minions out. Despite her lack of mobility and lower than average range, her E spell shield allows you to shut down any gank if you can time it right (I recommend practicing this in a normal game or two if possible), making her lane phase relatively safe. Once she can get three items though (typically Infinity Edge, Rapidfire Cannon, and Phantom Dancer/Statikk Shiv), she becomes a mid-late game teamfighting powerhouse: speeding up her team with her R, dealing AoE crits with W, and protecting herself with E. Truly a powerful ADC in the hands of any player, autofilled or not.
One of the strongest peeling supports League has to offer, even autofilled players can make good use of Janna's kit and survive solo queue in the process. Your goal on Janna is to protect your ADC by shielding them, which also happens to give them AD, with E and disengaging and healing with her R when things go south. She can be a decent poking laner if you're more familiar with her. However, it's not entirely necessary to dominate lane as her strength comes in teamfights once your ADC has hit their strong point. If there are any assassins on the enemy team, or bruisers who are looking to get on top of your ADC and be ready to press R and you should get out of the fight, and the game, unscathed.
Now while these champions are some of the safest and strongest champions you could ask for, there’s one thing you should consider before instalocking these champions: comfort. If you happen to be super comfortable on a champion in another role for whatever reason, it may be better to stick with them to try and survive autofill. For example, I'm randomly good with Poppy top, and while she may not quite be as good or as safe as Ornn, my individual skill and comfort on her more than makes up for it. To put it simply, comfort above all. However, if you find yourself utterly lost as to what to pick and how to best utilize your role, look to the above champions for safety, and you just might get out of your game with a win.
Play Safe, Don't Be Too Risky
Your main goal when you're autofileld should be to survive, not necessarily get a kill lead and win lane on your own. The best thing to do is to focus on farming and grouping for objectives with your team when the time comes. Don't try and limit test or do some super fancy combo you saw on Reddit (unless the game is so far gone that you have to play like that to have any chance of coming back), save these sorts of plays for your main role. One of the most important things you should be looking to do is ward up river bushes and other common gank paths as often as possible. Use your trinket whenever it's up and you don't already know where their jungler is, and if you're mid lane, play close to whatever side of the lane you have warded, so you can always react to ganks accordingly. Look to pick up Control Wards periodically; they may seem like a waste of money, but preventing even one gank can save you 225 gold, maybe even more if you're bot lane. You should also be looking to farm your lane out, and the best way to do that is to learn to freeze and push correctly. I recommend this video for the basics or wave control and timing:
Overall, try not to play for strict lane leads (unless they're farm related); your best bet is to farm for late game and help your team out in fights whenever you can. If you do this correctly, your teammates may forget you were every autofilled by the time the game's over, and you get that Win!
Look Up a Guide, and Stick to It
These days, there are a number of sites that you can go to for a guide on any champion. Most sites, like ProBuilds, u.gg, champion.gg, and blitz.gg, offer you a quick rundown of specific runes, ability max order, typical builds, and matchup winrates. These types of sites are great, and I personally use them to look up in the midst of champ select to quickly figure out runes and starting builds given a specific matchup, and I typically figure out the rest as the game goes on.
Now that you have a guide in place, stick to is as best you can. These rune and build choices are aggregated over thousands of games of players in any server from a lot of high elo players in solo queue. And matchup winrates, given the amount of games, almost always lend some truth to the idea that you may be going into game with more than just the disadvantage autofill gives you. There are some exceptions however. If you find yourself having trouble with specific champions, feel free to pick up some cheaper items early. For example, a mage should look for a Zhonyas Hourglass vs a heavily AD team, an ADC a QSS vs a Malzahar or Skarner, or a Tank an Adaptive Helm vs a Cassiopeia or someone similar.
For more in-depth guides, I would recommend some other articles and guides here on Dignitas' website. If, for whatever reason, we don't have one on your specific champion yet, check out some champion specific subreddits like r/PykeMains, r/RivenMains, r/BraumMains, r/XerathMains, etc. These usually have an in-depth guide via text post that the subreddit subscribers swear by, usually written by a high elo OTP, and is usually a great place to go to learn everything about your champion's ins and outs.
Using all these tools at your disposal and some common sense strategies on build order will help you immensely in game, leading to more efficient build paths, making you stronger at all parts of the game, and may lead you to more victories as a result.
If All Else Fails, Dodge
If you truly believe that, given your current offroling experience and position, your team would need a miracle to actually win, there's no shame in dodging every once in a while, taking the 3lp loss and increased queue timer, and moving on. Although I wouldn't recommend dodging very often, as the more you dodge the longer the queue times become and the more LP you lose. Your first dodge in a while will set you back 6 minutes and -3lp, and each subsequent dodge will keep you out of queue for 30 minutes and lose you -10lp. This adds up fast and is only occasionally worth it seeing as you lose around 12-14 LP for a loss anyway.
If you find yourself dodging often and want to typically avoid it, I would recommend picking up an underused secondary role like Top or Support, so you'll find yourself getting autofilled less often. Playing support specifically once in a while can actually give you autofill protection! But if even then you find yourself in uncomfortable situations in champ select, it may do you some good to click on that 'X', get out of queue, give yourself a breather, and try again.
Hopefully these tips can help you next time you find yourself autofilled. With enough practice in each position and smart enough play, keeping these tips in mind, your teammates may never even know you were autofilled in the first place! Have fun, and good luck out there!
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