Preseason Season's Greetings: A Guide to Macro Calls



Sun 29th Dec 2019 - 5:00pm

With the new season of League of Legends about to drop, there are a litany of changes coming to Summoner’s Rift. First, Riot is deciding to slow the rate of new champion releases, change the jungle yet again, and adding massive changes to the map. In addition to the jungle changes, Riot has adjusted several factors that are going to shift how the game is played for practically every lane. As such this guide will assess the effects of said changes and focus on what you can do to close out a game within 25 minutes.

In order to understand how to navigate the plethora of changes that Riot has introduced this preseason let’s walk through each change and define how the change affects the current standing meta.

New Map, Who Dis?

So, let’s get the more minor or superficial changes out of the way first. I’m not going to dedicate individual paragraphs for these changes because it honestly isn’t warranted. First off, side lane alcoves are a nice addition to the game but aren’t going to add much in the way of changing lane dynamics. Yes, it allows more junglers to gank from unique angles but offers very little to the laning phase in top or bot lanes. We are probably in for some hilarious outplays and misplays with the alcoves but don’t expect anything amazing. The new river facing bush by each blue buff is underwhelming to say the least, I can’t see it having any effect outside being a ward graveyard.

Elemental Map Changes

This season there is another new mechanic surrounding elemental drakes, map changes. Now, after the second drake of the game is slain there will be a notification for third drake’s spawn type which augments the map in two ways. The jungle around red buff and opening to the drake pit are altered depending on the drake type. Check out the map pictures below:

Beyond just the map effects, the elemental drake effects have been changed as well. Infernal drakes now offer reduced scaling damage, mountain drakes offer Mountainous Vigor which offers magic resist and armor instead of objective damage, ocean drakes now only offer health regen, and clown (I mean cloud) drakes give ultimate cooldown reduction while ignoring the CDR cap.

Given these changes I believe the ranking of importance of drakes is as follows: Infernal, Cloud, Mountain, and then Ocean. To be clear, this does not take hold true for the dragon souls that can be obtained. My personal rank for the dragon souls is Infernal, Ocean, Mountain, and Cloud.

Rift Herald Just Isn't the Same

Everybody’s favorite dancing menace has gotten a slight change as well. Not only are there going to be the potential for two Rift Herald spawns but Riot has put a bit more damage into the first Rift Herald spawn versus the second. Rift will now spawn at eight minutes with a respawn timer of six minutes. If you want to dive deeper into the Rift Herald changes, I would suggest looking at the preseason (9.23) patch notes here:

Not Every Minion is Created Equal

In my opinion one of the biggest changes to the game is the increase in solo experience for solo lanes and the slowing of experience for duo laners. Riot has decided to increase the experience gained from minions. Here’s the thing though, the increase isn’t balanced across all minions. Melee minions now offer 2.8% more experience while caster and cannon minion experience were only bumped by 1%.

As such, solo laners will now hit level milestones faster than their bot lane and junglers and are in turn going to have a greater impact on the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the coming seasons the team that are excelling are the ones with the best solo laners.

It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This.

It pains me to say it but it feels like Riot is reverting the jungle back into its former iteration in Season 4. In short, the win lane/win game philosophy is starting to emerge again and, with the removal of catch up experience in the jungle, the Pirate’s Code has never been truer, “Any man who falls behind is left behind.”

The base experience from krugs (now 160), murkwolves (95), and raptors (95) have all been reduced while gromp’s experience has been increased to 135 as well as its health. The first camp bonus has also been raised and Riot has mentioned that the goal was to incentivize junglers to focus more on farming rather than fitting it in between ganks.

As such I’ve created a jungling proximity map with the highlighted areas showing the relative experience gained from the camps as a density. In short, for every point of experience gained from a camp there is a concentric circle that expands from the origin of the camp. Check it out:

If you notice the blue side jungles have a slightly closer proximity to their first out of jungle objective in scuttle crab (marked in the yellow circles). With the reduction in spawn timers jungle pacing has become more about farming than ganking like Riot has intended. However, I came across a lively discussion on Reddit that points to the fact that early game aggressive junglers are avoiding red side altogether in favor of the faster-paced plays or taking blue side, into scuttle, into ganking, then invading red, and returning to their blue side jungle. As such it follows suit that across the top four or five websites for jungle tier list during this patch has the likes of Ekko, Lee Sin, Warwick, Shaco, Nunu, Volibear, Elise, and Kha'Zix in their top tiers. Aggressive early game junglers and hard farmers are going to be the flavor of the month in the coming few rotations unless Riot chooses to adjust the jungle and solo lane relationship.

Macro Calls for a 25 Minute Close Out

In order to understand the logistics of this section I’ve included videos from the ProGuides Challenger League of Legends Youtube channel, you can check their channel out here. I urge you to watch each guide even if you don’t play the role because it will better help you understand how each players role fits into the macro calls scheduling that will be discussed later. Disclaimer: All of these videos are from Season 9, so understand that there are going to be slight differences from what they say and the macro plan.


Key take aways:

Understand what you team needs before the match starts and aim to accomplish those in the early game.
Focus on objectives and rotations in the mid game.
Determine your final game plan (i.e. 1-3-1, split pushing, sieging, etc.) and play to it without falter.



Key take away:

Always look to trade objectives.
Mid to late game you should rarely, if ever, be alone or bot side


Key take away:

Control/manipulate the minion wave.
Roam during mid game to secure objectives or provide vision.
Maintain side wave minions


Key take away:

Prioritize vision control. 
Assist all members of the team, although staying near the ADC takes priority.
Maintain priority. 
Stay alive, you’re still important even as a support.


Key take away:

Pay attention to tempo and control it. Don’t let it control you.
Remember your pathing and your opponents, play to your strengths while avoiding or denying theirs.
Stay around the next objective that needs to be taken.

The Game Plan

Finally, the moment of truth, here is my personal scheduling to maximize team presence around spawning objectives and forcing the game into a faster resolution.

4:30 – Team -wide ascertaining if backing is necessary should occur now. Each lane should determine if they need to back in preparation for the upcoming drake spawn.

5:00 – Jungler should be warding Dragon while the top laner is warding Rift Herald. At this time, depending upon the advantages of your team, the determination should be made as to which objective you prioritize. Mid laners should then assist by rotating to secure said objective. Fighting over an objective at this point should only occur if your team has the upper hand, even a superior team with mistaken Recall timers or lack of items can lose a fight and the tempo advantage.

8:00 – The first Rift Herald should be secured with either top and mid collapsing or a lane swapping occurring in order to supply necessary support and resources to securing the objective.

10:00 – Secure vision around Dragon. If a lane swap occurred, the Rift Herald should have been used by now in order to provide across map pressure while your team secures the next drake. If you do not have priority or the ability to secure the Dragon turn your resources to the lane with Rift Herald in it and trade objectives. Also note the type of the third drake.

12:00 – Begin assessing which lane is going to be the lane of focus for the next two minutes and pour as many resources into that lane safely while maintaining vision. More than likely this will be a solo lane. You want to ensure that you take as many tower plates as possible before they fall, yet you don’t want to wait until the last minute because the next Rift Herald will be spawning soon.

14:00 – Full team should be grouping at this point to secure the second Rift Herald. More than likely this will either be a contested objective or a trading of objectives if the enemy team isn’t capable of rotating or fighting. Take the Rift Herald and spawn it as close to 15:00 as comfortably possible in top or mid lane. Back and prepare for the spawning of the third drake.

15:00 – Determine the importance of the third drake, by this time in the game your team should be financially ahead of your opponent that dropping a drake in favor of global map pressure isn’t an unreasonable trade. If it is an infernal or cloud drake, it might be worth contesting regardless of how far you are ahead because those drakes can easily help a team that is behind close the gap.

20:00 and beyond – Play to your team’s win condition, by this time the match is almost already decided. Save for a Baron throw, your team should have every advantage necessary to close the game out. Look to secure Baron, maintain the side waves, and keep your vision up while denying the enemy team. DO NOT FORCE ANYTHING. You are in the driver’s seat at this point and the only thing that can go wrong now is taking a bad fight and giving up the tempo advantage. Force the enemy team to play to your strengths whether that be a 1-3-1 composition, 1-4 split pushing, sieging, or getting picks.

This isn’t a foolproof plan to win early game. The reality of the situation is that deaths and misplays are going to delay objectives from being taken. However, maintaining focus on timers is one of the essential parts of winning at League of Legends. Countless times I’ve won games because a superior jungler forgot to ward objectives and his team fell behind. These timings aren’t absolute but should be done in that order to ensure you are maximizing the larger objectives on the map.

As always, I hope this has helped and I hope to catch you on the Rift!

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