The Art of Roaming in League of Legends
Thu 16th Jan 2020 - 7:05pm
Out of everything that can be done to help influence a win in a game of League of Legends, the most impactful is roaming. This goes for every position in the game, with the main differences being when and how you go about it. It is a very easy concept to understand but difficult to master, regardless of what rank you are. Even the pros seem to find their fair share of struggles with roaming, but the payout is very much worth the effort that goes into it. Securing objectives, kills, and overall control becomes significantly easier when roaming is done effectively, so if you want to see your win rate skyrocket, this is the skill to master. To explain what roaming is, I’ll break down the what, why, when, where, who, and how of it.
What is “Roaming”?
Roaming at its most basic form is leaving your own position to influence another area of the game. The goal is to use the advantage that you have built up and assist your teammates where they are struggling or just need help in general for big objectives like Epic Monsters (Dragon or Rift Herald), Towers, or kills. Since it is a team game, objectives are easier to accomplish when there are teammates helping.
Why is Roaming Important?
Roaming is important because it will greatly impact your lead in a game, making it easier to close out. In this meta, a Jungler doing well can make a massive difference in how the rest of the team will perform. The only thing worse than a gank from a Jungler is a full-on 4-man gank which will force the enemy to other give in to the gank or leave whatever goal they are working towards in order to help their own team. This will allow your team to have more control over the map and permit more proactive plays, which in turn allows your win conditions to be much more attainable. It may seem counter-productive at first, since you would be leaving what you have built up for the sake of your team possibly pulling ahead, but the potential outcome will always be worth it. On top of all that, it creates a more productive and helpful mood amongst the team, something that can be very rare in most games on the internet.
Who can Roam?
The only position that isn’t expected to commit to roaming is the ADC. Top, Mid, and Support should all consider roaming in their responsibilities. The ADC should only be roaming when Dragon is being taken or someone was caught and is close by Bot lane. Because their main goal is to farm up gold and experience for later on in the game, roaming any further would be too risky. Supports can even gank Top and vice versa. Top laners will need to take Teleport to roam and gank Bot, while Support players need to grab Boots of Mobility and run up after they back. For Junglers, their main goal is literally to gank lanes, so they already have the whole roaming thing down. It is a team game, so the team should be involved in making things happen, not just an individual. When it comes to which Champions can roam, the sky's the limit. Anyone with lots of mobility, lots of CC, or both are extremely valuable for roaming.
When Do You Roam?
Timing is key when it comes to roaming. You can’t just leave your own lane whenever you want and expect the best case scenario. There is still your own position to hold and succeed in and leaving it in the dust is not the answer. The best time to start moving across the map is anytime once you hit level 3 or higher. It’s honestly whenever you feel strong enough to make anything happen, and there will always be a point in the game where that occurs regardless of how poorly your matchup is.
When roaming, always look to push out your lane in order to gain priority. Put yourself in a better position to move around the map compared to your opponent. Support players will have to make sure their carries have the right items and confidence to stay in lane and farm but, other than that, you are set to move around and look for potential plays across the map with your Jungler. It is always better to move around with your Jungler if possible in order to create a more favorable outcome once you start something, so timing with them is crucial.
Where Do You Roam?
The answer is pretty simple, anywhere on the map. Dragon, Rift Herald, and Baron will always be hotspots since they give big buffs and accelerate leads. Other spots would be another lane or invade to take buffs from the enemy Jungler. Anywhere your opponent could be is where you should consider roaming, so it’s a good idea to track the enemy Jungler so you can catch them off-guard.
When it comes to ganking lanes, try to avoid the generic river gank where the majority of Wards are placed and go through the other outlets of the lanes. Try to go through tri-bush or the four entrances connecting Mid lane. These outlets give a better setup for ganks in exchange for going just a little more out of the way. This doesn’t mean you should always use the outlets over the river, but rather it makes you harder to predict when you utilize both. They can only ward so many bushes.
How Do You Roam?
The “How” for roaming has been touched on by the previous points but there is still so much more that goes into mastering it.
When you roam, consider who you’re roaming with and who should get the kill/objective? Usually any Champion that is built to carry or anyone that is behind should take the kill if possible. Support players should never be taking kills if they can help it. Top laners are usually second as far as priority goes with Mid or Jungle at the top of the food chain unless the ADC is nearby and helping out. Remember that the goal of roaming is to get the team ahead and sometimes, in order to do that, you have to get certain Champions the resources they need.
When it comes to roaming to other lanes, diving should always be considered regardless of the risk, it is an art that takes hitting your abilities and having the correct Champion tank the tower shots. Perfecting this art of tower diving will make roaming far more successful and increase your comfort with committing to risky plays that require it. For a better visual, look up Pro or higher ranked games to see how it is done with certain Champions and positioning.
Quick Tips and Tricks
While roaming, make sure you are using your trinkets and gaining vision control. Small actions through vision can make big differences, so utilize all three of them once you leave lane. These could help set up a future roam to catch out a Jungler or prevent your opponents from having successful roams of their own. If you’re playing Support or a Champion that calls for them, you will build Boots of Mobility, an extremely valuable item that gives a lot of Movement Speed out of combat so roaming becomes that much easier to pull off. Also make sure you are buying and placing Control Wards strategically as you move around the map. Don't just place them anywhere, but rather find spots where you want to catch someone out or set up for another route you can roam to that will leave you undetected by your opponents.
Roaming is one of the best ways to utilize the teamwork aspect of League of Legends. Take what you have learned and apply it the best way you know how and experiment until you nail your style. Good luck and see you on the Rift!