Macro Game Level Up - A Mid to Late Game League of Legends Guide
Thu 26th Mar 2020 - 4:38pm
The flow of a League of Legends game is usually divided into three different phases: the early game (aka the laning phase), the mid game, and the late game. The early game is usually the most straightforward for most players. Get ahead of your lane opponents and get the tower and the early objectives.
But once that first tower is gone, what is the best move to make? Where should you be positioned? How do you transition an early lead into victory? What are the objectives to go for, and when should you go for them?
These are all questions that we are going to cover in this guide. First we are going to go over when the mid and late game begins, what all of the objectives at this point of the game are available, and then what are the things to pay attention to when going for those objectives.
Mid and Late game are very similar in terms of what objectives are available and where to position as a team. The major difference is that everyone is nearing their end game builds and death timers are a lot longer meaning there is less room for mistakes. So everything in the rest of this guide is going to apply to both Mid Game and Late Game.
When Mid and Late Game Begins
A common mistake a lot of players will make is staying in the Laning Phase as long as they possibly can. The truth is that you actually want to transition out of the Laning Phase as early as possible so you can as much impact on the map as you can and not be tied to your lane.
The mid game begins when the first turret has been taken down. After that turret has been taken, whoevers lane that was now has the opportunity to roam, push down different lanes, and apply pressure to upcoming objectives.
Late game begins around the 32-35 minute mark where usually some champions are nearing their full item builds, death timers are considerably long, and there is usually a Dragon Soul or Elder Dragon in play alongside Baron. You will know its Late Game if you feel like one mistake can cost your entire team the game.
Turrets/Turret Plating - Once mid game has begun, and you are travelling to other lanes, an obvious choice as an objective would be to continue to push down enemy turrets to eventually lead to their inhibitor and of course the nexus. With the addition to Turret Plates which include gold for destroying plates and Bulwark stats (bonus armor and magic resistance), they are usually a common early game objective to go for. But since Turret Plates disappear at the 14 minute mark, it is common for many Turrets to still be up come mid game and a lot of easy team gold can be achieved once those Turret Plates disappear. Pushing down turrets also denies the enemy team vision of that area and opens up more of the map to you and your team allowing you to travel deeper into the enemy's side of the map.
Inhibitors - Each team has 3 Inhibitors on Summoner’s Rift. One Inhibitor must be destroyed before a team is able to attack the Nexus. The Inhibitor is only vulnerable once all the previous turrets in the lane have been destroyed. Once an Inhibitor is destroyed, Super Minions will join minion waves. If all Inhibitors are destroyed, there will be two Super Minions in each minion wave. Super Minions are far superior to regular minions, receive only 70% damage from towers and grant nearby minions a buff that increases their damage by 40% and gives them 40 armor and magic resist. They are extremely useful to push waves and force enemy teams to clear them because they will push down to your nexus if left unattended. Be careful though because Inhibitors do respawn 5 minutes after being destroyed so take advantage of that time!
Rift Scuttler - Although commonly an early game objective, The Rift Scuttler can be a good setup objective for Baron or Dragon. The Rift Scuttler is a neutral monster that wanders up both rivers. The Scuttler does not fight back and tries to run away when being attacked. Once a Rift Scuttler is slain, it will become a speed zone/ward in front of Baron or Dragon. Once both Rift Scuttlers have been slain, only one Rift Scuttler can be on the map at any given time for the rest of the game. Respawn locations are randomly determined but are signaled ahead of time with a respawn marker. Getting the Rift Scuttler before a Baron or Dragon fight can give your team the small extra boost they need to get things started!
Dragon - Dragon is a powerful monster which will come in the form of Fire, Ocean, Mountain, or the Cloud element. Slaying the different Dragons will provide you and your team with different buffs. Slaying four dragons rewards your team with the Dragon Soul of the respective element that the Rift has transformed into. Dragon has become one of the most important objectives in Season 10. For all information regarding Season 10 Dragons, visit here.
Baron - Baron is the most powerful monster on Summoner’s Rift. Slaying Baron grants the Hand of Baron buff to all living champions on the team lasting for 3 minutes. This buff grants Empowered Recall, which reduces the recall channel by 4 seconds, and instantly heals 50% of maximum health/mana. A Speed buff of +50% is also given for 8 seconds on a successful recall. Hand of Baron also grants champions bonus attack damage and ability power based on game time minutes. One of Baron’s strongest buffs it gives is the aura buff to nearby allied minions. They become greatly empowered with increased movement speed, resistance to slow effects, and greatly increased size, attack range, attack damage, and damage reduction. A good use of Baron can instantly win games under the right circumstances.
How to Setup an Objective:
Now that you are aware of the objectives in the mid to late game, how do you go about actually getting them? There are some things that you want to make sure of before rushing right in.
Vision - You probably hear this all the time that vision is important, but what exactly makes it so important to spend gold and resources on control wards and sweepers? The reason is knowing the enemy’s location, and also knowing if they have vision of you. Before you go for any objective, knowing where the enemies are located can determine whether it is safe to complete that objective, and having a control ward or sweeping the objective with an oracle lens will allow you to know if they can see you attempting to get that objective. Another example is to put vision deep into the enemy jungle when trying to push down a turret.
Even with a team, it can be dangerous to try and secure a tower with no vision of the enemy team. That can make the difference between potentially 4 people coming to collapse on you, and having the knowledge that 3 of them are on their way, and you can see them and retreat if need be. Securing vision around Dragon and Baron can create choke points where enemies will go through and your team can potentially engage a team fight or even secure a free kill if someone is attempting to gain vision for their team. In short, having vision of the map can create opportunities for your team to gain free kills (which lead to objectives), secure objectives when enemies are not in position to contest, and help gain knowledge to know when it is safe to push minion waves and turrets.
Positioning - Probably one of the most overlooked things in League of Legends is how to be positioned when attempting to take an objective. Incorrect positioning can completely lose your team a fight, so make sure you are playing to your champion’s role when objectives come up! If you are playing a tank, stand in the frontlines when going for vision as a team, and always be ready to engage or protect your carries when both teams are positioned around the objective.
If you play a mage or AD carry, remember to stay behind teammates and be positioned away from enemy engage. Support enchanters like Lulu and Soraka should only move forward when going for vision (even then, try to go with a teammate if you are unsure of enemy positions). Assassins should be moving around the map and be ready for their crucial moment to hopefully 1 shot an enemy carry. Bruisers and fighters should either be peeling (keeping an enemy off your carry) or engaging in front depending on the situation.
Remember to keep these positions when going for any objective. You do not wanna be “that” person that is face checking brushes as an AD carry or the support that tries to go for vision by themself when the entire enemy team is out of vision. Situations like this can completely lose an objective for your team so remember to think ahead before making any rash decisions! Below is an example of team fight positioning and generally where you would want to position depending on your role (a little outdated but it gets the point across).
Team Composition - Now learning what each and every champion does only comes with time and experience, but it is a crucial aspect to playing the mid to late game properly. A lot of people will only focus on their own champion and not be aware of what the strongest aspect of their team composition will be during a team fight. If you are playing a tank and have a very strong backline with champions like Caitlyn, Ziggs, and a Kayle, it would be wiser to focus on protecting them rather than diving deep into their backline, leaving your backline completely vulnerable. If your team comp has a lot of engage with bruisers like Jarvan, Sett, and a mage like Kassadin, your comp has the potential to one shot backlines and start fights very aggressively. It is also important to look at who is strong at the time of a fight.
A Vayne is not going to be a crazy threat until later into the game, and if she is behind from the early game, there is no point in focusing protection on a carry that cannot contribute much to the game at that point until she gets some items. If this is the case, focus on the other strengths you may have as a team and play around that. If you have a very strong Cassiopeia, you can always position yourself around her and make sure she is able to get off as much damage as possible. Learning what each of your champions are capable of is the key here, and then playing to each others strengths is the best way to utilize teamwork during a team fight!
Priority - Similar to learning Team Composition, learning when your team has priority versus when it doesn’t can really make the difference in a good macro objective decision, and a bad one. Priority is when one champion has minion wave and overall lane advantage over the enemy champion. The champion that has Priority will be able to join a skirmish faster because they will most likely have the minions pushed to the enemy tower, and can leave their lane sooner so this is important to pay attention to before taking any sort of objective. Priority usually plays a larger role in the early game, but for the Mid to Late Game, it is still important to have minion wave priority.
It is still crucial for champions to farm and gain experience, so shoving those waves as fast as possible can give you the time to roam the map and set up for the objectives and be with your team to potentially make a play. Some champions may be split pushing, have a very fast wave clear and roam like Talon, or there could be a bot lane that has strong roam potential like Alistar or Bard. This is why it is important to look everywhere around the map before making any play. Different champions are stronger at different points in the game so keep learning about each champion and pay attention to your teammates!
Resetting for Objectives - Resetting is very important to make sure you are as strong as possible before an important objective. Resetting is recalling to buy items, heal hp, and regenerate mana. You want to reset when major objectives such as Dragon and Baron will be spawning. Usually at least 1 minute before they spawn. You want to be as strong as possible before these fights. The earlier you reset, the more time you have as a team to gain vision around the objective and potentially catch the opponents off guard if they are not prepared themselves. Resetting together as a team can let you all be in sync with getting into position, gaining vision as a team, and being ready for anything that the opponents might throw at you. Use those objective pings and communicate with your team to prepare!
When to Back Off - A very common mistake players make is not knowing when enough is enough. Let’s say you win a team fight and obtain a dragon and have some extra time to even push down a tower as well. If all of your teammates are low, you want to only push knowing you have enough time to back away safely before the enemies respawn and come back to lane. Only take what is feasible and do not take a risk in overstaying. Winning a big fight usually means a lot of your team has gold to spend and you may even have bounties on yourself or your teammates so giving that up would nearly ruin that fight or objective you had just won. If there is no guarantee that you can secure another objective safely, or farm another wave safely, back off. Recall, reset and spend that gold you just earned. Taking the risk of overstaying is how most people give up their leads and how comebacks are made. You want to create as little room to throw away free gold for your opponents as possible. If you notice a teammate is overstaying communicate and ping them off! This can really save the lives of your team and even the game at crucial moments.
It might be a bit difficult to remember all of these things while playing in a game, and every game of League of Legends is different as well. This last section is going to give you some quick tips to think about while you are in a game.
Pay Attention to the Minimap - The minimap gives you information of what champions are in vision, and what vision your team has. If you are gonna walk into a completely dark jungle, there is a large chance an enemy could be in there and ready to attack. Try to get vision in all areas of the map but only do so when you feel it is safe! The minimap is also the best way to see when enemies are approaching so always use the corner of your eye to check.
Checking Timers and Scoreboard - Hitting that handy Tab button will give you information on what items are built, how ahead each champion is over the other, and when objectives are coming up. Coming into the mid to late game, there is a lot of crucial information to look for. Knowing exactly when Baron and Dragon are coming up will allow you to prepare when to push waves and reset before setting up for the objective. Pay attention to enemy item builds as well, look for those Stopwatches, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Guardian Angels, major item spikes, etc. You will also be able to see timers on blue and red buffs as well which can benefit your team.
EXP and Gold - Do not forget to keep farming even if it is mid or late Game! You do not want to completely forget about clearing those minion waves and obtaining gold as that is how you are going to gain the items you need to get those objectives. Pay attention to the minimap to see what big waves are being accumulated and what has to be dealt with. Push waves when it is safe to, but if you feel that your team is going to start a fight soon, prioritize being with your team because you do not want your entire team to get wiped while you were clearing 7 minions in the top lane.
Do Not Hesitate - No matter what decision you make in game, do it with confidence! It is better to be confident in a decision and be wrong, than beat around the bush and have nothing happen. Making those wrong decisions is what is going to help you learn what went wrong and what to do for the next time a similar situation occurs. Be confident in yourself and your ability! If teammates become toxic for your decisions, a simple mute can help the situation. As long as you're playing to win, do what you feel is necessary. Not everyone is going to be the shotcaller during a game so if you feel that someone else on the team is making the objective decisions, work with them and as a team to be on the same page.
I hope this guide helped you out a bit for the Mid to Late Game in League of Legends.
Good luck out there on the Rift!