How to Hard Carry from the Solo Lane with Variety
Fri 25th Oct 2019 - 9:41pm
The solo lane can be a very fun lane, but it can also be one of the most frustrating when solo queuing. A lot of the time, you are left on solo lane island and can be going even, but your team can be struggling and you have very little input on how to pull your team back into it. Sometimes this is the case, but a lot of the time you can pull your team back in! You can hard carry from the solo lane in a lot of games. In this guide, we will cover how to hard carry from the solo lane. We even got the help of Dignitas’ Solo laner Harry "Variety"” Cummings to explain how you can.
Who Can Carry?
The first thing we’ll look at are what gods you need to look at playing in the solo lane if you want to hard carry. This can be either gods that are strong in the meta or ones that can easily 1v5.
Variety says, "The best gods to carry a solo queue game right now are probably King Arthur, Achilles, Osiris, and Set due to their high snowball potential, good lane pressure, and can 1vs5 mid game and late game if played correctly."
King Arthur is still one of the best picks for going 1v5. Despite all the nerfs this season, he can still dominate a game. He does struggle early on (well pre-level 5 and pre glad shield), but he becomes a massively influential god as the game goes on and can bully lane and teamfights with ease. His kit allows him to output a lot of damage and provide a lot of control in teamfights so long as you can manage your stances and the charge on your ult. Arthur also has a few escapes to get him out of trouble when you eventually overextend because you’re a fed solo laner (We all do it, don’t pretend that you don’t), but they are also great tools to keep people in the fight or chase the backline down so your team can follow up on your initiation.
King Arthur has dominated the solo lane since his release
One of the other gods that Variety mentioned was Achilles. Another god that is still very strong in the solo lane despite receiving a few nerfs this season, Achilles provides a lot of damage across all stages of the game and can easily control the laning phase with his kit. The later the game goes, he provides plenty of control for his team and can be a massive pain for the enemy backline. If you then add in his ult, which can either confirm or clean up kills while the enemy is retreating, he can guarantee a won teamfight for you and your team, even if you only get one with it.
Achilles has always been a strong solo laner with a lot of teamfight pressence
The next god Variety mentioned was Osiris, another god that can bully the lane easily and can be a backline nuisance. Osiris offers a lot of damage with his basics and provides a lot of control for teamfights or to gain lane control. With low cooldowns on his one and two it allows him to clear wave and poke with ease. His kit provides so much during teamfights and allows him to look to isolate one target while controlling enemies around him with his three. If you add the anti-heal on his ult, he can easily swing teamfights in his favour. Osiris thrives when he can focus one of the backliners. If he gets enough time alone with them, there is a high chance he gets the kill or forces them out of the fight to provide the numbers advantage for your team.
Osiris has risen again to be a force in the solo lane with high base damage and a lot of control
The last god Variety mentioned was Set, a god that has seen a lot of focus in the solo lane. One that provides plenty of outplay potential but also requires a lot of mechanical skill to get the most out of, Set gains a lot of control in lane thanks to spawns. Using these effectively to poke and also clear wave is what you’ll be aiming to do during the early game and using them to close gaps and bully them out of lane. Later on in the game, you’ll be looking to use them to control choke points or to amplify your skewer damage on some targets. Set works best when you can isolate a target, like Osiris. If you can focus and shred down a squishy target with Set, you’re doing your job on the backline. Set is an Assassin, so he has high base damage and provides a lot in his kit to deal damage, so building him like a Warrior will give him the protections he needs to survive the enemies damage.
Set provides a lot of outplay potential that makes him a highly regarded pick in the solo lane
What To Build
Speaking of builds, getting the right items can be more impactful for hard carrying then you think. It is worth building protections as you are still a frontliner and still have to tank a lot of damage, but to hard carry, you need to output plenty of damage as well. A few solo laners have said that protections are more valuable then damage for a solo laner so as much as you may think going full damage will be better you still need protections. The strongest solo laners currently all have high base damage anyway, so it’s easy to output plenty of damage while tanking plenty of the enemy’s damage. This doesn’t mean you need to go full tank however.
Variety mentions, “Yeah, it's always worth to get a damage item. Maybe not a full damage item, but at the very 1 or 2 hybrid items like Void Shield and Runic Shield.”
Items that provide both damage and protections for a solo laner are great. They give you all that you are looking for in your match-ups and in teamfights. Void and Runic are great hybrid items, so you should look to pick them up for whatever the enemy has more of. Do they have a lot of magical damage? Then Runic is what you need to pick up, and against more physical lineups Void is what you need. These are the best hybrid items for a solo laner and provide you and your team so much by taking away enemies' protections.
Both Void and Runic provide a lot with their passives reducing the enemies' power around you
The next bit you need to look out for is your power spikes. Solo laners have a few power spikes. This does depend on the god, but many have similar power spikes and points where you become the unkillable frontline that you was destined to be.
Variety says, "When you finish both of your defence items and one of your HP items, then you can look to carry the game."
Your biggest power spike is the two defensive items. From there, you are probably a few levels above the carries on the enemy team and you are strong enough to influence different areas of the map. If you hit this power spike before the enemy solo laner, you will be able to out-rotate them and provide more for your team then them. If you can use this to influence the rest of the map, you’ll be able to push your advantage around the map and help your team out in a very positive way.
Blackthorn and Genji's are two items that are highly regarded for a solo laner
To Farm or Not Farm?
Farming your wave is your biggest priority in Smite, as being able to efficiently farm allows you to hit your power spikes as quickly as possible. In solo, you’ll be looking to win lane more than just focusing on farming up. It is still very important for you to farm but winning lane by poking them out or killing them is much more effective as you aren’t just a farm bot like other lanes are.
Variety mentions, "In ranked, I would say winning lane is the best thing to do due to the potential tilt factor of the enemy team and usually you can snowball the lane really hard when you're winning, allowing you to become unkillable mid game."
So, it’s not just to allow you to get farm and force them out of lane, being able to solo the enemy solo laner can also add the tilt factor into it. If you can do it a few times, even better! It will probably get the enemy solo laner to beg the jungler to focus on his lane, causing a tilt factor for two roles as well as you’ll be able to 2v1 when they try to collapse on you. This means you can easily snowball the lane and then look to apply all that pressure across the map for your team to follow up on.
When you're in control of the lane, you can snowball that into gaining more pressure.
Variety adds, "The best thing to do mid game is to push your lane/proxy and then to rotate to a mid fight or steal backcamps to deny the enemy team. Eventually there will be an opening to where you can get a good rotation off to mid."
If you’ve been able to win lane and have gained control on the left side of the map, you’ll be able to push or proxy farm in lane with ease. There can be little to no response from the enemy team. You’ll then need to look for little advantages, i.e. forcing fights in mid or looking to steal enemy camps like Variety mentioned. This will also complement the tilt factor, as the enemy solo laner will see you proxying and be tilted the fact you can do it with no punishment from their team. If you’re able to get good rotations off to mid, it will also allow you to push the advantage you've gained into the other lanes. Using this advantage is the best way to hard carry, as you will have the items and level advantage over the other lanes.
After proxying the wave, Variety puts himself in a good position to help mid if they want to collapse
When You Fall Behind
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to win lane every time, as much as we think we can. Sometimes you may be against a player that is just straight up better than you, or you may misplay and the enemy is able to punish you for it. This can mean you might not be able to hard carry early on, but that doesn’t mean you're down and out for the whole game (so long as you don’t go something like 0-5-0 in eight minutes). So what do you need to do to claw your way back into the game and carry it when you fall behind?
Variety advises, "Know your power spikes (e.g. Glad Shield on Arthur, etc.) and hopefully you can turn it around when that time comes. Otherwise, just try to secure as many blues as possible and hope for a gank.”
Getting yourself to a power spike will level the playing field and make it easier for you to survive the laning phase and even turn it around. This can be from the likes of Glad Shield on Arthur, like Variety mentioned, or even a later power spike like the two defensive items we spoke about earlier. Most solo laners will know their power spikes and will be able to punish, so if you can hold out until yours, you’ll find yourself in a much easier position and be able to claw back the lane bit by bit.
Sometimes you find yourself behind in farm, but you need to just focus on getting to your power spikes.
Alternatively, you will just need to ensure you get plenty of blue buffs and get the XP from it, as you don’t want them to gain an even bigger lead because of the control they can gain from constantly stealing yours. This may require you to pull the jungler over to either secure it or to help defend it, which can put you both in a position to gank and collapse on the enemy solo laner. A gank doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a kill for you to gain an advantage. You can force them out of lane for an earlier back to either waste their Teleport or do it when their TP is down, so you can claw back the gold and XP deficit.
Another scenario you might find yourself in is you are in control of lane and have total control over the left side of the map but mid is losing lane and so is duo. We’ve all been there ten minutes into a game thinking, “This is going well! I have full control and I’ve hit my power spikes, but... wait we’re losing by 2k gold?” It may seem like a lost game because the rest of your team is having a rough time, but you can still influence the game.
Variety mentions, "Best thing to do is to probably stack 1 or 2 waves to force a rotation or potentially play very aggro in lane to force back the other solo or potentially solo him and then to rotate if healthy or to back and run from base to a fight."
We mentioned this before where you proxy the wave to stack a few up so you can look to rotate mid. This is one effective way to help across the map and it allows your team to have the numbers advantage. Doing this also means the solo laner will have no idea where you have gone, as they will think you’ve either backed or will be coming back to lane. If you communicate with your team that you’ll be heading into a pushed lane, you can look to get the jump on the enemy team, providing they haven’t warded the mid lane.
You can also look to go aggressive in lane to force them out before rotating. If you are able to get the enemy solo laner to back and force the wave under tower, it allows you to take a free rotation to punish the enemy across the map. You will have to get your timings right and have to make sure you aren’t giving up too much farm, but so long as you can either give lane priority to another lane or even gift a kill to them, whatever farm you lose is worth the cost. It isn’t about just flexing across the map. You need to focus on your openings and timing it just right for it to be effective. If there is a 2v3 mid and you come in, you’ll be evening it up, but if your team has invested in wave clear and the enemies still have their abilities, you can just fall behind so look for the openings.
Forcing the enemy solo laner back will allow you to get the numbers advantage across the map
The last big Variety mentioned was backing and running from base. You should only do this if you aren’t healthy enough to come directly from lane. Yes, you may be able to get the next item in your build, but if you are healthy enough to run straight from lane prioritise that. Do not waste your Teleport either! It’s an obvious point but when the enemy team sees you teleporting in, you’ll lose the advantage as they will look to disengage quickly. It’ll also allow you to use it to get back to lane after the fight to soak up that minion wave that’ll probably be about to hit your tower.
Late Game Responsibilities
You’ve had a good laning phase and been able to control the mid game from the solo lane, but now we’re into the nitty gritty late game stages where people are nearly full build. You’ve been level 20 for a while and people are starting to catch up. Now you need to look at being the frontline bully that you always wanted to be. The late game is different for a solo laner. You still do a lot of damage, but you’re more there to soak up damage now and help your backline carries get off as much damage as possible.
Variety says, "The best thing you can do in solo is to try and 1v2 their backline. It doesn’t matter if you kill them as long as you waste as much of their time as possible and keep them out the teamfight. With the solos I suggested though, you will most likely kill at least one."
Your job now is to just sit on the enemy’s backline and deal with the mid and ADC. You need to keep them out of the fight and isolate them away so their damage is irrelevant. Most of the time you’ll have your frontline partner, the support, come in with you to help keep them away, but so long as the enemy team doesn't help out their carries in the back, you should have your way with them. Like Variety said, it doesn’t matter if you kill them or not! Your job is to just keep them away from the fight and if you can distract both of them, it leaves your team in a 4v3 advantage behind you. Even if you force one out for the rest of the fight and can turn back to help your team, you’ve done your job. Getting a kill isn’t your priority. It’s just a reward for a good job. But like Variety said, with the gods he recommended, you have a high chance of killing one of them.
Controlling the carries on the backline will allow your team to get the advantage in the fight
It is hard to be the carry of the team from the solo lane if you aren’t being impactful on the other lanes. Your job is to get to your power spikes and start rotating to get the advantage in other lanes. You don’t have to just sit there in lane till level 20, as by then you're past your key power spikes. It is important to get farm, but you need to look at helping your other lanes gain an advantage across the map by using your power spikes. There are still a few mistakes that a lot of solo laners make, so we asked Variety what the most common mistakes he sees from solo laners are.
Variety mentions, "They try to overcompensate and try to do too much when diving and end up dying and giving up a big shutdown bonus."
Because of the fact you are levels above other laners and have a lot of protections to help you out tank a lot of damage, some solo laners get a bit too cocky and think they can do it all, which leads them to over extending and dying isolated from their teams. This rewards a huge shutdown bonus to the enemy team and pushes you behind as you’ll be dead for a lot longer then others on your team. Just knowing when to hold back and look for an opening instead of just going, "I can dive here and they have to deal with me" all the time will help you prevent this. Remember you may be strong, but sometimes you can’t always 1v5, unless you're over-leveled and have a few items over everyone else.
Hopefully this guide will help you hard carry your games from the solo lane and hopefully you’ll be able to climb up the ranks from the solo lane.