A Guide to ADC Laning Basics For League of Legends
Tue 12th Jan 2021 - 11:13pm
The bot lane is the most unique out of all the 3 lanes in League of Legends due to the fact that it’s a 2v2 lane rather than a 1v1. It is partly comprised of an ADC, an attack damage carry who usually carries the characteristics of being able to attack from a long-range and being rather weak in the early stages of the game. In the past few seasons, unorthodox ADCs such as Swain, Yasuo, or even Brand, have popped up as options for the bot lane.
The support player makes up the second half of the bot lane. Support champions usually come with an ability toolkit that offers up at least one form of utility, whether that is crowd-control, healing, or movement speed. Support champions are even more diverse than ADC picks, but game stats show the unorthodox champions are not as likely to win a game. This guide will go over the laning basics you can utilize to improve your chances of winning in the bot lane as an ADC.
Before you start the lane, you’ll be assisting your jungler with their first camp if they haven’t decided to start on the top-side of the map. After providing a leash, you’ll want to walk the long way back to lane unless you or your teammates have warded the tri-bush.
There is a good reason for this. If the enemy’s jungler has started on the top-side of the map, then there is a chance that the enemy bot lane has walked into the area marked with a question mark (AKA the tri-bush) for an ambush. Without proper vision, you run the risk of losing lane before you even get there. So, unless it is warded, your odds are better off with running the long route back to lane.
You’ve made it to the lane without any scratches or bruises. Here’s the first tip I’d like to go over that can start the lane off well. Always clear the first wave as fast as possible, which means trying to push the wave to your enemy’s turret. This does a number of things. First, you’ll hit level 2 earlier than your opponents and this creates a wide opening for you and your support to play aggressively and look for an all-in situation. If the enemies play it safe and back off, this just lets you push the wave faster.
Secondly, the faster you push the wave to your opponent’s turret, the harder it will be for the enemy ADC to farm as his wave will be taking additional damage from the turret.
Finally, you create the option for you and your support to make favorable trades against the enemy bot lane. An early level difference is huge due to having the added bonus of an extra ability point. If your support manages to catch one of the enemy laners out, you can home in on the target and get significant damage off that will affect the rest of the laning phase.
This doesn’t mean to blindly go in and look for any trade. You should be actively looking for opportunities where the opponent’s positioning is bad or where you and your support are able to engage on an enemy without sacrificing too much health.
What is your end goal in the bot lane? While there may be varying responses of a similar suit, the answer is this: to become as strong as you possibly can. How do you get stronger? Through gold and XP. Laning is set up where there are a number of ways to get resources.
You can farm minions, take down enemy wards or turret plates, and you can get kills. I’ve listed those 3 main objectives in order of decreasing importance. Yes, farming is the best way to get resources and pull ahead in strength. A kill before the 21st minute of a game is worth about 12-15 minions. If you manage to pull off a 12-15 CS lead against the enemy ADC, you’ve effectively secured the same amount of gold as a kill.
Yes, kills are important, and you should definitely try to secure them as often as possible. However, what if the bot lanes are of equal strength and neither can find an opening for a kill? This happens far more often than you think, and almost eliminates the possibility of getting kills in the bot lane unless there is a gank or a laning mistake. Farming minions will get you the gold and XP you need to stay relevant in terms of strength.
There is one golden tip in the laning phase and it’s the following: Try to auto-attack or harass the enemy laners whenever the ADC goes up to last hit a minion. That is a very short window of opportunity for you to go in and initiate damage on the enemies. If you do that a number of times, you will start to gain the advantage in terms of health and overall lane presence. The reason it’s so effective is that the enemy ADC is occupied in that short second with an auto-attack on a minion. Abuse it as often as you can.
Another thing to keep in mind is your positioning. You want to do your best to remain parallel with your support so that if a trade occurs, your support can join in on the action and apply additional damage and abilities. It’s very risky to play in front of your support because if the enemy laners see you by yourself, they’ll be initiating the 2v1 until your support reaches you to help. So, try to keep your positioning as portrayed in the below image.
Should I Push or Freeze the Wave?
The ability to answer this question correctly will be the deciding factor in your lane’s success and it’s a difficult choice to make as it requires lots of knowledge, experience and intuition. Every game of League of Legends is different, and thus, the answers to this question will change continuously.
Here are some basic situations to help you make the correct choice.
Enemy Laner Has a Lead or is Stronger
If at any point, you feel that your enemy laners are stronger than you, let them push more aggressively than you. You have to do a lot of your farming under turret, but it will buy you enough time by keeping you in a relatively safe zone. At the same time, try to pounce on your opponents’ mistakes and take out as many minions or even a small trade if they’re not being careful. The less gold you have to give up under turret, the better.
You Have a Lead
Push. Push the wave in as much and as fast as you can. If you are stronger than your opponents, they will lose a majority of trades against you, and will be playing more defensively. You get to push them into turret to maximize their CS loss and continue growing your lead.
If Difference in Strength is Not Too Significant
Here is where I would recommend trying to freeze the wave near your turret. It puts the enemies in a vulnerable position to a gank and denies them minion access with the presence asserted by you and your support.
All of these questions ignore the presence of a jungler or a gank from the top/mid laners, so let’s go into that topic next.
By the time the third wave hits your lane, it is entirely possible that the jungler has made his way to your lane for a gank. From this point forward, you and your support should be doing your best to maintain proper vision of the river and bushes. Whether you have an advantage in the lane or not, your fortunes can change swiftly if the enemies pull off a successful gank. It’s important to keep the tri-bush and river bush warded to decrease the chances of the enemies turning the table on you.
Another tip to try out is warding the bushes in lane. If you ward high up enough, you give your laners a chance to gank through a Teleport. Keeping good vision of the lane bushes is also important as it decreases the spots that your enemies can hide.
Any time you play aggressively in a lane or have the lane pushed up, make sure you have some wards around to make sure you’re not getting baited and to know when to back off when you’re being ganked.
These are the fundamentals off of which you can build your Bot Lane style. There are passive ADCs and aggressive ADCs, but the one common factor in both styles of success is an understanding of the basics to help them make the most informed, logical decisions.