The Art of Tower Diving in LoL
Learn to tower dive like the pros!
If you ever watched a professional game of League of Legends, chances are you’ve seen players conduct a tower dive. A coordinated assault on an enemy champion under the protection of their own tower sounds like a bad idea, but when executed flawlessly, it can be the breaking point in most lanes and even games. There are several factors that can influence a tower dive like the champions involved, the level advantages/disadvantages, damage output, and crowd control effects available. All these factors are utilized within the three essential parts of the tower dive; the set-up, the engage, and the great escape. This article will primarily focus on the two-man tower dive.
Before we dive, pun intended, into this topic I should warn you that there are a few champions that you should avoid diving under certain circumstances.
Hamcelot’s "Do Not Dive List"
Akali is a very slippery champion. Almost every skill in her kit can be used to disengage while still giving her the option to fight if the situation should arise. Her Twilight Shroud can break certain skills mid-animation, allowing her to reposition. Akali’s Shuriken Flip and Perfect Execution can be used to distance her from her attackers while still giving her the freedom to fight if a champion makes a misstep.
Camille under the correct circumstances is easy to dive. Those circumstances are her Hextech Ultimatum is on cooldown, her Hookshot is on cooldown, she misses her Tactical Sweep, she is low health, and, oh, isn’t running Conqueror. Camille is a strong lane bully and an even stronger under-turret fighter.
Fiora has a myriad of ways to get out of tower dives. She has her Lunge in order to dodge or pop a vital for health. She has her Riposte in order to avoid damage, prevent crowd control effects from landing and stunning her attackers in the process. On top of all of that, she also has her Grand Challenge that can force divers to weigh the options of triggering her ultimate ability.
Troll pole, enough said. Joking aside, Fizz is a very slippery target to get ahold of during a tower dive. He has his Playful/Trickster that allows him to dodge skill shots as well as point and click crowd control abilities. He also has his Urchin Strike to quickly reposition himself. Finally, his ultimate, Chum the Waters, can be the make or break point in a tower dive.
Jax’s Counterstrike is a very versatile skill that can turn any tower dive on top of its head, but that alone isn’t why Jax makes this list. What makes Jax a menace to tower dive is his gap closer combined with his Counterstrike. He can quickly lock down one of the divers, forcing them to take unnecessary tower shots while creating space between himself and the other diver. If you are going to dive Jax, make sure that he burns his Counterstrike first or you are bringing a champion like Elise that can immediately lose aggro.
Pre-6 Kayle is super easy to dive. Post-6 Kayle is super not easy to dive. The easiest way to dive a Kayle is to force them to burn their ultimate ability prior to setting up the gank.
This tiny Yordle and his mechanized armor can be a pain to dive. Pre-6, all you have to watch out for is his heat bar. Once he hits 100%, avoiding his damage is the key to successfully diving him. However, post-6, you should be careful because a well-placed Equalizer can eviscerate even the best of dives.
A lot of players will tell you that diving Singed is easy if you have the crowd control for it. And although that may be true I would recommend avoiding diving a champion that has a damage over time (or D.O.T.) skill, a soft crowd control effect in his Mega Adhesive, a hard crowd control effect in his Fling and finally an ultimate that allows him to sustain and dodge better.
This list primarily focuses on champions you shouldn’t dive because of their unique and different interactions which can lead to disastrous results if dove. That’s not to say you should never dive them, but you should have a very strong trust in your dive buddy before you attempt to execute a dive one of them. With that being said, let us move into the three aforementioned parts of a successful tower dive.
The set-up is easily the most important piece of the puzzle. Without a strong foundation to start, your tower dive will quickly turn into a double kill for the enemy laner. When determining if a tower dive is capable of being executed there are a few questions that should be asked.
• Do we have the summoner skill advantage?
• How many soft or hard crowd control effects do you have at your disposal?
• How much damage can you do immediately versus how much health does the enemy have?
• How many tower shots are you going to take before killing the enemy?
• Do you have gap closing and escape abilities?
• If the dive doesn’t go perfectly, how can you recover?
• Where is the minion wave?
These questions should all be thought about prior to initiating the tower dive, you should consider the possibility that the enemy laner might know they are being dove and will take the precautions to avoid it. The jungler or roamer should always set up vision on their way to the tower dive to ensure that there isn’t a lingering enemy champion that can turn the tower dive into a 2v2 brawl. Finally, the most important part of the set-up, check your mana levels to make sure you have the requisite mana for both the engage and the escape.
This portion is the highest intensity part. It takes time and practice to perfect tower diving, so don’t feel bad if the first few times you burn a summoner skill unnecessarily or if you give a kill over to the enemy. The goal of a tower dive is to eliminate the enemy champion in order to deny them laning experience, gold from farm, and to force them to burn summoner skills. With the new changes to solo lane experience, tower dives are going to become even more damning because the gap in experience over a single minion wave or two is going to accelerate lane advantages.
During the engage portion of the gank, you need to remember two things: the champion with the larger health pool needs to be pulling the tower focus first and the champion with the largest amount of damage is going to responsible for eliminating the enemy as quickly as possible. Although there are exceptions to this rule (like Elise, you are going to be hearing a lot about the Spider Queen), for the most part this is the formula for tower diving.
The reason for setting up the tower dive like this is because the person with the higher health pool can tank more tower shots if necessary, giving their dive buddy the maximum amount of time to kill the enemy. Also, if the enemy chooses to try to fight through the tower dive, you want the champion with the higher health pool the focus rather than the other champion. With all that out of the way, let’s get into the play-by-play for the tower dive.
There are essentially three types of tower dives; the double melee, the double ranged, and the mixed melee/ranged.
This is easily the hardest dive of all three because both champions will be within tower range for the longest time period of all tower diving iterations. There are multiple requirements that need to be met for this kind of dive to work properly. For starters, the minion wave needs to be crashing into the tower being dove. Second, any form of disengage like Jayce’s Thundering Blow should be burned just prior to the dive. Third, if the champion has any form of sustain, make sure they burn it early or burst them before they can utilize it. Finally, if the champion has an ability that can disrupt the escape avoid it at all cost. A paramount example is Darius’ Apprehend.
When the aforementioned requirements are met, here’s how the dive should play out. The champion with the higher health pool should start taking the tower an aim to be as close to the edge of the tower’s range as possible. The other melee diver should be within closer range than the tanking diver and should initiate damage to the enemy champion after the tower has established focus on the other diver. Once this set-up has been established, the damage diver should look to eliminate the champion as quickly as possible.
This is my preferred dive set-up, largely because it gives you a lot of flexibility for how to set up the dive. You can either start with the ranged champion utilizing their skills and range to do damage from afar while baiting the enemy to overextend in an attempt to punish the ranged champion while the melee prevents the enemy from escaping. Conversely, you can have the melee champion go deep within the tower forcing the enemy to burn key mobility skills while the ranged champion picks them off from a distance.
The double ranged tower dive is usually one of the easiest to execute and one of the safest tower dives. The objective, however, can be slightly different for ranged diving. Since both champions can pull the tower’s focus from afar the idea here is to either sandwich the champion in using the terrain or pincer them so that they have nowhere to run.
Youtuber Virkayu has a great video that breaks down some of these concepts:
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The Great Escape
I’ll keep this section short and sweet. Get out by any means necessary! If you need to burn Flash to get out, do it. Just make sure to secure the kill before you leave.
Hamcelot’s Diving List: This is list is my personal favorite divers.
Camille, Diana, Elise, Evelynn, Gragas, Fizz, Hecarim, Jarvan IV, Kindred, Lee Sin, Nautilus, Poppy, Qiyana
Hopefully this guide will help you better execute those risky tower dives and bathe in the plentiful biscuits you’ll be able to buy with all that gold you’ll have. Happy Rifting!
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