A simple introductory guide to League of Legends

This is a simple introductory guide to League of Legends for my friend Kylan, or anyone else that would succumb to the pain of playing this MOBA. On the outside, League of Legends may entrance you with its color arrangements, vast list of champions, or simplicity that they sell to newcomers on their YouTube targeted ads yet many times you will find the game consumed by vitriol and a lackluster commitment to the game.

This is a simple introductory guide to League of Legends for my friend Kylan, or anyone else that would succumb to the pain of playing this MOBA. On the outside, League of Legends may entrance you with its color arrangements, vast list of champions, or simplicity that they sell to newcomers on their YouTube targeted ads yet many times you will find the game consumed by vitriol and a lackluster commitment to the game.

With that out of the way, I need to state that I am not a professional player. If that is what you desire, I apologize for the inconvenience as this introductory strategy guide will best serve those that have never played the game and have never developed an understanding of the systems developed by Riot Games.

If you plan to follow the norm and play on Summoner’s Rift, you will find yourself looking down upon this arena. You will be viewing the game through a more focused view, one that is tied to your champion or with a free camera.

The Basics


You and a group of four other members will be defending your side of the map. This is considered defending as minions (creeps) continuously push towards your lane and will ultimately destroy your base if you allow it. Each of the three lanes are played differently, depending on the current meta and unique playstyles found in seasoned veterans. On the basic level, you are attempting to push into the enemies base to first destroy the first two set of towers, before approaching the inhibitor tower. Destroying towers will award your team gold and will allow for more opportunities to gank the enemy team as they have less vision on the battlefield.

After destroying the first three towers, you will expose the inhibitor. The inhibitor has a decent chunk of health and will activate your own inhibitor when destroyed. Your inhibitor will spawn super minions (more powerful than normal minions) and send them down the lane. They will have an easier time solo killing structures.

Once the inhibitor is destroyed, you can move onto the final set of towers defending the nexus. It is recommended that you destroy all three of the towers before you do this, unless you have managed to score an ace or some sort of advantage. Destroying an inhibitor in the bottom lane provides your team with the opportunity to split push with another lane. By pushing the top lane yourself while super minions push the bottom lane, you will force your opponents to either split to kill the super minions or allow them to demolish their base.

Destroying towers is often something that is done over a long period of time. It is unlikely that you will be able to destroy one early on in one fell swoop. Later in the game, your character may be powerful enough to dismantle one quickly. During the early moments of the game, pay attention to when your opponent goes back. If an opponent recalls, this will open an opportunity for you to push minions and attack the tower with your melee or ranged attack. Consider how long it may take for an opponent to return to lane or how a jungler may gank you.

This is especially important in the top lane as there may only be one opponent facing off against you. Push your minion waves to enable you to attack the tower for small amounts of time. A ranged character should prioritize this as it will make it easier to do damage to the tower. When playing the bottom lane, the ranged attacker can focus on attacking the tower (with a minion wave ahead of them) while the support or other player pokes (damages) the enemies attempting to attack the ranged character.

If you are suffering losses and find yourself at a disadvantage, attempt to draw the enemy into your tower as it will damage them if you are hurt by the enemy champion. Focus primarily on killing the minions in the area, if you can, attempt to use your extended range attacks and spells to kill the minions which will force the opponents back.

Killing Minions

Your main source of income in League of Legends is killing minions. You can also earn gold by destroying structures, jungle creeps, or enemy players but what will set you apart is your creep score (CS). Depending on the situation and team composition, you may want to approach killing minions in a multitude of ways.

If the enemy team has more range than you do or has a larger “poke” opportunity, you may need to play more defensive and attack the minions at your leisure or when you are safest. Preventing unnecessary damage is pivotal to remaining on the battlefield for longer which increases your opportunity for experience, gold, and team fighting. You may be forced to play closer to your tower in this situation and rely heavily on your jungler.

If you have a lead or outrange your opponent, you may be able to play more aggressively, focusing more on attacking the enemy champion instead of the minions. The minions will continue to attack each other until some on their team is damaged near them. Sitting in a bush or standing closer to the enemy in order to apply pressure will help you in preventing the other team from building their creep score and will allow you to damage them throughout. Eventually, this will force an opponent to turn back or to remain in play, heavily damaged which may provide you with the opportunity to attack. When executing this strategy, do not attack the minions until they are last hit or if you are clearing a wave that is one sided. Allow your minions to the damage the opposing minions to the point where it only takes one spell or attack to claim the gold and experience. Continue doing this while pressuring the enemy team. With this approach, you will need to place wards as a defensive grid around your lane. Doing this will not only help your lane but your jungle as well.


Back in the olden days, you were forced to purchase your own wards to place on the battlefield but now, there is no excuse for you not to place wards as they come free as a starting item that rejuvenates over time. Wards provide you with vision in sectors of the map that are not currently in view of any of your teammates or structures. Planting wards will identify any enemy that walks within proximity of the ward, this is especially helpful for when a jungler may come to gank your lane.

As the game progresses, you may find your team deep on your own side of the map or pushing to destroy your opponents inhibitors. Both of these situations call for good ward placement as when you extend the map, it makes it easier for opponents to sneak up on you. This is also true for when you are retreating to your base as your teams jungle can be easily covered with wards which may provide an opening.

You can place a ward anywhere on the map but there are certain areas that may be more helpful than others. When you are playing the bottom lane, you can easily identify a gank by placing the ward in the bush marked below. With two people in the lane, you can have two wards which provide you with more vision. Playing this way will leave the lower bushes open for attacks which means you will need to assume that an enemy may be playing in the darkness found in the bushes.

The top lane should also be wary of ganks from the jungler or the enemy team which is why they should place the ward in the river below them. If the top laner has two wards, you may also wish to place one near the blue buff or closer to the enemy tower.

When playing middle, you should choose one of the two middle bushes to ward and then play to that one side, shielding you from the enemy. This will give you more time to either run or jump the ganker that is incoming.

The Jungle

The jungle is full of mystical creatures that can provide experience, gold, solo buffs, and team buffs. If you have a jungler on your team, they will spend most of their time in the jungle. As the game progresses, each team will want to fight for the middle, larger jungle creators including the dragon closer to the bottom and the Baron that is closer to the top lane. Placing a ward in these areas when approaching late game will be beneficial to your team.

The jungle monsters are neutral monsters that will not attack you unless you attack them. You can deaggro the jungle monsters by running away from them. This will also reset their health.

If your team is struggling to maintain control past the middle of the map, jungle monsters are safe experience that can help boost the experience you are missing by not killing creeps in the lane. Invading the enemy jungle at the beginning of the round is a possible strategy that teams may implement and you should be careful of this if you are jungling.

Aside from the gold and experience, most mages will want the blue buff to maintain their mana regeneration while many ADC and physical damage characters may want the red buff to bolster their damage.


There is a wide array of items found in the shop. I recommend Googling a build to help you in finding a strategy that works for your playstyle. After finding some items that you like, you may want to develop your own build. Buying items is pretty simple. There are attack, defensive, and support items. Depending on your role, you will want to focus on certain attributes gained by these items. When you return to your base, you may wish to build a new item or if you are struggling for money, begin to build a new item. Keep this in mind when you are returning to base. If possible, only return to base when you have enough money to buy a new item.

Leaving the lane

Leaving the lane at improper times can cause your team to lose a structure and the gold lead. Timing your return is quintessential to winning the top and middle lanes as you are the only champions in that lane. Focusing on an aggressive playstyle where you are poking and damaging the opponent will buy you more opportunities to return to base or to push a tower. If your opponent returns to base, you can consider your two options. 1. Return to your own base in order to heal and buy items. 2. To push the tower. When returning to base, consider how much gold you have along with how much of your health and mana remain. When your opponent leaves the lane, this also opens the door to killing the blue or red buff. In the case of the second option, you will want to maintain your ward perimeter and then push the minions as quickly as possible to reach the tower. In the beginning of the game, this may take a few waves. By damaging the tower, it will make it easier for your minions to destroy the tower by themselves if your opponent gets lazy during the minion clear.

When returning to the battlefield from your base, consider your options for possible ganks or support of your teammates. If you have wards in place, keep an eye out for the enemy jungler in your base. You may consider using teleport if you are concerned with returning to your lane in a quick manner.

Summoner Spells

Summoner spells are spells that can be used by any champion. These spells are crucial in supporting your champion’s other abilities and ability to escape or finish a fight. Most players use heal, ghost, exhaust, smite, teleport, flash, and ignite. Depending on your playstyle, you may wish to use a combination of these spells. Heal can be incredibly useful at the beginning of a match but as it progresses, the effectiveness may wane. Many players use flash as it can be used to jump over walls, making it a perfect getaway spell. Flash can also be used to close the gap with enemies, making it a useful tool in different scenarios.

Exhaust will slow the opponent while also reducing the damage output of that champion

Ghost will allow you to avoid character collision with increased speed

Smite is a pivotal tool for junglers as it does damage to jungle minions with a small amount applying to champions.

Ignite will damage the champion over time while also reducing the healing done to that character. This is very helpful when facing against a champion that has a large heal.

Much of the beginning of the game will be spent in your respective lane. Winning your lane will improve your chances of winning the game. If your character features ultimates with larger ranges, remember that you may try and use them to assist your teammates in nearby lanes. Your team composition will depend on whether you are playing alone, with a team, or in a draft pick. Trying to form a solid team composition is important in developing into the late game. Lacking a key component may be your demise.

Patience is key in League of Legends as what it ultimately boils down to is who can maintain their lanes the longest while also taking advantage of the jungle minions. Doing your best to reduce danger and damage done to your champion is a simple way to help you in scoring a victory over your opponent. Play to the strengths of your team and do not feed the enemy as this may cause it to be impossible to come back. LoL games can last a long time. By continuing to kill minions and level up, you can keep the dream alive. All you need to do is outlive your opponent while destroying the towers. By doing this, you will apply enough pressure to force the opponent to change their strategy. Look for the gaps in their strategy and execute on them.

If you are losing to your opponent, be more cautious around the jungle as they be more kill hungry as they see you as easy prey. Use your towers to your advantage and hide under them while gaining experience and gold. You will want to prevent the tower from taking as much damage as possible and it may be beneficial to absorb some of the damage the minions may apply to the tower by gaining aggro of them.

Keep an eye on the positioning of the other team. Even if your teammate is getting ganked on the other side of the map, this may open the window to pushing your lane faster and destroying a tower which may even out the gold difference. Always be cautious when straying into the jungle, especially into your opponents jungle.

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