So you want to play League of Legends (6) – Ranked / Serious Mode

So you’ve hit level 30, you have a few hundred games under your belt and feel like it’s time to get serious and play against people that might not actually be terrible.

Draft Mode:

rankedSome obvious stuff straight off the bat, Whoever gets first ban also gets first pick, from here it alternates with 2 picks on the opposite team (see above) and ends with the last pick on the opposite team.

Each team gets 3 bans, if you are playing premade 5’s you can use this to ban out champions who pose a problem towards your teamcomp or strategy (for example, if you have a full engage comp, you might want to ban out those who nullify this somewhat, like Alistar or Janna, similarly – if you have a split push comp you might want to ban out those with good mobility and wave clear)

The best strategy for draft pick is to save your ‘strong picks’ for last, and pick ambiguously at the start, the idea behind this is to prevent your champions from being countered in lane, as such, those who don’t really have counters or those with minimal counters should be picked first.

A great example first pick is Lee Sin, Why Lee?
1) He can go Jungle, Mid or Top
2) Hardish to Counter / Versatile

If possible, the picks on your team should roughly follow this:
1) Jungle (Harder to counter a jungler than it is to counter a lane)
2) Support (Low importance in the grand scheme of things)
3) ADC (Reliance on auto attacks more than skills means range differences have the most impact)
4) Top and Mid (Usually easily countered, pick range against melee, pick sustain against range, pick silence against combo casters, pick waveclear vs burst mages, etc)

Failure to follow this sort of pick standard will often result in your lanes being counterpicked, which is easy enough to do assuming your champion pool is big enough – try it for yourself –
http://championselect.net/champ – you’ll find that generally speaking, whilst there are few true hard counters in the game, it’ll be harder for you to really destroy the lane against a good champion counter.

You should also take time to formulate a team strategy whilst in pick phase, trying to pick champions which work well together and have skills that synergize, this will give you an edge in teamfights and help you understand what your main strategy is come lategame.
Examples of some synergy:
– Malphite, Amumu, Miss Fortune, Lissandra = AoE Explosion team
– Nunu, Vayne, Yorick, Shen = Hypercarry Protect Team
– Ezreal, Nidalee, Soraka, Jayce = Poke Comp

Welcome to Summoners Rift (The first 2 minutes):

One of the biggest differences between Normal and Ranked is the first 2 minutes of play, the jungle defence or invade.

bushwhacked

This picture right here is the single most important thing in this article.
If you are a mid laner, buy your shit and get out ASAP, then TAKE THIS ROUTE.
The amount of times I’ve seen players go through the jungle a little and sit at point X, and then die and give up first blood before they can even react is astonishing. (infact, I saw it happen just yesterday to a friend of mine in a ranked game). The problem with point X is that whilst you are in range to aid kill blue, you have no vision around that corner, if they are all hiding in that bush, when they come out, you won’t see anyone until they are practically on top of you, at which point even flash might not save you.
If you take this route, you will be safer, guaranteed, should you still be invaded, you will have enough time to see them and react.

If you are late buying, DO NOT DO THE ABOVE, if the enemy is going to ambush you at blue, that bush is where they are going to be waiting. Assuming you don’t have any scouting spells (Lux Lucent Singularity [E] for example) Your options are now:
1) Stand on W, pray they don’t invade
2) Get your support to ward W
3) Ward W

Which brings me to my next point, if you are a support, you can trivialize this whole damn thing.
How?

ward

This shit right here —>
If you are a support, you are probably (hopefully?) speccing into the utility tree anyway, 2 points here gets you 80HP, 50MP and a ward which lasts a minute, perfect for scouting for a jungle gank.

Go with your mid laner, drop your explorer ward at point W at around 1:20. Job done. If they invade, you will all see them coming with plenty of time, and nobody gets put at risk.