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Guide To ADC

Hey, guys. Post is on 3rd revision. I think its time I make a personal guide as to how you should play ADC the RIGHT way.

ADC has been my main role since October S2. I love the tension and unpredictable setting Bottom Lane gives, and I enjoy the backseat role ADC provides. I'm going to start off with some personal information: I main Ezreal Ezreal and Varus Varus right now. I get around 125 CS at LvL 10 + 2 kills, maybe an assist from our jungler, and focus on flexible building according to enemy team-comp, but DON'T sacrifice for damage unless absolutely necessary.

With that said, lets throw out the main, unforgettable, unforgivable if broken, and game deciding rules ADC players MUST follow if they wish to survive and help win teamfights/match.

Last Hitting

You don't need to just "farm" you need to LAST HIT. I don't mean hit the cannon minion a few times, maybe get the caster minions and one melee, I mean get every, single, one of them. Minions are the source of your gold. They are more valuable than kills (remember this) What this means is that instead of constantly looking for ways to poke and whittle down your opponent, deny them. Focus on killing creeps, and never ever burst the enemy down unless they are low or a gank is incoming.

At specific points in the game, you should be aiming for an avg of 10 CS a minute. Always try to keep up your GP/min and try to shoot for these marks, considering 100 at 10 minutes is unrealistic in most scenarios.

  • 5:00 - 30+ CS
  • 10:00 - 80+ CS
  • 15:00 - 140+ CS
  • After this point, just grab whatever you can. You wont be able to just free farm side lanes like you have been doing.

Micromanagement and Mechanics

You should NEVER be in the front of a fight. NEVER. I cannot stress this enough. Your JOB is to stay at the back, providing strong DPS for your bruisers while they help peel the enemy team for you and your APC to kill. Mechanics are the little things that go into your actual playing, such as map awareness, dodging, threat perception, and analysis. Threat Perception is one of the most important of these mechanics. If you are able to properly gauge the level of danger or consequence an action will yield, then you will have a much higher understanding of a situation, and be more likely to react to it accordingly or ahead of time. In layman's terms, thinking before you act will end up saving you a death, and landing you a kill. Micromanagement is what players like Doublelift are so good at. He could 1v3 a team under a turret simply because of his level of understanding regarding Micromanagement. This is the hardest thing to completely grasp out of all ADC rules. UNDERSTAND YOUR SURROUNDINGS, WATCH THEM, SLOW THEM DOWN, AND REACT. Think of mechanics as you would when a martial artist is fighting someone: they are able to almost slow their reality down and see what their OPPONENT is doing, rather than process what THEY'RE doing. You want to get this. Don't think of what you're going to do next. Think of what your enemy is going to do next. Another thing: during teamfights, stay near the back where it is safe. Attack and burst from behind your team, then once the fight is winding down and your enemy is running away, fucking jump in and own their asses with everything you have. BE SAFE AT FIRST, though.

Build Order and Item Priority

When going back to base for your first big purchase, always think of what could happen once you get back to lane. Are going to keep farming? Are you going to jump in with your support for a chance at a kill? Or are you going to signal your jungler to come in and initiate a teamfight? These things all affect you item purchases, and rightfully so. Also, if they have Armor, do yourself a favor and buy a damned Last Whisper item.png Last Whisper , you'll deal so much more damage. Learn to counter-build. This is another important part of playing ADC well. I digress, You don't want to be buying a Phantom Dancer item.png Phantom Dancer with no damage to back it up. Nor are you going to buy a Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel when the enemy isn't even focusing you. On MOST ADC's not all but most, The Bloodthirster item.png The Bloodthirster should be your first item. Live, and learn by The Bloodthirster item.png The Bloodthirster. It is your bread and butter going into mid game. During teamfights you should be focusing on hurting the enemy ADC and or APC from a safe distance so your bruisers can then disperse of other targets. Also, killing the enemies damage dealers, allows you to stay alive and not worry about getting burst down. In other words, stay safe and kill from a distance, but don't target high hp champs unless needed. You can thank BT for this ability to magically kill things with next to no effort. Its a strong item and paramount to rush it in almost every ADC's build. Build Order: the sequence of purchases you will go through to achieve the most cost effective build in the shortest amount of time and make the most use of these purchases along the way. This means: is it effective to rush Phantom Dancer item.png Phantom Dancer with no damage? No. You will fall behind, and have to be protected for far too long because your AD is less than desirable. Critical strikes and Attack Speed means nothing if it has nothing to work off of. What are you going to do, deal 200 damage in 2.5 seconds while they deal 500 per 3.5 seconds? You bought PD, you should be doing great right? Using your build isn't just loading it full of damage, its about getting the right stuff, at the right time for the right reasons. Learn your favorite build in a way that fits your playing nearly perfectly. And when to put certain items in that build when you can. Basically, If I took Zephyr item.png Zephyr before any real damage items, all I have is utility. Don't be stuck with your utility.

The main rules are now out of the way. Anything that isn't listed, tell me so and I will add them. Now, onto the other keys to playing ADC.

Countering

If you're first pick, don't take an ADC. Ask if your support has the champion you're wanting to play and ask if they have the support you would like. If everything checks out, make sure you two will be able to trade at the end of the picking phase. This also lets you see what the enemy is choosing as their ADC, setting you up in a advantageous spot to counter them.

If you need to know a list of counters for ADC's, here are my personal views on counters at bottom lane:

This is a VERY OPINIONATED LIST and is obviously very raw and un-researched, but SUPPORTED SIMPLY BY MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE at bottom with these champions. Some champions are left out because I do not have enough experience with their counters and playing against them to list reliable counters.

Laning and your Support

For the entirety of the laning phase, your support is your best friend. They should go everywhere with you. They should assist you in everything. As you should do the same for them. Support isn't just a backseat role like a mom watching her kids play in a sandbox, its a strong, defensive, and backbone like role. It acts just like its name implies, as support. Support helps in everything you do, in every way. Neglect your support and you lose your lane, simple as that. RESPECT your support. Don't just let them die during a fight if you can help them live and  don't argue with them when they don't ward consistently. They are doing the best they can with what they have. You forget, a support doesn't have piles of gold to spend and generally is at a disadvantage for the majority of early game, so be courteous in your choice of words. During the laning phase you should always keep up with your enemies' CS and build. Always try to stay at least 20 CS ahead of them and do NOT give up a lead, don't give them the chance to catch up, and never take recall's for granted. That short amount of time you spent gone, is enough time for them to catch up and maybe even get a gank organized by the time you return. Think about how much time you spend away during basing and deaths. A great example of this time spent away, particularly during respawn, is right here in one of gbay99's videos. Back to laning. Stay in the laning phase FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. Why? Because the longer you can just sit in lane, CS, and keep the enemy at bay the better. As stated before: minions are the source of your gold. They are more valuable than kills. Never forget this during early game, and don't listen to ANYONE who tells you otherwise. Yes, getting a kill makes up for about 2 waves of minions, but that's not the point. Its easier and safer, to just CS and farm those two waves, than it is to track a low hp jungler down and snipe them while risking a death in the process. JUST FARM. You can earn 3x the gold in lane, than you can in mid, waiting for a teamfight to happen. Just think, you could've gotten Infinity Edge 4 minutes earlier if you would've just stayed at Bot, and farmed for the same duration that you just sat motionless in mid waiting for Wukong to ult into the enemy team.

Early Game Engages

If a fight breaks out pre-level 6 and it seems like you have no one around to help, then only help if the situation is optimal. You can tell if it is optimal by analyzing how long it will take you too reach the fight, how many high damage dealers are in the fight, and how likely they are going to focus you if and when you show up to the fight. It honestly isn't that smart to go into a 1v2 fight in the river early on unless you KNOW you can take them out without fear of your opposing ADC / Support coming in to clean up. A key mechanic in situations like this, is to know how to use the "Attack-Move". Attack-Move is a movement command that tells your champion to move to a location but attack things along the way. This allows you to continue moving and clicking as you normally do, but also deal damage to your opponents who are behind you. Along with this section is how should you react when your support tries to start a fight by themselves, but expects you to aid them? There's a simple answer for this. DONT. If your support runs into a blind fight with no vision of the river or other bushes and you're not even close enough to join in quickly, then its best to just take the flame, and move on with your life. When you ARE close enough to initiate WITH your support then go ahead. As long as you have vision, enough hp, and your abilities up then you should be fine. The only problem, is that you need to be using your head during this. Don't turret dive a Kayle / Ashe combo or something similar post-level 6. We all know what happens. Overall, just be smart, pick your fights wisely, don't go in alone or let others go in alone, and if you die make sure no one else does afterwards. FORCE a 1 for 1 trade if at all possible.

Kill Lanes

A kill lane is a lane (generally bottom) that instead of focusing on CS, players will focus on killing the enemy players in their lane. I personally prefer kill lanes since it feeds you fast, and keeps enemies completely out of the lane so you can farm freely for awhile. How to deal with these lanes? There honestly isn't much you can do. If it is an unorthodox lane such as Xin / Maokai, then your best option is to constantly harass Xin Zhao in lane since you would be expecting him to be the one farming while Maokai bush camps. The plus side to kill lanes, is that the players will generally be tryhards and go out of their way to attempt to kill you. You can use this to your advantage. If they try to dive you, make sure you have saved any and all disables or slows for that moment so you can turn their lane around on them, and THEY become the target of the kill lane. As sated before, there isn't much you can do in these lanes since most of the time, the comps are bruiser or tank oriented. Although you CAN minimize the danger here by following some simply guidelines:

  1. Never be out of position. Stay safe and close to your support
  2. Never harass if the bush isn't warded. The bush should already be warded by default in these situations. You need to know where BOTH of the laners are, because BOTH are issues.
  3. Call for ganks. This is the easiest way to minimize danger and crack down on the early game aggression Kill Lanes have. Always ward though, because kill lanes become a giant snowball if their jungler helps them.
  4. Learn how to farm underneath your turret. You will be under it for the majority of the laning phase during kill lanes so its best for you to be prepared for them and learn how to time last its underneath it.

What Does "Carry" Mean?

Most of you would believe "carry" means to amass a large number of kills, and deal abnormal amounts of damage to the enemy. No, in fact, that isn't what carry means. That's what you do as an ADC, yes, but the term "carrying" means something different all together. Carrying is the act of being a deciding force in your victory. It means you lead your team, you made calls, and made plays. You worked WITH your team and disregarded your weaknesses so you could exploit them. YOU made that win happen. YOU need to do this. If you cant lead, find a duo partner that can. This is a giant of a issue that many players don't seem to understand. It may be difficult to do at first, but after you learn what works for the people in your matches, then you can use the same formula almost universally. Overall, use your head, be careful, always second guess a decision, and if someone says something stupid, tell them that it is a bad idea. You DONT want for someone to screw up a well organized plan.

I'M NOT DONE WITH THIS GUIDE YET. PLEASE GIVE SOME HELP ON TOPICS YOU THINK I SHOULD COVER AND / OR ADD, THNX.