Coming Into My Own

I finally am starting to feel like I’m good at League of Legends. I was getting pretty good at the game before Dominion released, and had pretty much mastered the concepts of laning and jungling and 5v5 or 3v3 matches were going pretty good. Dominion threw me for a loop. I understood the concept, it plays much like Domination in Black Ops where you have to control more points than the enemy team to win the match. However, the first few matches that I played were less than spectacular. Even when I got a win it was a team effort, with most of my team mates doing the brunt of the work. I started asking myself why I wasn’t performing all that well, and it came down to a number of things.

I started reading more about the game, either through the Wiki, or another excellent site, LeagueCraft. Both have guides on how to effectively build champions through items, along with rune and mastery builds. I have found most of the information to be spot on, and after having utilized some of the advice, I have had much better luck playing both game modes. The next biggest advantage was getting a Champion that suits my style, and so far he has become my favorite. The champion I speak of is Jax, and is the only purchase I have made since my last LoL post. From what I have read (and heard in-game when I am destroying the opposing team) is that Jax is overpowered. A recent nerf to one of the main items in his build has seemed to lessen the complaints, but I still don’t feel that he is overpowered anyway. I think that people complain about certain champions being overpowered, but what it comes down to is knowing how to maximize your build and tailor it for the champion you are playing. This is why they provide different runes, pages, and the same goes for masteries. Understanding champion abilities has a large effect on item builds, and knowing your enemy goes just as far.

The last bit that was holding me back was my control configuration. The game defaults to using the mouse to look around the screen, by taking the cursor to the screen’s edge to move it in that direction. This was pretty standard for RTS games back in the day. When I played those sorts of games back then, I would always use the arrow keys to pan the screen, I have always preferred the tightness of the camera control with that scheme. I have since adjusted to using WASD from playing MMOs and such, and I prefer to use those keys to move the camera in LoL as well. The defaults for champion abilities are QWER, and because I am using WASD for camera controls, that takes away the option of using W as a skill key. So I have modified my keyboard controls to suit my needs, and I have finally found a configuration that works. I use QERF for champion abilities, and 1 and 2 for my summoner spells. I have found that with practice it has become second nature to use these controls, and because of it my gameplay has improved.

I have reached level 19, and some of my builds have changed, again. I have used multiple different rune, mastery and spell combinations, and though it’s safe to say it will change again by the time I have hit the level cap, for now I am satisfied. I switched out my attack speed runes for attack damage runes (+4.4 ) and I have increased my crit chance to +3.4%,  and ability power to +4.6. Because of my success with Jax, I am thinking of making him his own rune page, swapping out the critical chance for dodge % runes. Many of the guides I have read suggested this setup. They also call for 21 points in the Offense tree, and either 9 points in Defense or Utility, although most use the Defense tree for the extra boost to dodge. As of now I have 19 points in Offense, putting me 2 levels away from maxing it out.

For spell choices, I have switched from heal/teleport to exhaust/flash. I have been playing more Dominion, and as such the battles happen quicker, money flows in faster, and items make a difference earlier on. Teleport is also not available in Dominion, although I have been using that spell combo on Summoner’s Rift as well. Speaking of item usage, I have found the usefulness of health potions, something I hadn’t used since I first started the game. They come in handy even in Dominion. Also, I’m almost embarrassed to say so, but I never realized that the Hextech Gunblade had a usable function, a direct damage slow. Because I have been reading up on the game more, and paying closer attention to my choices, I have found more options for strategy and have really been doing well in the game.

I am currently saving up for some new more expensive champions. I have all of the ones that I wanted that cost 450 IP. I still like a couple from the next tier that cost 1350, but I decided to move on once I found Jax to the next tier, which is 3150. In this tier there are a couple of champions that I’m interested in, mainly Twitch (whose price was just lowered to this amount) and Olaf, although I haven’t played either of them. I didn’t get a chance to play Jax before I bought him either, and I am not disappointed with that purchase at all. I’m almost tempted to just hang on to my coin and wait until I get to the 6300 tier, of which I want quite a few. Graves was just released and he looks awesome, but man getting to 6300 IP will be a slow process. I either need to play more often, or get more patience.