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The ADC is the core role in every League of Legends game and is probably the most fun role to play. An ADC has the power to carry games and as Uncle Ben once said, With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. The thing is that other roles are susceptible to mistakes. But, an ADC is a role that can’t afford to make mistakes. That is what this post is going to be all about. We’re going to list out fifteen tips for ADCs that we learnt ourselves from the very best in League. Some of these tips are basic stuff, but most of the tips were gathered from pros players that we analyzed over the past month. So, let’s drop right into our version of tips for ADC role.
Creating Combos With Your Support
Any ADC can stay in a lane and last hit efficiently, but you need to go above and beyond not only to increase your farm, but annoy the heck out of the enemy laner at the same time. While there are a lot of ways to do that, we suggest creating combos with your support. You could ask your support to pick a specific champ that will make the lane a nightmare for the other team. Most supports will listen to you if you explain exactly why you think that champ is a good pick, so crack your fingers and get typing.
Let’s not slip away from the topic at hand. The thing is that there comes a time when just pure skill isn’t enough. The enemy laners are extremely good, and you’re extremely good. In such situations, you need to have something extra, an edge with the mechanics of the game and that is what this tip for ADCs is all about. So, let’s talk about a couple of support / ADC combos that can dominate the bot lane.
Tristana / Taric
The first combo is Tristana / Taric. Taric is a really decent support in the current meta, but when paired with Tristana, the combo is just pure cancer. Taric has a good stun with his Dazzle and at the same time Tristana can place a bomb with her Explosive Charge . But, even if you don’t use those two abilities in succession, Taric generally can really compliment Tristana’s abilities. His Bastion and Cosmic Radiance allow Tristana to take huge amounts of risks – Risks that she wouldn’t be able to take normally. Taric can not only protect Tristana from ganks, but he can also help her dive the towers with minimal to no risk.
Thresh / Vayne
Another OP combo would be Thresh and Vayne. Just let me tell you this, if Thresh hooks you with his Death Sentence , you’re dead. This combination is so deadly, you’re not even safe behind your tower. Thresh just zones you out of the lane with the impending threat of death while Vayne sits pretty and farms the lane. And, truthfully, there’s just no way to counter these two. The only way to like not die would be to dodge those hooks. Don’t let Thresh get close to you and Vayne won’t be able to take you out. Vayne has so much damage from his passive Silver Bolts that any laner will just melt. You could counter this combo by picking a really tanky laner. You’ll drop to less than half hp, but you won’t die. Not getting farm is a much better scenario than Vayne getting kills.
Play With a Limited Hero Pool
Yes, we’re asking you to become a dirty spammer. Look, we’ll be the first to say that spamming a single champion is bad. Especially if you have zero game knowledge and somehow manage to spam one champ to a higher ELO. You don’t hold the right to call yourself a good player till you can play any champ according to the situation. You can’t expect to get a dozen kills with a first pick Master Yi or Garen and still be called an amazing player.
And, honestly, this is just a misconception. Spamming a champion can be morally wrong, but it will still get you the wins. In the first tip, we talked about how getting an edge on mechanics can help you win. Well, that line is better implied in this tip. Just playing with a limited hero pool of 3-4 heroes gives you a great advantage – An advantage of knowledge. The other enemy laner might not be as experienced with the champ they’re playing, but you know the ins and outs of your champ. That’s how you can gain the upper hand. For example, if you’re playing Zed , you’ll know exactly how much damage Death Mark does and you can know when diving in will get you a kill and when it won’t.
However, if you’re new to the game, don’t try this. This tip for ADCs is for folks that do have knowledge of every single hero in the game. They know the abilities and can play every champion fairly. If you’re new and stick to a few heroes, you’ll really restrict yourself and won’t have enough room to learn the mechanics of the game. You might learn how to play Caitlyn really well, but you’ll fail against Yasuo that is a hard counter because you don’t know Yasuo as you’ve never played the champion. Experiment around a bit and try out different heroes and different play styles. Once you feel that your knowledge is fair enough, you can move on to playing limited pool of heroes. If you want to learn how to increase your champion pool, here’s a guide we wrote on that topic.
A Small Word of Advice
But, before you try out this suggestion, a small tip for ADCs, don’t just spam a single hero. If you concentrate too much on a single hero, you won’t be able to play any other
champion without really screwing up here and there. For instance, if you’re used to Caitlyn’s abnormally large attack range, you won’t be able to get used to Tristana smaller range. You’ll still think that like Cailtyn, you’ll be shooting from a mile away, and these types of situations will get you killed. Also, the reason why we suggest spamming 4-5 heroes is that if you’re just playing one champion, it could get picked; and then you’ll be utterly screwed. Be proactive, don’t limit yourself too much.
Map awareness is just one of the most important aspects of the game. We can pressurize how vital paying attention to the map actually is. Players in lower ELOs never really pay too much attention to their map, and that is why the carry constantly keeps getting picked off and isn’t able to snowball into the late game. Now, if you read our support guide, you will know how important map awareness can be to prevent ganks. But, if we haven’t, we’re more than happy to repeat ourselves.
So, first thing we’d like to clarify is that, it is not the supports job to keep an eye on the map. Yes, it is the supports job to ward the map, but not to keep an eye on it and alert the teammates. Doing so will mean that the support is really good, but not doing that doesn’t mean you should report the support. It’s everyone’s job to keep looking at the map and watch out for missing enemies.
As a carry, the first few minutes of the game, your job is to stay safe and farm. In some cases, you could be in a bad lane and farming becomes really difficult. This is where you have to do the other part of your job exceptionally well. If you see that two or three heroes are off the map, back off ASAP because you could be in danger. If the enemy laner is already at an advantage, the team will make sure to get pick offs on the ADC constantly to assure that they can snowball and the losing ADC doesn’t have time to catch up. That’s what you need to prevent. Instead of risking your life for gold, stay safe even if you don’t have any farm.
If you think that your map awareness is really bad and needs work, we created a guide with a few steps to do just that. Take a look at that guide before reading on.
Harassing in Lane
This is one of the hundreds of tips for ADCs that we could talk about for hours. Harassing is just a really diverse topic, we’ll do our best to cover it in as few words as possible.
So, first off, we’ll be talking about harassing 101. Basically, this tips works best when you’re on a ranged ADC. Harassing with melee ADCs can work, but it’ll put you in a harm’s way and you could end up getting damaged more than the damage you managed to inflict. Anyways, harassing is simple. There are two ways to chip off hitpoints off the enemy laner.
The YOLO Way
This is a riskier way to harass, as we said earlier, you could get caught if you move up to get a few auto-attacks on them. You should only move towards them if they don’t have any reliable lockdowns or stuns to grab you and take you out. If the enemy laner doesn’t have any spells to nab you, then go to town and follow them to their turret. This much aggression will really force the enemy laner into retreat.
But, be careful, if you’re completely immobilizing the enemy laner, you will draw attention to yourself. Sure, the attention on you will make space for your team, but if you die in a gank because you were playing too aggressive, then that space is just useless and you’re just throwing the game. The best way to harass the enemy out of the lane is to limit your aggression. Give the enemy laner time to get just one or two last hits so he doesn’t feel totally helpless and call for help. This method is purely psychological and it won’t work every time. But, it’s good if you’re looking to really use these tips for ADCs and outsmart your opponent.
The Safe Way
There are two ways to safely harass someone. The simpler one is when they’re trying to last hit. You can use your minion wave as bait. The enemy laner won’t sacrifice his life just for one minion, but he will be willing to get hit a few times to get that CS. In just a matter of minutes, you could harass him and drop his life to a point where he has to retreat.
The second way is slightly trickier and needed a bit of precision. So, you’re going to have to walk closer to the enemy laner. This will create an opportunity for the enemy laner to harass you. They’ll walk on over to you to trade a few last hits. When this happens, you’ll walk right back to your turret and the enemy laner will do the same. However, once they turn, you’re going to turn as well and get a couple of hits on them. This is a really effective way to harass and the laner can’t really do anything about it. However, you can only do this if you outrange the enemy laner.
Letting Your Team Die (Tactically, Of Course)
As an ADC, your job is to work towards the greater good. You don’t participate in the early game because your job is to farm and get enough items to sustain in the mid to late game. But, sometimes, the cancerous community of League of Legends doesn’t really understand the role of a carry. The ADC is supposed to farm away in the early game, and destroy everyone in the late game. It’s that simple, but every once in a while, you’ll get teammates that will really go out on you just because you’re farming and not helping them.
The trick is to just ignore them. Don’t think that you’re a bad teammate if you’re letting them die. A carry’s main job, as we have said like a dozen times, is to stay alive and farm. Farming isn’t crucial, but staying alive is. If the carry dies in every team fight and can’t manage to get his items, the game ends 20 minutes before it actually does.
If your team is getting into bad fights and contesting without any chance of winning the team fight, let them just die. But, if you see a fight where your team has the upper hand and the enemy is missing key cooldowns like Destiny from Twisted Fate , then go in. Take out a couple of enemies and just fall back when you think the water’s over your head. Remember, killing champions gives more gold than minions. So, only fight when you feel you won’t die and don’t listen to your team. Most of the time, their ‘words of encouragement’ make you angry and make you lose your focus. And, eventually, the game.
Communicate With the Support
Communicating with your support is vital to ensure that you win your lane and maximize your farm. Communication overall is important in League of Legends and if we would like say that communication is one of the most vital tips for ADCs. The bot lane is the only dual lane and there’s a good reason for that. Your support needs to babysit you in order for you to be effective later on.
Earlier in this article, we talked about how you can create support / ADC to maximize the potential of the bot lane and really drive the enemy from the lane. Well, that isn’t possible if you can’t coordinate with your support.
That’s not all, in the early stages of the game, your communication needs to be on point with the jungler as well. They’ll be the ones ganking the lane and providing kill potential. Talk to them about when they should step out and gank the lane and make sure that the time they’re taking from farming to help you is well-worth it. Here’s a video from Counter Logic Gaming explaining the important of communication in a team.
Pick Your Target
This isn’t exactly one of the many tips for ADCs, it’s a tip for all roles even the supports. So, the thing is that there are a few heroes that can just sit in the back lines and go ham on everyone in a team fight. A good example of such a hero would be Caitlyn. Now, Caitlyn is really squishy and if you can grab her, she’s a pretty easy kill. However, if you ignore her and go after other enemy champions, she’s going to stand at one place and absolutely destroy your entire team.
This where you need to be smart about the folks that you attack in a team fight. Most supports will usually pick something tanky like Naut to extend the abilities of their squishy ADCs. And, they’ll sit in the front line just soaking up all that damage and not enabling you to reach the back lines and even touch their ADC. This is exactly what you have to prevent. Naut can’t do much damage on its own, so just ignore him and move to the back and take the fight to them. This is when the enemy takes the fight to you, if you’re the one moving up to their side, wrap around the team so you hit the enemy ADC first instead of facing their tanky allies. It’s pretty simple, take out their main damage dealer, and you’ll win the team fight.
Playing the Squishy Carry
If you’re the squishy carry that’s about to become the center of attention, then just back off. Stay alive at all costs or your team will lose the fight guaranteed. If the enemy team is chasing you, this puts them at a precarious position where they are surrounded by foes from all side. Get back and once your team initiates, return to the fight and ruin their hopes and dreams, pretty simple, right?
Wasting The Enemy’s Time
So, basically, there are two ways to get a gold advantage over someone. You can either farm faster and get more gold, or you could make them lose farm and you’ll be automatically be propelled to the top of the net worth chart.
The trick is to not give them kills even if you’re going to miss out on farm. You’re the ADC and you’ll be getting ganked often because the enemy team will want to make sure that you can’t snowball into the mid game and absolutely destroy. The enemy jungler will commit to ganks often and the support might also join in every now and then as well. This is the part where you have to stay alive at all cost. If there are too many people off the map at once, don’t hesitate to miss some farm and back off completely. If you’re sure that there are enemies hiding in the bushes, don’t be afraid to miss even a minute or two of farm because you’re wasting their time.
Sure, you, the ADC, is not farming at all. But, there are at least 2 and sometimes 3 people sitting in the bushes doing absolutely nothing. They’re just wasting time. You’re not farming but there are three people in the lane losing time at the same instance. This might not seem like a good tradeoff, but it really is. As we said earlier, making them sit in a lane without any kill potential will make them lose gold and your team will be getting a gold advantage.
However, a word of advice – Don’t stay hidden for over a minute or two. It’s very rare that the enemy ADC would participate in the early game ganks. Instead, they’d probably be farming their butts off in their lane. Sure, you’re wasting the time of three people, but there’s one person still farming as fast as possible to outfarm you. And, if the enemy ADC get’s a significant gold lead over you, then sir, you are very much screwed.
If they’re still sitting in that lane, just teleport to another lane and start farming there. Or you could go to the jungle for a few minutes. In our opinion, the jungle will make the enemy ganking party think that you’re still somewhere in the lane while you’re peacefully farming the jungle. This will continue to deceive them and take more and more of their precious time before they realize they just got played. You could go to another lane, but that will make the gankers immediately disperse knowing that their main target is gone. But, it will get you more gold than the jungle.
Plus it will still make them lose time because they either ran up, or teleported to gank you. In either scenarios, they wasted their time because they either walked there or are walking back to their lane. Yes, we used ‘waste’ and ‘time’ a lot in this tip for ADCs, but this a crucial mechanic of League of Legends. And, probably one of the most underrated ones out there.
Taking the Right Fights
The primary thing that differentiates a good carry from a bad one is the decision making. Every ADC in the game can get farm, buy a ton of items and win the game. But, a good ADC outsmarts the opponents and puts himself at a significant advantage by taking the right fights. This may seem like something easy, but trust us, this is complicated. There are two scenarios when you should take fights and we’ll go into great detail about both.
After the Fight is Over
The best time to fight for an early game ADC is when the fight is over. That’s right, your job in the early game isn’t to sit in the front lines. But, go directly into the back lines when the enemy is fleeing at low health. You can almost always catch one person if you position yourself correctly and place yourself between the enemy team and their base. If you can react quickly and have champions that can cover distance quickly like Kassadin with his Rift Walk , then you’re the perfect guy to get some late pickoffs. There are heroes like Twisted Fate with his Destiny and Ryze with his Realm Warp that can keep farming and when they see that there is a potential for a kill on a fleeing enemy, they can transition from farming to fighting and get at least one or maybe two kills. This does take some time but obviously, it’s well worth it. Killing gives more gold than farming waves.
No Chance of Dying
If you see that the enemy is taking a bad fight near a place on the map where you the advantage with the high ground and vision and, at the same time, they’re missing a couple of key cooldowns, then this is the perfect time for you to step in to the fight. Being at such a disadvantage and not even having their big team fighting abilities means that the enemy cannot get rid of you if you don’t put yourself in a really precarious position that costs you. Stay behind the top laner and try your best to get the kills.
The Right Target in a Team Fight
This point is slightly similar to the one where we talked about going for their main damage dealer first. But, sometimes, it’s not the damage you need to be careful of. There will be matches when an enemy team will create combos that completely screw up your team fight. A good example of such a combo would be the ultimates from Braum and Yasuo. Braum uses his Glacial Fissure and shortly after, Yasuo decimates anyone with his Last Breath . This combo is just pure cancer and if you get caught in his fissure, you’re dead.
In such cases, instead of going for the more squishy champion in the enemy lineup, you have to try your best to disrupt this combo. Braum can be quite tanky, so go for Yasuo and take him before he has a chance to drop everything on you, and make sure you keep Braum and Yasuo separated. It’s very likely that if you’re chasing one, the other will come after you and ruin you with the wombo combo. Tell your team that killing one of the two is the key to winning the team fight and it doesn’t matter how much damage Yasuo does, they can’t get caught in the two ultimates. If you can pick the right fights and get the right kill, you will win the fight. Do it enough times, and you’ll win the game.
Yes, the focus should be the main damage dealer, AKA the ADC. But, in some cases, the damage from the ADC isn’t the main concern. So, feel free to go after the person that’s the most effective in team fights and take them out.
Appreciate Your Support
Sure, this seems like a really cliché point. But, folks, please learn to appreciate your support. Just think, how do you feel when someone from your team says at the end of the game “Wp man, I’ll commend you”. That gives you butterflies in your stomach and you feel more confident in the next game. The same thing goes for support players but you need to appreciate their efforts during the game for them to play their role selflessly.
The thing is that there will be times when a support will need to die to save you, or give up the chance to get some gold for themselves and give it to you instead. If you’re a carry that’s been cursing the support for the whole game, they won’t do that. They won’t do exactly what the support role is supposed to do. They won’t ward, they won’t care about your farm, they won’t listen to your calls, they won’t help the team, and to sum everything up, they will make sure you lose the game.
The point to remember is that picking a support creates a false sense of achievement in a player that they deserve an award that they picked support. They think that picking Lux is good enough for them to deserve a commend. Sure, it’s nice that they’re thoughtful enough, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing something ground-breaking. There’s a support every game (well, almost every game) and you’re not doing anything special. But, at the same time, a simple thank you doesn’t hurt.
Every time the support makes a successful gank, say thanks. If you made some sort of play to save you, say thank you. If they die in the process, say that you’ll commend them. This will make them feel appreciated. Yes, we know this tip really sounds ridiculous. But, you’re welcome to experiment this in two matches. In the first, really abuse your teammate and in the second one, say thank you when it’s deserved. You’ll feel the PMA overflowing through your team.
Don’t Hesitate to Buy Support Items
Are you a carry that thinks that warding is only the job of the support? Sure, warding is the job of a support, but in certain cases, a support might not be able to get enough gold to ward effectively. Obviously, we all know supports die a lot. Sometimes, they could be at a point where they literally have no gold to ward. This is where you could help them out.
We really don’t know why carries feel like they’re allergic to warding. It’s a key aspect of every game and you could really help out your team if you have great farm. Carries don’t really think that it’s a waste of gold when they die because of dumb move, but when someone asks them to buy a ward, they’re offended. How does that even make sense?
This doesn’t just imply to the ADC, other laners can also buy wards for their own lane themselves. If you’re not the ADC, the support won’t come to your lane early game. The support will be babysitting the ADC so he can get good farm. So, instead of having the support waste time by walking all the way to your lane, the better option would be to purchase the ward yourself. This will let your support stay in their lane and help out the ADC. Look at the bigger picture, if the support is still beside the ADC, he has a much lesser chance of dying. But, if the support comes mid or top just to place a ward, the ADC could get picked off.
Understanding Early Levels and Powerspikes
This is another one of the tips for ADCs that is really unknown in lower ELOs of League of Legends. Players often underestimate the power of their champion when they’re a level above the other laner. But, if you can abuse the level, you could get a really easy early kill. For instance, if your jungler Lee Sin get level two, he’ll have his slow that could be the game-changer in a gank on the bot lane. If you can understand powerspikes and how to use them, we guarantee that you’ll see a rise in your MMR.
Getting Levels Quicker
Usually in the early game, ADCs just attack the minions to get last hits but if you have a champion that can abuse getting level two before the enemy laner, then don’t just rely on last hitting. Use your abilities and ask your support to get rid of the enemy minion wave as quickly as possible. Once you clear the wave and your own wave is still alive, you will get level two while the enemy carry will still be at level one. If you’re below platinum, the enemy laner won’t understand what just happened and how vulnerable he is right now. He won’t back off and you can quickly grab him and get a pickoff.
Countering Someone That’s Getting XP Quicker
If you have enemy laners pushing as hard and as fast to get level 2 quicker, then do the same. Try clearing the creeps at the same pace to ensure that you’re not at an XP deficit in comparison to the laner. But, if they have AOE abilities and can clear waves quicker, back off as soon as they get level two. Because of the fact that they were clearing your wave, their own wave wasn’t dying as quicker. They will probably have three or four minions from the last waves and this will push the lanes. Soon, there will be a huge wave under your tower and you can get close to them in XP really quickly. Even if you’re losing XP, make sure you don’t die. Dying is the worst case scenario and you won’t be able to catch up to the XP advantage the other laners have.
Kiting, or orb-walking, is a really complicated part of the game but crucial when you’re playing ranged ADCs. It’s not something everyone does in every game, but this list of tips for ADCs wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention this vital mechanic.
So, basically kiting is a movement that you make to stay at a safe distance from enemy carries while hitting them at the same time. You’re going to be auto attacking the carry, but at the same time, you’re going to be moving away from them. Kiting isn’t as important when you’re at full health, but if you’re at low health and an enemy is chasing you, you can easily kite them and kill them. This is a mechanical skill but there’s a psychological point involved too.
When you’re low health and starting hitting the other guy, he won’t back out. He’ll think he can get you that’s why he’ll dive towers too. That is where you can outplay them enormously. Keep hitting them and there’s going to be a point where the guy will think “Oh, shit I’m going to die”. He’ll turn back, you can turn back too. He’ll think he can finally close the distance and come to you, keep kiting and voila! that’s an easy kill.
Kiting against higher ELO players is sort of difficult because they know the extent of their hero and will be able to figure out if they can kill you or if it will be the other way around. But, in lower ELOs, this trick is pure gold. It takes a bit of practice to do successfully, but once you master it, you’re KDA is going to go up to the skies.
KS (Kill “Secured”)
You’re probably thinking, “Woah, I’m reading an article on tips for ADCs and there’s a tip labeled KS? Am I reading this right?” Yes, sir, you are reading it perfectly. We are going to be talking about stealing kills and yes, we are calling it a tip.
We don’t really think kill stealing needs to be defined since a teammates ks’ almost every pub game. But, if you’re intent on the dictionary definition, then kill stealing is when one champion does all the work and drops and enemy to low hp. But, another guy comes in, hits the enemy once and gets the kill, the gold and the stats. It sound like a retarded move, but if you’re the ADC, it works in everyone’s favor. Sure, you’ll have one angry teammate that’s threatening you to throw the game, but just bear with us.
A support getting a kill is completely useless, and if the support starts telling you all the stuff he’s done with your mother, just ignore the guy. You can do much more with the gold from the kill than he can. At higher ELOs, players literally set up kills for their ADC and ensure that he gets the last hit. So if you feel like you need to gold from the kill, ‘secure’ it.
But, if the midlaner is about to get the kill, you can still take it. A midlaner getting a kill means that the game hasn’t reached the 20-minute mark and you’re not completely online yet. But, this also means that in the next ten minutes, the midlaner is about to become utterly useless. If it’s really early in the game, let your midlaner get the kills, don’t steal them. But, if it’s the mid-game, make sure you’re getting the kills. No matter how good the guy is, the game is about to get out of his control soon, and you need the gold to bring it back in control. Your teammates won’t like you, but they won’t be complaining when they win the game.
While we’re on the topic of stealing kills, here’s a video of the old Evil Geniuses Squad talking about kill stealing.
We just can’t pressurize how important these tips are. As we said at the start, we analyzed some of the top carries in to world today. We analyzed their gameplay and found over a hundred things that they do differently. We short-listed fifteen and created this guide named tips for ADCs. Even we applied these tips and began a winning streak, that means you can do the same. Try these tips out and you’ll literally feel yourself becoming a better player.
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