I'm Gentleman Gustaf, and welcome to Reign of Gaming! Regular readers will know that I tend to focus on giving information, not telling you how to play. Occasionally, I will find a mathematical advantage so strong I will advocate it as THE choice, but typically I like to accentuate the reasons to make a given choice. However, in this post (and the series I hope to build out of it), I hope to sum up the basics of the game in an easy-to-read set of posts, aimed primarily at newer summoners (those new to the game up until level 30), as well as aimed at summoners who don't watch streams or have significant exposure to the standard meta. I'm going to start this post off by talking about gold, where you can get it, and how it affects the game.
First off, once again, here is this article in video form:
The ultimate objective of the game is to destroy the enemy team's Nexus. However, to do so, you have to complete a whole host of mandatory objectives:
- For the Nexus to targetable for damage, both Nexus Turrets must be destroyed. Furthermore, at least one inhibitor must currently be disabled.
- At least one enemy inhibitor must currently be disabled for the Nexus Turrets to be targetable for damage.
- The corresponding (top/mid/bot) inhibitor turret must be destroyed for the inhibitor to be targetable for damage.
- The corresponding (top/mid/bot) inner turret must be destroyed for the inhibitor turret to be targetable for damage.
- The corresponding (top/mid/bot) outer turret must be destroyed for the inner turret to be targetable for damage.
Congratulations! You now know how to win a game of League of Legends in which you have 0 opponents! Just stand in one lane and auto-attack down it (spamming your most damaging abilities onto minions as needed, to speed pushing).
But in reality, the enemy team is going to try to stop you from getting the towers. So how do you typically win the game? Well, at some point, you have to kill them or force them back from the tower. And how do you do that? Typically, the player with the most gold in items is going to have the most combat strength, and as such, be the most able to win. So what are the gold sources?
Everybody gains 16 gold every 10 seconds, or 48 gold every 30 seconds
In addition, you can gain additional sources of passive gold:
Avarice Blade - 3 gold/10 seconds + 2 gold/unit killed
Kage's Lucky Pick - 4 gold/10 seconds
Philosopher's Stone - 5 gold/10 seconds
Greed - .5 gold/10 seconds per point (up to 4 points, or 2 gold/10 seconds)
Quintessences - 1 gold/10 seconds
Seals - .25 gold/10 seconds (up to 9, or 2.25 gold/10 seconds)
Combining all of these gold options, you get 99.75 gold/30 seconds
There are three lanes, and each lane spawns a wave of minions every 30 seconds. A wave consists of:
- 3 melee minions
Gold value - 20 + .5*minute/3
- 3 ranged minions
Gold value - 15 + .5*minute/3
- In addition, every third wave has a siege minion (and every other wave, post-35 minutes).
Gold value - 40 + minute/3
In total, this means that the flow of minion gold is approximately (118 + 3.333 gold/3 minutes)/30 seconds
So at the beginning of the game, a laner can get up to 118 gold every 30 seconds (higher by 20 than every passive gold source in the game combined), just from minions. And of course, this is just for comparison; nothing stops a laner from getting some of these passive gold sources (and every laner will have at least the 48gold/30 seconds from base passive gold).
The jungler has his own 'minions' to clear.
Gold value - 63 + .81/min
Gold value - 70 + 1.03/min
39 + .88/min
One clear gives you about 172 gold, plus an additional 3-ish gold every minute
Champions are worth an amount of gold that is inherently anti-snowbally. The base gold value for a champion is 300 gold. However, if the champion has a 1-kill spree, he is worth 360. With 2 kills, he becomes worth 432, and the third kill ups the bounty gold to 500. On the other hand, deaths bring your gold value down: 300->261->183->128->90->63->44->32->21->15. This means if you kill your lane opponent and he comes back and kills you, he's 60 gold ahead, ceteris paribus. So if you kill somebody and you're low on health, GO BACK.
But what's interesting about these numbers is the following: If you last-hit all of the minions, you get the gold equivalent of a kill per minute and a half (that's 20 kills in a 30 minute game). On top of that, the value of kills continually will decrease with previous kills, while the value of minions only goes up. This is why last-hitting is far more important than getting kills. If you miss out on a last-hitting harassing and going for kills, and the kill attempt fails, you are just behind. Worse, if their jungler shows up, or they outplay you, not only have they killed you or forced you to back (causing you to miss minion gold), but they are already ahead of you in gold from CSing properly. This is why it's often better to let a low-health opponent stay in lane. If you dive them and try to kill them, you risk a counter-gank or getting outplayed (or just killed by the tower), and losing your advantage. If you just continue to zone them, you still gain part of the advantage of a kill: they can't kill minions.
Turrets give 150 gold to every member of your team, or 750 gold. For comparison, if each laner clears 1 wave (354-ish), and the jungler does a full-clear (172 gold), you get 526 (plus a little for how late in the game it is). So even if your team has to drop EVERYTHING they're doing to get a turret, the gold it gives you is worthwhile. And odds are, if you're pushing down a tower, you're getting at least the minion gold for that wave (118).
Dragons give 190 gold to every member of your team, or 950 gold. This means, given the above numbers, dragon is worth about a full minute of laning and clearing. Not to mention the fact that by taking dragon, you deny the other team the opportunity to do so.
Baron gives 300 gold to every member of your team, or 1500 gold. And a huge buff. It's pretty awesome. You also deny the other team the opportunity to take it by taking it.
Wards give 25 gold! This means that killing 1 ward every 50 seconds gives you about as much gold as a Philosopher's Stone! This also means that, if you know where an enemy ward is, it's pretty much always worth it to get a pink ward over a green ward, no matter who you are in what lane. You deny them vision, and you make up 25 gold of the 50 gold diference.
Per Kill abilities/items
Avarice Blade - (this means you have to kill 1.5 minions every wave to equal Kage's Lucky Pick, and 3 minions every wave to equal Philosopher's Stone) If you kill 12 minions/minute, or 2 minions/10seconds, Avarice Blade effectively gives you a total of 7 gold/10 seconds (3 passively, and 4 from minions). Is Bankplank back?
Ashe - Each point of Hawkshot gives you 1 gold/minion kill. If you kill 12 minions/minute, or 2 minions/10 seconds, each point in Hawkshot effectively gives you 2gold/10seconds. 2 points is like having a Kage's Lucky Pick. 5 points in Hawkshot gives you 10 gold/10seconds. For comparison, a support with Gold Quints, Greed, and Philo Stone gets 10gold/10seconds from those three things.
Gangplank - Parley gives you 4/5/6/7/8 bonus gold if it lands the killing blow. Its cooldown is 5 seconds, which is basically enough to Q every minion in a wave except when cannon creeps show up, for 24/30/36/42/48 bonus gold/30 seconds. That's as much as people normally get from passive gold. Woah.
Twisted Fate - Twisted's Fate's passive is 2 points in hawkshot for every laner and your jungler. That's 12gold/10 seconds for laners and 4.5 gold/10 seconds for your jungler, for a total of 16.5 gold/10 seconds.
Focusing on objectives and minions is a better, more consistent source of gold than going for kills. Why?
- Getting more kills increases the value the other team gets from killing you, while minions do not.
- You can zone somebody without killing them and still get ahead, without the risk of trying to dive them for a kill.
- On top of that, if they are low, they can't contest objectives like towers or dragon.
- There is a LOT of gold to be had from minions.
For more of my work:
-- Find old posts @ the RoG forums and new posts every Wednesday (3 PM) and Sunday (9 AM).
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