Playing as a team, part three: stop farming the jungle!

Old Man Eyebrows here, back with some more fundamentals on team organization, or stuff that every player ought to know.

There’s laning, which has been covered in many ways, and then teamfighting, and then there’s the everything in between.

The everything in between part is hard for a lot of players to understand, especially when so many other players do not. What you need to do is herd them. This is a bit easier if you’re playing support or jungle. This article isn’t about how to get your team to not be retards, though, but rather how not to be retarded yourself.

There comes a point in most lw and average players’ games where someone in the game doesn’t know what the hell they should be doing. At this point, they go into “passive farm mode”, where they wander around the map farming. Jungle camps are especially popular as they are much safer, and people want to farm without being yelled at by their teammates.

The irony is they could just ward, as a single minion wave pays that off. What’s worse is that any player that goes into this mode must be forcibly reminded that there’s a game to win, and your team must be prepared to win teamfights and take turrets to win. So, you go, and no one comes, and then you think “fine, I’ll farm too then.” No no no.

Sometimes, though, there are teams that are always doing stuff together, and it matters more than any other factor in the game at all besides how well they get along. The team that is doing stuff together almost always beats the team where everyone is doing his own thing, without coordination.

The point of the game is to take objectives. It is not to get kills. Getting kills is often a requirement for taking objectives, but not always. It will always be a requirement of the game, but how many, who, and where are all optional. Taking objectives is always required to win the game, and the nature of it doesn’t change.

Mentally and Literally Focusing Objectives

Objectives, in order of importance, are: Nexus, Inhibitor/ Baron, Turrets / Dragon, Red / Blue Buffs.

Inhibitors are almost always more important than anything else. If you get a numbers advantage or a free opportunity to push, taking an inhibitor is always a safer bet than getting Baron, because getting an inhibitor is harder. Reasons:

  • With inhib first, you’ll have more money and a superwave pushing on their base.
  • With turrets, there is a 6th teammate for the defending team, whereas Baron it’s simply a 5v5. You can also set up superior vision after an ace because you can ward more easily.

Baron can be more important, if say, you already have two inhib turrets down, they’re split, and it’d be easier for them to group back to inhibs with their homeguard boots versus getting to the Baron, but these cases are obvious and generally  not the rule. If you get most of them and the people they have up are wave-clearers and they have high outside tower health, meaning you can get Baron but only an outside turret, well, fine. Baron > a single turret usually.

Think of it this way. If one team gets an inhib or two, and the other gets Baron, the team with Baron got 1,500 gold and a great buff, but they didn’t get something that is irreplaceable. The team that got the inhib(s) down will be defending against baron buff while they have super minions, and the Baron team just has the buff and an extra item or two.

Dragon is 1,000 gold, but his importance diminishes as the game goes on, whereas turrets do not. For this reasons, turrets are generally superior to dragon. If you can get a turret for a dragon, it’s usually at least an even trade, unless you could have easily contested it and you’re behind on turrets. 

Factors in favor of taking a turret for giving up a dragon:

  • Enemy team is good at defending turrets
  • Your team is poor at pushing and diving
  • The turret is a mid turret
  • You are behind on taking any turrets
  • The farther towards their base, the better; a nexus turret > inhib turret > outside turret > first turret
  • How much life the turret had at the beginning; a 100%-0% is clearly better than 500 health to 0
  • If you can get some damage on another turret afterward, making it, say, 1.3 turrets.
  • You are ahead in gold and you already got one or more dragons
  • Also consider how early in the game the tower is being given up, and how well its respective laner roams; a person who needs to farm lane needs to keep a tower up even more than someone who favors pushing and roaming

Factors in favor of giving up a turret for dragon are basically the opposite of the list above.

Reasons To Teamfight

Last week I discussed how to teamfight, but not when. Reasons for teamfighting are basically reduced to two categories, with two subcategories:

  • You are contesting an objective. Dragon or Baron Dance, or taking a structure.
  • Someone on the other team is out of position. The most obvious examples are when someone on the other team done goofed: a warding support, someone got hooked by one of the three hookers, someone got burst for a lot, someone is dead meat from an easy Zed ult.  In this instance, I mean actually out of position, not someone that is baiting you. The other instance is simply superior positioning and strength.

What do I mean by superior positioning? Ever see a good game where all ten people are moving so slightly,c onstantly, like bugs, chaotically? It’s for three possible reasons: wanting to initiate, wanting to avoid being initiated on, and wanting to be initiated on (i.e., you just hooked Renekton). All of these can be reduced to simply wanting to be in the best position at the start of the fight. The bruisers want to be in the front, blocking assassins and fed enemy bruisers, dealing as much aoe damage to the other team when possible, ccing the right people. The carry sits in the back, support sits by the carry, and the mid can go in, stay in between the other two groups, or hang in the back with the carry and support.

Disengage is reserved for fights that start off poorly or to assist someone who is almost dead. Poke is to ensure the fight starts off on better terms for your team through having more health.

The actual start of the fight usually happens by because of a simple  walk or dash into the other five by a bruiser, (i.e., Udyr stuns someone and both teams can’t disengage completely safely so they’re both all-in) or a cc ultimate. The other start is if someone on the other team makes a big mistake (again, gets hooked or otherwise separated from the team), so you commit to the fight because you already know you’re going to win via an awesome start. The other team will have to ditch and go 5v4 for objectives for 3x-5x seconds, or continue the fight under unfavorable conditions.

One more note on initiating, especially hard-initiating, from BillytheBanana over at Reddit. This was so well-written that I have to quote it: 

“As a rule of thumb, initiating is a cost. The resources (cooldowns, hp, etc.) used to force an engagement will generally only serve the purpose of initiating, while the defending team can use all their resources toward winning the fight. Additionally, the position of the team forcing the fight is highly restricted and predictable, since they must run toward the enemy while the enemy may retreat in any direction.

This cost can be worth paying for many reasons, for example if you catch a squishy out of position or if your team is far ahead in items/levels. A very common mistake in solo queue is to force a fight simply out of boredom or a lack of any better idea. If there is no compensation for the cost paid to initiate, the initiating team will usually lose the fight. This is one reason why objectives such as Dragon and Baron are vital. By going to an objective and threatening to take it, you can force the enemy team to pay the initiation cost.”

Ending the Game and Controlling the Map

To end the game, push. Other stuff comes up. Jungle brawls. Enemies you eat for free. Dragons and Barons. But really, you need to focus on pushing or at least making sure you have more lanes that are in push mode. Each lane, at any time, is set up to have minions getting to a turret. The ratio can be 3:0, 2:1, 1:2, or 0:3. Your ability to contest is weakened the farther down that scale you are. Postlane phase, lanes should not simply be viewed as farm sources so you can stay ahead in gold and then beat people up. It is also because minions matter when you’re pushing or contesting.

Think of how it is in lane. If you have ten minions on your side and he has three on his, it’s more favorable for you to fight him. Postlane, the pushing thing isn’t bad as you aren’t going to be denied minions anymore. On a map basis, that factor of the game is diminished. Extrapolate that to the entire map and its objectives, and you’ll understand the need to always have more lane pressure.

At high-level play, players grab the minion waves not to be greedy, but to defend the turret and set the lane to pushing superiority so they can safely ditch the lane. It is a chess game, 5 vs. 5, and the minions are the pawns. Prevent them from getting to the end as much as possible. Don’t stay in lane too long if you’re alone and it’s postlane. Group with someone and focus on an objective. Stop farming the jungle!

Best,

Old Man Eyebrows 

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Comments

  • #35 AAmras

    An article WORTH reading for everyone!

    I was reported (and lost) because I was defending lanes like my teammates said, then they blamed me if I was not with them and after that, when we aced them, our ADC didn't want to go for inhibitor, yet wanted Baron and we didn't have the pressure, so I was constantly defending and the team RAGED at me for being solo all the time (defending) and for yelling at them to go inhibitor.

    It should be a tip on the start of the game: "You can do Baron after inhibitor, the pressure is more valuable."

  • #34 AwesomeT07

    As beautiful as an article as this is as well as the other ones you've posted I feel like in the end it doesn't accomplish anything.  The people who peruse this site and care enough to read these well thought out articles and improve their game are already good in my books simply because they care enough to actually find a site like this.  I'm not the greatest at typing so I don't have time in every ranked game to spell out everything that my team should be doing and I'm convinced that at least 6-7 ppl in every game are complete garbage.  If there was a way to get the entire community to read these kinds of things the game would be a much better, less toxic environment, but I can't help but rage when people are to stupid to understand a game I could teach to an 8 year old.  Even if I could convey this information some people are just to stubborn to care and will continue to play however they want in game.  

  • #33 TehLlama42

    I wish I could literally beat this into the heads of some idiots I'm stuck playing with.  Multiple games, usually when I'm a top laner with teleport up or a beefy jungle Shen, I have the ability to split push and draw the attention of two opposing players (or rampage onto the inhibitors for free), and my teammates will simply start raging at me in all chat as they go about farming the jungle in isolated pockets without wards waiting to get caught out, while I'm off pressuring objectives and having to pick up an RSS or stack of wards as the principal damage dealer in order to create enough map pressure to keep us in the game, even though we've enjoyed a gold advantage the entire time.
    As far as selecting between an inhibitor or baron when behind (when ahead, I'll take the inhibitor every time, and turn that advantage into huge map presence to force an unfavorable fight on them) - just keep in mind that whatever advantage is conferred from the Baron buff, it's only temporary.  If your team lacks the organization to convert that buff into map control or a couple turrets, then I'm back to feeling that the inhibitor is worth more from the free pressure alone.

  • #24 Basinator

    What is meant by "initiating cost"? For instance, if Mumu pops his ult to initiate but this way the CC wears off before his team can use the full duration of it, the opposite of using it when you are already in a team fight?

  • #25 Glenhimself

    Exactly. Amumu would usually also be using his Q in order to initiate and his team might use abilities/items to follow up.

  • #31 jim1608

    Imagine the reaction time between Amumu's Q and Ult to your team's following up. If the enemy had jumped at you Amumu could just press R and your team would be able to use the snare time to deal free damage, whereas if you're initiating this time is wasted by your team to follow up. It's a "waste" of an Ult to ensure the enemy commits to the fight.

    This could also be a super aggressive Reginald-style Morgana: Q, Pool, flash ult and Zonhya's.

    You use most what you had, but you will either stun the whole enemy team or force a lot of flashes for disengage. So your cost (an ult, a flash and a zonhya) will pay off whether they decide to fight you or run away.

  • #21 Glenhimself

    Personally I fine this to be a very helpful article.

    I honestly didnt know how to correctly prioritize objectives later in the game and half of my teammates + opponents doesnt know it either. (This is around silver level of play - bronze is probably much worse)

    Many times I see that either team win a big teamfight, but then the team split up. Some want to do baron/dragon, some want to push mid lane, some want to push top or bot lane and some just want to get some free farm or a buff that just spawned. The right choice varies from every situation, so I dont blame people much for whatever they prioritize (unless it's farming the jungle).

    Though, teamwork is prefered...

    Let's assume that in a given situation after a teamfight the right choice might be to push a tower + inhib and pretty much seal the game, but 3 people are hellbend on doing baron instead. Following them to baron is probably the better choice and the reason is pretty simple:

    You havent got time to explain why inhib is more important and if the whole team split, then you might end up acheiving nothing. And worst case - the enemies respawn and intercept on the guys at baron for 3 kills and a baron steal.

  • #15 Saffuran

    This is a good read for anyone who feels like they, or their team, is stuck in limbo shortly after the conclusion of laning phase. Not enough people know what to do to start to really lock down games, educating yourself and preparing for all sorts of situations is almost as important as individual mechanical skill, because no plan means no coordination, and with bad coordination it is hard to win, much harder than it should be in many instances.

    Me for instance, when I try to call shots for my teams I'm more of a grinder than a big play guy, I will go for the safe objectives and I tend to try and avoid Baron dances when my team doesn't have the appropriate vision (how many times has your team ran blindly into the long river bush only to get completely bull rushed). I don't force Barons with 4 or more enemy team members up aside from very specific situations.

    For me, I can't trust teams to operate well in objective dances so I do my best to set it up so that we never go for a Baron BEFORE we have taken two inhibitors off of the enemy team, as two lanes being pushed in by super minions makes it really hard to contest anything out of base without taking significant nexus defense damage, and even still I like wards in the first bush by wraiths, one in the bush directly behind Baron, and a pink on Baron, just to all but secure the objective, and when I'm support I will have either used Oracles on all of the area or will have 3 pinks (baron, small river bush, winding river bush).

    If the enemy team rushes a Baron and my team is aware or has a good inkling my decision will vary based on how strong by comparison I believe we are, the health on Baron, and everyones location (can never count on everyone to not be jungle farming...) but most often I have to deal with limited vision. In most cases I have seen the most success in ignoring baron and having my teams bull rush midlane and forcing down 1-2 mid towers and inhibitor while the enemy team takes Baron, the gold usually evens out, and by being (hopefully) the first team to crack a bases defenses, you have an advantage in that the enemy base is already permanently exposed, the gold more than evens out, and there is no guarantee the enemy will be able to use Baron to do the same to you.

    One thing not emphasized in that article is one key point I would like to make. A vast majority of all of the action in League of Legends takes place in the mid lane, as such, the towers in mid (as everyone should know by now) are the most important as they expose the enemies jungle the most and deny the most valuable vision when brought down... HOWEVER, the mid inhibitor is the least valuable of the three inhibs, all of the action is going down the shortest lane, it's not hard for a team of 5 to blow down super minions and push on you regardless. The key to breaking an enemy team is taking either top or bot inhib, because then they MUST send someone to a side lane to account for the guaranteed push, this helps open up neutral objectives, force 4v5 teamfights, and more importantly, helps a team slow roll into the mid inhibitor for that complete pressure advantage.. I'd argue that it is much more plausible to take 2 towers from mid and a side lane, then roll to that side lane and take that last tower/inhib when able and parlay that into mid inhib tower and inhib, turning that into the safest Baron capture possible.

  • #14 Rewenger

    I honestly don't believe that inhibitor > Baron. Even if you add up inhib with 2 (!) turrets. When you got Baron buff, you can easily siege inner turrets and take them, forcing enemy to defend at inhibs. Baron most likely allows your team to free rob enemy jungle, gaining experience and gold advantage. The most cruical is that it gives huge edge in teamfights, giving you chance to still get that inhibitor.

    I can't count how many ranked games I've lost because teammates decided that turrets are more important than baron. Just because it's not always possible to get more benefical situations for taking objectives.

  • #16 Larvichee

    imo Inhibitors cannot be replaced easily, whereas Baron is 300 gold with a buff, that does not provide much defensive stats in an all-in.

    This is not to say Baron is useless, but an inhibitor is an invaluable advantage if your team is losing by 10k or more gold, whereas Baron would barely neutralise the advantage the enemy has. Your team can also roam the map and take any outside turrets as the super minions push into the enemy base, whereas Baron Buff can be fought against with support from a turret. The enemy is also likely to have to defend the base when super minions push in, allowing you to 4v5 under the enemy turret or slowly wear it down.

  • #20 Madderdin

    Quote from Larvichee »

    imo Inhibitors cannot be replaced easily, whereas Baron is 300 gold with a buff, that does not provide much defensive stats in an all-in.


    Baron buff in stats is worth around 5120 (if you dont know why, math below) gold for each player, this times 5 goes to 25600 gold lead for the duration of the buff.

     

    40 ap = blasting wand = 860
    40 ad ~ Bestfriend sword = 1650
    3% of health as regen/5 with 2000 health ~ 60/5 = 4 regrowth pendants = 1740
    1% of mana as manaregen/5 with 1000 mana ~ 10/5 = a meki pendant + a faerie charm = 570
    and lastly the 300 gold.

     

    So next time think again.

  • #23 Glenhimself

    Quote from Madderdin »

    Baron buff in stats is worth around 5120 (if you dont know why, math below) gold for each player, this times 5 goes to 25600 gold lead for the duration of the buff.

     

    40 ap = blasting wand = 860
    40 ad ~ Bestfriend sword = 1650
    3% of health as regen/5 with 2000 health ~ 60/5 = 4 regrowth pendants = 1740
    1% of mana as manaregen/5 with 1000 mana ~ 10/5 = a meki pendant + a faerie charm = 570
    and lastly the 300 gold.

     

    So next time think again.

    I'm pretty sure that what Larvichee ment was that surely you get all these stats, which can be calculated into a gold value, but you dont benifite fully from all the stats gained. I could surely stack AP and health regen on Miss Fortune or stack some AD on Ahri, but either wouldnt take me fare. And on a none-tank champion in a team fight you would usually be better off with 1000g worth of health than you would with 3000g worth of health regen.

    On the other hand you may have the option to take an inhib and maybe a tower. It's less gold, but all your lanes will be pushing harder for the next 5 minutes and you will achieve a lot more map control (which could open up for getting a free baron anyway).

    Last edited by Glenhimself on 4/17/2013 3:43:01 AM
  • #26 boomclap

    This is not a good representation of the buff. First of all, you're merely calculating for a level 18 buff. Next, the buff wears off after some time. You're basically lent a sum of money. Furthermore, an elixir of Brilliance covers the entire ap of baron buff at level 18 and costs a mere 250g (333g when adjusted to 4 minutes) and it even lasts through death and grants cdr. An elixir of fortitude gives up to 235 health and 10ad and costs 250g (soon 330g). I'd give the baron buff a stats value of 250g for the ap, 500g for the ad, and the value of the regens are dependent on how pokey/siegey your team is.

    Larchivee was correct in saying that an inhibitor gives a losing team a much greater advantage. 

  • #27 Kewadin

    Think of it this way. Why is it that you are taking Baron? What, ultimately, is the goal of taking baron? He is a neutral monster. He is an objective, but killing baron does not end the game. The act of killing baron, by itself, does not get you any closer to ending the game. The way you end the game is by killing the nexus. The way you kill the nexus is by killing turrets and inhibitors. If you have the choice of killing baron or killing inhibitors, to me, the choice is always inhibitors, because that means you're actually making progress towards ending the game. Many times teams pick up baron so that they can siege towers and get inhibitors. If you can siege towers and get inhibitors without baron, then what is the point?

    I've seen cases where trading a baron to the enemy team for an inhibitor (specifically bottom inhib) can cause your team to get the next baron as well. The enemy team now has to defend their base while they should be pushing into yours with the buff that is supposed to help them take your base.

  • #28 Madderdin

    Quote from boomclap »

    This is not a good representation of the buff. First of all, you're merely calculating for a level 18 buff. Next, the buff wears off after some time. You're basically lent a sum of money. Furthermore, an elixir of Brilliance covers the entire ap of baron buff at level 18 and costs a mere 250g (333g when adjusted to 4 minutes) and it even lasts through death and grants cdr. An elixir of fortitude gives up to 235 health and 10ad and costs 250g (soon 330g). I'd give the baron buff a stats value of 250g for the ap, 500g for the ad, and the value of the regens are dependent on how pokey/siegey your team is.

    Larchivee was correct in saying that an inhibitor gives a losing team a much greater advantage. 

    You are so funny, did you also criticise the article on reignofgaming that calculated those stats? Or do you have balls only to criticise some random person over the internet?

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