Hello and welcome to A DIFFerent View. Today I will be talking about the map recently available known as The Proving Grounds. The Proving Grounds was redesigned from the old tutorial map into a single lane map that is now available to play custom games in. It is very fun to play on whether blind pick, draft mode, or all random. Over the last week or so I have been playing on it a lot on the Public Beta Environment and have been winning about 9 out of every 10 games I play on it, so I figure I should pass down some advice on playing in The Proving Grounds.
Getting to Know the Map
The Proving Grounds is a single lane map where each team has 4 turrets (2 of which guard the Nexus) and an Inhibitor. Similar to Dominion, you will start with 1375 gold and have an increased gold and experience gain.
As seen in the image above this 1375 gold can allow for some interesting starting options. You also start out at level 3 meaning certain champions with multiple spells that are strong in the all mid format are now even stronger. Minions also spawn at 1:00 into the game, and there is limited shopping as well as no regeneration of stats from the fountain, meaning a Maokai or Kassadin asking for their teammates to spam spells may not always be beneficial (their spells will stack soon enough anyways).
Now this is the center of the map. As you can see there is some interesting brushes that can lead to fatal facechecks in the beginning of the game. Minions spawn every 30 seconds as they normally would in Summoner's Rift, and as far as I know their stats are also equivalent.
Also similar to Dominion, there are Health Relics. There are 4 on the map and they begin to spawn at about 3:10. These can help you recover your health and mana seeing you can't recall and walking back to the base is useless as it doesn't heal you. However, be careful going all in for health relics as I've seen a lot of people die trying to grab them as they are just barely out of turret range.
Also like Dominion there is an Aura applied to every champion. It increases your mana regeneration, let's you slowly gain experience passively, and reduced healing by 20%. For this reason I highly advise against taking Heal or Clarity. You really shouldn't have mana issue, and if you do you can itemize accordingly with a high amount of gold given to you. And Heal is already a pretty weak summoner spell at the moment, reducing it by 20% just making Ignite an almost completely better option in my opinion. Or even better the new spell Barrier.
Riot really wanted to make sure people couldn't cheat at ARAM on this map. The Shopkeeper won't even let his own grandson buy new items until he dies in battle. Maybe if he wasn't disguised as a panda he could have permissions.
It looks like Teemo only has one option if he wants some snazzy new items...
If you have a high amount of gold and you've aced the enemy team. Wait about 10 seconds and try to execute yourself as a free to shop.
Also be careful because the tower range on this map seems exceptionally long. I don't think they've increase the tower range but I think they left it untouched while making the map smaller. Therefore in comparison they range is much longer, especially once the tower has already targeted you. Melees with 175 range can be struck by the two towers while hitting an inhibitor from the back side.
Once you get an inhibitor the super minions will help tremendously as some teams won't have easy ways of killing them.
Barrier is a new summoner spell added specifically for The Proving Grounds. It gives your champion a self shield of 100 + 25 per a level. It is very useful especially because it has such a low cooldown (125 seconds).
I think Barrier is an awesome option for the Proving Grounds but I've been having better luck with Flash Ignite (I will explain later).
Here's what it looks like in game. I see a lot of people use this spell horribly so make sure you use it before you actually take damage. The amount of times I've seen people get away with less than 100 health and then randomly use barrier once they are safe is ridiculous. In my opinion use it when you are initiating because you are almost certainly going to take damage if you are jumping into the enemy team.
How to Succeed in ARAM
As I said previously I have about a 90% win rate playing All Random on The Proving Grounds. Now these are custom games so I don't take too much pride in that fact, but it's still nice and I can find ways to take my experiences from these games to real match-made games.
If you want to have success like this there are some simple steps you should follow for ARAM.
- Dodge skillshots. This is very important because most of the poking abilities in ARAM are skillshots. The best way to avoid them is to start out with Boots of Speed if not an upgraded version of the item. Sure it may sound cool to start with a Catalyst, Phage, or Hextech Revolver, but having a bonus 50 movespeed allows you to have a lot more control of your position.
- Be familiar with all of the champions. This is usually a random format, you may get a champion you don't understand how to play. Instead of dodging take this as an opportunity to practice that champion and get a feel for their damage output. One thing I do take pride in is my ability to play almost every champion semi-decently which is part of why I excel at ARAMs. In my opinion, no champion is bad in this mode of ARAM, they can all get good gold and can excel in different ways. The more knowledge you have of various champions, the more prepared you will be to play as them, with them, or against them.
- Gold per 10 items are your friends. I wouldn't necessarily purchase items like Heart of Gold or Philosopher's Stone on every champion, but I do a lot of the time. They ensure that you will have strong items later, and this game gives you so much extra gold that you can usually have 3 gold items before 10 minutes.
- Mages with mana problems love Athene's Unholy Grail. Athene's Unholy Grail is probably one of the strongest items on this map. You never have to fear running out of mana with this item. Not to mention is usually allows you to start out of Chalice of Harmony which helps you reduce the magic damage that most of the poke will end up being.
- Go Ham. This game is meant to be a fun format, and I don't know about you, but diving in and picking up a kill or two and then dying sounds like fun to me. This is why I take Flash Ignite every game, because people can't recall, they will often be at low health in the back lines. Press tab and check if they have Heal or Barrier, and then Flash in and kill them. You can usually cause a bloody mess and people really won't expect it too often. Plus, dying is the only way to shop in this game so it helps you out as well. Sometimes it completely catches people off guard and it can also cause a good initiation for your team. I've gotten an 11 minute pentakill as Nasus and without some Ham I never would have achieved such a thing.
I am really glad Riot added this map to custom games and made some proper adjustments to it. I will probably be playing a lot more ARAM now because of it. The biggest problem with ARAM previously were the trolls that were cheating in it, now that this map is cheat proof it is just a much greater experience playing on it. And remember, don't rage at your teammates, people don't care about a custom game loss in your match history, but 4-9 other people do care when you're being a jerk. Thank you for reading.