The entire early game, a situation where we all hate each other.

Hashinshin talks about the early game! Or, a lack of trying leads to defeat!

So currently the thing that annoys me most is the fact that the early game seems to be this entire .... well lets call it a catastrophe right now. Junglers have powercreeped out of control, sustain is nearly nonexistent, and there's this terrible terrible damaging mindset out there that the first 15 minutes of a match don't matter. Well, I guess the general perception right now is it doesn't matter beyond people feeding. Junglers have gotten a mentality that they don't have to do anything but farm and that ganks are bonus bucks. Mids have gotten the mentality that they never need to go ganking and people should just listen to MIAs. Tops will often never come down for dragons or to 4 man gank bot.  I don't know how the game got messed up so bad but I think it's really time to sit down and talk about what exactly has gone wrong with this game. 

Let me just start with this laziness that has developed.

I don't know WHY this developed but it's as if people think the first 15 minutes are just the prologue for the real game. As if the game is still loading for 15 minutes and we're all just buying gear and doing last hitting checks to see who starts the game with what gear. I guess the first 15 minutes have just turned in to a slightly more complex whack-a-mole game? I see this way too often. Junglers who feel it's not their job to gank, as if everyone should just never die because they're farming. That doesn't make sense so don't tell me, I KNOW it doesn't make sense. I mean lets just do a reasonable thought process. Just HOW BAD would their jungler have to be to NEVER get a kill after ganking 5 times? If the first gank doesn't work it often leaves you down multiple health potions getting seriously behind. I'll get in to this later in the sustain section so stay tuned.

Junglers really are the worst at this. Do you know how many games are won or lost because of a good/bad jungler? If their jungler ganks top, then mid, then top, then mid, then bot... by all rights his team SHOULD win. That's simply how the game works, you try harder and you win. If a lane snowballing it's often too late to impact the lane. Their laner can easily afford to buy wards and is tankier because of more gold/levels. Your top is less damaging and squishier because of less gold/wards. What does that mean? It's harder to play catch up because your ganks are significantly harder, where as their jungler's ganks will be way easy because of the previously mentioned. This isn't some elaborate science here. If you farm while they gank the game WILL be harder to win. Junglers always think you should just avoid ganks, but, if their ganks always failed they'd be a pretty terrible jungler.

Now lets move on to the other people. Mids have the chance to play as a sort of backup ganker role, and can double up with the jungler to pull off those 2 man ganks that nearly always ensure kills. Mids can easily cover for a bad jungler and make sure that their team still wins by ganking pushed lanes or people low on HP on their turret. It really doesn't make sense to me that mid players hate ganking these days because APs are mid in order to make sure they can gank both lanes the easiest. That's WHY AP started going mid, to gank the easiest. It's like giving the best seat in the stadium to a basketball enthusiast for him to just read the newspaper during the game instead. We gave you this damn seat because you said you wanted to gank! SO GANK, GANK! Just press Q over the creep wave Ahri then use that ridiculous ultimate of yours to go free kill a lane. Your win rates just went up to 60%. Every gank is another compounding 10%. 

Top laners are the worst off, and I can say this as a top laner myself. We can't farm at turret like mid, and can't chain ward everything at level 1 like bot can. We're often melee, separated from our team, and the game way too often develops in to a 1v2. Jungler is part of top lane for the first 10 minutes yet jungle often goes on a smoke break and leaves us off to ourselves, then bitches if we die to ganks. Well shit I guess by gank #3 its gotta work. However, I've found one of the best ways to win a game is just to push your lane in to their turret then leave (that part is important!) to go gank the crap out of other lanes. Notably Jarvan 4 I have huge wins on because I just say screw it top can't be won then use my ultimate to gank mid. Mid gets a kill, pushes in, then says HEY I'mma gank bot! Now we gank their mid, our mid ganks their bot, and hell we're gonna win this game. I could've just stayed top trying to be a hero and get chain ganked in a losing battle but instead sneaking off to mid is often the best approach. You don't HAVE to stay in lane till you take their turret, I often recommend against it. 

Okay so lets go in to this whole top vs. jungler situation. 

For all rational reasons top is a 2v2 lane where one of the 2 goes off in the jungle to farm to get the team more experience and gold. The problem is when the jungler decides he has no obligations to top and goes off to farm till 15 minutes. Their jungler is more often than not going to remember he's a part of top lane and kill the crap out of your top laner. Why? Because it's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy! Top is often melee, with no ward, on a long lane that can't hide on turret. What do you think happens when a jungler comes to gank? With brush being so ridiculous and junglers being so powercreeped there often is just no way to survive a gank. What's worse is most junglers can be level 2 when top is level 1. How many people take their escapes at level 1? I guess what I'm saying is the problem is that top lane is just uber gankable and a snowball lane to boot and yet junglers often feel they have no obligation to their lane and it's not their fault they they were playing farmville for 10 minutes while their jungler participated in a PvP game. 

Junglers and tops are really just in an unsolvable dispute right now where we hate the ever living shit out of each other right now. Junglers just want to sit and farm their double GP5 for 10 minutes, and top wants them to actually come and be a part of the game. Junglers hate it when top dies, top hates it when junglers don't participate. Does this sound biased? It should because I HATE JUNGLERS (lately.) Talking with pretty much every top lane has confirmed my belief that top laners just can not stand how prissy junglers have become, and how they act like doing their job is somehow a bonus to the top laner. Oh godly jungler please bestow apon me you doing your job such that I may actually play this game rather than the 1v2 get-screwed-fest that occurs every other game. And don't white knight junglers. We all know that you shouldn't be spending 10 freaking minutes farming. That's half of a Starcraft match. Do Starcraft players spend 10 minutes farming up until they fight? Hell no they fight tooth and claw the entire game desperately trying to scratch out a victory from their opponent's eyes. Why can't we hold junglers to the same reasonable standards? 

And now for the "something bad happened someone is clearly at fault!" 

A lot of what I'm talking about just comes down to the perception that everything has to be somebody's fault, that nothing can just be a good play and must instead be an error from your team. When aa SCV dies to the first few zerglings, or 2 marines die in an amazing dropship play does the Terran player complain his units are throwing? In every sport the opposition will get points eventually (except in baseball, so exciting.) You can't just fault people for natural things occurring. Simply put if a zerg player bashes his face against a Terran player enough things WILL DIE and you just have to accept that. Likewise if a jungler ganks the mid multiple times you are bound to get a kill. It's not mids fault, it's just a game and things HAVE to happen eventually. If mid and jungler conspire to do an amazing 4 man bot dive is that somehow now bot's fault? It's not their fault, it's the opponents playing well. Man it'd be like if Jordan just walked out the first time his team was scored on because "screw you fails you let them score!"

Time is a very valuable resource in a game like this, and investing your time in to ganks will eventually yield results. You have to ask yourself, what did I accomplish while my opponent went ganking? As a top laner this is often the most simple thing as your opponent going ganking or getting a dragon pretty much always means you get top turret in exchange. This is an accepted trade that's pretty much just a preset game objective. Mid and junglers though have to decide what to do with their time without a clear preset objective in mind. I always take turret, that's my thing. When I'm a jungler and their jungler is ganking what am I doing? Am I counterjungling? Counter ganking? Maybe I'm sneaking in a dragon. I don't know, nobody told me what to do. The real horror is that farming has become the preset objective for these two people when it's the worst thing to accomplish.

My point is, in summation of this section, is that you need to build a go-too objective in your mind that you will actively be working towards to accomplish. Jungle players need to ALWAYS have in their mind "I want to get a kill" or "I want to get that dragon." Then you need to actively work towards it. You can easily achieve the kill objective by just chain ganking. Don't be afraid of turrets. A 1/2 half enemy in a turret is easy meat to a jungler that bought ninja tabi, even at level 4 you can gank 4-5 shots while your ally wraps things up. Mids you need to think how you're going to achieve ganking. You have to get your lane pushed, be observant, and save your cooldowns for the kills.
When you're trying to build a birdhouse you don't just sand the wood for 9 hours hoping eventually somebody else will come and build it for you. 

Which is weird to me because so many people insist they can't carry their team yet they never even TRIED to carry, they just farmed and hoped to get carried instead. 

Why would people have a fear of action?  

The few times it fails to be proactive people get terrified and remember that it went bad that one time. White has a 54% win rate in chess. Nobody loses once as white and goes "oh this is hopeless I'm going to go play black!" Hell no. Sure sometimes it fails. Sometimes EVERYTHING fails. You can't always win, you simply can't, stop expecting to. Work towards what wins the most and go from there. Being proactive wins. Being reactive doesn't often win. Don't let yourself be conditioned in to free farming because if you do nothing at all you can't do anything wrong. Doing nothing at all IS wrong. Don't fall in to the pit of despair that stops you from acting. Realize that everything is a percent, and increase your percent at victory. If this was a rollar skating race you'd have to start thinking how to get rockets in your skates.

Doing nothing at all IS doing something wrong.

Trying to gank mid as a top laner for the first time? Okay trial 1 didn't go so well, you were spotted by a ward and accomplished only wasting time. Go on to trial 2. Figure out how to do what you just did, but do it better. Get Groundhogs day up in this bitch. Don't be the fat kid that tries to reach down for his favorite CD and when you fail to pick it up just never listen to the band again. The old saying "what do you do when you fall off the horse?" Well perhaps we should have used HAMMERS when telling children that so it would POUND in to their head. It's some sort of lost message that a single failure isn't the end of the world. Do everything one step better than you did it before, fail a little bit less each time until you aren't failing at all.

Play to win, not merely to not lose the game.

What you should take away from this post is that I want people to start getting back that lust for glory, and lose their complacency in defeat. Losing the game because "your teammates fed" is an acceptable excuse sometimes, but by sometimes I don't mean EVERY GOD DAMN GAME. DO something. Get off your ass, stop farming, and realize that farming for 20 minutes is not an acceptable way to play this game. Yes sometimes farming DOES work, but it is not the correct answer to every situation. I want you to try to win, try to WIN. I don't know how I can say it any better. Farming is merely trying not to lose. You won't read any inspirational books by olympic runners titled "how I didn't lose!" You're going to read "how I kicked ass and won the everything in the world!" That's what I want you to do, go out there and kick all the ass. 

follow me on twitter @hashinshin

You know I gotta blame the entire attitude of the playerbase for this early game. It seems we all strive for perfection and when we can't reach it we resign ourselves to doing nothing at all, because if we can't find perfection then we just never look for it again. 



  • #73 Nizbel

    This whole article doesn't work because it assumes that the enemy team is always doing what you should be doing?

    It's like "the meta sucks because of this!"
    "We never play aggressively , hence the enemy team can win with aggressive play!"

    The Meta-game applies to both teams in order for it to be a meta. You can just say that you keep on losing because your team is too passive because of the meta. Than why isn't the "winning" enemy team at the same spot of you guys.

  • #74 MerryLane

    I wouldn't say that, tho it's partially true and that I get your point.

    Let's rather say that in the actual meta, some team comps are more oriented towards :
    -early game
    -pushing tower

    It's an exageration and it's the champions picked and the synergies that orient a team towards this or this trend, or so.
    And here we sorta said that the "trends" were some rock, paper, cissor game. (it is waaaaay more complicated than that but it's the idea)

    The thing is, it's pretty difficult before a game, to tell than paper beats rock or sth, during the matchmaking, and a huge part of the competitive game is trying to guess which is the rock at the moment, which would be the paper, and which would be the cissor, or at least way more difficult to picture this out before the game is over and that we have all the time of the world to discuss why this worked and this didn't.

    This is why this article is awesome, because it enlights this strategic and proactive part of the competitive league of legends game.

    Last edited by MerryLane: 8/7/2012 5:35:17 PM
  • #68 Parusa

    If you farm while they gank the game WILL be harder to win. Junglers always think you should just avoid ganks, but, if their ganks always failed they'd be a pretty terrible jungler.

    Even after reading the whole article I still disagree with this. If the laners are as skilled as the enemy jungler, why should they get killed so easily? You are making it sound as if it's not the top laner's fault if they overextend without vision and get killed, because hey, nothing you can do about ganks right?. I personally think that's a terrible attitude to have.

    If you told the enemy you were coming to gank them in /all chat, would you expect the gank to be successful? Ofcourse not. So why should a gank against a warded lane with an opponent that's not overextending work out?

    The way I see it, ganks are about punishing the opponent for mistakes, if they don't make any, it's hard to punish them. I play both roles and I never count on my jungler to help me win the lane for me. If the enemy jungler comes to my lane and they manage to kill me it's because I wasn't paying enough attention or being careless, not because ganks are just so easy.


  • #69 Hashinshin

    you're at 1/2 HP under turret. A jungler with ninja tabi comes to gank. Eat jungler's CC. Eat laner's CC. Jungler gets out of turret. Laner gets 3 turret shots then leaves after you die. 

  • #70 Parusa

    A dive really isn't as insurmountable as many people make it out to be. Players are there to protect the turret, not the other way around. I see this a lot in games: people get killed and then say "they killed me under turret, nothing I could do". Thing is, if you know the jungler is there, you can simply choose to back off from the turret and not get killed. If you didn't know the jungler was sitting in that bush waiting to jump you, then props to jungler, he punished you for being careless.

    Bottom line, if you die to something that you expected to happen you made an error of judgement, and there are no excuses for those.

  • #75 PartyMagier

    that depends 100% on what character you are, if you are full equip tank, with full dmg items, who cares that you are at 1/2 hp ^^

  • #72 Waaargh

    Quote from Parusa»

    Even after reading the whole article I still disagree with this. If the laners are as skilled as the enemy jungler, why should they get killed so easily? 

    Pressure them more. Try to zone them even with help from jungler. If they dont make mistakes at least hold them off.

    If you told the enemy you were coming to gank them in /all chat, would you expect the gank to be successful? Ofcourse not. So why should a gank against a warded lane with an opponent that's not overextending work out?

    If he backs off every time you come, you should get something to reveal his ward, and then remove it and decide to stay or head back to jungle and came around a little later.

    The way I see it, ganks are about punishing the opponent for mistakes, if they don't make any, it's hard to punish them. I play both roles and I never count on my jungler to help me win the lane for me. If the enemy jungler comes to my lane and they manage to kill me it's because I wasn't paying enough attention or being careless, not because ganks are just so easy.

    We agree here. But to come with a scenario where your top should win see this:

    I have thought about seeing the solotop and jungler sort of like Hashy describes, like a duo. In that case you can easily measure them against the other team. So if you can hold their solo toplane from farm, at the cost of your jungle having little farm, and your toplaner having far better farm than the opposing jungler. Then won't you have succeeded in coming ahead in the early game? Say Naut or Nunu as jungler, they can camp top lane with the intention of keeping the opposing toplane starving. Once in a while they go to farm wolves/double golems and wraiths.

    I better try this with a partner, where I play Nunu. Consume and Ice Blast :)


  • #67 QuexFehftir

    The only downside of this being posted in a place like this, is that all the idiots who have no idea will most likely never read it. Whether you are for or against this post, the information is quite valuable. I just hope that eventually information gets spread around to the point that it becomes common knowledge. It's easy to communicate to a team not to count on ganks til (xlevel) meaning a good time. It helps if you know how the jungler you have on your team works as well, but communication is the most important part. Normally it's pretty obvious when to gank a lane though, and sometimes you just run into those players that do not know how to jungle properly. Honestly playing the jungle is like the early game carry, sort of the reverse of the late game carry. Jungling is tough to do properly, and if possible probably not something that you should leave to someone on your team who is the 4th/5th pick, especially in lower elos.

  • #66 jieweipang
    So I understand where you're coming from, but it is not completely each player's fault. Once you start playing, there is this ridiculous mindset where top must be a bruiser, middle must be an AP carry, one person must jungle, and bot lane MUST have one ad ranged carry that takes all the creep kills together with a support that takes nothing.
    League of legends is based off of a previous game, which has claimed its own title, DoTA. I mean it was a huge improvement in the graphics, the new approach of a younger group of players, and a new way to keep money coming, but some minor changes have made this real change in the overall picture of the goals of the game. Champions in league of legends are HIGHLY dependent on gold, if you DO NOT have your items, your skills do 0 damage. If the jungler has no items, he isn't tank enough because more often than not, the jungler is the ONLY person on the team that builds any tank items while the supports, even if it is an alistar, HE'S SQUISH.
    So lets start out with the minor changes, what are they exactly?
    1. Well it branched off from having a large map to something slightly smaller with a lot less area to gank because there are fewer paths you can possibly take.
    2. The "runes" that are found in DoTA, were removed. The big problem here is that there is no constant reason to leave your lane now. In DoTA, you would ward the river constantly so you can get the edge for that one minute of, Yes I got a speed boost! or double damage, etc. This would give the mid lane, or jungler if they take it, to gank because they have the advantage. In DoTA the advantage wasn't great enough to be overpowered while ganking, but it would get people to start MOVING.
    3. There are no summoner spells in DoTA. A level one having a flash skill? this GREATLY decreases your chances of having a successful gank. The only item in DoTA similar to this was that flash item, but it takes up a slot in your inventory AND it costs what, 2.1k gold? This turns down people to getting it because it gives no stats what-so-ever.
    4. The amount of HP you get every time you level up is WAY higher. A support can end up with a base of 2k hp! Seriously? In DoTA, supports can end up level 18 with what, 900 hp? 1.2? MAX.
    5. Supports are completly different. In DoTA, supports can kill by themselves. There was a move from deadly supports where at times they can keep a person immobilized for up to 20 seconds (i have done it before) to a support that just heals, or a support that just stuns once for 1.5 seconds and runs. The thing I hate about league of legends the most, more than noobs, is the people that play champions that are USELESS in the teamfight. They bring nothing more than a 1.5 second stun which doesn't turn a fight. I know it may be just me where I play kayle personally, becuase I am a terrible ADC, and I dont rely on having the ADC. I am my own carry on myself because I carry my weight and I carry someone elses while im at it just because kayle is strong enough. You can argue Kayle is OP and beg for a re-work again, its not coming.
    The first problem comes from the fact that there is an item that gives you more gold per second. This item just allows people who "aren't supposed" to attack, to get the gold they need, therefore reinforcing the idea that the "ad ranged carries" have of "get the #### out, stop attacking". This tends to keep players in their lanes because well, the ad ranged doesn't get these gold per second items because he feels he can stick in the lane.
    Sorry Im stopping here, but I got a bunch of my points out. League of legends was made to LEAN towards having people farm up their items to be useful.

    Edit 1: I like this post by the way, it is totally true. :)
    Last edited by jieweipang: 7/30/2012 10:24:05 PM
  • #71 Waaargh

    You deal fine damage with few items, especially the AP type champs. Constantly hammering 250 damage onto the opponent will wear him down.

    The reason for putting a tanky champ solotop is he has to be somewhere. You need an AP carry, an AD carry and a tanky guy (not necessarily with CC) and the solo top suits fine with the tanky role. The jungler less so since he often gets behind on gold. The support can be build just fine with low CS and an early focus on using his meager gold on carrying the AD carry with wards and potions for exchanging damage. With GP/10 items and time the support will eventually get there item-wise, some assists will help too. I have grown pretty fond of Lucky Pick and Chalice->Athenes.

    I'll agree on your final point insofar as to say that the AD carry starts to work after a certain amount of gold, while I will argue against you regarding all other roles. They can perform their role well with just ranks in their abilities. Some tanky champs need help from items while others are survivable with their basic kit (those with heals, shields or equal abilities).

  • #64 nilof

    One thing you should take note of is also that Blue and Purple side top lanes are very different in terms of how easy they are to gank with different characters. A properly warded Blue side top, when the creep wave is just slightly pushed towards his towers, is just so hard to gank, unless they are stupid enough to facecheck every minute. You practically need to be Nautilus or have some similar kind of movement based CC to dislodge them. Meanwhile The purple side top is just a sitting duck that can be ganked from an ungodly number of angles.

  • #60 LittleWolff

    I agree with your view of the top and jungler situation. I play every role however jungle and support are mostly my primary ones. When jungling as a powerful lv 2 ganker like jarvan I almost always force the enemy top into an unwinable 2v1 vs top and a lv 2 jungler. Really with mids just afk farming under their towers and bot lane being warded 24/7 top lane seems like the place every jungler should camp. The problem with abusing easy top lane is that even though it is the easiest it also pays off the least out of ganking any other lane.

    Top lane: Feeds the off tank or the soft carry but that lane is usually just becomes a farm fest between two immovable objects anyways, there are times when one kill doesn't even make a difference in the laning phase, and when team fights roll around your team will just have a slightly more durable off tank.

    Mid lane: Feeds the AP Carry and sets them ahead in level giving them the edge over the other teams AP carry. Higher level means more skill points for the mage, more skill points means more damage in team fights.

    Bot lane: Feeds the Ad Carry which means they can free farm and affourd the items to reach their carry potential first.

    Last game I was the AP Carry (Zyra) and my jungler ganked mid 5 times getting me 3 kills added on to what I already got in lane. The other team's jungler camped top and got their off tank (Jayce) fed. When team fights rolled around our team crushed them at every engagement. This isn't to say I was the "only" factor in winning. I'm only suggesting that their jungler took the easy ganks top while ours pulled off the more difficult ones mid. Higher risk higher reward.

  • #61 parazyte

    Its not always like that 100%... For example a scenario where Rumble top never needs to back (hextech revolver) and slowly gets fed off minions and sending his enemy top back (or killing him) will get him to say lvl 14 fast while mid are still lvl 11-12 and bot lvl 10 because they constantly have to go back due to skirmishes and jungle pressure. That Rumble will then proceed to rape the enemy team.

    Last edited by parazyte: 7/26/2012 7:38:59 AM
  • #63 LittleWolff

    Of course there are more of a variety of picks for any lanes that would have different capabilities of snowballing. Having a soft carry like rumble fed up top isn't a bad thing by any means. I simply was making a point on how the ganks pay off differently in different lanes. Even if you do kill the other top, chances are your rumble that never blue pills and that top are just going to continue farming the crap out of top lane. By the time team fights role around both tops (unless one is really poor and feeding) are going to be farmed, the only difference will be yours is farmed with a couple kills on the other guy. Its not a bad thing to have a rumble that has a few kills with that 120 minion farm but to be honest an off tank or soft carry that's farmed up top is going to have strong team fight presents whether they have a few extra kills or not.

  • #58 xXSkyrazXx

    Good read, i enjoyed it

  • #59 Hashinshin

    thank you 

  • #56 pagan4life

    As a full-time jungler I must agree with this post. I personally feel that top is so vulnerable that it is my duty to make sure I gank the lane until it is going in my teams favour. However there are 2 problems I find with this philosophy:

    1. your admitted love of pushing your lane into the tower, which makes ganking a touch hard at lower levels.

    2. the passivity of middle laners these days is forcing me to be the pressuring factor in every lane.

    I don't know what happened about 4 months ago, but since then I rarely have laners pinging when a good gank opportunity comes up, mids seem to have stopped warding and everyone blames the jungler if they are losing their lane.

    Oh, and I agree that junglers have become overly important in early game.

  • #57 Hashinshin

    Yeah, the whole mids not warding is an issue. As top team for example I ward the fork in the road to top lane. If mids ward the entrance to our top jungle a jungler can't get to my lane unnoticed. However mid never wards and if the jungler is smart he just takes the long way for a kill.

  • #49 Salanthro

    You are obviously better than most junglers so why don't you play jungle and gain yourself lots of elo?

  • #51 Hashinshin

    because I enjoy playing top and mid much more. 

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