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Re-prepping for ranked by improving personal skill in Normals

  • #1

    So I prepped for ranked in S3 and got up to 1250 or so thinking I was finally going to break through but then got a few bad teams the usual story... but I'm thinking about just going back to normals blind or draft and just trying to remaster my 2 fav champs for mid lane Diana and Katarina.  Just spend time remastering all the mechanics etc.  would love to win but would be more focused on getting my CS up, being more map aware, trying to know when things are a good/bad idea whether or not we do them, knowing all the match-ups for both champs good and bad and knowing how to deal with them.  Pretty much just work solely on my game play and improving it until I know i can carry myself to 1300+ elo and win a large amount of games regardless of team(of course I will still get some crappy teams but just sway the odd way in my favor.)

    I was wondering if you guys thought this was a good idea.  If so what do you think is the best way for me to get better out of game.  I try to watch as much of TiensinoAkuma and Scarra as possible for Katarina and some Diana but am i missing any other streamers that main either of these 2 champs.

    I would probably have a pocket morgana or Anivia so a streamer for 1 or both of them would be awesome 2.


    Do you think being at say a 1350 -1400 elo skill level (im not there now but would like to get there ins some way and though this could work would be enough to conistantly carry teams.

    Finally any and all other suggestions even the opposite of doing this like playing only ranked would be appreciated as long as you have some reasoning .  (Don't just say play X champion and you win say why and how etc or give another start but give reasons like  a shortened version of what I have.)

    On a side note if any of you want to duo with me eventually or try to do some normals like I suggested above to improve yourself or give em tips or we both critique each other etc. or just watch my replays whatever any way you could give personal advise as apposed to approach advice that would be awesome too

    Summoner Name: Gimily

    Server: NA

    Mains Katarina, Diana,


    IGN: gimily 

    Server: NA

  • #2

    To be honest, I found that I improved the most last season when I only did ranked. I generally find that the people I play in normals aren't nearly as difficult as the people I face in ranked because your normal elo has been tracked since you started (which means it's generally lower than your true elo unless you haven't improved since your first game), people don't try as hard in normals, and people play champs they want to try out, not necessarily their best champ all the time. Playing ranked constantly matches you up with people you need to be better than if you want to go up. You'll be playing against people around your level every single game and if you go into ranked with the mindset of improvement instead of just focusing on winning then you'll definitely get to the elo you want to be at. 

    Watching high level play is also great for improvement. Instead of just watching scarra or tiensinoakuma, I'd suggest branching out to other high elo players that don't necessarily play the champs you main. Do you need understanding of your champ? Sure, you can get a lot of that just by experience over time. What watching high elo players lets you do is see what you should be doing in the role You should be watching and seeing how they roam often to try and help other lanes win, how they buy wards everytime they recall to prevent ganks, how and when they last hit, when they harass and why. Strive to understand and learn both the role and the game as a whole; asking these kinds of questions can really help (Why did he do x over y? How can I apply that to my play? Am I doing enough of x? What is this player's attitude towards the game? etc. etc.) 

    Even watching players who aren't playing your main role can help you. Watch some Doublelift or Chaox and see how they harass in between cs, watch Oddone and learn about the jungle (if you know jungle paths, you can predict to an extent where your opposing jungler is and help prevent successful ganks), go watch some Froggen for some great mid plays. 

    Champion-wise, I feel like you should get a pool of champions that you feel comfortable playing. Are there pro players that made it with their mastery of one champ? Sure. But starting out, being able to have a variety of champs to fill the needs of the team or counterpick your opponents can go a long way (Ryze for late game scaling? Katarina for strong team fights? Kha'Zix for strong poke and burst? Maybe a Twisted Fate for constant ganks and global pressure? Maybe you love playing Orianna mid for that utility?). 

    Finally, just remember that just because you win your lane doesn't mean you'll win the game. If you're winning lane (or even if you're not), try to assist other lanes in getting ahead. You, along with the jungler, have the best chance at impacting the game early and in your favor. Your position on the map gives you the potential to not only save lanes that are behind but help win lanes that otherwise would have been even. That's just another part of understanding your position ^^

    Sorry this is so long >_> I tend to ramble xD I bolded my main points o3o

    Last edited by ranigad: 1/28/2013 11:40:55 PM
  • #3

    I'm a low elo player too... I'm at 1263 now I think.. But i have some gold/plat friends that play with me..

    Mastering a champion you like is a good way to raise your elo, I'm a big TnA/Scarra fan and one of the most important things I've learned from them is roaming.. I'm not good at it but I'm trying to improve my roaming skills.. Because you have to win not only mid lane, but bot and top lanes too! TnA always say that you have to start the game thinking that you r the one thats going to carry the team and thats true.

    But, at least on the brazillian server, Katarina is getting banned almost everytime at low elo.. So if I were you I would focus more on Diana to begin with.

    And learn another role too, low elo players don't have experience to play well on every lane, so I think sometimes its better to give up mid and play as a jungler just to don't get screwed because your jungler have no idea of what he is doing...

    Well, I don't know if I helped.. But I tried xD... Good luck on your journey and sorry about the poor english.

  • #4

    thanks for the advice guys.  Yea I guess I forgot to mention that even tho these 2 are my mains I just picked them up beginning of Dec so I don't quite have them down pat.  Maybe a few customs/normals just to work on mechanic then back to ranked for the competition.  I hadn't thought of the competition part before.  Also I've been asking those questions but never really thinking long enough to get an answer.  I should prob think about that more. Also the watching other positions is a great idea I hadn't thought of before.  I'll def try that. I am thinking. About a second role but cant decide.

    this is where my follow up questions begin

    1.  What role if any do you think is most similar to mid that I could carry skills over to

    2. What other mid do you think I should pick up.  I've played orianna a fair bit but ppl don't really capitalise on her utility.  I've played anivias and morgana Sewell.  I've played small amounts of other mids but not really enough to matter.

    IGN: gimily 

    Server: NA

  • #5

    Since you like Katarina and Diana I would tell you to choose between top and jungle to be your second role... Voyboy is prety successful with Katarina top, and Diana is a good jungler too as you might have noticed from scarra's stream. By choosing one of those roles you're one step ahead since you already know the mechanics of the champions you're playing, and then you can look up for other options to increase a little bit your choices.

    I'm probably talking nonsense stuff, but I think that the way you carry games playing top is more likely the way you carry playing mid.. You farm, roam and if you get fed you become a powerhouse and rofl above the corpses of the enemy team.. Playing as a jungler you will be trying to get your lanes some feed, making your adc/apc/bruiser become stronger by setting up kills form them and making the enemy team fear your presence... I play most top or support, but my most successful role in ranked is jungler just because low elo players don't know how to effectively ward, freeze lanes (one thing that I'm trying sooooo hard to learn hahaha) and avoid free dmg.. At 1300 in the br server (brazillian players r a little bit unskilled compared to na/eu... lets say that gold on my server is silver on your.. so i don't know if what i'm saying will work for you) if you ask your mid to let the enemy push and gank at lvl 3 you have around 90% chance of getting a kill, just because they r not expecting that agression so early in the game..

    Sorry if my post isn't clear enough... My english is almost as bad as scarra's warding skills xD

  • #6

    If you want to switch lanes to another one you can be good at, it'll depend on your style. If you're a roamer and like skirmishes, go Jungle. If you're good at farming and 1v1, and staying safe while attacking, go Top. If you like bringing utility to your team, have good map awareness and know your warding (and maybe a few tricks, like warding the tribush from dragon/baron pit) go support. If you have good positioning, CSing and harassing, go ADC.
    Mid is pretty much a mix of every other role, what defines your style at mid is what could give you a hint of what else you can enjoy and be good at.

  • #7

    ADC has a lot of similarities to AP Mids with the right champions. Corki and Ezreal play like burst mages, very skill shot based mobile mages. As a mid main, I've also had ease picking up Vayne, Kog'maw, and Caitlyn.

    Also, several mids can be played top, or top lane bruisermages play like mid mages. Rumble, Kennen, Vlad, ELISE, Diana, Katarina even.

    Elise isn't terrible hard to pick up, and if you ban Yorick or pick last you win your lane, every time, without fail. Seriously incredibly broken. There's a reason she's permabanned from like 1800 up.

    The mids I've been having the most success with recently are TF and Zed and Ahri, and more TF, and more TF. I cannot recommend learning him enough. He has great CC, great damage, the best wave pushing in the game, great roaming, a near global ult, and is one of the best AP carries late game.

    Problems with TF are that he takes an INCREDIBLE amount of practice. I played nothing but TF (even going top with him once) for 3 weeks and I'm still not amazing with him, as opposed to Ahri, who I more or less picked up in 3 games. He also struggles against champions with gap closers like Diana, Ahri, Zed, Kha, Pantheon, Lee Sin, etc...who all happen to be flavor of the month. The good news is that he can still out roam anyone, and he can survive in most lanes and farm from tower with his Q.

    Ahri is in my opinion the safest mid pick right now. She can handle damn near anything and she snowballs hard. Roams great, team fights great, multiple build paths, great lane phase, few counters, etc. Definitely recommend her.

    Morgana isn't bad to learn either just because of her team fighting ability. Her permaban time is over now, thank god, but she's still damn strong, especially if you can convince your team to go poke comp. Poke them all to half, flash ult ace.

    I'm at 1266 right now with 5 or so placement matches down, and I can tell you that it isn't terribly difficult to avoid certain roles. I've been AD all but one of my matches by duo queuing, but that was duo queue. The other match, I simply said that I could do best mid, but I could go top or ADC as well, and my team worked it out with me. 

    Good luck out there, but remember to enjoy ranked too. Sure, you want to win, but its like playing a campaign mode. Its a journey, and you'll get to the end eventually if you keep playing.

    Preparing for the climb is scary.

  • #8

    i would say that for ranked, skill with individual champions is not that important. atleast not as important as just general mechanical, tactical and synergy skill is. you will undoubtebly be forced to play a role which you will be less comfortable with in many of your solo games and therefore you must be prepared to play those roles without any hesitation. with more general honing of your skills you will be above the competition in the really important areas.

    Do not underestimate individual skill with champions as it can give a team the snowball effect it needs, but you must make sure you can play every roll as good as/ better than your opponent or you will gain Elo because of your team and be in a higher position than you deserves. in conclusion you should have a couple of champs for every roll whose skillset you have a good understanding of and then use your universal skills to carry your team to victory. once you have all these universal skills under control you can start practicing with individual champions

    Last edited by sorksvampen: 1/29/2013 3:58:52 AM

    "I have proven my might to dragonkind—what challenge shall humans pose?" - Shyvana

  • #9

    1) The most similar role to mid, I'd say, would definitely have to be top.

    - Bot lane inherently is different because you're no longer in a 1 v 1 situation but rather have to rely on another individual's skill as well as pay attention to two opponents. In addition, bot lane rarely roams and usually focuses on gaining cs for late game and winning lane.

    - The Jungler is also inherently different since you're not really constantly "matched up" against an opponent, making laning decisions such as whether the cs is important or whether you can harass in this situation. Yes, you're roaming like a mid would, but it's not the same type of roam. You have to have a different mindset while jungling, constantly looking for opportunities, utilizing knowledge about the jungle, common wards, making decisions, etc. etc. etc.

    - Top lane, you can focus on the idea of going 1 v 1 against an opponent. You can focus on farming and harassing and additionally, you'll have practice buying your own wards. The lane matchups are a lot different than mid (different types of champs that play different roles in team fights) and the utilization of the bushes is different as well, but the idea is loosely the same. If you want to practice roaming, I'd pick up teleport as your second summoner's as opposed to ignite, heal, or exhaust. This will let you impact other lanes as if you were a mid ganking bot or top. It will also help you get a sense of when to roam. You're trading cs and potentially damage on your turret to try and help other lanes, so you want to be quick, efficient, and get back to lane as soon as possible (just like in mid). 

    - Like the person above me said, knowing all or many roles and having a few champions for each is always a good idea because you won't always be able to get roles that you're comfortable with. When I started out ranked, I had at least 2 champions for each role that I could play decently and just improved my play over time.

    2) I personally am not a fan of morgana as her ganks aren't the strongest (requires you to either land binding or get a full ult off and her cool downs are fairly long) and she's fairly passive in lane. Anivia has an extremely high skill cap and can be difficult to pick up and carry with. In my opinion, you should just find some champs you love playing or whose style you really understand and mesh with, and just stick with them. I bought and mained kennen from level 10 (or whenever I had saved up enough IP) to level 30 (doesn't mean you can't play other champions). This allows you to focus more on understanding the game rather than constantly trying to become comfortable with different champions. If you really want some champion selections, I'd pick a variety from the following categories of mid-champs.

    - Ad Champions such as Talon or Kha'zix are very strong at the moment. They often work as an "anti-mid" by having very strong early game and burst potential. Kha'zix's wave clear with w is immense, he does well against many of the standard ap mids, has great roaming potential, and, even if you lose your lane, you can still assassinate squishy carries fairly easily in team fights. Talon is a high burst champion who excels at taking down squishy opposing ap mages. His roam is also extraordinary because of the high burst he provides.

    - Mobile champions such as Ahri, Evelynn, or Twisted fate who have the ability to move quickly across the map to assist other lanes are always a good pick up. Ahri, who can be challenging do to a fully skill shot arsenal, offers a fairly solid champion who has strong ganks with her triple flash-ult. Evelynn's invisibility naturally gives her a strong gank and her ability to burst down champions with dfg+ult or stick to them with constant damage makes her a very strong threat.Twisted fate is more of a team oriented champion in the sense that he benefits his team by giving them extra gold over time as well as being able to constantly gank and make plays across the map with his ultimate and gold card. 

    - Versatile champions such as Elise or Katarina (who you have) would be a great add as well as you could use them both in mid and top lane. Elise has high burst and requires very few items to be very strong. In addition, she can be played in top lane effectively as well and is just a strong champion at the moment. Katarina does very well against many ap mids, can be played top (but with a different build), and has great roaming potential on top of her amazing team fights.

    3) Final words (again sorry about how long my posts are). Understanding the mechanics and the game itself is much more important than your mastery of a champion. If you have a good understanding of how the game works, how you should play, what various roles generally do, etc. etc. You can practically pick up any champion and already have a decent understanding. (i.e. Oh, I just got Thresh. He's normally a support. Supports do x, y, and z. I can do that with Thresh). Mastery of a champion just builds on top of mechanical understanding. In my opinion, maining champions helps you develop mechanical understanding because you don't have to worry about "relearning" a champion each time you play them (timing, skills, etc.) but just try to remember that at this point in your development, you want to try and understand the gameplay and mechanics. 

    It's like comparing a newer player to an experienced one. Newer players can understand the champion (my q does this, my w does this) but they don't know how to last hit, roam, freeze lane, itemize, etc. etc. The reason experienced players are better is because they have a better understanding (or at least instinctual understanding) of the game itself (i.e. last hitting is important to get gold for items, opponents in bot are overextended so I'll gank, we killed bot so let's take dragon, etc. etc.) which they can apply to their gameplay, regardless of champion.

    Last edited by ranigad: 1/29/2013 3:46:58 PM
  • #10

    Everyone should learn to play support. Not simply because you will be forced to play it in ranked, even if that should be reason enough to learn the role, but because it gives you the chance to focus on an entirely different aspect of the game. When you are focussing on 1 vs 1 lanes and CS etc, and you are still learning the game, you can become blind to some of the most important underlying aspects required to win a game of LoL. Communication (the good kind... mainly using relevant pings), tracking objectives, timers and when to initiate taking them, providing vision, timing wards and summoner spells/ultimates, being a second pair of eyes on the mini-map for your team (insanely strong at low Elo), keeping track of ally and enemy builds, identifying priority targets to shutdown fast, working out which allies need help in lane and just generally being really useful to your team. So, take some time out of mid, and learn how to carry as a support.

  • #11

    Alright my last question for now at least unless i get another spark of random intrest is how dig is watching your won replays?  I just downloaded lolreplay but haven't used it yet and was wondering if it was worth the time investment.  (Might it provide a similar experience to playing support  as sgt colon suggested  (Which I will be doing as well)? if i do watch replays what r the biggest things i should be searching for? obvi point out my mistakes etc. but any thing else big?

    Thanks for all the insight guys  I'll be working and thinking about all that.  It was definitely helpful to have other ppl speak their ideas on the topic.  If you ever want to duo or just chat while on lol you can request me my name and server are on the first post.  

    IGN: gimily 

    Server: NA

  • #12

    I don't really know about that. Or about much in this thread, honestly, other than pointing out that if you want to watch an Anivia, go watch Froggen.

    Engaging Dunning-Kruger effect at maximum power.

  • #13

    Lolreplay is a truly excellent tool for improvement. Especially for ranked 5 teams as it allows everyone to see each others gameplay, positioning and decision making etc. It is still useful for solo queue too, but just stick to watching your own gameplay (which can be hard when you see how truly idiotic some of your team mates will be!) and focus on improving. You can do this by initially identifying mistakes you made and correcting them in subsequent games, and eventually, by looking for opportunities you could have exploited, but didn't, and correcting that too.

  • #14

    Considering you like Kat and Diana, I would also suggest maybe Kassadin? You already play 2 bursty,roaming, melee champs with ranged poke, why not add the one mid who pretty much destroys almost all ap mids? Kassadin seems really good right now and his late game is amazing. In case you haven't seen it, watch xPeke backdoor the Nexus during IEM Katovice SK Gaming vs Fnatic. His ult is really annoying. Just be careful about ad mids though, most of them can burst you down faster than you can.

  • #15

    Watching replays of yourself is always productive. It's much easier to see mistakes and places where you can improve yourself just by watching from another perspective (and without actually being under the pressure). All in all though, actually playing the game is where you'll make the most improvement. As long as you keep tabs on what you need to improve on and try to actively get better during the game, you'll improve. Invest occasional time - if you feel like you want to review a loss or you feel like you aren't sure where something went wrong, go ahead and review, just don't let it take up the majority of the time. 

    Another thing you can do is watch your opponents during the replay, in particular how the jungler moves and your opponent in lane. What routes did he take? How does he usually gank mid? How can you prevent that with ward placement? Watching streams and looking up videos can help you answer these questions but it's always good to actively think while watching a replay.

    1) Play the game and play to improve
    2) Watch streamers and study the game (videos, articles, etc.)
    3) Watch replays of yourself

    That's how I'd rank the importance of each with 1/2 being a lot higher than 3. 

  • #16

    Thanks for the comments again and yea ill def try to watch pr more and play more then i watch myself.  

    Kassadin seems interesting but doesn't really seems like he adds match-ups to my arsenal   I feel like i need a standard ap mid live aniv ori morg etc to play against ppl like ryze, mord,e annie, my own champs if they get picked against me, swain, malz, etc.  I feel like need someone that is different then diana kat in order to get at least skill based match-ups against these champs.  I like kass but i just don't know if he is what i need to fill my 3rd spot.

    That being said i think elise might take that spot any other suggestions for a third ap/ad mid.  ive played pantheon a fair bit but that was a few months ago.  any ideas?


    Finally off topic completely what do you guys think is the best way to set goals for elo because of its constant fluidity and volatility  one day i could be 1250 the next 1150 or 1350.  Perhaps a range to stay in then try to bump that range up every week? 2 weeks? month?

    Ideas like that are what I'm looking for so im not just like get 1250(which i did) because right after achieving that i could fall right back down to below or about where i was.  Feels more like  lucky streak then a real improvement.(It could really be either but I don't know ways of solving that. maybe something completely non-elo based i have no idea

    Do you have any starts for goals that you have used or think is smart to do so that it seems more consistent and less based around a single elo that is constantly fluctuating? the one i thought of was ranges as seen above but im open to anything and everything.

    IGN: gimily 

    Server: NA

  • #17

    play top few hundred games then you will hopefully be at a skilled level.


    doesnt matter how good you are as long as you are better than the enemy.

    Last edited by inb4jelly: 1/29/2013 10:41:50 PM
  • #18

    If you want to pick up an AD mid, then definitely go for Kha'Zix, but be aware he is banned a lot more frequently these days and may well receive a nerf in the not too distant future. Luckily, much of what you learn from him can be applied to Pantheon, Talon and even Wukong mid.

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