Climbing Elo: 101
The Elo system of League of Legends has always been known to be treacherous. Whether it was the old “number” Elo system of Season One and Two or the new division system, most players face a single issue: hitting a seemingly impassable wall.
The majority of players in league are around the Silver rank, with many of them complaining about being in “Elo Hell.” Most of these players seem to be stuck in a never ending cycle of gaining “x” amount of LP, just to lose it all.
How do you break this vicious cycle and escape the chains that tie you down from being Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master or even Challenger?
By no means am I saying that these are surefire ways to increase your Elo. I am simply stating that these methods are generally effective in practice. Please take everything I say beyond this point with a grain of salt.
I don’t claim to be a solo queue hero, and by no means am I saying that I have it all figured out, but I’ve been around the block since beta and I’ve seen all the things that can come out of ranked, the good and the bad. Seasons One through Three, I was ranked Bronze. Season Four, I was Silver and Season Five I was Gold. With Season Six ending very soon, I am making the push to hit Platinum before the season is over. I may not be ranked very highly, but I lack the time to dedicate hours to grinding LP, so I make due with what I have. I have a overall positive winrate in ranked along with decently high stats on my main champions.
1.) Practice. It seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people I know who just hop on and immediately go into a ranked game without warming up. It is very clear that they aren’t in the swing of things yet. Just something as simple as playing a quick normal game can give you enough time to warm up mechanics, reactions and even simple game awareness.
2.) Find a role that you enjoy, not the role that carries the hardest. Believe it or not, spamming mid lane because it seems easy to get fed isn’t going to increase your chances of winning. If you really like to play support, not only will you enjoy yourself, which results in reducing tilt levels, but you will find that you’ll notice more of your mistakes. From this, you can build off of them and continue to grow.
3.) Breathe. If you just witnessed the most tilting game of your entire life, don’t immediately queue back up. Take a walk around your room. Go play an indie game for a couple minutes to cool off. Browse Reddit. Do whatever takes your mind off the game for a bit until you’re level-headed again. This will allow you head into next game with a clear mind, willing to go through the ring again.
Now that the basic tips for ranked are out of the way. It’s time to dive into what specific champs/playstyles see the most success in each rank and why. If you spend a little time to learn at least two of the champs in each rank, you might notice a slight influx of LP to your account.
A large part of the community lives here. The dreaded depths of hell. A mish-mash of weird team comps, bad decisions and an overall bad time. However, there is hope for this division yet.
Champs to AVOID playing - Zed/Yasuo/Lucian/Lee Sin/Azir/Aurelion Sol. These champions are way too mechanically challenging to be used very effectively in this Elo. You’d be better off playing simple characters with high carry potential in each role.
Jungle – Amumu/Vi. It is really hard to mess up while playing these champs. Both have very easy to hit CC, on top of natural tankiness and decent base damages. Just build Cinderhulk and basic tank items and you’re pretty much good to go.
Top – Garen/Tryndamere. Both of these champs are insane bullies in lane with no effort. Most players in this Elo won’t make good trades, so take good advantage of their sustain abilities and trade often. Avoid trying to hero mode into the enemy team 1v5 and you should be fine.
Mid – Annie/Lux. On top of being generally safe against near every other mid laner, both Annie and Lux have loads of damage that are relatively easy to hit. Stay back and poke from behind your tanks and you’ll be sailing in free Elo.
ADC – Ashe/Caitlyn. Long ranged carries are great in this Elo, considering most people you play against won’t have the mechanics or game knowledge to know how to get to you. Take advantage of your crazy ranged abilities and poke down squishies. CC people when needed, build lifesteal and lay waste to everything in your path.
Support – Leona/Alistar. In the words of the famous support Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black, “Support is so EASY!” With these two CC monsters, simply apply pressure in lane without taking too much free poke and let your ADC farm with no distractions. Come late game, engage on key targets to allow your team to easily pick up the fight. You will be so tanky, the enemy team won’t know what to do with you.
Silver Elo can be a bit of a brute for those still struggling with mechanics and basic game knowledge, but hey, you’re ahead of a large portion of the LoL community. However, don’t expect to see a big increase in overall player skill. There is still a long road ahead, but it is conquerable.
Jungle – Jarvan/Sejuani/Zac. You don’t get more “bully” than these junglers. CC for ganks, useful movement abilities for chasing/engaging and natural tank stats allow you to have free roam in your jungle without much worry. As long as you avoid jumping into the enemy team like a madman, you can do all the work while your team has to clean up after you.
Top – Sion/Irelia/Kennen. Just like in the bronze list, these champions excel at being a lane bully and winning trades. Sion and Irelia’s early game 1v1 and 1v2 potential can allow for some crazy outplays that can spiral you ahead. However, know your limits and don’t overextend for a kill. Kennen just outright wins every matchup against a melee champ with relative ease.
Mid – Ahri/Brand. Despite both of these champions seeming confusing/challenging, their skill floor is very low, allowing most anyone to pick them up and do well. Both have combo based CC and very high base damages, making them strong squishy killers. They have a lot of strong/even matchups, however, they tend to lack power against AD mid laners.
ADC – Jinx/Sivir. Auto-attack based carries in this Elo are a great thing to learn. They don’t require too much skill to play and are able to dish out insane DPS with little to no effort. On the other hand, you do have to make up for lack of mobility by being very wary of your positioning. If you get caught out by a tank, you are very likely dead.
Support – Sona/Soraka. Whether it be huge amounts of shields, damage or heals, either of these champions will often dominate bot lane by themselves if played correctly. With a little practice, you can outplay most every scenario simply by knowing more about your champ than your opponent. Be aggressive and go for picks, and the carry should put you in their backpack. If you fall behind, don’t worry, one good CC can win the entire game for you.
This is where things start to get a little spicy. Here, you will notice mechanics developing and the game's core downloaded for most players. Though cheese still has a place in gold, skill difference is generally the reason games end.
Jungle – Volibear/Gragas. Now we can start diving into the more niche junglers. If your team needs a frontline damage, Voli takes the cake for sheer power through tank stats. With builds ending you at up and around 4.5k health, he becomes very hard to kill, on top of applying pressure to squishies with his W damage. Gragas provides potentially great CC and decent damage stacked on top of strong tank stats, making him a strong force to be reckoned with in a cohesive team.
Top – Illaoi/Gangplank. Illaoi and Gangplank provide high burst damage and team fight potential while being very hard to kill. Illaoi has the ability to single handedly carry the game given the enemy team doesn’t have too much CC/kiting. Gangplank just serves to be annoying. Poke from afar with barrels and watch the enemy run back to base to heal every time they walk near you. Both can be incredibly influential with enough practice, so make sure you learn them first before taking them directly into ranked.
Mid – Anivia/Vel’Koz. If burst is something you’re looking for, I strongly advise picking up Vel’Koz. This champion’s relatively easy-to-land combo that results in true damage is basically a guaranteed dead enemy every combo late game. Anivia, on the other hand, plays a lot safer without dishing out as much raw damage. Rod of Ages and Rylai's make you very difficult to kill, and once you finally die, they will have to kill you again. Similar to Zac, she can outlast a fight just to straight up win it for your team.
ADC – Jhin/Miss Fortune. These powerhouse ADC's speak for themselves. Passives based around doing extra damage that scale great into late game make them monsters to anyone caught in their sight. Some armor pen and critical chance, and these two will mow down nearly everyone in just a few auto attacks. Practice managing your passives as well both of their increased Q damage and you can run through the entire enemy team.
Support – Janna/Blitzcrank/Braum. Janna being great at peeling for the carry makes her a great pick when paired with a hyper carry like Vayne or Tristana. She gives attack damage, movement speed, has a slow and an AoE knockback/heal. She is the perfect storm of everything an enemy team would hate to go against. Blitzcrank is the exact opposite, however. Strong picking potential with chase and CC make him a strong engage pick for teams with wombo combo team comps. Then you have Braum, the manliest man in all of the bot lane. The ability to block incoming projectiles for you carry is huge, so make sure you use is wisely. Stack up CC on key targets and you just won yourself a fight.
At this point, the rest of the journey is up to you. There is only so much that others can teach you. You have already learned mechanics, match-ups and game sense, so all that is left is to practice. If you have reached Platinum, you’re already in the top ~10% of players, so stay on that grind, because I promise you, the next division isn’t out of reach.
What are your thoughts on our guide to climb Elo? What reccomendations would you make? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @GAMURScom.