One of the hands-down, most-irritating playstyles you can scrounge up in solo queue or watch on the pro stage in the current League of Legends meta is gold funneling. You’ve probably heard the term so much by now that it’s starting to sound more like a silly buzzword than an actual, real strategy in the game.
Well, you’re not entirely wrong. It has become a bit of a buzzword, and its success may seem a little exaggerated, but it is an actual meta strategy. It’s tilting to play against, extremely boring to play as, but if done correctly, it can be extremely effective.
The “if done correctly” is the tricky bit. You’ll find that solo queue teams don’t know how to work with a duo that plans to funnel gold through the mid lane, and it can lead to some rather negative results and probably more than a few reports for negative attitude or intentionally feeding.
Well, worry no more. We’ve compiled a list of tricks and tips for wielding the most annoying strat in the game, and doing it correctly.
Why people will hate you
For starters, before we get into the actual strategy, we need to explain what’s bad about this strategy, as well as give you one big warning. This strategy is extremely unhealthy for the state of the game, and while players you face or play with might not be able to put that into so many words, they will undoubtedly voice their concerns, probably in all chat or in the form of a report.
With this strategy, you’ll essentially be doing two things. First, you’ll be turning one of the most interactive roles in the game, mid lane, into the least interactive role in the game. You’ll be farming and avoiding fights unless they’re guaranteed to get your carry more of those sweet, juicy resources. You won’t be taking unnecessary risks, and even if you end up winning there’s a good chance the game won’t feel fun for about 20 or 30 minutes.
Secondly, you’ll be getting rid of your team’s jungle role entirely. To do this correctly, you and a duo will need to queue up as jungle and mid lane, and the “jungler” will essentially just follow you around and act as your support, just as if you were a bot lane marksman. Oh, sorry, we meant just as if you were a bot lane Heimerdinger, because that’s the world we live in at the moment.
This means that if your top lane or bot lane fall behind or need a little help, they won’t get any from a jungler. If they need a gank, you’ll have to risk fighting early or leaving your lane’s sweet, sweet farm to help them out. This, as we’re sure you can understand, can be frustrating if you’re not on-board with the funneling strat.
Haters gonna hate, but you should probably warn them anyway
Even if you’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and take the brute force of your entire team’s flame, you should still warn them what’s about to happen. For a gold funneling strat to work, your bot and top lanes need to play as if they know they don’t have a jungler. If you don’t explain this to them, they likely won’t do it or won’t understand what’s happening, and frankly, that’s not their fault—it’s yours.
If they know they need to play safer, not push, and ultimately be just as boring as you are in the mid lane, you’ll have an easier time AFK-farming the entire map for 20 minutes. If you tell them, and they still don’t listen? Well, at least you warned them. It’s still your fault, but you did what you could to alleviate the pain.
The nitty gritty
So to get to this point, you’d have to be fully aware of the danger this strategy presents. You read through each line, warning of the anger you’ll cause to your own team, the enemy, and probably even yourself, and you said, “Alright, tell me how to do it.” For that, we applaud you, you sadistic bastard.
This strat is simple. You and a buddy will need to decide who will be the carry and who will be the support, AKA the funneler. The carry will take Smite, and the support will take something like Exhaust, Ignite, or Heal. There are many combinations of champions that work here. You can go Master Yi and Taric, Karthus and Nunu, Shyvana and Mordekaiser, Kai’Sa and Braum, Lucian and Braum, anyone else and Braum, and there’s many more we haven’t mentioned.
There are a couple of different routes to take once you’re in the game. The gold funneling strategy started off as the support AFKing in the mid lane and freezing the wave just outside of tower range, but it’s evolved a bit. Now, the support will glue themselves to the side of the carry in order to follow them everywhere. You’ll want to start out the game by taking your team’s red buff, then the raptor camp, then the nearest Scuttle Crab, and then you’ll head to lane. Use Smite when needed.
You’ll arrive in lane close to level three, and your lane opponent will be around level two and probably on their second wave of minions. You can either clear a couple more waves and shove the tower, or you can engage on the mid laner using your trusty support once you have a level advantage. The choice is yours.
Once you’ve done one or the other, head back into your jungle and clear the blue buff side. If there’s a Scuttle up, take it. Otherwise, head back to lane to farm some more.
This is where it gets super boring. You’re essentially going to want to just sit in your lane and farm. When a buff or a Scuttle spawns, shove your current wave and mosey on over to it with your support, secure it, and then head back to farm the lane. You can clear the jungle whenever you deem it appropriate, but that’s the jist of the strategy. By the time laning phase ends, you should have 50 or 60 farm on the next most-farmed champion in the game, and hopefully even more.
A great and well-practiced funnel duo will know when to roam for kills, because if you can add a kill or two to the massively-farmed carry, that can only help. You don’t strictly need to, though, so don’t try it until you’re really comfortable with the strategy as a whole.
All about the results
The end-goal of this strategy is to have a hyper-carry champion hit their late-game power spikes with items long before any other champion in the game can catch up. Picture a three-item Kai’Sa against a team full of carries that have only managed to finish one item. That’s your ideal scenario.
After that, your support becomes your bodyguard and peel machine, and you roam from lane to lane crushing all opposition until you’ve eventually taken the map. It’s really a gross sight to witness.
If it doesn’t end up working out, and you end up a little more annoyed than you expected, one of two things went wrong. If a carry on the other team got so massively fed that they were able to keep even with you in terms of power, you’re going to have a hard time. This is much more common in solo queue, because your side lanes might play too aggressively despite not having a jungler to back them up.
Secondly, and just as frequently, the rest of your team composition just wasn’t built for a funnel. The best gold funnel strats are accompanied by a big, beefy top lane tank, and then someone like Lulu and Morgana in the bot lane. In other words, those are all the other champions that are designed to keep a carry alive. If the bot lane is all damage and the top lane is a feeding Darius, your team won’t have enough tools to keep you alive. The enemy team can then dive on you with reckless abandon, and there’s nothing you or your team can do about it. And if you’re dead, your team’s whole win condition is out the window.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and disappoint your friends with this annoying strategy. We won’t tell any of them that you’re a filthy gold funneler—your secret is safe with us.