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Mar 7, 2014

Basic Laning Mechanics Part 2 - Roaming


Hi everyone, as promised, this is Part 2 of the basic lane mechanics series (you can find Part 1 here).

While Part 1 delved mainly in the more technical aspects of the laning phase (last hitting, pushing, and harassing), Part 2 and 3 are going to focus on a few softer skills, namely roaming and map control. If you have other ideas that you'd like me to talk about, feel free to leave a comment!

Who should roam?

Some champions roam better than others. This is simply a fact. In the current meta, generally only mid and (rarely) top roam, with bot lane roaming only if they're very far ahead. The reason for this is that mid is naturally closer to both lanes, and tends to have the champions with high burst, cc, and waveclear.

Meanwhile, bot lane is naturally a little farther behind in levels due to the duo lane, so if they roam they'll be highly underleveled against the jungler or mid lane if they get ganked.

Which champions are best at roaming?

Champions with high waveclear, high burst damage, high CC, and/or high mobility have the greatest ability to roam. Examples of such champions include the following:
  • AP Sion
  • Kassadin
  • Talon
  • Katarina
  • Leblanc
  • Annie
  • Zed
Many other champions can also roam very well, but should probably focus on beating their lane opponent first, such as Akali, Nidalee, and Malzahar.

When should you roam?

Generally there are two different trains of thought, as to which one is better depends on a game by game basis.

  1. Roam EARLY - Examples of champions that do well with an early roam include early CC champions with strong damage skills such as a lvl 2~3 Ryze with teleport. The reason this works is that it's difficult for any mid laner to push in a lane by themselves early on. Also, nobody expects a gank that early.
  2. Roam at lvl 6 - This is a very standard strategy that most people like to do. The reason for this is that you'll have your ultimate while bot lane is still only around lvl 5. This means that the chances of a mid laner dying is drastically reduced. After they hit 6 you'll have to pick your battles more carefully.
You'll rarely want to roam around level 4 to 5 unless you're Sion, because that means a failed gank (or even a successful one) will likely put your tower very low in health and also place your opponent in a very advantageous position once he gets his ultimate.

Certain champions have different times when they're best. For example, Sion becomes an insane roamer once he has boots of mobility (or swiftness) and a 2 doran rings, which is enough to clear his wave and run bot for an easy CC gank. Learning the specifics comes with experience.

Countering a Roam

If you're playing mid lane and know that your opponent has left the lane to possibly roam or clear wraith camp, the best thing you can do is to tell bot lane to back off and shove your lane as hard as possible.

  • No loss of creep score; and
  • Won't get ganked in route to assist;
  • May result in bot lane dying, team raging, and loss of dragon control; and
  • May miss out on some kills.
While bot laners tend to blame mid laners for not following their opponents down, unless you're already ahead, it places a mid laner in a very difficult position when his wave is shoved to the turret and their lane opponent goes missing.

When a lane opponent goes missing, they can easily camp a spot between bot lane and mid, which means they'll have the jump on your mid laner if he facechecks the bush. Also, since they're already closer to bot, your mid laner will be late, miss valuable creepscore, and probably provide no help anyway.

Conversely, pretending you're roaming can also have very positive effects simply because of the map pressure it creates when mid goes MIA.


There are many different ways to roam, and no one way is a guaranteed success. However, when you're mid there are better things to do than sit at your turret once you clear your wave, and there are definitely better times to roam and worse times to roam. With experience you'll get the hang of each champion's timings.

Next part in this series will deal with Map Control

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  1. i think you should add kha'zix to the list of good roamers

  2. Ahri and Lulu are also great roamers. Should I roam with these champs or wait til I beat my lane opponent?

  3. Rafael A. PereiraMarch 10, 2014

    I thik Veigar and Ziggs good options as well.

  4. And add Fizz, come on is a very good champion right now.

  5. And Riven,Gragas

  6. Breno LopesMarch 16, 2014

    i thing Akali is a great roaming champion too. Its impossible to flee from her when she gets her ultimate

  7. Philipp DaubMarch 18, 2014

    I know it's kinda off-topic but know i have ask for it :P
    Pls make it possible to get into the articles by clicking on the pictures.
    I ALWAYS click on them and ask myself "why the hell there is no link...?"


  8. SSJSuntasticMarch 18, 2014

    Unfortunately, I've been trying to do that for a while to no success. The summaries are generated via javascript and haven't been able to implement that without breaking something else.


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