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Nov 22, 2014

Preseason Training Tips



The achievements and failures of Season 4 are behind us, and the Preseason has come. Whether you placed #2 in Challenger League or Bronze 5 0 LP, we all strive to rise in Season 5.


Practice Champions You Lose To

There's always that "one" champion you can't seem to beat...but you never actually play them. Who is it? Zed? Lucian? Jinx? Lee Sin?

Now's the time to try them out! Focus on the following:
  • Play Aggressive - It's preseason, now is the time to make mistakes, die a lot, and gain tons of experience. By dying and failing, this is how you learn each champion's weaknesses. Even if you never get good at that champion, at least you'll start to understand how to capitalize on their mistakes. 
  • Trade Early - Many lanes have been lost through early trades. Conversely, many lanes have been WON with early trades. Learn how strong your most hated champions are early, and snowball yourself to victory next time you face them.
Personally, I'll be practicing Zed on my smurf. So far, I'm 0-3 and average 10 kills, 10 deaths, and 10 assists a game. Apparently, his cooldowns are fairly high early on and his Q's hitbox is much smaller than you would think...


Practice Your Mains:

While each Season brings forth new champions to the top of the tier list along with shuffling old ones around, certain champions have stayed perfect viable throughout the seasons. If you main one of these champions, it's also time to stop just "playing" your mains and really starting to master them.

Again, here are some suggestions on practicing your mains:
  • Play Aggressive - While the same as playing new champions, this time I want you to play aggressively as someone who knows exactly what they're doing. When I play against lower division players, I find the biggest criticism is: They don't seem to be fighting back! 
    • Utilize all your cooldowns;
    • Never to take free trades without hitting them back;
    • Dish it as much or more than you're taking; and
    • Don't be afraid to lose the trade or even die.
  • Practice Last-Hitting- This mantra has been muttered time and again, but seriously, simply staying alive in lane and last hitting every creep will be enough to get you to gold or possibly even platinum. Even in Diamond there are people who have trouble last hitting (like me!)
  • Look at the Mini-Map - You'd be surprised how many games are lost by not looking at the mini-map enough. In solo queue, MIA calls should be given, but not expected from other players. By simply looking at the mini-map, you can prevent a whole lot of otherwise free kills.

Play Other Roles

Are you the guy who jumps into ranked and says "Only XXX, can't XXX at all"? 

Well if you aren't you SHOULD be. By specializing in one specific role, you can gain ranks much faster than if you're a jack-of-all-trades, master of none.

However, trust me when I say there will be times when you don't get your role, and are forced to play into something that you don't usually do. Even as a support main, I get locked out of that role a surprising number of times a season...

This means, by learning other roles you can increase your chance to rise through the ranks.

Even if your crappy XXX only wins 30% of the time, that's still WAY better than your current ability that brings a 10% chance of winning. Just don't suddenly think you're Doublelift after one game and start "maining" your off role.

Learn the Jungle

If you're not a jungler, you'd probably love to steer clear of the jungle entirely. All those strange buffs, timers, and monsters, new and unusual...


It's preseason and almost everyone is on an even playing field, jump in there, make mistakes, be aggressive, and learn the **** out of that new and difficult map. Even if you're not a jungle main, at least you'll understand how strong ganks are and adjust accordingly while laning.

Agree/Disagree? Got more tips? Comment below!

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  1. Nice article! First to comment, Probably. LOL!!!!!! I have the same one as you SSJ! Zed is my weakness, he is really hard to play for me and I hate good zed players for my living.

    Pre-Season, ah yes.... Time for exploration with new jungler/general items, and lots of other stuff. I will be playing some ranked too, I heard it might improve your MMR and helps get a better rank from your placements. (If you do well in pre-season ranked) Season 5 is coming.... slowly and surely.

  2. I don't agree with playing champions that beat you. While it's true that you gain a better understanding of a champion's weaknesses if you actually play it, I think nobody should play a champion they are not interested in playing in the first place. There are better ways to knowing the inner workings of champions, a good example is watching a stream.
    I also don't agree people should play as aggressive as possible. There is a fine art of understanding the right amount of aggresion you can put out on any given situation, and while it's true that going ham 24/7 will get you to know your limits, that is the brute force approach. I think that aggresiveness comes naturally with confidence in your ability. If you are not confortable being aggresive, that means you are still working on the basics of the champion or the global strategy and shouldn't push it past that.

  3. Oh god why did you mention the jungle >.<
    I am not made for the jungle and now I have to learn about all the new things...I want to cry

  4. it got more difficult because the free sustain from spirit stone disappeared. now sustain junglers are op.

    these changes made a huge shift in jungle tiers and will probably also leave their shadow on lanes, because of different kinds of enemies you will have to deal with.

    be sure to check out nightblue3's quick jungle guide -

    take a weekend to try some junglers, especially those high tier ones.
    when you will know e.g. oh shoot, this 4/0 wukong with cleaver will shred us in teamfights, you may encourage your team to go 1/3/1 splitpush and eventually win :P instead of clumping up and getting aced and see everyone raging at eachother "oh person x why didnt you do y deinstall pathetic scrub"

  5. KingoftheSocksNovember 22, 2014

    The counter argument to this is that if you want to climb the ladder you need to learn as much as you can. If you learn whats weak against that champ then it helps you. There isn't too much at stake so learning at works and what doesn't is safe. It isn't so much forcing yourself into other playstyles but learning about whats effective. You can still be a passive laner but maybe just find out that maybe you can land some more poke than you used to be doing

  6. BoltOfSpadesNovember 22, 2014

    My friend and I will be practicing our Kalistio bot lane combo. Woe betided the die when Galio acquired a legit gap closer.

  7. I do agree with playing champions that beat you. You learn so much about them. You get to know exactly how they work and you learn when they can go all in and when they can't. Playing champions I didn't like to get matched up with has helped me a lot. By simply spectating you won't learn even half as much as when you're playing them yourself.

  8. With as low as most junglers are going to be after doing first buff, I think early invades with Shaco are going to be really effective. Especially considering that he can go no leash on first buff so he ends up with close to 90% hp when he comes to gank you at second buff, plus he's carrying smite/ignite. Looking forward to trying it out.

  9. I play 3 or 4 high tier junglers, but I'm actualy worried about those junglers that are not tier 1 because 90% of times I go jungle I play Sejuani. I guess I will have to nerd it up about these changes.

  10. If you're serious about climbing you need to play the champions that give you anxiety. Your goal should be to more or less learn their cooldowns and play patterns by heart. This is essential vs cheesy "outplay" assassins like Zed, Fizz, Riven, etc.

    As for the going aggro bit, I think the point is you're going to learn faster. If you want to be slow about it then that's fine, though not as efficient.

  11. SquirrelNutkinsNovember 26, 2014

    How's it working?

  12. BoltOfSpadesNovember 26, 2014

    I'll get back to you on that when my fan is fixed.


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