League of Legends: How to Dominate the Mid Lane
So you’ve decided to get your hands on League of Legends and you’re not quite sure where you want to begin. Check out James Murff introduction to League of Legends (Which you should read if any of the language and jargon is confusing you). Once you’ve finished, you’ll know that there are four areas which you can start: the top, bottom, or middle lanes, or the jungle. Today, our focus is going to be on the middle lane in the early game before the laning phase concludes.
The middle lane in League of Legends is special in its own way. It is the shortest distance between the Nexus of each team. As such, it means the champions playing in the middle tend to be the first to reach high levels compared to the top or bottom lanes. The champion that reaches level 6 first gains access to their ultimate ability, allowing them greater firepower should any team fights happen. This is the main reason why you’ll commonly see mages (or AP champions) in the middle lane — their ultimate spells are momentum shifters.
If you want to learn how to play in the middle lane, I’d suggest starting off with champions like Morgana or Lux. Alternatively, check out James’ beginner guide to playing Annie. They all offer spells that can snare opponents and abilities that allow you to safely farm minions with little risk. The ultimate abilities of both champions are incredibly powerful and can be used to inflict tons of damage to other champions quickly. Most mid lane champions tend to rely heavily on mana as their resource. You’ll frequently see players using a combination of either Flash and Ignite (to help finish off opponents) or Flash and Teleport (for that extra mobility around the map).
Here are a number of tips you can apply to excel in the middle lane
- Wards: I cannot stress this enough. Dropping sight wards will win you games. Knowing where champions are (or aren’t) is important information. When you’re laning, plant one on either side of the river bush in the middle to give you advanced warning of any incoming junglers. They’re only 75g which is approximately to 7 minion kills.
- Last hitting: Crucial skill no matter what position you’re in. Getting the killing blow on minions means gold for you, which can be used to buy powerful items. Farm as much as you can!
- Farm Wraith camps: This is the jungle camp that’s closest to the middle lane. Only go for these if your jungler is not around you. I tend to clear them out if my wave is pushed hard towards their tower and if my jungler is trying to set up a gank in a different lane.
- Blue buff: Also known as the Golem buff, securing this grants you increased mana regeneration and a shorter cooldown on your abilities. When you can gain this depends largely on your jungler. Some junglers will offer it to you after they no longer have need of it.
- Gank top or bottom: Being in the middle allows you to easily travel to either lane to support a gank or help defend. If you do decide to assist a lane for a gank, be mindful of the middle lane and ensure it doesn’t get pushed towards you too much. Get your team’s jungler to help cover your lane or make sure that the opposing champion has returned to base.
- Exploit their movements: This ties in to the previous point. If you notice your opponent is gone, start pinging and warning the rest of your team. Either the opposing middle lane champion returned to base to buy and heal up or they’ve maneuvered themselves to a different lane to set up a gank. If you’re fairly certain they didn’t return to base (because their health wasn’t that low), then they’re elsewhere, either getting that blue buff or trying to gank a lane. The moment you see them show up on the mini-map, you can try to push your lane hard. If your opponent is going to pounce on one of your allies, make them pay for it: If they kill an ally, trade it for a tower. However, if you have picked up Teleport, you can easily reinforce your teammates if you’re sure that your opposing mid-laner is in the area (see below).
The art of Teleport ganks
Every player should take an active role when it comes to wards. Whenever you return to base to purchase an item and you have extra gold, pick up a ward. When you’re starting out, you can place wards on either of the side brushes to give you advance warning of their enemy jungler coming in for you. As you get better, you’ll rely on those less. The one ward I really like placing is the one that grants vision on the enemy wraith camp. I’ll plant a ward there if I’m playing middle or in the jungle. If you see the opposing jungle clearing that camp, they’re close by and could gear up for a gank on you. Conversely, this also means that their jungler is not near the top or bottom lanes allowing them to press without having to worry about the threat of their jungler. An added bonus is if their jungler is weak from clearing out their jungle, you might be able to sneak up and get a gank on them.