Introduction to Mid lane
What is Mid Lane
What is the role of a midlaner?
Why is there only one champion who plays in the mid lane per team instead of having 2 players like bot lane?
Mid lane is the shortest lane in Summoner’s Rift. That is why you want only 1 player to attain all gold and experience the fastest and they get to easily roam to both top and bot lanes and aid their allies whenever necessary.
What types of champions can be played in the mid lane?
Tanks are picked in the mid lane to compensate for high damage champions in other positions. They are most likely high-CC champions that can set up amazing plays for the team. The most notable midlaner in this season was the champion of 2019 World “Doinb” playing Nautilus. It allowed his team to play a strong damage dealer like Gangplank at the top. Other examples are Malphite, Galio, and Cho’Gath.
Assassins are picks you choose against midlaners that stay put in the backline. You want to deal with them early in the game, so when teamfights happen the enemy team has less opportunities to burst down your allies. A few examples are Zed, Diana, and Fizz, which are amazing at picking off low mobility mages in the mid lane.
When the team composition has a lot of front line damage and lacks backline presence, adding 1 more ADC balances the team. They are typically champions that thrive off one-item power spikes in the early game. Champions like Ezreal, Lucian, and Miss Fortune bring more pressure to the enemy midlaner, and forces them to engage in early teamfights.
Early Laning Phase
You should learn how to move minions forward or backward in the lane at the right moments. One of the key strategies in minion control is Freezing the lane, Fast pushing the lane, and Slow pushing the lane. This helps you control your minions positions whenever you are about to plan an objective or a teamfight in another lane. Keeping tabs on other lanes helps you decide whether or not you need to extend your minions close to the enemy turret or let them stay behind your turret keeping you safe from possible ganks. Being a midlaner takes skill and efficiency in minion control. Focus on studying your champion and find the worst and best matchups so you can have the proper mechanics on keeping your lane secured and in your favor. More on this on our upcoming 60 tips to becoming a Challenger.
In mid lane you mainly take a trade when the enemy goes for CS so you make them choose between getting the CS or losing a bit of health. Trading also happens when you hit a power spike and look to punish the enemy. Some champions can afford to take a bad trade if they have sustain in their kits. For example, Vladimir.
How you ward depends on a few different factors. Generally, you want to ward on the opposite side that your jungler is playing on, so your jungler can see the gank coming and set up for a counter-gank. You can use Control Wards to either deny the enemy vision in the bush next to mid, or control vision in the river. You can control one side of the lane’s vision by putting a Control Ward in the bush next to the lane, and then using your trinket to ward over the wall on that same side. If you are against a champion that likes to roam and you want to know which lane they roam to, you can put a trinket ward deep in lane to see which side they go towards.
Defending against Ganks
The most crucial thing a midlaner should know is the enemy team’s position. They are the ones who will bring pressure in the mid lane, especially in the early game phase. Collaborate with your jungler and place vision around your corner where a possible gank is likely to happen. Sometimes junglers with the ability to go around and through walls will be difficult to handle. Avoid being too close to the enemy mid tower and focus on farming. If you know your jungler is in the vicinity, you can try to counter the enemy team’s plans.
Assisting with Ganks
Vision is really important when you are playing as a midlaner. It provides vital information about what the enemy team is planning to do. Your jungler will always have a better opportunity if you both know the enemy jungler and all their allies are busy. Ask for assistance and kill the enemy midlaner, making them lose more experience as well as gold.
When to recall
Recalling at the wrong time is detrimental to your game in League of Legends. One must know when to recall to avoid losing experience, gold, or even allies. Here are some things you should consider whenever you recall:
- You should have enough gold to buy an item – when you have all the resources to get that first item, then it is best to recall. Remember to push your minion waves as close to the enemy mid tower as possible before doing so to avoid losing tower HP and gold.
- When you know the enemy team is about to gank your allies – whenever you’ve placed the wards around the map, you’ll most likely see what’s about to happen on the Rift. Since you have the highest damage in the game along with your ADC, you need to try to roam the map and assist your allies for any teamfight that is about to happen. Recalling is one of the best ways to avoid being cornered by enemies.
- You have pushed your way into the turret – it is better to recall when there is no potential kill in your lane or around the map. You’ll have a better position in terms of damage against the enemy midlaner. Don’t forget to shove your minion waves so you won’t be losing any gold when you come back to lane.
Level 6 Powerspikes
Most champions have an impactful level 6 power spike, either high-damaging abilities for the 1v1 like Syndra or Fizz, more mobility like Zoe or Kassadin, or mobility to impact the map like Twisted Fate or Galio. Once you hit level 6 you always want to be looking for opportunities to impact fights, either by solo-killing your opponent and roaming or helping your side lanes/jungler in tight situations.
Turret plating was a new addition to League of Legends in season 9. It adds 5 plates to all tier 1 turrets, giving them more armor and magic resistance, as well as health. Every plate gives you 160 gold when destroyed, which can be split with allies if they assist you in destroying it. They are difficult to break in a single push, but with the help of a Rift Herald, you can easily get 3-4 plates at once.
Lating Laning Phase
Roaming usually takes place when your jungler is looking for a big play with you or you have your control over the minion wave and can roam to help out a team member either in lane or in the jungle. Roaming will also take place no matter the minion wave placement when there is a fight and you need to go and help. Some champions don’t have much roaming potential unless the wave is in a good spot, as they have slow movement speed and sometimes should push the wave instead with their quick wave clear and deny the enemy experience and gold.
Counter-jungling is important in the laning phase. When vision is already in place around the map and you know the whereabouts of the enemy team, it is best to take as much gold and experience from the enemy side of the map. This increases your ability to get more items while also leveling faster than the enemy team. It also reduces their ability to roam, as they would fear getting ganked in their own area.
Some players rely on hard-farming, which makes a nuisance for champions that can easily burst them down. One of the best ways to avoid this kind of situation is tower-diving. Tower-diving is a coordinated assault on an enemy champion where divers methodically share the enemy tower’s hits while being able to kill the enemy champion within the area. It is a difficult strategy to do, but if done perfectly, can work wonders.
There are several factors to take into account when tower-diving an enemy champion:
- Your minion wave is shoved into the enemy tower – this one of the most neglected aspects in tower-diving. Every team should know that it is best to dive a turret with it focusing a few hits on your minions. You can easily spam long-range CC without getting hit by the tower for a few seconds. That can reduce the chance of losing a player, which makes the tower-dive favorable to the enemy champion.
- The enemy champion does not have Flash – it is better to tower-dive the enemy champion when you know that they don’t have any means of escape. Time their summoner spells and trap them on their own tower.
- You have multiple means of CC to lock your opponent – having multiple CC abilities to hold the enemy in one spot makes it easier for you to kill them. Not only does it prevent outplays, but it also gives you a lower chance of losing your summoners. Tower-diving without CC is a very hard thing to do, and most players do not have the ability to do it.
- The enemy team is in no position to counter your tower-dive – the best opportunity to tower-dive an enemy is when you and your allies know all the current positions of the enemy team. If you have placed the right vision then you won’t have to worry about possible counters when ganking an opponent under their tower.
Even though the mid lane is the shortest lane in Summoner’s Rift, it is also great to have Teleport to help out allies whenever possible. There are certain situations where having a Teleport gives you enough time to assist your allies and avoid losing a lot of ground in the game. Teleport takes only 4 seconds to transport your champion into another area of the map where a minion, ward, or turret is available for you to click. With the new changes of the spell, it now provides additional movement speed, which increases your ability to burst down enemies before they kill your allies. Try to hold your Teleport as long as possible, don’t use it to get back to your lane if it is not necessary. If your toplaner also has Teleport, it would be a very effective tool to surprise enemies in teamfights.
Swapping lanes is switching positions with your allies. You can go either to top or bottom depending on the matchup. You typically do this in the mid lane when you want to speed up the wave-clear and gain an upper hand on the enemy team. This can be done when you hold a lane like the bottom and focus on defending and freezing the minion wave while your ADC + support duo pressures the mid lane and tries to get the enemies to lose gold and experience. When this happens, the enemy team will likely react by letting their jungler gank the lane. The best course of action is to have your jungler help you position yourself in a 3v2 situation, which makes it more favorable to you.
There are a few reasons and conditions why you are going to swap lanes:
- Deny the enemy mid lane – if the enemy midlaner has team combos that will give them an advantage in the game, like Malphite mid, Yasuo, Galio, etc., then it is best to give them a very hard time during the laning phase. It’s worth denying the hyper carry points so you won’t struggle over the next teamfights.
- When the lane is not in your favor – if during the pick/ban phase you have been countered, then swapping lanes is the best decision for you. Even if you are the best player with the champion, you have to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of your character. Avoid being destroyed in the lane and just lane-swap. This will keep your enemy midlaner in check while you focus on farming up for upcoming skirmishes.
- You want to gain objectives – when you have a strong toplaner that can aid your junger and duo to take the Dragon, then it would be great for them to be at the closest area possible, which is the mid lane. This is especially great when you have Teleport as a summoner spell. It increases your chance of having a better position before the enemy team does.
- Your team composition relies on a strong ADC – if your team is based on protecting your ADC and letting him be the hyper carry later in the game, then swapping lanes to gain more gold and experience is the go-to solution. You want your carry to free-farm like a mad man so they can be ready to deal tons of damage later in the game.
Split-pushing is when you move to a lane where no enemies are protecting it. You typically split-push when you know the enemies take longer to get you or they are busy facing your allies on the other side of the map. If you are an assassin in the mid lane, such as Zed, it is much easier for you to split-push and gain the upper hand in a different area. Always make sure that you have communicated to your allies that you are going to do this, as they may need your assistance in teamfights. As a midlaner, split-pushing is not your main priority, but to do damage with the team. This is especially true if you are a burst mage like Leblanc, Syndra, and other backline damage dealers.
Objective control gives your team global pressure to gain more gold and experience. As a midlaner, you are the closest to all objectives and your number one job is to assist allies as they try to take an objective that will be beneficial for your team to win. Some of the key objectives you should try to attain are Rift Heralds, Elemental Dragons, and Baron. These are the most vital objectives that can turn the tide in your favor. When you are one in the middle of the map, you should be always looking to burst down enemies trying to claim these objectives. Try to prolong their way towards your allies and it will allow you to take it easily. If taking the objective leads to a teamfight, avoid dying early, as you will deal the most damage to the enemy.
When team-fighting as a midlaner, it all depends on your champion. If you are a burst mage then your sole purpose is to pick off squishy targets and avoid getting killed yourself. At this time, you are already one of the highest damage dealers in the game. Even a small assist from your allies will instantly kill your enemies. Try to position yourself where you are near your allies so won’t get caught off guard. If you have picked a tank for your team then you’ll most probably be the setter of combos for the team. Use your CC to hold the enemies down and let your ADC and bruisers do the work. Your teamfights will all depend on your team composition, so it will always vary.
Rift Herald is the neutral monster that spawns before Baron Nashor. It is a powerful objective that, when killed, drops an eye that replaces your trinket slot. It empowers your recall and allows you to buy items fast. You can also spawn the Rift Herald anywhere on the map. After summoned, it attacks nearby minions or, if close enough to a turret, it charges and deals heavy amounts of damage to the turret. It is an objective that spawns twice before the 19:45-minute mark. This is a perfect objective to utilize in the early game to take more turret plates and increase your gold lead. If left untouched, this monster can continuously charge into turrets without hesitation. You can use this as a midlaner and extend your area of control on the map. With the help of your jungler, try to gank your enemy in the lane. When they die or recall, you can instantly use Rift Herald to increase pressure.
Baron is the most powerful monster buff you can get in Summoner’s Rift apart from the Elder Dragon. It is one of the most contested objectives in League of Legends, as it can almost turn any tide around. Similar to the Rift Herald, it also gives you empowered recall. The only difference is that all allies that are currently alive when the Baron is killed will have this enhancement. Aside from that, it provides more ability damage, movement speed, slow resistance, and strengthens nearby minions turning them into supers. Attaining this objective helps you hasten your siege and deal more damage to the enemy base. As a midlaner, this will help you burst enemies easier, especially tanks that have magic resistance. It’s a powerful tool to negate the enemy’s current strength and deliver heavy blows to them. But do not be too aggressive: use this opportunity to communicate with your allies and siege more turrets and increase your chance of winning the game.
Finishing the Game
Finishing the game takes skill. With all the abilities you have to look out for, you need to be wary of your position. Being a midlaner is tough. You hold the power to either win the game or lose it. You also get blamed if you get picked off, as you are one of the highest damage dealers in the game. If you are a backline mage that bursts enemies, then stick to your allies until you reduce the enemies’ numbers. If you are going as an assassin, then pick off one enemy or two and then get back to your team. And if you are going as a tank, then synergize with your allies’ abilities and do some amazing wombo combos and win the game. League of Legends is all about strategy, and being a midlaner requires in-depth knowledge of your position and capabilities to end the game with a victory.
In summary, playing as midlaner requires a great amount of vision to position yourself in a great spot in every teamfight. You have to manage your CS count while delivering tons of damage in your lane. You also need to watch out for ganks and assist your allies as much as possible when taking objectives. This role allows you to sit back in the early to mid game and carry your team to victory towards the late game. It requires skill, discipline, and a great amount of mechanics to bring to the table.
Contributors for credit on the site:
- Geb Vence
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