Introduction to Bot Lane
What is an ADC?
ADC means Attack Damage Carry, the term used to call the position of allies or enemies that deal heavy amounts of damage through basic attacks. Their items are solely built to increase their auto-attacks to burst opponents in a few hits.
What is the role of an ADC?
As an ADC, your role is to sit back on the team and earn as much gold as possible early in the game. Once you have all the necessary items, you’ll be delivering tons of damage and carry your team to victory.
What types of champions can play as ADC?
Bruisers are typically fighters who deal a lot of damage but are not entirely squishy champions. They are built to shred tanks and dive in teamfights to set up nice plays for the team. Bruisers are usually placed at the top, jungle and mid lane to allow them to ramp up items and deal with enemies later. But a few changes in League of Legends made them a viable pick in the bot lane in season 10. Picks like Yasuo, Mordekaiser, Irelia, Swain, etc., can now be picked as an option. It gives the enemy ADC a harder time, since they are going up against a more robust composition.
Tanks, or what we call juggernauts in the game. They are the champions that deal less damage but are ready to peel for the team. They create opportunities where hard-carry teammates can deal tons of damage while they soak in the enemy’s skills. This is not a common pick in the bottom lane, as a team requires a heavy damage dealer when the game progresses. Champions like Sion, Garen, etc., are possible candidates, but it requires a hyper carry on a different lane, like a Vayne top or Kindred jungle, to balance the composition.
Mages are champions with high ability power. They use their skills to burst out enemies on the lane. Similar to typical ADCs, they stay distant in teamfights and use their damage to execute enemies while allies try to protect them or initiate plays. Mages like Veigar, Ziggs, Heimerdinger, etc., are used in the bot lane if there are already a lot of AD champions in your composition. This balances out your team. It also gives you a position where a support is protecting you rather than being alone in the mid lane.
Assassins are agile champions that are swift and cunning. They take down a target and reposition themselves to hunt down other enemies. Champions like Zed, Kha’Zix, Rengar, etc., are typical assassins in the game, but they are not often used as ADCs. They are better off in a solo lane like the mid, top, or jungle, so they can farm up early on and burst enemies when they have the penetration items they need. It is far more difficult to face a ranged ADC in the bot lane if you are using an assassin, since most ADC try to get a B.F. sword their first buy and assassins get a Serrated Dirk. Avoid attempting this, as early game champions may give you a difficult time to farm up and carry your allies.
These are the most common form of ADC in League of Legends. It is one of the most valuable picks that will suit every team composition in the game. The goal is to farm up as a long-range ADC and buy yourself the items that will increase your damage, which will help you and your team win the game. Typically, you will also have supports to protect you, like tanks and enchanters, which soak damage and provide healing whenever you initiate fights. The goal is to sit back and cast your abilities and auto-attacks against your opponents while being protected and then launching yourself to the enemy team when you know you can carry your team.
Early Laning Phase
During the early game, you want to be leashing your jungler. This will help him/her clear more jungle camps, which increases your chance to be assisted early on. The goal is to damage the buff, whether it’s the Blue Sentinel or the Red Brambleback, and reduce the incoming damage your jungler will receive from it. This will keep them healthy and clear more areas, which will make them have a greater lead on the enemy jungler. You’ll expect that the enemy bot lane will also do this to match the experience your jungler receives, so be wary of it. You can also leash on the enemy jungle together with your jungler and support. If the enemy bot lane isn’t helping their ally out in clearing the camp, this will put them at a big loss in the early laning phase, as there will be a chance for you and your jungler to Smite their buff while also taking out their ally.
As an ADC you want to manage your minions as much as possible. This will give you the most experience and gold in the game and help you increase your chances of winning. There are 3 things you have to learn how to do whenever you are in lane, especially when your position on the team is ADC:
- Freeze – Freezing the lane is when you want to slow down the movement of the minions going back and forth to your tower or the enemies’. Your goal is to only last hit the enemy minions when you know they are about to die. This makes the waves stay put in the middle of the lane and not push further to the enemy turret, which would allow the enemy jungler to gank you, or drive the enemy close to your turret which would make it difficult for you to CS and would give them the chance to get early turret plates.
- Slow-push – Compared to freezing your lane, slow-pushing the wave is more focused on getting your minions close to the tower, but you still don’t want to rush it. Your goal is to kill the enemy caster minions by using abilities or auto-attacks, which gives you the minion wave advantage. You want to slow-push to get the enemy’s attention so that your allies can take objectives on the other side of the map and provide more gold to the team. You want to apply pressure to your lane but still avoid getting killed while doing so.
- Fast-push – Fast-pushing is when you kill the melee and siege minions using all your abilities and auto-attacks. You want to reduce the minions of the enemy as fast as possible so that your minion wave can quickly move into the turret. Fast-pushing is a great move when you want to get something done in a short amount of time. You use this strategy whenever you want to assist your allies in the mid lane or when a fight is about to happen in the enemy jungle. This applies more pressure to the enemy team, as while they are fighting, minions are crashing towards their turrets and slowly destroying it. You can also do this when you want to recall back to base and get those items to increase your stats. This will give you enough time to go back to your lane and not lose any minions.
Trading is exchanging damage with your opponent in the lane. You want to dominate the lane by beating your enemies through skirmishes with your support. This will make them unable to be too aggressive, making them play passively in the lane. It also gives you the opportunity to determine your matchup if it is too difficult to handle on your own. You will then call out to your allies and fight 3v2 or 4v2 battles so that the enemy bot lane will no longer have a better position in the bottom. Avoid being burst out and not replying to their skills, as you’ll most likely die in their next attack. Your support can also peel for you and have items like Locket of the Iron Solari and Knight’s Vow so you can keep up with the enemy ADC.
Warding is one of the most crucial things you need to learn in League of Legends. It gives you enough information on the map to know where your enemies are and what they are about to do. The most common vision we use in season 10 is through warding trinkets. You can get them for free in the early game, which will provide you vision to hold enough area. The other 2 items you can use are Control Wards and blue trinkets. You typically use Control Wards to clear a bush or an area from enemy trinkets. It also has no expiration so it is an amazing tool for vision when not seen by the enemy. Blue trinkets are used for ADCs in later stages of the game. This gives you the chance to see an area even if you are still far away from it like Dragons and Barons. As an ADC, you want to help your support place visions around the bottom lane to avoid ganks from the jungler that will lead to a difficult matchup in the game. One of the main areas to ward in the bot lane are the tribush and the bush on the edge of the river. Place a Control Ward on the tribush to have vision of any incoming ganks and place a regular trinket on the river, as most of the time enemies will clear it with an Oracle Lens.
Defending against Ganks
Defending your lane is crucial to increase your chances of winning the game, especially when ganks are possible. Junglers and other laners will always look to go into your lane and beat you so that you won’t be able to carry your team. Once you’ve placed vision around your area, always look to counter the enemy’s plans. When you know a jungler or a laner from mid or top is missing, they may be attempting to set up a teamfight in your lane. Communicate with your allies and try to bait the enemies. Always ping your teammates so they know what is about to happen. Be as close as possible to your support so they can heal you or soak in some damage. While you’re getting away from your opponents, kite them until your jungler or other allies are ready to back you up.
Assisting with Ganks
You are not going to stay forever in your lane. Even your allies in other lanes need your damage output, so look to assist them. Fast-push your lane so you can recall and get some items. Your enemy in the lane may think you are going back to them after a recall and will stay there, but you can pass by another lane and assist them with a gank. This is very effective especially for low ELO where people are only on the lookout for kills. Assists are also important in the game, and you should be able to help your teammates whenever they ping to help you or when you know an enemy is about to gank their lane. League of Legends is a 5v5 strategy game and it should be played like one. But if you are trying to boost yourself through building items as fast as possible, then freeze your lane and let your enemies push you as close to your turret to be safe. You can then let your support roam around the map and help others. This will not be effective if you aren’t communicating with your team so do so.
When to Recall
As an ADC one of the easiest times to recall is when you have been ganked and your HP is low. You should recall avoiding being killed. You should also recall gaining an item power spike in the lane, especially if one of your first items requires a B. F. Sword. This is very important to get in the early game, as this increases your AD drastically. As soon as you get this item after a recall, you can look to fight your enemies in the lane and possibly win giving you favor in the game. You can also recall when you are going to contest an objective. You should also recall when you want to assist your allies on the other side of the map as mentioned before.
Level 6 powerspikes
Level 6 is always one of the game turning moments in the game. Having the ultimate at play makes you stronger. If you level up to 6 before the enemy ADC, look for a fight and take advantage of this power spike, as they won’t have their best abilities at play in the teamfight. Even with the enemy jungler ganking you, you can win a 2v3 situation when both you and your support have your ultimate ready to cast on your foes.
Gold is important as an ADC, as it is the best way to gain more items in Summoner’s Rift. One of the best ways to earn more gold is to destroy turret plating. It is the additional protection of turrets in the early game. The primary turrets in the lane will have 5 plates that you can destroy which gives you 160 gold per plate and can be shared with your teammates. This is great for you, especially when you are a hyper carry, as you want to have better AD items before the enemy ADC does, so that every teamfight will be in your favor.
Late Laning Phase
As mentioned above, roaming should also be done by ADC, as you are one of the high damage dealers for your team. Try to assist allies around the map whenever you recall and use your skills to burst out enemies. As you go further into the game, laning wouldn’t be much important. You can then look to take more objectives around the map and siege turrets to gain more pressure in the game. Be on the lookout for assassins and mages, as they will deal a ton of damage to you. You can use these pointers to determine when to roam:
- When you recalled from base.
- When you want to counter a gank from another lane.
- When your ultimate is up.
- When you’ve killed your enemies in the lane.
- When the enemy on the other lane has no spells like Flash.
- When your jungler is nearby.
Counter-jungling is not only a move as a jungler but also a laner. Whenever you have vision around the enemy jungle camps, you can look to gank them in their area. They would usually think that it is safe to farm on their camps, but with a jungler and your damage at play, you’ll be able to burst them down and reduce their efforts in the game. You can then try to get as many camps as possible from the enemy side and lessen the experience that the enemy jungler will gain when they respawn again. Be careful of laners coming to aid them, as a teamfight might occur. Don’t forget to communicate with your team that this is going to be your plan. Even if you know they are going in that area, don’t try to do it alone, as you’ll be easily killed especially if the jungler is an assassin like Kha’Zix, Rengar, or Kayn. ADCs should always help allies but they need someone to protect them, as they are squishy.
Tower-diving is usually done in pro plays but not in solo queue, as it requires coordination with your allies. You need to know that the enemy team has no chance of escape. They shouldn’t have summoner spells like Flash and Ghost in play or your efforts will be useless. Whenever you tower-dive with your allies, do not attack first, as you’ll receive the turret aggro. Try to wait for your ally with the most HP to set up the dive. Always wait for your team’s CC before going in to make sure that you aren’t going to die inside the turret. When the turret aggro has been placed into your team, then it is your job to hit the enemy with all you’ve got. Use your abilities and damage to burst the enemy under the turret as fast as possible while your ally escapes the vicinity of the turret. Also, be wary of the enemy’s abilities: if their ultimate is available, they can easily turn around fights with their turret, which makes your tower dive pointless.
In season 10, ADCs are now using Teleport instead of Heal in the bot lane. This is because of enchanters having enough healing abilities to protect and save you. In the early laning phase, you are going to use Teleport to get as much farm as possible and avoid losing them on your turret. Whenever you need an item, recall and get back with Teleport. Let your support cover for you before the wave reaches your turret so you still get the gold and experience. This is important especially for ADCs that use Tear of the Goddess as a first item. You want to spam your abilities as early as you can and kill all minions to achieve a power spike before the enemy ADC does. As the game progresses, you can also look to use your Teleport for assisting your allies in teamfights far from you. This will give you the numbers advantage providing a better chance at your battles, especially when their ADC has no Teleport to use.
Swapping lanes with your teammates is best done when you have already dominated your lane. Once you’ve taken down your first turret along with its turret plating, you can swap with your top lane and let your toplaner soak all the minions coming back to your turret at the bottom. This will give him time to relax and just farm while you provide more pressure on the other side of the map. This is the best move you can do, especially when you are in the lead. You want to maximize your advantage as a bot lane duo and gain more control around the map. You can also look to take the Rift Herald with your jungler and use it to push the top lane easier. When the top lane turret has already been destroyed, you can then move to the mid lane. This is a great strategy to utilize so you can gain more gold and experience as an ADC while making sure you don’t have a weaker link on the team. Help your team whenever possible as you swap lanes and this will increase your chances of winning the late laning phase.
Split-pushing is great in the mid game, as it can give you more areas around the map while you take an objective. Typically this is not an ideal move with an ADC, as it is easy for an assassin to execute you alone. You can only do this whenever you have a support assisting you and keeping you safe. The best time to split-push is when your allies are taking a Baron or a Dragon in the mid-game. But it is better to be with your allies on an objective and let a toplaner split-push with Teleport ready. Only split-push with your support in a 2v3 siege after the objective to make it more difficult for the enemy team to contest your push.
As an ADC, you want to be able to be with your allies whenever they try to take an objective like a Dragon, Rift Herald, or Baron. By now you’ve got the most damage in your team along with your midlaner, and both of you should help to take the objective. ADCs like Kalista and Vayne can be effective champions to obtain a powerful buff in the game. Use their skills and get the objectives as fast as possible before the enemy team can contest, resulting in a loss of gold and experience.
The late game phase requires a great amount of strategy to win, especially when your champions are early game heavy. If this happens, you need to manage your strength and look for picks on teamfights rather than just going all-in. As an ADC, your job will always be to shred the enemies in front of you and reduce their HP as fast as possible to gain the upper hand. Never approach a teamfight alone even if you have a ton of damage, as enemies will be setting up traps for you. You want to stay alive as long as possible so you and your allies can deal with their carries and win the teamfight and quite possibly take more areas around the map right after.
There will always be 2 spawns of Rift Herald in season 10, and it is very important to take them towards the late game as they are an effective pusher in the game. Rift Herald deals a lot of damage when they charge into the turret, especially when you and your allies are around it. You can also use the Rift Herald as bait and set up amazing teamfights for your team. Always place yourself in a position where you can hit your enemies for free while avoiding skillshots that may kill you.
When taking the Baron, you should be careful of its debuff. You want to position yourself where you can easily escape any champion that will try to execute you. Baron is important for any sieging in the game so you should try to contest it whenever possible. Stick with your support and keep kiting this powerful buff until your jungler can Smite it down. If a teamfight is about to happen, stop hitting the Baron and move away from its vicinity so it won’t target you. You can then focus on kiting around the clash and avoiding CC that can disable your movements. If you are about to defeat your opponents, then you can continue taking the objective to quickly push the enemy’s base.
Finishing the game
Everything that happens in the late game can be critical. As an ADC you have to be wary of your position, as ambushes can happen. This can lead to teamfights without you, and you don’t want that to happen, as your team will likely lose. You want to stay close to your allies whenever you need any help and burst the enemies down with your AD stats while also shredding tanks along the way. Keep kiting until all enemies are close to being killed by your allies. You can then either take the last hit or give it to them. As long as you live on as many teamfights as possible, you have a higher chance of winning the game for the team.
In summary, when playing as an ADC you want to be safe from any assassin that tries to execute you. You want to kite around teamfights and be the damage dealer that your team needs. Combine your strength with your midlaner and you’ll surely win the game with tons of damage. This role requires a lot of farming and obtaining items so you can be the star of the game later on. Learn how to manage CS and practice controlling minion waves.
Thanks for reading the Ultimate Season 10 Guide to ADC, and I hope this can help you climb to Challenger!
- Geb Vence
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