How a Player Should Understand "Rotation"

posted in the original Vainglory Forums on 8 July 2016 by @Paperlucky, archived by @HipsterSkaarf on 8 Feb 2018


First of all, “Rotation” in MOBAs does not mean “the action of spinning around a center point”. When your team asks you to rotate, they dont want you to stand and try to spin your hero’s model round and round. No, that would be fun, but no.

“Rotation” means moving from your current position to an objective/skirmish/fight. While this term is mainly used when adressing the action of a laner moving into the jungle, it doesnt limit to just the laner. In fact, when your roamer moves into the lane to babysit you, you can also say that the roamer “rotate” into the lane.

Well, that’s pretty much it for what “Rotation” means. Although the action sounds simple (what’s so hard about moving?), “Rotation” is one of the things that differentiate a good player from a bad one. Why is that?

Because it requires your skill on judging the situation. You dont want to “rotate” into the jungle for a fight, just to find out that your jungler and roamer is already retreating. You also dont want to AFK farming, just to realize that the enemy Vox is gone half a minute ago, and is now eating up your jungle. Remember, jungle takes up a good chunk of the map. Losing the jungle hurts your team a lot in the long run.


So, let’s cover some of the basic of “Rotation”. I will divide the section into 3 major parts: Laner, Roamer and Jungler.

A. Laner

As the laner, it’s common sense for you to understand that you are the one of the carries on your team. Since the lane is rich in gold, it’s normal for you to see youself having the highest amount of income in the game. However, ever since the new patch, the meta has slightly shifted its focuse into the jungle. It’s very easy for the jungler to snowball out of control from the first fight at the shop, and from there impacting YOU as well. Knowing that the jungle is very important is the first step to grasp the idea of a good “Rotation”.

“So, when should I ro…” Not so fast. First thing first, look at the both team comps and your hero. What can you make out of it? Do they have a SAW that is constantly pushing into you? Do their team comp rely on snowballing hard? Does your hero require a huge amount of gold to stay relevant? Practice the skill of analyzing team comps is a solid step to help you rotate. Try reading guides, asking for help on the forums or listen to competive play commentary (especially during draft) will definitely help you develop this particular skill.

Next, from the information above, see if a rotation from YOU is a possible choice. You should only rotate if…

  1. the enemy laner is also “Rotating”: You should not let a 3v2 happens against your team, especially if it’s a fight in your jungle. However, there are more to this, which i will explain later down below.

  2. minion wave is pushed: Note that “Rotation” also equals your absence in lane. Leaving the minion wave too close to your turret will allow the enemy to push it, making you lose precious cs. This could also lead to a potential turret take-out, especially if the enemy laner is a SAW.

  3. the location of the fight is close to your side: when the enemy duo crosses the mid point of the map, they are in your territory. You should have a time advantage, as you are much closer to the upcoming fight. There’s no reason the enemy should be able to overextend without being punished.

  4. your team is going to get something out of it: There’s no reason to come down there when your team is just playing “the flaring game”. This is when both teams are flaring each other, but no one is forcing a fight. However, do consider “soft-rotation”: either disappear from the lane or moving slightly toward the tri bush. This tenique (i made it up, dont judge me) is particularly useful when your team doesnt want to fight early as it threatens a collapse from you.

  5. the enemy can easily snowball: some example of these heroes are Taka, Petal, Skye and Reim. They all have a very good early game, and can easily get out of control, leading to your team losing the jungle. Having an extra person to defend (yes, DEFEND not attack) against them can help your jungler a lot.

  6. you have an early advantage: sometimes, it’s your team who should take the initiative. Push the lane early (this is important), then rotate down to invade the enemy, especially if your jungler is the one mentioned above, or your early game is good in general. Not only it helps your jungler start their snowball, it also relieves the pressure. After all, you dont have to be the sole hard carry.

All the tips above arent limited to just the laner. For the roamer and jungler, they can also mean “when should I expect a rotation from the laner”. Dont start pinging mindlessly when the laner didnt rotate, even though the SAW was destroying the tower. In fact, sometimes, it’s the jungle duo’s fault that the laner cant rotate. Why? Let’s dive into the roamer and jungler’s role in a succesful “Rotation”.

B. Roamer

Yes, “Rotation” is also an important part of a roamer. After all, “roaming” can also mean “rotating”. But unlike the laner, the requirements for “Rotation” on a roamer is much simpler. Still, here are something to note:

  1. First, only rotate into lane if your jungler is capable of farming by his/herself. This is usually after the second or third clear of the jungle. By this time, the regen from the healing minions are more than enough to sustain.

  2. Second, mine up potential invade path. You dont want your jungler to be gang up by the enemy duo. Usually, 2 mines should be enough: one in the tri bush and another one in the shop bush. However, it’s up to you to light up the jungle. An extra mine in the back camp can also help some heroes like Alpha and Skye escape an invade.

  3. Third, rotate as soon as POSSIBLE when your laner is being PRESSURED, either from the enemy laner or a second person in lane. This way, you are helping your entire team: your laner gets to farm, while the chances of an invade is much much lower. Not only so, you can help turn the tide in lane, and potentally getting a kill out of it.

  4. Fourth, if your laner isnt being pressure, then you dont necessary need to show youself 100% in lane. Be on your foot, and start “roaming”. Accompany your jungler to the shop to prevent an unfortunate collaspe, and use that opportunity to replace your mines and potions, and shop for items. Remember to ping your laner everytime you want to shop, so he/she doesnt overextend.

  5. Fifth, rotate to clear or freeze the minion waves. There is absolutely no reason for your laner to go ballistic when you finish off those minions that otherwise would have die anyway. However, do NOT push, unless your team asks you too. Sometimes, by doing so, you are messing up an advantageous freeze, that can result in a counter-freeze, preventing your laner from getting farms.

Much simpler, right? Ok, not sure if it’s any simpler but still, rotate well, and you can protect both you laner and jungler, while gaining good amount of gold. Rotate badly, and you’re nothing but a spinning duck. No really, you’ll be stuck spinning around between lane and jungle.

C. Jungler

A jungler’s “Rotation” often transits into a gank. Very rarely does a jungler sit in lane for bonus gold: after all, that’s your roamer’s job, and sharing xp isnt encouraged. As a jungler, it’s important to understand “Rotation” is basically “when to gank”. Here are some opportunity for a quick “Rotation” that you shouldnt miss:

  1. The enemy laner is overextended: this should not be happening: If the enemy SAW is somehow still alive, even though he right in front of your tower, that’s mean you didnt rotate well. Apply pressure: by showing yourself once or twice, it should be enough to push the enemy laner back. Or simply gank: a kill or two is always good.

  2. You finished your clear: unless your team is in position for an invade, there is no reason for you to stay in the jungle. See if you can gank, or simply help the roamer setting up vision. Until SEMC adds taunts/dances, I consider standing around in the cleared jungle pointless.

  3. The enemy is sieging HEAVILY: emphasis on heavily. If the rest of your team can defend against the enemy lousy siege, then there’s no reason for you not to try and take away a few camps, or simply set up vision. However, if they are showing signs of diving, be there and punish the enemy.

  4. Your laner is back in base/dead, and the lane is being pushed: usually, the roamer is enough to do this. But if you are a farm hungry jungler, then consider sharing the gold in lane with your roamer. Even if you dont get the last hit, ambient gold allows you to get some extra gold for completing an important item powerspike. Caution: ONLY DO THIS IF YOU HAVE FINISHED CLEARING THE JUNGLE!

That’s about it. If you want a more detailed guide on ganking, then check out… someone else :p. Or you can ask me and we can discuss it together.


Now, remember when i said it could potentially the jungler and support’s fault that the laner cant rotate well? That is because some jungle duo disregard the situation and team comps, and take unnecessary fights. Check if the laner is in a position to rotate. If he/she is being pushed in constantly by a SAW or Vox, then chances are the laner wont be rotating. Instead, right there, a gank would help your team more than asking your laner to let the lane pushed in and losing fight. Not only that your turret is taking unwanted damage, you are potentially sandwiched, between the enemy laner and duo.


Well, that’s all I could think off as “basic”. There is no such thing as perfect rules for “Rotation”. Learn to judge the situation yourself through game experiences is the best way to prove your “Rotation” skill. Afterall, no game is completely the same (unless you run into the same SAW troll twice), and it’s up to you to figure out your own rules.

This thread is open for discusion, as I am not a pro myself. Feel free to argue and share your experience with “Rotation” skill.

Good luck and have fun “rotating” yourself to victory (not talking about you, Rona)