Tips on Transitioning from Mid to High Elo play:

Content archived from the Original Vainglory forums - originally posted by @Magmaw on the 25th of August, 2016. Archived by @DerpyJY

These are purely from my own observations partying with high elo players… I fully assume that there are other things that mid tier players need to learn to adjust to higher level play. If you think you have one, then please let me know, preferably with some justification just like I have added below. Likewise if you think something is not important, give me some reasoning. There are definitely mid tier players who can do some/all of these things I list below, but the majority of mid tier players don’t, and this makes it harder for them to play with the upper tiers. Most high elo players are either 1. Silent, 2. Very helpful (and knowledgable), or 3. (at least) kinda Toxic and very unhelpful, probably ignoring you entirely. The first are common, the second are far too rare, and the third are annoyingly common; I thought it might be helpful to provide some information from a different perspective. And yes, I want (actual) feedback. I won’t bother responding to useless posts.

So without further ado:

Tips on Transitioning from Mid to High Tier play:

  • Prioritize fast jungle clear, farm quickly and consistently: Before when roamers had to last hit, there were many junglers who would start minions first just because they needed to shop asap. In the current meta it is drastically important to get to the shop first, preferably with your shop camps in tow, Pro Laners often take the first jungle minion to expedite the process! Rapid jungle clears have become extremely crucial in preventing snowballs. Likewise, if you farm your jungle like clockwork, you can gain CS on your opponent purely by not wasting time, and being ready when your creeps respawn.

  • Roamers much more often need to stay in lane to babysit the laner. This is helpful if you keep vision up, since you get more gold that way, but it also requires the jungler to be able to farm fast and stay safe. Bad idea if jungle is invaded on a lot. An aggressive roamer babysitting the opponent laner (or a Lyra no matter the stance) will likely require your roamer to sit in lane as well.

  • Builds may suck, mechanics improve drastically. I elaborate on this below, but many players build dumb and are good at using their characters with that handicap.

  • You will need to be able to block abilities. You can’t ignore the need to block that Forced Accord, Blast Tremor, or Afterburn anymore. This makes a huge difference now that many teams will be able to capitalize on such powerful abilities properly. Blocking abilities is the biggest thing people forget to do, though forgetting to activate that Fountain is a close second.

  • You can take objectives with just one kill, depending on the comps. Remember when you were noobs and you needed to wipe out all the opponents to avoid a steal from that pesky Taka? No longer! Assuming you have decent vision and a healthy team, you can safely take objectives in most instances, if you land a SINGLE kill onto the opponents. Heck, even forcing them back to base can be enough! So pay attention to the minimap please! Just keep in mind that while Gold Miners are harder to kill than turrets, the opponents will defend a turret much more successfully than a Gold Miner or sometimes even a Kraken. If the (available) opponents have good CC AND Damage, trying a turret off a single kill is NOT WORTH IT. Go for gold mine and/or their jungle, but don’t go for the turret. Its too easy for the opponents to delay you, mow you down, and you can’t do anything about it because of that dang turret! So yeah, choose your objectives carefully and you can gain from a single smaller fight. Sometimes you have to pick a second fight just to wipe out opponents and THEN win a turret.

  • Snowballs are much more deadly. These can start from the very first jungle fight, it is imperative that you get your first few jungle rotations safely, otherwise you can expect hell. Get your laner to rotate if you have to, or leave your shop creeps alone and port back to base. Something to avoid those early kills. A good team will literally live in your jungle if they can secure the opening fights, keeping vision to prevent you sneaking into their jungle, with their laner quickly rotating to help put down any attempted upsets. It’s depressing. If you can’t win the first fight, then don’t fight.

  • Rotations from lane to help junglers (and vice versa) are very common, even in soloque. Most parties now seem to try to rotate in fairly high elo. Just expect it, unless the laner is seriously in danger of losing farm.

  • Heroes counters become really important now that some players can use them well. Remember that Taka you beat when you were a Celeste in T2? Not gonna happen in many/most cases. Just as more carries understand their mechanics fairly effectively, hero counters suddenly rise in importance. Heroes counter eachother when their strengths are abused against their opponent’s weaknesses, and anyone who understands their mechanics decently well at this stage, can probably do it.

  • You really have to understand your power spikes, and when you have a realistic chance of beating your opponents with a lategame hero. Sometimes your “early game hero” is countered or weaker than another, stronger “early game hero”. Use your brain, not your testosterone producing glands, for crying out loud!

  • Vision is ultra important. If you are caught out by vision, HEAD BACK unless you are with your team and can have vision. It’s a bad habit of many people to blindly lunge into the opponent’s jungle, only to get caught out by a rotation and die fruitlessly.

  • Some groups can pull off glass cannon carries, but not most. Don’t imitate them because they wrecked you. Only go with just a reflex block, if you are very, very good with positioning and you have sufficient peel, or you are getting very far ahead of the opponents, and either way you are not taking damage. Pro tip: If you are outranged by the opponents, expect to take at least some damage, even if they are a skill shot hero. The longer ranged character can try glass cannon, since they do damage first, possibly enough to offset the defenses. The shorter ranged one absolutely cannot.

  • Bad initiations/ability uses are usually punished severely, now or later. Actually, this should include frivolous use of abilities. People start keeping track of cooldowns on a basic level - failing to use an ability or two successfully means the opponents might try to fight. So many Catherines use their Stun on jungle minions, or for a stack while milling around in lane, for instance. A good team will punish you for it directly or indirectly - using Merciless Pursuit on the enemy support in lane means you just lost your main CC for 10-13 seconds, enough time for that Glaive to ambush your laner, while you twiddle your thumbs. Likewise, don’t use your Forced Accord or Attack of the Pack to pick a fight when the opponents are either winning, or have help (like the minion miner/turret). If the opponents were ready for you, heavily consider backing off. Many teams will intentionally lure you to their turrets.

  • You can’t target the roamer first when the carries are within range. This should be blatantly obvious, the whole point of the roamer in a team fight is to be a distraction, or free stacks of BP/BM where possible. However, you need to be killing the carries first in most cases, so ignore the roamer when you can. The exception being CP Vox. :3

  • Very good roamers will understand how to provide the maximum utility for their team - in most cases Phinn is better at blocking oncoming opponent, than chasing. Same goes for Lance. Both struggle to provide real offensive support unlike say, Fortress, or even Adagio. You can’t play passive Fortress most of the time, and you can’t play too aggressively as Phinn or Lance. You can’t peel for your ranged squishy if you tried to Impale that enemy Skye (who probably dodged it anyway) and let your opponents past you. You have to understand everyone’s most effective roles. Likewise, some abilities such as Quibble, Merciless Pursuit, Gythian Wall, (and apparently even Gauntlet) can be used to stop important opponent abilities, such as powerful ults. Sometimes it helps to save your stun just a tad longer, if it is not immediately necessary to save a carry.

  • (@Moalze) Game knowledge (understanding of how abilities work, can give you a big advantage. For instance, you can maximise your Atlas Pauldron’s effectiveness by waiting until your opponent has high amounts of BP stacks. Building Armour will reduce your opponent’s WP Lifesteal. Lyra’s Healing Sigil will run out faster if more heroes are within it, etc… It lets you make better use of your own stuff, and weaken your opponents!

  • (Also @Moalze ) Many abilities can be seen on the map without vision over the areas. This helps with your positioning and shotcalling immensely as it basically tells you where the opponents are. Likewise, players who have the game sounds audible, can hear effects like Reim’s Winter Spire, Celeste’s Heliogenesis, or even Catherine’s Autoattacks!

  • (@TrinityEchoes) It’s important to be able to cross walls effectively - many good initiations/escapes are performed that way, salvaging potentially lost situations. Not all characters can cross short walls effectively, and this opens up a lot of counterplay.

  • (@Allex-14 ) “For jungler and roamer, it’s important to have flares to check bushes. Don’t fight without knowing where the enemy team is, and only fight when you have a positional advantage.”

  • (@Tiem )

Handling lane while behind

Let me illustrate my point (the white dot is the laner, the yellow triangles danger zones that the enemy will use to invade and the creeps the orange and blue dots.

Choose a role to be good at

Many people have told me this, and I’ve seen it myself, its 100% absolutely true - virtually all high elo players really focus on one role. If a Pro will struggle to switch from a laning to a roamer mindset, what chance do YOU have of making it work? Druid is obviously a star Laner, and he can probably roam quite well, but he likely won’t be nearly as competitive in that position.

Some people grab mechanics much faster, some are much more strategical, and focus on game knowledge. The former are better off as carries, since they can be taught builds. The latter are better as roamers, as roamers often have abilities with complex uses, requiring a lot of good decision making for maximum effectiveness, without requiring mechanical skill most of the time.

You will likely see a clear difference in your abilities in each role as you improve. To compete at a high level, you obviously should work on the best one first, but try out the other positions from time to time. Some things like positioning, target prioritization (Ringo over Reim!), shot calling, rotations, and vision can all be picked up (if you pay attention!) for any of your roles, from there you mostly only have to learn mechanics and the mindset to master another role. Don’t get me wrong, more experienced/knowledgeable players can definitely do any role viably, and this helps their soloque immensely, but the vast majority of people have very clear skill gaps between the different roles, even if they “can” do any position. Doesn’t mean that you can’t rank with multiple roles effectively, just that there will be a marked difference.

It’s important to figure out which path you naturally take to, most people don’t fit similarly with each role. Some things to keep in mind:

Lane = mechanics, farming, helping jungler, mechanics, killing turrets, and did I mention mechanics?

Roamer = keeping your team alive, shot calling, making plays (both to engage, initiate, or disrupt opponents)

Jungler = an odd mix of both. If you aren’t sure about what role you main, try this one out first. Mechanics are important, but last hiting is not. You will be the semicarry who buys extra Fountains/Crucibles. You need to understand when you can invade, and when you should stick with your team. Easiest position to play alongside higher ranked players, since you normally follow the roamer around, and you don’t have to worry about CS as much. In previous metas, the jungler would build a bit tanky to help frontline, though this is not important in the current, double ranged meta.

Differences between Good Carries and Good Roamers

Good carries usually have decent builds, but their mechanics are what make them rise up. Making the most of their character can to some degree make up for their overextension or lack of item quality, and so on. Their mindset is oriented towards dealing as much damage as possible. The carry roles are inherently more selfish because they mostly have to pay attention to their individual fights, and the minions go to them. (Edited paragraph onwards) For most of the upper tiers, you only need to really know around 4 carries really well. The best players will need to keep track of more characters. Up until at least VG Bronze you can get away with being expert on a few. (For more details see discussion with @idmonfish and @Tiem )

Roamers have a bit of a stigma that probably originates as much from their lack of damage, as their role. Instead of being mechanically gifted, the good roamers tend to be more strategically oriented, more knowledgeable, and much more aware of the map. They also tend to be better about target focus. Their mindset is more that of a general, rather than a combatant. They are the biggest team players. They have to keep watch of the entire team fight, and track many things quickly at once. They need to understand as much about the game as possible at a relatively high level. Roamers only have to really be practiced with a handful of roamers at best, though Off Meta supports have seen some success, done properly in the right settings. If you don’t play much, this role should be easier for you to fulfill successfully. After a certain (high) level of skill, games tend to come down to the roamers, and how well their teammates follow/listen to them. The unsung heroes of the fold.

(Let me know what you guys think. I would be happy to add more tips for players new to higher elo play, or get schooled by some high ranks.)

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