The current meta in League of Legends is heavily based around dragons and subsequently the soul, but not all dragons are born equal.
Some of the dragons are much more impactful than others and this should impact people’s play more than it currently does. There is a massive difference in effective utility in different souls and dragons depending on how your team composition plays into the opponent’s composition. So, in certain cases it is almost good to give up dragons and the soul if you can get something for it. But players often fight for dragons regardless if they should or not, as if they just have to.
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Cloud Dragon gives percentage slow resist and out of combat movement speed. The Cloud Soul gives bonus movement speed, which is significantly increased for 6 seconds after using your ultimate.
By many, Cloud is seen as the worst drake and soul. Movement speed is a very useful stat — no doubt — but only very certain champions would prefer it over flat damage or survivability. The dragons are understandably underwhelming as out of combat movespeed is hard to make as useful as combat stats.
The soul can be incredibly powerful for certain champions and compositions and essentially useless for others. Characters that use movement speed to do damage or survive like Vladimir, Lilia and Darius where just the flat movement speed is very powerful as it effectively gives you straight up survivability and damage. But for most compositions, it is hard to see Cloud Soul being stronger than most of the other ones.
The new Chemtech Drake gives percentage bonus tenacity and heal and shield power. While the Chemtech Soul gives a buff that when you are below 50% health, gain percentage damage reduction and damage increase.
Many consider the new Chemtech soul to be one of the weakest ones, which is most likely true, while it is useful for most characters, it is a bit underwhelming if you compare it to a Mountain soul or Hextech soul. This makes sense in terms of how it works — most damage dealers do most of their damage at 50% or below health — so it mainly suits characters that trade health in fights. So, this soul is mainly useful for bruisers, tanks, battlemages. The numbers may currently be a bit weak on a team-wide level, but it may be hard to balance. Overall it is probably the actual worst soul. The Chemtech dragons are incredibly strong for enchanters, but underwhelming for the rest.
The Ocean Dragons gives you health regeneration based on percentage missing health over 5 seconds. Ocean Soul gives you a buff that causes dealing damage to enemies restores health and mana.
Ocean soul is essentially good for everyone, but its power varies heavily based on how the fights play out. A full on dive comp does not get that much out of it most of the time. But for and against poke compositions, it is incredibly useful. The Ocean dragon is mainly useful for skirmish or poke comps or when facing them. It is not as useful in front to back fights. Overall it is very powerful for champions that use health to deal damage and for tanks.
The Drakes of the Mountain variety give percentage bonus armor and magic resistance. While Mountain Soul gives a shield after 5 seconds of not taking damage.
The Mountain Drake is of course, mainly useful for characters that build armor and resistances, like bruisers and tanks. This is particularly strong in front-to-back fights. But the soul is useful for everyone, as it increases staying power in a fight and counteracts poke. Just how strong it is depends on the stats. Currently it is probably in the top three.
The Infernal Dragons give you percentage extra bonus AD or AP. Infernal Soul makes auto attacks and abilities cause extra damage every 3 seconds.
Infernal drake is unilaterally good: everyone likes extra damage and it is really good in every team comp. The Infernal Soul is strong as well, though it is worse than the Hextech Soul, as it is simply damage and no utility. Just a damage boost can be negated in a fight if you outplay the opponents and you engage on them. Therefore it is a very good soul, but not the best one.
Hextech Drake grants ercentage ability haste and attack speed. And Hextech Soul makes abilities and auto attacks deal bonus true damage and slow target and potentially 3 additional targets with a cooldown of 8 seconds.)
Hextech Soul is by most, considered the strongest as it gives strong damage that’s true damage together with a slow, that arcs from the target. This utility together with the damage means that it will always be one of the better ones. Even the dragons are always useful as most characters gain from ability haste — and all team comps do.
Most of us just turn our brain off and try to take dragons until we realize that the soul is coming up and then we remember to consider how strong it is. But it is worth considering how either team benefits from certain dragons and souls beforehand, as not taking a dragon is a 2 dragon swing worth of stats, as dragons are a zero-sum game. These stats really add up if you take it across a team of 5 players and the fact you can stack several dragons. You should also consider the dragons that are broken for certain compositions like Mountain and Ocean for tanky comps or Chemtech for enchanters.
Lane manipulation is one of the crucial mechanics in League of Legends, but it took the scene several years to figure out, so it’s not entirely intuitive.
Lane Manipulation is a crucial skill for all laners, whatever your playing style is. But many players never learn it properly or try to implement it. Here is a basic introduction to how it works.
We’ll start with some general concepts that are necessary to understand before going into specific lane manipulation.
One wave manipulation tool is to make minions focus fire by pulling the wave, which means taking aggro and resetting it. This makes all minions focus on the same target after they reset, which will make them kill those minions very quickly and naturally start to push into you. Easiest way to force them to focus fire is to tank the minions by standing in front of them before they hit the wave and then reset by going into a bush.
A bounce refers to the fact that when a minion wave crashes into a turret, it will naturally slow push to the other side due to being farther up in the lane. As the further up you are in lane, the more minions you need in a wave to counteract the faster reinforcements. The minions will also focus fire after killing your minions under turret. Both these factors essentially guarantee a push back.
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Fast pushing or hard pushing merely means to quickly kill the wave, getting your minions under the opponents turret. It is what people tend to do naturally. It is good if you want to keep your opponent under turret to harass them, to have priority or if you need to quickly recall or get vision. But it is certainly overused — there is often no reason to hard push into your opponent and risk getting ganked or having your wave frozen, when instead you could let your opponent push in or hold the wave on your side of the lane.
This is probably what you have heard about the most or you have perhaps suffered from someone doing it to you in a lane. Freezing is the act of ‘freezing’ the minion wave at a specific spot in the lane, usually done a bit in front of your own turret. This makes you very safe against ganks and makes it hard for the opponent to take cs and harass you since you and your minions will be very close to your turret.
Freezing is most easily done by leaving three caster minions alive and tanking them until your next wave arrives. But you can also thin crashing waves so as to make them have around a 3 caster advantage. The reason for 3 extra caster minions specifically is that if you have fewer, it can easily start to slowly push away from you by the fact that your wave arrives more quickly. The farther up in the lane you are trying to freeze, the more extra minions you need to keep alive to keep the freeze. You can also substitute some casters for a cannon.
The reasons for freezing is one, to make it difficult for the opponent to farm — especially for melee characters, where trying to kill ranged minions gets them almost under turret range, leaving them open to a gank as well. And two, it also puts you in a protected position as you can’t be tower dove or ganked.
The problem with freezing is that you give up lane priority — so it is not advised around objective timers or if you may need to help your team. Freezing can also be difficult to do without having control of the lane or if the opponent has strong wave-clear. It also helps to have inherent sustain when freezing as you may have to tank the minion hits.
Slow pushing refers to a slow building up of a minion wave that you can crash into the turret, which can become 2-3 waves large. The way to do this just to create a small push advantage, like through doing slightly more damage to the wave than your opponent or having the wave on your side of the map. By then not doing more damage to the wave than just last hitting, the wave pushes slowly enough that several waves will stack up. You can stack different amounts of minions in the wave depending on the distance to the enemy tower.
Why slow push? Slow pushes are relatively safe. They can start on your side of the lane and ramp up the closer you get to the opposing sides. This makes it harder to trade into you and even gank as you could potentially 1 vs 2 with 2 waves of minions. During a slow push you will also have more exp than your opponent as more of their minions have died, and at early levels you can even be two levels up when the wave crashes into the turret, giving you massive opportunities.
Slow pushes are ultimately done to either give you a longer timing window to roam, set up vision, recall or tower dive. This is due to the opponent having to clear the large wave under the turret and then the wave will bounce, so you can catch the next wave under your tower. You can also set up a slow wave ahead of time and then roam for objectives so the opponent has to choose between contesting the objectives or taking the wave.
The downside is that slow pushes are very telegraphed so you are at risk of getting ganked when you try to get the wave under the turret as it will be on their side of the map, the opponent can also thin the wave and freeze it in front of the turret if you can’t get it to crash.
Wave manipulation is an underrated skill that is surprisingly complex and multifaceted. Even pros are negligent about it at times. As a laner, how you control the lane influences everything else — how safe you are from ganks, if your jungler can gank your lane, your roams, your priority and your farming.