At some point, we’ve all felt that we have been stuck in ELO hell and that everything goes against us in our climb. However, most people don’t actually think about how to climb and instead grind out their time committing the same mistakes, over and over again.


What we will go through are not quick fixes and are mainly gameplay oriented. They require practice and playing extensively, but it involves different paths one can take to climb faster in League. But of course for some people the fastest way to improve in solo queue is fixing one’s mental state when playing. Hopefully having a specific gameplay goal can keep the tilt away a bit.

Key Takeaways on How to Climb in Solo Queue

  • Find a playstyle that fits your strengths and what you enjoy
  • There are several ways of winning consistently, through roaming, lane domination, macro and teamwork.
  • Play with a style in mind and play not just to win, but to achieve your own goals of improvment
  • Be patient with your teammates and results — play for the long-term climb

Master Cheeser: Win by Hands

This is where you master a high mastery champion that can snowball like Irelia/Yasuo/Katarina/Kai’Sa. This involves focusing on mechanics and matchups. Research matchups to see what you need to do to win lane or survive lane. Use the training tool to train specific mechanics that will give you those leads and give you much higher kill pressure. For example with Irelia you can train doing Q + autos, fast or hidden E casts and trying to do her full combo as fast as possible.

Most high mastery champions have mechanics that will massively increase your damage output or movement. Learning how to do such mechanics consistently will give you a massive advantage in duels. This playstyle is good to focus on if you enjoy practicing mechanical skill, outplaying opponents and if you are bad at teamplay.

The pros of this playstyle is that you can snowball and solo carry a game. Downside is that even if you crush your lane, these types of champions can have a very hard time in teamfights and unless you influence other lanes, you alone have to carry. And with bounties, the opponent can get back in the game by killing you. So, you’ll want to make sure to also help get either the Jungler or a sidelane to get ahead, not just stomp your own lane.

Learning Macro: Be Smarter than the Opponents.

If you are not confident in your hands and don’t have a duo, don’t fret, learning macro concepts is a pretty sure way of improving your game bit by bit and winning more and steadily climb.

Just by learning how to manipulate the waves and when to recall you can easily accrue big cs leads all the way up to diamond. This is not as flashy a way to win more games, but just being stronger than the opponent for free will win you more games. You can both play scaling champions and bully champions that force the opponent out of lane. If you control your lane you can much more easily aid allies and take advantage of opponents’ inting.

Playing Duo: Friends are the Greatest Ally

Playing as two and playing roles that can help each other, like jungle and solo laner or duo bot. You have a massive advantage in the 2 vs 2 and you should be able to use this to snowball. You need to learn to communicate effectively and what you can do in addition to the typical solo queue play. It may be the mid laner covering an invade, Jungler covering the mid pushing in, mid and jungle taking objectives or roaming bot.

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Influencing the Map: Trust Your Fellow Player

This is the method of solo queue gods like Dopa with Twisted Fate, but its extreme has also effectively been done by the infamous Korean solo queue player ady who plays picks like Taric top and roams. This style is intrinsically linked with the macro style — but it heavily plays around getting your team ahead instead of yourself. 

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This is not something we would recommend to start off with as it’s perhaps the most complex one — knowing how to manipulate your lane to be able to roam without losing too much. You also need to understand what advantages you can give your team are important enough for you to be missing out on resources yourself.

But it is worth keeping in mind that on average, if you get your teammates ahead you will win more games than not. It is much more effective than what you intuitively think. You just need a good dose of the monk’s mentality to take you through the games where they throw the leads you give them.

The easiest way is just to play global champions with teleport like Shen, Galio, Twisted Fate and use certain timings to influence the map and clearly communicate your intentions with pings. This still requires a lot of macro understanding and the big problem with this is that it will be less effective on lower levels, it is mostly useful for climbing in platinum+.

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.

Lane Manipulation: Key Takeaway

  • Lane manipulation is a complex macro concept
  • Few people know about it and even fewer know how to use it
  • You should know when and how you should control your wave, not just constantly hard push
  • You can set up ganks, roams, dives, vision and recalls without losing anything by controlling the wave
  • When understood, it is a very useful tool to control the lane and the game

We’ll start with some general concepts that are necessary to understand before going into specific lane manipulation. 

Focus Fire and Pulling

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.

Bounce and Distance

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/Hard Pushing

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

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.