Sunday, November 6, 2011

Characteristics of Exchange

In the laning phase, this game is all about exchanges. No champion should be able to kill another in a single combo. You are required to bring each other's health into kill range from exchanges before they are able to be killed. Some champions can damage other champions without the other champ even touching them. Some champions do less damage than others but end up winning the exchange because of heals/less mana per ability. Some champions do decent damage, but have a terrible range, but have enough CC to ensure they can exchange their damage without taking any themselves.

Which Champions win exchanges, how you should play against a certain champion, and which champion has an easier time dominating the lane is determined by what the each bring to the table in terms of their characteristics of exchange:

Harass, Sustain, CC, Damage/Burst, Utility

Harass: Takes into account primarily the range of the attack, but is also dependant on CC, both champions sustain/survivability, and damage.

In high elo, harass becomes less important in actually killing the enemy champion, and more effective/important in denying the enemy champion from last hitting.

Usually the more range you have, the better your harrass is, so in general, melees without awesome spammable gap closers and CC dont have as good
harras as ranged. melees tend to have more burst and sustain though.

Sometimes great harrassment comes in the form of not range, but in sustainment through harrassment: case in point: vlad
His Q doesnt have incredible range, nor the best damage, but when vlad and annie trade blows, Q for Q, vlad wins in his harrass, because he didnt use mana,
and he comes out with more health, because his harrassment GIVES him sustain, i.e. health.

However, putting CC into the mix, if the annie had her stun up, She could force 2 abilities on to vlad, or even 3 if vlad was in killing range, and vlad would have only brought one.

Sustain: How well a Champion can shrug off harrassment. Whether its health regeneration, mana regeneration, a shield, or straight being tank as fuck, it is essentially this champions ability to stay in lane.

CC: OH NO YOU DON'T. This is how well a champion can either force an exchange to take place and/or stop the opponents exchange from taking place.

Damage/Burst: While the other characteristics of exchange are the quality of exchange, this characteristic is the quantity. In different lanes this characteristic plays out differently, in mid lane it is typically the champion's Full combo+ignite, which should kill most champions under 40-60% depending on the champion, while in the top lane, it is all their abilities in addition to auto-attack strength when affected with abilities as well.

Utility: Off the top of my head, the majority of utility ends up being an escape/anti-escape ability. It can be free wards, traps, stealth, champion displacing abilities, blood pool, anti-CC shield, a flash, a gap closer, whatever it is, utility is a similar characteristic to CC, which can be considered a utility in itself. They both generally function to either force a favorable exchange to take place for you, or to stop an unfavorable exchange for you from taking place.

It is important to note that while these characteristics are based of their champions, you can also add characteristics to your champion artificially. You can add harrass by increasing your other characteristics artifically, you can add sustain by buying regen runes, and most efficiently by buying health potions, you can add CC by taking exhaust, or even buying an early phage or mallet/rylais, you can add damage/burst through runes/masteries/items, and you can add utility by taking the ever-so-important FLASH.

I plan on a section of this site being devoted to rating each champion by these characteristics, and essentially rating their laning power. If you have ever fed during the laning phase without even having been ganked by the jungler, this will be the section you need to view. If you EVER get fed during the laning phase without the help of your jungler, this will be the section of the site your opponents should have viewed.

By knowing all of these characteristics, and which champion's kits possess each level of those characteristics not only can you: properly assess your own lane and not feed, or know when to play aggressively(as long as you know what/where the jungler is), but you can also PICK champions that counter other champions in lane, not just through knowing the matchup from experience with another experienced laner, but simply from knowing each the exchange characteristics of each champions kit.

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