Rediscovering LoL: 3 things I learned switching from ranged support to melee

Shane and I have been getting back into League of Legends lately, mostly because we realized we hadn’t played in probably close to a year. I know it has a bit of a reputation, but it’s one of those games I can’t help gravitating back into every now and again!

Obviously, our time away made for some rough games. So we decided to help us get back in the swing of things, we’d make new accounts and start from scratch.

As part of that, I felt I wanted to try playing something new. I spent all my previous season playing Lux, the shield-throwing, laser-shooting mage that you can get from the tutorial, and I felt a little stuck in a rut.

I spent some time looking at melee champions, though I’ve played them before and it hasn’t gone well, and landed on Rell. She was the last new champion of 2020, so yes, I’m a little behind on the times. But hey, that’s kind of my schtick and I know it!

Anyway. I loved her medieval-yet-modern vibe, with her lance and her metal horse that transforms into armour. So I set out to learn her.

But first, a story.

I don’t know if I ever told the story of my second D&D game. Maybe random, but I promise, it’s related!

My first character ever was a combination of witch and sorcerer. Very, very ranged. And my group was quick to inform me that I couldn’t wear armour without potentially messing up my spells, so I was very squishy and knew to stay far away from anything that might hit me.

It went pretty well overall, aside from one accidental death-by-nat-1.

For our second game, I was a little more into the game, so I wanted to learn and try something new and built myself a monk. Right up in everyone’s faces, with a high enough armour class that I hopefully wouldn’t get clobbered.

It went…poorly.

There was a whole new set of rules I had to learn for being in melee range, and it made for some rough lessons, including an early death.

That’s pretty much exactly what’s happening with Rell.

I almost exclusively play support, because that’s what I learned when Shane and I started playing the first time. And I’ve realized in these last few weeks exactly how dependent I am on my range to keep enemy champions from diving in and destroying me.

So today, I wanted to share some things I’ve learned moving from ranged to melee!

  1. Don’t be afraid of other champions.

A very core part of why I love mage supports is that it’s easy to poke the enemy team from enough of a distance that you can see them coming in at you and get away in time. With a tank support, that is decidedly not the case.

You’re going to have to be right up in the middle of everything, all the time. You can’t just hang back, because then your ADC might not have enough threat to be able to farm effectively. Now, I’m not saying you have to be close enough to hit them; you just have to be close enough to make them think you could hit them!

Which leads me to my next point.

  1. Placement is important!

This is something that Shane always coaches me on because no matter what I play, I am atrocious at lane placement. 

Your placement is important enough as a mage, because you’re squishy and standing too close to river can make you all too tempting for those unfortunate jungle ganks. It’s even more important as a tank because you don’t have as many escape tools as a mage—and if you’re too far away from your ADC, you won’t be able to engage when needed.

You’re big, you’re slow, and you can’t hit something unless it’s right in front of you, so where you stand matters!

  1. You need to be confident in your team.

Rell, like many melee support champions, is designed to engage the enemy team. She’s built to get in, stun as many enemy champions as possible, and then keep herself up long enough to get back out.

The thing no one tells you about engage champions, though, is that you can engage all you want—but your team may not follow you. And if they don’t follow you, you’re just dead for no good reason.

This is tricky to gauge with matchmade games, because you don’t know these people and if you’re like me, you don’t go into voice chat with randoms in one of the Internet’s most toxic games. Right now, though, I’m learning to watch for my teammates’ R abilities to come up, and for them all to be relatively close to me and not distracted by killing minions.

So far, that seems to be helping me engage effectively and not die!

Overall, though, it’s been quite an adjustment learning how to get close to things without seriously regretting it, especially at low levels. It’s definitely a learning curve, and has led to some unfortunate early deaths.

I think I’m getting the hang of it, though, and she’s a surprisingly fun champion, so I may have to start reinvestigating other melee support options too!

What have you been playing lately? Anything you’re getting back into?

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