3 things I learned about League of Legends this week

One of my favourite things about video games is that they challenge me to try and learn new things. Even when you’re familiar with a concept or a style, you usually have to learn a new nuance about that concept or style for different games.

I don’t know, I just find it keeps my mind fresh!

League of Legends is one of my biggest sources for this kind of learning. If I’m not watching the pros and seeing how they use the same champions I’m trying to play, I’m looking up theory guides or testing out new builds in the training area. It’s actually one of my go-to morning wakeup activities.

This week, though, the training material came from a little closer to home. With all the time he’s put into the game on his stream (and the fact that he’s been playing since 2011), Shane is definitely much more of an expert than I am! So I’ve been watching, and absorbing, and here’s what I’ve learned.

Auto-attack is a lovely setting.

Make sure auto-attack is on! If you’ve ever watched how pro players move, especially ADCs, you’ll see them moving in between every single auto-attack to reset the casting time. To be honest, I’ve always kind of wondered how they do it, and pitied their mice for the amount of clicking they must get every time.

It wasn’t until I was watching Shane play that I realized he was doing the same thing, but his mouse wasn’t losing its mind. Instead, I could hear him rhythmically tapping his keyboard, and that made me wonder what was happening.

Turns out, we’d turned off the auto-attack feature back in 2017 when I was first learning Nami because I struggled with moving around enough not to hit minions. But if you have that feature on, pressing A lets you auto-target the thing closest to your mouse indicator.

It’s life-changing.

I’ve been practicing this week with that setting on, and suddenly, I’m not totally incompetent at farming. I can last-hit minions a lot more, I can cancel animations to auto-attack faster (especially useful for towers), and I have much better luck triggering Lux’s passive.

Read your skills.

I’ve been playing Lux for years at this point, and I’d like to think I’m okay with her. I can pretty consistently win with her, and she’s the first champion I got to level 7 mastery.

But as it turns out, I’ve been misusing her skills this whole time.

I didn’t actually realize how her passive worked. So when I turned on auto-attack and started actually hitting things after I used my skills, I realized that I’d probably been underperforming with her for quite a while now! I’ve run into that with a few other champions that I’m learning too, especially Ziggs, so now I’m going through and trying to re-read everything I can.

Older items are worthwhile.

Playing the same styles of mage champions that all use the same six items can get pretty boring after a while, so over the years, I’ve definitely shifted away from what would be considered a traditional build into experimental ones.

Things like building Nashor’s Tooth, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, and Imperial Mandate on a Lux because she doesn’t already have enough crowd control power.

Recently, though, a friend of Shane’s—who often plays with him on his stream—challenged me to think about traditional support items like Ardent Censer and Staff of Flowing Water with her to see if it made a difference.

Combined with a few extra ideas like Everfrost (which I’d somehow never built at all) and Horizon Focus just for fun, I’ve had a much easier time doing my own damage and helping the team do theirs.

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