Hi. Before you read. I suggest taking a look at all the YouTube videos when you get to them. Also, I’d greatly appreciate any stream followers or YouTube subscribers. I try to make valuable content whenever I can, and I plan on making A LOT more content once my loud roommates go home for the summer.
This guide is for playing AD Carry in SOLO QUEUE. While all the mechanic videos and guides will be helpful for you throughout your LoL career, some of the information in this guide may be sub-optimal for team play.. As for my credentials, I’m a Diamond II Solo Queue AD Carry main. Hope that’s good enough for you, I should be D1 soon anyway.
1.1 Your Role
As an AD Carry, it is your job to deal as much damage as possible in a teamfight.
In order to deal as much damage as possible, you have to do three things throughout the game:
- Farm a lot of gold.
- You are the most gold dependant role in the game, the more gold you have, the more damage you do.
- Stay ALIVE in teamfights. A dead AD Carry is a useless AD Carry.
- Auto Attack as many times as possible during a teamfight. More damage is better.
1.2 “Standard” Champions
During each meta, there are different champions that are considered “top tier” champions, which generally outclass other champions in the same role.
Currently, three of those champions (in my opinion), are:
- Caitlyn (overrated imo, but probably the most played ADC in soloqueue, I almost never lose to Caitlyn after 6)
These are some solo queue stomp champions that can easily win lane. In solo queue, winning your lane and snowballing that lead is a LOT easier than it is in arranged 5s. That’s what makes these 3 champions so strong.
1.3 Generic Runes, Masteries, Summoners Spells, and Starting Items
I almost wasn’t going to add this, but since this is supposed to be a basics guide, I figure I’d toss this in here.
- 3 Lifesteal Quints
- 8 Flat AD Reds
- 1 Flat Crit Red (dat rng lane win baby)
- 9 Flat Armor Yellows
- 9 MR Blues (per level or flat, I prefer flat)
- Barrier (9/10 use barrier imo)
- Cleanse (vs CC heavy teams, Nasus, or if you’re Vayne)
- FLASH (always)
- Dorans Blade [recommended, especially if you have the lifesteal quints]
- Longsword 2pot [ehhhhhhhh. maybe against draven]
- Redpot + Potions [probably not viable after the nerf today]
2. Lane Basics
In this section I will cover some basic mechanics that you should master if you plan on playing AD Carry as your “Main” role. Each section should have a detailed two minute video demonstrating the mechanic as well as giving instruction on how to practice it.
2.1 Last Hitting
You the creeps when they’re about to die. Yeah.
When practicing last hitting you should be practicing with specific champions. If you want to main Ezreal, then you should practice last hitting with Ezreal. The reason you should use specific champions when practicing is because each champion has a different projectile speed as well as a different range, so the more you play/practice that champion the more comfortable you will be with that champions projectile speed and range.
The best way to practice is by playing ranked games. This is because you’re putting yourself in a real situation, with real players of your skill level harassing you and trying to deny you. However, if you’re uncomfortable playing ranked, try practicing in normals. If you aren’t even comfortable with that, you can practice alone in custom games, if you’re going to be practicing alone I suggest watching this video (link).
A trade is successful whenever any of the following happen:
- You do more damage to the enemy than they do to you (assuming no summoners were used, creeps were missed, etc)
- The enemy blows a summoner spell that you did not (this includes your support)
The best times to trade are:
- When you have a level advantage on the enemy (before first buy)
- When you have an item advantage on the enemy
- When the enemy is going in for a CS and you don’t have any minions that are close to dying
2.3 Taking your Turret
Taking your turret can be a double-edged sword. While it offers you many pros, it can also be a con if your team is not ready to end lane phase.
- Map control
- Team gold
- Ability to roam freely
- Enemy can freeze their lane and prevent you from farming safely. This denies your team global experience, and will be discussed in the next section.
If you feel confident that your team fight is stronger than the enemy teams, take your tower, take dragon, and head over to mid to force down that turret.
2.4 Freezing a Lane
When an enemy minion wave has built up, you can tank some of the minions yourself (once your minions are dead), and effectively “freeze” the minion wave in place while waiting for the next wave of friendly minions to arrive.
The best way to freeze a minion wave is to wait for a large enemy minion wave to kill all of your minion wave. While you tank the enemy minions, kill all of them except 4 caster minions. Once the enemy minion wave has cleared your wave again, kill all of the enemy wave except 3 full HP caster minions. Now you should be able to CS the wave without it pushing in either direction (you’ll still have to tank 3-4 caster minions after waves clear, don’t kill them).
- Deny enemy Gold
- Deny enemy GLOBAL experience
- Your support can now roam
- CSing a frozen lane is easier than CSing a normal lane.
- You can farm safely without worrying about getting ganked by a jungler
- The enemy might roam.
- Enemy might try to force team fights while you’re farming.
- Enemy might force down mid tower while you’re bot lane.
There are two different types of lane freezing:
1. Aggressive Lane Freezing
Aggressive Lane Freezing is done when you’re strong enough to completely dominate the enemy lane. You freeze the lane and CS from inside of the enemy caster minions. This completely zones out the enemy and denies them the gold and experience. If they try to come CS, you punish them by fighting and winning the trade.
2. Defensive Lane Freezing
Defensive Lane Freezing is done when you’ve lost your outer turret. Basically, you got stomped, and now you’re having trouble CSing safely. You can freeze your lane a bit in front of your inner turret, and this will stop the enemy from being able to CS safely because they have to go so deep into your lane. This denies global experience and gold because they will usually have to just go to other lanes. It’s the safest way to farm, but may end up in your team losing outer turrets and/or other objectives if you do not react to the other teams push/plays.
Video Demonstration of lane freezing with recap of all information written here.
2.5 Dragon Control
Dragon is a very important objective, especially during the first 20 minutes of the game. Since Dragon is on the bottom side of the map, and AD Carry is pretty much sanctioned to bot lane, it is part of your job to maintain dragon control.
What I mean by maintain dragon control:
- If the enemy is trying to do dragon because your jungler/mid is either top lane or dead, try to stall them.
- If you just killed the enemy AD Carry and you feel that you and your support are still strong enough, ask your jungler if he’s ready for dragon.
- It’s okay for you to buy a pink ward as AD Carry. If your support doesn’t have a pink ward, doesn’t have time to back and you’re in fountain, or your support is incompetent, buy the pink ward yourself.
3. Team Fighting Basics
Who you attack isn’t entirely important as long as you’re doing damage. The way I determine my targets, is by doing on the fly threat assessment. What I mean by that is, whoever you feel most threatened by should be your target. While following this methodology, keep in mind that maintaining position is better that making a ballsy play to secure a kill on a high threat target. Positioning is always your #1 priority.
Positioning is the most important part of a team fight for an AD Carry. You should try to position yourself anywhere that you can deal consistent damage without taking damage. That’s pretty much all I can tell you, it’s extremely important that you’re constantly attacking, and it’s extremely important that you’re not DEAD.
The best tip I can give is to remember that your team exists to help you. If an enemy bruiser is on you, it’s best to try to kite while trying not to run away from your team.
3.3 Stutter Stepping / Kiting / Orb Walking
Being able to stutter step / kite / orb walk, is the most important mechanic for an AD Carry in a team fight. If you cannot do this, you will never be able to play AD Carry properly.
Stutter Stepping is simply when you move immediately after your auto attack leaves to cancel your auto attack animation (this is also referred to as Orb Walking in League of Legends). Basically your auto attacks have a “wind up” animation, and a “wind down” animation. The “wind down” animation occurs after the auto attack has been casted, and is completely useless and a waste of time. By moving immediately after the auto attack leaves, you cancel the “wind down” animation, allowing you to do other actions sooner. Stutter Stepping is an invaluable mechanic that you must be comfortable with to play AD Carry, as it is used when kiting or chasing.
Kiting is simply the act of using stutter stepping to put extra distance between yourself and your enemy. As soon as your auto attack leaves your character, move away from the enemy, then attack again once your next auto attack is ready.
How to practice:
- Play AD Carry and consciously make an effort to stutter step after every auto attack, even when csing.
- Create a custom game and practice by stutter stepping around minion waves.
- Create a custom game and practice by kiting the red lizard (video demonstration).
4.1 “Standard” builds
A Standard AD Carry build will usually look something like this:
- Boots [don't forget furor enchantment]
- Infinity Edge
- Last Whisper
- Blood Thirster / Blade of the Ruined King
- Statik Shiv / Phantom Dancer
- Situational Defensive Item
4.2 Situational Items
While you may change up your “standard” build items, you will usually have at least 4 of them by the time you reach a 6 item build. However, these are some other situational items you may purchase:
- Banshee’s Veil (good against leblanc)
- Frozen Mallet (still mediocre in comparison to Randuins imo, but good utility, especially if you have trouble kiting)
- Guardian Angel
- Mercurial Scimitar (very good vs Warwick, Nasus, Malzahar, etc)
- Randuins Omen (very good against AD assassins / bruisers, probably the best defensive item imo)
- Warmogs (mediocre in comparison to Randuins or Mallet, but an ok buy against double AP team).
- Zephyr (good vs Nasus, or as a replacement to boots when you get to late game)
4.3 Champion Specific Items
Some items are acceptable to buy on specific champions, but not that great of a buy on others.
- Black Cleaver
- MF (for ult)
- Corki (omg that armor shred)
- Corki (he’s got some cray mana issues mayn)
- Ezreal (if you’re feeling korean)
- Urgot (lolwhoplaysurgotanymore?)
- Runaan’s Hurricane (I never buy this, but whatever)
- Caitlyn (procs passive faster)
- Varus (omg dat %hp damage)
- Kog’maw (mmm dat triple w)
- Spirit of the Elder Lizard
- Ezreal (feeling korean?)
- Corki (best on him imo)
- Sword of the Divine
- Twitch (mmm crazy ults mayn)
- Vayne (not too bad, I don’t usually buy this though tbh)
- Trinity Force
- Ezreal (not really, Iceborn Gauntlet is better 9/10 of the time imo)