League of Legends: Guide to Bottom Lane
Duo Lane Intro
For the noobs out there, bottom lane is always the 2v2 lane. Primarily this consists of an attack damage carry (ADC) and a support but recently could consist of a mage such as heimerdinger, swain, malzahar, galio or even other champs like yasuo or darius. Sometimes cheese strategies can work! The support is there to assist the carry, helping them to stay alive, maximize gold/experience, and scale into becoming a terrifying threat. Supports generally should have high utility, ideally some survivability, and be effective without too much gold. The meta varies from time to time, sometimes healing/shielding supports are in, sometimes engage or cc supports, sometimes damage.
Responsibilities: Dragon, Mid, Jungle
Even though bot players generally roam less than a mid lane, they still have a few key responsibilities.
Dragon Control: It’s up to bot lane to help maintain control around the dragon. You generally want vision of the dragon, deny enemy vision of the dragon, or make a play to take dragon with your jungler should all the variables line up. For more tips on dragon control check out my other article.
The more time your enemy spends not knowing if someone could be on dragon, or the more time you know they are not on dragon, the better off you’ll be. It limits the junglers ability to roam top as you could make a play for dragon. It also prevents them from trying to sneak a dragon.
If you get lane priority(you are pushing towards them), your opponent will be pushed underneath turret where they will be forced to farm fairly slowly in order to not miss gold. This gives you an opportunity to roam mid. Primarily this would be an offensive support with crowd control like Alistar or Thresh. This could let your dominance in lane spread to another lane and help you take control of the game. A kill at mid, could potentially lead to a dragon or turret, so pay attention to the map and look for an opportunity. However, be careful, if you roam to mid, you risk getting caught out, getting pushed back in, or just wasting time.
In line with above, it’s also your job to maintain vision control. At least cover the river so you know if you’ll be ganked, but ideally you need to see if the enemy jungler is near your lane. Preferably this means warding their bottom buff. Be sure to grab their blast cone on the way. Establishing this vision and knowing where the enemy jungler is or isn’t will let you make plays, either in your own lane, or roaming to another. It will also help prevent them from making plays against you.
All of the above 3 points are best executed with strong vision control, which means be sure to buy 1-3 control wards when you’re at shop! These are critical in creating ganks, preventing enemy ganks, and cleanly taking a dragon. I cannot emphasize this enough!
Know your lane: Consider your match up and your win condition. If you’re playing early aggressive champions and need an early lead. Take aggressive vision control, push for lane priority, and try to set up clean kills or at the least force them to farm under turret so you can deny them cs or roam elsewhere for kills. Likewise, if you need to play defensively, consider how they will try to push on you and try to set up a gank, or at least scare them from full engaging, by clearing vision. You should also consider how to itemize, particularly your starting item, in these scenarios (Doran’s shield v. Doran’s Blade for example). I find it particularly helpful to use online tools to check champion synergies and match-up win rates when considering how to play your opponents.
Priority: Decide when you need priority versus when you should let them push in, or consider freezing the lane. Carefully watch the wave and plan. If they are pushing in and have no summoner spells, let them do so and tell your jungler you’ll be an easy gank soon. Similarly, pushing in and taking lane priority lets you get vision to start/prevent plays, get healing in the river, roam and get kills elsewhere, and is generally the right call when in doubt.
Farming: Learn what it takes to keep farming properly. For example, a turret shot will bring a ranged minion fairly low, but not low enough for 1 base auto attack to kill. This means a support should hit a ranged minion once so that an adc or other carry can last hit the minion after the turret shot.
Vision: Refer to the image for some tips on where to ward. The deeper the better, however how deep you can go depends heavily on your lane priority and confidence in the location of enemy champions. Be careful! However, a short river ward often isn’t enough vision to prevent your team from dying to a gank so don’t be lazy.
Another quick tip, use the bushes to your advantage! If your abilities are on cool down and they have a ranged attack damage champion coming after you, hop in a bush so they can't hit you or they lose targeting or might miss a skill shot. This is particularly useful if you are able to move back behind your minions so the minions will chase them and do damage to them or take a skillshot for you. Always use minions and bushes to your advantage!
Lastly, deep wards in lane can also open up opportunities for your teammates to teleport in for a gank if your opponent is continually pushing to tower. Be sure to let your teammates know several minutes in advance so they can plan around this.
Hopefully these basic tips help you get the hang of playing bot lane. If you’re looking to climb ranked, check out my article on getting out of elo hell.