My Marksman Secrets

As the best Lucian player in NA, here are some of my best tips for getting this good.

In order to become that super good, high elo, consistent adc one must become consistently good at 4 things.

  1. Champion skill
  2. Gold accumulation
  3. Kda management
  4. Map awareness

Of these 4 things, map awareness is the most difficult to improve on and every decision revolves around it.

Before we hop straight into this, another really good thing for any adc main to have is a support duo. Remember that marksmen have been carefully balanced around support items. A good support will push a 3 item marksman to 3.5 or 4 item marksman strength. This makes bot a teamwork carry. Think Ardent Censer, Janna and Tristana or Kog’maw. Talk about the items and spikes you find to be necessary to your success and work especially on getting good with the champions that suit your playstyle that also have 50% win rate or higher. Essentially playing (meta) champs until you’re stomping every lane and every game.  You will climb.

Champion skill refers to having played a champion sufficient times to know basic control along with a few champion specific tricks that set you apart from the rest. A good example would be learning Vayne and her condemn-flash or Lee Sin’s kick-flash. Mechanics are your go to tool for securing kills or escaping tricky situations. For these champion specific tricks and techniques, make good use of the new training mode! 

Gold accumulation refers to the rate at which one accumulates gold and hits their item spikes. If you’re going to be climbing with adc you have to be willing and you must get good at farming. They’re two problems however. Firstly the enemy team’s bot duo has a much stronger lane and farming becomes difficult. Let’s say for example that you’re Vayne and playing into Caitlyn (Karma, lulu, Nami, Brand, Velkoz) basically any lane with lots of harass. Ordinarily its impossible to farm against such lanes so what to do?

Marksman Secret #1- Farming on hard lanes After suffering for more games than I care to admit, I found a way to farm consistently against even the hardest of lanes, with the weakest of lanes. The trick is to utilize pregame tools and in game item choices in order to negate weak lane scenarios. 

Here’s an example of a page that will assist you in farming on a hard lane. (Season 7 screenshot).

Unbreakable Vayne

The stats these masteries give are: +2hp per 5 seconds, 8ARM and MR while “farming” under turret, +8% (healing, regeneration and lifesteal) and +50% base health regen which increases to 200% if you fall below 25% health. 

Since  Nov 8th preseason however, we have to look at the other pregame “rune” combinations.

Focus on avoiding bad trades. This is a mechanical thing and also requires good decision making. If your support combo is stronger or you anticipate that your sustain will result in an eventually won lane then trade hard, often and equal.

A good example of where trading would be good is if your bot is Vayne Nami vs Ezreal Janna.

Marksman Secret #2 Farm Optimization– Minions spawn every 30 seconds and every 3 waves comes a siege minion wave. If you or your support has great wave clear, before backing push the wave sitting on lane and coordinate with your support to quickly destroy the oncoming wave as close as you can to the enemy turret. This will minimize experience and gold losses from missed minion deaths. If you have no wave clear make sure you back where a siege wave will meet mid or hit your turret. Just before you back take a look at the waves leaving your base. This helps if you forgot which wave is the siege wave or helps you manage how much time you can afford to spend in base. This is also a neat trick to check if you’re about to miss an entire wave on your back as you’ll know where the enemy minions are. This works whether you’re farming in the laning or after laning when the enemy turret is down.

Marksman Secret #3 Minions First– When as an adc you push up to turret always focus on farming the wave before attacking the turret. This is super important and why you often see many high elo players meet the wave or proxy before taking down the turret. Why? In the event you get chased away from the turret or randomly die, you keep your gold for minions killed. additionally the enemy turret will deny the enemy team minion gold and experience if they do in fact chase you all the while your minions do damage to their turret. If you don’t get chased away, your next wave of minions will stack on the turret and you’ll do maximum damage to the turret.

Marksman Secret #4 Lane Choice and map awareness.

After bot lane is finished one way or the other, as long as you’re not performing a lane swap, your job is to shove bot and support your team in mid. If you find yourself walking past mid you can be sure you’ll lose a lot of farm from bot lane.

Whenever you back, always walk to the edge of the fountain before shopping  or deciding where to next. This is surprisingly simple but very efficient.

After all laning is finished,  The “where to” is essentially simple but here is where practice makes perfect. Look for the lane with the next biggest (unattended) minion wave and get to it. Exceptions would include those scenarios where  the lane is too far away from Nashor or drag and or you have a top laner with teleport and can initiate the swap. Again, it’s totally your decision but after a bit of trial and error you’ll know whether you prefer to grab the 20 farm and 1v5 carry at 40 minutes or if it’s time to group.

So by this point, you should have the gist of whats going on here. Basically you want to be consistent at farming as quickly and as safely as possible, hit your item spikes and dominate lane or group and triple quadra or penta. Ok so you got the farming covered. But it’s still a 2v2 lane so what next?

It’s indeed a 2v2 lane after all and the entire enemy team is trying to kill you. how do you prevent this while getting fed? One of the greatest secrets of ADC is to do what I call playing at advantage. You’re basically bullying 3 people in a 2v2 lane. Here’s how it works. You have a Zyra support, you’re Tristana and enemy team bot is Brand Twitch. Your Zyra lands a snare and both twitch and brand start throwing stuff at Zyra, you expect this so you all in the twitch. Your Zyra dies and you finish off twitch and then reset onto Brand for a double kill. Enemy Twitch got first blood but you just got the double kill and are the last surviving player bot. You reset the lane like a good marksman and base for that bf sword and boots. This is the true essence of a good adc who eventually “1v5s”. But what exactly is the secret?

Marksman Secret #5 KDA Management and Map awareness The greatest secret here is to be overly aware of enemy kill strats/patterns against you. Do not underestimate ANY carry! You MUST let your teammates do work. You are the attack damage carry and your job is to amass gold until that final team fight where you can obliterate the enemy team and run it down mid to the nexus. Do not put yourself at risk. If your support is passive be very passive. Don’t engage and complain that your support is useless when you die. Think it through carefully because even if your support has a bad moment you just snowballed the enemy team adc and missed that huge wave, when you were well underway to outscaling naturally. The decision to fight is always yours as the adc but often err on the side of caution and with a little time and practice you’ll get better at analyzing the 2v2 and stomping it or outscaling.

The final note on kda management is that if you’re ahead or on a lane where you can engage at will and stomp the enemy duo, do not simply fight when they get back to lane. Rather, wait until the enemy team “Nocturne” (jungler) ganks and kills your overextended top laner and the enemy team Ahri shows mid to stomp that bot lane and take turret. This is extremely tilting to the enemy team players where they feel like they’re doing good but bot is feeding. To make a long story short, passively farm until enemy team trouble makers show on the map. It’s either that or coordinating with your support for deep warding before engaging 2v2.

Marksman Secret #6 Meta and Off Meta- If you find an off meta adc or build that’s not played by the highest rank players but it’s doing damage and really  working out for you, stick to your guns, no pun intended. However, do not be afraid to play meta ADCs as the meta usually revolves around what’s known to be good. Be confident in your originality but at the same time embrace what’s known to be good as good!
Good luck on the fields of justice and happy climbing!

My next post will outline a very few things I found useful for climbing as a Vayne main along with some off meta build concepts.

Any Diamond+ ADC main that has tips worth mentioning add me in game. IGN: DC Tasder, xLIFT Redsaturn.