Playing in the lowest ranks in the ladder can be a very frustrating experience. However, you can always climb out of those divisions if you know what to do. Today, we’re taking a deep look at how to get out of Bronze and Iron division.
We have a lot of ground to cover, but for those who want to get the gist of things, here’s a quick rundown of what’s important.
- Focus on a role and learn the proper mindset and strategy for that role
- Practice last hitting minions
- Work on positioning and trading
- Get used to the minimap
- Place wards
- Start with easy to learn champs
Knowing Your Role
Getting used to certain champs is important, but what really matters in ranked games is understanding your role. Remember that getting kills is a good thing, but only if it translates to long-term gain for your team as a whole. Different roles in the game require very different mindsets:
- Mids and Marksmen – Focus on holding the lane and secure items to provide damage later on.
- Top Laners and Junglers – Provide lane pressure and early map control.
- Supports – Protect marksmen from pressure, help set up or secure kills, and peel for priority targets.
Under each role, there are further different play styles that have to be considered. Some heroes provide an early game advantage, while others scale later into the game but start out rather weak. This will dictate how aggressive or passive you have to be at different points in the game at fulfilling your role.
Getting More Creep Scores (CS)
Getting more gold than the opponent will allow you to buy items before them. This means you should get used to last hitting minions to earn enough gold ASAP. Remember that every minion you fail to last hit will keep you longer from getting your items and power spikes. With perfect last hitting, a player can have 50 minion kills within the first five minutes.
One of the best ways to practice last hitting is to go to the game’s sandbox mode and practice without any opponents. Try to last hit enough minions as close to 50 until the five-minute mark. If you’re last hitting less than 20 until then, restart and try again. Once you’re consistently scoring around 40 or more, try last hitting with AI opponents until you are comfortable with last hitting under pressure.
You should also practice last hitting minions within your turret’s range. Here’s a quick reference on how much damage minions can take at full health.
- Melee – 3 turret hits and one auto-attack
- Casters – One turret hit and two auto-attacks
- Cannon minions – 4 turret hits and two auto-attacks
While it is easy to just keep attacking minions, doing so will push the minion lane closer to the enemy territory, which means the enemy will have an easier time flanking you. Making sure you only deal the last hit will allow you to “freeze” the minion lane in its current position until you are ready to commit to a push.
Proper Positioning and Trading
Because team coordination is barely existent in Bronze and Iron Division, winning or losing the laning phase will usually decide the outcome of the match later on. That being said, you should always strive to win the laning phase. This is where positioning and trading will play a very important role.
Positioning refers to where you should be given a certain situation in the game. For example, let’s say you are playing a support like Morgana, you’d want to place yourself in a spot where your Dark Binding (Q) is not blocked by enemy minions while still having your marksman within range of your Black Shield (E). This will force the enemies to back off because they could get rooted and take extra damage, putting them at a further disadvantage.
Trading is a more complicated part of the game, but it goes hand in hand with proper positioning if you want to win the laning phase. Simply put, trading refers to one or more champs dealing and receiving damage. You need two things to trade favorably: better stats (courtesy of having better items or a higher level), proper positioning and what champion you are up against, since some champions counters others etc.
Trading doesn’t always have to end in a kill! As long as you come out of the trade dealing more damage than taking it, you will have the lane advantage.
Picking when to make trades depends on a wide variety of factors, but here are a few situations where you should consider getting a few hits in:
- The opponent is attempting to last hit a minion and in range of your ability or auto-attack.
- The enemy is pushing forward and your jungler is nearby to cut off their retreat.
- You or a nearby teammate has a crowd control ability ready.
These being said, you also have to make sure you don’t get yourself on the other side of these situations to minimize the risk of the enemy getting favorable trades.
One of the biggest reasons why Bronze and Iron (and even higher) players end up losing is lack of information. A lot of game-ending ambushes could be prevented just by knowing where the enemy champions are. There are three things related to info that you have to prioritize in Bronze and Iron: learning to check the minimap, planting wards, and keeping track of the enemy’s ability and summoner cooldowns.
Checking the Minimap
If there’s one thing that will help you survive ganks more often, it’s the habit of checking the minimap every few seconds. Even a quick half-second glance at the minimap should tell you the following:
- Who’s still in their lane?
- Who’s alive or still waiting to spawn?
- Are there enemies on your way?
- Which jungle camps (especially buffs, dragon, and rift herald) are up?
Just seeing an enemy champion move towards one lane will let you pull back to a safer spot and avoid getting cut off on your way back. You can also decide to push if you see that nearby routes are clear of enemies. If you have a teammate already closing in your location, you can prepare for a gank.
One way to help yourself get used to the minimap is to set a recurring timer. By setting your timer to beep once every 10 seconds (more frequent is better), you’ll soon be able to check the minimap regularly like it’s second nature.
Proper warding will drastically increase your chances of winning because it gives your team more time to react to enemy plays. A good rule of thumb is to use up your remaining gold after buying your recent batch of items to purchase sentry wards. Sure, a couple of wards may send you back 150 gold, but two wards could keep you from dying to an otherwise avoidable gank.
Okay, so you already have wards, but where exactly should you place them? The general answer is to place it where you expect the enemy will be. However, there are a few common ward spots that should serve you well depending on your role.
- Top lane – For both teams, ward the river bush to prevent ganks coming from the river. For the red team, ward the tri-bush (y-shaped bush) just south of the tower to help spot deeper ambushes.
- Mid lane – For both teams, the southern end of both river bushes should always have wards. You can place wards the smaller bushes further down the river. This is because Bronze and Iron-level junglers and supports will rarely place wards for you.
- Jungle – You get to roam the map, so place wards on bushes that the laners can’t cover at the moment. Alternatively, you can also place wards in common jungle paths to keep track of where the enemy jungler is.
- Bottom Lane – Same as top lane, but this time the blue team has the tri-bush. Supports can save a ward for the lane bushes to prevent the enemy laners from hiding there.
- Baron and Dragon Pits – For both teams, key areas have to be warded before attempting to take either objective. These key areas include the nearest tri-bush, the jungle entrances, and the area beyond the back wall of either pit.
Unless you’re engaged in a fight, you should always destroy enemy wards you encounter. This way you deny the enemy team of valuable map information. Junglers and Support players will usually change to a sweeper lens later in the game for this very purpose.
Control wards are also great for denying the enemy team with precious map info. Aside from providing the vision for your team, a nullifier also disables wards near it. While this type of ward is not invisible, it lasts until it is destroyed.
Getting Help from the Best
If you want to get out of Bronze and Iron, the quickest way to improve your game is to study the game. Fortunately, we have something that can help you out: Udemy is offering comprehensive online lessons for League of Legends.
This online course is made by actual professional gamers, most notably by Nicholas “Nico the Pico” Korsgård, a former challenger-level jungler with experience coaching for some of the most successful teams in LoL’s Esports scene such as Fnatic, Origen, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and currently Bandito.
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Picking the Right Champs
A lot of Bronze and Iron players get stuck there because they don’t have the mechanical skill to get more out of certain heroes. One of the most common examples of these heroes is Draven. On paper, Draven can do more raw damage than almost any other marksman.
However, you need to be good enough to keep catching those blades without putting yourself in risky positions. In Bronze and Iron Division, you should consider using “easier champs”. Here are a few suggestions for each role, most of which are easy to learn.
When it comes to picking “newbie-friendly” champs, you need to look for three things. First, the champ must have a kit that’s easy to use. Second, you need a champ that provide a degree of safety so you have enough room to make errors. Next, the champ must be able to remain a threat even if you fall behind. Last but not least, the champ must have a kit that’s easy to learn.
Don’t know where to start? Here are three recommendations for each role that many players consider “newbie-friendly”.
If you enjoy playing in the middle lane, you’re looking for AP ranged champs that can provide good lane pressure, plus some scaling damage or utility later on.
One of the first champs in the game, Annie’s passive ability is a targeted CC, providing excellent lane pressure on demand. Her Q provides her with guaranteed damage while her W provides great wave clear. Her E is a defensive ability that’s excellent for trading damage or helping survive ganks. Sure, Tibbers might require some degree of micromanagement, but at Bronze and Iron even just letting the big bear go to town will be enough to net you a turret kill.
What to do – Hold on to that passive CC to help set up ganks or secure kills.
Lux is one of the first champions that you should consider if you want to get used to skill shots. Why? Because unlike many other skillshot-based champions, Lux has plenty of range to make safer pokes, plus she has enough slow (E) and crowd control (Q) to disengage should someone actually manage to get near her. Of course, her long-range ultimate also provides an excellent way to pick off escaping low-health targets. Her utility makes her so good that even without damage she remains a priority target during team fights.
What to do – Use W on enemies hit by Q for excellent damage before finishing them off with the ultimate.
Even in the hands of an unskilled player, Malzahar is a great damage dealer. His passive keeps him safe from gankers who initiate with crowd control so you have time to escape. He has a low-cooldown poke with his Q that’s relatively easy to land. His W synergizes with his tendency to keep casting spells and provides extra damage and additional lane pressure. His E is also a great form of harass, forcing enemy champs to stay away from the minion line. Finally, his ultimate deals a ton of damage, and pins down high priority targets during teamfights.
What to do – Use Q to poke and W to keep enemies away from the minion lane. Use your voidlings to block enemy skillshots or to push.
Top lane champions are either tanky, excel at taking on isolated targets, or both. In Bronze and Iron, top lane champs tend to focus more on survivability and pressure over sheer dueling potential.
Perhaps the most “newbie-friendly” top lane champ, Garen provides a good mix of offense and defense in a very straightforward kit. Press Q when you want to chase down a target or if you get hit by crowd-control ability. Activate W before pressing for an attack or running away. Use E for more damage or extra wave clear (spin to win!). R takes care of cleaning up survivors after a lane duel or teamfight. His passive will also keep you fresh between trades so you’re almost always ready for a fight.
What to do – Spin to win next to the opponents and follow up with a Q. Watch out for symbols over your enemies’ heads; that means they can be taken out with your ultimate.
Tahm Kench is one of the biggest lane bullies in Bronze and Iron Division. With three stacks of his passive, you have a low-cooldown CC that will keep most opponents at a disadvantage. His E ability is great for surviving burst damage from ganks while also keeping you from backing out too much. You can also save teammates or isolate enemies with his W. Last but not least, his ultimate is a great way to make sure that you’re always there to contest objectives and participate in teamfights.
What to do – Harass enemies with your Q. When you have three stacks on the enemy, keep them stunned with Q and finish them off with W. You should also learn to use W defensively to save teammates.
Nasus is generally known as a late-game monster, but he’s no slouch in the early game department either. Sure, his Q makes last hitting minions easier, but the real threat comes from his E which is pretty much a low-cooldown version of the summoner skill Exhaust. His W shreds armor and is great for clearing waves, and his R gives him the survivability to take a ton of damage for the team.
What to do – Get used to last hitting with his Q and zone them out with E. Single out the enemy marksmen and weaken them with your E.
Jungle champions need mobility to gain control over monster camps, objectives, and lanes. An effective jungler can set up inescapable ganks while also denying the opponent’s jungler of the opportunity (and experience) needed to provide lane pressure.
Amumu doesn’t have much by way of damage, but he more than makes up for it with a staggering amount of utility courtesy of his passive and his ultimate. His W and E has fast enough cooldowns to let him clear the jungle. His Q is mostly a tool for him to get in range for his other abilities, but the CC is a good bonus. Lastly, his R can be used both for starting teamfights or interrupting multiple enemies in the middle of one.
Check out our best CC champions for each role
How to play Amumu – Your plays will almost always involve landing a Q and hitting your ultimate so get used to your skillshots!
If Amumu is all about utility, tankiness, and slow-steady damage, Master Yi is the polar opposite of that, favoring damage and burst damage at the cost of durability. His R guarantees that he can chase down targets from afar while resetting his Q after every kill. His E adds true damage to his already high DPS. Playing Yi in Bronze and Iron Division is just a matter of activating his E and R, using Q, then sweeping up the rest of the enemy team. His W is a self heal that also increases his defenses, but will mostly be used to sustain his jungle clearing or to recover after a gank.
How to play Yi - Pop your ultimate, pop your E, then go to town with your Q and auto attack, preferably when the enemy has blown their CC abilities. Your W can be used to tank a few big hits, but be careful not to let the enemy surround you.
Vi isn’t as fast as Master Yi, but she’s also a good burst damage dealer that also sports a bit of durability. Learning her combo is fairly easy: start with her Q, auto, E, and then another auto for massive damage. Her R is a targeted ability, so initiating with it will guarantee most ganks will deal a lot of damage if not outright kill a target. However, you can also use it at the last moment if you’re confident at landing your Q.
How to play Vi – Get used to her combo and learn to decide whether her ultimate should be used as an opener or a last-minute kill secure.
Marksmen (aka ADC)
Marksmen champions have a single goal deal as much damage as possible. These champs are usually the most fragile members of the team, but they have the range to let them be effective from afar.
The first champion that most new players will encounter, Ashe combines good offense with utility. Her Q enhances her auto-attacks and is her main source of damage. Her W is mainly used for pokes and clearing minion waves. You also have some degree of safety with her E since you can scout the river even without wards. Her R is awesome if you manage to land it at long ranges, but in Bronze and Iron Division it will most likely be used to chase down escaping targets or to provide a burst of damage.
How to play Ashe – Activate your Q before starting to trade and harass with W. Save your ultimate for setting up enemies or catching up to runaway targets.
Sivir is a good example of a lane bully. With her Q and W, she can force enemies to stay away from the minion wave or risk taking damage. Her E gives her a degree of safety when trading damage. Even her ultimate is designed to help her deal more auto-attack damage while also giving the team a chance to press the offense. Despite being a lane bully, her stats scale good enough that she’s still quite the contender when you reach the late game.
What to do – Activate W before engaging in a teamfight and be prepared to block CC abilities with her E. Poke with Q and chase down enemies with your ultimate.
Caitlyn is another example of a lane bully. First, her passive and her Q provides early burst damage and poke. Her W allows you to set up danger zones in the lane where enemies aren’t safe. Her E works either as an escape or a slow to help your jungler or support catch up to key targets. If anybody manages to survive, you can kill them from afar with her ultimate, which is a targeted ability.
How to play Caitlyn– Get used to her passive so you have a harassing tool every 6 hits and learn how to use her E as an evasive ability.
Support champions are all about keeping your teammates alive and making sure the other guys are dead. Loaded with crowd control abilities, healing, or shields, a support champ doesn’t rely on items as much as others so they can afford to give minion kills to the team’s marksman.
Many people consider Sona to be the Annie of support lane because of her easy to use kit. Her ultimate is the only skill shot she has has a very wide hitbox and provides great crowd control. Her Poke is auto-target ability, and most of her plays involve properly timing her Power Chord Passive. She even has a low-cooldown healing ability to help her and the marksman stay longer in the lane. Her only weakness is that she’s a squishy champ with very limited mobility.
How to play Sona– Get used to properly timing your Power Chord and learn to initiate with her ultimate.
Janna is one of the best examples of a “safe” champ. While her Q and E will take some effort to use offensively, both are easier to land on chasing opponents. Her W is a typical shield buff that can help win trades or escape ganks. Last but not least, her ultimate can stop the enemy team from making well-executed plays that would otherwise result in an ace.
How to play Janna – Get used to fast-casting tornadoes and keep an eye out for when to shield. Learn to stop good plays with your ultimate.
If Janna is good for stopping enemy plays, Morgana is great at making them. Her Q is one of the best CC abilities in the game. She has an AOE courtesy of her W that lets her zone out her opponents in lane. You can use her E to help teammates engage without fear of getting disrupted by crowd control. Last but not least, her ultimate is a potent way to lock down an entire team for your team’s damage dealers.
How to play Morgana – Keep constant pressure with your Q and W. Keep your shield ready for enemy crowd control and learn how to “flash ult” properly.
How to Get out of Bronze and Iron – Conclusion
The road to Silver and beyond is paved with many challenges, but they are anything but impossible. Just getting a good grip on the basics of the game will drastically increase your win rate. With enough practice and a bit of patience, you’ll soon find yourself blowing past those divisions! We hope this guide can help you climb the ranked ladder!
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