If you're trying to improve as a player, linking an opgg is an easy way to get advice. Because most of this advice is similar, [the Summoner School subreddit](https://www.reddit.com/r/summonerschool/) has collaborated to make a list of specific things you can do to improve.
Suggestions for revisions / additions are appreciated!
What to Check?: [The champions being played, and how often.](http://i.imgur.com/F3kFZOF.png)
##Number of champions played.
Ask yourself an important question: **are you intending to climb, or to climb quickly?**
Being a generalist with over 20+ champions isn’t necessarily wrong, but will delay climbing compared to having a focused set of 3 or so champions per role.
This is especially true if most of the champions played have less than 3 games, which isn’t enough time to obtain as much competitive success. Narrowing down the champion pool to a smaller amount will aid climbing speed.
Some champions are inherently more complex than others. Zed and Yasuo require significantly more effort to succeed with than Annie and Malzahar.
You will have to ask again: is the goal to climb, or to climb quickly?
**Any champion is viable enough to succeed.** There are Diamond level players for every champion in the game, and even some Diamond players with extremely weird variants of champions like AD Blitzcrank Top.
Ultimately, if playing high-complexity champions is how you enjoy the game, more power to you. Just recognize that with this complexity, it will take longer to obtain the same results as something simpler.
What to Check?: [How often deaths occur in each game.](http://i.imgur.com/4Ufjmqp.png)
##Polarized Death Counts
Do your deaths tend to be in extremes of 3- and 7+, with little in between?
If death counts are very polarized, this is an indication that you have difficulty playing from behind. When things are going poorly, one of the safer actions to take will be playing more conservatively, rather than consistently attempting to kill an enemy and dying.
However, one of the trickiest parts about playing from behind is using strategies besides teamfighting. Teamfighting is the most obvious example of a win condition, but it’s not the only way to get an advantage. Consider these other options.
1. Don't initiate teamfights yourself, unless you have a certain numerical advantage (noticing an enemy is top-lane who cannot teleport over with an ability or summoner spell).
2. Farm up. Champion kills are worth 300 gold, but so is killing about 15 minions.
3. Initiate splitpushes and force a fed enemy to defend, leaving a 4v4 for the rest of the team
4. Put vision wards down in the enemy jungle and make picks on the other enemies
5. Pressure out a wave to force an enemy to defend at a tower, and then start a teamfight or baron / dragon attempt while an enemy defends.
6. Use control wards to set up opportunities to flank instead of going directly through the enemy front line
7. If playing an assassin / mage, wait nearby until the enemy front line engages, and then take out the carry alone if possible
8. Take jungle camps and buffs away from the enemies, decreasing their teamfight power
9. If a poke champ, try to stall the onset of a teamfight until lots of initial damage has been done
10. If playing a support or CC-heavy champ, look if another teammate has damage or DPS that can rival the enemies in the fight, and dedicate to only peeling for them
11. Look for opportunities to lay vision control at the baron to force enemies to overcommit too early
The basis behind most of these tactics is never fighting “fairly”. You want to catch enemies individually to force them into 4v5’s, or make them defend so a 4v5 can be engaged, or take camps away from their side so the team incomes aren’t the same, or to make them wounded at the start of a fight.
“Never lost a fair game. Or played one.”
##High Death Counts
Do your deaths tend to be in the 6+ range each game?
Having the occasional high-death game is inevitable, but if it’s a
consistent trend, it almost certainly means you’re playing far too aggressively.
If you’re being camped during the laning phase, remember: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Don’t fall for the same trick four times in a row; be willing to give up CS and EXP if it will prevent a death, and get control wards to help inch closer as necessary. Alternatively, roam to other lanes if you are unable to effectively reach the minion wave.
As a damage carry, **visualize an imaginary circle of death around every enemy.** Step inside this circle, and you die. Allies reduce the size of those circles. Your job is to stay at the very edge of these circles to maximize damage, without ever stepping foot inside except to clean up. Sometimes that means you have to be patient before dealing damage during a fight, but that’s the nature of the role. Take particular note of the “circles” belonging to assassins and don’t fall for the same trick multiple times in a row.
As a diver, tank or otherwise, **you don’t need to commit to death every time**. Your job is often more of a diversionary one than a kill-role. Making a carry run from a fight will have similar results as killing them. Similarly, making them focus you down is often sufficient to make their damage output meaningless for the fight. Get in, distract, and attempt to get out with a sliver of health. **Using 95% of your health to distract will be similar to using 100% of your health**, just that in one case you aren’t giving up a kill’s worth of gold.
##Low Death Counts
Do your deaths tend to be in the 3- range each game?
Like, actually in the 3- range? Not just in half the games?
Some degree of risk is necessary to win. If you successfully deal damage without dying (refer to the Damage Dealt to Champions chart for a decent metric), then excellent. But often, having low death counts every game means you’re not doing your job optimally. **It is necessary to die sometimes for the benefit of the team, whether that’s to grab a suicidal inhibitor or to stop a baron attempt.** As a support, you might be willing to trade your life to allow the carry to escape.
Stay at the edge of the teamfights, even if it’s risky. Make calculated risks to get offensive vision, and be willing to risk a worst-case scenario when the benefit is worthwhile (a baron steal to turn around a game). As a support, barely escape with your life, and then return to safely get your team out of danger with your abilities and Redemption (though don’t give up your second lease on life too easily!)
Deaths are part of the learning experience; you cannot become more effective if you are afraid of failure. Push the boundaries of what you can do, and find a healthy range where the tradeoff for each death is a negative for the enemy team.
Be careful because this advice only really applies if your deaths are consistently too low. It’s easy to accidentally cherry pick and believe you’re not dying that much, and ignoring “those other games where I died 11 times but that doesn’t count”.
#KILLS / KDA
What to Check?: [Kills per game.](http://i.imgur.com/dWU4A3T.png)
##High kill counts (7+), but still losing.
This is a strong indication of two potential things.
First, that kills aren’t being properly used to pressure objectives. **Kills are a mechanism to put pressure on objectives.**
During the laning phase, kills are mainly a way to get tower damage and shut down an enemy laner.
After the laning phase, **every kill should somehow contribute to tower damage, a dragon, a baron, or a victory.** It’s not enough to simply kill enemies; you must turn that into something tangible, rather than simply increasing the score. Taking risks is a necessary part of winning, especially if the enemy has a champion that scales into the late-game (such as Vayne).
Second, high kill counts paired with high death counts can be just as much a curse as a blessing. Familiarize yourself with the [bounty system] (http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Kill#Bounty_values); **if a champion has a killstreak of 5, then their death can be worth 2.5 champions of gold!** (750 gold on death, vs. the 300 standard). If fed, be very cautious about dying, as an even trade can actually be in favor of the losing team.
What to Check?: [How many control wards are bought each game.](http://i.imgur.com/KzzgKaH.png)
Most people don’t buy enough Control Wards, even into Diamond elo.
Control wards are every team member’s responsibility, not just the support. A single control ward at a baron is all it takes to successfully pressure enemies into suboptimal engages. A single control ward in a river bush can protect that side from ganks for several minutes.
If setting up picks in the enemy jungle, control wards are vital for successfully ambushing enemies.
Place control wards in the item sets if that’s what it takes to remember to purchase them.
**Frankly unless you have a control ward already on the map, you should purchase one any time there is 75g and a spare item slot**, unless you’re about to exactly complete an item.
And perhaps just as important as buying control wards is actually placing them down. Be careful about holding onto them for several minutes in the inventory, unless you’re preparing a time to set it down for a big objective.
Your totem ward charges should be used liberally to set up for vision. You should only have 2 charges of the Totem Ward available if you are planning to set up for an upcoming baron / dragon / tower attempt. Otherwise, keeping strong vision presence will help track the enemy movements.
What to Check? [Which items you are purchasing, and against which champions.](http://i.imgur.com/G0ycJTU.png)
Unless you’re extremely familiar with Build Theory and how to evaluate items, **you should generally rely on the builds offered by websites like champion.gg , probuilds.net , lolalytics.com, or even op.gg itself.** They provide a good, consistent base to start from for later experimentation.
As a rule of thumb, Tier 2 boots should be completed between the 1st and 2nd complete items.
As a rule of thumb, jungle items should be the first fully completed item (they are some of the most cost-efficient items in the entire game).
Both Executioner’s Calling and Morellonomicon are excellent versus high sustain compositions or champions. Look at champions whose identities are predicated on substantial self-healing (Vladimir, Darius, Aatrox, Dr. Mundo, Fiora, Draven) and itemize accordingly, by not neglecting Grievous Wounds too late.
Bruisers with healing like Darius and Renekton.
Healing mages like Vladimir and Swain.
Heavy lifestealers such as Fiora and Draven.
As a tank, keep particular mind of Randuin Omen’s hefty effectiveness against crit-based champions, especially Tryndamere, Jhin, and Yasuo.
What to Check?: [CS per game, also known as Creep Score per game \(Creep Score = Minions/Monsters Killed\).](http://i.imgur.com/WjQCEDi.png)
Creep Score is an enormous gold advantage that is often overshadowed by the glory of kills. A champion kill is 300 gold. Killing about 15 minions is 300 gold. **This means every 15 minions you have is effectively a kill’s gold.** Kills still have unique value by denying the enemy’s ability to CS, and through gaining a window to pressure objectives, but CS is still criminally undervalued overall.
This makes proper last-hitting and CS per minute especially valuable. If nothing else, at least aim to get more CS than your lane opponent (or jungle opponent, if a jungler).
As mid-game approaches, it’s easy to neglect CS because of the chaos surrounding teamfights and objectives. However, by keeping an eye on the minimap, it is possible to see where minion waves are about to crash into a tower, and then grabbing the gold before another teamfight erupts.
**Proper CS is basically a game of future-vision: knowing how much you can grab before you are needed for another fight.** A score of 7 CS per minute is fairly decent, while something along the lines of 10 CS per minute is impressive (this does not apply to Supports, who get no CS generally, nor to Junglers who get lower CS than laners).
Keep in mind that CS still isn’t everything; sometimes there’s just no helping the amount of fighting going on. But as a general trend, aim to get more.
What to Check?: [How many ranked games have you played this season?](http://i.imgur.com/ZLg8OxB.png)
Sample size is a tricky thing. **Unless you have about 40+ games, the sample size of your matches will generally be too low to recognize consistent patterns that are causing a loss.** If asking for help, low sample sizes also make it difficult to provide any specific advice.
This similarly applies to champions. Playing only 10 matches with a champion isn’t enough to tell how successful you are; after all, even a single loss is the difference between 50% and 40% at that sample. Aim for samples of about 20+ on individual champions to get more reasonable performance metrics.
Additionally, **keep track of how many games are being played with factors outside the game.** Even an hour less of sleep can significantly impact response time. Stress levels factor into impulsiveness during a match. Even simple confidence in matchups can go a long way toward risk taking. Keeping note of your mentality out-of-game will help properly evaluate your sample size.
What to Check?: [Which summoner spells you are using.](http://i.imgur.com/0a29ivg.png)
Flash is one of the quintessential summoners in the game. Unless your champion benefits particularly well from a mobility spell like Ghost, then Flash should always be used.
The second summoner is more malleable. The rule of thumbs are as follows:
**Bot Carries:** Heal
**Supports:** Exhaust or Ignite, depending on enemy composition.
If enemies have assassins / divers, then Exhaust makes a huge difference.
If Grievous Wounds are needed or it’s important to win the laning phase, then Ignite is preferred.
**Top Laners:** Ignite or Teleport.
These tend to be champion-specific choices, based upon whether their power lies in winning the laning phase (Tryndamere, Teemo) or through providing map presence (Gangplank, Shen).
**Mid Laners:** Ignite, Exhaust, Barrier, Ghost, Cleanse, Teleport
There's a ton of variety, but keep in mind that many of these choices are champion-specific.
Teleport is often taken on melee mid laners (Fizz) or those with substantial pushing power (Anivia).
Ghost is for more specific, usually-dashless champions that benefit from the mobility (Twisted Fate).
Cleanse is more generalist, used against specific champions (such as Morgana).
Barrier and Exhaust are for more lane survivability against burst damage (Annie).
Look up your intended champion to determine what is considered common.
What to Check?: [The "damage dealt to champions" graphs.](http://i.imgur.com/BzFHliP.png)
After each map, it’s helpful to check out the “Graphs” tab on the post-game screen. These graphs have a wealth of data, which can also be viewed on opgg.
One of the most valuable stats shown is Damage Dealt to Champions. **Dealing the most damage isn’t the full story, but it’s a good story.** it’s a strong indication of doing something right. When in any damage carry position, mid or bot, compare your damage dealt to see if you’re dealing enough as a damaging role.
Tanks and Bruisers can often expect their damage dealt to be in the middle of the pack. Utility champions like Janna can expect to nearly always be at the bottom.
Poke champions often have their damage dealt inflated through consistent harassment. If this damage is regularly healed, the damage contribution will be skewed upward. Basically, don’t feel too bad if Xerath outdamages you. Unless it was by a hella lot.
Thank you for your time!