In a meta where everyone takes teleport top, 2v4s are sadly far too common in the bot lane. We all know the feeling. You make an amazing play against the enemy duo with only a sliver of health. You think about putting the play in your Vayne montage. Suddenly, you see a beam of light stream from the sky, teleporting the mid laner into the bush in front of you.
Through quick reflexes and some summoner spells, you manage to get away into the safety of your turret. Suddenly, a hail of cannonballs falls from the sky. From the other side of the map, Gangplank laughs as he gets yet another double kill.
Gangplank is a high skill carry top laner. While slightly weak in lane phase, he makes up for it with strong impact across the map during the midgame and hypercarry status during the late. Although he isn't tanky, he's got a number of skills that can be used away, from his oranges to his speed boost to his slows.
In order to stop him from becoming a team destroying hypercarry in the lategame, you have to take advantage of his weak laning phase and make sure he doesn't get the gold needed to become useful. In this guide I'll be giving you tips on dealing with this Bilgewater rat.
Passive – Trial by Fire
Gangplank gains bonus burn damage on his next auto attack and gains a small movement speed boost. Every couple seconds or after he kills a barrel, this passive refreshes.
Q – Parrrley
Gangplank shoots his target. If he kills his target, he gains Silver Serpents. This ability applies on hit effects.
W – Remove Scurvy
Gangplank eats an orange, removing all crowd control effects and healing based on missing health.
E – Powder Keg
Gangplank drops a barrel with three health that loses health over time. If he kills the barrel, it explodes, dealing damage. If he kills it with Parrrley, he gains Silver Serpents for each enemy killed by the explosion. Enemy champions can target this barrel.
R – Cannon Barrage
Gangplank chooses a target location anywhere on the map. A flurry of cannonballs fall upon that location for a few seconds, dealing damage and slowing. Gangplank can improve his ultimate by buying upgrades with the Silver Serpents he gets from killing units.
Gangplank is susceptible to ganks. However, if you gank him, save your crowd control until he uses his W.
Don't go too near to the bushes in lane. Gangplank may have placed a few barrels as a booby trap.
Don't recall on low health under your turret. He’ll use his ultimate there.
Try to force him to use his Q on you instead of on minions. He won't be able to build stacks for his ultimate.
Once Gangplank gains his Trinity Force, he’ll have a surprising amount of burst. If you're low, be very careful around some of his combos.
Don't trade with him if he has his passive up. Wait until he uses it on a minion.
You should be able to out trade him pretty easily. Wait until your level 3 to start really hammering on him with your standard combos. Build Tiamat first, then transition into armor items like Sunfire’s Cape. Try not to build full tank because he’s squishy and does a lot of true damage.
Simply poke him down constantly with your Q. You can block shots with your passive. Whenever he does map wide movement, you can come as well to counter gank. Build Youmuu’s first.
You can trade pretty well and can save your other lanes from his ult. You have a decent amount of crowd control, so in case Gangplank tries to run away in a fight, save some spells for after he uses his W. Use the slow on your Q to start forcing him to fight you, then if he cleanses the slow, use your E to finish his off. Build Tiamat into Sunfire. Late game, split push constantly and force him to split push against you. Then when a fight breaks out with the rest of your team, go join them with your ultimate while he simply ults and continues to push.
Gangplank ignores armor and deals true damage. Because of this, stacking health is recommended. Items like Sunfire Cape and Titanic Hydra do especially well against him because they do damage as well as helping to be tanky. He's very squishy and does tons of damage, so instead of trying to tank his shots in fights, just kill him.
Diana is a melee AP assassin with a surprising amount of tankiness, given her usual itemization and her shield (that can become pretty massive, as far as assassins go).
As such, she is an absolute monster if you’re playing in the back line, and will likely be able to destroy you with a single combo. She also has a fair amount of disruption, as if her damage and survivability weren’t high enough.
Coupled with another champion who likes to dive, you may end up having a very bad time.
Passive - Moonsilver Blade
Diana gains attack speed. Additionally, every third strike does additional damage and cleaves.
Q - Crescent Strike
Diana throws a curved skillshot, marking any enemy champions hit.
W - Pale Cascade
Diana shields herself and creates 3 orbs that orbit her. If all 3 orbs are depleted by coming into contact with an enemy, she will refresh her shield.
E - Moonfall
Diana pulls all enemies within the area of effect to her.
R - Lunar Rush
Diana dives at an enemy from long range. If that enemy has been marked by Crescent Strike, Lunar Rush has no cooldown.
Dodging Crescent Slash is crucial, and will harshly lower her damage output. My personal favorite way is moving toward her when she casts, causing the ability to harmlessly arc around you.
Her shield only lasts for a short time. Wait until it's on cooldown and then harass her without fear of wasting mana.
Her damage output at level 6 is incredibly high. If you get caught with a Crescent Slash, prepare to fight.
Diana will naturally push the lane on account of her passive and her Crescent Slash. Try to freeze the lane as close to your turret as possible to prevent her from getting free damage with her combo.
He just about counters everyone at the moment. He has insanely high survivability thanks to his natural sustain and ability to build very tanky without sacrificing much damage. You have two options in this matchup: let her push, or push her into the turret. The latter opens you up to heavy harassment, but also will allow you to roam freely. The former simply makes sure you're in no danger whatsoever until it's time to team fight.
Like Vlad, he counters a lot of people at the moment. This is actually one of the better matchups for him, as she can't get close enough to do significant damage until level 6, and since you'll hit if at the same time you can just turn on your ult and sit on her with no fear of losing. I highly recommend Swain if you can get him.
The ultimate close combat mage. Diana has to dive you to win, so picking Ryze is a natural thought. Not only do you scale better into the late game, you also have a very strong laning phase against melee champions. If she decides to go in on you, ask you have to do is pop your ultimate and go to tow, she has very, very slim chances of beating you.
My favorite pocket pick against Diana. He's a huge tank with ridiculously high base damages, there is no point in the game where you should fear a Diana. What's more, since you're Cho'Gath you're able to harass very hard and bully her out of lane, so long as you can land skill shots.
Apart from these 4, there's several champions that do well: Malzahar, Karma, Zed, even pocket picks such as Sion. Most of these things have one thing in common: CC. If you're able to lock her down, which shouldn't be entirely too difficult seeing as she's melee, you'll be in great shape.
There are a few items that you can rush that will do a lot of work here. Rod of Ages tends to be my go-to, especially since it's broken beyond all belief right now. Another great item is Void Staff for both offensive and defensive purposes. A bit further into the game, a Zhonya’s Hourglass will never be a bad choice.
The big outlier here is Vlad. Rush Spirit Visage, there is no alternative. The huge magic resists along with the health and added regeneration will do work all game long.
Azir on release had a plague of bugs that made him incredibly difficult to play. Each patch for a few months came out with a set of bug fixes and minor buffs until finally he was free of bugs.
Then people realized how strong his kit is and the nerfing started. Azir is one of the highest skill cap champs in the game, with a number of difficult combos and hypercarry capabilities.
He’s the guy you always see in the montages. He’s capable of protecting your backline while still having enough damage to destroy the enemy team.
Passive – Shurima’s Legacy
Azir raises a turret from the ashes of a dead turret.
Q – Conquering Sands
Azir orders his soldiers to a target location, dealing damage and slowing anyone in their path.
W – Arise
Passive: Azir permanently has bonus attack speed. Active: Azir summons a soldier. These soldiers have a stack system, with Azir regenerating stacks every few seconds. Azir can auto-attack with these soldiers.
E – Shifting Sands
Azir dashes to one of his soldiers, dealing damage to enemies in his path and gaining a shield if he hits an enemy champion.
R – Emperor’s Divide
Azir calls a phalanx of soldiers forward. They knock back enemy champions, and stand still for a few seconds. Any enemy champions cannot pass through or dash over these soldiers.
Azir has very easily defined damage and movement zones. Think about rushing boots in order to dodge his soldiers attacks.
If Azir uses his E, he won’t have any escape except flash for a decent amount of time. That’s your turn to engage upon him.
Azir won’t have an escape until level 3. Try to get an early gank, to snowball your lane.
If Azir starts to use E directly at you, there’s a good chance that he’s trying to knock you back with his ult. Flash backwards so the ult misses you and you don’t get launched at his jungler.
Similar to Ziggs. If
Try to hit level 2 before him and go all in. He won’t have an escape, and your autos should be able to finish him off. Build Hexdrinker for optimal trades in
Your Tidal/Trickster can actually go over Azir’s wall. Don’t throw out your ult until he uses his e,
Passive - Rebirth
When killed, Anivia turns into an egg instead of dying. If you have not killed the egg after a few seconds, Anivia will be revived.
Q - Flash Frost
Anivia throws a large ball of
W - Crystallize
Anivia creates an impassable wall. The wall increases in size as it gets higher in rank.
E - Frostbite
Anivia throws a shard of ice, dealing magic damage. If the target is chilled, the damage is doubled.
R - Glacial Storm
Anivia creates a storm that increases in size over time. Enemies inside the storm take magic damage over time and are chilled.
Her damage output can be very high, even early in the game. Be absolutely sure to dodge her stun, and avoid her Frostbite + Glacial Storm combo at level 6 and beyond.
Be sure to avoid being baited into diving Anivia while her passive is up. It’s a very common mistake, and if you give her free kills you’re going to have a very bad time.
Fizz has just about everything going for him in this matchup. He’s incredibly sticky, while Anivia has no mobility. His Playful Trickster allows him to easily dodge stuns, which Anivia relies on to disengage from sticky champions. His ultimate is
Like Fizz, she’s incredibly sticky and highly mobile, both of which are things Anivia fears. In this lane, Anivia also has to predict your Sigil + Distortion combo in order to prevent getting assassinated. My biggest tip here would be to change up your intervals of when you actually try to get the secondary damage from your Sigil with your Distortion, and you should have quite the easy time in lane.
You’re probably seeing a pattern here. Highly mobile, high burst damage champions have a very good time against Anivia, as she simply lacks the tools to deal with them, especially pre-6. Zed is a bit different as he’s a little more predictable, but he makes up for it with higher damage, an easier time
There are a number of champions that fit this role: Diana, Talon, Katarina, Kassadin. All are good picks for the same reasons.
Like against any AP
Passive - Twin Disciplines
Akali gains permanent spell vamp and on-hit magic damage based on her attack damage and AP.
Q - Mark of the Assassin
Akali throws a blade at an enemy, marking them. Basic attacks will activate the mark, dealing extra damage and restoring 40 energy.
W - Twilight Shroud
Aatrox either heals himself for way too
E - Crescent Slash
Akali deals physical damage in an area around her.
R - Shadow Dance
Akali slowly gains charges (up to 3), and may
The single biggest tip against Akali is to carry a pink ward. This prevents her from using her shroud and gaining stealth, which makes her infinitely harder to deal with.
At level 6, her damage output is insane. If she manages her combo (Q, attack, Q, R) if could mean death. Be very wary of her early game damage (post 6, pre is not that bad).
Akali will likely try to mark you very often in lane. She’s an energy based champion, which makes it essentially free for her, and the mark is fairly threatening. Keep in mind it can only be triggered by auto attacks, and before level 5 it doesn’t do much damage.
To reiterate: buy pink wards. This needed to be said twice.
I love this matchup. If Akali tries to kill you at any point, you drop a stun on her and do way more damage. At level 6, you outright kill her. You also have the added benefit of being able to flash/Tibbers on top of the enemy team later in the game, which is far more than Akali can offer. The one thing you’ll need to take care with in this matchup is Akali’s roaming potential. If she heads down
If she’s chosen as a top
Swain is incredibly good against Akali. She’s a melee assassin, and Swain is a tanky monster with great sustain. She wants to stand in your face and fight you,
Not a name that pops up often. However, because of his low cooldown on his E, he’s quite strong against her. Every time she goes to try to farm, hit her with an E. Try not to push too hard, as Morde is weak to ganks and Akali farms under turret just fine. You likely hit 6 first as you’ve forced her out of
Be sure to pick up pink wards. Like any other AP assassin - health (Rod of Ages) or magic resist (Void staff) are good early. If you happen to be playing an AD character, a Hexdrinker is always a nice pickup as well. In addition, try to pick up a pink ward as often as needed. Apart from that, remember your pink wards. Pink wards.
Passive - Essence Theft
Every time Ahri hits an enemy with a spell, she gains a stack (max of 3/spell). At 9 stacks, her next spell will restore health for every enemy hit.
Q - Orb of Deception
Ahri throws her orb, dealing magic damage on the way out and true damage on the way back. She also gains a great deal of movement speed upon the initial cast.
W - Fox-Fire
Ahri summons 3 small orbs of fire that circle around her. When an enemy gets within range of an orb, it will deal damage to that enemy. This ability
E - Charm
Ahri throws out a heart, essentially stunning any enemy it hits for a short time.
R - Spirit Rush
Ahri dashes in a targeted direction, dealing damage to the 3 closest enemies. She gets 3 charges of this dash per cast.
Ahri is all about her charm. Stand behind minions or predict the way she’ll throw it so she can’t hit you with a big combo.
After she misses her charm, punish her heavily. Her Orb of Deception should be easy to dodge, and she won’t have much to do in return apart from casting Fox Fire, or simply trying to run.
Many Ahri players will use their ultimate just before trying to go in for a kill, so they can line their charm up. If you see this happen, get ready to dodge or flash as needed.
If she uses Spirit Rush to reposition in a teamfight, try to get your team to jump on her, as there is a short period where she can’t dash again. This makes deleting her quite easy.
Be sure to ward often. Ahri likes to roam quite a bit, and if your team doesn’t see it coming it can be devastating.
Many of the champions that counter Ahri are other assassins. She’s very susceptible to being
Not many people would expect this, as Ahri tends to do quite well against melee champions. Fizz, however, has extremely high mobility, and is one of the few champions that can actually catch and kill an Ahri that uses her ultimate to run away.
If you land your ultimate it’s almost always a guaranteed kill, and even if you don’t kill her, you certainly did enough damage to force her to back. At level 3 you can often all in an Ahri and come out on way on top, killing her outright or forcing her to blow her flash.
Highly mobile, high burst damage, Leblanc is basically made to destroy Ahri.This is a bit of a no brainer as picks go, actually. You win every trade (unless the Ahri is good enough to charm you during your dash), can push nearly as hard if necessary, and at level 6 you utterly annihilate her.
The only thing you have to worry about is being charmed during your dash, which is quite hard to do. However, if the Ahri is good enough to do that, you’ll still win if you pick your spots instead of going berserk.
Swain counters everyone. Farm until 6, and when she tries to make a move, you can just turn on your ultimate and sit on top of her. Pre-6 should be fine, as well. You may have to give up a creep here and there to avoid damage, but that’s perfectly fine in the long run.
The bonus to picking Swain is that you’ll also have infinitely more presence in a team fight, and won’t suffer from building tanky to make Ahri even more useless.
On the current patch, Vlad should be picked or banned every single game. He doesn’t suffer from building a Spirit Visage as his first item, has incredible sustain, and incredible damage. This pick is absolutely ridiculous right now. If you can, pick him. Essentially all you have to do is… well, nothing.
You farm and farm, Ahri can never kill you, and then you end up 1v5ing the enemy team. If you must have a laning tip, though, simply harass her with your empowered Q and finish her off with your ult/empowered Q when you can. Very simple stuff.
Against Ahri, a tanky item first never hurts. Whether it’s Rod of Ages or a Void Staff (I personally prefer the former), both are great picks. If you happen to be playing an AD mid laner (Zed, Talon, etc), than a simple hex drinker as your first item will make you nearly impossible to deal with.